A coalition of Ballard industrial businesses, associations and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court challenging the city’s plans to fill the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman trail. Specifically, the lawsuit questions the city’s environmental review of the project. “The city has, so far, completely failed to evaluate and analyze impacts from alternative routes, safety impacts from insufficient sight distances, safety impacts from mixing cyclists and trail users with heavy trucks and industrial traffic, impacts from lost parking, and the inconsistency of locating a recreational trail through an industrial area,” explains Eugene Wasserman, President of the North Seattle Industrial Association. Wasserman says the city has not conducted the same level of environmental review that it would require of any industrial business. “We’re not anti-trail,” he said. “The city’s decision is just another example of the Seattle Department of Transportation not treating people equally.”
In June, the city’s Office of the Hearing Examiner ruled in favor of completing the stretch between 11 Ave. NW and the Locks, long considered a dangerous stretch for bicyclists. We’re working on gathering reaction from SDOT as well as the Cascade Bicycle Club, and we’ll update the story as we learn more.