Three neighborhood road projects chosen for funding through NSF

If the last couple of Ballard District Council meetings are any indication, one thing is clear: Ballardites care about safe, walkable streets and intersections.

At last Wednesday's Ballard District Council meeting, community members quickly re-presented (having first presented last month) nine proposals for the Seattle Department of Transportation's Neighborhood Street Fund, which is funded through the Bridging the Gap Levy.

Funds are for projects that are large, but not to large, according to SDOT, with each one having to range in between $100,000 and $750,000. Each of the city's 13 neighborhood district councils were asked to select three top priority projects.

The three that were chosen out of the nine for Ballard were:

1. Improvements to intersection of 3rd Ave NW and NW 56th St: One community member said, "It’s infamous in our neighborhood, it’s a terrible intersection, it’s an accident waiting to happen. And quite frankly, we’re surprised nothing has happened."

2. Sidewalks along the west side of 13 Ave NW, from Holman Road to NW 100th St: A long slideshow of pictures was shown for this presentation, depicting children walking on the side of a pothole-ridden road, cars having to be extra careful to go around people, and home-made "Slow Down!" signs. Sidewalks would make the walk much safer.

3. Right-of-way improvements associated with Sunset Hill's Shilshole Gateway project: A project started two years ago to help connect Sunset Hill with the waterfront along Shilshole Ave, these improvements will help make the Burke Gilman and pedestrian stairway intersection clearer, by getting rid of overgrown knotweed and other measures.

In addition, the District Council voted for a fourth proposal, just in case SDOT can review that project if any of the other three are determined to be unfeasible. For that fourth project, the Council recommended "Safe Routes to Holman Road," which was submitted by the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association.

After SDOT reviews projects recommended by the Ballard District Council, the District Council will review cost and feasibility of each project at its June meeting. Ballard District Council will then have an opportunity to determine a final priority for projects to be funded from the Neighborhood Street Funds program.

From there, the Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee will make funding recommendations to the Mayor and City Council in July; if accepted, they will be adopted into the city budget in September; and then finally planning and design work will begin in October and November.

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