Gun violence prompts early summer closures of Golden Gardens and Alki Beach
Golden Gardens and Alki Beach will close at 10 p.m. May 27 through Sept. 4. Traditionally, the two parks remain open between the hours of 4 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.
The Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) decision comes in direct response to at least two shootings last summer between the popular summer destinations for Seattleites. In June, a dispute left one dead and three injured at Alki Beach. A separate road rage incident and driveby shooting saw two injured near Golden Gardens earlier that month.
“There were a couple of incidents with guns last summer at Alki and Golden Gardens. This is similar to events that have happened in years prior. We are collecting data from SPD to better evaluate crime pre-pilot to any crime that takes place this summer,” Rachel Schulkin, a spokesperson with SPR, wrote to MyNorthwest.
Pre-pilot refers to the temporary shortening of summer hours. The policy change will be made permanent if SPR and SPD determine that the transition successfully mitigates crime.
That decision will be made after September by SPR’s commissioner and board upon weighing crime data, public input via survey, and anecdotal staff information, according to Schulkin.
Beginning nightly at 9:30 p.m., SPD officers will be onsite to request voluntary compliance with the early closure.
Despite the shortened hours, campfire pits will become available for public use at the two parks beginning May 28.