That didn’t take long. People familiar with the discussion say the experiment to curb crime around Cal Anderson by keeping the park fully illuminated through the night has ended.
We have a message out to Seattle Parks and didn’t stop by to check on it ourselves but we were told the lights would begin to be switched off again as early as last night. There has been no formal announcement of the change in plans.
Earlier, CHS reported on the move to reconsider the experiment, a small — but noticeable — part of Mayor Mike McGinn’s plan to try to increase safety in the public green space. Some, including the developers who manage the adjacent Broadway Building apartments, complained that the measure needlessly illuminated the area and actually encouraged people to enter and use the park after it was closed at night. Police also have been critics about the increased callouts to the park because of late-night use though there’s been no official comment from the East Precinct on the situation.
UPDATE: Parks confirms the decision:
We have completed our experiment to keep the lights on at Bobby Morris Playfield for the following reasons:
1. We have not been able to conclude that having the lights on at night was an effective deterrent to crime.
2. We had complaints from neighbors around the park that having the lights on all night was undesirable (lights shining into their homes/condos all night).