Happening tomorrow: Myrtle Reservoir park meeting


Last week, for the first time in almost a year, the Parks Department came to West Seattle for a meeting about the future Morgan Junction park (WSB coverage here and here). Tomorrow, after a similar time gap, the same thing’s happening regarding the park going in at Myrtle Reservoir (map). This park is different for several reasons, including its location in a less-commercial area, its size, and the fact a skatespot is in the plan, which drew some controversy last year. Matt Johnston, the West Seattle resident who runs SeattleSkateParks.org, writes about it today. Whatever you would or wouldn’t like to see in this park, tomorrow night (7 pm, High Point Community Center) is your best chance to make a difference. You can find notes from the March 2007 meeting linked from the project’s official city webpage.

10 Replies to "Happening tomorrow: Myrtle Reservoir park meeting"

  • Bob Loblaw January 21, 2008 (7:18 pm)

    Wow. Had to comment after reading through the neighbors’ concerns. Somehow they have the following math in mind: Skateboarding = crime. Would they have the same impression if a veledrome was proposed (Bike riding = crime)? What about a roller hockey arena (Spandex = crime)?

    I’ve personally sat and watched skateboarders in amazement. Talk about grace and athletisism. That’s one beautiful and difficult sport. And the athletes? 99.9% of them are great kids I would be proud to call my own. That’s a much higher percentage than baseball players or track athletes!

    (Sorry, I’m currently reading Game of Shadows in the ‘library’)…

  • Adam Hyla January 21, 2008 (8:09 pm)

    Here’s the text of my letter to the city about the future of Myrtle Reservoir. If you feel the same, please pass on word to the Parks Department:

    “I hope that a portion of the open space planned for the lidded reservoir be devoted to skateboarding. I understand that there’s no money to implement the citywide skatepark plan, but low-budget hardscaping can be developed onsite for skateboarding that serves an immediate and a longer-term function.

    “One: it gives people legal public space in which to skate in a city that’s lost this space recently (the abrupt closure of the park across from Seattle Center sent all skateboarders either to Ballard, where a scaled-back park serves fewer people thhan it used to, or to Burien).”

    “Two: I feel that even a small, low-maintenance skate facility would keep open the possibility of putting a district-level park there or nearby, at High Point. I believe skateboarding is a positive activity for people of all ages, and I’m sure any skating space at Myrtle Reservoir would be well-used and safe for everyone.

    “I see a fair amount of park space that gets little use; some of it, like outdoor tennis courts at High Point, is not cheap to install or maintain. Skateboarders, wrongly maligned much of the time, need park space too.”

  • Erik January 21, 2008 (11:18 pm)

    Yeah us skaters are such delinquents. In the late 70’s my friends and I were all skateboarders in west hill Kent. We often had to deal with the Kent police because of the same hysterical comments from the HP neighbors (the two token black kids from our hood also skated.) After awhile the cops would come by just to shut the neighbors up, they’d tell us to stop skating for 1/2 an hour so the old bitties would think we were reprimanded…lol. Kids need an outlet to burn some energy in a positive way or else they’ll find other less positive ways to expend it.
    None of my skater friends ever ended up in jail while growing up (more than I can say for organized sports), in fact they’ve all contributed to their own communities as responsible adults.

  • seaweedtoasted January 22, 2008 (8:05 am)

    I love reading the support! I hope we can keep the skateboarding conversation going. There are a ton of ideas and enthusiasm that (West) Seattle needs.And somewhere there is money too. I love the Myrtle location and I am also loving the idea of skate features down at Alki (the community center/park). I hope to be at the meeting tonight for Myrtle, and would love to meet anyone that wants to get involved in skatepark advocacy. (me=skateboarding mom)

  • acemotel January 22, 2008 (9:27 am)

    I think it’s Alki Beach park not the park by the school and community center that’s destined for a skate dot.

  • Ken January 22, 2008 (10:34 am)

    A bit more disturbing to me, is the underlying, if not overt or even unconscious racism involved in the NIMBY comments from the neighbors.

    They also seem to be recent buyers into the neighborhood.

    Highpoint demographic is changing as overpriced townhouses and backyard subdivisions create density and urban problems.

    Some it seems cannot handle the concept of community. I am sure they would rather have a city landscaped lawn, but the location is ideal for a skate-park.

    Besides, I suspect nearly all parks will become video monitored in the near future as the hardware becomes cheaper and cheaper.

  • m January 22, 2008 (12:25 pm)

    In defense of my neighbors, I think most of these letters posted on the link above were written when the Myrtle Reservoir was targeted as a regional skate facility. I live one block away, and honestly, a facility of that size did not appeal to me either (I envisioned it taking up the whole park with room for nothing else). I’m all for a smaller skate dot or the next size up, but a regional facility gave me worries. Why? I am hoping the city plans the park so we can really take advantage of the views. A skate dot works for me if it’s closer to Willow Ave as there isn’t really a view there. I would love to see kids/adults getting together to skate as it builds a sense of community and promotes physical exercise. But I’d also love to see a decent playground, picnic benches, and maybe an off-leash area. Hopefully this park can be many things to many people. I’m anxious to see the plans tonight at the meeting and see who shows up. There just hasn’t been much information available since the initial proposal of the regional skate facility.

  • m January 22, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    Bizarre- I didn’t mean to post twice… something weird happened with my computer.

  • Ken January 22, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    The funny thing is, most of the new townhouse owners in Highpoint whould be just as strongly NIMBY as resevoir neighbors. I would welcome it at Highpoint. More fun would be seeing the city re-develope part of that cheesy golf course into something usable by more people.

    But the skate park is just adding a few more trucks of concrete to an already massive concrete and steel lid for the resevoir and will save several dozen trucks of topsoil.

  • MLJ January 22, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    I just wanted to post up here really quickly to say thanks to everyone who has taken the time to think objectively about this proposed skatespot. It’s important for both sides to think through ALL of the issues and walk a few miles in each other’s shoes.

    It’s remarkable to read comments from folks like ‘m’ who started out on one side of the issue, but through understanding and and desire to learn more, ended up somewhere in the middle.

    Let’s keep this going. This is what I love about West Seattle.


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