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The Eastside Rail Corridor needs a new name

It may be the most exciting opportunity for biking and walking (and some transit) in the whole region, but the name “Eastside Rail Corridor” sure sounds boring. It describes what the corridor used to be rather than what it could become.

For years, Seattle Bike Blog has been referring to the whole trail element of the entire corridor by the unofficial name “Eastside Trail.” We have used this name to encompass both county-owned and locally-owned segments and to shorthand the laborious “Eastside Rail Corridor Trail.”

But there may be a better name for this incredible Eastside-spanning trail, utility and transit corridor. And the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Committee wants your ideas. Complete this online survey to throw in your two cents. And, of course, discuss your ideas in the comments below.

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If you are really into what this thing is called, the advisory committee is holding a meeting 1 p.m. Thursday at Kirkland City Hall (more details in this PDF).

The Eastside Trail (or whatever it will be called) could be largely open, at least in bikeable hardpack gravel form, by the end of 2021 if all the funding and construction details come together as planned. That’s pretty much light speed for a trail project of this length. But, of course, there are a lot of “ifs.”

In addition to the transportation and recreation opportunities, the project will also rehab and reuse historic and stunning bits of rail infrastructure, such as the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue.

The Eastside Trail will also connect many Eastside neighborhoods and city centers to light rail, the I-90 Trail, the 520 Trail, the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Cedar River Trail and more. It has the potential to be the more impactful and important regional trail since the Burke-Gilman opened in the 70s.

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15 responses to “The Eastside Rail Corridor needs a new name”

  1. Andres Salomon

    I’m going to be very disappointed in the internet if Traily McTrailface doesn’t win by a landslide.

    1. I actually put I would prefer to not have it named Trail McTrailface but instead suggested Former Choo Choo Trail

  2. Bob Gale

    Ron Sims Trail! He was instrumental in making it happen, is an avid cyclist, and exactly the sort of tireless public servant who should have things named after him.

  3. mjd

    Keep in mind your acronyms.

    The South Lake Union Trolley

    1. dave

      For the record, that was never the official name of the South Lake Union Streetcar – it was cleverly made up by a owners of a small biz in South Lake Union who opposed the LID that partially paid for it. But good point nonetheless.

  4. Jim

    Bob Gale, that is perfect!

  5. asdf2

    What are the plans for how someone is supposed to connect between the ERC and the I-90 trail. Looking at the map, it seems such a connection would require exiting the ERC trail well before I-90 and riding at least a mile along regular roads.

    There is a huge vertical gap between the two corridors at I-90, so a direct connector ramp is not feasible.

  6. Kimberly Kinchen

    I’m in favor of any new trails coming on line being named in a way that makes their location and destinations clear. This will be more than a trail, it will be a transportation link, so let’s name the trail something that tells clearly signals to those less familiar what it is and where it goes. Renton-Sammamish Trail or Eastside Renton to Sammamish Trail (ERST)…forgive me if those are not the destinations (I have yet to see a map that is easy to read that lays out the planned trail – they never have enough detail or are too small to read easily even zoomed in) but you get the idea…future segments could then be named accordingly: Sammamish to Snohomish, etc.

    1. Law Abider

      I’m in favor of any new trails coming on line being named in a way that makes their location and destinations clear.

      While very Utilitarian, that leaves us with very bland trail names. A lot of trails in the area don’t have descriptive names, but work just fine.

      The Burke-Gilman trail tells absolutely nothing about the trail location or destination, but is one of the most important and well used trails in the PNW.

      On the other hand, the 520 Trail is pretty darn descriptive…if you generally know where SR-520 goes.

      Then you have:
      The Interurban Trail: but which urban areas?
      The Elliot Bay Trail: location, not destination
      The Westlake Trail: probably the most descriptive
      The Mountains to Sound Greenway: the mountains and the Sound stretch for 100s of miles, so from where to where? Not to mention it’s also called the I-90 Trail and the John Wayne Trail in portions.

      All of these trails are well used and people seem to know where they are going. My point being that the giving our trails overly descriptive, bland names basically solves the extreme edge case of somebody, not from the area, taking a bike and randomly riding around the region without any prior planning or mapping.

      Call it the East Side Trail (or Ron Sims as suggested above) and have destination signing to go with it so you know where you are going.

  7. Snohomish County Parks has been working steadily to connect the Centennial Trail to Woodinville and Duval. This would create an incredible regional system. Financing is a huge hurdle, and then maintenance.

    1. Gary

      This would be the trail of the “century!” It would provide a huge path North/South for recreational riders. Now if only they would let the trail that goes through the Seattle watershed, Lnadsburg to Cedar Falls to connect….

      1. Gary

        (the old Milwaukee Rd Railroad grade)

  8. I sort of hope the word “corridor” remains part of the name and that the trail is nicknamed “The Corridor”.

    Or… maybe it would be cool to name it the Wilburton Trail, after the iconic and centrally-located Wilburton Trestle.

  9. Q

    My vote is between Tour de Cardealership or the Trail to Nowhere. What a miserable wasteland of an area to ride a bike.

  10. just wondering

    405 is constantly jammed with terrible traffic. Why aren’t we using the right of way to, you know, build rail?

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