New Park Plans Cause Tension Over Parking

Plans for the new $1.5 million park along 14th Avenue NW will take away some 90 parking stalls along the street, and a group of local Ballardites is fighting to keep those parking spots in place. The tension is part of a citywide battle over how much parking is enough, and the City Council is actually considering a proposal to eliminate required parking around new apartments and condominiums within a quarter mile of frequent transit. Parking may still be included, but builders wouldn’t have to provide parking for each unit.

Proposed green space along 14th near NW 60th street

 

A group for the East Ballard Community Association have been petitioning the city for nearly a decade to bring a green space to 14th Ave NW, a street that has more parking along curbs and across a wide median, than almost any other residential street in the city. According to the Seattle Times, at two separate meetings in the city, about 100 people attended to help plan the new park and fewer than 20 complained about the potential loss of parking. But those who did object came in hot, with the argument that with the surge of redevelopment in Ballard, they’ll be losing more parking and don’t want to take away anymore than they must. The arguments continue on both sides, those arguing the green space citing that they are not against a park, but the decrease in parking stalls will cause a problem for handicapped and elderly; those for it stating a two block park isn’t going to cause as much fuss as they’re making. Find an extended description of the Green Space on the Seattle Parks and Recreation Website.

Seal Pup Sightings in Ballard

This past weekend, locals spotted a baby seal pup perched on the beach shores soaking up some sun rays in Ballard. This time of year is when seal pups are often seen along the pacific northwest shores, resting and warming up and I’d like to use this sighting as an

Photo courtesy of www.myballard.com

opportunity to remind waterfront property owners and beach goers what to do when there is a baby seal sighting: call the local group Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 206-905-SEAL (7325). These folks will send a designated “seal sitter” to set a perimeter around the pup to protect it until the mother returns for him, or until he swims away. After you’ve placed the good Samaritan phone call, the next step would be to steer clear of the seal, and make sure that all dogs are leashed in the area. Seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and it’s actually a violation to touch them, so make sure you and those around you leave the little guy alone. For more information on seal sightings in the Seattle area, click here.