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O’Brien will join Ballard Missing Link happy hour Friday

The choice is obvious. Just build it already! Data from the Draft Environmental Impact Study.
The choice is obvious. Just build it already! Data from the Draft Environmental Impact Study.

The city has not yet released its preferred alternative for the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link, but the choice is obvious. Like, really, really, really obvious.

However, just in case the city somehow hasn’t already received that message loud and clear, neighbors and business managers and owners are hosting a happy hour Friday evening with Councilmember Mike O’Brien as their special guest.

The happy hour is a chance to hear the latest news about the project, get involved in advocacy for the trail or just get a drink with good trail-loving company. Oh, and did I mention the “complementary” booze?

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The catch is that you gotta register online, since space is limited. Details from the event page:

Please join us for Happy Hour to express your opinion about completing the Missing Link of the Burke Gilman Trail in Ballard. Your presence and support for completing the Missing Link on the safest, simplest, most connected route option, the South Shilshole alternative, will send a strong message to the Mayor and SDOT as the final EIS is prepared!

City Councilman, Mike O’Brien, will join us to discuss the current status of the project at 6 p.m.

Complimentary food, beer, wine, and other beverages will be provided. Please RSVP Online at www.ballardmissinglink.weebly.com so we know how much food and drink to order. Space will fill up quickly, so please RSVP soon
to reserve your seat. Plenty of free convenient parking for vehicles and bicycles. Bring a friend, and share with interested parties!

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9 responses to “O’Brien will join Ballard Missing Link happy hour Friday”

  1. Blardian

    I voted Shilshole because I didn’t think critically enough. I do not believe “the choice is obvious”. Quite the opposite; I believe the best choice is difficult to see at first, and not reflected in popular public opinion, because most people are familiar with Shilshole. Like any “Best Of” voting list, responses reflect popular experience rather than quality.

    I believe Leary Ave NW would be the best option for everyone.

    This stretch of Leary needs a diet. It’s a 6-lane under-utilized highway, just a few blocks away from where we need a multiuse trail. The 5-way intersection at Leary & 20th is easily one of the worst high-volume pedestrian crossings in the city. This whole corridor, all SIX lanes, is a mess for every mode of transportation. At any time of day or night you will find pedestrians standing at the corner waiting for a break in traffic to scramble across the SIX lanes. The pedestrians don’t have to wait long, because Leary is so much wider than it needs to be, traffic never gets bad there – that just underscores the point. Leary is an ideal candidate for a diet. Why in the world do we need six lanes for cars there?

    Leary only needs three lanes for cars (one each direction, one turn). It could probably even get away with 2 lanes if you eliminated the seldom-used turn options. The businesses along this corridor are car dealerships and large condos with underground garages. Why does there need to be two lanes worth of street parking here?

    I ride the Missing Link section multiple times per day every day. I also walk it frequently and am sometimes in a car. I believe I have a good understanding of the area and options. I ride Shilshole now because it’s the best of the bad options. My kneejerk reaction every time I ride Shilshole is “this sucks, they should improve this”. I think that’s why public opinion so strongly favors it – it’s what most people use and know now. But when you step back and consider the area, I think Leary might be the best option. I don’t believe public opinion is the best way to guide development in this case.

    “Sign-up deadline is Friday, January 20th.” – so I won’t be there. Have fun.

    1. Tristan

      Holy hell 20th and Leary is a horrible intersection. Even in a car I always think “wtf am I supposed to do here?” as I approach it. Even if it doesn’t get addressed in the Missing Link project, it needs to get fixed. Is there any existing effort behind this?

  2. Kirk

    Leary is a great candidate for a road diet and even a cycle track, but not for the Burke Gilman Trail. BGT is a rail trail. Keep it on the rail route and just finish it. While I like events that promote finishing the Missing Link, it probably would be best if the EIS process alone identified the Green/Shilshole Route as the preferred route, without Mike O’Brien getting involved.

  3. Southeasterner

    Leary is awful for everyone. The pedestrian crossing at Vernon and the one between Vernon and Market (which at least has a bulb out) are awful and I see cars that blow through those crosswalks while pedestrians are crossing on a regular basis. For buses they are constantly blocked out of their stops by cars either parked at the stop or double parked before the stop waiting for parking spots. This often causes the tail end of the bus to block both traffic lanes creating backups in vehicle traffic. For cars you get to deal with some of the largest potholes in the city and in the past month I have seen two tire blowouts from the potholes on the Northbound lanes between 15th and 17th which remind me of the road conditions when I use to travel to rural Nigeria.

    If you are on a bike everything sucks from poor pavement conditions to aggressive driving to cars blocking the right lanes and forcing you into the center lanes.

    Leary should be completely rebuilt with one lane in each direction, reduction in speed limits to 25 mph (it feels like 50 mph today), full crosswalks and signals at each of the major intersections, complete redesign of the intersection at 17th and 48th, addition of bike lanes, and complete removal of all parking (which will never happen but dare to dream).

  4. Matthew Snyder

    Latest news about the project: link still missing. What else is there to say? Congrats, everyone, we’re one step closer to a drawn-out appeals battle at the state court level!

    It’s amazing to me that Murray can stand up to the might of the federal government and say, “Seattle is not going to be bullied, even if it costs us $100M.” Meanwhile, he gets pushed around by a tiny minority of local businesses worried about insurance premiums and free truck parking, and cyclists keep going to the hospital.

    Just get it done already. Get it done.

    1. Southeasterner

      “the might of the federal government ”

      The might of the federal government is not even in the same league as the Seattle Process.

      I think Chief Seattle is still waiting for approval for a hitching post for his horse.

    2. Charles Kiblinger

      This event is pointless. Majority opinion is already crystal clear. Has been, literally, for close to half my life now. Build it while I still have knees that work.

  5. Kirk

    Perhaps Mike O’Brien will grow a pair and go confront Paul Nerdrum at Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel to get him to change his position on opposing the BGT at every turn. Good luck with that.

  6. Southeasterner

    The OneCenterCity proposal just dropped a bomb on not only our promised bike infrastructure but our existing bike infrastructure.

    If you voted for MOVE Seattle because of promised bike infrastructure you were officially conned. Now the additional money you paid for new bike infrastructure is going to be used to remove existing bike infrastructure. Sad!

    Seattle Transit Blog summary –


    “Sadly, the bicycle network is a mess of conflicting policies and goals. Policies recently adopted with great fanfare, including Vision Zero, were not mentioned in the briefing until brought up by media. OneCenterCity calls out a protected bike network as a goal, but makes no commitments to build it even though an Implementation Plan has already been passed and funding secured through Move Seattle. Even worse, the focus on vehicle throughput (whether SOV or transit) may actually worsen the bike network. Option C – which seems likeliest due to the Goldilocks nature of these proposals – not only doesn’t build the 4th Avenue bike lane just promised in exchange for axing Pronto, but it actually removes the existing bike lane. Something has to give, and it doesn’t look good for bikes.”

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