Seattle’s efforts to maneuver ahead with a trimmed-down bike lane in Ballard are being challenged in King County Superior Courtroom by members of the neighborhood’s maritime and industrial neighborhood, extending but once more the decadeslong battle over the Burke-Gilman Path’s so-called lacking hyperlink.
The enchantment comes simply over a month after the Seattle Division of Transportation unveiled a revised pitch for connecting the 1.4-mile hole within the storied bike route. The proposed plans are a slimmer model of the town’s most well-liked design and characterize an try to lastly break floor on one in every of Seattle’s most litigated tasks.
However the metropolis’s efforts haven’t happy opponents of the lacking hyperlink — together with the Teamsters Union Native 174, Ballard Terminal Railroad and different Ballard companies — who argue that inserting the route alongside Shilshole Avenue Northwest will create an unsafe setting for companies, truck drivers and riders and can disrupt commerce within the space.
Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel says its concrete and supply vehicles will move over the bike lane 200 to 300 occasions a day. In its enchantment, filed Tuesday, the coalition contends the town has not obtained the mandatory permits to maneuver ahead with its new plans and has not taken the mandatory steps to adjust to the State Environmental Coverage Act.
They ask the court docket to bar the mission from continuing and to order the town to acquire allowing and extra environmental evaluation.
“The Challenge will probably be in virtually fixed battle with heavy vehicles, an energetic railroad, forklift visitors, maritime and industrial visitors and actions, loading docks, industrial parking, and busy arterial streets alongside its total alignment,” the appeal reads.
The struggle over the Burke-Gilman’s lacking hyperlink dates to the 1990s. The present Burke-Gilman Path out of the blue ends at Shilshole Avenue Northwest, inserting cyclists into tight proximity to automobiles and practice tracks.
Bike advocates and the town have pushed for extending the path alongside Shilshole Avenue Northwest, close to the water, thereby connecting the items of the path in a virtually straight line.
However companies alongside the water have pushed for rerouting the path onto Leary Method, to the northeast of the place the path at present sits.
The struggle between the 2 pursuits has dragged on, because the path’s opponents have fought the town in court docket and earlier than listening to examiners at each flip.
In its most up-to-date plans, the town minimize down on its earlier aspirations as an try to exempt the mission from prolonged evaluation and full it earlier than funding from the 2015 Transfer Seattle levy expires in 2024. Whereas nonetheless working alongside Shilshole Avenue, the mission wouldn’t require any railroad tracks to be relocated. It might additionally represent a narrower design — 10 toes vast as an alternative of 12 — and minimize down on supplies price. Building would start in late 2022 or early 2023 and take roughly seven months, the town mentioned.
In a press release, Ethan Bergerson, spokesperson for the Seattle Division of Transportation, mentioned the town anticipated an enchantment in planning the mission’s schedule.
“It’s unlucky that authorized challenges from particular curiosity teams have delayed this essential security mission for therefore a few years, and we consider this new plan will resolve this subject in court docket so we will lastly transfer ahead and provides the bike, strolling and rolling neighborhood a secure path to benefit from the treasure that’s the Burke-Gilman path,” Bergerson mentioned.
Vicky Clarke, coverage director of the Cascade Bicycle Membership, mentioned the enchantment recycles the identical arguments which were litigated for many years now.
“Opposite to the opponents’ age-old arguments, upgrading our streets in order that they create designated areas for individuals biking and strolling makes our streets safer for everybody — and finishing the lacking hyperlink alongside [Shilshole] will create those self same outcomes,” she mentioned in an e mail.
However the mission’s appellants argue the brand new proposal is “in the identical location and simply slimmed down” and doesn’t deal with their issues about security and interference with every day enterprise.
The mission’s finances stays at $26.Four million, which incorporates some earlier work already completed.