Cycletrack alternative proposed for missing link

One of the attorneys for the Ballard businesses fighting against the proposed missing link on the Burke Gilman Trail is serious about pushing for a European style alternative.  Moments after a judge ruled an environmental study must be done on a small section of the missing link before a decision on its fate is made, attorney Josh Brower told MyBallard that his clients were proposing a plan to build cycletracks along a different route.  Today, he reinforced his stand on the issue.

“We’re very serious about this alternative,” said Brower.  “It wouldn’t undermine the local maritime industry, it would be safer for cyclists, and it would benefit the entire community.”

Brower and his clients are proposing a route that would put cycletracks on 46th Street under the Ballard Bridge, up 17th Avenue, over to Leary Avenue, down Market Street, and ending at the Ballard Locks. 

Cycletracks are separated from vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks.  They’re popular in Europe and you’ll also find a similar version on Seattle’s Alki Beach (photo above).  But those pushing to complete the current missing link route say it’s only adding more time to a process that’s already dragged out over two decades.

“This is the straw man.  It’s unfunded and unstudied,” said David Hiller with the Cascade Bicycle Club.  “It’s frustrating because every day is another day closer to someone being killed.”

Hiller says he’s in favor of making improvements on Market Street and other parts of downtown Ballard, but he says those need to happen in addition to completing the currently proposed route.

As for the environmental study on the section of the missing link in question, SDOT hopes to have it complete in the next few months.

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Gurple
Member

Leary and Market. I can see why he felt the need to say “we're very serious about this alternative” — on the face of it, it sounds like a bad joke.

Has this guy ever driven in Ballard? That five-way intersection is already a mess. At least one car runs the red light from Market westbound on every single cycle during rush hour. And it's a long intersection, it'll take bikes ages to clear it. This guy wants to route all the cycle traffic in the area through there? Why not just run a trail down the middle lane of I-5, while we're at it?

That Hiller guy from Cascade has it right — they just want to restart the clock and push this off for another decade of study.

Edog
Member
Edog

“This is the straw man. It’s unfunded and unstudied,” Hiller is right, but its worse than that. To suggest this major change as some sort of soultion to a small peice of trail is an insult to the residents of Ballard. I mean, the link is much riper as a project, putting in Bike tracks in Ballard is a major change of the grid to a part of town that is very far removed from everything else as it is.

“It’s frustrating because every day is another day closer to someone being killed.” Heck, their truck drivers are so wreckless, I fear for my life when I drive by SBSG in car.

Dweezil
Guest
Dweezil

I am curious what the Chamber has to say about crippling traffic through the heart of Ballard with this idea. Maybe they will have second thoughts about supporting SBSG and crew.

kurisu
Guest
kurisu

So true, Edog. I doubt that Brower vetted this with a single business on Market or Leary. Or SDOT, or Metro, for that matter. What about buses that need to pull to the curb along those streets? Would they drive in the cycletrack?

Edog
Member
Edog

check out the publicola updates. They spoke with SDOT. Lets just say they were not really supportive. Honestly, this proposal is a big insult.

A real FU to Ballard.

This makes about as much much sense as proposing an international airport at the current site of SBSG.

SPG
Guest
SPG

I have a modest proposal. I propose that Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel relocate just a short distance to where there is plenty of sand and gravel readily available. My proposal goes into more detail, but the location would be in the middle of Puget Sound. Of course they may need to spend a bit more on scuba equipment and submarines, but think of all the sand available to them right there!
Please write stories about this and spend countless hours discussing this instead of the actual construction of the long planned and approved missing link of the Burke Gilman Trail.

SPG
Guest
SPG

We the undersigned respectfully demand that Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel be forcibly evicted and the site turned into an international airport.
X________________________
X________________________
X________________________
X________________________
X________________________
X________________________

Win win! And just as likely to happen!

Mary Loiuse
Guest
Mary Loiuse

Can we do an Environmental Study on SBSG and Ballard Oil please. I am leary about what they are putting into the canal. Um kay, Mr. Brower?

SPG
Guest
SPG

Since we're moving ahead with this whole thing, I just started looking up available airport codes for the Ballard International Airport and BAL is taken by of all things…Batman Airport in Turkey.
BIA, BRD, BUM, BFU, BFD, are taken. BGT is Bagdad.
So we can be BZF or BZX if we want to have our code start with B.

just_another_norwegian
Guest
just_another_norwegian

Crippling traffic? Hey, if it cripples traffic, the mayor and most locals should probably immediately hop on the bandwagon. Making life as miserable as possible for anyone who dares to own a car is a high priority for the city.

Actually, if these guys really want their proposal to be taken seriously, they should amend it to make *all* the lanes on Leary and Market St. bike-only. Then wipe out all the existing parking on the street, and you would have something the “visionaries” would immediately line up behind.

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

Going down Leary and Market is a bad idea. Leary has bus lines and Market is too narrow as it is. A better option is 46th-17th-Ballard-Market. I ride that route daily and it's way better than Shilshole. Only bad spot is the one block of Market between Ballard and 24th***. That stretch could in theory be made safe by eliminating the 10-12 parallel parking spots and turning that space into a bike lane/right turn lane onto 24th. Of course I'm sure the businesses on Market would claim that eliminating 10-12 parking spaces would drive them out of business. However, he's totally correct about using 46th. I'm tired of hearing Seattle cyclists whine about the “dangerous” tracks. First, it ignores the reality that people in lots of other cities ride over tracks just as bad (or worse!) on a regular basis without crashing. Second, if you're so worried about the tracks why not ride over to 46th and avoid them entirely? That's the route I take and it's far better than 45th (not only do you avoid the tracks there's also less traffic). Heaven forbid you have to go one whole whopping block out of your way! No, far better that… Read more »

wrierbrose
Guest
wrierbrose

Does this proposal even have to be offiicially considered?

“As for the environmental study on the section of the missing link in question, SDOT hopes to have it complete in the next few months.”

Can't the (court required) study be completed and the project move ahead after that? Unless the enviornmental study shows some reason not to?

SPG
Guest
SPG

Two different things being studied here. Nobody is seriously studying the businesssman's straw man diversion plan.
The study that SDOT is doing is to cover the real plan for completing the missing link. When they did their studies they skipped a section of Shilshole in front of SBSG because it was only considered a future route after they agreed to appease the business with a detour. The judge says they have to study it now, which will actually leave that section open to being the current route instead of the future route.

Juliana
Guest
Juliana

Oh, that's hilarious. I hadn't heard of Batman, Turkey.

Could we be BZZ?

kim
Guest
kim

from the photo, can someone please enlighten me as to the difference between the cycletracks and a bike path? it's looks the same to me.

OingoBoingo
Guest
OingoBoingo

Why not follow the 'BallardRail', since it's only used at night anyway, with traffic signals… yes signals like Amsterdam (but will cyclists heed? doubtful). Yes, another study. The trunk can connect efficiently with the trail as it picks up at 32nd.
Another person has died on a 'trail' recently only this time it was a pedestrian hit by a bike.
The only way for safe and efficient bicycle movement is dedicated infrastructure. Sharrows and painted lines shared with trucks and cars is lunacy.

Dweezil
Member
Dweezil

The Burke Gilman Trail is a multi-purpose path to include pedestrians, bicyclists, children, pets, skaters, etc. That seems to be forgotten as we focus only on where we can put bicyclists.

SPG
Guest
SPG

Nope, the RAF in the UK have a field at Brize Norton that already goes by BZZ.

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

Seaspider
The reason NOT to go down NW 46th…?
more driveway crossings
heavier, faster traffic, overall

the reason TO go down NW 46th
cross the tracks at right angle (which problem is solved in the funded design, which uses NW 45th)

That's the nut of it….

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

So, you like the idea of a cycle track on Leary, or you don't?

SPG
Guest
SPG

Well, that was the original and best idea after BNSF abandoned it, but SBSG's owner bought it for a dollar and runs his toy train back and forth to his business at a great annual loss just to keep it from reverting back to public use and being turned into a multi use path.

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

BLD? or BLL?

bbb1
Guest
bbb1

Geeky Swedes

any other info…how did you come about this story? Did you speak with Mr. Brower? In person? Did he provide you with any other materials? Publicola had a map… Was that his? Any cross-sections showing what this would look like on Market and Leary? What can we expect?

Thanks Geeky Swedes…..

MichaelSnyder
Guest
MichaelSnyder

A cycletrack is a bike trail that is placed between onstreet parking and the sidewalk.

VeganBiker
Member
VeganBiker

Thank you Dweezil,
That is what is being missed in this whole debate. The BGT is a multi use trail And as such will have walkers, skaters, joggers and bicyclists. We can’t just suddenly turn a trail that runs from Bothell to 11th Ave NW and NW 45th Street and then turn it into a “cycletracks” until it reaches the Locks. This is a very bad idea and a waste of time at this point in the negotiations.

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