Talk Transit with CM Mike O’Brien at Populuxe Brewing on Monday

Mike-OBrien-City-Council-SeattleSeattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is hosting a Sound Transit 3 (ST3) community discussion at Ballard’s Populuxe Brewing on Monday, February 26, 2018.

For those wanting to provide feedback regarding ST3/ Light Rail to Ballard, this is an excellent opportunity to share your opinion – right here in the neighborhood – and have a delicious beer too!

Date: Monday, 02/26
Time: 5:30-7:00pm
Location: Populuxe Brewing, 826 NW 49th Street in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.

Reconnecting the Ballard neighborhood and adding a bus only lane on 15th Ave NW

Update: 05/14/2018

ballard West Woodland NW 53rd Greenway 2018-05-19 13.16.43-1

You’ll be glad to know that the RapidRide D improvements along 15th Ave NW, at NW 53rd Street, are beginning.  The improvements include construction of a crosswalk, crossing signal, and traffic island as part of a larger construction package that is addressing “spot” improvements around Seattle.  The project is schedule to be completed by the end of 2018.

Road construction does mean lane closures and traffic headaches while work is being completed.  Here’s what to expect, from the Seattle Department of Transportation:

Seattle Department of Transportation will have intermittent lane closures on 15th Ave NW, north of the Ballard bridge, affecting the outer southbound and northbound lanes for the next 6-8 weeks.

  • Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction for the duration of the project.
  • Outer southbound and northbound lane closures of 15th Ave NW will occur intermittently.
  • 15th Ave NW southbound will be open to three lanes 6-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
  • 15th Ave NW northbound will be open to three lanes 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and noon to 4PM on Saturday and Sunday.
  • No parking and local access only on NW 53rd St between 17th Ave NW and 14th Ave NW.

Here’s what the project should look like when complete.

Ballard west woodland 15th and 53rd


Original Post: 02/25/2018

Remember the NW 53rd Greenway?  It has been a couple years since we’ve written about it (see: 05/2016 and 06/2016), but last week a neighbor contacted us asking if the project was still active. A quick email to Seattle Department of Transportation revealed that the project was indeed moving along.

What’s happening now:

SDOT is working towards the installation of a new pedestrian signal at 15th Ave NW and NW 53rd Street as part of an effort to connect the Ballard neighborhood.  This new signal will create a dignified way for residents to access bus stops, parks, and medical care without needing to travel a half a mile out of their way in order to find a safe crossing.  Below, you can read the full update from the Seattle Department of Transportation, Spot Improvements.

Reconnecting the Ballard neighborhood and adding a bus only lane on 15th Ave NW

15th Ave NW is a major street carrying around 50,000 vehicles a day. It is a bus priority corridor and a major truck street. RapidRide D and the 15 Express use the street and move about 15,000 people a day. Currently bus routes experience delay northbound between NW 51st St and NW Market St. We want to retain and grow the number of people taking the bus. So to make service more reliable and faster, we’re planning a bus only lane in this area. Buses can then bypass traffic that occurs when the drawbridge is lowered. To make room for the bus only lane, we’ll remove the center turn lane. Construction is scheduled for late 2017.

Project Elements

Removing the center turn lane means people can no longer make left turns on NW 15th Ave at NW 52nd and NW 53rd streets. Some people and service providers will change their routes to get home or access businesses. However, the change will make the intersections safer. The chart below shows recommended thresholds for having a center turn lane and why restricting turns at these locations is a good idea.

Ballard NW 53rd Crossing at 15th Ave NW

Recognizing 15th Ave NW is a truck street we wanted to make sure people and goods continue moving smoothly. We conducted studies to understand possible impacts to nearby intersections. The study found they will continue to perform at acceptable levels of service.

This busy street also divides the neighborhood. There is almost a half a mile between traffic signals at Leary and NW Market. To help reconnect the neighborhood we’re adding a pedestrian signal. The improvement will happen at NW 53rd St.


Example of what the crossing would look like.

Populuxe Brewing Celebrates 5th Anniversary With Ballard Beach Blanket Bingo

Wax up your board, don your wet-suit and celebrate this momentous occasion with Pete, Amy and the Populuxe gang! On Saturday, March 10th from 12 noon to 10:00 PM, Populuxe Brewing will celebrate their 5th Anniversary with a beach-themed blowout bash.

The event, which is sponsored in part by Verity Credit Union, kicks off at noon.  The first 100 customers will receive a free beach ball featuring the Populuxe logo with their beer purchase.

There will be giveaways and prizes handed out throughout the day. Unique kegs and pins will be tapped in the Beach Shack (aka Populuxe’s original location).

Live entertainment starts at 5 PM with All Ages Bingo hosted by Sylvia O’Stayformore. From 8 – 10 PM enjoy surf and lounge music by Johnny Astro.

Also, Populuxe will be releasing a limited bottle release of their Pineapple Sour. Only 100 bottles available on a first come, first serve basis. Limit two per person.

Populuxe Brewing is located at 826 NW 49th Street, Seattle, WA 98107

Surf’s Up!


Long Time Ballard Business Has Closed

2018-02-11 13.07.17

On February 13 we told you about the closure of Atrium Shade Company, located at 824 NW 46th Street in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.

A simple sign located in the front window announced that they were closed until further notice. I reached out to Atrium Shade via email to find out if this was seasonal closure or permanent, and here’s the companies response:

“Unfortunately, it appears to be permanent.

 If you have any shade inquiries, please contact Penthouse Drapery and see if they can help.  They also sell shades (not exterior), their phone number is (206) 292-8336

 For awnings, please contact Tony at Canvas Supply here in Ballard and the number is (206) 784-0711.”

According to the companies website, Atrium Shade began producing shade systems for commercial atriums and skylights in 1987, and later began manufacturing roller shades. The website also shows that the company employed 15 full-time employees.  No word on what has happened to these people.

Several buildings near Atrium Shade’s 12,000 sq. ft. facility are for sale, including the building Skills Inc. recently vacated at 800 NW 49th Street.  Photo below shows three parcels currently for sale, and is courtesy LoopNet.  Atrium Shade is the building just west of 800 NW 49th Street.

Buildings for sale Ballard West Woodland

Skills Inc. Consolidates Operations

Have you noticed the barrier fencing outside Skills Inc., 825 NW 47th Street?

I reached out to the nonprofit and they provided the following update:

“Thank you for your inquiry. Skills Inc. Is consolidating our aerospace finish operations in Auburn but our Business Solutions Division will remain in Ballard, as well as Vocational Services and Customized Employment Programs. Our Ballard operations are currently located at 825 NW 47th Street and will move to 4503 8th Ave NW later this year.”

Great to hear they’re staying in the neighborhood!

About Skills Inc.:

Skills Inc. is a self-supporting, nonprofit social enterprise that employs people of ALL ABILITIES in aerospace manufacturing, aerospace finishing, technical services and business solutions. Their fully integrated, inclusive workforce is comprised of individuals with and without disabilities working side-by-side throughout all four lines of business.

Find them online:

2018-01-20 12.12.36

Goodbye Taco Truck, Hello Dental Office

New dental/ retail office coming to 1453 NW 54th Street in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.

You’ve probably noticed that the el camión food truck, normally parked behind Mud Bay on the east-side of 15th Ave NW, has relocated next to Starbuck’s Coffee on the west-side of 15th Ave NW.

Ballard El Camion Food Truck

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections website shows a site plan (below) for a dental office with the following description, “Establish use as medical service (dentist) and retail and construct a commercial building, occupy per plans”. 

Ballard El Camion Dental Office

Based on the available information… not a new el camion restaurant, but you’ll be able to get your teeth cleaned there soon.

Second Chance For Parents To Tour West Woodland Elementary School

West Woodland Elementary Banner

West Woodland Elementary School opened their doors to prospective parents in mid January, giving folks a chance to meet Kindergarten teachers, tour the school, and join a Q&A with Principal Thaxton.

If you didn’t make the January tour, no problem! The school has scheduled a second event where parents will be able to talk with Principal Thaxton and PTA members. A great opportunity for interested families to learn about the school.

Date: Tuesday, February 13
Time: 6:30-7:30pm
Location: 5601 4th Ave NW. Event begins in the school library.

Please Note: This is an adult only event, no childcare is provided.