Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘Burke-GIlman Trail’

Daily Roundup: Missing Link tomorrow, Ells retreat, Tribute to Rider Down and more

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on October 26, 2009 at 6:10 am

Tomorrow is “We Are The Missing Link,” a testimonial gathering to get the Ballard part of the Burke-Gilman Trail connected. Meet at Shilshole Avenue opposite 17th, just west of the Ballard Bridge. Yes it’s one ugly intersection. There’s an apres party as well. More at SeattleLikesBikes. You don’t have to bring your bike or even be a cyclist — the trail is for all non-motorized users! Just have a red blinkie and you’re set.

I’m not nor ever have been an Ellsworth owner, although I liked the Truth when it came out. Still, given its manufacturing headquarters in Vancouver, I feel at least geographical allegiance to the brand. And something like this makes me really wish I did own an Ellsworth, especially this time of year.

Rider Down But Only in Body Not in Soul: Mary Yonkers was some kind of cyclist. A wonderful tribute from SF StreetsBlog puts her life, cut short by a careless truck driver, in touching perspective.

NSMB gives trials wunderkind Danny MacAskill a once going-over.

Daily Roundup Returnz!

In Bicycle Racing, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Sorry all…I’ve been traveling, mountain biking, and collecting all sorts of new contacts. More later…but for now, here’s the newZ!

The City of Seattle intends to complete the Burke-Gilman “missing link” for cyclists, as we noted, but it won’t be easy. From the Ballard Tribune:

“Attendees at the meeting claimed that bicyclists do not need a bike lane on Nickerson, or even on Leary Way, because there are off-street bike trails nearby.”

This needs clarifying: The problem being that the trail is available at some points paralleling Leary, but not everywhere. On the Nickerson side, the same thing applies. Not sure what point “attendees” were trying to make, but in general more bike lanes are needed everywhere in the city, especially along east-west corridors. The other factor in play here is that mixing rec trails with commuter trails is increasingly a harrowing proposition. As bike commuting grows, it needs a conduit of its own to flourish.

A $500 billion Transportation Bill has about as much chance as Dick Cheney renouncing torture in this Year of Living Deficitly, but has a thorough rundown anyway.

I came within a couple of days of seeing the Ashland Super-D mountain bike race. But it was all the talk of the town even in the aftermath. When I rode Ashland, it was sunny and in the high 80s. More on that later.

You can go 50 miles an hour on this bike without pedaling, and not even downhill. It’s the only bike you can get at Best Buy, and here’s why.

The Godz of Klunkerz, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Charlie Kelly and Wende Crage, were on the public radio station KQED. Photo here (guess which one is Gary!), hear here.

Cyclists get one for the win column: Burke-Gilman ruling favors Missing Link completion

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Obama Bikes on June 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm
Fixing what's broke

Fixing what's broke

The Cascade Bicycle Club’s victory in the Burke-Gilman “missing link” case today represents something big for the cycling community.

Cyclists are used to losing in cases like this. Used to losing in court when it comes to a motorist’s or cop’s word against theirs. Used to losing bike lanes, as on Stone Way North, in deference to truck traffic and “business concerns.” Used to losing on bills in the state legislature enforcing vehicular assault in bike accidents, 3-feet-please traffic buffers and bike-friendly transit stations.

But in the post-Obama electoral climate, where change is something you can believe in, hope still reigns. And as much as bike access through Ballard, hope is what won in Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner’s decision rejecting business interests seeking to block trail completion. Hope that the tide has shifted in favor of diverse forms of transportation, in favor of bicycling for human health, well-being and environmental protection, and in favor of cyclists as more than second-class, fringe citizens.

If you ride the Burke-Gilman northward from Fremont roughly paralleling Leary Way, you eventually find yourself dumped into a brutal no man’s land of storefronts, potholes and crowded streets in Ballard. There are maybe 15 different ways to proceed, none of them particularly efficient or safe. For bike commuters and recreational riders alike, a major conduit through the city terminates in chaos.

Assuming no further court appeals, the go-ahead gives a green light to work on removing railroad track hazards under the Ballard Bridge and configuring Shilshole intersections at 17th Avenue and NW Vernon Place for safer crossing. Signs and a safe route also will be designated through the Ballard business district.

For the past 20 years, fixing the notorious Missing Link has been on the city’s to-do list after it began plans to take over rail right-of-way from Burlington Northern. When the moment came to begin actual work, a coalition of business interests including the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel and Ballard Oil, filed a permit appeal last December seeking to stop the project.

Hearing Examiner Tanner discounted several appellant arguments, the most noxiously contradictory being the claim that improving the trail would create a “traffic hazard.” The whole point of connecting the Missing Link is to reduce traffic hazards created by bikes and cars forced into incompatible configurations.

“After reading the 20 point (Examiner’s) conclusion, it’s clear that the appellant’s ‘kitchen sink’ appeal was found to be meritless,” said David Hiller, advocacy director of the Cascade Bicycle Club, in a press statement. “We hope this is the point at which trail opponents recognize that this project is going to improve safety and mobility for everyone in the community.”

The trail has widespread support not just in Seattle and King County but throughout Ballard, where Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail collected more than 460 signatures supporting safety improvements on Bike to Work Day May 15. Over the years Cascade has spent more than $20,000 in legal fees to keep viable the Burke-Gilman Trail.

There’s still lots to be done to put cycling on equal footing with other forms of transportation in the city. Wins like today’s are going to be the exception rather than the rule for the near term. But the trends are favorable, a new order is in motion and a more open consciousness is signaled in everything from stimulus funding to workplace regulations.

Completion of the Missing Link represents the kind of symbolism we’ve been waiting for. Cyclists can be forgiven for savoring this one.

Cascade’s press release

Ballard News Tribune story

Today’s Ride: Burke-Gilman to University of Washington

In Bicycle Commuting, Today's Ride on February 25, 2009 at 11:29 pm

After a disastrously downpourish morning the sun came out this afternoon. By late day things were drying out considerably. I had to be at a 6:30 p.m. seminar at the University of Washington, so I decided to pop over from Fremont on the Burke-Gilman Trail. The 18-mile paved trail follows former railroad tracks around Seattle out north to Bothell and is a major commuter route for cyclists.

To connect to the trail I climb from home up to Phinney Ave. N., circle around the Woodland Park Zoo and then drop down Fremont Ave. N. to the canal. From there it’s a straight shot to the University campus and Kane Hall, where the seminar was to be held. It wasn’t much of a ride, although I tooled around in Fremont for a bit and then did some stair drops on campus just for fun. I’m testing a new night light as well and wanted to try a variety of venues.

After the seminar I wheeled through Ravenna Park, which gets pretty dark in places, then back along 65th to Green Lake and home. I cut through lower Woodland Park, which is absolutely black at night, really stretching out the light’s capabilities. More to come on that front.

I meant to say that on yesterday’s ride I ran into Seattle’s primo cycle-everywhere, Shannon Markley, outside of Whole Foods on Roosevelt Ave. N. Shannon had been caught in that day’s gusher and was still complaining of wet feet. Otherwise she’s well prepared, having waterproof (not just water resistant) top and pants. Shannon goes absolutely everywhere by bike, day or night, and knows all the tricks. It was great seeing her and comparing notes.

Tomorrow snow is forecast. I don’t mind, a little snow can’t keep the Bike Intelligencer from its rounds.

Scaling Tiger Mountain in the white stuff

Scaling Tiger Mountain in the white stuff