Community Post

Draft Parks Levy:!3{2}No New Parks Planned for the CD

It’s no secret that our neighborhood could use a few more parks. We’ve been taking a lot of new development and density, but the only new park that has been built in recent memory is Homer Harris Park at 24th & Howell. As a dog owner, I think there’s a definite need for a dog park somewhere in the neighborhood. The closest one is Genesee, and between $4.50 gas and $150 off-leash tickets, it’s making it pretty hard to get good exercise for our 4-legged family members.

The city council is considering putting a new parks levy on the ballot in November, and they’ve created a draft list of projects that would be included in such a plan. The good news is that the “Central East” area that includes the CD is scheduled to get 9.45% of the total amount in the levy – the most of any of the 6 sub-areas of the city. The bad news is that none of that money will go into new parks for the neighborhood, with the majority of the funding instead going to major remodeling at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.

I think everyone will agree that Langston Hughes is a crucial cultural institution for the CD. And having been in there recently, I can personally attest to its need for some TLC. But given the clear need for more park space, does it make sense to spend so much on a single building? For example, is there a way to do a slightly smaller project to cover the most pressing needs at Langston and then have some funding left over for a new neighborhood park?

You’ve got a chance to speak out on Tuesday at 5:30pm when a city parks committe will take public testimony to help determine which projects will be included in a final version of the levy.

You can also find the entire list of projects on the City Council’s website.

(h/t to WSB for the head’s up on the Levy)

0 thoughts on “Draft Parks Levy:!3{2}No New Parks Planned for the CD

  1. There is a dog park in the CD. It’s called Blue Dog and it is on the corner of MLK and South Massachusetts. It tends to be either very muddy or very dusty, but they have a hose to rinse your pooch.

  2. Ahh – I always forget about that one. How about if I rephrase my statement as “there’s a definite need for a good dog park somewhere in the neighborhood.”

    That one is kind of a sad little hole, with all of the problems you describe. And being on the south edge of the neighborhood, it’s not very accessible to a large part of the population.

  3. Agree that Blue Dog park at MLK and Massachusetts is usually a mudhole or dust pit and thus I tend to head to Genesee with the 4 legged children as well. I can not make it to the meeting on Tuesday, but perhaps following Scott’s suggestion about trying to get some of the money for projects other than Langston Hughes, the suggestion could be made to put money into Blue Dog improvements and/or maintenance. I know it is not in the center of our district, but it is closer than Genesee and walkable to the park area around the new African-American Museum as well.

    Are there any suggestions on a piece of property that would be available and suitable for a new park in the center of the district that would not either cost a fortune and/or result in the tearing down of serveral houses? Nothing jumps to my mind, but I also live more on the southern edge of the district (not within Capitol Hill’s annexation reaches yet…). I *think* there are several houses on 24th Ave behind the post office that have been chain link fenced off for several years like they were going to be redeveloped, but don’t think anything has happened yet. Would that be a suitable location if the City was convinced to pursue the owner for purchase?

  4. There are two underdesigned park we have already. Judkine Park once had two large playgrouns ad a tot lot. Parks built the existing undersized playground with no public input. The I-90 lid has large bushy areas that can be redeveloped into a larger dog park, kids area, stage and sitting areas etc. We can reprogram and reuse the park land we have.

    We may want to expand this list to include other parkland like the unused area by Odessa Brown clinic.

  5. much as i agree that a new park would be great, most dogs enjoy jogging alongside a bike while you ride slowly or walking and neither of those cost $4.50/gallon.

  6. Our CDNews mascot has a primal need to catch things and bring them back. Normal exercise doesn’t keep him satisfied

  7. My dog would make me crash as soon as she saw a bird/squirrel/butterfly/small child/or anything shiny! :)

    I’ve found some parks off the beaten path where we let our dog run but it would be fantastic to have a dedicated dog park within walking distance.

  8. Yes, with the scarcity of parks here it is difficult to imagine a new designated dog park. I can imagine designating some area of Judkins. Certainly the existing one at Massachusetts should be in for a round of improvements.

    While the Odessa Brown area is underutilized it is very pedestrian and not very large. Therefore, it does not have enough space to share with people, adults and kids. It is very peaceful piece of green. With a little attention it should provide a welcome open space for residents of the nearby housing, current and planned.

    I am hoping that the area around the new museum also becomes a lovely, well-used park area; not like, but used and loved similarly to Volunteer Park. The city would have to dedicate some new one-time funds and on-going funds in order for that to materialize.

  9. I was at the meeting Scott talked about in this entry.

    The reality is there’s only $120 million on the table. SAAM, the SAM arm in Volunteer Park (formerly SAM, before the downtown location was built) is asking for $11 million for HVAC improvements. That’s nearly 10% of the total right there.

    Throw in a bunch of ballfield improvements, playground updates, Burke-Gilman connection through Ballard…and there’s not a lot left to go around. Since geographical equity is a criterion, the “Central East” allotment is pretty much eaten up by the SAAM work.

    If you want to comment on the project list or speak up for CD projects, let the Councilmembers know what you’d like to see. I submitted a couple ideas, and there are several more in this list that I didn’t think of as a non-dog-owning person :)