Shoreline announces bold idea for a new trail next to light rail

Trail_Along_The_Rail_Bike_ copyThe City of Shoreline has a great idea for taking advantage of Sound Transit construction to also revolutionize bike access in their city: A “Trail Along the Rail.”

Much like the Interurban Trail is a premiere asset for the city’s SR 99 corridor — providing vital access to businesses, homes, parks and schools — the new Link-adjacent trail could do the same for the city’s I-5 corridor.

And by coordinating construction of the trail with light rail construction, there will never be an easier opportunity to make this connection.

The early concept shows the trail connecting from the border with Seattle at Jackson Park all the way to N 195th Street, which has an I-5 crossing. The trail would provide access to planned stations at N 145th and N 185th Street Stations.

I-5 will remain a major impediment to east-west travel, but the city also has plans for improving access to the relatively few existing crossings.

The project is still only an idea, so it’s going to take a big push from neighbors to make this a priority. Since light rail construction is set to begin in 2018, this trail idea needs to get moving if it is going to be ready to break ground with the rail line.

If you want to learn more or provide feedback, Shoreline is hosting a public meeting 6–8 p.m. March 15 at Shoreline City Hall. More details:

Development of light rail through the City of Shoreline presents a unique and rare opportunity. The City is looking at the possibility of building a multi-use trail running roughly parallel to the light rail alignment through Shoreline. Located on the east side of I-5, the trail would run from N 145th Street to NE 195th Street. It would enhance pedestrian and bicycle access to the planned 145th Street and 185th Street light rail stations, as well as connect to the NE 195th Street pedestrian bridge over I-5. In addition, the trail could connect to local streets, parks, open spaces, and schools within the neighborhoods adjacent to the light rail alignment.

Similar to the Interurban Trail, the “Trail Along the Rail” could serve as Shoreline’s segment of a potential regional multi-use trail that could ultimately connect cities along the Lynnwood Link Extension (LLE) light rail alignment from Seattle all the way to Everett.

As the first step to testing out this vision, the City is conducting a feasibility study of a trail along the planned light rail alignment. We need your feedback to develop the preferred trail alignment plan. Please come to the public meeting at Shoreline City Hall on Wednesday, March 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and provide your input.

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14 Responses to Shoreline announces bold idea for a new trail next to light rail

  1. Dave Lange says:

    First the design needs to rebuild any sound barriers removed during construction.
    Second remove and monitor human bad behavior now from the Interurban and other parks in Shoreline as an indication we won’t have problems on the new trail.

  2. Alkistu says:

    Bicycle Freeway!

  3. 47hasbegun says:

    They should really focus on adding a better route between the Snohomish County and King County sections of the Interurban Trail first. The intersection is terrible and the route through the park is barely maintained.

  4. Christopher Burke says:

    This would be excellent!

  5. Clark in Vancouver says:

    This is great! It’s a good opportunity to design it in.
    In Metro Vancouver, the elevated light rail (Skytrain) has paths under it and the Skytrain guideway provides rain cover. It makes a big difference when commuting long distances in the rain. The trails are a big part of getting around here.

    I think for the planners, if they have some simple guidelines to follow then they will be able to include it. What’s hard for planners and engineers is for something to be added too late in a project and it complicates the work that was already done. It’s better to be in on the early stages. It’s also important to educate about good standards so that they understand what’s needed or you end up with a narrow shared use path that the width of handlebars designed by somebody who’s never been on a bike.

  6. Nick says:

    I’m not seeing a ton of room for a trail following the light rail in the Sound Transit video.

    http://www.soundtransit.org/Lynnwoodextension

  7. O says:

    Too bad there are ZERO bike connections to neighborhoods west of aurora.

  8. Ella says:

    *Jackson Park (I live near Jefferson Park and was real confused for a second there!)

  9. Don Brubeck says:

    Kudos to Shoreline for being far-sighted enough to see and reach for that opportunity.

    Even if not everything is great going east-west over hills and freeway and some spots on the Interurban, Shoreline has come a really long way since I was in 6th grade riding my bike from N 148th to N 172nd to school, before it was a city. Shoreline has some hills, but has lots of potential for using bikes for ordinary transportation, especially with the improvements to Aurora now.

  10. Tim F says:

    This would be a wonderful opportunity. I rode the Green Bay Trail for years in the suburbs north of Chicago that loosely followed the Metra commuter train route. The neighborhoods that develop near the stops tend to be quite compatible with bikes and the two modes complement each other fairly well.

    • Al Dimond says:

      The difference, both in terms of the feel of the trail and in terms of development potential, is that the rail line and stations are in the shadow of the freeway. A trail like that around here is the Interurban Trail, between Lynnwood Transit Center and the Ash Way P&R. Getting from this trail to the each of the stations should be easier than getting to Ash Way P&R from the Interurban Trail. But the difficulty of accessing the Interurban from the other side of the freeway could be echoed here; because of the freeway, both connecting and parallel routes are needed!

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