City’s Missing Link plans hit another roadblock

The City’s plan to connect the Burke-Gilman Trail along Shilshole has come up against yet another challenge.

For over a decade, the City has tried to connect the missing 1.4-mile segment of the trail between the Ballard Locks and Ballard Bridge. Their preferred route would be to build the trail along Shilshole Ave NW, but that plan has been challenged again and again by several industry and business owners in Ballard, known as the Ballard Coalition. The Coalition instead want the trail to be built on NW Market Street and Leary Avenue, away from the industrial traffic of Shilshole.

SDOT’s preferred trail alignment along Shilshole

Now, the Coalition has successfully challenged the City’s shoreline substantial development permit.

Josh Brower, Ballard Coalition’s lawyer, says the Washington State Shoreline Hearing Board has revoked the City’s permit, which means the City must apply for and obtain a new permit before proceeding with construction.

“The Coalition will closely monitor the City’s actions in applying for and obtaining any new permit and will likely again appeal it to the SHB because the Missing Link is incompatible with Ballard’s working maritime and industrial waterfront and the water-dependent and water-related businesses that have been there for decades if not a century, providing family-wage and union-wage jobs for Seattle,” Brower said in an email to Coalition members.

Ethan Bergerson from the Seattle Department of Transportation says they’re waiting for the written order from the Shorelines Hearings Board to inform the department’s next steps.

“We remain committed to completing these critical safety enhancements along the missing link as part of our larger goal of building a safe connected city for everyone and for all the ways that people get around,” Bergerson said via email to My Ballard.

SDOT will continue to work on aspects of the Ballard Multimodal Corridor, including the improvements along NW Market St.


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FomerBallardBizOwner
Member
FomerBallardBizOwner

The City is lead by such ineptness. I am so glad that I outlasted this fiasco and sold before this made a further impact in my business. The endless meetings and the unrealistic statements by the City was\is exhausting and nauseating.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

What business did you formerly own?

Paintking
Member
Paintking

Gee, you actually sound quite sane to me. What’s wrong with you? LOL. Don’t you understand, you’re supposed to stick around and enjoy the new Ballard, AND pay through the nose for it. You’re supposed to be a homer and have your car broken into, your garage rifled through again, your property taxes shooting through the roof, and be told “it’s not good enough”. C’mon man, where IS your sense of community here? :)

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

What does “Family Wage” jobs mean? Is there a certain threshold of money you can be paid if you want to have a family?

eddiek
Member
eddiek

The lawyers hired by the businesses have “family wage” jobs, and their offices are not even in Ballard.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

Exactly. It’s just coded speak for blue collar jobs. I’m willing to bet that the majority of the guys that do the actual work for Salmon Bay S&G, Hatton, Ballard Industrial (who’s owners DEFINITELY don’t live in Ballard) Pac Shipyard, Covich & Williams, CSR, and Trident Seafoods (the largest employers on Shilshole) don’t even live in Ballard anymore. Your everyday cement truck driver, or boat hull sander, they don’t. And that’s OK! But, let’s not pretend that using “family wage” jobs as some pull at your heart strings words have any real meaning.

eddiek
Member
eddiek

SBS&G is offering a Union job (Local #117) starting at $17.40 per hour, check it out on Linkedin with a quick Google search. An employee should be able to afford to live in an RV on Shilshole in front of the company.

Wolfgang
Member
Wolfgang

Isn’t the point that the jobs along the waterfront pay more than minimum wage and also come with at least some benefits, and that not many of the “new” jobs in Ballard that don’t require a college degree can match that? Where the people live is irrelevant.

Paintking
Member
Paintking

Do you EVER tire of whining, sport? Is this what they taught you in college? Are you part of ANY solution, anywhere, at all? How many risks do YOU take every day? I too own a business. And, it’s none of yours.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

The irony of you lecturing anyone about whining, on this, your favorite platform to whine, is pretty amazing.

What business do you own?

Lizzy the Lezzy
Member
Lizzy the Lezzy

Sounds like Nunya

terryj
Member
terryj

bikes have been getting from pt A to pt B without a trail that eliminates 200 parking spaces forever. Ballard, as a community needs those parking spots more than some lycra wearing bikers need a 1.4 mi trail. Deal with it.

SurlyAF
Member
SurlyAF

So what these Ballard Coalition d-bags are saying is that it’s not possible to have family-wage and union-wage jobs AND a bike trail near THEIR businesses? So they are unlike all the other businesses along the rest of the Burke Gilman, or along the waterfront trail, or The trail through Interbay, etc.? Sounds like they need to learn to run a modern business, one where even some of their family-wage and union-wage employees ride can ride their bikes to and from work.

Southeasterner
Member
Southeasterner

SurlyAF – It has absolutely nothing to do with jobs or safety. There is one and only one issue. Free parking.

Wolfgang
Member
Wolfgang

“Josh Brower, Ballard Coalition’s lawyer, says the Washington State Shoreline Hearing Board has revoked the City’s permit, which means the City must apply for and obtain a new permit before proceeding with construction.”

I understand the frustration of those who want to see the missing link completed, but the hearing board obviously thought there was merit in the complaint. When Trump is thwarted by hearing boards, the courts, etc., we all are glad we live in a society where things don’t get rammed through, where following proper procedure matters. What’s good for the goose . . . If there was nothing wrong with the city’s original permit, then the hearing board would have slapped down the Ballard Coalition.

Lizzy the Lezzy
Member
Lizzy the Lezzy

Where was Transportation Committee Chair Mike O’Brien to lead the city away from such an outcome? Bet I know. Anyhoo, he’s old news. I don’t give a tinker’s damn which route the eventual Missing Link courses, but I know one thing: I want to survive a bike ride and, in this fair city, that is best achieved on a protected path. May they flower in their number.

Paintking
Member
Paintking

Hey whiners, where the heck is your CCB representing you? They’ve been jamming up everything for years, but business can’t stand up for their interests? Facts are, we don’t live in Denmark or Sweden, thank God. The % of people on bicycles is so small, yet are screaming the loudest, like a squeaky wheel. Perhaps the CCB should re-think things and begin considering mandatory safety classes with fees and mandatory license plates/stickers displayed. Like boaters all MUST DO. That $$ is earmarked and so could this new found $$, for your attorneys and representation, classes/seminars on safety etc. Why is it autos must have a certain amount of similarity/conformity? Such as working signals, brake lights, reflectors and many many more to make us safe? Yet cyclists are basically having a free-for-all. Want to ride that $2300 bike and pretend you’re a car? Pay for play please. Want to ride down Holman road, pretending your a vehicle? Pony up, like drivers must.

jpsfranks
Member
jpsfranks

“Facts are, we don’t live in Denmark or Sweden, thank God.”

Wherein historic Ballard is defended from fringe cyclists by trashing Scandinavia. The Nordic Museum is literally on this short section!

Matt
Member
Matt

The businesses just want their free parking. What the city should do is just widen the whole road, add a middle turn lane for all those cement trucks. It would be safer for the trucks, but the owners would still howl because it would take away their free employee parking.

terryj
Member
terryj

i think the business owners would be happy to have parking that was “paid” parking rather NO PARKING, wouldn’t you?

El Grunion
Member
El Grunion

so much weepy hand wringing over this trail – a trail that a tiny & of our city’s population will use. a trail that, at that point, is to get you to a park. the city spends/wastes waaaay too much money on such a small % of the population. the desires a the few should not outweigh those of the many.

NA
Member
NA

The corridor is for literally everyone. There are walkers and bikers up and Shilshole all day every day. You’re complaining that this is for a small % of the population but the businesses holding this project up for decades are only doing it to preserve free parking (on CITY property that WE ALL pay for) for 30 guys’ trucks.

Ryan
Member
Ryan

Trail or not, I’m going to continue riding on Shilshole to work as I’ve done the last 15 years. The truck drivers for businesses along that route have always been really considerate. Would be nice to have a separated trail instead of a rail track that’s only used for playing train, but whatever.

eddiek
Member
eddiek

With the current plan the toy train will not be affected. The rails are leased from the city and the multi use trail will be built entirely on public land.

coryclassic
Member
coryclassic

As a cyclist and a Ballard Business owner I can see the issue from both sides. A trail along Shilshole is problematic for both. Yet, so is a trail along Ballard Ave or Leary. The real difference is that the businesses along Ballard Ave or Leary would want cyclists as they are mostly retail. Shilshole is industrial/marine businesses with heavy equipment needing access.

Make Ballard Ave one way and put in a bike lane. You could put in angle parking and actually INCREASE parking in Ballard. Win, win, and win.