Photo by the Author
Photo by the Author

The green shirts of Save Our Trail have been a prominent fixture in the Sound Transit Boardroom over the past several months. They have spoken early and often against “any type of transit, ever” on the Cross-Kirkland Corridor, a 5.75 mile segment of the 15.9 mile Eastside Rail Corridor that stretches from Woodinville to Renton.

Save Our Trail has had disproportionate success, deftly exploiting a wedge between more technocratic Kirkland officials (who went all in on BRT on valid technical grounds) and Sound Transit boardmembers (who were Rail or Bust on valid electoral grounds). In the absence of organized pro-transit voices in the debate, Save Our Trail emerged as the only stakeholder group making noise. The updated ST3 System Plan, set to be adopted next week, includes a short rail spur to South Kirkland and a “corridor study” of extensions further north. If adopted as written, the South Kirkland station would open in 2041 and any extension further north likely in the 2050s, too far in the future to be relevant to many of today’s homeowners.

Photo by the Author
Photo by the Author

But this multi-generational deferral isn’t good enough for Save Our Trail. They want the South Kirkland station cancelled, even though it lies entirely within Bellevue. They want a guarantee that the corridor will not even be studied for rail use. They want Sound Transit’s easement rights on the corridor to be given to the City of Kirkland. Most of all, they want to permanently prevent Downtown Kirkland, Google, and Totem Lake from ever enjoying the benefits of dedicated right-of-way.

Let’s parse each of the three words in Save Our Trail. “Save” implies a rescue from a negative change in the corridor’s status, which is peculiar language for a century-old rail corridor with permanent rail banked status. “Our” implies ownership or at least special privilege to influence its use, when the corridor is, has been, and always will be a public asset for general public benefit. The current “Trail” is explicitly an interim use made possible by rail removal in anticipation of the eventual construction of transit and permanent paved trail facilities.

By threatening to block construction of public facilities on public land, they are claiming rights they do not have on property they do not own. They are not seeking to preserve or “save” anything, but quite the opposite, to suddenly undo the regional consensus on the corridor’s destiny as a multi-modal corridor.

NoST3.org redirects to Save Our Trail
NoST3.org redirects to Save Our Trail

NoST3.org redirects to the Save Our Trail website, and they are already planning to pivot to a No campaign, even though they got 90% of what they wanted. At the Sound Transit Board meeting on June 23rd, SOT members are saying on Next Door that they are ready to kick off a formal opposition campaign:

On June 23rd the Sound Transit Board will be adopting the final ST3 system plan. It will be an important day! We fully expect that the light rail extension from Bellevue to the S. Kirkland P&R and the environmental study will be in the final plan. Hence, we have been preparing to reveal the NO!ST3 campaign at this meeting, along with other groups that have joined a coalition as well.

We have ordered 100 NEW RED T-shirts with the circle logo with a line through it No! ST3 which we hope to have available on Monday, June 20th, week of the Board meeting. Cost will be the same $15 each. We will also have new signs.

Given the impasse between Kirkland and Sound Transit, the path of least resistance was acquiescence, with the short extension to South Kirkland being the best that could be negotiated as an alternative. But everyone involved understands that SOT has no legal argument to stand on, so why not call their bluff? What are a few dozen homeowners voices in a transit-desperate region of millions? The inevitable lawsuits would be painful and torturous, but there is little doubt that transit interests would prevail. And since we’re already talking decades, why not get started? For a region that loves its spines, it would be an apt time to grow one.

111 Replies to “Who Will Stand Up to ‘Save Our Trail’?”

    1. The dumb part is that, at least for those who are within easy walking distance of either S Kirkland P&R or Google, the rail line would make them richer.

      1. Yeah, stupid people choosing preserving nature over making more money.

        Sam. Leader, Trail Activists Resisting Development.

      2. It doesn’t really preserve nature- it, in fact, destroys more of it by not preventing more carbon emissions. And both BRT and light rail can be built so that the trail corridor still keeps its natural-looking environment very easily.

  1. Perhaps a separate campaign should be organized:

    Progress With Transit

    Because it would be progressive and therefore good, with, implying a community and transit, specifying the goal.

    I would help fund shirts for this. Custom shirts run $4-$15. Not spendy.

    I can’t always show up to meetings, but if pro transit folks want to show up and have a specific effective message, I’d help fund the bloc.

    Email me if you want to get serious.

    1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/27078983114/
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/27078983174/in/dateposted-public/
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/27078983224/in/dateposted-public/
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/27656890426/
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/27656890346/in/photostream/

      Paul, I think your last two words sum up my whole message. My age and build don’t do T-shirts any credit, but also ready to contribute examples above, and a few more. Including to future public hearings on this subject.

      However, and I’m at my deadliest serious, your effort should have one unbending membership requirement: Walk the right of way from Kirkland Transit Center to Google to South Kirkland Park and Ride and then into Bellevue. Transit Center preferable.

      Exact route your choice. Existing tracks make some points- like being excellent three minute ride by virtue of complete lack of stops. Alternatives welcome. But take along either camera or smart-phone and bring your pics to same public meeting I do. Because results will confirm or refute my main point:

      On paper or mapquest aerial photography, the existing track from Totem Lake looks graded and curved for the line we want. On the ground, meaning terrain, location, and land use, neighborhood opposition can be overcome with some condemnation proceedings.

      Cold, but it’s standard that where transit projects are projected, property owners will raise objections to raise prices. No evidence one way or the other here, but general past practice. And beside the main point.

      Which is that in its present condition and configuration, we could have a scenic railway using trains like on First Hill, First Avenue Connector, and South Lake Union lines, except cars with more segments. Assisted by either van service or sidewalks actually linear parks to Downtown Kirkland. Passenger elevator between trail to Park and Ride now in progress.

      But forany system with an “RT” in it, we’re going to have to buy some home, pour some concrete, and build some bridges. Like across I-405. Present trackway past South Kirkland promises three minute minus ride to Bellevue Transit Center re: complete lack of stops.

      My own prejudice toward the scenic railway needs some balance. So anybody with another walk in mind, STB is welcome to give you my e-mail. Might be good “kick-off”, Paul. Hiking boots good, because old rusty an oily railroad ballast is hard on cross-trainers.

      Exactly like idea that a few dozen landowners are a worse obstacle than the ground they live next to.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Mark,

        There’s no profound reason why we can’t have a loop around Lake Washington with interconnects to a Tacoma-Everett line and spurs into each major town. Money and will solve these problems. If the pro-transit people have the will, they can politically make thing happen.

        I don’t personally have a strong opinion on *where* things go; whether it’s in one block or the next over. It’s not my area, and these things can be changed. What I do have a strong opinion on is that the region needs to have a functioning and maintained transit network. You appear to be a local to the affected area, so you have opinions on what specific local corridor should be chosen. I don’t. I live in NE Seattle and want to get around in a manner more like the NY/NJ region. I think it would be to our profound economic and environmental advantage to be able to take a BRT/subway/train/light rail from near my house to all points in the region in a reasonably rapid and efficient fashion. It is the only way to cope with millions of people.

        Over to the organizational thoughts: The cold truth is that political will and effective organization beats waving hands in the air and ranting in internet comments. I am offering to help fund some number of pro-transit t-shirts for people willing to regularly show up to Sound Transit and provide intelligent and functional feedback. This is for the specific aim of representing a will of the pro-transit community. I work during most STB feedback sessions, thus I can’t attend.

        If someone is from pro-transit organization and wants to talk with me further about possibilities, again, email me. I’m not interested in doing internet comment battles, protests, all the usual populist pointlessness. What I am looking for on the part of an organization is effective meaningful pragmatic realism towards the ideal in this matter.

        Apparently the email I inserted into the form didn’t show up: here it is again- pnathan.software@gmail.com Add “STB Feedback” into the subject line so I have a consistent way to pull it out of the spam filters if it lands there.

        Regards,
        Paul

  2. This is how NIMBYs the world over get things done. What I find particularly galling about this group is the way they greenwash themselves as if a trail that can be enjoyed by a few is a more environmental choice than a rail line which can provide an alternative to SOVs. The idea of a group of pro-Transit people even just showing up to counter the tide of shirts seems very sound.

    1. This is why “trail” groups, and “interim trail use” are generally considered to be scams by the rail preservation community. Because they always turn out to be scams. The goal is usually to destroy the railway route, and if there’s no trail, they’re fine with that. We’ve been fighting some outrageous examples in upstate NY.

      1. The moment you said greenwashing is the moment I realized “Save our trail” is up to no good. Previously I thought them to be environmentally friendly but now I see it’s all a scam. When is the next “Save our trail” meeting I want to be there to expose them for what they really are.

  3. The SOT’s are drunk on their own 100-proof Bloviation Bourbon. They take NIMBYtude to a new level [high above Lake Washington Boulevard].

  4. While I do believe that transit on the trail itself is not necessary not beneficial at the moment, I also believe that insisting that it not even be studied is going over the top. As is, opposing light rail to South Kirkland P&R.

    1. Having spent ~20 minutes of my day yesterday sitting in traffic on 108th (backed up southbound from 47th to the P&R and northbound all the way from the P&R to 68th), I disagree with your assessment.

      1. Good thing my 255 got to the Trail and Tracks before you got stuck yesterday, David. Had already walked past the distress signs couple of times last month. What were you driving?

        I don’t think anybody would route light rail anywhere on at least that stretch of 108th. But in case anybody’s thinking about it, grade from trail to transit center would probably need cogway like LRV pushing bike-trailer in Germany.

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/25381820415/in/dateposted-public/

        Or cliff-side incline alongside new elevator. mapquest NE 47th St. and 108th Avenue NE, Kirkland Wa. Focus and pull back. Trail and rail to Bellevue – grey and white dotted line- pretty well tell the story. Especially “Birdseye” mode, real aerial photography that shows the what transit can run where.

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/25268524525/in/dateposted-public/

        Streetcar-carrying inclined elevator can connect Trail with Bellevue Way. And viaduct could carry at least streetcars across 108th intersection to 112th, and from there reserved street running to Transit Center. Not kidding at all.

        But thanks for help on this score: you didn’t see any colored lines and dots, did you? Can you shoot pics or video while you’re stuck, David, or does Metro use camera footage to catch drivers doing that?

        Mark

      2. Yesterday, I happened to be driving my car, but the experience wouldn’t have been any different on the majority of days when I’m on a 255 or 540.

  5. Take the money and apply it towards BallardUW. Problem solved.

    When people in Kirkland are complaining 25 years from now, when traffic is beyond apocalyptic, send them the contact information for the SoT people. Mention that no one else spoke up, so ST figured SoT spoke for the City.

    Or Kirkland residents can speak up. People in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond and other surrounding cities won’t lose sleep when a sleepy Google suburb doesn’t get light rail because they let a small group of NIMBYs speak for them.

    1. As much as you, I, and most of the readers of this site would like to see that, sending East King money to North King is obviously a non-starter. Especially when a fellow East King city – Renton – is wondering where their ST3 gold-plated project is.

      1. So send the money to Renton. I’m pretty tired of ST eagerly fellating everyone in sight. East link has been nothing but a bad comedy from the very beginning and it’s only getting worse as ST bends over and takes everything they’re given.

      2. Given the questionable ridership benefit of only South Kirkland, I would agree that an undefined Renton rail connection to Link is the way to go.

        That would also free Issaquah line planning to consider direct Seattle options.

      3. Issaquah asked for light rail in general, not a direct line to Seattle or South Bellevue. Otherwise it would have said so during the several months that East Main or Wilburton were the primary alternatives. In fact, they would never have become the primary alternatives since Issaquah’s mayor is on the ST board. So what’s Issaquah thinking if a transfer at East Main is acceptable? Probably that demand for travel within the Eastside will grow, and that Bellevue and Redmond are the largest Eastside destinations.

    2. Mention that no one else spoke up, so ST figured SoT spoke for the City.

      If you take a look at the ST public comment, a large majority of comments from Kirkland were pro-transit. But people in Kirkland who use transit have busy lives and day jobs, and can’t always go to meetings in Seattle on a Thursday afternoon.

      It’s easy to over-estimate people with time and money because they are the ones who turn up to meetings in colored shirts. So it is with every NIMBY issue everywhere. Politicians are, or should be, well attuned to that.

      1. I think politicians are especially well attuned to voices that are negative. It explains a lot. Complain about a bus restructure, a zoning change or loss of parking loud enough, and sometimes the authority gives up, and moves onto the next project. Even when the vast majority of people support something, it can be hard to overcome vocal opposition. For ST3, it explains a lot. While many (if not most) of the proposals seem like horrible values, there are few that will piss off a significant number of people. Even some of the decisions (like running elevated rail through arguably the most interesting part of West Seattle) is mitigated by the hope that it can be made better (underground).

        In this case, the disagreement between ST and Kirkland over what should be built there made things worse. If ST has simply accepted Kirkland’s plan (which just about everyone agrees makes more sense) then it would have been much easier to pursue. This looks pretty good to me, personally: http://stb-wp.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/08184051/CKC_Corridor.png. I wouldn’t hesitate to walk or bike that pathway. The buses are electric (through that section) and traveling on a different level. You probably wouldn’t be able to hear it if you are walking. For biking it might be mildly annoying, but the folks that would maybe get a rush of wind will be facing the oncoming bus, and see when it is coming. The buses won’t be going 60 MPH either (they will probably go around 30-35 MPH). But the lack of a unified voice killed that vision. Trains are noisy, as are diesel buses. I’m sure a lot of people on the sidelines never realized what could be built, only what they feared would be.

      2. Good points Ross. The only problem I think with that cross section is whether it could be built along the whole right of way. That would require significant regrading and construction and would probably push out the substantially. In many areas it should work, but my personal fear would be that in many areas the separation between rail/bike/ped trails would become minimal due to lack of width.

      3. Good point, David. The devil is in the details. If you are used to walking this trail, then I’m sure it will be worse. But I can’t imagine it will be that bad. In general, it looks much better than most of the Burke Gilman, where there is often no separation between bikes and pedestrians. It gets pretty tight in places, too, which is annoying for all involved. I just don’t think people in that neck of the woods understand how quiet a trolley is (because there aren’t any over there). If the buses were on the same level, they would be forced to make noise (otherwise it would be a safety problem). Worse case scenario (from what I can tell) the bikes and pedestrians share a section for part of the way, which happens all the time on the Burke Gilman (yet it remains ridiculously popular.

      4. If you could maintain separation the whole way that would be great, but I can’t find a study that actually looks at the ROW width along the whole corridor. The King county plan has a nice appendix on “ROW Constraints” that looks at the whole corridor except the CKC part (since that is owned by Kirkland). But the Kirkland plan is very vague on this apart from conflicts between utilities and transit.

        The King county plan summarizes this quite nicely:

        “Typically, the ERC is thought of as a 100-foot-wide corridor. On the ground, however, the ERC is a complex landscape, and more often than not is functionally reduced in width from the nominal 100 feet.”

        The reductions in width are due to roads, landscaping, parking, etc… Sure, you could tear it up, but that’s more work, more neighbors unhappy, etc… And we’re not talking about reductions to, e.g., 90′ but down to 30′ in places (e.g., Renton). Kirkland doesn’t sound too bad, but I’m guessing there are a number of parts that are down to 60′. which basically means at best a combined ped/bike trail with only a few feet separation from buses/trains. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few spots where you’d have to shrink even further.

      5. @David. It’s mostly 100′. There are six places between Totem Lake and Wilburton where it’s more constrained, but it is never less than 70′ and not for very long.

        You’re right that it gets much more challenging near Renton. It’s about 25′ in Kennydale.

      6. Also elevation changes. In places where the transit would go the bushes are higher than the trail and on an irregular ridge that would have to be leveled out.

      7. Not just the buses, but the whole trail is on a raised railbed, oftentimes running through wetlands. I think construction of three trails will be difficult and you’ll often need to combine at least two of the trails to make it fit.

    3. “Mention that no one else spoke up, so ST figured SoT spoke for the City.”

      That’s an unplausable leap. ST’s board is local politicians, responsible for entire cities and counties. They’ve seen this kind of nimbyism before and know it’s a few cranks. There’s another major factor, which is the Kirkland city’s position. They wanted BRT and no light rail, and were prepared to oppose ST3 if it had light rail. With ST facing two different No campaigns with contradictory demands, it just withdrew from the area. If it had been only SOT opposing it things might have been different.

  6. Look, I’m no fan of SOT or Nimbyism in general, but is this even the best route for transit? Seems like it’s just an inexpensive place to put down tracks, because looking at map, there isn’t much people or stuff around this alignment… Are we arguing for the sake of arguing here? Because ST has the ROW and we don’t want to be pushed around by a handful of homeowners? Or because this is the BEST solution to connect Kirkland to the region?

    1. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if it’s the best route. Save Our Trail won’t accept any transit that MIGHT use this corridor. ST could propose a study that would look at Lk Wash Blvd, CKC, 108th & 405 as four options, and Save Our Trail would oppose the entire study because CKC is one of the choices. They already oppose South Kirkland because it’s on the way there. They are nasty people who care about nothing more than making themselves richer thru property values.

      1. It’s probably not about property values but about having a quiet forest-like trail. Not everything comes down to profit. They wouldn’t have built a McMansion if they didn’t want a certain kind of lifestyle. (PS. SOT: There are lots of quiet trails on the outskirts of Issaquah, hint.)

    2. I dunno .. looking at the map however were close to the denser part of that area, so if we believe rail to Kirkland is needed / desirable, at least through Kirkland Ave / Central Way it’s rather well routed. Stations around 108th Ave NE, NE 52nd St, NE 68th St, would pick up a lot that is down there. Beyond that Kirkland Downtown is not served well by the CKC, but then most are calling for the rail line to vacate the CKC and serve Kirkland downtown and then return to CKC for points North and East (in the future).

      1. The problem is that Lake Washington blvd is about 100 feet lower in elevation than the CKC (and it’s a rather steep 100 foot climb). Many people will not want to do it. The area around the CKC itself is generally low density, million-dollar houses. As a through route between Google and Bellevue it works. But building rail there will not be cheap and I’m not sure anyone has shown that there’s enough ridership to really require rail.

    3. It is just an inexpensive place to put down tracks, which isn’t a small thing around here. The biggest roads were built with bridges over it, which represents a large existing public investment in it as a transportation corridor. But it doesn’t inherently provide access to the best station locations near downtown Bellevue or Kirkland. Hence the BRT ideas.

      Connecting Kirkland is not easy. Some of the ERC rail ideas wouldn’t do it any better than 405 BRT: they’d miss the most important connections and destinations in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Totem Lake! South of downtown Bellevue, and maybe to a lesser degree north of downtown Kirkland, station locations aren’t much better than 405. What I remember of the City of Kirkland’s BRT proposal was more encouraging.

      1. Kirkland is difficult to connect. It’s spread out, with minimal room for transportation improvements. Short of knocking down a row of houses (Save our Homes!), elevating rail (Save our Views!), or tunneling (Save our Wallets!), there’s really no good way through Kirkland. There really are no good stations on the CKC apart from Google/68th St, DT Kirkland (which doesn’t really exist) and perhaps Totem Lake, if it’s ever built up as promised.

        My personal views (as someone who lives just north of Kirkland) is that there’s no good reason to waste money on a bad line through there. Eventually traffic there will get bad enough that people will be willing to give up houses, views, or money, but for now…it’s not worth trying to force them to do that.

    4. I agree, the set of possible stations there is very poor. This makes it a terrible choice for light rail, even though it would be fairly cheap to build.

      But it does have potential as a pathway for BRT (https://seattletransitblog.com/2015/11/16/kirklands-brt-design/). A pathway doesn’t have to have great stops, it just serves as a connector to places that have good ones. This makes the pathway very similar to I-405 on this section. A bus that goes from Woodinville to Totem Lake to South Kirkland to Seattle can go I-405 or via the ERC. In that regard, I think the ERC is a winner. You actually gain decent stops, while slowing the bus down only marginally (so far as I know, there aren’t HOV lanes the whole way for that route). Whether the cost of that, or improvements on 405 would be better is a tough choice (which should be studied).

    5. The issue with the CKC as a transit corridor, from a Kirkland perspective, is very simple: it doesn’t serve downtown Kirkland or Juanita. It does a decent job of serving south Kirkland and would do even better with a bit of pedestrian infrastructure to help people get up or down the hills around it. It does a great job of serving Totem Lake.

      It doesn’t get close to Juanita, but it does get pretty close to downtown Kirkland. So make it serve downtown Kirkland and you have a functional corridor. BRT is the easiest way to do that, and could serve Juanita as well. But it’s not impossible for LRT, just expensive. What ST should be studying is ways to deviate from the corridor into downtown Kirkland. I expect technically the easiest way would be an elevated line, but it would provoke political opposition. A tunnel would face a challenge climbing back up to the corridor on the north end of downtown, and a surface alignment would be pretty disruptive of existing uses.

    6. Looking at the letters from this group, it is obvious their opposition to BRT on this corridor is just as strong (if not stronger) than their opposition to light rail. Many of the letters are ignorant of the actual proposal, which I find very troubling. There are plenty of reasons to oppose the proposal, but noise or exhaust from diesel engines is not one of them (the buses would be operating on electric power on the pathway). It is pretty easy to see how light rail doesn’t make sense through there, just as it is pretty easy to see that BRT has potential. The problem is that this group will oppose both, even if studies show that BRT would be quite effective and the changes to the corridor will still leave a very nice trail.

  7. Notably absent from this post is any justification for spending billions on light rail with miniscule ridership. In fact, as the comments above show it’s only rallying point is “hate the rich”. Let’s parse words.

    “block construction of public facilities on public land”: Like the Burke Gilman a regional non-motorized trail system is a valued public facility. This language makes it sound as though adjacent property owners are, like the home owners along Lake Sammamish, trying to claim special privilege to the ROW.

    “NoST3.org … are already planning to pivot to a No campaign”: There must be part of No that I don’t understand. I would expect a pivot to mean Yes.

    “Sound Transit boardmembers (who were Rail or Bust on valid electoral grounds).”: Mmm, seems like there is a problem here yet the STB staff is adamantly opposed to any proposal to change the structure of the board.

    “For a region that loves its spines, it would be an apt time to grow one.”: Following some thoughtful critiques after the ST3 proposal was make public it seems were back to “Keep doing the same thing and expect a different result”.

    1. Pivot doesn’t mean reverse, it means change. Changing from trying to keep anything off the trail to torpedoing the entire three-county package because they didn’t get what they want. Basically, acting like toddlers.

    2. Homeowners bought houses next to a century old rail corridor, owned by a transit agency with decades old plan to put a rail there. In the meantime, transit agency offered a trail-use for the corridor. Now the homeowners are throwing a tantrum that a rail corridor next to which they bought houses would be studied for use as a …. rail corridor …

      gimme a break.

      It’s not clear whether it makes sense to spend the money to get to Kirkland, per se, but this tantrum by SOT is hypocritical and vile and deserves all the criticism that is being levied against it.

    3. ““Sound Transit boardmembers (who were Rail or Bust on valid electoral grounds).”: Mmm, seems like there is a problem here yet the STB staff is adamantly opposed to any proposal to change the structure of the board.”

      That’s likely misinterpreting words. I assume Zach meant what kind of plan would pass with the most votes, not the boardmembers’ reelection prospects (which are much less effected).

  8. I don’t think these couple dozen people will vote for ST3, even if the ROW is deeded over to the adjoining landowners for free.

    So, why not do right by the rest of the citizenry of Kirkland, give them something real in ST3 (more than P&R freeway BRT) and get some votes for ST3 in Kirkland?

  9. The problem is that many of the things SOT says are, in fact, correct. The CKC is simply not a great corridor for transit and many of their arguments will appeal to many people in Kirkland. Even the council agreed that LRT was not a good solution on the CKC (particularly since it doesn’t hit two of the densest areas: DT Kirkland and Juanita) and unfortunately ST refuses to consider BRT. Plus, ridership along this corridor is lousy and will not get better without substantial changes to the transit situation (SOT’s insistence that 405 BRT is a good project is something they’re completely wrong on, but I digress).

    As for their transition to no on ST3, honestly, I have to agree with them from a Kirkland-centric perspective. Most East King projects are lousy. 405 “BRT” is putting lipstick on a pig. LRT to Issaquah is a waste of money. I still don’t understand the point of a spur to S Kirkland vs. a bus to Bellevue. The only good East side projects are 522 BRT (cheap and will eventually be funded anyway, if not by ST then by the cities) and the extension to Redmond (eventually funded through ST2 anyway). There’s nothing amazing in this for Kirkland – why pay $400/year for basically nothing?

    1. “I still don’t understand the point of a spur to S Kirkland”

      Two things probably: it prepares for light rail on the CKC, and it’s a P&R.

    2. I agree, most of the east side projects are poor. It should be noted that one of the better set of projects (at least from my perspective) would have been BRT on this corridor. As you said, ST never considered it, but part of the problem was the opposition from this group. Looking at the “voices” section (http://saveourtrail.org/#voices-section), that is a lot of opposition. I can see why ST got scared off.

      But that is probably giving ST way too much credit. Looking through those letters, it is obvious that some (if not most) of the opposition was based on ignorance. I would be worried about diesel buses running by me every couple minutes. But that won’t happen. The average pedestrian would be oblivious to the hybrid trolley running 25 feet away (and well above their heads) — http://stb-wp.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/08184051/CKC_Corridor.png. It wouldn’t have been too hard for Sound Transit and Kirkland to put up an united front, combat the ignorance, and push for what looks like a wonderful trail to me.

      But Sound Transit took the easy way out, and proposed a silly set of projects that will do very little to improve transit in the region. They would have been better off simply proposing a lot more bus service and some interchange improvements if they were afraid of touching this corridor.

    3. BRT would require an Issaquah-Bellevue-Kirkland line to change modes in Bellevue. It could theoretically cause the conversion of the Issaquah segment to BRT, but Issaquah LRT has too much Eastside support for that.

      I think ST should build an Issaquah-Bellevue-Redmond line instead, giving Issaquah direct access to Redmond and doubling the frequency in Bellevue and Redmond where the highest ridership is. As for Kirkland, there’s still asdf2’s proposal for an ST Express on Bellevue-Kirkland-Totem Lake.

      1. >> BRT would require an Issaquah-Bellevue-Kirkland line to change modes in Bellevue. It could theoretically cause the conversion of the Issaquah segment to BRT, but Issaquah LRT has too much Eastside support for that.

        Really? That is nuts. Issaquah light rail is one of the worst projects imaginable. It is pretty easy to come up with better BRT on that end (which could directly serve the highlands, Sammamish, etc.).

        As for Kirkland, who cares anyway. Are there really that many people who need a one seat ride from Kirkland to Issaquah? Is making a transfer in downtown Bellevue that big of a deal? It doesn’t seem like it to me.

        No, what happens is that these folks did kill Kirkland BRT, even though the city of Kirkland wanted it. ST could have stood up to them, and gone ahead with their proposal, but for whatever reason, gave up, and went “the safe way”. Time will tell if it is safe, though. As David said, there is very little to recommend on the East Side with ST3. Sound Transit is counting on people supporting this because “traffic is bad” and this will magically fix it.

      2. If the March draft plan had dispassionately followed the numbers for most productive rail segment, it would have been from Kirkland to Eastgate. Either 6th St to Eastgate, or 112th St to Eastgate, would have been more productive than what was chosen. And yes, BRT on some/all of that would have had the pluses/minuses we’re all familiar with.

        But that is a whole lot of water under the bridge. The calculus was more than just a numbers exercise (isn’t it always?). What do we want to do from here?

        Save-Our-Trail continues to stand athwart the line which, by the numbers, should have been prioritized the first time. And not just for now, but forever.

      3. Kirkland was prioritized for years because it’s the second or third largest city in the Eastside, and the assumption going in to ST3 was that Kirkland would be next, to tie the Bellevue-Redmond-Kirkland triangle together. The ST3 budget was initially $15 billion and Kirkland assumed that wouldn’t be enough for light rail to Kirkland, and it had various opponents against upzoning downtown or south Kirkland, so it focused on north-south buses and long-term studies instead (520 LRT, Bothell-Kirkland LRT). Then the ST3 budget went up to $25 billion but Kirkland still had the other problems holding it back. Kirkland’s out-of-the-way location made any alternative mediocre. And then it was stymied by the disagreements over the CKC.

        Meanwhile transit fans have started noticing that the highest-density, most-multifamily, most affordable area is in the Bellevue-Redmond axis where East Link already is planned (including nearby Crossroads which has similar characteristics). Kirkland’s problem, as somebody explained to me, is that students and other workforce members can’t afford to live in Kirkland because of the limited multifamily housing, and the city does not want to upzone downtown Kirkland or south Kirkland so the situation is unlikely to change. In that case we might as well focus on light-rail-ifying and urbanizing Bellevue-Redmond-Eastgate-Issaquah instead, which are more open to it.

  10. My reaction to this is a solid meh.

    If there’s no advocacy in Kirkland for rail, then let them drive or park their butts on a bus in traffic. If the citizens can’t be bothered then this blog shouldn’t either.

    This should be a strong lesson for Ballard. If Ballard wants a tunnel, better make some t-shirts and get a slogan RFN.

  11. Such a huge shame that Renton couldn’t be served with rail in ST3. The Landing area, Downtown Renton, and Southcenter would have been great locales to add to the regional network. It’s almost like the region forgot that Renton was in East King.

    1. Yes. It’s the fault of their own elected leadership though, who have maintained transit-hostile positions throughout the draft process.

    2. There were studies, but not a lot of advocacy.

      A Burien to Renton line was looked at, but it had pretty low ridership estimates, and would probably come well after a West Seattle to Burien line due to the linea being connected.

      Renton bring in the East Side subregion runs into the problem that there isn’t a lot on the east side to easily connect it to (other than 405 BRT, which is already in the plans).

      In order to get a Renton to South center (and TIBS?) line funded, you’d have to get cooperation between East King and South King sub-areas. Right now it looks like both of those areas have bigger concerns most of their members are focusing on, and connecting between those two subareas seems completely off the radar politically (other than 405 BRT as mentioned above).

      1. South King is the poorest subarea, has the largest population, and the most land. So it has a lot of unmet transit needs but no money to spend. Its priorities are Federal Way Link first and Sounder second. Part of the Federal Way project is backfilling an ST2 segment that funding came up short for (240th to 272nd). The BRT is a three-subarea project, so only a little investment by South King but a larger benefit for them. There’s no money for a fourth project on top of that (or ST would have included it).

      2. I think a better comparison would be ridership per mile estimates of a Southcenter-Landing serving line vs. the Issaquah line, rather than West Seattle-Burien.

        Bellevue-Issaquah: 11,000riders/9 miles = 1,222 riders/mi

        Burien-Renton (BRT numbers): 8,000riders/10.5 miles = 762 riders/mi

        Looking at other BRT vs. LRT studies in the South King County HCT Study, such as A3/A4 and B2/B4, the LRT versions had between 1.7-2.1x the ridership. If Burien-Renton LRT were actually studied alone and followed this trend, it would be:

        Burien-Renton (LRT estimate): 13,600riders/10.5 miles = 1,295 riders/mi

        By that metric, the Burien-Renton line would have similar merit to the Issaquah line. Reducing the Issaquah line to East Main to Eastgate park and ride and then building a Southcenter-Renton line using East King dollars would have been a more equitable distribution of projects. A Southcenter-Renton line would have also served two major existing and emerging employment centers in Southcenter and Boeing/Kenworth/Landing/Southport, the latter of which is fairly walkable, especially compared to Totem Lake.

        Still a shame that Renton leaders didn’t articulate policy in support of bringing light rail to the core of their city. Whenever I visit central Renton, it feels like a super logical terminus for a light rail line from Seattle and has a land use character that could become another Downtown Bellevue (in addition to a radically changed Southcenter) in a generation if it wanted to.

    3. The region didn’t forget, the Renton government itself did. They chose to ask for transit NOT to serve downtown or the Landing, and went all-in on car parking for Fairwood, Highlands, and Kennydale residents.

      1. They chose to ask for transit NOT to serve downtown or the Landing

        The residents of the Landing were equally passionate about no more rail forever as the SOT group in Kirkland. What seems to be lost is the overwhelming “I’m stuck in traffic” proponents of transit projects are those people in cars that want people off of “their” roads. And of course they are oblivious to the existence of induced demand. Existing transit use and the effect of mega-capital projects such as U Link are easy to quantify, Conversely, high capacity transit to/through low density areas does nothing but waste money that could actually be used to move masses of people; Ballard, Belltown, Lower Queen Anne/City Center, First Hill, etc.

    4. Also a friendly reminder that the Tukwila Sounder station is literally on the border of Tukwila and Renton, so they’ve gotten benefit from that service, which has included expanded service under ST2 and will under ST3.

    1. That’s a great idea for a slogan but saving rail was torpedoed long ago when the ST board dismissed the Eastside Rail NOW idea to provide low cost DMU service along the corridor. Their argument, it wasn’t cost effective. But somehow big bucks for low ridership is just dandy (e.g. North Sounder). The refusal to consider Kirkland’s proposal to build a lower cost bus alternative that would serve more people is confirmation of how broken the lack of transit planning is for the region.

      1. Glenn, you’ve got the answer, but means require – what’s Karl Rove doing this election? Put this video out for the “Trail” line. Which will be classed as a westward spur of the John Wayne one.

        But for groundwork, do some really evil research to find out how many families in the neighborhood have eight year old boys, and send them the link online.

        And promise their big sisters, at age maybe eleven, first pic for the country’s top schools if they do painful things to their brothers to make them yell louder, including how bad they want the exact train they just saw.

        One way or another, you won’t have to condemn a single back yard. And at every meeting from then on, every grown-up will already have their ear-protectors, so BRT can finally be ok for the trail. Transit sized tires don’t whisper.

        Great video, Glenn. Saw that consist cross the Ballard Bridge several years ago. Hey….maybe we can use it to get Historic Register funds for the Trail! And call it “The Kirkland Cannonball”, because the Wabash one didn’t exist.

        Though threatening loudspeakers playing blue-grass the whole route will get you arrested and sent to the Hague.

        Mark

      2. I’ve been on the Springwater Trail a few times when they were operating steam power there – with the Spokane Portland & Seattle #700 or the SP # 4449 (seen in video). I’ve also been on the Interstate 205 path here, where you can stand six inches from a MAX train going past at a pretty decent clip.

        In either case the train traffic really isn’t that loud – though obviously in the case of the MAX line it is rather difficult to hear the MAX train 6 inches away thanks to the huge freeway 200 feet further east that drowns out any other noise at all.

  12. What’s funny is, these nimrods don’t really want a trail either. They’re the same people who bitch about rail right-of-way being turned into trails, which will naturally be used by criminals carrying off their TVs and perverts carrying off their daughters. Do you think any of the members of Save Our Trail have logged more than five miles on said trail in their lifetimes? Not unless you’re allowed to drive your Yukon on it.

    1. Maybe, maybe not. Trails have become very popular the last decade. Issaquah and Redmond have been building a lot of them, and people are moving there because of the trails. I suspect south Kirkland saw it like that. In any case, I see people on the CKC, and some of them are likely adjacent homeowners.

    2. Some of the same homeowners opposed the interim trail, while others supported it. Now that it’s there, they all love it (as typically happens once trails are built).

    3. Historic note, Fnarf , since your namesakes undoubtedly had firsthand experience. Have it on good authority (Swedish Language, Nordic Heritage Museum, Ballard) that the men of Ireland were just bad losers.

      Not only did Norse culture give women a lot more freedom and respect than in the rest of Europe, but in addition to being tall and long-limbed- big advantage with blade weapons- they were also the only men in Europe who took baths.

      This is why the Icelandic singer named “Bjork” looks like her name should be Bridget or Colleen. Still argument about which side had the red hair, freckles, and cute turned-up nose first.

      So Trailsiders, already sensitive enough about the bath past, also can’t face how no spirited lass raised to scorn light rail (either by car or BRT-oriented parents) can resist LINK drivers’ and supervisors’ uniforms.

      “They came and stole away our most beautiful women, they did!” TV’s are just insurance fraud.

      Mark

    4. Its a geriatric recreational trail for retired geezers to get out of the house for their one daily activity (other than obstructing future generations access to work). They don’t have to go to jobs, hence why they are at all the daytime meetings in their green shirts, so they don’t care about getting around the region at rush hour. This publically owned corridor in this traffic clogged region is too valuable to be wasted solely on just a trail for a few selfish homeowners to pretend they are deep in nature. All transit proposals for this right of way include a trail.

  13. Soak in the beauty of third pic before radical urbanist fundamentalists are successful in their jihad against this rare urban nature trail.

    1. Some voter research you might need, Sam. Since trails (and both suburban backyards and freeway rights of way) are “forest edge habitats”, animals like deer and pheasants generally vote pro-human.

      Wildcats also appreciate lawns right up to the forest, so they can jump straight in the air and snag a squirrel off a tree-branch. Forget which TV station showed that one. Speaking of cats, best not mention the coyote vote.

      However, critical swing votes from raccoons depend on which trail usages bring the most garbage cans. Facilities? We need info quick!

      Mark

    2. Urban nature trails aren’t rare in this part of the U.S- I live just about a mile from one myself. And the light rail or BRT can be designed so that it enhances the trail, not detracts from it.

  14. Kirkland and Mercer Island have been clear and consistent in their opposition to transit. It is long past time to permanently cancell ST service and projects for MI and Kirkland and spend that money in Seattle where it is needed to provide the most benefirt for all regions.

    1. Read the comments on the draft ST3 plan. “Kirkland” doesn’t oppose transit, a small but very organized set of South Kirkland NIMBYs with lots of spare time opposes transit.

      1. ” … a small but very organized set of South Kirkland NIMBYs with lots of spare time opposes transit.” Incorrect. They are very supportive of transit, but they believe mass transit belongs on 405, not a nature trail.

      2. Sam, you may not know these people very well. Transit on I-405 is a talking point. It’s code for “put it over there away from our nice homes”. I was at the saveourtrail meeting on Monday. Many on SOT are neighbors (and in some cases, friends).

        Not one person associated with SOT will vote for ST3 even if they get all of their unreasonable demands. They don’t like transit, they don’t like taxes for transit, they don’t like density. They want to fix traffic by having every new resident in the region live somewhere else.

    2. From Save Our Trail’s website:

      PROJECTS WE SUPPORT

      Re-direct the offered funding towards bolstering transit use of I-405 and other existing main arterials by adding the following:

      Early deliverables such as bus only lanes on I-405 shoulder
      Conduct an HCT study of light rail on I-405
      Conduct an HCT study of extending light rail from downtown Redmond to Totem Lake (buses along this route would also serve the growing urban center of Totem Lake)
      Additional in-line stop at NE 112th Street
      Additional stop at NE 70th Street, instead of costly NE 85th Street station, and extending bus service to Google and to Microsoft
      Transit oriented development at Kingsgate Park and Ride
      Transit oriented development at Houghton Park and Ride (NE 70th Street)
      Adding BRT route similar to popular 255 KC Metro route
      Consider other possible parallel North-South street routes East of I-405 (116h Ave. NE, 132nd Ave. NE, 140th Ave. NE and/or 148th Ave Ne, with East-West bus lines to further link Kirkland to I-405 and Redmond
      Add in-city circular transit routes on existing main streets to connect key areas within the city, such as other transit modes along Lake Washington Blvd, Central Way, Market Street, to Juanita Drive and/or 100th Ave. that connects East to major I-405 intersections.
      Improve bicycle and pedestrian access to I-405 BRT

      1. They have had it pointed out to them ad nauseam that I-405 transit does not and cannot effectively serve Kirkland; that circulators don’t work, ever; and that there are technical obstacles to most of what they propose. Their proposals are poorly thought out red herrings designed to distract from the fact that their central cause is anti-transit.

      2. Here’s the tell, Sam..

        “Consider other possible parallel North-South street routes East of I-405”

        Nowhere near them. Not the CKC, not LWB, not 108th. Just far away on the freeway or the other side of the freeway.

        How geometrically challenged does one have to be to suggest serving Kirkland via HCT on 148th Ave?

        The “circular transit” is a nice touch.

    3. Mercer Island is between the two largest cities in the region so the line can’t be canceled, only the Mercer Island station could. Kirkland is off in a corner away from natural transit corridors, which is why all the alternatives to serve it are so mediocre and expensive. ST is in effect cancelling all projects for Kirkland. 405 BRT is a multi-subarea project that benefits other cities, and its 85th station benefits Redmond as well as Kirkland.

  15. What is the state of this trail now, anyway? I walked the other direction (from Totem Lake to Woodinville) and it was a mix of gravel and old railroad tracks. Is any of this paved? If not, what does this mean for the biking community? More to the point, have they weighed in on this thing at all? It seems to me like there are a few reasonable objections:

    1) Buses or trains running by your quiet pathway. The buses would be electric, and much quieter. They would be operating fairly close to bikers, but still separate — http://stb-wp.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/08184051/CKC_Corridor.png. Pedestrians would be well away from the bus, and separated from bikers (which is a really nice bonus — I wish more of the much more heavily used Burke Gilman was like that). Of course, to achieve all that:

    2) The trail would be much wider. From what I can tell, this is a pretty small price to pay. This is a corridor that is often surrounded by green belt. Take a few of the trees and you have more trees behind it (most of the time). From what I can tell, none of the trees are old growth or even second growth. If anything, you would remove a lot of blackberry bushes a few maples, and expose more of the second growth Douglas Firs — https://goo.gl/maps/SgpBFHZinjs

    This isn’t a great corridor. Even for BRT it isn’t clear whether the cost would be worth it. But the idea that this would be terrible thing from a pedestrian or biking perspective seems like hyperbole to me. If anything, for some it seems like a step up.

    1. From S Kirkland P&R to just past Totem Lake the trail is compacted, small gravel. It’s paved just before road crossings, on the bridges, and through the Google campus. All the old track was removed in Kirkland. It’s bikeable with non-road bikes (meaning anything with tires more than an inch wide or so). Pavement would definitely be nice but not 100% essential. For pedestrians I don’t think it would matter much. The nice thing compared to the Burke Gilman/Sammamish River is that it’s wider and has less foot traffic (at least last time I biked it a few months ago) so there’s less congestion (also the lack of road bikes helps :) ).

      It’s an awesome N-S bike trail which is something that is very much lacking in that area. The Sammamish river trail is much further east and is in the valley. There are other decent biking routes (Lake Washington Blvd for example) but they’re congested during rush hour, so definitely the CKC is nicer to bike on. The only issue I have with it is the lack of connections to other trails (the 520 trail runs on a sidewalk near there and it’s a pain to get on/off of) and the lack of connection to Bellevue (which I believe will be added as part of East Link).

      Summarizing, definitely great for biking, but I don’t think pavement is 100% necessary.

      1. OK, that is what I thought (this response is to both you and Dan, who said much the same thing). All the more reason why I really lack any sympathy for this group. It is one thing to say “save our trail” and work hard to deliver a good trail for everyone. That might mean insisting on electrification of vehicles along here, buses instead of trains (buses are quieter) and good separation of means of travel, especially putting pedestrians far from the bus. All of that was included, as shown here: http://stb-wp.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/08184051/CKC_Corridor.png. You could also insist that alternatives, such as improvements to other streets and I-405 be studied and considered (a reasonable thing that I think everyone would support).

        But insisting that this will ruin the trail is nonsense and selfish. As you state, not that many people use this. It is used primarily by pedestrians (and not that many) because not that many people want to ride their bike over the gravel. I get that, but in what world is that a good thing? As someone who walks a lot more than he rides, I would love it if we put sawdust and a handful of railroad ties down on the Burke Gilman, and I could walk from Fremont to Ballard, without worrying about those pesky bike riders. But that hardly seems like a win-win for everyone. When I look at the picture, that is exactly the phrase that comes to mind (or win-win-win). Bus riders get a very fast connection. Bike riders get a nice smooth ride (most bike riders would gladly trade the occasional bus going by for a smooth surface). Pedestrians take a very minor “hit”, in that they have to see bikers go by (on a separate road) and if they look carefully, can see a bus. Oh, boo-hoo. Really — you want your own private little walkway. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of the same people who oppose this also oppose paving the thing.

        If I was convinced that this really was a great corridor for transit, than I would tell them a thing or two (in public meetings). I’m not, so it is hard to get too excited. All I can say is they really have their priorities messed up. This is an old railroad line, and folks should be trying to enhance it, not pretend it is the Wonderland Trail. The Burke Gilman is a wonderful example they should try to emulate, even if it means you have an electric bus running nearby (oh the horror) .

    2. The current state of trail development is an interim crushed-gravel trail in Kirkland, and a short stretch of permanent paved trail in downtown Redmond along the Redmond Spur. Construction is underway on a second phase of permanent trail in Redmond and that’ll open this year.

      King County is expected to remove rails just south of Kirkland next year to connect the gap between the Kirkland trail and the 520 trail. East Link comes with a trail through the Sound Transit mile.

      After that, it gets a bit more speculative. The entire ERC corridor is in the hands of governments that are committed to building trails (in Snohomish County, beside an active freight line). But it’s all unfunded.

      Bike peeps have pushed for early interim trail development everywhere.

      Save Our Trail has opposed a permanent trail in Kirkland. They’ve made a few positive noises about connecting it to the north, maybe because it’s far away, but are uninterested in connecting the Kirkland trail to Bellevue.

    3. I’m not too familiar with biking in Kirkland, but I have been on a trail in the very upscale Ferris Bueller suburbs North of Chicago that runs right next to the Metra tracks. The Green Bay trail gets a four out of five star review, and the biggest complaint is the pavement needs a refresh. Provides access to the Botanic Gardens, the Ravinia Festival (also via rail – similar to the Woodinville concerts at the wineries). Huge asset to the area and adjacent to tree-lined cobblestone streets and quiet suburban neighborhoods. http://www.traillink.com/trail-reviews/green-bay-trail.aspx

  16. So is Kirkland going to bill the money they spent on the CKC back to the Save Our Trail goons?. Some of the money could be spent on letters to property owners in Totem Lake explaining they were just kidding about making growth possible in Totem Lake. Those suckers should just sell their properties now unless they believe Kirkland leaders will suddenly get a backbone injection and stand up to any 3 residents with t-shirts and free time.

    Jeff Taylor

    1. That would be like the state billing the waterfront property owners for the deep-bore tunnel cost overruns. It would run afoul of equal taxation: all people in the same tax district pay the same rate. Billing the property owners would require a preexisting contract with them. In that case the most likely scenario would be a transportation benefit district rather than a bilateral contract with individual property owners. But in any case the rate people pay would be known beforehand, not retroactive.

  17. A question for Dan, David and others who live in / follow Kirkland doings: is SoT resonating with a general reaction against growth and density?

    In Mercer Island, the “Save Our Suburbs” folks are basically opponents of growth and increased density. When car commuters see express-lane privileges about to go away, many of them join the throng, but more permanently there’s a core of deeply conservative, anti-growth, anti-change sentiment that has been here for at least as long as I have (20 years). Call it NIMBY if you like (and I sometimes do) but many of those folks call it community and environment, and believe it.

    So far, they have had some success (particularly in combination with I-90 car commuters), but on balance have NOT had their way. The City Council just (narrowly) approved a downtown code revision that is a mild down-zone but one that still will allow significant development and increased density – and much less restrictive than the SoS folks were looking for.

    1. @Jim, It’s very much the same dynamic. As somebody asked at the Save-Our-Trail meeting on Monday night, “why would we need all this transit if we didn’t allow such extreme density?”

      There’s also a strong correlation between who is against transit and those against most everything else that comes up. The people who opposed an aquatics & recreation center in Kirkland last year, for instance, are very many of the same people. Ditto for a current minor freakout about seaplanes operating out of Carillon Point.

      Taxes and traffic (where traffic is seen as something to be solved by having no new residents or amenities near me) are very salient issues.

      They’re noisy, and good at turning out for meetings. They have a conviction that they are the silent majority (even when they won’t shut up long enough to listen to anybody else). But they mostly lose elections in Kirkland.

  18. I was not at the SOT meeting on Monday but Jay Arnold, Deputy Mayor of Kirkland was asked something to the effect of, “Do you think transit on the CKC will relieve congestion?”

    He replied, “Personally, no, probably not.”

    Even Kirkland politicians know this is a horrible idea!!!

    1. Jay Arnold said (correctly!) that high-capacity transit provides a way for people to be mobile without being stuck in traffic.

      The dynamics of traffic are complicated, and the role of transit is not to make cars move faster. It’s to allow people to move around.

      Kirkland, like a lot of places in the region, is out of capacity for cars at peak periods. As the region grows, that’ll get worse without alternatives. More people, more trips. So your options are to have alternatives that get people out of traffic, or let the city choke on traffic.

  19. Save Our Trail shouldn’t dictate what happens because in the end they’re a bunch of NIMBY’s who are worried about only themselves and not the interests of the public as a whole.

    1. I see all sorts of good things happening in the ST3 proposal and then I hear about Greenwashing NIMBY’s dictating what happens in the Kirkland region. As someone who used to live near Kirkland (first Finn Hill then Kenmore) I have spent hours near the corridor. Whether at Everest Park and Crestwood Park for childhood playtime, crossing the railroad tracks wondering if a train would ever come by or seeing the old Spirit of Washington Dinner train in Woodinville. I don’t know if some of these NIMBY’S are new to the area or not, but there attitude is threatening to ruin an otherwise good ST3 proposal.

  20. SOT are not the only players pulling the strings.

    In order for this to be correctly vetted it would be beneficial to know who ALL the players are.

    The “Good old boys” club is alive and well up and down the eastside corridor (amongst all the other places in the PNW)

    Most cities operate that way.

    In Chicago, you had the ‘Daley Machine’, Salt Lake City – the Mormon Church, (i’d say the Mafia in NYC, but I’m talking about examples of ‘get things done’ organizations)

    I personally have witnessed, and as I discovered, was an unknowing participant in what was a news story that seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

    For some of you who have been around here long enough, you will remember how in the downtown Seattle area, you might get panhandled, you could get threatened with violence (an all to common occurrence for women and other vulnerable groups), car prowled, etc. and it would take seemingly forever to get police response.

    But woe be unto you if you jaywalked.

    I was able to ‘connect the dots’ on who, for most observers, were the obvious players in this news story.

    Connect the dots on this ERC issue, (no I do not have any insights on this, by the way), and expose it to the light of day, and this will get the proper vetting it needs.

Comments are closed.