Seattle teens design community pavement ‘park'

KING 5's Ryan Takeo reports.

SEATTLE - A new park in South Seattle was completed Thursday, but instead of grass, it’s lined with concrete.

The Seattle Department of Transportation recently closed South Genesee Street near the Rainier Vista neighborhood house to turn it into a public space.

The ‘public park’ is part of the city’s “Pavement to Parks” program. The city started turning underused roadway space into temporary solutions.

David Burgesser of SDOT said as population density continues to grow, there’s a growing need for public places to create a sense of community.

Burgesser said the average budget for each of the four planned projects this year is $70,000, but added it’s cheaper than the alternative.

“It could be up to several million if you’re going to build this as a permanent park space,” he said. “It’s must more cost-efficient to try it out.”

The Rainier Vista community helped design the mural, which is painted on the street that is blocked by large planters. Later this week, the city will add tables and chairs.

“The fists represents our strength,” said 14-year-old Timage Mohamed, a project designer. “We have different color hands to hold up the houses. (It shows) the diversity in this neighborhood.”

Copyright 2016 KING


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