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Park plan in Ballard stirs parking controversy

Everybody loves a park. Unless, perhaps, you can't find a parking spot in East Ballard.

For years, some Ballard residents have been trying to convert a wide, two-block section of 14th Avenue Northwest into a park. The grand plan is to turn an old street car line into a greenway from Ballard High School to the Ship Canal.

But some argue the cost of the new two-block-long park is too high. Not the $1.5 million development cost, but the cost of 90 lost street parking spaces. Park critics tell The Seattle Times that demand from apartment residents is gobbling up street parking.

The city claims its studies show loss of parking on 14th Northwest can be absorbed by available parking on nearby East Ballard streets.

It's a city-wide controversy. How much parking is enough? The Seattle City Council is debating rules to relax the amount of parking developers must include in their projects, if they build near transit lines.

About the Author

Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.

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