City seeks public input to change rules governing Ship Canal bridges

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

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

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

Neighborhood Matching Fund application period still open


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

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.