Motorcycle collides with car on Sunset Hill

A motorcycle heading along 32nd Ave. NW on Sunset Hill collided with a parked car near NW 80th St., neighbors say.

The collision happened Saturday evening, sending parts of the motorcycle skidding down the street. The dashboard was resting 40 feet away from the rest of the bike.

Fortunately the rider was alert and talking as he was loaded up in the ambulance, according to witnesses.

There’s no word from Seattle Police on the cause of the collision. Neighbors say that people often speed down 32nd Ave., a long, downhill stretch of road.

(Thanks to Mac for sending us the photo).

Fatal traffic collision at 15th and Market

Update: Seattle Police says the driver of the pickup truck drove through a red light while traveling eastbound on Market St., colliding with two other vehicles before ramming into a pole and utility control box. Another vehicle was struck by one of the other cars.

The pickup driver died in the crash, and the passenger was injured. Two others were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Earlier: A pickup collided with a pole and a utility box at Ballard’s busiest intersection just after midnight on Friday morning, killing one of the two occupants, Seattle Fire said.

Other vehicles were also damaged in the crash.

A very large response of firefighters closed down both 15th Ave. NW and NW Market St. as they worked on extricating the two trapped patients by sawing off the top of the cab.

A man was pronounced dead, and a woman was taken to Harborview in stable condition.

Investigators will be working at the scene for several hours. No word on how long the intersection will be closed, but it should reopen in time for the morning commute.

(Our thanks to Silver for the photos.)

New ‘curb bulbs’ painted on Leary Ave.

As we previewed last month, the city installed an all-way stop sign, flashing beacon and crosswalk at the confusing intersection of Leary Ave. and Vernon Pl.

With most of the work done, crews have just painted the “curb bulbs,” which come in all different colors and designs — like these blue swirls over on 40th Ave. NE. Instead of a funky design, SDOT went with the brick look, since the intersection is right next door to Old Ballard.

(Photos from SDOT)

Pedestrian signal, crosswalk and bus-only lane coming to 15th Ave. NW

Big changes are coming to 15th Ave. NW between Market St. and the Ballard Bridge.

That busy stretch carries an estimated 50,000 vehicles and 15,000 bus passengers every day, SDOT says. For nearly half a mile — between Market and Leary — there are no crosswalks, which often results in some pedestrians making a mad dash across 15th.

Over the next several weeks, SDOT is installing a crosswalk at NW 53rd St. — that’s just north of the Starbucks’ drive-in — with a center island, pedestrian signal and curb ramps. It will look something like this (SDOT rendering):

The pedestrian island replaces the center turn lane, which will also be replaced with a bus-only lane from 53rd down to 51st, where the center lane disappears leading up to the Ballard Bridge. This bus lane is designed “to make service more reliable and faster” when traffic backs up, SDOT says.

However, removing that turn lane means you’ll no longer be able to make left turns on 15th at 52nd or 53rd streets. “Some people and service providers will change their routes to get home or access businesses,” SDOT says. “However, the change will make the intersections safer.”

All this work will result in lane closures for the next 6-8 weeks, adjusted to minimize impact on the commute. Here are the details from SDOT:

  • Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction for the duration of the project.
  • Outer southbound and northbound lane closures of 15th Ave NW will occur intermittently.
  • 15th Ave NW southbound will be open to three lanes 6-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
  • 15th Ave NW northbound will be open to three lanes 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and noon to 4PM on Saturday and Sunday.
  • No parking and local access only on NW 53rd St between 17th Ave NW and 14th Ave NW.

This stretch of 15th Ave. NW is becoming home to several apartment complexes, including a new development planned for 51st and 15th.

All-way stop sign planned for confusing intersection on Leary Ave.

Most Ballardites are very familiar with the bizarre angled intersection of 20th Ave. NW and NW Vernon Place with Leary Ave. NW (the corner with the Olympic Athletic Club).

Pedestrians often take their lives in their hands crossing Leary diagonally — especially on busy Sundays when the market is in full swing and speeders fly down Leary. For drivers heading south on 20th, it can be a tricky maneuver navigating across Leary into Old Ballard.

Thanks to money from Seattle Neighborhoods’ “Your Voice, Your Choice” program — which is decided by community voting — changes are coming to the intersection.

An all-way stop sign with a flashing beacon will be installed at Leary and NW Vernon, and curb bulbs will be added on three corners. Workers will also install new marked crosswalks. SDOT says the changes will increase “walkability, safety, and predictability.”

Michael Grass noticed a sign has gone up at the site (thanks @mgrass for the photo above), and construction is expected to begin this month.

By the way, there are 5 other “Your Voice, Your Choice” projects approved for the greater Ballard area, including improvements along 14th Ave. NW just north of Holman Road. Here’s the list.

Several cars collide on the Ballard Bridge

Update: Lanes have been reopened nearly three hours after the crash.

Earlier: All lanes of the Ballard Bridge closed after 12:15 today after several cars collided.

Police are re-routing traffic through the exit and on-ramp on the north end of the bridge. Traffic is backed up in both directions. Check our traffic cameras for the latest conditions.

Heavy rain has been moving through Seattle for the last couple hours.

No word on any injuries.

Upcoming lane closures on Ballard Bridge

Earlier this month, maintenance work on both directions of the Ballard Bridge (above) triggered massive traffic backups and prompted a flood of complaints. SDOT delayed additional work in an effort to consolidate its projects and minimize the impact on drivers.

Today SDOT has announced the new maintenance work, and it will impact only the northbound lanes. On April 3rd and April 10th, the curbside northbound lane on the bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bike and pedestrian traffic will not be impacted. The bridge will have normal marine traffic closures “as SDOT is required to close the bridge to vehicle traffic and open for marine traffic crossings per federal law,” SDOT says in the advisory.

Car flips over in crash on 15th Ave.

Medics and firefighters responded to a roll-over crash on 15th Ave. NW at NW 65th St. just before 3 a.m. When they arrived, all the occupants were out of the vehicle.

A KING TV photographer at the scene reported the driver had collided with a building.

No word on the extent of injuries, building damage or cause of the crash.

“If you’re a member of the cross fit gym, I’d call to see if they open today,” wrote Randy in the My Ballard Facebook Group about the crash. “Couldn’t see what the damage was, but 3 officers were searching the parking lot.”

Intersection of 8th Ave. and 95th St. closed until early next month

The emergency sewer repair work underway in Crown Hill is creating more traffic closures than initially anticipated.

Seattle Public Utilities crews have closed the intersection of 8th Ave. NW and NW 95th St. until the project is complete. Even though crews are working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the roads remained closed around the clock “so crews can monitor and maintain the sewer bypass system,” SPU said.

Vehicles are being routed around the intersection.

SPU says work is expected to last until early April, but the schedule may change depending on the extent of the damaged pipes.