What to do with a lesser-used Seattle street? Well, to solve that problem, we have to go back a few decades.
Seattle’s Department of Transportation is taking a small street — part of Summit Avenue — from drivers and turning it over to pedestrians, but not after giving it a totally ’80s makeover. A Pac-Man themed mural will be painted on a stretch of road between Denny and Olive Ways on Capitol Hill.
This is not part of Seattle’s PARKing Day, which briefly takes away car parking spaces to create pop-up parks. The Pac-Man project is part of Seattle’s Pavement to Parks program, which removes underutilized streets and permanently turns them into parks. In this case, the city reached out to residents of Capitol Hill and asked what should be done with the tiny portion of Summit Avenue.
The stretch of Summit Ave. is a little awkward. It’s a small, angled one-way connection that creates a triangle space in the middle of traffic. It hosts a Pronto bike-share station, and includes parking for about 2-4 cars.
The street will be converted into a pedestrian park featuring Pac-Man himself, pathways full of pac-dots, and mostly likely the infamous Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde in pursuit.
It’s not the first time Seattle has replaced a road and with a park. The city has received an award for converting two First Hill intersections into pedestrian parks. It’s also done a similar project in Phinney Ridge.
The city isn’t stopping with the Pac-Man project. It is seeking suggestions from Seattleites to convert more streets into pedestrian parks. No word yet if there is any potential for a future Tetris, Frogger or even a Donkey Kong street.