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Cascade: Support the Missing Link at a Friday court hearing

From 2015.

The Ballard Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail has (hopefully) one last legal hurdle to clear. Opponents have appealed the trail’s massive environmental study even after the Seattle Hearing Examiner said it was sufficient. Now the case is in the hands of King County Superior Court, which is holding a hearing tomorrow (Friday) morning.

If you have the morning clear, Cascade is inviting supporters to attend. Sounds like you’ll even get a pro-trail t-shirt out of it.

Final design for the trail is just about complete, 18 years after the Seattle City Council first approved this basic route. If this final court decision goes the city’s way, the city could begin construction next year.

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Details from Cascade:

You know the story. The community has fought hard to complete the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail for decades. Now, on December 7th, Cascade and the Seattle City Attorney are defending an appeal from a few Ballard businesses seeking to block to completion of the Burke Gilman “Missing Link.”

When:  8:30 a.m. on Friday, December 7
Where:  King County Courthouse, 516 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Come and show your support for completing the Burke Gilman Trail.  The proceedings will last 1 hour at the King County Superior Court, Courtroom W-1060.

We expect the opposition to turn out, so we need everyone. Invite your friends, co-workers, and family!

  • The hearing starts at 9am, but since seating is limited and we anticipate the hall will fill, we recommend arriving at 8:30am.
  • We will have t-shirts to help you show your support.

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17 responses to “Cascade: Support the Missing Link at a Friday court hearing”

  1. Orange Wheels

    I’m confused what the point of an audience of supporters is at a court hearing. Isn’t the point to decide this on purely legal grounds and not popular opinions?

  2. Frenchy

    I’m a cyclist. I ride about 60 miles per week. I ride the missing link section. I have always felt that putting a trail along Shilshole Ave is really unfair to the businesses there, and it will be dangerous for cyclists. Why is getting to Golden Gardens via bike path so important. Technically we already have one by way of the south side of the canal and over the locks. There is no missing link. Cyclists add to the hate when they push This unnecessary link.

    1. Long time Ballard resident

      I live there, pay property taxes and ride the BGT. I want a safe route to ride from Golden Gardens to Fred Meyer and beyond. Shilshole is a public road that needs to be improved for all citizens.

      This is not just about bikes. It’s a multi use trail that pedestrians will also use. Another bonus will be organized parking instead of the current mess with those barrels and the cars on the tracks.

      Chill out. There is no reason to hate. All can coexist.

    2. Skylar

      Have you ever tried to cross the ship canal by bike at any point between the Locks and Ballard Bridge? I haven’t, but a look at Google Maps suggests that the crossing would actually be more dangerous than the bridge.

      The point of the trail isn’t to get to the terminuses—very few people bike all the way from Golden Gardens to the Sammammish River every day, just like very few people drive I-5 all the way from Blaine to San Diego every day—it’s to provide transportation options for the points in between.

    3. asdf2

      That route adds two ship canal crossings, one of which, you have to walk your bike for about 3/4 mile and closes at 9PM, plus significantly more hill climbing. And, it fails to satisfy basic trip patterns like Ballard to Fred Meyer.

      When I travel through the area, I usually cut over to Ballard Ave., which is plenty wide enough to put in a trail, and has much better local business access than Shilshole. If SDOT were willing to take the parking on Market St. to make it connect, I could almost get behind it… except for the Farmers Market. A major bike route like this shouldn’t just close every Sunday.

      1. Skylar

        You mean like the N 34th protected bike lane that SDOT crowed about a few years ago, that closes every Sunday for the farmer’s market, rather than putting their time and money into where the problems actually are (Missing Link, N 34th & Stone, etc.)?

    4. Southeasterner

      “I have always felt that putting a trail along Shilshole Ave is really unfair to the businesses there, and it will be dangerous for cyclists. ”

      Please explain. Sections of the Burke in Frelard and large sections of the Ship Canal trail go through industrial areas with many of the exact same industries that are along the missing link. Those trails haven’t had any safety issues, zero, and no industrial businesses have gone out of business or relocated. So what exactly are the safety issues and “fairness” issues.

      Currently cyclists are visiting the Swedish ER on almost daily basis from collisions and falls on the Missing Link so why would a trail where vehicles can easily see cyclists make it more dangerous?

      Help us understand.

    5. Law Abider

      There is no missing link. Cyclists add to the hate when they push This unnecessary link.

      You are in the vast minority here or possibly astroturfing. Over 90% of Ballard residents are in favor of building the freakin’ trail already.

  3. Southeasterner

    I will actually agree with the opponents that the current route is unsafe and should not go forward.

    Remove the Market Street alignment and put it back on 54th where it belongs!

    1. Azimuth

      If the goal of the trail is to connect to missing ends of the trail in the most obvious and clear manner (which in my opinion it is too), then 54th alignment is the obvious choice. While we are at it, the tracks just need to be removed or paved over. They are no longer the best use for that corridor in the missing link. They are not being used for trains enough to justify keeping them. All you need to do is hop onto google maps satellite view and follow the tracks and you will see many cars parked right on top of those tracks in the area supposedly in need of train passage from the bridge to the locks. You don’t see that parking behavior on any other active tracks in the city.

      1. Kirk

        54th would be the perfect route, but fuck it and build it already! Don’t let perfect stand in the way of good. And safe.
        Hopefully the city retains the property on 54th and possibly in the future they can put the trail on the rail route where it truly belongs. That’s what happened on the original configuration of the BGT on NE Northgate Way before they developed the rail route.
        The train poses essentially no problem and can be designed around. Keep the train!

  4. Brian Bothomley

    This just goes on and on! People post messages without reading up on all that has gone before!
    Let’s just get this trail completed. And it is a multi use trail that should not be on any streets and go along 54th!

  5. Peri Hartman

    I just got back from the hearing. The gist was a challenge to whether the EIS is adequate or not. The prosecutors brought up a number of points where they claim SDOT deliberately watered down the EIS to mask certain earlier findings. I couldn’t hear everything and didn’t take notes, so I don’t really want to say more. Except, I’ll add, the judge asked the prosecutor to stop providing “professional testimony”, meaning the he was adding personal anecdotes about his experiences in life.

    1. Peri Hartman

      I do remember a few things:

      – The judge will announce his decision on 13 dec (don’t remember what time).

      – Prosecutor argued that not enough of the hazards could be pointed out in the EIS because the design isn’t complete.

      – Also argued that statements were removed from the final EIS that were in the draft (or in some other earlier documentation); particularly earlier it was stated (more or less) “certain businesses would close due to the trail” which was changed to “the trail could have a negative effect on businesses”.

  6. Weaksauce

    Any updates on this? The judge was supposed to decide today. Would love to hear an update

    1. Ballard Resident

      Me too. I’ve searched but found nothing except the case number which is 18-2-04988-1

    2. Tom Fucoloro


      From what I know now, the city won 2/3 of the decision. But the judge found the EIS insufficient regarding economic impacts. I’m still trying to learn more about what that means, what is needed to resolve this and what happens next. Stay tuned.

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