Just saw this letter from the City Manager's office I thought you might be interested in...huh...
April 2, 2013
message about the Cross Kirkland Corridor
Dear Community Member,
It is with great disappointment
that I share with you that the City of Kirkland was served on April 1, 2013
with a Federal lawsuit which seeks to stop the City from removing the rail
tracks and ties along the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The lawsuit was filed by
Ballard Terminal Railroad Company (“Ballard”) in Federal District Court in the
Western District of Washington. In addition to the injunction, Ballard
has filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board (“STB”)
seeking to reactivate the Eastside Rail Corridor for freight service from
Woodinville to Bellevue, WA. These actions make it necessary for the City
to carefully evaluate Ballard’s claims and to consider our legal options.
As you may be aware, the City has
hired a contractor to remove the rails to make way for an Interim Trail along
the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The removal has been anticipated to begin
this month; with construction of the Interim Trail to begin this fall. We
intend to keep with the community’s desire to allow use of the trail as soon as
possible, even if it requires us to put our plans on hold as we take time to
better understand the impacts of the lawsuit and petition.
The Cross Kirkland Corridor is 5.75
miles of the 44+ mile Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC). Apart from the
segments owned by the City of Kirkland and the City of Redmond, the ERC has
been recently acquired by King County.
It is our initial understanding
that Ballard seeks to keep Kirkland from removing the rails on our Corridor so
that freight use can be re-established. We are hopeful that the Federal
District Court will rule on the injunction case in the coming weeks and that
the STB decision regarding Ballard’s request to reactivate our Corridor as a
freight (not transit or excursion train) corridor will also be expedited.
We are confident that Kirkland will
ultimately be able to carry out our citizens’ vision for the Corridor.
However, there are many complexities to this issue and your understanding and
patience is appreciated. Updates will be released through the City’s
email notification subscriber lists and posted to the Cross Kirkland Corridor
webpage at www.kirklandwa.gov/crosskirklandcorridor.
If you have a specific question,
please send it to Pam Bissonnette, Director, Public Works Department, at
425-587-3802 or email@example.com.
City of Kirkland