The Ballard District Council is raising concerns after a presentation to the group by the Seattle Department of Transportation. During the talk, Bill Bryant with SDOT highlighted proposed changes to Metro route 44 and Market Street. (Read about it here.) This week the president of the council sent a letter to Peter Hahn, the director of SDOT, with some concerns about the proposed changes.
An SDOT rendering of a curb bulb
We are concerned by the following proposals:
1) 11th Ave. and Market St.– curb bulb
• A condominium driveway may pass through the curb bulb. This makes the proposed bulb less safe.
2) 14th Ave. and Market St. – stop to be eliminated
• This stop serves those shopping at Ballard Market and Safeway. Without this stop, shoppers will need to cross both Market St. and 15th Ave., or walk to the 11th Ave. stop with their groceries.
• A new high rise 238 unit apartment (Avalon Bay) building will be constructed on the 1400 block of NW Market, increasing demand for bus service.
3) 17th Ave. and Market – stop to be eliminated
• This stop is the primary access point for the Swedish Hospital facility and surrounding medical services. Swedish will open its 6-story family clinic later this year; and has just announced its development of a cancer treatment facility to be located on Tallman Ave across from the hospitals’ main entrance.
• The 80 unit Compass Center project and other likely development activity just north of Market will add to this demand.
• The new apartment building at 1545 NW Market St. recently added 251 new housing units near the east-bound stop at this intersection
4) 26th and Market – stop to be eliminated
• These stops also serve as an additional transfer point to routes 17 and 46. Connection points are crucial to a functioning system
• These stops serve the residents of a dense multifamily neighborhood north of Market St., including the residents of Ballard House, the 85-unit Seattle Housing Authority low income senior housing project at 2445 NW 57th.
• The new Nordic Heritage Museum and other new commercial development (e.g. at the former Jacobsen boat property) is anticipated along Market between 24th NW and 26th NW.
5) 28th and Market – curb bulbs
• The design of this intersection must accommodate turning freight vehicles, access to the future Nordic Heritage Museum, and to commercial redevelopment on the north side of Market.
A look at the pilot project. “Curb lane must turn right except buses.”
The letter to Hahn also questions the planned pilot project for the right-turn only lanes for the east/west-bound traffic at 24th and Market. The letter states that further study is needed before implementation. “Peak summer traffic conditions may not be the ideal time for this experiment,” Jennifer Macuiba, the council president says. In closing, the Macuiba invites SDOT and Metro to a future BDC meeting to answer their concerns.