Chuck’s Central District to add E Union parklet

Inside Chuck's -- we're guessing there will not be a giant refrigerated case in the new parklet (Image: CHS)

Inside Chuck’s — we’re guessing there will not be a giant refrigerated case in the new parklet (Image: CHS)

Chuck’s Central District is already a bottle and mug-filled playground for beer lovers on E Union. This summer, it should add a new place to hang out along the street as the beer shop will join the roster of businesses participating in the city’s growing parklet program. Continue reading

Capitol Hill kids, prepare your baskets — it’s Cal Anderson egg hunt time

8604239072_273461a177_b8603137719_c32bd07d53_bThe stark efficiency that is dozens of children carrying bags and baskets on a quest for free candy will be on full display next Saturday, April 19th as Capitol Hill kids and their neighbors celebrate Easter in the best way possible: egg hunt! The little ones get a head-start on Thursday at 19th Ave’s Miller Community Center. There are other hunts slated around the community but CHS has always been partial to the ones that invite all comers and dispense with anything beyond the simple joy of finding a plastic egg filled with jelly beans. Happy spring!

April 17 Mighty Mites “Egg”-Stravaganza
Miller Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 5 and under

April 19 Spring Egg Hunts
Cal Anderson Park, 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Montlake Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Yesler Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 1-11

Seattle’s full roster of Parks Department-enabled hunts can be found here.
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Comet, Lost Lake crew to create street park at 10th and Pike

We suggest Meinert and Lajeunesse talk to the creators of this 2013 Park(ing) Day installation about the 10th/Pike parklet design (Image: CHS)

We suggest Meinert and Lajeunesse talk to the creators of this 2013 Park(ing) Day installation about the 10th/Pike parklet design (Image: CHS)

The Comet will celebrate its reopening under new owners Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse this weekend with the official beer can tab pulling on Monday. There will be a lot of changes inside the 10th and Pike dive. Later this year, you’ll also find the corner outside the bar changed, too.

10th and Pike has been selected as a location in the next wave of the Seattle parklet pilots program.

“It’s going transform the corner of 10th and E Pike,” Meinert (we think) deadpanned via email. No details of the plan are public yet.

parklets2014map1The program, which works with neighborhood businesses to trade street parking to create public park spaces, will add a wave of new locations in 2014:

  • Lost Lake Lounge and Comet Tavern in Capitol Hill (10th Ave and Pike St)
  • Cortona Café in the Central District (2425 E Union St)
  • Bottlehouse and Hi Spot Café in Madrona (1416 34th Ave)
  • Tin Umbrella Coffee Roasters in Hillman City (5600 Rainier Ave S)
  • Urban Visions at the Chromer Building in Downtown (1516 2nd Ave)
  • Seattle Children’s Research Institute in Denny Triangle (1915 Terry Ave)
  • Uptown Alliance at SIFF Cinema in Uptown (511 Queen Anne Ave N)
  • U District Advocates in the University District (1316 NE 43rd St)
  • Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream in Wallingford (1622 N 45th St)
  • Delancey in Ballard (1415 NW 70th St)

Last year, Capitol Hill became home to the first parklet in the city as E Olive Way’s Montana’s management financed the small deck and hangout space in front of the bar. “90% of my customers are pedestrians,” Montana’s Rachel Marshall said about the decision to forego two street parking space to make room for the parklet. “Adjacent to the parklet, Montana Bar has also built a sidewalk café, which is designated for use by restaurant customers and includes fenced seating,” the city notes. “And just to the west of the parklet—in a space that was formerly designated as ‘no parking’—an on-street bicycle corral has been installed to increase the amount of bike parking in the area.”

The goal of the extended pilot program is to “allow SDOT to evaluate parklets in diverse neighborhoods and conditions before making recommendations on a permanent program for Seattle.” To apply, interested parklet creators were asked to submit “a simple site plan showing the ideas for your parklet, collect at least two letters of support from businesses or residents near the proposed parklet, snap a few photos of the parklet location, and write a paragraph or two explaining why you want to host a parklet.”

Meinert declined to say what Lost Lake and The Comet and any nearby businesses helping out will spend on the parklet and no design for the 10th and Pike space has been revealed publicly.

It should also, we think, be called Ed Comet Park.

Seattle tax district would support parks and community centers

Following a recommendation to fund a $270 million  maintenance backlog to city parks, Mayor Ed Murray is backing a new tax to foot the bill.

Earlier this month, Murray announced his proposal to establish a metropolitan parks taxing district that would soon go before the City Council, and, if passed, require voter approval. The measure would raise $54 million annually through a property tax to repair and upkeep Seattle parks, community centers, and destinations like Woodland Park Zoo and the waterfront aquarium

The mayor’s plan also aims to keep community centers open longer, fund facility upgrades, and potentially acquire more community centers, according to an outline of the proposal. The measure would additionally, “expand programming for seniors, people with disabilities and underserved populations,” as well as the development of fourteen new parks, and “provide funding for an urban parks partnership model to promote creative collaborations in downtown to activate parks with a focus on safety.” Continue reading

Dangerous Madison Park crossing, 23rd Ave intersection, First Hill sidewalk considered for city fund

A proposal to help make for a safer crossing of E Madison near Trader Joe's didn't make the cut -- this year (Image: Doug McLaughlin via Flickr)

A proposal to help make for a safer crossing of E Madison near Trader Joe’s didn’t make the cut — this year (Image: Doug McLaughlin via Flickr)

Last week, a Department of Neighborhoods community group considered nine new street and parks project for central Seattle and Capitol Hill. Below, you’ll find the three projects that made it through and are being studied for feasibility by the city to be part of some $1.2 million in funding through the Neighborhood Parks and Street Fund. We’ve also included descriptions of all the proposals just in case you want to rally around one of the passed-over ideas next year or you find something to inspire a similar project in your own neighborhood. Continue reading

12th Avenue Square project ready to dig in — Plus: Broadway Hill Park design plans ready

A conceptual image of 12th Avenue Square Park presented in 2011 (Image: Seattle Parks and Recreation)

A conceptual image of 12th Avenue Square Park presented in 2011 (Image: Seattle Parks and Recreation)

Back in June 2011, CHS posted design meeting plans for a 7,322 square-foot gravel lot on E James Court. It will soon be 12th Avenue Square Park. Now, with funding and a permit in-hand the Department of Parks and Recreations is looking to begin construction by late-spring/early summer and build upon the 564 12th Ave empty lot next to Ba Bar restaurant.

“The acquisition of the space was a community-initiated project from the 2000 Pro Parks Levy Opportunity Fund Project,” said Kerri Stoops of Seattle Parks. The Department of Neighborhoods passed the property to the parks department in 2008 who have acquired a steady flow of funds to get the project rolling that will include a woonerf to run “along James Ct spanning between the 12th Ave Park to the south and the new Seattle University and Seneca group development to the north.”

Meanwhile, a movement to create a Metropolitan Parks District in the city to manage development, operations, and maintenance of Seattle’s parks is making progress as the Seattle Parks Foundation has released its recommendations for the district’s structure:

A Metropolitan Park District would generate revenue dedicated solely to maintaining, operating, and developing a quality parks and recreation system in Seattle. A new MPD is a cornerstone of the plan to sustain Seattle parks because it is the only potential funding source that would be dedicated exclusively to parks. Parks would not have to compete for those funds with other capital priorities such as libraries, fire, transportation, and housing. An MPD would also be easy to implement and could be created by a vote of the people. The funds generated could be integrated into existing budgeting and operating processes, which are governed by city laws and by the parks department’s administrative code.

The district would represent a new taxing authority and the Seattle City Council would serve as its governing board. You can read more about the plan here.

Continue reading

Following Capitol Hill start, city extending parklet pilot program

The E Olive Way parklet under construction last summer (Image: CHS)

The E Olive Way parklet under construction last summer (Image: CHS)

There will be at least five more. The Seattle Department of Transportation has put out a call for applicants for five additional parklet trial permits to continue testing the use of street parking spots as public open spaces paid for and supported by local businesses.

Guided by successful programs in other cities, City Hall gave the go ahead to Seattle’s first parklet that opened last summer on E Olive Way in front of Montana. A Belltown parklet on 2nd Ave has also been approved while a Kickstarter to help fund an International District parklet reached its $12,000 goal last month.

The E Olive Way parklet exemplifies planners’ hopes for the projects. Though it is located in a neighborhood where on street parking is considered a premium, local businesses in the area involved in the parklet were willing to trade two parking spots  for a more universally available asset for customers and neighbors. “90% of my customers are pedestrians,” Montana’s Rachel Marshall told assembled media as the parklet was prepared for opening last summer.

The extended pilot program “will allow SDOT to evaluate parklets in diverse neighborhoods and conditions before making recommendations on a permanent program,” according to the announcement. To apply, interested parklet creators must submit “a simple site plan showing the ideas for your parklet, collect at least two letters of support from businesses or residents near the proposed parklet, snap a few photos of the parklet location, and write a paragraph or two explaining why you want to host a parklet.”

Check out the Seattle Pilot Parklet Program web site for more information.

More money for Cal Anderson safety, maintaining new parks on roster of proposals for next levy


Giant Robot Army, originally
uploaded by prima seadiva.

Thursday night, the committee that will set the course for how money from the next Seattle Parks Levy will be deployed comes to Capitol Hill to hear community feedback on dozens of proposed initiatives including $800,000 for more rangers and staff to help make the central city’s parks safer.

Here’s a note about the meeting from newly re-elected City Council member Sally Bagshaw:

Join Us at the Public Hearing for the Parks Legacy CAC on Thursday, November 7th!

Just a reminder that tomorrow the Department of Parks and Recreation is holding a public hearing at 6 p.m. at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave. E.  This hearing is another opportunity for you to weigh in on the parks potential ballot measure for 2014.

Back in May 2013, City Council adopted Resolution 31454 which created the Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee. This group is tasked with, among other things, determining if we should move forward with a ballot measure, the type of funding mechanism, and the investment initiatives.

The group has just released a first draft of 37 prioritized initiatives: this is what a possible levy would buy. The Committee seeks feedback from the community on these initiatives, and on the type of funding mechanisms being considered

For more information, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/legacy/committee.htm.

The list of 37 is below — you’ll note a few items dedicated to park safety including $250,00 for the Parks concierge program we reported on related to crime in Cal Anderson and another $550,000 initiative to fund two additional Park Rangers and two park-funded Animal Control Officers.

You can also provide feedback via email to ParksLegacy@seattle.gov.

subcommittee_preliminary_prioritization.pdf

Construction project will improve Cal Anderson’s E Pine entry — and hopefully won’t hurt an old tree

IMG_20131104_114402_208Now that most of the election malarkey is wrapped up, we can turn CHS’s attention to coverage that really matters. A Seattle Parks work crew was busy this week preparing the area around Cal Anderson’s southern stairway entry to the Bobby Morris playfield in a project to widen the access point, add a small retaining wall and, Parks hopes, help save a big old tree. Continue reading

City readies final plan to ‘pedestrianize’ John Street near Capitol Hill’s Summit Slope Park

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 4.28.24 PMPowered by a parks levy grant, the plan to “pedestrianize” John Street between Olive and Summit adjacent the 2011-built Summit Slope Park is moving into its final planning phase. Wednesday night, city planners will discuss the preferred alternative for the project and its potential changes for the street’s use in a meeting at the Capitol Hill library branch. Details on the final planning meeting and a look at the design alternatives that have been considered are below.

8445445100_87e14e9345Earlier this week, the city opened the first stretch of a new Broadway bikeway that will accompany the First Hill Streetcar route and has transformed the eastern side of Broadway beyond the traditional auto-focused street and parking layout. In September, Seattle’s first parklet trading street parking for public mini-park space debuted on E Olive Way.

UPDATE: Scott Shinn of the Seattle group Parents for Skateparks is hoping to draw attention to an issue in the design alternatives that he says could make the hard-won Summit Slope Park’s skate dot feature useless for skateboarders.

Continue reading

19th and Madison park gets a name — Welcome to Cayton Corner

cayton_susie_revelsHonoring a writer, newspaper editor and leader in Seattle’s black community, the planned public green space for the lot at 19th and Madison will be named Cayton Corner Park.

Susie Revels Cayton, daughter to the first U.S. Senator of African descent, arrived in Seattle in 1896:

Susie Revels Cayton soon became a leader in Seattle’s black community. She was named associate editor of The Seattle Republican and, later, contributing editor of Cayton’s Weekly. She was an active member of cultural and social organizations designed to improve the conditions of African Americans, including the “Sunday Forum,” a group of black Seattleites that met on a regular basis. Along with three other black women, Susie Cayton founded the Dorcus Charity Club in response to an urgent plea to help a set of abandoned twins. The club continued its charitable work for years.

Following a naming process this summer, the community group working to help plan the new park announced the decision earlier this week. If you’d like to get involved, their next meeting is October 8th, 6:30 PM at the Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center adjacent to the park space.

Residents celebrated at the space now known as Cayton Corner on Seattle's Night Out in August (Image: CHS)

Residents celebrated at the space now known as Cayton Corner on Seattle’s Night Out in August (Image: CHS)

CHS Pics | Seattle’s first parklet under construction on Capitol Hill

IMG_2051It replaces only a handful of parking spaces and will take all of three days to assemble but the start of construction on Seattle’s first parklet still brought out a media crowd Monday on E Olive Way.

Montana co-owner Rachel Marshall held court with the TV cameras — and one neighborhood blogger — trying her best to be diplomatic with the sometimes confused TV crews. “90% of my customers are pedestrians,” she said when asked, again, about the loss of parking in front of her neighborhood bar.

Continue reading