Many of our elected officials are being persuaded that this improbable scheme (commuter rail line along the BNSF rail corridor) may actually work. The truth is that this plan would be a disaster. It will not solve any of our traffic problems and most likely will make them worse. The reasons are fairly obvious to anyone who looks closely at a map and understands a little history.
A century ago, the Eastside was a mining and shipbuilding center. The railway was built to haul freight and supplies to and from the mines and shipyards. That’s why the line does not travel in a straight line but meanders, especially through Kirkland.
A century ago the line swung through wooded, sparsely populated areas. That’s not the case today, where the railroad tracks pass through densely populated communities — literally past the backyards of hundreds of residents, past schools and across busy intersections.
To run a commuter train through these areas every half hour, morning and evening, is the essence of insanity. It is further craziness to think that a hiking and biking trail could co-exist alongside a roaring railroad.
If a rail line is to be built at all, the only logical, efficient and practical choice would be along Interstate 5.
Let’s use some common sense and let’s have some vision. Let’s return to the original concept of a hiking and biking trail similar to the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish trails. It is a great opportunity for the Port of Seattle and King County to hand down a wonderful legacy for future generations.
~Anthony Cresci, Kirkland