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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Seattle's North 85th Street

Posted by on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Bad street? Or worst street in the city? Discuss.


Comments (42) RSS

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The worst street in Seattle is Shilshole in Ballard, the cyclist graveyard. Heaven forbid the gravel pits and toxic waste barrel parking zones get replaced with Burke Gilman Trail. McGinn is as pro pedestrian/bike/public transport a mayor you'll ever see, and this is a big ugly black mark on his pro-bike legacy.
Posted by ogbog on September 26, 2013 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Fuck North 85th street YO. North 65th is waaaaay better dude. Totes man totes.
Posted by eminembuttfuckedmypuss on September 26, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
biffp 3
For drugs and prostitutes, it's pretty good.
Posted by biffp on September 26, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
@1: Don't blame McGinn for the Ballard Missing Link. Blame Ballard Oil, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel and the entire Ballard Chamber of Commerce, who have been blocking the project for over a decade.

Aurora is the worst street in Seattle.
Posted by DOUG. on September 26, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
What @4 said. McGinn has been throwing down hard on getting the Missing Link closed. It's the courts and the industrial owners next to Shilshole who are refusing to accept a safe bike trail.

Aurora is by far the worst. 85th isn't even in the top 5. After Aurora you've got Lake City Way, Rainier (lots of collisions), 4th Ave South, and 15th NW, especially in Interbay.
Posted by junipero on September 26, 2013 at 3:50 PM · Report this
It has potential. The success of Phinney will eventually spill over. Although I heard one guy owns most of the empty buildings around 85th.
Posted by Mag Wildwood on September 26, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this
@4: yes those companies selfishly want to keep there workers employed and earning good wages, route that section of the Burke Gilman trail down Ballard Ave.
Posted by Merchant Seaman on September 26, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
Depends on where it is. Go about two blocks and it's ok.

@4 is correct, @1.
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 26, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Aurora is awful...

in the archaic sense of, "inspiring reverential wonder or fear." It is by no means the worst, and it may be the most vibrant.

85th is just a boring fast street full of cars, at least between I-5 and Fred Meyer.
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 26, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
derrickito 10
it's just junk between greenwood and 99, besides that it's fine.
Posted by derrickito on September 26, 2013 at 4:13 PM · Report this
@10 and I are on the same wavelength, it seems.
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 26, 2013 at 4:19 PM · Report this
As someone who lives a block off, it's pretty horrible, but mostly for being traffic-bound and bland. There are a few blocks (greenwood to 3rd, and then again around 8th) which are actually quite nice and filled with cool local businesses. Having said that, most of your time is stuck in 4 lanes of stoplight traffic looking out at a Jack in the Box.
Posted by kap0w on September 26, 2013 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
Aurora is a great street, one of the best in Seattle. It's an economic engine and a gateway for immigrants in a city that is usually hostile to both of those things.

I would nominate Lake City Way, as a street that has repeatedly gone out of its way to make itself duller and more horrible, to kill everything interesting about itself, to consider the possibility of being something more than just a highway to Bothell and deciding, "no, we're not going to do that, in fact, we're going to rip out the one interesting block and replace it with stuff that Northup Way in Bellevue would be ashamed of."

North 85th isn't that bad; it's just a boring street. It's not even the worst in the Greenwood area (that would be Greenwood itself, from about 83rd south). Once 85th becomes NW, though, it's a disaster, especially the way it intersects so horribly with so many other streets. The way it shifts to 80th over the freeway -- Banner Way NE is the worst street in the city, an outrageous insult to humanity. The way it runs into the reservoir. The way it runs out at 25th. It fails at its basic function, which is to move traffic east and west in a part of the city that is terrible at east-west routes. NW 85th is terrific.
Posted by Fnarf on September 26, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 14
@7- I have yet to figure out how those businesses are going to be negatively influenced by having a bike path handle the bike traffic that currently crosses their access routes via the roadway.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
@14:How would bikes be negatively affected by going down Ballard Ave?

How about not turning the whole city into a gentrified suburb, cities work best when they are diverse.
Posted by Merchant Seaman on September 26, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 16
@15- Ballard Avenue? Seriously? Because that would suck for all the cars, businesses and cyclists. It's crowded enough already (and closed for a farmer's market sometimes), which is why most cyclists take Shilshole, which is wider at least. And which is why all the traffic that would be on the bike path is already effecting the businesses you suggest would be hurt.

How are those businesses are going to be negatively influenced by having a bike path handle the bike traffic that currently crosses their access routes via the roadway?
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 26, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 17
@13- I'm pretty sure the I-5/85th/80th clusterfuck is in the North section. It's hell on a bicycle, there's so much debris from car accidents going East to West.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 26, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
@4 is not correct. Salmon Bay filed a lawsuit for an "environmental review" because they were "concerned about the environmental impact" on Salmon Bay. At the exact same time, they were being fined by the EPA for dumping in the very same Salmon Bay.

What they want is to keep their free employee parking along that stretch of *public* property. This is an example of private entities demanding public resources to support their business. Everything else is a red herring.
Posted by oxyala trio on September 26, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
DOUG. 19
@18: Uh, how is what I said @4 "not correct"?
Posted by DOUG. on September 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM · Report this
DOUG. 20
@13: Greenwood Ave "from about 83rd south" is one of the worst streets in Seattle? That's absurd.

That road has bike lanes, some decent retail and at 67th turns into residential. And just off Greenwood at 57th is one of the most interesting underpasses in the city.
Posted by DOUG. on September 26, 2013 at 5:36 PM · Report this
SPG 21
@18 gets to the heart of it. If you look at the property boundaries, the business owned property ends just a few feet from the wall of the building, yet they treat the next 25 feet of city property as their own private parking. Who would want to give up that kind of free real estate?
The other red herrings they throw around are jobs and safety. Safety doesn't seem to be any kind of issue at their other facility in Fremont that is right on the Burke Gilman trail with much less visibility than Shilshole. Jobs? That's what every business cries when they don't like something. How on earth would some bicyclists riding by impact their business? What, the neighborhood might get too nice to want a cement plant in the middle of it? Zoning prevents that, but considering what a bunch of fucktards SBSG has been, I'd lobby for the change just out of spite.
Posted by SPG on September 26, 2013 at 5:41 PM · Report this
SPG 22
Oh yeah...85th. It's just a boundary line, so meh.
Posted by SPG on September 26, 2013 at 5:42 PM · Report this
No way 85th is worse than 45th. Not even close, but after driving from Georgetown to Shoreline this afternoon I think everything sucks and I should just move away.
Posted by restlessnative on September 26, 2013 at 5:43 PM · Report this
85th!? Are you kidding? It gives access between N Aurora/Greenwood and both directions of I-5, or into Roosevelt/Lake City. Though the street itself is packed with cars, diverging off of by just a block or two yields a plethora of strange and wonderful local businesses, tranquil (and affordable) neighborhoods, and an awesome library. Following it further W through Crown Hill, over the crest and down into the back door of Golden Gardens, one of the greatest beaches in the city, completes the run of its awesomeness.

Chuck's on 85th is enough reason alone for it to be an awesome street.
Posted by tabski on September 26, 2013 at 6:40 PM · Report this
JonnoN 25
Yea... I don't get it. 85th is efficient at moving a large volume of traffic. There's hundreds of worse streets in this city (LIKE ALL OF EM WITHOUT SIDEWALKS)
Posted by JonnoN on September 26, 2013 at 7:14 PM · Report this
@20, I think he said, worst street in Greenwood, not in Seattle. That said, I don't get what he means - I, like you, appreciate Greenwood south of 83rd. It is calm, peaceful, tree-lined, with bike lanes and good businesses (albeit interrupted by stretches of business-free blocks). Maybe not living up to its full potential as a commercial strip, but a nice place (except that light at 80th which in heavy traffic is terrible).
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 26, 2013 at 8:54 PM · Report this
Gotta love a city that decides it should focus its transportation issues on the 10% of citizens wealthy enough to be able to afford to live within biking distance to their work.

What about the other 90% of plebs that still have to drive to or through Seattle for work/school/shopping?

"Let em eat gas station their car in their 1.5 hour daily commute to and from work"!

Thanks Mayor McGinn!
Posted by araucania on September 26, 2013 at 9:35 PM · Report this
@27, we gave you I-5, what the hell else do you want?
Posted by Jude Fawley on September 26, 2013 at 9:42 PM · Report this
MrBaker 29
Go to north Aurora and 145th, look north into Shoreline, look south into Seattle, and ask yourself which is has the complete street, bus lanes, sidewalks, buried power lines, for miles.
It sure as fuck isn't Seattle.
85th is and arterial, one of the few that moves people east and west.
The worst street is Meridian at N 145th, and arterial that mixes busses, cars, sharrows, open rainwater ditches, a half made sidewalk on one side of the street that dumps into a six-way stop a few blocks from N 130th where 26 new housing units and going in.

If somebody doesn't get killed on that stretch over the next year, it will be by total accident, because the "planning" absolutely will ensure it, sooner or later.
It's absolutely fucked up.
Posted by MrBaker on September 26, 2013 at 10:08 PM · Report this
@27: Owning a car is expensive. Spending two hours a day in traffic to go from your "affordable" home to your job is expensive. Do the math.
Posted by tiktok on September 26, 2013 at 10:17 PM · Report this
Buses move a whole lot more people around than bikes, so I would prioritize avoiding Metro cuts above anything bike related. I understand that most sloggers are also pro metro, and the politics aren't as simple as shifting funds around. But @27 isn't entirely wrong to point out that focusing on bikes benefits a relatively small number of commuters.
Posted by wxPDX on September 26, 2013 at 10:27 PM · Report this
MrBaker 32
as long as the jobs and housing is zoned apart the walk ability city premise is absurd.
Thousands enter an exit the city to go downtown.
Thousands that live in the city, not in motor homes, and don't work downtown, are being offered light rail from Ballard and West Seattle to downtown by mayor dumbshit. Insitutionalizing the Balkanization of the city.
Posted by MrBaker on September 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM · Report this
Everyone is too cool to think of 85th as just another street. Which it is. There are hundreds of worse streets. I'm sorry that having a Jack-N-The-Box is so gauche.
Posted by fetish on September 27, 2013 at 6:43 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 34
Lake City Way is the worse street Seattle has to offer. Aurora oddly has potential of being really cool but it's never seemed to pull it off. And 85th is just cars cars cars...
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 27, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
I'm just stunned the Stranger is admitting we count as part of Seattle way up here.
Posted by Ben on September 27, 2013 at 8:09 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 36
lake city has toyoda's sushi, el norte, and fake ezells' so it cannot be the worst.

85 & aurora is pretty bad - that's the first place my stepkids saw drug addicts, in front of crack-in-the-box. the six-pack ghetto N & S of 85th is an atrocious zoning error that will plague the city for decades. other than that 85th is just "transitioning".

Posted by Max Solomon on September 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 37
@27- I live in Seattle, bike to work, am a single dad with half-time custody, and make less than $30,000 a year. Fuck your ignorant assumptions.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Lose-Lose 38
I was riding the 48 once with a guy from my grad school. He mentioned he lived at 85th and Aurora. "Oh, i'm sorry," I said, "that's the worst street in north Seattle."

"Really?" He replied. "I'm from LA."

'Nuff said. #SeattleProblems.
Posted by Lose-Lose on September 27, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
I love it when bicyclists can't figure out how to deal with railroad tracks, and then blame everyone else. See if we care. We're about to shitcan your friendly mayor, so good luck getting your so-called "missing link."
Posted by CodyTheRodeoStar on September 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM · Report this
#37, so you're poor. Good for you. All the more reason to pay more attention before trying to ride parallel next to train tracks. Please tell us, are you people fuckin' brain dead in every area of your lives, or do you just like to be idiots riding your bikes? Every time one of you people gets himself killed by doing something stupid, I laugh at all of you.
Posted by CodyTheRodeoStar on September 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
@21 - Yes, some of them even illegally place "no parking" signs to try and keep the public from parking in those public parking spaces (not unlike they do in various areas of SODO where the old warehouse buildings have similar public space abbuting them).

With regard to @7/15/Merchant Seaman, I at least understand the Ballard Chamber of Commerce argument that it will take away parking and that will hurt business (although I don't particularly buy it), but I am totally confused about how it would take jobs away from the businesses on Shilshole, hurt diversity, or cause gentrification. I mean I guess to some degree making an area safer and look nicer might help the cause of gentrification, but that is an argument against any imporvements in any neighborhood (except already rich neighborhoods), which is obviously bad policy.
Posted by brent.b on March 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM · Report this
@27 - Yes. All the poor people who drive cars. And the best way to help them is to make sure they have to keep driving cars? Riiiight. Except that making it easier to take public transit, walk, or ride a bike is disproportionately a benefit to the lowest income citizens, who can't afford cars (or can't afford gas/parking to drive often).
Posted by brent.b on March 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM · Report this

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