Trash, brush cleared from ‘the Jungle’

While we were attending Saturday’s clean-up event, a concerned neighbor took us on a tour of “the Jungle,” an overgrown strip of land between Ballard Ave. and Shilshole along 22nd Ave. She told us the Jungle is a hotbed of drug use and a popular homeless hangout, especially at night.

We didn’t see any homeless on the property, but bedding and trash littered the area. Ballard District Coordinator Rob Mattson confirmed that some business owners and neighbors have complained about the land in recent weeks.

Much of the property is owned by the Olympic Athletic Club, which operates the parking lot there. The concerned neighbor, who asked us not to use her name, approached a city representative at today’s clean-up event to see if crews could clear out the brush and trash. But because it’s private property, he told her that he needed a signed letter of permission from OAC.

So she ran down Ballard Ave. and spoke to Olympic Athletic Club. Moments later, she returned out of breath, letter in hand. “This is a little unusual,” the city representative said. But within a few minutes, a Department of Corrections work crew with brush-clearing equipment moved in.

By noon, workers had cleared out trash, bedding and heavy brush in the most problematic part of the Jungle (compare this photo to the first one above). “I think the mayor put a tool in our hands today, and we were able to utilize it beyond our expectations,” she told us. “Every little step is an improvement in our attempt to keep our city safe, and we are extremely grateful.”

We’re told the work crew will also be picking up trash under the Ballard Bridge in coming days, another popular homeless hangout.


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One down-one-hundred to go
Guest
One down-one-hundred to go

This is one down and one-hundred to go. We must next take on Bergen Place head-on with an enormous mass of people. We gave this ground up easily to the criminals, and they're holding it. Any normal person that tries to hangout there will quickly be intimidate and runoff. This is where all the crack is spreading from. It's the epicenter of the cesspool. Please start calling and complaining to Seattle North Police dept. We need cops on foot and on bikes patrolling Ballard until the streets are cleared of out-in-the-open drug deals and drug use. The Chai House is also harboring these dealers. If you know the owner of the Chai House, please express your concerns.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

“This is a little unusual,” lol, yeah, generally that's something we form a committee for, talk about it, get the environmental impact study, talk some more….
Damn nice to see how Ballard rolls…when given the chance, we just get it done. Thank you concerned neighbor, the credit goes to you.
…and thanks for the cooperation from the athletic club too!

Concerned Neighbor
Guest
Concerned Neighbor

Well I had a first today in Ballard. Walking back to my car with the family, a drunk staggers past. Well, that's not a first in Ballard. What was a first is he swings around and starts mumbling, then cussing at me. This is noon. Outside Sams Sushi. Within earshot of my little kids. S***faced bum, waving his arms and cussing at me because I won't give him change. Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but the kids were scared witless by this ***hole. One nearly bought to tears. The next 100 yards walking past the parade of bums outside the library and park pretty much confirmed what I'm reading here on myballard. We have a serious problem. The occasional wino is fine, almost picturesque, but this is an armada of vagrants that has taken up residence in our neighborhood. Seriously, merchants of Ballard, I won't expose my kids to these morons, I'll be shopping and dining elsewhere. We're actually closer to Phinney and Fremont so will head there. You need to get the police into the neighborhood and start dragging these ***holes off to jail. And to all of Ballard's pro-bum residents….when is enough enough? These aren't ne'er do wells… Read more »

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

Sorry neighbor, and yes, validation of what we are dealing with. Hopefully, you'll have a Ballard that welcomes you, and other families soon.
I vote with my dollars too, seen me spending a dime down at that cesspool? No, just walking a beat, with no money in my pocket.
And ditto to the pro-bum dumbasses.

vlad the validifier
Guest
vlad the validifier

Whew, what a day you must have had.
The thing that continues to amaze me here in the Northwest is how fast things grow.
It does not take long for an untended patch to become an wilderness.
Thank you for cleaning up one small patch.
U ROC!

Dweezil
Member
Dweezil

I haven't hung out at the Chai House since they changed ownership (about a year ago?) and don't recall it being a harborer of nasties. Is this something new?

No Ballard shopping here
Guest
No Ballard shopping here

I won't spend a penny at The Chai House, Golden City or 7 11 personally. I don't even shop in Ballard any more and prefer downtown or Northgate Mall. Much safer and much more police in case some thing goes wrong. I won't even go near Market Street or Bergen Park any more, because of all the transients the store owners are luring onto the street the last couple years, with the free handouts and pro transient stance. No way. If you chose transients over law abiding people, have a nice time. Also, If you're dumb enough to hang out in Bergen Park, you deserve the beating you are likley to get eventually.

cdpenne
Member
cdpenne

Seems to me OAC ought to be responsible for cleaning up the property they own yet fail to maintain. I sure they weren't too upset with the free help. I think a little pressure on the OAC is in order.

Symbolic Victory
Guest
Symbolic Victory

Good post, but please note the tide is turning. We will start hanging out in Bergen Park and the beatings are going to be flipped upside down. Many residents and business owners have had it. If the city doesn't do something right away, we're going to raise money and hire someone who will do something about it. Bring your bat and come on down. What goes around comes around!

Trix
Guest
Trix

A little pressure on all the businesses in downtown Ballard are in order. I still support our local shops……..
Walking quickly, with my head down.

Trix
Guest
Trix

Oh, and a big kudos to the neighbor who sought the chance to bring the issue up, and haul arse to the OAC to take care of the paperwork. :-)

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

Cooperation from the athletic club? They leave the land unattended, then give permission for concerned citizens to clean it up for free?

Up yours OAC!

great idea
Member
great idea

“I don't even shop in Ballard any more and prefer downtown or Northgate Mall.”

do you realize what a drug den the northgate area really is?
this is the most out-of-touch statement I've read in a really long time.

funny how every city seems to have some overgrown area with rampant transient population that they call 'the jungle'

if I recall, the one in East St. Louis was much worse. there were actually land mines.

No Ballard shops 4 me
Guest
No Ballard shops 4 me

I have never been harrassed for change in Northgate Mall. What people do in that neighborhood outside the mall, is of no concern to me. I have never seen a fight break out in the mall or seen a drug dealer or any person urinate. I do outside the Ballard shops, so I dont support them. Same with inside Westlake Mall.

Ballard Merchant
Guest
Ballard Merchant

From a Market st. merchant's perspective there has been a significant decrease in foot traffic. We pay a lot of money for store space on Market (more than you think!), and the bums are scaring away all of our customers! We've had several encounters with bums refusing to leave our store, as well. We've certainly never made them feel welcome. We've called the cops several times, but unless they are brandishing a weapon it seems like SPD could care less. Unfortunately the cost of doing business on Market st. is beginning to outweigh the benefit. I just hope something is done before an area with so much charm, history and character turns into a ghost town.

Stupid Hippie
Guest
Stupid Hippie

Have you simply tried talking to these homeless? Invite them in for tea and crumpets? You would be amazed at their wonderful stories! I think it's wonderful they feel so at home in Ballard, it shows we are a compassionate community.

Ernie
Member
Ernie

Maybe you weren't at Northgate on Feb 23rd 2008 when a 15 year old kid was shot in the parking lot after a fight that started in the food court.

That's why it doesn't work to generalize based solely on your own experiences.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

City Team Ministries closed its doors a few months ago, those who stayed there migrated up to Kinnear Park and with alot of neighbor complaints and increased police patrolling, they were driven off, many to Ballard it seems.
The homeless problem in Seattle in ever increasing and unless and until the City decides to address it, instead of chasing them from neighborhood to neighborhood, it will continue and it will get worse.
These are people in need. Yes, some are criminals, some are mentally ill, some are chronic inebriates, some are just down on thier luck, but their options are limited.

Pressure needs to be put on the city to create more housing options and programs.

Stop whining about your ruined shopping experience, you're not part of the solution.

busdrivermike
Guest
busdrivermike

As opposed to the guy who had to run inside his house for a shotgun to protect himself last weekend in Ballard? Or the list of assaults and petty thefts that have plagued Ballard in the last year? How about the two guys who beat up the SPD officer a month back in Ballard.

There are so many stories of uncivilized behavior in the shopping core of Ballard it is hard to go to a social gathering without hearing one these days.

Ernie, you simply cannot be serious comparing the safety of shopping inside Northgate Mall contrasted by a guy with his kids getting accosted by a crazy person on the street in broad daylight outside of Sam's sushi. Ballard is nowhere near as safe as the inside of Northgate Mall.

Ballard is not as safe as it once was, even a year or two ago. That is simply a fact, not a generalization. I feel much more safe at Northgate mall than I do walking around Ballard.

busdrivermike
Guest
busdrivermike

But, unlike you Sasha, I am not part of the problem by making excuses for them and asking for an increase in services for homeless. Let us all be clear about one of the major factors involved in the increasing number of hobos and homeless criminals who are migrating to Seattle. It is because other cities and states have stopped giving their troublemakers a free ride, and now they here, looking to suck on the citizens of Seattle's largess. Therefore, more services for the homeless will just create more homeless in Seattle. Gosh, sorry to weigh on everyones tender sensibilities, but that is a fact. So the choice is simple. We can be the last chair for every miscreant from everywhere when the music stops, or we can come to the realization that we are being played for suckers by California, Oregon, and Idaho. I bet to some that this hard truth makes me a jerk, but I have children living here, and I am not pleased that they have roots here, six more years of school, and I have to start thinking about moving to Lynnwood, where the cops actually show up minutes after you call them, and they… Read more »

kim
Guest
kim

kudos to the woman who had the mind enough to get the written letter from the oac while the big equipment was there. she should be the mayor…..of ballard at least.

No Ballard shops 4 me
Guest
No Ballard shops 4 me

Plenty of Businesses are transient friendly. It just takes one on each block to turn an entire enighborhood into a sewer. Again, the only thing drawing transients to Ballard are The Food Bank and the soup kitchens. End of story. There is nothing else for them here.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

alright hippie, that's a bit beyond the sarcasm limit…
but thanks for the laugh…

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

Agreed, I nominate 'concerned neighbor' for Mayor of Ballard, and oh, yeah, and that other stuff that they call Seattle…

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

gotta appreciate your point. Sorry for my shortsightedness…
20 hours is too many…good night.