I was just walking up Queen Anne Ave. N., watching the sledding festivities on what may be the steepest street in Seattle. It's closed to traffic today, obviously.
I just watched four Seattle police officers tape off the hill, right under a happy gathering of sledders—mostly college students and people in their twenties. I asked a couple of the officers why, and was told "one of my chiefs ordered it." He wouldn't tell me which one.
This doesn't seem like the most sensible policing tactic ever to me—more like a Grinchy city liability pro-forma sort of thing. I told the officers that, if they can give feedback to their commanding officers, the public safety hazard re: sledding on QA Ave today is at the bottom of the hill, not the top. I saw one young daredevil sled right in front of (admittedly very slow) traffic at the notoriously confusing intersection of QA Ave and Roy at the bottom of the hill. Yellow police tape down there could dissuade that sort of behavior—most sledders are using common sense and there is a certain amount of peer pressure for people not to act like idiots.
Sending the police out to establish rules that no one sees the sense in following is weird messaging. I'd bet a lot of money that the sledders will come back in a few hours when the police are gone.
I have a call in to the SPD asking if this is, in fact, happening on Queen Anne—and if so, what the purpose is. My guess is it has something to do with this.