More Street Improvements Are Coming to Ballard Ave

SDOT is introducing a series of additional enhancements to improve mobility and accessibility at the Ballard Ave Café Street.

This marks the second phase of modifications since the initiative to enhance accessibility on Ballard Ave commenced last summer. In the previous year, SDOT implemented several improvements between 20th Ave NW and 22nd Ave NW on Ballard Ave. These included the establishment of all-way stops, interim “curb bulbs” at intersections, enhanced street tree pits, and updated striping to accommodate the new one-way traffic flow for vehicles and load zones.

Set for implementation this summer, Phase 2 of the improvements encompasses a range of plans. SDOT conducted surveys last year, seeking feedback on the existing conditions and areas requiring refinement along Ballard Ave. Additionally, a design charrette involving local businesses and stakeholders was held, which received tremendous support for curbside cafés and the expansion of pedestrian space and outdoor retail. The planned enhancements involve creating additional space for public gatherings, reducing the speed limit, enhancing accessibility for freight and delivery, improving pedestrian visibility, and allocating more areas for pedestrians.

Interim refinements proposed for 2023 will continue to support local business and emergency vehicle access needs and improve mobility and access for the large volumes of pedestrians who visit the cafés, restaurants, venues, and stores along Ballard Ave. SDOT is also coordinating any proposed changes with the Ballard Farmers Market to support the market and vendors’ ongoing success.

SDOT has provided a comprehensive list of the upcoming enhancements, which are as follows:

  1. Establishing the Ballard Ave Café Street to enhance the overall experience of walking, rolling, shopping, and dining on Ballard Ave.
  2. Further supporting freight and delivery access by adjusting curbsides to increase load/unload zones, ADA parking, and prioritize food pick-up areas.
  3. Increasing and defining space for pedestrians to accommodate pedestrian volumes and strengthen Ballard Avenue’s reputation as a prominent Seattle destination.
  4. Improving pedestrian visibility and safety at the intersection of Ballard Ave NW and 20th Ave NW.
  5. Exploring community partnerships to introduce movable benches and tables in newly created public spaces.
  6. Installing bike parking racks, as well as designated parking spaces for bike share and scooter share services along Ballard Ave NW.
  7. Considering the implementation of paid parking on several blocks in the neighborhood to further facilitate business access.
  8. Maintaining the existing northbound travel lane on the Leary side of the street.

Later this summer, after SDOT has concluded outreach, they’ll make refinements to the corridor, continue to evaluate the changes and engage folks to understand how the street is working for them. To learn more about the history of the project, visit the project page here.