Since the early days of My Ballard, we’ve covered the debate around the Missing Link: a proposal to close the 1.4 mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail.
The core issues remain the same over the years: Many cyclists want the route along Shilshole Ave., where they’re riding anyway, navigating over perilous railroad tracks. Several businesses in the area, called the Ballard Coalition, want cyclists to take Leary and Market, a slightly longer route that avoids the many trucks that drive through the industrial area.
The Seattle Department of Transportation signed off on the Shilshole Ave. route, sparking an outcry from the Ballard Coalition and a legal appeal challenging the city’s environmental impact statement. That appeal is being heard this week before Seattle Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner.
A decision — perhaps a final decision? — is expected by the end of the year. The city hopes to begin construction early next year.
For a deeper look at the controversy, Crosscut has a great update here.