Reconnecting Ballard

Ballard : Reconnected

“I live in Fremont, and frequently bike to Ballard to visit friends, restaurants, and other local businesses (about twice a week). Biking across 15th is the most treacherous part of these trips for me, and I would love to feel safer and even explore more of Ballard if these improvements are made.” - Thaminda E.

“I regularly cross 15th Ave with my 2-year old, and we try to live our lives as car free as possible. Many of the things we do together as a family involve crossing dangerous traffic, with drivers consistently ignoring the law. We should prioritize making Ballard a singular, accessible experience no matter which side of 15th you live on.” - Anonymous Ballard Resident

“I travel between the east and west side of 15th avenue to drop kids off at gymnastics, to shop at Ballard blocks and to reach Gilman Park. The existing signaled crossings on 15th are too far apart. Please give some priority to walking and biking so we can reduce car dependency and improve pedestrian safety.” - John W.

Take Action

Let our elected officials know that you support SDOT's improvements on 15th Ave NW. Sign our email campaign!

Ballard-Fremont Greenways Advocacy

15th Ave NW is the most dangerous corridor in Ballard. Now is the time to make this a street that is safe for all users.

Ballard-Fremont Greenways has been advocating to Reconnect Ballard. As part of our advocacy, we provided feedback to SDOT on the 15th Ave NW design calling for safety to be the top priority. Additionally, we asked people who live, work, and play in Ballard why they want to see SDOT take this chance to Reconnect Ballard.

15th Ave NW Paving and Safety Project

In July, SDOT released the final design for the 15th Avenue Paving and Safety Project with additional safety improvements included. This design was informed by community input (including BFG!), and the city’s Vision Zero goal to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets.


These safety improvements

  • Install a new bike and pedestrian signal and crosswalk at NW 51st St, making it easier to walk, roll, or bike around the neighborhood and connecting people to Ballard businesses, attractions, and transit.
  • Replace a southbound lane on 15th Ave NW with a new landscaped median between NW 50th St and NW 54th St to calm driver speeds and reduce the likelihood of serious crashes.
  • Add a new southbound transit lane with red “bus only” markings on 15th Ave NW between NW 54th St and NW Market St.
  • Add a new southbound transit lane with red “bus only” markings on 15th Ave NW between Leary Way NW and NW Ballard Way.
  • Improve and add new lighting under the bridge along Leary Way NW and on the pedestrian path near the intersection of 15th Ave NW and W Nickerson St.


Ballard-Fremont Greenways is pleased to see the focus on additional safety improvements and we look forward to expedited construction of these improvements.

Reconnecting Ballard through these improvements will remove (literal) barriers, making it possible for people of all ages and abilities to move freely and safely through the neighborhood while enjoying all that Ballard has to offer.

Benefits of the future state include

  1. Reconnecting East and West Ballard by bridging the divide between the two and breathing new life into local businesses and strengthening the community.
  2. Providing neighbors with a sustainable, safe, and convenient way to access alternatives such as existing bus lines and the future Light Rail station.
  3. Reducing noise and air pollution from speeding vehicles in a densely populated neighborhood within Ballard.
  4. Improving the tree canopy making it a more pleasant place to walk and visit local businesses while reducing the Urban Heat Island effect.
  5. Laying the groundwork for sustainable growth as we look to welcome over 1900 new neighbors within a 10 minute walk.
  6. Making 15th Ave a more accessible and safe road for our elderly neighbors and those with disabilities to cross and access local businesses along the roadway.

Personal Stories

“Thank you for listening. This project is an opportunity to connect a large neighborhood, filled with working families, to the rest of the city we work and do business in. The neighborhood density increases, but without safe routes to our jobs and schools, we're forced into our cars. Our kids are missing out on a chance to be independent and parents (we're all two working parents here) have their time taxed even more. We're all forced to add to the traffic and congestion when alternates aren't safe enough to reasonably use.” - David H.

“I bike and walk around Ballard every week and 15th Ave is very dangerous and scary. I don't want to get killed by a car. It's a no-brainer to use the 15th Ave paving project to improve safety rather than let it remain a cyclist and pedestrian fatality just waiting to happen.” - Anonymous Ballard Resident

“We can’t continue to prioritize speeding through-traffic over the needs of our communities.” - Robert D.