We all know parking in Central Ballard is a challenge, and on the weekend — especially during the Ballard Farmer’s Market as the weather warms up — it can be downright maddening.
That’s usually when drivers get creative along Shilshole Ave., often parking on — or very near (above) — the railroad tracks that run along the shoreline.
“Last Sunday, I saw some 30 cars parked on the tracks with these, handy, warnings tagged on each car,” explains Jim in the My Ballard Facebook Group, posting these photos. “Several cars were towed a few hours later, when the train made it’s run.”
Most Ballard visitors — and quite a few Ballard residents — are always surprised to learn that the railroad actually runs several times a week. Often in overnight hours, Ballard Terminal Railroad Company runs a one-engine (“Li’l Beaver”) railroad that transports materials back and forth from Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel on Shilshole Ave.
Signs next to the stretch of tracks remind drivers that it’s illegal to park within six feet of the tracks, day or night. When cars block the train, they get towed.
“They tow at last resort,” Jim explained. “I’ve seen the train held up for an hour while they try and sort out the parking before towing.”