Seattle is repaving 15th Ave NW and the Ballard Bridge deck, but the narrow scope of the project is a significant concern for safety advocates. (Photo: Ray Dubicki)

The Ballard Bridge is a 105-year-old connection between the industrial Interbay neighborhood and thriving Ballard. With four lanes of moving traffic and completely insufficient sidewalks, it is a barrier. Seattle has plans to replace the bridge, but the flawed proposals focus on car speed rather than neighborhoods.

In this episode, Natalie Argerious and Ray Dubicki walk the bridge. The trip has many of the normal highlights of crossing the Ship Canal including squishing against the wall to allow cyclists to pass by, delays due to an opening of the drawbridge, and trying to figure out the tangle of stairs and paths to get to the bus stop.

As always, you can find The Urbanist podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and other major platforms. Want to share a question or opinion with us? Reach out to us at

And, for the record, here’s the backup produced by the opening of the bridge at 3pm on a Wednesday, along with a few of the other sites from our walk.

Article Author

Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.