Ballard’s 58th Street neighborhood greenway open house Thursday

SDOT will showcase plans for the NW 58th St neighborhood greenway in Ballard Thursday. The 2.1-mile route will span the neighborhood from the Burke-Gilman Trail on the west to Phinney Ridge on the east.

The open house Thursday will go from 6:30–8 p.m. at the Adams Elementary School cafeteria (28th Ave NW and NW 62nd St).

In March, city officials (including Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Sally Bagshaw) and neighborhood greenways advocates went on a tour of the the proposed route. We then settled into Grumpy D’s Coffee Shop to discuss what we saw.

It appears some of those notes have made it into the city’s plans (like addressing the lack of bike parking along the route). We also discussed the need for a traffic diverter at 15th Ave to calm traffic cutting between St. Alphonsus School and the school’s playground (that’s what’s being discussed in the photo below).

From a March ride along the route

Details from SDOT:

Ballard is one of five neighborhoods in Seattle where greenways will be installed this year. This greenway is one of several that were proposed by the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways organization as a key corridor for improving pedestrian and bicycle access in the heart of Ballard.

The Ballard Neighborhood Greenway is just over 2.1 miles long and will follow NW 58th Street for the majority of the route, improving access to parks, schools, shops, restaurants and services. The greenway will start at the Burke-Gilman Trail at Seaview Avenue NW, connecting to NW 58th Street at 32nd Avenue NW via Seaview Place NW and NW 57th Street. The greenway continues along NW 58th Street until it terminates at 4th Avenue NW.

Proposed project elements along the greenway route include:

  • Signs and pavement legends along the greenway
  • Stop signs to control traffic crossing the greenway at certain intersections
  • Widen sidewalk on Seaview Avenue NW to access Burke-Gilman Trail
  • Median island at 24th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street
  • Diverter for eastbound traffic at 15th Avenue NW and NW 58th St (at St. Alphonsus School)
  • Additional bicycle parking at destinations along the route

The community is also seeking additional funding through the Neighborhood Project Funds to improve pedestrian and bicycle access at the following locations: 20th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street (curb ramps and crosswalks) 8th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street (curb ramp and additional crosswalks to upgrade existing traffic signal) Neighborhood greenways are routes on non-arterial streets that are improved for safe, family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian travel, and are usually designed for reduced vehicle speeds and volumes.

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11 Responses to Ballard’s 58th Street neighborhood greenway open house Thursday

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  2. Al Dimond says:

    Cool stuff. In light of the Toronto/Vancouver study showing that permeable traffic-calming devices seem to increase collisions involving bikes while full barriers decrease them, I hope the diverter is complete. But I’m not sure exactly what a diverter is here.

  3. Mike H says:

    I haven’t seen what SDOT is proposing but a likely design would be to have a large curb bulb on the SE corner but with a pass-through for a through bike. It will prevent motorists from either turning onto the greenway or continuing along it. I’ll be interested to see if they do proceed with something like that. I hope that SDOT may look at something similar for the signals along Fremont Ave.

  4. Al Dimond says:

    Yeah, I guess that’s the sort of diverter I’d hope for. That or a curb all the way across, with pass-throughs for bikes in each direction. There’s one of those in north Seattle somewhere, except without bike pass-throughs, on a north-south residential street after you cross some arterial heading south. I want to say it’s on either Wallingford or Meridian. Or maybe College Way at 92nd?

    If it’s true that a lot of the traffic coming east on 58th from 15th is headed to St. Alphonsus, wouldn’t a diverter on the SE corner be futile? It would just make people go around the block but they pretty much have to end up on 58th in front of St. Alphonsus. Now that I think about it I’m guessing the diverter would be on the SW corner, forcing EB non-bike traffic coming from 58th to make a right, but allowing turns from 15th onto EB 58th. Traffic goes directly to St. Alphonsus because that’s where it’s going, but can’t cut through further into the residential area to the west. But… it looks like there are a bunch of people that know the area a lot better than I do that can figure out the placement.

  5. dhubbz says:

    I dunno, I really can’t get all that excited about these neighborhood greenways – they just don’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there will be additional safe space for cyclists to occupy, but who cares about riding on 58th St.? There’s just about nothing there, mostly just residential. I wish our city would take some real aggressive steps (i.e. cycle tracks) to provide safe biking through arterials where people actually want to go. You know, like Market St., through the downtown core, etc.

  6. Hays Clark says:

    Fun fact: 58th used to be where the Ballard Street car used to run, which is why it’s so wide. Then the street car went up 32nd for a bit.

  7. shawn says:

    58th is NOT wide that’s 59th. I should know I live on 58th

  8. Tired of Dodging says:

    I agree with shawn — I live on 59th between 15th and 17th. I’m a pretty regular bike commuter and use 58th to head down to 8th to hit the burke gilman. Drivers come blazing through our street already and I’m a little worried that the greenway, combined with the lack of traffic circle at 59th and 17th will make the problem worse.

  9. lucy says:

    Hays–

    57th Street is actually where the Ballard street car used to run. It is wider–58th is a narrower–the width of a normal street.

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