They have opened the first segment of Bell Street Park (between 1st and 2nd). I walked through it the other night, and it looks pretty good. It’s concrete with some plants in between, more like sidewalk along the whole street rather than green. There were no benches; I don’t know if they’re coming later, or if the people who planned the park didn’t want it to attract homeless people or drug dealers (these were concerns of people I talked to before it opened).
It won’t compete with Seattle Center or Magnuson Park as a gem of the system, but it is nicer to walk through than it was before. Already it feels like a fit. I imagine that it will get heavy foot traffic, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the sidewalks are already crowded throughout Belltown.
But of course that isn’t the only type of traffic in the area. I don’t drive Downtown when I can help it, but I’m sure people who drive in the neighborhood will miss the route and the parking. Bell has been closed there (and between 3rd and 4th) for a while, and people seem to have adjusted to it.
Tonight will be the first Friday night since it opened. It’ll be interesting to see if people use it.