While the progress on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST) was temporarily halted due to a stop work order by the City of Sammamish, we are happy to report that a ruling by the United States District Court has come out in King County’s favor and will allow us to resume work on this iconic trail!
For those of you wondering what all the hubbub was about, here’s a recap:
- King County Parks and the City of Sammamish disagreed on the placement of stop signs at two intersections (206th Ave SE and SE 33rd Street, within South Segment A). King County believes the stop signs should face the cars, while the City believes the stop signs should face the trail (by state law, cars would have to stop anyway when anyone steps or rides into the crosswalk).
- On June 16, 2017 the City issued a stop work order for construction at both intersections.
- On August 8, 2017 United States District Court granted King County the right to proceed with construction in the intersections of 206th Ave SE and SE 33rd Street with the stop signs facing the cars.
- The courts upheld that King County has exclusive use, possession and control of the corridor, as trail sponsor under the National Trails Act, unless there is a superior property right.
What does all this mean?
Basically, for safety reasons, King County wants cars to stop for bikes, since the projected volume of cyclists and pedestrians using the trail will greatly outnumber the limited amount of vehicular traffic once the trail is paved and reopened for use.
The City of Sammamish disagreed, wanting trail walkers, cyclists, stroller moms, rollerbladers, and others to stop for cars. The court ruling supports King County’s ownership and right to make the decision.
So, great. Now when will the trail be done?
Parks anticipates completion of the intersections by the end of the month. While the stop work order did delay trail construction, we are quickly getting back up to speed and anticipate that substantial completion of the ELST South Sammamish Segment A will finish ahead of schedule.
Parks anticipates that Segment A of the trail will be open to the public in mid-November and anticipates a fall ribbon cutting – stay tuned for more details. We hope you’ll attend!
We’re excited to make another step forward in this 11-mile-long trail that is an essential connection in what will be the 44-mile-long “Locks to Lake Corridor”. Once complete, visitors will be able to travel from Puget Sound all the way to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.