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Mayoral candidates address the ‘Missing Link’

Posted by Geeky Swedes on October 21st, 2009

Updated: We recently asked My Ballard readers what questions you’d ask the mayoral candidates for the KING 5 and Seattle Times debate. We recorded three questions on camera, and tonight they aired one of them: “There have been a number of bicycle accidents along the unfinished portion of the Burke-Gilman trail, commonly referred to as the ‘Missing Link.’ How do you propose to address safety along this stretch?” (Thank you Elaine for the question!)

As many Ballard residents know, the city approved plans to bridge the “Missing Link” of the trail, but a coalition of Ballard businesses filed a lawsuit in July over concerns of the project’s impact on traffic safety, parking and the environment. In the debate, Joe Mallahan said he supports improving bicycle safety, but he declined to take a position because of the ongoing lawsuit. “To take a position would be bad policy,” he said, explaining he wished there was a place “up in the neighborhood to get around that stretch.”

Mike McGinn said he supports the plan to bridge the link, criticizing Mallahan for not backing the city. “I think we need to complete the trail as planned, as approved, as funded,” he said. “It’s just one of the real treasures of our city. It’s very unsafe as it currently stands.” Watch the video here.

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81 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 facebook-1383145980 // Oct 22, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I wonder if the response is similar to what Publicola reported earlier this month:

  • 2 Craig M. Benjamin // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Joe and Mike respond to Kate's question about the Burke (hint, Mike's for completing it, Joe is not):

    If you are still undecided in this race, please watch the entire debate from tonight here (broken out into issue sections):

  • 3 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:26 am

    I actually may have to vote for this McGinn fellow, sounds like he really doesn't mind screwing dirty, polluting, working class companies and their workers out of Ballard. This would be great for my property values. Seriously, the only thing between me and my dream Ballard is the working class.

    Maybe McGinn and the Greens have the means to drop kick them out and Ballard's industrial corridor into a hi-tech/green condo hub? And to think, I used to think the best way to screw the working class was to vote Republican; in Seattle we can just vote 'green'!

  • 4 Ballard19 // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Structural, there are enough of people like you and too many condo complexes in Ballard already. Move to south Lake Union….

  • 5 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:03 am

    Why? The Greens do the best job at driving up property values and making neighborhoods expensive; that's the best green I know. I'll hook my wagon to the Ballard greens.

  • 6 bbb1 // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:03 am

    First off, thanks Kate for asking this question on behalf of Ballard.

    So, structural, your sarcasm is dripping, and it' s pretty good imagery, but I just don't get it…can we try to communicate here ?

    So, if the City is building a trail between 11th NW and 17th NW along the south edge of the current right of way, then along the south edge of Shilshole NW from Vernon Place to 24th NW, and McGinn supports that, that equals 'screwing dirty, polluting, working class companies and their workers out of Ballard' ?
    How will building the trail do that? And I'm serious when I ask this.

    It seems that so many people who write on My Ballard about this may not know exactly what the plan is–that it is in public right of way, doesn't take anyone's private property away, improves, in some cases, driveway access and sitelines. How is that screwing the working class? Trust me, I'm not making dumb here, I just don't get the hyperbole over what essentially amounts to cleaning up a roadway.

    Yes, I know trucks go in and out of driveways.
    Yes, I know a train runs through here.
    Yes, I know it's possible someone could get hit by a truck or car (just like now).

    Please, if you can engage and respond, without the deep sarcasm, I'd like to try to understand the deep opposition some people, including you, have to this. Really.

  • 7 elaineinballard // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Exciting to see my question asked, and even better to hear McGinn's answer. I'm disappointed that Mallahan isn't committed to completing the missing link. Thank you Geeky Swedes!

  • 8 bbb1 // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:17 am

    I'd like to comment on Mallahan's response to the BGT question in tonight's KING5 debate.

    (His website says that he supports prior decisions, etc., without really saying if he would continue to pursue completing the next, planned section of trail. Again, we are talking about 11th – 17th along NW 45h, Vernon Place to 24th NW along Shilshole Ave NW, and 26th to 28th along the rail right of way. No trail in front of Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel. Nothing along 'not 54th street' in front of Pacific Fisherman and Ballard Oil. This has been designed, approved, funded, upheld by the Hearing Examiner, but has been challenged by a group of business 'appellants' including the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.)

    So, McGinn seems to understand what the issue is, and Mallahan is reluctant to commit to it. That is, the City can either continue to 'defend' the legal challenge from the business groups, or not. McGinn says that he will defend. Mallahan says that it would be 'bad policy' to comment.

    I guess I'd urge Mallahan supporters who would like to see the City proceed with this next section of trail to contact him and ask him to clarify his position on this. He was not clear tonight about what he would do, and since 'pending' litigation in this case is against the City, as Mayor it's his job to decide how to proceed. Voters have a right to know where he stands, yes?

  • 9 bbb1 // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Structural —

    here's another approach. Ocean Cement on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC is literally 'surrounded' by either water, or rampant clueless tourists, walking to and fro in front of their business access. See this link for how they chose to respond to this situation.

    My point? Iindustrial business and other uses can mix. It takes two to tango. We can make it work in Ballard — let's give it a try.

  • 10 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    No sarcasm, I'm serious. The spandex warriors are the foot soldiers for the gentrification battle. We send them out just after the hipsters on fixies. Expect to see more pleasure boats and yuppies on bikes in Ballard.

  • 11 bbb1 // Oct 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    You understand that it wasn't 'spandex warriors' who proposed that the trail be completed (Ballard Neighborhood Plan in 1998.
    Do you really think that those of us who live in Ballard and use the trail are the ones driving 'gentrification'? Isn't that the big money people?
    The people who want this trail built (believe me, it's not all bicyclists who use the trail) aren't trying to gentrify
    You know Kvichak, and Salmon Bay, and Ferguson Terminal all moved into their locations between 3rd and 8 th AFTER the trail was built? And aren't they thriving?

    I'm not a fixie, I don't own spandex (don't get me started), don't own a pleasure boat (but a good thing probably that some do, as this is big chunk of support/work for Ballard's maritime industries, wouldn't you agree?), especially don't want Ballard's industries to go anywhere. I just want to make it safer for more people to get from Point A to POint B by some means besides a vehicle.

  • 12 y not // Oct 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Mallahan will not get my vote. typical politician glad-handling to make sure he doesn't tick anyone off.

    we need to build this trail now to make the ignorant masses see what an improvement this would be to our community. I'm sick of the naysayers (like structual above, spouting out mis-information).

  • 13 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    And I support you! You can pretend this is not part of the gentrification process in Ballard all you like, it won't make it true and it won't return Ballard to an affordable working class neighborhood.

    So I welcome our spandex warriors. More bikes, fewer trucks! Green is the way! Pretty soon we'll be just like Amsterdam or Copenhagen, and hopefully just as expensive.

  • 14 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Lucky we don't live in Canada, ehh?

  • 15 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    This really is the dumbest issue ever. If you're not a competent enough cyclist to cross the tracks simply go one block north to 46th. Voila, problem solved! If you don't want to deal with the trucks then go one block over and ride up Ballard Ave. Why is that so difficult? As a cyclist I'm astounded at how much time and money has been pissed away on what should be a non-issue. Of all the serious problems facing this city this isn't one of them.

    BTW if you think the tracks in Ballard are dangerous be grateful you don't live in SF where you have to deal with cable car tracks!

  • 16 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Call me crazy, but wouldn't a typical politician be the one who drops his one major and most unpopular position 2 weeks before an election when he's down in the polls?

  • 17 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    “the ignorant masses”

    I agree! Hopefully the continued gentrification of Ballard will drive these ungreen, ignorant masses from Ballard. Can you imagine how expensive Ballard will be when only the enlightened live here? Have you seen home prices in Berkeley?

  • 18 Edog // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    OK, so McGinn wants to finish the missing link, but create a new even bigger missing link along the Alaska Way Viaduct?

  • 19 Structural // Oct 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    “I'm sick of the naysayers (like structual above, spouting out mis-information).”

    Hey, you need to learn to read, I support the trail. I support anything green promoted by college educated white liberals. Put in factories, traffic jams and strip malls like the right wing would and home values will plummet. Give me bike trails, trams, green homes = high value.

    There's a reason the New Slums are in places like Kent and Federal Way.

  • 20 blite // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    McGinn needs a new pet issue now that he's dropped the “anti-tunnel” stance. This could be it!

  • 21 Michael Snyder // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Does that also mean that it is 'bad policy' for Mallahan to comment on the Viaduct and deep bore tunnel since there is a lawsuit over the environmental impacts of that too?

  • 22 y not // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    this has nothing to do with cyclist competence.

    I have no issue getting over these tracks. However it's asinine that I should have to squeeze into a 2″ narrow curb because some jerkoff needed to park his cement truck in the right of way.

    this is a multi-use trail anyway. not just for you spandex clad racers. I should be able to push my kid in a stroller from the Locks to Fred Meyer without meandering all over lower ballard.

    this is a serious issue affecting this city. finish the freakin' trail already and there wouldn't be more time and money spent on it.


  • 23 cnt // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    This is a good comparison and needs to be discussed a little more. We have two transportation plans 1) one through downtown Seattle and 2) one through downtown Ballard. The city backs both of them. McGinn did not back the deep bore tunnel option (one of several options for the viaduct replacement), but obviously, he saw the writing on the wall and realized that there was probably nothing that he could do about it now. It would be disingenuous to propose that he could do something to stop it now; people might vote for him expecting him to be able to stop it and this does not seem possible now. I would also mention that 3-4 billion dollars is a lot of money to spend on one project, we will be paying for this for the next 20 years or so. Mallahan supports the tunnel option, but for some reason can't say what he supports on the Ballard transportation project. The Ballard missing link is not a complicated issues, but Mallahan seems to act like he has been asked if we should invade Iran. In this situation, I would say that at least McGinn is be brutally honest about both issues, the tunnel and the Ballard link, and Mallahan is trying to obfuscate his position with regards to the Ballard link. Why would he do that? It is easy to be behind an issue that everyone else is behind, but it is a little more difficult to be out there on your own. I think that this shows that Mallahan is more of the typical politician than McGinn is. Mallahan is concerned more with losing your vote than providing leadership. But this is just what I am taking away from this particular question.

  • 24 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    “not just for you spandex clad racers.”

    Quick to the stereotypes are we? I don't own a single piece of spandex, thank you very much.

    I'd hardly consider one block to be “meandering all over lower ballard” but then again I'm not fat and lazy (partly because I push my kids in stroller everywhere and partly because I ride a bike).

  • 25 Edog // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I don't think it shows anything other than politics by both parties.

    I've not followed Mallahan as much, as his campaign is just so horrible.

    On the missing link, McGinn could just be playing to the rabble, as he has with his “suspention” of his opposition to the viaduct.

  • 26 SPG // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    “Iindustrial business and other uses can mix. It takes two to tango. We can make it work in Ballard — let's give it a try. “

    But it's so much easier to create straw men to distract from the realities. Why do real work to make it a better community when you can just divide and obstruct?

  • 27 SPG // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    McGinn is admitting the reality of the situation, that even as mayor he would have limited ability to stop the tunnel plan at this stage. Does it make a good sound bite? No, and if anything I've gained more respect for the guy and will feel more inclined to vote for him after that statement.
    If anything he's in a better position with reasonable people since he's more likely to make a real effort to lower our financial exposure to overruns. The anti-tunnel zealots won't like it though, so it does have costs politically.

  • 28 lovetheparkingchange // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I'll vote for McGinn. At least he takes a stand and isn't a mealy-mouth Nickles-lite wuss. Seriously, Mallahan's commercial where he says he's going to bring his organizational skills from corporate america to the mayor's office. great…just want we need, another corporate lackey bending over for Vulcan. If Paul Allen wants to build near salmon bay you bet your ass he'll have backing from Mallahan. All part of “structures” master gentrification plan. There's been enough debate, build the trail already!!!

  • 29 vestlandsjenta // Oct 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Ballard is steeped in a Scandinavian tradition of labor based on the maritime, lumber and fishing industries, as well as cycling, walking and other outdoor pursuits. (There is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothes!) These points are not mutually exclusive. Pitting them against each other does not honor the history of our region.

    This is a quality of life issue that is high on the agenda in coastal cities the world over. As a society we need to decide what our goals are and then work towards them. Name-calling is just more of the same and hinders mindful, analytical thinking.

    We cannot compare costs in Copenhagen or Amsterdam with Seattle as we have very different costs of living (and wages) here. Seattle doesn't even have left wing/right wing politics – if you think otherwise try living in a country that actually has communists and right wingers setting the agendas (we do not!).

  • 30 SPG // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    The natural cycle is that industry gravitates to the cheaper land. As cities grow the land prices go up and industry moves to the cheaper land to stay profitable.
    What we've seen in the past few decades goes beyond this dynamic by moving the industries to cheaper labor markets. What do bike paths have to do with any of this? NOTHING. Stop trying to build up straw men as it just makes you look like a spiteful idiot.

  • 31 lovetheparkingchange // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    what's even more dumb is the city allowed it's right-of-way to be hijacked in the first place. The city should ring the right-of-way with Jersey barriers leaving just enough space for egress or start charging the businesses rent to use it.

  • 32 SPG // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    This isn't about you.

  • 33 lovetheparkingchange // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    he consistently ducks when questioned on any contentious issues! So he's either uninformed enough to take a position (Nickles didn't tell him what to say) or a wuss.

  • 34 lovetheparkingchange // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    too gentrified up there for you with all the socialized medicine?
    If you're really green and not just a contrarian I would think it would suit your need for “green” property values.

  • 35 Craig M. Benjamin // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    This is about the HUNDREDS of people who have been seriously injured because of the unsafe conditions along this stretch of roadway. I have personally watched a friend break their wrist and helped a woman into an ambulance after shattering her ankle; both were experienced cyclists who got tangled in the tracks. Its also about the thousands of people who would walk/bike/enjoy the Burke, but are too afraid to do so right now because of the unsafe conditions – my wife is one of those people.

  • 36 lovetheparkingchange // Oct 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    It's all about the precious parking for employees along the ship canal. They might have to walk another block to park…

    The other issue is that the business would lose the extra property that they have been using free of charge for decades

    Thirdly the businesses have fake concerns over cyclist safety.

  • 37 Bangoskank // Oct 22, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    You answer questions like Mallahan. Good on ya. You dodge those tricky questions!

  • 38 Edog // Oct 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    RE: (hint, Mike's for completing it, Joe is not) – How do you get there from here? I can hear Mike's support for it, but Joe is such an awful communicator its hard to tell what he is saying. Still, what was it about Joe's answer that leads one to think he is not for completing it? Even Mike claims he “thinks” he has heard Joe wants to move it, but I don't know if Joe is saying he does not want it completed, or would really work to move it.

  • 39 Bangoskank // Oct 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Yes, because as any uneducated person who does not follow the politics of a candidate, nor read up for them selves could tell you, McGinn is a single platform mayor candidate…. Am I right!?

    It's not like he is very clear on his stance on just about any issue. Nor has he made several statements about making changes in Seattle. Keep listening to those sound bites and reading paper head lines. It's where most of us get our news!

  • 40 Ernie_98107 // Oct 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    “…go one block over and ride up Ballard Ave. Why is that so difficult?”

    So with all the people whining about how bicyclists don't obey the traffic laws like all the upstanding car drivers, how do you propose that they get from Ballard ave to westbound Market when the intersection is right-turn-only (and usually totally congested)?

    Also, this WOULD be a non-issue if it weren't for the Chamber SUING the city to maintain the status quo. That's where the money and time are being wasted. (and, no I'm not secretly Doug11)

  • 41 Ytoo // Oct 22, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I just can't get much excitement up over either of these candidates. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Neither will have any effect in the big city picture. Seattle gets what it deserves.

  • 42 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    You can use the crosswalk. Seattle is one of the odd cities where riding on the sidewalk and in a crosswalk is legal. The city could also very easily put up a sign indicating cyclists can turn left. Would probably be a lot cheaper than the current mess.

  • 43 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Again, why are you crossing the tracks in the first place? If you think they're such a huge threat why don't you go one block up and cross? Instead of wasting money on this issue the city should just re-route the BG to avoid the tracks. It would be a much simpler solution.

    Also there are tracks in LOTS of other cities. Are people in this town really dumb enough to think they're the only city in America that doesn't have tracks?? People manage to safely cross cable car tracks in SF all the time and cable car tracks are FAR more dangerous than the tracks in Ballard but people don't whine about it all the time. Also a lot of tracks in Boston and dozens of other cities.

  • 44 JulianDavies // Oct 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    SeaSpider – we get it. You're a vehicular cyclist who thinks separate bike infrastructure is unnecessary. In which case, you shouldn't be talking about rerouting the BG trail (trails are evil, remember?), but instead should be nammering on about how all we need is education in “effective cycling”.

    But what you and the rest of the “1% club” (what bicycle modal share is and will be with such a narrow-minded focus on what works for fit, experienced, confident adult cyclists) fail to acknowledge is that a lot of cyclists, especially older, younger, newer, less fit, nervous, etc prefer separate facilities, when available.

    Not to mention that I don't know of a *single* city with a high bike modal share that relies solely on the “just ride like SeaSpider and you'll be fine” approach.

    And unless you have injury statistics from other cities and their track crossings, why bring it up? Why would I trust the vague impressions of someone who thinks I'm a “dumb” “whiner”?

  • 45 stopthebuzz // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    your trolling is A+

  • 46 Bangoskank // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Which brings up a good question…. What does Seattle deserve?

  • 47 SPG // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I'd like to add that it would be in our best interest to have a skeptic managing this project rather than someone who already drank the Tunnel Kool Aid.
    McGinn would be less likely to let the powers that be get away with any shenanigans and those same people would know that they can't just expect McGinn's automatic support.

  • 48 Bangoskank // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    It also just so happened to come AFTER the city council vote… which was unanimous. A majority of Seattle is for the tunnel and it has been made very clear.

    So, I guess he should have continued his stance to prove a point? Wouldn't you want the Mayor to make the decisions for the people? I'm confused as to what your point is now… it seems you just like trying to razz people up. You do a pretty good job of it too, it's just too bad that there are a good number of people on this forum that can think for themselves.

  • 49 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    No, you don't get it. When did I say trails were evil?

    I'm a huge fan of multi-use trails, bicycle boulevards, city bikes, bakfiets, etc. I'd also love to see Seattle put in separate, dedicated bike lanes like they have in some European cities.

    However I'm also a realist and know that's never going to happen for a whole lot of fiscal, cultural and political reasons. Instead we need to put trails in where they can be accommodated.

    In the case of the Missing Link they can route the trail along Shilshole and have to deal with the hazard of the tracks and truck traffic or they can chose to re-route the trail a few blocks and avoid the tracks and trucks. If you're trying to get everyday people out on bikes and make cycling safer – and have a limited budget – doesn't that make more sense? In many ways the interim route seems better than the final route as it avoids all the trucks on Shilsole.

    When I get my Madsen I won't try crossing the tracks with my kid in back, I'll detour a block and take the safer route. I'll also ride my Madsen down 28th because it's quieter and has far fewer cars than riding on 24th, even with the bike lane.

  • 50 SPG // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    A pony.

  • 51 JulianDavies // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Sorry, then, I misread you – things were sounding very VC in your tone …

    Sounds like we agree on most things here (including MADSEN's).

    But the alternate routes you suggest work as safer streets to ride on (I use them too), but the Missing Link is a designed and funded connection for a multi-use trail that should connect, IMHO, rather than dump people out on streets with lots of congested intersections to negotiate.

    As for the interim route, the 17th/Ballard/Vernon jog is too circuitous for most. The confident cyclists will stay on Shilshole, and the rest of will muddle along as we have been. Smart infrastructure makes it faster and more convenient to ride bikes, not less.

  • 52 phinneyneighbor // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    A sparkley pony.

  • 53 vestlandsjenta // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Good point, stopthebuzz. The issue is overdone.

  • 54 Edog // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    A Pink Sparkley Pony!

  • 55 Ernie_98107 // Oct 22, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Seriously? everyone using the trail can just ride down the sidewalk in a busy shopping district? I don't think so.

    The city needs to just win the lawsuit, and build the f'n trail along shilshole. After it is all said and done all the missing link opponents will just change their diapers, grab another cup o' joe, and go back to work. Hopefully the next Mayor can make this happen.

    BTW, did you know that every day every one of of SBS&G' s trucks crosses the trail down in Frelard where they park the trucks. The whole idea that trucks can't cross the trail without someone getting hurt is ridiculous.

  • 56 stopthebuzz // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Well, your response was A++! :)

  • 57 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    “Seriously? everyone using the trail can just ride down the sidewalk in a busy shopping district? I don't think so.”

    Seriously and you not thinking so doesn't make it right. I agree it's stupid but it's still the law whether you like it or not. I suggest you try reading section 11.44.120 of the Seattle Traffic Code (

    “The whole idea that trucks can't cross the trail without someone getting hurt is ridiculous.”

    I somewhat agree. I do think the danger is being overstated by some. However, I do think it would be safer to simply have the BG go down Ballard to make it a non-issue. I've ridden the stretch of the BG through Frelard and I've seen a few near misses involving bikes and trucks. Half the time it was because cyclists ran a stop sign but the other half were trucks running stop signs. Doesn't help that the signage along that stretch is inconsistent – some intersections it's the cyclists who have a stop sign, others it's the trucks.

  • 58 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    A pink sparkley pony unicorn!

  • 59 Ernie_98107 // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I know it's the law, I just don't think it's a solution.


  • 60 Ballardwatch // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Those sidewalks can be pretty crowded. Suggesting that people on bikes use Ballard Ave sidewalks is a little ridiculous when the street is packed with pedestrians.

  • 61 lolajean // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Maybe we should get Paul Allen to finish the trail!

  • 62 SeaSpider // Oct 22, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I agree, it's not a solution but allow cyclists to make a left onto Market is. Having traffic signs which only apply to certain users is completely legal (for example signs that allow buses to travel straight in a designated right turn lane).

    You and I might know it's the law but most people don't. I do think it's a dumb law.

  • 63 Bangoskank // Oct 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    A pink sparkley pony unicorn wearing green spandex!

  • 64 Ernie_98107 // Oct 22, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    A pink sparkley pony unicorn wearing green spandex that farts fairy dust!

  • 65 GTS // Oct 22, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Not everyone thinks of area as a “Missing Link”

    In the words of Peter Gibbons in Office Space “I wouldn't say I've been “missing'” it”

  • 66 Teddy Ballgame // Oct 23, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Cyclists are quite crafty. They'll figure out a way to get from point A to point B while ignoring all cars and pedestrians. I'm sure they can manage this “missing link”.

  • 67 bbb1 // Oct 23, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Voila!! This is what I've been waiting 10 yrs for – a sugar daddy to fund this — there are bucketloads of them in Seattle…

    lolajean – can you start investigating??

  • 68 bbb1 // Oct 23, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Tell us more…. Peter Gibbons? Office Space??

  • 69 Black_Sheep // Oct 23, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Please don't tell me you've never seen Office Space.

    Watch it. Now.

  • 70 bbb1 // Oct 23, 2009 at 6:47 am

    A TV show? A webcast? Or is it one of those newfangled DVD things I've heard so much about……

  • 71 GTS // Oct 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Best. Movie Ever. I dare you to watch it and not want to to buy a red swingline stapler.

    Bob Slydell “Peter, you've been missing a lot of work.”

    Peter Gibbons “I wouldn't say I've been 'missing' it”

  • 72 ballardemican // Oct 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Hey you seem like a local Scando, so just a simple (and neutral — I'm just curious) question if you get back to to this.

    I read somewhere that Ballard was never populated by more than 25% people of Scanner descent, and today far fewer, yet it seems like the history is completely tied to Scandinavians.

    Why is this? (if it is true — the numbers could very well be wrong) Did the Scandos drive the culture and economy and other ethnicities just came along for the ride? Were other group more diffuse? Is there any significant history in Ballard that highlights non-Scando ethnicities? Do people just like to identify Scando? I've got a buddy who is 1/2 German and 1/4 Swedish, but he totally identifies as being of Swedish stock.

  • 73 bbb1 // Oct 23, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks! I'm on it.

  • 74 SPG // Oct 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Can't speak to the historical/racial aspect of your question, but Seattle's neighborhoods are always being stereotyped, especially when it's time for development. Take the Fremont example. When it was cheap to live there a lot of artists moved in and then when values spiked and forced the artists out they've continued to market it as “Funky Fremont” and talk about the artists who don't live there anymore. Outside of the Solstice Parade, I don't think there's very much of the old art scene surviving there, yet it will forever be marketed this way.

  • 75 vestlandsjenta // Oct 24, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Heavy wave of immigration from Nordic lands in the early-1900's coincided with the development of Ballard. It was a happy collision of immigration and development. The Scandinavians were attracted to Ballard for the timber-industry (shingles, lumber, etc…) and maritime industries. There is still a lot of that in Ballard as we Ballardites know, and it is tied a lot in part to working-class, egalitarian settlement of the area (where walking and being outside are very popular pedestrian activities, as they continue to be now, and have so little to do with yuppies!)

  • 76 vestlandsjenta // Oct 24, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Cycling in crosswalks is legal in many of the cities I have lived in so it's not just Seattle. It seems odd (and sometimes dangerous) when you are on two feet and not two wheels, but it makes sense in the case of looking at weaker road users (cyclists) versus cars – a right of way to the smallest and most vulnerable user. That said, v. important to look out for pedestrians!

  • 77 ballardemican // Oct 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    thanks — interesting how cultural tendencies can endure for so long.

    Those immigrants were Lutherans, right? Then they had a protestant ethic — making a lot of money is a sign of virtue, spending it is a sign of vice, doing it conspicuously is the sin of pride. I like how Seattle still works hard and has less conspicuous consumption than most other similar cities.

  • 78 vestlandsjenta // Oct 26, 2009 at 3:34 am

    That ethic you write of is also what is cheekily referred to as “janteloven”. Yes, it's the protestant ethic, but it is also quite scandinavian. Wikipedia has the ten rules listed here:
    Obviously not as harsh as it's written, but you get the idea!

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