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Ballard 58th Street Greenway Celebrated

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 marked the official opening of the new Seattle Neighborhood Greenway in Ballard. The party encompassed just one block, NW 58th Street between 20th and 22nd Avenues NW (with car access as needed), but the Greenway itself runs the width of Ballard from the Burke-Gilman Trail to 6th Avenue NW. It features traffic-calming speed humps, stop signs for cross traffic, and more.

Ballard Greenways’ Jennifer Litowski shared the big scissors with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ Executive Director Cathy Tuttle and Mayor McGinn to cut the ribbon at 3pm.

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I aided in the celebration by leading a short Kidical Mass ride of 50 people and 2 dogs to the event while a Spokespeople ride brought a group over from Wallingford. Riders big and small had fun getting Undriver Licenses, riding the Dutch Conference Bike from Dutch Bike Co, making smoothies with the Cascade Bicycle Club bike blender, dancing along the A-1 Piano street keyboards, and riding the bike rodeo course.

Ballard Greenway Celebration bike rodeo

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7 responses to “Ballard 58th Street Greenway Celebrated”

  1. Jeff Dubrule

    While the cross-street stop signs are nice (and I want to see them on the Wallingford Greenway), the arterial crossings were all pretty poor. Do the crossbikes have any legal meaning? Why couldn’t there be stop-signs there, too?
    The press-button-for-walk at one crossing required you to cross 3 ways, going West, and the light took forever to turn green.

    This is why people tend to bike and walk on arterials: you actually get where you’re going without too much hassle.

    1. Andres Salomon

      I’d like to see SDOT improve signage for arterial greenway crossings in general. Some text facing cross traffic saying “Yield to pedestrians and cyclists” would go a long way towards clarifying things. Very few people seem to be aware that cars must legally yield to peds in crosswalks, and even fewer understand who has the right of way in crossbikes.

    2. Charles B

      When I took a ride along this route post-construction I also found it lackluster. West of 24th its actually rather nice, but from 24th forward it has a number of confusing and/or sub optimal intersections.

      24th itself is pretty bad with nothing but warning lights which drivers largely ignore anyway.

      I also seem to recall 20th being unpleasant as the greenway side had stop signs but the crossing N/S traffic did not. This is one of the biggest problems with nearly all E/W routes through the city. You have to wait for no cars or for someone to be charitable enough to let you go.

      For being one of the “safe” bicycle and pedestrian routes, this is pretty pathetic I think. I hope in the future we get better treatment with at least 4-way stops or traffic lights at all major intersections.

  2. Jeff Dubrule

    “even fewer understand who has the right of way in crossbikes.”

    I’m gonna say that nobody understands that… It’s either a weirdly-located crosswalk, which would mean bikes/peds go first, or arbitrary lines on the road, which therefore mean nothing.

    Searching on Google for “crossbike” gets you a bunch of gravel-racing bikes; the first hit when searching for “crossbike crosswalk washington” gives you something about Tucson’s crossbikes. So, in short, who knows? Wait for car-traffic to clear/stop, or take the actual crosswalk.

    I had a couple of people (in cars) stop for us when we were trying to cross 14th, but nobody was stopping in the other direction, so we waved ’em by, and waited for a bigger gap.

  3. Mike H

    I don’t believe that “crossbike”is actually legally defined in either the Seattle Municipal Code or the Revised Code of Washington. As such, there are really no obligations for motorists who are on the arterials when a bike is stopped on the side street waiting for a gap.

  4. […] the September 7 greenway opening celebration, usage was already up compared to earlier this spring. But after the celebration, usage remained […]

  5. […] stretching from Ballard Ave to Whitman Middle School in Crown Hill. And with the connection to the NW 58th Street neighborhood greenway, every home and destination along the way also connects to the section of the Burke-Gilman Trail […]

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