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Hundreds gather at ‘Missing Link’ in Ballard

Posted by Geeky Swedes on October 27th, 2009

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 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

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134 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Stupid Hippie // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Nothing more important than the demands of middle class, college educated, white professionals!

  • 2 fuzzbeans // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Fantastic showing! Let's get the thing built!

  • 3 fuzzbeans // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:53 am

    So nice to see your very nuanced view of the world.

  • 4 Stupid Hippie // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:55 am

    I see everything through my white, liberal, middle class, professional, college educated glasses. It's why I live in Ballard, all the diversity!

  • 5 NoraBell // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Stupid Hippie is nothing more than an occasionally entertaining troll. Best to just avoid him if at all possible.

  • 6 NoraBell // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Fantastic! I'm sorry I couldn't be there.

  • 7 Stupid Hippie // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Excuse me? A white, liberal, middle class, professional, college educated troll if you please; one who's biggest concerns are shared by all my fellow white, liberal, middle class, professional, college educated trolls.

    You can see my tribe at places like the Ballard Farmer's market, or Sustainable Ballard festivals. You can tell we are white, middle class, professional, college educated liberals because we all claim we moved to Ballard for the 'diversity'.

  • 8 kim // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:11 am

    maybe they will build a tunnel (sarcasm everyone!)

  • 9 kim // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:12 am

    yes, a great showing. now if they can just get past the cement truck politics.

  • 10 Stupid Hippie // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:14 am

    “cement truck politics”

    I agree, who needs cement, we should use hemp for all our construction needs.

  • 11 NoraBell // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:17 am

    So far your best comment, hippie.

  • 12 Mondoman // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Kudos to all who attended and made it a successful event!

  • 13 Herring // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:57 am

    At the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, one of the largest ports in the world, thousands of port workers pedal to work daily amongst the huge engine of industry.
    It's been done successfully all over the world. Bikes and industry have gone hand in hand for a long time.
    Some car companies were initially bicycle manufactures, things change. Some things are changing back.

  • 14 jerty // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:02 am

    McGinn then pointed out that he has a beard and is dumpy, so he looks like everyone in Ballard, so they should vote for him. And he is a Democrat. And Mallahan brushed up against a Republican one time and therefore cannot be trusted. He then backed off his stance about having a beard but added this, “long-time non-profit, bicycle, green, environment, not-a-lawyer-anymore, viaduct, Obama”

  • 15 9999999999 // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:05 am

    I've had a friend get real hurt falling there. We could definitely get inventive and find a way to make this work.

  • 16 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:28 am

    I like the Hippie's comments, they are perceptive and generally very amusing, and in this case I think he is spot on.

  • 17 gurple // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I was only there for half an hour, but it was a good vibe. I got there a bit early and there were already several dozen people in orange shirts. The drivers passing by were mostly supportive, with only a few raised middle fingers.

    I was really impressed by the turnout. King 5 was there with cameras; here's what they got:

  • 18 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:38 am

    I wish I had been down there just a little later in the day so I could see the owner/managers from the boatyard (that big green building in the background) pulling out their hair and cursing all the cyclists. Yep I'd of paid to see that. Ah well, maybe next time.

  • 19 ktown69 // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Who claimed it was diverse?? I moved here 15 years ago because it was quiet.

  • 20 JulianDavies // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Unless the sight of orange or beards is that vexing to them, I'm not sure what their beef would have been. We weren't blocking their driveway. And when my toddler had to pee, we were polite enough to leave their big green building alone. But those parked railcars sure do come in handy.

  • 21 JulianDavies // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:03 am

    As a card-carrying member of your stereotype, I can assure you none of us think Ballard is “diverse”. We have just awful guilt about that, didn't you know? Especially with the new school boundaries.

  • 22 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:07 am

    LOL. Careful where you let your kids go along that stretch. Many a late night wanderer has releived him/herself along there, as well as other things. I doubt it's the orange or the beards, but it is no doubt the bike path all together. The “Beaver” was rebuilt and painted inside the yard and the managment has some interest in keeping the parking outside the yard. There was even a thread about their sign warning of forklifts moving cars parked inside the yard earlier this summer.

  • 23 JulianDavies // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Ah so. It's the parking. Well color me totally unsympathetic to their perceived “right” to have free employee parking on the public right of way.

    Free parking isn't.

    I like the forklift tow truck concept though.

  • 24 Silver // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Thanks for the link, gurple!

  • 25 Silver // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Did you notice that the video link goes to the wrong video? Unless sea lions are interfering with the bicycle traffic…

  • 26 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I honestly don't know where the right of way begins or ends. I always heard it was from the track to the street or maybe it was a few feet either side of the track. Anyway, the space is used by customers and employees alike since parking in the yard makes it difficult to move 80 ton boats around. The flip side of the coin is that the yard is held liable by the EPA and the Sound Keepers Alliance for all the storm water run off from the middle of the road to the water front, as are the other business on Shilshole. And those organizations are working overtime to get all those business shut down by levying heavy fines, so there is nothing free about being the defacto steward of the free parking right of way. So when you tire of blinky lights and orange vests, and want to take a more millitant approach, just invest in a few hundred gallons of red copper bottom paint and paint the damn trail yourselves. That should clear the way for the bike path.

  • 27 gurple // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:03 am

    It's the right video, but it's buried several minutes into the segment.

  • 28 JulianDavies // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Sounds like the urine runoff alone is a hazard.

    I don't know if a multiuse trail (vs parked cars) would help or hurt the runoff, honestly. Thanks for the info.

  • 29 LMcGuff // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Here is a link to some pictures I took this evening:

  • 30 environmentalist // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:15 am

    The EPA has absolutely NO desire to shut down any business in Ballard.

  • 31 xacto // Oct 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I honestly wouldn't mind some of these businesses shutting down. If you have already paved your entire property (great control of storm run-off) and it's difficult for you to manage parking in the public right-of-way, let alone prevent toxic chemicals from your business leaching into the stormwater run-off, it's probably time to board up the business and get some training for your workers.

    I would like my trail to have a more naturalistic wetland adjacent to it, not some smelly old company. Haven't we moved past the ridiculous concept that our waterfront must be used for industry?

  • 32 xacto // Oct 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    so nothing more important than the demands of 90% of ballard residents?

    should there be then?

  • 33 mamaC // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I saw 4 guys in hard hats trying to cross Shilshole in front of the cement factory. Talk about dangerous. Is “safety” REALLY the argument industry is going with? Hmm.

  • 34 Freddie // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Will you employ and provide benefits to all the working class people who get laid off once your dream comes true?

  • 35 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    And there you have it! If anyone wonders why businesses on Shilshole don't want the path, Xacto has provided the most precise answer, no matter what reason they use for litigation.

  • 36 sdrake1958 // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    If some want this trail to become a reality, why not simply vote yourself another tax/fee to remedy the situation you put the rest of us in? As in tax yourselfs, As in license plates and education classes? Seems to me the “progressive” approach around here is to tax/fee everything. Imagine the power and $$ raised and what you can do! Imagine a license plate to ID your bike. Just like autos, boats, trucks, etc, etc. You wanna be “equal”? Then pony up cyclists. Put YOUR freaking money where your big mouths are. For a”change” of course. Tax yourself a project. Leave me, and others, alone. This is NOT all about a few. The few, the proud, the bikers. I'm a vehicle, no wait, I'm a pedestrian, I mean I'm a car, again! Voila. You do want to be recognized when going through a red-light, right? Self-centered people and their kids. Yeesh. OK haters. Drink yer Hateraid

  • 37 Freddie // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    You can't tax cyclists, they're special. After all, they are saving the planet.

  • 38 bbb1 // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I think Mr Wasserman has it backwards — yes, this was a great chance for the 250 or so attendees to see the growing businesses, but it is pretty clear to everyone that not only is it not hard to mix all modes, it's imperative that we do so. The future is upon us, and in Ballard we have a chance to continue demonstrate that industry and alternative transportation infrastructure can co – exist….as they currently do.

    As others have pointed out, one of the businesses for whom Mr. Wasserman lobbies ( a local sand and gravel company) moved into it's main truck storage site AFTER the B-G trail was built between 8th and 11th, and so did Kvichak Marine, Ferguson Terminal, and many others. There is a nice blend happening right now of trail and businesses, and since all new sections of trail will be in the publicly-owned right of way, it will give all trail users a chance to see, up close and personal, our thriving local Ballard businesses.

    It's worth pointing out again that the compromise trail route designated in 2003 with interim and permanent sections bypasses the area west of 17th NW all the way up to NW Vernon Place, along Shilshole –no trail in front of Seaview Boatyard, Covich and Williams, SBSG –in acknowledgment that current activity in that area warrants a slower approach. It's also worth pointing out that the head of the company that Mr. Wassermann lobbies on behalf of signed a franchise agreement with the City (for the Ballard Terminal RR) that stipulated consent with the City's intent to build the trail along the rail right of way! So, isn't it a bit disingenuous, at best, for that company to be party to a lawsuit challenging the City's impending trail construction? What a tangled web is being woven.

    Let's hope that Ballard's industrial leaders, including Mr. Wasserman, can rise above the provincial and NIMBY attitudes and work with the rest of the community to move this project safely forward. Hope springs eternal.

  • 39 bbb1 // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm


    What are you trying to say?

  • 40 ballardemican // Oct 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    not everyone uses every good that is collectively funded. And we are talking a short section of demarked bicycle trail linking waterfront public access areas, not the Grand Coulee dam.

    I'm amazed at how many of you out there are on board with grandstanding businesses crowing safety but really opposed to maybe having to walk a little farther from their cars to work.

    You basically argue that the bike trail benefits only a small special interest group and that this is wrong. The opposition, though, is a much smaller special interest group looking to continue a monopoly on the free use of a public space. Yeesh.

  • 41 ethel // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Ballard is, in fact, slightly more racially diverse than when I moved here over a decade ago. The progress has been glacial but steady.

  • 42 Me! // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    The fact that he threw in Obama means he will NEVER get my vote.

  • 43 gurple // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I'm a bit shocked that, apparently, the legal challenge won't get taken up until next summer:
    “The City has about $9 million dollars for the project which cannot start until the litigation is resolved. It's currently set for a hearing next summer.”

    I had thought this was going to court in February. Did something change, or was I mistaken earlier?

    The plaintiffs, hypocritically or not, are using the means at their disposal to challenge the trail. Fine. But the fact that the trail gets held up for an entire year, even if they lose the case in the end, sickens me.

  • 44 MichaelSnyder // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Use the DPD GIS Maps to see the right of way and property lines:

    The buildings are built right up to the very edge of the property lines.

  • 45 xacto // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    No, but I will advocate training for those laid-off to find new employment.

    Neither of my parents were college educated. They were both laid off from working class jobs in the 70's and 80's when mills and factories were closing around the country.
    They went on to find other vocations (after a bit of night-school here and there), but I certainly don't miss seeing all the smoke those factories used to spew into the sky, nor do I blame the factory's closing on what were some hard times for my family.

    Aren't those tug boats some of the worst polluters in Puget Sound? Look, I know goods need to get moved around, and will continue to do so, but we can find more effective ways to do so while improving the quality of life for a whole lot more people than those feeling negatively affected by the trail construction ( and any future adjacent improvements I will fight for tooth and nail).

  • 46 MichaelSnyder // Oct 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    The lawsuit is just a delaying tactic. It was a delaying tactic from the start.

  • 47 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    …but oh so predictable and distracting. Is it just me, or is the act getting a bit stale these days?

  • 48 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    har har har, at least McGinn showed up for a community event and was willing to take a position that was his own on the trail. Malahan was the one who was for it until the Ballard Chamber members gave him some donations to be against it, or not be able to comment on current litigation or some other Bushesque dodge.

  • 49 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    We don't really have to get inventive. The solution has been studied and was about to be implemented until the industrialists threw a fit and filed an obstructionist lawsuit.

  • 50 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Standing there last night was a good opportunity to see the industrial perspective. The gap from the business property line to the edge of the road is actually quite big and I could see how it would be useful for a business especially if they don't have to pay for it or be responsible for it's upkeep. If it was my business that was taking advantage of that much public right of way right outside my front door I'd be tempted to try to hang on to it too. It doesn't mean that they're right of course, but it can be a real issue to lose space that you have been using for free for decades. They've gotten used to taking advantage of the public right of way and on some level feel like it's their right.
    This is hardly very different from the homeowner who lives next to undeveloped property, enjoying the view and the quiet, and then gets up in arms when the property is developed.
    I'll excuse xacto's comment as the product of frustration on this issue, but the reality is that there won't be much impact to the businesses once the trail is done other than a little less parking and a much nicer landscape in front of their buildings.

  • 51 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    blah blah blah…all public goods are evil socialism except for the ones I use…

  • 52 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    That was the point all along. Why else would a business that refuses to even follow environmental regulations to the point that they were fined push a lawsuit for an environmental review?
    They see the legal fees as costing less than it would cost to rent the public right of way that they currently use for free.

  • 53 Ernie_98107 // Oct 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    “Aren't those tug boats some of the worst polluters in Puget Sound?”

    Actually, tug boats are extremely efficient compared to pretty much every land based form of transportation, except maybe trains.

  • 54 lindenB // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Word. I want the missing link built, badly, but I want it built so that cyclists will get out of the road on Shilshole, and out of the way of the cars. Cyclists on the road are frustrating enough during rush hour that I'm happy to have my non-cyclist tax dollars pay for anything that will get them out of my way — especially since an irritating minority have a pronounced tendency to run red lights and ride between lanes. If you want respect, obey the traffic laws. Because right now? No respect. Go save the planet somewhere else.

  • 55 jobs first // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    No surprise McGinn the green facist supports bicycles over businesses that supply living wage jobs. A great reason to vote for Mallahan. No Guru Baghwan Rashneesh McGinn. We don't want to be the Sierra Club's great social experiment.

  • 56 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Bingo! As was the train. And I'd be willing to bet they have another trick or two up their sleeves also. McGinn may get some Ballard votes by supporting it, but I'll eat my hat if SDOT breaks ground on this next summer.

  • 57 Ballardwatch // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    1. Yeah, we voted for the Bridging the Gap levy. It's working to build sidewalks, bike lanes, all kinds of facilities throughout the city for pedestrian safety as well. 2. The licensing issue is a red herring and would cost more in administrative bureaucracy than it would generate in revenue. 3. Grow up.

  • 58 boatgeek // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Not even trains. Tugs and barges are roundabout 3 times the efficiency of trains. The giant container ships bringing crap from China are about the most efficient transportation on the planet.

  • 59 boatgeek // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I'll be glad to pay a bicycle license fee commensurate with the damage I do to the roads. Damage to the road runs roughly as the tire load cubed. So your 3,000 lb car license fee is $54, my bike fee is $0.13. Heck, I'll even round it up to a quarter to pay for my sticker.

  • 60 jobs are for squares // Oct 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    If you want a job, get an education. Building a bicyle trail isn't going to prevent another McDonalds from opening– so keep your fingers crossed, you might find a job soon.

  • 61 outerballard // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    finishing the missing link is really important and long overdue. People who oppose this are putting drivers and cyclists in very a dangerous situation.

    And for those of you who think the loudest message is the most important one: LOUD, LOUD, LOUD, ANGRY LOUD, ANGRY! YELL YELL, RIDICULE and SARCASM for any other idea! That last sentence is intended to be funny, as in ha ha. I much prefer talking in a respectful and quiet voice, but the tone on my ballard seems to draw and reward another style of talk. Personally, I tune out the loudmouths, but still intend to speak my views.

  • 62 JulianDavies // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    sdrake – maybe you missed the part about the Missing Link being funded *already* from taxes and levies? as for the Hateraid … I don't think you left me any. you might want to chase that with some facts, though.

    I love when the wingnuts argue for more taxes for things they don't want to pay for.

  • 63 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    When I ride my bike I'm not trying to save the planet, but just trying to get from A to B and get a little exercise in the process.

  • 64 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Wingnuts don't want to pay for anything, but they do want all the services that they get…the ultimate welfare queens.

  • 65 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    What about the jobs for all the construction that a bike path requires?
    Once it's built the businesses will still be there. There will only be a positive impact on employment with a bike trail so by your own logic you should be supporting McGinn.

  • 66 bbb1 // Oct 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Hey, I resemble that remark. Is it OK to be one of those? Or are we bad…?

    Better to be an upper class, high school educated, white business owner? Low class PhD working as a waiter in Ballard?

    What's the best thing to be, Stupid Hippie?? Or, more correctly, whose groups' demands are the most important?

  • 67 Ytoo // Oct 28, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Seattle’s first and foremost a seaport and will always remain so. Once Boeing moves to SC and Microsoft to Mexico or Texas we will be better off and only slightly tarnished by the coffee/software/airplane dark years. Starbucks is broke and Boeing is packing as we speak. I wish I had a dollar for everyone who ever said this would never happen. I could retire….oh wait I already am.

  • 68 Ytoo // Oct 28, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Training for what? We are in a technology revolution job wise. Read The End of Work by Rivkin. The US is already over educated and underemployed and this will continue for many years until we rethink how we look at work.

    This will be a harder revolution than was the industrial revolution. Technology replaces jobs across the board as the severe losses in IT and educated classes has already shown us. Basically technology eats those who create it.

  • 69 Freddie // Oct 28, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    “I will advocate training for those laid-off to find new employment.”

    Ah, serving you lattes and helping to squeeze you into your spandex. Welcome to New Ballard. I'll bet they're excited.

  • 70 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    How many people live in the Seattle area and how many work for the port?
    Not to discount the importance of having a thriving seaport, but it's hardly the main focus of this city.

  • 71 Ballardcrab // Oct 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I have a four ideas – 1) Not an overpass for the missing link – we need another 'deep dig' and make a tunnel for them. Both men running to be mayor say a 'deep dig' is the best

    2) Make a new sea wall along the canal – it will be needed for the tunnel

    3) Make a decision – are bicycle riders pedestrians or moving vehicles, such as automobiles

    4) License all bicyle riders the same as automobiles

    I'm tired of them weaving in and out of traffic and following too close and even speeding. I'm tired of them whining all the time.

  • 72 Ballardwatch // Oct 28, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Funny thing you should mention drainage – the city's project improves drainage along the route.

  • 73 Ballardwatch // Oct 28, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    There is zero evidence that any jobs would be lost from the trail. SPG is right – holding off on construction is keeping people out of work.

  • 74 sweetrose // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    A lot more than work for any other industry in fact.

    This city would not exist other than for the fact it is a seaport.

  • 75 sweetrose // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    A lot more than work for any other industry in fact.

    This city would not exist other than for the fact it is a seaport.

  • 76 Ytoo // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Microsoft employs about 1400. The maritime industry employs over 22,000.
    The Port of Seattle is among the top ten container ports in the US, with products valued at $36.7 billion crossing its docks each year. It is served by 29 ocean carriers and three Alaska barge operators, two major transcontinental railroads, and numerous trucking companies that link Seattle to market hubs throughout North America. The Port encompasses nearly 500 acres of container handling space, with 26 container cranes and facilities to handle chilled or frozen meat and fish, fruit, vegetables, forest products, steel and grain. Maritime business activities at the Port are responsible for pumping $430 million in local purchases and $2.5 billion in business revenue into the local economy each year. The Port also owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Fishermen's Terminal and Maritime Industrial Center, Harbor Island Marina, Shilshole Bay Marina, and Bell Street Pier, an 11- acre complex with an international conference center, marina, shops and restaurants. Cruise terminals at Bell Street Pier and Terminal 30 serve the Alaska cruise industry with more than 200 ship calls each year. The World Trade Center complex, adjacent to the Bell Street Pier, strengthens Seattle's role as a center for international trade.
    In contrast Costco 60 million, Microsoft 44 million, WAMU 26 million(gone), Weyerhaeuser 21 million, Paccar 16 million, Amazon 10 million, Safeco 6 million We already lost WAMU and Safeco and now Boeing is all but gone. Business comes and goes but the port will always be a viable industry.

  • 77 Stupid Hippie // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Exactly! Who needs a silly port.

    Trade = fascism!

  • 78 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    From teh wikipedia:
    “Archaeological excavations confirm that the Seattle area has been inhabited by humans for at least 4,000 years.”

    Population 600k metro, 3.3mil area.

    The port is currently down eight percent year-to-date. While the rest of the west coast is down at 6.6%. Surprisingly the Port of Tacoma still manages to do better, as they are down less than one percent.

    I think your Microsoft numbers are a wee bit off as “the ensuing rise of the company's stock price has made four billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires from Microsoft employees.”
    There's a lot more than 1400 people in the area working for them, and you could probably add a couple zeroes if you count the contractors, but whatever, we don't need a pissing match.

    You make a good point about the importance of the port, but you overstate it a little. Yes it's important, but no it's not employing anywhere close to 22,000 people. The MARITIME INDUSTRY might, but that includes everyone on a boat to everyone welding parts for boats. If you used that same metric for MS, I'd count as employed by them since I did one job for them and I have a copy of WindowsXP.
    I have nothing against the port, but we can't claim it as the reason for Seattle's existence and that's a good thing since we're a large and diverse city. Can we get back to the topic now?

  • 79 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Nothing quite like packing a few facts in there to support your arguement. Love it. But wait, wouldn't it be better if these smelly old industrial waterfront businesses went out of business so we could ride our bikes by and see some pretty pretty grass, or more likely a Subway, next to yet another Starbucks.

  • 80 motorrad // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    There are hateful people that just don't want to be happy. Opponents to the trail complain about bikes on the road inconveniencing them while they drive around Ballard. The solution is obviously to get the bikes OUT of traffic, off the roads as much as possible. But hateful people don't want solutions and would rather complain and disparage others. They like being miserable. Another phenomenon at work is that winning isn't as sweet when your perceived opponent is satisfied with the solution. Win-Win situations are not a victory. The only righteous victory is if the other side hates the result. You see that at work in Ballard in many areas. So there is an opportunity to get bikers off the roads which is what they want, yet they fight their own best interest with hysteria, lies, and narrow-minded selfishness as dupes. That just seems crazy. There will be no jobs lost due to the trail. It is just a handy scapegoat that riles some of the more easily manipulated and less discerning citizens.

    Thanks to a couple people with personal and professional knowledge of the business owners involved and the legal and political manipulations that got us to this point, I have a much better understanding of what is really going on. I thank them for their time. It is not about jobs. Ego and money are at the root. Surprise. Be careful what you wish for. In the past, laws were passed giving some business owners on the trail what they asked for, yet now seem to not like the way they were granted their wish. It appears that if they are big enough trouble makers they expect new terms with the genie. Beware the sleight of hand. To those supporting the 2 businesses spearheading the litigation stopping the trail, many supporters will be disappointed and feel manipulated by the shenanigans when this runs it's course. If this area was so important to industry and maritime jobs Fred Meyer and Ballard Blocks would not be there. That land would be occupied by INDUSTRY. Open your eyes and look for the real truth. This is about so much much more than the bike trail. Ego and money.

  • 81 larry // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Tell Eugene yourself:

  • 82 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    What's a wingnut?

  • 83 larry // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Have you trail-supporters all signed the petition yet?

  • 84 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Please, a decent road crew could have the thing done in 3 weeks giving perhaps 20 people 3 weeks worth of work. It's not about jobs to build it.

  • 85 cdpenne // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Actually, I have found the back and forth here informative, amusing, and engaging. I have flip flopped on the issue several times just reading the posts, and I hope it continues. This is good stuff.

  • 86 Name // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    mcginn is a dweeb.

  • 87 borninballard // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    i agree. no anger or bitterness behind those stabs, just truth covered in sarcasm.

    its the angry people that i could do without. especially when they are just mad that someone has a differnt opinion.

  • 88 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Maybe we need to get rid of Microsoft so that we can have Starbucks.
    Oh, wait that doesn't make any sense at all as they're not mutually exclusive, just like finishing the Burke Gilman trail won't wipe out the businesses there.
    These industrial supporters must not be very smart if they think a bike trail will wipe out decades old businesses.

  • 89 SPG // Oct 28, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Right wing fringe. aka teabagger, aka dittohead, aka just about anyone left self identifying with the GOP.

  • 90 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 12:02 am

    The city is budgeting $9,000,000 for it so I guess it's more than just a 3 week road crew job.
    And nobody has shown how having a trail there will impact a single existing job.
    Not that I alone buy enough gravel or concrete to impact a job at SBSG, but I've taken my business elsewhere because of this and I know of an architect who's dropped them as a preferred supplier on his projects, so maybe this will impact jobs negatively (unless you're a lawyer).

  • 91 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Hey Joe, didn't your campaign advisors tell you to stop posting that until after the election?

  • 92 bellie // Oct 29, 2009 at 1:35 am

    “Haven't we moved past the ridiculous concept that our waterfront must be used for industry?”

    This comment is so ignorant it leaves me flabbergasted. Can you not tell, simply by looking as you ride by on your bike while longing for wetlands, how important the waterfront is to Ballard's livelihood? And to your neighbors who own or work on local vessels and the businesses who support them?

    Just in case you jump to the conclusion that I do not own a bike nor ride on the Missing Link, you're wrong on both counts.

  • 93 Mondoman // Oct 29, 2009 at 3:16 am

    How much are you willing to personally pay for “…a more naturalistic wetland”? Just curious as to whether it's an idle wish or something you really care about.

  • 94 cdpenne // Oct 29, 2009 at 4:28 am

    True enough. They will have to adapt to a different neighborhood, but thats true for any long time business. Adapt or go under. The fear is (and this is my own conjecture based on some limited involvement with one of the businesses) is that with the bike trail, will come added pressure to vacate (see xacto's comment above). The bike trail represents gentrification of an otherwise (shall we say) gritty industrial area, and thus the beginning of the end for businesses that won't be putting on any suits and ties (figuratively speaking).

  • 95 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Soooo……a bunch of people get hurt every week because a few industrialists are afraid that the neighborhood might start to look too nice?

  • 96 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Because a couple people on teh internets get annoyed by the actions of a handful of cranky industrialists and say something rash, it's proof that the trail is a conspiracy to destroy industry!

    BTW, I accidently hit the “like” button. No undo…meh.

  • 97 Black_Sheep // Oct 29, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Mallahan throws Obama in as well – better not vote for him, either.

  • 98 cdpenne // Oct 29, 2009 at 5:10 am

    As the neighborhood begins to look nice, there is mounting pressure to do away with the dirty old industrial businesses. An that pressure can come from many directions. Don't discount it until you look into it a little. It will happen. Also, those bicyclists don't have to go down Shilshole. They chose to. An if they can't figure out how to cross railroad tracks maybe they should invest in some training wheels.

  • 99 bbb1 // Oct 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Here's a better link, directly to the segment (after advert), regarding the event.

    Particularly distressing? The comments by the Chamber's Exec. Director, suggesting that we 'give the people what they want', a continuous uninterrupted trail, by building an 'overhead viaduct'

    This is going 10 steps backward and BM knows it –

  • 100 bellie // Oct 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I don't understand what you're trying to say, SPG, but I will say that I support the completion of the BGT.

  • 101 beatrice // Oct 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    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.

  • 102 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    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?”

  • 103 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    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.

  • 104 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    “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.

  • 105 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm

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

  • 106 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    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.

  • 107 bellie // Oct 29, 2009 at 7:05 pm

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

  • 108 beatrice // Oct 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm

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

  • 109 jeezlouise // Oct 29, 2009 at 9:55 pm

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

  • 110 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 9:56 pm

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

  • 111 SPG // Oct 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    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.

  • 112 beatrice // Oct 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    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?

  • 113 motorrad // Oct 29, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    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.

  • 114 motorrad // Oct 29, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    the hotel is coming with or without a bike trail. deal is in the works already.

  • 115 motorrad // Oct 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    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.

  • 116 beatrice // Oct 29, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    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.

  • 117 cdpenne // Oct 30, 2009 at 2:50 am

    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.

  • 118 BallardBoy64 // Oct 30, 2009 at 3:46 am

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

  • 119 motorrad // Oct 30, 2009 at 6:24 am

    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.

  • 120 mangomango // Oct 31, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Now that event was F U N !!

  • 121 LiltingMissive // Nov 2, 2009 at 4:22 am

    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.

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