Plans to complete safety improvements in the area have been in the works for many years. The Washington Bicycle Law says people are still getting injured.
SEATTLE — A law office representing customers who say they were hurt on the ‘Lost Link’ of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood say they are filing new claims against the City of Seattle and promoting quick fixes to prevent future injuries.
The “missing link” refers to the 1.4-mile distance between two sections of the iconic Burke-Gilman Trail that stretches from the Golden Gardens to Bothell. The Seattle Department of Transportation is working on multiple projects to address the issue and said completing the missing Connector remains a top priority for the city. Due to the missing link, cyclists often take several detours.
According to SDOT, “100% design” is ready Shilshole route, but it faces ongoing legal challenges. It is also studying the potential of bike lanes along Northwest Leary Road and Northwest Market Road. Meanwhile, it says work is underway to fix it Northwest Shilshole Avenue under the Ballard Bridge.
Two phases of improvement are planned for work along NW Shilshole Avenue near 45th Street. The first phase has been completed, the second is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Attorneys representing the client is a cyclist who is hoping that can speed things up.
Jessica Cutler is an attorney affiliated with Washington Bicycle Law and a regular cyclist passing through the area.
“The configuration, the way they paint the road, the way they try to channel cyclists through here, is still confusing,” Cutler said. “This is an important connection between the end of the Burke-Gilman Trail and where the trail starts again. A lot of families are using this route to get to the Golden Gardens, to regenerate, to the conservation. Nordic museum and just to go to Ballard in general and it’s really not safe for any cyclists.”
She hopes that when the Phase 2 plans are complete, conditions will improve and they will no longer receive calls from injured cyclists.
“We hope to continue to urge the city to fix this dangerous spot not only for cyclists, we’ve also heard of runners falling and tripping on this track; just fix this dangerous point that’s hurting people,” Cutler said. “We want people to be able to cycle around this city safely. We want the city to maintain Vision Zero and show the cyclists in this city that they’re committed to doing what they’ve done. talked about for many years.”
Bob Anderton is the founder of the Washington Bicycle Law and has been involved in the issue for decades.
“The last group of people we represent was injured here, we made an agreement with the city of Seattle to make changes,” Anderton said. “I really hope the city completes the planning to make it safer, so that people don’t crash cars and get seriously injured here.”
Anderton said the Northwest Shilshole under the Ballard Bridge is not reasonably safe for casual travel. While there is an expectation that Phase 2 will be completed by December 31, he wants to see it happen faster. Cutler also hopes that the work of the second stage will significantly improve safety.
“We respectfully ask them to do it now,” Anderton said.
A spokesperson for the Seattle city attorney’s office said it had no further comment to add at this time.
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