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Arcade park Pac-Man
Arcade Park in Seattle as as viewed from above. (SDOT Photo via Twitter)

We can think of lots of big streets around Seattle where we’d love to see Pac-Man clear some more space — oh, hey, Mercer Street. Didn’t see you there. But on Thursday the legendary arcade character sets his sights a little smaller.

As part of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Pavement to Parks initiative, a segment of Summit Ave East between East Denny Way and East Olive Way in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will be turned into “the world’s largest Pac-Man game.”

In a tweet on Wednesday, SDOT invited folks to visit Arcade Plaza for a grand opening celebration, from 5 to 7 p.m. (Getting through Seattle traffic at that time of night sounds like a job for a certain yellow dot from the ’80s.)

SDOT said the Pac-Man idea won out after the community was invited to submit and vote on their favorite maze-themed mural designs for the street.

The Capitol Hill Seattle blog, worried about excessive public dollars being pumped into a giant arcade mural, wondered earlier this year how much the City paid to license Pac-Man for the project. Turns out it was nothing:

“SDOT worked closely with attorneys on evaluating this installation under the Fair Use Act provisions,” the agency said in response to the website. “SDOT believes that the use of the Pac Man inspired mural falls into the non-profit educational clause of the Act- particularly because this interpretation on a street is transformative and new; it captures the original use and design for an entirely different, educational, and not-for-profit purpose. Because we are not using the image for proprietary purposes, the city’s attorneys considered this installation to be defensible.”

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