The East Lake Sammamish Trail is likely the second-most litigated stretch of trail around following the Ballard Missing Link. But the final stretch of the trail got one big step closer to construction as the City of Sammamish issued King County a permit to finally finish the key link between Redmond and Issaquah.
The work is largely funded through the King County Parks levy voters approved in August. The final section is right in the middle, flanked on both the north and the south by completed trails into Redmond and Issaquah.
With the permit in hand, King County Parks plans to begin work in 2020 and construct the trail in 2021. That’s, of course, assuming opponents don’t find another legal maneuver to delay it
or somehow convince the US Supreme Court to take up their case (yes, they are actually trying that)…
UPDATE: I missed the news that the US Supreme Court declined to take up their case. So in theory, there is nowhere else to file an appeal. I think it is worth noting here how seriously messed up and shameful it was for opponents to put rail-trails across the entire nation at risk just to stop a parks investment near their homes. That required a shameful level of selfishness, and I’m very glad they lost. Imagine if they invested those resources into something good for the world instead.
Cascade Bicycle Club has declared victory:
We’re in it for the long haul to see a safe East Lake Sammamish Trail built to regional trail standards. And we’ve been there—together—every step of the way so far.
For Cascade Bicycle Club, the East Lake Sammamish Trail is a project that has spanned two decades of work and hundreds of volunteer and staff hours. Once it’s complete, the trail will carry an estimated 5-7,000 people per day by foot and by bike.