Cascade Bicycle Club in Court to Argue in Burke-Gilman "Missing Link" Case
SEATTLE, Jan. 7, 2021 – Cascade Bicycle Club will appear in the Washington Court of Appeals tomorrow (Jan. 8) to request that a judge overturn a 2019 court decision that has delayed construction to close the “missing link” in Seattle’s popular Burke-Gilman bike trail.
Cascade’s attorney, Matthew Cohen, will argue that an environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared by the City of Seattle in 2017 was legally adequate, and that the city should be allowed to complete a project that will improve safety for people bicycling, walking and driving in Seattle’s congested Ballard neighborhood.
“The choice of Shilshole Avenue NW as the route of the Missing Link has been affirmed as the most simple, safe and connected route,” said Sara Kiesler, Senior Marketing Manager at Cascade. “This evaluation is one that experts agree on, the community wants, and that Cascade supports for just those reasons.”
Despite overwhelming public support for completing a short segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail along Shilshole Avenue, a small minority of deep-pocketed Ballard businesses have filed multiple appeals and used the courts to stall the trail’s completion.
On Friday, Cascade will appear alongside attorneys for the City of Seattle to ask that the Appeals Court affirm the validity of the city’s EIS process--and dissolve an injunction that has blocked work on Seattle’s most popular multi-use trail.
Cascade attorney, Matthew Cohen, will be available for phone interviews or video calls on Friday afternoon following the virtual court hearing, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. Cohen can be reached at (206) 714-1671. Media can also contact Paul Tolmé, Cascade media relations, at (206) 620-0798.
Trail alignment remains the same. The original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) received over 4,500 public comments, of which 77 percent of the respondents supported building the Burke-Gilman Trail on the City’s preferred route.
Prior to covid-19, completion of the Missing Link was still anticipated by 2022, with some sections completed this year. Dates remain to be seen due to current budget impacts, but plans are moving forward.
Many, including Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Ballard Farmers Market, as well as a host of Ballard landowners and businesses stand together in a commitment to see a trail that is safe and predictable for everyone. During 2017 and 2018 thousands of caring neighbors and businesses weighed in on the EIS and subsequent design process saying they want to “Complete the Missing Link.
The dangerous Shilshole corridor has suffered from a lack of safety improvements for decades. The results are conditions that from 2014 to 2016 resulted in an average of two Seattle Fire Department emergency responses each month, and untold additional unreported crashes and injuries (Missing Link EIS, Transportation Discipline Report, p. 4-38).