Missing Link update: construction planned for early 2019

Plans to break ground on the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail are inching forward: the Seattle Department of Transportation posted this Notice of Action which will allow construction to begin in early 2019.

The 1.4 mile bike path through downtown Ballard was approved in January, after years of seemingly endless debate. The project will connect the trail between 11th Ave NW and the Ballard Locks, using the south side of the following streets: NW 54th St., NW Market St, Shilshole Ave NW, and NW 45th St.

The project also includes landscaping, new and upgraded traffic signals and signage, roadway paving, new sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. The city estimates that the Missing Link trail will eliminate 209 parking spaces along Shilshole and NW Market St.

There are some design elements that are still underway; the project team will complete the final design with the Design Advisory Committee in the coming months.

The total cost of design and construction of the Missing Link is expected to be approximately $23.5 million. For a full rundown of the project plans from SDOT, click here.

79 thoughts to “Missing Link update: construction planned for early 2019”

  1. Yay! No more parking! Keep ruining our roads for 3% of the spandex population. $23.5 million for this? What a joke. How about using those funds to start repaving Market Street?

    Hopefully SDOT will be sued again, and again, and again…

    1. The obsession over spandex is just bizarre. People of all stripes bike in this city. I’ve been afraid to bike with my kid along there—how is that good? Adding a real trail will make it safer and allow for more use by those who wear spandex, cotton, wool, polyester and their birthday suits!

    2. Yep, no more free ride for the businesses along Shilshole. They can provide parking for their employees instead of relying on the city to do it.

      1. Many businesses require parking for their walk-in customers. Where are they now going to park smartass? You know, the businesses that pay lots of taxes, and then their customers pay some of the highest sales taxes in the entire country, and for sure the state of WA.

  2. Great for Seattle!

    Let me remind everyone that:

    1) Seattle owns ALL the land that this will be built on
    2) Marked crossings along the business entrances will improve safety – and Shilshole was the safest route (determined by SDOT and no less than 3 independent consultants)
    3) The cost to these businesses is extraordinarily nominal. Maybe 1 in 4 cement truck deliveries will have to wait 1 minute entering and exiting. the business as a pedestrian or bike crosses the path. There will be ZERO increase to their insurance (the path is not on their property)
    4) The issue has devolved into one of identity politics – and was driven essentially by four ( yes 4) individuals who due to their lawsuits, cost the city of Seattle millions of dollars (for things like forcing Seattle to hire all the independent consultants mentioned above).

    5) There will be less parking. Which is really probably what the real protest from the businesses has been about. Though now, I would say probably 10-20% of the parking is taken up by RV’s (not employee’s parking or customers). Also – in 2018 where else in Seattle can one get several 100% free, no meter, no hourly limit, parking for your employees in a densely populated urban core?

    1. The loss of parking sucks, but let’s be honest: many people sit in traffic and then circle for parking when it would be cheaper and faster just to Uber to Ballard if they don’t bike or the weather is lousy. The number of people who DROVE to Seafoodfest knowing there wouldn’t be any parking just boggles the mind.

    2. So, where are the many vendors for the open air market supposed to park their trucks, trailers and vans? Where are the folks who eat at the many restaurants or drink at the bars, or shop in the little businesses supposed to park? So 209 parking spots eliminated for cyclists – dumber than dumb. But hey this is progressive Seattle where dumb has no boundaries, and a growing population of druggies and vagrants are king. And, SDOT has its recently found constituency in the bicycle crowd – Lime bike share, now there is an idea worth pondering. The legacy of Mayor Ed and Scott Kubley live on. Mercy.

      1. @Uff Da
        Casual shoppers should Uber. Would reduce DUI for bar crowds, too. Sadly our mentally ill City Council wants Uber to double their rates. You’re right, they almost get things right then ruin it out of stupidity or tax greed. The bikeshares now are paying something like $250k per year for a “biz license” and $150/yr per bike. Even their pet projects and bungled and burgled for fast consultant cash.

        1. And something like $600K per year for Seattle to monitor and run the program, so there is no net gain for Seattle. Let’s not forget all those costly “improvements” for bikes, which means less efficiency for vehicles. Can’t wait until the City figures in the parking compliance element cost – because there sure are alot of violations that go unchecked and unreported. There was actually nobody to enforce the bike-share parking rules, notwithstanding a promise to do so. Parking Enforcement says they don’t do it. Who does – is that yet to be determined, sort of like who enforces the helmet law, riding bikes including the battery powered ones on City sidewalks? This has been a cluster f by SDOT since day one.

          1. Aside from e-bikes, it’s perfectly legal to ride a bike on a sidewalk so long as it can be done without impeding/endangering pedestrians.

          2. Sidewalk impediments – between dodging illegally parked share bikes (and even more in the future), bums sprawled in all kinds of spaces (more of them too), speeders on e-bikes (yeah, more of them too), pedestrians are endangered all the time. Seems to be getting worse, by the way, Porkie.

          3. You sound triggered. Would you like a day spa pass? I have a few I won’t ever use. That is, if you can step over all the share bikes and junkies that cover LITERALLY EVERY INCH OF SIDEWALKS HERE!!!

          4. It would appear my detractors have not spent much time walking down Market St., 15th or Shilshole Ave., Leary and some of the side streets in near proximity. Was walking Market one day last week and some person late for her bus was scooting fast as she could on her green sLime e-bike down the sidewalk trying to get to 15th before the bus arrived, only to leave the bike IN THE SIDEWALK. Yeah, I’m ready for the spa Porkie.

          5. Yeah need some motor vehicle parking on Shilshole. City could make lmoney charging vehicles for parking on public property.

      2. those trucks and vans you speak of do not just so happen to park on private property given use of by a wonderful and generous man.

        as before mentioned the parking now is taken up a lot by rvs and junk cars.

        cleaning up shilshole will be nice.

    3. Let me also add that this will IMPROVE traffic flow on Shilshole for cars. Zero lanes will be taken up by the trial. No more waiting for someone to parallel park. Finally, there won’t be any (hardly any) bikes on shilshole any more because they will be riding on the trail.

      1. I couldn’t agree more with you @anyonebutmike. I have been saying this for years. The parking is already taken by bums, the bicycles have nowhere to go and have taken that street over, pedestrians parking and crossing the street there make traffic worse, and not to mention when someone parks it’s a pain in the was for the rest of us. All you people that don’t like it don’t travel down that road regularly…its awful as is

  3. But…but…affordable housing!!! I mean bike paths. I mean housing. I mean bike paths…oh, just spend everything on everything!

      1. But don’t you think that in the current environment $25MM (and we know that will go higher, based on all recent experience) is a hell of a lot to spend on anything non-housing related? I would agree with you 100% if we were talking a couple million…but this is HALF what they were trying to raise thru the failed head tax and they don’t seem to have much hope of finding that elsewhere, so this seems like an incredibly misplaced priority. Hard to ride past those tents and RVs on my shiny new bike path.

          1. And I give you all that. But this is now and this is not what we should be spending this HUGE chunk of money on.

          2. shall we spend it on the homeless over and over and over and still have them ruin our parks and bike/walkways?

          3. I’d like to see it spent on building affordable housing so fewer people actually become homeless, TBH.

    1. On the bright side, the car prowl numbers will be down in Ballard as a result, which I’m sure Elencho et al will consider a “decrease in crime”. Be positive!

        1. And a more actively used bike path will actually help that. But go ahead, keep repeating yourself rather than taking positive action.

          1. I’m on the BG trail every day on a bike. I see the overdoses, filth, and stolen items.
            The path is very “actively used” now by subsidized degenerates who are one free meal and a hug away from sobriety and a productive life.

    2. As long as you don’t open your car door as I ride past you sitting in traffic, I think it’s wonderful we can have a difference of opinion!

      The parking will be bad – I agree with you on that. The current status as an open dirt lot where employees can park for free is sorta outrageous. The worst part is that all the employees park on the rail line, because they know the schedule of the train.

      1. What I think is most frustrating is that rather than cooperating and having a useful discussion to come to compromise, the businesses along Shilshole just said “no”. Now they’re screwed. Oh well, if you don’t participate, you don’t get what you want.

        1. Wow look at big internet tough guy. Is your truck a duelie, chief?
          Hope you don’t assault the wrong cyclist and up tangling with a competitive MMA or boxer or someone with a CCP.
          They’re out there. Have a safe day.

        2. In all truthfullness, I have a close call with a car about 4 times a year – which is why us bike commuters just want to peddle on a path separated from traffic and mind our own business.

    1. Not all go by bike – now the people that walk will have to watch every step they take from fear of getting run into by a bicycle.

      1. Do you currently walk along where the proposed missing link will be? I didn’t think so….If you did you would more likely get hit by a car! It’s a dirt parking lot and a busy street with both motorized vehicles and bicycles trying to navigating through the horrible road conditions and traffic.

  4. I’ve spotted the fabled “missing link” wandering around the BG trail wasted on meth and scavenging stolen bike parts. Somebody tell John Lithgow.

  5. Sheer insanity. 209 parking places lost. I am sure the local businesses will like that. $23.5 million, you have to be kidding. Given the reality of our city council and SDOT the inmates are running the asylum. But nothing new there, it is progressive Seattle….And you wonder what your tax money is buying for a tiny proportion of the population.

    1. It probably a fifth of that to clear all the legal challenges 4 business owners have brought. As a taxpayer, I hate it that 4 people can sue the city a quadrillion times and cost millions of dollars in frivolous lawsuits to try to delay the project.

      I get that everyone has their own self interest they want to protect, but at a certain point the sheer dollar amounts that it costs to respond to the litigious delaying tactics really makes me wish that my tax money is being wasted.

      1. That’s funny, litigation is a right. And, I think my tax money is being wasted on this trail, while local businesses are being thrown under the bus by a small contingent of special use folks that have some sway in SDOT and City Hall. Being a business in Seattle is like having the plague. Nobody wants to get close to you, but they sure as hell take your money when they can withal lthe taxes and fees that don’t seem to produce much except more bureaucracy – and the EIS didn’t ever really properly address the parking issue and its economic impact on the local community. No shortage of evidence on that aspect. Seattle “progressive” has gone so far left I think i’m gonna puke.

  6. I thought they previously decided to run the route down Ballard Ave, not Shilshole.
    Did someone at the City Council change their meds?

    1. Ballard Ave was considered but has the serious problem that one day out of the week it is blocked for farmer’s market. The bike lanes going through Fremont have the same problem, but at least there’s viable alternatives for them.

  7. I believe this is a mistake. I truly hope that nobody gets injured along the stretch with lots and lots of commercial vehicles coming and going all day long. Please stay off the sidewalks with your e bikes please.

    1. Its way, way, way safer than the status quo, and its also much safer than any of the other proposals. Bicycle/Car accidents happen primarily at intersections (something like 85%). This route had 1/3 the intersections than the next route option. So it should have almost 1/4 the accidents of any of the other proposed routes.

      This is why SDOT – and the 3 other consultants recommended this route. Go look at the EIS study, and check out the summary page of the routes, and you will see for yourself.

      1. Almost three-quarters of fatal crashes (74%) involved a head injury. Nearly all bicyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet. Helmet use among those bicyclists with serious injuries was low (13%), but it was even lower among bicyclists killed (3%).

        How can City Hall justify subsidizing ride-share programs which have statistically increased the number of cyclists riding without head protection, no helmet?
        Individual choice? No…
        Involve SPD? No…
        Holding Seattle tax payers financially responsible for future liabilities? No…

        Bike sharing is an innovative transportation program which unfortunately needs less tech and more common scense.

    2. Having had a business on this bike path for over 10 years has always been a challenge. The bicyclist doesn’t obey the laws; they do not use common sense and always are ready to flip you off when they are in the wrong! In the summer there are almost daily some bicyclist crashing and the fire department wasting their time and our tax dollars to help them! The best that you can hope for is that they carry insurance and a valid organ donor card! Having these clueless , lawless , self absorbed bikers riding through an industrial area is just stupid!

      1. Cars don’t crash and “waste” fire department time? you’re kidding with this argument, right? Cyclists on a path are single occupant cars off your roadways. Most of us own cars and pay for the infrastructure just as you do. I’m not self-absorbed. I’m commuting in a way that gets me there more quickly and frees up the roads for those who cannot bike, walk or take public transportation. How is this not seen as a benefit?

  8. “Pay for play” is what this should be. I’ll say this again: boaters MUST attend a safety class with mandatory stickers displayed within plain sight. When I hear these state run ads I play a game and simply insert the word cyclist in place of boater, it works and can play right here in Seattle. This revenue stream can then forward their dreams, thus giving them real “skin in the game”. Now I can’t be the only person with this great idea, can I? Fleecing all of us isn’t fair. There, I said the “fair” word. LOL

    1. SDOT’s budget is primarily from housing taxes. I own my house and pay $9400 a year in RE taxes. (I also own two cars and pay about $1000 in tabs each year) so yes, as a bike commuter I think I’m paying my fair share. I’m also not unusual. Cascade bike club membership has above average income.

      Is the cost outrageously expensive? Yes. I agree with that. That’s half on Seattle mandating hiring union work, and the other half building the project now during a building boom, instead of 15 years ago (when they tried but got sued).

      Is taking parking away bad – yes, but mostly for the businesses there, which I have no sympathy for. Free parking for an unlimited amount of time in a high density urban area has basically been a subsidy that Seattle has given these businesses for the past decade. Go park in the old yankee lot or the Salmon Bay Cafe lot and pay like you would anywhere else in Seattle.

  9. Try not to run over the homeless dog doo….if this kicks off ! How about another dog park with nice trees and plants and koi pond with a DQ or Sonic’s ??????

  10. I hate the bike lobby for taking away so many useful lanes of traffic and wasting our money on overpriced bike lanes but as a Ballard business owner I’m thankful this is finally taking place. This is going to get thousands of bike riders per day off of Ballard way, Shilshole, Leary, etc. It’s dangerous and obnoxious to have cyclists swerving around among pedestrians and cars. With mass political change coming in 2019 maybe we will have more pragmatic leaders who will get more projects like this completed and stop painting bike lanes over potholes and letting bums park wherever they want to indefinitely.

    1. Yes 1) The City Council and SDOT are retarded and 2) they wasted tons of money on unnecessary projects but let’s not pretend Seattle drivers aren’t the very worst (noted by several publications on numerous occasions) drivers in the country. Aaaand now they’re buried in their phones WHILE driving. Cyclists aren’t recklessly operating multi-ton vehicles with the potential to crush a person to pulp. Yes cyclists VERY OCCASIONALLY hit pedestrians but it isn’t even remotely in the same universe as the daily car vs pedestrian carnage.

      1. You must be the guy who paints an old shitty bike white when a cyclist breaks a traffic law and ends up dead. Your argument makes no sense. What is your point? That cars are bad and bike are good? Mass transit in our city sucks, riding bikes on steep grades on 40 year old pavement in the rain also sucks. The bike lobby has irreparably damaged our transportation infrastructure and diminished the quality of life in this city for everyone else who didn’t have the luxury of a fancy downtown office with showers and a locker. This missing link is a good thing only because it gets cyclists of streets. Otherwise, when it comes to bikes I’m tired of your self righteous entitlement. I guess I’m “on your right”.

  11. I geuss the ones that click to red arrows are the metro Sissy brigade who just arrived to Ballard …..yip keep Ballard weird and annoying with your hobo friends you brought here with you !

  12. This is welcome news – Shilshole is a speedway for cars and becomes even worse when people are cutting through to avoid traffic on Market or Leary. In the meantime, though, I will follow my take-the-lane strategy no matter how in a hurry that driver is behind me. If s/he wants me out of the way, contact the council and SDOT to hurry this decades-late project up! Let’s keep our public right-of-ways open for moving people, not publicly-subsidized luxury appliance storage.

    1. I have lived in Ballard for years and have always enjoyed walking down by the canal until – the bicyclists came. I have been run down by one and startled by many. If they want to ride their bikes on the trail, why don’t they have some form of speed limit? They whiz by walkers and you have no idea they are behind you until, if at all, they say passing while they are passing you. Cars have speed limits but not bikes, why not? They are a hazard and should NOT be on the same path as walkers. I definitely feel they should NOT be getting this path. Let the walkers be allowed to walk without having to look over our shoulders. Leave the businesses alone that have established themselves for years. Don’t take away any more parking spaces that are desperately needed. Ballard has been destroyed by all of these improvements, and I feel sad for the next generation never having the opportunity to know what the “Old Ballard” was like. Seattle has earned the title of “One of the worst places to live” and you wonder why!!!!

      1. I agree, there are some really obnoxious and even dangerous cyclists out there (I say that as a cyclist). There actually is a speed limit on the trail (15mph), and providing a passing notice is a legal requirement, both of which are enforced about as rigorously as any speed limit on a street (which is to say, occasionally a police officer gets bored and does some “enforcement” for an hour or two).

        That said, there are far more obnoxious and dangerous drivers out there than cyclists. Biking home from work on Tuesday, over the course of an hour I was almost hit by two drivers, one of whom blew a red light at about 40 mph and another who made an extremely inattentive left turn. Either of which could have killed me or someone else, which is trivial for a driver to do and almost unheard of for even a very reckless cyclist (that’s simple physics for you).

        Maybe we should talk about a moratorium on allowing amateur drivers on our streets?

  13. This is a crazy price! Look up bike path cost estimates in Boston – they work out to about $1million a mile. Seattle spending is so out of control it is ridiculous!

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