FOLLOWUP: Solstice Park pickleball turnabout

Last month, thanks to a reader tip, we reported on Seattle Parks‘ plan to add pickleball stripes to three of Solstice Park‘s six tennis courts as part of resurfacing work. That didn’t go over well with tennis players. Now, Parks has changed its mind, sending this update late today (thanks to the readers who forwarded it to us):

We greatly appreciate the robust feedback received about dual striping at the Solstice Park tennis courts.

The department is pleased to announce the creation of a dedicated pickleball court at Lincoln Park, keeping the Solstice Park tennis courts intact as a dedicated tennis site with no dual striping.

In the department’s 2021-2022 Outdoor Pickleball plan, Lincoln Park had been considered for a dedicated pickleball site, but lacked sufficient funding, opening the dual-stripe proposal at Solstice. However, thanks to recent funding allocations, SPR can now create a dedicated pickleball court at Lincoln without alterations to the Solstice courts, which will allow opportunities for tennis and pickleball to occur at their respective sites.

We will make every effort to post updated information about the Lincoln Park pickleball project on this project page so that you may follow the project’s progress.

There’s nothing there yet, though, and no details of a specific location – we’ll ask Parks about that tomorrow.

41 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Solstice Park pickleball turnabout"

  • Coco G. September 14, 2023 (10:21 pm)

    That’s great! Way to go tennis community! 

    • Mike S September 16, 2023 (6:05 am)

      I agree that Lincoln Park does not need pickleball courts, especially because there are little used, lighted courts across the street. I think the main reason the striping project at Solstice was changed to Lincoln Park, is because someone posted a fake notice at the park on fake City of Seattle letterhead that encouraged people to call/email their local leaders about their opinion on the upcoming project. They posted this at Solstice Park, a park where only tennis is played. Can you imagine the one sided response they must’ve received? This is the Seattle tennis community for you, playing dirty to keep their precious courts all to themselves. God forbid someone actually use them. I drive by there all the time after dark and typically see no one on the courts. If a person wanted to play pickleball after work in the fall they would have to drive to Rainer Beach. Thanks Seattle tennis community! 

      • Olivia September 16, 2023 (1:02 pm)

        What about Delridge or Walt Hundley courts? That’s where I get my pickleball in around West Seattle, no need to go to Rainier Beach!

        • Gordon Sata September 30, 2023 (9:22 am)

          Granted there are sites in West Seattle where there are multiple nets for open play inviting the entire community to play and bringing in new players as well. But where are large sites with excellent new court surfaces WITH LIGHTS? That is why they would go to Rainier Beach. Alki is a very urban site which does have two nets and lights, but close to many homes as well and the court surfaces are very sub-par.

  • Sean September 15, 2023 (1:22 am)

    I wonder what project will get completed first, pickleball courts or the south end (of Lincoln Park) playground? 

  • Corey September 15, 2023 (6:23 am)

    Great news, a win for all!

  • Amy G September 15, 2023 (6:56 am)

    Can’t agree more that dedicated Pickleball courts is the answer, with proper fencing and permanent nets. Dual-lined courts sounds like a great idea but it’s not great for both Pickleball and Tennis players. With dedicated courts, we can fit 6-8 Pickleball courts in the same space for 2 tennis courts. Maximizing space and utilization of public courts. For Lincoln Park, WE NEED LIGHTS. How long will it take SPR to plan/design/build the courts?  Let’s not spend a year for another study. Get on it. 

  • A (distant) neighbor September 15, 2023 (7:17 am)

    I live a half mile above the tennis (now pickleball) courts at Whales Tail Park, and can still hear the incessant plock-plock-plock of pickleball play throughout the day and evening. What a nuisance. I sure hope this is a passing fad.

    • Frog September 15, 2023 (1:39 pm)

      I think there is a pea under your mattress.  I don’t play either sport, and have no stake in this conflict, but a couple of times I have heard pickle ball players fighting among themselves over court space at Walt Hundley.  General impression:  these aren’t people you want to mess with.

  • Denise September 15, 2023 (10:04 am)

    NO! Building a pickle ball court in Lincoln Park, with the enormous impact that would have on the peace  and beauty of the park, not to mention wildlife habitat, is a terrible idea. The undeveloped parts of the park should be left to nature (what little we have left), so that people and wildlife can continue to enjoy them on into the future. Any building that happens should go on already developed land. No building in Lincoln Park!

    • ConcernedCitizen12 September 15, 2023 (10:49 am)

      Denise, what impact(s) would a dedicated pickle ball court have on the wildlife?

      • Brian September 15, 2023 (11:17 am)

        Unless the court magically floats, you have to take away habitat space to install it. 

        • ConcernedCitizen12 September 15, 2023 (11:30 am)

          Brian, I don’t play pickle ball so I could be wrong but I would assume roughly 30’ by 80’ would satisfy the requirements needed for the space. There is a massive, vacant playground already in the south end that we could leverage. That seems like a happy compromise, do you agree? 

          • Trollsnotplaygrounds September 15, 2023 (1:26 pm)

            I like what you’re cooking here, but what if we simply did neither and put another troll sculpture there instead. we could shanghai that new ballard one. west seattle for the win!

        • Amy G September 15, 2023 (8:34 pm)

          There are 2 abandoned tennis courts at Lincoln Park. It’s being used for park equipment storage. SPR is not taking away any green space for new Pickleball courts. 

        • Gordon Sata September 30, 2023 (9:27 am)

          The site is an abandoned Tennis court, currently used by the Park department for long-term trash storage.  So it is already a well-established man-made site and blight. 

      • Bob September 15, 2023 (11:19 am)

        +1, Concerned Citizen. Sad to see the commenters here being so non-inclusive towards people with different hobbies. I guess that’s west Seattle these days

        • Duwamesque September 15, 2023 (12:09 pm)

          It is pretty amusing to see how opinionated people are about pickle ball courts lol. But then you know what they say about tennis players… Love means nothing to them.

          • Marshall_JAC September 15, 2023 (5:26 pm)

            Thanks for making me chuckle!

        • Denise September 15, 2023 (12:22 pm)

          How about “inclusivity” for people and wildlife who depend on nature? It’s fine to take away from them? Enough has already been used up—we need to preserve what’s left. 

          • April September 17, 2023 (5:51 pm)

            I agree Denise. West Seattle is getting overcrowded with to much “stuff” trying to be crammed in over here with lack of respect to our wildlife and nature. We need more trees, not pickle ball. 

    • Plett September 15, 2023 (11:50 am)

      I agree with you Denise, not IN Lincoln Park… AND I love that folks are happily playing pickleball

  • Jack Kramer September 15, 2023 (12:42 pm)

    It’s hard to imagine where in Lincoln Park Parks  has decided to develop a paved pickle ball  court.  
    The location of the original Lincoln Park tennis course?    
    Parking woes along Fauntleroy and the two Park lots will be compromised, land will be cleared and neighbors will rightfully be ‘concerned’ over the notorious racket of this trending sport.

  • Wolf September 15, 2023 (1:11 pm)

    There’s pickleball courts at Myrtle and 34th, with an active community of players. Why mess up Lincoln Park with more asphalt? I’m solidly against this. 

  • Sarah September 15, 2023 (2:06 pm)

    I’m all for leaving nature natural, but let’s not pretend LP is pristine. One spot that comes to my mind is the defunct horseshoe-throwing area just west of the south baseball field, NW of the south restroom.  

    • ConcernedCitizen12 September 15, 2023 (2:18 pm)

      Sarah, what a terrific idea! That horseshoe area is seldom used and has to be more than large enough to satisfy the size requirements. Lincoln Park is not a nature preserve, it is a public park in the 15th most populated metro area in the US. Parks are meant to be inclusive areas for the citizens (no matter what their socioeconomic status is). We can have bald eagles eating fish out of the Puget Sound AND have bike trails, playgrounds, wading pools, SALTWATER POOLS, tennis courts, (multiple) baseball fields, and oh yes, those dastardly pickle-ball players with that incessant ping of a plastic wiffle ball (THE HORROR) – these are not mutually exclusive things! It’s sad that coming out of a pandemic where folks across the globe are lonelier and crave human interaction and community more than ever, folks on this comment section are against a fun, healthy way to move your body and socialize after a long day of promoting shareholder value for our corporate overlords. Pickle-ball and ALL recreation that get people together and away from our screens are the types of activities we as a SOCIETY should be promoting in our public parks – recreation for all!

      • Bob September 15, 2023 (4:50 pm)

        Someone needs to put this text on a coffee mug for sale asap. Couldn’t agree more. 

      • Denise September 15, 2023 (5:38 pm)

        I think it’s sad that coming out of a pandemic—when tons of people flocked to the parks BECAUSE of the nature, that people still try to put a spin of “inclusive” while they are promoting the exact opposite. We all already share the natural areas in the park. It’s open to all, and we all have the same rights to use it. But because it’s nature, people feel it’s up for grabs to take away from the general public and give it over to a small group for their own special use. That’s not sharing, that’s taking. I love pickle ball and would support courts built almost anywhere—but not in a natural area park. No way.

        • Barb September 15, 2023 (9:01 pm)

          Well said! There are different kinds of Seattle Parks. Lincoln Park is a natural area where people can relax and find connection with our natural world in peace and quiet. I am not against any sport. I am for preserving what little natural areas we still have left in Seattle for everyone’s health. 

        • Bob September 16, 2023 (2:43 pm)

          I certainly understand your point of things in terms of nature being so close as opposed to having to drive or take transportation to one of our state or national parks, however, it feels disingenuous to strongly oppose a new activity attracting different people to a park… because of the same reason – they would have an activity they enjoy nearer to them.

          I also have never seen a causal analysis proving that people flocked to parks during the pandemic due to nature, rather than due to the ability to be outside again and parks providing social distancing opportunities – or potentially a number of other factors. Causal analyses are really hard! It’s a problem still trying to be solved by many organizations. Maybe one day they’ll be a study indicating one way or the other but until then I think we will have to agree to disagree on, I would imagine, many matters. Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you on the courts some day.

          • Denise September 23, 2023 (3:51 pm)

            It’s not disingenuous! Nor is it about opposing different people or opposing a new activity. It IS about displacing and/or impacting CURRENT activity and the many people and wildlife who currently use the space. Nature cannot pick up and move. And once we lose it, it’s gone. And we don’t need a study to show how big the increase has been since the pandemic. Just ask anyone who goes to Lincoln everyday for the last two or three decades. There are a lot of us. We can tell you.

    • Denise September 15, 2023 (4:01 pm)

      No one ever said it’s pristine. Nowhere on the planet is anymore. All the more reason to keep the little fragments we have left. As for the horseshoe area, not only is it near some important raptor nesting spots, but in fact Parks has said repeatedly that the horseshoes aren’t going anywhere. 

      • heartless September 15, 2023 (7:26 pm)

        Can’t raptors just nest not in a major city? 

  • Donna September 15, 2023 (5:44 pm)

    There are old tennis courts near the north end of the park that are currently used to store heavy equipment. Perhaps Parks plans to refurbish those. That could be a good solution, with no net loss of permeable surface.

    • Amy G September 15, 2023 (8:37 pm)

      Yes. That is the SPR plan to revive the abandoned tennis courts. 

    • Denise September 15, 2023 (9:29 pm)

      Except the noise—which is much more intense than tennis is— and the inevitable lights and constant activity, would disturb the significant nesting areas in the adjacent tree groves. The area literally borders environmental critical areas, and these are going to become even more critical in the future as habitat diminishes. Plus it would be super annoying to the many people who currently use the adjacent meadow areas for quiet, peaceful enjoyment of nature. Lincoln Park just isn’t a good choice for another sports court to be built. It’s already been developed enough for sports, maintenance yards, Parks offices, etc. It’s enough. 

  • BrianD September 18, 2023 (3:23 am)

    I wonder what the outcry was like when they bulldozed those huge spaces back in the day to create Baseball Fields.  I know, that’s different…

  • CD September 18, 2023 (3:25 pm)

    Such a shame that the drunk guy on Bainbridge Island grabbed a whiffle ball from his garage instead of something less noisy when making up a sport. 🤦‍♂️ 

  • Alki guy September 18, 2023 (4:22 pm)

    Pickle ball is the fastest growing sport in the nation. I don’t play but I see a ton of new players all over west seattle and think it’s great. It’s easier to play than tennis and there’s room for both sports in west seattle. I do agree that the tennis players courts need a dedicated few spots though. As far as it being noisy are you kidding me with all the cars driving all over West Seattle with no mufflers and backfiring and your worried about basically the sound of a ping pong ball game 😂 

    • letsthinkaboutthis September 30, 2023 (11:00 am)

      Time and place, Alki Guy. I don’t want to hear an 80 decibel ping pong game while I’m walking through one of the most beautiful, natural, picturesque parks in the world. Also, have you tried parking on sunny/dry days? It’s really hard already. Pickleball folks will jam those lots preventing folks who just need a nature walk after a hard day at work or a place to take their kids to run around and enjoy nature. Indoor community centers are and have been a better fit for pickleball for some time now. 

  • alice September 30, 2023 (10:49 am)

    I love Lincoln Park and pickleball but not together. I will be writing a letter to the parks department to ask them to change their mind. If the ‘robust’ response of the tennis folks got them to change their mind about Solstice Park, maybe the ‘robust’ response of folks of folks against pickleball in Lincoln Park will change their mind again.  Here is the number and email address to complain: (206) 684-4075 Help the birds that don’t need those bright lights and humans that don’t need that incessant pickleball noise as they enjoy their park. I’ll also say, that I am avid pickleball player — the indoor community centers work fine for me.

Sorry, comment time is over.