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No name yet for Summit and John park but groundbreaking set for March

Last week, we reported that one of the two Capitol Hill parks finally has a name — Seven Hills Park will be completed this coming spring. We checked in on progress regarding the other Capitol Hill park at Summit and John. No name, yet, but some interesting updates for the project:

  • First, the city says the contract to build the park is ready to go out for bid and groundbreaking is expected in March. That would put the park on track for being open by fall 2010. Here’s a CHS article on the park’s design.
  • Second, the Seattle Department of Transportation is looking at options for closing off the sad little stub of John St. that runs next to the lot where the new park will be built and turning the area into an expanded section of the park. SDOT says the keys to making the ‘pedestrianization’ happen are community support and maintaining access for the nearby Starbucks parking lot.

Here’s more from the Unpaving Paradise blog:

  • According to Casey Hildreth of SDOT, there are many different ways that we can improve and pedestrianize John St. in order to better incorporate it into the park.  Some possibilities include roadway narrowing/closure, parking removal, and the installation of a landscape strip for use as further gardening space.
  • Any work on John St. would need to be a second stage of the development for the park – this WILL NOT be covered by the planning or budget that Parks has currently for John and Summit. However, it is still an excellent opportunity to pursue in the next year. If anyone is interested on working on this, please email Unpaving Paradise at
  • John and Summit park is at 95% design, and will go through the Parks Dept. 95% design review very soon. Once that’s finished, Mithun will be able to complete the design for the park and p-patch, and then the project will be ready go out to bid. The John and Summit project will likely go out to bid in January or February 2010, and groundbreaking is anticipated for March.
  • One of the final design details that was presented to us was the addition of a recycled steel border around the P-Patch area to delineate it from the lawn and landscaping areas – up until now the construction of any bed borders would be left up to the community. This border would be included if the John and Summit project comes in under bid, which is a distinct possibility since the bad economy makes bidding a lot more competitive on good sized projects like this one. The use of recycled steel is a good sustainable and aesthetic choice: it is a good reuse of a long lasting material and it matches the steel support walls already in the design along John St.

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By the way. Unpaving Paradise is a committee of the Capitol Hill Community Council. The Council is a grassroots group with no formal support from any city agency or organization. They have a holiday wish list if you’d like to lend your support:

  • Folding table (preferably 6ft in length)
  • Folding chairs
  • Large umbrella and stand
  • A-board (for advertising outside meetings and events)
  • Staple guns and staple gun staples
  • Electric kettle for hot drinks at meetings

If you’d like to help us with a monetary donation, checks can be made out and sent to:

Capitol Hill Community Council
P.O. Box 20641
Seattle, WA 98102

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3 thoughts on “No name yet for Summit and John park but groundbreaking set for March

  1. I love that SDOT is really getting into closing off streets and using city right-of-way for other uses besides cars. Between this, the Westlake Hub, the Bell Street Promenade, and the Beacon Hill festival street, SDOT is showing itself to be pretty innovative as transportation departments go.

  2. I’m not necessarily for or against closing this small section of John St. However, how would people exit the Starbuck’s parking lot and enter as well? Currently the parking is angled, and you enter the slots closest to the store via Olive, the ones furthest from the store, off of John. Would the city then force the restriping of this parking lot so everybody has to enter off of Olive Way? If this is the case, I can see a lot more pedestrian/automobile conflict on that block, especially with the bus stop right there.