The Park

Send off Summer with Flare – the Luminata is Back!

September 20, 2022 6:33am

On September 24, Green Lake will again become a fantasy landscape alight with hundreds of lanterns to celebrate the autumnal equinox, the tipping point between summer and fall, light and dark. On the autumnal equinox, the Sun is directly above the equator, and day and night are the same lengths. It is traditionally a time to celebrate the harvest and wind down into winter’s rest for the following year

Image, Fremont Art Council

Sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council , the evening lantern parade is free and begins officially at 7:30 at the Aqua Theater (by the Small Craft Center) and weaves along the lake eastward to the Seattle Public Theater. The event runs until 11:00 p.m. You can join anywhere along the path. A band leads the parade, and there is an illuminated art display near the theater.

Image, Fremont Art Council

You can make your own lanterns at free lantern-making workshops, or buy some to support the event. The lantern shoppe at the Aqua Theater will open at 6 PM on Saturday September 24. Proceeds benefitting the Fremont Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Find the schedule and more information at https://fremontartscouncil.org/luminata

Why walk when you can paddle? Image, Fremont Arts Council

Here’s a map of the route:

Fremont Arts Council

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Green Lake Gets a New Boathouse

September 13, 2022 6:00am

This month, construction begins on a larger, updated Boathouse (also known as the Small Craft Center) at 5900 West Green Lake Way N, 98103 for Green Lake.

Image, Mithun/Seattle Parks and Recreation

The 10,800 square-foot building will be fully accessible, preparing to launch Seattle’s first public adaptive rowing program and expansion of a paracanoing program. The design increases and maximizes boat storage and creates new instructional space for educational programs.

The new facility will also provide restrooms, locker facilities, areas for off-water instruction, and a community meeting space. According to the Seattle Parks and Recreation, the adjacent Massart Shellhouse building and restrooms will be minimally updated as well and utilities for both buildings will be repaired/replaced. 

Image, Mithun/Seattle Parks and Recreation

As the current building is demolished, parkgoers will encounter detours to the surrounding paths. Construction is estimated to take about a year.

The project’s estimated cost is $12,500,000 and SPR says it is being funded in part by private donations and grants from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, King County, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Major Projects Challenge Fund.

Image, Mithun/Seattle Parks and Recreation
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Bluegrass Serenades at Green Lake

August 13, 2022 10:15am

Looking for a bluegrass soundtrack to your summer evening stroll? On balmy Thursday nights from about 7:00-9:00 p.m. -ish, you can typically find The Shed Boys, a five-person acoustic group featuring bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin – and of course, harmonica. They specialize in “cranking out high energy, toe tapping fun.” Follow the sweet sound until you find them just southwest of the Bath House Theater.

They also play at private gigs and at watering holes like Murphy’s Ale House in Wallingford, or Vita’s on Orcas Island.

You can preview a listen here

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Parks Department Tanks New Pool Plan

June 1, 2022 4:54pm

The Parks Department has decided not to commit to the estimated $120 renovation including a new pool and recreation center for Green Lake, instead favoring a renovation of existing elements that may still cost $50 million. The decision was announced at a recent Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners meeting.

A rendering of the $120M renovation proposed in 2020

The center dates back to 1927, and the pool to 1955. In 2015, the Parks Department slated the building for renovation, and in 2020 it unveiled a plan including a 90,000-square-foot replacement complex. This included a gym, two swimming pools, both child care and activity rooms, and an open porch with a lakeside view. Seattle Times’ columnist Danny Westneat reports that Councilmember Dan Strauss says he will fight for funding the new rec center and pool as Parks and Recreation funding is determined for the next cycle of budgeting.

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Green Lake Outer Loop Plan Finalized

February 24, 2022 6:44pm

Following input from a November survey, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced its plan to complete a biking/walking loop on the outer path circling Green Lake this week. Construction could begin as early as summer.

The plan, comprising parts of Aurora Ave. N and Greenlake Way N., maintains road access within the southern edge of the park and the on-ramp to Aurora Ave., but does remove Northbound traffic along Greenlake Way N. Another traffic impact is that cars will no longer be able to turn right from Aurora Ave. N onto Greenlake Way N.

Map courtesy of SDOT

You can view the survey data, traffic and parking analyses, and alternative plan options that were proposed in a virtual public meeting Tuesday here .

According to SDOT’s email announcement, the Vision Zero Program prioritized this project “due to its safety benefits and potential to address recent collisions that have occurred in this area.”

Here’s what it should look like along Aurora Ave. where an unused buslane is being converted into a bike/walk lane:

Courtest SDOT

and along Greenlake Way N.:

Looking north along Greenlake Way N. Courtesy SDOT.
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Green Lake Community Center Landmark Virtual Vote Oct. 6

September 26, 2021 8:38am

Detail of the 1928 facade of the Green Lake Community Center
www.Seattle.gov
Rendering of renovated Community Center. Courtesy Berger Partnership

The 1928 building has the chance to become a landmark before it undergoes renovation. See below for details.

From a press release:

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider the nomination of Green Lake Community Center at 7201-7359 E. Green Lake Drive N. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually. Meeting participation is limited to access by the WebEx meeting link or the telephone call-in line that will be provided in the agenda posted to our website one week prior to the meeting.
 
The public is invited to participate in the virtual meeting and make comments regarding the nominations. You may sign up to address the Landmarks Preservation Board for up to 2 minutes on matters on this agenda. Speakers must be registered to be recognized by the Chair/Board staff. Online registration will begin two hours before the 3:30 p.m. meeting start time, and registration will end at the start of the Board meeting. Members of the public who wish to speak can either use the call-in number or use the WebEx link in the meeting agenda. The agenda for this meeting will be sent one week prior to the meeting, and will be posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website.
 
Written comments are also accepted and should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board by 3:30 p.m. on October 5, 2021. Written comments can be submitted:
 
Via email: erin.doherty@seattle.gov  
Via US Mail: Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, PO Box 94649, Seattle WA 98124-4649
 
A copy of the Landmark Nomination is posted on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website under the heading of “Current Nominations.”
 
A landmark nomination provides a physical description of the building, object, or site, and information on its history, current and historic photos, site plans, maps, drawings, and more. To learn about the nomination and designation process, visit our webpage.
 

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Two-Way Traffic and Bike Lane Open on W Green Lake Way Now

September 25, 2021 1:30pm

Beating its expected deadline of Oct. 1, the Seattle Department of Transportation has completed and re-opened W Green Lake Way, with a new protected bike/walk lane, a slower speed limit, and better road signage.

Remembering it was open, I tried it today driving back from Ballard on 65th and found it a seamless transition. The speed limit is now 20 mph.

SDOT rendering of new traffic patterns on W Green Lake W, looking North

SDOT writes on its website:

This design is based on City standards and best practices for safety, as well as community feedback to reopen the street to people driving as soon as possible. The features include reducing the speed to 20MPH, a new tuff curb and flex posts to delineate a two-way path, adding new stop signs at N 63rd St and W Green Lake Way N, reconfigured transition for people coming or going to E Green Lake Way N, and improved markings at intersections and parking lot entrances.

There was significant community pushback – including a petition, phone/email campaigns, and protests -about the closure of the road as a “Keep Moving Street” since May 2020. Critics felt the closure was hurting park use more than it was helping, as well as cutting off access to surrounding neighborhood businesses and increasing traffic pressure on 50th and 80th streets.

What’s Next?

The post goes on to say, as we’ve reported, that SDOT is considering ways to improve the connection between Lower Woodland Park and Green Lake, as well as potentially creating a continuous bike loop outside the lake, including sections of Aurora Ave. N.

“Beyond returning vehicle traffic lanes to W Green Lake Way N, we’d like to explore creative solutions for making the street less of a divider between Woodland and Green Lake parks. We have a rare opportunity to build on the Keep Moving Street and reimagine how W Green Lake Way N can serve multiple functions. 

We’ll seek community input on how to improve connections between the parks by keeping speeds calm and including possible solutions like more crosswalks, additional walking improvements, decreasing the speed limit to 20 MPH, and temporary changes in street operations to encourage community use and celebrations.  

Talk with neighbors about how we might expand a walking and biking path connecting around the lake, building off the recently completed Green Lake and Wallingford Multimodal Paving Project.

We’ve heard a lot from the community who are interested in creating a full outer loop for people to walk and bike around the lake, including repurposing the eastern-most lane of Aurora Ave N adjacent to the lake. We will be gathering feedback and sharing concepts with WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation), our partners in the corridor. “

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W Green Lake Way Construction Starts

September 16, 2021 6:15pm

Seattle Department of Transportation announced that construction started a few days ago of the new two-way bike/walk lane in the section of W Green Lake Way N that has been closed since May 2020 during most of the pandemic. The target opening date is Oct. 1.

Construction Sept. 13 on W Green Lake Way N – from Seattle Department of Transportation

An e-newsletter sent Sept. 16th said,

“This design is based on City standards and best practices for safety, as well as community feedback to reopen the street to people driving as soon as possible. The features include reducing the speed to 20MPH, a new tuff curb and flex posts to delineate a two-way path, adding new stop signs at N 63rd St and W Green Lake Way N, reconfigured transition for people coming or going to E Green Lake Way N, and improved markings at intersections and parking lot entrances.”

Here are some renderings of the work being done in detail:

From Seattle Department of Transportation
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Drop-in Flow Yoga at Green Lake

September 16, 2021 2:47pm

We could all use some time to breathe, stretch, and take a minute – or 50 – to pause and reset right now. Yoga instructor Michal Lahav, who has been teaching since 1998, is offering drop-in slow flow yoga classes in the field behind the Seattle Public Theater (7312 West Green Lake Dr N) on the west side of Green Lake.

Classes will be one hour long. Registration is not required. Walk-ups are welcome. The fee is $15 per class, payable through Venmo or Paypal. Lahav says, however, that no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

As far as equipment, all you need is a yoga mat, some layers for warmth, and an optional blanket for the final savasana.

For updates and info about additional pop-up classes, you can email Lahav at michalahav@gmail.com.

Yoga instructor Michal Lahav https://michalahav.wordpress.com/yoga/


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W Green Lake Way to Reopen in October

September 9, 2021 4:39pm
Currently open only part-way in one direction, West Green Lake Way is planned to reopen with a new bike lane

Seattle Department of Transportation announced the section of W Greenlake Way N that has been closed since May, 2020 as a “Keep Moving” street initiated at the start of the pandemic, will fully reopen in October – that’s BOTH WAYS this time – with an added bike lane.

“We’ll be starting the construction and installation work of the new 2-way walk and bike path on W Green Lake Way N as soon as next week,” SDOT’s web site says. “Our goal is to complete the installation in early October with a target date of October 1 for reopening. After completion, we’ll have a street for people of all ages and abilities to safely walk, roll, and bike on”.

As we’ve reported, while some appreciate the car-free zone, the closure has caused frustration from many quarters – particularly people and businesses on both sides of the lake unable to use this major East-West crossing or to access parts of Lower Woodland Park, and park-goers finding the street congested with RVs.

The road partially reopened in one direction to enable some access to the tennis courts and off-leash areas, but many were not satisfied with this solution. Some never saw the benefit of the closure in the first place, since there is a full pedestrian loop inside the park, especially since bicycles were removed from the inner lake loop.

More changes ahead?

SDOT says “we’d like to explore creative solutions for making the street less of a divider between Woodland and Green Lake parks,” including lowering the speed limit to 20 MPH, and adding crosswalks. Saying it welcomes neighborhood feedback, it is also looking at creating a full pedestrian and bike loop on the exterior of the lake, incorporating the eastern-most lane of Aurora Ave. N and connecting the new bike lanes along the North and East sides of the lake.

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