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Scott McDonald and Associates PLLC

Ballard Businesses File Lawsuit Over Seattle's Burke-Gilman Trail Expansion

Posted on Jul 23, 2009
Ballard businesses that line the area slated for construction of the missing link of the Burke-Gilman Trail have filed a questionable lawsuit claiming transportation officials failed to thoroughly investigate how local businesses would be affected by the new bicycle trial.  The local businesses included boat gas stations that service the local fishing fleet and other heavy industry type businesses that regularly have semi-trucks delivering products to them.

The boat gas stations claim tanker semi-trucks will pass over the proposed trail 8-40 times per day six days per week.  Having semi-trucks cross the Burke-Gilman trail up to 40 times per day could cause major safety problems.  The gas station owners claim their insurance companies have told them if one bicycle rider is killed by a truck accident then their business will become virtually insurable.  However, the trails impact was not studied because it was determined to have "nonsignificant" impact on the environment. 

It seems to me this a simply a tactic at delaying or even stopping the expansion of the Burke-Gilman Trail.  Bicycle riders already travel the route despite its dangerous and dirty nature.  The trail expansion will clean up the area and make it safer for the bicycles that are already using the area.  About 40 people per year are injured on the railroad tracks near the Ballard bridge which is just a few blocks from where the trail currently ends.

The Burke-Gilman Trail expansion is a good thing and should move forward despite this questionable lawsuit.

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