One week ago, the heart of the West Seattle Junction again brimmed with trick-or-treaters for the wildly popular two-hour event in which businesses welcomed kids to stop by for treats. Lots of smiles, lots of fun. No problems reported. But every year, some have wondered afterward, can’t the street be closed for this event as it is for other successful Junction events, like West Seattle Summer Fest and the West Seattle Junction Car Show (among others)? One local mom is doing more than wondering – she has started a dialogue with the West Seattle Junction Association, and is asking now for your thoughts. Here’s the open letter she asked us to publish:
Dear West Seattle Residents:
We are a family of 4, with two young children living in Belvidere. We are longtime residents of West Seattle and love it here mainly for the sense of community. Each year we look forward to the various Junction events where we can visit with our neighbors, patronize local businesses and roam the streets at Summer Fest, the Hi Yu Parade, WS Junction Car Show and even the Mobile Chowdown food-truck festival. The other big event we truly love is the Junction Trick or Treating, but there is one major drawback to this event.
Each year hundreds of parents, children, relatives, strollers & dogs flock to the Junction in full Halloween costume to trick-or-treat the Junction shops for only 2 hours. The streets are NOT blocked off and everyone is left crowding the sidewalks. Inevitably, there’s a logjam which leads people to step off the sidewalk either in the way of a parking car or right into the street. While I’m thankful there have been no accidents to date, it’s simply a matter of time. There has to be a better, safer way to celebrate the day.
If the Junction can close the streets for all the wonderful events I list above, then they can certainly close the streets for the safety and enjoyment of families. Understanding there are permitting costs (around $3800, I believe) and time and energy in coordinating with the City and Metro (which I’m willing to take on), there is also the benefit of bringing additional business to the Junction shops and bringing our community closer together.
Here’s what I propose…..we rally as a community, raise the money for permits, close the streets and delight in a day of trick-or-treating from 10 am to 3 pm (to capture the kids who nap early, the ones who nap late and folks who want to grab lunch at a Junction eatery!)
Here’s what I need now…..I know WSBlogers are great at commenting and speaking their minds. I’m counting on you to voice your support for closing down the streets for Trick or Treating in the Junction 2012. That’s all I’m asking…for now. Once I’ve garnered enough community support from residents and businesses, I’ll be back again for fundraising!
I’m committed to seeing this process through and count on your support!! Let’s make Halloween 2012 spooky and safe!!
Your neighbor, Behnaz Nelson
So – what do YOU think?