Sound Transit is about a year away from starting construction on the light rail extension between Northgate and Lynnwood, but that hasn’t stopped the City of Shoreline from working on a piggy-back project that would create a 2.5-mile trail along the tracks.
The light rail line will hug the east side of I-5 between Northgate and Lynnwood, cutting through existing neighborhoods and along Fifth Avenue in some stretches.
Shoreline looks to take advantage of that new construction by building a 14-foot wide trail adjacent to the tracks between 145th and 195th, providing a bike and walking option along the east side of the city.
“That would run roughly parallel to the guideway from the 145th Street Station all the way up to 195th,” said Nora Daley-Peng, senior transportation planner for the City of Shoreline.
“The reason why we’re book-ending it there is there’s an existing over-crossing of I-5 that’s a head bridge, so we’re potentially creating that connectivity.”
Daley-Peng says the trail would connect several parks, the library and schools, which would move pedestrians and bicyclists off the roads and into a safe location.
“That trail could be a quality of life amenity, which provides not only opportunity for active transportation, but also for recreation,” Daley-Peng said.
The city is still in the planning and design phase of the project, but Daley-Peng says they want to follow the Sound Transit tracks, regardless of how those tracks are constructed.
“We’re not going to be able to build it all at once, but we’re really endeavoring to look at that low-hanging fruit — those segments where these’s a parallel street, or street end, where we’re just looking at how can we reconstruct that street to incorporate a trail,” Daley-Peng said.
Construction is more than a year off, at least, following Sound Transit’s lead.
Meanwhile, Sound Transit says 12 homes will be leveled to make room for the station at 145th Street. Another 19 homes are being acquired for the 185th station. And 32 homes in between need to go; totaling 63 homes. Buyouts for the homeowners are still being negotiated.