Seattle Parks and Recreation plans to close two of the city’s most popular parks earlier during the summer, citing concerns over violence and illegal activity.
From May 27 to Sept. 4, Golden Gardens in Ballard and Alki Beach in West Seattle will close at 10 p.m. instead of 11:30 p.m. Both parks will still open at 4 a.m. during that time.
In a blog post on the city’s website, Seattle Parks and Recreation said it is testing the new closing time to “address [the] dangerous and/or illegal behavior that has been typical of summer evenings at these two parks.”
Alki Beach made headlines last summer for a string of violent incidents.
In May, police closed the park early after making three arrests during a large beach party. Police said “multiple fights” and a strong-armed robbery had occurred during the festivities. Then, in June, a shooting after a dispute over fireworks left one person dead and three others injured.
Golden Gardens also saw two separate high-profile instances of criminal activity last year, including a drive-by shooting and another shooting in which police found that at least 20 shots had been fired.
A city spokesperson told The Seattle Times that the reduced hours are part of a pilot program that allows the parks department to potentially make the change permanent. Park commissioners will likely consider the permanent change during public meetings held later this year or early next year, the spokesperson said.
Public input on the city’s decision to close both parks early can be made on the city’s website.
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