Breaking: Major Missing Link agreement reached
Through decades of hard work, the community has come together to complete the Missing Link. Cascade, our partners and thousands of individuals contributed to seeing this legacy project through — and today’s announcement is a victory for us all.

Today the city of Seattle, Cascade Bicycle Club, trail users and Ballard industrial businesses announced a new chapter in the story of the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Missing Link: Agreement on a final route.

The agreed-upon route will run (from east to west) along NW 45th Street, the south side of Shilshole Avenue and the south side of NW Market Street — a “hybrid” of the north and south Shilshole options, as presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). While Cascade staff initially supported a route that would follow the historical rail line in its entirety, we believe the agreed-upon route embodies the values of “safe, simple and connected” that we have always advocated for, while also paying heed to concerns identified by specific businesses. In addition, the Market Street alternative provides exciting opportunities for trail users to more easily access Ballard’s retailers.

Agreed-upon route of the Missing Link. Credit: City of Seattle

"After years of disagreement, we have a path forward to finally complete the 'missing link' of the Burke-Gilman Trail," said Mayor Ed Murray. "Bicyclists and pedestrians will no longer need to wave, 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 annoucement highlights our collaborative effort to complete the trail, making the Burke-Gilman safer and more accessible for all." 

This has been a community labor of love — with leaders like Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail, Ballard neighbors and businesses, including Olympic Athletic Club, groups like the Ballard Farmers Market, as well as Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel and Ballard Oil. In addition, we are grateful to the leadership of Mayor Ed Murray, who provided an unwavering focus to get this project done, as well as support from Councilmember Mike O’Brien.

“To say we are elated is a vast understatement,” said Blake Trask, Cascade Senior Policy Director. “This project will benefit the neighborhood and region for 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.”

The selection of the preferred route will help cap off the EIS process. The final report will be released in May, and the city can then begin fine-tuning the design of the trail. Similar to the Westlake Protected Bike Lane Design Advisory Group, in 2017 stakeholders will convene to work with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on a design that works for everyone, whether you ride a bike or drive a truck. This design work should be complete in advance of the 2018 construction season.

For now, though, we are trying to savor the moment. It’s been a long, long time coming. And we wouldn’t be here without the tireless work of thousands of caring people — people, I’m guessing, like you!

So if you ever...
Thank you. 

Thank you for sticking with it — We can’t wait to ride, walk, stroll, and roll on the completed trail with you soon.

Stay tuned!