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Bellevue City Council Asks What You Want

Here is your chance to tell them (again) that you would like one or more pickleball complexes with 12 or more dedicated, lighted and covered pickleball courts.

Fill in their short online questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes.

Click here for more details.

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Action Alert: Bothell Capital Facilities Plan Survey

What to do (5 minutes)

  • Go to the City of Bothell Capital Facilities Plan Survey web page.
  • Click on “Take Survey”.
  • When asked “As we plan for projects related to community and recreation, what is most important to you?“, please rank “Inclusive multi-generational play areas” as your top priority.
  • When asked “As we plan for projects related to community and recreation, what is most important to you?“, choose “Athletic facilities, both indoor and outdoor
  • When asked “What are your top 3 priorities for capital facilities?“, please rank “Quality of life and recreation” as your top priority.
  • To the open question “If your priorities for capital facilities were not listed above, please share them here“, ask for “A cluster of 8 to 12 pickleball courts with lights. (See PROS Plan 2020, p.84)”. Don’t skip the “Pros Plan” part. It is there to stress that this is not a totally frivolous request since it’s actually part of their own plans.
  • Complete the survey and ask a few friends to do the same.

The details

The City of Bothell wants to know where they should spend your tax money next.

They update their Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) every two years. The 7-year plan prioritizes millions of dollars’ worth of capital improvement projects, including those related to buildings, parks, bridges, roads, and water/sewer/stormwater pipes. Projects are drawn from existing plans, including the Imagine Bothell Comprehensive PlanCanyon Park Subarea PlanDowntown Subarea PlanWastewater Comprehensive Plan2021 Storm and Surface Water Master Plan Update, and PROS Plan 2020. That last one, the PROS Plan 2020, is their Parks Recreation and Open Space Plan.

Fortunately for us, the Bothell PROS Plan talks about building a cluster of outdoor pickleball courts.

Bothell currently has no dedicated pickleball courts available within public parks, but there are several multi-sport courts that accommodate this use. Outdoor pickleball should be considered at new community parks. Pickleball courts can be more successful if clustered as a sports complex rather than spread individually throughout the park system since this
grouping promotes leagues, tournaments and related social interaction.
— Bothell PROS Plan 2020, p.84.

So, let’s ask for a cluster of 8 to 12 pickleball courts with lights.

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News

New Seattle Outdoor Pickleball Courts: Draft Plan

Seattle Parks has released the maps of the proposed new pickleball courts that they presented on May 25th, during their second outdoor pickleball study open house. Read all about it below.

Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone.

Highlights

More courts

The current plan significantly increases the number of locations where people can play pickleball by:

  • In the short term, adding pickleball court lines to more existing tennis courts.
  • In the medium term, converting a few tennis courts that currently see very little usage into dedicated pickleball courts.
  • In the long term, creating two brand new dedicated pickleball facilities, each with 8 to 12 pickleball courts.

More lights

People who work during the day have very few opportunities to play pickleball in Seattle during weekdays during the 6 darkest months of the year. Currently only the Miller pickleball courts have reasonable lights. This new plan proposes to add pickleball court lines at the following tennis courts which already have lights:

  • Alki Playground (West Seattle)
  • Laurelhurst (Northeast)
  • Madrona (Central)
  • Meadowbrook (Northeast)
  • Rainier Beach (South Seattle)
  • Solstice Park (West Seattle)

It also calls for adding lights to the following existing courts:

  • Green Lake East (Northwest)
  • Magnolia Playfield (Central)

Summary

We have summarized the proposed changes below. Click on any of the headings to see the corresponding maps.

Northeast

  • Add pickleball court lines to the existing tennis courts at the following locations:
    – Bryant Neighborhood Playground
    – Laurelhurst Playfield (2 out of 4 tennis courts)
    – Meadowbrook Playfield (3 out of 6 tennis courts)
    – Victory Heights Playground
  • Create 8 to 12 new dedicated pickleball courts in the Magnuson Park parking lot by Frog Pond
  • Consider conversion, dual stripe, and lights when renovating the Ravenna Park tennis courts
  • Consider converting the old Cowen Park tennis courts

Northwest

  • Add pickleball court lines to the existing tennis courts at the following location: West Green Lake
  • Add lights to the East Green Lake courts
  • Either dual stripe both tennis courts at Wallingford Playfield or convert one of the two tennis courts into pickleball courts

Central Area

  • Convert one of the Observatory Courts tennis courts on Queen Anne to 4 dedicated pickleball courts
  • Add pickleball court lines to the existing tennis courts at the following locations:
    – Montlake Playfield
    – Madrona Playground
  • Add lights to the West Magnolia Playfield courts

Southeast

  • Either dual stripe both tennis courts at Seward Park, or convert one of the two tennis courts into pickleball courts.
  • Add pickleball court lines to the existing tennis courts at the following location: Rainier Beach Playfield
  • Consider converting the old Fred Hutchinson Playground tennis courts into pickleball courts with their upcoming renovation
  • Create 8 to 12 new dedicated pickleball courts at Genesee Playfield, just east of the Rainier Community Center

Southwest

  • Add pickleball court lines to the existing tennis courts at the following locations:
    – Alki Playground
    – Riverside Playfield
    – Solstice Park (3 out of 6 tennis courts)

A Word of Caution

Keep in mind that you are looking at a draft version of the plan and nothing is set in stone.

Thank You!

Thank you for your efforts reaching out to Seattle and letting them know what you wanted. It helped tremendously. None of this would have happened without your involvement. This is a community-wide effort, and our pickleball community is the best.

What’s Next?

We expect Seattle Parks to present an updated proposal to the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners on either July 14th or August 11th.

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News

New Court Lines Coming to Seattle This Summer

Seattle Parks should release the official list by the end of June.

Gilman

We expect this list to include the Gilman Playground tennis courts in Ballard. These courts were initially slated to be resurfaced last summer, but it never happened probably because of poor air quality at the time the resurfacing was supposed to take place.

Rainier Beach

This list will also very likely include the Rainier Beach tennis courts. With 8 lighted pickleball courts, we expect this to become a hub for the Southeast Seattle pickleball community.

What’s Next?

We expect Seattle Parks to officially announce by the end of June which tennis courts will get pickleball lines this summer.

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News

Meet West Seattle’s First Paddle Organizer

There is a new paddle organizer at the Walt Hundley courts in West Seattle, courtesy of SMPA.

It is a lot like stacking paddles. It is just harder to trip on them. 

Which other locations would benefit from having one of these? Let us know!

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No New Courts in Kirkland?

You have been heard

Kirkland has been gathering community input for over a year, asking us what we would like to see in their upcoming Parks plan. Those of you who were invited to the Focus Group Meetings were heard. The same is true for those of you who participated in the Community Conversations and in the Everest neighborhood online survey.

Consider this

The plan has about 20 pages of goals and objectives. one of those is to consider adding pickleball at Juanita Beach Park.

Level of Service

The plan suggests that Kirkland should have 1 tennis court per 3,000 people and estimates it has a current surplus of 3 tennis courts, which will be go down to no surplus tennis courts by 2026.

Unfortunately, the plan does not propose a similar analysis for pickleball courts. Why should the planning process be different for pickleball than for tennis?

You have not been funded

The plan draft concludes with Capital Improvement Projects divided into two lists.

The first list contains several funded projects that will cost $19,758,400.

The second, much larger, list of unfunded project contains an item titled “Construct New Pickleball Courts” with a price tag of $97,500.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to convince the Kirkland Parks Department to move the construction of new pickleball courts from the unfunded list to the funded list.

What should I do?

Ask that the Parks Department fund the construction of new pickleball courts. It’s in their plan. It’s cheap. They will not fund it unless enough people ask for it.

Ask that the Parks Department define “Level of Services” for pickleball. Why predict the need for tennis courts but not for pickleball courts?

How should I do it?

Email PlayItForward@kirklandwa.gov today.

Attend the virtual Public Hearing on May 25, 2022 at 7:00PM

Where can I find more information?

Here

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News

“We Recommend Full Funding”

In April, you submitted questions to Seattle’s Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners. They did not have any answers for you at their public hearing or afterwards.

They did however say the following in their Draft Chair’s Report and Recommendations dated May 5th:

We recommend full funding ($1.55M) for the Racket Sport Maintenance and Expansion proposal in consideration of pickleball’s growing popularity in the city and region, and public comment during this prioritization process. After hearing community feedback – now and over the past few years – we know it is important to Seattleites that we expand the use of our tennis courts to accommodate pickleball. Not only is it the state sport, but it is accessible to elders and folks with diverse abilities.
— Jessica Farmer and Marlon Herrera Co-Chairs, Seattle Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, May 5, 2022

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Alert

Help Plan the Future of Redmond Pickleball

Help Remond plan for pickleball growth over the next 10 to 20 years.

The previous plan dates back to 2017 and barely mentions pickleball at all. Let’s make sure the upcoming plan puts Redmond on the pickleball map.

What can I do?

  • Fill out this questionnaire by Wednesday, May 16th.
  • Attend the upcoming online community meeting on June 1st.
  • Contact Jeff Aken, Redmond Park Planning Manager, via email or by phone. Share with him your vision for pickleball facilities in Redmond, such as a pickleball complex with 12+ lighted courts. Send him pictures of other pickleball facilities that you admire and that you would like to see Redmond replicate.
  • Talk to other pickleball players who work, live or play in Redmond. Ask them to get involved. We’ll need everyone to pitch in.

That’s not enough. How else can I help?

Would you like help to organize Redmond pickleball players in their efforts to get pickleball facilities included in the upcoming Redmond Parks Plan? If so, contact the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association and we’ll put you in touch with people who have had similar experiences in Seattle, Bellevue, and Mercer Island. They will share their experience with you.

Where can I find more information?

Find out more about Redmond’s PARCC plan at https://www.letsconnectredmond.com/parcc.

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News

Montlake Community Center Reopening Survey

Access the survey here.

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Alert

Seattle Public Pickleball Meeting #2

Seattle Parks’ second of two public meetings on the future of outdoor pickleball will take place online on Wednesday, May 25, at 4:30pm. You can register for it here.

What is the purpose of this meeting?

Seattle Parks has refined their plans since the first meeting. They are going to show you the latest iteration and then ask for your feedback.

This will be the last public meeting organized by Seattle Parks regarding their new outdoor pickleball plans.

What will be the format of this online meeting?

SPR will present their current plan. The presentation might be followed by a poll. Then the participants will be divided in breakout rooms where they will have a chance to express their views about the plan and anything else they want to say. Each breakout room will have a facilitator that will take notes. The five breakout rooms will represent different sections of the city, probably Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast, and Southwest.

What is in Seattle Parks’ current plan?

We will find out at the meeting. We expect the current plan to contain:

  1. Additional court lines for 50 or more pickleball courts on existing tennis courts across 12 or more locations. throughout the city. Some of these court lines will be added this summer. Some of them will be added as the tennis courts are being resurfaced.
  2. Locations throughout the city where pickleball can be played in the evening thanks to artificial lights. Some of these lights will have to be added, so it will take time.
  3. Two or three locations where a couple of existing tennis courts that currently see very little use will be converted into dedicated pickleball courts
  4. Recommendations for two locations where to build two sets of 8 (or more) brand new dedicated pickleball courts NOT built on top of existing tennis courts. One location in the north and another one in the south. There will NOT be any funding for these dedicated pickleball courts in the plan.

How can I help?

1. Plan to attend the meeting on Wednesday, May 25, at 4:30pm. Register for it here today. Let everyone know about it.

2. Explore your neighborhood courts. Find your local public tennis courts. Ask other pickleball players for help with this. Which courts would you play on if they had pickleball court lines? Which ones already have lights? Do these lights turn on? Do they provide sufficient light to play or are they too old to be useful? Do your research ahead of the meeting since you’ll be asked for your opinion only once.

3. Explore your community courts. The city has a few larger sets of community tennis courts. They are listed below. Which ones would you play on if they had pickleball court lines? Do your research ahead of the meeting since you’ll be asked for your opinion only once.

Northeast:

  • Meadowbrook (6)
  • Laurelhurst (4)

Northwest

  • Bitter Lake (4) – Already lined for pickleball
  • Green Lake East (3) – Already lined for pickleball
  • Upper Woodland Park (4)

Central

  • David Rodgers Park (Queen Anne)
  • Magnolia Playfield (4) – Already lined for pickleball
  • Volunteer Park (4)

Southeast

  • Jefferson (4)
  • Rainier (4)
  • Rainier Beach (4)

Southwest

  • Hiawatha (3)
  • Solstice Park (6)

What else should I ask for?

1. Make sure that the plan includes lighted courts in your section of the city.

Try to find out if the lights are in good shape. Not all lights are created equal.

2. Ask for lines that we can clearly see under all lighting conditions.

Don’t you think pickleball players deserve court lines that are as easy to see as the tennis court lines?

Seattle Parks has been adamant to not disturb tennis players by making sure that the tennis lines stand out and the pickleball lines recede.

They spent years refusing to give us anything but green pickleball lines on green tennis courts.

After someone complained that this was not ADA-compliant, they switched to blue lines on green tennis courts. This is better but still not good enough as you can see in the pictures below. (Click on the pictures to see a larger version.)

We deserve lines that we can see. Privileging tennis lines over pickleball lines might have made some sense in 2017. In 2022, it is not acceptable.

3. Ask that Seattle Parks reserve specific times for “open play” pickleball on some of the dual use courts in every part of town.  For instance, “Priority for open play pickleball, every day from 9am to noon, at the Green Lake courts.”

The pickleball community is thriving and growing through Open Play. If Seattle Parks truly cares about healthy communities, it needs to support Open Play.

Are tennis players invited to attend this meeting?

They were invited to the first meeting. Inviting them to this one as well would make sense since the plan will propose adding pickleball court lines to some tennis courts and they might want to provide feedback on that subject.