County Seeks Input on Trails -- Again 

During October 2015, the County held a series of open houses to gain input on where to place the trail: on each of the options below--we've given some pro and cons:
  • on the existing rail bed
    + least cost to County & quick
    - increased cost to rail or Sound Transit
  • to the east
    - close to homes & increases crime
    - causes retaining walls to be built on resident roadways
    - high cost

  • to the west
    + creates buffer of railway between residents & trail
    + enables stair step of resident access roads generally lowest, next highest rail, highest trail
    - cost likely between the other two options

Your input on this and where you think parking and restrooms should be provided can be given electronically until November 12 at this link.

active & hot!

Overall Concerns

What are some of the concerns of those who live along the corridor?
  • parking by trail users interfering with residents
  • crime, both on the trail and against adjoining property owners (ease of casing, ease of escape with the trail)
  • noise
  • ​trespass on to private property, especially trying to access the waterfront
  • ​build on the current RR bed to limit impact, reduce cost, and speed the process
  • ​vehicle crossing delays by trail traffic
Key Link

The County's Trail Master Plan site will be increasingly of interest to residents.


The County is utilizing the Environmental Impact Statement Process because the project passes through multiple jurisdictions, grades, shorelines, and enables broad input (see the overview graphic below).
  It all depends upon just what will get packed in to it.  PSE's high voltage 6' diameter and 85' high poles and lines with their need to keep the surface clear of trees?  Light rail zooming by every 20 minutes and their need for wires?  Hwy 405 expanding the freeway creating 30' high retaining walls?  Freight trains?  New water lines, limiting other uses?
What will our trail look like?
  Most all area mayors and councilmembers have bought in to a multi-use corridor without knowing what it will actually look like.  The County has the responsibility and the goal to build a world class trail and will need our support and cooperation.
  See the diagram below and the ERC RAC tab for the nightmare of what this could become without intervention.
City of Kirkland has removed the rails and built an Interim Trail..
Bellevue Takes a Big Step

  On 12/1, Bellevue City Council included in the budget for next year: 

“purchase or lease of a portion of the abandoned BNSF railroad corridor ($1 million)”

  Although there are no specific plans on what parcel needs to be purchased, it is an indication of City commitment to be part of the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Committee and be a player in the issue.

News Reports
"Encroachments" and "Special Use Fees 

There are many, many areas of the corridor where over the past one hundred years, residents have "encroached" upon the designated railroad right of way.  The County clearly intends to claim the full width even though it isn't required for the trail.  Major segments of roadways are in the ROW and the County will attempt to assert "Special Use Fees."  This issue will need to be resolved in the courts.  The County's analysis of these constraints may be viewed here.

Below, Interurban "Trail" -- no thanks!

Issue: Design trail for users & residents