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Ridership Study / Rail Corridor Working Meeting

Harvey Field
Published:06/01/2008 Chamber
Ridership Study / Rail Corridor Working Meeting    Print Snohomish Times    
A high powered group of community leaders and citizens gathered on Friday morning in Everett to discuss the eastside rail corridor. The state has set aside 100K to put toward an eastside rail ridership study and needs input on how it should be used. Many different views came together at this meeting, from the Cascade Bicycle Club to the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train. GNP railway, Sound Transit, Port of Seattle, Cascadia Group, Snohomish Chamber of Commerce, City of Snohomish and Representatives from the state, county, and local cities. All in one room, all for one purpose, to figure out what the needs of eastside commuters would be? Many Snohomish residents wonder how much more traffic there little city can stand? The Cascade Bicycle Club wanted to be sure that trails were on the table.

Recently, at the May Snohomish Chamber breakfast, the Port of Seattle stated that trails were only assured on the King County portion of the corridor. This came to a complete surprise to some who thought that trails were always in the plan, not so, the Port of Seattle said it would be up to Snohomish County or local groups to raise the money to complete the trails north of Woodinville. Other subjects included talk of East-West rail traffic, how can we include Monroe Sultan and Index? Driving Hwy 2 to Snohomish seems to defeat the whole commuter rail idea said Colleen Hill of the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce. What about placing the station in the south Snohomish UGA where there is plenty of room and would make a perfect transportation hub? Dave Somers indicated that there may be environmental issues with that idea. Colleen then went on to ask Why is the state filling for Hwy 9 and filling Hanson Slough to realign airport way if there is environmental issues? Somers indicated she should take it up with the state.

In a recent article in the Woodinville Weekly Dave Somers was quoted as having interest in connecting to Everett but no mention of going east up the valley. Thomas Payne who was also in attendance has shown interest in taking a different route to Everett, one that may include a station at the Bonneville power station and track laid that same direction all the way to Everett. Historical rail maps show an old route from the freshman campus through to the power plant and GAR cemetery back to Everett. Payne has also showed interest in possibly moving the soccer dome for his rail yard which at the very least would require 7 rail crossings, many more if it crosses over to Bonneville. Colleen Hill has invited Dave Somers, Liz Loomis, Tom Payne, Bruce Agnew, Pat Boss and others to join the Snohomish Chamber CIA group for lunch to discuss these same topics in further detail.

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