Many wetlands and salmon-bearing streams exist within, near, and under the Cross-Kirkland Corridor, raising questions about the ability for Sound Transit to build ST3 on Trail
The Save our Trail citizen group presented a letter to Sound Transit and the Kirkland City Council last evening that documented significant environmental issues regarding proposed plans for light rail and bus rapid transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) Trail.
The letter was prompted by 3rd party studies, commissioned by the City of Kirkland as recently as January 20, 2016, that documented many wetlands, jurisdictional drainage, and salmon-bearing streams within the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail.
Further inquiry’s found that current and planned updates (due by June 30, 2016) to Kirkland’s wetland and stream protection regulations indicate that substantial portions of the CKC are incompatible with any type of motorized transit development due to the location of wetlands and their surrounding buffers. In fact, there are multiple locations where wetlands surround both sides of the trail, creating buffers that are in excess of the 100-foot wide corridor.
In addition, Save our Trail researched the mandatory mitigation sequencing regulations and found that they specifically state that avoidance of modifications of wetlands and streams is the primary guiding principle and not allowed if a “practicable or feasible alternative” is available, such as Sound Transit’s E-02 Bus Rapid Transit on I-405 proposal (which parallels the Trail and then crosses it at 116th street).
Save Our Trail believes that, based on 3rd party evaluations (City GIS, City codes, and studies commissioned by the City of Kirkland) of the wetlands, streams, and wildlife habitats on the CKC, it would clearly be outside the spirit and intent of the law to build motorized transit on the CKC as described in E-03a and E-06. Furthermore, given the clearly documented alternative of E-02 (BRT on 405), mitigation is not an alternative.
“Save our Trail has always been about preserving the precious natural environment that exists along the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail. It’s now clear that the City of Kirkland’s own existing and planned updated regulations enforce this preservation,” said David Greschler, Committee Chair, Save our Trail.
To read the letter and its attachments, go to www.saveourtrail.org