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Ballard watching Belltown’s boulevard project

Posted by Geeky Swedes on February 9th, 2010

Belltown is moving ahead with plans to create a four-block “park boulevard” along Bell St. — a project that’s closely watched by Ballard residents who have similar plans to transform 14th Ave. NW. The Belltown project will feature fountains, lights, trees and play areas designed to provide a safe pedestrian corridor. Ballard organizers envision eliminating the center median along 14th and converting the bumpy road into a new boulevard with large open spaces for broad walkways, trees, bike paths and even gardens.

This is a very preliminary sketch from several months ago. Organizers of the 14th Ave. Visioning Project will be presenting their plans at this Wednesday’s Ballard District Council meeting, which runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, construction in Belltown could begin as early as this summer.

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38 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Ballard Guy // Feb 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    What a wonderful idea! Where will all the hobo's in their RV's park now?

  • 2 onederfullone // Feb 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    One of the hundreds of other streets in Ballard?
    Just a guess.

  • 3 Iron City Mike // Feb 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Only in Seattle are the hobos rich enough to be able to afford RVs

  • 4 Peter // Feb 9, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Thread hi-jack: Someone please tell me why people are allowed to camp in the city? I agree this will only push the RVs into our residential neighborhoods.

    Un-hi-jack: I like the idea of this project, but let's address the homeless/RV issue concurrently.

  • 5 Name // Feb 9, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Please STOP inflicting your “vision” on us. Go away, find some other suckers, and impose your “vision” on them in some other neighborhood. Everything that is done to us makes Ballard WORSE, NOT BETTER. We can't take any more of your “improvements”! GO AWAY AND JUST LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!

  • 6 shabadoo // Feb 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Yeah! All this so-called “new pavement”, and “trees” just makes Ballard WORSE!

    If God intended 14th to have anything other than weeds and giant potholes, He would have made it that way!

  • 7 onederfullone // Feb 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Yeah, anything they can do to justify their existance must be done.
    And the costs are never challenged, whether it's the cost of the planning and review or the actual implementation.
    It's simply secondary, not worthy of scrutiny, just part of the inevitable progress.

  • 8 ballard 123 // Feb 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Continuing on your hijack…

    14th is already the “residential neighborhood” for lots of us…. So yes, let's include addressing the RV issue in conjunction with making the street nicer.

  • 9 glassman51 // Feb 9, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Are they talking about south of Market?
    Please just leave us alone

  • 10 Peter // Feb 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Yes they are talking south of Market and pleased don't leave us alone. This area of Ballard needs serious clean-up. I wlecome the change if they can tell us what they plan on doing about discouraging/making it illegal to camp in the streets, as is common in that area. And I don't mean driving them up into side streets. I mean securing a dedicated are for these folks to park, with sanitation stations,etc. The ones who don't want to “live on the grid” can skedaddle out of Seattle.

  • 11 Ballardog // Feb 10, 2010 at 1:08 am

    You are wrong or in a time warp. They do not park on 14th south of Market because no overnight parking is allowed. Several years ago it was allowed but no longer. Obviously you don't frequent this area so not sure why your panties are in a knot. These parking spaces are filled by the workers of the industrial area and they need to stay available for this purpose. As for the potholes they are caused by the heavy truck traffic by Ness Cranes and other businesses. They will not go away. Any modification to 14th south of Market should not decrease the amount of parking available, it is critical to businesses and jobs.

  • 12 Ballardog // Feb 10, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Any decrease in parking in the industrial area on 14th south of Market will push workers out into the residential areas to look for places to park.

  • 13 Name // Feb 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

    The Electric Street Car #27 ran on a track down the center of 14th up until 1927.

    I say screw the park. Bring back our trolleys and street cars! (I live two blocks from 14th on 57th :) )

    There also used to be track running up 6th AVE NW and 15th AVE.
    Check out the UW libraries page for some photos….

    http://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcoll/finda

  • 14 Mondoman // Feb 10, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Thanks for the link, Name! The photo of the north end of the line at 6th and 65th here http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_vie… shows a big open building (warehouse?) that might be the same building as Advanced Sign Design today.

  • 15 Name // Feb 10, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Indeed you are correct.
    7 years after this photo was taken this space had become the Woodland Theater complete with organ player and Vaudville acts. The Theater later was called the Olympic and closed up sometime in the 50's. The organ is still alive and is on display at the Everett theater in downtown Everett.
    Here's a link to another photo….
    http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_vie

    you can still see vestiges of the theater building in the facade of Advanced Sign Design if you look closely. Check it out on google maps street view :)

  • 16 fiddler crab // Feb 10, 2010 at 3:43 am

    so all the holes are caused by Ness Cranes, huh?

    you are in the time-warp, pal. We do not need to waste space for 'industrial' area parking. those businesses are gone and we don't want them to come back to further pollute our waterways.

    This is such a huge improvement for the area. Currently, this area is about as ugly as ugly gets. Park your cars somewhere else is what I say.

  • 17 ballardpilot // Feb 10, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Just wait – when the city comes along with a grand vision for “improving things” then it can surely get more ugly.

  • 18 ballardpilot // Feb 10, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Yes, but don't forget: if you own a car, the city hates you, and will do everything in their power to make your life as miserable as they possibly can. That's their top priority.

  • 19 busdrivermike // Feb 10, 2010 at 7:48 am

    You know what would be even better?

    A monorail from Ballard to West Seattle via downtown.

    We could fund it through a license plate fee, and when it comes time to actually build it, the powers that be could shut it down. Preferable after I have been taxed between $500 to $1000.

    Then, the city could sell the property they took through eminent domain to their political cronies and everyone is happy.

    Then, we could build small, very expensive parks with concrete couches, and useless gateways on small plots of land. This could enrich the construction companies.

    After that, we should take the money that was raised in a levy supposedly to pave streets and build sidewalks. Instead, we will make Mercer a one way street so Bill Gates or Paul Allen does not get stuck in traffic with the little people.

    Yep, we are oh, so, progressive!

  • 20 Peter // Feb 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I am caught in a time warp, and clearly that knotted up my nether region. But was last Monday night a timewarp? Cuz that's the night I walked my pooch thru that area and there were campers…couldn't miss the barking dogs. Thus the knotting.

    Everyone has a list of needs…we'll see who's get met.

  • 21 Peter // Feb 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    That's why parking will be zoned for residential someday…parking stickers and all.

  • 22 motorrad // Feb 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    This is one of the stupidest ideas EVER. Even more stupid than the belltown project. Like people that move next to the airport and then bitch about the noise. Or move into georgtown and complain about trucks. If residents in the area want the RVers gone, then ask for more /no parking after midnight' as has been done in the area south of market. But this is a STUPID project.

  • 23 SPG // Feb 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I don't see what the BFD is here. 14th isn't the nicest looking street outside of the one week in spring when the trees are in bloom.
    Go ahead, add some landscaping, move the parking off the median to the edges like everywhere else, what's the problem?

  • 24 Ballardog // Feb 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Like I said, the area is clearly marked, no overnight parking is allowed. If there were RVs they were most likely parked there temporarily, not camping.

  • 25 Ballardog // Feb 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Apparently the proposal is just for 14th north of Market. If that is approved they want to work on a solution for south of Market but judging from past experience in the area nothing will get approved that is detrimental to the local businesses including reduced parking and streets wide enough for trucks to maneuver. The area is zoned strictly for light industrial and that won't change any time soon. Not a big fan of zone parking but it's your backyard not mine.

  • 26 motorrad // Feb 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Seems the people driving this landscaping project have motives that are contrary to the current zoning. Sure re-pave to get rid of pot holes. This is about something else.

  • 27 Alysse // Feb 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I think their motives are more in line with current zoning than you think. They are working with SDOT and DPD and the Neighborhoods Dept. I haven't seen anything that goes against the current zoning for the area. I looked up the zoning for the area on DPD's website a few minutes ago. Could you explain your statement how this project is “contrary to current zoning”

  • 28 Peter // Feb 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Zoned parking is on the docket for teh entire city, didn't you know? Coming soon to your back yard

  • 29 Ballardog // Feb 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    That's too bad but not surprising. Makes it a little hard to have the friends and family over. Politically, I find zone parking to be class discriminatory and a restriction on freedom of movement. However, it seems inevitable in a high density based living environment and would not surprise me if they start banning parking in some residential areas altogether as the apartments and condos start outnumbering the streets.

    Not coming to my back yard as I live in the light industrial area via the 'grandfathered clause' and am lucky to have my own parking area.

  • 30 motorrad // Feb 11, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Traffic circles and tighter spaces aren't conducive to truck traffic. That makes the area harder to have industrial businesses in. Spaces for loading unloading and waiting are also needed. So technically (by the letter) might not be against zoning, but certainly against the spirit. But the reality is that all of ballard will be gentrified in the 'urban hub' high density plan. This pushes businesses out to the fringes making it impossible to live and work in the same area. The motives of the agencies you mentioned are clear in their input and backing of the 'urban hub' scheme. How can you honestly say the motives behind this project support the business and industries south of Market?

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