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Archive for the ‘Urban Design’ Category

James Court Woonerf Community Meeting

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

example of a woonerf

Please join the 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee and the Seattle Parks Department for the first community meeting for the James Court woonerf project.

A woonerf (a Dutch term) is a street where pedestrians and bicycles have equal priority of the street, along with cars.  A woonerf will usually also have a different paving pattern, low or no curbs, and more greenery than a typical street.  The James Court woonerf was a community-initiated project that will create a woonerf on James Court between 12th and 13th Avenues.  The redesigned street will create shared spaces, increase the feeling of openness and connection with the adjacent James Court Park (which will be constructed at the same time), and slow down traffic on James Court.  This will be one of the first streets of this kind in the city.

Please join us for the first community meeting where Parks staff will outline the project scope and schedule, and we can share community priorities for the project.

Tuesday, May 10th
5:30 – 7:00pm
Seattle University Alumni & Admissions Building
824 12th Avenue (corner of 12th and E Marion Street)

Questions:  Please contact Susanne Rockwell at Seattle Parks and Recreation 206-684-0902 or susanne.rockwell@seattle.gov

New mural in progress at 12th and Fir

Saturday, February 26th, 2011


There’s a new mural in progress by the empty lot at the corner of 12th Avenue and E Fir Street. It is being painted by students from Pratt Fine Arts and should be finished (weather pending) this weekend. Special thanks to Umpqua Bank, owners of the lot, for helping to make it look better!

A what?! A woonerf!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

A woonerf in Ashville, NC

There’s been a lot of talk about a woonerf in the neighborhood lately and I realized that maybe I need to do a post describing what a woonerf is!

Woonerf is a Dutch term for a street where bikes and pedestrians have equal share of the street as cars. Woonerven (plural of woonerf) create spaces in cities that give pedestrians a little more breathing room, slow down traffic, and provide gathering spaces. Most woonerven don’t have curbs and have a different paving pattern than a typical street. This alerts cars to slow down and blends the sidewalk with the street.

Why are we talking about a woonerf? The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee applied for Opportunity Funds through the Seattle Parks Department and we are very close to getting the final word that we received funding to build a woonerf on James Court between 12th and 13th Avenues. A woonerf here would be adjacent to the planned James Court Park, and would make the park feel bigger, blending the park space with the new shared road space. The woonerf will also slow down traffic on James Court since at rush hour it can be a shortcut around the busy Cherry and 12th Avenue intersection. Seattle University’s new mixed-use building at 12th and Cherry will also be a great neighbor for the woonerf. Students coming and going from the building will activate the park and woonerf (and be all the more reason to slow down cars on James Court!)

We also have the opportunity to add some green infrastructure to the woonerf. This can cut down on stormwater runoff from the roadway and add some more green space along James Court.

Here’s a drawing showing how the park, new development, and woonerf will work together.

And some more information on a woonerf can be found here: Woonerf Info

Stay tuned here for information on upcoming public meetings!

Name the James Court Park!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The James Court Park, fully designed and awaiting construction, is looking for a name!

The Parks Department gives a few rules for the naming of parks but this leaves a lot of room for creativity!

  • Consider geographical location, historical/cultural significance, distinctive natural features, and the wishes of the community in which it is located
  • If naming the park after a person, the person must have been deceased for at least three years

Name suggestions must be made in writing by March 3rd and should include your reasons for choosing the name.

Send suggestions to:

Seattle Parks and Recreation

Naming Committee

100 Dexter Avenue North

Seattle, WA 98109

or via email to paula.hoff (at) seattle (dot) gov

Name 12th Ave park press release

James Court Park makes the news!

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The James Court Park made it into the Daily Journal of Commerce on January 10th.  Click on the picture for the complete article.

Seattle Parks Opportunity Fund Public Hearing

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The 12th Avenue community has applied for funding through the Seattle Parks Department Opportunity Fund to convert James Court between 12th and 13th to a woonerf. A woonerf is a Dutch term for a street that prioritizes pedestrians and bicycles along with vehicles and tries to reclaim street space as public space that is open for all. The woonerf would be one of the first in the city and make the adjacent (and fully funded) James Court Park have much more of a presence. The woonerf will also slow down traffic, making the park and nearby SU mixed-use building a little safer for pedestrians.

We’re among the top few projects vying for funding so we really need you to come out show your support to ensure we receive funding.

Opportunity Fund Public Hearing
Monday, October 25th

Miller Community Center, 330 19th Avenue East

6pm: sign up to speak
7pm: hearing starts

Please come early and sign up and say a few nice words supporting the woonerf.

More info here.

12th Avenue Stewardship Committee Meeting – James Court Park meeting recap

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee had another great meeting last night about the future James Court Park.

The 12th Avenue community applied for Opportunity Fund grant money to build the James Court woonerf adjacent to the park. We should hear back regarding this funding by Thanksgiving 2010. Parks and the community has decided to hold off on further design work/preparations for the James Court Park until we find out if we will be getting funding for the woonerf as well. Design work can them move forward in tandem for both projects (hopefully).

Previous design ideas for the Park from the past two community meetings were further refined.
• A low retaining wall was added on the east side of the park. This would hold the rain garden (which will be able to absorb all run-off from the paved park) and give the park less of a “sloping” feel since the ground slopes down to the east.
• The blue “pillow” in the middle of the park will be covered in that squishy playground material and provide various levels for sitting, playing, climbing, or performance space. It will range from 6”-30” high.
• The “cloud” art piece will feature stainless steel convex mirrors (various diameters from 24”-42”) and will be 15-18 feet off the ground.
• The paving material will be sandblasted concrete. This saves money by not using specialty pavers and will also be easier for Parks to maintain.
• Lights will be found throughout the park, crating an even lighting scheme. Lights will not be reflected up into the cloud to respect the neighbors and prevent any errant light from reflecting out into the street.
• The park will include stationary tables with movable chairs, likely attached with cables to the tables so that they don’t get stolen.
• One concern was related to pigeons enjoying the park a little too much and making a mess under the cloud feature. The design team is looking into anti-pigeon measures.

Overall, the community members in attendance were very pleased with the final designs and expressed excitement about moving forward. Be sure to put your thinking caps on and start brainstorming names for the new park!

Parks Meeting Materials

12th Avenue park for Park(ing) Day

Monday, September 13th, 2010

This Friday is Park(ing) Day, a worldwide event where on-street parking spaces are converted to mini urban parks for the day. The event demonstrates the need for more open space in urban areas. The 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee will be hosting a “park” on 12th Avenue near E Cherry Street – right in front of Watertown Coffee & Saloon. Come by this Friday between 9am and 3pm to check it out. We’ll be hanging out all day and sharing information on the design of the future James Court Park.

I’d like to give a shout out of thanks to Feet First for organizing Park(ing) Day this year and handling all the City permitting requirements. Thanks!!

James Court Park meeting – Tuesday, Sept. 14th

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Please join the Parks Department and the James Court park design team for our third (and final I believe) public meeting on the James Court park design. We ended the last meeting with some really cool designs and great ideas for the park. Be sure to come to this one to see more finalized concepts! (And we’ll be sure to have snacks on hand at this meeting!)

Here’s a recap of the last meeting.

James Court Park Meeting
Tuesday, September 14th at 5:30pm
Seattle University Alumni & Admissions Building
12th Ave and Marion Street

Final 12th Avenue benches installed!

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Bench outside Velocity Dance & Octo Sushi near Pine

The final 2 benches have been installed along 12th Avenue!  These last benches complete the set of 5 that can be found up and down 12th Avenue.  Thanks to the 12th Avenue community for supporting this very cool street project!

Bench outside Watertown Coffee & Saloon near E Barclay Ct.

First bench

Second & third benches