Friends of Ballard Corners Park

Meeting with SDOT

Our landscape architects John Barker and Page Crutcher, along with our Seattle Parks and Recreation Project Manager Pamela Kliment and myself met with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) yesterday. SDOT employees Mike Hendrix (civil engineer) and Jennifer Britton (landscape architect) were very gracious and gave us information about how to proceed with the development of the raingarden in the right of way. They liked our project and were supportive.

They mentioned that we will need the approval of some percentage of the neighbors to remove parking for the raingardens. They will get us the information about what percentage and which neighbors will need to sign off on the loss of parking for the gain of an environmentally sustainable park feature. My thinking is that the neighbors (thus far) have been enthusiastic about the raingardens and that if we are to become more environmentally conscious, that trading the loss of perhaps four parking spots for the raingardens is a natural choice.

Mike and Jennifer were concerned about maintenance of the plantings in the raingardens. They said that SDOT crews are as stretched as Parks crews and that a “sanctioned entity” (definition not fully understood) would have to step up and sign on for maintenance. I mentioned that we have already signed on to be a “Friends of…” entity with Parks, with steering committee member Gabriella Moller as our fearless and enthusiastic leader.

We also talked about the use of bollards at the intersections to protect plantings and people. Mike thought SDOT would allow them, if they meet certain criteria.

We talked timelines to ensure construction in 2008. Barker and his civil engineer will have to work quickly to get drawings in for a turn around by fall of this year. But we can’t start until Barker is under contract with Parks (or us). We have no cash in hand, so it looks like Parks will have to contract them. I’m working with Pam and John to get this to happen.

Jennifer mentioned that Linden Mead at SDOT might be able to provide us with trees. I followed up with her today and we trying to figure out a way to be part of the 1000 trees per year that the city will planting as part of “Bridging the Gap“. We could use the Department of Neighborhoods (DoN) tree matching fund, but the choices of species is very limited. Linden thought we might get to use an expanded list if I could find enough people to get over the 10-40 tree DoN program. I’m working on that. If you want a tree for your parking strip (and you live in Seattle), let me know (email David Folweiler on the contact page above).

I also brought up using the raingardens at Ballard Corners Park as a seed for doing all of 17th, say from 65th to the ship canal. They suggested I check out the Neighborhood Street Funds. The deadline was earlier this year, but perhaps in an upcoming year…

Posted on June 29th 2007 by David Folweiler in Meetings | Comments Off on Meeting with SDOT |

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