The Seattle Hearing Examiner has given the city the go-ahead to complete the Burke-Gilman ‘Missing Link’ in Ballard. This brings the trail one step closer to completion, but the fight may not be over yet. Opponents have 21 days to appeal the decision to King County Superior Court.
The hearing examiner ruled that the Shilshole portion of the “missing link” does not pose a significant environmental risk.
The ruling means the city will not have to conduct a full environmental impact report for that section of the route, which runs along Shilshole Avenue Northwest between 17th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Vernon Place, and can move forward on its plans for the expanded trail. When that may happen is still undecided, however, said Rick Sheridan, communications manager for the Seattle Department of Transportation.
“We do fully expect that this will once again be appealed to the King County Superior Court, however the city is eager to begin construction on a fully funded and fully designed ‘missing link’ segment,” Sheridan said.
The Ballard Business Appellants have, indeed, vowed to oppose the project to the bitter end.
“Until the city proposes a safe facility that doesn’t threaten the maritime and industrial facilities that provide family wage jobs to middle-income people, my clients have no choice but to continue to oppose the ‘missing link’ trail,” Brower said.
If King County Superior Court gives the trail plans a pass, opponents may still be able to appeal to the Washington Appellate Court. The battle has been wrapped up in such a long legal battle that victims of wrecks are even offering to pay for a Band-Aid project to prevent further injuries until a permanent solution can be completed.
For more on the history of the missing link battle, see our previous post.