— Jesse Rope (@beacomedian) January 28, 2017
A stretch of relatively dry winter days means any ghosts wandering around E Olive Way had better be on the lookout. A Seattle Department of Transportation crew has been at work installing the area’s latest pavement park, a now Pac-Man-themed stretch of street on a small section of Summit Ave E between E Denny Way and E Olive Way.
Pacman is alive pic.twitter.com/oPTDRDAHDn
— Dongho Chang (@dongho_chang) January 27, 2017
SDOT tallied votes on nine maze-themed designs during July’s art walk. The video game-like design just beat out “blue geometric” and a monstrous “cap hill” proposal. Apparently, Bandai Namco Games is cool with any trademark issues.
The new maze mural also includes plastic bollards to block off the street. We’re checking with SDOT for details on any other design elements to come. The old Pronto bike share station formerly at the site was long ago removed — we won’t be needing those soon, anyhow. UPDATE: SDOT traffic engineer Dongho Chang, operator of maybe the single best city employee Twitter feed IN THE WORLD, tells CHS that planters will also soon be added “for more greenery and protection.”
That short segment of Summit in front of an apartment building, Ghost Gallery (Pac-Man’s favorite Capitol Hill art boutique), and a mini-market currently serves as both parking space and through street, and that has been the problem according to SDOT. The old configuration presented an opportunity for drivers to cross Denny onto Summit and nose into traffic on E Olive Way rather than to turn at the four-way intersection. The intersection also created some ambiguity for pedestrians something the walkable but blocked-off street is hoped to help alleviate. Now we just need to sort out which venue has the closest Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man arcade machine. And a stack of quarters.
The Summit project is one of a handful of the $70,000 Pavement to Parks projects underway across the city. The city’s first pilot projects in the program can be found on First Hill around the three-way intersection of University, Union and Boylston and at 9th Ave.