LETTER | Urban Land Institute "Trail Potential Deserves TOP Priority

To the editor: I'd like to offer but one, of many, reasons why the City of Kirkland is correctly forging ahead with development of a Trail in the Cross Kirkland Corridor........it was the "top priority" recommendation of the Urban Land Institute, a nonpartisan organization that is long recognized as one of America's most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on urban planning, growth, and development of sustainable thriving communities worldwide. Our City Council sought an objective opinion about Totem Lake and how Kirkland might help spur development there.

In a report entitled Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel Recommendations to the City of Kirkland on Totem Lake, on page 13, ULI most strongly recommends the development in the BNSF Corridor of a "trail (that) has the potential to brand Kirkland as progressive on transportation....there is obvious value in developing the corridor as a bicycle and pedestrian trail, even as it retains its potential for future regional rail transit...." On page 4: "leverag(ing) open space assets and trail potential...deserves top priority". (You can read the entire report at the website below.)

www.kirklandwa.gov/assets/cmo/cmo+pdfs/uli+tech+assist+recommendation+report.pdf

Totem Lake is Kirkland's designated Urban Growth Area (as required and recognized by the State and King County under the Growth Management Act). The City is actively pursuing codes and regulations that encourage re-development in the area, and promote a more integrated, vital and sustainable neighborhood that will responsibly help fulfill Kirkland's designated share of the anticipated growth in the region. The ULI's recommendation to develop a Trail in the CKC suggests one very important project that will facilitate meeting those GMA goals.

Kirkland citizens support the City of Kirkland (with the purchase of the 5.75 mile segment of the Corridor within our city and passage of the permanent Parks Funding Levy) moving forward with an interim Trail, while yet planning for high capacity transit in the future when the Corridor can be designed AND engineered to 21st century transit standards.

Georgine Foster Kirkland citizen