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


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Jules
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Jules

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… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

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.

eddiek
Member
eddiek

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.

great idea
Member
great idea

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.

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

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. ;)

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

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

Ballard Biz Owner
Guest
Ballard Biz Owner

Real class……..just buy your gloves elsewhere, geeez.

JULES2 you are too logical….look out for the cyclist venom!

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

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?

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

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.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

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.

SPG
Guest
SPG

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?

Ernie
Member
Ernie

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… Read more »

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

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.

SPG
Guest
SPG

“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.

SPG
Guest
SPG

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.

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

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?

SPG
Guest
SPG

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?

Shameless
Guest
Shameless

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.

SPG
Guest
SPG

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.

Name
Guest
Name

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.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

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.

SweetRose
Guest
SweetRose

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.

BallardBizOwner
Guest
BallardBizOwner

……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……..my landlord is involved in the legalities……yet the threats and vulgarities are thrown at me.

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

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:

http://www.bikewise.org/pub/report/crash/221
http://www.bikewise.org/pub/report/crash/156
http://www.bikewise.org/pub/report/crash/177
http://www.bikewise.org/pub/report/crash/228
http://www.bikewise.org/pub/report/crash/13

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: http://www.bikewise.org/report/crash_form

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

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.

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