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Missing link saga: Seattle Hearing Examiner wants Environmental Impact Statement from SDOT

Posted by Meghan Walker on August 29th, 2012

Plans to fix the “missing link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail are stalled again. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is being required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) based on findings from the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner. The Examiner found that the Shilshole segment of the missing link will create, “significant adverse impacts in the form of traffic hazards…because of conflicts between truck movements and other vehicle traffic and trail users.” In addition to the EIS, SDOT  will have to study alternatives to the missing link.

The Ballard business representatives Paul Nerdrum, vice president of Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Co. and Warren Aarkevik, owner of Ballard Oil, say they want the city to study the plans in order to fully explore the consequences of developing a trail through a major business corridor.

“We want a trail that is safe and does not undermine the viability of the maritime and industrial businesses so we can continue operating and providing family-wage jobs and benefits to the entire community,” said Nerdrum, Vice President of Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Co. in a press release. In the same release, Aarkevik said the examiner agreed with the businesses, “that the City must study these issues and prove it can safely build a recreational trail through the heart of the maritime and industrial industry in Ballard without putting people’s lives at risk.”

An attorney who represents the Ballard businesses, Josh Brower, said the trail is too dangerous because it crosses 55 industrial driveways and intersections in under two miles. The businesses hope to see an alternative design and alignment for the missing link; they’d like to see a cycle-track that would go up Leary Ave, where it could connect to NW Market St.

SDOT has yet to respond to the Hearing Examiner’s decision.

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