Ballard has become one of Seattle’s most popular and fastest-growing neighborhoods. Featuring great places to live, shop and play, it is also home to many maritime and industrial jobs. As the neighborhood grows, it is important to identify and prioritize ways to make it easier to walk, bike and ride transit so that people and goods can keep moving. On Monday, May 2, we’re hosting a public meeting at Pacific Crest School, 600 NW Bright St, from 6 to 7:30PM get input on a series of transportation improvements with this objective in mind.
In 2014, we gathered input on how to make 17th Ave NW safer and more comfortable for people walking and biking, and constructed a neighborhood greenway in 2015. At that time, we promised to consider how to connect the greenway to the protected bike lane on NW 45th Street and ultimately, the Burke-Gilman Trail. Since 2014, a bus-only lane on 15th Ave NW between Leary and Market was proposed to help keep RapidRide reliable. The project included a traffic signal at NW 53rd St. We’d like to take advantage of the future signal to connect 17th Ave NW via a neighborhood greenway to the Burke-Gilman Trail.
It is important that we hear from the community as the greenway route develops. The block of NW 53rd St between 15th and 14th Ave NW has a lot of industrial characteristics, including a high number of truck deliveries by large trucks. Magazines are distributed around the city to mom and pop stores from this location; fire equipment dispersed; automobile oils and other products developed; and aircraft interiors produced.
Furthermore, as housing is being built and people move into Ballard, the lack of controlled crossings along 15th Ave NW has become apparent. People in the community are telling us that there are many destinations in East Ballard they would like to walk and bike to, including: Gilman Playground, craft breweries, preschools, gyms and businesses where they work and shop.
Right now, people walking and biking must head to Leary or Market to cross 15th Ave NW using a traffic signal. This can lead to unpredictable behaviors, like jaywalking. The addition of a new crossing on 15th Ave NW and an east-west neighborhood greenway can go a long way in meeting our Vision Zero goal of zero traffic-fatalities and series injuries while connecting neighborhood destinations.
We hope to see you at our Monday meeting. If you are unable to attend, meeting materials and comment sheets will be posted on our web page.