Seattle Residential: I Do That: Ballard Roadside Raingardens

Ballard Roadside Raingardens

Ballard Roadside Raingardens

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Ballard project to treat run-off before it pollutes our waterways


Ballard Roadside Raingardens

The Federal Recovery Act has provided funds and Ballard, a Seattle neighborhood, has received them with a goal of naturally pre-treating yard run-off from roofs and driveways by filtering it through densely vegetated rain gardens. This will keep keep many pollutants out of the ship canal waterway and Puget Sound.

At present the areas between NW 65th Street and NW 80th Street and from 28th Avenue to 31st Avenue are a part of the project. These are relatively wide streets. Twenty-eighth Avenue used to have a trolley running from the Ballard center out to Golden Gardens Park.

Raingarden construction on 28th Ave

At present, construction is underway. From the city's website "The rain gardens are designed with soils and densely planted vegetation to infiltrate and filter storm water flowing from the roadway, while providing attractive landscaping. Rain gardens will be located within existing planting strips, and in some cases may extend slightly into roadways, providing a secondary benefit of traffic calming."

Not only will these rain gardens help with storm water control, they will slow down traffic through the residential streets and improve the standard of living in the neighborhoods.

Read more about rain gardens and about the city project. Let me know if you have any questions. Perhaps you'd like to live in an area such as this. I can help you with that too.





Glenn Roberts



Comment balloon 13 commentsGlenn Roberts • September 15 2010 11:27PM


What a great idea.  There is so much dirt, trash and chemicals that end up in sewer systems.  Great "green: project. 

Posted by Marzena Melby, Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty) about 10 years ago

The City of Portland is and has been working on a problem we have had here for years that when it rains that there is so much run-off that raw sewage sometimes gets dumped in the river and it makes it unsafe to swim in for days. Hopefully this project will be finished soon, but it seems like it has been going forever already.

Posted by Todd Clark, Principle Broker Oregon (eXp Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Glenn:  This is a wonderful solution -- thank you so much for sharing.  It really needs to be capitalized on by municipalities across the country.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) about 10 years ago

Marzena - Pretty name. And eventually it is a natural no cost filtration system. Many rain gardens support trees for air filtration as well.

Todd - The Seattle articl I linked to show pictures of Portlands project. Thanks to them for the stimulus.

Tish - Projects like these put people to work, do something good for the environment now and in the future.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Glenn, I have always wondered why that street was so wide----love the rain gardens

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Charlie - On this map in the upper left corner, the angled street is Loyal Way where it meets 28th Ave NW. Sorry I couldn't find a better picture today.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Glenn, it is intersting that the city had all this in place once and now we are whimpering about lighty rail?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Ahhh, the car. I want to be in my car.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

So true Glenn----and now look how hard it is going to be to give it up :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

The believe the rain garden is a great idea.    After the heavy rains I am surprised that some kid hasen't drowned in the "rain gardens".   They are completely full of water.    Another city project completely messed up.   Narrowiing the road I believe was rediculous.    They already had speed bumps to slow the traffic down.   

Posted by Dan about 10 years ago

Dan - I think when the raingardens are complete they will be full of plants that absorb the water. The recent heavy rains have made it difficult to assess the end result, but I'm sure they will work as intended once completed. I plan to tour the project on November 6th when the city will be holding an open house. Thanks for commenting.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 10 years ago

Well, it rained again and now these non working rain gardens will be full of water again until the city truck comes & pumps them out, boy that is 'green'. Our soil on Sunset Hill does not drain, it is hard pan underneath the 12"- 18" of top soil. Everyone that lives here knows this ....except the city.

Posted by Steve over 9 years ago

I feel your pain, Steve. I was so in favor of finding a solution to the run off and am somewhat disappointed in the results. I know the current problems can be solved but feel that working forward rather than going back to the past is more beneficial and productive for us all.

Perhaps the design was flawed for the Sunset Hill geology, perhaps it was the construction. Let's seek solutions rather than condemnation and move ahead to achieve the original goals.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 9 years ago