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Improving Pedestrian Crossing Safety in Ballard

SDOT broke ground this week on a pedestrian safety project at one of Seattle’s five-way intersections, this one in East Ballard near West Woodland Elementary School.

The project is located at the intersection of 3rd Avenue NW, NW 56th Street and 55th Place NW, where the street grid becomes complicated by roads that wind up Phinney Ridge. The intersection has been equipped with three striped crosswalks and a flashing “School Zone” beacon but the large, complex intersection remained difficult to cross.

Parents and the West Woodland Elementary School safety committee identified the need for crossing improvements on this key walking route through a Safe Routes to School outreach process.

West Woodland 6-18-15

In about two months, when this project is complete, kids, families and neighbors will find a new all-way stop, two additional striped crosswalks, curb extensions, upgraded curb ramps, and 55th Place NW will be separated from the intersection and made one-way southwest-bound.

These improvements are a part of SDOT’s ongoing mission to build healthy communities and were designed to help clarify the right of way, keep vehicle speeds low and improve visibility between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

The SDOT project team designed this project over the past year, along with five other pedestrian safety improvement projects throughout the city. Each of these five projects are part of the Neighborhood Street Fund Program, with funding from both the Bridging the Gap transportation levy passed by voters in 2006 and scheduled to expire at the end of this year, as well as  from the Safe Routes to School Program.

Work began on June 15 and crews are in their first of what will be approximately eight weeks of construction. Residents and travelers in the area can expect construction activity while crews work to build these improvements, including some of the following impacts:

  • Temporary parking and lane restrictions on NW 56th Street, NW 55th Place and 3rd Avenue NW
  • Pedestrian and bicycle detours around the work zones
  • Noise, dust and vibration associated with concrete removal and paving
  • Typical weekday work hours, from 7 AM to 5 PM


Additionally, a road closure will be in place on 3rd Avenue NW at NW 56th Street for approximately three weeks, followed by a closure of the west side of 3rd Avenue NW at NW 56th Street for approximately three weeks. These restrictions will be in place to allow crews to safely and efficiently demolish the existing sidewalk and pour concrete for the new curb extensions. Local access will be maintained during these restrictions.

We appreciate the community’s patience while work is being done to complete this project.

If you have questions during construction, you can contact the outreach team at or call 206-733-9361. Sign up to receive email updates about this project here.