Ballard getting a BIA

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    A Business Improvement Area plan is in the works for Ballard that will address, among other issues, transportation, public safety/public health, cleanliness, and business development and retention. I hope this will be effective in addressing some of the issues Ballard has been grappling with.


    great idea

    transportation you say?

    I can not take the Ballard Chamber of Commerce seriously when they continue to block construction of the Burke-Gilman missing link.

    despite that fact that thousands of people are moving to our neighborhood, many who would like to get around by bicycle, they pretend ‘transportation’ is on the agenda.

    I’m glad they will be sweeping the sidewalk though.


    Salmon Bay

    It looks like the BIA will be governed by the rate payers, and the Ballard C of C will not be involved in the operation. I think this is really good news. Hopefully the BIA can advocate for the completion of the Missing Link, as it would clearly help to drive business development in Ballard and improve the livability of the neighborhood.

    The Ballard C of C is blocking the Missing Link only because they are a tool for Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel, Ballard Oil, and the other obstructionist NIMBYs that make up the Ballard Business Appellants. The Ballard Cof C had Michelle Rosenthal of Veris Law Group as President and board member. She successfully landed the business of suing the city for her law firm due to this relationship.



    Take them seriously or not, GI, they do have influence.

    I think it’s very speculative to assume that the missing link will help drive business development. It might make cyclists happy, but some businesses along that route clearly aren’t happy about it.

    The BIA will be funded by ratepayers, yes, but I don’t think it’s correct that the chamber won’t be involved in its operation, since those ratepayers are also chamber members and the chamber helped put together the Ballard Partnership.


    great idea

    it may be speculative Compass, but that’s a bet I would take.

    if people could ride/ walk along a dedicated, separated path from Wallingford or the U district all the way to Golden Gardens, there would certainly be an uptick in Ballard business development. it may be slow at first, but businesses that figure it out early will benefit.

    I happen to believe the trail can co-exist with all those whiny companies along the ship canal.

    even if it couldn’t, the benefit to local businesses would be greater for more of them, rather than the few who benefit from impeding it (so their employees & customers can park conveniently)



    It would be nice if that stretch was completed, GI. It freaks me out to ride on Seaview. There’s just too much traffic and too many distracted drivers.

    I’m not very familiar with what the businesses’ objections are to it. A friend of ours works at one of those businesses and I remember him saying something about parking and trucks being able to get in and out, but there are already plenty of cyclists along there, so I’m not sure what the difference would be with trucks coming and going. I get the concerns about parking, though. It’s already difficult around there, and if customers can’t park easily, that’s not good for business. There’s always a trade-off.

    At any rate, I’m glad there are plans for this BIA. Central Ballard has for too long been impacted by individuals and special interest groups at the expense of businesses and residents.



    It’s not just CofC members who will be involved in (and paying for) the BIA. All property owners within the district boundaries, whether business or residential, will be assessed yearly dues.

    To find out if you will be paying, just see if your property falls within the dotted lines on this map:



    True, Mondo. It looks like it just applies to multifamily residences and would be no more than $90 a year. Details here:



    very interesting map Mondo!!



    Once again, re the missing link: Apple will resolve the problem



    Apple? How’s that, SA?



    Interesting that none of the businesses along Shilshole Ave will be paying this levy, that’s some fancy gerrymandering.



    don’t forget that the Apartments by the Locks, both of which now have deep pocketed owners aren’t paying either.

    doesn’t look like Salmon Sand & Gravel or Covich-Wiliams are included either.



    The south side of Shilshole is all gravel and dirt, so it’s hard to imagine sweeping that; many of the businesses on the north side are pretty rough and ready workshops or repair shops, but I think some corners/lots along there that had loitering/trash issues in the past are indeed excluded from the zone.
    I guess my rent will be going up at least $90 this year — hope the cleanings make a noticeable difference!



    I heard there are plans now to build a separated cycle track down Leary instead of completing the missing link down on Seaview.

    Check out this page for detailed info about the BIA plan. There’s a lot about it that sounds very promising:



    We live just outside of the payment zone, but we’d happily chip in $90 a year or more for this.



    Personally I think that the Cycle Track plan put forth by the Ballard Business Appellants is just a distraction, since there is no way in hell that the public would support removing the one or two traffic lanes (or parking) that would be required to make it happen.

    Here is a link to the cycle track proposal website:



    Thanks for the link, Ernie. The images of people riding along Market and Leary are very suspiciously Photoshopped. Neither of those roads are as wide as they’ve made them look. The one showing folks riding by the teriyaki joint shows two driving lanes, a parking lane PLUS a wide bike lane. Market on that stretch is not nearly as wide as it looks there.

    I agree, people would never support removing lanes or parking, and I don’t think their proposal would be possible otherwise.

    I get the safety concerns about trucks on Seaview, but there are plenty of cyclists along there already. I don’t really get what their objection is.

    (Pet peeve re their presentation: can people stop referring to every goddamn thing proposed in Seattle as “world-class”?)


    great idea

    I noticed the exaggerated lanes as well (as if the cycle track on Market Street has no negative impact whatsoever).

    I also think this plan is just a distraction.

    they keep touting how “this route, compared to the City’s proposal, provides connections to major biking “arterials”, 8th Ave NW and 24th Ave NW”

    I don’t think having to go one or two extra blocks is NOT a connection, so don’t see what they’re really getting at.

    it comes down to parking. do Ballard businesses want parking for customers (Market) or employees (Shilshole)?
    I know it’s not so cut-and-dried, but it’s primarily this dichotomy.


    Salmon Bay

    Cycle Track is already an outmoded term, with Separated Bike Lane replacing it. But an SBL is not the Burke Gilman Trail. Not even close, pedestrian activity wouldn’t be allowed. While I would love to see an SBL on Leary, it would have to be in addition to building the BGT as designed.
    It’s not about parking; the Ballard Business Appellants are just NIMBY assholes that have a beef with the city. They have no interest in finding a solution.
    Regardless, once the Stimpsons or Apple redevelops the old mill areas just east of 24th, I’m pretty certain the log jam will break and the BGT will be completed as planned, as it should be, even if SDOT’s complete incompetence continues.



    BIAs are a mixed blessing. Ultimately I feel they become impediments to changes (good changes, as well as bad). There is another BIA under consideration right now and I guess I’m surprised the Ballard one hasn’t met the opposition that the U-District one has.

    Here’s an article (pretty biased, I admit, but then I have a business in the U-District, and it’s the one I can find easily right now because I just read it):

    I wonder what parallels might be drawn. The new guy at the Ballard Chamber when I saw him speak was anything but dynamic, and I thought “Wow, he could really be burying stuff with his plodding, procedural approach by boring people to death.”



    Is that the new chamber president you saw speak, Shelley? Michael someone?

    I’d take anything John Fox says with a huge dosage of salt. From what I’ve heard of him, he seems to be anti-development of most types. That’s not to say BIAs don’t have their downsides; I’m sure they do. But the U district could use some improving. What do you think about the area as a business owner there?



    Yeah, Compass Rose, I don’t necessarily agree with much of that article, but overall as a U-District business owner (as opposed to property owner) I feel disenfranchised. There are plenty of other small businesses in the area that stand to lose big time as the big towers get built. I think a fair number of the bread and butter small businesses over there are not so pleased about the BIA.

    Sorry I don’t know if he was the president of the Chamber and I don’t remember his name. I saw him at the Ballard District Council meeting they had maybe 6 or more months ago and he was discussing the whole Ballard Partnership for Growth thing and how it might morph into a Business Improvement Area or District. And I was thinking of how each slow step he was describing without seeing the future repercussion(s) could sure build in a lot of bias in the future. For me, there was not much reason to become involved because I don’t live or work or own property or business in the Ballard Core Area.



    Shelley, do you feel disenfranchised because business owners weren’t consulted? Or for another reason? I wonder if there’s a way to implement something like this and not have small business owners feel disenfranchised or otherwise unhappy about it. There must be (she says naively).

    As someone who lives in central Ballard, I hope to get involved in the BIA process or at least stay informed as the plans proceed.

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