February 17,2009 February Night Out Meeting Minutes

Notes from February 17th EBCA Night Out Event – “Metro and Money”

We had a great turnout for our East Ballard Community Association Night Out Event last Tuesday. About 20 neighbors and business owners came together at St. Alphonsus School Cafeteria to learn about the King County Metro RapidRide transit plans for Ballard and brainstorm street improvements in East Ballard that money from the Dept. of Neighborhoods Project Fund could be used toward.

Thank-you to Paul Roybal from KC Metro, who answered questions we had concerning the Ballard routes. For more information, check out their website. King County needs your input, please fill out the survey mailed to you or you can do it online here. Surveys are due Feb 25th.

Thank-you, too, to Thomas Whittemore, East Ballard neighbor and Department of Neighborhoods representative, for allowing us to put him on the spot to explain the the ins and outs of 2009 Neighborhood Project Funds. These funds can be used for small-scale (up to $90,000 per project) street or parks improvements, such as sidewalk repair, traffic circles, traffic calming, sidewalks, school zone speed limit signs, playgrounds improvements, etc.  We had a great brainstorming session that resulted in the following list of concerns to ask for funding for. Anyone can apply for funds, so if you have any idea, please don’t hesitate to apply. The application process is very simple and this year, you can even do it online!

Also, Mark your calendar for our April Day Out Event on Saturday April 18th. We plan to do some neighborhood street cleanup, storm sewer stenciling and education, plus have a big potluck to celebrate when we’re done. More details for this event to come. If you’re interested in helping us coordinate, please contact me.

Thanks to St. Alphonsus Parish School for donating space for us, The Ballard Market for the incredible platters of food they donated, and to Nervous Nellie’s for donating coffee and tea. We wouldn’t be able to do these kinds of things without the generous donations from our local businesses and organizations.

The following is a list (in no particular order), of the ideas discussed during our meeting. Please take a moment to review and provide comment. If you see your name below, can you please follow up with me so that I know your progress on the application or if you’d like to work together with someone. Applications are due next Friday Feb 27th.

Proposed Projects/Concerns:

  • 14th Ave NW and NW 60th – Visibility for crossing is poor and dangerous for pedestrians and vehicles crossing the intersection due to large vehicles parked in the median too close to the intersection. Vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists cross 14th Ave NW to get to the light on 15the Ave NW. This intersection will become a major walking route to Ballard Corners Park on 17th and 62nd when it opens, since this will be the closest park families living east of 15th Ave NW and south of NW 65th. Darelene Sozinho advised that she would submit an application for this intersection improvement.
  • 8th Ave NW south of Market (median north, median south) – Physical improvements are needed for 2 medians south of market, e.g. tree replacement and easier to maintain plantings. There is also a concern that the medians are currently not being maintained, because it is too dangerous. This needs to be remedied by either planting maintenance free plant material or changing the layout of the medians to make it safer to maintain.  Grey Brey advised that he would submit an application for this issue.
  • Sidewalk repairs needed in East Ballard Debby Smick advised that there are several sidewalks in East Ballard are in ill repair. She will walk through the neighborhood and identify specific locations. Debby has volunteered to submit the application for sidewalk repairs.
  • Fix the water feature on NW 65th at the Ballard High School – This “feature” is located across the street from Shannon Dunn’s home. She’s been trying to work with the city for over a year now to address this dangerous water issue. It’s especially dangerous when it freezes in the winter time, making it extremely dangerous for pedestrians. This is sidewalk is definitely on the “walk to school” route that the city should be concerned about. If the water cannot be suppressed, then why not transform it from an eyesore to a bioswale? Neighborhood Project Fund money may not be the best solution, but maybe a Dept. of Neighborhoods Small and Simple grant?
  • 8th Ave NW and NW 49th  – There are no crosswalks across 8th Ave NW between Market St and Leary. This is particularly a concern for bus riders, like Erin Goodell who have to cross 8th Ave NW at NW 49th every day to get to her the bus stop. Erin advised that she would help write the application for this issue.
  • 9th Ave NW and NW 61st St – This is a dangerous unmarked intersection that could be addressed by a traffic circle or signs. I will ask David Guthrie, who lives at that corner to submit an application.
  • We need better signage to businesses and community places in Ballard – Amy sited an example of the Nordic Heritage Museum signs not leading you directly to the site. You ended up driving more than you need to, wasting gas and time.
  • Sidewalk is needed between 6th and 8th Ave NW on NW 47thThomas Whittemore advised that the neighbors on this street have been trying to get a sidewalk on the north side of the street for many years now.
  • Crosswalk improvement at 7th Ave NW and NW 65th – This crosswalk is on a busy arterial, however, with a growing business district on the north side of NW 65th, business owners have noted many near misses at this crosswalk. There is a growing concern from the business owners for the safety of their neighbors and customers crossing at that intersection. Dan Kaufman from Crash Landing Pizza advised that he would help write an application for this issue.
  • Safer Railroad crossing on the Burke Gilman – This section of the Burke Gilman doesn’t get much sunlight, so if there is any precipitation, the water does not dry up. If it freezes that night, this section becomes VERY icy even if it doesn’t look like it. There have also been incidents where oil has flown onto the tracks causing extremely dangerous conditions. I went down on my bike at this location this year, along with another person in front of me. I’ve seen many others go down at this site in the past. Jennifer Macuiba with Friends of Burke Gilman Trail advised that she would submit an application for this issue.


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