Pedestrian Safety Concerns on 1st Ave. N.E. by Northacres Park

Why There are Problems

The asphalt sidewalk is only about three feet from the street in many places and there is not enough room to park here without being on the sidewalk. Also, the sidewalk in places is covered with gravel so a driver may not realize that there is a sidewalk — it just looks like a gravel shoulder.

NOTE: The photos below were taken in 2013 and there may have been changes since then.


Photo of sidewalk partially obscured by gravel
General view of sidewalk showing parts covered in gravel

closeup of sidewalk covered with gravel
Closeup of sidewalk covered by gravel (yes, it really is a sidewalk, not a gravel shoulder!)

Photo showing how close sidewalk is to street
View of sidewalk showing how close it is to the street. Notice how wide the sidewalk is ( about 4 feet) compared to the space between the sidewalk and the street. There is not enough room for a car to park here without being on the sidewalk.

Photo of logs arranged end to end along 1st Ave. N.E. next along edge of Northacres Park
Logs that Seattle Parks and Recreation have placed along part of the west edge of Northacres Park next to 1st Ave. N.E. in an efford to deter illegal parking. Perhaps it might be a better idea to remove the logs and place a gravel shoulder to allow legal parking, thereby relieving the lack of sufficient parking in the park.

Photo of parking lot in western part of Northacres Park. View of parking lot in the western part of Northacres Park, with access from 1st Ave. N.E. at the north and south ends of the lot. This view is looking northeast at the south entrance of the lot, from the other side of 1st Ave. N.E. The end of the northern most log of the line of logs in the photo avove is the one visible in the right side of this photo. More logs are barely visible beyone the car driving north on the street.
Photo of parking lot in western part of Northacres Park. View looking north of parking lot in the western part of Northacres Park. The southern entrance is the one visible in the photo.
Photo of sign pointing to overflow parking on east side of Northacres Park. A newly installed sign on utility pole on northeast corner of N.E. 125th St. and 3rd Ave. N.E., pointing north.
Photo of parking area on east side of Northacres Park. The sign in the photo above directs drivers to this parking area along 3rd Ave. N.E. on the east side of Northacres Park. That white concrete blockhouse in the center is actually restrooms!

My Opinions and Suggestions

I, along with most other of my neighbors, are proud that our neighborhood has such a jewel as Northacres Park, and we welcome all the many visitors. Seattle Parks and Recreation has done a great job at making this park so outstanding, and from my house I can hear the laughter and excitement of all the children in the spray park. But we have a sad situation with a major conflict.

On one hand there are many people enjoying a happy day at the park, and for me it is painful to imagine their happy day ruined by a parking ticket — far worse if if one of their children is seriously hurt or killed by a passing car!

On the other hand, so many drive to the park only to find no place to park their car. Many end up parking illegally, on sidewalks or partially in the roadway, interfering with the flow of traffic. Cars parked on sidewalks force pedestians young and old, some with walkers, strollers or wheelchairs, into the street to get around the parked cars. In order to protect the safety of those that belong on the sidewalk, it is frequently necessary to report the violations to the police, who have been quite responsive and have handed out myriads of citations. This has been fairly effective in reducing violatioms, but as I mentioned earlier, it ruins the day of a lot of park visitors.

I am one of those in favor of seeing people driving less and using public transportation. Unfortunately, the closest bus stop is about a quarter-mile away, at N. 128th St. and Meridian Ave. N. and involves using a block unsafe for pedestrians, N. 128th St. between Corliss Ave. N. and 1st Ave. N.E..

One of my suggestions is for Parks and Recreation to furnish more parking inside the west side of the park. Unfortunately that would mean trading grass for asphalt, but considering the circumstances I think this is a necessary evil. The park is attracting many visitors and I think it vital to accomodate them.

My second suggestion is in regards to parking on the east side of 1st Ave. N.E., alongside the park. My preferred option would be to move the logs further away from the roadway (or remove them entirely) and to provide a gravel (or asphalt) shoulder for legal parking, thereby providing more parking space for park visitors. If this is not possible, then the other option would be to put up “No Parking” signs.

My third suggestion is in regards to the west side of 1st Ave. N.E. in the 12500 block, across the street from the park. There is not enough width between the sidewalk and roadway for a car to park without being on the sidewalk. I suggest “No Parking” signs in this block.

Photos of Parking Violations

Photo of car illegally parked on sidewalk
This was a good day (about 12:40 pm on Tuesday, July 16, 2013)! Instead of a line of cars parked on the sidewalk, this was the only car parked on the sidewalk on the west side of the 12500 block of 1st Ave. N.E., but what a violation! The sidewalk is very obvious, mostly swept clear of gravel, the car is parked completely across the sidewalk, bushes on the right side of the car prevent people from going around on that side, so adults, little kids, people pushing babies in strollers, people in wheelchairs, older people with canes or walkers, all have to walk in the busy street to get around this car! Notice that beyond the car there is a marked crosswalk at N. 128th St., which is great, but wait! ... look at the photos of N. 128th St.!

Photo of car illegally parked on sidewalk
Car completely blocking sidewalk (about 2:30 pm on Thursday, July 25, 2013).

Photo of car illegally parked on sidewalk
Truck completely blocking sidewalk (about 2:30 pm on Thursday, July 25, 2013).

Photo of car illegally parked on sidewalk
Car completely blocking sidewalk (about 2:30 pm on Thursday, July 25, 2013).

Photo of car illegally parked on sidewalk
Car completely blocking sidewalk (Wednesday, August 21, 2013). Also visible in this photo, but not clear, are cars on the opposite (east) sode of the street parked alongside the logs in the park and parked partially on the pavement of the street.

Photo of car illegally parked on sidewalk
Car completely blocking sidewalk (Wednesday, August 21, 2013).


Return to Pedestrian Safety Home Page Return to Bob’s Home Page About Northacres Park Contact Me

This page was last updated on 12 May 2016.

©2013 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

We are happy with our web host, 1&1 Internet!

1&1 Internet banner

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional