Saturday, June 2, 2012

Change comes to Swingset Park

No untoward incidents reported

Given the outsized negative reaction of certain Madison Parkers to the idea of removing the park fence, we anticipated that the arrival of the take-down crew at Swingset Park last month might have prompted some kind of reaction.  But as it happened, no protesters arrived on scene waving placards reading "Save the Children!" or "Blood will be on Your Hands!" So far as we know (and surely we would have heard) no one threw themselves in front of the construction equipment in order to stop the desecration. With due deliberation, Parks workers calmly removed the fence and carted it away:

Though a new fence has been erected, it's temporary and designed simply to keep the public out of the construction zone. To this point, weeds and blackberry bushes have been eliminated at the site and crushed rock has been installed in front of the rip rap. Plantings, as well as driftwood and rock features, will be added over the next few weeks, with work expected to be completed by the end of the month.

[Lower photo by Trent Jackson.]


  1. This is a wonderful improvement and enhancement to the neighborhood. I am so glad to see the fence and bushes come down so that we can all enjoy the beautiful waterfront.

  2. I walked by this area at the weekend and was so pleased and delighted with the new waterfront view! I have been amazed at the negative reaction to this project, surely this waterfront area will attract more visitors to Madison Park and in turn will be good for the local businesses here. Maybe we'll even see some new commercial investment on 43rd too which would be great.

  3. I'm glad the city has the money to spend on this, instead of less pressing issues like cleaning up the police force so they can actually catch murderers.

  4. People always think that municipal budgeting works like personal budgeting. The comment above and the "we should spend the money we spend on (blank) should be spent on schools."-crowd needs to do some homework.

    Parks money cannot be spent on police officers. Capital money cannnot be spent on personnel, improvement levy money cannot be spent on teacher salaries, etc, etc, etc..

    Every department has a specific budget and every budget has a specific source of funding. The reasons for these separations should be obvious.

    I agree that catching murderers should be a high priority for the Police Department, but not for the Parks Department. As with education, the reason that meaningful progress cannot be made is that the unions are running the show and their goals are different than everyone else's.

  5. Budget money is fungible.

    Budgets are not set by dictate from the Lord above, they are set by people. One can shift money from one department to the other through the budgeting process.

    Maybe the Park Department should have a smaller budget and the Police Department a larger one.

    The concept of: "it's in the budget so we have to spend it" is one of the main factors that is leading to the economic decline in our city, state, and country. It's called "misallocation of capital".

    So great, we have a nice new park, while the roads leading to that park fall into greater disrepair, and the neighborhoods you drive through to get to that park are deteriorating into gang warfare. Wonderful.

  6. I heard a kid already skinned his knee on the rip rap.

  7. It sadens me to know the one or two individuals could decide the fate of our wonderful park.
    The rip rap was put there years ago when the eco system was redesigned to clean Lake Washington. In the 60's you would not have wanted to put your toe in the lake it was so contaminated.
    The rip rap is dangerous to walk on and very slippery.
    I do not know the reasoning behind taking down the safety fence.
    When the sun comes out and the construction fence is removed there will be incidents related to the safety on those rocks.
    My question is then who is responsible?

  8. One or 2 individuals did not decide the fate of the park, from what i saw most of the community was in support of removing fence, and definitely most of Seattle. Only a few with special interests wanted it to remain.

  9. I took a look at the changes to Swingset Park today and I think it's going to look great and be a real entrancement for Madison Park. Hopefully this will be the start to more improvements and we surely do need them especially in the business core!

    By the way, the negative neighbors might actually have their property values go up and have to pay more property taxes. Sounds like a win win for those of us who wanted change!


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