Burke-Gilman Trail Extension Projects
11th Ave. NW - Ballard Locks ("Missing Link")
Updated July 29, 2009
The 11th Ave. NW to 17th Ave. NW segment of the project has reached final design and is working towards advertisement for construction. Simultaneously, the project is in litigation, with the filing of a second appeal, to King County Superior Court, against the Determination of Nonsignificance (see details below in Project Development History). More information about this safety-related project will be posted as it becomes available.
Project Development History
The trail alignment was adopted by the City Council in 2003 through Resolution 30583. The Council's decision was based upon the 2003 Ballard Corridor Design Study, which compared three different alignments for such things as number of intersections, vehicle speeds, historic collision rates, etc. The alignment is included in the City's Comprehensive Plan as well as the City's Bike Master Plan, becoming part of the plans through considerable public input. Safety was a primary factor in considering the route, as well as length, topography, and other factors that would increase or decrease the use of the route by cyclists, as described in the 2003 study. The project's alignment was ultimately chosen as the preferred route as it was determined it was the safest route as well as the most direct and most likely to be followed by cyclists.
Following a thorough environmental review, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) determined that the Burke-Gilman Trail Extension Project - 11th Ave NW to the Ballard Locks - would not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. As a result, SDOT issued a Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS), which may be examined through the links below, on November 26, 2008. This decision was made after review of the project's potential impacts on several elements of the environment, including geology, endangered species, cultural resources, hazardous materials, transportation, and parking, as discussed in the reports listed below. Impacts to these resources as well as others are summarized in the SEPA environmental checklist.
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The Design Team used the ideas generated at the November 2007 open house and through the trail planning website, as well as guidance provided by the SDOT staff, to refine the design details. The project is being designed in two sections, the 11th Avenue NW to 17th Avenue NW section is at 90% design level and the 17th Avenue NW to the Ballard Locks section is at a 60% design level. The updated project information was presented at a public meeting October 15, 2008. At this meeting, participants had the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed design. That review is helping guide the remainder of the trail design process. See below for a summary of both the 2008 public meeting and the public meeting held in November of 2007.
For this project the Design Team has studied several design options to fit a multi use trail in the route that the City Council defined in 2003. The preferred design generally follows the south side of NW 45th Street and Shilshole Avenue NW between 11th Avenue NW and 17th Avenue NW with a new pedestrian and vehicular signal at 17th Avenue NW and Shilshole Avenue NW.
For the 17th Avenue NW to the Ballard Locks portion, the design is much like the 2003 approved route:
The goal is to provide a 12 foot wide multi use facility with a minimum width of 10 feet where the trail is constricted by existing structures.
The interim route along NW Market Street from 24th Avenue NW to 28th Avenue NW will be constructed if there is a significant delay in resolving design issues, a delay in acquiring right of way, or the requirement of right of way construction activities on neighboring properties.
Summary of October 15th, 2008 Open House held at Adams Elementary School:
Approximately 40 people attended the second public meeting for the Burke-Gilman “Missing Link” Project. The purpose of the meeting was to explain the design process, describe the trail alignment designs and phasing, provide updates on funding, and hear from meeting participants about their ideas and concerns for the two proposed segments of the Burke-Gilman Trail.
The gallery session of the Open House began at 6:00 p.m. with a display of poster boards depicting the trail alignment and the general design details for the different trail segments. This gallery format was followed by presentations from the project manager and consulting team. Some key pieces of information about the trail design process to date were shared:
1) For funding reasons, SDOT has divided the trail alignment into two segments. The first segment to be constructed is from NW 45th Street and 11th Avenue NW to 17th Avenue NW and Ballard Avenue NW. The second segment to be completed is from 17th Avenue NW and Ballard Avenue NW to the Ballard Locks. SDOT has actively met with property owners and businesses along the trail alignment to discuss how to mitigate any potential impacts to loading docks and driveways. The first segment design is 90% complete and the second segment is 60% complete.
2) The possibility of building a complete permanent trail as opposed to a trail with two interim segments will continue to be evaluated by the City for the longevity of the project.
The design team’s presentation showed the proposed alignment of the trail, identifying proposed details to improve and organize traffic flow, add striping and signage, or improve streetscape and drainage with the trail. The remainder of the meeting was focused on hearing questions and comments from meeting participants.
Summary of November 15th, 2007 Open House held at Whitman Middle School:
More than 70 people attended the first public meeting for the Burke Gilman “Missing Link” Project. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the design process, describe some preliminary trail alignment designs and hear from meeting participants about their ideas and concerns for this segment of the Burke Gilman Trail.
At the meeting poster boards were on display (see design proposal aerials below) showing the trail alignment and the general design details for different trail segments. In a presentation to the crowd the project manager noted these key points:
1) As of 2003, the final route decision for the “Missing Link” was made. This route, formerly identified as the green line, was previously examined through a public process and approved by City Council. The environmental review process is currently under way along the proposed route. This new public process is in place to provide a forum for public comments and concerns related to proposed trail design.
2) SDOT has actively met with property owners and businesses to discuss how to mitigate any potential impacts to loading docks and driveways. No final decisions have been made about the design details.
3) The possibility of building a complete permanent trail as opposed to a trail with two interim segments will continue to be evaluated by the City for the longevity of the project.
A presentation of the design team’s proposed alignment of the trail identified where there may be opportunities to improve and organize traffic flow; add striping and signage; or improve streetscape and drainage with the trail. In the question and answer session the following issues were discussed:
Below are links to all sections of the design study:
Appendix A: Conceptual Design Plans (Recommendation)
Appendix B1, B2, and B3: Cost Estimates (All Options)
Appendix B4 and B5: Cost Estimates (Recommendation)
Appendix C: Conceptual Design Plans (Open House)
Appendix D: Missing Link History
Appendix E: Cross Section Guide
Appendix F: Parking Data
Appendix G1: Green Route Photos
Appendix G2: Red Route Photos
Appendix G3: Blue Route Photos
Comments from 2002 Open House
To view the above PDF documents, download the free Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website.
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For more information on this project, contact: