Courtesy of SDOT

The City signs off on Missing Link design

The Seattle Department of Transportation has once again signed off on the updated design for the "Missing Link" stretch of the Burke Gilman Trail.

In February King County Superior Court Judge Rogers sent the designs for the completion of the Burke Gilman Trail back to the City of Seattle for further study.

After review of the entire project and consideration of the further developed design of the Shilshole Segment, SDOT has reissued the revised DNS and determined that "this proposal still will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment".

After reviewing the design details of the Shilshole segment of the Burke Gilman Trail extension project, City Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang penned a memo concluding that the proposed design "meets city standards and is consistent with practices the City has followed in designing other mixed use trails through the City, including adjoining portions of the Burke Gilman Trail".

"Based on the use of best engineering practices and my experience as an engineer, I do not have concerns with this project," according to Chang.

The "Missing Link" section of the Burke Gilman trail refers to the area where the trail ends at Ballard's Fred Meyer and people are left to find their own route to the Chittenden Locks where the trail picks up again.

The Ballard portion of the Burke Gilman Trail has been in limbo since the 1990s and this ruling is latest in a string of suits brought by the Ballard Business Appellants, which includes the Ballard Chamber of Commerce and businesses like Ballard Oil and Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel.

This new approval brings the trail one step closer to completion but, to the frustration of trail proponents, the appellants could continue to appeal the decision.

"All the while, we head into what will very likely be the biggest biking summer in the city’s history without a safe link in the city’s most popular cycling facility," wrote Seattle Bike Blog's Tom Fucoloro on his blog. "More people will crash, and we can only hope nobody is injured seriously while this senseless court battle continues to delay the trail’s completion."

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