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Go on the record to support completion of the Burke-Gilman missing link

I know I just asked you to take a minute to support the Vulnerable Users Bill, but you have been called to action again. As regular readers of this blog know, the city recently completed a study that determined completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard would not have a significant adverse impact on the environment. This study was ordered by the courts after a lawsuit by big Ballard businesses (Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, Ballard Oil and more).

Cascade Bicycle Club’s Advocacy Director David Hiller sent out an email this afternoon calling on supporters of the project to email project manager Ron Scharf to give your comments on the project and the city’s Determination of Non-Significance (see at bottom of post). I spoke with Ron for last week’s post, and he has been working hard to finally get the project moving. Comments on the DNS document must be made by 5 p.m. February 24, so don’t delay.

From Hiller:

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Thank you for your interest in filling the “Missing Link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle. This critical piece of Seattle’s bicycle infrastructure has moved another step forward.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) recently completed a revised environmental review of the Burke-Gilman Trail Extension. The review was needed because of a lawsuit that claimed the trail would have a significant adverse impact on the environment. On February 10, SDOT issued a Revised Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) which determined that the project will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment.

Now you have a chance to go on the record and give your comments about the trail project.

The paved permanent route of the trail would travel next to the railroad along Shilshole Avenue NW, between 17th Avenue NW and NW Vernon Place. This would connect a separated trail from Fremont to the Ballard Locks. An interim route would direct trail users up to Ballard Avenue between 17th and Vernon.

You can review the proposed alignment and Revised DNS here. Please click here to send your comments about the permanent or interim trail routes to the project manager, Ron Scharf. Comments are due by 5pm on Thursday, February 24th.

Thank you for taking action for a walkable, bike-friendly Seattle.


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3 responses to “Go on the record to support completion of the Burke-Gilman missing link”

  1. Leif

    Anyone know the reason for the interim route section?

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      It was supposed to be a compromise solution so that the city could build some sections of the trail, but put off sections to later so Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel wouldn’t sue. They did anyway. The opposition lawyers argued that the city should have to plan the whole thing as it will some day be instead piecemealing it together, and the courts agreed. Thus, this new DNS was required. I think the interim routes were already approved by a separate DNS, so I’m guessing that’s why its still there (anyone else know? I’ll check next time I chat with someone who might know).

      This has been going on so long, it’s just a big mess. I’m still hoping the opposition businesses decide to just stop wasting everyone’s money (theirs included) and embrace it…

      1. The interim route is in the SEPA DNS because it is the route approved by the city council in March, 2003 and is the only route SDOT has council approval to construct. In any case, the interim route will be a useful addition to the community, improving access to retail, services and residences between 17th and 24th in Ballard.

        Clearly, with the analysis now complete on the permanent route, our interest is in building both – and at the earliest possible date.

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