Advocacy, Uncategorized

Seattle! Support the Missing Link! (rant included)

If you have fallen due to road conditions in Ballard, chances are that it took place along the “Missing Link.”

Cascade Bicycle Club has been battling with Ballard Industrial businesses, Ballard Industrial Associations, and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce to determine the fate of the “Missing Link” which runs from 11th Ave. NW to the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks.

After much delay by these organizations, the Office of the Hearing Examiner announced on June 9th 2009 it’s decision in favor of the completion of the Missing Link.

Cascade found out July 15th that they were being sued, along with the City of Seattle by the same organizations against the completion of the trail.  Please sign their petition in support of the Missing Link.




At this point it looked like all was going to be fine, the trail completed, and the Burke Gilman would be a safer trail to ride. That of course would be too easy, and the Industrial sector decided to pull some punches and do exactly what they speak so poorly of… That’s right, they decided to:

stand in the way of progress.

Law and politics are not foreign to Industry, they are often involved with legislation, or lawsuits when a group is standing in the way of what they view as “progress.” Whether it be logging, drilling for oil, or Walmart constructing a store over farmland in order to sell wares made oversees at a price so low that it puts local stores out of business. But I digress.

What would the completion of the Missing Link bring to Ballard?

  • Safe routes for ALL users.
  • Promotion of human powered transportation.
  • An increase of foot traffic by local businesses, increasing local revenue.
  • Increased access to Ballard attractions.

Eugene Wasserman, president of the North Seattle Industrial Association says:

“We’re not anti-trail”

“The city’s decision is just another example of the Seattle Department of Transportation not treating people equally.

Thank you for clarifying that you aren’t anti-trail Eugene, I’m sure that you are really just trying to teach the city a lesson, and show them that treating people unfairly is not the way to go.

I do appreciate Mr. Wasserman and his attempts to lobby on behalf of the blue collar person.  From the little I know of Mr. Wasserman, we would probably agree on many issues. I fished commercially for 8 years, and have grown up blue collar. I think it’s tragic when the increase of yachts and pleasure boats threaten the number of boat slips available to people that work on the water. I never got a college degree, and believe that there are many things that I’ve learned in the workforce that could never have been taught to me in school. I don’t plan on working in one of the “mirrored-glass biotech parks” that he dislikes, and sees so many Seattle residents employed at.

I do however believe in bicycles. Cycling is most definitely NOT a decidedly white collar form of transportation.  I think people that walk are great, and this is where Eugene Wasserman and I have a difference of opinion.

A blue collar worker, in this day and age, doesn’t necessarily work 14 hours in a coal mine, drive home in his beat up Ford pickup, open a can of Coors, eat whatever his stay at home wife has cooked him while his 2.5 kids play at his feet and he watches football.

Sure it’s out there. But it’s not the only thing going on. For one, his wife (or his gay partner) may have a job as well. There may not be kids in the house. And you know what? He may not own a car.

As technology brings us tools that enable us to work smarter, not harder, the lines between service jobs and blue collar jobs are being blurred.  No longer are there fishermen headed to sea in oilskins and cotton (if any) gloves. Of course, there are still jobs that require manual labor, thereby defining them as blue collar. If what you want is the manual labor, maybe you should lobby against the use of hydraulics in industry, or ban the use of snow plows and give everyone a shovel in the winter.

Some things that the City of Seattle does affects blue collar workers more than others. Increasing taxes, and charging more for garbage pickup, water fees, and electricity are some of them.  Putting in Bicycle lanes so people can get to work safely or get some exercise on the weekends without constant fear of breaking themselves, or their bike on dilapidated train tracks is not anti-blue collar.

So that’s what I think about that. If you are still reading, and you are interested in having the city transform this little chunk of industry-torn Ballard into a safe place to walk, bike, AND drive, then you should head on over to Cascade Bike Club, sign their petition and stay active.



Leave a Reply