Mayoral candidates address the ‘Missing Link’

Updated: We recently asked My Ballard readers what questions you’d ask the mayoral candidates for the KING 5 and Seattle Times debate. We recorded three questions on camera, and tonight they aired one of them: “There have been a number of bicycle accidents along the unfinished portion of the Burke-Gilman trail, commonly referred to as the ‘Missing Link.’ How do you propose to address safety along this stretch?” (Thank you Elaine for the question!)

As many Ballard residents know, the city approved plans to bridge the “Missing Link” of the trail, but a coalition of Ballard businesses filed a lawsuit in July over concerns of the project’s impact on traffic safety, parking and the environment. In the debate, Joe Mallahan said he supports improving bicycle safety, but he declined to take a position because of the ongoing lawsuit. “To take a position would be bad policy,” he said, explaining he wished there was a place “up in the neighborhood to get around that stretch.”

Mike McGinn said he supports the plan to bridge the link, criticizing Mallahan for not backing the city. “I think we need to complete the trail as planned, as approved, as funded,” he said. “It’s just one of the real treasures of our city. It’s very unsafe as it currently stands.” Watch the video here.

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I wonder if the response is similar to what Publicola reported earlier this month:
http://publicola.net/?p=15658

Craig M. Benjamin
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Craig M. Benjamin

Joe and Mike respond to Kate's question about the Burke (hint, Mike's for completing it, Joe is not): http://www.king5.com/video/index.html?nvid=408757

If you are still undecided in this race, please watch the entire debate from tonight here (broken out into issue sections): http://www.king5.com/news/specials/politics/sto

Structural
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Structural

I actually may have to vote for this McGinn fellow, sounds like he really doesn't mind screwing dirty, polluting, working class companies and their workers out of Ballard. This would be great for my property values. Seriously, the only thing between me and my dream Ballard is the working class.

Maybe McGinn and the Greens have the means to drop kick them out and Ballard's industrial corridor into a hi-tech/green condo hub? And to think, I used to think the best way to screw the working class was to vote Republican; in Seattle we can just vote 'green'!

Ballard19
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Ballard19

Structural, there are enough of people like you and too many condo complexes in Ballard already. Move to south Lake Union….

Structural
Guest
Structural

Why? The Greens do the best job at driving up property values and making neighborhoods expensive; that's the best green I know. I'll hook my wagon to the Ballard greens.

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

First off, thanks Kate for asking this question on behalf of Ballard. So, structural, your sarcasm is dripping, and it' s pretty good imagery, but I just don't get it…can we try to communicate here ? So, if the City is building a trail between 11th NW and 17th NW along the south edge of the current right of way, then along the south edge of Shilshole NW from Vernon Place to 24th NW, and McGinn supports that, that equals 'screwing dirty, polluting, working class companies and their workers out of Ballard' ? How will building the trail do that? And I'm serious when I ask this. It seems that so many people who write on My Ballard about this may not know exactly what the plan is–that it is in public right of way, doesn't take anyone's private property away, improves, in some cases, driveway access and sitelines. How is that screwing the working class? Trust me, I'm not making dumb here, I just don't get the hyperbole over what essentially amounts to cleaning up a roadway. Yes, I know trucks go in and out of driveways. Yes, I know a train runs through here. Yes, I know it's… Read more »

elaineinballard
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elaineinballard

Exciting to see my question asked, and even better to hear McGinn's answer. I'm disappointed that Mallahan isn't committed to completing the missing link. Thank you Geeky Swedes!

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

I'd like to comment on Mallahan's response to the BGT question in tonight's KING5 debate. (His website says that he supports prior decisions, etc., without really saying if he would continue to pursue completing the next, planned section of trail. Again, we are talking about 11th – 17th along NW 45h, Vernon Place to 24th NW along Shilshole Ave NW, and 26th to 28th along the rail right of way. No trail in front of Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel. Nothing along 'not 54th street' in front of Pacific Fisherman and Ballard Oil. This has been designed, approved, funded, upheld by the Hearing Examiner, but has been challenged by a group of business 'appellants' including the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.) So, McGinn seems to understand what the issue is, and Mallahan is reluctant to commit to it. That is, the City can either continue to 'defend' the legal challenge from the business groups, or not. McGinn says that he will defend. Mallahan says that it would be 'bad policy' to comment. I guess I'd urge Mallahan supporters who would like to see the City proceed with this next section of trail to contact him and ask him to clarify his… Read more »

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

Structural —

here's another approach. Ocean Cement on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC is literally 'surrounded' by either water, or rampant clueless tourists, walking to and fro in front of their business access. See this link for how they chose to respond to this situation.

My point? Iindustrial business and other uses can mix. It takes two to tango. We can make it work in Ballard — let's give it a try.

http://www.lehighcement.com/News/Lehigh-News-20

Structural
Guest
Structural

No sarcasm, I'm serious. The spandex warriors are the foot soldiers for the gentrification battle. We send them out just after the hipsters on fixies. Expect to see more pleasure boats and yuppies on bikes in Ballard.

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

You understand that it wasn't 'spandex warriors' who proposed that the trail be completed (Ballard Neighborhood Plan in 1998.
Do you really think that those of us who live in Ballard and use the trail are the ones driving 'gentrification'? Isn't that the big money people?
The people who want this trail built (believe me, it's not all bicyclists who use the trail) aren't trying to gentrify
You know Kvichak, and Salmon Bay, and Ferguson Terminal all moved into their locations between 3rd and 8 th AFTER the trail was built? And aren't they thriving?

I'm not a fixie, I don't own spandex (don't get me started), don't own a pleasure boat (but a good thing probably that some do, as this is big chunk of support/work for Ballard's maritime industries, wouldn't you agree?), especially don't want Ballard's industries to go anywhere. I just want to make it safer for more people to get from Point A to POint B by some means besides a vehicle.

great idea
Member
great idea

Mallahan will not get my vote. typical politician glad-handling to make sure he doesn't tick anyone off.

we need to build this trail now to make the ignorant masses see what an improvement this would be to our community. I'm sick of the naysayers (like structual above, spouting out mis-information).

Structural
Guest
Structural

And I support you! You can pretend this is not part of the gentrification process in Ballard all you like, it won't make it true and it won't return Ballard to an affordable working class neighborhood.

So I welcome our spandex warriors. More bikes, fewer trucks! Green is the way! Pretty soon we'll be just like Amsterdam or Copenhagen, and hopefully just as expensive.

Structural
Guest
Structural

Lucky we don't live in Canada, ehh?

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

This really is the dumbest issue ever. If you're not a competent enough cyclist to cross the tracks simply go one block north to 46th. Voila, problem solved! If you don't want to deal with the trucks then go one block over and ride up Ballard Ave. Why is that so difficult? As a cyclist I'm astounded at how much time and money has been pissed away on what should be a non-issue. Of all the serious problems facing this city this isn't one of them.

BTW if you think the tracks in Ballard are dangerous be grateful you don't live in SF where you have to deal with cable car tracks!

Structural
Guest
Structural

Call me crazy, but wouldn't a typical politician be the one who drops his one major and most unpopular position 2 weeks before an election when he's down in the polls?

Structural
Guest
Structural

“the ignorant masses”

I agree! Hopefully the continued gentrification of Ballard will drive these ungreen, ignorant masses from Ballard. Can you imagine how expensive Ballard will be when only the enlightened live here? Have you seen home prices in Berkeley?

Edog
Member
Edog

OK, so McGinn wants to finish the missing link, but create a new even bigger missing link along the Alaska Way Viaduct?

Structural
Guest
Structural

“I'm sick of the naysayers (like structual above, spouting out mis-information).”

Hey, you need to learn to read, I support the trail. I support anything green promoted by college educated white liberals. Put in factories, traffic jams and strip malls like the right wing would and home values will plummet. Give me bike trails, trams, green homes = high value.

There's a reason the New Slums are in places like Kent and Federal Way.

blite
Guest
blite

McGinn needs a new pet issue now that he's dropped the “anti-tunnel” stance. This could be it!

Michael Snyder
Guest
Michael Snyder

Does that also mean that it is 'bad policy' for Mallahan to comment on the Viaduct and deep bore tunnel since there is a lawsuit over the environmental impacts of that too?

great idea
Member
great idea

this has nothing to do with cyclist competence.

I have no issue getting over these tracks. However it's asinine that I should have to squeeze into a 2″ narrow curb because some jerkoff needed to park his cement truck in the right of way.

this is a multi-use trail anyway. not just for you spandex clad racers. I should be able to push my kid in a stroller from the Locks to Fred Meyer without meandering all over lower ballard.

this is a serious issue affecting this city. finish the freakin' trail already and there wouldn't be more time and money spent on it.

-can

cnt
Guest
cnt

This is a good comparison and needs to be discussed a little more. We have two transportation plans 1) one through downtown Seattle and 2) one through downtown Ballard. The city backs both of them. McGinn did not back the deep bore tunnel option (one of several options for the viaduct replacement), but obviously, he saw the writing on the wall and realized that there was probably nothing that he could do about it now. It would be disingenuous to propose that he could do something to stop it now; people might vote for him expecting him to be able to stop it and this does not seem possible now. I would also mention that 3-4 billion dollars is a lot of money to spend on one project, we will be paying for this for the next 20 years or so. Mallahan supports the tunnel option, but for some reason can't say what he supports on the Ballard transportation project. The Ballard missing link is not a complicated issues, but Mallahan seems to act like he has been asked if we should invade Iran. In this situation, I would say that at least McGinn is be brutally honest about both… Read more »

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

“not just for you spandex clad racers.”

Quick to the stereotypes are we? I don't own a single piece of spandex, thank you very much.

I'd hardly consider one block to be “meandering all over lower ballard” but then again I'm not fat and lazy (partly because I push my kids in stroller everywhere and partly because I ride a bike).

Edog
Member
Edog

I don't think it shows anything other than politics by both parties.

I've not followed Mallahan as much, as his campaign is just so horrible.

On the missing link, McGinn could just be playing to the rabble, as he has with his “suspention” of his opposition to the viaduct.

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