On August 8, Mayor Murray officially opened the first pavement-into-parks site at the intersection of Union / University / Bolyston streets on First Hill. The project was a collaborative effort of the First Hill Improvement Association, the Seattle Transportation Department, and Seattle Parks and Recreation, with additional funding from the Department of Neighborhoods. The interim park features temporary seating and other amenities, and serve as a prototype for new First Hill public spaces as part of the larger First Hill Public Realm Action Plan.
These new public spaces are the early implementation phase of our effort to improve First Hill’s parks, green space, and pedestrian connections. OPCD, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and Seattle Parks and Recreation are working with the First Hill community to provide a vision for how streets and public spaces can be improved to provide First hill with much-needed open space.
The First Hill Public Realm Action Plan includes strategies to expand the public space network for pedestrians, a system of sidewalks, green streets, parks, and rest areas that encourage walking. Our effort will also help provide spaces for a variety of recreation options in the First Hill Neighborhood, like places to jog, play basketball, read, or just enjoy the view.
The plan also identifies key streets to be developed into Street Concept Plans. Street Concept Plans are guides for street and sidewalk improvements that can be made over time as new development takes place. The Street Concept Plans will be adopted into the City’s Right of Way Improvement Manual.
Our effort will help guide future public and private investments in the streets on First Hill to produce a greener, more walkable neighborhood for the people who live and work there.
Public realm planning is an important first step to provide a comprehensive vision for street and public space improvements for First Hill. Based on that, OPCD and SDOT will create specific the Street Concept Plans in the area and amend the City’s Right of Way Improvement Manual to include design concepts for parks and public space in First Hill. Implementation will depend on public and private investment to make these incremental improvements to create an exceptional public space network, which may also include acquiring land for parks. Additional resources for staff and consultants will be needed following the initial phase of planning.