This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Ron Sims will take his ball and go home if the Port doesn’t commit to ripping out the tracks. But it sounds like the port has the votes on the commission to buy it anyway, even if Sims won’t lease it for a trail.
There’s a lot of posturing going on here, and so it’s hard to know what people’s real motives are. The Port does not want the corridor for freight use. If it was a viable freight corridor, BNSF wouldn’t be selling it. Remember, this whole thing got started because of King County Airport (Boeing Field). The Port’s ultimate, ultimate goal is to keep King County from building a passenger terminal at Boeing Field and luring away Alaska and Southwest Airlines.
Earlier this month, I praised Sims for getting such a good deal out of the port, since he’d get to keep the airport and get cheap use of the corridor. Now it turns out that the deal may be too good to be true. Sims hasn’t left himself many cards to play here, assuming the Port is willing to buy the right-of-way with or without him. His ace-in-the-hole is the airport. With the Port’s decision expected soon, I expect we’ll be hearing more about how Boeing Field fits into this in the next few weeks.
Photo of the Wilburton Trestle by Wikipedia user brianhe. Do you really want to jog or bike across that thing? Not me!