If it is bad policy for a mayor to take a position on a project that has people suing the city, then Mallahan shouldn’t have a position on the Deep Bore Tunnel because there is a lawsuit on that. Mallahan gave a convenient non-answer answer and avoided the question. In essense, the answer is still his original answer that he doesn’t support finishing the Missing Link. Without mayoral support, the city attorney would drop the case and tell SDOT to shelve the project.
We need a mayor who pays attention to all transportation problems, especially bicycle, but also including bus and pedestrian problems. If you don’t go beyond the “nice” areas of the trail, how do you know which problems to solve?
For convenience, we did our best to transcribe the King 5 mayoral debate answers regarding the Missing Link:
From the King5 debate: http://www.king5.com/video/index.html?nvid=408757
Responses to the question: How do you propose to address safety on the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail and do you expect to fill in the Missing Link?
You know Linda, that link is now under uh uh litigation, and so, uh, the city has taken the position that they want to finish it. um The land owners litigating. I have expressed some concern that that um that section, you know the Burke Gilman, almost the entire Burke Gilman is dedicated. You know I take my two girls on the Burke Gilman all the time and we tend to stop around Hales Ale because after that it does get dicey. It’s a very different sort of trail after that. uh so I have expressed some concerns about that.
My opponent has said that “Oh Joe Mallahan wants to stop Burke Gilman”
I think bicyclist safety is an issue larger than just Burke Gilman.
I think we need to sweep our streets. It is a huge environmental win, but it is also a bicycle safety win.
[There is no rebuttal on this question. The specific question is safety and would you finish the link.]
The link is already planned and ready to be finished and it’s in litigation so to take a position is, um, bad policy.
[and regards to safety? You would recommend what?]
Well, uh, Safety would dictate that there is a dedicated area for the trail where there isn’t traffic. Right now there are trucks, big trucks back out of driveways in the industries down there. uh, Burke Gilman trail, one of the concepts there is to stick with the railbed you know, over, over the centuries that would be the dedicated space.
I wish there were a place up in the neighborhood to get around that small stretch of about 10 blocks.
Um, I support finishing the Burke Gilman Trail as currently planned and approved by the city. Um, Joe’s right, it is under litigation. Um, and for Joe to say he shouldn’t take a position on this litigation doesn’t really make sense. The defendant in this litigation is the City. If Joe is mayor, he will have to decide if he is going to support the city or not support the city.
I think you heard him. He wishes they could move the trail somewhere else. and I think we should finish the trail as planned, as approved, and as funded.
I’d also point out, I played a role with others in passing the Parks Levy that provided funding to, um, finish that missing link.
Um, I think that it is one of the real treasures of the city.
Um, It is very unsafe as it stands, but if we complete the plan as engineered, it can address moving those old railroad tracks that trip up bicycles.
It is also engineered so that the industrial users don’t, won’t, interfere with bicyclists. In fact that is the finding of the city hearing examiner who already approved the plan in the first set of litigation, but now it is tied up, and apprently with Joe’s support, in further litigation.