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A Shared Street in Ballard?

shared street

Example of a shared street in Boston.

Dongho Chang, Chief Traffic Engineer for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) visited Ballard Greenways for their monthly meeting to discuss the idea of making 22nd Ave NW a pedestrian prioritized street, or shared street. Shared streets, where “pedestrian activity is high and vehicle volumes are either low or discouraged,” can increase commercial activity as well as make people aware of slow-moving people in the street right of way. They are used in many active commercial areas around America and in other countries. The 22nd Ave NW shared street would link Ballard Commons Park to Historic Ballard Avenue.

Ballard Greenways leaders remarked that local people in the community found it frustrating to go anywhere in Ballard on Farmer’s Market day, no matter their mode of travel, and wanted to make sure shared streets would still allow free flow of all modes of travel. Other SDOT safe streets work in Ballard is in the pipeline for the 17th Ave NW Greenway — and will mark the first time two greenways intersect (at 17th Ave NW and NW 58th St.) in the beginnings of our linked citywide network.

Making 22nd Ave NW into a shared street/piazza was also talked about by the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth. Ballard District Council, St. Luke’s Church, and the Ballard Open Space Inventory from Groundswell NW would also be strong supporters of the shared street idea.