Feb 2 deadline to submit your great idea to improve Seattle streets and parks

26 01 2018

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Would you like a safer crossing at 11th Ave NW and Market St? When the EBCA has asked for safe crossing improvements at this intersection in the past, the best we could do is get curb extensions installed which slightly reduce the length of intersection to cross and causes vehicles to park further away from the intersection for a better line of sight. There’s still lots of room for improvement! This year, one neighbor, Sue Bell, has taken a grass roots approach and has been spreading the word via social media to encourage neighbors to take action to improve the crossing at this intersection.  This is a key intersection connection for East Ballard providing access to the #44 bus, Gilman Park, breweries and places to eat, grocery stores and the Burke Gilman trail. Sue would really like a flashing beacon and crosswalk like the one shown here.  Sue is encouraging neighbors to apply individually through the Your Voice Your Choice program. Deadline is Feb 2.  If you have more great ideas, we encourage you to submit (there’s no limit to how many ideas you submit). It’s a super easy form and an opportunity to make a difference in your neighborhood!

submit your idea today: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YVYCIdeaCollection2018

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Gemenskap park tree plan

14 01 2018

existing trees between 59th and 60th

For those of us who live on or close to 14th, we are already experiencing the changes that have come with constructing Gemenskap (Yuh-MEN-skawp) park. Jansen, Inc. has been onsite this past week and have seemed very helpful and easy for members of the community to approach, so that’s a good start.

One very noticeable thing that Jansen did this week was to post signs on 12 trees that will be removed along the east side of 14th. This amounts to ALL of the trees on the east side except for the large maple between 59th and 60th. This came as a shock to many in the neighborhood, since, at face value, it doesn’t make sense to remove green living things in order to create new green space.

Removing existing trees
We dove into the engineering drawings and spoke to the Parks Department to help see the bigger picture around the tree plan for the park. We took a look at the drawings and confirmed that the 12 trees that are currently marked for removal are the ones listed on the drawings. These include 11 Kwanzan cherry trees and 1 big leaf mapleWe spoke with the parks department and they confirmed that in Feb, 2012, an SDOT arborist assessed the trees. The arborist advised that all of the cherry trees are infected with cherry bark tortrix (CBT) which is an invasive insect that feeds on the bark and girdles the tree leaving it open to other infestations. Nine of these cherry trees were rated low retention value and two were rated moderate by the arborist. Also note that Kwanzan cherries have a short life expectancy of 15-25 years, and these trees, according to the Seattle Street Tree Map, have been here since at least 1991. The big leaf maple that is slated for removal was identified as a high risk tree and removal was encouraged. The other maple was identified as healthy and will be retained. The multi-use path in the park will be designed with paving to accommodate the tree and root system.

black tupelo leaf in fall

yellowwood flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacing with new trees
Diving into the drawings again, we have identified that the 12 trees being removed will be replaced with 24 new trees: 1 Yellowwood, 1 Scarlet Oak, 2 Frontier Elm, 2 Black Tupelo and 17 Serviceberry. All but the Serviceberries will be 4-inch caliper size (about 14 ft  tall) when planted, and should grow to around 40-50 ft when mature. The Serviceberries will be planted in the rain gardens. They are listed in the drawing as shrubs, but are considered by Parks to be small trees. They will be 6 ft tall when planted and grow to around 10 ft when mature.

The big picture
The initial impact of losing the existing tree canopy will feel significant, both during construction and while the trees mature, but many factors were taken into consideration within the context of the overall design. Some of these factors include the health and age of the existing trees and their existing placement with respect to the new 12 ft wide multi-use path that will replace the existing sidewalk. When selecting new trees the designers were also sensitive to the community’s input for flowering trees. Although we will be losing the spring blossoms from the cherries, the new trees were selected for their spring flowering nature and many will have beautiful colors in the fall.





Seattle Parks and Recreation will begin construction of Gemenskap Park Jan 8

4 01 2018

It’s official! Seattle Parks and Recreation announced today that construction on Gemenskap Park will start Jan 8. New markings on 14th Ave NW between NW 59th and 60th by the contractor, Jansen, confirm the announcement.

According to Seattle Parks, construction will require a three month detour route on 14th Ave. NW between 58th and 60th streets. They anticipate completion of the park in late spring 2018.

This park is the culmination of over 12 years of community involvement and persistence. Thank-you to the many, many neighbors in the East Ballard Community who have supported this project. And if you’re new to the neighborhood and are wondering what this new park is all about, here’s an overview:

What’s the park going to look like?
Gemenskap Park
is going to be a 2 block linear park that runs along the east side of 14th Ave NW from NW 59th St to NW 61st St. The current sidewalks on the east side (for these 2 blocks) will be replaced with brand new 12′ wide concrete sidewalks that will be wide enough for walking and wheeled activities. The park will include rain gardens that will not only filter stormwater before entering Salmon Bay, but will also provide a buffer between park users and vehicle traffic. Vehicle traffic will run side by side on the west side (there will no longer be a median) between NW 59th and NW 61st.

How are cars going to be diverted at NW 59th and NW 61st going north?
Speed limit on 14th Ave NW between Market and NW 65th will drop down to 20 mph (today, it’s 30 mph). This significant drop in speed will allow for vehicle transition to be done at stop signs. There will most likely be a 4-way stop at NW 59th and another at NW 61st. If you are traveling north, you will stop at NW 59th, transition diagonally to the west alongside south bound vehicles and then stop again at NW 61st where you’ll transition back to the east side with vehicles separated by a median again. If you’re traveling south, you’ll stay in the same lane along 14th and will stop at NW 61st and NW 59th.

What about lighting?
Pedestrian scale lighting, will be provided along the 2 block park that should provide adequate lighting of the walkway without affecting neighboring homes. The existing street-scale lighting will remain as well.

June2014_drawingWhat’s going on at the NW 60th intersection?
The intersection at NW 60th will have a 4-way stop and will be raised to sidewalk level so that people driving across the intersection will encounter a bump up when approaching and a bump down when leaving. People walking or biking along the sidewalk through the intersection (north/south) will not experience an elevation change. There will also be bollards on the north and south sections of the intersection on the park side to provide a buffer from vehicles.

What about the trees?
Some existing trees will be removed and replaced with a mixture of larger and smaller trees where it makes sense. The significantly large tree near NW 59th on the east side will remain in place and accommodations will be made for its root system in the new sidewalk design.

Will there be play structures?
Not at this stage of the project. There will be a few grassy mounds to play/roll around on, plus the rain gardens will be accessible for learning and play. There will be grass space for lawn games as well. Once the park is complete and the community has played in it for a while AND there’s a strong interest for structured play equipment, this could be added at a later time.

What about an offleash dog park?
Sorry, no offleashing in this park. It’s really not big enough. You and your leashed dog, however, will be more than welcome to enjoy the park!

For additional information and to stay up to date on construction, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/14th-ave-nw-park or contact Parks project Manager, Toby Ressler at Toby.Ressler@seattle.gov.





Fall Clean Sweep was a big hit! Thank-you!

18 11 2017
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Mary and Linda cutting down tall grass in the median

The weather was perfect for our late fall clean sweep event along 14th Ave NW. We had 22 volunteers who picked up 9 bags of trash, 7 bags of yard waste and filled 3 large yard waste cans of leaves that were blocking the storm drains. Waffles, fruit, coffee and hot apple cider donated by The Ballard Market kept us fueled as we picked up trash from NW 65th all the way to Salmon Bay. Amazing work!

Special thanks to The Ballard Market and especially Kelley in the deli who prepared all the donated food for us!

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Thank-you Kelley!

Check out the pics in our Flickr album to see all the fun we had! Be sure to click on the individual photos to read the captions. Thank-you neighbors and we’re looking forward to seeing you again in the spring for our next Clean Sweep event!





Mark your calendar for Nov 18 Fall Clean Sweep on 14th Ave NW

8 11 2017

Join us as we clean up 14th Ave NW and tidy up the medians and planters. Waffles, coffee and hot apple cider donated by the Ballard Market will be on hand to get you motivated! Bring your friends, bring the kids, we’ll bring the rest! This will be a rain or shine event, so dress for the weather.

What:    EBCA Fall Clean Sweep
When:
   Saturday November 18 10AM-1PM
Where: Blowing Sands Glass (5805 14th Ave NW)





Update on Gemenskap Park

12 10 2017

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We heard from our Parks Project Manager, Toby Ressler, this week who shared with us some good news on the construction plans for Gemenskap Park. Here’s what we know:

  • As of Friday Oct 6, Seattle Department of Transporation (SDOT) has approved and issued the Street Improvement Permit (SIP) for construction of the park.
  • Construction start date is tentatively set for January 2, 2018, however, Seattle Parks are in discussion with the contractor, Jansen Inc., to outline the best time to begin construction while still providing safe pedestrian and vehicle accessibility on 14th Ave NW during construction.
  • Construction will require a 2-3 month detour route on 14th Ave NW between NW 58th and NW 60th.
  • Jansen Inc. anticipates completing the project in late spring 2018.

It looks like this is actually going to happen, and soon! We’ll continue to keep you informed as we receive new updates!

In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday Nov 4 10AM-1PM for our Clean Sweep event along 14th Ave NW. We’ll be posting an invite soon with more details!





Update on Gemenskap Park

5 09 2017

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We are getting very close to seeing this park that was conceived on a back of a napkin back in 2004 actually get built! We recently heard some good news from our Parks Project Manager, Toby Ressler, that Parks intends to sign a contract with Jansen, Inc to construct the Gemenskap Park! If all goes well, work could begin before the end of this year. We’re still trying to nail down the exact date with the Parks Department. We’ll continue to keep you posted..

If you’re new to the neighborhood and are curious about the details of the park, here are some highlights…

If you’re not an engineering geek and your eyes just glaze over at the site of all those lines in the engineering drawings, then no worries, we sat down with our designers at Mithun and compiled the following overview to help you out:

What’s the park going to look like?
Gemenskap Park (formerly 14th Ave NW Park) will be a 2 block linear park that runs along the east side of 14th Ave NW from NW 59th St to NW 61st St. The current sidewalks on the east side (for these 2 blocks) will be replaced with brand new 12′ wide concrete sidewalks that will be wide enough for walking and wheeled activities. The park will include rain gardens that will not only filter stormwater before entering Salmon Bay, but will also provide a buffer between park users and vehicle traffic. Vehicle traffic will run side by side on the west side (no longer separated by a median) between NW 59th and NW 61st.

How are cars going to be diverted at NW 59th and NW 61st traveling north?
Speed limit on 14th Ave NW between Market and NW 65th will drop down to 20 mph (today, it’s 30 mph). This significant drop in speed will allow for vehicle transition to be done at stop signs. There will be a 4-way stop at NW 59th, NW 60th and another at NW 61st. If you are traveling north, you will stop at NW 59th, transition diagonally to the west alongside south bound vehicles, stop at NW 60th and then stop again at NW 61st where you’ll transition back to the east side with vehicles separated by a median again. If you’re traveling south, you’ll stay in the same lane along 14th and will stop at NW 61st, NW 60th and NW 59th.

What about lighting?
Pedestrian scale lighting will be provided along the 2 block park that should provide adequate lighting of the walkway without affecting neighboring homes. The existing street-scale lighting will remain as well. It’s not clear what’s going to happen with the light between NW 59th and 60th that’s strung in the middle of the median. We’re pretty sure that’ll get replaced with pedestrian-scale lighting.

June2014_drawingWhat’s going on at the NW 60th intersection?
The intersection at NW 60th will have a 4-way stop and will be raised to sidewalk level so that people driving across the intersection will encounter a bump up when approaching and a bump down when leaving. People walking or biking along the park’s sidewalk through the intersection (north/south) will not experience an elevation change. There will also be bollards on the north and south sections of the intersection on the park side to provide a buffer from vehicles.

What about the trees?
Some existing trees will be removed and replaced with a mixture of larger and smaller trees where it makes sense. The significantly large tree near NW 59th on the east side will remain in place and accommodations will be made for its root system in the new sidewalk design.

Will there be play structures?
Not at this stage of the project. There will be a few grassy mounds to play/roll around on, plus the rain gardens will be accessible for learning and play. There will be grass space for lawn games as well. Once the park is complete and the community has played in it for a while AND there’s a strong interest for structured play equipment, this could be added at a later time.

What about an offleash dog park?
Sorry, no offleashing in this park. It’s really not big enough. You and your leashed dog will be more than welcome to enjoy the park!

Additional information about this park project and how to get in touch with our Parks Project manager can be found on the Parks Department website. You’re also welcome to contact us at the EBCA and we’ll do our best to get you the info you’re looking for.

If  you want to learn more about the 12 year history of this community-inspired park, check out the Gemenskap Park page on our site. If you’d like to get involved with the park or have East Ballard community project ideas, please contact us at eastballard@gmail.com.