Cycling club ‘deeply disappointed’ with lawsuit

The Cascade Cycling Club has responded to a lawsuit filed by a group of Ballard industrial businesses over the city’s plans to move forward with filling the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman trail. “We are deeply disappointed that the appeal has been filed, particularly since the prior decision was clearly in our favor,” the group said on its website, referring to the Office of the Hearing Examiner’s ruling last month approving the project. “The appeal process will likely cost Cascade tens of thousands of dollars, but we will not give up this battle for your safe access to the public right of way.”

Cascade maintains the “missing link” is not safe, a sentiment shared by many cyclists who ride along the narrow stretches of 45th St. and Shilshole Ave. in Ballard, crossing the occasional railroad tracks at jagged angles. We contacted the Seattle Department of Transportation for reaction, but it would only say the department plans to pursue the legal process.

Plus: Read the lawsuit (.pdf file) | See missing link map
Wednesday: Ballard businesses sue over Burke Gilman trail
Last month: Hearing Examiner gives city green light to fill missing link

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

105 thoughts to “Cycling club ‘deeply disappointed’ with lawsuit”

  1. I am completely fascinated by this, as a Ballardite, as a historian, and as a bike rider. (OK, I am currently temorarily disabled due to a bad disc, but I digress.) At one time I commuted about 3 days a week to the UW by bike on the BG Trail.

    First and foremost, Ballard was, at one time, about as “green” a community for commuting as was humanly possible, because of the industry here. From the 1860s to the 1960s the shingle and lumber mills and the shipyards provided jobs (with living wages) and most of the people who worked there, lived here. In the 1960s we also had Honeywell and Fentron. Ok, the mills are gone, Honeywell is gone, Fentron is gone…but those people commuted to work by foot and by bus, and until 1948, by streetcar.

    Today this is a community of commuters. The vast majority of jobs available in Ballard are retail. (just check craigslist.) What industry we have left cannot relocate- it's a little hard to come by more waterfront these days for shipyards. The railroad tracks to Fremont are in fact the very first railway line to Ballard.

    Why not put the “missing link” on Leary? Leary, according to one SDOT study, is underutilized. I agree that the current route along Shilshole is fraught with peril, but it isn't the only road in town. Actually stopping for the light at 24th and then trying to get started again to turn left on Market is horrific.

    That said, as a formerly active bike-commuter, in the last few years I have seen cyclists in Ballard become more dough-headed. I would never consider riding without a helmet, yet I see it everyday. Last Friday, driving south across the Fremont Bridge, a bicyclist (sans helmet) was riding TOWARDS ME , in my lane, in the middle of the lane, going the wrong way on the bridge. It was only by mere chance that I didn't kill him. I was hit by a woman cyclist (I was in my car) on 22nd at the WAMU bank lot exit- once again, going the wrong way up the street, sans helmet. I was shocked; she could have been seriously hurt, but I don't expect to see a bike (or any mode of transport; ((car, scooter, Segway, skateboard, foot) going the wrong way in traffic . This isn't Hooterville, folks, and a bike is no match for a car. What is up with this behavior? I see things like this every day on Shilshole. I see it on Northlake, especially around Gasworks Park- bike trail 10 feet away, and riders (all sans helmets) are riding like idiots on Northlake. I see bike riders riding the wrong way on Ballard Ave above Marvin Gardens pretty much every day (one way); do people think that they have some sort of superpower-cloak-of-invinciblity?

    My SO commutes from N. Seattle to Everett several days a week, and he has some pretty harrowing tales as well. I think cyclists need to realize that they have to be responsible riders. And if you think riding without a helmet is a good idea, please visit the Head Injury Center at the UW or Harborview Hospitals.

    Ballard needs industry. This city needs industry; a recent Port of Seattle publication said that one out of every 4 jobs in this city is considered “industrial.” These are jobs that pay a living wage; retail/barista jobs do not. Wouldn't it be “greener” to suppot industry in our community that locals could be employed at close to home, rather than having the entire population of Ballard commuting to jobs elesewhere?

    For some previous poster in the long list of previous posts saying we should all bike commute; that is simply not possible for many people. As I said, I am temporarily disabled, and cannot ride a bike. My 86 year old mom isn't going to do her grocery shopping by bike. I didn't have a car for 6 months and walked/bussed to and fro every day; there is a lot you cannot do by bike. (or bus.)

    Why not compromise? Why not put a bike trail on Leary Way, and then route it up Ballard Avenue? Where is it written that the ONLY route acceptable to cyclists is along Shilshole?

  2. Nice to see the CBC has to pony up use some of their money. Maybe they can have hop-a-thons like the elementary kids do? Maybe they can put forward the idea of mandatory license plates, at a high cost of course, to raise $$ for the cause. (leaving the rest of us alone). Bikes, like dogs, are luxury items. Why not spread the misery with a larger fee for dog license and a license plate fee, all going towards each cause? AKA: user fees. Time for real “leadership” here, for a change, and step up on all sides. Only winners so far are lawyers. Never a good thing. But then again take a look at 520 or the viaduct. They've been fixed too haven't they, NOT. Consensus is the lack of leadership. First step is ridding ourselves of hizzoner, the corpulent one, Nickels. I can imagine an elevated sky-bridge above all of this BS along the water. Just don't add it to my taxes in any way, shape, or form. But I would contribute to it if they come at my nicely, explaining just how it would work, and just how the CBC and their cohorts will pay for it.

  3. Amazing the Ballard Chamber of Commerce is involved. I will not be attending the seafood fest this year. I just cannot support this actionby the Chamber. For me the festival this year will just be a traffic disruption as I make my way out of Ballard.
    I am thinking of joining the Cascade bike club, (even though I do not bike much) they now have unnecessary legal expenses.
    Also the Ballard businesses talk about how important they are to the city and the economy – think of all the expenses the taxpayers have now in legal, court costs, project delays etc. This is a slap in the face to all taxpayers in the city.

  4. I don't think there's enough room on Leary to create a truly separate 'mult-purpose' trail without removing a lane of traffic and or parking (and you know how that gets folks' dander up!)

    I think Shilshole is the only logical place to tie in the two extant trails. It's a derelict part of town with undeveloped swaths of land used for parking. Besides being dangerous, it's just an eyesore that could probably use a tree or two.

    They complained in Wallingford when the trail was being build there, that it would increase crime and vagrancy.
    Proximity to the trail has only increased local property values and probably made those living nearby healthier.

    when I stop into Salmon Bay & Gravel to buy some gloves later on, I'll be sure to tell the fella giving me my change that's it's going right to the Cascade Cycling Club.

  5. Better yet, walk in to buy the gloves, get to the cashier and tell him that you changed your mind and don't want to do business with them anymore. ;)

  6. That 'derelict' part of town represents more money than any of the newer businesses in Ballad will ever make it they last 100 years.

  7. Do you honestly think they care if anyone buys gloves? They are simple a convenience for their real clients. You really have no idea what they do, do you?

  8. I have to object to your statement that “Bikes, like dogs, are luxury items.”

    Bikes are basic transportation for many people. Cars are luxury items, we just have a mindset that it is a manditory right to own and drive a car and that mindset is wrong. Especially in this time of economic hardship, a $40 bicycle is essential transportation for many.

  9. Seafood Fest brings huge numbers of people into the area. It is really not a money maker for those who sponsor it.

    It really is frightening how clueless to reality so many of you are. Years ago, back in the 60s and early 70s my family was best friends with the managing VP of the Ballard WAMU and his family. Grimy dusty industrial Ballard housed the wealthiest branch of what was then a very successful local bank. The Ballard branch had the largest figure on deposit of any branch in the chain. That is nowhere near the case anymore. Real wealth is not interested in cheap trendy décor and being miserable riding a bike in bad clothing.

  10. People used to live close to where they work all around this country, not just Ballard. The suburban commuter is a recent development made possible by cheap oil and differences in land value. I'd be curious to see how many of the employees of sBS&G live within walking distance. Isn't one of their big complaints the potential loss of employee car parking?

  11. Just build the trail.

    As soon as it's done, all the business owners along Shilshole will just change their diapers, go to the lunchroom and get a fresh cup o' joe, and go back to work.

    The real reason that SBS&G and Ballard Oil are located on Shilshole is not because of the ROAD, it's because they have to be on the ship canal. They can't just pack it up and move to a pole building in Auburn like a lot of industrial companies that have moved away from our urban neighborhoods, if they could they would have done it already.

    The city is growing up around them, it's not a conspiracy, it's just the march of progress, and any business that is truly viable will survive a bike trail being built. The drivers will adapt, and hopefully the cyclists will use extra caution through there, and everything will be fine in the end. No business is going to fail because some people wearing spandex are riding by on bikes.

    My evidence? Right now the trail goes all along the ship canal in freelard, right past Kvichak, the Trident yard, Western Towboat, that gravel yard, the frickin' place where SBS&G park all their trucks, some other shipyard, etc, and it's all business as usual.

  12. As a business owner, would you rather your business silently disappear, or that your customers tell you why you aren't getting their business? Personally, I hate it when people just silently disappear.

  13. “being miserable riding a bike in bad clothing”
    What does it take to grow a rose? Ah yes, a healthy dose of manure. If you don't want to wear spandex cycling shorts because they aren't flattering to your figure, don't. If you think riding a bike is being miserable, fine, don't ride. But for most of the people riding bikes it's a great way to get some exercise, get somewhere without spending any money on gas, and yes on the weekends you'll see a lot of people ENJOYING a nice bike ride on the trail.
    Stop thinking that this is all about you or that this is an anti industrial jihad. It's neither. Business will go on just fine with the trail in place and it will even look nicer.
    As far as your bank deposits rant, the financial landscape has changed dramatically since the 50's. Deposits is a tiny fraction of the financial industry these days, it's all about financial instruments, mortgages, etc…and maybe that's a part of our current woes, but has little to do with your fake conflict of INDUSTRY vs ANYTHING ELSE.

  14. Ok, I'll be buying my 3/4- and sand for my projects from Pacific Topsoil. I have to drive a little further, but at least my money won't go to frivolous lawsuits.

  15. Would these businesses be protesting if it were a paved parking lot instead?

    Here is the thing that gets me, this has nothing to do with process and everything to do with obstruction. I don't believe for a second that any of these businesses would bat an eye if the city were just paving the area for a parking lot, but call it a Trail and suddenly it is a mortal threat to their livelyhood and has to be studied extensively.

    Does anyone know, were these folks filing lawsuits when the city re-zoned the neighboring areas to be more dense?

  16. I was trying to figure out why this issue has pissed me off this badly. Besides the fact that the missing link is sorely needed and I still have a small scar from going down on the track crossing, I realized that there is one other thing that really got under my skin… This lawsuit claiming to be concerned about the environmental impact smacks of all the crap we've had to put up with the Bush administration. Healthy Skies Initiative to increase the air pollution, Healthy Forests Initiative to clearcut the old growth forests. Here we have a business spewing dust, diesel exhaust, and who knows how much runoff into the canal claiming to be concerned about the environmental impact?

  17. Somewhere in Seattle a new Google or Amazon or Microsoft is starting up.
    I hope they eventually need more office space and get a new shiny office buildng along Shilshole Ave, and hire a bunch of smart people that live in Ballard and bike to work along the newly completed trail.
    It is 2009, it is not 1906.

  18. Some business owners are just jerks. Over in Fremont, Sound Mind Body or whatever they call that gym has filed lawsuits against everyone from the Sunday Market to the Solstice Parade over the potential impact on parking.for.a.gym. And they already have their own parking lot!
    We all know that the impact of this trail on these businesses will be nil. There will be a trail, the street will look nicer, life will go on, but in the meantime some lawyers on both sides will make some money, a bunch more cyclists will get hurt, and a bunch of people like me will get pissed off and never set foot in sBS&G again.

  19. I'm so sick of the bike riders in Ballard. I've lived here all my life and the new bike lanes have ruined 24th. The traffic has only one lane now and it's ridiculous.
    Bike riders don't pay any attention to the laws. They pass you on the right, snake through traffice to get in front of you at a light, don't use hand signals, ride in the middle of the road, etc…
    As soon as the bike riders start paying bike tabs to ride on our streets I may be more simpathetic. Until then, forget it.
    If I have to pay to use the roads, then so should the bike riders.

  20. Why yes the financial landscape has changed dramatically. In fact it tanked.
    Bike shorts falter no figure and every cyclist I see has a miserable grimace on his or her face.

  21. Except new Googles or Amazon or Microsoft don't really hire anyone much anymore. The era of the millionairs is long over. Thank god, since they tanked the economy.

  22. ……and when they build it, us “antiquated industrial” companies will provide the concrete, steel, fuels for the machinery that build your shiny new building……….and continue to employ many at a good wage, and we will still not be “trendy” but we will be the foundation of our local economy.

    Oh, and some muffin eater buying his sand or gloves elsewhere will be as insignificant as all of the rhetoric he spews.

    I received 6 e mails from cyclists over the past two days. I do not contribute money for the lawsuit, but I happen to be located along the proposed trail…… landlord is involved in the legalities……yet the threats and vulgarities are thrown at me.

  23. Current injuries in the last few months that would never have happened if Ballard Oil and Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel had not kept the Ballard Short Line RR running:

    With injuries reported as:
    Elbow fracture requiring surgery
    Fractures (2) in left wrist requiring surgery to instal a plate and screws.
    – skinned up and tweaked knee
    – head bounced off the road – thank you helmet & Cascade Bike Club for selling me a $10 replacement
    – sore wrist, but not skinned up because I was wearing gloves
    – slightly twisted ankle since I landed with my shoes still clipped in
    “Serious injuries”
    Scrapes and broken elbow

    And all of these are reported to have happened in the last few months, and I didn't list the other crashes along these tracks. I've heard reports of concussions there too.

    BTW, to report your own crash:

  24. Um, cyclists do pay for the roads too. It's called property taxes, sales tax, head tax, and leavies like Bridging the Gap. The gas tax you pay doesn't cover the damage your car causes to the roads.

    If anything, cyclists are subsidizing car drivers.

  25. You are so right, I ride my bike because I am a trendy hipster and love to look cute in tight spandex, LOL. You are too ignorant for words. I ride a 9 year old multi purpose bike because of the following:

    1. I am trying to stay fit and healthy as I age with a good cardio but low impact sport
    2. I am being green by running all my local errands by bike. I put 80-100 miles a month on it riding to Freddy's, TJ's, the Ballard Sunday Market, the Locks, Golden Gardens etc.
    3. My trendy clothes-denim shorts or cutoffs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps…very expensive stuff made just for bike riding, LOL!

    Obviously, you have “real wealth” as evidenced by your utter lack of class!

  26. Why do you have to bring dogs into this?

    Dogs are not a “luxury item” they are living creatures that live on our planet with us. If I want to have an effin' dog that's between me and whatever type of god I believe put dogs on this earth.

    Ok, end of rant, let's get back to the battle of the dudes in tight shorts VS. the gravel barge huggers…….

  27. bike tabs will never happen. bikers don't need your 'simpathy' either.

    why should I pay a fee to use the roads when I'm already paying higher insurance premiums to pay for people whose only exercise is walking to their car?

  28. I agree, anyone who considers a bike a luxury item has not been unemployed, unable to buy a bus ticket but needing to get to a job interview…bike will get you there every time..such a luxury!! Oh, and the grimace…that's called EX-ER-CISE…you have to step away from your computer to get some!

  29. 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.

  30. You crack me up. You complain about the bikers inconveniencing you while you drive, getting in front of you (a bit competitive?) and yet are against THE best solution to help you.

    Getting as many bikes OFF the road will help you. Is it that you just don't want to be happy? That you really would rather complain and cut your nose off to spite your face. I think people like you would rather go on playing the martyr and try to keep others from getting something that they want. Ignorant and petty.

  31. By local I guess you mean King County or Seattle. You stated that support and patronage from Ballard residents is insignificant. Why should I give a damn about you or your business? How many employees are residents of Ballard? You don't want my insignificant business and you are supporting a landlord who is fighting something I want. You can do all that important foundation of the economy stuff from somewhere else. Because you don't seem to be as local as you claim. Actually you contradict yourself. Nice.

  32. True that the financial system isn't what it used to be, but that doesn't mean that your metric of bank deposits is valid either.
    People at the gym aren't smiling all the time either, nor most people most of the time no matter what they're doing, does that mean they're suffering? You've obviously never ridden a bike for fun, and I get the impression that you're very old. Neither of which is a bad thing, but it doesn't give you a good perspective to comment thoughtfully on cycling issues.

  33. Hey Name,

    You own a home? I do and pay a S&%T-ton of taxes on it, money that maintains the roads we use. The road is as much mine is it is yours. If I wanna put a bike on it, or any other legal vehicle, you better deal with it.

    And BTW, some of what you hate 'bout bikers (e.g., riding in the middle of the road, taking the lane at a stop light) is legal. You god-given drivers irk the living poop out of me.

  34. Huh? How many local people here work for Microsoft, Amazon, or Google?
    As an independent business, I've done work for two out of the three.
    How many people work for sBS&G? Quite a few, but completely dwarfed by the number of just Ballardites that work for Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.
    Again, you need to think for just a moment before spewing on the forums.

  35. Again with the Seafood Fest. The chamber isn't the one losing out if people don't show up. It's the individual vendors (some on the 'list' and some not), and local arts and crafts vendors who work out of rented lofts. Heck, the beer garden is a charity for a youth group (can't remember their name at the moment, sorry).

  36. Shall I list the poor driver behavior I've seen on 24th? Please lets not go in that direction with this. It's just makes the thread ugly and intelligent discussion goes out the window.

  37. Dismissive pronouncements that “business will go on just fine with the trail in place…” don't inspire much confidence in me. Everything has consequences.

  38. I do think dear. The organization I work for, which happens to be the largest in the world btw , is what keeps Microsoft in the back and we are using more and more MACs every day.

  39. SPG, I'm guessing there wouldn't be nearly as many posts here and on the other story if it were really true that “we all know that the impact of this trail on these businesses will be nil.”

  40. Except that all their other employees *will* need parking, and there won't be any, so they'll locate in a nice modern office park with plenty of parking *and* bike trails.

  41. They also wouldn't have happened if the riders were more careful or chose someplace else to ride. Personally, I've never found the tracks dangerous on my bike — it's the cars I'm worried about.

    Seems like we have some anti-trainspotters here.

  42. Exactly, m! We need to report every infraction that a bike rider makes, and make sure they get tickets for them! As a side benefit, we could use the fine income for the “best route” solution.

  43. If cyclists don't obey the law and motorists do can you please explain why cars kill 40,000 people a year and are the leading cause of death among children?

  44. Sorry but railroad tracks are NOT dangerous. If you think they are then you don't know how to ride a bike! Cyclists in San Francisco, Boston, Portland, and plenty of other cities manage to deal with tracks without nearly the level of whining found in Seattle. I rode across cable car tracks (which are VASTLY more dangerous than RR tracks) in SF on a daily basis without getting hurt. If you can't handle the tracks don't ride. Those tracks were around long before you were. Railroad tracks are for cyclists what iced roads are to motorists: a hazard you need to learn to deal with rather than whine about.

  45. Waterfront trail? Well, the land next to the water is already owned by businesses. Can't put a shipyard or oil dock in a strip mall. A lovely thought, and impractical. One might well also desire to ride one's unicorn to the Fairy Ring.

    ” Take the land NEXT to the water for a beautiful WATERFRONT trail. These businesses refuse to compromise and act selfishly without regard for others. ”
    TAKE the land? Take it? Excuse me? It would seem to me that the cyclists are the ones with the giant sense of entitlement here. You don't get to “take ” anyone's property because you find it esthetically pleasing.

    I have to agree with Sweet Rose- until the 1980s the banks in Ballard DID have the most money on deposit AND this area had the best credit in the city. (my godmother was a bank mgr.) Why? Because of the industry.

    And why can't cyclists go a block over? Why?

    And the guy who is so proud of his exercise-well, I've wrecked by back, I cannot ride a bike. Not everyone in Ballard is 30 years old you know. Not everyone wants to do their grocery shopping by bike. Not everyone can, either. This isn't Holland; yes I have ridden my bike up 32nd and let me tell you it's a b**tch.

  46. This whole lawsuit and missing link issue has really annoyed me on a personal level. Normally I'll add my two cents and welcome a discussion but I won't get personally offended by it. This one reeks as thin cover for another agenda or just basic douchebaggery by a few industrialists who think they're more important than everyone else.
    That, and I've been stuck inside working on a couple projects that have me in front of the computer waiting on processes with too much idle time.

  47. We already are living with the consequences of not having a trail…many injured cyclists from crossing the toy railroad and fewer recreational cyclists rolling through Ballard safely.
    What are the consequences to business if they just let the trail be built? Large savings on legal fees for frivolous lawsuits, no loss of goodwill and business from their neighbors, and on the downside their employees who live far from work might have a harder time finding a parking spot.

  48. I just don't buy the line that the biz is pushing, that a bike trail in the public right of way (that they agreed to when they got their giant toy choochootrain) is going to destroy their business. How? It's been proven throughout this city and others that it just isn't the case.
    Business always rails against the public good with overblown cries of how it will ruin their business, ie: seat belts, air bags, lead free gas, lead free paint, etc.

  49. I got taken out on those exact tracks when a truck cut over too close and forced me into them. I was careful, I survived because I didn't stand my ground and get crushed by a truck.
    If we really want to argue this on a train vs bikes metric, how often does that train actually move vs how many bikes have to ride over their tracks? In fact I've never seen that toy train go past the Ballard Bridge.
    I've heard that the train itself is a huge money loser, but the overgrown kids who run it want to keep it to preserve the right of way and have an excuse to keep a lot of public land tied up in front of their business so they can use that to load and park trucks. A loading zone that they don't have to pay for or pay any taxes on…we pick up the tab for that usurped public land.

  50. At a 90 degree angle, tracks are fine. These are at such an angle that they are dangerous as evidenced by the many many experienced cyclists who crash on them. The other issue making this particular crossing dangerous is that the cars and trucks driving by cut in on the turn which leaves the cyclist without enough room to cross the tracks at a safe angle.

  51. S___Rose cackled: “LOLOLOL “questionable environmental issues” at a SUPER FUND Site?”

    And how did it become the superfund site you find so amusing? Not from cyclists I can assure you.

  52. I'd be interested to know how “experienced” the crashing cyclists are. In any case, it's not like it's a mandatory riding area that can't be avoided.

  53. Yeah. 24th is ruined. Just gridlocked for Chrissakes! All day, all night. 30-40 minutes to get from 65th to Market, at least! It's crazy what those cyclists have done to 24th.

    Really. Think before you post.

  54. 40 minutes from 65th to Market? All day, all night? Yeah, maybe, if you're blind drunk and crawling from the Viking to Wingmasters.

    Sorry to lower the level of this thread to typical MyBallard standards, but I'm so annoyed at the nonsense here that I'll state the obvious:

    You sir, are an idiot. Whining, lying, and a miserable carhead to boot. Better you don't post at all. Just keeping yelling along with Rush and Glenn in your truck.

  55. I'm not buying it. There are off angle tracks in lots of other cities besides Seattle and people deal with them just fine. SF has them and has more traffic to contend with. These “experienced” cyclists don't sound very experienced if they can't handle that crossing.

    If you find the tracks too challenging what is stopping you from going a whopping one block out of the way and riding on 46th? The tracks have been there for decades, long before any of the people whining about them. This whole thing reminds me of all the babies who move into rural areas and then whine about deer eating their flowers. Never mind the deer where there first…

  56. SPG, the 'in' folks on Shilshole Ave expect the city to give them the same breaks that the light rail line folks got.
    It better not happen, but unfortunately, they will try like hell.
    And of course, they have the ear of idiots with agendas.
    btw, I take no offense to anyone taking this issue personally.
    I would have about twenty years ago…too late for that now.

  57. I see lots of bikes on Leary, apparently, the trail isn't enforced ;-)
    If I rode a bike, If I had a choice between Leary and Shilshole, I'd pick Leary. But, only because I detest Shilshole, except for the Salmon Bay Cafe.

  58. You're thinking of the Las Senioritas girls drill team, I believe. And I agree – since SeafoodFest is free to the public, it doesn't seem that the Chamber would be affected much, if at all. The impacted businesses would primarily be the local arts and food vendors, the beer and wine gardens, and the non-profits being supported by the event (Ballard Food Bank, etc.).

  59. “You can do all that important foundation of the economy stuff from somewhere else.”

    Really? Where? Ballard Oil is the last oil dock around here…little hard to gas up the fishing fleet from “somewhere else”. Pacific Fishermen, ditto. Cyclists too, can get to Golden Gardens via “somewhere else.” I''d love to see MORE local industry that provided jobs with a living wage to local Ballardites, rather than fewer. Just think of it the way it used to be: residents walked, biked, or bused to work in Ballard…about as green as you can get. It's the fact that there isn't much local industry anymore that has made this a community of commuters; which in turn, uses more resources and fossil fuel, pollutes the environment, etc. When I search for jobs with the keyword “Ballard”, 99.9% of what shows up in baristas, dishwashers, and the occasional restaurant or retail job. *and as I am unemployed, it would be a dream come true to work in Ballard at something that paid a living wage.”

    Ballard is rapidly becoming like Aspen Colorado- all the “worker bees” live in trailers 40 miles away and commute, because they can't afford to live there! When I was a kid, ALL of the teachers here in Ballard lived in the neighborhood. I'd like to see a teacher on today's salary buy a house in Sunset Hill!

    As I said, I am (well, was until recent injury) a bike rider. But Ballard is in fact chock-a-block full of other streets than Shilshole. Really it is! Check a map!

    How many people actually COMMUTE past 24th and Market? I don't mean “like to ride to Golden Gardens” I mean commute. Getting to work is a necessity; recreation is a luxury. (note: I also used to work in the 'outdoor industry”. ) I too would like to see that “missing link” completed, but NOT at the cost of local businesses and industry.

    Amazon and Microsoft? Microsoft alone is one of the reasons Seattle has a two-tiered economy. I haven't noticed that Microsoft has done much for the LOCALS (I do not mean transplants) except drive up the price of housing, and import workers from foreign countries and other parts of the US. But I digress.

    I fully support the Ballard industries AND I believe in a bike trail. It is not necessary to sacrifice one for the other. It just seems more “convenient” and esthetically pleasing to the cyclists. That railroad? It was here long before Ballard was a part of the city of Seattle, and it does move freight…until Olsen's Furniture closed, I know it moved their freight.

    Mondoman below: IF we still had more industry in Ballard that paid an actual living wage so people who worked here could in fact afford to live here, then we wouldn't have these parking problems, now would we? Because those people would be walking or riding the bus to work, now wouldn't they?

  60. As for the waterfront bike trail:
    Have you not been paying attention to the crap that gets done in seattle? Open your eyes as nothing in this city is too outrageous. In a PR battle it will be interesting to see in this day and age of environmentalism who would get the backing and public attention. Would it be the industries, many of which are partly responsible for these areas being superfund sites? Or would it be an group made up of Bikers, environmentalists and the new Ballard elite who want a nice safe scenic place walk and ride their bikes with their young children. Bell street is going to become a park, Mercer is to be 2 way with half the traffic volume and a center island of trees. A tunnel dug under the city! And you think a waterfront path is ridiculous. Ha! Eminent domain and easement appropriation.

  61. Good for the Ballard Chamber of Commerce and the other businesses that have filed the lawsuit. The cyclists have milked our tax system long enough. I just heard Vancouver is considering a tax on the cyclists, requiring licensing, bike lanes, and taxes collected would go to their benefit. Simply put: When the Cascade Bike Club starts to pay taxes, requires cyclists to license their bikes, carry liability insurance, and pay for all these perks, then I may consider listening to them. Let's be honest, the main reason people ride their bikes to work is for the exercise, they enjoy it. (They are not doing it to save the environment). We need to protect the industrial area of Ballard and the Maritime Industries. The Cascade Bike Club (and cyclists)would be the first group to sue if they were involved in a collision with one of the companies opposed to this trail.

  62. Note that Microsoft even has a commuter shuttle bus that comes to Ballard several times a day. Just a rough guess from when I worked at MS years ago, I'd agree that even the number of Ballardites working for MS outnumber the number of BS&G employees…and they probably earn substantially more too.

    Throw in the other small and large high-tech firms and Ballard & Fremont bring in a lot of high tech money even today. This isn't to say that I want the industrial parts of Ballard to go away, I just want to see them cooperate and realize that they can work with the change instead of just wasting money trying to stall it.

  63. Note that Microsoft even has a commuter shuttle bus that comes to Ballard several times a day. Just a rough guess from when I worked at MS years ago, I'd agree that even the number of Ballardites working for MS outnumber the number of BS&G employees…and they probably earn substantially more too.

    Throw in the other small and large high-tech firms and Ballard & Fremont bring in a lot of high tech money even today. This isn't to say that I want the industrial parts of Ballard to go away, I just want to see them cooperate and realize that they can work with the change instead of just wasting money trying to stall it.

  64. On August 8th, 2008, just in one location on the Burke Gilman Trail, I counted 531 people cycling in 6 hours, most of which was in commute hours.

    This was one route out of the 6 or 8 highly popular bicycle routes between Ballard and other neighborhoods and it wasn't a particularly great or horrible bicycling day.

  65. We have a bicycle master plan in this city that has been approved by the mayor and city council that has a goal of increasing the number of cyclists 300% and decreasing accidents by 1/3rd. That is a LOT of new cyclists.

    While I have some concerns about the experienced cyclists who forget about the tracks and fall, or are pushed by cars, into the tracks, my concern is much greater for all of the people who want to bicycle and are injured just as they get started.

    The entire Burke Gilman Trail is old railroad right of way. This is the only section of a world class bicycle facility that isn't completed. In the last three weeks I've twice been asked by bicycle tourists how to get from Ballard to the Burke Gilman Trail…and the easiest way for me to point them has been “go to Shilshole, follow Shilshole….”

  66. Only if I can cite car drivers for every time they go 1 mph over the speed limit, pull a “rolling stop/california stop”, make a right on red without stopping, fail to yield to a pedestrian, etc.

    When the police actually enforce the laws (go look up the pedestrian crosswalk sting stories), they can't write tickets fast enough.

  67. Hello fellow Ballard cyclists,
    Thank you to:
    SPG, Michael S., Motorrad, Crownpill and all of you that are supporting the completion of the Burke Gilman Trail.

    This lawsuit by Ballard industrial businesses is motivating me to become active.
    I suggest some organized mass rides along the “missing link” at frequent and random times of the day. I need support in this adventure, and I welcome any suggestions that are supportive, possibly something like we did on Stone Way.
    I intend to ride along the “missing link” with my trailer and a billboard stating the situation in effective words that can be read by motorists and pedestrians and cyclists.
    This is our Ballard and as a member of the cycling community and a Ballard home owner I think it is time that all of the Ballard bicycle riders that use Shilshole Avenue get together and show the community that there are many of us.
    If you are not a bicyclist and you drive along Shilshole Avenue you really would enjoy your journey if the majority of cyclists were on a trail that runs from Fred Meyer to the Ballard Locks, so why are you complaining?
    If you are a Ballard resident and you enjoy riding your bicycle please join together and let the Ballard industrial businesses group know that we live here and want to ride in safety and we also support the local business community by shopping locally, many of us on our bicycles.
    I intent to let all of the businesses in Ballard that I shop at know how I feel about this issue and encourage them to support the completion of the trail and ask them to complain to the Ballard Chamber of Commerce about their decision to support the Ballard industrial business law suite.
    I will be at the Ballard Farmers Market on most Sundays giving away free maps, please stop and talk with me about this issue.
    The trail needs to be completed ASAP, and until it is I will continue to ride the “missing link” regardless of where anyone suggests the trail should go, because the logical connection from Fred Meyer to the Locks is along Shilshole Ave. and it would be a lot safer if it ran alongside the railroad tracks and not on a city street.

  68. So, Cascade Bicycle Club worked for months with an actuarial firm to try to figure out what it would take to create a bicycle liability insurance policy. The actuarial firm couldn't figure it out. Simply put, the risk is so little, the damage caused is so minimal, that there isn't enough data available from which to even offer a policy. Bicycles don't kill nearly enough people to even be able to offer a policy.

    If an insurance company would offer it, I'd buy that policy in a heartbeat. I've asked, begged, pleaded with dozens of insurance agents to buy bicycle insurance equivalent to car driver's insurance. Nobody offers such a thing under that description.

    Go talk to the insurance companies. Then go talk to your elected representatives about the property taxes that go to transportation. As a non-car owning cyclist, I already pay for sales taxes, head taxes, and property tax leavies that all go to roads. The only taxes that I don't pay are gas tax and license tab taxes…but those taxes only cover part of the roads. I submit that I am subsidizing you, not the other way around.

  69. So this IS about Ballard Oil? They are a very small percentage of property fronting the trail. They think they have Ballard over a barrel but local politics has shown no one is untouchable. I thought this was about businesses along the whole route. I find it sad that Industry is fighting so hard to screw the community for their own good when the real fight should have been mounted against Fred Meyer, Albert Lee and that Ballard Blocks monstrosity years ago. If this area is so important to industry, how did that land not get used by and for industry. There was waterfront access. I guess that the proof is in what happened. There weren't industry businesses wanting that location thus it went retail. So this isn't about Industry in Ballard, this is about the petty selfishness of a few businesses that feel like they can dictate over the community.

    Times are changing. As industries retract or become obsolete, new business evolves. IF city government and planners were wise, the new mixed use development that has blighted Ballard would have been forced to include office space and work space rather than just storefronts for salons, coffee shops and retail. So that the residents and 'new industry' could have offices here rather than commuting. Again, if traditional industry had valued Ballard, FM and the Blocks wouldn't have been built. So to fight so bitterly against the bike path is just petty greed at the expense of the desire of the greater community. One never knows what battles are around the corner and what allies would be beneficial. It is very possible that one day soon the businesses that are alienating so many people on this issue will ask residents for support and backing. I can't wait. It also amazes me that so many people hate the bikes on the roads yet are railing against getting them of the roads. The number of bikes is only going to grow, they will become more of a danger and nuisance. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face. Just because someone else gets what they want too doesn't mean you lose.

  70. New Ballard elite? (I''ll bet you aren't from around here, are you?)

    Elite? So…we should banish “industry” to “someplace else” so that the “elite” can take their children bike riding?

    In a recession the vast majority of people will fight to save their jobs before they fight to provide more recreation for “the elite.” BTW, there is a really nice stretch of Lake Washington waterfront owned by a Mr. Gates that would make a really swell park for children as well. Why don't we try to get an easement on his property for a waterfront trail and park?

    I am not opposed to a bike trail. I am opposed to a small group of people with a huge sense of entitlement.

    And for the people who want to boycott Seafoodfest- go ahead. More fish and less crowds for the rest of us. The guys who run the barbeques (and who actually manufactured them in Ballard) give their time, effort and energy to put on a nice, fun, family friendly event for ALL of Ballard, not just “the elite.” As I recall, Trident (yes another “industry”) donates the salmon that we all enjoy. I haven't seen or heard of much that the CBC does for the public good, besides their own self interest. That is public good…not the good of their own interests.
    The beer garden is run by the Eagles for the La Senoritas drill team. Many local vendors count on sales, as do retail and restaurants. But I guess these people are the “great unwashed”…since they are not “the new Ballard Elite.” For the record, I belong to a number of “environmental” organizations.

    Well, I'd be interested to see Bell street become a park…frankly I think that will probably end up being called “Needle Park” and is a huge waste of taxpayer money.

  71. This day and age of Seattle environmentalism is nothing more than pseudo green posturing and the new Ballard ‘elite’ are all underwater on the condos or townhouses they paid too much for or the houses they bought from the old Ballard elite who then laughed all the way to the bank. They are perfectly represented by the mayor who has a limo pick him up at his West Seattle house and drop him and his bike a block from City Hall so he can bike into his office.

  72. ” As industries retract or become obsolete, new business evolves” Which of course explains our current financial issues. The new business is creating a third world USA. The battles that are around the corner are those that will be fought to unionize these new industries.

  73. Oh Bell Street will become a park alright but not one that in any way enhances life. It will just be a waste of money to create a block or two of something that looks pretty and offers nothing and the area being considered is not big enough. Pocket parks tend to be pretty places where no one really goes. They are costly for cities to maintain for what little they offer.
    I am actually all for pedestrian only areas in cities. Ballard Ave. would be a great choice in our area. Another good option would be to make 3rd downtown into a pedestrian and bus only street like 16th in Denver.

  74. Only one of the things you mentioned that riders do–not signaling–is illegal. Bike riders have the legal right to pass on the right, get to the head of the line and to ride in the middle of the lane when they feel their safety is at stake.

    Also, one lane in each direction on 24th is a hardship why exactly? I can't remember EVER seeing or being stuck in traffic on that street.

  75. The cencus in 2005 (so, sadly out of date on the low end) states that there are about 50,000 people in the 98107 and 98117 zip codes. So that makes it 0.01 perent?

    I am ALL FOR a completed bike trail. I am AGAINST the huge sense of entitlement some cyclists have and I think that a route up Leary would be just as feasable, and wouldn't impact business and industry.

  76. Interesting…but I don't see any of this “high tech money” going to help Ballard in any way. What I do see is the blue-collar guys at a lot of these industrial firms helping to put on the Ballard Seafoodfest. They built the barbeques, donate the fish, and cook the fish. I see them giving BACK to the community. The guys at Pac. Fish. totally restored an old Norwegian fishing vessel for the Nordic Heritage Museum.

    Interesting historical note: in the 1930s, in the middle of the Depression, Emil Sick (who owned Rainier Brewery) spent $350,000 of his OWN money to build Sick's Stadium. Gone now, it was a huge boon for Seattleites to enjoy baseball. In today's money that would be several million dollars.That's pocket change to Microsoft zillionaires. I don't see Paul Allen or Bill Gates building anything out of their OWN money for Seattle. I don't see any of the “new tech money” from Microsofties etc. donating their money or time to help out Ballard . Correct me if I am wrong here. Am I missing something? Are any of the “new Ballard elite” helpong out any of the existing Ballard charities on the sly? Has Microsoft donated land for a park? As far as I can see, the only thing “new tech money” has brought to Ballard is higher housing costs and more people clogging up the roads commuting.

  77. Frankly, *I* ride on Leary as-is. *I* also ride on Shilshole as-is. But lots of people wouldn't.

    If my math is right, I counted that 1% (5 out of 500 is 1%) of Ballard commuted by bike east/west heading toward UW through just one route on a moderate traffic day. Multiply that by the 8 or so moderate traffic routes (really rough numbers) and you have 8% of Ballard commuting by bikes…or if you figure that I maybe counted them coming and going, drop that to 4%. Yet we historically have funded bicycle infrastructure from property tax levies and sales tax and head taxes at less than 1%.

    If there is a sense of entitlement, that is where it comes from.

    The top two bicycle-vs-car crash causes are right-hooks and left-hooks. These are turning conflicts and Leary Way has these on every block. Shilshole has far fewer. If we are really talking safety, Shilshole would be safer.

    If you want to do a pro-vs-con on Leary vs. Shilshole, that is fine, but the 1st phase doesn't even go on Shilshole for most of the way, it takes Ballard Ave. for all but a few blocks, completely going around Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel, and these businesses are STILL suing!

    So, do you think that I'm coming across as if I have a huge sense of entitlement? If so, I want to understand what I'm doing wrong in my communication.

  78. Flexcar. Sustainable Ballard. Toastmasters. Churches. Rotery. Food banks. Shelters. Tutoring kids after school. Habitat for Humanity. Yep…I know people in high tech who are trying to do (or have done) a lot of good in the neighborhood, in the city, county, and world. We aren't leaches….but we also aren't necessarily followers, we are most likely to develop a new charity than to latch on to something established like the Seafood Festival.

    I don't have hard numbers, and no, we aren't likely to see the zillionaires doing much in Ballard, but there are a lot of little people doing a lot of little things.

    Does Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel match employee donations dollar for dollar? How about Ballard Oil? When I last worked for Microsoft, they matched many thousands of $s of my donations to charities in Seattle…and I was just one of their employees. So, treat us new high-tech folks like leaches if you want, but we want a good community too and are doing what we can.

    It is moving, but my understanding is that PATH was largely funded from Microsoft money and I think for the moment is still in Ballard operating to develop simple things to help purify water or deliver medicines in the 3rd world.

    …and any economic growth would have brought higher housing costs and road congestion to Seattle. If it wasn't high tech, it'd be aerospace or banking or something else.

  79. And even not signaling might be okay legally if the road conditions make it risky to take your hand off of the handlebar. I'll have to double-check the RCW, but I seem to remember a “if safe” clause in there somewhere.

  80. Awesome, A police escort so we can legally blow through the traffic lights. oh, you meant so they can arrest us? For riding where we have a legal right? You are a HOOT. Again, why people like you that hate bikers are so against getting us off of your roadways is ridiculous. Clinical probably. Segregate us to our own path and you won't have to be bothered as much. Something else to complain about will come along soon enough.

  81. Jules2 said “I am not opposed to a bike trail. I am opposed to a small group of people with a huge sense of entitlement.”

    So you against SBS$G and Ballard Oil. And you are FOR the bike trail.

    Because those 2 companies are the entitled ones getting public land for their use and the funniest part is they duped many into backing them. They are running a con. THey have even enlisted business owners by convincing them this is a parking issue. Fight the parking fight with the city and planners. Take the fight to where it belongs.

    Thanks for the chuckles.

  82. Did you just threaten to kill chopper?
    Seriously though, I sense a real disconnect between what you think you're saying and what's actually coming across. I know you really want to say “Kumbaya, enjoy yourself.” but it comes across more like “Life is a gift, but yours sucks.” and it also comes from the same thread of posts about how much the banks have gone to hell, the big employers aren't employing anyone, bicyclists are miserable grimacers who look silly, etc… just a lot of negativity.
    And I'll post a response to your response to save us both the time… yes, I have posted a bunch of negative comments on this topic and I haven't been as nice personally as I like to be, but as I've said already, this one just really ticks me off and I've had it with fake sanctimonious BS as real people are getting hurt almost daily.

Leave a Reply