It has taken an enormous amount of advocacy pressure over many, many years to get to this point: The final section of the East Lake Sammamish Trail is finally applying for the permits needed to become reality.
But this is no time to relax. Though work is already underway on the penultimate section of the trail (“South Sammamish A”), permits are not yet in hand and ground is not yet broken on the final segment, dubbed “South Sammamish B.” King County has the funding, a nearly-complete design and a legal win giving the project a green light.
Half the trail is already complete, including connections to Redmond and Issaquah. This last missing piece connects these investments to each other. Crews are ready to get to work as soon as the design and permit are final.
Add your support to help push the project over what is hopefully the final hill. Cascade Bicycle Club has a handy online form to help you add your support. Submit your comments by 5 p.m. Friday.
Once complete, people getting around the region by bike or visiting lakeside parks will reap the benefits for generations to come.
More details from Vicky Clarke at Cascade:
At last week’s Sammamish City Council meeting, over 20 trailside homeowners urged council not to approve the permit that will complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Without voices in support of the trail to endorse approval of the permit, the project will stall.
The reality is hard to comprehend, especially since construction of another one-mile segment of the trail is slated for completion this fall — leaving just a single 3.6-mile segment of the 11-mile East Lake Sammamish Trail to be finished.
What’s happening on the trail?
The trail is 20 years in the making, and will provide a safe, connected and protected alternative to the East Lake Sammamish Parkway road. For people who walk, bike and run, the trail will connect Sammamish to Issaquah and Redmond — and to the regional trail network.
Issues that continue to delay completion of the trail are summarized in a recent Sammamish Review article, which captures perspectives from pro-trail advocates the Friends of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, trail owner King County, and Cascade Bicycle Club — all of whom want to see the trail built.
Your help is needed now
In December King County submitted a shoreline permit to the city of Sammamish for the final 3.6 mile segment of the trail. The city is seeking public comments through 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27. Please send your comments now.
Your comments are critical at this time because the sad reality is this: Without your help, the final segment of the trail will not be completed to regional and national trail standards, resulting in a trail that’s not safe for people of all ages and abilities who want to walk, bike and run. Now more than ever, your voice in support of the trail is needed.
Cascade’s comments on the permit
As part of the public comment period on the permit, Cascade provided comments, centered three requests to the city of Sammamish:
- Request 1: Approve the permit: Complete this regional trail and local amenity
- Request 2: Follow AASHTO national standards: Allow for all users (people on bikes, people walking) of all ages and abilities.
- Request 3: Give crossing priority to the trail at roads and driveways: Ensure safety and predictability
Please submit your note to the city of Sammamish now, and consider sharing this information with your friends and neighbors. The trail needs voices of support!
Gee, would the city of Sammamish even consider NOT granting a permit after permitting and construction of over half of the trail?
And yet the Missing Link remains missing…
Reply from a Sammamish City Council-member:
Thank you for reaching out to Council on the ELST. Like you, I’m an avid user of the trail.
The Council is not processing the applications on the trail, the City’s staff has to process and deem them complete/approve permit applications for trail & all other permits in the City. The City did process one application (SSDP) for section 2B of the trail as compete, but it is the clear & grade permit that is the hiccup here. The ownership issue is between the County and homeowners, not the City. That is being worked through the courts and the City is not involved there and is not currently impeding the processing of the permit applications from the County.
Thank you again for your thoughts & desires regarding the trail. I hope that my information above helps to answer a few misconceptions on what’s going on with the current segment, 2B. We hope that answers will be amicable for both trail-side homeowners as well as trail users alike!
Wait, “worked through the courts”, is there a court case pending?