Part of Alki Playground suddenly closed

(Photo sent by Ashley)

Thanks to everyone who emailed after discovering fencing had gone up around the southwest part of the Alki playground on the north side of Alki Elementary. It’s a Seattle Parks site, so we inquired this morning and just got replies saying this sign would be posted this afternoon, explaining the play area was closed “after a recent play area safety check” and adding, “We are working with Seattle Public Schools to address the future of this site.” However, the replies we received did not elaborate on what safety issue was discovered, so we’re asking that on followup. Seattle Parks has closed several play structures in recent years because of various safety concerns; one of them, Lincoln Park’s south play area, is still closed after five years.

P.S. One issue in the play area’s future obviously will be the Alki Elementary rebuild, scheduled to start construction in about a year.

18 Replies to "Part of Alki Playground suddenly closed"

  • Neighbor August 5, 2022 (2:49 pm)

    The Lincoln Park play field closure is so long that there are kids who have now spent the majority of their playground-years without being able to use it.  Why does the city have such a hard time maintaining these?

  • Jay August 5, 2022 (3:10 pm)

    Five years to replace broken playground equipment, and the work hasn’t even started yet. That’s pretty bad.

  • Kyle August 5, 2022 (3:17 pm)

    Any update on Lincoln Park or Westcrest? Parks keeps closing West Seattle playgrounds faster than they reopen them.

  • Ly August 5, 2022 (3:39 pm)

    A little kid fell off the monkey bars and broke her arm earlier this week. Wondering if this triggered the check. 

    • Shufflerunner August 5, 2022 (8:06 pm)

      The fence was up the next day so I’m guessing that’s it. Hopefully it’s fixed for the upcoming school year. 

      • flimflam August 6, 2022 (7:14 am)

        huh. what sort of safety checks/measures would prevent a kid from falling  off monkey bars?

        • MG August 6, 2022 (8:53 pm)

          Depends. If a monkey bar broke or twisted unexpectedly, that is an obvious safety issue that can be addressed. Also possible they need to update the play surface to replenish wood chips or repair that kind of squishy surface some playground have (I can’t remember what the surface is here) so when kids inevitably fall, they land a little softer. Basic stuff. (Also, if course, sometimes kids are just going to fall off things and break arms, no matter what they land on.)

    • Lilyanna August 6, 2022 (12:06 pm)

      As someone who used to go there, once a kid was playing tag and split open his head on the monkey bars and they didn’t shut the playground down, all they did was take the kid to the ER, and took some wood chips out. So who knows?

  • Mj August 5, 2022 (5:55 pm)

    It’s time some heads roll at the Seattle Parks Department, repair and maintenance of playground equipment needs to be a priority.  Kids grow up fast!

    • Lagartija Nick August 6, 2022 (8:53 am)

      What method should we employ, the guillotine or the executioner’s axe? 

      • Elton August 6, 2022 (1:34 pm)

        Who needs a guillotine when you can have them play on the unsafe playgrounds instead kidding of course – I’m also disappointed but do not wish anyone physical harm

  • carpoolkitty August 5, 2022 (6:30 pm)

    My son goes to Alki.  He told me the ‘big toy’ is going to break, and said when there are a bunch of kids it feels like it is swaying and makes popping sounds.  I went to have a look at it and the brackets are definitely showing signs of corrosion and there are a number of them that are cracked.

  • alkimom August 5, 2022 (6:32 pm)

    The big toy is not a sound structure. My son went to Alki and told me it was going to fall soon and that it makes cracking noises and sways when a lot of kids are on it.  I took a look at it right before school got out and noticed the brackets are corroded and some have already cracked. 

  • Seaview parent August 5, 2022 (9:11 pm)

    Honestly, can we just organize a community work party for this and the Lincoln Park playground?I’m sure we could knock both installations out in two weekends. 

  • Guy August 5, 2022 (10:12 pm)

    The neighborhood appreciates it!

  • Will-o-Wisp August 6, 2022 (8:42 am)

    The Alki school play area was funded by locals and a neighborhood grant.  The signs at the site show who supported and paid for the area.  This was in the early 1990s.  The Alki elementary PTA spearheaded the effort.   Possibly someone could try this method of fixing these playgrounds.

  • Dee Bee August 6, 2022 (1:09 pm)

    The highland park elementary school next to the spray park, has never had a playground. Those kids watched one playground get removed and a bran new play structures and spray park be constructed- from their black asphalt play area.
    Theres a small kindergarten play area but for the past 8 years, the Highland park kids got basketballs and old jump ropes. People should pay attention to all the underserved kids- not just the ones who live by the beach.

  • WS Teacher August 12, 2022 (10:20 pm)

    I was told that they are going to tear down the structure. I worked for the parks department years ago and typically if an item was broken they would remove it and not replace it. I am assuming that the parks dept doesn’t have funds to tear structures down if it’s been closed for years.. The big toy bridge is made to sway so creaking makes sense.  The structure is almost 30 years old and corrosion is to be expected. I wonder what parts are not safe. I have never heard any students mention it not feeling safe on it. I hope something is done because as is with the fence, it is not feasible to be used for recess. 

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