District Council meeting recap: land use changes coming to Interbay, and greenways are underway

While the sunshine kept most people away, a group of about a dozen gathered for last night’s Ballard District Council meeting, which covered several changes coming to the neighborhood, including the installation of Ballard greenways, zoning changes to some Interbay areas, and street improvements for the coming year.

City makes first phase of recommendations for land use in Interbay

First on the agenda was the results from a year-long land use study in Interbay. Patrice Carroll from the city’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) presented the findings and recommendations from the study, which looked at ways in which Interbay is currently used and where there is room for growth and change. The city focused on the Dravus area, which includes the 15th Ave corridor just north and south of Dravus St. Carroll said the recommendation is to replace the Industrial General (IG) zoning with Industrial Commercial (IC), which the DPD believes would encourage local production uses.

Carroll also highlighted the Armory area, which includes the area just north of the Magnolia Bridge alone the 15th Ave corridor. Carroll said the DPD recommended augmenting the retail space. “This could be a good place for retail that’s not available in other places along this corridor that could serve not only the local neighborhoods of Queen Anne and Magnolia, but also the downtown community – that is where most of the growth will happen over the next 20 years,” Carroll said.

To review the recommendations online, click here. The DPD will continue to ask for feedback via this online survey prior to making their final recommendations for land use in the area.

Greenways underway in Ballard

Next on the agenda was the Ballard Greenways, which are already being installed along 58th Ave NW.

Ballard Greenways route map. (Click on map for larger version) Graphic courtesy SDOT

The majority of the work being done includes curb ramp installation, paint on the road to designate bike lanes, signs and new “rapid flash beacons,” which are essentially crosswalks with button-activated flashing lights. The installations, which cost the city about $900,000, include the following implementations (from SDOT):

  • Directional signs, neighborhood greenway signs, 20 mph speed limit signs andbicycle pavement markings
  • New stop signs to control traffic crossing the greenway at certainintersections
  • Wider sidewalk on Seaview Avenue NW
  • Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons at 24th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street
  • Partial diverter for eastbound traffic at 15th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street (at St. Alphonsus School)
  • ADA ramps, speed humps, crosswalks and crossbikes
  • Bicycle parking at destinations along the route
  • Concrete panel and spot pavement repair

Chris Saleeba from the Ballard Greenways group says one of major focuses of the greenway is to control the arterial crossings along 58th Ave NW. “That’s really one of the most challenging aspects of riding a bike, or walking, or being a dad and pushing a stroller, is getting across those really busy intersections,” Saleeba explained. The greenways project should be complete by the end of the summer.

City’s street improvement plan for 2013

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Art Brochet went over some of the street improvement plans for Ballard in the coming year. Some upcoming projects include the following:

  • New curb bulb at SE corner of NW Market St. at Tallman Ave NW
  • Mid block crosswalk improvements – 24th Ave NW (between NW 77th & 80th Sts)
  • New crosswalk – Seaview Ave NW near NW 70th St. – no curb ramps until 2014
  • Ped walkway improvements – 17th ve NW (NW 89th to 90th Sts)

South Ballard corridor improvements:

  • Pavement patches on NW 45th St. west of 11th Ave NW (Fred Meyer)
  • Advisory bike lanes on NW 45th St. between 11th and 15th Aves NW
  • Revised striping on Shilshole Ave NW from 15th ave NW (around bridge piers) to 46th Ave NW
  • Painted island at intersection of Shilshole Ave NW and NW 46th St.
  • Repair of shoulder on Shilshole Ave NW between 17th Ave NW and the 2300 block
  • Curb ramp on Shilshole Ave NW at 24th Ave NW (SE corner)
  • Painted island at Ballard Ave NW and 17th Ave NW (SW corner near Canvas Supply)
  • Painted T-intersection where NW 48th meets Ballard Ave

Other work for this year includes the Ballard Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project and some remaining Rapid Ride D line projects.

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