Legal safe public access to recreational areas for dog-owning citizens is an important issue for numerous voters. Sixty-one percent of Seattle households own dogs. Magnuson Park is at a turning point. Currently, off-leash area users have a nine-acre area in the north end of the park which includes a .8 mile walk and 180' of lake shore access for swimming for dogs and their owners.
Park designers propose dramatic changes, including shifting the OLA to the south end of the park and limiting water access to an artificial pond instead of lake front access. Further, they propose altering the configuration of the long walk so that it does not go to the beach.
The Magnuson Park Off-Leash Advocates users groups favors allowing the Off-Leash area to remain in its current general location with its .8 mile walk, lake front access the inclusion of a ballfield-sized meadow for retrieval activities.
We feel that leaving the area where it is the most efficient use of taxpayer money; moves always entail more expense.
If the area is moved to the south end, however, we still need a contiguous nine acre area with a .8 mile walk that leads to the lake shore, just south of the boat launch and a ballfield-sized meadow.
Thomas Whittemore's answers:
Do you favor dedicating at least 9 acres (3% of the re-designed Magnuson Park) for use as an OLA? I do not have data to determine critical size needed.
Are you in favor of the Magnuson Park OLA having access to Lake Washington for dogs and their owners to swim? YES
The Magnuson OLA is the only OLA in the city that provides a relatively level .8 mile exercise walk for people as well as their dogs. This feature makes the park accessible to users in wheel chairs and person with heart conditions and other disabilities. Do you support retention of this feature at Magnuson Park? YES
Do you support wheel chair/handicapped accessibility throughout the OLA, from the parking area to the lake shore for disabled users? YES
Currently the OLA at Magnuson is located primarily on the north perimeter of the park along the NOAA security fence. Do you favor leaving the OLA in its current location which includes lake shore access? I have walked the area and favor the location though I do not have access to the details of the alternative.
If the location of the OLA is moved to the south end of the park, the park planners have recommended installing an artificial pond instead of retaining the lake shore access.
I favor creating an artificial pond within the OLA instead of lakeshore access. NO. A pond seems an unnecessary expense for water access.
Do you support the inclusion of a ballfield-sized meadow at Magnuson OLA for people to legally play frisbee or other running activities with their dogs? More information is needed.
Do you believe there should be funding of the Magnuson OLA that is proportional to the number of users so the area can have regular maintenance and improvements to improve the beach access/fencing to prevent wear and tear? More information is needed.
- I favor water access at the lakeshore.