NO CROWDS, OR ELSE: Signs seen at Alki (and the mayor’s explanation)

12:16 PM: So far, no indication of a repeat park closure this weekend. But WSB readers have spotted new signage at Alki, sending the photos above and below:

We’re following up with the city.

P.S. Here’s the list of ongoing park-related closures, separate from last weekend’s temporary order.

2:14 PM: David Hutchinson sent a closer view of the first sign shown, so we substituted his photo. The city, meantime, responded to our inquiry by saying “There will be an announcement from Parks later this afternoon.”

5:22 PM: The signs are addressed in this long, multi-topic news release just published on the city website. “The City will allow major parks to remain open throughout the weekend but will be requiring residents to keep moving and not play sports, picnic or barbecue,” the news release says, adding, “Seattle Parks staff will be monitoring in real time and is prepared to close parks if there are too many gatherings or too many people.” 60 “ambassadors” will be deployed citywide, plus: “The public can report any lack of social distancing to Seattle Parks and Recreation through social media, calling (206) 684-4075, or emailing”

55 Replies to "NO CROWDS, OR ELSE: Signs seen at Alki (and the mayor's explanation)"

  • Blbl April 16, 2020 (12:30 pm)

    Cool, I am collecting photos like this and since it’s the warmest day of the year so far, I think I’ll head down and check them out. 

  • Wolfgang April 16, 2020 (1:00 pm)


  • newnative April 16, 2020 (2:00 pm)

    I walked over to a local park yesterday and it seemed people were hanging out in the cars and only going out one at a time, so people could enjoy the view and no crowding. I still wish I could go to Hiawatha without off-leash dogs on the running track or people running without masks and not distancing themselves. 

    • Marcus April 16, 2020 (2:35 pm)

      I’m a dog-owner and I agree with you about the dogs.  I think a large part of the problems is the Seattle Parks has been terrible about considering the needs of dog-owners, leading people to design their own solutions.  [We see this in all kinds of ways, such as cones to reserve a parking space.] It ends up as a type of civil disobedience because government is not responding to people’s needs – in this case, Westcrest being the only legal off-leash dog area in West Seattle.I’ve tried to suggest that we follow the lead of other major cities and designate times, rather than spaces, for off-leash areas.  Imagine Hiawatha: from 7-9 am (for example), it is a shared space for off-leash dogs and humans, but after 9 am it’s people only. Don’t mind running with dogs?  Go early.  Don’t like dogs? Go late.  My sense is that the vast majority of dog-owners would be delighted with a situation like this. Of course there would be some who didn’t follow the rules, just as there are car owners, bicyclists, and pedestrians who don’t follow the rules.  But I bet it would work.

      • ScottAmick April 16, 2020 (3:48 pm)

        Here’s the 194 page report that Seattle Parks issued a few years ago after lots of surveys and outreach about how to better accommodate all the dogs living in the city.  I attended at least of the focus group meetings.  They definitely considered doing off leash hours among many options along with increased enforcement.  Seems like very little change happened due to this effort.

      • newnative April 16, 2020 (4:12 pm)

        Sorry, off-leash dogs never belong on a running track or football field. it has nothing to do with liking dogs or not. I love dogs and I would never own one in a city, let alone allow one to run around loose. Not to mention we are in the midde of a stay at home order, I’m trying to touch as little as possible. I don’t want someone’s dog running up to me. 

      • Question Authority April 16, 2020 (4:23 pm)

        Dog Feces is the number one reason you can’t share parks, don’t bother with (I always pick up after my beloved dog) because we know that is not always true of all dog owners.

      • Thomas Ritchie April 16, 2020 (5:49 pm)

        What about on leash walkers? It’s difficult to walk a dog that is bothered by other dogs, especially if the others are off leash. 

      • SMC April 17, 2020 (8:40 am)

        Yet another complaint about not enough dog parks……don’t get me wrong, I like dogs. However, I can think of nothing worse than stepping in a pile of dog feces, on my property or in particular at a public park. People are lazy, …..and too busy looking at their phone to notice their dog relieving themselves or they “forgot a bag” for clean up or whatever. Then I go to the park, and guess what?  Dog crap all over my shoes.  No thanks friend!Furthermore, despite how well we think our dogs are trained let’s not forget that inside every one  of our “best friends” is the remnants of a wild animal that can be just that at any point. Wild. I’ve seen very”sweet”’dogs get pretty snarky out of the blue, and with children around.  So the thought of dogs running around Hiawatha makes me cringe, even during special hours  If a dog park is what your looking for go to Westcrest, Luther Burbank on Mercer island, Woodland Park, Magnuson Park….how bad do you want it?  Otherwise for the safety of our dogs and neighbors, and for reasons of common sanitation (dog feces), keep dogs on a leash while outside personal property unless at a designated dog park and clean up afterwards.   Thanks for being considerate.

      • NWE April 17, 2020 (1:08 pm)

        I like your idea a lot. I think most of the time dogs and humans get along just fine in shared spaces. But, I think when rules are ignored people get grumpy. (Even if nothing bad has actually happened). I’m a dog owner, and I’ll admit I take my pup out in the early hours in order to avoid negative interactions with people.

        An additional point is that people with dogs also want to spend time in parks. I’m more apt to enjoy the park with her than I am alone. So, the idea that we could figure out a way to share the space makes a lot of sense to me. I’d happily go early in the morning, and I’ve noticed most families aren’t out and about until mid to late morning anyway.

      • Ajax April 17, 2020 (6:55 pm)

        Hiawatha is already basically an off leash dog park late in the evening.  I used to walk my (leashed) dogs and we’d make a California/Lander/Walnut loop and I had to change the route because often the “well-trained” off leash dogs would be too interested in my dogs, even though we were on the sidewalk.  As another commenter mentioned, people who let their dogs run off leash tend to think they are perfectly under control, but they’re not.  I’ve been knocked down twice by voice-command trained dogs who completely ignored their owner and went after a dog I was walking.  Entitled people ruin it for everyone, whether it’s ignoring the stay home order or the leash laws. 

  • Alki April 16, 2020 (2:16 pm)

    I think it’s a good reminder.  I like it.

  • flimflam April 16, 2020 (3:18 pm)

    yes, we’ve been (mostly) doing a good job, lets keep it up!

  • Kathy April 16, 2020 (3:49 pm)

    Our public health officials are saying cover your face if you are out in public. There is at maximum 10% compliance with this in the Alki neighborhood. How about some signs asking people to cover their face? This guidance is in addition to staying at least 6 feet away. Just do it and don’t try to second guess your public health officials. Thank you.

    • Wes C. Addle April 16, 2020 (4:01 pm)

      This won’t happen until it’s a requirement.

    • oakley34 April 16, 2020 (6:18 pm)

       the guidance is to cover when in public places like stores, transit, or crowded walks where 6ft is not possible…not just ‘when you are out in public’

    • B.W. April 17, 2020 (12:13 pm)

      I’m not wearing a mask when I go running.  That’s enough social distancing on it’s own. And this virus doesn’t just sit in the air waiting for me to catch it. So let’s stop with the fear mongering.

    • Sometimes a runner April 17, 2020 (1:13 pm)

      Also, not everyone has a mask. I know some people have fabric and can sew, but I don’t have a mask. Up until very recently we were all told to leave the masks for emergency personnel.  So, before we shame folks. Let’s recall that not everyone has something appropriate. 

  • John April 16, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    Visit the less crowded parks?! so essentially telling people to go cram into the small parks that people in neighborhoods who are social distancing go to causing further Park crowding problems

  • TJ April 16, 2020 (4:03 pm)

    Yawn. Does Inslee want us to ask if we can go outside to play yet? Put the signs away on May 4th. People are getting weary of government telling us what we can do and where. The “science and personal liberties will meet soon. Don’t like it don’t go out, but this can’t go on kuch linger

    • Yawn April 16, 2020 (4:31 pm)

      Yawn indeed. A lot of people are tired of entitled people that don’t want to follow simple requests for the good of public health and safety. The “science folks” like Dr. Fauci. CDC, Trumps surgeon general and others all say it’s best to social distance, mask up and limit interactions, but interesting you think you know better TJ. 

      • Alki April 16, 2020 (9:29 pm)

        I didn’t hear that he said he knew better I was reading that he’s tired of staying inside for the greater good those are two different things.

    • flimflam April 16, 2020 (5:26 pm)

      what is your small business again? i could use your expertise and wisdom.

  • Xana La Fuente April 16, 2020 (4:04 pm)

    Hello Seattle I am sorry that we are all going through this but I have gone through you know what and back to live on Alki I suffer in silence in a abusive relationship that my friends can’t figure out why I stay in because I can’t be away from Alki Beach it’s the only place I feel like I can breathe- not to mention I just had foot surgery and I actually was going to use my money that I was saving up from paid leave to move until the virus hit- now I can’t move… so those of you that don’t live there just know that you’re literally putting my life in danger if you make it where I can’t walk across the street to get away from my apartment… so if you don’t live on Alki find another Park there’s tons of them and maybe people should just have to show their license and prove that they live across the street! 

    • Kristina April 16, 2020 (5:38 pm)

      That is a terrible situation. Please leave your partner: you deserve so much more! Domestic violence is not okay under any circumstances. are some of the local resources available to get support. I hope you reach out and get the support you need and deserve. I wish you safety and healing.

  • Mb April 16, 2020 (4:15 pm)

    What if everyone has already gotten it except 4 retirees?

    • KM April 16, 2020 (6:27 pm)

      …and TJ.

      • NotTJ April 16, 2020 (9:01 pm)


  • Michael Mahanay April 16, 2020 (4:29 pm)

    The idea is stay near your home. Alki was way too crowded today. It looked like a Florida beach. Absolutely no regard for social distancing today. It is sad that some folks don’t seem concerned at all. 

    • flimflam April 16, 2020 (5:29 pm)

      …and that will lead to parks being closed. i get it – its beautiful out, but the lack of consideration for the situation will force the hand of the state. 

  • TJ April 16, 2020 (5:12 pm)

    Then don’t go to the beach and go somewhere else where there aren’t many people. Protect yourselves. Being out in the sun (which I haven’t been to the beach or a park during this btw) is better for the mind and body than sheltering in place. I’m not big on the government telling us what we have to do while severly damaging the economy. 

  • Anne April 16, 2020 (5:32 pm)

    The longer folks don’t respect distancing-don’t cover faces-around others & in grocery stores-the longer this goes on. Until there is a vaccine those are our only protections. Amazing to me how many in grocery stores still aren’t wearing a mask-especially since it’s not as easy to keep 6’ apart.How many times in our lives are we called on to do something that could save a life-our own or someone else’s?

    • KM April 16, 2020 (6:29 pm)

      How many times in our lives are we called on to do something that could save a life-our own or someone else’s?” A lot?

      • Anne April 16, 2020 (9:54 pm)

        Really -don’t think so-most of us go through life & are never called on to step up-by doing something so minor that can have such an impact. 

    • Mb April 16, 2020 (9:54 pm)

      Vaccine? What about your ,immune system if it didn’t work millions would be 6 feet deep not apart, 7 billion in the world , 320 mil in U.S. start using fractions people….. Denominator…… , Nominator…… Don’t smoke, exercise, don’t get old, feeble then shop for bird seed

      • CAM April 16, 2020 (10:55 pm)

        Have we found the fountain of youth and I didn’t hear about it? This is the best news I’ve gotten all year! Also, just any FYI, healthy people die from Covid-19, healthy people give Covid-19 to people with weaker immune systems, healthy people are the problem not the solution. We all need to assume that we are giving it to everyone else and that they could give it to their their parents or toddlers. As for a vaccine, I’ve been hopeful about the serology test that UW is working on to see if that will enable some greater movement for people. My concern is that I have yet to see anything that says that people who are immune can’t be carriers still. I think that’s being assumed but, like everything else, how would they know. 

  • Mnw April 16, 2020 (6:04 pm)

    Signs up at Lincoln Park as well…

  • Beach Teach April 16, 2020 (6:35 pm)

    CLOSE the parks!…. people are TOO entitled, and feel they can ignore science, and the rules in general… YOU owe society…. NOT the other way around.

  • Jethro Marx April 16, 2020 (7:44 pm)

    Y’all make some compelling arguments for the continually outraged and wacky among us; most of them translate as, “me me me, me me, me me.” For the roughly 99% of us who are semi-reasonable, we’ll continue to keep our dogs on leash yet not whine about those who don’t, wear a mask if we like but not insist those who don’t are threatening our lives, and mostly stay close to home but not be bitchy about wanting to keep “outsiders” out of our neighborhood parks. How many of you have tipped a canoe as you rise to insist others sit?

    • A Fan April 16, 2020 (8:32 pm)

      Jethro, I appreciate your comments.  You and Jort are my favorite commenters in the sea of complaints and competition of who has the worst commute.  You and Jort are the most level headed people on the comments.  I think Jort might not be popular because people like to complain, and Jort give some realness and you call out the complainers.  I appreciate that, and I would invite you and Jort to a bbq at my place some day.  But I don’t own a bbq, and I don’t own patio furniture.

      • Jethro Marx April 16, 2020 (8:54 pm)

        Aw, thanks fan; I love barbecue. I bet Jort has a sweet cargo bike and could bring some chairs. 

    • Catch up April 16, 2020 (10:40 pm)

      ‘Wear a mask if we like to but not insist others are threatening our lives if they don’t’

      Wearing a mask right now (and when it’s the advice of experts and leaders) has nothing to do with wearing one because you ‘like to.’ It’s choosing to be socially responsible during a deadly pandemic, it’s following recommendations and choosing to do something you don’t want to do but do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do, to try to help save lives.

      This is the reality, it’s not unreasonable for people to be concerned about this and upset when others are not doing their part in this health crisis.

      Please be more respectful of others lives, and become better informed. If you aren’t concerned, you haven’t been paying enough attention.

      • Jethro Marx April 16, 2020 (11:48 pm)

        Masks are recommended because they are a visual cue; that is, they impact behavior, not because they are proven to protect you or others from sucking up and spewing out virus. Unless you’re looking at anecdotal studies or talking about medical-grade masks, in which case they are generally still reserved for healthcare settings, although we are not sure there is still a shortage. We do know that wearing a mask tends to increase touching of one’s face, and we also know that common cloth masks and the many adorable homemade configurations act on vapor in roughly the same way a chainlink fence does to a sprinkler.  I have a great deal of respect for the mob, and how short a memory they have, and how easily our allegiance shifts. In the AIDS walk, Kramer is roughed up because he won’t wear the ribbon; in late 2001, public figures are skewered unless they bear the flag pin on their lapel; just the other day an old lady shook her literal fist at my family as she insisted even we must keep six feet between us as we sat on a blanket. (And try THAT with a one-year-old!) 

        • Catch up April 17, 2020 (8:33 am)

          Like I said, you should be more concerned and better informed by now.

          All of the points you’re trying to make about non medical grade masks not being effective ‘enough’ or there not being conclusive evidence regarding just how effective they are, is really weak. The CDC and medical experts are strongly advising people do this because there is evidence and they believe that it will help in preventing the spread. It is not just a ‘visual queue.’ Though it is a visual queue of who is informed and acting responsibly.

          I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ll listen to those with expertise over Jethro here regarding what may help during the pandemic. And I’m willing to wear a face covering that is not as effective as a medical mask if it’s all I have, because it does help prevent some droplets from being released around me, and may keep others safe.

          Why would you choose not to do something simple that MAY help save others in your community from dying?  

          You seem too removed from this situation. Please take some time to watch more news, look up coronavirus stories from doctors. Your perspective is way too cavalier.

  • Marie April 16, 2020 (8:33 pm)

    A little irony to see the vw van with bikes mounted, in the background of the photo in this piece. Maybe those folks live at alki but just in case they don’t:the idea is to stay in your neighborhood to get your exercise and fresh air.

  • ScubaFrog April 17, 2020 (2:34 am)

    I guess I do have to wonder about the congregants on Alki in the past month.  Not the responsible social-distancers, walkers/joggers are great.   The ones who congregate (not family) way too closely, the bouncy cars, race cars, speeding motorcycles are kinda sketchy re coronavirus.  To each her own, but we’re in a pandemic.  You don’t wear a mask, ok – it’s up to you, no judgment.  10 of your buddies get really close, then go off to different parts of WS, that could be a problem.  Because you’re young enough to likely be asymptomatic if you have COVID19, but the cashier, your grandma, maybe not if you were to infect.  And you’re not smart enough to realize that if you’re dumb enough to congregate.  So… yeah.  Maybe closing parks would be a great idea.  BBQ’s?  Not a great idea.  Surveilling parks?  Sketchy.  Just close them, it’s a pandemic.

  • off my chest April 17, 2020 (2:42 pm)

    There is no guarantee that we will every get to a place where the infection rate is 0 and if we do are we naive enough to believe we outsmarted mother nature and eradicated it by staying home or closing parks? The doctors, health professionals and data modelers are very smart people and at best have opinions about how we should do this based on past data or theory but, they are human and by default all of these opinions or theories are flawed in someway. You can’t outsmart mother nature, the flu vaccine isn’t 100%.

    This is only how I think about this, I don’t expect others to agree (I am not the most popular in my household these days for this ideology) however I will not sit inside and stop living my life to wait to see what happens. I have lost my job (first time I have lost a job in 25 yrs of employment) and am using my savings to feed my family and pay bills for now all without knowing what tomorrow brings as there is no guarantee this will every end. I won’t go broke and lose everything I worked for while cowering inside my house. I decide to live for today.

    All I ask is that people respect the decisions of others even if those decisions don’t benefit you/greater good. If there are lots of people walking at a park near your house and you don’t feel safe then don’t walk at that park. If friends that got too close to me while I was out and get sick they too made that decision not just me. I don’t visit my elderly family in order to keep them safe. Life is made up of risk/reward decisions and each of us gets to make them. I believe that you should protect yourself and make decisions that are beneficial to you and if the side effect of those decisions also benefit others then great. If you chose to put others well being above your own I respect that but don’t force that ideology on me.

    I didn’t write this to debate or argue my point. I wrote this because I wanted to get it off my chest and say it “out loud”. 

    • Not first to the park April 17, 2020 (4:55 pm)

      This is the most selfish nonsense I’ve ever heard. No one will change your mind. That’s an impossible task. But you should know you are the problem. 

      • Faunterloy Fairy April 17, 2020 (6:23 pm)

        @Not First To The Park WOW! You have it backwards. You are the one that has posted the most selfish nonsense that has ever been heard. You want everyone to think like you and act like you based on how you are choosing to live your life. I fully support Off My Chest to live his/her life the way he/she choses. He/she isn’t asking anything from you and clearly, from what he/she wrote, isn’t putting anyone else at risk. Try and spin it any way you want, it appears he/she is taking it seriously, but also has a clear understanding that it is all about personal responsibility.  If you see someone without a mask that you don’t want to be around…walk away! I will repeat OMC’s rational and very UNSELFISH words “make decisions that are beneficial to you.” 

        • Catch up April 17, 2020 (7:48 pm)

          It is not all about personal responsibility…

          Experts and leaders are advising us to take some social responsibility to help mitigate the spread and impact of this virus.

    • Catch up April 17, 2020 (5:12 pm)

      I understand you’re feeling frustration with how different and challenging life is right now.  We’re all feeling it.  You are not the only one feeling cooped up.  You are not the only one out of work because of this, and concerned about the future.

      There seem to be some gaps in your understanding that you might want to you try and fill.  You might feel better about having to do your part with the precautions and mitigation strategies, if you understand the situation better. 

      For one example, your suggestion that people who are concerned just ‘stay home’ all the time to avoid catching it, isn’t informed.  Everyone needs to be able to leave their home on some level to do essential things out in the world. If there is a population of people (let’s call them group B) who lack concern about the virus and they don’t take measures to help mitigate the spread, more people will be carrying the virus (group B) and infecting others who ARE taking all the measures (group A), just because maybe they need to go to the grocery store once a week, and come into contact with these other people.  What this means, is that more people (both group A and B) will die because of group B.

      Those who may be more vulnerable to the virus need to be able to return to some normalcy too at some point.  They can’t be forced to stay home and avoid everyone and going to the grocery store forever.  So what that means, is that as a community, we will all need to adjust to taking precautions when we go out in public for awhile, and help one another get through this, as safely as we can.  This is expected to be a situation we’re dealing with for months, maybe into the start of the new year, but not forever.  The more people cooperate with what is being advised, the sooner we can get through this, and the better outcome we will have.  

      None of us want to feel restricted, or wear masks, or to be out of work, etc.  Please do your part.  This isn’t a situation where one can simple choose to do what they want to do, when the impact may be costing other peoples lives. Your choices can have an impact on the community at large. Don’t be surprised if some of these mitigation strategies, like wearing a mask, are soon required, rather than simply advised.

      This virus isn’t just like the flu.  It’s causing some people severe respiratory distress and people are dying from suffocating, and not just people who are in the more obviously vulnerable population.  Younger people who were seemingly healthy, or of average health, have succumbed rather quickly from this virus too.

      The current measures being taken aren’t with the expectation that the virus is going to be eradicated, any time soon.  It’s with the goal of slowing the transmission, reducing the overall death toll, making sure our hospitals aren’t completely overwhelmed, and it buys us more time for things like research, testing, management and treatment strategies, and creating a vaccine. So that in the long run, fewer people die from this virus, and we can get a handle on it with a vaccine once available.

      If any of you are feeling annoyed or frustrated with having to participate in the precautions being asked of us, I urge you to spend more time watching/reading the news, and become more informed.  I am someone who generally prefers to tune out the news and live my life, but at a time like this, we all need to be following this situation and be on the same page.

      I know you aren’t looking to argue.  However, the position that you are sharing is socially irresponsible, and it needs to be countered, at a time like this.

      Please stay well everyone. We can get through this one day at a time, and soon enough we’ll be on the other side.

    • gooseface April 17, 2020 (5:27 pm)

      Agree, Off My Chest!

    • Ajax April 17, 2020 (7:49 pm)

      “All I ask is that people respect the decisions of others even if those decisions don’t benefit you/greater good.”Sure!  The same way I respect the decisions of junkies who break into my car or house to support their habit, even if it doesn’t benefit me/greater good.

      • Fauntleroy Fairy April 17, 2020 (10:28 pm)

        @Ajax   Not even close to being the same. Not. Even. Close.

  • Chuck April 18, 2020 (10:12 pm)

    How is this not victim shaming? Shame on YOU Seattle Parks and Rec, for bullying grown-ass healthy adults for making the decision to actually support their God-given immune system with fresh air, Vitamin D and Earthing to clear both mind, body and spirit. I found your suggestion for people to “enjoy their own backyard” particularly off-putting. This is a community that includes many condo/apartment dwellers who need fresh air and access to open places the same as anyone lucky enough to own a yard! All very smart adults who certainly know what “six feet” looks like and capable of protecting themselves and each other.  My constitutionally protected rights do not end where your fear begins. Do better, KCP&R. This surveillance/shaming/threats is approaching a tyrannical level.  

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