After learning more about the Sound Transit draft ST3 plan and attending the City of Kirkland Council meeting on April 5, 2016, Save Our Trail members want to make it very clear where they stand on the draft plan:
YES - Bus Rapid Transit on I-405
NO - Environmental Study on the Trail, instead do a study of light rail on I-405
NO - Mass Transit from Bellevue Wilburton Station to the South Kirkland Park & Ride
NO - High Capacity Transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail!
Save Our Trail is very concerned to learn that our Trail is still being considered for future high capacity transit (HCT). In the draft ST3 plan, Sound Transit proposed an environmental study from Bellevue to Bothell via the Kirkland Trail, and is also considering a proposal for light rail from Bellevue Wilburton to the South Kirkland Park & Ride. Both of these proposals are clearly precursors to future mass transit on the Trail.
“If these options to eventually put bus or rail on the Trail appear on the final ST3 transit plan, we will rally citizens and neighboring cities on the Eastside to vote against ST3,” said David Greschler, Save Our Trail Chair. The group is dedicated to keeping the Trail non-motorized, just like the Burke Gilman and Sammamish River Trails. Scott Kaseburg, of LakeCorridor.org, a citizen group focused on similar issues in the southern section of the Trail, has already called for Renton and Bellevue to stand with the SaveourTrail group.
The plans being considered by Sound Transit and the Kirkland City Council do not make economic sense. Bus and light rail on the Trail have already been proven to be the costliest projects per rider of all the ST3 projects due to low ridership. Instead, Save Our Trail urges Sound Transit to use the environmental study to evaluate the feasibility of putting light rail on I-405 in future ST projects.
Sound Transit is accepting public feedback until April 29th and will be using this feedback in developing the final ST3 plan. Save Our Trail is asking supporters to complete this important ST3 survey. (For instructions on how to provide feedback, go to saveourtrail.org). Sound Transit is also holding Open Houses where people can learn more and provide feedback, including one in Redmond on April 27 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Redmond Old Schoolhouse Community Center.
To celebrate Earth Day and National Opening Day for Trails this month, Save Our Trail is holding a preservation event on the Trail, Sunday, April 17th, 10 a.m. to noon, to clear invasive non-native shrubs and plants along the Trail. This event is open to any Trail enthusiast that would like to help. Go to saveourtrail.org for more information.
The Save Our Trail (SOT) Organization are citizens, home owners, and voters who strongly oppose the actions taken by the Kirkland City Council to build mass transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail (CKC). We support (E-02) Bus Rapid Transit on I-405 and oppose any Sound Transit plan to place mass transportation on the CKC for the following reasons: environmental concerns (possible damage to wetlands, salmon bearing streams, and wildlife habitats), extremely high cost, inefficient use of limited tax dollars, low return on investment, lack of projected ridership, construction challenges, and safety issues.