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Originally published Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Several streets in Seattle will go car-free in August, September

To encourage people to drive less this summer, Seattle will close three streets to cars for several hours on three Sundays in Alki, Capitol Hill and Rainier Valley.

Seattle Times staff reporter

To encourage people to drive less this summer, Seattle will close three streets to cars for several hours on three Sundays in Alki, Capitol Hill and Rainier Valley.

"Just for one day, just chill," Mayor Greg Nickels said at a news conference today, encouraging people to bicycle, walk, jump rope and create chalk art instead.

The city is encouraging bicyclists and pedestrians to use the streets instead. Local car access will be allowed for residents in the areas.

Otherwise, the following streets will be car-free on the following days:

Sunday, Aug. 24, noon to 6 p.m. on Capitol Hill. 14th Avenue East from Volunteer Park to East Republican Street will close to car traffic during the Peace Concert in the Park. The Volunteer Park Western Loop also will be car-free.

Sunday, Aug. 31, 3 to 6 p.m. in Rainier Valley. Rainier Avenue South will close for three hours between South Orcas and South Alaska streets. Buses will use detour routes. Cars will be restricted on South Conover Way, part of 38th Avenue South and South Alaska Street between Genesee Park and Columbia City.

Meanwhile, Bicycle Sunday on Lake Washington Boulevard takes place the same day.

Sunday, Sept. 7, noon to 6 p.m. in Alki. Alki Avenue Southwest will close to cars between California Way Southwest and the south end of 63rd Avenue Southwest at Beach Drive Southwest. One lane will be kept open for the water-taxi shuttle and to provide access for Alki residents.

More road closures in parks

The parks department, which closes off park roads to cars for its Bicycle Saturday and Sunday program, is expanding that program to include more roads and more hours from August through September. The new closures include:

Volunteer Park Western Loop on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. between Aug. 4 and Sept. 29. On weekends the loop will be closed to cars from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 9, 17, 24, 31 and Sept. 7, 13, 21 and 27.

Seward Park Upper Loop Road on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., including Bicycle Thursday, from Aug. 7 to Sept. 25. On weekends, the loop will be closed to cars from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 9, 17, 24, 31 and Sept. 7, 13, 21 and 27.

Lake Washington Boulevard from Mount Baker to Seward Park on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Aug. 7 to Sept. 25. On weekends, the loop will be closed to cars from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 9, 17, 24, 31 and Sept. 7, 13, 21 and 27.

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or schan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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