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Seattle PI Editorial:
'On Right Track'

PI Endorses Green Route
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City Corridor Study
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Trail Map & Mileage

Trail Guide
Point to Point Distances

Click on the map to calculate distances between points along the trail. This Web trail map was programmed by Jason Beard at

Transparentfog.com/trails/. Includes destination information.

SDOT Announces
Section of 45th Street
To Become One-Way

SEATTLE: Northwest 45th Street between Northwest 46th Street and 11th Avenue Northwest is about to become one-way eastbound for motor vehicles, with a separate two-way bicycle lane to the north. The Seattle Department of Transportation is making the roadway change to address longstanding safety concerns.

Crews will install striping along the Northwest 45th Street segment and place new signage this weekend, Dec. 20-22. Westbound motor vehicle traffic will be detoured onto Northwest 46th Street at 11th Avenue Northwest. Eastbound traffic may experience intermittent slowdowns. The one-way eastbound solution comes after collaboration with area businesses. Access to all businesses will be maintained, although some routings will change due to the one-way modification. New signage will direct those heading westbound on Northwest 45th Street, east of 11th Avenue Northwest, to head north to Northwest 46th Street instead.

The identified segment of Northwest 45th Street is one of the highest bicycle collision locations in the city and also a heavy industrial area. As part of this new plan, crews will also install allway stops on 14th Avenue Northwest at Northwest 45th Street and Northwest 46th Street.

Other safety improvements made recently include:

  • Curb islands at bridge abutments at Northwest 45th Street and 15th Avenue Northwest under the Ballard Bridge
  • New intersection signage at Ballard Avenue Northwest and Northwest 48th Street, and at Ballard Avenue Northwest and 17th Avenue Northwest
  • New speed limit sign on Shilshole Avenue Northwest and Northwest 45th Street between Northwest 46th Street and 11th Avenue Northwest
The original South Ballard Corridor Safety Project called for installing advisory bike lanes and speed humps along Northwest 45th Street. Advisory bike lanes clarify with dotted lines where drivers can expect to see bicyclists within a driving lane. Because this roadway segment is so narrow, one-way motor vehicle travel with a separate bike lane was determined to be a better option.

SDOT Progress Log on Burke Gilman Trail "missing link"

On Bike to Work Day, Despite light Sprinkles,
729 Bicyclists rode by
the station at 43rd & 8th Ave. NW
Between 5:50 and 9 AM

What's Happening with
the Missing Link (May 2013)

What can you do to show continued support for the City's efforts to complete the BGT?
Email City Council members, especially those up for re-election this year, and Mayoral candidates. Tell them you support completion of the trail as embodied in the 2003 City Council Resolution 30583.

Thanks for your efforts--it's been 10 years and will be one or two more at the least.

Court Decision April 16, 2010
Requires Environmental Review

King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers ruled April 16 that the city must complete an environmental review of a five-block section between 17th Ave NW and NW Vernon Place along Shilshole Avenue before construction can begin on the Burke Gilman Trail's "missing link."

Judge Rogers ruled against the Ballard Industrial plaintiffs on eight of the nine issues raised by them in their effort to reroute the trail away from Shilshole Avenue. Nevertheless his decision, and a possible further appeal by the seven plaintiffs, effectively stalls completion of the final section of the Burke Gilman Trail. Completion of the "missing link" is fully funded and ready for bid if and when the legal obstacles can be overcome.

A Request for Photos

The Director of the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse is putting together a library of images of projects completed with enhancements funding at www.enhancements.org and would like to feature the Burke-Gilman trail.

If you are willing to contribute some photos of the trail to the project, please contact: David Levinger
Director of Research
rails-to-trails conservancy
2121 Ward Ct. NW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037
202.331.9696 (main)

He is seeking 12-20 good photos with a short description of where on the trail each photo was taken and what year that section was completed.

Appeals Court Decision
Possible April 12

The Superior Court is expected to rule as soon as April 12 on whether the City can move ahead with completion of the "missing link" or whether the City will have to halt the project for a full environmental review.

The law suit brought by Ballard Industrialists and supported by the Ballard Chamber of Commerce was heard by King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers on March 19 with plaintiffs arguing that safety considerations and impact on marine-industrial businesses must be more fully addressed as required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In 2009, the Hearing Examiner ruled against the plaintiffs in favor of the City. To read arguments made before Judge Roberts visit Seattle Times Article.

To read the plaintiffs petition to the Superior Court visit Petition.

SDOT Acting Director
Speaks at Annual Meeting

SDOT’s new Acting Director, Peter Hahn, described planned improvements for 2010 under the Bicycle Master Plan including installing 20 miles of bike lanes and sharrows, signing 30 miles of bicycle routes and remarking 35 miles of bike facilities.

Ship Canal Trail (Phase 2): Construction is underway for the segment between 6th and 11th Avenues West. SDOT continues to work with the railroad to complete a continuous trail from the Fremont Bridge to Fisherman's Terminal along the south side of the Ship Canal.

Burke-Gilman Trail: Construction is delayed due to ongoing litigation. Hahn reassured Friends of the Burke Gilman Trail that the city is ready to complete "the missing link" if and when the litigation is resolved in the City's favor.

Given the importance of defending the City's right to complete the trail, Friends of the Burke Gilman Trail urges trail supporters to contribute to Cascades Burke-Gilman Legal Fund. To donate: Click here. Then follow the links to the Burke-Gilman Legal Defense Fund

Sidewalk Construction
along Montlake Boulevard

Construction at the University of Washington light rail station is underway and during the month of March 2010 there will be several construction activities along Montlake Blvd, adjacent to the Husky Stadium (see attached map).

1) Sound Transit's contractor will be drilling to install geotechnical monitoring devices in the sidewalk on the east side of Montlake Blvd. between NE Pacific Street and NE Pacific Place. The contractor will reduce the width of the sidewalk to 5 feet for pedestrians/bicyclists and will also set up construction signs warning of the work. This work is scheduled to take place between from March 1 to March 17, 2010.

2) The contractor will demolish the pedestrian island at the NE Pacific Street crosswalk, install a left-hand turn traffic signal southbound on Montlake Blvd, and re-stripe the crosswalk. The signal work will involve closing multiple lanes of traffic on Montlake Blvd near the intersection of NE Pacific Street. To minimize traffic disruption, some of this work will take place at night (between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.). This work is scheduled to begin on March 10, 2010.

3) The final surfacing (asphalt paving, concrete and asphalt sidewalk) for the driveway entrance/exit at NE Pacific Street to Husky Stadium will also take place in March. In order to complete this work, the contractor will close a lane of northbound traffic to create a temporary sidewalk using concrete barriers to separate pedestrians and bicyclists from automobile traffic. This work is scheduled to begin on March 8, 2010.

All of the above work is happening simultaneously with other work to widen the sidewalk and create a safer environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclist can avoid the congested construction area by using the sidewalk on the west side of Montlake Blvd.

University Link is the 3.15-mile extension of light rail from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington. U-Link includes twin-bore tunnels and two stations, one at Capitol Hill (Broadway and East John Street) and the other on the University of Washington campus at Husky Stadium. Local tax funding for U-Link was approved by voters and the project also received a $813 million Federal Transit Administration grant.

U-Link is projected to add 70,000 daily riders to the Link system, bringing total daily ridership to 114,000 in 2030. Construction of U-Link began in early 2009 and will continue over the next six years. Passenger service is scheduled to begin in 2016.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information about the University Link light rail project, please contact Wilbert Santos at (206) 370 -5516 or wilbert.santos@soundtransit.org. You can also visit our website at www.soundtransit.org/UWstation.

Estimated 250 Citizens
Urge Trail Completion

Trail users young and old gathered just West of the Ballard Bridge to send a message to the 2010 Mayor and Seattle City Council: please complete the "missing link" now that it is funded, designed and ready to go to bid.

Completion of a safe trail along Shilshole Avenue has been a high priority for pedestrians, recreational and commuter bicyclists for over a dozen years. It is currently delayed by litigation brought by Ballard Industrialists and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce. Once the litigration is resolved, it will be up to the next mayor and city council to fix an unsafe corridor without further delay.

MyBallard.com estimated that 250 people showed up for the Oct. 27 vigil between 5:30-6:30 pm with blinking red lights and orange T shirts "WE ARE THE MISSING LINK" Read story.

Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn, an unequivocal trail supporter, attended the event.

The evening vigil was supported by Sustainable Ballard, Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail, Totcycle/Kidical Mass, Feet First, Groundswell NW, Seattle Likes Bikes, Cascade Bicycle Club, Undriving.org, CoolMom, Spokespeople, SCALLOPS, Urban Sparks, Sunset Hill Community Association, and Washington Liveaboard Association.

For more news on the event see King5 News

Temporary Re-route of Trail
Near UW Dec 14- Jan 3

University Link is a 3.15-mile extension of light rail from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington. Between December 14, 2009 and January 3, 2010, Sound Transit's contractor will install the infrastructure for an electrical ductbank that will provide power to the UW Station construction site and ultimately additional high voltage service to the University of Washington campus. The work is scheduled during UW's winter break to minimize impacts on trail users. While the work is underway, pedestrian and bicycle traffic along the Burke Gilman Trail (BGT) will be re-routed for a short distance at the south end of the UW campus (see attached alert).

Also during that same timeframe, contractors will install the electrical ductbank under Montlake Boulevard and it will be necessary to restrict traffic to one lane in either direction. This work will be done at night to minimize the impact to traffic on Montlake Boulevard.

If you would like more information concerning the University Link project please contact me at 206-370-5516 or wilbert.santos@soundtransit.org. You can also visit http://www.soundtransit.org/UWstation

Mayor Proposes Completing
“Missing Link”of Burke-Gilman Trail

Creates unobstructed trail from
Golden Gardens Park to Tracy Owen Station

Sept. 9, 2008: Mayor Greg Nickels proposed to fund the last remaining segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail in a speech to the international Pro Walk/ Pro Bike Conference held in Seattle. His 2009-2010 proposed budget allocates $8.6 million to complete the “Missing Link” segment over the next two years.

The funding will allow the city to construct a trail segment, commonly known as the “Missing Link,” from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks. Under the mayor’s proposal, the city would begin construction on the trail section in 2009 and complete its work by 2010.

Once completed, the trail will create a regional trail system running unobstructed through Seattle, to Issaquah via the Sammamish River Trail and the East Lake Sammamish Trail. It is the city’s top-rated trail priority as identified by the Bicycle Master Plan. This effort supports the plan’s two primary goals of tripling the amount of cycling and reducing the rate of bicycle collisions by a third.

Funding for the project will come from Bridging the Gap levy funds dedicated to bike and trail improvements, the 2007 King County Proposition 2 Trail and Open Space levy, and from grants.

Bridging the Gap is the $365 million levy passed by Seattle voters in 2006. It enables much-needed work by the Seattle Department of Transportation, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge maintenance, and tree planting. The levy also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, enhanced transit connections and l arge Neighborhood Street Fund projects.

details at: at Seattle.gov

Lake Forest Park Residents
Organize to Support
Section of BG Trail

Friends of the Burke Gilman Trail at Lake Forest Park is a group of Lake Forest Park residents and business owners who believe that the Burke-Gilman Trail is a local treasure in need of active support from the community. For more information

Status of Trail
Described in Nov. 11, 2007 Article

Seattle PI reporter Angela Galloway discusses some of the remaining hurdles to completing the Burke Gilman Trail "missing link." Read her article posted on the web Nov. 11, 2007

Trail Updates
on SDOT Web Site

To see design proposals and Frequently Asked Questions visit SDOT's site at:

REI Makes Contribution
To Benefit Burke-Gilman Trail

Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI) contributed $3,507 in April, 2005 to Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail as part of their nation-wide support of "Service Projects" that encourage volunteerism, trail maintenance and public outdoor projects. FOBGT Chairman Dave Janis(left) receives the contribution from REI's Josh Mitchell (right).

To view upcomming clinics and store events for the Seattle area see StoreEvents

Trail Supporters Turn Out
to Clean Up Shilshole Ave.

As part of FOBGT's commitment to Adopt-A-Street, 16 volunteers showed up to collect 15 bags of trash and sweep both sides of Shilshole Avenue. The work was completed in time to attend the new Ballard Library open house. We hope to do another Shilshole clean-up in July or August.

East Lake Sammamish Trail
Could Open in January

A critical link in the 40 mile continuous trail system from Golden Gardens to Issaquah appears to have cleared the final legal hurdles after nine years of private vs. public use court battles. Read Article

150 Trail Supporters
Celebrate 30th Anniversary

Undeterred by intermittent showers, about 150 people showed up to celebrate the 30 year struggle to complete the Burke-Gilman Trail and to break ground for the section of trail between the Ballard (Chittenden) Locks and NW 60th Street. City Councilors Richard Conlin and Jim Compton, both long-time trail supporters, praised the Burke-Gilman as good for people, good for business and good for the national goal of providing alternatives to fossil fuel dependency.

Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail handed out a route map showing the sections that are funded for completion and the "missing link" which will require continuing efforts from Trail supporters to reach the funding and planning stages. A highlight of the flyer were 45 businesses in Ballard who support the trail.

Read more in the Seattle Time's article Burke-Gilman Trail's history celebrated on 30th anniversary.

Burke Gilman Trail Completion Schedule

NW 60th to Golden Gardens: This section extends the trail the remaining distrance from NW 60th to Golden Gardens. Construction is scheduled to start in July 2007 and finish by the end of 2007. For Details.

"The Missing Link": No schedule has been announced for securing funds, design and construction of this last section of the Burke-Gilman Trail which goes from 11th Street to the Locks. Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail continue to push for progress on this critical section of the trail.

Council Votes for "Green Route"
The Vote is 7 to 2

The City Council voted to move ahead with the Mayor's proposal for completing the Burke-Gilman Trail along the "Green Route." The vote was 7 to 2 with Conlin, Wills, Compton, Nicastro, Drago, Steinbrueck and Licata in favor, and McIver and Pageler opposed.

The final vote came after several amendments to the "Green Route" resolution were narrowly defeated. These amendments included a proposal to extend the trail further along Ballard Avenue to Market Street and a proposal to postpone any decision until another alternative route could be considered.

Helping to convince the council were letters written by owners of businesses along the "Green Route" who believe a safe trail can be built and can coexist with industry.. It helped that there was an out pouring of letters and emails from all of you trail supporters.

The next step is to design a safe trail that meets the concerns of both bicyclists and industry, apply for funding and move ahead with optimism and a progressive spirit. Contact us with your ideas and suggestions for supporting the trail through the next phase.

Hundreds Attend Public Hearing on the Burke-Gilman Trail

Thanks to the hundreds of trail supporters who turned out Monday night (March 24) for the Transportation Committee public hearing on the Burke-Gilman Trail. Your continued support and thoughtful comments are important for the committee and the Council to hear.

Mayor Supports Completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail

At a press conference on Friday, February 21st, Mayor Greg Nickels announced his decision to move forward with completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail, using the Green Line Rail/Trail corridor that FOBGT and trail proponents have been advocating. This is a momentous decision, and the Mayor is to be applauded and supported for taking this step. He heard from the citizens of Seattle, from local and regional businesses, and from all of you, that the green line is the logical, safe, and simple way to complete the trail.

To read Mayor Nickels' press release, go to http://www.cityofseattle.gov/mayor/. Once there, you can see the final Ballard Corridor Design Study report, which gives the details of the proposed route.

Though the Mayor is not proposing seeking funding for the entire length of trail at present, the compromise he reached on trail routing and phasing strikes a balance between completing key segments of the trail, and acknowledging the vitality and vigor of Ballard's industrial businesses and their operational needs. This is a win-win for everyone involved!

To see the SDOT recommendation, go to http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/mayor/Burke_Gilman.htm

   Click on maps to see full size

Seattle Times OP-Ed
Makes Case for "Green Route"

"Isn't it time we completed the Burke-Gilman Trail? Such a simple concept: a slice of asphalt coursing through the city's neighborhoods, carrying bicyclists, walkers, skaters and strollers to work, to school, to play. For most of us, this ribbon of alternate roadway is the epitome of what is good and right and beautiful about Seattle..."   Read Op-Ed

The Last Half Mile

The “Missing Link” is the subject of a Dec 11, 2000 article in the Seattle Times. Spokesmen on both side of the trail issue are interviewed by the Times staff. Years to Go Before Gap in Burke-Gilman Closes

Burke-Gilman Trail Study Wins Design Award

Nov 14, 2001: A design study commissioned by the Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail has won the "Merit Award for Landscape Planning and Analysis" from the Washington Society of Landscape Architects. Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail, a neighborhood group advocating the completion of the popular Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard, worked with the local firms Susan Black - Landscape Architects and A Northwest Collaborative on the study. Its goal are design solutions for a multi-use trail within the city-owned railroad right-of-way connecting the Ballard Locks and the Ballard Bridge, while maintaining rail service.

Davidya Kaserzyk, AIA, principal of one of the design firms, expressed his satisfaction upon winning the award "The award was given for quality planning and analysis of a very difficult urban design issue. Our design clearly shows that a trail can coexist with the railroad." Jack Brautigam, Chair of the Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail, weighs in "The study shows how a trail could benefit the Ballard Industrial Area and the National Historic District by considering the needs of businesses and industry as well as those of cyclists and pedestrians."

"Missing Link" Trail Sketches
Two Joggers

We present our design for the ‘missing link’ section of Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard. The design shows how a multi-use trail can fit within the rail and street right-of-way. The Trail will create new non-motorized transportation options while optimizing the use of this valuable corridor for freight, rail, and automobiles.

Visit our “Trail Design” page to view design drawings showing segments of the route. We invite your questions, comments and your participation. Email us at Friends@BurkeGilmanTrail.Org.