News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Throwback Thursday: when streetcars and trolleys dominated the roads

September 3rd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

For today’s Throwback Thursday we look at transportation of the old days in Ballard. Many of the bus routes we use in Ballard – the 15, 17, 18 and 28 – were once routes that were used by the city’s streetcar tracks. Ballard’s trolley-line was developed in 1914 according to History Link, and the streetcar was king until the early 40s – the last Seattle streetcar completed its final run on April 13, 1941.

Maud Reid Adams standing on Ballard Bridge in 1920. She is wearing a fur coat, hat, skirt, and high lace boots. The bridge is steel with a trolley and another vehicle in the background. There is also a control tower in the background.


1900 negative of postcard print of the conductor and motorman on the Fremont-Ballard trolley line, car #551. Both men are wearing uniforms.

A black and white original print of streetcar #624 to Ballard Beach in 1910. Possibly taken on corner of NW 65th Street and 32nd Avenue NW. Driver and passenger visible.


Black and white photo of Ballard Avenue in 1932. Trolley car is running down street.

All photos courtesy the Ballard Historical Society

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Ballard Elks classic car show on Labor Day Monday

September 3rd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

The Ballard Elks will be hosting their annual car show on Monday, September 7. The car show will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Elks’ parking lot, with a suggested donation of $20 for entering a car in the show.


They’ll have a beer garden, burgers, and hot dogs. All proceeds will benefit the Elks’ charities.  For more information about the event, click here.


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UPDATE: SPD says dogs are not at risk at Carkeek Park

September 3rd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

UPDATE: After speaking with the Seattle Police Department, this information has been refuted. There haven’t been any cases of dogs being poisoned recently at Carkeek Park; we at My Ballard apologize for the misinformation.

Additionally, we have removed the original screen shot of the Facebook post and have paraphrased the content.


There’s been some buzz on Facebook the last few days about several dogs having been put down after coming into contact with poisoned meat at Carkeek Park.

We received a tip from someone who saw the following message on a Facebook group for parents in Magnolia, Ballard and Queen Anne:

“…My dad, an SPD officer, just text messaged me that several dogs have had to be put down after coming into contact with poisoned meat someone has left out at Carkeek Park. So sad. They’d like the word spread.

A good reminder to keep all pets on leash when in public spaces unless it’s a designated off-leash park. Not only for the safety of other people and dogs, but for the safety of your own pet.”

If you have any additional information about this or have a personal story to share, contact us at



Ballard Summer Parkways still looking for volunteers

September 3rd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

The city is holding a huge block party in Ballard in a couple weeks, and they are still looking for volunteers to help out. The event is called Seattle Summer Parkways, and will be held September 19 in Ballard. The Seattle Department of Transportation will be shutting down several miles of Ballard’s streets for a few hours and will have games, live music, puppet shows, and plenty of other family-friendly activities. The event also coincides with the Sustainable Ballard Festival, held at the Ballard Commons Park.


The Cascade Bicycle Club is one of the organizing groups for the event, and according to the volunteer sign-up page, they still need about 170 people to help out. There are many different volunteer opportunities, including “intersection superheroes, mobile mechanics, info booth ambassadors, pre- and post-event helpers, and more,” according to the Cascade Bicycle Club. All volunteers will receive snacks, water and a Summer Parkways t-shirt.

Here’s a list of activities going on during the event (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.):

Ballard Corners:

  • Live Music from Local Buskers
  • Croquet from the Friends and neighbors of Ballard Corners and Groundswell NW

6th Ave. Pocket Park:

  • Puppet Shows and Clowning Around with Duo Finelli

Ballard Commons Park:

  • Orca Lift and Orca To-Go with King County Metro
  • Sustainable Ballard Festival
  • Skateboard Demos and Lessons with Skate Like A Girl
  • Bike and Pet Parade starting at 2:00PM!

Salmon Bay Park:

  • Live Music All Day!
  • Tasty Vibes Food Truck
  • Mayoral Press Event and Ribbon Cutting Beginning at 11:00AM
  • Mobility Bike Fleet from Outdoors For All
  • Bike Activities with Cascade Bicycle Club
  • Zorba Ball! From Seattle Parks and Recreation

Loyal Heights Playfields:

  • Buskers
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Pilates
  • Dodge Ball Tournament in the Community Center beginning at 12:00PM
  • Arts and Crafts from the Loyal Heights Community Center
  • Balleywood Creamery Ice Cream

Sunset Hill:

  • Harp Music
  • Tai Chi
  • Zen Zone

14th Ave Future Park:

  • Enter the land of East Ballard with East Ballard Community Association!
  • See and Say “How to Grow a Park”
  • Enjoy a Cold Lemonade or a Hot Cup of Coffee

For more about the event or how to volunteer, click here.

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Ballard’s low-power radio station to celebrate getting their license

September 2nd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Radio Bustout 8Low-power FM radio is coming to Ballard, and to celebrate, the people behind it are throwing a party. The Fulcrum Radio group recently received their license to operate from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), becoming one of just a handful of local radio stations to be granted a spot on the dial. A low-power FM station is radio that broadcasts at 100 watts or less, which means its reach would be about three miles.  Fulcrum will serve northwest Seattle, including Ballard and surrounding neighborhoods.

The party is on Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Salmon Bay Eagles (5216 20th Ave NW), and will include music from Planet Fly. Tickets will be sold at the door for $5, and all proceeds to go to support the construction and operation of the new station.

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Deadliest Catch captain to speak at Norwegian Club dinner party

September 2nd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.25.24 AMThe Norwegian Commercial Club (2245 NW 57th) is hosting a salmon dinner next week, and the featured speaker will be Captain Sig Hansen from the Deadliest Catch TV show.

The meeting will also include a parade of past presidents and an installation of newly elected officials in the club. On the menu will be alder smoked barbecue salmon from Trident Seafood.

There will be a happy hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30. The dinner costs $25 to club members who make reservations, and is $30 for members without reservations and non-members. The organizers ask that people make reservations by Wednesday, September 9 at 3 p.m. Call 206-783-1274 to make a reservation or for more information.


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Ballard north-south greenway construction is underway

September 2nd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

The city started construction this week on the new Ballard Greenway that will run north and south throughout the neighborhood. The new route will be constructed on 17th Ave NW from Whitman Middle School up on NW 90th Ave all the way south to downtown Ballard.


Crews began work yesterday at NW 90th St, breaking ground on new curb ramps, and later will install a crosswalk. The curb ramp installation should take five working days and SDOT stays traffic will still be able to pass through.

Work also began yesterday to reconfigure the intersection at 17th Ave NW and NW Dock Place. The aim is to clarify the right of way and reduce conflicts between people walking, biking, and driving. SDOT says crews will paint the pavement and install flexible bollards at the boundary of the space to formalize the intersection.

On Thursday, September 3, crews will start building pedestrian safety improvements at the intersection of NW 85th St. and 17th Ave NW. SDOT says they’ll only work on one side (north or south) of the intersection at a time in order to maintain traffic flow, but that 17th Ave NW will be closed during the construction. (Those needing to access 17th Ave NW will need to use NW 83rd St. or NW 87th St.) They’ll establish temporary pedestrian paths in the area during the construction, and ADA ramps will be installed. SDOT expects the work to last about 28 working days, or 6 weeks.

As SDOT works to complete the greenway, they say to expect the following:

  • Temporary on-street parking restrictions
  • Short-term single lane closures, where needed
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist detours
  • Noise, dust, and vibration typical of construction
  • Weekday work hours from 7 AM to 5 PM
  • Maintained driveway access to residences

They say the work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled if necessary.


City seeks public input to change rules governing Ship Canal bridges

September 2nd, 2015 by Meghan Walker

ballBrgOpen815Seattle’s Department of Transportation is asking for public input on whether to petition the US Coast Guard for changes to the Ship Canal bridges opening rules. The bridges operated by the city are Ballard, Fremont, and University.

Currently, the city operates the bridges but the Coast Guard has regulatory authority over when and how often they open. While the city successfully petitioned to have the bridges closed during the rush hour commutes in the morning and evening (7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.) they plan to seek extended closures in order to better facilitate the flow of traffic. But before they submit a proposal to the Coast Guard, the city wants public input.

“While the number of bridge openings has remained fairly constant in recent years, the impacts of bridge openings have become more pronounced and problematic, especially with longer morning and afternoon commute periods,” SDOT writes in a statement.

SDOT says the average bridge opening lasts about five minutes, which can cause hundreds of vehicles to back up if it opens during rush hour (the bridge still must open during the rush hour closure for large commercial vessels). “Buses run behind schedule, commuters find that it takes longer to get to work or back home, and many delayed drivers leave their motors running, spewing polluting emissions into the atmosphere,” SDOT says.

The city is asking interested citizens to share their thoughts with SDOT about whether expanded restrictions are warranted, and what they might look like. SDOT asks that people register their comments by Wednesday, September 30, as they hope to submit an application by November 1, 2015.

Comments can be filed via email at or via US Mail to:

Ship Canal Bridge Openings
c/o Roadway Structures
Seattle Department of Transportation
PO Box 34996 (SMT-38-00)
Seattle, WA  98124-4996

More info about the bridges and additional statistics, click here.

Photo courtesy Seattle Department of Transportation


Stash Pot Shop opens in Ballard

September 1st, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Another retail marijuana store has come to Ballard; Stash Pot Shop just had their grand opening over the weekend. Stash (4912 17th Ave NW) aims to be as connected as possible to the community, evident in their motto: Community, Culture, Cannabis.


Photo courtesy Stash’s Facebook page

According to High Above Seattle, Stash received thousands of applicants for “budtenders,” but just a few made the cut. “They are artists, analysts, customer-service experts, cannabis users… they are a huge part of what makes Stash Pot Shop so great,” they write. High Above Seattle reports that the owners hope their store helps to break the stigma surrounding cannabis, with an aim to, “welcome everyone with high-quality products, a sophisticated shop layout, and friendly faces.”

Stash joins roughly 20 retail pot shops in Seattle, with just a handful in the Ballard area.


Fundraiser tonight at Peddler Brewing for cyclocross riders

September 1st, 2015 by Meghan Walker

cyclocrossIf you love beer and cyclocross, then tonight’s your night: there will be a fundraiser this evening at Peddler Brewing Company to benefit cyclocross riders Jessica Cutler and Shannon Mallory of Jamis Professional Cyclocross team.

The fundraiser will start at 6:30 p.m., and a $10 donation at the door will get you a raffle ticket for prizes that include donations from Clif Bar, RitcheyLogic, Washington Bike Law, and Field Roast. All additional raffle tickets will be $5 each.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will help riders through their cyclocross season, ending with a trip to nationals in Asheville, NC in January.

The event is all-ages, and they say they’ll have some light snacks available in addition to the Luchador Taco Co. food truck. They expect the raffle drawing to be after 8 p.m. More information about the fundraiser can be found on their Facebook event page.

Photo courtesy Jamis CX Facebook event page

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Neighborhood Matching Fund application period still open

September 1st, 2015 by Meghan Walker


The application period for city-funded neighborhood projects is open for one more month. The Small and Simple Projects Fund is a $25,000 grant that goes to community-building projects and that are matched by community contributions.

There is a workshop tomorrow night (Wed., Sept. 2) at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, room 209) from 6 to 8 p.m. to help applicants understand the Neighborhood Matching Fund, the qualities of a good project, and the application process and requirements. The deadline for the application is Monday, October 5 at 5 p.m; this is the final application period in 2015 for the fund.

An example of a project already funded this year is for improvements at a Ballard P-Patch. The funds will help to realign the plots at the garden at 8527 25th Ave NW to ensure equitable square footage for each gardener. They’ll also install wider footpaths, an additional water spigot, and an underground conduit to provide power to their patio. The city grant was for $8,400, bringing the total to over $16,000 after being matched by the community.

According to the city, all projects must demonstrate its capacity to build a stronger and healthier community, and must:

  • Provide a public benefit and be free and open to all members of the public.
  • Emphasize self-help, with project ideas initiated, planned and implemented by the neighbors and community members who will themselves be impacted by the project.
  • Demonstrate community match.
  • Occur within the Seattle city limits.

To RSVP for the workshop tomorrow night, call 206-233-0093 or go online at The workshop is open to all.

File photo of Greg’s P-Patch, which received a past Small and Simple Projects award


Phinney Ridge Community Council to meet tonight

September 1st, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Tonight is the monthly Phinney Ridge Community Council meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. at the Phinney Neighborhood Center at 6532 Phinney Ave N. They’ll be discussing many issues relevant to Ballardites, including land use and affordable housing.

Here is the agenda (as posted on their website):

Old Business – 7:00– 7:45 pm

1. District 6 Candidate Forum Sep. 30

2. Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)

3. Land use/development reports

  • Design Review process
  • Comp Plan Draft update
  • Neighborhood Conservation Districts
  • Transportation Levy proposal update
  • New Permits and Sales

4. City Neighborhood Committee (CNC)

  • Zoning vs. Property line setbacks amended policy

5. Social Media Accounts

6. Other Upcoming public meetings/ events

  • SPD North Precinct Advisory Council- next meeting Sep. 2
  • NW District Council- next meeting in Sep. 23, need alternate
  • Zoo Neighborhood Liaison Committee- next meeting Oct.
  • Treasurer report – next quarterly report Oct

New Business 7:50-8:30 pm

  1. Neighborhood Commercial Zoning Definitions and Boundaries
  2. New Multi Family proposal
  3. Other issues from the neighborhood
  • NW Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat community

The Phinney Community Council meets the first Tuesday of every month, and all meetings are open to the public.

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