Hip to be Square

Leary & 17th - After

We have a reputation in Seattle for enjoying the quirky side of life, but one place we like things nice and square is at our street intersections. When streets come together at non-right angles (as many in Seattle do), the intersection can be confusing for drivers and result in extra long distances for pedestrians to cross. The intersection of Leary Ave and 17th Ave NW in Ballard is one of these non-right angle crossroads and had been on the neighborhoods’ list of wanted improvements for years.

Last year, the community got funding through the Neighborhood Street Fund to clearly mark a straighter vehicle path through the intersection and clear up confusion. The changes not only let drivers know where to go, but also show bicycles and pedestrians what to expect from cars and trucks at the intersection. Continue reading after the break for more details on the project.

SDOT installed a striped island at the southeast corner, and located a stop sign for northbound vehicles entering Leary Ave NW from 17th Ave W to enhance sight distance. The stop sign is protected with a small raised curb island. This low cost improvement helps better define the intersection until future bicycle master plan projects are implemented.

Trucks and vehicles on Leary now have a clear, delineated location to turn to either 17th Ave NW southbound or NW 48th Street westbound by turning at the 17th Ave NW/Leary Way intersection. (NW Leary Way and Leary Ave NW meet at the 17th Ave NW intersection). Vehicles and trucks heading eastbound on NW 48th Street now access NW Leary Way by first turning left onto 17th Ave NW and then turning right onto NW Leary Way at the new stop sign.

The extension of NW 48th Street along the south curb east of 17th Ave NW and south of the new island is restricted to one way travel eastbound to provide access to the existing parking stalls for local businesses.