THANK YOU to everyone who came to our Summer Social at Peddler Brewing on July 15! We appreciated catching up with folks from East Ballard Community Association, Groundswell NW, Rotary Club of Ballard, Ballard Alliance a variety of local businesses and area neighborhoods, as well as Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Councilmember Dan Strauss.
We had a brief questionnaire as part of our raffle and got some great feedback. If you weren’t able to attend and would still like to send feedback, please email us. It is appreciated and very useful in determining future steps for how BDC can improve our outreach and better serve the greater Ballard community.
And a big thank you to Peddler for hosting half-price drinks and donating t-shirts for our raffle! Also to Ballard Alliance for the spiffy hats donated to the raffle. We had five happy, lucky winners by evening’s end.
Ballard District Council and Ballard Alliance invited candidates for City Council, Mayor and City Attorney to submit video statements speaking directly to Ballard voters, to help inform your decisions for the August 3 summer primary election.
Click on the links below to hear from each candidate who responded.
King County Elections will begin mailing ballots to voters on July 16 and they are due back by Tuesday, August 3. The Ballard drop box is the busiest in the county! Please encourage other Ballardites to view and share these links. We will add more links if additional videos are submitted as July unfolds.
Following are topics we included in our invitation to candidates, letting them know just a few of the things on Ballard voters’ radar …
Neighborhood growth – Ballard’s population continues to boom and Crown Hill is beginning a transformation with a major upzone. Housing affordability and displacement are ongoing concerns.
Public safety – Persistent property crime and street disorder, slow 911 responses, addiction and behavioral health needs.
Small businesses – Our corner of the city takes pride in the thriving variety of local independent stores, restaurants/bars/breweries, and service and trade businesses.
Homelessness – Ballard has become a hub of services and “best practice” solutions, yet there’s no coordinated, visible improvement of unsheltered homelessness and crisis response.
Industrial maritime – This unique engine in our local economy is a strong part of our history and our future, and needs engaged advocacy to continue thriving.
Transportation – We’ve got a long wait for Sound Transit to make it our way by the 2030s, Ballard Bridge needs repair/replacement, swaths of our neighborhood have zero bus service, and many desire safer bike/pedestrian infrastructure.
Fall Candidate Forums
For those candidates who make it through the summer primary, we’ll be holding fall candidate forums in the Osberg Great Hall at the National Nordic Museum, in collaboration with Ballard Alliance.
7pm Wednesday, Sept 22 — City Council Positions 8 & 9
We’ve decided to take June off from our normal schedule, and give you —and us — a much deserved break from online meetings this month.
We had been planning to focus on “The Evolution of Ballard Demographics & Neighborhood Planning: Past, Present, Future.” The topic will be valuable, but we have opted to wait until later this autumn, when recent 2020 census data will be in the possession of Seattle demographers, and we can really have a better look not only at how much Ballard has changed, but also who Ballard is becoming. So stay tuned for a re-start on this topic later in the year.
Traditionally, Ballard District Council has utilized our July meetings for ice cream socials among the attending members/participants. This year—as it looks like we may be actually and finally rounding the corner on the COVID crisis and concluding our 15 months of social distancing & isolation — we are getting back together in person in July for a much needed personal reconnect.
Whether you’re a newcomer or ol’ timer (or anywhere in between), please join us Thursday, July 15, at Peddler Brewing, to hoist a pint and reconnect, to celebrate the growing end of our community isolation and to share ideas about how Ballard District Council can evolve to meet the civic needs of our fast-growing neighborhood.
Drinks will be half-price, thanks to the community support of the brewery.
We hope as many neighbors and local organizations as possible will join in.
Bringing Ballard Up to Date: Sound Transit, BIRT, and Ballard Bridge
Join us on May 12 for a panel update and community Q&A on regional transportation topics, including Ballard Bridge, BIRT (Ballard Interbay Regional Transportation planning), Sound Transit and more. See the event listing for more details.
Catch up with Ballard’s unique and valued Maritime Industrial sector! Our April meeting featured a multi-faceted presentation and discussion, providing a chance for Ballardites (newcomers and old-timers alike) to hear directly from a range of voices tied to this key part of our local economy and community — with speakers from Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Ballard Oil, Western Towboat, Seattle Office of Economic Development Maritime & Manufacturing Division, and Port of Seattle Maritime Division.
Full video is available on our YouTube channel. You can’t understand Ballard unless you have some familiarity with our historical and forward-looking maritime community. This is an enjoyable and informative video. Please share with other Ballardites (it’s easy to listen to like a podcast).
Join us at our April 14, 2021, meeting for a panel presentation and discussion about Ballard’s unique and valued Maritime Industrial sector. We hope to give Ballardites (newcomers and old-timers alike) a chance to hear directly from a range of voices tied to this key part of our local economy and community. We’ll be welcoming speakers from Pacific Fishermen Shipyard, Ballard Oil, Western Towboat, Seattle Office of Economic Development Maritime & Manufacturing Division, and Port of Seattle Maritime Division.
The following information was sent to our Ballard District Council community email list on 3/23/21. Please contact us if you’d like to receive our emails, and help spread the word to others. Thanks!
We are writing to highlight some civic gems we’ve discovered at recent Ballard District Council meetings. For more than 30 years, BDC has met on the 2nd Wednesday evening of each month (online during Covid) and all are invited. Last November, we heard a promising update from the long-awaited re-introduction of the Seattle Police Community Service Officer program.
Did you know that…
Seattle Police Community Service Officers (CSOs) started serving citywide in early 2020 — Sgt. Kevin Nelson and Community Service Officer (CSO) staff members have been doing great things in the community. The goal, according to the Seattle Police Department, is to have these unarmed civilians show a new kind of response to calls for service. The CSOs are a diverse, multi-lingual group with backgrounds ranging from social services to juvenile outreach to courts and security. A recent KUOW article describes a CSO who responded to a domestic violence victim and was able to share resources to get safety from her abuser, in Oromo, an Ethiopian language. CSOs also help mitigate landlord-tenant disputes and a range of other community-focused support, to augment public safety for Seattle neighborhoods. They can be reached via email at SPD_csoinfo@seattle.gov or by phone at 206-684-8403.
If you missed our November 2020 meeting, you can still view it and share with others who might benefit. (We also hosted the CSO program back in December 2019, which includes earlier insights describing why they’re inspired to do this work.)
Sgt. Nelson from the CSO program also spoke at the last North Precinct Advisory Council (NPAC) meeting on 3/3/21. NPAC meeting minutes are available online. Ballardites are encouraged to participate in opportunities to learn more about this and other programming as our city’s public safety programming evolves.
This is the inaugural missive of our planned occasional updates highlighting civic content of benefit to the greater Ballard neighborhood. Whether you live in downtown Ballard, Loyal Heights, West Woodland, Crown Hill, or other parts of the greater Ballard area, please share with others to help us grow and connect as a civic community.
We welcome feedback and ideas about what is important to you from a civic organization like BDC, as we evolve with our fast-growing neighborhood. Please be in touch!
We had a chock-full agenda at our March 2021 meeting, learning about Seattle City Light’s proposed EV charging station, SDOT’s Stay Healthy Streets program and an update from Ballard-Fremont Neighborhood Greenways. Video is fully archived on YouTube (see links to specific portions of the meeting below) and below is a selection of meeting minutes, with links to some of the presenter’s full slideshows, as well.
Jacob Orenberg from Seattle City Light gave a detailed overview of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station proposed for development at SCL’s former substation lot at 2826 NW Market Street (between the VFW and the Sloop Tavern).
Discussion about “best public use” and community input
Q: has Parks Dept interest in closing gap for public space been reconsidered for this property? A: clarification that property is not considered “surplus,” its status is “active,” still has use for City Light (and rate payers) so it cannot currently become a park, also houses electrical infrastructure for Metro Transit,
Q: will there be a landscape buffer from the sidewalk (toward front end of site)? will paving be permeable / any rain gardens? A: design is very early but that is definitely under consideration, on their radar, also some areas are required to remain open space around infrastructure so that will be accommodated in design.
Q: can the lot be subdivided A: no
Q: how will the bidding tgake place for the EV spots? A: RFP (request for proposal) will be issued to a select list of vendors and ones will be selected that can provide most reliable service to community
Q: what SCL infrastrucdture A: electrical transformer that powers King County Metro rectifier for trolley buses
Q: can constraints be changed around use of the property so it can be used as a tiny house village? A: nothing is impossible, but the utility sees long-term value for the property to remain in service for rate payers. Not a permissible use for SCL property (would have to be compensated).
Q: What are the long-term plans for the EV charging station? A: initial lease of 5 years, with extensions possible of 5 years. Probably a 20-25 year life span for this use, unless SCL determines there’s a better, higher use at lease renewal point.
Q: Any public art budget or for improving the pedestrian experience in nearby area (art wraps on poles, wayfinding or improvements to new sidewalk/media areas)? – haven’t looked into that yet but can talk with partner agencies and community and look further into that.
Summer Jawson from Seattle Department of Transportation gave an update on the City’s Stay Healthy Streets program, including feedback from last summer’s public survey (9,000 people responded). In 2020, over 20 miles of Neighborhood Greenways were upgraded to Stay Healthy Streets — opened to people walking, rolling, and biking. The City is now considering making many of these permanent changes.
Golden Gardens Drive pros/cons/impacts during summer/fall temporary “Keep Moving Street” vehicle closure – not currently under consideration for permanent closure because it’s an arterial. Happened in collaboration with Parks Department to help reduce crowding during that time of pandemic.
Clarifying distinction between Greenways (the name of a type of street and the name of a community organization) and Stay Healthy Streets
Is 17th Ave NW in Ballard almost a shoo-in as a permanent Greenway because of how well it did in survey? A: there is mixed feedback despite immense popularity so they are continuing conversations
Q: reported racism on 17th? A: no specific reports of issues on 17th, but in other parts of city there have been incidents of people of color who are legally driving on a Greenway being yelled at by pedestrians/cyclists. It’s something they are carefully monitoring, whether people of color feel like kids can play in street and “be loud” without being unnecessarily reported.
Bryant Mason, co-chair of Ballard-Fremont Neighborhood Greenways (@BFGreenways), provided background on the history of their community group with a focus on recent successes and future plans for improving safety and access in the Ballard area for pedestrians and cyclists. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has an extensive coalition of neighborhood-based, volunteer-led chapters throughout the city, empowering communities to reclaim Seattle’s streets so that they are more welcoming for people of all kinds to walk, bike and safely get around town. Their next meeting is March 24 and they welcome Ballardites to join in.
Q: what is the best way to give input on Greenways routes? Can the 17th Ave NW Greenway extend south to Shilshole and the 20th Ave NW street end? A: Let SDOT know and add your voice to the Greenways group. It all started with a few neighbors talking. Join in with your ideas. It starts small and grows as more people get involved.
Q: There is a map showing some new street changes around Sunset Hill Park that might make 34th Ave NW local access only. Wondering about possible plans. A: Not currently a Greenway project. May have been part of brainstorming about Stay Healthy Streets and Keep Moving Streets early in pandemic. Or, people might be looking at a map that notes “safe neighborhood rides” that the Greenways group encourages people to use as quiet streets but they are not officially proposed as upcoming Greenways routes.
Q: Are Stay Healthy Streets a Greenway on steroids and taking away from expanding the Greenways network? Why is “street closed” posted for Stay Healthy Streets but not Greenways? A: State law requires “street closed” designation for pedestrians to have right of way in street. These efforts are happening nationally but our local regulations are different than places that are able to just post “local access only.” State legislative agenda may address this at some point, so that civil/traffic engineers aren’t by default prioritizing cars over people walking and biking.
Q: Will Stay Healthy Streets program reduce outreach and development for Neighborhood Greenways? A: SDOT is not planning to. They are still trying to figure out source of funding for Stay Healthy Streets becoming permanent. Funded via Move Seattle Levy, ending in 2024. Up until now, SHS funded via federal coronavirus funding.
Q: Is there overlap with Safe Routes to School? A: Yes. New sidewalks and crossing improvements often partnered between efforts. Community collaboration. Ballard 17th Greenway connects up to Whitman Middle School, for example. Another example: new traffic signal crossing on Holman Road to Dick’s (many students like to cross here).