Several Ballard projects included in recently passed Seattle Transportation Plan

The Seattle City Council has unanimously passed the Seattle Transportation Plan which has several project ideas for Ballard.

Seattle Transportation Plan is a 20-year vision for the future of Seattle’s streets, sidewalks, and public spaces. Councilmember Rob Saka (District 1), Chair of the Transportation Committee sponsored the legislation, which is a culmination of a two-year collaborative process between the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Mayor’s Office, and the city council.

There are 81 total projects in the plan, with the following ideas for Ballard:

  • 14th Ave NW: The project will connect Ballard Link Light Rail users to the Burke Gilman Trail, nearby greenways, and protected bike lanes.
  • 15th Ave W & Elliot Ave W: The project will improve connections to local businesses and neighborhoods in relation to the Ballard Link Light Rail. Project elements could include repaving, redesigning the street, and repairing sidewalks.
  • Ballard Bridge: The project will make major repairs on the Ballard Bridge so it remains a reliable route for people traveling across the Ship Canal. It will also improve safety for people walking, rolling, and biking at the south end of the bridge by adding widened sidewalks and intersection improvements.
  • Ballard to Northgate: The project will improve transit from Ballard to Northgate and improve access to the new Ballard Link Light Rail station.
  • Ballard to U District: The project will support Metro’s upgrade of Route 44 to RapidRide. It would implement Intelligent Transportation System improvements to make trips more efficient, safe, and predictable.
  • Burke-Gilman Missing Link: The project will focus on connecting the two existing sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Ballard.
  • NW Market St: The project will create a “comfortable and safe” connection from the Ballard Link Light Rail station to businesses in the heart of Ballard. Project elements would include repaving, repairing sidewalks, improving street crossings, and planting new trees.

“Seattleites deserve safe, reliable, and accessible transportation. Over the past few months, I’ve been out with SDOT crews filling potholes, inspecting bridges, and assessing sidewalks. They are some of the most hardworking, dedicated public servants we have. It’s time we commit to our transportation goals and give them the resources they need to succeed. That’s what this plan is all about,” Councilmember Saka said in a statement.

The goals of the plan are safety, equity, sustainability, mobility and economic vitality, livability, and maintenance and modernization, including the following specific features:

  • Preserve, modernize and maintain our aging bridges, roads, sidewalks, and other critical infrastructure;
  • Increase access to sidewalks—particularly by constructing new sidewalks, improving bike lanes, and enhancing public transit opportunities;
  • Reduce the number of traffic deaths and serious injuries; and
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make our roads more efficient.

While the Seattle Transportation Plan does not include specific funding, it is intended to guide future funding decisions. That includes the proposed Transportation Levy renewal.

The Seattle Transportation Plan calls for SDOT to create an implementation strategy by September 2025. That implementation strategy will take into account all the funding available for the transportation projects. Much of that will depend on the potential renewal of the Transportation Levy.

The Mayor is expected to formally transmit his proposal for the Transportation Levy renewal in the next few weeks. It will then be considered by the Council’s Select Committee on the 2024 Transportation Levy, which is scheduled to meet for the first time on May 7.