Around the Northwest we have to take full advantage of our short window of summer days warm enough to spend time outside, and this year Seattle residents will have 10 new “parklets” – spots in front of businesses where parking spaces are converted into mini park areas – to relax in the sunshine. Three of these spaces will be in the Capitol Hill/Central Area vicinity, including outside Lost Lake Lounge and the Comet Tavern at 10th Avenue and E Pike St.; outside Cortona Cafe at 25th and Union; and up the hill in Madrona outside the Bottlehouse and the Hi Spot Cafe on 34th Avenue.
These 10 new mini parks, along with three already installed in 2013 in Belltown, the International District and Capitol hill, are part of a pilot program started by the Seattle Department of Transportation in response to increasing interest from Seattle businesses. While permits for the mini parks are issued by the SDOT, this project is fueled by the public, and all funding is provided by the business or resident who sponsors the parklet. The SDOT will evaluate at the end of the summer and decide whether to make these 24-hour public spaces permanent parts of Seattle’s streetscape.