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Seattle Public Pickleball Meeting #2

Seattle Parks is ready to present its latest plan for the future of outdoor pickleball in Seattle. This time it will list specific locations for new pickleball courts. Come learn about the plan and seize your chance to give feedback.

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.