The Burke-Gilman Trail intersects railroad tracks belonging to the Ballard Terminal Railroad at a crossing to the north and east of 6th Avenue NW and NW 40th Street. The trail bends towards 6th Avenue NW at this point and meets the train tracks at a 45 degree angle.
Where the track and trail meet, there is a rubber mat material installed between the trail pavement and the track rails, and the rails themselves. The mat was apparently put in to narrow the flange gap near the track so that cyclists would not catch their tires in the gap. However, cyclists are reporting that this mat can be slippery, particularly during wet and freezing conditions.
As the Ballard Terminal Railroad is responsible for crossings of its tracks, SDOT is partnering with the railroad to realign the crossing. We will jointly remove the mat material and realign the crossing so that it is closer to 90 degrees. The new crossing will be made of asphalt to enhance traction in adverse weather. The enhancements should be installed in July.