Sound Transit board unanimously approves ST3 updates

As the My Ballard team reported last week, many readers are aware of the updated ST3 plan that may bring, among many other things, grade separated light rail to Ballard three years earlier than originally planned.

This morning, the Sound Transit board officially and unanimously approved the updated ST3 plan that will be on the ballot this November.

“The vote you’re taking today is…truly momentous,” Dow Constantine, King County executive and chair of the Sound Transit board, told board members this morning. “You are setting down the template for the growth and development of this region for the next several generations.”

After listening to feedback from about 35,000 surveys, updates were made to the ST3 plan which includes bumping up Ballard’s light rail line to open in 2035 as opposed to the originally planned 2038.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff confirms that it might be possible to speed up the timeline even more with a series of process changes which include favoring a design/build contract instead of a design/bid/build contract, having senior staff meet with stakeholders first to address concerns upfront, and finally, having local municipalities make zoning changes to allow light rail sooner.

To deliver the light rail options in the tighter time frame, Sound Transit believes that the overall cost of the project will increase by $4 billion.

Despite the timeline victories won in the updated plan, according to The Stranger, many transit advocates are pushing for a tunnel rather than a bridge to carry light rail to Ballard.

According to The Stranger report, the tunnel option would be significantly more expensive by $450 million.

Advocacy group Seattle Subway is also still pushing for a light rail line from Ballard to UW that, they say, could potentially be funded by unexpected revenue or money leftover from other projects.

“We need to be both prudent and scrappy and plan for success,” Seattle Subway’s political director Jonathan Hopkins told the Sound Transit board this morning.

According to The Stranger, the Sound Transit board showed little excitement for either changes but advocated have another three weeks to push the ideas forward.

The Sound Transit board will take its final vote to send ST3 to the November ballot on June 23.

Whittier Heights Annual Garage Sale set for Saturday

The Whittier Heights Annual Garage Sale will be held this Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. onwards.

Over 30 homes will be taking part in multiple garage sales in the small geographical area between NW 65th and NW 85th, 8th NW and 15th NW.

“The weather is predicted to be beautiful. Come on out, meet your neighbors and find great bargains,” say the organizers.

Physical maps are available to pick up at 7301 Dibble Ave NW on the day of the sale or click on the link above to view the map in Google maps.

Ballard Natural Drainage Project “no parking signs” update

As local residents are well aware, the Ballard Natural Drainage Systems Project is well underway and, according to SPU, is on track to be completed by this Fall.

SPU wants to reach out to local residents regarding the “No Parking” signs that have been placed on or near their street while project construction is underway.

SPU has confirmed that “No Parking” signs will likely remain on the block as long as the contractor is working in that area. SPU has also confirmed that contractors are permitted to post parking restrictions in 30-day increments.

Once that increment has passed, the contractor is required to update the information with parking enforcement and post the new dates. These dates do not reflect the overall project timeline, but rather the current “No Parking” restriction.

Signs will be placed on the particular blocks while active construction is in progress, and they may also be used to help provide safe routes for large concrete deliveries, excavation trucks and other equipment while work is occurring on nearby blocks.

SPU states that the construction crews need clear sightlines and roadways in order to safely move their equipment in and out of the neighborhood and to help protect pedestrians and private property.

For this type of project, the contractor will typically work in activity phases. SPU confirms that the contractor’s first phase in Ballard is to excavate, test and install natural drainage systems along NW 75th St, NW 77th St, 19th Ave NW and 17th Ave NW followed by concrete street restoration.

The second phase will be to repeat those activities along NW 77th St and 26th Ave NW near Loyal Heights Elementary School.

The last phase will involve planting in all of the natural drainage systems throughout the entire project site.

The “No Parking” restrictions will be placed in accordance with each phase of work.

“We do apologize for the inconvenience and for any confusion these signs may have caused. We have reminded the contractor to keep the “No Parking” signs as up-to-date as possible,” says Project Manager Grace Montano.

SPU advises residents to contact the phone number provided on the no parking sign if they have questions about the signage.

Phinney Farmers Market to open this Friday

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Phinney Farmers Market will hold its official Opening Day this Friday, June 3, from 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The market will be in operation every Friday through September 30 in the back parking lot of the PNA at Phinney Ave N and N 67th St.

“We are lining up the tried-and-true offerings, some brand new farms and more prepared food vendors for you as you gather to shop with friends and neighbors,” say the organizers.

Some of the new vendors include Old Ballard Liquor Co., Cascade Farm, Toste, Burton Hill Farm and El Chito.

Click here to check out the Phinney Farmers Market Facebook page for event updates.

Ballard Reuse to celebrate 2nd anniversary

Ballard Reuse (1440 NW 52nd St) will be celebrating its 2nd Anniversary this Saturday, June 4th.

Ballard Reuse opened in the place of The RE Store Board, who operated in our neighborhood for 15 years, decided to close the Ballard store two years ago after deciding that “construction and demolition waste issues are being adequately addressed by other businesses and organizations in the Seattle area.”

“It’s been a great two years so far. To show our deep appreciation for the tremendous support we’ve received from the community, we will have a sale and offer 20% off everything in the store,” says Operations Manager Pat Finn Coven.

Secret Sausage will be handing our delicious free sausages and veggie sausages and Balleywood Creamery will be serving super yummy free ice cream and sorbet.

The team will also have games made from used materials and fun things!

Ballard Criterium bike race on this Saturday

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The Ballard Criterium, will take over Old Ballard this Saturday as hundreds of bikes fly through the streets for the 23rd annual bike race, put on by Apex Racing and sponsored by Verity Credit Union.

The race runs a loop through Old Ballard’s streets, starting and finishing at the corner of Ballard Ave NW and 20th Ave NW. It’s a rectangular course that uses Ballard Ave NW, NW Dock Place, Shilshole Ave NW and NW Vernon Place. The races start at about 2 p.m., and the streets of the course will be closed from 2-10 p.m.

If you want to join in the race, register online, or register on Saturday before 1:30 p.m.

A USA Cycling license is required to race, but you can purchase a one-day license for Cat 5 men’s and Cat 4 women’s races only for $10. All the other categories require the USA Cycling annual license which can be purchased from USA Cycling (not for sale at the race).

The cost to register for the race is $35 plus tax. Click here for a full list of the racing categories.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Criterium.