A year ago (ok, a few days shy of a year ago) I moved to Seattle and located in the Belltown Neighborhood here:
To the east there is a highway, also known as Aurora, which blocks be from easy access to the eastern region and South Lake Union. I can get there, but it isn’t an enjoyable walk. It is absolutely not pedestrian friendly. To the south I must cross Dexter. This often takes 1-3 minutes depending on where in the light cycle I arrive at the street. There are literally thousands upon thousands of cars that go by on this street everyday, often at a crawling snails pace. The traffic management on the road is horrible. With the junction of this road and 99/Aurora it made walking to the east or south, a rather unwieldy notion. To the west are numberous parking lots and buildings, often closed at 5 pm making for an uninteresting walk in that direction. To the north are numerous empty building and electrical grid facilities, that then open to a rather bleak and dangerous street to cross that has 30mph+ traffic coming into downtown from I-5.
Needless to say it makes one used to pedestrian friendly streets and high livability standards rather frustrated. The casual walk basically dissappeared. Well, I now have a solution.
I’m moving to Ballard.
There is a little less transit, but the options I do have a much better route. What I mean by that is the buses aren’t the violent or problematic #358 or #5. I can jump a #18, #17, or even a #15 or #28 with a little walk. Groceries, parks, coffee shops, music stores, and more are all within a short walking distance. I’m ecstatic to be getting near a livable area again. Don’t get me wrong, Belltown is nice, it has its charm, but it isn’t anywhere near as livable as Ballard, Fremont, or Capital Hill. I looked at all those place previously, including my review of Madrona and Ballard. After much discussion it came down to Ballard having the right stuff. Last but not least, my new commute, not bad at all. 🙂
So in the future, the ole’ Transit Sleuth here will have a few tales and adventures in the northern lands of Ballard here in Seattle. Stay tuned, it’ll be a blast. 🙂