Seattle Ponders Improvements to Ballard Bridge for All Modes of Transport

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is in the midst of a planning study on Ballard Bridge, soliciting feedback from the community about how to improve circulation of vehicles and pedestrians.

1 minute read

September 15, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

Transportation Planning

Seattle Department of Transportation / Ballard Bridge Planning Study

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is exploring options to improve or replace Ballard Bridge. The city and SDOT has already collected feedback from residents online and in person to determine what they would like to see happen with the bridge. According to the survey, 77% of respondents said they used the bridge to walk or bike while 83% said they drive along these routes.

"With these relatively high usage rates, it’s not a surprise that a majority of respondents cited improving safety infrastructure for biking and walking as at the top of their list of priorities for the bridge, especially since the Ballard Bridge is known for narrow sidewalks that squeeze pedestrians and cyclists into a roughly three and a half foot space," writes Natalie Bicknell for The Urbanist.

SDOT is currently looking at three options, two would involve replacing the bridge with a new raised bridge and a third would improve the existing bridge. "Replacement of the existing bridge with either a high-level or mid-level bridge would address the problem of bridge openings, which can cause serious delays to all modes of traffic on the bridge. However, such taller structures would also increase crossing times for pedestrians and cyclists," reports Bicknell. The agency hopes to finalize their decision before the end of this year.

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