”Creating Connections” solidifies strategy for the “corridor for the ages”
The Metropolitan King County Council today accepted a report from the regional panel that is developing the recommendations that will guide the creation of the Eastside Rail Corridor.
The Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Council (RAC), created to establish a framework for a collaborative, regional planning process for the corridor that would ensure the implementation of the shared multi-use vision, presented to the Council “Creating Connections: Recommendations on the Eastside Rail Corridor from the Regional Advisory Council.”
“The Regional Advisory Council has reached a milestone and affirmed future collaboration on this ‘corridor for the ages,’” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, the prime sponsor of the motion. “It is great to have the partners and owners engaged and we look forward to public involvement along the way.”
“Carrying out a shared, collaborative regional vision for the Eastside Rail Corridor is key to making the most out of this once-in-a-generation opportunity,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips, a co-sponsor of the motion. “The Regional Advisory Council report, with the cooperation and backing of all the corridor’s owners, is the blueprint for that shared vision.”
“The Eastside Rail Corridor is a wonderful and versatile asset belonging to all the people of King County. It will be enjoyed by so many people,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who with Hague and Phillips, represent the County Council on the RAC. “I am impressed by this report and the collaborative work of the cities and county. This is another step in the process of bringing the ERC rail/trail to reality for many generations to come.”
The report presented to the Council outlines what the RAC recommends as the future use of the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC), the 42-mile rail line that extends from Renton to Snohomish, passing through Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, Redmond, and portions of unincorporated King County.
The report outlines the long-term vision for the ERC. It cites that the development of the corridor will enhance the mobility of our region, including the creation of a critical north-south transportation corridor that will allow for multimodal connections, including high-capacity transit (e.g., heavy rail, light rail, or other forms of fixed guide way transportation) and non-motorized trail use.
The corridor will also help integrate the pieces of the larger transportation networks, enable key utility improvements to help meet the demands of a growing population. Additionally, it will expand the recreation network, creating equitable access for all residents, and benefiting generations of Puget Sound residents.
RAC members also developed a detailed set of recommendations that include working together on a long-term approach for shared regional policy frameworks, guidelines for planning together, collaboration on federal and state agendas, and enlisting community support.
In early 2013, the five owners of the Eastside Rail Corridor first met as the ERC Regional Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC includes representatives of each of the ERC owners: three County Councilmembers, the County Executive, Redmond Mayor, Kirkland Mayor, Sound Transit CEO, and a representative from Puget Sound Energy.
The report accepted by the Council today was unanimously approved by the RAC at its meeting on October 29, 2013.