This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Unapologetic urbanist Dan Bertolet argues for putting streets in Seattle Center.
Taking out the stadium, as proposed in the Master Plan, is an excellent bold move to start with. But how about something even more radical and counterintuitive: What if we brought the street grid back in?
Not everywhere, but in several strategic locations. And not typical streets, but woonerfs, where pedestrians and cars safely share the street, like they do in Pike Place. When events like Bumbershoot happen, the streets get closed.
Coming from Dan, the article has a nice Nixon-goes-to-China quality about it. And he’s right that Seattle Center sort of needs major surgery.
The comments to Dan’s piece focus on the cars, which of course would be there, but the more interesting idea is that you’d have more commercial development in and around the center. I mean, the wall of galleries and conference rooms are nice and all, but sometimes the place sort of feels like a college campus without the students.
Right now Seattle Center’s neither here nor there: it’s not a big enough park to take a walk and get lost in, and it’s not connected enough to the surrounding neighborhood to easily walk through. I don’t know that streets are the right answer, but I appreciate the thought.