Metropolitan King County Council member Kathy Lambert, who represents Redmond, calls the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC) Trail Master Plan an important milestone in developing the lengthy stretch of railway.
The council passed the plan on Monday and approved the next step in making the ERC a reality. The ERC is the former BNSF rail line and runs through Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue, and parts of unincorporated Snohomish and King counties.
The plan, which includes the entire 42-mile corridor running from Snohomish County to Renton, lays out a multi-use vision that will allow people and green spaces to coexist on a car-free, transit and trail corridor. When completed, the ERC is expected to be the most heavily used recreational corridor on the Eastside of King County. The plan focuses on the trail portion of the multi-use vision while maintaining room for other uses and economic development and educational opportunities directly adjacent to the corridor, like the Global Innovation Exchange and REI’s corporate headquarters.
“I’m looking forward to the day when the entire corridor is completed and being used by many. Until then it’s encouraging to see the progress that is being made every day and this is just one more very important step in that journey,” Lambert said.
The corridor represents the final, uninterrupted stretch of land through the spine of east King County, creating a unique opportunity for transit alternatives and pedestrian use.
“I am excited to approve the Trail Master Plan so we can finally roll up our sleeves and get to work on creating one of the most unique corridors in the country,” said council member Claudia Balducci, who also chairs the ERC’s Regional Advisory Committee. “We will be connecting thousands of residents up and down the Eastside to transit, trail, recreation and economic development opportunities.”