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Ballard 'Missing Link' to remain unresolved

The Seattle Department of Transportation has argued completion of the Missing Link, a non-existent section of the Burke-Gilman Trail would have no significant environmental impact. (97.3 KIRO FM Photo/File)

An unfinished stretch of the Burke-Gilman trail in Ballard known as the "Missing Link" will go unfinished for some time to come.

Local businesses opposed to the trail cutting through their driveways have convinced The City of Seattle Hearing Examiner to submit the proposal for a full Environmental Impact Statement.

"We are disappointed," said Chuck Ayers, Executive Director of Cascade Bicycle Club. "The Missing Link continues to be a major safety concern, and this setback perpetuates the problems that already exist with the rail road tracks, navigation, and interaction between road users."

"The City must study these issues and prove it can safely build a recreational trail through the heart of the maritime and industrial industry in Ballard without putting people's lives at risk," said Warren Aakervik of Ballard Oil in a press release.

The stretch of Shilshole Ave. between Fred Meyer and the Ballard Locks runs through the heart of Ballard's industrial neighborhood. The Seattle Department of Transportation has argued completion of the Missing Link would have no significant environmental impact. the Hearing Examiner disagreed, saying the Shilshole Ave. segment would create traffic hazards, according to the Ballard News Tribune.

Business groups want the trail rerouted to avoid conflicts with trucks and other commercial traffic.

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