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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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Alert News

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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Alert News

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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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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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.

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Action Alert Sammamish: Big Rock Park South and Beaton Hill Park

What Should I Say?

Don’t just tell them you want more pickleball courts. Instead, describe your vision. How many courts? Are they side by side? Is there a fence around the courts? Is there a fence between the courts? Are there lights to allow for evening play? Is there a place to wait for a game outside the courts? Bring a picture of existing courts you like to show them.

Where and When Should I Say It?

At the City’s Earth Day Event

Find the Parks’ information booth at the City’s Earth Day event on Saturday, April 23 from 11:00AM to 2:00PM, at Beaver Lake Lodge, 25201 SE 24th St, Sammamish, WA 98075

At the Big Rock Park South Open House

Go to the open house at the future Big Rock Park South on Saturday, April 23 from 3:00PM to 5:00PM, at 22104 SE 20th St, Sammamish, WA 98075

At the first Master Plan Public Workshop

Tune in to the City’s first virtual public workshop on Thursday, April 28 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

To join the Zoom webinar, go here. If you need a passcode it is 171885.

Right now, via the City’s online Survey

You can find the survey here.

Remember to use the open-ended questions to describe your vision for pickleball courts. See the What Should I Say? section above for more details.

Where can I find more information?

The Beaton Hill & Big Rock Park South Master Plan web page has much information about the master plan and will be updated throughout the process.

Shelby Perrault is the Project Manager (425) 295-0589.

Categories
Alert

Submit a Question to the Seattle Parks District before Thursday 4/14 5:00pm

What?

The Seattle Parks District is working on their 6-year funding plan.

Ask them a question about their plan. Type it below and click the “Submit button”, or go to https://bit.ly/April14BPRC.

Did you click the “Submit” button?

To read up about the plan go here.

What should I ask?

You should ask whatever you want. If you need inspiration here are some sample questions:

  • The Park District Funding Plan calls for the creation of 16+ dedicated lighted pickleball courts across 2 locations. Is this funded in the current plan? If not, how is it going to be funded?
  • The Park District Funding Plan calls for “Making critical repairs to the only public indoor tennis facility”. Is this funded in the current plan?
  • Could some of the Park District Funding Plan’s “Racket Sport Maintenance & Expansion” funding be used to buy semi-permanent pickleball nets to be placed on dual-use (tennis and pickleball) courts? Not everyone has access to a temporary pickleball net. When semi-permanent nets are made available many more people get to use the pickleball courts.
  • The entire city has only 4 pickleball courts with decent lights . Will we have to wait until the 16+ dedicated lighted pickleball courts come online a long time from now to get more lighted courts ?
  • Is the Park District Funding Plan’s proposed pickleball plan based on an objective demand study supported by real-world data?
  • Is the Park District Funding Plan’s proposed pickleball plan based on an objective study of current court usage?
  • Will the Park District Funding Plan’s funding for expanded and realigned community center operating hours allow Seattle Parks to restore the free indoor drop-in pickleball programs that were cut due to lack of funds in 2019?
  • Could we get pickleball lines that are easy to see? Seattle’s public turf fields are all lined for multiple sports in such a way that no lines from a single sport dominate. The Seattle Community Center gyms are lined for multiple sports in such a way that no lines from a single sport dominate. Why is Seattle Parks insisting on having the tennis court lines dominate over the pickleball lines? Could we get pickleball lines that are easy to see?
  • Shoreline Parks paints 6 pickleball courts on two side-by-side tennis courts. Seattle Parks paints 4. Why is Seattle making such poor use of its court real estate?
  • The pickleball community is very inclusive thanks to its fostering of “open play” events that allow people to show up and get pulled into a game. What is Seattle Parks plan to support open play?
  • Last summer, Rec’n The Streets introduced dozens of people to pickleball. This program was so successful at some locations that the instructors were overwhelmed by the number of participants, many of which kept playing after Rec’n The Streets ended. Thank you for expanding the Rec’n The Streets in the current Park District Funding Plan.
  • Pickleball is one of the few sports that people play into their seventies, eighties and nineties. Please keep supporting Seattle’s aging population by supporting pickleball.
  • Would you please add pickleball court lines on the tennis courts located at _______ ?

When?

As soon as possible. The Board of Parks Commissioners will take as many submitted questions as they can during the facilitated Q & A session at the end of their meeting this Thursday, April 14th that starts at 6:30pm.

Can I watch the meeting?

Yes. To join the meeting, click here any time between 6:30 and 8:30pm on Thursday April 14th. The meeting agenda and the instructions for joining are here.

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Alert

Seattle Parks District wants to hear from you

The Seattle Parks District is asking for your feedback on their current upcoming funding plan.

What is in the plan?

The plan includes six years’ worth of funding spread among 40+ categories going from “Accessibility Barrier Removal to “Youth Mentorship & Employment Opportunities”. And this time around it does mention pickleball.

What is in it for pickleball?

The good parts

  • They expect to get 16+ dedicated, lighted outdoor pickleball courts to be added across two locations by 2028.
  • They are increasing the amount of money allocated to maintain and renovate existing outdoor courts.
  • They are planning to increase community centers operating hours by 9% and to reallocate hours to increase evening and weekend access.

The parts to question

  • The funding seems too small to lead to the addition of 16+ dedicated, lighted pickleball courts.
  • It’s not clear if part of the funding would be available to add more pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts and to buy semi-permanent pickleball nets.
  • There is no plan to increase indoor pickleball.

How can I help?

Please send an email to Seattle Park District Planning (PDPlanning@seattle.gov) and to the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners (Rachel.Acosta@seattle.gov).

Thank them for supporting outdoor pickleball in their current budget proposal by enabling Seattle Parks to construct two new dedicated outdoor pickleball facilities with lights. Ask them to allocate money to acquire semi-permanent pickleball nets, because pickleball court lines are not enough.

Thank them for increasing funding to allow expanded operating hours at community centers. Ask that some of the new hours be allocated to restore indoor pickleball hours that were cut in 2019 due to lack of funds.

Feel free to add your favorite pickleball topic: getting pickleball lines painted in a color that we can actually see such as yellow or orange, getting better density of pickleball courts, getting dedicated pickleball times on dual-use courts, adding pickleball court lines on the tennis courts located next to community centers, getting pickleball courts with lights in the short-term, etc.

Can you make it easy?

Sure thing. We already did most of the work for you. Click here to get started.

Just remember to sign at the bottom. And add a paragraph with your own favorite pickleball request if you wish.

Where can I find more information?

You can find the part of the budget proposal called “Racket Sport Maintenance and Expansion” here.

You can find the part of the proposed budget called “Community Center Operations” here.

Here is the Park District Funding Plan‘s web page.

Here is the Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners web page. The Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners is charged with holding public meetings and making recommendations to the Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation for each six-year cycle of the Park District.

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Alert

Seattle Parks’ 2022 Pickleball Public Meeting #1: Why, What and How To

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

What is the purpose of this meeting?

Seattle Parks purpose is “seeking input from tennis and pickleball players on how we can best support the growth of pickleball.”

There will be a second meeting in April, where Seattle Parks will present the next version of their plan, incorporating your feedback as they see fit.

What will be the format of this online meeting?

At the online meeting, SPR will present their current plan for about 15 minutes. Then there will be a poll for 5 to 10 minutes, followed by breakout rooms for about 20 minutes where you should have a chance to express your views about the plan and anything else you want to say. Each breakout room will have a facilitator that will take notes.

UPDATE: Too many people registered to attend this meeting to have breakout rooms. Use the Zoom chat box instead to make your voice heard if needed.

Why are tennis players invited to speak on the future of pickleball?

Seattle Parks decided that if they were going to continue adding pickleball lines on existing public outdoor tennis courts, they needed to get the tennis community involved. 

What is in Seattle Parks’ current plan?

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

  1. A new standard for painting pickleball court lines on existing public outdoor tennis courts. Unfortunately, this standard is likely to get us new courts that look a lot like the old ones: with only two pickleball courts per tennis court, even if there is space for more; and with blue pickleball lines, even though yellow lines would be much easier to see.
  2. Possibly a tentative list of new tennis courts that will receive pickleball court lines. Will this list be mostly made of unloved tennis courts? Will it include the outdoor tennis courts located by the community centers? Will we see pickleball courts with decent lights for evening play?
  3. Possible locations for dedicated pickleball courts.
    • Seattle Parks might propose to create dedicated pickleball courts at a few tennis court locations that currently see no school use and very little tennis use. This could be an easy way to get a few dedicated pickleball courts in the near future.  Details unknown.  This is likely to be better than not having any dedicated pickleball courts at all, and to be only a very small part of the pickleball puzzle that needs to be solved.
    • Seattle Parks plan might propose one or more locations for dedicated pickleball courts to be developed in the very long term.

How can I help?

UPDATE: Too many people registered to attend this meeting to have breakout rooms. Use the Zoom chat box instead to make your voice heard if needed.

In the breakout rooms section of the meeting, find a way to ask for one or more of the following:

  1. Ask to have more than 2 pickleball courts per tennis court (See this blog entry to find out why)

SPR opposes this because :

  • it would be too confusing for both tennis and pickleball players
  • it makes it too difficult to rent courts
  • it is not safe

Possible rebuttals:

  • Pickleball players have taped multiple pickleball courts on the middle tennis court at Green Lake and pickleball players are not confused by the lines.  The Seattle Community Center gyms have lines for multiple sports and somehow people manage. Seattle’s public turf fields are all lined for multiple sports in such a way that no lines from a single sport dominate. 
  • Shoreline manages to rent courts at locations where they have more than 2 pickleball courts per tennis courts
  • Edmonds painted lines for 4 pickleball courts on each pickleball court at Yost Park. Shoreline painted lines for 6 pickleball courts on 2 tennis courts at Shoreline Park and Shoreview Park, without this raising any safety concerns.
  • Why should the number of pickleball courts painted at a tennis location be limited by the people who can afford to rent courts?
  1. Ask to have pickleball lines that we can clearly see: Ask for yellow pickleball court lines.

SPR is currently considering this request but is likely to oppose it because:

  • yellow pickleball lines would be too distracting or confusing for tennis players

Possible rebuttals:

  • On all the other multi-sports fields and courts, no sport is privileged over the others. There is no reason to make an exception for tennis players.
  • Tennis players who find the pickleball lines too distracting have the option to go play on one of the many tennis courts that do not have pickleball lines. 
  • Pickleball players should not be treated as second class citizens. Pickleball lines should not be treated as second class lines.
  1. Ask to have pickleball court lines on all the tennis courts located next to community centers.

Seattle Parks is likely to oppose pickleball lines at locations such as Jefferson Park, Rainier Playfield or Rainier Beach because these are “premium” courts in good shape with lights, bathrooms, parking, and water fountains and therefore are in high demand with tennis players.

They might agree to having some pickleball court lines at Meadowbrook and Hiawatha.

  1. Ask to have pickleball courts with decent lights for evening play located in North Seattle, West Seattle, and Southeast Seattle. There is some chance SPR might already provide for this in their plan, in which case it is important that we show support for it so they don’t change their mind.

Seattle Parks will probably oppose this because:

  • the courts with decent lights are also very desirable for tennis players and therefore already heavily used (by tennis players)

Possible Rebuttals:

  • Pickleball players should not be treated as second class citizens.
  • If Seattle Parks doesn’t offer lighted pickleball courts, only pickleball players who have the means to drive out of the city to find lighted courts in places such as Shoreline or Auburn will have access to evening pickleball.
  • Seattle Parks could add new lights to some existing courts that don’t have any and make them available to pickleball players.
  1. Ask to have time reserved for “open play” pickleball on some of the dual use courts.  For instance, “Priority for open play pickleball Monday to Friday, 9am to noon at Delridge courts”

SPR has opposed this in the past because:

  • they want you to pay to reserve the courts for such use.
  • they are invested in the tennis culture of having twosomes or foursomes meeting at a specific time at a specific place, and they would like pickleball players to fit the tennis mold.

Possible rebuttal:

  • SPR already reserves all courts for pickleball open play at specific times at Delridge, Miller and Walt Hundley. These programs are remarkably successful. We want to extend them.
  • Open play fosters community building. This requires several pickleball courts to be available in the same location for several hours.
  • During low usage time, such as during weekday mornings, tennis players have access to several tennis-only courts within a few miles of any existing pickleball courts. Open play pickleball players do not have the same flexibility.

Extra Bonus Points

Ask what the decision process is.

What is going to be done with meeting participants’ input?  Who is going to write the recommendations based on the input? What are their job titles and qualifications? Will a pickleball player representative be included in the process?  Who is going to make a final decision based on the recommendations? What are their job titles and qualifications?   Check out this blog for more information.

Thank you for participating. Please spread the word.

Categories
Alert

Wait Less. Play More.

Have you ever had to wait a long time to get on a pickleball court during open play?

Most Seattle outdoor pickleball courts could accommodate 50% or more courts than they already do. On two side-by-side tennis courts, Edmonds paints lines for eight pickleball courts, Shoreline paints six pickleball courts, and Seattle only paints four.

If Seattle followed Edmonds’ or Shoreline’s lead we could have many more pickleball courts on the outdoor tennis courts that already have pickleball lines. For instance, Green Lake could have 8 to 10 courts instead of 6; High Point, Brighton Park, and Mount Baker could have 6 courts instead of 4; Magnolia could have 12 courts instead of 8.

What can you do about it?

1. Attend Seattle Parks’ March 30 public meeting

Attend Seattle Parks’ first of two public meetings on the future of outdoor pickleball online on Wednesday, March 30, at 4:30pm. Make sure you tell them to paint more than two pickleball courts per tennis court. Register now to attend this meeting.

2. Get the mayor and city council involved

The mayor and the city council have the power of the purse. Tell them that it is time for Seattle Parks to follow Edmonds and Shoreline’s lead, and make better use of Seattle’s existing tennis courts real estate by painting more than two pickleball courts per tennis court.

Click here to get started sending them an email. Here is what you could say:

Dear Mayor Harrell,

Dear Public Assets Committee Chair Lewis,

Dear Public Assets Committee Members Herbold, Juarez, Morales and Mosqueda,

As a pickleball player, I am dismayed to see that Seattle Parks still chooses to make very poor use of the available court real estate when adding pickleball court lines to existing tennis courts.  For instance, in a location with two tennis courts side by side, Edmonds Parks fits lines for 8 pickleball courts at Yost Park, Shoreline fits lines for 6 pickleball courts at Shoreline Parks, but Seattle persist on only wanting to paint lines for four pickleball courts in the same space.

Why doesn’t Seattle Parks want to have more than two pickleball courts per tennis court?  Because Seattle Parks doesn’t want to inconvenience tennis players with too many pickleball lines and it says that having a higher pickleball court density would make it difficult to manage court reservations. The Edmonds and Shoreline Parks departments have been able to surmount these obstacles. Certainly Seattle Parks can follow suit.

Long lines of pickleball players waiting to participate in open play sessions are often seen in places such as the Green Lake, Walt Hundley, and Miller courts on clement weather days. Maximizing the number of pickleball courts at these (and all other) locations would increase the number of courts by 50% or more for the price of a few painted lines. Given that the number of pickleball players is growing exponentially and is projected to surpass the number of tennis players in the next ten years, this simple space usage optimization needs to be implemented sooner than later.

Please encourage Seattle Parks to make the best usage of available court space by painting lines for more than two pickleball courts per tennis court when designating courts for dual tennis and pickleball use.

If you prefer to do it on your own here is all the information you need:

See you online on Wednesday March 30th at 4:30pm.