With red lights blinking, arms waving and horns honking, more than 250 people stretched down Shilshole Avenue Tuesday evening to show support for the completion of the “Missing Link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail.
Bicyclist Jenny Heins has fallen along the Missing Link, and she believes safety is a big concern. “I think it’s going to make things safer for the businesses as well as the users of the trail. The whole community,” she says. “It’s been a priority for the community for 11 or 12 years so I’d like to see it move forward.”
Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn showed up with his bike. “I’m a big bike supporter,” he tells us. “I’ve been a supporter of finishing the Missing Link for a long time.” Michael Snyder of SeattleLikesBikes.org rides the missing link from Ballard to Fremont every day on his commute. “I hope that the elected officials will take notice and the Ballard community will take notice and say ‘hey, this is a priority.’”
(Photo above from Silver.) The Missing Link is a 1.5 mile stretch of the Burke-Gilman Trail without an actual trail. Bicyclists currently ride along Shilshole Ave., sharing the road with cars and large trucks while maneuvering over railroad tracks. The city’s plan to bridge the link sparked a lawsuit from a coalition of Ballard industrial businesses worried about the impact on safety, traffic and parking.
“As businesses who work with heavy equipment, safety is our number one priority,” Eugene Wasserman of the North Seattle Industrial Association said this week, adding that he welcomes Tuesday’s event. “It should give people the opportunity to look at our growing businesses, which provide family wage jobs and are represented by many unions. It should be clear to everyone visiting our area how hard it is to mix trucks, cars, pedestrian, and bicycles safely.”