Really, I find it best to just always avoid the Ballard Bridge. I have only taken the bridge twice on my bike: once on the sidewalk and once in the traffic lane. Each time, I thought I was going to die, so I decided to just avoid it. Lucky for me, I can, but plenty of people live where the Ballard Bridge is the only convenient option.
However, it’s going to be way worse starting next Monday. SDOT will be painting the approaches, and the sidewalks will be closed off during the process (one side should remain open, though). Bicycles are encouraged to detour to the Locks (if they’re open) or the Fremont Bridge.
Or maybe someone could start a bike ferry service! How cool would that be? It could just be a paddle boat with room for a couple people and their bikes. $3/person +$1 for a bike. Or more, I dunno. Someone get one this!
A contractor working for Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) may start as soon as August 9 painting the approaches (raised roadways at each end of the bridge) of the Ballard Bridge. The moveable part of the bridge will be painted next year under a separate contract.
The contractor plans to start with cleaning and painting the handrails on the sidewalks. To accommodate this work, the sidewalks will be closed around the clock for three weeks on each side, although they will be reopened for weekend use. Pedestrians will use the sidewalk on the side not being painted.
Bicyclists are encouraged to detour to either the Ballard Locks or the Fremont Bridge. Alternately, bicyclists may use the sidewalk not being painted; however, due to the narrowness of the sidewalks and the contra-flow bike traffic, bicyclists will be required to dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge.