My Ballard reader Silver and several other Ballard residents walked along the Burke-Gilman trail “missing link” on Monday.
Silver organized the walk in the forum, not as a protest, but as a way to learn more about the route. “We were interested in seeing what current conditions are like for pedestrians, as well as for bicyclists, along the missing link,” she wrote us. “Several of the group were avid walkers, and several more were primarily bicyclists.” Silver took dozens of photos along the way, documenting the conditions, and she posted them here.
Last week: Ballard businesses sue over city’s “missing link” plans
121 thoughts to “Group walks the ‘missing link’”
From what I could see, it would give lots of local watering holes a boost by bringing hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians past their front door every day. These routes are also pretty highly used by cyclists today and a trail and stop light would help all of the traffic move both faster and more safely.
Mondoman posted a couple of interesting links in the forums and I think they're worth reposting here:
Here's a Ballard Tribune story on the railroad: http://www.ballardnewstribune.com/2008/12/15/ne…
And here are a lot of photos of the rail route from 5 years ago on the website of a train/train modeling enthusiast. He describes a ride-along as well, which helped me understand what really goes on with the train. http://www.docwightman.com/railroad/btrr/rideon…
Michael also took pictures during our walk. Some are similar to mine, but he got shots of some things that I missed. You can see his pics here:
It was nice meeting you, Michael!
WHERE exactly would there be an increase in traffic that might mean more business for WHAT watering holes?
Interesting report and photos. Isn't the new Nordic Museum location somewhere along this missing link?
Maritime (old and new locations). The Bit Saloon. Whatever _The Station_ is going to become. Bad Albert's. Conor Byrne. The Lock & Keel. The Loft.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Those are just the several southernmost bars that will be a block away from a trail that will be getting a lot more traffic of the non-driving variety.
So Silver what did YOU learn from your walk? Perhaps that this is NOT some abandoned junk yard? How many actual bike commuters do you think will use this small area compared to how many people actually work there? Where does recreation fit in? Will this be a destination for the standard 40 something new parent/with golden retriever set?
Great stuff, Silver. Good on you for stepping up and organizing. Do you have any other events in mind for this group of trail supporters? I couldn't make the walk, but I'd like to get involved.
I'd take the bike commuters and recreational riders anyday over all the wasted space down there.
or are those bums that hang out behind the Lockspot dumpster actually some of these 'industrial' employees on break?
How is the space wasted? The walkers did not even know what the businesses do. Do you?
Silver, do you even have a job?
There is HUGE traffic where these places sit every day. I go by each one every day. You want to INCREASE that traffic? Nice.
Have you really never seen these places before? Have you ever been to any?
I never see a lack of patron on any given night. Where on earth do you actually LIVE in Ballard? Have you ever left Market?
How often does the train use the tracks?
I love the photo of Barnacle Point Ship yard where the photo caption is “I wonder what they do there.”
I know it was locked down for the evening, but that is another shipyard and there is NEVER enough parking available there.
I know it is dirty, and “un-sexy” but these places provide a lot of jobs. Not glamorous, but family wage jobs for hard working people unafraid to get dirty.
I do believe that's the first time that anyone has taken me to task for spending /too little/ time and money at Ballard bars. :) Yes, I've been to all of those places, many times.
You asked about what businesses would see an increase in traffic (i.e., business) from the trail. I gave you my thoughts. I'm sure a lot of those businesses would be very happy to get extra trail traffic during happy hour and on weekend afternoons, which (in addition to the morning commute) is when the trail would draw the most users.
Hey, good point. Because anyone who has the time to post here during the day….
Uh. Hey, wait a minute….
I got a kick out of that one too. Do these people even live in Ballard?
What will happen when construction starts on the new museum? Is the business community protesting that too?
The tracks are a minor issue.
This is just a list of what ONE business along the route does:
• Overhauls, repairs, and conversions
• Maintenance services
• Basic structural work
• Navigational systems Installation, repairs and troubleshooting
• Propulsion systems repair and maintenance
• Close tolerance machine work
• Hydraulic and machine repair
• Sandblasting, high pressure washing and painting
• Certified welding of stainless, aluminum, and mild steel
• Full service shipwright shop
• Full service pipe shop
• General ship supply store
Is that a waste?
The museum will be on Market NOT on Shilshole.
I am certain that all of the new bike traffic will make up for those who choose other establishments that they will be able to park near………..
Yeah, and today I have to go do it. Must get coffee first though!
I'll try to get back to all the questions/comments tonight.
intelligent post????? NOT!
Well, that will always be difficult to suss out. Sure, some parking spots will be lost — not that many, but not an insignificant number, either. And that will affect business to some extent; how much, we'll never know.
On the other foot, have you ever been to Kenmore on a weekend afternoon? The businesses near the trail (the eastern end of the B-G) get a ton of bicycle traffic. Fremont does, too — ever looked at the back deck of Canal Espresso on a nice Saturday afternoon?
The bicycle crowd is extremely significant for those businesses near the trail. It's hard to imagine in Ballard now, but that will change a lot when the trail is there.
Well said. It seems that if you aren't in front of a computer for a living that most of these people see your occupation as unnecessary.
this has nothing to do with blue vs. white collar workers.
why can't these industrial workers ride their bikes to work?
especially if parking is such a problem. I can't think a bike commute could be much easier (besides, of course, finishing the missing link)
Do you? All of your comments are so antagonizing. Do they have to be?
Oh yes we certainly need a few more coffee shops. : ) Certainly Ballard needs to strive to achieve the ambiance of Kenmore. LOLOLOL
Darlin if I liked Kemore I would live in Kenmore. Do YOU like Kenmore….. if so I have a suggestion.
Heh, we seem to have argued down to the maximum post depth, so I can't reply to your post.
Who says we need more coffee shops? We've got Cugini and Fiore that are extremely close to the proposed trail location. We've got bars already. They could use the business.
I want Ballard to be more like Kenmore only in this specific way that Kenmore is already like Fremont — lots of biking and walking traffic coming from outside the neighborhood for their businesses.
You really have no idea what they even do, do you? Ever carried 200 pounds of tools in a backpack? Most blue collar workers supply their own tools.
You are antagonized? Why?
<<<<<<!!!!!!!>>>>>>> I’m still contemplating here on this gurple person’s suggestion that we look for Kenmore for guidance on livability. YES we ALL strive to live in generic burbite hells. Why on earth did you ever move to Ballard?
You're deliberately pretending to misunderstand me. I'm not sure why.
Kenmore and Fremont both get significant bike and foot traffic to businesses near the Burke-Gilman trail. This will happen in Ballard, too, when we complete the trail. In exactly that way, I would like Ballard to be like Kenmore. And like Fremont.
Not in any other way.
Seriously? It seems as if you are trying to start a fight. Accusing people on the forum of not living in Ballard and not knowing what some of the businesses off Shilshole do. Who cares if they do or not? They are interested in the “missing link” of the BG trail. Sounds to me like they are just offering opinions.
I think my favorite idea yet is to make ALL of Ballard ave a one-way and then put the path down the side.
you clearly spelled out what they do, ym(for one business anyway). do they really need to carry their tools around ALL the time in their vehicle?
I've seen builders and all sorts of tradesmen bike commute.
that you need to have a big ass pick-up truck is simply a fallacy.
Hey I want a pony! We don't get to pick and choose Gurple that's the problem. If you want burbites you get a burbite hell.
my “blue collar” SO keeps his tools in his toolbox at work and would bike to work given the opportunity.
How about a flogging for your efforts, Silver? Sheesh.
i live in ballard, but i can't say i know what they do in A LOT of the buildings in my neighborhood, not just the ones on shilshole. that doesn't mean i don't value the work they do.
Explain this. Go for it. Explain exactly how people biking and jogging to Ballard from other neighborhoods and spending their money at our businesses near the trail makes Ballard into a 'burbite hell'.
Take your time; it's a tall order, but I'm sure you'll come up with something. Meantime, you seem to be implicitly admitting that the trail will, in fact, bring in these people who will spend their money in Ballard. Glad I could bring you around.
that's simply not true.
When was the last time you had an easy time parking anywhere in Ballard? I'm guessing since the people using the trail won't be driving it'll be a non-issue.
I walk to the local bars.
I can't reply to your post ym, so I'll reply to this one.
In response to this comment of yours: “Darlin if I liked Kemore I would live in Kenmore. Do YOU like Kenmore….. if so I have a suggestion.”
First i say, “WOOSH!” as the point sailed over your head.
The only time I ever think of Kenmore is while I'm biking along the trail. the fact that there are businesses there that are close and give a nice place to rest and recharge before heading back to Ballard is the reason we don't just stop at Matthews Beach or somewhere else along the way. The trail does bring business to the area as I see many riders coming from both directions doing the same thing that my group and I do.
Would I drive to Kenmore for the same cup of coffee or snacky treat? No. Do I pedal a few extra miles for it, definitely. Plus, pedaling a few more miles removes all the guilt. :)
Gurple I think your heart is in the right place and also do not think you are one of the lunatics here. You must however understand that good livable communities are not planned. That idea gave us burbite sprawl like we see in Kenmore.
Some thing attracted you to Ballard? I doubt it was its sameness or how well it was planned to meet the needs of its citizens. Great places to live reflect real people not some idea of planned fun to attract tourists. Tourist destinations are not great places to live. They may seem really nice when you visit but stay a year or two and they become monotonous. Their sameness will put you to sleep. I don’t want Ballard to be anything like Kenmore nor do I want it to be anything like Fremont for that matter.
Ballard is hot right now and has been living through a period of hype. This too will pass, as it always does. We have all seen it happen in other places around the nation. Eventually the hype moves on and a place starts to go back to what it was. Sadly often much is lost when this happens. We are seeing that already in Ballard.
I don’t lament small store front type businesses all that much since they tend to have a lifecycle that is finite anyway. (Anyone remember Lyon O’Reilleys and B.J. Monkyshines?) What we can’t afford to lose however is a vital part of our industry that keeps Seattle at least semi-recession proof and keeps us from looking like Detroit does right now. I HUGE part of that is what IS Ballard.
It isn't gurple but losing vital industrial marine businesses will. Coffee shops will never offer the same value.
What opportunity does he need?
I remember when that business used to sandblast and pressure wash boats until 11PM or midnight, that was until I called the police for them violating the noise ordiance.
Right, and a bike trail is going to stop all those things? Please.
Bikers want a peaceful co-existence along a public right of way. The trail is going in entirely on property the city already owns.
Businesses on Shilshole want to continue treating it as an extension to their property – which it is not.
Businesses will need to adjust to a more logical traffic pattern, a couple new traffic signs, and some employees will need to park a little further away.
If that's enough to ruin their business, then these companies must be incredibly weak to start.
Big Bad Industrial Ballard can't compete against a Stop sign and new trail on property they don't even own?
They will go the same route as similar businesses did in Fremont. Did you know that also used to be a vital marine industrial area? We lose more businesses of this sort to Tacoma every day and Tacoma gets their tax dollars which are more lucrative than those from coffee shops.
Right, and a bike trail will destroy families.
I've read your other comments, BallardBizOwner. You think you are God's gift to Ballard. Helping all the little people by giving them “family wage” jobs. And you can't understand why anyone else in the community would have a competing interest.
Well then leave. Someone will tear down your old building and create a new company that pays higher salaries in it's place. Tech, biotech, etc. Look at what's happening in Fremont – Adobe, Google, Getty, and tons of startups. Ballard can benefit from a bit more of that as well.
Seattle's future is not safe in the hands of ship yard owners resistant to the slightest bit of flexibility. I bet if you asked your own employees, they'd hope their kids work for Amazon or Real Networks someday instead of working for you!!!
a functioning bike.
The people who tried to protect Detroit are the people that ultimately destroyed it.
Ballard's industry does not guarantee a vibrant economy for future generations. In fact it does the exact opposite.
It resists the change and diversification EVERY economy needs.
Need proof? Are the maritime industries in Ballard growing?????
If businesses can't handle a simple bike trail and a couple Stop signs, they SHOULD move to Tacoma.
At least that would end this farce about how much the business owners care about Ballard.
Fremont generates tax dollars from Adobe, Google, Getty, countless tech and medical startups, and yes, some coffeeshops.
Fremont is doing much much better than it was when maritime was more dominant. And there's still some awesome maritime businesses here too.
Fremont figured it out, and so will Ballard. You'll see.
I used to work in Fremont and saw a few businesses close up, like the dog food factory, the brush supply, and the garage door company. I also saw a lot more offices, bars, restaurants, and retail stores move in. I think the change in land values had more to do with this than a bike trail, especially since I used the bike trail to get to work.
These changes happen more because the industries that were here 50 years ago were here because it was cheap and they were close to their customers. Now Ballard real estate is more valuable and Tacoma is cheaper and there are more customers there to serve. I don't think a bike trail will accelerate that in any way. A lack of bike trail just means that more of the people who live here in Ballard will get hurt.
The trail will destroy marine business? How? This is the dumbest thing I've heard and yet it keeps getting repeated like a retarded mantra.
I can see the gravel company losing use of some of the public right of way that they've gotten used to treating as their private property, but I can't see any significant impact for anyone else.
When one has a narrow interestviewoutlook they typically are unable to see (or care) about the adverse effect upon others.
How stable is the fishing industry exactly? Seems like I keep hearing that it's getting harder and harder to make any money. How long are these businesses even going to be viable?
Fishing? Not so good. Shipping and pleasure craft? Always good.
Used to? How long ago?
i'm still unclear as to how the trail is going to drive the marine business out of ballard. is it just the possible rise in insurance costs they might have to put forth? my car insurance doubled when i moved from portland to seattle , even as my income decreased; i didn't, however, file for bankruptcy or decide to move to tacoma instead.
The higher insurance thing is baseless.
Maybe BallardBizOwner can explain, as he's tried before, why his insurance will go up.
It defies common sense that a revised bike trail with more organized traffic flow, and better signs and traffic controls will increase the insurance rates or liability of businesses on Shilshole.
They want you to believe the ridiculous argument that their insurance will go up SO MUCH that they'll need to close their businesses. Right.
The lawsuit they filed says nothing about economic hardship. The lawsuit is based on requiring a more detailed environmental review, more extensive than what was already done and what SDOT believes the law currently requires.
What matters? How it happens or the fact that it always does. There is a pattern that always occurs in hyped neighborhoods. What make you think this time it will be different?
Seriously, how much would their rate go up compared to what they're wasting on a lawsuit?
I have been reading your posts the last few day I've gathered that you really just like to argue and be a contrarian. Find something more positive and productive to do with your unemployment. Ballard isn't just hype, the growth and all that occurs with it are here to stay. Maybe you should relocate to Kenmore!
In my world, “burbite hell” is a place where I can't walk or bike to my destinations safely and need a 2-ton vehicle to cart me around. I live in a city so that my destinations are close by and accessible!
But it's unbiased! His name says so!
Thank you! This has been my point all along about how the CoC and sBSg have gone to all lengths to stop this trail despite how many people would benefit from it and how many people would be saved from injuries. Their narrow view is literally hurting others.
From what I've seen it's not that the trail is safer or less safe for their business but rather that some operations that are done in the public right of way and on public property would have to shift onto land that they do in fact own. Other than that I don't see how there would be any impact on insurance. If this isn't the case, please enlighten me.
Thanks for the pictures Silver!
It's time for this link to become accessible to this community.
I second that, please share the rational. Insurance rates will never decrease either way, period. Public safety is the priority. This trail used as it is, is unacceptable. I would not, but clearly, it is being used, and it is not safe. Shame on the Chamber.
Oh, and I still despise the SDOT, so don't think that will change until they do. They'll probably 'f' it up royal, but at least it will be a safer option.
But the company would have the same liability for those operations regardless of whether they occur on “company land” or the public land immediately adjacent.
Any first year law student could blow giant holes through any argument that their liability is lower for incidents that occur on the public land.
And no self-respecting insurance company would determine rates for these companies based on the distinction, especially given the current set-up. Because they too know the distinction would be laughed out of court.
It's a farce. And if they could demonstrate insurance rates would go up, wouldn't we have some documentation for that? Wouldn't they be part of the case? Wouldn't they be demanding reimbursement from the city?
If you have the time, try googling “Google layoffs” and “Adobe layoffs”. I believe your rosy vision of the state of Fremont's economy reflects the pre-permanent-recession timeframe of maybe 2006-2007.
It seems apparent that some posters do not know the facts behind the Bike Trail saga. They read a couple comments and start spewing without looking for the facts.
Ym, you speak condescendingly but I question your real knowledge about the history and true facts concerning this bike path issue. Research for yourself rather than accepting some of the questionable rhetoric from these forums.
If Ballard was so valuable to Industry, then Fred Meyer, The appliance retailer and Ballard Blocks would not exist. That land would be occupied by Industry and businesses TODAY. There is waterfront access there for the Marine businesses. If there was so much industrial demand, there would be industrial businesses there.
To pin the demise of Industry and migration from Ballard on a bike path that runs on public land along a public road is ludicrous. That appears to be the main point of the argument and the facts do not back it up.
As for parking, it is an issue everywhere it seems. The residential neighborhoods as well. That fight should be addresses with the city govt. and planners. Parking issues including allowing development without adequate parking solutions needs to be addressed properly.
I find it very interesting, disappointing and yet darkly humorous that a bike trail that weaves for many miles through many other industrial areas, through many other communities gets derailed at Ballard. Seems you think you deserve extraordinary consideration and allowances. Consider what this says about Ballard. The other communities do.
Fishing is doing just fine. It's not like the boom years of the late 70's, but it's not the bust of the early 80's, either. There are thousands of people (like me) employed in living-wage jobs throughout the city supporting the industry.
Let's look at the trail in Freelard. Despite the trail being put in Kvichak Marine still builds boats just behind Fred Meyer. A little down the Ship Canal, Western Towboat still operates a major towing business and builds their tugboats in their parking lot (seriously, go check it out sometime). Next door to them, Trident Seafoods runs their maintenance facility. None of these maritime industrial businesses have been driven under by a major bike lane.
Doug11, the rules of this board prevent me from telling you what you truly are. WHO ARE YOU TO LABEL MY EMPLOYEES or ANYONE as “Little People.” I do not GIVE out jobs, people EARN them. It is a matter of respect. The employees I have don't understand why I give aid to cyclists who injure themselves on the tracks. Just because the trail is being run through an idiotic place and I don't wish for it to be there, doesn't mean that I should have no compassion. the part that you seem to possess of compassion is found between the “p” and the “i” within the word.
Not everyone goes to college and receives computer related degrees. Some people actually ENJOY working up a sweat, getting dirty, welding, repairing, etc. I don't do that, but I have all of the respect in the world for my employees and others that do.
I hear morons like you often. They have all of the answers but don't know any of the questions. Condescending people who have never “built” much but are eaten up with their personal envy towards those who have. I would bet I have done more to improve the current situation for cyclists than you have, and the current situation still stinks. I witnessed FOUR injuries before lunch time yesterday alone.
Don't you dare bad mouth morons by comparing them with Doug!!!! I have read some of your posts, and found them civil and even informative. You are not against the bike trail, from what I have read, just want it routed through an area without the tracks, correct?
BTW, might you be outsourcing your work to India or Mexico or do you hire workers from the USA?
Didn't the bicycle arrive before the automobile? Be safe people.
Mine is! :)
However, I am a small operation, but 20% growth each of the past two years is growth; and the Chamber estimates 2 BILLION dollars a year brought into our community each year due to the fishing industry……I bet that is pocket change to people like you, but us “little people” need that kind of dough!
Whoa, slow down. I wasn't calling your employees little people. That was an ironic riff on YOU calling them people who earn “family wages”
What on earth are “family wages?”
“Family wages” is the kind of snarky euphemisms guys like you come up with when you want to be showered with praise for creating jobs.
I was riffing off that. I apologize to anyone and everyone who didn't get it. Believe me, I am no high society person. I did go to college but I have been around very hard working people my entire life. I am far far away from owning my own business and paying my workers “family wages.”
not only that, but bicyclists (the league of American Wheelmen) were the driving force behind paving roads before the reign of the automobile. not that it has any bearing on this discussion, just an interesting bit of trivia.
forgot to include the link: http://www.bikeleague.org/about/history.php
You do not “give” out jobs, people “earn” them??
Let me quote you, sir:
“Well the jobs that I provide, the money that I donate, and the services that I provide will move elsewhere….”
You sound as arrogant as can be. We're all supposed to worship you or something.
Better here than in the damn *candy* thread! ;-)
I live in Ballard. I walked to Fred Meyer, then walked the missing link, then walked back home. All after work. I was hot and tired, and a bit frazzled, but it was worth it. I got to meet some nice, community-minded folks.
jm – check out the Ballard Tribune story link above for your answer.
Hi BBO – thanks for the information about Barnacle Point Ship Yard. I couldn't see a sign from where I was.
Thank you, Gurple. I could have done a better job getting the word out. Several people who wanted to go, heard about it too late. ;-(
I'm thinking that I really should have organized the walk for rush hour, or during the work day, even though that means that fewer people could make it because of their own work schedules.
I'd like to see what conditions are like when traffic is at it's worst, when trucks are coming and going, and when more bicycles are on the trail.
Because of most people's work schedules, I may be alone for this next walk. ;-)
Would you believe that I only just went to the Nordic Heritage Museum for the first time a couple of weeks ago? The name kind of put me off I guess. It sounded all dry and academic. I had no idea it was so cool! I would have gone sooner, had I known. ;-)
I think it's going to move down to NW Market Street, so depending on which side of Market it's on, it may border the trail on one side.
Thanks for your question SPG. Here's how I understand it:
1) Everyone (I think!) agrees that paving/improving the trail will attract more riders along that section, probably including a disproportionate increase in less-skilled newbie/rec/family riders.
2) These riders will be crossing paths with heavy industrial traffic (e.g. cement trucks).
3) Even if the industrial traffic follows all traffic rules, the increased path crossing will lead to an increase in the number of accidents/collisions.
This is perhaps the weakest link in the argument, but the collisions that have happened with the light rail in the Rainier Valley and to the SLUT strongly support this argument link.
4) Having been in an accident, some people will sue. Not only will they sue the city, the will sue adjacent businesses and whoever owns the truck they rode into/in front of/whatever.
5) Effect 1: The smaller marine businesses do not have attorneys on retainer and thus will have to spend big bucks on attorney fees to defend themselves.
6) Effect 2: Insurance companies will jack up their liability insurance premiums to compensate for the bigger outlays from Effect 1. All businesses in that area will suffer.
Sounds plausible to me, but then again, I'm not an attorney or business owner or rabid bikes-firstist.
Or the bikes-firstists may be the ones with the narrow view…
ym – most of my conclusions can be found in the captions below the individual photos. I was up waaaay past my bedtime last night typing those in. Sorry they weren't completed by the time the story went live. I was tired.
You may not believe me, but if the trail was completed, I would be walking it frequently. I walk all over Ballard, but the completed part of the Burke-Gilman trail is one of the very best places to walk.
From my perspective, the missing link is in a really bad place – that's the closest part of the trail to where I live. This means that I have to walk through that area just to get to the finished part of the trail.
I tried to lay out the case for increased costs in a reply to SPG higher up in this thread. Although doug says “…It defies common sense that a revised bike trail with more organized traffic flow, and better signs and traffic controls…” will increase insurance rates or liability, the recent examples of the SLUT and especially light rail show that the number of accidents will in fact go up, which will naturally lead to an increase in the number of lawsuits. If lawsuits increase, attorney costs and/or liability insurance can easily skyrocket, especially for small businesses that don't have attorneys on retainer.
mr – I don't think that history and other places really matter in deciding what to do with “our” stretch of the BG. What matters to me is the safety of the trail users, and to prevent any monetary burden on businesses caused by BG realignment/construction.
I don't think anyone's explained why it would be worse to put the trail on a one-way Ballard Ave or modified Leary.
Neat info, llb!
The next logical step as I see it is arm wrestling! Could be the next big seafood fest attraction! BGT vs Ballard Industry
I can't stand Kenmore and I like industry. Help me Mr Wizard, I don't want to be like Kenmore anymore.
Would love to spend the rest of my days reading your spit but I gotta go watch the Tour De France.
Good luck everyone, See ya in court
So there are two likely effects:
1. More riders
2. More organization – dedicated trail, fewer entry points for trucks, better signage etc.
Insurance rates would go up only if these two things don't cancel each other out.
I'm doubtful they won't. I think it's more likely the area will be safer for all parties, and liability for accidents will be much easier to determine. Less risk = less costly.
Otherwise let's see some evidence from businesses or their insurance companies as part of the lawsuit….
Yes. The city is using easement along the rail right of way and some property owned by the new museum.
intelligent reaction????????? NOT!
jm was making the point that if the industrial business owners would sue the city to stop something deemed to be in the public good like a bike trail, what's to stop them from finding a reason to oppose the new museum?
Who knows, maybe all those museum patrons would take up all the parking or construction would get in the way of the annual moving of the locomotive? It sounds ridiculous, but so does suing to get more environmental review for an already agreed upon trail.
I doubt that's the outcome, as I'd think the fact that this would all be happening on a public right of way would shield the businesses from any liability.
More likely the businesses are worried that a bike path might make their property seem more attractive and more valuable for development. Keep it dirty and keep it cheap. Industry doesn't have much incentive to keep it looking nice as you can tell from the photos.
I think the 2 billion figure refers to the entire Northwest and counts everything from each fish caught to every salmon entree, to the ads on reruns of Deadliest Catch. If Ballard was pulling in $2,000,000,000 a year we'd see it.
Aren't those car accidents? And haven't they been deemed to be the car drivers' fault?
i did a few days ago in some long forgotten thread also dominated by the BGT –
This is true. The number varies widely, depending on who is throwing the number around, but it's not $2,000,000,000 a year in Ballard.
The good news is that this money will keep being generated. There is not a shred of evidence that the scope of this planned project (fixing drainage issues on NW 45th, reconfiguring the the right of way from 11th NW to 17th NW, improving driveway access in that stretch, then eliminating some parking along Shilshole between Vernon place and 24th, then adding bike/sidewalk lane along Market street between 24th NW and 28th) will lead to loss of any of these businesses.
It is about where they want to put it, not its presence in ballard. If you are company x, and your insurance company tells you that you can't get insurance if a bike trail goes in (out of danger of hitting a cyclist) you don't try and halt it because you hate cyclists, you try and halt it because you want to keep your business. That is human nature and makes a lot of rational sense.
No, it doesn't make any sense. A separate trail, more organized driveway access, more signs, and more organized traffic pattern will reduce risks and make it easier to determine liability in the event of an accident.
The lawsuit appeal is not about economic impact or higher insurance rates. It claims there haven't been enough environmental studies. It's the same type of delay tactic these guys have used for years.
Business owners or the Chamber of Commerce haven't produced any evidence their insurance goes up, that I've seen. Anyone seen this? Anyone? Anyone?
Ignore doug11, he's just an irritant.
But… you witnessed four injuries before lunch time on Tuesday!? I knew it was bad, but I didn't realize how bad. How many injuries do you think occur in front of your business per week?
The Seattle Times finally has an article on this issue, and they say that 40 people report injuries on that section of non-trail per year. Obviously that's just a tiny slice of the injuries that happen there.
Recognizing the lousy situation that exists there now, do you think it would be safer with a trail in place there? I know there are other factors to consider, and other potential locations for the trail. But simply in terms of safety if the trail were completed in that location, would you agree that it would be safer for cyclists?
gurple you must not have seen BallardBizOwner's comments directed at me before they were removed by the moderators. but yeah, I'm the irritant.
for those interested, we've got Chamber of Commerce members participating over in the forums now! Irritating to some, but the conversation is moving forward in a meaningful way.
And my comments have also prompted the Chamber of Commerce to take down and correct the list of members posted on their website. How irritating!!!
I think the insurance issue is just a red herring (does red herring count towards the $2bn of fishy business?) and the real issue is taking advantage of the public right of way for private use and the possible impact on land values, as in the trail might make it nice and less affordable for industries that don't own their land.
When I say injuries they are scrapes, bruises, etc. Understand that I am coming and going all day long, but on days when I am there all day, and it is a nice summer day, I would bet I could witness a dozen bike wrecks a day.
About five years ago SDOT painted 45th and made it an absolute mess. I used my camera phone and each day took photos of the cars, trucks, and cyclists….of course I got photos of the most dangerous situations….and vowed that within a week I would have a photo of a serious accident….I began this on a Monday and on Thursday I had a photo of a serious injury with medics on the scene. I e mailed these to all of the council members, the head of SDOT and others at SDOT, local press (Dorie Monson, Jim Foreman, Ken Schramm, et al), an attorney who's card was “bicycle attorney” and ther local biz people. The following Saturday I had a very ticked off SDOT manager wanting to take swings at me for trying to embarrass SDOT. That Satuday they re-painted 45th to the way it is today…..and it still stinks, but is MUCH BETTER. I witness all day long, inexperienced cyclists riding between the tracks as if it is the bike lane. Byron has tried to paint sign, warnings, to keep people off of them. I holler at children with their parents to keep them from wrecking. They are ignorant to the lanes there, by no fault of their own. This street has become a highway for cars trying to shortcut off of Shilshole ever since they paved it years ago. I tried to get speed bumps installed, but SDOT said that would be bad for bikes….me being much like Forrest Gump…..suggested putting 4″ gaps in a few locations that would allow bike tires to navigate through easily…….no good…………………..
A trail is needed. The location that it is to be run through is poor. I still contend that the “serious cyclist” is going to ride on whatever street he wants in order to get to hisher location in the quickest manner. The “leisure rider” will follow the trail wherever it goes. Those are the riders, I don't know a way to better describe them, that are the most likely to wreck. When I see cyclists approach 45th from Fred Meyer, I can almost tell you who is going to wreck.
I know there are many who think the insurance worries are nothing but smoke, but they are real. Doug11 makes pie in the sky claims like we should go to the City and demand reimbursement if these clams are true. The real world doesn't work like that. If Ballard Oil becomes un-insurable; it dies. I am able to relocate, and right now within Ballard, I can get favorable leases for my needs, but I have a great landlord, good neighbors, and a long time location……I want to stay.
Also, since it is a contention on this forum at times, I don't reside in Ballard currently. I grew up here, played ball around here, my parents live here, my business is here, I know so many people in the community, but moved to get my kids in a better school system and where housing was more affordable, at the time.
Long enough post….more work to do!!!!!
Oooooooooooops. I ignored your last question which has an obvious answer. Yes, for cyclists. I really wish that if this were really what was going to be forced down our throat, that the City would make 45th a one way street with the other lane for cyclists.
I will give an example of an “on the job” lawsuit that affected my insurance greatly. We were working at an FAA office bldg. We had yet to be on site………………when a woman in her wheelchair that worked there for the FAA had a construction cart with “gadgets” fall on her leg when she tried to move it in the hallway. The closest bathroom was out of order due to construction, she had to wheel around the hallway to an alternate one when she encountered the cart. EVERYONE on the job site and VENDORS who just sell materials was named in her lawsuit which claimed permanent disability. We had PROOF of not even being on site. No matter, all of us named had to have attorneys which the insurance company hired until we got dismissed.
Bottom line from that……my insurance premiums went up approx. 25% for the next three years over a baseless case of which we had rock solid proof that we were in no way involved in. That is the “real world” of insurance and liability that we live in. I am a small biz. Anyone that thinks insurance companies are understanding and can be dealt with in a logical manner is fooling themselves. There are reasons they have large office buildings.
This bike trail, in this proposed location WILL put someone under. It may be ten years down the line, but it will. It just takes one accident….and they are accidents. Salmon Bay is the most likely one due to the larger amount of exposure they will have.
Also, those of us in the industrial type businesses do cringe when we see property values increase. Don't you as a homeowner? With everything else seeming being stacked against us, it is another hurdle to negotiate. For me, being small, I do have the ability to relocate, but for the Salmon Bay's and Ballard Oil's of the world……they are not afforded that luxury.
I know this will illicit the usual “move out” you aren't needed and a new biz will just move in. Have you noticed the failing businesses in our area? Do you know most start ups do fail? It makes no sense to pee on the foundation of the local economy. It reeks of self entitlement and envy to me.
“Helping all the little people by giving them “family wage” jobs.”
If that isn't referring to BBO's employees then what is it? I think we know that “family wage” jobs pay enough to support a family. that is not complex.
“I am far far away from owning my own business and paying my workers “family wages.”
My unbiased, rational eye can now ascertain the reason for the contempt you display for the businesses.
BBO – thanks for the info regarding Barnacle Point Ship yard. I've updated the photos caption.
Thanks for continuing to post here despite all the insults. I am glad to finally find out that you actually support the trail.
I regret a lot of my earliest posts and I apologize for not being more civil. I wish you would do the same. I really resent your accusation that I had anything to do with the dart. Joke or not, at least the moderators had the good sense to remove it. It was over the line.
One question on the insurance. Do you feel companies are in a sense getting a “free pass” on the situation as it currently exists? I mean, wouldn't a fatal mishap even without the trail have the potential to put a company under? Shilshole is public and bikers the right to “take the lane” if they want it. So wouldn't a accident with or without the trail be essentially the same? Do you think the insurance companies are simply overlooking that currently?
Hah! That is awesome, one of the best puns I’ve seen in some time.
Real Estate Investors
Really interesting and well written article.
Really interesting and well written article.