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SDOT Won't Appeal Judge's Missing Link Ruling

By Josh Cohen April 28, 2010

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced this morning that it will not appeal King County Superior Court Judge James Rogers' April 16 ruling on the lawsuit over the "Missing Link" of the Burke-Gilman Trail. Judge Rogers ruled that the city must complete an environmental analysis of a five-block section of the Missing Link along Shilshole Ave between 17th Ave NW and Vernon Place NW to determine the impact of putting a multi-use path along that segment.

SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan says the department made the decision that will get the Missing Link completed in the least amount of time.

"An appeal would reopen the entire decision, even in areas where SDOT's work has already been upheld," said Sheridan.

At a press availability this afternoon, Mayor Mike McGinn said he was unaware of SDOT's decision not to appeal the ruling, but said the move sounded like a "practical" one that was "better than litigating" endlessly.

"My guess is that the appeal would have delayed things even longer," McGinn said.

Sheridan says SDOT expects the environmental analysis to take roughly six months.

There has been speculation on whether the city could move forward on parts of the Missing Link outside the disputed five blocks. Sheridan says SDOT has no plans to do so.

"We don't believe it would be prudent to build at this point, even though the east section of the Missing Link is outside the area the study covers."
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