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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Red Alert

Posted by on June 20 at 15:31 PM

The people at Seattle Parks and Recreation have completely lost their minds. For reasons that are rooted in madness (and if not, then laziness), they planted several Christmas-red signposts in monochromatic Freeway Park.


I have nothing against signposts that offer lost souls directions to this or that place outside of the enchanting maze of concrete and dark-green pines; it’s just the color of the poles is completely wrong. The signposts, which are perfectly visible, should be green or black or made from concrete. After a very quick look at the context, the surroundings, how could anyone paint these poles Christmas-red? Even the people at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center had the intelligence to match the mood of their building’s glass with the mood of Freeway Park, which has the color of the world before the flower revolution that happened millions upon millions of years ago.


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The entire goal of personally dealing with Freeway Park should be getting through it without getting raped or worse.

My GOD, it's beautiful. In theory. In practice, it's a scary place to be. It's also disorienting. Bright signs telling me how to get out, ESPECIALLY if they don't match the surroundings are the kind of signs I want.

I have only been harrassed for money there, but a very good friend was brutally raped (granted, this was years ago). She was drunk, the place was confusing, and try to scream for help in such a loud, confusing place. Turns out, it doesn't come.

Freeway Park is the beautiful result of some well-meaning architect from the sixties, but it's cancerous to the urban life of capitol/ first hill.

I'm all for the red posts. I walk through Freeway Park on my way to work on most weekdays. Even knowing the main paths, I find it disorienting and a trifle scary, especially during our short winter days. I've had deranged homeless people leap out at me from behind those damned concrete blocks, and regularly see junkies on their way to shoot up in the park's nooks and crannies. Big red signposts are a good way to identify quick ways out and possibly to help - or just to get out of the maze of concrete. It's the next best thing they can do to what should be done - removing the concrete maze. That wouldn't fix the problem of the junkies (after all, I see people shoot up in broad daylight on the Hill), but at least it might make the place feel more open and a little less intimidating.

Whenever I see the red signposts telling me to GET OUT!, I know its time to up my medication.

This could get confusing.

Um, what makes them "Christmas-red"? I see nothing Jesus-y or holiday-ish.

Really I'm just surprised that a post about red poles (or really, poles) in Seattle public parks concerns actual/non-figurative poles.

God is, as it were, the sewer into which all contradictions flow
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

The contradiction of red in a monochrome sorrounding is jarring, and does bring to mind religion. A frisson in a park to remind workers of history.

Clearly the red is meant to stand out so that otherwise unobservant skate boarders, bikers, and rollerbladers won't slam into them by accident. And they won't stay bright red for long. They'll either fade, or be covered by graffiti in short order.

The red poles are just another part of the overall plan to make the park less maze-like. I liked it better before. The landscaping is just hideous now. They might as well just remove the bushes altogether.

Although, yeah, I wouldn't try walking through the park while drunk... I used to walk home through it every night though, and I never had any problems. In fact, the most fun you can have in First Hill is taking someone through the park at 1AM, and as you pass by the bathrooms, pointing out that a woman was strangled to death there not so long ago.

I admit I am in the minority on this one, but really... there are so few scary places in Seattle. Must we eliminate this one? It's not that hard to avoid the park altogether if you don't like it. Take Seneca or 8th.

That said... put some railings around the damn waterfall.

I painted the posts red just to fool people.

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