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Seattle’s Miller Player Petitions for 6 Pickleball Courts on 2 Tennis Courts

While the Miller courts currently have lines for two tennis courts or four pickleball courts, they are used predominantly for pickleball. Moreover, there are often long lines of pickleball players waiting for a turn to play. Adding 2 pickleball courts in the existing space would provide 50% more pickleball capacity at very little cost.

Since Seattle Parks is planning to resurface these courts this summer, now would be the perfect time to transition from 4 to 6 pickleball courts at this location.

You can view and sign Linda’s petition here: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/more-pickleball-courts-for-miller-park

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News

Lines For 16 New Pickleball Courts Coming to Seattle This Summer

According to one of the consultants working on the Seattle Parks’ outdoor pickleball study, the tennis courts at Rainier Beach, Gilman Playground, and Alki will be graced with pickleball court lines this summer. This should give us 8 new pickleball courts at Rainier Beach, 4 at Gilman, and 4 at Alki for a total of 16 sets of lines for new pickleball courts.

Seattle Parks is planning to provide nets for these courts, as well as nets for currently existing outdoor pickleball courts.

The existing tennis and pickleball courts at Miller Playfield will be resurfaced this summer as well.

JULY 20 UPDATE:
Seattle Parks plans to buy semi-permanent nets for half the new courts at Rainier Beach, Gilman Playground and Alki.
In addition, SMPA and Seattle Parks will be buying a total of 8 to 12 more nets. Some of these will be installed at existing pickleball sites that do not currently have nets, such as Magnolia, Soundview, Brighton, Mount Baker, Brighton, Beacon Hill or Dearborn Park.

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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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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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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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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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News

Montlake Community Center Reopening Survey

Access the survey here.

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News

Dear Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners,

Last month, the Board of Parks Commissioners organized a Q&A session regarding the upcoming Seattle Park District funding plan. They asked you to submit your questions ahead of time, which you did. You sent in over 50 pickleball-related questions. That was over half of all questions submitted. Unfortunately, not a single one of your questions was answered during the Q&A session.

On May 1st, the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association sent the following letter to Seattle’s Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

Dear Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners,

Before your April 14 meeting, you invited Seattle’s citizens to submit questions regarding the upcoming Seattle Park District Funding Plan via an online form.

About 90 questions were asked. Close to two thirds of those were related to pickleball. Nevertheless, not a single one of those pickleball related question was addressed during the Q&A portion of the meeting. Instead, Brian Judd said “Seattle Parks and Recreation has received many comments advocating for more pickleball courts. We have heard you.” 

Pickleball players do not feel heard. They did not just ask for more courts. They had specific questions about fund allocations, about the data underlying the funding plan, about tennis privilege, about getting lights so people can play in the evening, about getting pickleball lines finally painted in a color that we can easily see, about the need for pickleball nets to make the sport accessible to people who cannot afford to buy their own net or the means to transport it, about growth, about your support for a sport that has  a different culture, and more. 

The pickleball community spent a lot of time and effort providing Seattle Parks with about 50 pages worth of feedback when they were asked for their “big ideas” for the future of Seattle Parks during the lead to the Strategic Plan. This was summarized in two words in Seattle Parks’ presentation to the Board of Commissioners: “More Courts”.

On April 14th, the pickleball community asked you dozens of specific questions at your invitation and yet again all these were reduced to the same two words.

If you would like the pickleball community to feel heard, please consider answering some of the pickleball related questions that you collected through your online form. 

–Miguel de Campos, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association
–Frank Chiappone, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, President
–Jerry Kindinger, Seattle Metro Pickleball Association, Past President

P.S.: To make your life a little easier, here are most of the pickleball-related questions that were collected through your online form. No attempt was made to aggregate similar questions.

Funding

  • 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?
  • It looks like 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?
  • How will you work to develop new courts and fund upkeep and maintenance of sites
  • 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?
  • Will there be additional resources for pb now that it is the state sport ?
  • Will there be dedicated pickleball funding? What is that allocation per year? Is it shared with tennis?  Thank you
  • What would have to happen for Seattle Parks and Rec to be able to use outside funds on the condition the funds be used for pickleball dedicated courts?
  • Given that most SPR Athletic fields and community center gym courts are lined for multiple sport activities, and given that SPR already lines certain venues (Lower Woodland courts or the Amy Yee Tennis Center, for instance) for the exclusive use of tennis players, what is the process for ensuring that the Racket Sport Maintenance & Expansion budget allocates comparable resources to the exclusive use of pickleball players?
  • I would like to see more dedicated Pickleball facilities. Is there an opportunity for the community to fundraise towards new facilities?
  • Since the only thing the tennis and pickleball groups agree on is that each group should have some dedicated courts in Seattle. Since Tennis already has that, can a dedicated pickleball multi court get some immediate funding?
  • Now that pickleball is the state sport, has the city tried to request state or county funding for new/improvement of pickleball courts. 

Tennis privilege

  • Why is it more of a priority to make sure tennis players continue to have lots of places to play, even if that means not increasing the pickleball availability? We are all taxpayers who should have equal priority.
  • How will you support the development and funding of pickleball courts so that their is more equitable access on all tennis courts for both sports?
  • There are concerns about displacing tennis players by dual stripping all tennis courts.  This is a case of the “haves” keeping what they have and the “have nots” begging to get what they can.  Why wouldn’t you plan on dual striping all city tennis courts that do not have tournament play restrictions to level the playing field?  Equal opportunity access via the city reservation system for all. 
  • Who has the final say on increased pickleball accessibility?  Does it make any sense having tennis players providing input into those decisions?  They are competing for the same resources and will naturally protect their sport. 

Court usage measures

  • Are the number of pickleball courts vs. tennis courts proportional to the respective court usage for each sport? How are you measuring court usage? Often times, there are many pickleball players waiting for courts during open play – is that accounted for in usage?
  • Is the Park District Funding Plan’s proposed pickleball plan based on an objective study of current court usage?
  • Is the Park District Funding Plan’s proposed pickleball plan based on an objective demand study supported by real-world data?
  • Last summer, most weekday mornings there were large crowds of people (mostly seniors) waiting to play pickleball at the Miller outdoor courts. This is a clear sign of the need for more pickleball courts in that area. How is the proposed budget addressing this situation?
  • We know that SPR has absolutely no idea about how many pickleball players there are in this metro area. What I’d like to know is why SPR is so reluctant to work with the community to get information, preferring, it seems, to spend precious city funds on expensive studies that simply delay getting anything done. That’s m6 question,

Lights

  • There are very few venues with lights for pickleball – will more be added since there are so few hours of light during the winter which prevent working people from playing.
  • 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 ?

Line color

  • 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 privileging the tennis court lines over the pickleball lines? Could we get pickleball lines that are easy to see?
  • Will you commit to painting the pickleball court lines with a high visibility color?
  • Could we get pickleball lines that are easier to see? Its crazy that some courts have light green lines on  green courts which makes them practically invisible. The white tennis lines are super prominent while Pickleball lines are always a more subtle color that is harder to see. Why are tennis lines always given  prominence?

Building 30

  • Regarding the creation of a dedicated pickleball center in Seattle – Please consider accelerating what would be a 10 year plus proposal into a 2 year project.  The Magnuson Park, Hanger 30, appears to have the best start for an all season, all day and night facility for Seattle.  Currently, there are four portable nets being used at that site, open Wednesday and Thursday for two hours starting at 10AM.  Using the SPR layout which includes an ADA court 108 feet by 120 feet, the building could house a total of 8 courts – 107’ 6” feet hanger door side by 192’ 10” long.  Less, if seating is required.  The building enclosure will provide protection from all weather, and inside, there is lighting, heating, overhead fans for ventilation and sliding panel doors on opposing sides of the building.  The flooring is the only issue.  There are very noticeable and huge seam crack in the foundation.  However, an engineer can examine this flooring.  It is not just a tennis court slab which cracks and tilts, but built level to support massive airplane weight.  Both sides of the cracks are level.  Current players are not being affected by these visual monstrosities as much and they think they will be.  Please have the floor examined by pickleball flooring contractors or engineer and interview players as well. Thank you. 

Nets

  • Tennis courts are constructed with nets. How come the city doesn’t provide nets for pickleball. That doesn’t seem equitable. Why do pickleball players have to buy a portable net that can cost $150 – $300 just to play the sport.
  • 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.
  • What do we have to do to get some permanent pickleball nets installed on the tennis courts in Magnolia (courts near the community center in Magnolia village).  It would be great to start with at least two nets (which would take one tennis court out of use for tennis).

Dual-use courts

  • Are there any plans to re-paint the tennis courts around Seattle to add lines for pickle ball?  If yes, where and when? 
  • There are concerns about displacing tennis players by dual stripping all tennis courts.  This is a case of the “haves” keeping what they have and the “have nots” begging to get what they can.  Why wouldn’t you plan on dual striping all city tennis courts that do not have tournament play restrictions to level the playing field?  Equal opportunity access via the city reservation system for all. 
  • I can only hope that there will be money for much needed pickleball courts as well as permanent lines on shared courts.  Pickleball is the fastest growing sport as well as the official WA state sport and we are well below average on the number of courts in this state.  It’s time to listen to the people and make this happen !!
  • We would appreciate a lot more pickleball courts than we have in Seattle and areas around.
  • Could you please add more pickleball courts lines and nets to the tennis courts?  More and more people are on the pickleball craze and it would be fabulous if there were more opportunities to play. 

Dedicated courts

  • Are there any plans to develop courts designed only for pickle ball? If yes, what are the locations under consideration?
  • I just finished a visit with my daughter in Gilbert, AZ. There is a beautiful complex 10 minutes from her home which includes 16 pickleball courts that is overrun by pickleball players. Do you have any plans for including a facility such as this in Seattle?
  • Why are there no dedicated Pickleball facilities. Other cities around the nation have them ? Money is not the issue in this city ?
  • Why is Seattle so slow ?
  • Will the board commit to adding dedicated pickleball courts inside the city of Seattle?
  • Would it be possible to speed up the timeline for pb only courts ? Possibly the tennis courts next to green lake community center .
  • Pickleball has recently been named the official sport for the State of Washington, and there are ZERO quality, dedicated pickleball courts in the SPR system.  This is so disappointing and must be corrected with urgency. but there are ZERO quality dedicated outdoor pickleball courts in the entire SPR system.  That is embarrassing
  • I see the interest Pickleball growing exponentially but the availability of dedicated courts not keeping up. Do you have a plan to accelerate the provisioning of dedicated courts?
  • Please fund our state sport of pickleball with dedicated space for 8 – 16 courts! Thank you!
  • I can only hope that there will be money for much needed pickleball courts as well as permanent lines on shared courts.  Pickleball is the fastest growing sport as well as the official WA state sport and we are well below average on the number of courts in this state.  It’s time to listen to the people and make this happen !!
  • Is there a chance we can get more dedicated pickleball courts in Seattle? There are often 10 or more people waiting to use the courts in north Seattle
  • We would appreciate a lot more pickleball courts than we have in Seattle and areas around.
  • Please consider funding for a dedicated pickle ball facility with at least 10 courts.
  • It would be amazing to have a facility that had dedicated pickleball courts
  • Please add more dedicated pickleball courts! Thanks!
  • Please consider adding funding for lining many more dedicated pickleball courts, like a dozen or more where there are currently only a couple of courts available to play on.  This sport is catching on big time!  Thanks
  • When is SPR going to build dedicated pickleball facilities with 12 or more courts in one location?
  • Will you fund 10-20 dedicated pickeball courts? The need is great

Indoor pickleball

  • 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?

Pickleball courts density

  • 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?
  • Please direct the resources necessary to line more than 2 pickle ball courts [per tennis court]. This sport serves young, old, all races, genders, and it growing every week. Let’s make WA proud with our new state sport.
  • Can we please have pickleball lines that accommodate 6 courts forEach 2 tennis courts, similar to how Shoreline lines their courts. 

Growth

  • Pickleball is growing exponentially. How will the BPRC quickly address this growing need?
  • What is Parks & Recreation doing about meeting the demand for pickleball courts? There are not nearly enough to meet current demand, and demand is rising.
  • How many pickleball courts are you planning to make available in Seattle?

Tournament complex

  • Can funding be devoted to creating more space (lined courts) for pickleball, including establishing a real pickleball center with enough courts in one place for tournaments?

Decision Making Process

  • Who has the final say on increased pickleball accessibility?  Does it make any sense having tennis players providing input into those decisions?  They are competing for the same resources and will naturally protect their sport. 

Pickleball Open Play

  • 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?