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Bell Street Park Boulevard

The city has come up with a new idea to turn five blocks of  Bell St. into a pedestrian friendly boulevard. Car traffic would be reduced to one lane and the sidewalk would extend to thirty feet. The boulevard would consist of rainwater sisterns, play areas, tabled seating, and park benches. The goal would be to increase pedestrian traffic by offering a walking friendly link to Denny Park and the waterfront.

Bell Street Today

Bell Street Park Boulevard

This seems like a huge improvement to the current Bell Street deadzone. I’ve personally witnessed gaggles of cruise visitors wandering up Bell St. in dismay at the trash and seemingly vapid surroundings. While I dont think one classy street is enough to really turn around the neighborhood, this is surely a huge step in the right direction. I’m anxious to see how the businesses and city work together to ensure that cafes, food carts, and other business can provide a sustainable draw to the boulevard.  KUOW had a discussion this morning on the topic with some interesting debate.

more concept pictures after the jump…



6 Comments on "Bell Street Park Boulevard"

  1. Bizness as Use-u-all | June 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm |

    Seattle’s poormans version of Barcelona’s La Rambla…..the main difference being that there are probably 5 businesses that actually face onto Bell Street….how will the Seattle Fire Department respond to downtown calls from the 4th & Battery station when it’s done being renovated? Apartment dwellers and dog owners heading to the 3rd & Bell dog park will be happy…..and it all makes sense since no one parks on Bell street until after 6pm now that it’s $5/hour compared to all day for $10 at most private lots in the area.

  2. sounds like there’s a lot of details to be worked out. I’m betting no one is planning on sealing up the fire department. But, you’re right, there’s a lot of questions still to be answered.

  3. hope it gets rid of the drug problem, if it does not it will become a hidden meca for it?

  4. Claus Gehner | December 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |

    In theory, its a very nice idea, and in any other city it might even work.
    However, in Seattle all park areas are left to be taken over by street people.
    Take for example Westlake Mall, a potentially beautyfull open area, is basically left to street people and gangs of young vagrants. It would be a perfect area to have lunch, but it is impossible to find a bench which is not used as a bed or regular camp ground by a homeless person.
    I could go on and on with virtually every mall or park in the downtown area with the same issues.
    I don’t pretend to have the answer to this, but unless Seattle is willing to tackle this problem, investments in urban parks are a complete waste on money.

  5. Paul Wirkus | May 20, 2011 at 8:55 am |

    Tend to agree with comment by Claus Gehner; having lived @ 3rd & Bell for 4 years and now @ 2nd & Bell for 2 years, I can attest to the fact that the area is at times dominated with street people/drug traffickers. Amazing how much activity on the streets at 4:00 AM while waiting for a taxi to go to work…

  6. olddiver98121 | September 7, 2011 at 7:15 am |

    From the look of the plan it must have been conceived by a local planner? I trust it meets with the approval of the City’s chosen Masai from New York City who has been entrusted with assuring that we uninitiated neophytes of the Pacific North West have nothing to do with our own future. And just how much are we paying him to guide us down the path to “Elliott’s” bay? his word not mine

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