Afternoon Fizz: Crashes Continue at Burke-Gilman "Missing Link"

By Erica C. Barnett July 21, 2009

Photo via My Ballard.

As Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel sues the city to fight the completion of the "missing link" of the Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard (in short, the company, along with Ballard Oil, is claiming that cyclists will block its trucks from crossing the trail), crashes along the dangerous stretch continue apace.

Linking to stats stats from the bike advocacy group Cascade Bicycle Club, the bloggers at Seattle Likes Bikes lists five recent crashes where a cyclist's wheels got caught in the train tracks that crisscross back and forth along that section of the route.

Salmon Bay has been fighting the completion of the trail for years (see, for example, this op/ed from 2003, in which Salmon Bay CEO Paul Nerdrum calls the Burke-Gilman a "recreational facility" that "conflicts with higher-priority uses" like crossing trucks. Cyclists, meanwhile, point out quite reasonably that the Burke-Gilman is a transportation route, and that the disputed section is one of the most dangerous parts of the Burke-Gilman trail.

Seattle Likes Bikes writes:
We know that the current infrastructure is unsafe. We know what to do to improve the safety, but the Ballard businesses keep suing cyclists and the city, even after compromises that keep the trail away from their businesses.

These old economy businesses haven’t ever seen a bicycle that they didn’t hate. Their obstructions just raise the cost to the city, forces a non-profit that teaches bicycle safety to spend money on a frivolous lawsuit, and the delays just injure more people.
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