The first Spoke and Food event will combine bicycling and dining to raise funds for Solid Ground's Lettuce Link program.

The main goals of Spoke and Food, which takes place on June 29, are to motivate the community to use bicycles as they dine out and to improve access to healthy food fro all by supporting Lettuce Link, an innovative food and gardening program started in 1988, according to a Spoke and Food press release.

Lettuce Link creates access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce, seeds and gardening information for families with lower incomes in Seattle.

Residents can bike to any of the following Ballard-area restaurants June 29, and they will donate 15 percent to 20 percent of their proceeds to Lettuce Link.

  • Dad Watsons
  • The Stepping Stone
  • Snoose Junction Pizzeria
  • Naked City Brewery & Tap House

Other participating restaurants around the city include The Scarlet Tree, Montlake Alehouse, Fiddler’s Inn, Muleadys Irish Pub and Cantinetta Restaurant.


The official "1st Ride" for West Seattle Spokespeople wasn't a group of public speakers. This was an eclectic assembly of people brought together by Sustainable West Seattle co-founder Bill Reiswig and Alki Bike and Board owner Stu Hennesey to learn more about bicycle transportation. Both Reiswig and Hennessey are long time bicycle commuters.

A small but hardy group of 8 people gathered at Alki Bike and Board at 2606 California Ave. S.W. on Sunday May 2 at 10:00 AM to ride six miles, largely parallel to California Avenue but along back streets, down to the the Morgan Junction with a stop at the West Seattle Farmer's Market in the Alaska Junction.

"There's actually a growing group of rides like this," said Hennessey, "and the whole idea of the ride is that it doesn't require super athletic status and racing type mentalities. It's to show people who are a little timid about using a bike in the car world, how to use a bike, how to choose a route, how to recognize obstacles, how to get around without having the conflicts that sometimes occur with the big metal machines."

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Led by Stu Hennessey the first official West Seattle Spokespeople ride from the Admiral District to the Morgan Junction happened on Sunday, May 2.


In response to an April 16 ruling by the King County Superior Court, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced April 28 that it will conduct an environmental review of the Burke-Gilman Trail’s future alignment along Shilshole Avenue Northwest.

Because the Superior Court’s ruling upholding eight of the nine issues regarding the existing environmental assessment, the Department of Transportation opted to complete the additional evaluation instead of appealing the decision, according to a Department of Transportation press release.

The city seeks to complete the Burke-Gilman Trail by building a trail segment, known as the Missing Link, from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Ballard Locks.

Though the department had previously reviewed the environmental impact of an interim alignment along Ballard Avenue Northwest, the court ruled that the department also needed to study the future alignment on Shilshole Avenue from 17th Avenue Northwest to Northwest Vernon Place.

This additional work is estimated to take up to six months and its final form will be determined once the environmental review is underway.

New Missing Link Photo 4 A.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The city announced April 28 that it will complete the environmental analysis on the portion of the Missing Link that runs between 17th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Vernon Place on Shilshole Avenue.

Crews of neighborhood volunteers braved the rain April 17 to install six of the eventual 27 city-donated planters in the median ends at the intersection of 14th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 60th Street as part of the East Ballard Community Association's Adopt-A-Street Cleanup.

The planters, three on each median end, were set in new gravel and filled with soil donated by Cedar Grove and various plants. The RE-Store installed metal mounts in the pots that can be used to hang banners and other artwork.

"It's making it feel like it's all worth it," said Dawn Hemminger of the East Ballard Community Association. "It's a lot more work than we all thought."

She said it's a great feeling to see her neighbors come out and work together, which is what projects like this are all about.

Volunteers working on the planters said they will beautify 14th Avenue, which has always been a bit of an eyesore. The planters will help with safety by preventing cars from parking too close to the median ends, improving visibility for traffic and pedestrians, volunteers said.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Neighborhood volunteers work April 17 on three of the 27 planters that will be installed on the median ends along 14th Avenue Northwest.

In an April 16 ruling on the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail, King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers determined that the Seattle Department of Transportation must conduct an environmental analysis on the stretch of Shilshole Avenue between 17th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Vernon Place before the trail can be completed.

That section of Shilshole was not reviewed under the city's original State Environmental Policy Act study because the most recent plans for the completion of the Missing Link, the portion of the trail between the 11th Avenue Northwest and the Ballard Locks, did not include a trail along that part.

Instead, a temporary trail was to be built on Ballard Avenue between 17th Avenue and Vernon Place for the foreseeable future.

David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said he believes the judge made an error in including a section of roadway not up for construction in his ruling.

This ruling, as well as future legal battles, will delay the completion of the trail indefinitely, which has been the goal of the plaintiffs all along, Hiller said.

New Missing Link Photo 4 A.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

A cyclist rides along the Burke-Gilman Trail's Missing Link, the uncompleted portion of the trail between 11th Avenue Northwest and the Ballard Locks.

Ballard High School senior Kyle Brown-Wollin and freshman Max O’Neal both had podium finishes in the Volunteer Park Criterium cycling race April 10.

Brown-Wollin finished first in the men's 5 category and was racing at the front for most of the race.

Brown-Wollin races for the Recycled Cycles men’s team.

Racing in the men's 4 category, O'Neal was riding near the front when he snapped his chain midway through the race. He had to run with his bike across the course in order to have it repaired by the pit mechanic.

After his restart, O'Neal was in last position and had to make up ground just to get back into the draft of the main field.

He was able to retake the field in the closing laps and finished second in a bunch field sprint.

O'Neal races for the UBC Devo team.

Full race results and images are posted here.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of

Ballard High School's Kyle Brown-Wollin and Max O'Neal finished first and second in their respective categories at the April 10 Volunteer Park Criterium.

Every year, Seattle’s district councils seek funding from the Neighborhood Projects Fund to spruce up spots in their communities.

At the April 14 Ballard District Council meeting, Dennis Galvin of the council's Review Committee presented the following projects.

  • Sidewalk and walkway improvement on 17th Avenue Northwest from Northwest 85th Street to Northwest 87th Street.
  • Traffic circle improvement at the intersection of 18th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 67th Street.
  • Traffic circle improvement at the intersection of 26th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 83rd Street.
  • Crosswalk improvement at the intersection of 14th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 60th Street.
  • Pedestrian crosswalk improvement and traffic adjustment at the intersection of 20th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Leary Way.

Priority is given to locations that are unsafe, would benefit a larger number of people and are shovel-ready.

The five projects were approved by a unanimous vote.

The Ballard District Council will ask the Seattle Department of Transportation to evaluate the projects for cost and feasibility.


On March 19, the King County Superior Court heard the case between the City of Seattle and representatives of Ballard industries over the completion of the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail. A ruling will be made in the case by April 2.

The hearing stemmed from a June 15 lawsuit filed by a group of maritime and industrial trade associations and businesses challenging the city’s decision no to conduct a State Environmental Protection Act review on the Missing Link, which runs from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Ballard Locks.

The same group of business and industry representatives filed an appeal with the Seattle Office of the Hearing Examiner over the Seattle Department of Transportation's determination of nonsignificance on the environmental impacts of completing the trail in December 2009.

The hearing examiner ruled in favor of the city June 9.

David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said neither side has an inside track on what the judge was thinking during the March 19 hearing, and the ruling could go either way.

But, the judge must give extra weight to the hearing examiner's earlier ruling, Hiller said.

New Missing Link Photo 4 A.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

A King County Superior Court judge will issue a ruling on the lawsuit filed against the City of Seattle by representatives of Ballard industry over the completion of the Missing Link by April 2.

Bike Maintenance and Preparation

Instructor Tyler Johnson raced bmx for eight years at a top competitive level and has been riding track bikes for three years. He considers himself an "all-around-love-to-ride-bikes guy." After working at a bike shop in Gig Harbor for a year, where he was a mechanic, combined with his history of riding, Tyler is knowledgeable in the repair and maintenance of bikes.  read more »


The Field House
5465 Leary Ave. N.W.

One month before a lawsuit against the city by a group Ballard businesses to halt the completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail goes to court, a second suit was filed against the city, this time by bicyclists hoping to get the trail completed.

On Feb. 8, a Complaint for Damages was filed against the city by five cyclists asserting they sustained injuries, both physical and fiscal, due to unsafe conditions on Shilshole Avenue Northwest where it curves underneath the Ballard Bridge.

That portion of Shilshole Avenue is part of what has come to be known as the Burke-Gilman Trail's Missing Link, a section of unfinished trail that extends from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Ballard Locks.

In the complaint, David Middaugh, attorney for the plaintiffs, states that hundreds of bicycle crashes have occurred on Shilshole Avenue near the bridge as cyclists attempt to cross the Ballard Terminal Railway Company's railroad tracks.

Middaugh states in the complaint the the city has known for many years the area is not reasonably safe for ordinary travel by cyclists.

New Missing Link Photo 4 A.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

On Feb. 8, a second suit over the uncompleted portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail was filed against the the city, this time by a group of bicyclists.

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