Missing Link construction could begin this winter

After 16 years of delays, the first phase of the Burke-Gilman Missing Link construction is set to start this winter.

According to SDOT, the city plans to begin work on Phase 1, which includes the western end of the Missing Link, from the Locks to the intersection of 24th Ave NW and NW Market St. Phase 2 includes the Shilshole corridor — SDOT is still working with business and property owners to refine the design of that section. They say they’re expecting Phase 2 construction to begin in mid-2019.

SDOT has mock-ups of the entire layout of the Missing Link (Missing Link Graphic Design Plans) which shows in detail the trail alignment and roadway/driveway crossings. The various driveway crossings along Shilshole will be marked with green pavement, and where appropriate, “Truck Crossing” signs with LED flashing lights.

While the plans are well-laid, there’s still a chance a court order could block the construction. There’s an appeal still in process in King County Superior Court, in which the Seattle Bike Blog’s Tom Fucoloro says the appellants have a tough case to make. Regardless, he warns that even though the ball is rolling, things could change.

“Because after this much delay, it would not be wise to assume this project will be completed until crews are pouring the cement,” Fucoloro writes. “This is the closest the trail has ever been to construction, but appellants are still fighting hard.”

For updates, maps, and history on the saga that is the Missing Link, click here.

78 thoughts to “Missing Link construction could begin this winter”

    1. So, David, what is the compromise? How many parking spots will be lost to this project, and what does that do to the businesses and employees of those businesses who rely on them? Or, what does it do to the customer base or the vendors (who rely on those spaces for their service vehicles), for the open air week-end markets, are they all going to be riding bicycles now? What a clusterfk this has been and still is under bicycle-centric SDOT leadership and the likes of CM Mike O’Brien!

      1. This is something Mike O’Brien got right. I know you snotty fisherman and cement mongers like to believe he is the devil incarnate but this will drastically improve the area.

        1. I’m neither a fisherman nor cement monger. But I sure empathize with their plight, along with the dozens of other businesses and their customers that rely on what will be lost parking. Please explain in what way the area “will drastically improve” and be sure to mention what is lost and who loses while bikers don’t have to go a couple blocks out of their way to get to GG.

          1. It will improve for a tiny minority only but hey Seattle wants sooooo terribly to be trendy.

      2. If people wanted to park there that badly, they’d be willing to pay market rate. But that’s valuable land and when you show them the real price tag, they choose alternatives.

        You really think more than a fraction of the huge crowds that come to the Sunday Market got there in cars? There hasn’t been enough parking in that area for the size of crowds that come to the Market for years. They’re already biking, or walking, or using some alternative.

        Have you not wondered why shopping malls are dying? People turned away from that long ago. If you don’t believe me, put your money in parking garages. Put your money in strip malls and giant shopping malls.

        Drivers. Won’t. Pay.

        1. I think you will find that the reason shopping malls are failing has more to do with the internet sales of mostly fungible goods (and Amazon), according to the research. So, its not the same. These are largely businesses that rely on walk in business – bars, restaurants, specialty shops, marine specialty businesses and then there are those contractors that need the stuff that Salmon Bay S & G supplies.

          So, how many of the folks going to the big brew festival this weekend, noted on another MYBallard article, will be riding their bicycles in the rain to this afternoon to evening event? Yeah riding in the dark and in the rain in cool November thru March is a real transportation high volume people mover.

          1. And when all those businesses continue to thrive? Will you learn anything? Why don’t you revisit your years of failed predictions of doom. How many times have you said downtown Ballard would become a ghost town? How many times have you said all the small businesses would pack up and leave, seeking lower taxes or a lower minimum wage or more free parking? Were you right?

            If you think people want parking, sell them parking. Build parking garages and charge them market rate to park there.

            Here’s a thought: massive crowds pack into the Ballard Sunday Market because it’s NOT Northgate Mall. It’s not a sea of parked cars with an Orange Julius and a Sunglass Hut in the middle. They flock there because it’s human scaled, pedestrian friendly, car-free. Developing Leary Way is giving Ballard more of what makes Ballard a destination, more of what makes it not a mall, more of what has made it thrive in the last 20 years.

          2. Hey genius, where are the vendors supposed to park their trucks, trailers and vans used to supply the Sunday market?

            Where are the work trucks that visit Paving Stone, Salmon Bay, the marine equipment suppliers and the small auto repair places? Where are the employees of the bars, restaurants and specialty shops, who live away from bus lines and who may live outside the City, like Edmonds supposed to park?

          3. You mean the empty trucks, after they unload them? Why do you think they need an empty truck sitting there all day? Does each vendor need a space so they can each have an empty truck sit there all day?

            Look. This is a done deal. A year or two from now, when all that precious free parking is gone, and the Sunday Market, and all of downtown Ballard, continues to thrive, will you finally shut up? Will you finally learn?

          4. You are really dense, dude. I mean seriously dense, eh? So, like do you channel the SNL McKenzie brothers?

          5. Hilarious that my whiney neighbors vote this down: The McKenzie Brothers were characters on SCTV, not SNL. Bitches.

          6. If businesses coming and going like used underwear is thriving then guess you are correct.

          7. the fresh local fruit comes in from hundreds of miles away in eastern Washington or north towards Blaine.

          8. To be honest, unless it’s dumping rain – it mostly drizzles here – the rides are pleasant. Cyclists are accustomed to it. Please share the road. Many of us are also car owners and we do our best to ride safely and politely. Have a good day.

        2. I can tell you they’re not walking. That Olympic parking lot off Leary is full all day on Sundays with Market-goers. Every ten seconds an uber pulls up and drops people off. The Uber might not be parking, but it’s not ‘alternative’ to a car.

          1. Yes. Uber. Think about that a little bit slick.

            Uber… parking… Uber.. parking… Is it making your head hurt?

          2. No, but given the way you’re repeating your words, it might be giving you a stroke.

          3. OK. WHY can’t Uber stop there?

            Look, you’ve made my point: people don’t need to park on Leary.

      3. I’m not claiming expertise on the business side so I’m not offering them solutions—that’s up THEM, I’m just recognizing that reality is what it is (many Ballard residents want a safe bike lane there) and obstruction is usually a poor substitute for engagement.

        1. So, in which “engagement” scenario do businesses not lose parking for customers and/or employees, decrease time efficiency (like crossings), decrease liability risks, maintain least cost alternatives which they have had for many decades? Seriously, I’d like to know from an enlightened source?

  1. Took a lot of coordination from a lot of teams, but the final plan should be great for bikers and businesses alike. This route makes a lot of sense, and the street improvements should help biker safety and truck efficiency in accessing NW 54th St.

      1. What about them? The City should absolutely be prioritizing transportation over parking.

        If the Market St businesses are mad about lost parking, they should take their anger out on the Obstructionists, who sued for years, halting all progress and eventually forced the Missing Link onto Market St, instead of 54th where it should be.

        1. The missing link will never carry enough day and night time bike or pedestrian traffic to be considered a viable transportation concern. What a silly nonsense comment on prioritization. Missing link would not have gone on Market without the same loss of lots of parking – again nonsense.

          1. And what basis besides anger do you make that declaration? Decades of study and public comment say otherwise. There are many ways to address the parking issue other than obstructing this project. GET OVER IT!

  2. Lost parking spaces? Why don’t you take a walk outside and look at who is in those parking spaces right now. Hint: not worker/shopper cars, unless we are all commuting now in RVs.

    As to arguments that bikes block the important commercial traffic, aren’t the (mostly) cement trucks more slowed right now by bikes sharing (and slowing) the road with the (huge) number of cars on Shilshole these days? I’ve lived in Ballard for close to 20 years. I’m a driver AND a cyclist AND a supporter of Ballard business, and I’m just not seeing an improved cyclist path being the death knell of local manufacturing like some make it out to be.

    1. The beater RV’s to which you refer are ONLY THERE BECAUSE THE CITY WON’T ticket them. The businesses and/or the employees of those businesses would like to have those junker RV and their occupants removed. They would like those parking spaces available for paying customers or business employees. So, who is to blame for that BallardErik? How about Mike O’Brien, or maybe even you if you are a progressive who doesn’t give $hit about businesses, the jobs they create directly or indirectly, the spaces they own or rent, or the taxes they generate? There are some real dumb ego-centric bikers out there.

      1. I want to kick out the RV’s too. But if they happen to park in any of these bike lanes, I might be willing to make an exception.

  3. Hooray!
    Now can we talk to the SDOT about covering the exposed railroad tracks? I’ve seen numerous crashes on the section beneath the Ballard Bridge. This seems like an an obvious safety hazard.

    1. The candlelight vigil for those of us “experiencing meth addiction” will be at 8pm.
      You can make a donation at the location, or simply park your car nearby and one of our valuable community members will help themselves to the contents of your vehicle.
      It’s tax deductible (for now)!

      1. Another candlelight vigil? It’s like a Christmas miracle, except Christmas, and especially Santa, is symptomatic of patriarchal oppression! I demand a gender-undetermined, green-skinned Santa! Down with Christmas oppression! Up with free meth!

          1. Yeah! Just like the businesses screaming oppression because of the BG…

  4. Snotty fishermen huh? Well snotty fishermen made Ballard what it is. Without the snotty fishermen and the businesses that support them, Ballard would just be another neighborhood outside of Seattle that no one gives a crap about. You all want what Ballard has to offer but you don’t want anything to do with what keeps Ballard… Well, Ballard.

    The missing link is a great idea and I support it just not in it current form. Even with all the safety signs, rumble strips and flashing lights proposed, it’s not IF a biker gets killed it will be WHEN. Cars and bike are bad enough but trust me bikes and trucks don’t mix and it will be tragic WHEN it happens.

    I’m older, been here a long time and really want no part of what “This Ballard” has to offer. So with that, have at it, call me a dinosaur and how you don’t want snotty fishermen like me around to tell you what it use to be like.

    1. Steve, I’m really trying to understand these concerns. Have bikers died on the Fremont/Frelard sections of the Burke near the many industrial/retail crossings? What is prompting this grim determination of cement truck/biker apocalypse?

      1. Freight delivery to the waterfront businesses will trisect the proposed route. The proposed “Safety Features” will largely be ignored by the bike riding community as they are now. Have you ever tried to cross the BG around Fred Meyer during the bike rush hour? There are stop and yield sign all over the BG trail and they are ignored (not by all) but by most. Please go on record and tell me that is not a true statement.

        Again, move it up to Leary or Ballard and problem solved but that’s not what this is about now is it?

  5. Bike safety, my a55. It’s about forcing people out of their cars. If the city and it’s cheerleaders in the urbanist movement cared about safety, they wouldn’t be pushing for more streetcar boondoggles. The bicyclists get their wheels caught in the rails all the time, and get seriously hurt or even killed as a result. And then taxpayers have to pay even more for the streetcar, to settle the lawsuits.

    If you look at projects all over the city, you can’t help but wonder, what the eff is the point of this thing? Bike ridership is DOWN to just 2.8% as a percentage of commuters, despite all these ridiculous projects. For example, they built a bike lane on Roosevelt for the bike lobby at huge expense, and I hardly ever see cyclists on it, even during rush hour. The 2nd Ave bike lane project installed handrails and footrests for our precious MAMIL’s at every intersection. Again, you never see those get used. They’re putting a bike lane on N 40th. SDOT’s own figures show that bike riders are literally 1/4 of 1% of the users on that route. And then the “Pavement to Parks” projects, with their colorful paint jobs, what a freaking joke. NO ONE, except for the occasional vagrant, uses these places.

    1. God what a whining, complaining little bitch. Wahhh waaaahh waaaaaaaah

      You lost because you’re unpopular, your ideas are shit, and nobody votes for your shit agenda. Boo hoo.

        1. Antifa? Bike trails? What do you think Antifa is? Some kind of biking group? Have you googled it? Why do you even do this? Babbling idiot.

      1. I guess you don’t actually pay property taxes, living in Mom’s basement and all, JBWHTEVERTHEFK. So, indeed, why would you care how many tens of millions are spent on bike infrastructure few actually use, while streets throughout the city are full of ruts and cracks, also making hard on car suspensions as well as creating bike safety problems? But, hey we got lots of green paint on the dedicated bike lanes and lotsa cool traffic lights, some of which are not easily understood by riders and motorists. Can’t wait for a fatality liability lawsuit to come out of some that stuff, and we get to pay a huge settlement from, again, tax dollars.

    2. It’s about forcing people out of their cars.

      If someone is forcing you or others out of their cars, that’s grand theft auto and should be immediately reported to the police.

      Bike ridership is DOWN to just 2.8% as a percentage of commuters, despite all these ridiculous projects.

      That was based on a flawed survey where they only allowed a single commute choice. So if you bike and/or bus, you could only choose one.

      Regardless, let’s say it is only 2.8%, wake me up when SDOT spends 2.8% of their yearly budget on bike infrastructure, which would be almost $16 million in 2018.

      No one is telling you that you can’t drive. Seattle is just saying that traffic sucks, is only going to get worse and we obviously can’t increase traffic capacity, without spending billions on solutions that would have no notable affect. Instead, Seattle is looking at other transportation options and spending magnitudes of order less to improve those options, to entice people to use alternates to driving.

      That’s the only way you’re going to improve your crappy car commute. So support the build out of our bike and bus infrastructure, Mr. Sockpuppet!

      1. “…without spending billions on solutions that would have no notable affect. Instead, Seattle is looking at other transportation options and spending magnitudes of order less…”

        Do I need to remind you of the no notable effect of the 54 billion dollar (and growing) rippoff that is ST3? Even Sound Transit admitted it would have no notable effect. Except on our wallets, of course.

        And btw, that bike study article was written by a bike enthusiast who said he wished he didn’t have to write it:


        1. Do I need to remind you of the no notable effect of the 54 billion dollar (and growing) rippoff that is ST3?

          What the hell are you talking about? Do you seriously think that light rail lines just appear the day after a bond measure passes?

      2. Hey where are all my buds riding the sLime bikes? Mostly I just see the bikes laying on their sides in the sidewalk for someone to trip over. Even the more expensive clunky ones with the fat battery pack compartments. What’s with that and the supposed high use of the dockless bikes? And, what about the profits for those venture capitalist investors. I have seen a few bikes requisitioned to pull hobo trailers. I don’t think those are on revenue generating trips these days.

        Speaking of “bike infrastructure,” does anyone ever see a cyclist use the special path and curbing around the mailbox island at the Ballard Post Office? What genius SDOT transportation planner thought that one up? Award worthy in some cyclist magazine, I’m sure. The Post Office never asked for it, and in fact specifically didn’t want it. And the one way traffic works so well there with the necked down street due to the island. How much did that cost taxpayers?

    3. To be fair, more people end up with toe tags trying to cross the street on foot than die on bikes, by a very very significant margin. All the outraged libtards can’t be bothered to look up from their phones or stop at a hard red. No habla Ingles! Yes, the bike lobby is retarded, but ok, imagine half a million Jezebel readers tweeting furiously about Kavanaugh instead of watching the road. That’s Seattle!

  6. I think the city should buy the Salmon Bay gravel property and turn it into a waterfront park right next to the bike trail like Gas Works.

  7. What’s the point in discussing this issue with people like “Uff da”? He/she seems to have all the answers and really dislikes bicyclists and apparently anyone that wants to use the Burke Gilman Trail.
    He/she seems to think that every study that has been done regarding the completion of the trail is a waste of time and bogus.
    Well thankfully this trail will soon get completed and then we will not have to listen to people like this spouting off about this trail being a waste of money, etc.

  8. Hopefully this will keep the bike off the sidewalks. Probably not though. They don’t follow the rules of the road while on road as they dart to sidewalk to cross street then back to sidewalk, back to street, back to sidewalk, etc. etc. I see them in the road adjacent to the BGT and them don’t seem to want to use it. Go figure. I’m with the cement mongers and fishermen on this one. Eventually the entire ship canal will be a promenade for the homeless and tourists alike. Pay attention to the special permits being issued to allow apartments where they weren’t allowed before. See Tavern on South of Freemont Bridge. I’m driving to Ballard today, in the wind and rain and like usual there will be very few bike riders. Go figure.

    1. Its just bad thinking period and a terrible waste of money that will benefit a tiny minority. Poor Seattle and its newbies try too hard.

  9. This is so awful- a way to “do in” the businesses along that route. A much better solution would be Leary, not a commercial industrial zone.

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