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Lawsuit to halt rail removal in Kirkland lacks merit | Letter
The Ballard Terminal Railroad Company suit to halt rail removal in the Cross Kirkland Corridor is without merit.
The company has not provided evidence that it has the financial ability to improve and maintain the rail bed. Nor has it a firm schedule to run an excursion train and provide freight service.
The suit delays recreational use of the corridor, while awaiting the uncertainty of an excursion train and hauling dirt from Bellevue construction sites. And those uses would benefit others more than Kirkland residents.
We need to focus more on comparing the beneficial uses of the Cross Kirkland Corridor. One only has to look at other former rail corridors, such as Burke-Gilman trail, to anticipate extensive use of the Cross Kirkland Corridor by Kirkland residents for walking, running, and cycling.
Annually, hundreds of thousands of hours of recreational use will far and away exceed a few thousand hours of users of the proposed tasting train passengers.
Recreational use of the corridor will serve many more Kirkland residents and provide community benefits far in excess of the elusive rail benefits. If we value recreational use, the comparison is overwhelming. A trail is a clear choice.
The existing rails cannot support commuter rail either. The rails need to come out so that the rail bed can be converted to recreational use in a timely and cost-effective manner. We have already waited too long for this conversion.
Ken Dueker, Kirkland