City Wants To Crack Down On Street Prostitution Near Seattle Center

A large stretch of land just east of the Seattle Center frequented by pimps, johns, and underage prostitutes could soon become the focus of a new crackdown by police.

Documents obtained from the City Attorney’s office indicate city officials want to create a new Stay Out of Area of Prostitution (S.O.A.P.) zone between the Seattle Center and Westlake.

The S.O.A.P. zones allow courts to require people charged with prostitution to stay out of high-prostitution areas–primarily around downtown–while they await trial or following their release from jail.

The city currently has seven S.O.A.P. zones:

Between Virginia and Columbia from 9th Ave to 1st Ave.

E Pine to Pike from 10th Ave to 9th Ave.

Yesler and Jackson to South Weller between 12th Ave S and 5th Ave S.

One block on either side of Aurora Ave between Denny and 145th

One block of either side of E Yesler between 21st Ave S and I-5

South Cloverdale from 14th Ave S to 7th Ave S, between Dallas Ave and S Donovan.

The area bounded on the north by South Charleston Street; on the east by 42nd Avenue South from South

And (deep breath), Charleston Street to South Dawson Street, 46th Avenue South from South Dawson Street to South Graham Street, 51st Avenue South from South Graham Street to South Frontenac Street, and Seward Park Avenue South from South Frontenac Street to South Othello Street; on the south by South Othello Street; on the west by Letitia Avenue South to 35th Avenue South to Renton Avenue South from South Charleston Street to South Orcas Street, and 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas Street to South Othello Street.

According to records from the City Attorney’s office, the E Pike/Pine area would be removed from the S.O.A.P. zone list, while the Yesler, Aurora, E Yesler and South Charleston Street areas would remain the same.

The city would also create a zone on Mercer between 5th Ave N, Lenora, and Westlake.

According to police, the area near Mercer, referred to as “The Track,” has become a prime target for gang members looking to recruit young women into prostitution.

Last year, arrested several gang members involved in pimping young women on The Track during Operation Fast Track.

City Attorney’s Office staff will appear in court on Friday, and ask a judge to expand the S.O.A.P. zones.