Seattle Parks and Recreation cuts hours at Seattle beaches after complaints of violence

SEATTLE — Seattle Parks and Recreation will cut hours at two Seattle beaches. The change began Friday, May 26, will run through September 3, and affects Alki Beach and Golden Gardens. 

They will both still open at 4 a.m. but will now close at 10:30 p.m. instead of 11:30 p.m. It’s in response to community complaints of violence and illegal activity in those areas.

“This is like the local spot and if it’s not safe they should do something about it,” said Alki Beach goer, Eva Prohaska.

Recently, Seattle police dealt with two instances of gun violence. The first happened at 6:30 p.m. when a 25-year-old man was shot. Someone flagged police down to help but sadly the man died.

“I feel like violence should not be the option. I feel like everyone should come here to have fun. It’s a beach,” Prohaska said.

Later that Saturday, another person reported someone with a gun at Alki Beach to the police. Officers found a 15-year-old armed and arrested him. Those incidents are at the forefront of  Alki Beach goers minds. One man said he has thought out what to do if he hears gunshots.

“It’s not ideal but nowadays with the kind of situation and how guns work in this country and this place the least you could do is have a plan b,” said Josue Gutierrez.

People are hopeful the hour cut will help curb the violence.

“I think it’s a good idea because of the increased crime that’s happened recently at the beaches,” said Leslie Clay. “Sometimes I leave and it’s just party central here. Fires everywhere that are not supposed to be so I can imagine things could get out of control.”

Clay and others also wonder if closing just one hour early will make a difference.

“I’m usually not down here that late. I’m not sure if closing an hour early is going to make that difference but we’ll see,” said Gabriel Roghstein. 

Clay said, “I don’t know. One hour seems like not a lot, but once it gets dark I think people tend to get more rowdy. I think it’s a few people that kind of spoil it for everybody else.”

The hour change is part of a pilot program, but if effective the new hours may become permanent.