Views from the Ballard Bridge

With the sun shining, we took a stroll across the Ballard Bridge.

And snapped some photos, like this one of Salmon Bay. Many more below…

A boat crosses underneath with Magnolia in the background.

Workers busy at LA Fitness.

The big empty lot that will soon become home to Ballard Blocks II. In the meantime, it’s home to a lake of standing water.

Bicyclists weave through the center of the bridge.

One of the eight sculptures adorning the north side of the bridge. They were reinstalled a few months ago after sustaining damage in a wind storm.

A zoom shot of Fishermen’s Terminal.

This is looking east toward Fremont.

Birds frolic in the water.

At its highest point.

LA Fitness is hard to miss heading north over the bridge.

The ride over the bridge. Some bicyclists say the low wall is dangerous, and the city is facing a lawsuit after an accident in 2007.

The home of the bridge operator.

A ship at the Terminal towers over a car parked at the dock.

By the way, we’ll be shooting photo essays like this one from time to time.

Big accident south of Ballard Bridge

Update 10:15 p.m.: A high-speed collision along 15th Ave. near the Interbay Golf Center this afternoon sent three people to the hospital and created long traffic backups lasting into the night. For approximately 6 hours, police detoured southbound traffic over Ballard Bridge while they investigated, diverting cars to Fremont. Just before 10 p.m., the bridge reopened.

Seattle Police say a high-speed Toyota Highlander heading toward Ballard hit a total of three other vehicles while swerving in and out of traffic, even driving against traffic in the southbound lanes. After hitting one car and fleeing the scene, the suspect ultimately collided head-on with a Honda CRV, spinning into a Mini Cooper, police say. Two women were trapped in the CRV, and medics had to cut the top off the vehicle to extract them. One is in critical condition. The suspect is at Harborview and is expected to survive.

This is the scene from KIRO-TV’s chopper, which covered the rescue as it unfolded (see photos). Over on KOMOtv.com, commenters who said they witnessed the crash described the scene. “The driver went in the middle lane (for turning only) and was speeding at least 70 miles per hour,” said one. “This whole situation is worse than any movie I’ve ever seen,” said another who said she tended to the injuries before the medics arrived.

See comments below for running traffic updates from My Ballard readers…

Small earthquake shakes Seattle

An earthquake centered 14 miles north of Seattle shook some people awake at 5:25 a.m. It measured 4.5 on the scale, too small to cause any damage. We slept right through the quake, but did you feel it?

Update 12:15 p.m. – After inspecting the city’s bridges, the Seattle Department of Transportation says that the earthquake did not cause any damage to the Ballard Bridge, Fremont Bridge or the Viaduct.

Fund your ideas for neighborhood improvements

From now until Feb. 27th, you can submit an application with the city to request funding for small-scale (up to $90K per project) street or parks improvements. Some examples of funded projects in Ballard over the last couple years include traffic circles, sidewalk repair and speed bumps. One of the largest projects is soon to get underway: sidewalk upgrades and repair along Ballard Ave. Construction will begin on Monday, February 9 — resulting in some pedestrian detours and parking restrictions in Old Ballard — and is expected to last 4-5 weeks. More information on the project here.

‘Jobless in Seattle’ on NBC News

Wave after wave of Seattle layoffs have been in the news over the past few weeks. While many people in Ballard have been impacted, sometimes we may not realize the magnitude of the recession until we make national news:

Another way to get a sense of the scope of our local economic troubles is by looking at this listing and map of homes in foreclosure in the Ballard area. Sure, buying in Ballard isn’t going to solve all our problems, but it’s one important way we can help our neighborhood in tough times.

Plus: Join the Buy in Ballard Facebook group to spread the word

More cottages to be built in Ballard

High density living doesn’t mean you have to share walls with your neighbors.

The Department of Planning and Development just approved a project at 1548 NW 61st St. (street view map) for six two-story cottage-style homes, similar to the 60th Street Cottages shown above. The proposal shows the site as two parcels of land which will be broken down to six lots that range from 1,349 square feet to 2,051 square feet. The homes will have surface parking that is accessed from the alley. The neighborhood is a mixture of single family residences, newer townhomes and a 16-unit apartment complex.

Plus: See the project proposal and analysis (.pdf file)

New restaurant Root Table now open

From the owner of Enlighten comes a new Asian-fusion restaurant at 2213 NW Market St. called Root Table. It just opened a few days ago.

Serving lunch and dinner daily, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Root Table features such entrees as the “Double-Fisted Duck,” which is duck marinated in dark beer and Chinese wine. And “Menage-a-Thai,” three different curries with your choice of beef, chicken or tofu. The prices are affordable, ranging from $7 to $10 for entrees and $5 to $6 for tapas. Root Table also sells sandwiches.

The decor is striking. The tables live up to their name, intricately carved and imported from Thailand, thanks to owner Kalan Intawong’s connections through Enlighten. If you eat at Root Table, please leave your impressions below…