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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT: New Parklet Opening Today in Chinatown/International District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
6/6/2014  2:00:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Richard Sheridan  (206) 684-8540


New Parklet Opening Today in Chinatown/International District

SEATTLE – The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced today the opening of the City’s second parklet in the Chinatown/International District neighborhood. Sponsored by the Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), the parklet is located outside Oasis Tea Zone at 519 Sixth Avenue South.

The new parklet, which has been planned and designed over several months and in construction the past two weeks, will officially open with a ribbon-cutting event at 4 p.m. today. Hosted by the CIDBIA and Oasis Tea Zone, the event will include a DJ, music and dancing to celebrate the opening of the neighborhood’s new public space. All are welcome to attend.

“Chinatown is experiencing an exciting renaissance with five new restaurants opening within a block of this parklet,” says Don Blakeney, the executive director of the Chinatown-ID Business Improvement Area. “With the City's first translated street signs installed in Japantown and Chinatown last year, and now this parklet, we are thrilled to be a fertile ground for experimentation on how to make our City's streets vibrant and more user friendly.”

Parklets are small public spaces that convert curb space into places for community gathering. Sometimes that means using one or two on-street parking spaces, but other times - like with this parklet - it means converting a “no parking” zone into a parklet. These privately-funded and privately-maintained spaces activate streets, promote vibrant neighborhoods and support economic vitality. Parklets have been successful in enhancing the public realm in other US cities and are widely recognized as a cost-effective tool for increasing community gathering space.

Parklet design, permitting, construction and maintenance costs are funded entirely by the parklet sponsors. The design of each parklet reflects the character of the surrounding neighborhood and complies with City safety and mobility standards. The Chinatown/International District parklet features seating, landscaping, a fully-accessible platform, and architecture that reflect that of the adjacent Oasis Tea Zone.

“We are excited to have Seattle’s second parklet opening today,” said SDOT Interim Director Goran Sparrman. “Our Pilot Parklet Program has received enthusiastic community support and it’s wonderful to see these neighborhood visions become reality.”

The Chinatown/International District parklet is permitted under SDOT’s Pilot Parklet Program, which explores how well parklets serve Seattle businesses and communities. Three pilot parklets, including the Chinatown/International District parklet, were permitted in 2013 and SDOT has selected recently 12
additional businesses to participate in a 2014 extension of the Pilot Parklet Program. The pilot parklets will be evaluated throughout the summer and fall before a permanent parklet program is considered later this year.

Additional information about the Pilot Parklet Program, including details about each of the pilot parklet locations, can be found on the program webpage at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parklets.htm. The public is encouraged to share their comments on the program by emailing jennifer.wieland@seattle.gov or writing to:

The Seattle Department of Transportation
Attn: Public Space Management Program
PO Box 34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996

 

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