Hundreds gather at ‘Missing Link’ in Ballard

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.”

More photos:
-Silver took these photos here, and this video clip here.
-Michael Snyder took these pictures.
-LMcGuff added this photo link in comments.

Last week: Mayoral candidates address the Missing Link controversy

122 comments on “Hundreds gather at ‘Missing Link’ in Ballard”

  1. This whole thing sounds like season two of The Wire. There is a way of life on the rocks here, and people are hanging tough. I hope someday we get to hear about ALL of the intrigue. I just hope I hear it all from Dominic West…in my bed.

  2. Of course they know it. The whole plan is to obstruct and distract. Every time it gets closer they'll just bring up an “alternative” to try to restart the debate. “what about this route?” “what about this other route instead?” “what about our jobs?” “what about the children?”

  3. cdpenne, By your twisted logic the city should look as crappy as possible so ugly industry doesn't feel out of place? If you look at a map the area is clearly zoned INDUSTRIAL. The area isn't under any threat.
    I don't doubt that this entire city will look very different in 50 years, just as it looks very different now than it did 50 years ago. But completing a much needed bike trail isn't going to run these businesses out. It's a red herring meant to distract from the fact that they don't want to give up their use of the public right of way. PUBLIC right of way, which means it isn't theirs but ours, all of ours and should be respected as such.

  4. “An if they can't figure out how to cross railroad tracks maybe they should invest in some training wheels.”

    If a giant sinkhole opened up on Shilshole big enough for a car or cement truck to fall into and kill the driver, would you tell people they need to learn to jump their car over it like them Duke boys? Of course not. There is a basic level of infrastructure that is expected to be safe to the average user. This is why we have traffic lights, lane markers, and road signs. If we were pulling drivers out of wrecks in the same spot on a daily basis because of something like this you'd bet that something would have been done about it. Frankly, I'm amazed that the Ballard RR and the city haven't been sued to bankruptcy over this spot.

  5. My point is that an angry post about industry on the waterfront doesn't prove a conspiracy to get rid of it.

  6. Is the way of life on the rocks the cyclists? Because there will be zero impact to any of the jobs along Shilshole once the trail is built.

  7. Sure. I wasn't implying that there was one. I was hoping xacto would be a little more circumspect, however.

  8. It's not the actual impact, it's the fear that once the trail goes in, what comes next? A Hotel?

  9. SPG, you have an incredible amount of time on your hands. Go out and ride that bike or something, good god.

  10. So fear trumps reality and cyclists continue to get hurt in the real world while the industries cower in fear of the imagined.

  11. The wonderful benefit of my work is that I have lots of spaces of about 5 minutes at a time where the computer has to do it's thing and I have to wait. This keeps me from picking up smoking. or playing solitaire. or otherwise going stir crazy watching a progress bar creep across a screen.
    …and done! Back to work.

  12. You know, you are just too serious. I am a cyclist and never once did I say or imply that this fear bizo is justified. Lighten up.

    Get a life, do something other than read this friggin' blog. I have a kid home from West Woodlawn with H1N1 and the kid is sleeping. What is your excuse for exessive blogging? Are you old?

  13. I was told by a very reliable source close to the machinations that the owner of that boatyard is OK with the trail. Actually made some very interesting offers.

  14. put on your spandex and go ride your bike upside down and fall on the tracks you industry hating white collar, suit wearing (figuritively speaking) DB! good god…hatefulness feels surprisingly good…feel the darskside calling…backfire effect at work…ignore facts…progress bar done. c-ya.

  15. I know, I was kidding. The city of Seattle isn't going to cotton to tourists having to dodge trucks. That whole area will be re-zoned. The trail will eventually go in. So will more retail, pocket parks and condos.

  16. Thanyou Beatrice,
    I've been trying to make that point all along. I'm afraid SPG takes me for a spokesman for the anti-trail crowd. I'm not, but I can see both sides, and Motorrad is correct- there is a whole lot of ego involved and two very entrenched sides.

  17. Let's just say the Burke Gilman trail stops at Fred Meyer – then there is no missing link!

  18. Ah Sweet Denial. Except for the fact that the Shirk-Gilman starts again further down and goes to Golden Gardens. Gee, that could be how the missing link got it's name.

  19. The whole “taxing cyclists” thing has been discussed a million times on a million forums, threads and barstools.

    Sure, let's go for it. My bike weighs 20 lbs, I weigh around 160, and I'm generally carrying between 10 – 30 lbs on my back. So that means my total vehicle weight is around 210 lbs, and since wear and tear on roadways is a function of weight, that's what? a tenth of a mid-size car? Less than that? Make me a license plate, come on over, and I'll give you $8.00 a year for my registration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *