From Pavement to Parks

Last summer, SDOT began exploring the idea of converting underutilized portions of city streets into vibrant community spaces. These projects, known as Pavement to Parks projects, are designed to both increase roadway safety and bring communities together using low-cost, adaptable treatments. With density increasing all around the city, these small parks offer increasingly vital space for socializing and enjoying the outdoors. To learn more about the details of our Pavement to Parks program, you can visit our Pavement to Parks program page here.

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Intersection of University St, E Union St, and Boylston Ave in First Hill

For years, similar projects have been met with great success in cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York. Not surprisingly, we are already seeing the same kinds of success with the projects installed in our own city! Successful projects have already been installed in Seattle’s First Hill, Phinney Ridge, and Ballard neighborhoods, and a new park in the Rainier Vista neighborhood will soon be on its way.

To raise awareness around the proposed Rainier Vista project, SDOT’s Street Use division recently co-hosted a community event with local residents at the proposed project site at S Genesee St between Jill Place S and 29th Ave S.  The installation would reduce traffic speeds in the neighborhood, provide more play space for kids (and adults!), and allow for future community gatherings like the one shown in the photos below.

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April 2016 Rainier Vista community event.

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Dance performance at the April 2016 Rainier Vista community event.

At April’s event, Street Use staff talked to the community about what, specifically, residents envision for repurposed street space. Roughly 150 people were in attendance, and we got feedback from over 100 of them! We are currently working with the Seattle Housing Authority, Rainier Vista Traffic Safety Committee, and local residents to incorporate the neighborhood feedback into the concept design, and will then present the design to the community.

If you have an idea for a Pavement to Parks project in your neighborhood, or if you would like to provide feedback on an existing or proposed project, please contact Susan McLaughlin at susan.mclaughlin@seattle.gov or 206.733.9649. We look forward to hearing your ideas!