Ed Murray does not want to complete the Burke-Gilman Missing Link – UPDATED

Map from BikeWise shows huge clusters of reported crashes on the Missing Link.

Map from BikeWise shows huge clusters of reported crashes on the Missing Link.

“There goes my bike support,” Seattle mayoral candidate joked to the Seattle Times’ Jonathan Martin after coming out against completing the Ballard Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

I’m guessing that the hundreds — maybe thousands — of Seattle residents and visitors who have crashed and injured themselves on this stretch of notoriously dangerous road did not find his joke to be very funny.

I’m not just talking about hardcore people cycling long distances or training for races. I’m talking about everyday neighbors just trying to pedal to Ballard’s Farmers Market and central retail district or to the park or to work.

Screen shot 2011-02-10 at 1.14.19 PMThe Burke-Gilman Trail attracts people from all walks of life, and the Missing Link clearly poses an unacceptable danger. It’s so bad that crash victims have even offered to help pay out of their own pockets to make it safer.

Completing the Missing Link has nearly unanimous support, both from the public and in city leadership. It was unanimously approved by strong majority of the Seattle City Council in 2003 and has had the support of many mayors in a row, but it has been held up in legal limbo as opponents follow whatever legal obstructions they can muster to stop the trail from being installed on city-owned land between Fred Meyer and the Ballard Locks.

A March 2010 protest demanding the city complete the Missing Link

A March 2010 protest demanding the city complete the Missing Link

From Golden Gardens Park to the City of Redmond, this 1.5 miles is the final stretch of the railway’s right-of-way that does not have a safe biking and walking trail.

Families, commuters and many other people who ride bikes took the streets in 2010, holding hands along the Missing Link to form a human chain of support for completing the trail.

Concept looking towards Fremont and the Fred Meyer along NW 45th St.

Concept looking towards Fremont and the Fred Meyer along NW 45th St.

Without the trail, huge numbers of people are diverted onto a street without any sidewalks or safe bike lanes. Train tracks cross the street at a dangerous angle, catching bike wheels and sending people plummeting to the pavement. Workers nearby keep First Aid kits handy to help the endless stream of people who get injured trying to bike through the area.

After the tracks, people biking need to ride mixed with heavy traffic, including many trucks. People on foot or who depend on mobility devices to get around are abandoned, left to walk down the edge of busy industrial streets.

People crash nearly every day that the trail is not completed. Considering the trail would have been completed many years ago if not for the legal obstruction, that’s a lot of broken bones and blood spilled due to inaction.

It appears Ed Murray has taken the wrong advice and has now come out in favor of more inaction. He has decided to reopen a debate that was tediously decided years ago. Make no mistake, there is no real debate on completing the Missing Link (though Josh Brower, lawyer for the trail opponents, is clearly awesome at what he does. His impressive legal Olympics have been keeping alive a fight that should have ended years ago).

The debate about the Missing Link is over. The people have spoken. Every survey of road safety concerns shows that the Missing Link is by far the biggest issue among people who ride bikes in Seattle. But Murray’s statement says that he thinks he knows better.

But he clearly does not. As has been a recurring theme in this election, Murray’s knowledge of current Seattle issues is sorely lacking. This is especially apparent when he stands next to Mike McGinn, who is extremely well-versed in cutting edge urban ideas and where he sees Seattle adopting and innovating them.

This is one big reason why Seattle Bike Blog endorsed Mike McGinn.

So far Murray has taken the tact of keeping tight-lipped about bike-related specifics, choosing to broadly support ideas like bike lanes, neighborhood greenways and cycle tracks. This is a good thing, and it would not necessarily be accurate to label Murray as “anti-bike.” But what we don’t know is how hard he will push for them, especially if some of the projects inevitably become controversial.

His reasons for opposing the Missing Link, however, point out that when it comes to current issues facing biking and walking safety in Seattle, Murray is out of the loop. From Martin’s column:

“I took a look at it, and it seems potentially dangerous,” Murray told me last week. “I think it needs a second look.”

A second look? There is very likely no other mile of trail in the entire world that has been studied more than the Ballard Missing Link. We have joked that the city could probably pave the entire 1.5 miles using just the paperwork from their exhaustive studies. The project’s second look came back around the turn of the century. At this point, it would be more accurate to call it something like a 20th look.

The city has spent piles of money on studying the trail, and every time they do so, the city’s traffic engineers determine that the project will be safe. The delays have lasted so long that multiple traffic engineers — each of them among the top urban traffic engineers in the nation — have now signed off on the trail.

But Ed Murray apparently thinks he knows better than they do.

No, that’s not fair. His reasons for opposing the trail are just talking points developed by the trail’s legal team, and Murray has decided for some reason to repeat them. He certainly did not speak with any of the city’s current or past traffic engineers who have spent countless hours studying the trail.

It’s a biking and walking trail built on a former rail line. As such, it passes through many industrial areas on it’s route, and it does so safely. Two decades ago, the trail was built through industrial parts of Fremont and “Frelard,” for example. Businesses worked with the city to make sure the crossings were designed safely and worked for everyone, and there have been very few if any serious incidents. So why does Ed Murray now believe Seattle can’t repeat its own successes?

Politically, it seems a strange move on Murray’s part. If he is trying to show that he is willing to stand up to the “bike lobby” or something, the Missing Link is a weird target. Because the message this statement really sends is that he is not even willing to fully back a project that has politically already been decided. So how are we supposed to trust that he will support forward-thinking projects like safe bikeways downtown or increasing our investments in neighborhood greenways when he seems willing to send safe streets in Ballard back to the year 2000?

We requested comments on the Missing Link, downtown cycle tracks and some other bike-related issues last week and have yet to hear back. We will update if we hear from the Murray campaign with clarifications.

UPDATE: We posted a statement from the Murray campaign here.

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59 Responses to Ed Murray does not want to complete the Burke-Gilman Missing Link – UPDATED

  1. Seattle cyclist says:

    Seriously? People are getting hurt out there! I’m very concerned that when we get specifics from Murray on a number of issues that they will be as surprising as his views on the Burke Gilman missing link.

  2. meanie says:

    Christ what an asshole.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Great… now my Murray friends will immediately take on this talking point and I’ll have to argue this issue all over again. Nothing says Seattle politics like beating a dead horse.

  4. Doug Bostrom says:

    Well, well.

    Thoughtlessly parroting wrong talking points is a form of pollution of which we already have too much.

    If one doesn’t care a lot about this issue it’s still worth asking: how many other wrong opinions is Sen. Murray prepared to repeat? Does he know when he’s wrong, or is this accidental? Either way, the outcome is poor. Choosing between disingenuous versus ignorant isn’t pleasant.

    With regard to the larger issue of bicycle infrastructure, Sen. Murray is generally supportive, silent on most details but specifically against the single specific improvement he’s willing to address. That’s confusing. As with the wrong opinions, is the confusion real or intentional? Again, either explanation isn’t satisfactory.

    This is a city that demands genuine expertise and transparent integrity. We don’t settle for handwaving, or poker players.

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      I should add qualify, we strongly –prefer– expertise, integrity and transparency. Naturally those things are aspiration; we don’t always get what we need. :-)

  5. biliruben says:

    Murray is old-Seattle, and old-Seattle is, or should be, dead.

    He should have just run as a Republican. It would have been more honest.

  6. Will Douglas says:

    This is a true test of leadership. A leader doesn’t just say they support you only to cut and run when things get difficult. A leader has your back and does what it takes to help you out. In this case, closing the Missing Link.

    Ed Murray has done more than just signal his willingness to throw out nearly 20 years of study and build inferior infrastructure just because someone complained. He’s shown how he will govern. He’ll tell you what you want to hear during a campaign, and turn around and sell you out the moment it becomes hard to actually give you what you want.

  7. Bellinghammer says:

    Rewrite the phone-bank script for every single Ballard call and lead with, “Did you know that Ed Murray is for further delaying the Burke-Gilman Trail, even after over a decade of studies?” The few industrial votes he’d gain would surely be outweighed by the hundreds he’d instantly lose in Ballard.

  8. Josh Brower says:

    Tom, I normally do not comment on websites because of my role as attorney for the Ballard Business but I have to write because your blog post is so full of inaccuracies. Your “facts” are simply wrong.

    The current route for the Missing Link, was not adopted “unanimously” in 2003: The vote on Resolution 30583 was 7-2. You can check it on the City Clerk’s website.
    Council President Peter Steinbruek, right before he voted to approve Resolution 30583 said “This route is so dangerous that I will not take my kids on it.”

    By contrast, the resolution adopting the original route for the Missing Link, along Leary to Market, was approved unanimously. That Resolution is 29474. In 2003, the City Council voted 7-2 to change the route.

    Also, the current route has only been supported by two Mayors, Nickels and McGinn–not “many mayors in a row.”

    And it was the City’s Hearing Examiner who said the City’s traffic engineer was wrong and ordered the City to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement studying safety because the current design is so dangerous–that is the design Dung Ho Chang said was safe.

    • eric says:

      josh, aren’t you legal counsel for Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, the folks that have spearheaded the anti-missing link campaign for the past decade?

      how much have *you* made in fees around this dispute? you’re just one more talking head for the select few businesses that have continually opposed this much needed infrastructure improvement, against public opinion and the vast number of residents of seattle.

      keep on tying things up. i’m sure you’re bank account will thank you.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        No need for personal attacks. Josh identified himself correctly, and this is his work. I appreciate him engaging here.

      • eric says:

        sorry tom and josh.

        i’m very saddened by today’s news, and am reacting somewhat emotionally. apologies.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Thanks, Josh. I updated the story to say it was passed the Council with “a strong majority” instead of “unanimously.”

    • F Gar says:

      Nice try Josh. The “original route” you describe only came into being after some fear-mongering and a territory grab by the businesses you represent. It’s a city ordinance, not the trail as envisioned by its creators. The trail uses the original rail route along its length, except you want to divert it onto streets with more traffic, more driveways, and more potential for conflict.

      The whole point of the project is to make it not dangerous anymore, isn’t it? So yes, the route was and is dangerous. Your clients’ legal actions have led to countless injuries.

      When do you propose to show us the promised design drawings shoehorning a cycletrack on Market Street? We’ve been waiting for years. That is just one more tactic for obfuscation and delay.

      Oh, and the city traffic engineer’s name is Dongho. He’s a really nice guy.

    • Richard Slaughter says:

      I appreciate getting an alternative perspective. So I want to try not to be insulting… but honestly, it’s hard.

      Your efforts have ensured that dozens and dozens of people were injured, and you claim it’s because your clients’ drivers are incapable of interacting with cyclists in a safe way. I mean, come on, the basis for your claim is basically that your clients are so negligent that they’d hire drivers incapable of safely crossing a bike path??

      • Doug Bostrom says:

        7-2 vote to get the job done. Twice, but the later vote presumably takes precedent over the earlier.

        But still no completion of the missing link? Enough with “I don’t like democracy unless it goes the way I want.” We don’t have to emulate the Tea Party, surely?

  9. Matthew says:

    Tom, thanks for mentioning that the Missing Link isn’t just about cyclists, it’s about pedestrians too. Walking from the Fred Meyer to the northwest end of Shilshole is… well, there’s no polite way to describe it. There’s simply no walking infrastructure in place in that area, and the public right-of-way on NW 45th and NW 46th is perpetually and illegally blocked by parked trucks. It’s even more of a nightmare for anyone with mobility challenges, as you mention.

    I’ll give McGinn a little credit for the some of the safety features he announced (although they’re too little and mostly in the wrong places), but I still would love to see a little more use of the bully pulpit from him on this issue.

    That said, maybe McGinn should retort that he’ll support another look at the Missing Link as soon as Murray supports another look at the tunnel…

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I once watched a man wheel himself down the edge of 45th with trucks and cars wizzing past him. He only had good use of one arm, it seemed, so it was slow going for him. Solidified my resolve to push hard for the trail. Completely unacceptable that we’d ever force our residents to do something like that.

      • Matthew says:

        I totally agree, Tom. This is one reason I think the “alternative” proposal of a cycletrack on Leary is not really an alternative. Pedestrians can’t use cycletracks. We have to reframe the discussion about the Missing Link not as “bikes vs industry” but about decency for the lowest common denominator: people on foot or using mobility assistance devices. Providing other cycling infrastructure, possibly including a cycletrack on Leary/Market, can be judged on its own merits, but it is NOT a replacement for a completed walking corridor.

  10. P Papsdorf says:

    “It seems potentially dangerous?” Let me tell you from first hand experience – I broke my clavicle on the missing link this spring – It IS dangerous. “Potentially” is an insult to all of us that have been hurt by the missing link.

  11. Fnarf says:

    I think Ed, like a lot of other mayors of other cities before him, is going to be surprised when he finds out who the “bike people” really are. We are not a tiny, fractious group of rabble-rousers; we’re all kinds of people. Most of us drive cars, too — but we want our streets safe for everybody. It’s easy for a pol, especially an insidery Olympia pol like Murray, to get isolated by his little band of advisors and lose touch with what the people want. The people want safe streets, dammit, and we’ve wanted them for a long time. The anti-bike activists, the “stop the war on cars” idiots, are louder but fewer. Other mayors have had to learn that; now it’s Ed’s turn (yeah, I think he’s going to win).

    • Gordon says:

      Agreed. This is a terrible stretch of road for people walking, driving, biking, and hauling freight. Making it safe for people walking and biking need not adversely impact the businesses there or even people simply driving through. Trails and industry coexist all over the world, these two Ballard companies are not special.

      Hopefully this was a trial ballon and seeing the public dismay at a call for yet another delay, Murray’s smart team will walk back this statement and clarify that Murray meant he supports completing the EIS (which IS a form of further study).

  12. jeff says:

    Does anybody know how many people go to the emergency room each year due to accidents on the missing link?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      As Seattle Biker Gal notes below, Cascade estimates that one person goes to the ER every month. Many, many more are injured and never report it. It’s hard to get a hard number, but we know it’s somewhere well beyond the point of “unacceptable.”

  13. Seattle Biker Gal says:

    At least one cyclist goes to the ER every single month because of the dangerous conditions on the Missing Link. And Ed Murray says it needs a second look? This is completely unacceptable.

    • SashaBikes says:

      And that’s ONLY those going to the ER. Many other people get skinned and bruised, and perhaps have to replace a helmet, but may pick themselves and shakily get back on their bike. Happened to my friend’s fellow just the other day.

  14. Jeff Weissman says:

    As a long time rider and commuter I feel like we are stuck in revisit! Seattle is the land of revisit. The commuting population is growing and it will grow faster if we move ahead with safer routes & cycle tracks. We have all of our past experience with cars and commuter bikes. So lets all talk with our vote! Lets all vote for the man who is and will do the most for safe biking in Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn! Enough with politics.

  15. biggerbox says:

    The “needs a second look” comment is really insulting. I’m pretty sure I remember the “second look” in progress when I moved to Seattle in the later years of the last century. If Murray had really “looked at it”, and the history, he’d never have said such a thing. And “potentially dangerous”? Worse than what we have? It’s dangerous right now! Ridiculous.

    I haven’t found a good reason to vote for Murray, and this makes me want to vote against him.

  16. Southeasterner says:

    I hope Ed Murray is ready for the wrath from business owners on Leary who will lose parking because of his proposed re-study of the Leary option. Of course he won’t bring that out in the open until after he receives their campaign contributions and is elected mayor.

  17. Kelly says:

    The alternative routes don’t do squat for people on foot either. Golden Gardens is a regular destination for runners, too. I ran the missing link stretch many, many times during marathon training sessions. It’s a horrible stretch of road where our public right is laid to waste. A trail would make it safer for people of all ages to walk, bike, run, scoot, longboard and so on. A cycle track would do a good job getting people on bikes to downtown Ballard, but a trail serves us all.

    There is another big truck company in Fremont that manages to safely coexist with trail users. On the Ship Canal Trail, people on foot and wheels are coexisting well with marine industry folks. Surely the “Ballard Businesses” can find a way, too.

    There’s no doubt who I will be voting for.

    • RTK says:

      Go take a ride down the Duwamish Bike Trail. Another location where very heavy industrial use a bike trail coexist. I never have conflicts with the drivers accessing those business. The trail across Harbor Island at the Port entrance is another example. I think scare tactics are being used in talking up this conflict of use.

  18. RossB says:

    Wow. WTF. Wow.

    Basically, this race has been extremely boring. There really hasn’t been much of a difference between the candidates from a policy standpoint. The Stranger has tried to point out Murray’s flaws, while The Seattle Times has endorsed Murray. But by and large, just about everyone admits that they see eye to eye on just about everything. The Stranger has pretty much given up on McGinn and focused on other issues (they know how to read polls, too).

    Murray is an idiot if he continues to hold this position. He may have just given McGinn a real issue. Because, as noted, the Burke Gilman is a real issue. The folks (like me) who drive to work and let their bike rust know about the Burke Gilman and the missing link. What about the 10% who commute by bike? You can bet your ass they know about this, and guess what, they vote. I really wonder what Murray (or his handlers) are thinking. Maybe they think they can “Seattle nice” the situation and finesse their way out of it — maybe they believe that if only McGinn was nice to the businesses in Ballard, then we would have a complete path — or maybe he just doesn’t understand the issue.

    This race just got interesting folks. McGinn is a bulldog. He may be a flawed executive, but he knows how to grab the political jugular when the other guy exposes it, and Murray just exposed it.

  19. Anthony says:

    Good to hear he has taken a stand on this. The Link needs to be finished, and it will. But he needs to represent certain business interests and smartly chose the opposite position of McGinn.

    I wish people would quit crashing too there at the tracks, but most do so because they don’t want to learn how to ride properly, over and over. So they blame the city for their own dumb actions. BTW, the tracks are there first, it’s the street that crosses at a bad angle. Blame the city, not the RR.

    Funny thing is my work moved directly next to the path, but I quit and moved to BC last week and now have a 23 mile commute home on my Surly from Delta to the border. Don’t miss that Ballard wanna-be cycling one bit.

    So glad I won’t have to pick up any more other riders lying on the path, I always feel for them since I too have broken my leg while riding. Good luck to the job (missing link) getting done and people actually learning how to ride.

    • RossB says:

      They crash because of the mix of tracks and traffic. There are other spots where you have to cross the tracks, and people don’t fall there. But in this spot, the choice is often between between being hit by a car or falling on the tracks. The cars aren’t necessarily to blame, either. They see a biker and they might be unaware of the fact that the biker has to cross at a certain angle. To them, the biker just suddenly changed directions, right when the driver was about to pass. It’s a dangerous spot. It’s easy to blame the individuals, but it the cities responsibility to improve traffic safety. They have tried, but a handful of businesses have dragged out the process.

  20. Takin' er easy says:

    Ed Murray didn’t say he wanted to cancel the BGT missing link project, he said, “I took a look at it, and it seems potentially dangerous.” He’s right, it looks potentially dangerous to me, too. It is clearly dangerous to mix cyclists and pedestrians on the same bit of real estate, and side paths have a bad safety record. I think it’s a better option than a cycle track on Leary Ave and Market St, but still should get an EIS.

    I appreciate his candor in publicly stating his reservations on seeing a situation that looks problematic to him. It’s nice to see some sign of ethics in a political candidate.

    Regarding the ongoing accidents on the missing link, virtually all are at the railroad-track crossing (if bikewise.com can be believed). While this is certainly a case of bad roadway design, I must say that safely crossing tracks on a bike is not rocket science. Neither is alternate route finding. I see way to many cyclists out there who don’t have a clue about riding safely. The city might do better by promoting and supporting bicycle education.

    • biliruben says:

      Two comments in a row trying to downplay Murray’s moronic position. Sounds like Murray’s campaign blog-trollers have gotten a whiff, and realize what a foolish position Murray has taken, and are attempting damage control.

      No, Leary is NOT a decent alternative. No, It’s not okay to blame the victim! If people have been falling on the tracks for the last decade or two, it’s not an education problem, it’s an infrastructure problem. Period.

      This sort of pathetic apologist nonsense disgusts me.

      • Tory says:

        what doesn’t disgust you? you’re the most consistently
        hostile, negative commenter, and always the first to call names.

      • biliruben says:

        Take that back, or I’ll call you a meanie.

        Telling dozens or hundreds of badly injured victims that it is there fault they got hurt is disgusting. Own it.

      • Biker gal says:

        Thank you!

    • RossB says:

      See my previous comment about the dangers of this particular spot. As I said, it is the mix of traffic and railroad lines that is dangerous.

      Look, you want an analogy? Years ago, the I-90 had reversible lanes. Not reversible express lanes that limit access, but reversible lanes. You could switch into those lanes at any point (there was no barrier to cross). There was simply a green arrow or a red X to mark whether you could drive in that lane or not. In other words, at certain times, a particular lane would be for easterly traffic, and at other times, for westerly traffic. Now, you can guess what happened. Sometimes, a driver would get confused and drive in the wrong direction. People died. Often the person who died was an idiot (they were driving the wrong direction). People caught on, of course, and understand how dangerous the lane was (they called it the suicide lane). In other words, you could say that someone was stupid for even driving in that lane (even if they were driving in the right direction). So, did the state just through up their hands and say “well, people are idiots for driving that lane — maybe we should teach them how to drive”? No, they got rid of those as soon as they could. It cost billions of dollars to get rid of them. We are all better off because of it.

  21. rory says:

    As an everyday bike commuter, I hope we get someone other then mcginn. He spent the 1st half of his term trying to stop the viaduct, then spent resources trying to get a basketball team. He’ll probably spend his next term trying to stop the 520 bridge, since he hasn’t done jack squat to further Seattle’s side of the design.

    Also, while was playing his NIMBY card on the viaduct, the bicycle master plan languished and didn’t focus on completing much needed east/west connections. I’d easily trade 1 bgtmissing link for eastwest on street bike facilities gaurenteed every 15 blocks.

  22. Shirley says:

    I don’t think the Missing Link is just about bicyclist, despite being one. If you have little kids and try to take them for a ride in a stroller you notice all sorts of places where walking is terrible and you feel like a complete ninny trying to navigate bad walking conditions.

  23. Bike-a-lot says:

    Yep, Murray’s social spammers have found the blog and they do not like what they hear. I am glad to see Murray’s bike colors showing. What other view points is he hiding. Murray is an “Olympia – Good Old Boy” and knows how to play the rhetoric game. Well he did slip on this one. Who has his ear on the Missing Link? Are we going back to The Lobby the Mayor system with Murray?

  24. Peter Goldman says:

    No one is more passionate about bicycling in our city or believer in the Burke Gilman trail than I. I served on the national Rails to Trails Conservancy Board for almost 10 years and I am intimately familiar with the development of railroad corridors to rail trails. I ride my bike to work and everywhere. I strongly support development of the Burke on the existing right-of-way, worked hard to convince Greg Nickels to locate it there, and have no patience for a Ballard by-pass, even if on an elevated“cycle track.”

    I believe Ed was quoted out of context. Just as when McGinn called Ed a racist last week, McGinn’s media shop went into high gear to portray Ed as anti-bicyclist. In fact, I checked with Ed tonight. He did NOT say he was against the trail being located on the right-of-way. He simply, naively, acknowledged the safety issue arising out of the co-existence of bikes and trucks on that narrow roadway in Ballard. By saying “he hopes this does not lose him support by bicyclists,” he was trying to make fun of himself being honest about the safety issue.

    In fact, Ed believes, as I do, that the right–of-way in Ballard is a public right of way and it should be developed into the Burke-Gilman trail. He agrees that there needs to be an engineered solution to the problem, one that channels the bike traffic and protects the entry points into the Lake Union industrial businesses. I urged him to issue a clarification and retraction tomorrow.

    As is their MO, McGinn supporters are lunging at the opportunity to eviscerate Ed for his tendency to “think out loud” and acknowledge a point made by an opposing side. This is what McGinn excels at: dividing and eeking out slim constituencies.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I await a clarification from Ed and his campaign. Asked for one last week and again today. No word yet.

      It seems pretty straightforward in Jonathan’s column. That’s a whole lot of “out-of-context” statements in a row…

      But if you notice, McGinn and his camp didn’t say peep about this today.

    • Jonathan says:

      It’s the whole idea that this needs another “second look” that really incenses me. There’s already been a ridiculous amount of delay, studying, delay, lawsuits, and now we’re about to elect a guy who wants to muddy the waters again? This is actually why I couldn’t vote for McGinn the last time around (re: Viaduct).

    • F Gar says:

      Peter, I wish I had thousands of dollars to spread around so getting an answer from a politician was as easy as it is for you.

      While we’re on the subject of context, McGinn never once called Murray a racist. I hope that Murray will see the light. Please work your magic on this issue – this is more important than the mayor’s race.

      I know that Ed is probably going to win, and this is not a wedge that’s going to help McGinn swing the whole election his way. It’s just hard to that Ed would say these things unless he’s bought into the BBA side of the issue. And McGinn would be eviscerated if he made light of a public safety issue in this way.

    • RTK says:

      Peter,

      I have nothing to add to the politics of this situation. I have some of the same fears others have expressed in these comments.

      I do want to say thanks for your work in regards to trails advocacy. I’m sure my family reaps the benefits of your work. It sounds like you have committed a good amount of your personal time to these efforts. Thanks again.

    • RossB says:

      I don’t think anyone thinks Murray is anti-bike. We just think he is clueless. On the surface, his idea is fine. Big deal, right? Who cares where (or how) the link is made, as long as it is made. Unfortunately, that isn’t the way it works. The folks who don’t want this, don’t want it anywhere. If we go with a different proposal, we will have to start all over again. They will simply delay it (again). This really deserves a new post. For example “Why Murray is Wrong about the Burke Gilman Missing Link” as opposed to “Why Murray Hates Bicycles”. The former is true, the latter is not.

      Such a post should mention the history of the thing, and why we should be afraid of changing the design. I’ll admit I’m a little shaky on it, but I’m sure folks can give me the complete run down.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        As Jonathan Martin at the Times (who wrote the column that started this whole thing) and I discussed yesterday on Twitter, I really hope the EIS improves on the city’s plans. Otherwise it would be a huge waste of money…

        We need a trail that is as safe, direct and complete as possible.

  25. Tory says:

    A lot of manufactured outrage from people who wouldn’t have considered voting fo Murray for a split second, and who are looking for things to be outraged over.

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  27. Seattle Cyclist says:

    Tory: You are wrong about that. I took the time to call Murray’s campaign office yesterday because I was so surprised by this article. Above, Tom says he asked them for comment a week before it came out–and I called them the minute it was posted (the staffer had nothing useful to contribute at that time). I think it will be telling how Murray handles this issue, or if he doesn’t take the time to as he has to date.

  28. Ints says:

    What seems to be overlooked in the latest replies in support of Mr. Murray is the fact that in suggesting this issue needs “…another look” ( an euphemism for further study) he is supporting the study to death tactics of the interests who are against the trail running within the ROW along this preferred alignment.
    The BG is a significant multi-use trail providing access and mobility through a key east-west corridor through north Seattle. Sadly completion of the trail has been held hostage to politics and Mr. Murray seems to be upholding the status quo.

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  30. Pingback: Murray’s Spin Around the Cycletrack

  31. a different Eric says:

    Mr Murray needs to be asked a direct question–Which is a better use of a public right of way? A) A safe transportation corridor for hundreds (thousands?) of people or B) convenient parking for the employees of one politically active business.
    My guess is that it would be difficult to get a straight answer.

  32. Susanna says:

    This calls for sidewalk chalk all over the Burke Gilman and other major bike routes. Every cyclist in Seattle needs to know that Murray opposes the missing link before they mail their ballots

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