Response from SPU to Yesterday’s Post

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

“The photos discussed in the previous post—which feature an SPU employee’s children—are part of a Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) academic presentation on bioretention systems, which was prepared in 2007 and posted on a University of Washington website.

“Viewed within the context of the presentation, we believe it will be apparent the photos were not intended to promote raingardens as play areas; nor were they intended to influence the community’s discussion of the safety of the Ballard Roadside Raingardens.

“SPU understands that residents of the raingarden pilot area have serious concerns about children’s safety. We will respect these concerns as we prepare future presentations.”

Andy Ryan
Seattle Public Utilities

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Response from SPU to Yesterday’s Post

  1. Love Disgruntled Neighborhoods

    Thank you for the clarification. That being said, I don’t live in this neighborhood but remain deeply concerned as a citizen that people in the neighborhood were shown one set of pictures and then something completely different was put in place. Wouldn’t be terrific if all the talk and hyperbole were set aside and these things actually looked like the pictures?

    Hey, next up — the SPU Car Lot!! “Hey, look over here folks — a brand new Lexus we have for your street! Oh wait, we screwed up and gave you a dented old car that’s prone to gas leaks instead. But don’t worry! We’ll paint over the dents and put on a brand new set of tires for you! Aren’t you happy? No?? We’ll, let’s talk (and talk and talk) about it some more then!”

    Please, will just live up to your promises to these poor people and make these function and look like what they were promised? Blow ’em up or fill ’em and start over again. Something. Anything. I’m worried my street is next!!

  2. Lizz

    The pictures may not have intended to “promote the raingardens as play areas”, however my interpretation of the pictures within the context of the entire presentation is that they are safe for children to play in or be around. Given that this presentation was presented by one of the rain garden designers/project managers it makes me think that safety of children was never a concern of the designer in 2007 or today. I would like the city to do more than just “respect” our concerns; it would be nice if the city addressed the problems related to our concerns in a more timely and efficient manner. This problem has been going on since October when the raingardens were completed.

  3. Sharon

    As an educator myself, I find it disturbing that in an “academic presentation” where presumably best practices for implementation of green infrastructure is the subject of the instruction, that the information presented does not include at least a glancing reference to the need to consider a community’s input and standards for children’s safety. If this presentation was intended to train students in the “how to” then I would respectfully suggest that there are serious gaps in the training of green infrastructure professionals and that these gaps explain some of the problems that we are currently facing with the Ballard Raingardens.

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