The “Summary of Interests” within the Eastside Rail Corridor Draft Interest Statement is a very good wish list of reasons why citizens should focus on the future use of the BNSF Corridor. However, it does not provide solid arguments to support its conclusion: “Ultimately, the best use of the corridor is as the site of a welcoming, transportation-oriented facility for pedestrians and bicyclists and a high capacity transit system that connects Kirkland to the region. Ideally, trail and transit users could use the corridor simultaneously.” This is a major flaw that reinforces the false idea that creating something comparable to James Bond’s car, that could fly and be a submarine at the same time, is the best goal for Kirkland.
This leaves aside all the known technical, economic and potential commuter considerations. We can now actually see exactly what the “best possible” development of a dual-use would look like along most of our very narrow Eastside BNSF corridor, if we had unlimited funds to do it. Check out the video of the smart dual-use project in Marin County: www.marinbike.org/Campaigns/Infrastructure/CalParkIndex.shtml. Then ask yourself who would be happy with such a corridor in Kirkland? How many families, kids and seniors would use it? How good/safe would it be for bikers themselves? What would the wall do to the city, even if it were as fancy as the one in Marin County?
Shawn Etchevers, Kirkland