Photo by Shane Harms
Council members, Warren Aakervik and Selena Carsiotis, expressed concern with SDOT's plan to only "bring awareness" to troubled cross walks on Holman Road Northwest.

Ballard District Council meeting held to discuss Swedish Hospital, Greenways and Holman Repavement Project

April 9 – The Ballard District Council met to discuss issues facing the community. Topics up for discussion were Swedish Hospital improvements in the past year, Ballard Greenways, and the Holman Road Repaving project.

Jennifer Graves, Chief Executive and Nurse Executive at Swedish Hospital Ballard, updated the Council with the recent improvement at the hospital. She reported that Swedish has in the last year made strides in cancer treatment with a new cancer facility where patients can receive infusions treatments for chemotherapy as well as other treatments. As one of he largest employers in Ballard, the hospital employs over 100 physicians. Graves said the new cancer facility employs five primary medical oncologists.

“ As health care has changed we have started to offer new services. We are really trying to build services around the patient to make things convenient. Patients can walk to the clinic and receive chemo treatment and not have to go downtown and deal with traffic which can be difficult for them,” said Graves.

Moreover, the facility provides tomotherapy; a relatively different kind of radiation treatment that hones radiation “slice by slice” so that the entire tumor volume is treated . The facility is the only one in King County that can offer the treatment.

In addition, Graves said that the past year presented a bump in people deciding to give birth in Ballard. She reported there were over one thousand newborns delivered at the hospital last year.

Emily Ehlers, Neighborhood Greenways Project Manager with SDOT, gave an update on Greenway development, and asked for feedback from the council for potential Greenways in Ballard.

“Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets where we calm traffic and prioritize pedestrian and bike travel, said Ehlers.

Greenways lower speed limits to 20 mph and use speed humps to reduce speeds and increase driver’s awareness. Stop signs are added to intersecting streets to add safety to pedestrians, and smooth sidewalks and pavements are prioritized.

The Bike Master recommends 250 miles of Greenway construction and the City is slowly making its way towards that goal.

Currently Ballard has a Greenway running on Northwest 58th Street. The plan identifies 17th Avenue Northwest as a new potential route.

The community members at the meeting recommended staying clear of the post office intersection, saying it is already congested enough and it would cause more problems.

Moreover, Council member Warren Aakervik recommended a lighted intersection at 17th Avenue Northwest and Leary Way Northwest. Leary is a freight route and poses potential hazards for pedestrians.

Mirabel Cruz, Senior Communications Lead, SDOT addressed the Holman Road Northwest Repaving project. SDOT will repave 1.3 miles of Holman Road Northwest from Greenwood Avenue North to Northwest 87th Street.

Over 30 thousand vehicles travel through the Holman corridor and a it is a regional and neighborhood connector. It’s also a designated major freight route.

On top of repaving, there will also be improvements in safety that include new medians at 7th Avenue Northwest and 13th Avenues Northwest. 15th Avenue Northwest currently has a median and SDOT plans to enlarge it. In addition temporary improvements for pedestrians include sidewalks along Mary and 92nd Street Northwest.

SDOT is also planning joint expansion work on the Holman Bridge.

The project has been divided into two phases. The first phase of work will be done on Holman Road Northwest between 7th Avenue Northwest and Greenwood Avenue North. The phase is expected to be finished in June. The second phase includes Holman Road Northwest between Northwest 87th Street and 7th Avenue Northwest. SDOT plans to be finished with that section by September.

The Council raised concern with pedestrian crossing, especially at 13th Avenue Northwest where a new median will be constructed. Currently there is a crosswalk for pedestrians and the council members said there needs to be a lighted intersection added to improve safety. An overpass is close to the intersection, however it’s not ABA compliant and therefore people using wheel chairs or strollers are forced to use the cross walk.

“It’s something that’s already occurring there, and so we are providing a safer access point for pedestrians to make their move. There have been a lot of discussions, and I’ve talked to many people in the community about putting a signal there and we know that ultimately that is the best solution. Since this is a maintenance project there isn’t actually funding to do the signal, but what it’s done is raised the awareness to put in a signal. In my eyes this is somewhat of a compromise until the signal is put in,” said Cruz.

Drivers can expect some lane closures and parking restrictions. Regular construction hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bridge repair will require a full closure of Holman Road Northwest at 8th Avenue Northwest in both directions while work is conducted during weekend nights.

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