A coalition of Ballard industrial businesses, associations and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court challenging the city’s plans to fill the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman trail. Specifically, the lawsuit questions the city’s environmental review of the project. “The city has, so far, completely failed to evaluate and analyze impacts from alternative routes, safety impacts from insufficient sight distances, safety impacts from mixing cyclists and trail users with heavy trucks and industrial traffic, impacts from lost parking, and the inconsistency of locating a recreational trail through an industrial area,” explains Eugene Wasserman, President of the North Seattle Industrial Association. Wasserman says the city has not conducted the same level of environmental review that it would require of any industrial business. “We’re not anti-trail,” he said. “The city’s decision is just another example of the Seattle Department of Transportation not treating people equally.”
In June, the city’s Office of the Hearing Examiner ruled in favor of completing the stretch between 11 Ave. NW and the Locks, long considered a dangerous stretch for bicyclists. We’re working on gathering reaction from SDOT as well as the Cascade Bicycle Club, and we’ll update the story as we learn more.
Ballard businesses sue over Burke Gilman trail
A coalition of Ballard industrial businesses, associations and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court challenging the city’s plans to fill the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman trail. Specifically, the lawsuit questions the city’s environmental review of the project. “The city has, so far, completely failed to evaluate and analyze impacts from alternative routes, safety impacts from insufficient sight distances, safety impacts from mixing cyclists and trail users with heavy trucks and industrial traffic, impacts from lost parking, and the inconsistency of locating a recreational trail through an industrial area,” explains Eugene Wasserman, President of the North Seattle Industrial Association. Wasserman says the city has not conducted the same level of environmental review that it would require of any industrial business. “We’re not anti-trail,” he said. “The city’s decision is just another example of the Seattle Department of Transportation not treating people equally.”
285 thoughts to “Ballard businesses sue over Burke Gilman trail”
Living in Ballard and biking a lot I ride through this segment at least twice a day. It's all true of course: it's dangerous, it hinders the heavy vehicle traffic in an industrial zone. But so what? Why is this city street special? Normally, you're not allowed to suddenly drive your fork lift into a lane of traffic, bicycle or otherwise. Why Shillshole? Why is it ok to treat this city street like a private lot and create hazards for cars and bikes alike? Go here on a work day and check out how people act. It's a disaster. Even the pavement gets destroyed (see photo. there's lots worse).
So I repeat, why are people allowed to treat a public street this way? And why is this my fault, as a cyclist? I'm creating a problem by demanding the same degree of lawfulness and safety as on any other street in Ballard (oh joy)? Because I want my lane painted on, in the vain hope that it makes me less likely to be run over?
oh boy here we go……
(and i agree wholeheartedly with the 1st post)
Preach it, I hope SDOT laughs them out of court. What a farce this is.
I've lived in Ballard for 31 years. For that entire period I've been a bicycle commuter (I work in the U-District), and I've watched the city and its citizens be paralyzed by the maneuverings of Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel and its Ballard Terminal Rail Road.
I remember a community meeting with the city 25 years ago, when the tracks were truly abandoned by any reasonable definition. Someone asked, roughly, “How many trains are there?” The answer was “Three.” Per hour? No. Per day? No. Per week? No. I forget if it was per month or per year. Pretty soon, BTRR was created, a locomotive was acquired, and traffic increased. I had Lionel as a kid — never anything as cool as this!
I also remember when Charlie Royer made a big deal, as mayor, about declaring a bikeway through Ballard. Charlie's “bikeway” was nothing more than a few signs on power poles. There was a gala inaugural ride one weekend in which Charlie participated. My wife and I toodled along, joined by our two sons, who were perhaps 4 and 6 I asked Charlie how he would suggest that our sons use his “bikeway” when we were not around to protect them from traffic. He didn't respond — probably he needed to pedal off to a bar.
Greg Nickels deserves a lot of credit for ***finally*** promoting bicycle commuting in the city in an effective way. Let's get the trail through Ballard completed! Stop the nonsense!
Who wants to bet that these folks pretend to be against frivolous lawsuits?
Anyone who gets hurt riding through this area, particularly on those joke railroad tracks, should consider returning the favor and dirctly suing the obstructionist jerks that have held this up for so bloody long.
Want to know why it's so expensive to do infrastructure projects in Seattle? Here's a nimby case study…
I'm a bicyclist, but I see the advantages of designating a bike route away from an industrial area with heavy truck traffic, railroad tracks, random parking, etc. As far as I can tell (if I'm wrong please let me know), there's no reason to run the trail there instead of (say) along Leary or along someplace much better suited to bike traffic such as NW 56th.
I do agree that not building anything is not a solution.
Here we go again, a few Ballard businesses trying to control land they do not own. What a waste of public resources to laugh these fools out of court. This area has been studied for years. We need to tell these idiots to leave the city alone so they can build a trail.
Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel and the BTRR are a total joke on this issue. I commuted along this route for four years, and that's the thing: people bike here whether there's a trail or not. The trail makes it safer. And WTF honestly is BTRR except a land grab? These people need to be slapped down. They whine that insurance or “one accident” will put them out of business. The bikes are there already, and your drivers are professionals. It will work because it already has been working.
And it looks like the Ballard Chamber of Commerce has decided to go along for the ride!!
Though nearly 500 of you signed petitions, as Ballard residents and Ballard Chamber business customers, asking the Chamber to bow out of this 'stop the trail at any cost' effort by a couple of millionaires. Though the Crown Hill/Ballard Neighborhood plan, passed in 1998, called for completion of the trail as it's second most important priority. Though the Chamber claims to not be against the trail — those words ring hollow now.
This lawsuit isn't about mitigating parking, the Chamber's big concern — it's about some business owners with deep pockets, trying to keep us, the citizens, from building, IN OUR RIGHT OF WAY, a damn trail. For shame.
For those that are interested, contact the City and ask for a copy of the Franchise Agreement between Ballard Terminal RR and the City, spelling out the terms of the RR's use of the roadway. There on the final page you will see the signature of the owner of Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel. Then check out section 10 (j), wherein the signatories agree that the City has every right to build a trail within IT'S OWN RIGHT OF WAY!! And now this same business owner is sueing the City…the unmitigated gall (as my mother would say)
Makes you a little sick, doesn't it…?
Perhaps we shouldn't be asking for a bike trail next to the road, but for the return of the entire railroad tracks to be ripped out and turned into a bike path. If Salmon Bay wants to escalate this, let's show them that we can be ridiculous too. I think we'd have a better case in court for the return of the RR right of way than his lawsuit to stop the trail.
BTW, I don't think I'll be using salmon bay for gravel anymore. Pacific Topsoil will be getting my business.
Well aresident, as we see from the other stories up here there seems to be no shortage of residents “trying to control land they do not own” as well.
Parking options on 28th cut in half
Packed house for Greenwood development meeting
Bikini espresso stand to open on 15th
Backyard cottages may soon be allowed in Ballard
Neighbors hear homeless shelter plans
I personally don't care one way or the other about the trail but these businesses are just as much a part of Ballard as you and they are just as entitled to involvement in the process as you.
So, people complain that business in Ballard is slowing down, because people don't have jobs. If we made this area too difficult for these businesses to run, they may have to close down, resulting in probably over 100 layoffs. This doesn't help business at all.
They can re-route the trail, somewhere that is out of the way of these business. Maybe Ballard Ave. would benefit from the extra exposure, or maybe even Leary, it is a pretty wide road.
This is an industrial area, you don't go down to Marginal and complain about all the trucks, because its expected, not even that, because its necessary! Its our industry, without it Seattle would be NOTHING.
Well, no matter what the SDOT decides to do, they'll do it two…maybe three times.
And they generally won't ask if it's ok.
OH THE IRONY!!!!!!
Chris demands “….the same degree of lawfulness…..” but the businesses are demonized when they request the government to follow its own regulations that us businesses are made to follow if we are to do any development.
Suffice it to say, most of us are biased due to our own self interest….I own up to that on my behalf. The cyclists and government think that they do not have to go through the same “hoops” as the rest of us do……this trail is in no way justified in being classified the same as a “nature trail” in order to navigate around the appropriate impact studies, etc…………
Sue if you are injured. The railroad has to pay to defend the City, but the City ultimately foots the bill on the settlement and the insurance premiums for the railroad increase. Don't believe me??? Look into it.
Please aresident, show me the study that recommended this street as the choice for the bike continuation. Show me that study! Do it!!!! This was street was NOT the recommended solution. Prove me wrong, please!!!!
I personally raised heck about this road and used photos, the threat of the press, and attorneys to get this road “re painted” a week after is was painted in a more confusing manner than it is now………….SDOT makes The Three Stooges look like intellectuals. No wonder, though, with Nickels at the helm!
It was pretty much inevitable that they would sue. I'm glad they at least did it quickly. This goes straight to superior court, right? Hopefully this last shot of the head-in-the-gravel obstructionists can be disposed of quickly.
aresident, but that's the way it goes in seattle…
…a few vocal folks, well, we can get anything stopped.
That's why leaders are SO important.
Too bad we don't have any.
The BNT implies in their article that it goes straight to superior court: http://www.ballardnewstribune.com/2009/07/14/ne…
Maybe a bike tunnel through that area would work?
Ballard Biz Owner — here it is…
At the bottom of this page, you will see the links to the 2003 Study of three alternate routes, with files of the extensive comments made regarding each route alternative.
Why not simply make it mandatory these incessant bike riders get a license plate, big enough for all to see, and use this money for their cause(s)? Why is it bike riders are like alcoholics, in that it's all about them? Takes one to know one. Some here FEEL it's all about them and their bikes. I ask them to dump all of their vehicles. I ask them to pay for their shit. Are there any oposition organizations oposite the CBC? Or are they like the democrats and their one party rule too? Let's just close all businesses. Let's mandate no ownership of cars in Seattle then too while at it fellow utopians. After all, it's all about you bike riders, the less than 1 % making urgent decisions for us all. Squeaky wheels get greased. Bleeping whiners. I want I want I want. No, I demand I demand I demand. Spoiled kids now grown up.
I notice that none of the anti-S&G folks posting above has provided any reason not to run the trail down Leary instead.
Well, maybe an elevated bike path would cost less.
-it wouldn't get used by trail users
-it would be more disruptive to every mode of transportation (freight, bus, other vehicles)
-the volumes on Leary are too great to eliminate a lane of traffic for a separated trail (as opposed to NW45th)
-there are too many roadway intersections that a trail here would cross
-there are too many business driveways that a trail here would cross.
by the by, I”m not anti-SBSG. I just think they are being somewhat hypocritical — use as much of the public right of way as they do, knowing that the City agreed not to build the trail in front of their business, already having their main truck depot located where trucks have to cross the trail (they moved there after the Trail was built –), having signed on the dotted line, on their franchise agreement, in 1997, acknowledging that the City could and would build a trail — obviously, the process allows them to fight this further, but let's not think of them as a poor aggrieved business. Their eyes have been wide open the whole time — they just don't like the decision that was made by our electeds in 2003
Can I just say that bicyclists will not be the only tax payers using this (no longer) missing link?
I have a bike, but I enjoy walking. Today if I want to walk the Burke Gilman trail from Fremont to the Locks, it disappears just past Fred Meyer, dumping me out in an inhospitable and dangerous area.
I could get hit by a truck because of visibility issues and poor traffic control.
I could fall and break my neck because of broken pavement.
I could get jumped after dark.
If I didn't know the area, I could get good and lost.
As a pedestrian, I want a safe, well lit, well signed, properly paved trail.
I promise to let bikes, kids, scooters, strollers, dogs, tricycles, joggers and skateboarders use it too.
WWAAAAA WWWAAAAAAA We're not getting our way! WWWWWAAAAAAA!!!!!! Typical Seattle entitlement-elitists. Bicycle enthusiasts are the worst of the bunch.
See you in court.
And why would having the trail continue along Ballard ave prevent you from enjoying your stroll?
Because 'controlling' is talking point used by the left.
PRior to this conceptual design, there was a commisioned study years previously….I am getting older and my memory fails at times, but I am 90% certain that this is after the study that submitted a half dozen recommendations to the City.
Ym – did I say anything about a route preference?
I think the industrial businesses on Shilshole could probably care less about environmental impact and their statement is just a way to not have to come out and say “I don't want anything interrupting the ease of my business practices – legal or neighborly or not”
That said I'm not very impressed with Seattle's “bike friendly” reputation. I think it's a bare minimum of work they do so they can claim they are bike friendly. Some bike lanes are so narrow I don't see how a bicyclist could fit in them and some bike lanes have pictures of bikes in them but appear to be nothing more than the right or left lane (at least there is no signs telling people not to drive in them). Most bike lanes also double as turn lanes for cars. And bike lanes with no signs that look like nothing more than a shoulder running along the right side of the street when there are a lot of right turns seems like a recipe for disaster. Drivers rarely look back to see if there is anyone zooming up on their right before they make a right turn and if it is sunny and you can't see the blinker or the driver doesn't turn on his blinker the biker can't anticipate if the car is going to turn right. I'm not even a bicyclist! I see these things when I am driving my car. I'm sure people who commute by bicycle could list a hundred more hazards in our “bike friendly” city.
It is a farce. You are very correct. The City needs to follow the same laws, requirements, and regulations as us business owners do. SDOT has proven their incompetence under Nickels' regime. I have a sport court in my backyard that I later came to find was concrete that SDOT workers had “excess” and was sent to my house for the pour by the contractor…who I later found was a foreman for…you guessed it, SDOT. Oh, by the way, the work was shoddy, what a surprise!
The loudest WAAA WWWAA whining I hear in this scenario is coming from the BUSINESSES. They're reneging on their franchise agreement and on the “compromise” interim plan that they previously agreed to. The fact that they're using a frivolous lawsuit based on a “waa, it's not fair” complaint that the city hasn't done an adequate environmental impact assessment takes the whining to new heights of disingenuous BS.
All in the name of free parking and a toy railroad on the public right of way. Grow up, get over it, stop wasting our time and taxpayer money obstructing a trail that's going to happen either way.
Then speak up and offer something positive instead of a complaint. Seems Ballard Ave is a great compromise that will please everyone.
This is not a question of either business or bikes. The businesses are just being obstinate and obstructionist because they can. It's really that simple. Bikes and businesses can and will coexist, but their drivers might have to look left, right and left before pulling out into the road. That's it. No business will close over this.
If any business that isn't doing well does go under for any reason, I bet they will blame the trail, the commies, the lefties, Obama, the Chinese, and any and every other scapegoat they can think of.
“We're not getting our way,” SaltyRod? Isn't one party having their way with a public right of way, anyway?
WWAAAAA WWWAAAAAAA We're not getting our way! WWWWWAAAAAAA!!!!!! Typical Seattle entitlement-elitists. Salmon Bay & friends are the worst of the bunch.
See you in court.
Is this true? I've got an email in to the Chamber to confirm, and to see if it's possible to see how the votes went.
Here's a list of their officers and businesses:
None of their businesses would be significantly impacted by loss of parking down near SB&G. Why in the world would they support such an unpopular lawsuit? I was giving Snoose Junction the benefit of the doubt, but if Mark voted for this again I'm going to be royally pissed.
The “highest and best use” for that land is very arguably a continuation of the trail. It will benefit the most people. It will improve our quality of life, and our safety.
There are plenty of businesses that would love to be located on such a popular trail. Could you make some money by leasing some of your trail-front property to them?
That's quite a rant, but the reality is that cars are heavily subsidized through our taxes…taxes that all of us pay, and it's the cars that always get the attention and money. How many billions get poured into pavement every year with no attention to bikes at all? I'm not even a cyclist on anything close to a regular basis so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I can see that this is really just a cranky bunch of old men who don't want to look both ways before pulling out into traffic. Really, what else is the impact of having a bike lane?
Yeah, you guys might be correct. Long time buinesses that have employed numerous people, served the marine industry that has been vital to Ballard, and paid large amounts in taxes should not fight for their existence, and accept that the City can avoid the very regulations that are currently in place and make it so costly to do modernizations-upgrades on our own propertiesand facilities!
If your existence was at stake, I bet you would put up a heck of a fight to……..wrong or right?
From the article, “A coalition of Ballard industrial businesses filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court challenging the city’s plans to fill the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman trail.”
I would love to know more about these businesses. Can anyone point me to a list?
Silver sorry I was called away and wanted to expand. I am also a walker and I never walk on Shilshole for obvious reasons. Cutting over to Ballard Ave is not in any way an imposition. Why exactly is it so necessary for the trail to be on Shilshole. Near Gasworks the trial is separate from the industrial traffic on Northlake yet Northlake is often slowed by cyclists who refuse to stay on the trail. Maybe someone can tell why? Why not Ballard Ave? Why insist on being on Northlake?
We do look left, right, and left right now……..so why not keep it as it is?? the cyclists are going to go where THEY want to go…….I find it difficult to believe that they are going to follow the trail up to Ballard Ave and not just continue down Shilshole………what do you think about that portion of the trail????
Hello? The interim Missing Link plan that they're suing to block runs down Ballard Avenue.
None of their businesses would be “directly impacted” but they are showing leadership for the Ballard business community as a whole. While most of you are looking at this from your own myopic point of view, the Chamber looks at this in the entirety……..Thank Goodness!
A bike only ferry through the canal would bypass the industrial area.
Here's your chance to make a rational argument for how your very existence is threatened by the Missing Link. Please, enlighten us.
But please spare us the fake concern for cyclists' safety in your response, because your obstructionist tactics are putting us at greater risk, because guess what, the CURRENT situation on Shilshole is more dangerous than anything the Missing Link would bring. And as someone that rides that road at least twice a day, my safety and existence are at stake too.
this is a big fat joke.
what the hell does that train carry anyway?
what kind of goods need to be shipped back and forth five blocks?
rip those damn tracks out already. get on with it seattle–we need our exercise. unless you want to be over-run with industrial obesity…
Very good call, glad these businesses filed suit. Bicyclists need to obey the rules of the road and there's no reason it can't simply be repaved and stay the same it is today.
Here's to that! Anyone have a list? I'd love to be a more informed consumer on this issue…
9th Annual Ballard P-Patch Art in the Garden Festival
Saturday July 18th 10am to 6pm
8527 25th Ave NW, Seattle, Wa 98117
9 musical acts
Bake sale, silent auction, Baccus crowns, free coffee & doghnuts. Kids eat free all day.
free parking–free admission
Well that's nice.
“refuse to stay on the trail”? really? bike trails are options, not bike ghettos.
the bike trail at Northlake is a glorified sidewalk that runs right by people's doorsteps, and has several intersections with poor sightlines. not to mention often full of joggers with earbuds, double-wide strollers, etc.
it's often safer for all involved and more convenient to bike in the road, which, may I remind you, is LEGAL. share the road. we all pay for it.
This might be a good time for people interested in getting this trail completed to contribute to the Burke-Gilman Trail Legal Defense Fund, managed by Cascade Bike Club:
Found it, from the BNT site:
Will post list below, where it's more visible
ewas trying to get a story posted—sorry about that Silver
Entities filing the lawsuit:
Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel
Ballard Chamber of Commerce
Seattle Marine Business Coalition
Ballard Oil Company
North Seattle Industrial Association
Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing & Industrial Center
(from the PDF of the lawsuit, from BNT)
S&G and Ballard Oil are the only ones identifying themselves individually. Anyone know the membership of those other organizations?
I'm not suggesting a boycott. I think those businesses need to know how the community feels about this.
No they are suing to block the trail along Shilshole.
A few years ago, the Dutch authoritarian elitist regime paved bike trails everywhere in the country, including the capital, and the country's most important commercial and industrial cities.
The horror, the horror, you can bike everywhere, and it's considered an utterly heinous crime to not give right of way to the pesky two-wheelers.
As you can imagine, the economy collapsed.
Old businesses of old Ballard: scutter!
You seem to be a highly intelligent person. The biggest reason for me is INSURANCE. We have never had an accident on premises, nor do I plan on it. Currently, we load and unload trucks without interfering with traffic. That will change with the trail.
I have representatives visit our site every few years. Our premiums are affected my their reports and our experience factor (claims). One gentleman told me that the bike trail will definitely impact my premiums and if I were to ever be refused coverage by a carrier…well you can do the math on that one! From then on I would have that black mark of having been “dropped-denied” and no matter the reason that is a large obstacle. I will not operate without proper insurances. I have competitors that do, I will not.
It may be hard to believe, but it is a fact of life for me. Oh, and I appreciate you to be gracious enough to allow me the opportunity to state a part of my case.
Also, please be careful with your name calling. I have not used any obstructionist tactics……unless you are a person who thinks anyone with an opposing view to your own is an obstructionist.
Can we get a list of businesses in the Chamber that voted for this? And also a list of the business in the North Seattle Industrial Association? I am a Ballard cyclist that votes with his wallet.
What business do you Ballardbizowner? Bet you don't have the guts to tell us.
What makes you think you deserve a path with no intersections etc? The roads also run in front of people’s houses and business and have frequent blind intersections? Or do you maybe ignore those? You seem to be the one unwilling to share the road…with joggers with earbuds, double-wide strollers, and also gravel trucks it seems. Sorry you re just not special.
I'm not a driver, business owner, or a bicyclist, but it seems to me it would be in everyone's best interest to have the trail extending through. Those truck drivers are supposed to be paying attention, anyway, right? And the more people able to safely go through that area would look good for the businesses there. I'm hearing talk of boycott on this thread. Do they want that? Apparently.
I think cyclists absolutely should vote with their wallets, and I think these businesses should have the courage to identify themselves. Still waiting for Ballard Biz Owner to step up and reveal the name of his or her business.
Yeah, when I said “not suggesting a boycott” I hadn't noticed the Chamber of Commerce in there. I think boycotting Ballard industry would be a completely different thing from shifting your purchases away from local retail businesses who were in favor of this, to ones that weren't. I hope we can identify the Chamber members who voted for this, assuming this is something they vote on.
Ballard Chamber has a statement:
LOL You are correct, vandalism will result. Why the threating tone for me? Due to the fact that I am on the opposition to what you desire? I asked City reps at a meeting why they don't buy out the Railroad and make the trail properly…..years ago. I hope I have not partaken in the name calling and threatening nature as you have done…if I have, I do apologize, but otherwise….grow up. A cyclist boycott would have no impact on my biz…..sorry! :)
I hope this is the link you want for the Chambe Members
Hey, BBO, can you give us any insight into the Ballard Chamber process for taking this action? Is this something they (you?) voted on? Are those votes public?
I'm sure some businesses would like to hide behind the Chamber when taking a controversial stance like this, but presumably some would be open to discussion.
Don't know the answer to your question, but Byron Cole who is with the railroad gave Richard McIver, city councilman, a campiagn contribution. Push on him maybe?
I am a pedestrian who lives up by Fred Meyer and we always walk the “trail” to Ballard when we go out. I wish more people would walk through there on a regular basis, not just bikes. Power in numbers!
You know they're lying liars when they describe the BG trail as “recreational”. Geez. No one commutes to their JOB on the trail, do they? That's not real business use, just play time.
Please. A.) I didn't engage in name calling. B.) Please. Cyclists are not going to vandalize your business. Most of us are professionals with families and we have far better things to do with our time – like donate money to fight this lawsuit, which I intend to do. C.) If by threat you meant my promise to vote with my wallet, then I find it hard to believe that your business would not be impacted by a cyclist boycott. But we won't know for sure because you are unwilling to take a public stand.
Can't utilize a little common sense here? Why not keep a “missing link” but reroute cyclists up Ballard Ave, which most would be happy to do anyway? Cyclists stay safe and the businesses get to keep being oblivious to cyclists. As a cummuter who uses the Interburban “trail” I can tell you that we've been spoiled by the Burke. Generally I get about a flat a month due to all of the construction and industry, so I'm happy to deal with a couple of cobblestones on Ballard Ave.
@Ballard Biz owner – If Sue is injured, it's not about if Seattle will settle or repay her medical bills. It's about time. Time off of work, time off of the bike, time off of other recreational activities. It's not always about the money. I love the light industry and bussinesses in Ballard, but let's make sure everyone can enjoy it.
Hmmmm… perhaps a protest walk is in order – so we pedestrians and drivers can show that it isn't just bicyclists that support the trail completion.
These are businesses that have long been contributors to the community, providing jobs and livelihoods. It is reasonable that they have concern of the potential negative impact or risk to their business models and their jobs. It is disappointing the lack of understanding from the folks that will only benefit and are not being asked to sacrifice. I'm sure you might feel differently if it was being built to run through your backyard.
I own my backyard. They don't own the street.
If their business model no longer fits in the community, then it's time to move.
How about a positive response? E.g., a weekly bar night at a bar that is NOT a member of the Ballard Chamber? I didn't see KISS Cafe on the Chamber directory; I'm sure there are several others.
It would have to be well-publicized and large (ideally, large enough to be covered by BNT, MyBallard, etc.) to make an impact.
take your meds!
If the BG bordered my backyard, I would build a lemonade stand.
Come on, business owners, think creatively. Take lemons and make lemonade!
Just because one belongs to an association doesn't mean that they believe in all of the “political stances” of that association. The Ballard Chamber of Commerce exists to promote and help the businesses in Ballard.
Honestly, it is not a powerful entity. This is America at work, checks and balances, baby! Two opposing viewpoints involving people with many various agendas.
I wonder if this were a separate issue not involving cycling; if these same people would be upset by the City's ability to avoid proper procedures and regulations for development that all of the rest of us citizens and business owners have to follow. What do you think that answer is?
I will not go onto Ballard Ave. I will continue to take Shilshole. Ballard Ave has a market running through it all day Sunday anyhow. The trail belongs on the old rail grade, you can spend your money on lawyers but I still think you will loose. Most of the drivers I encounter turning onto Shilshole are courteous, some not. If the Insurance is the biggest concerns you should work with the city to create an incentive where you would get some funds back for the difference in coverage. You wanna talk about law suits, specifically directing cyclists onto wet cobble could pose a liability issue and safety concern.
you're in Ballard silly, this is the most left leaning district in the country. Please move back to Redmond!
Much as the city has failed to do environmental reviews for Gas Works Park and the actiivities it wants to authorize there.
And SDOT is the worst. They're arrogant, unresponsive, intractable and — oh yeah — they have major management and morale issues. You know….as in $500,000, 8000-page reports of how screwed up they are.
The only way you can get SDOT and the City of Seattle to obey the law is to sue them. Hell of a way to run a government.
As for Cascade and its vocal minority of neo-lobbyists: Oh, boo-hoo. Call me when you start registering your bikes, paying license fees and stop making insanely unsafe maneuvers on city streets, trying to prove YOU own the right of way. The 4000-lb vehicle is ALWAYS going to win.
“I share the road with responsible cyclists. The others can eat my bumper!”
What a deep thinker! Lemonade! Need to get that health card, license, better get eco friendly cups!!!!
If I were Ballard Oil, Salmon Bay, Trident Seafoods, Ballard Railroad I would close my doors and go lemonade!!!!!!!!
Headlines should have been:
SDOT creates order when parking chaos was on 28th Ave.
What wrong with Bikini's?
another person who needs to go back to the east side
This is getting absurd.
I'm a cyclist, a driver and a lifelong Ballard resident with a vested interest in solving the bike trail issue. Due to the increased volume of vehicle, bike and pedestrian traffic, this stretch of road is a prime candidate for a fatality accident. Something needs to be done soon.
First: Shilshole Avenue is *NOT* an appropriate street for a bikepath!! It is an industrial arterial, and industry is what this section of Ballard is about – whether you like it or not. It is ignorant to ignore this basic fact. Why people are biking with their small children, and worse – jogging with headphones – is unbelieveable to me! Ballard Avenue, a block away, is a much safer, more interesting, and logical choice. Try it! Before you get killed! In our family, we do not ride Shilshole under any circumstances. I refuse to take responsibility for putting our children in harm's way just because some idiot bureaucrats have labelled this a “bike route”. Highway 101 is supposed to be a “bike route”, too; tell that to the RVs that run you off the road. Been there, done that.
Second: Vilifying Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel is not going to resolve the issue. It is ridiculous to make them the bad guy – it is akin to suburban dwellers who complain about the odor of cow manure from neighboring farms. Hel-lo! Are the farmers supposed to move away? Is Salmon Bay supposed to reconfigure their entire ingress and egress because cyclists refuse to accept the fact they are choosing to ride where cement trucks and forklifts enter the roadway?
Third: The hobby railroad guys with their locomotive have always been grumpy towards anyone who interferes with their random toot-tooting down the tracks. On the face of it, however, they appear to be quite old, so maybe this aspect of the issue will run its course. I can tell you one thing, the tracks will always be there (who has money to yank them out?), so if you don't have the skills to navigate over train tracks, do so at your own risk.
Fourth: Bike etiquette, people! I see so many experienced cyclists – who KNOW BETTER – riding side by side on Shilshole, oblivious (or arrogantly defiant) towards the traffic behind them. I guess I'll just swerve into the oncoming lane and risk my family's safety so you can have your recreational moment. Come on.
I cringe on a daily basis as I commute along this road. I have a great deal of empathy for the children whose parents naively choose to pedal with their families here. At the minimum, until the “trail” is completed, there should be VERY SPECIFIC SIGNAGE warning people what they will encounter here. For crying out loud, the city spent money on elaborate signage at Green Lake, spelling out the “dangers” of feeding the rabbits. One would think this issue warrants more due diligence.
Hey BBO……were these guys the “Polynesian Mafia” that works at SDOT???
I agree with your first paragraph completely. That's why I'd like to know which individual businesses in the Chamber wanted this lawsuit to happen, and which are just along for the ride. I would particularly like to know if there are any businesses who are willing to disagree with the Chamber on this issue publicly. They'd get extra patronage from me.
Your question doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Would the people who are interested and invested in this particular issue be interested and invested in some other unspecified issue? No… no, I suppose not.
maybe an environmental assessment of those businesses along the shoreline is in order. I know first hand what a complete pit the bay cafe is. I agree with Chris. If you want to use a public road for your employee parking, loading zone, staging area then maybe you should pay to fix it too. Better the money spent on that instead of lawyers.
The biggest problem is that the mayor does not have the balls to use eminent domain and assert the way of way that the city already has. Can't wait for McCheese to go but that another topic!
I looked at the proposed trail and was left slack jawed with the detour through Ballard Avenue. I cannot imagine many cyclists using it and I would bet that those various small businesses would be unaffected by this. I would think that the trail would have its highest usage on weekends, and I would think the Ballard Ave shops would be at their peak at this time, too.
As a person who is employed by a small ballard business I am totally against the trail in this current location. It will take away my livelyhood and put at least one more person on the unemployment line. As it is there is little parking in the area and people who are coming from outside of the Ballard area are deciding to shop elsewhere if they can. If this continues, the small business I work at will move elsewhere. If you are looking to see a ghost town during the day and all bars at night then you might think this isn't such a bad idea.
My personal view of cyclists is that the majority are rude, insensitive and dangerous and feel they own the road and sidewalks with no concern for anyone elses saftey. Now I know that is not true of all cyclist, but it is true of enough of them to make a huge impact on the rest of us. When you decide to run a red light that also has a “Do Not Walk” for the crossing and then get angry at people who are following the law then shame on you. Pedestrians get jaywalking tickets, cyclists should be held to the same standards. I have seen too many times cyclists riding too fast on the sidewalk and either practically running over the elderly or scaring them half to death because the come so close and they can't get out of the way or don't even see them if they come up from behind.
If you really are ready to put your money where your mouth is then license bicycles, license riders and if you break a law you get a ticket, just like a motorist. That way you will be paying for your trails instead of leeching off of other taxpayers. You seem to want to use the road but not pay for it. If you want to pull the environmental issue then lets turn that stretch into electric car parking like they do in Portland. To encourage people to use electric cars they have spaces just for them that others are not allowed to park in. That should satify both the environmental and business aspect.
Good idea, Silver.
It is legal in Seattle for cyclists to ride two abreast. The traffic behind them needs to cool their jets. Or maybe, I don't know, build a bike path?
This is the most honest and intelligent post of this thread. I have been amazed, given how many bars are in the area, that a cyclist has yet to be killed.
However, looking at it in another way……perhaps it has not happened due to the awareness of all involved and it shows that a trail is really not needed…….joking!!! :)
1st: Sorry you're a big puss…lol
2nd: They are the bad guys. They want all the room to play with thier Tonka trucks and have free parking for the employees
3rd: If the tracks are for some hobby, thats absurd. I always though there was legit business being conducted. They hardly run anyhow so they are not a safety concern
4th: I will take the lane that is afforded to me by law and will use as much of it as I need to ride safely. Maybe you can take the moment is explain what the word patience is to your kids. We are not all riding for recreation.
I like that idea, Gurple. Maybe together with Silver's. Do a protest walk to The Lockspot? Didn't see them on the chamber list either.
I don't understand why people are trotting out the “bicyclists are rude and ride aggressively” points in this thread.
I heartily agree that a minority of bicyclists gives the rest of us a bad name, and I yell at them when I see them. Loud.
But what does that have to do with whether and where a trail is built? It's not like the trail can be held out to cyclists as some kind of cookie for being good. If anything, cyclists behaving worse would cause more accidents and highlight the need for a trail that much more.
“I guess I'll just swerve into the oncoming lane and risk my family's safety so you can have your recreational moment.”
Speaks volumes about how much you care about public safety versus getting to the next red light 5 seconds faster. This is a public right of way. Every member of the public should be able to walk along and cross the street safely!
These businesses are threatening an injunction against moving the tracks, which hundreds of unsuspecting bicyclists have crashed on. The planned route actually gives them a safe passage to Ballard Ave., past dozens of merchants. Get your facts straight!
These business owners believe they have some right to the roads over the rest of us citizens due to their tenure and employing a few hundred people…..many I would wager don't even reside in Seattle! I heard that one of the strategies that some of these businesses were going to employ- to push cyclists from the sidewalks – was to have outdoor seating areas, such as a cafe. The tactics of these owners are reprehensible!
So, thousands of people who would walk or bike to your business should be made less able to do so, because you'll have to park another block away? Ridiculous and repugnant.
Correction: they do have the same right to the road. What they're trying to take is ALL of it, at the expense of your safety.
Oy veh. YM – you seems to be suffering from a serious case of “carhead”. You complain about cyclists that “refuse to stay on the trail”, but fault them for trying to build a trail in Ballard. You ask for someone to please tell you why cyclists sometimes ride on Northlake instead of the sidewalk/trail, and then when I do, you take offense?
Dear dear dear. I share the road and the trail every day. I have no choice. You're the one implying that cyclists have no right to ride where they feel safest. Or even just where we please, as long as it's legal.
If you're going to participate in discussions about cars, bikes, and safety, would it be that hard to learn a little bit about the issues involved?
even worse than poorly marked trails and dangerous parking situation, i can't understand why there has not been a neighborhood drive for a parking garage in ballard for visitors and locals, this is a vibrant neighborhood which has improved a great deal in the last 20 yearswith resturants and stores and a great sunday market but sometimes i don't want to come back after struggling to park. and i do ride the bus or walk the mile.
“So you can have your recreational moment” I commute by bike, so do many others. It's not just recreation. Some how I doubt you're a cyclist when you say things like that.
A.) Please explain exactly how a bike path would cause you to lose your job.
B. I commute to work by both bike and car and see an identical level of rudeness and clueless behavior from cyclists and motorists; it's human nature; the world is full of rude people and stupid people and no mode of transport has a monopoly on jerky behavior.
C.) I am a homeowner; we pay property tax; we have two cars, one of which I seldom drive but, nonetheless, I pay taxes on. Most cyclists are similar in this regard. I am not leaching off of anybody, kitty. Pretty sure I doled out at least as much in taxes that go to roads, etc. as you did last year.
It's probably obvious to all reading this, but I have to vent:
Environmental impact from cyclists? Really? Also, the mixture of cyclists and industrial areas you speak of has long been a forgone conclusion. Only right now the trucks are much more likely to hit us than if we had a trail to be on.
Unfortunately I'm not versed enough on the politics of this to know the real motivation. It'd be nice, however, if they said what it was. Are we, perhaps, taxing them to build this? If it's something like that I would feel much less hate for these groups.
Amen. I rode my bike to work today over the tracks and I try not to shudder every time, after hearing about everything from skinned knees to fractured skulls. I pay taxes too- 92% of funding for local roads comes from property and sales taxes.
Here's a better link for a whole slew of Ballard Chamber members — on this page, the PDF on the right, with the viking on the cover, takes you to a full list — within that PDF, the Chamber members are highlighted in cream.
We would have to ask the Chamber about their decision process, but it appears to have been made very hastily, with urgency, just yesterday, and without an opportunity for any reasoned discussion of the rationale for doing so.
As to the argument that the 'city has to go through all the processes that businesses do', well, that's just what the City did, and determined that this project, which will involve drainage, roadway, lighting, access improvements, did not meet criteria for a 'full' SEPA analysis. The Hearing Examiner agreed. Case would normally be closed right there.
Appealing this ruling is the only option trail opponents, including the Chamber have. What does the Chamber hope to get out of the full SEPA — another couple hundred grand spent and wasted to 'prove' that some parking will disappear? We know that already.
And I would add, as Silver and others have done, this is not a 'bike trail'
“Environmental impact from cyclists?”
Ummmm, the environmental impact of the construction process needs to be addressed. There are utilities that need to be relocated — hydrants, power lines, power poles, etc.
I know that most just see “bike trail for me” and that is the depth, thus they become angry with others who raise questions and oppose their view. Much like when humans add a new species of fish to a lake…..there are future ramnifications that often aren't considered by those with a narrow agenda.
I would LOVE to see adult cyclists taxed, but realistically, that is a poor rebuttal from those opposed to a trail. If I understand this correctly, most of the money for the trail expansion is federal dough…..I may be incorrect. The objection is not a bout building a trail, it is about the location…..come on cyclists, be rational.
Regarding 28th Ave NW, the land in question is owned by the homeowners adjacent to that land. They could all reclaim it from parking if they liked by paying for the improvements to install curbs and turning it into lawns and gardens. The city has suggested this as well. The “change” was to enforce the existing parking regulation in the face of haphazard, rude and disrespectful parking problems. In a wheelchair? Have a stroller? Park your car in a driveway that was constantly blocked? You can now return to 28th Ave NW and enjoy a stroll on the sidewalk and no longer have to worry about a car parked on it!
What kind of leadership is it if it alienates customers and the immediate community / citizenry of the neighborhood? What good does this obstructionism on behalf of two businesses do for the “business community as a whole”?
So with the trail, you'll be loading and unloading in the street? I get that you'll lose free parking, and that you'll have to do your business on your own property instead of part of the public right of way, but without knowing your business this is just a bit hard to understand.
And you seem quite vulnerable to a lawsuit as it stands, especially if one of your drivers hits a cyclist on Shilshole pre-trail.
If this goes through, we'd of course ALL want the trail-driveway intersections to be well designed, lit, signed, etc.. for maximum visibility and safety. I bike past the Freemont gravel site all this time, and that seems to be working out just fine.
From the lawsuit, you seem to imply that professional drivers are not going to be able to see or stop for cyclists, but at a driveway that crosses a trail, speeds will be low, they'll stop, look, and go. When pulling in, they can slow down too, no?
As for “obstructionist”, didn't you agree to have the trail as part of the original agreement and then the “compromise”? And why sue Cascade as part of your suit?
It makes me sick that the Ballard Chamber is sacrificing all the other businesses in Ballard for these few obstructionists. Lots of business owners around Ballard want this trail amenity completed. They see the opportunity this truly is, bringing more people on the trail and providing other options besides cars for people in central Ballard.
I'M STAYING HOME FROM THE SEAFOODFEST THIS YEAR! and every year from now on until the Ballard Chamber gets it.
The reason I would be out of a job is because the business would close because there is no parking for customers. As it is now there is very little and customers complain or just don't come anymore. If another 143+- parking spaces are taken away it will only make it harder for local businesses to survive and they will move to places like West Seattle, Burien, Bellevue or Lynnwood. Some place that is too far to take the bus and too expensive for me to drive.
It is not that I am against a bike trail, just not in that location. When I do have to drive it is nearly impossible to find parking.
Lastly, if there is a trail who is to say that cyclists will actually use it. When coming out of Fred Meyer by the brewery the cyclists never stay on the path and have actually run into me in my car, then refused to pay for the damage, had no i.d. and rode off before the police came.
Ballard Biz OWner,
Wow. Who knew? You are a real eco-warrior. I thrilled and relieved to find out that the owner of an industrial business along the waterfront (supposedly) is so sensitive to environmental concerns. I bet you drive a Prius. ( We know you don't bike to work.) I'm sure everybody reading this thread thinks you're in it for the birds and the fish. Sure you are.
I'm sure you are in favor of detailed expensive in-depth environmental impact studies every time a street is repaved, repainted or the city has to move a few hydrants or light poles. That's a great idea. Let's raise taxes on businesses to pay for it.
You want to tax cyclists? I'm happy to pay a registration fee. Licensing and testing? Bring it on. But we need infrastructure to get around safely.
Given the obesity epidemic and the horrific cost of our dependence on foreign oil, cycling presents an elegant solution for many people. It's may not be for everybody, (neither is driving) but it is part of the solution to a number of problems we face, and I, for one, am sick of people who are stuck in the past, defending a status quo that clearly isn't working. I am also sick of the nimby mentality that prevents anything from getting done in this town.
So that's plus one for Nickels.
Minus the rest of his shenanigans, he's still -24134
In case you aren't aware, there is a bike trail that goes along W. Marginal, right through some of the most industrial parts of Seattle. It's called the Duwamish Trail.
Yeah right lemonade is really going to replace the income from sand and gravel. Join the real world.
But it does Daisy.
I use to have a bike. I rode it over on that street right after getting it tuned up. I got caught in the tracks and fell into the roadway. A car just missed me.
A bad place to put a bike trail.
This is a complete farce. There are multiple trails in the area that go through industrial zones. The Duwamish Trail is along Marginal Way, the Green River Trail cuts through industrial Tukwila, and there is a bike path through Harbor Island for crissakes. Industry still thrives in these areas, in spite of the “impact” of bicyclists riding next to their businesses.
So your issue is with the insurance companies, not the bike trail. We all want an option that allows for pedestrian/car/bike safety, while keeping costs low for businesses. There isn't a need to be on opposite sides. I know its hard to believe, but some solutions can resolved without pointing fingers and going into “us against them” mode. There are plenty of intelligent people involved in this situation, “Salty Rod” not being one of them, who wish for an amicable decision.
I ride my bike. I understand the financial obligations of the businesses. Its absurd that their premiums should go up because of the bike path. I'm sure there is a cyclist who owns an insurance company that will ensure these companies when the Missing Link gets built.
Ps. Use your real names, we are adults.
My apologies for the spelling errors. I'm worthless w/o spell check.
Fine. More room in the beer garden this year. But to boycott this festival (or any festival) because you don't support those who run it is silly. There will be plenty of businesses and vendors there who likely have nothing to do with any of this, even many on your side who want the trail completed.
Not to mention Art and craft vendors who work hard to make what they sell.
You should post this on the other forum about 28th if you have not. The ownership of that area is a detail we should all know about.
As for “strolls on 28th” they can enjoy them until south of 56 when the sidewalk bascially disapears and deadends at a 4 way stop with 2 lights. Pedestrian access to market along 28th is a much bigger issue than the confusion of the parking on that lone strip.
P.S. Do you know who was responsible for cutting back the massive hedge on West Side of 28th, was it the city, or someone else?
so because you can't pay attention and do not have the skill to ride safely, there should not be a trail? Putting the trail in would keep you from having to cross the rail lines too many times and there would be no cars on it!
Not a bad idea, but where would you put it? I don't see anywhere we could even fit a parking garage big enough to suite the rising need.
Nicklebag is no fans of cyclists. He only wants to appear green and get $ and endorsements! I would love to see him peddle his fat ass to city hall from West Seatown.
Bicyclists are rude? Not like the nice, gentle, always appropriate workers at the sand/gravel/oil companies and docks.
You don't explain why you would lose your job. Have you stopped to notice how many cyclists stop at coffee shops, restaurants and bars during their rides.
You are right, there isn't much parking, so maybe you should ride your bike to work.
Give me a break.
Same thing happened to me last week, which is why you need a trail.
Show me an EIS that was done on a right of way project to move a hydrant. What's your business called, Lies 'R Us?
Any good business owner knows the value of walk-in traffic. And there is ample parking within a few blocks. If you cared enough to attract customers, you would walk an extra block and let customers use your spot.
I think you may need to sweeten that lemonade, Silver – looks like some faces are getting scrunched up.
I drive this street multiple times daily and it's dangerous for cars AND bikes…I wouldn't say that it is all industry's fault…they have an industry and they have to drive trucks/forklifts in and out of there every day…it's that the whole strip is lined with these types of businesses. Hey I'm all for bike trails, but putting a bike trail there is just asking for trouble. At the end of the day its more important to be ALIVE than technically in the right. Shilshole is already getting terrible traffic…a bike trail will only make it worse.
The most sensible thing would be to replace the rail line with a trail. That rail line is used only enough so people can continue to lay a claim to it. Land grab absurdity.
Ballard avenue is not a good place for the trail as there is way too much traffic — both car and foot. People stepping out of bars and stores, parking. That rail line is the perfect place.
I think the lemonade was figurative.
As far as sand and gravel goes, I have other options and it's shortsighted to think that just because nobody pulls up on their Schwin 10 speed to pick up a half ton of gravel that they won't lose business over this. You won't see my Ford pulling in their anymore to pick up sand or gravel for any of my projects which is too bad because there are some good people working there, but oh well I'm sure there are good people working for their competition too.
Oh! Did not need that image, Chopper.
The same thing happened to me when I first started riding my bike. I think it's pretty common.
There are two incidents reported on Cascade Bike Club's accident-report site that are very similar:
I would urge you guys to report your accidents there, to help Cascade build a case for the need for a change.
It amazes me how much effort people put into getting their way. What about the great American principle of compromise? There is plenty of room for a train, a bike trail, a street, business access, and parking down the Shilshole Ave corridor.
Today Shilshole Ave looks plain scuzzy. It's a road with a lot of other pavement on both sides. A railroad haphazardly runs down it, sometimes on one side, sometimes the other. People park even more randomly, often on the actual railroad tracks. When the infrequent train comes through, a person has to run ahead of the train, trying to find owners of cars that have parked on the tracks.
*This* is the status quo so many seem to want to preserve? What an irrational use of precious space in an urban area!
Instead, why not use smart design and fit all the uses into the space? Keep the road. Put the tracks and trail on one side. There are rails-with-trails all over the country. Put parking on the other side. Maybe build a parking facility. Make some nice crossings. Lots of designs would work. We have many smart designers all over this city. Some live in Ballard, I'll bet.
I am a biker who would dearly love to see this missing link built. I also am a transit enthusiast who believes rail corridors through urban areas should be preserved. Seattle has proposed building a streetcar line between Fremont and Ballard, mostly on Leary. It should go on this existing rail instead.
Imagine–a nicely landscaped trail, a working transit line, infrequent freight train use, cars accomodated, businesses happy. I don't see the insurmountable barriers. Lack of political will?
With the rest of Ballard becoming a dense urban village, smartly designed, nice looking, and transit friendly, this thrown-together-looking street looks shabby and increasingly out of place.
buy a motorcycle. outlaw biking.
It is a recreational moment when two cyclists are riding side by side chatting, intermittently holding on to their handlebars, as I have seen many times. I understand the difference quite well.
Biking isn't a religion, so calm down. It is an activity, and all of us who enjoy it are frankly embarassed by the militant “take your lane” people who think those who drive cars are the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Drivers are humans, too. Drivers include elderly folks, with not-so-quick reflexes; new drivers, aggressive on the accelerator and distracted drivers, texting, Facebooking, who knows what. Bikers include the same array of imperfect individuals, and somehow, we must all co-exist without killing each other.
My call for better etiquette, understanding what an industrial corridor is, and a suggestion for signage (“Entering a heavy industrial zone with large vehicle traffic, railroad tracks, and gravel shoulders. Extreme caution is advised.”) is a REALITY-BASED idea that has precedent in many, many other recreational venues (beaches, hiking trails, ski runs, etc.).
The businesses on Shilshole are part of our local economy. They've been there longer than you have. Did you know there was a brick factory and a shingle factory and a metal works in that same stretch, back in the day? Does anyone appreciate the fact that once industry moves out of Ballard – and the rest of Seattle, for that matter – we have lost a huge part of our identity and character? Maybe we can turn the Boeing plant into a couple of sports fields and get rid of all of those loud and annoying airplanes, while we're at it.
No one (drivers, bikers, pedestrians) will be safe until we recognize that coexistence – not genocide of the legitimate business presence – is the path to building a solution.
And for the record, I am not “racing from one red light to the next.” I've driven the streets of Ballard (and beyond) by vehicle for 34 years without incident, and biked Ballard since 1968. I think I have a little street cred on this subject.
Probably the best comment I've ever seen on MyBallard.com, good call slj59!
I find it interesting how this has been blowing up online a bit recently as this “battle” has been going on for many many years. The cyclists just never had a leg to stand on before this wave of <strike>condos</strike>progressive thinking hit the community.
the untouchable Grace queen of SDOT has continued to savage the businesses along Shilshole ave. and put bicyclists of all ages in an unsafe corridor.
Gurple said, “This might be a good time for people interested in getting this trail completed to contribute to the Burke-Gilman Trail Legal Defense Fund, managed by Cascade Bike Club: …”
I just donated $30.
Thanks for the link, Gurple!
Now that's reasonable. Expensive, but reasonable. Whatever you think of the plausability of wonk's idea, at least he's not calling anyone names. The venom on this board is absurd. Some of you need to drink decaf.
I've been an avid cyclist for 20+ years, and I'll NEVER ride my bike down that stretch of road…bike path or no bike path. All the fighting over this seems futile to me, 'cause I'll be traveling a safer route to get from Ballard to the BG.
And I've got no beef w/ SBS&G. They're a good company full of good people. Some of you may not agree, but I won't get nuts all sweaty over it.
Yes, I agree. I think you are right about the lack of political will. But just wait until that new hotel is built and tourists are driving/biking down that stretch to get to Fremont, etc. Then the city will take notice of what the tourists see and wa-bam, new zoning comes into play. More retail, more residential and less industry. It's inevitable.
“genocide of the legitimate business presence”.
I'll let that phrase stand for itself, just wanted to point it out.
Well put, transitwonk!
I'd totally vote for you. ;-)
And what would that safer route be? Please share with us a safe way to complete the missing link section, then wait while another group of business owners tells us your route is no good either. Hmmm. I wonder why it took us 30 years to get light rail in this town.
No one has “put” the bicyclists there….unless they are all zombies or replicants or automatons, incapable of free thought, they “put” themselves there.
I put my money where my mouth was and contributed, too. If Cascade is smart, they'll respond to the Geeky Swedes and work with MyBallard to promote their efforts on this issue.
An easement behind the businesses could be made into the trail, terminating at Yankee Diner and then resuming to continue over the existing tracks, where the tracks presently run towards the locks.
Give the businesses a tax break for helping with the necessary work in the easements.
It's the locomotive hobby-guys that are the problem, doesn't anyone get that? Those empty box cars are for them to play with…coupling, incoupling…..there isn't any commerce on that line.
Sorry, that site is actually in FreeBall.
Cascade has posted a note about the appeal:
Wow cyclists are cranky but I suppose I would be also if I was dressed like that in public. They are no better at driving than are the cars. I saw a bike accident and a near accident just on my drive home and in both e bike was at fault. I am sure tomorrow it will be the car that is at fault. Pretty much 6 of one and half a dozen of the other from my observation.
When the Chamber appealed the last trail approval it was the Board of the Ballard Chamber that voted, not the membership, to signon to the appeal. I'd boycott those businesses that are on the Board.
I'll be staying home from their boring litle event called Seafood Fest too, it's a yawner.
Board members and Officers from the Chamber of Commerce website
Brent Siewert (Majestic Bay Theater)
Vice President, Business Development Chair
John Backes (Shoreline Community College)
Vice President, Issues
Barry Hawley (Hawley Realty)
Vice President, Membership
Timo Nørring (Sterling Savings Bank)
Vice President, Programs & Special Events
Michelle Rosenthal (Garvey Schubert Barer)
Michael Hollingsworth (Sterling Saving Bank)
Board of Directors
Mark Ball (Snoose Junction Pizza)
Michael Fancher (Seattle Divorce Services)
Kristen Juan-Snyder (Peoples Bank)
Kerri Lonergran (Lombardi's Neighborhood Italian)
Greg Swanson (Viking Bank)
Well, I can't speak for everyone who lives and works in Ballard, but I've got my own zigzag route between my house and the BG that makes me feel a hell of a lot safer than dodging train tracks and concrete trucks. A bike lane won't make it any safer. And that's my point…anywhere but there.
I've never seen the members list before . I'm impressed. They are good people.
Wow, just, wow. All this over putting a bike trail on a city street that's already part of the bike network and heavily used by cyclists? This would also include a street upgrade for ALL users…make is safer for EVERYONE.
About the comments on Marginal being an example about a place that's not good for bicycle infrastructre…I ride by bike in the downtown core, on Alaska, on E. Marginal Way and over to West Seattle through some of the busiest streets in town all year round. I encounter 18-wheelers, dump trucks, garbage trucks, cement trucks, trains, pedestrians, forklifts, personal motor vehicles of all kinds on a daily basis with little consternation. In fact, Marginal way East and West have both recently had bike infrastructure improvements with zero problems from anyone challenging it. It's increased the amount of cyclists as well, and made track crossings and some street crossings and intersections safer for EVERYONE. What is going on over there in Ballard?
Adult cyclists are taxed. At least, the ones who own their own homes are, because property taxes are what pay for roads within the city of Seattle. So if you want to complain about people not funding the roads that they use, you ought to complain about folks who live in apartments. That sounds pretty shameful, doesn't it? Okay, then.
Car licensing taxes only pay for state highways, which I'm not riding my bike on anyway. Well, there's the I-90 bike trail, but by your metric, I'm covered for that anyway, because guess what? I own a car TOO.
Driving down the road, adding this comment right now from my CrackBerry… just kidding :)
1. More density = more cars in less space
2. More recreational cyclists that aren't as savvy aboout manuvering through the urban landscape as you are
3. Drivers who have adopted Shilshole as their arterial route, driving arterial speeds, because the backups on Leary as it intersects the Ballard Bridge are obscene. See number 1.
4. Bikers weaving off and on the gravel shoulder, which makes their path random and unpredictable – and therefore more hazardous.
5. Joggers who blithely run with the flow of traffic, day and night (!!) with headphones, which means drivers need to cut a wide swath for them, too.
6. Road glare in the afternoon, making it difficult to see all the bikers and runners and random pedestrians running across the street to reach the bars on Ballard Ave.
7. A dangerous, dangerous crossing for westbound cyclists just past the Ballard Bridge that will be the site of a fatality if something isn't done soon.
As an example of how whack this city is regarding road safety, the newly reconfigured intersection near the pitch and putt at Greenlake looks like a Monty Python version of what a regulated intersection should look like: so many signs and green lines and white lines and yellow curbs that if you didn't know where you were going you would surely end up in a wrong way collision. And nothing was wrong with the layout before! Then you have spots like Shilshole, an accident waiting to happen – and you guessed it, no attention being paid at all!
Of course, they don't snowplow or sand Ballard either, so we should be used to the abuse by now!!
Uh, how many cyclists have been killed in Ballard this year? How fast is the planet warming? Let's get our f*****g priorities straight here. The whole of Ballard is a paradise for cars, industry, and business – far, FAR, FFFAAARRR more green and cyclist-safe infrastructure investment is called for. I'm sick of business squawking it suffers too much from simple, but important changes such as this. Screw you guys. I say if they want to play such hardball then, fine, we play some hardball and do some really serious environmental impact reviews of their practices, tax them for their real and actual impact on the environment and our health, and just crawl up their a**h***s until they're willing to participate in at least these extremely elementary aspects of the transportation and climate solutions we need.
No! A bicycle viaduct is the better option.
We enjoy a good debate?
Wow, after reading all this, I just can't wait to get on my bike in 40 minutes for my ride home to Ballard, the last bit of which includes this inglorious stretch of the missing link. Wonder if I'll smell all this venom in the air? As if I wasn't paranoid enough of all the ordinary perils of bike riding! If you see me with my telltale dayglo triangle strapped to my commuter bag, give me a honk or a holler, eh? See if I've managed to sew up the edges of my nerves by then.
Ballard Biz Owner, They are special. They need a special lane for their special bikes. They care not for you, or me, or the impact on the local area. They demand something for nothing. For they are the chosen special few.
Spoken like a genial member of the community….
..or should I say “urban village” ?
Yes, the urban village construct has turned us all into rats in a maze. I didn't choose high density living…it crashed the party and ruined it for everyone.
Ballard is not quaint or cute or authentic any longer. What a mess of traffic, cranky pants people and crumbling infrastructure….
Whoa, wish I'd seen this post earlier today! No joke, my bike got caught in the tracks under the Ballard bridge on my way to work this morning and I fell and broke my elbow. Luckily Swedish is within walking distace :(
One of the nurses told me jokingly that if the BG trail was completed they would have to close for lack of business. Ha.
Sorry to hear that, belly. I got lucky when I had my fall in that area, could easily have ended up in the ER like you did.
If you have a chance, please report your fall on Cascade's accident map website:
Thanks, just did. Also see two identical crashes in that location, one with a broken elbow too. PS. A broken elbow hurts like a mofo.
“serious environmental impact reviews of their practices, tax them for their real and actual impact on the environment and our health, and just crawl up their a**h***s”
TOO LATE. You ARE aware the entire Ship Canal is a super fund site? GOD such drama queens.
How about a bike viaduct above the street with suicide fences on both sides?
While I wouldn't go as far as you do. I am totally in favor of license plates for bikes. As should any good cyclist. I cannot think of a better way to deal with the few bad cyclist. Just imagine if cars didn't have plates!
I am shocked at how unkind people have gotten. I am a small business owner, about as small as they come. I think people are placing blame inappropriately and should try to look at all sides. As a small business we are very concerned about the additional parking that would be taken away. The blame here lies mostly with Mayor Nickels for limiting the parking required for all of the new buildings going up. While we love the new community, it was just the beginning of the reduced parking.
Whenever I drive the area along Shilshole I am always nervous for the cyclists and when going under the bridge I try to give as much clearance as I can so that they have a 90 degree angle to cross the tracks. I also worry at the Fred Meyer crossing and I am a little shocked that there haven't been more accidents. I see cars and bikes both blow through there without paying attention to the other and it makes me cringe. Even when I park along Shilshole by the Olympic parking lot, I try to make sure I don't crown the sidewalk and still leave a little room for cyclists.
I also think the trail may be a little short sighted. We are a biking city and the number of cyclist will grow, I am sure. Maybe an elevated structure for cyclists and pedestrians would be nice. Think 25 years from now the volume there might be and would a small couple of feet be enough? I get tired of seeing short sighted visions from our city. I know the cost would be great, but if everyone fighting on both side would put that money into a venture like this, joined with city, state or federal spending, we would have an option that might suit everyone. Everyone that is except the train enthusiasts.
Instead of spending all of this time, energy and money fighting each other, isn't there a way that we can pull together and make something great out of this trail that doesn't hurt the small businesses that depend on the small amount of parking that we still have and gives the cyclists a safer place to ride.
And just a side note to some cyclists that may not understand some of the frustration from business owners. A cyclist was starting a program and wanted all of the Ballard businesses to give cyclists a discount at our stores. If we declined, which I did, I was basically told that cyclists would boycott my store. Since I have regular customers that are cyclists I felt this would not be true, but it is just a case of a few apples can spoil the whole bunch.
” A cyclist was starting a program and wanted all of the Ballard businesses to give cyclists a discount at our stores.”
Well, the are 'special'.
“If we declined, which I did, I was basically told that cyclists would boycott my store. “
Well, they are militant.
Damn! I love watching movies at the Bay. And Lombardi's is my martini place. Damn!
Don't know if you're being ironic or not fuzzbeans… But I do. Commute to my job on the trail, that is. By bike. 5 days a week.
Well stated cary. As I said, these cyclists are a cranky bunch. They seem determined to suck all joy out of their own lives. Toilet training with wire hangers maybe? Whatever the cause, they need to try to enjoy life a bit more.
Okay everyone, take a deep breath and say- what other options are there?
How about a fly over bridge to take the trail to the Magnolia side right after the Ballard bridge and another bridge to bring you back to rejoin the trail after the locks.
I do like the tunnel option too! Maybe make it more like a trench with glass bricks over it for light?
Then to avoid this area all together turn the trail North right before Fred Meyer and make one cross over street a trail/resident only drive (say maybe NW 63rd st).
I'm a cyclist too and I am all for keeping or downtown businesses strong by listening to their concerns.
I'm also tired of the clout the Cascade Bicycle Club has in rearranging our roads. If they recommend you ride on Holman road would you do it?
Stop the bleeding and let's work on getting some solutions here. Go ahead Cascade and take the parking away but why aren't they offering to build a parking garage to replace the space needed for the trail?
I just don't get it! Cascade Bicycle Club, you don't get my money anymore.
The same people here that complain about Ballard losing its character are the ones rooting for a bike path? I don't want to see industrial Ballard go away. This place is going to be like Kirkland before you know it. With the Viaduct these industrial guys are all ready getting screwed. Just ride down Market? How hard is that? I ride to Fremont daily. Guess what I do…cruise down Ballard Ave. Put a path on Shil and I'll still ride down Ballard Ave. Amazing, you Dems are all just haters, reason and logic just make no sense to you. Liberalism is a mental disorder.
The real problem here is they want to put the trail over on Ballard avenue which means it is useless, and won't be used. Who is going to cross the street to ride up a hill and fight with pedestrians and cars stopping and starting when they can go 20 mph on Leary? Northbound might be Ok, but it would still be much better to have a trail where the tracks are. It's publlic land. Boo hoo to the businesses. They will be just fine when they get done whining.
Move the tracks or remove them. Leave all the parking intact. Remove the tracks east of 14th nw. this is not a difficult thing here.
josh, it's not absurd that the premiums would go up — it's real life. To the extent that you are attracting more bikes to ride in close proximity to trucks, and to cross paths with them, the risk of accidents will go up, no matter how well-designed the driveways/crossings are. Thus, an insurer would lose money by not boosting rates.
Seems to me that the Ballard Ave compromise makes sense, and allows those cyclists with a strong attachment to riding Shilshole to do so at their own risk, while directing the general cycling public to Ballard Ave away from dangerous traffic.
With the economy as it is, I think many would prefer the “benefit” of jobs versus the benefit of a trail on that specific stretch of road when it could easily be built elsewhere.
g – the train connects with the mainline that runs along the shore, so it's a bit longer than five blocks. The train runs from about Fred Meyer down to the mainline, and connects to that just past where the BG crosses Seaview. As of a few years ago, the BTRR delivered sand/gravel, sent frozen fish out to the BNSF trains, and so forth. They run the trains at night (you can hear the ding ding ding of its bells), so you can go watch and see for yourself if you want. There used to be a trainspotter story about an evening with the BTRR online, but I don't know if it's still available.
Yep, time to give 'em an “attaboy” :)
Come now — there are plenty of valid reasons for not listing your real name on openly accessible forums where no-one's identity is verifiable. (Unless, perhaps, your legal name is “ballwoodcyclist” :) ).
Nice post, sl. I agree pretty much 100%.
d – just because something is legal doesn't mean it isn't stupid.
k – I think nwk is saying that customers need the parking, not nwk. That's realistic
I've seen very few cyclists stopping — what areas/establishments were you thinking of?
Well, according to all the crybabies, every business on Shilshole will close down the day after the trail gets completed so there should be plenty of space available soon.
I had a hairline fracture in my elbow, and OH MY GOD it was painful. Like a mofo, indeed.
I can only imagine what a full-on break is like. You have my sympathies.
No, the trail is supposed to address this trap that has bitten quite a few people, myself included (and trust me, I know how to ride a bike).
Decaf? As in coffee? I'll have you know sir, that I am heavy on the sauce at this very moment! It makes me much more argumentative than coffee.
Oh yeah, Transitwonk has a point, but I don't think that's what BS sand and gravel wants…they want to be able to park trucks anywhere and load them in what is actually a public street while making a mess wherever they please.
Their other issue is that they want to hang on to the land under the rail, no matter what happens around it.
Didn't a cyclist get run over on Ballard Ave a few weeks ago by a woman not paying attention?
Cycling isn't very safe in this town and I hope that these trails get built and make it a little better.
You wanna call these people and ask who voted for this?
What's going on? How about a couple of obstructionist businesses who want to play choo choo train and keep the land under the tracks. That's it. There is NO concern about environmental impact, which is what really ticks me off about this. BS concern just to get another land grab and be a lousy neighbor.
This reminds me of the paint industry that lobbied to keep lead in paint in the US until the 1970's even though the rest of the world recognized the dangers and stopped using lead decades before. Now, we have to spend 100 to 1000 times more in lead removal costs versus the cost if the paint companies had simply stopped using lead instead of spending money to fight the ban on lead. This doesn't even come close to the costs and impacts of the lead to health and development issues.
I am sooooo tempted to use the worst comment technique of the forums, oh hell, here goes…
So move already!
With all the people getting hurt on this recreational railroad, maybe we should start suing this toy train company out of existence.
Wait a minute, would these businesses seriously be suing if the city paved this area as a parking lot instead of putting in a trail?
The insufficient study reasoning smells like rotten fish to me.
These folks are spending a LOT of money fighting instead of cooperating. Look at Kenmore, there are a bunch of industrial uses that cross the trail there. They put in two trail underpasses. It solves the problem nicely.
Heck, if they took the money that they spent running their little choo choo into something positive, they could build a bicycle viaduct and slap advertizing all over it.
Not In My Backyard at it's finest. …and Ballard having one of the highest densities of cyclists in the City.
How about a compromise? When Seattle builds a bicycle bridge or fix for the Ballard Bridge to make bicycling safer, they give the contract for materials to Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel IF and ONLY IF they let a trail go in on Shilshole.
Will it be handicap accessible? Otherwise you'll be scr*wing someone's rights!
Great idea. My understanding is that the vote was not unanimous.
Sounds like you have an awful lot of money to throw away.
Wow! This is an entertaining thread. I did some more investigating of this issue last night and I drove the rode yesterday afternoon where this trail is proposed to be locate.
It is crazy!
I don't blame the businesses, and I don't see where they are against the bike trail, but against the crazy location of it being proposed. There are safer alternative, but what I believe to be the problem is that the cyclists are going to ride their bikes anywhere they feel like going….trail or no trail.
Just read the venom that comes from the cyclists on this board. We have all encountered jerks in cars, walking, and on bikes, but I truly have found myself encountering more rude or threatening cyclists. If the City has circumvented proper procedures that developers are mad to follow; then I hope this suit is upheld. IT IS THE LAW.
The threats of boycotts, etc is a joke. You can take your spandex clad Hell's Angels mentality elsewhere. You are giving the cyclists a bad name with your “I am entitled” mentality and self-righteous statements.
Am I missing something, I know of one cyclist killed in Ballard and I believe that was on 24th not in the area that is disputed. Am I incorrect?
I am a respectful daily bike commuter who lives in Ballard. I am really very deeply disappointed the Ballard Chamber signed on to this lawsuit. I believe the land in question is clearly public right of way. Which means to me it should be held in trust for the common greater good of the community.
Although the railroad at one time was clearly that greater good, that time has passed, and just like the Burke-Gilman in the entire rest of the city and beyond it also time for Ballard to tear up these tracks and move forward.
We simply can no longer afford as a community to be solely dependent and preferential to the Automobile, it is not sustainable and it is not healthy. I respectfully encourage everyone to ride their bike more often and as much as you can leave your car at home.
I have just donated money to the Cascade legal defense fund to fight for the trail and I encourage you to do the same.
Can you change your name please? Your name is thin cover for your agenda and biases and shows you as the forum troll you are.
Thanks for the link! One correction- the city is actually preserving the rail line, just moving it so that cyclists can cross it at a safe angle.
let's all say it together: _oh snap!_
Troll = differing opinion?
I definitely believe in completing the trail, but from what I have learned by doing some due diligence and forming my own opinion is this is not a good proposal. Also, I do think that cyclists will use whatever street they want, and I would bet that the “recreational” biker would adhere to the trail. Just my belief.
An aside, I have wondered why a tolley car connecting Fremont-Ballard-Golden Gardens wasn't put into place on those tracks. It may not be economically feasible, but especially in the summer, I think it would be used!
UnBiased “Troll” (signing out!!!) :)
Oh yes, the second part was irony. The “lying liars” part (describing the authors of the lawsuit), not so much.
At least for most of the last stretch of Shilshole ending on Market, using the parallel Ballard Ave or Leary sections is a lot safer in my experience. If I'm riding east of 15th, I cross 15th at Market or north of there, then head south around 8th.
Exactly — the rabid “I want my path here no matter what the impacts on others” folks need to expand their horizons a bit.
That's the point — no fatalities and no (current) warming means the issues are not as urgent as some portray them.
Jeff, while your greater good argument sounds good, I don't see anyone or the city offering to back it up by guaranteeing there won't be lost jobs/business losses as a result.
I'd recommend enjoying your favorites regardless. This is just a list, it doesn't tell us anything.
I will say, for the benefit of sanity, the way stuff happens in Seattle, how much is invested in time and resources, is insane. They've been talking this to death for a decade, and they are no-where near done.
This is clearly an important issue to some, hundreds of posts generated.
Ask yourself this, do I understand the issue any better?
It's very easy to divide the community. The goal has to be to bring the community together, and demand that this issue is dealt with NOW. Pro trail, pro business, pro community, or forget about it.
What's going on over here is:
a) you have a few businesses that are supposedly concerned for everyone's safety. The real concern is percieved insurance rate hikes, vandalism concerns and the loss of free 24 parking.
b) we have a trail network that is used by many bike commuters and more recreational cyclist that should go from Redmond to Golden Gardens. (yes there are peolple who bike to MS from Ballard daily) but have to bike the last few miles through a very unsafe stretch of roadway.
c) a city government that let this entire fiasco go on way too long and is ineffective at dealing with conflict.
Ballard is getting more crowded by the day, get used to it. To get away from the traffic and high fuel costs, more and more of us will be biking. Do you really want all that bike traffic on Market Street, Ballard Ave & Leary Way? I think Cascade should organize an event so that the biking commmunity can show thier numbers and get some media attention on this. Fill up the parking lot of the Yankee Diner to start
What are the current mayoral candidates stand on this?
Where's Reuven Carlyle? At lot of us voted for you now get to work!
keep the fossil fuel pipe dream alive!!!
drill, baby, drill…….riiiight!
jobs, businesses could be lost. then new jobs/business will sprout up. no guarantees for any of us on that front anyway. build the trail.
True. We do tend to talk things to death in this town.
If there is a way to solve this without being divisive I hope they can find it before it gets ugly.
It won't keep me out of Lombardis. or the Bay, however, as this really isn't my cause. But boycotts are very easily and quickly organized and I hope these business are ready for that.
You know, it does sometimes work opposite of what the boycotter's desire. Some folks may very well support the businesses more as a result of a boycott.
I'm not wedded to either side, just want to see common sense and unity rule the day.
But, this is not yet the motive in Seattle.
Sue based on what?
Tell you what. I would advise you search thorugh the home town papers of Portland or Missoula Montana or Vancouver BC where the entire city has a well used bike path system, that in some parts goes through industrial areas. Find one, even one business that had to close down because of a bike trail.
Fear of a bike trail is completely irrational.
nice racist comment…very unbiased! you ass!
I like special sidewalks for my special feet, too.
Those freeloading apartment dwellers…surely their landlords never take their property taxes into account when setting rent.
I lost it in this spot last week (7/8), fracturing my left wrist (2 places) which required surgery to install a plate and pins. Anyone ever tried to get a list of those with serious injuries together to bring class-action lawsuit for damages? P.S. I'm not a personal injury attorney.
okay, then we're down to complaining about the freeloading bicycling homeless.
Bob Anderton has had success – washingtonbikelaw.com
There's one post up-thread from a MyBallard user (belly) who broke his elbow there just yesterday. Cascade Bike Club is collecting accident reports at http://www.bikewise.org — if anyone's going to do anything with aggregated accident info, it's them, so please report your accident there.
My, my, this is interesting. Yesterday, the Ballard Chamber's website had a big entry about the lawsuit, and it had a big paragraph on losing all that parking. You can still see it in Google Cache:
Now, however, they've taken out the parking language completely, and their current gripe focuses on the SEPA study:
This is completely disingenuous. The only horse the Ballard Chamber could possibly have in this race is the parking.
A class action suit for what negligence? Against who?
I haven't seen new jobs/businesses pop up in the empty flag store premises, nor in the Ballard Camera premises, etc. My point on the guarantee front is that the current status quo includes pre-existing jobs, and that changing the status quo in a way likely to negatively affect those jobs might be a bad idea.
Did it ever occur to you that points issues 1, 2, 4, 5, and even 3 could be ameliorated by – wait for it – a dedicated bike path???? Obviously not.
Oh, and by the way, having a Huffy collecting dust in your garage does not make you a cyclist.
The trail will run south side of NW 45th, cross Shilshole at 17th, then go to Ballard Ave. where it will be a 'signed' bicycle route, with sidewalks for pedestrians.
Then at Vernon Place, the trail will begin again, in front of the old Yankee Diner, then up to market street and adjacent to the sidewalk till 28th.
The 'permanent' route, staked out by the City (as in, some day, this is where it will go), will cut off the Ballard Ave piece, and will also not divert up to Market, but instead follow the rail line along Shilshole, then along 'Not 54th STreet'
So, SBSG, Ballard Oil are bypassed for the very foreseeable future — an acknowledgment by the City that, in their view, there is too much business activity to justify putting the trail there now.
So, the compromise the City reached to appease Nerdrum, et. al, has done nothing of the sort — though he signed the franchise agreement (b/w RR and City) saying he understood the City would build a trail, he is exercising his legal right to sue over the limited SEPA analysis.
Hope that clarifies for many MyBallard readers.
The trains are not just at night. The BTRR started about 1.5 years after the last shipment was undertaken by BNSF (for those 1.5 yrs, Western Pioneer, which used to ship down frozen fish from AK, then load onto cars, and hook up with the mainline, then ship east, use trucks). Then when WP went down, they decided to start shipping cement by rail car, so that's been most of the activity for the past few years.
Term of franchise with City — 30 yrs
yearly cost of franchise — $0
15 yr Interest free loan from state for early capital repairs — $150k?
Ability to use RR to block trail — priceless
Exactly. Which is why the owner of a Sand and Gravel company would start a railroad….control your surroundings. It 's smart, legal, defensible.
What is not defensible is then telling the citizens they can't use their right of way to lay down 12 feet of asphalt, and N
No Mondoman….those of us who have lobbied and fought on this issue for the past 13 years do not have that point of view.
We understand the impacts on the businesses who are along the interim route. We just believe that the impacts will be minimal (this is a street that is being used, not a driveway, or parking lot, or private property) in terms of coming and going from those businesses — and for EVERYONE else (vehicle users of the street, walkers, cyclists,), this will be a tremendous improvement.
Remember, we're talking about doing a realignment of a street right of way in all areas, not widening it, or moving it or anything else.
In two locations where loading docks, now currently illegaly encroaching on the right of way, the City will build, with its money, new loading docks for the businesses.
Idea to do this -1996
Vote on route, after 1.5 years of public meetings, etc – 2003
Design finished, funding procured – 2009
So, it's not like this just sprang up out of the blue. No one said it was urgent, it's just time.
The devil is in the details, and in built environment, if you are going to change the use of something like a right of way, something has to give. In the case of the trail, about 150-160 total spots along the section between 11th and the Locks will be lost. About 80 or so of those are east of Shilhsole.
Free or even limited on street parking will be lost when the trail is built. That is a fact. Building the trail will lessen the number of people hurt bicycling in Ballard, and will lead to more persons bicycling and walking.
It would seem to me that offering discount incentives to persons who get to your store by bus, bicycle, their feet, instead of a vehicle, would be a brilliant way to encourage less driving, and leave more parking for those who choose to do so. It certainly wouldn't discourage carred customers and would boost your walk in business.
Get a grip….
This is a very interesting point you raise….the general consensus is that SBSG started the RR so they could control the land, reasoning, one presumes, that if the city took control of the rail right of way, they would tear up the tracks and build a trail, the logical thing to do. With the train, you have to take parking instead and I think they believed the City would never go through with it. Well, we did.
What say we rescind the rail franchise, SBSG can go back to hauling cement by truck (they did this without issue for, oh, the past 90 years or so….), and no parking is lost.? It is true, the train delivery of cement is ultimately better for the environment, but I worry about all the hot air drifting up into the atmosphere on this issue contributing more to global warming.
so, it's simple — lose the railroad (some jobs, nonunion, would be lost), but BTRR has a franchise in Tacoma, and they just got rights to run on the abandoned eastside line…..so they'll be ok.
something to consider…
It is in the franchise agreement that the City has with BTRR, the possibility of a 'trolley' service. Seems like it might conflict with the mondo-industrial attitude of keep anyone in a truck outta here …….but it's there. Could be sweet.
They have adopted a 'the City should have do what all the businesses have to do' attitude to justify this. Of course the City had to do it's due diligence, which it did in filing the SEPA determination of non-signficance. That was challenged, as is allowed, and the challenge was rejected on all grounds.
So, the Chamber is being pressured to take this side, and to be fair, most of the industrial businesses in this fight are Chamber members.
But, I agree — this is about parking.
In my personal circle of friends I know of two people besides myself who have wrecked on the RR tracks, 2 people who have been hit by cars, one of which was on Ballard Ave by a left turning minivan who was judged to be 100% at fault. Luckily none of these have been fatal, but bicycle accidents are unfortunately common and a lot of these wouldn't have happened with the missing link being fixed.
Read in this same comments section how many people have wrecked on those pointless railroad tracks.
It is a known public safety hazard.
If I put a bear trap out on the sidewalk, you don't think I'd get sued after a few dozen people were hurt by it?
Danimal growled: “you Dems are all just haters, reason and logic just make no sense to you. Liberalism is a mental disorder.”
Whatever you said before that just got thrown out the window. If you want to make a point it doesn't help to insult 90%+ of your audience.
Bikers need to BOYCOTT the businesses behind the appeal. Bikers are business owners and boaters as well. Put your business and money elsewhere. Keep your eyes open for any infractions or actionable activities including traffic, parking, health-safety and questionable environmental issues by these businesses and report them to the proper authorities. Bikers need to quit being polite and reasonable and be as self centered as they are.
Put the bike trail right NEXT to the waterfront. Snake it along the shoreline so we have a view while we ride. Screw compromise, lets go for the BEST route. Let the businesses have their street access and parking on public property.
Take the land NEXT to the water for a beautiful WATERFRONT trail. These businesses refuse to compromise and act selfishly without regard for others. Time for CCBC and bikers to go after what is best for us. Period.
That would be great for people who live fairly locally. However, my customers are coming from Fall City, Issaquah, Federal Way, Tacoma and all over the Northwest region. I have a very specialized business that is the only one of its kind and my business draws people to this neighborhood that would not otherwise come and spend their money here. While I encourage cycling it is not going to bring peole from other areas in to support the local businesses. We cannot survive on Ballard alone. While this is a nice thought, it is not a reality. A cyclist is not going to spend $200 in my store because there is not enough room on a bike to carry that much product. I rely heavily on the regular customers that make a long commute and fight for the little parking that they still have to spend that kind of money. The fact of the matter is that if I offer that discount to non-drivers then I have to raise prices. Then people complain that your prices are too high and stop buying your product. People seem to think that small business owners have large markups. Many stores have only 10-20% margins. Giving a discount could mean actually taking money out of my pocket. If I were to give a discount to every group that asks, and there is at least one a month that brings up the same proposal, then you would no longer see small businesses anywhere. My main concern with bringing that up in my post was that it was done by using a shakedown tactic. Not much different if it were a gang member demanding money for protection.
Back to the point I was hoping to make. Do you think that more people will be riding bikes in the next 25 years? I do. Do you think the 1.5' – 2' that will be given cyclist will be enough at that time or even now? I don't think so. Maybe I'm wrong. I think we should look at long term and not just what is good for today. That was what I was trying to get across.
Thank you for your dialogue. I believe the more each of us understand the other side the better solution we can come up with for both sides.
Thanks again, Caryn
Such whining…..I mean come on. You really don't realize this area is an industrial corridor and not a pastoral trail through the forest?? Why Shilshoe?? Because this is an INDUSTRIAlL area.
That means, these hazard causing people are WORKING. Get out of their way on your bike. You should consider it a privilege that they LET you ride your bike there. So be sure and thank all of them next time as you cruise by, ok?
Well put. It's amazing to me how hard it is for others to grasp these concepts…
Are you serious?? Do you really believe accurate economic comparisons can be drawn between a small European country and a neighborhood in Seattle?? Please go to community college and take an Econ 101 course first, read the chapters on how EU countries are setup and than come back to them message board. Thanks!
Thanks Capitalist Pig. You illustrated my point better than I did. “INDUSTRIAL” means get out of the way. Means I need to ask (who, exactly?) for permission to use the street. And of course, it is a public street. I know the WA code that applies to bikes pretty well by now and I must have missed the part where INDUSTRIAL means that WORKING people have right of way.
Well, thanks for helping me out. I'll return the favor and open up a can of INDUSTRIAL honesty on your ass. But my rant is not about bikes, it's about class, economics, and which direction the elevator is going.
When you say “INDUSTRIAL” what we all understand you mean is what used to be called “working class.” Because at one level, this is really a class thing (at another level it's about free street parking, but never mind). And by working class, I mean white people of median or below annual income and a high-school education who support themselves by making, fixing and doing stuff that's useful. Please note that I think this is cool: America used to have a lot of people like this, it's one of the reasons we've been so rich for so long. Cause a lot of people worked hard doing useful things. Well guess what?
It's over. You lost. Ballard outgrew you. In ten years, none of that INDUSTRIAL stuff is going to be there. Seriously, do you have any doubt about this? You sound like someone who should know. Picture yourself in a lawyer's office settling some business owner's estate, or at a board meeting of a privately held company. “OK, we can stay true to the founder's vision and slug it out fixing widgets, or we can just sell the property and set ourselves up for life. All in favor of noble servitude, raise your hands.” Ahh, capitalism, ain't it grand.
Brother, it's worse than that. It ain't just Shillshole that's going down. The whole damn INDUSTRIAL economy in the US has been destroyed in the last 30 years. There's nothing left of the working class, just poor people. And the middle class is on the endangered species list. Or maybe you didn't notice, “capitalist pig,” cause you were too busy dusting your framed picture of Ronald Regan and listening to Rush on the radio?
Welcome to Argentina, muchacho. You're about to learn just how “not special” we Americans are.
The sad part is that we're all in this together. When gas hits $10, you may be riding a bike to work. And I'll be looking for someone who knows how to keep my Subaru running one more year cause I'll never have the money to buy another one. OK you're pissed, well I'm pissed too. We should have been on the same team. I've been slugging it out in the streets with neo-liberal economics and the violence it takes to keep the lid on FOR 30 YEARS while the working class beat up and spit on us “dirty hippies.”
I don't give a sh*t about the Shillshole bike path. I don't expect it to get better. I had someone in an SUV almost kill me on Juanita this morning. I guess because its a SUBURBAN neighbourhood and I didn't ask permission before riding my bike there. Whatever. But next time you feel hatred for some lycra clad yuppie on a bike think for a moment: is that guy really the problem? Is he maybe an ally and we just don't recognize each other?
The anti bike path fight may have escalated. An SUV crashes into the the only bike shop in Ballard. Very suspicious.
The Ballard Chamber has shown its colors as anti-pedestrian and anti-bicycling. This project would repave paved areas — what is the environmental impact of that??? This is a bald attempt to make Ballard a less pleasant place to live.
FIGHT BACK! BOYCOTT THE CHAMBER'S BALLARD SEAFOOD FEST!!! Why should you spend your money on merchants who are spending big bucks on lawyers to keep your family from having a safe place to walk or cycle?
I KNEW someone would go there.
Well I guess appreciate your honesty, comrade. Clearly you see this bike trail as the center of your dissertation on the erosion of the working class et al.
Rush and Reagan?? That's pretty funny. I actually worked for the Obama campaign for several months last summer. My working class hating employer allowed me time off for this opportunity actually.
But certainly that would mean nothing to you as these tired class-struggle based arguments are not the change we were waiting for and worked hard to elect.
I don't know if we're in this together or not; but when certain groups decide their agenda trumps everything, and the rest should fall in line than I become sure that we are not.
And the idea that there are less manufacturing jobs now is somewhat of a myth; there are plenty, they just require a higher skill level than in the past. Progress is a bitch, huh?
If I can find them, I will post the pictures showing the 6 or so mangled bicycles that appeared chained to various street signs in Ballard, on the edge of the so-called industrial area, the day after the City Council passed the Resolution in 2003 specifying the interim and permanent routes for the trail.
There are obviously some STRONG opinions on both sides — don't know who mangled the bikes, then chained them to the posts, but one suspects an Angry Industrialist…..as opposed to a texting driver, as in the Bike Sport smash. I'm glad they are fighting with money now, and not sledge hammers!!
Courts tend not to go against the ruling of the hearing examiner in this county. Recent attempts to overrule the hearing examiner include Safeco's attempt to keep a strip club from going up by their stadium.
The lawsuit amounts to a land by local business to take control of the rail right of way owned by the city.
I would call myself neither a “bike enthusiast” nor anti-business. I am a single mom who drops her kid off at public school and then rides a bike to work at the UW. I wave thanks to the drivers who stop and wait for me to cross in front of them. I ride my bike, not because I am on some kind of crusade, but because:
* It's faster than riding Metro
* It keeps me healthy
* It's gentler on the environment than a car or bus
* I enjoy it
I live near 65th x 32nd, and by far, the scariest part of my 6 mile ride is the section between 24th and Fred Meyer: along Shilshole or Ballard Ave, crossing the train tracks. I just want a safe route so I can get to work and get home to spend the evening with my daughter. That's it. No agenda.
Play with your toy in your driveway. Leave the roads for the grown ups.
Were they painted white? Those are put up in places where cyclists have either been hurt or killed as a protest and also a warning to other cyclists.
You are talking about playing with your SUV in the driveway, right? Good, leave the road for the grownups on bikes and cars who know how to drive and share the road that's been paid for by all of us and built for all of us.
No, they weren't ghost bikes…..
Thanks Ludlow. This is true for many of us commuters who choose bicycles for transportation. This is all about making what is currently a less than ideal streetscape safe for all modes, including bicycles.
Keep riding — maybe more of our UW Ballardians will choose to do the same — once they try it, it's hard not to like it! And the more of us on the road, the safer it will be for us all.
Baggyman – let's go for a ride some time. I can show you some of the sights of Ballard from the perspective of a bicycle, if you've not been on one lately. Let me know if you're interested.
If you had someone run into you as you came out Fred Meyer, then you failed to yield right of way.
Not only would I not pay for the damage to your car, I'd call the cops to come write your ass a ticket.
Considering that Ballard Oil supplies home heating oil and there are a number of cyclist/homeowners out there, I'd like to suggest a boycott. Surely there are other companies that would be happy to receive the cyclists business?
Same goes for the rest of the businesses opposing the trail. Cyclists have money to spend, whether at home or as part of business. Need gravel? Try someone other than Salmon Bay Gravel.