14th Ave NW park plan leads to conflict over loss of parking spots

A plan to develop a park boulevard on 14th Ave NW has been in the works for years, but some residents are concerned about the loss of parking spots as new condominium developments are springing up just blocks away. Our news partners, The Seattle Times, reports that a group of Ballard residents are more interested in saving the 90 parking spaces than developing a $1.5 million park.

One of the sketches of the park boulevard plan presented to the Ballard District Council

The East Ballard Community Association says the intent of the park, “proposes to convert two or more blocks of 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and 63rd from existing roadway and parking median to community park green space, green infrastructure, and incorporate safety improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.” While the park will eliminate some parking, Patrick Donahue, senior projects coordinator for the Parks Department and the project manager for the 14th Ave NW Park project, told the Times that there will still be 400 spots in a four-block radius.

Donahue said at two public meetings, about 100 people turned out to help plan the new park. He said fewer than 20 people have complained about the loss of parking, according to the Times. “The city is not obligated to provide a place to park in front of your house,” he told the Times.

However, the Times reports that the Seattle Planning Commission suggested that the city eliminates the parking requirement only in areas with intersecting transit lines. They say the City Council will take up the parking issue again at 9:30 a.m. May 9 in the Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee. Read more about the controversy here.

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