News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

My Ballard header image 2

Framework agreement reached, completion of Burke-Gilman Missing Link to move forward

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on February 28th, 2017

Earlier today, Mayor Ed Murray along with Councilmembers Mike O’Brien and Rob Johnson, Ballard business owners, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates, announced that a framework agreement has been reached to move forward on completing the “missing link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

“After years of disagreement, we have a path forward to finally complete the ‘missing link’ of the Burke-Gilman Trail,” says Mayor Murray. “Bicyclists and pedestrians will no longer need to weave, dodge, or hold their breath while navigating through Ballard and maritime businesses along the water will maintain access to the roads they depend on. Today’s announcement highlights our collaborative effort to complete the trail, making the Burke-Gilman safer and more accessible for all.”

As the City finishes the environmental review process, the framework calls for stakeholders to work together on the design elements of a preferred alternative route that would complete the “missing link” with a marked, dedicated trail for pedestrians and cyclists.

The proposed trail would run along Market Street between the Ballard Locks and 24th Ave NW, then turn on to Shilshole Ave NW Northwest and run along the south-side of the street. The existing trail east of the Ballard Bridge, along NW 45th St, will be improved to allow for better access for businesses and safer travel for bicyclists and pedestrians. The City expects the final environmental impact study to be released in May.

“The community has been working on a safe completion of the missing link of the Burke Gilman Trail for years and it is great to be moving one step closer to construction,” says Councilmember Mike O’Brien.

“To say we are elated is a vast understatement,” says Blake Trask, Senior Policy Director of the Cascade Bicycle Club. “This project will benefit generations. We are grateful to the many parties, including local Ballard businesses, for coming together, listening to one another, and committing to building a trail that is safe and predictable for everyone.”

Tags: Ballard   Share

27 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Pete Zuria // Feb 28, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Funny, I guess I missed the part where these theoraticians spoke about taxing/placing fees on bikes. Cyclists need to pay their fair share. Like boaters MUST do. These wonderful E-bikes are not your grandmas bikes and are over-due to license plate up ASAP. Pay for play. Why are these items NEVER talked about? Who has a picture of somebody with a goat? Why are cyclists the chosen few that are treated like they’re “special”?

  • 2 Steve kaimmer // Feb 28, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    I realize this is a compromise but the trail should have followed the rail Corridor the entire way. This is not right

  • 3 Rainbow Bridge to Pyongyang // Feb 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Hey, Pete, how would you plan to enforce these bike tabs? Hire more bike cops? How about the junkie hobos on bikes? You really think Special Ed is gonna crack down on unlicensed crackhead cyclists…after all, then he’d be forced to acknowledge that many of them are on stolen bikes. Never gonna happen.

    If it makes you feel better, drivers get to burn through hard reds while texting, and i can’t remember the last time i saw one of Seattle’s famously bad drivers pulled over for an infraction.

    Drivers have it pretty sweet here.

  • 4 Rocket // Feb 28, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Hey Pete, I’d pay more for bike tabs to tell you to shut the fuck up when you complain about bikes. I know they destroy the roads, pollute & kill other. But maybe you just float around on the water having the public wait while they open the Ballard Bridge for you. Think about it, asshole.

  • 5 Truth // Mar 1, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Screw this. The City should NOT have compromised with these obstructionists, that have costed taxpayers millions of dollars, over the past 20 years. The EIS was complete and the obstructionists were completely out of options. The City should have continued forward with the trail plan that was chosen 30 years ago.

  • 6 Truth // Mar 1, 2017 at 9:00 am

    @Pete: Bicycles do pay their fair share: it’s called property taxes. Pretty much 100% of our City’s infrastructure is paid for by property taxes, which we all pay, one way or another. And they’ve tried a bicycle license plate program in the past, but it ended up losing money.

    You might want to do some basic research before you look like a moron.

  • 7 Simon Says // Mar 1, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    “I realize this is a compromise but the trail should have followed the rail Corridor the entire way. This is not right”


    ….and overpaid, spandex-clad yuppies, calling themselves “greens”, wonder by blue collar workers voted for Trump in droves.

  • 8 Truth // Mar 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    “…wonder by [sic] blue collar workers voted for Trump in droves.”

    Because there’s a lot of people in the Midwest that have fantasies about being bent over by an orange businessman that’s bad at his job? And don’t forget…emails (or something like that)!

    Don’t know why else they’d vote for someone whose campaign platform was literally based on making their life worse to subsidize the rich further.

  • 9 The One // Mar 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    As usual, half truth is clutching his pearls again. Haha…everyone pays property taxes one way or another? Wrong! I think your spandex are blurring your vision.

  • 10 Rainbow Bridge to Pyongyang // Mar 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    “Because there’s a lot of people in the Midwest that have fantasies about being bent over by an orange businessman that’s bad at his job”

    Really Truthy? You progs spent 8 years fetishizing Obama and cucking out to John Stewart. Be honest. You guys never stop worshiping some perceived exoticism fed directly by music vids and terribly obvious movie tropes that shouldn’t be effective on anyone older than age 12.

    Oh no, JK Rowling has something to say!
    Cue up the Star Wars references because Trump wants to enforce existing laws!

    Trump’s probably a waste, but the blue collars have good reason to loathe a party that sold out to some open borders fantasy while pretending to “defend labor” as they push down wages and reduce available housing by bringing in the entire 3rd world because “feels, man.”

  • 11 Ballardite // Mar 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Hilarious that a boater is claiming cyclists don’t pay their fair share. As mentioned all local roads here in Seattle are paid for by property and sales tax not gas tax (which is used for state roads and highways) even then the federal highway trust fund has been insolvent for over a decade now and heavily subsidized by general funds (income tax) to the tune of $10 billion per year.

    The reality is that car drivers and transit riders are the princes of subsidies but they still pay a fortune compared to boaters.

    As a boater you don’t pay any fees to open all the bridges in the ship canal that can cause millions of dollars in traffic delays. You contribute nothing to the operations at the Ballard Locks. You pay nothing for dredging of the waterways in Puget Sound. You pay nothing for dumping raw sewage from your boat into the sound.

    You are a welfare king…yet you somehow have enough money available to own a boat in Seattle.

  • 12 In stitches // Mar 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    This is the most hysterical comment thread. From 0 to 60 in .3 seconds. I’m glad people are invested in our community but come on guys, you’re all straight out of a Portlandia sketch.

  • 13 Jason Murphy // Mar 2, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Well I must say that writing without a doing a research, is a waste of time. I am sorry but that is the truth

  • 14 Scott // Mar 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Holy cr*( they’re jamming more traffic onto Market St? And now it’s low speed bicycles? This stretch of NW Market is going to be a nightmare on good weather days. It’s already extremely jammed on summer weekend days. I can’t imagine what it will be like with bikers forced in too. Where are they going to go? On the sidewalk? The people who proposed and agreed to this as a solution when the alley/train bed is available are incompetent traffic planners or are owned by some special interest on the alley. How else can everyone in cars (the majority of people) get east-west at the bottom of Ballard in this section? There is no alternative way for the cars. Yet they are going to jam bikes in. The only way I can see this working is total elimination of street parking and converting that parking area to bike path. That has got to be it. PLEASE tell me that’s the plan for bikes on crowded NW Market St.

  • 15 He Hate Me // Mar 3, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Total sell out by the loser mayor. After decades of fighting, with the final EIS looming and total victory in sight, he capitulates and puts the BGT on Market. The BGT belongs on the rail right of way. I’m hoping the rail route still has some life and the city continues to own it.
    If they do build the Market Street route, there will be two totally effed up areas. The corner of 24h and Market is going to a total cluster. The trail will be heading up a pretty steep little climb on the south side of 24th and that corner is already super congested with pedestrians. The other cluster will be down by the Lockspot, where NW 54th narrows down approaching 30th Ave NW. The roadway narrows down quite a bit there and the transition to the parking lot will be difficult.
    I think this is all moot though. The azzholes at Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel are going to continue to sue. And businesses newly impacted by the new Market Street configuration will probably jump on that bandwagon.

  • 16 Profile photo of Marigold Marigold // Mar 3, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I look forward to biking on the missing link when the sun is out and driving down NW 54th every chance I get. Looks like a nice little detour.

    Who else is in?

  • 17 Scott // Mar 3, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I like the idea to drive up and down 54th whenever possible Marigold! Watch out for the mortar holes, especially when they’re full of water and you can’t tell if you’re driving into a deep crater that will eat the whole car.

  • 18 Profile photo of Marigold Marigold // Mar 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Well Scott, it’s a city street, right? I’ll just go down there and report the potholes with my “find it fix it” app on my phone. Over and over. You in?

    The city needs to make that road safe for all taxpayers, rightio?

  • 19 Scott // Mar 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Marigold, yes I’m in! I’ll check up on the “find it fix it” app you mentioned, will frequent 54th when I have a little extra time, and will report the holes. Tell your friends! (and remind me not to make you mad)

  • 20 J // Mar 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Friendly reminder that cyclists only make up 3-5% of commuters in Seattle. A very small minority can get their way if they’re loud enough.

  • 21 He Hate Me // Mar 6, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Just a friendly reminder that the very small minority who wants to get their way would be the assholes Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel, Ballard Oil and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, who have sued to obstruct this trail for decades. 90% of the city wants to get this missing link done. 90% isn’t a small minority.

    The Burke Gilman Trail isn’t a bike trail. More people use it to walk and walk their dog than to bicycle on it. And it does also get biked on heavily. Commuting cyclists are a small portion of people that bicycle.

  • 22 Uncle Buck // Mar 6, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Can’t wait for the first Ballard “Running of the Hobos” on the Missing Link.

    All we need a few grass fed bulls, or maybe we could get tell the carbon fiber bike snobs that the hobos are Trump voters and they could ride them down instead.

  • 23 MC Reader // Mar 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Putting a bike trail on Market street makes no sense. Are you going to take away one existing lane? That’s a stupid compromise!

  • 24 Scott // Mar 7, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I agree with He Hate Me. The B-G Trail is a wonderful neighborhood amenity for everybody. My daughter is the one in our family who uses it the most. For her skates, and scooter and bike, and walking our dog. Other places on the trail I’ve seen a lot of moms and dads with babies in strollers.

  • 25 Mondoman // Mar 9, 2017 at 12:08 am

    For those worried about a car lane being removed on Market St, not to worry. The trail will be put in on the incredibly wide sidewalk/planting strip area. The reason it wasn’t routed behind the buildings along NW 54th at the Locks is that the right of way there is too narrow to fit working tracks, the trail, and roadway all together.

  • 26 Scott // Mar 9, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Thank you Mondoman for your fact-based defense of the idea to put the B-G Trail on NW Market St. I find the argument extremely unpersuasive, as I weigh the disruption it will cause on NW Market St v. on the alley and find no comparison. The NW Market St path will cause millions of times more disruption than the best fit on the alley. The interactions between working railroad and B-G Trail users will be very, very seldom, and could be managed, whereas the interactions on NW Market St will be heavy, constant, and not easily managed or avoided by literally millions of people-trips. It is a ridiculous choice in my opinion, and definitely not based on minimizing space conflict or maximizing space usage.

  • 27 J // Mar 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

    90% of the city wants it done? Got a source for that?

Leave a Comment (read our comment rules)

News from the Seattle Times

Skip to toolbar