UPDATE: ‘Keep It Moving’ park policy also now apparently includes a ban on sitting; 2ND UPDATE – bench blockers removed

4:28 PM: That photo of a boarded-up bench at Alki came in just as we heard about this new “Keep It Moving” action from reader John, who had emailed Seattle Parks to ask if “Keep It Moving” also meant to keep people from resting on benches – as he and his spouse do while out walking – or to stop parents of little kids from sitting on the beach while their children played. The reply he got from a Parks staffer:

… We don’t have the staff capacity to sift out more and less appropriate activities, so we’re using the “blunt instruments” such as the Keep Moving initiative and partial closures such as at the beach where people tend to congregate and party. These measures are the best we can feasibly do at this time.

Of course parks are not only for the young and fit, but it seems relevant that persons who are older and less fit are at the highest risk from the virus. We’re doing our best, with the tools available to us, to keep people safe during this public health crisis.

John included that im a note to us, cc’d to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, reading in part:

[That is] the answer we finally got from the Parks Dept in reply to our asking if it was okay for my wife and I to rest on a park bench while taking our daily walk.

As I write this, Park Dept staff is bolting boards to park benches to render them unusable. The staffer’s answer also seems to somewhat bluntly suggest that older citizens really shouldn’t be in the parks due to their high risk status.

Young people walk and run to get fit and lose weight. Older people take their daily walk as a prerequisite to staying alive, and with proper social distancing the Parks Dept should have no objection to them doing it.

My wife and I both judged the staffer’s reply to be word salad, and we already hear enough of that on TV. We think this is ridiculous. We live at Alki and watch it all day long. There are no real problems here. The Easter closure was an excellent idea, as was reopening it on the following Monday.

I want to know the official justification for the bench banning. And are all park benches throughout the city going to be boarded up? …

We’ll be asking Parks about that.

ADDED 10:05 AM FRIDAY: Got a city response this morning:

Alki saw significant crowding on Sunday, April 19. We are implementing two additional strategies to deter crowding this coming weekend: 1. Adding additional signage. 2. Deterring congregating in picnic shelters and benches through caution tape and placing boards or signs on seating. We will leave some benches open through the park to serve those with disabilities. These efforts are in hopes that we will not have to close Alki Beach due to persistent crowding.

Our goal is that people would stay home, and when they go out to recreate that they walk in their neighborhood or use neighborhood parks. If folks do want to use Alki we would like them to keep it moving when they are there—walk, run, or bike, and try and visit the park during a less busy hour.

The response included two sheets related to social-distancing observations by Parks personnel – we’ll add those a bit later after converting them to PDF.

9:04 PM FRIDAY: As noted in comments – and seen by us at the park a few hours ago – Parks crews were REMOVING the boards tonight, and the department has just confirmed via Twitter that it’s removed them all.

127 Replies to "UPDATE: 'Keep It Moving' park policy also now apparently includes a ban on sitting; 2ND UPDATE - bench blockers removed"

  • CandrewB April 23, 2020 (4:35 pm)

    Hostile Architecture!

  • Zmmr April 23, 2020 (4:41 pm)

    Does it say how fast we have to move???Will take Rossi my pet turtle for a walk  soon.

  • Joe April 23, 2020 (4:43 pm)

    That is wild! From a layperson’s perspective, it appears that outdoor sun is much better than indoor/office transmission for virus avoidance. I get that we don’t want the gathering that can occur with public parks, but people I have observed have been pretty good at distancing. Either way, this seems a bit drastic, and should be weighed against the practicality of expecting people to accept this for an extended time. Quality of life has already been sacrificed to GDP in this country, and  I’m not sure how fungible it will continue to be before people reject measures. Not saying they are right, just my humble observation. Well meaning functionaries are not infallible. 

  • bill April 23, 2020 (4:48 pm)

    What I need to sit down sometimes because of my medical condition. I could fall down,I think its time to raise the farm tools.

    • Clare April 24, 2020 (8:11 pm)

      Pitchforks and torches are in our future!

  • Go gull April 23, 2020 (4:51 pm)

    Thank you WSB, for the LOL, with this headline :)

    I fully support whatever we need to do to help with these times, but I had to laugh at how funny that sounds. The times they are a-changin’.

    • Go gull April 23, 2020 (5:12 pm)

      … sorry, I should have read the full post before commenting, did not intend to minimize others concerns about the benches not being accessible for seniors. Just had a laugh at the headline.

  • West Seattle Guy April 23, 2020 (4:52 pm)

    I have a family member that has walking issues. Because of an injury they must sit down to alleviate pain every so many thousands of feet.  That said he goes out walking to try to stay fit.  He doesn’t live here, but because of my experience with his challenges, I also would say this is excessive.  As would be worrying about ‘sitting in COVID and getting it on my clothes’ from someone who was there prior.

  • Joe April 23, 2020 (4:53 pm)

    New: Study of 318 outbreaks in China found transmission occurred out-of-doors in only one, involving just 2 cases. Most occurred in home or public transport. Raises key chance for states to move services outdoors (religious, gym classes, restaurants, etc).” (link to study embedded in link)https://mobile.twitter.com/scottgottliebmd/status/1253321483402674178

    I don’t endorse public policy by twitter, however, a week before we closed the state our local public health officials were demanding we go out to restaurants. 

    • West Seattle Guy April 23, 2020 (8:05 pm)

      1) Studies aren’t being peer reviewed right now.  2) Everything about that sounds like a load of s–t. It isn’t as if you can waive a wand and know exactly when and where someone got it unless it was an indoor gathering (e.g. choir practice). Do you think they surveyed the entire country? No they did case studies on people and the ones that would be easier to find would be the indoor clusters. 3) I’d be hesitant trusting news out of China for the moment. A lot of data from there is usually considered suspect. And now they’re trying to save face for their other virus information obfuscations. (Per many NPR interviews on that last point)

      • Michael Hock April 23, 2020 (8:41 pm)

        A of all: NPR is a right-wing rag contributing to the incitement of a second Cold War, and B of all: while it’s likely China is underreporting their cases, there is no doubt the US is underreporting an order of magnitude more than China is.

        • WTAF April 24, 2020 (4:21 am)

          Wait, what? NPR is not right wing and are you with the CCP? Just because someone is right of you politically, doesn’t make them right wing. 

  • Under_Achiever April 23, 2020 (4:58 pm)

    Hmmm.  Really???

    • Jim April 23, 2020 (5:31 pm)

      This is so ridiculous.

      • Foster April 24, 2020 (6:51 pm)


  • West Seattle since 1979 April 23, 2020 (5:13 pm)

    It seems extreme. Maybe fix the benches so people can only sit at either end, which would give some distance. Also the staffer probably shouldn’t have implied that older people shouldn’t be out at all, even if taking precautions.

  • WSobserver April 23, 2020 (5:17 pm)


  • matt April 23, 2020 (5:19 pm)

    They should install anti-pigeon spikes on those benches lmao ;)

  • Frustrated in WS April 23, 2020 (5:20 pm)

    Seems like this is a violation of ADA. Those who are abled can walk through the sand and sit on a log, those who aren’t can’t sit? Seems quite discriminatory. And ridiculous. Where did commen sense go???

    • Someone April 23, 2020 (7:18 pm)

      My boyfriend and I bought fish and chips from spud on Tuesday, we walked across the street to a log out on the sand and we were told ” to keep moving”

      • West Seattle Guy April 23, 2020 (8:06 pm)

        The park up (I believe) 59th would be a good close alternative.

      • Flilp April 23, 2020 (9:38 pm)

        Time to REVOLT.  Yes.  REVOLT wirh Civil Disobedience.  

        • zark00 April 24, 2020 (10:10 am)

          you gonna revolt against a virus?  Good luck with that.

    • Bill April 24, 2020 (7:10 am)

      Been dead for 40 years — see book “The Death of Common Sense” published in 1994 chronicling the death

  • Um, No! April 23, 2020 (5:20 pm)

    OK, this is a little ridiculous.  Did we really need to divert resources and money for this? Sorry,  if I want to sit and enjoy some sunshine,  I’m going to sit.  

  • WGA April 23, 2020 (5:23 pm)

    They could just as easily have cut the 2x4s in half and only blocked the parts of the bench closest to each other. That would leave room for one person per bench. The outer halves are more than six feet apart.

  • aa April 23, 2020 (5:24 pm)

    That is very sad news.

    • Alki resident April 23, 2020 (6:22 pm)

      Lol, is that right? 

    • lookingforlogic April 23, 2020 (7:36 pm)

      No more public parks, no more public lands, no more open space we need a walmart!!

  • Commuter513 April 23, 2020 (5:24 pm)

    Well if people had followed the rules set out before, they wouldn’t have had to escalate to this point. 

    • Me April 23, 2020 (9:13 pm)

      Exactly!   There are park signs everywhere letting us know to be serious about the guidelines.   All it takes is a few to mess it up for everyone.    Sigh.  

    • Bill April 24, 2020 (7:17 am)

      Jawohl! Herr Obergruppenfuhrer! You vill obey all laws and rules — otherwise we MAKE YOU! — Meanwhile we’ll empty the prisons!

  • oakley34 April 23, 2020 (5:26 pm)

    There have been verified chains of transmission via seating.  People sitting in the same seats/spaces that had hours earlier been occupied by a person shedding virus have contracted.  People can shed virus before they develop any symptoms.  These two things taken together make closing benches in high-use areas a wise choice. 

    • Joe April 23, 2020 (6:33 pm)

      Inside though, right?

    • NQ April 23, 2020 (6:41 pm)

      Reference, please?

    • lookingforlogic April 23, 2020 (7:37 pm)

      No more public parks, no more national parks I want to frack!!!!

    • M April 23, 2020 (8:52 pm)

      Please provide proof of that. I honestly haven’t seen anything that you can get virus by sitting down on a bench.

      • Go gull April 25, 2020 (6:32 am)

        The virus can live on surfaces for a number of hours or even days, depending on the type of surface and the environment.  Outdoors it wouldn’t live as long as it would indoors. However, a bench is a contact surface and it would be possible to pick up the virus from a bench. 

        If someone contagious sat down and sneezed or coughed (just one example) and droplets landed on the bench surface, and then someone else sat down there shortly after, put their hand on the bench and then rubbed their eyes or nose, it would be possible to be infected this way. 

        Also, the person who now has virus on my their hand, can spread the virus to other contact surfaces between coming into contact and washing their hands. So say now that person goes to a coffee shop and uses the pin pad, they pass the virus onto the pin pad, and the next customer picks it up on their hand, and then itches their eye, and now they might contract it too. And so on…

        • Go gull April 25, 2020 (7:02 am)

          I published this too soon… wanted to also add an emphasize that this wouldn’t be a high risk scenario, but according to various reports I’ve read regarding transmission, this could be a possibility.  It’s much more likely to catch it via droplets in the air, while in close proximity to others, than a scenario like this.

          But since it is also transmitted via surfaces… wash your hand and don’t touch your face!

  • AMD April 23, 2020 (5:31 pm)

    I am all for common sense social distancing measures, but this seems to solve a problem that doesn’t completely exist.  Are strangers sitting too closely on benches?  I don’t see people doing that when there are no social distancing measures.  We’re not that comfortable with strangers here in Seattle.  It would be nice to have the option to sit if you need to tie a shoe lace or something.  Is this really about social distancing or are they trying to keep homeless people from sleeping on the benches?

  • Notoveryet April 23, 2020 (5:32 pm)

    I find it interesting that some people find it amusing that now we are being told not to sit on benches. I understood the stay at home order, for awhile. Now it seems more political than anything, especially as our governor is seen on all the news media channels like CNNand MSNBC. When will enough be enough? When there are 0 positive cases? That is not in the forseeable future. Are people really ok with being told do this until ‘A’ happens, then ‘A’ happens, then it’s well now we need to wait until ‘B’ happens. Masks are not useful, wait! Everyone wear a mask! Time is extended, no further information is being given. Now, no, you may not sit on a bench in public. I guarantee that most people who are screaming for inslee to keep it shut down are not waiting for their 1200.00 that will seemingly change their lives. They are not worried about paying 3 months rent when and if we are able to go to work. These are the people that can comfortably work from home until the cows come home. Even the cows have more freedom now.  What is going on should be a concern. Not to just the people who still havent received their unemployment and dont have food for the month.

    • Go gull April 23, 2020 (6:52 pm)

      The headline made me laugh because of the absurdity. However, I am not amused by the situation. I posted my comment immediately after reading the headline, without having read the story, and I regret that. Just to clarify my response.

      Also, does it suck that life is so changed and restricted? Heck yeah. But it’s a necessary means to an end. And maybe we should just be grateful right now, that we are breathing? Maybe we could feel more grateful for the work people are doing to help keep us safe?

      And, you are incorrect in some of your assumptions. Those of us less ‘up in arms’ about the restrictions, aren’t more privileged, cozy, or less impacted than you. Some of us are out of work, haven’t received the stimulus payment, and have struggled with the unemployment website like everyone else.

  • Mj April 23, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    This is obscene joke, is it April 1st.

    • James Walker April 23, 2020 (7:21 pm)

      On a positive note, they aren’t using pressure treated lumber so it must be short term.   Let’s concentrate on sniveling about the bridge. 

  • Bella April 23, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    This is crazy and most ridiculous plan and waste of money. 

  • uncle loco April 23, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    We have officially entered into the realm of the absurd.

  • Lisa April 23, 2020 (5:44 pm)

    This seems Draconian. It reminds me of the first time my friend from New Zealand visited the US and was appalled by how unfriendly of a society we are. He noticed the chairs at airports always had arms, making it impossible for someone to lean over or stretch out for a nap and the fences had broken glass to prevent people from jumping over or birds from perching. Sure, this is different but, seriously, you can’t just leave the benches alone for people to sit on when they need a rest?

    • onion April 23, 2020 (6:24 pm)

      i am sure there are many, many better uses for the money, materials and manpower that went into this “solution.” Parks leadership should explain how they determined this was their best use of money, people, and materials.

    • NickH April 24, 2020 (9:33 am)

      When I think of broken-glass wall countries, the US doesn’t come to mind. I always thought it was a commonwealth thing … see it far more in Britain and India. 

  • bloo April 23, 2020 (5:44 pm)

    Perhaps, if Seattle Parks is determined for this to be the only solution, they make enough room on the bench for one person to sit?  Feasibly the elderly or those with medical issues could sit near each other but not on the same bench?  I believe if enough people speak out, the Parks Dept. will change this policy, which negatively affects people who need to sit down occasionally as they get outside for some fresh air and exercise.  I am also wondering about all the people who continue to use the Alki Beach tennis courts even though some useless padlocks were put on the gates.  And the weekly tearing down of signs and caution tape at Whale Tail Park and Alki Elementary playground that’s left all over the ground for days.  Has the Parks Dept. given up on these areas and the concept that playground equipment is closed through May 4th (or later)?  Leaving messages on their maintenance line has produced no results.

    • Ka April 24, 2020 (3:21 pm)

      Oh my goodness! Am glad WSB provides a venting platform. Does it occurr to anyone that the Parks Dept could be understaffed due to employees, families etc dealing with coronavirus or that they’re trying to keep their elders safe? After all, their daily job is out in the public domain where there are those that are not keeping their social distance nor are they wearing masks. Plenty of these posting appear to be just this side of mob mentality. Or is it the fact that posts are faceless which emboldens you to let it rip? It’s refreshing the voice of reason posted by Peaches. Take a deep breath. Reach out to services being made available to help those in need during this pandemic. It’s ok to ask for help. No judging. You’ll find yourself in a position sometime in your life to “pay it forward”, a good deed, a meal etc. We need to take care of each other during this faceless foe, coronavirus, which includes ANY & ALL people, employees, government or other. I sincerely hope  opinions expressed are out of frustrations & that no one will act upon them. We have options other than walking ALKI to get thru this alive. As a senior citizen myself, the option of walking isn’t always feasible due to weather, construction, or limited daylight. I keep on hand excercise DVD’s. There are plenty of free exercise shows on tv (I don’t have cable). How about putting together your own routine to music you enjoy? Doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, do these in your living room, yard or deck. Mix it up a little bit, make it fun. Change up your exercise routine, expand your horizons, find new interests. Get your neighbors involved…set a time for everyone to be on their decks etc. Added bonus: your opportunity to rest will be right there. Post script:  There appears to be an expressed concern from others FOR senior citizens & their ability to rest while walking along Alki. Let them speak for themselves (they’re more than likely observing the “stay at home” mandate). 

  • Whaaa April 23, 2020 (5:46 pm)

    I have a kid recovering from spinal injury who has to walk to prevent regression and has to rest every so often because of pain. Guess he’ll be sitting on the floor then. Oh, except he physically can’t. 

  • Debora April 23, 2020 (5:50 pm)

    We know that fresh air, exercise, exposure to ultraviolet light and the sun for additional vitamin D are immune protective so get all of us outdoors as soon as and as often as possible! Ditch the boards and bring on the sunshine exposure.

  • dsa April 23, 2020 (5:55 pm)

    “… so we’re using the “blunt instruments” such as the Keep Moving initiative …”  Keep moving, really? Justify that.  I mean does that mean no standing?  What about wheelchairs?  No stopping?

    • Bill April 24, 2020 (7:27 am)

      They just haven’t added the “Nothing to see here” part – yet!

  • whale watcher April 23, 2020 (6:12 pm)

    This boarding up of park benches is outrageous!  Senior citizens and people with physical issues need to get out in nature as much as the younger crowd.  This just makes it more difficult, removing any place to sit and rest.  My husband and I are seniors and we do our best to observe social distancing.  Sitting on a bench with each other does not violate that.   The City of Seattle has gone too far.

  • Jkk April 23, 2020 (6:13 pm)

    Carry a towel or blanket and sit on the grass or pavement if you need to.  They can’t stop you from sitting somewhere.  

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 24, 2020 (2:15 am)

      Often people with physical or mobility issues can’t sit on the sidewalk or grass—we need something higher like a bench.

  • Understanding Park Goer April 23, 2020 (6:15 pm)

    Recently while walking at Lincoln Park I realized how hard it is to walk and social distance 6 feet away from walkers as well as people sitting on the benches. I think it is less about germs on the benches and more about keeping social distancing possible. Although, I do sympathize with people who need to rest. Stay safe everyone. 

  • Tree Hugger April 23, 2020 (6:21 pm)

    Where’s the evidence of COVID19 infections  outdoors? What was the infection rate? Inslee wants decisions based on science, so he must have it. I think he should publish it.

    • WSB April 23, 2020 (6:24 pm)

      This is a city park, so it would be the mayor, rather than governor.

      • Tree Hugger April 23, 2020 (7:27 pm)

        The Mayor and the Governor say the same thing.

        • WSB April 23, 2020 (8:11 pm)

          Actually they don’t align on everything. (Farmers’ markets, for example.)

  • West Seattle Hipster April 23, 2020 (6:37 pm)

    Hahahaha, whatever.  I will sit wherever the hell I want.  

  • Adam April 23, 2020 (6:40 pm)

    “Word salad” = words that i don’t like

  • 7Golfer10 April 23, 2020 (6:54 pm)

    Is the Parks Department budget so bloated that they have the funds for this insane idea?  What is wrong with those in charge?  On Monday I was at Alki and saw a mother sitting on a bench breast feeding her baby.  What is she supposed to do now?  We have so little now there is absolutely no reason for taking this away from us.  Contact your Mayor and your Councilmembers and let them know how you feel

  • Carl Morgan April 23, 2020 (7:00 pm)

    But can The City fix the bridge ? 

    • SH April 24, 2020 (7:18 am)

      Exactly. They are so concerned with people sitting down yet less concerned of the major challenge the shutdown of the bridge will create for the city. Get real Seattle govt. where is the famous councilwoman who is fighting hard for the homeless and wanting to tax large corporations. How about you care for large west Seattle population that will be negatively impacted for years.  We are the taxpayers. How about you help us since we pay your salary.  This is completely absurd and maybe a little late to the game. The stay at home order is about to expire and now they start to put out more drastic measures. I wonder if they arrest/fine people for moving too slow. 

    • AdmiralBridge April 24, 2020 (9:11 am)

      Only if the bridge can be built out of wood and no more than six feet off the ground.

  • NH April 23, 2020 (7:21 pm)

    As an RN, I think this is ridiculous. Where is the peer reviewed evidence that says sitting outside is a risk? It’s not there.Overreaction just gives ammo to those protesting the reasonable closures. Please, people, exercise common sense.

  • Unbelievable April 23, 2020 (7:26 pm)

    If a park is”open” it needs to have ADA accommodations.  This is a direct violation of the law.  In addition to the comment on seniors being age discriminatory.  

  • George April 23, 2020 (7:30 pm)

    Time to “walk” on the Capital…………………..

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 24, 2020 (2:18 am)

      No it’s not. Let’s not make this one thing into something ridiculous. It is not time to open things up.

  • Azimuth April 23, 2020 (7:35 pm)

    I thought they were saving those 2×4’s to fix the bridge

    • Notoveryet April 23, 2020 (10:17 pm)

      Good one!😂😅

  • GGMM April 23, 2020 (8:25 pm)

    This new decision is monumentally stupid.  

  • Michael Hock April 23, 2020 (8:43 pm)

    This is ableist as all get out and I hope the Parks department reconsiders.

  • Leo April 23, 2020 (9:19 pm)

    The Seattle Parks Department declares a war on butts!  I’m not taking this sitting down

  • Aerial Observer April 23, 2020 (9:42 pm)

    Park benches are located along defined paths. Therefore, a person sitting on a park bench renders a 12′ section along that side of the path inaccessible to everyone else. (A person sitting on a blanket on the grass, 6′ or more from the path’s edge, presents no such obstruction.) Just a few bench sitters can effectively block an entire path, denying use to everyone who intended to walk or ride along that path. That denial is unfair and so has been prohibited. Thank you, City of Seattle.

    • WS Guy April 24, 2020 (1:13 am)

      I like to walk down the sidewalks creating a 12’ wide death zone / force shield in my path.  It only seems to affect the hysterical, however.

  • AdmiralSDV April 23, 2020 (9:48 pm)

    It seems to me that this may discourage people from driving to the park to hang out. I am curious as to whether or not that’s the case and I also wonder if it will actually work. As an aside, it’s fascinating to me how the sentiment changes post to post. I recall plenty of people on other posts lecturing neighbors about the importance of social distancing and that closing the parks was “the right thing to do,” and that was clearly the popular opinion held by those commenters. Now you see the parks are still open but the city is trying to keep people moving, and the vitriol in protest of the city’s action abounds. 

  • KBear April 23, 2020 (9:50 pm)

    And y’all thought SDOT was incompetent!

  • DRW April 23, 2020 (9:54 pm)

    So we are closing streets so families et all can walk un impeded. And we close big open spaces like Lincoln Park and Alki. Im I missing something?

    • Bill April 24, 2020 (7:37 am)

      You are living in the hyper enlightened city of Seattle — the highest concentration of advanced degrees in the country!

  • Kc April 23, 2020 (10:07 pm)

    I think my crowbar, er cane, will come in handy on my next walk. Abelist and ridiculous. Better measure would have offered seating at each end, w distancing. Filing my complaint with parks dept and herbold toot suite. 

  • Noelle April 23, 2020 (10:20 pm)

    Are the powers that be doing anything to the sitting area around the Little Statue of Liberty?

    • Um, No! April 24, 2020 (6:51 am)

      I think you would see a tear coming from her eye if they did.  

    • EKS April 24, 2020 (7:10 pm)

      I really hope not.  It was the only space I cd sit down yesterday.  I’m 68 with two knee replacements. I live half a block from Alki, and have a dog, so I walk around my block a couple of times a day.  My knees sometimes hurt a lot and I need to sit down, ocassionally.  The promenade is the only place where there were benches, so I tended to walk there.  The bench closing infuriated me.  Made me feel that I was being told that older people shouldn’t be allowed to exercise.  Stupid over-kill.

  • CAM April 23, 2020 (10:47 pm)

    Ok, so they’ve told you not to go to the parks and said that you should walk around your own neighborhood and block. They’ve said they are leaving the parks open as part of the neighborhood but they don’t expect people to be getting in a car and driving to them. And yet people continue to show up and travel to parks far from their home. Some even climb over barricades to get into those parks and then call for help to get let out. They closed the playground equipment and other multiuse equipment as well. Why is it so shocking they don’t want you to sit on a public bench? This isn’t permanent. It’s a temporary change to your life and you will be able to hang out at the beach again soon. If you need to sit down while walking then stay closer to home and take shorter walks. Bring a portable chair/cane with you so you can sit down when needed if you want to walk farther. The only place they are telling you not to sit is at the parks where people tend to gather in larger numbers. Because if everyone stays moving then more people can be there. This isn’t what we should be freaking out about. We continue to average around 100 new cases and 10 deaths a day in King County for the past couple weeks. We need to do better. 

    • Jim April 24, 2020 (8:39 am)

      We are going to have daily deaths for the next year or so.  The goal should not be to lockdown until we get to zero.  Flattening the curve was the goal to not overload the hospitals.  We are there.  Get rational.  Open up the hospitals now to elective surgeries.  People are going to die from lack of medical care.    

  • Mj April 23, 2020 (10:50 pm)

    And the other day at the Seattle Center they had pit stop monitors.  

  • Alki April 23, 2020 (11:25 pm)

    This is the city council and government that you all voted for. I hope you’re enjoying it.

  • MW April 24, 2020 (12:32 am)

    Parks is just trying to keep everyone safe.   There are lots of things besides sitting outside you can’t do right now, although if you want Parks to allow sitting for those who really need it, then maybe offer to take pictures of those who sit so officials can see who needs it.  A better idea: maybe Parks should make signs (like the 6 ft ones) specifying who should be allowed to sit on benches- elderly, disabled, etc.  Put those signs near benches and  paint an X where a person can sit.  This is a solution thats easy to follow and lets everyone know who should and should NOT be there. 

  • Josh P. April 24, 2020 (7:19 am)

    When did progressives suddenly become “ableists” and “ageists”?

  • Ginger April 24, 2020 (8:00 am)

    Just an idea: Bring your own chairs or sit along the seawall. Portable lightweight camping chairs are fairly easy to carry over your shoulder and you can quickly set them up when you need a rest. 

  • Accountability April 24, 2020 (8:22 am)

    i have an idea for the mayor, governor and president. In fact all areas of government. Take all of this energy and get testing supplies and infrastructure to people and stop with spending time on these types of distractions. Another way to spend your energy is to financially protect everyone who is losing their businesses and jobs and can’t get any financial assistance. Once we see progress in those areas, then worry about the park benches. 

  • aa April 24, 2020 (9:08 am)

    I  can’t remember where I read this but it made sense to me.  The suggestion that getting fresh air and exercise is good and if you need to drive somewhere to get it you are not abiding by the full intention of the stay home mandate.It’s really simple- STAY HOME.

  • Park loving senior April 24, 2020 (9:14 am)

    Put the boards on the benches — except on the bench ends.  Room for just one safely distanced bum (Canadian for rear end)!

  • Jeff S April 24, 2020 (9:19 am)

    “We live at Alki and watch it all day long. There are no real problems here.”  this statement is BS.  I drive my dog in the car through Alki (also a resident) on the weekends for an outing.  EVERY weekend, including the park closure, there were hundreds of people walking within 6 feet of each other and not being safe.  All precautions are acceptable.

    • MJ April 24, 2020 (10:16 am)

      YUP. Spot on. I also live on Alki and regularly find myself unable to safely walk in my neighborhood because of all the people who refuse to walk in theirs. 

      • Wes C. Addle April 24, 2020 (12:29 pm)

        I 3rd this! There’s no real way to have a 6 ft halo around any group in public.  I’m not too concerned with people walking by each other within 6 ft, you basically can’t go anywhere without doing this.  Just don’t congregate/mill around & don’t touch me is all I ask.

    • Jethro Marx April 24, 2020 (11:07 am)

      Do those of you who live at Alki have a blind spot when it comes to how ridiculous it sounds to talk as if public streets and parks are somehow more-owned by those who have chosen to live nearby? We also often hear how loud it is, as though it is a surprise that rowdy behavior occurs at the beach. I suppose people also will move in next to a steel plant and then complain about the heat exchanges. It just sounds a bit whiny, is all. Enjoy your neighborhood! (Or move away, I suppose?)

  • Mj April 24, 2020 (9:30 am)

    Its the kids with overly restrictive parents that are the ones most likely to rebel.  The installation of the 2 by 4’s on Park Benches has gone too far and needs to stop now.  People are already stressed enough and sitting on a Park Bench relaxing for a moment of respite from what is going on should not be banned.  This is City beauracracy going way too far and needs to be reined in now.

  • S - in West Seattle April 24, 2020 (9:39 am)

    Time to go down there with power tools and liberate the benches. 

    • SoRight April 24, 2020 (10:30 am)


  • JM April 24, 2020 (10:07 am)

    I would be fine if they closed the park entirely. I live on Alki and it’s pretty much impossible to walk in the neighborhood at safe distances on sunny days because people continue to drive here, thinking they’re entitled to a scenic walk and a picnic. They fail to understand the very basic concept of staying home and walking in their own neighborhood. So this is what happens. They close benches. If anyone wants to get mad, get mad at the entitled visitors that continue to flock here, thinking they’re above the mandate. 

  • newnative April 24, 2020 (10:49 am)

    They fail to understand the very basic concept of staying home and walking in their own neighborhood. “I think if people truly understood this concept, they wouldn’t be here complaining about benches in a park. 

  • Phillipe April 24, 2020 (11:31 am)

    STAY AT HOME ORDER! be part of the solution not problem. If you are not essential workers stay home. If you are going out and visiting public places you are why the parks closures and restriction get ramped up. The orders are go outside if needed but only in your own neighborhood with social distancing in place. The reason you should not stop and sit is because the surfaces can be contaminated and you are putting yourself, the public and the parks workers at a greater risk. And there is a shortage of disinfecting supplies so let the healthcare workers have access to it and not make parks departments use up the short supply.  To the Ali residents that is your area so it should be OK for you but everyone else should stay away. Seattle parks is at fault for not closing all of their parks to keep the public safe. follow the orders, be smart or we will all have to deal with greater restrictions for a lot longer than needed. This is the new normal for awhile, it’s tough but do not be selfish and further the reputation of Seattlites as selfish people. 

  • Peaches April 24, 2020 (12:02 pm)

    I think they are just trying to be ultra cautious. There aren’t as many people available that work for the parks to check and make sure people aren’t gathering and it’s the gathering and germ sharing that is being worried about. That’s more chances for more people to get sick. People keep disregarding precautions so measures like this have to take place…because some people ruin it for the rest of us. If you need to rest during a walk, now isn’t the time to walk in busy public places. Home exercise and walking in a neighborhood are good options, it’s all exercise. This all reminds me of the spikes people put on stores so pigeons don’t sit and poo on people and the like…

  • ME April 24, 2020 (12:42 pm)

    City needs to issue Alki  residents a car sticker to put on their car so everyone can know who is driving or parked on Alki that’s NOT supposed to be there. Take a picture of their license plate for the cops. That’s a good service for those who have a smartphone.   Same with  other neighborhoods with public parks.  Residents stickers only!  No other cars should be there, either driving on their streets or parking.  STAY AT HOME, why so much selfish entitlement?  

    • S - in West Seattle April 24, 2020 (2:49 pm)

      And therein lies the problem. Sheep pushing a police state. In no way is it right to take photos of people license plates and send them to cops. They do not need you calling up and taking up emergency responders time for something silly. I see so many people pushing the police state these days. I guess you all have forgotten your history and Nazi Germany. 

  • ME April 24, 2020 (12:54 pm)

    If resident car stickers  don’t stop enough people from using public parks, the city should mail every resident a card to carry that shows they’re entitled  to walk  in their own park.  This would stop people from miles  away running or hiking there, since they wouldn’t have a resident card.  Residents can ask to see your card, if they suspect you aren’t their neighbor.  Cops can follow up  if things get out of hand.  Hopefully it wouldn’t and people would just start obeying the guidelines.  

    • Um, No! April 24, 2020 (1:57 pm)

      @ME   Your comments are truly terrifying.   What gives you the right to question anyone about where they live? Last time I checked, it’s not illegal for me to go to any neighbor and walk around.  Even under this vague Stay At Home order.   And if you think a cop can arrest or ticket me for being outside my neighborhood,  you’re wrong.    You’re comments sound familiar.  I seem to recall similar attitudes and beliefs from history.  Lucky for me,  and even you, we all live in a free country.   If you don’t like people being outside in your neighborhood,  stay in your house.   You mention selfish entitlement.  Pot, meet kettle. 

      • S - in West Seattle April 24, 2020 (2:54 pm)

        I totally agree with you on this. Comments like this are truly terrifying and people have forgotten there history.  

      • ME April 24, 2020 (3:44 pm)

        @UM NO. I’m not an Alki resident  (live 5+ miles away from there) so accusing me of selfish entitlement to that park is false.  I’m just concerned about real Alki residents like the Alki heart surgery person below who needs the benches to be available and needs the park to be uncrowded for them to use it. Parks could be asked to free the benches for Alki residents if there was a way to prove who actually is authorized to be there rn.  Hence my ideas of car stickers/personal cards to keep the roads and park uncrowded.  Parks signs clearly say “Crowded parks lead to Closed parks”.   What happened to the benches shows they MEAN it.   It’s selfish entitlement for outsiders, that includes me, to push their way into Alki residents’ roads and outdoor spaces rn.  

        • S - in West Seattle April 28, 2020 (9:07 am)

          You still don’t get it we have this thing called the Constitution, which prevents having to show papers. It might server you good to go back and read it.   

    • KM April 24, 2020 (2:00 pm)

      No. Absolutely not. Enough with the police state ideas.

  • Heart Walker April 24, 2020 (2:37 pm)

    I had open heart surgery and need my daily walks in my neighborhood “Alki” and would enjoy not only a stress free “Social 6’ distancing” so I do appreciate all the reminder signs since I still find after all this time most runners, bike riders and walkers who are NOT giving people their space. I’m having to go out of my way dodging people everyday. 😩 having said all that I agree the Bench blocking is a bit extreme, their should be some benches that allow for 6’ distancing to occur be left open for those in need. 

  • Larry April 24, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    Isn’t Alki Beach a neighborhood park to those who live in Alki (like John who wrote the email)?  The last paragraph in the city’s response leaves me confused.  

  • Foster April 24, 2020 (6:39 pm)

    Wow!! It took the Seattle Parks department more than a year to repair a broken beam, an entrapment hazard, on a bench in Green Lake Park. More than a year!! I guess the Parks Department can actually make repairs fast if the mayor asks them to.

  • YoungDisabledVet April 24, 2020 (7:04 pm)

    I am a 40’s disabled veteran. So if they leave “some” benches open, am I suppose to drag myself to an open bench when my leg randomly seizes? Some of us who are younger are disabled too. 

  • WSB April 24, 2020 (7:44 pm)

    Update: As of early this evening, a Parks crew was REMOVING boards from benches, starting on the west side of the park and moving eastward. All or just some? We will go back tomorrow morning to look. We noticed while inbound, the bench-boarding started just west of Bonair – all the benches east of there were unaltred. -TR

    • flimflam April 24, 2020 (8:25 pm)

      wow. lots of busy-work for city employees or is that just me? i’m completely for the enforcement of social distancing, but make a choice and stick with it.

  • eksparks April 24, 2020 (8:30 pm)

    Boards gone as of Friday evening!  Thanks to Park Service for listening to neighborhood concerns.   The handicapped notices on benches area good idea. 

  • WSB April 24, 2020 (9:06 pm)

    And Parks just confirmed via Twitter that ALL have been removed.

  • Alan Wonders April 25, 2020 (1:24 pm)

    How idiotic that parks are open but you can’t park a car there (e.g., Lincoln Park.) You have to park on the street which is more dangerous. Is the idea that if you don’t happen to live near a park you shouldn’t have the right to  go there?  Should you take a bus?

  • Captain Sensible April 26, 2020 (8:04 am)

    Nice to hear common sense prevailed. This was a case of the City doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. I hope they find some other use for those 2x4s; hate to see our money wasted.

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