Belltown Park Boulevard Proposed
There’s been quite a bit of talk recently over developing the first park boulevard for Seattle along Bell Street in Belltown between 1st and 5th Avenues, coupled with mixed opinions on what it would do for the area. An article in the Seattle Times shows a lot of comments which of course express concern for crime potential. Some Belltown residents (and those from surrounding areas) feel that increasing the area into a much larger park will increase drug activity and allow for more homeless people to find shelter.
And, turning the area into a park would transfer the jurisdiction of the area from the Transportation Department to the Parks Department. As a result, center-city coordinator with the Department of Planning and Development Gary Johnson said the area would get a “much higher level of maintenance.” Additionally, property values would be expected to increase since studies have shown parks generally have a positive affect on values.
The Times article also mentioned a valid concern from an employee at Mama’s Kitchen who expressed concern for potentially losing business since parking would become more scarce. However, making a more walkable area could bring more Belltown residents out of their homes and out exploring a little more.
Money is also a concern but when looking into the concept further, it really won’t cost anything since the estimated cost is under 2% of an already $146 million parks levy approved by voters last year.
Time will tell if the boulevard becomes reality.