The Final Mile
Burke-Gilman Trail. Say the words to someone who lives in the Puget Sound region and images of walkers, skaters, strollers, and bicyclists fill her head. From the time the first sections of trail were completed, the ‘Burke-Gilman’ has been synonymous with great urban trails, with recreation and commuting options for tens of thousands of Seattle area residents, and with the outdoor, active life treasured by so many of us. It represents for many the best of what Seattle has to offer: a way to get from here to there without using an automobile, linking some of the area’s finest attractions to each other.
From the first efforts of the ‘Burke-Gilman Trail Park Committee’ in 1968 to secure the right-of-way for a multi-use trail, to completion of each segment of trail, inching toward Golden Gardens along the rail line, interest in maximizing the use of this continuous rail corridor for a trail has been high. Now, nearly 40 years after the first section of trail was completed, the desire is greater than ever to see the final link of one of the nation’s greatest urban trails competed.
Unfortunately, during its history BGT trail design and construction has met with organized resistance from homeowners, businesses, and others concerned about the impact that a multi-use trail along the rail corridor might have on them. As experience with the realities of use accumulate, perception of the trail as a detriment has changed, and along most of the way, it is viewed as a valuable transportation and recreation link. As the City slowly moves forward with yet another effort to create a final Environmental Impact statement for trail completion, only in the final ‘Missing Link’ section does resistance and opposition remain.
Look to this section of our website for information about the status of current legal challenges, actions you can take to move the process forward, and more. For now, here is a link to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link page
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