Traffic Playgrounds and Playspaces
What are Traffic Safety Playgrounds?
Traffic Playgrounds are places that provide children and families a fun space to learn rules of the road away from street traffic. During the COVID-19 pandemic they also provide a no-contact play destination for families.
Each playground looks like a small version of our city's streets. There are travel lanes, crosswalks, stop signs, and places to visit like parks, businesses, schools, and neighborhoods. They are great for scooters, bicycles, wheelchairs or feet. We invite you and your family to be creative in how you use them!
These temporary play places can be located within school grounds and church parking lots, or other spaces not getting as much use during COVID-19 due to physical distancing requirements. Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District has supplied our first location at Greenway Park off Fanno Creek Trail. Map
Traffic playground activity ideas
- Practice crossing the roadway. Cross at street corners only. Stop, look each direction, listen and walk across while continuing to scan for cars.
- While biking, learn and/or practice hand signals to indicate when you are stopping, turning right and turning left (see below for how-to's).
- Role-play being a motorist. Stop at stop signs and watch for bicyclists and people walking. Make eye contact and yield for pedestrians.
- Right of way game: choose who will be a pedestrian, emergency vehicle or regular vehicle and follow the rules of the road accordingly (everyone yields for emergency vehicles, regular vehicles yields to pedestrians). Change up who gets to be which role.
- "Neighborhood" Scavenger Hunt: Pick different locations around the traffic playground and use proper rules of the road to get there.
- Make believe -- just have fun!
Traffic safety tips
For bicycles and scooters:
- Always ride on the right side of the road.
- Look for people in the crosswalk and let them cross before you.
- Stop at the stop signs; look left, right and left again before going.
- Practice using hand signals to show which way you're going (see image at right for hand signal instructions).
For people walking:
- Look both ways before crossing in the crosswalk.
- Give people on wheels time to stop for you before entering the crosswalk. Use "I see you, you see me". Make eye contact with person in the car or bike before crossing.
- Remember the safest place to cross the street is always the corner! Any street corner is considered a crosswalk even if there is no paint or marking.
What are Playspaces?
Our playspaces are just like hop scotch, where children interact with a game board drawn on the ground. They provide another way for no-contact play. These game boards/activity areas provide children and youth an oversize board to play classic games like Chutes & Ladders or activities like obstacle courses. Playspaces can be installed in smaller areas where there may not be a lot of room for riding scooters or bikes.
What is needed to create a Temporary Playground?
- Space in a flat, paved area. The pavement should be fairly flat and smooth; areas with large potholes or cracks will make it more challenging for the paint to stick.
- For a Traffic Playground, We need approximately 50' x 100’ (about the size of a basketball court). This can easily fit in most parking lots or school playground blacktops. If a smaller size is better, we can modify the design to as small as 30’ x 80’. The Playspaces, such as the obstacle course, can be modified to fit in most spaces.
When visiting any of our Traffic Safety Gardens or Playspaces please remember the following:
- Always wear a helmet when riding bikes, scooters and skateboards!
- Stay 6 feet away from those not in your family, and wear your face mask to keep the play space safe!
- If the area is full or crowded, please come back later.
To find out the most current safety information for COVID-19 please visit the Oregon Health Authority.