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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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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

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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News

Two new courts at Twin Ponds in Shoreline

The city of Shoreline has resurfaced the Twin Ponds tennis court and added lines for two pickleball courts.

Here they are in all their glory.

The courts are located on 1st Avenue NE, just north of NE 149th Street. Turn into the parking lot across the street from the Aegis Living facility. Walk behind the community garden to find it.