— jseattle (@jseattle) November 16, 2020
A petition organized by members of neighborhood community groups, organizations, and businesses around Cal Anderson have launched a petition to show community support for the reopening of the park and removal of the concrete barrier wall surrounding the East Precinct:
From the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council:
Cal Anderson Park, a 7-acre public park in the middle of Seattle, has been closed to the public since early July. Although many continue to use the park, its use is not supported by regular maintenance and repair and it has become an unwelcoming place for many. Since its closure there have been 2 deaths inside the park, sprawling encampments, piles of trash and human excrement, property damage and deferred maintenance. Reopening the park will provide much needed maintenance and allow for the park to be utilized by all. The City has installed large cement barriers and fences around the E. Precinct in response to property damage. While most businesses have removed the plywood from their windows and are open for business in the neighborhood, the barricades around the E. Precinct remain. Removing the barricades signals this is a safe and welcoming neighborhood. We created the petition and will send its signatures to the Mayor and City Council members – the support they say they need to act. But, to make an impact, we need a LARGE VOICE. Please sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/opencalanderson
The petition already had more than 200 sign-ups as of early Thursday afternoon.
CHS reported here on the Cal Anderson Park Alliance and the call for the reopening and return of regular maintenance of Cal Anderson which has been technically closed to the public due to what the city says are safety concerns following the July sweep of the CHOP protest from the area.
As for the bulky wall added outside the auto row-era building home to the East Precinct at 12th and Pine, Central Seattle Greenways last week joined neighbors in calling for the removal of the barrier. CHS reported here n August as the Seattle Department of Transportation installed concrete “eco-blocks” and a wire fence along Pine and 12th Ave, blocking sidewalks and crosswalks and obstructing bike lanes. The Seattle Police Department said the barrier was necessary amid ongoing protest and arson threats after reclaiming the building following the CHOP sweep.
“While businesses and residents have worked together to take down boards, remove graffiti, and reopen their businesses to serve the neighborhood, the East Precinct has barricaded and fortified its exterior,” the petition reads. “It’s time for the East Precinct to join its neighbors by removing the cement walls, fences, and boards.”
In Cal Anderson, meanwhile, city and parks officials have said the closure would continue due to unsafe conditions in the park and ongoing vandalism.
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