Neighborhood Block Parties give neighbors a chance to connect, enjoy the public realm of the street, share information, and celebrate events together. The City of Austin encourages residents and neighborhood groups to organize block parties on their nearby residential streets through the program application process.

What is a Neighborhood Block Party?

A block party IS

  • Open to all residents 
  • A single block closure that does not include cross streets  
  • A one-time closure of a residential street

A block party IS NOT*:

  • An event that includes vendors 
  • An event with alcohol sales  
  • A street closure request on an arterial or collector street (high-capacity urban road) 

*Not a block party? 

Apply to hold a Neighborhood Block Party

Step 1 – Make sure the street you want to close:

  • Is a residential street of primarily single-family/duplex homes. While local access must be maintained, for safety purposes, vehicular traffic in and out of the closure should be limited. Residents should be allowed leave and return to their residences as needed; however, every effort should be made to communicate with neighbors on the block to reduce vehicle traffic inside the street closure. Other building uses along the proposed street closure may be considered on a case-by-case basis. They include:
    • Multi-family residential - streets with multifamily complexes with more than three (3) units and small multifamily communities in which a limited amount of vehicular access is needed in and out of the closure. In some cases, multi-family units should have alternative access for vehicles other than inside the closure. Larger complexes would require law enforcement to regulate traffic and would need to go through the Austin Center for Events process as a Tier 2 Special Event.
    • Schools - must approve closure and be outside regular operating hours.
    • Places of Worship - must approve closure and be outside of regularly scheduled services.
    • Commercial Business -  must approve closure and business could not be operational during the permitted street closure time so there is a limited amount of vehicular access needed in and out of the closure.
  • Has a speed limit of 25 mph or less.
  • Is not part of a bus route and will not affect a traffic signal.
  • Is a full, single block that:
    • Does not include alleys or intersections.
    • Can be closed at each cross street (is not a midblock closure).

Step 2 – You'll need to gather the following documents before applying:

Step 3 – Complete the Neighborhood Block Party application at least ten (10) days before the date of the event:

  • Create a user registration or log in at abc.austintexas.gov. 
    • Select Apply for Right of Way Permits/Special Events on the menu on the left. 
    • Select [+] Right of Way application type. 
    • Select Street Event third option from the top.  
    • Helpful Tips: 
      • When selecting the property, we suggest using the Property Search Text Search option.
        • Leave off any prefix or suffixes. For example, 301 West 2nd Street should be entered as:
          • House Number: 301
          • Street Name: 2
      • If you run into any hurdles, don't hesitate to contact us at (512) 974-6501.  
      • Ensure all completed documents are included in the application before submitting.

Step 4 – Your application has been approved!

  • Pay the $50 permit + 4% tech surcharge fees at abc.austintexas.gov. Payment can also be made by mail or in person.

Step 5 – Prepare to close the block:

  • Have a copy of your neighborhood block party permit printed and available.
  • Austin Fire Department requires a clear undisturbed lane for emergency use. Width requirements below:
    • If the emergency lane is reduced to 15’ there must be connected to both ends of the street for access and in no case should this occur on a street that does not have connectivity on both ends. 25’ must be the minimum in cases without connectivity.
    • Street Parking can only remain when the full clear width of 25’ is in place.
    • Where buildings are 3 stories or taller the full clear width of 25’ must be in place.
    • Church and school closures, as well as closures in commercial areas, must maintain the full clear width of 25’ for emergency access at all times.
  • Watch the video to learn how to set up barricades for your neighborhood block party properly.

Step 6 – Safely Close Your Street and Have Fun!

It's hard to have fun if you're worried about the safety of your children and friends, so make sure you close the street before you begin!

  • Set up your barricades and signs.
  • Agree on which adult(s) will monitor the barricades.
    • Ensure you have an assigned monitor for each end of the street. They will need to wear a high-visibility vest and are responsible for moving the barricades for emergency vehicles and access for residents inside the closure.
    • Remember – Affected neighbors, deliveries, and emergency vehicles are allowed to enter the closure. The success of the program and safety of your neighbors relies on hosts being alert and responsive to their needs. 

Ok, NOW it's time to have fun! We'd love to hear from you. If you'd like to share what went well, ideas for improvement, or photos from your event, please feel free to email us at TransportationSpecialEvents@austintexas.gov.

Step 7 – Clean Up and Remove Barricades:

When your event is over, please make sure the street is empty of equipment and any activity debris. Clean-up is a great activity to share with all the people who participated! Be sure to remove the barricades and signs and reopen the street to through traffic.  

Q: Can I have a bounce house? 

A: Bounce houses and similar inflatable structures should be on private property and should not block any part of the street or sidewalks.  

Q: Can I put up tents? 

A: You can have temporary (non-air inflated) tents in the closure if the following conditions are met: 

  • You maintain the emergency/local access lane (see Step 5 above) 
  • Each tent does not exceed 10'x10' 
  • The total square footage of all tents does not exceed: 
    • 700 sq ft – If all tents do not have sidewalls 
    • 400 sq ft – If any tent has sidewalls 
Q: Can we have music? 

A: Yes! Amplified sound is allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m and is limited to 75 decibels.

Have more questions? Please email TransportationSpecialEvents@AustinTexas.gov or call (512) 974-6501.