VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 53. September 21, 2004
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
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This is an addendum to the last edition to let you know about two important
transportation issues with parks and recreation implications.
SATURDAY TOUR ON ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT
Aerial view of downtown Seattle and the Viaduct.
This Saturday, Sept. 25, at 8:45 a.m., you will have a great opportunity
to learn about alternatives for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and
seawall and why the project is a top mayoral priority at an Open House
and Tour at the Columbian St. onramp to the viaduct.
Tour reservations are a must. Please RSVP as soon as possible to Tom
Deponty at 206-269-5041. Due to safety issues late arrivals cannot be
accommodated on the viaduct.
The viaduct and seawall are vital to the city and region's economy and
transportation system, and must be replaced. Both are deteriorating and
were damaged in the 2001 earthquake, and cannot withstand another major
quake. Patching the existing structure will not work.
The project also presents unprecedented open space and park opportunities
and a chance to reconnect downtown and the waterfront. "One acre
of park on the water is worth ten acres inland and surrounded by houses,"
said John C. Olmsted of the famed Olmsted Brothers firm that designed
the city's park system on a 1903 visit to Seattle.
The City of Seattle is teaming with the Washington State Department of
Transportation and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway
Administration to develop alternatives for replacing the aging structures
that will create a safer road and seawall, maintain a smooth flow of traffic
and make pedestrian and other improvements to Seattle's waterfront.
For more information, please visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/viaduct
FIXING THE "MERCER MESS"
Fairview Ave. at Valley St.
Anyone who has visited South Lake Union Park knows how difficult the
access can be: by car, and especially, by foot or bicycle. The high speed
and volume of traffic on Valley Street present a potentially hazardous
We hope that will soon change. Mayor Nickels and the Seattle Department
of Transportation have developed alternatives to fix the "Mercer
Mess"-the vexing and long-standing problem of congestion along and
near Mercer St.
The preliminary preferred alternative is an exciting possibility: a two-way
Mercer boulevard, and a narrowing of Valley Street creating a pedestrian
and bike-friendly street along the edge of South Lake Union Park. The
Seattle Parks Foundation supports this choice and a smaller scale Valley
Street is a critical element in the future of South Lake Union Park. The
project would optimize access and circulation and calm development traffic
without increasing overall delay.
City and State project partners will discuss the project at a joint forum
hosted by the Seattle City Council in City Hall on Friday, Sept. 24, 8
For more information, please see www.seattle.gov/transportation
I will be in touch soon.