FOLLOWUP: What led to play-structure closure at Alki Playground

(Texted photo)

Last week, signage and caution tape went up around a play structure at Alki Playground, one day after readers told us the structure had been fenced off without explanation. When we inquired with Seattle Parks , they said only that the closure followed a “recent play-area safety check.” On followup, they’ve offered a bit more of an explanation:

The safety inspection revealed a major structural issue with the wood decking. This play structure is long overdue for replacement. We plan to remove the wooden structure prior to this school year. We are working with Seattle Public Schools on a replacement plan.

The playground is a Seattle Parks facility but used by students at adjacent Alki Elementary, which is scheduled close in one year for a reconstruction project.

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: What led to play-structure closure at Alki Playground"

  • Mj August 10, 2022 (5:30 pm)

    Instead of spending time planning why not simply replace the wood deck that you would think could be done before school starts?

    • Kj August 10, 2022 (7:06 pm)

      So much bureaucracy. 

    • Dawson August 11, 2022 (9:30 am)

      Because Alki has rules. Kids can’t run on the asphalt because they might fall down and get hurt. They moved to running around on and by the play structure. Couldn’t do that because someone might get knocked over. Finally the school just banned tag altogether. I wish I was making this up, but had kids attend there and these were the arbitrary rules made on the fly.

      • RS August 11, 2022 (5:14 pm)

        Oh goodness. Next thing you know they’ll be replacing the play structures with puzzles and coloring books in an effort to prevent injuries. 

  • ACG August 10, 2022 (5:36 pm)

    If the playground structure timeframe at Lincoln Park is any indication, it will be years before it is replaced. 

  • HoneyBun August 10, 2022 (7:17 pm)

    Simply replacing the wooden decking does not necessarily solve the ‘major structural issue’ with the wood decking.

  • Jort August 10, 2022 (7:35 pm)

    Looking forward to our new $73 million play structure’s grand opening in 2044!

  • Morgan August 10, 2022 (8:42 pm)

    Bah. Kids don’t need play structures. In my day I was lucky if I had a stick, or a rock. Imagination can do the rest.wasteful frivolity.

  • Kyle August 10, 2022 (8:58 pm)

    Lincoln Park, Westcrest, now Alki…all closed without proactive replacement…years to actually get it replaced 

  • snowskier August 11, 2022 (8:31 am)

    All study and no action.  How about some proactive maintenance to keep these things in place and safe?  Maybe this would trigger a check of other playgrounds to see what work they need to keep in safe operation……maybe.

    • Jay August 11, 2022 (9:51 am)

      That costs money and the public education lobby efforts don’t claw money out of the general fund like SPOG and other special interest groups do.

    • HoneyBun August 11, 2022 (10:44 am)

      I always suspected that they want to move away from wooden play structures entirely, either because of the way they age, or perhaps something that was used in the wood during the pressure treatment process when the structure components were manufactured. They seem to be following a course of letting them quietly ‘age out’, thus maximizing the use of what is already there, but also loosely planning to upgrade to a superior material/design when other maintenance dictates that it’s the optimal moment from a ROI perspective. This process, if chosen, unfortunately means that no planning begins until the moment (unknown until it happens) the structure becomes ‘unsafe’. Splintery wood is no fun for the little ‘uns that’s for sure.

  • Bill August 11, 2022 (6:20 pm)

    Lincoln park south has been closed for years.   Like many of them.  Each deadline comes and goes without any kind of communication from Shannon Glass at Seattle Parks.   Watch out Alki, you will be without a play structure for five to seven years at the rate Parks is actually getting work done.    Recommend you make a whack-ton of noise now to get their attention and let them know you won’t roll over like the Lincoln Park neighbors. 

    • WSB August 11, 2022 (7:22 pm)

      When I was inquiring about this, Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor mentioned in passing that LP South and Westcrest are still to be built together and are now going out to bid this fall – which is yet another delay from what they said in June, which was that those projects would go to bid “this summer”…

  • Arash R Sarraf August 12, 2022 (1:11 pm)

    Parents I would come together and repair yourselves otherwise you are going to be out of a park for a loooong time. They did this same crap near my house and it’s been almost 1 year and zero repairs/ replacements. This city does not care about children, if they want to close a park than they should have a replacement ready to go.

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