Seattle businesses to back parking spaces turned mini-parks

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TeresaYuan

KING5.com

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 8 at 9:40 AM

SEATTLE -- A new concept will break ground in Seattle this summer. Seattle's Department of Transportation is trying out a pilot program which would create "mini-parks" out of parking spots.

The miniature parks are called parklets and have been successful in San Francisco. The parklets are open, public space that take up about two parking spaces.

SDOT has not announced the exact locations, but says it plans to set up parklets on Capitol Hill, Belltown and the International District. SDOT crews would extend a sidewalk with a platform and set up benches, tables and landscaping.

The city says businesses are requesting parklets, and owners will be responsible for paying and maintaining the spaces.

With parking already tough to find around Seattle, some residents worry parklets will make parking worse.

“I don't think it's necessary right now. No. Not now. We need more parking,” said Ken Richter.

“I think it would be good especially on a street like East Olive Way which is kind of void of anything. Especially with more people moving up here and not a lot of open space, I think it would beneficial to the neighborhood,” said Marc Blasquez, a Capitol Hill resident.

“Certainly one of the factors we look at is how well on-street parking is utilized. We don't want parklets taking all the on-street parking in a neighborhood but there's definitely enough supply to allow us to do this,” said Jennifer Wieland with SDOT.

SDOT will start installing parklets in August; if the pilot program is successful more will be built in 2014.

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