Boat in Seattle traffic circle: Art or nuisance?

Boat in Seattle traffic circle: Art or nuisance? »Play Video
SEATTLE -- A small boat parked in the middle of a Greenlake traffic circle is creating a lot of controversy. Neighbors call it art. The city says it needs to go.

Kevin Hoffman didn't put the boat there in the heart of Woodlawn Avenue and Kenwood Place, and doesn't know where it came from, but he's now leading the charge to save it.

After appearing suddenly one morning, Seattle police slapped a big orange sticker on it Thursday saying it has to go.

So Hoffman and his neighbors countered the cops by slapping a petition on it too.

"It doesn't bother me," said Theresa Burrus. "I think there are a lot of other things the city could worry about."

For neighbors, it's not just a boat -- for the last few days it's put smiles on neighbor's faces and little joy in their hearts.

"So, it's actually kind of becoming a little community art project," Hoffman said.

And one by one, they've all added to it. First, somebody placed a mermaid and a lei, somebody else a birdhouse and a can of bubbles for the kids.

And for drivers who make their way around the circle, it's a small escape from the daily grind.

Seattle Police are not amused though.

"You can't just drop a boat off in a traffic island," said spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

Seattle police say the boat violates a city ordinance -- you can't leave an abandoned car or boat on the street.

Even the officer who posted the remove notice simply wrote: "Really?"

"We're going to impound it if the owner doesn't remove it," Whitcomb said.

Hoffman says the neighbors aren't asking for much.

"We're just saying maybe it could stay here for a month or two months," he said.

He thinks maybe the boat will inspire someone?

"To do something else to change the world," he said.

He says, just give it a little more time.

"And after that we can dismantle it and we can go back to normal," Hoffman said.

Seattle police says one person complained and they looked into it. They say it's a liability for the city and for the person who owns the boat.

They have until Saturday to get rid of it.