A Memorial Day weekend on Alki Beach is filled with people soaking in the sun.
“I come down often probably once or twice a month and come down for a walk with friends and enjoy the atmosphere,” said Kira Smith. “Every time I come here i have no safety concerns at all. It's just a great day at the beach and just hanging out and vibing."
But everyone’s time on the beach is being cut a bit shorter.
The parks are currently open from 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. through Sept. 3. The parks will return to their normal closing time of 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 4.
Parks and Recreation staff start closing down the beaches at 10 p.m. with the help of the Seattle Police Department.
This is the second time Parks and Recreation has introduced shortened hours at the two parks. The department hopes the shortened hours will assist in addressing "dangerous and/or illegal behavior typical of summer evening uses at these two parks in response to public input and nearby community complaints."
The announcement of the time change came earlier this month, two days after a man was shot and killed near Alki Beach. A man was shot in the torso at Whale Tail Park around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. Officers and firefighters rendered first aid, but the man died at Harborview Medical Center.
Smith understands wanting to keep the community safe but thinks there’s a better approach.
“Have the police patrol a little bit better. I don’t think shutting down is the answer just a little more protection in that way could be a benefit to the area,” Smith said.
Maryanne Wood, who’s lived on Alki for 40 years welcomed the change.
“I don't begrudge anyone coming to Alki and sitting on the beautiful beach in the sun and having a good time but when the party's over it needs to be over,” Wood said.
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“It was really scary. I have friends with bullet holes in their houses,” Wood said.
The change in hours is something the City of Seattle also did last year, and for Wood brought some peace of mind.
“I’m going to say for me personally as a resident I felt more secure,” said Wood.
Wood would like to see more of a police presence.
“The police presence down here we used to have a pretty good representation that sent the message don't come down here and do your trouble but we've lost that,” Wood said.
The shortened hours are a pilot that will be reviewed by the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners after the summer is over in an effort to decide what the best operating hours are for the public. The review will include data collected through the pilot period, alongside public input, which people can provide online.