‘Missing link’ ruling expected soon

The dangerous, unfinished stretch of the Burke Gilman trail which runs through Ballard — called the “missing link” — has long been a hot-button issue with bicyclists, drivers and businesses in the area.

King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers is expected to issue his opinion Friday on a lawsuit filed against the city by a coalition of Ballard industrial businesses, associations and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce. The lawsuit alleges that an environmental review conducted by the city to determine the impact of a completed trail did not take businesses into account.

With the ruling right around the corner, we’ve posted an in-depth look at the missing link, from an interactive tour to one bicyclist’s account of an accident there. The multimedia story is the product of an innovative partnership with the nonprofit Common Language Project and students of University of Washington’s Entrepreneurial Journalism class.

Click here to read “A look at the missing link.”

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

12 thoughts to “‘Missing link’ ruling expected soon”

  1. So glad this became an election issue during the Mayor's race. I mean, if Mallahan had been elected Mayor of the King County Superior Court, instead of McGinn we might never have gotten our ruling.

    April Fools!

  2. My dad occasionally encounters ill-tempered cyclists riding on the sidewalk on the south side of Market Street out by the locks. My theory is they have been diverted from the trail and are angrily brooding on the missing link and this accounts for their rude behavior. Filling it in will help make the lives of pedestrians easier as well.

  3. I would love to have it. I hate running on that road. I have to try and stick to Leary because with all the garages you have to crawl to not get hit. It would be very nice to have something on that side of the road.

  4. Its not “unacceptable”, it would just be nice to be able to run a continuous trail that is safe. It would be nice to be able to run out to UW and back out to golden gardens. Leary is safer then the “missing link” currently, but having a complete trail would be safer.

  5. Thanks Geeky Swedes – 'in depth look' is a bit of a stretch to describe the reporting on this, but the video and visuals are interesting.

    Let's hope the will of the people will be upheld (how many different ways do we have to say we want the damn trail built– every public meeting, Bridging the Gap vote, Parks Levy vote, We Are the Missing Link demo, hundreds of signatures on petitions to the Ballard Chamber?, the list goes on).

    One can only hope that if the Superior Court judge rules in favor of the City, and upholds the Hearing Examiner's legal interpretations, then the obstructing businesses will say, OK, we've had 2-3 yrs of public involvement, and now have been on the losing side of two appeals – let's figure out how to make the best of this.
    And if the City loses, then let's get on the with the full SEPA analysis, and hope that these guys don't find another way to legally challenge this – but I will not get my hopes up.

  6. Swedes — I've been pleased to see your recent efforts to involve student journalists in this and related projects. I like the multimedia approach of the “in-depth look” site. That said, a copy editor would have been *very* helpful in catching errors such as the typos, the erroneous photo locations, and so forth.

  7. A quote by Aakervik of Ballard Oil from “A look at the missing link” shows just how out of touch with reality he is:

    “No commuting bicyclist will use this when the facility is done, not one, only recreation.”

  8. There is much, much more traffic on Leary. And there is a lot of right of way on Shilshole along the rails that is not organized. They chose the most direct route with the fewest cars, trucks, driveways and intersections.

  9. My bet is that within a year after the trail is finished, we can do a bike count on that section and find at least 50, probably 100 or more, daily bicycle commuters using it in a 2 hour period alone.

    Further down the trail we see 400+ cyclists using it every morning.

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