Tomorrow is another milestone for the Burke-Gilman Missing Link: another argument, back in King County Superior Court. Yes, we’ve been here before, but haven’t we argued enough over this missing section of trail? Or, better yet, how many times do we have to win the argument, and when do we get on with the business of finally building a safe section of trail?
The end is in sight, and we hope this is the last time. But this seemingly endless cycle of appeals could actually continue. (And rack up tens of thousands of dollars of additional legal fees for Cascade. You can help us to victory with a gift to the Education Foundation today!)
As we continue down the legal path, the plot hasn’t dramatically changed. We continue to believe that the trail section is a necessary safety improvement and connects up the backbone of our regional trail system. The Ballard Business Appellants keep arguing that a trail would case significant traffic delays, parking loss, incompatibility with land use and wouldn’t be safe.
The quick synopsis. The City went back to study the route yet again a few hearings ago (due to concerns of “piece mealing” the analysis) and still determined that the trail would not cause significant environmental impacts. Then on July 1 of this year, the Hearing Examiner (think of her like a judge) ruled that there will be no “probable significant adverse environmental impacts.” The Ballard Business Appellants then appealed the Hearing Examiner’s ruling, which brings us to Superior Court tomorrow. If we win yet again, the Ballard Business Appellants could appeal the forthcoming decision from Superior Court to the Court of Appeals or to the State Supreme Court.
Again, we hope this is the last time we have to win so we can get on with it. As I’ve mentioned before, the City has been “eager to begin construction on a fully funded and fully designed ‘missing link’ segment,” according to SDOT.
We’ve got our eyes on the 2012 summer construction season. It’d be a great time to celebrate. We love ribbon cuttings.
We’ll be live-tweeting from the courtroom tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. Follow us on Twitter to hear how it’s going under #CompleteTheTrail. Please join in and share your thoughts on what this project means to you.