The City of Kirkland has some big hopes for the 5.75 miles of Eastside Rail Corridor it is on the verge of purchasing from the Port of Seattle (see our previous story).
The Seattle Times reports that City Manager Kurt Triplett sees the right-of-way as Kirkland’s “equivalent of the Louisiana Purchase” because of its potential as a huge linear park, multi-use trail and transit right-of-way.
He sees a 100-foot-wide open space that will someday be a linear park, paved trail and a mass-transit line all rolled into one.
And because the Eastside Rail Corridor connects a key Highway 520 park-and-ride with a Google campus and the city’s future economic center, Totem Lake, Triplett also sees it as a tool to grow and attract businesses.
At Triplett’s urging, the Kirkland City Council has authorized the purchase of 5 ¾ miles of the corridor in a $5 million deal scheduled to close next month with the Port of Seattle.
The council is now considering whether to ask voters to fund a hard-gravel trail to serve walkers and mountain bikers.
For Triplett, Kirkland’s acquisition of the former BNSF Railway line — “our equivalent of the Louisiana Purchase” — is a chance to expand public use of a 42-mile rail line he spent years as a King County official trying to bring into public ownership.
What do you think of this vision?