Mayor Murray, stakeholders announce framework to complete ‘missing link’ of Burke-Gilman Trail

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Feb 28th, Mayor Ed Murray along with Councilmembers Mike O’Brien and Rob Johnson, Ballard business owners, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates, announced that a framework agreement has been reached to move forward on completing the “missing link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

“After years of disagreement, we have a path forward to finally complete the ‘missing link’ of the Burke-Gilman Trail,” said Mayor Murray. “Bicyclists and pedestrians will no longer need to weave, dodge, or hold their breath while navigating through Ballard and maritime businesses along the water will maintain access to the roads they depend on. Today’s announcement highlights our collaborative effort to complete the trail, making the Burke-Gilman safer and more accessible for all.”

As the City finishes the environmental review process, the framework calls for stakeholders to work together on the design elements of a preferred alternative route that would complete the “missing link” with a marked, dedicated trail for pedestrians and cyclists. This proposed trail would run along Market Street between the Ballard Locks and 24th Avenue Northwest, then turn on to Shilshole Avenue Northwest and run along the south-side of the street. The existing trail east of the Ballard Bridge, along Northwest 45thStreet, will be improved to allow for better access for businesses and safer travel for bicyclists and pedestrians. The City expects the final environmental impact study to be released in May.

“The community has been working on a safe completion of the missing link of the Burke Gilman Trail for years and it is great to be moving one step closer to construction,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien (District 6, Northwest Seattle). “It is also great that we have even more consensus around the best routing.”

“I am thrilled that we have an agreement to finally fix the missing link and to connect the Burke-Gilman Trail,” said Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle). “We all benefit when residents, workers and goods can travel our streets safely and efficiently be they in a delivery truck, on a bus, walking or biking.  This is a great success for bike safety, trail access, and Seattle’s economy.”

“This is a great announcement for people who use the Burke-Gilman Trail and for nearby businesses,” said Warren Aakervik, Ballard business owner. “The City of Seattle, businesses, and all the stakeholders are committed to a trail that is safe for recreation and commuting and allows for predictable access for trucks using the corridor. Our maritime businesses are dependent on easy access to the water and roads, and this agreement gets us that. This is a win for everyone.”

“To say we are elated is a vast understatement,” said Blake Trask, Senior Policy Director of the Cascade Bicycle Club. “This project will benefit generations. We are grateful to the many parties, including local Ballard businesses, for coming together, listening to one another, and committing to building a trail that is safe and predictable for everyone.”

“This plan balances the needs of maritime industrial businesses and the community,” said Eugene Wasserman, President of the North Seattle Industrial Association. “We look forward to working with the City, bicycling and pedestrian advocates, and Ballard residents in a manner that meets the needs of everyone that uses this corridor and maintains the vitality of the Ballard maritime industry.”