Posts Tagged “Seattle”

Since my last post much has happened in regards to the effort to replace SeaSk8. Primarily, the team has been assembled and there is an effort underway to determine a site for the replacement park.

Let me try to catch you up quickly…

The Team:

The city has appointed Director of the Waterfront project, Marshall Foster, to sherpa the team through the process of replacing SeaSk8. The team consists of representatives of Seattle Center, Seattle Parks, Skateboarders, Skate Like A Girl, and the offices of city council members Bagshaw and Juarez. So far Mr. Foster has made a significant impact including setting up bi-weekly meetings and running interference between the various parties to keep the peace and momentum moving forward.

The sites:

One of the first things Marshall did was help to bring Grindline in to perform feasibility studies on the three sites that were brought to the table as options: the green space on Broad Street below the Space Needle, one of two spaces in Lake Union Park, and this weird plot of land behind the Ride The Ducks clubhouse. Those studies are moving forward and should be completed relatively soon. At that point the team will try to weigh the pluses and minuses of each site and try to put forward a preferred option to be approved by the city.

Based on the site chosen, a city department will then take the lead on the project. If it’s Broad Street then Seattle Center will need to own it. If it’s Lake Union Park, then it will be a Seattle Parks project. The third site will need to be transferred from Seattle Department of Transportation and it isn’t clear who will own the project if that site is chosen, but it will likely be Seattle Center.

The process continues and there is another meeting today. I will try to get better about keeping the site up-to-date and will back-fill with some future posts to provide more of the contextual information in the next few days to give you a better idea of what’s been transpiring. The process has been much more productive than past experiences, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

More on that soon…

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Yesterday the skate community showed up to City Council chambers and testified to the value of SeaSk8 to our community. We called out that there is no clear budget identified for the replacement park, and that it’s problematically conflated with a maintenance building and an obliquely defined set of “public amenities” in the current MOU. We pointed out that in the past, finding a site has taken up to three years for previous incarnations of this very park, and that gap in service amounts to certain death for the community that relies on this skatepark for everything from skateboarding, to self-esteem, personal growth, mental health, and physical fitness. We also highlighted that this is the fourth SeaSk8 which, in itself, begs questions about why Seattle Center is so allergic to permanence when it comes to skateparks.

Despite all that, Seattle City Council Committee on Civic Arenas approved the MOU and moved it to be approved by the full council on December 4th. They did this without even acknowledging the comments that were made by skatepark advocates, or that they registered our complaints at all. Committee chair Juarez was even dismissive, by making a statement about how non-binding the MOU was, and that there will be changes made down the road. Councilmember Juarez clearly has no understanding of what this community has been through. King 5 seems to be on board with the effort to dismiss skaters by characterizing 10 skatepark advocates in a group of 40 speakers as “a handful“. Is this what Seattle Center Executive Director Robert Nellams meant back in 2010 when he told the City Council that he thought skaters in Seattle were getting a “raw deal”?

Unsurprisingly, The Stranger comes to the rescue with the first (and currently only) piece focused on the fate of SeaSk8 and fairly represents the issues being raised by the skate community.

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..and…I dunno…they feel pretty uninspired.

Parks has this scheduled to go out to bid in late May, with construction beginning in July.

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LW Earth DaySnoCon and Element are teaming up on Earth Day to clean up Lower Woodland, and based on the condition of the place during last few times I’ve visited, it’s none too soon.

They promise giveaways, some contest action, and free food.  All you have to do is grab a provided garbage bag and pick up after your careless buddies to qualify for the free love.

While you’re at it, bring some carb fluid and wipe out some of that awful graffiti.  Or put up some ‘NO BIKES’ signs around the railings, because nobody reads the small print on those existing ones.

Just because this event is organized doesn’t mean you can’t show up under your own initiative and go above and beyond the role of garbage collector.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Click here for more info.

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