Missing Link construction delayed yet again

The saga of the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail continues, with a ruling yesterday that delays construction through Ballard.

Following an appeal hearing last week, King County Judge Samuel Chung has sided with the Ballard Coalition, who have been fighting against a Shilshole alignment for the trail. The Coalition argues that the trail’s impact on local industry along Shilshole would be significant, and have long voiced concerns about the hazards of trucks turning in and out of driveways across the trail. The group has proposed a NW Leary Way/NW Market St alternative, which they say makes more sense for trail users, drivers, and local businesses.

While Judge Chung ruled that much of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was sufficient, his overall ruling against the EIS came from concerns over how the Shilshole alignment would financially impact local businesses. According to the Cascade Bicycle Club, Judge Chung was specifically concerned about the potential for higher insurance rates to industry along Shilshole.

“Unfortunately the real cost of this obstruction campaign is borne by the over 300 people a year who suffer injuries on the Missing Link,” Richard Smith, Executive Director of Cascade Bicycle Club said in a statement. “For over 20 years, a few deep-pocketed individuals have delayed while the community of Ballard has waited for their preferred route.”

No word yet on what this means for the construction that was meant to start in early 2019 — we’ll update when we know more.


96 thoughts to “Missing Link construction delayed yet again”

  1. Surprise surprise.

    Looks like the stinky fishermen won this battle but on the bright side of things, they’ll all be dead in few years.

    What a joke it is when the parking for a few businesses trumps an amenity that would be used by many many more

    1. Yep, that stink as you call it is the sweet smell of victory. So nice of you to say things will be brighter when we are all dead. The real fun fact is that you are wrong and we (they) will probably out live you. Sunlight, fresh air and hard work make for a very long life. Quite different from a dark basement in moms house not interacting with anyone that is not on a screen or chatroom. You really seem to be a tough guy behind the keyboard, you should walk the docks and strike up a conversation.

        1. Isn’t it possible that both sides are arguing with the best interests of the community as their goal? People can disagree without one side being evil. I’ve lived here for a long time and have gone back and forth on the safety issue. If it were cut and dried, it would have been done by now.

          1. How many intersections are there cyclists have to deal with on Leary? 17. How many on Shilshole? 6. Speeds on Leary are also much higher on average. Also, the Leary design wouldn’t include separating bikes from traffic. All of these make that solution MUCH less safe than the city’s proposed solution on Shilshole. You know what would be safer? If all humans rode bicycles. Or if we all lived in giant bubbles and wore helmets all the time. That’s not going to happen. People are still going to drive cars, people are still going to ride bikes, people are still going to walk, and people are still going to drive giant utility trucks. Let’s go with the safer option the city has already proven. This insurance straw man is completely bogus.

    2. One can the same about the stinky bikers. The few require the majority to pay for their constant unwillingness to find a better way! I bike to work everyday, this is not the route for a “missing link”.

    3. Another example of the left’s complete contempt for blue-collar jobs, family-wages, Seattle history, and a real economy with an industrial base.

  2. I’ll let you know when I stop laughing uproariously at this. I wish to heavens I was a fly on the wall at Cascade Bike HQ…the looks on those smug, entitled faces must be worth a fortune. Congratulations to our job-creating warriors who made a successful case for sending the hobbiest bikers to Leary so that jobs can remain on Shilshole.

    1. What jobs have these warriors created? The Yankee Diner closed a decade or more ago. The fishing fleet is now so small, they had to allow pleasure boats to dock at Fishermen’s Terminal. So much winning. All the jobs that have been created in Ballard in the last decade are at restaurants and bars, on Ballard Ave, Market Street, and the other businesses that occupy all the new commercial space.

      1. Yes, isn’t wonderful that those high paying jobs get replaced with minimum wage ones? Might as well finish off the rest of those terrible high wage jobs. How many of those trail using bicycles go shopping and dining in Ballard? Or are they just passing through spending nothing? The latter obviously.

        1. High percentage of them live in Ballard, unlike the public road using vehicles from the folks working at the businesses along Shilshole.

          1. Ah, name calling and insults. I see you’ve learned well from your Almighty Leader Drumpf.

      2. “All the jobs that have been created in Ballard in the last decade are at restaurants and bars” Sounds like a great economic base. Add in the O’Brien bums and heroin addicts with filthy needles, feces and crime, I’m sure restaurants will be awash in customers in the months and years ahead.

      1. KIRO used SDOT statistics to show that after spending $100,000 on bike paths, the percentage of bicycle commuters has dropped from 5% in 2014 to 2.5% now. There is no speculation as to why.

        1. Apples to oranges, pal. The joker above stated “hobbiest” as if the majority of the trail users were doing this solely for recreation. Rather, the vast majority are people using the trail for their daily commute to their jobs. In fact because of the trail, there’s less of a need for parking in Ballard and in the places these people work. It also decreases the pollution, the wear and tear on roadways, and traffic congestion. What about raw numbers? There’s been a lot of white-collar workers added since 2014, and many workplace facilities don’t offer showers and locker rooms. When was the study done? Before or after the bikeshares came to town? The Fremont bridge hit 1 million riders earlier this month – more than it’s ever had before.

          1. “At the Fremont Bridge, one of the most popular routes for bike commuters, traffic fell 2 percent in 2017, to fewer than 1 million rides.” — Seattle Times, 12/11/18

            So no. Wrong. It’s hit 1,000,000 before.

        1. Hey lump chump, take a look at context before you start Drumpfing all over the place. YOU are what’s wrong with society and precisely what’s wrong with this blog. You don’t know how to read context – I was arguing against the hobbiest remark, which was completely false. How about you get out from behind your sister and make that moron comment to my face?

          1. Too rich pal; Trump living rent free in what’s LEFT of your brains. God I just love it. Got your yellow vest yet?

          2. Triggered narcissist snowflake response =
            “YOU are what’s wrong with society and precisely what’s wrong with this blog”

  3. This is idiotic! It’s as idiotic as all the idiots that keep insulting all the users of the rest of the trail. This is not about ” Spandex zealots”, whoever “they” are. This is about completing a multi use trail that runs from Redmond to Golden Gardens in Ballard!
    Anyone with any sense can see that keeping the trail along the railroad tracks is where it should be. Initially creating this trail was about reclaiming the old railway lines and making them into a trail. What happened in Ballard was the short piece of track was still in use. All of the proposals for how to complete the trail have included the railway line and will not hamper it in any way.
    I really hope that this trail will be completed in my lifetime.

  4. nothing should be done to extend this trail until the city makes it safe for people to use – the section through “frelard” by fred meyer is messed up. “campers”, junk, drugs, needles…

    why bother extending if the city won’t even keep it clean and safe?

  5. I’m one of those spandex cyclist that has been riding that route for 30 some years and I am totally on the side of the businesses. If it was up to you liberal safe space namby pamby goofballs there wouldn’t be any business along the canal except for tech, restaurants serving your avocado toast and hot yoga.
    I’ve personally seen only one accident on that route and it was some idiot that didn’t have a clue how to cross RR tracks. Three hundred a year is bull crap. Learn how to ride in traffic because you’re not going to get everywhere you want in Seattle on a trail. Suck it you babies.

    1. I’m one of those business owners on Shilshole and have been for many years and I’m totally on the side of the city and the cyclists. If it was up to the rest of you backwards NIMBY business owners, there wouldn’t be anyone else living in Ballard or the city, and the entire “urban village” of Ballard would be one giant parking lot for your business. Unfortunately that would mean nobody could ever get to your business because everyone would have to drive in from afar and congestion would be so bad they’d give up. No restaurants, grocery stores, or other businesses would survive because your greasy, dirty employees couldn’t support them. Learn how to live in society because your type won’t last long in a functioning city.

      1. Ballard is mostly destroyed thanks to bum drug addict enabling and gentrification. But you want to blame 100 year old businesses that literally built Seattle.

    2. @ Colnago: you just hurt the feelings of so many good Ballard people, and I love it! Way too many cooks spoiling the broth these days. Experts are they. I head this week that cycling to work was “down 50%” as well. Liars can figure, but figures can’t lie. Not sure why so many here want us to resemble Denmark or such???

      1. thats bullshit! those are junkie rvs and are towed “continuously”. then right back again.
        i live aboard and see them every day. walk by them and smell them. walk by them and see the garbage they drag in and just leave lying around that the city and businesses have to clean up. they take up parking that “isnt just” for shilshole ave businesses. people park there and enjoy all of ballard and even crown hill, because there “is no parking” in ballard.
        and i agree with colnago…….everyone needs to learn to suck it up and ride their bikes
        i bike a lot , yes i have even had a bike/car accident and had my leg and bike destroyed but that is just how it is. its the city, narrow roads, mass traffic, shit happens.
        the rvs do not belong to CSR workers.
        they belong to junkies.
        take a walk before making a statement like that.

    1. They are “obstructionists” only in your eyes — because you’ve waltzed in and smugly demanded to upset the way they have done business for decades. Same mentality when people call wolves “pests” because the sheep they stuck in their habitat keep getting eaten. Smug, smug, smug. If you all weren’t such dicks, I’d be more inclined to give you some support.

      1. No one wants your support dipsht. Also, only the bitter and elderly think that the way things have been done is the only way they are allowed to be done. The young people are just waiting you out and due to your generations drug addiction, it’s actually happening much faster than we expected.

      2. The only aspect of their business they want to protect is the free parking on Shilshole. If this area was zoned for residential, they’d sell in a heartbeat, erasing all those “family wage” jobs they keep saying they’re out to protect.

      3. “waltzed in” “smugly demanded” – where have you been? This has been needed and numerous attempts have been made over decades. Don’t pretend like you’ve been here forever if you don’t know the history.

      1. How about we make the sand and gravel business pay back the taxpayers for all the wasted public money on studies and court costs. The last one was over 800 pages long.

        1. @ Wilbur: OMG you are a product. How much in taxes a year does THIS evil business pay? Their employees? I bet you just love big slow moving government when it chooses winners/losers, costing us all $$ with study after study, the compliance and unfunded mandates, costing everybody yet more $$. I see dumb people

  6. I’m sure it’s just me but I think the larger issue is that in 16 years you idiots haven’t been able to compromise and come up with a solution. 16 years. You deserve each other.

    1. Hi, thanks for your support. Who wants change? We here at the SCC like the illusion of change, that way we can keep charging you without showing any results! Carrot and stick, my friend…carrot and stick. And who was commenting on the RV’s? Those people are experiencing bikelessness, thus forcing them into a motorized mode of transportation. Which, generally, I’m against. But it allows me to dub the RV dwellers ‘vulnerable community members’, so we’re good. Get Woke, Friend! And Remember, Vote Salty, Vote O’Brine 2019!

  7. I’m so angry I could chew through my bike chain and spit the pieces of tooth enamel in a fisherman’s weather-beaten face! ARGH!!!

      1. U R right there sport. Just about 5 of us left here now. I bet that makes you feel so good about yourself too! Umm, who will be there for YOU someday soon? Your diversity is killing me. So open minded it’s all now fallen out. Got YOUR yellow vest yet? Or will you just sit and take it? Viva la France.

  8. I take Ballard ave when I bike. We do need to make it harder to drive in Seattle, really there are too many people

    I drive more than I bike but I’ll tell you now that the city isn’t isn’t concerned about adding more roads or making it any easier to drive around the congestion in this city

    Regardless if this passes or not it’ll still slowly be harder and harder to drive and find parking

  9. I personally know 3 guys whose ‘junkie campers’ are parked there because they live and WORK there. They are the smart ones.
    I also know a few who bike to work at businesses there. This has become a petty fight between a very few people at our expense. It’s why we’ll never have nice things.

  10. A word on the insurance issue. Both Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel and Ballard Oil (both Ballard Family Owned businesses) cannot be insured if a bicycle trail crosses the driveway where there Oil Trucks and Cement Mixers arrive and depart multiple times a day. The liability is too great. So no insurance no business.

    1. Here is the real story. One business asked an insurance company if the rates would change if the trail were completed. One insurance company informally said they could not guarantee rates in the future. If businesses had to shut down anytime a trail were constructed on adjacent public property that would be a huge impact and we would see large sections of vacant industrial land all over the region, the fact is that is not the case.

    2. “both Ballard Family Owned businesses”
      I also own my own business and if any of these crooks tried to hire me I’d laugh in their faces.

      If it’s true then, oh well time to close shop– you had a good run slimy businessmen

    3. Been hearing that false insurance argument for years. Coming from just the two filthy-rich land owners blocking the public right of way. Your agent’s friendly opinion is not the underwriter’s finding.
      How about proving your claim? Make the insurance underwriter’s written findings and insurance company offers public record instead of just pulling things out of thin air, AKA the agent (salespeople) brown nosing their land owner customers. Srsly.

  11. Moved to Ballard a few years ago and have been bike commuting to the eastside a couple days a week for the last year. My commute is about 13 miles. The 1/2 mile section on Shilshole is definitely the most dangerous of my entire route. The sand and gravel trucks have never really been an issue. Cars parked oddly, cars pulling out without looking and sometimes rocks and debris on the road are the biggest concerns. Distracted drivers looking for parking are also a problem as is the weird road to off road lip on the north side that if you aren’t careful could cause a problem.

    When I realized this issue has been discussed and litigated for 18 years I thought it was a joke. Seattle wastes boatloads of money on the most ridiculous crap. I’m looking at you million dollar commons park toilet.

    Just put the trail in. The concerns are largely overblown. The Shilshole strip area would benefit from the facelift and the impact to the sand and gravel business will be minimal if anything. The trail crosses areas of industry in several places and its never been an issue as far as I can see. The improved signage and improvements along Shilshole would be a benefit to everyone.

  12. The solution is simple. We make the whole street a bike lane and just ride down the middle each day. Most of us can do at least 15mph, which is faster than most Seattlite’s drive, so they won’t mind.

  13. Since when is a judge supposed to base a land-use judgment on speculative insurance premium increases?

    Recall the corporate flack.

  14. This is great news! Ballard is a blue collar industrial area of Seattle. Always was, and still is today, and it should remain. Screw the bike club whom our clowncil panders to. A very small group of folks in spandex want to change Ballard to suit them and their pals. If they have to bike to Golden Gardens just use the sidewalks like all the other people or take the bus.

  15. This is great news! It’s the right decision because “Truth” is crying and screaming. And while we’re at it, let’s throw out every loser council member that panders to the bums, junkies, and the spandex crowd. It’s time for the normal folks in Ballard and Seattle to take their city back.

    Every employee at SDOT that is in bed with the Cascade bicycle club should be fired and be replaced with real transportation engineers that will improve traffic for CARS.

  16. All of this traffic already crosses the trail every day. You can’t leave the Shilshole waterfront without crossing the trail. There will be no additional trail crossings. This is rich people wanting to hold on to their wealth using public resources.

  17. To all you idiots who don’t give a damn if those businesses fold up and people lose jobs, I can’t wait to see the hand wringing, the whining, the hue and cry from you soft handed wimps when A.I. takes over your jobs. Come to think of it, artificial intelligence is already here and it’s you. Not real intelligence.

  18. This is hilarious.

    I’ve been a cyclist for 35 years. Im not from Seattle.

    Seattle cyclists are the most obnoxious, entitled bunch I can imagine.

    Here’s the truth: your city bends over backwards for you. You have to (gasp) ride on a road for a little bit and you’re panicking. Come on. In many large cities in the US drivers go out of their way to hit you.


    1. The trail is more than just for cyclists, it is not just about bicycles. Let me remind you that cyclists and pedestrians were around long before automobiles. Pretty hard to even drive a car in Seattle without being a pedestrian.
      You say “In many large cities in the US drivers go out of their way to hit you.” I hope you are not trying to downplay or justify or normalize vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. I have driven, ridden and walked in a several large cities and do not feel this is the case. However, whether intentional or not the fact is pedestrians and bicycles usually lose when involved in a car crash, another reason to have a separate safe trail and complete the missing link on Shilshole,

      1. If you’re saying that pedestrians cannot currently safely walk up either side of Shilshole, then you’re a feckless dunce.

          1. I walk up Shilshole all the time, from 24th to New Seasons or Mike’s Chilli, etc. On the Salmon Bay Cafe side, it’s easy enough though some rough (not THAT rough) patches and on the other side there’s a sidewalk that has ramps. I think you just want to be snippy, not factual.

    2. Understand that the whining bikers are suburban types who want to live in a ‘cool’ city but are scared and want it to be just like the suburb where they were spawned.

    1. I am not sure what your issue is with Spandex, but whatever, I probably do not want to know. In my observations of the trail, I do not see much spandex, you should get out more. I see people walking their dogs, people walking for fresh air and exercise, bike commuters, joggers, students etc It is a multi use trail. If you do not believe this spend some time along the trail.
      You mention privilege and rights. Driving a car is a privilege not a right. Owning a car is not a right. Storing your private car on public property is not a right. I know as I do all the above.

  19. If the militant bikers would just get over themselves, they probably could have had a completed trail already. Sure, it might be ‘off rail’ so to speak, but it would be completed. Seems like digging their heels in has really only hurt…themselves.

  20. Spandex is synthetic!
    Those who wear it are RUINING THE PLANET, even worse than by their exhaling CO2 and farting methane.
    Mow em down (using your Prius)!

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