Update on the 14th Ave NW Park Boulevard

12 04 2014


News has been slow these past few months about the 14th Ave NW Park Boulevard. We have a small update to share today, with hopes to have much more information to share, including proposed drawings and a schedule within the next few weeks. The good news is that although progress was stalled early this year due to the changes in the Mayor’s office, our Parks Dept. Project Manager, Patrick Donohue, was given the thumbs up  last week to move the Park project forward again. Some decisions have changed since our September update, but most are the same. The following are some quick points of interest:

20 mi/hr speed limit:
This is still a go, with plans to set the 20 mi/hr speed limit between Market St and NW 65th.

No bicycle facility:
This is new since September when we advised that there would be a 3 block long cycle track connecting the Greenway on NW 58th and running up along the park. Further analysis revealed that a dedicated cycle track would take away much of the available green space for the park and wouldn’t make sense to have for just 3 blocks. If, in the future, SDOT agrees to fund a dedicated bicycle facility from at least Market to NW 65th, then accommodations could be made to include it within the park.

New sidewalks along the 2 blocks of the park:
The existing sidewalks on the east side of 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and NW 61st are planned to be replaced with new sidewalks incorporated into the park design.

What’s next?
The folks at Mithun and Mayfly are on board again and will be preparing designs for the next SDOT review. In the meantime,  mark your calendar for the April 19 Adopt A Street Cleanup along 14th!

Update on the 14th Ave NW Park

21 09 2013

It’s now September and time for an update on the 14th Ave NW Park. According to the Parks Dept schedule, we’re right on time and completed 30% SIP(Street Improvement Permit) last month. This means that our Parks Dept project manager (Patrick), our landscape architects (Noelle, Sandy and Deb) at Mithun and our Civil Engineer from MayFly (Robin) met with SDOT and SPU to review comments and recommendations for the submitted drawings. Some folks from the EBCA (Peter, Shannon and Dawn) recently met with the super design team for a recap of the SIP Review meeting and were introduced to the proposed changes. We had a very lively meeting and learned that the changes recommended by SDOT were extraordinary and will have a very positive impact on the overall design of the Park.

20 mi/hr speed limit
As we’ve been reporting over the years, 14th Ave NW is an arterial street. The speed limit today is 30 mi/hr. In 2012, SDOT approved lowering the speed limit to 25 mi/hr along this corridor for safety considerations and to reduce the length of the vehicle transition blocks at the north and south ends. Today, we are happy to announce that SDOT is dropping the speed limit along 14th between Market and NW 65th to just 20 mi/hr! Dropping the speed limit will remove the requirement for a block long transition lane from 58th to 59th and again from 61st to 62nd! A Stop Sign for northbound vehicles at 58th with a sign that has you cut over to the left and another similar transition at the north end at 61st may be all that’s needed.

A 3 block bicycle facility
Reworking of the transition at NW 58th opens up the opportunity to safely connect the Park with the new Ballard Greenway, providing up to 3 blocks of a safe bicycle/pedestrian connection between NW 61st and NW 58th! The option currently being examined is to have the bicycle facility run alongside the existing sidewalk so that it has the Park as a buffer from traffic between NW 59th and 61st. The section between NW 58th and 59th would have a buffer as well, just not as wide as the Park.

What’s next?
The folks at Mithun and Mayfly are continuing to absorb the recommendations from the 30% SIP meeting and are working on new drawings, which will be posted here when available. The next step is the 60% SIP review in November where the team will present designs based on all this new information. In the meantime,  mark your calendar for Oct 19 Adopt A Street Cleanup along 14th and stay posted for an opportunity to help name the new Park!


14th Ave NW Park Project is on the move

13 07 2013

courtesy of Sally Bagshaw’s site – drawing by Mithun. click image to see full size pdf.

It’s been a long time since we’ve provided an update on the 14th Ave NW Park. In truth, not much at the community level has been happening. It’s all in the hands of the city right now. The EBCA has  been staying in touch with our Parks project manager, Patrick Donohue, who attended a recent EBCA monthly meeting and he answered a few burning questions.
When’s the park going to be built?
This is the 10 million dollar question. According to the schedule we now have in hand (and available on our website here),  the 14th Ave NW park is scheduled to break ground mid July 2014 with completion planned for January 2015.
This may feel like a really really really long time from now, but if you delve into the city process and all the i’s that have to be dotted and t’s to be crossed, this schedule feels make-able and the EBCA will do everything we can to work with the City to help keep this project on track.
What’s happening right now?
We have a schematic that our designers, Mithun and Mayfly Engineering have created that outlines all the work that’s proposed with respect to the major structural  revisions that affect the street. This is the stuff that Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) wants to see and must approve through their SIP (Street Improvement Permitting) process . The Parks Department  submitted the designs to SDOT at the end of May with the goal of reaching 30% SIP by the end of July. If all goes as planned, we’ll reach 100% SIP by April 2014.  As we learn more about what happens during these phases, we’ll share.
How will the 14th Ave NW Park be funded?
Legislation will be presented in front of the City Council’s Parks and Neighborhoods committee to approve transferring acquisition funds allocated for a Ballard Urban Village Park  in the Seattle Parks and Green Spaces levy to be used for development. More details about funding were provided in an earlier post here.
When do we get to design the park amenities?
We’ve held community meetings in the past to define what our community would like to have in the Park and much of the current design reflects these basic desires, yet we’ll have more opportunities after SIP is complete to come back together as a community and refine the details.
How can I become involved?
The EBCA will be hosting August Night Out on August 6 from 6pm-10pm on 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and NW 61st where the Park will be. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details.
How can I stay up to date?
Attend our monthly meetings on the 4th Thursday of every month at 7:30pm. contact Dawn at eastballard@gmail.com for location.
Subscribe to the blog to get email updates when there are new posts.
Checkout the Parks Dept website and our own park page
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Show your support for Safe at 62nd & other proposed neighborhood projects at Ballard District Council this Wednesday

6 01 2013

The 2006 Bridging the Gap Levy provided nearly $300M to construct a host of transportation improvements in Seattle. One component of the levy is the NSF (Neighborhood Streets Fund).  During the nine year life of the levy, three opportunities for citizens and community groups were provided through the NSF to suggest needed transportation improvements in their neighborhood.  The last of these three $4.5M funding cycles occurs this year.  SDOT received nine proposals from the Ballard district by the December 17, 2012 deadline.   Each district council must now select only three projects in their district which will be forwarded to SDOT for cost and feasibility analysis.  Each of the nine project proponents will be given up to five minutes to present their proposal at Wednesday evening’s Ballard District Council. We encourage you to attend this public meeting to show your support.

Ballard District Council
Wednesday Jan 9, 2013 7pm-9pm
Ballard Library – 5614 22nd NW

Projects presenting  (5 minutes each):

  • Kirke Park rain garden and traffic control
  • Sidewalk – 13 NW (Holman Road to NW 100)
  • Safe routes to Holman Road transit corridor
  • Traffic circle – Leary Ave at Vernon NW
  • Sidewalks – West Crown Hill
  • Safe at 62 – crosswalk at NW 62nd and 14th Ave NW – EBCA’s Aaron Solorzano will be presenting
  • Safety improvements to intersection at 3 NW and NW 56 – Near Woodland Elementary
  • Threading the Needle – 24th Ave NW street-end park
  • Sunset Hill Shilshole Gateway Phase 2 improvements

Later in the meeting (~8:10pm), the Ballard District Council NSF Review Committee will present its recommendations for projects to be selected.  This will be followed by a balloting process involving Ballard District Council member reps.

Click here to view the full agenda for this week’s Ballard District Council Meeting.

How to Grow a Park Video is now available

26 12 2012

The video to Dawn Hemminger’s presentation at Ignite Seattle on How to Grow a Park is now available.

There were so many fabulous presentations that evening
Click HERE, to watch them all!


Update on our “Safe at 62nd” grant application

21 12 2012

Safer at 62nd

Thank-you for the overwhelming support (76 responses!) and the personal stories shared in response to our online letter of support for safety improvements crossing 14th Ave NW at NW 62nd. On Dec 17, The EBCA submitted a grant application for Bridging the Gap Neighborhood Street Fund Projects to enhance safety for all users crossing 14th Ave NW at NW 62nd St. The proposal closely replicates the intersection treatment currently at 14th Ave NW and NW 58th installed in 2007 with SDOT/DON funding and would feature traffic-calming curb bulbs, a pedestrian-refuge median, an elevated crosswalk on the North, and an extension of the bicycle improvements on 14th Ave NW consistent with the Bike Master Plan. The curb-bulbs would feature rain gardens to collect project area and offsite stormwater runoff for water quality treatment and infiltration. These proposed safety improvements at NW 62nd are also an important piece of the neighborhood’s larger vision for a safe sustainable 14th Ave NW mile-long corridor between NW 65th to the Ship Canal.

Your input to our online letter of support  was a very important element to our grant application. We loved your stories and comments so much, we couldn’t resist sharing a few from neighbors who live very close to this intersection:

“I live on the northeast corner of 14th Ave NW and NW 62nd St and having a crosswalk there would make it a much safer intersection for my 3 year old son and I to cross when we explore the neighbourhood. We frequently cross this intersection because we like to use RapidRide on 15th Ave. The current state of the intersection makes it difficult for drivers to see us when we are crossing which means they are unlikely to stop.”

“A crosswalk at 14th Ave NW and NW 62nd St is very much needed. As a pedestrian walking home from the bus stop I constantly dodge traffic. As a driver, there are  times when I don’t see pedestrians and bicyclists very well due to the way cars and trucks are parked. I see neighbors with children trying to maneuver crossing the street safely on a regular basis. A second crosswalk will encourage drivers to realize that they are driving through a neighborhood and hopefully it will slow some drivers down (lots of drivers are traveling over the speed limit on 14th Ave NW).”

Click here, to view all comments and stories submitted by your neighbors.

What’s next?
January – Participating neighborhood District Councils select their top three projects.
February – May – SDOT completes a high level scope & cost estimate of the projects selected by neighborhood District Councils (up to 39 projects in all).
June – List of top projects are prioritized by neighborhood District Councils.
July – Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee evaluates and prioritizes projects for funding.
August –Oversight committee makes funding recommendations to the Mayor & City Council.
September – 2014 Budget adopted.
October/November – SDOT begins planning and design work.


Your input is important to improve safe travel across 14th Ave NW

6 12 2012

Letter of support for a crosswalk at NW 62nd and 14th Ave NW
The East Ballard Community Association is applying for Seattle Neighborhood Street Funds through the Bridging the Gap Levy to improve safety for all modes of transportation crossing the north end of the median-divided intersection at 14th Ave NW and NW 62nd Street. The proposal will be for curb bulbs with rain gardens on the east and west sides and a marked crosswalk with a pedestrian refuge in the center. The proposed design will be similar to the crosswalk at NW 58th St and 14th Ave NW. The existing median would not be affected. Your input and support through signing this letter of support are important. We will submit this letter along with your response in our application to the City of Seattle on Dec 17, 2012.

Thank-you everyone for your responses. Input for this letter of support is now closed. Please contact eastballard@gmail.com if you’d like to provide additional input.


“How to Grow a Park” at Ignite Seattle this Thursday

3 11 2012

EBCA co-chair and Groundswell NW board member, Dawn Hemminger, will be presenting at Seattle Ignite 18  this Thursday on How to Grow a Park.  She will be sharing the story of the 14th Ave NW Park and the 6 key steps her community has followed to take this idea and turn it into reality. For more information, and a full list of all the speakers, check out https://www.igniteseattle.com.

Time: 8:00 PM  (doors open at 6:30)
Location: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Avenue, Seattle
Tickets: $5 online or at the door
Contact: https://www.igniteseattle.com/

Update on the 14th Ave NW Park

5 06 2012

Since the March community involvement meeting, here has been some activity both behind the scenes and in the public news, so it’s time for an update.

For those who have been following our progress, you are aware that the 14th Ave NW park was awarded funds from the Seattle Parks and Green Spaces Levy back in August of 2010. These funds were allocated for acquiring new property within the Ballard Urban Village to create a park. Since the City already owns the 14th Ave NW right of way, no acquisition is needed, so the Parks Dept would like to use these funds to develop the park instead. This means getting permission from the Seattle Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight committee, City Council and the Mayor to transfer these funds from “acquisition” to “development”. Before going up in front of the Oversight committee in April and May of this year, the Parks Dept hired Mithun to work with the community, design the main concepts for this park and develop cost estimates. We are  happy to report that at the May meeting, the Parks Levy Oversight committee approved $2.9 million to be used in the development of the 14th Ave NW Park! We are now awaiting City Council’s approval, which according to a recent post by Council Member Sally Bagshaw,  could be as soon as late June/early July. Once the legislation is approved, The Parks Dept can begin the next phase, which is to bring back Mithun and the community for the next design phase and work through the SDOT Street Use Improvement Permit Process (SIP) to get this park built. If all goes well, construction should start sometime next year.

The current park design (seen above) by Mithun shows 2 blocks of park along the east side of 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and NW 61st. The gravel center median will be removed and 2-way side by side vehicle traffic will run along the west side. Per the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, the right of way will also include dedicated north and south bound bicycle lanes. The current drawing shows a block and a half  transition from traffic separated by a median to side by side on each end of the park. Thanks to the EBCA’s persistence in getting approval to reduce the speed limit on 14th Ave NW north of Market St to 25mph., the transitions should be reduced to just one block. The intersection at NW 60th will be designed to greatly improve crossing safety for all modes of transportation by incorporating a raised intersection. The park will also include a 13′ wide biofiltration swale that will not only  clean water runoff from north of the park before it enters Salmon Bay but will be a beautiful educational piece as well. Oh, and don’t forget the 29′ wide green space plus the 8′ wide existing sidewalk along the 2 blocks for strolling, respite and play!

The Parks Dept is moving ahead with their decision to not include street parking along the 2 block park. Street parking will be available along the transition blocks. This decision is what has allowed the park’s green space to be 29′ wide as opposed to 13′ (if parking was maintained on both sides of the street).  There has been some recent news (see links on our “In the News” page) about the loss of the 65-85 parking spaces currently provided in the gravel medians and curbs within the park footprint. In response to concerns that the original Parking Studies conducted by Fehr & Peers did not cover overnight parking use, the Parks Dept hired F&P to conduct an additional parking study between 2:30 and 3:30 am. With this additional study, F&P has concluded that, “…the park project would not have a substantial effect on the overall availability of local parking.”

These are exciting times for the East Ballard neighborhood where the new park with change forever the current lack of  green open space that is without having to cross a major arterial.  Thank-you to The Parks Dept for recognizing this need and providing us with this opportunity to transform 14th Ave NW into a space that will be loved and cherished by its community for generations to come.

–Dawn Hemminger is co-chair of the East Ballard Community Association

Great community support at 2nd park design meeting

27 03 2012


Thank-you to everyone who attended the 2nd community involvement meeting on March 7 for the 14th Ave NW Park. Over 50 neighbors showed up to  St. Al’s School Cafeteria to review and comment on Mithun’s latest concepts for the park. Based on community response, the Salmon Ladder idea was selected as the springboard for future design. Please note that most of the effort for this phase of the project will be focused on the “bones” of the park with less emphasis on programming. Specific programming features will be decided in later community meetings.

Topics of discussion:

The issue of lighting for safety but also privacy to the home owners along 14th was discussed. These issues will be an ongoing discussion as the design progresses.
A special thank-you to Dave, who lives on 60th, for paying the $5 a month to SPU for keeping the light in the alley on!

The city arborist has assessed the trees currently planted in the park area and has determined which are healthy and will remain. The unhealthy trees identified will be removed and replaced at a 2 to 1 ratio.

limiting access to private property along 14th
A concern was raised regarding uninvited access to private property. A conscious decision was made by the design team to retain the existing sidewalk. Therefore, this current border between public and private property will remain.

Although parking will always be a topic of discussion, the comments solicited and received by Parks from this meeting, are 3 to 1 in favor of park over parking.

speed reduction
The presence of the new City Chief Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang, was auspicious. Speed reduction had been an ongoing challenge due to the street classification. A subsequent meeting between Dongho Chang and the EBCA resulted in an agreement to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph along 14th Ave NW between Market and NW 65th. This will result in safer multi-modal transportation and reduce the transition from divided right of way  to side by side right of way from
1 1/2 blocks to 1 block. This means more money spent on park and less on street!

This was a great  opportunity for the community to meet with Patrick Donahue from Seattle Parks and Recreation. He is newly assigned as the 14th Ave NW Park Project Manager.  The EBCA looks forward to working with Dongho, Patrick  and all of our neighbors in creating a great public green space in East Ballard.


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