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.