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.