Critics of the final route of the Burke-Gilman Trail speak out

by: Siemny Kim Updated:

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There’s a new uproar over the final route of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

It was approved three weeks ago, connecting the 1.4-mile gap in the biking and walking trail along Shilshole Avenue.

But some labor unions and businesses say they never agreed to it.

“It's insane to put a bike path there,” Michael Walker said.

Walker is with General Teamsters 174, which represents drivers who use Shilshole Avenue.

“The worst-case scenario is not if but when one of those bicyclists ends up under one of thousands of trucks that deliver out there daily,” Walker said.

"There are thousands of industrial family-wage union jobs that exist in that industrial corridor,” Katie Garrow of the Martin Luther King Labor Council added.

Those opposed want the city to consider the Market and Leary route.

They voiced their opinions during Monday’s Seattle City Council meeting.

The owner of CSR Marine on Shilshole Avenue worries about the loss of 200 parking spots.

“I'm kind of angry about it,” Scott Anderson said. “There's so many businesses impacted and mine would not be one of them.”

Mark Durall, who represents three organizations that support the Shilshole route, doesn't buy their arguments.

“What they're trying to do is hijack the public narrative to try and push facts that will scare people into not approving something that will benefit almost everyone in this city,” Durall said.

Outside of council chambers, heated words were exchanged between Durall and those opposed to the Shilshole route.

A final environmental impact study is expected to be completed in May.

DOT hopes to begin construction next year.