Please help save the Eastside railroad and get a low cost, convenient and environmentally-beneficial commuter rail started on it as quickly as possible by contacting our public officials and letting them know what we think.*
Tay Yoshitani, Executive Director
John Creighton, Commission President
Bill Bryant, Commissioner
Patricia Davis, Commissioner
Lloyd Hara, Commissioner
Gael Tarleton, Commissioner
Mailing address: Port of Seattle, P.O. Box 1209, Seattle, WA 98111; Phone: 206-728-3000
Greg Nickels, Chair and City of Seattle Mayor
Claudia Thomas, Vice Chair and City of Lakewood Councilmember
Aaron Reardon, Vice Chair and Snohomish County Executive
Julie Anderson, City of Tacoma Councilmember
Mary-Alyce Burleigh, City of Kirkland Councilmember
Fred Butler, City of Issaquah Deputy Council President
Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council President
Dow Constantine, King County Council Vice Chair
Deanna Dawson, City of Edmonds Councilmember
David Enslow, City of Sumner Mayor
Paula J. Hammond, Washington State Secretary of Transportation
John W. Ladenburg, Pierce County Executive
John Marchione, City of Redmond Mayor
Julia Patterson, King County Council Chair
Larry Phillips, King County Councilmember
Paul Roberts, City of Everett Councilmember
Ron Sims, King County Executive
Pete von Reichbauer, King County Councilmember
*The Port of Seattle is currently completing purchase of the Eastside railroad from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. It will make a decision as to how the railroad will be used based on input from the public.
Sound Transit is the most logical choice for providing a commuter rail service on the railroad. This is because (1) it is already the regional developer and provider of commuter rail service and has considerable expertise in this area, (2) it could coordinate Eastside railroad commuter service with its existing regional express bus service and eventually with its other rail operations, (3) it has a very large amount of excess tax revenue (several hundred million dollars to date) that it has collected in the East King County subarea and which by law must be used in this subarea and (4) its board members and staff have recently indicated considerable interest (both publicly and in private) in providing a commuter service on the railroad.
The most immediate concern is Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) plan to sever the line at Wilburton Tunnel (just south of Wilburton Trestle) this spring in conjunction with the widening of I-405. WSDOT originally planned to keep the railroad intact while widening I-405, but was persuaded to change its mind by a powerful official who wanted the railroad scrapped. Although WSDOT claims that it would cost several tens of millions of dollars to keep the railroad intact, this figure, even if correct (and it may be exaggerated or at least very misleading), is just small change compared to the many billions being spent to widen the freeway. This penny-wise and pound-foolish plan is completely unnecessary and would be a major setback for transportation and the environment on the Eastside. Fortunately, it can be stopped if enough people protest it.
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Created January 15, 2007. Last updated February 23, 2008.
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