City Hall

Businesses Appeal Missing Link Ruling

By Erica C. Barnett July 6, 2010

This post has been updated with comments from the Cascade Bicycle Club's David Hiller.

A group of Ballard industrial and maritime businesses are appealing a court ruling requiring the city to study only a short portion of the "Missing Link" of the Burke-Gilman Trail. In April, King County Superior Court judge Jim Rogers ruled that the city had to do an environmental analysis of a short section of the Missing Link before it could move forward with completing the trail. The businesses say that completing the trail will undermine their viability and create safety risks.

“We can’t understand why the City and Cascade Bicycle Club, both of whom claim the trail is necessary to increase safety, are so opposed to conducting a safety study,” Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel Co. vice president Paul Nerdrum said.

The businesses say they want the city to build a "Copenhagen-style cycletrack"—basically, a separated bike lane with a curb cut—along Market and Leary Way.

However, cycling advocates have argued that that "alternative" is really just a tactic to delay the project. And they point out that the Missing Link has been in the works for 30 years.

"They want to build [the cycletrack] somewhere where we'd never get approval to build it," says Cascade Bicycle Club policy director David Hiller. "There's Metro routes; there's businesses all along there... It's a straw man."
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