Deputy Mayor Wong, Councilmember Herbold, Councilmember Lewis, and Councilmember Morales,
As a member of the Seattle pickleball community, I appreciate the Council Budget Action (CBA SPR-003-C-001) which allocated $50,000 for adding pickleball lines to existing tennis courts in low-income areas. Alki Playground and Whale Tail Park was selected as one of the locations to have pickleball lines added to the tennis courts on 9/19-21 (Mon-Wed).
Please encourage Seattle Parks and Recreation to paint 6 pickleball courts with high-visibility color lines at Alki Playground and Whale Park.
Pickleball Courts Demand
In May 2022, the pickleball community completed a 2-week court usage study and submitted the results to Seattle Parks and Recreation. We observed court usage at 10 Seattle parks (8 with tennis courts and 2 multi-use pickleball/tennis courts) 3 times per day over a 14-day period. Utilization was calculated based on actual usage of total available courts at each location.
Five of the 10 parks were in West Seattle. Below is their utilization during the May 7-20 study:
- Tennis Usage at Tennis-only courts: Solstice (27%), Hiawatha (17%), and Alki (16%)
- Combined Tennis and Pickleball Usage at Tennis/Pickleball multi-use courts: Delridge (61%) and Walt Hundley (52%)
423 Pickleball players used the 8 pickleball-lined courts while only 19 Tennis players used the 4 tennis courts at Delridge and Walt Hundley.
The court usage study clearly demonstrates the growing demand for pickleball courts in the Seattle metro area. This is the perfect opportunity to maximize pickleball access by adding 6 pickleball courts (instead of the scheduled 4) at the Alki location. The Alki space is similar to the Delridge courts. It is a low-cost and high-impact solution to increase utilization of mostly empty tennis courts and better serve the growing pickleball community.
Existing Seattle pickleball courts have blue or green lines on blue or green tennis courts. According to the American Institute of Architects:
“Aging eyes lose the ability to discriminate pale colors […]. They are also unable to differentiate shades of blue, green, and purple as these cooler colors can read gray. People with color deficiencies are best able to perceive bright colors at the warm end of the spectrum, such as reds and oranges.”
We therefore ask Seattle Parks and Recreation to choose yellow or orange for pickleball line color at ALL pickleball courts. Brighter lines will allow elderly and visually impaired players to reasonably distinguish from the court surface, and easily seen by pickleball players under all lighting conditions.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Name and email of supporter]