Park boulevard proposed for stretch of 14th Ave.

East Ballard residents who have been working for years to revitalize 14th Ave. NW presented a new sketch of a proposed park boulevard to members of the Ballard District Council on Wednesday night.

The preliminary plan would be to eliminate the median, move traffic to one side and use up to 40-feet in width for a park. “It’s a real need and an opportunity,” said Peter Locke, the lead architect, explaining that the 100-foot-wide 14th Ave. has lots of underutilized space.

The proposal focuses on a small stretch of 14th Ave. to start — 59th to 61st St. — with the longer-term vision to renovate the entire length of 14th Ave. from Ballard High to the Ship Canal. Organizers said the roadway south of Market would be designed differently to accommodate the industrial traffic in the area.

One of the first questions from neighbors at the meeting asked about the impact on parking. Locke said there are 12 legal parking spots in the median per block, but street parking isn’t always fully utilized. The park boulevard design would allow parallel parking on both sides of the street. An SDOT representative at the meeting said the department is looking forward to working with organizers evaluating the impact of the project.

The East Ballard Community Association is holding a meeting Thursday, February 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Alphonsus School Cafeteria, and you’re invited to come share your ideas and feedback. Organizers plan to submit an application to the city for park levy funding by April 2nd. “We’re going to need a lot of help, a lot of support, a lot of ideas to bring it all together,” Locke said.

Earlier this week: Ballard watching Belltown’s park boulevard project

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

43 thoughts to “Park boulevard proposed for stretch of 14th Ave.”

  1. If you remove the yield signs and the center divider from this area you will get traffic moving about 20 miles faster than the 30-40 it's moving at now. So add cars to that drawing traveling at freeway speeds.

    That said I imagine the center parking area will have to go sooner or later. Just understand that it will go at a cost to parking and the road will become a speedway.

  2. The center median is wasted space. I think this is a great idea to improve the appearance of 14th and to make the neighborhood more pedestrian/cycle friendly. There's plenty of parking on the sides without using the median.

    I don't think this change will have any impact on how fast cars drive down the street.

  3. Mike this comment doesn't make any sense. How do the east/west yield signs effect the north/south traffic now?

    What is stopping me from going 60 on 14th as it is today?

  4. I know that some people inside SDOT and on the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board would like to see Seattle add a two-way cycletrack. Think the Burke Gilman Trail paralleling a road.

    What if the eastmost sidewalk, the one bordering private properties, was turned into an 8 foot wide two-way bicycle path connecting from Ballard High, past the Ballard Blocks, to the Burke (or the missing link a block away from the end of the Burke)?

    I have my reservations about the design, but if an extra set of Yield and Trail Crossing signs were added with the green stripe or crosswalk on the roads at the crossings, I think that the east west traffic is light enough that it could work.

  5. 14th is the only place I can find to park. This may seem great to all of you that have off street parking, but even with the huge median on 14th, it's a battle to find parking at times.

    And aren't we in a recession? Why do we “need” this? Yeah, it will make 14th a bit prettier but I think there are much more important things to worry about. How about fixing all the pot holes I have to smash through every time I drive? Or better yet how about reducing taxes instead of spending it in such frivolous ways.

  6. Absurd. More taxes spent on a park that is not really park and which no one will even use. Certainly when I look for outdoor recreation I head to the closest grass strip between 60s and 70s apartment buildings.

  7. Absurd. More taxes spent on a park that is not really park and which no one will even use. Certainly when I look for outdoor recreation I head to the closest grass strip between 60s and 70s apartment buildings.

  8. Yeah, I too am concerned about the “campers”. First we take their home — next to Burger King — now we take their parking lot. I guess they'll just have to park next to Ballard Market. Oh, wait…

  9. I am more concerned about the renters who rent these cheaper apartments. Where will they all move to when the area is upgraded and the rents increase?

  10. I am more concerned about the renters who rent these cheaper apartments. Where will they all move to when the area is upgraded and the rents increase?

  11. The picture is hilarious. OK, I get that it will be pretty. But where are all those pedestrians going, and where are they coming from? Just because there's a pretty median there, all of a sudden there's going to be a reason to walk up and down 14th Ave?

    All that space, and yet the bicyclists in the picture have to ride right next to the parked cars and get doored. Take away the imaginary pedestrians and make a usable bike route.

  12. Im with you MichaelSnyder, A two way bike track off street is better use of space.From the looks of it this green space has plenty of room.Those park benches will be used for sleeping and drinking . Also I would draw in some shopping carts parked close by.

  13. If we lost the vagrant RVs and the car farmer taking up a bunch of spots you'd be able to find parking on 14th with no problem.
    These kinds of projects are what the government is supposed to do during a recession to create jobs and get money flowing around.

  14. The people who live on that block will use it. I'd rather see a little more green space than a gravelly median with RVs that look like props from Mad Max.

  15. By your logic we should pave over our existing parks as an answer to the vagrant problem.
    In reality you'll have less bad behavior when the park is a narrow strip in front of people's homes. I don't think you'll have the bums taking over when the neighbors are right there.

  16. fewer conflicts if the cycletrack were in the center or repeated on each side so that the bike traffic flow is more predictable- but YES cycletrck

  17. I lived at one of those cheaper apartments along 14th near 62nd, and I personally loved the cheap rent and center median… often times it was the only place with open parking. I also loved that 14th was quieter and calmer, and if I wanted a hoppin' park/grass strip and busy road I could walk to one… a block over. I don't think the apartment dwellers on 14th really care about having a populated grass strip in their formerly quiet front yard, and the homes there already have their own yards/grass strips. The campers dont' start lining up until closer to Ballard Market… and besides, all those folks will be moving thier campers to the Compass Center and taking up parking there…..

  18. I know you're just trying to be snarky, but it looks like this plan would actually cut down on that sort of thing. Without a median I'd suspect that the RVs would get pushed out. It's harder to park one in a parallel spot and the RV would then be right in front of someone's home and more likely to get reported.
    The vagrants would actually be less likely to be drinking right in front of someone's house/apartment as the park space won't be big enough to provide them cover.

  19. The priority should be fixing the @#$% road between Market to the ship canal instead of making a “pretty boulevard” 2 blocks long! This has to be the worst
    maintained road in Seattle.

  20. “The center median is wasted space” the article aboves states that there are 12 parking spaces per block, but cars can park on along the sidewalk… cars already park along the sidewalk and all 12 parking spots/block are also generally full… for the 3 block trial area, that's 36 cars that now don't have a place to park. Doesn't sound like wasted space to me!

  21. I agree with MichealSnyder about adding a two-way cycletrack. This would be a great route to try out dedicated, physically seperated bike lines.

    Rather than a painted area between moving vehicle traffic and car parking (not child or casual biker friendly, swap the places of the parking and the bike lanes. Or place the bike track next to the sidewalk.

    I've seen this done where the bike lane is paved and sidewalk is cobbled-style for easy distinction. I think a single cycle track next to the side walk on the park side would reduce vehicle/bike interactions, increase traffic speed and be a great model for combining parking, curb, park, cycletrack and sidewalk. Or even eliminate parking on one side of the street.

    However, 14th south of market is in desperate need of replacement. Hopefully this project could act as a test bed for one particular method of replacing the strip of 14th south of Market St.

    Seriously though, we need to investigate better alternatives to painted bike lines squeezed between traffic and parked cars. That is not a family friendly solution.

  22. Also… those pretty little grass strips in the picture don't show the driveways at every house or apartment… so take that picture, and then segment those strips into about 3 squares/ block.

  23. I frequently walk in this area and am always surprised about how many pedestrians there actually are. To answer your question: We're walking from our homes to the grocery store, drugstore, to get bite to eat, to head into downtown Ballard, catch a bus, etc.

    I often prefer to walk through other parts of the neighborhood because 14th is such a blight and the parking median means that it's harder for cars to see me (let alone while I'm pushing a stroller).

    And walking along 15th isn't exactly paradise either. Creating a boulevard like this is a great use of the space and an upgrade for the entire community. There aren't many green spaces in East Ballard. This is one of our few opportunities.

  24. Up until a few months ago I lived on 14th, and I thought it was one of the BEST streets in Ballard to walk down! Big sidewalks w/out a lot of shrubbery for perps to hide behind, not crazy traffic, etc. I miss walking walking down 14th… I moved to West Ballard and feel a lot less safe walking up and down 24th than I did on 14th!

    I agree that it will be pretty. But as someone who lived there, I know how scarce the parking is, and how nice it was when the median had one open spot and I didn't have to walk 2 blocks in the dark to get home…

  25. No way. I mean, no, I don't live there, I don't spend a ton of time there, but you're telling me that the picture above is a realistic depiction of the foot traffic on 14th?

    There are 10 people in one short block of sidewalk, just on the sidewalk, not counting the people in the trees. That's as many people as you'd ever see walking the block of 22nd by the library and the park at any time of day, and that block is in the center of Ballard.

    I believe that people walk on 14th, but it's not some kind of pedestrian superhighway. But that's what the picture is selling.

  26. There's a decent amount of residential foot traffic, but definitely not the pedestrian superhighway depicted in the picture or described by PhinneyNB. And frankly, I don't see why anyone would want it to be, especially the neighbors…why do people want to turn one of Ballard's quieter, calmer streets into a busy, populated metropolis!? Ack! Next they'll want to knock out all those cheap-rent apartments and replace them with condos and compass centers! =)

  27. I wholeheartedly agree. There's plenty of space for a cycletrack there and that would really provide incentive for people to ride more, especially if it connects to the burke-gilman. It's a fairly flat route as well. It's time for Seattle to get serious about this stuff.

  28. A linear park is an ambitious vision. Maybe too much so. Instead, how about removing the parallel parking on the east side of 14th Avenue NW and substituting an uphill bike lane? Sharrows could be painted downhill. The parking in the median should be more disciplined. The current sidewalks are nice.

  29. Hey, Really great idea to plain for park boulevard, As per me this project has major advantages and benefits. I wish good luck to you guys by doing such a great projects an d i hope this in future too.

  30. some of the median “tips” have been improved with conrete planters and gravel. however, most of the gravel is not protected by a curb, so it is being spread by the vehicles that drive on the gravel. the gravel is hazardous to two-wheeled traffic and peds. who is going to sweep it?

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