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A former “flume” property in Georgetown will be transformed to create a new off-leash dog park and community walking, biking, and rolling connection

Georgetown is a neighborhood in Seattle located south of downtown, just east of the Duwamish Waterway. Photo credit: Howard Wu

We’re happy to share that the Seattle City Council Transportation & Utilities Committee voted today to approve the transfer of a currently unused “flume” site in Georgetown from Seattle City Light to Seattle Parks & Recreation and the Seattle Department of Transportation.

What does this mean for the nearby community?

It means that two new features are coming to Georgetown and South Park!

1) New off-leash area: Following strong interest expressed by neighbors, Seattle Parks & Recreation plans to build a new off-leash area in Georgetown. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2022, and the new off-leash area is expected to open to the public in winter 2022-2023. We hope you and your furry friends can enjoy the new dog park when it opens!

2) New community walking/biking/rolling connection: We will build a new walking, biking, and rolling connection along the west edge of the new off-leash area as part of the Georgetown to South Park Connection project. Construction of this new walking and biking connection is expected begin start in summer 2022, we expect to open it to the public in 2023.

“Creating an off-leash dog park in Georgetown and walking/biking trail that connects Georgetown and South Park has long been a goal of the Georgetown community. We are excited that this land transfer, in addition to the funding agreed to by Seattle City Light, Seattle Parks Department and SDOT, will allow these to become a reality in our neighborhood.”

–Kate Kohler, Georgetown resident and Co-Chair of the Georgetown Open Space Committee

Two dogs enjoying a run. Photo credit: Seattle Parks & Recreation

History of the Flume site

The Georgetown Flume site, which is located between the Aero Motel and the nearby Boeing campus, was the historic site of the conveyance that transported water from the Duwamish River to the Georgetown Steam Plant, until it ended operation in 1975.

Seattle City Light is transferring the eastern piece of this property to Seattle Parks & Recreation and the western piece to Seattle Department of Transportation as part of a public benefit package. As part of the transfer, Seattle City Light will receive a ‘street vacation’ in this area. Street vacations are a mechanism to allow a private use of the right-of-way, based on public benefit.

The existing Georgetown Flume site will be converted to an off-leash dog park and trail connection for people biking, walking, and rolling. Photo credit: SDOT.

Georgetown to South Park Walking and Biking Connection

The Georgetown to South Park Connection will create a new path uniting the two neighborhoods and creating a smoother, safer connection for people walking, biking, and rolling. It has been identified as a priority by neighbors and multiple times in our modal transportation plans, as part of the Georgetown Mobility Study, and public outreach following the emergency closure of the West Seattle Bridge in March 2020.

The route, determined through community outreach in partnership with Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, includes a walking/biking path along S Bailey St, 13th Ave S, S Albro Pl, Ellis Ave S, and E Marginal Way S that will connect to protected bike lanes and the existing sidewalk on 16th Ave S (see map).

A community walk in 2019, led by Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, which helped neighbors to try out and give input on potential routes while the project was being developed. Photo credit: SDOT

Duwamish Valley Safe Streets also successfully applied to our Neighborhood Street Fund to improve the crossing at the 16th Ave S and E Marginal Way S intersection (located just north of the South Park Bridge). We’ll build that intersection improvement in combination with this project (additional details about this planned improvement can be found on our website).

View of 16th Ave S at Marginal Way S. Photo credit: Google Maps

“We’re grateful for the close coordination by Seattle City Light, Seattle Parks & Recreation, and Seattle Department of Transportation to make this land transfer happen. Neighbors advocated for both the dog park and the walking and biking connection between Georgetown and South Park and we’re glad to share that both projects are getting built.”

–Sam Zimbabwe, Director, Seattle Department of Transportation

Thank you to Georgetown and South Park neighbors and to our partners at Seattle City Light and Seattle Parks & Recreation for this collaborative effort to bring more open space and community connections for people walking, biking, and rolling in Georgetown and South Park.