Kirkland City Council candidate Jason Chinchilla reiterated that making the Cross Kirkland trail a Metro Rapid transit bus corridor is wrong for Kirkland. Chinchilla said, “Protecting the trail is a clear difference between me and my opponent. Yesterday my opponent Shelley Kloba declared that Sound Transit’s easement on the Cross Kirkland Trail means transit of some kind is “the reality” and she repeated her plan to fast track two lanes of Metro Rapid Transit buses running up and down the Cross Kirkland Trail Corridor.”
Chinchilla continued, “I have a different view of the reality of Sound Transit’s easement on the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The Corridor is a segment of an old railroad line built in 1904 to move lumber and coal from Renton to Woodinville and its route makes a poor commute path for 2015. It has marginal value to Sound Transit for a light rail route in spite of its poor path simply because more optimal routes would require massive condemnation and acquisition costs so they protected that by attaching an easement. Light rail, however, is the least cost effective transit option right now and in the real world of the Eastside’s population densities will not be a cost effective option in our lifetimes if ever. I don’t see Sound Transit advancing any light rail on the Trail.”
“Bus Transit is more cost effective, even though bus transit still only recovers about 30% of its operating costs with rider fares. The reality is that building a 6 mile exclusive two lane bus expressway down the Cross Kirkland Trail would only be promoted by the same thinking that seems to be behind the new dedicated express lanes on 405 that have expanded the “Kirkland Crawl” and increased neighborhood traffic.” For much less money, we can make improvements on the roads taxpayers have already paid for that will enable both buses and cars to move faster and more easily around Kirkland and to their final destinations.”
Chinchilla added, “My opponent also seems blind to the innovations the private sector is bringing to transportation options, whether it’s the Microsoft Connectors or new services like Uber. I will work to draw on the world class private sector innovative thinking we have available in our community to build a brighter future for Kirkland.”
“Voters have their ballots right now and if they want to protect their Cross Kirkland Trail from being paved into a two lane bus route, it’s clear their first step should be to replace Kloba with me so I can work to protect the trail,” concluded Chinchilla. Chinchilla is running for Position 2 on the Kirkland City Council.