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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 7, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 31
Pedestrian-only pilot program to start Saturday night on E. Pike St.
Section One
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Pedestrian-only pilot program to start Saturday night on E. Pike St.

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The pilot program for a pedestrian-only E. Pike St., which will restrict vehicular traffic on E. Pike St. between Broadway and 12th Ave from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., creating a pedestrian zone in the city's largest concentration of nightlife, begins Saturday.

According to the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the group organizing the initiative with financing from the City of Seattle, the first two Saturdays this month, August 8 and 15, the pedestrian zone will focus on crowd management and releasing sidewalk pressure by removing vehicular traffic on the three-block stretch. The second two nights, August 22 and 29, will start at 8 p.m. and run until 3 a.m. and will include performers and activities emphasizing LGBTQ culture and the arts.

This is something that many in the neighborhood have called for over time - especially within the last year or so as the neighborhood's weekend party crowd literally invades Capitol Hill causing traffic jams, fights, and general unease of neighborhood residents, business owners, and safety officials.

According to the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, 'these temporarily open streets will allow for increased pedestrian mobility, improved police monitoring, and more positive activation.'

On August 22, the pedestrian-only zone will feature a free street yoga class at 8:30 p.m. put on by SweatBox Yoga. Laura Culberg, SweatBox owner, says mats and athletic clothing would be optional for the beginner's level session. The LGBTQ part of the evening includes a drag show at 9:30 p.m. hosted by Jackie Hell that includes, Tony James, AKA Freckles Riverside, of New Noise Productions (the King of F'ing with Burlesque), Drag Queen Rainbow Gore Cake, Drag King Shelli Kountz, local singer and Capitol Hill personality Ade, and Honey Bucket, Pac Highway's hottest Ho.

On August 29, Century Ballroom will host a series of short Queer-friendly partner dance classes on E. Pike St., which may include live musicians.

Organizers say that amplified sound will be wrapped up by 11 p.m. and programming will shift into human statues and mimes.

'We want string musicians to serenade people goodnight and indicate that it's time to get out of the street, get some food or head home,' said EcoDistrict organizer Alex Brennan.

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