The fate of the final missing paved segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail is in your hands.
Many folks see segments of the interim East Lake Sammamish Trail being paved and think it’s final completion is a done deal. But now the County is working on the hardest section where neighbors have encroached upon the right of way for years. At a recent Sammamish City Council meeting, approximately 20 trailside homeowners urged council not to approve the permit that will complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail. They gave public testimony for 2 hours!
Now more than ever, your voice in support of the trail is needed to help advance King County’s permit applications to the city of Sammamish for design of segment 2B, the final 3.6-mile segment of the trail as well as the Inglewood Hill parking lot. Unique comments in support of the permit are needed to balance out a loud minority of anti-trail voices. The city of Sammamish is accepting public comments on the permits through 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27.
Without your help, a vocal minority of anti-trail voices will stymie the completion of the final 3.6-mile segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail 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.
Please tell you own story about why you support the trail today. We have also included talking points for those who would like to help but not sure what to say. Feel free to pick and choose the ones that resonate with you. We have heard from council members that they ignore form letters and count them as just one reply since they are all the same. So your own story is most important. It’ll only take a few minutes and will lead to a lifetime of safe biking for people of all ages and abilities from Redmond to Issaquah.
Although the deadline is Jan. 27, for the official comments for these permits, it would also mean a lot, especially if you are a Sammamish resident, to come to the next city council meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 6:30 PM and give public comment. It could be just reading the letter you put together for the public comment period. Expanding on your own person story is the best. Council members need to hear from trail supporters and not just the homeowners next to the trail.
With exciting trail progress beginning on Segment A, we’re so close to a completed trail, but the stakes have never been higher. Join caring neighbors and trail users to realize the 20-year vision of a completed East Lake Sammamish Trail by voicing your support before it’s too late.
ELST South Segment B 60% Comments talking points
Introduction and the ask:
I’m writing to express my support for completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST) and approving permits SSDP2016-00415 for the trail and SSDP2016-00414 for the Inglewood Hill Parking Lot.
Please approve the permit, as submitted.
Approval of the permit will advance completion of the 44 mile regional trail system between Seattle and the foothills of the Cascades, linking us to communities from the mountains to the sound. The trail, as proposed in the permit, will provide a safe walking and biking route through Sammamish. It also will provide improved parking for the mid part of the trail.
Talking points for the middle of the letter:
- Approve the permit, including the proposed width of the trail which reflect industry standards (AASHTO). A 12ft trail with 2ft shoulders will create a safe trail with space for the various different uses… from people running, to people riding a bike, using a wheelchair, or pushing a stroller.
- Ensuring crossing priority for the trail is an important safety issue when roads and driveways cross the trail.
- Approve proposed trail alignment in the permit request as it provides sight lines for good visibility for people on the trail and people crossing the trail at trail intersections.
- The proposed tree preservation plan the county has provided retains 65% of the significant trees next to the trail, higher than the now required 35% that developers and homeowners must retain. Many of those invasive species shrubs that are now encroaching into the trail in so many places will be removed and replaced with native plants and trees which are important for salmon and other wildlife and will increase sight lines at driveway intersections. The County states they will work with residents to maintain as much privacy from existing plantings as possible outside of the designated “clean and grub” areas alongside the trail.
- The county will replace current culverts six new with fish friendly ones for kokanee salmon. These will help re-vitalize the six streams into viable salmon habitat.
The ELST is absolutely consistent with your vision for the city as noted in your comprehensive plan related to both parks and transportation:
- Goal P.1 Provide a network of parks, trails, athletic fields, and open spaces that delivers a variety of active and passive recreational opportunities to the Sammamish community.
- Objective P.1.1 Provide barrier-free (ADA-compliant) access…
- Objective P.3.9 Plan non motorized trail systems for pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the City and connect adjoining communities through regional linkages.
- Policy T.4.11 Ensure mobility choices for people with special transportation needs, including persons with disabilities, the elderly and the young, and low income populations.
- Policy T.4.8 Integrate the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists in the local and regional transportation plans and systems.
- The current proposed design includes 26 new driveway improvements which will all directly benefit the homeowners. These will be properly graded, cement aprons to driveways costing thousands of dollars each. No more muddy driveway access! And they will all be paid for by the county.
- Currently there are many personal items stored or parked within the trail right of way. These include old cars, boats, construction trailers and equipment, sheds and dilapidated stairways. The county will work with the residents to accommodate these outside of the trail boundaries. They will help the residents get special use permits where required. This will all contribute to a more natural beautiful neighborhood and trail environment benefiting all.
- As part of the new trail area design the plans even include two parking lots for residents without direct access to their homes. These will replace existing dirt or gravel parking lots along East Lake Sammamish Parkway. Residents in these areas will have a safe, proper place to park their cars.
- The Inglewood Hill interim parking will be improved to include a wheelchair ramp down to the trail, a plaza area with picnic table, a restroom and a beautiful view of the lake. Parking lot users will be directed away from trail neighbor driveways as well.
- Add your personal story about how you currently use the interim trail or will use the completed trail.
The current 60% design drawings show that we will be getting a world class trail. The design preserves many trees and accommodates the residents along the trail. My hope is that any outstanding issues can be worked out on a case by case basis without law suits and confrontation.
The northern completed section of the ELST beautifully complements the popular Sammamish Landing Park. I urge you to support the trail by approving the permits for the South B section and create yet another jewel in the crown of facilities in Sammamish.
Please send to:
Ms. Lindsey Ozbolt
City of Sammamish
And cc to:
Ms. Kelly Donahue
Mr. Lyman Howard
Sammamish City Council