As part of the city’s response to the COVID-19 crisis the Transportation Department has implemented a Healthy Streets pilot project.
Portions of two residential streets (Southeast Fourth Street and 165/166th avenues Northeast) are being temporarily closed to non-local vehicle traffic to provide more room for people in the neighborhood to move while socially distancing during COVID-19. Local access for residents and essential services will be maintained, as well as on-street parking.
Information about the Bellevue Healthy Streets pilot was shared with residents who live on and near the closed streets prior to the launch. The project follows a trend in other cities nationwide to provide space for residents to get out, safely exercise and get where they need to go during the pandemic.
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The temporary street closures will make it easier for people nearby to bike, walk and roll for recreation and to reach essential services. The two streets being closed, totaling about 1.5 miles, are in the Lake Hills and Northeast Bellevue neighborhoods. Other streets could be added to the pilot in the future, depending on demand.
- Southeast Fourth Street, from the Lake Hills Greenbelt to 164th Avenue Southeast (0.75 mile)
- 165th/166th avenues Northeast, from Northeast Fourth Street to Northup Way (0.75 mile)
The streets were selected because they have relatively low traffic volumes, are near other streets that drivers can use to avoid long detours, are long enough to provide a good route for riding and walking, lack sidewalks or that connect to parks and commercial centers that provide essential services.
Tips for Healthy Streets users
Healthy Streets are for people living nearby who are walking, biking and rolling. They will remain open to local vehicle traffic only, including residents, emergency response vehicles, garbage and recycling pickups and delivery vehicles. People driving should use extra caution.
Closures are marked with signs, and there will be enough space for local traffic to drive around the signs. City staff will monitor the streets daily to ensure the signage remains in place.
For pedestrians, bicyclists:
- Keep moving
- Maintain proper social distancing -- at least six feet between yourself and others -- to help reduce the spread of the virus
- Use a light at night. For bikes, a white light in front and red reflector or light in back
For people who must drive on the closed streets:
- Drive slowly and make eye contact with people biking, walking and rolling
- Scan the road ahead carefully; watch and yield to people of all ages who are walking, biking and rolling
- Communicate with others by making eye contact and signaling turns and lane changes
The two streets will remain closed to non-local vehicle traffic pending further guidance on social distancing from the Governor’s Office and public health officials, or as directed by the City of Bellevue.
The temporary street closures are being implemented rapidly and with minimal up-front costs for materials. Staff time will be required to place the closure signs, monitor them and remove the signs once the pilot has ended. As part of the pilot, staff will track costs and staff time.
The Transportation Department is committed to providing residents and businesses the resources they need to stay healthy during the pandemic. In addition to Bellevue Healthy Streets, the Transportation Department rolled out Curbside Food Pickup Zones to support restaurants serving take-out customers.
- If you have questions about the Bellevue Healthy Streets pilot, please email email@example.com or call 425-452-6856
- Other citywide resources include a COVID-19 Updates webpage, a COVID-19 Community Resources webpage and a COVID-19 Business/Non-profit Resources webpage.