Sent: Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 4:15 PM
Cc: Larry Leveen; FT-SCHEUERMAN_Stuart
Subject: Edgewood's Interurban Trail
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of the Tacoma Washington Bicycle Club to support the Interurban Trail Phase III (Jovita Canyon) project submitted for consideration under PSRC’s 2021 Transportation Alternatives Program.
This Interurban Trail is of significant regional importance. It connects multiple cities, through dense residential and commercial areas along the original Puget Sound Electric Railway that helped these places become established and grow in the early 20th century. The north section of the trail extends 24 miles between Everett and Seattle through the communities of Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds, and Lynnwood. The approximately 19-mile south section of the trail connects the cities of Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona, and Pacific, with two unattached segments in Edgewood and Milton that follow the old railway corridor toward Fife and Tacoma. The City of Milton is in the process of constructing their missing link of the Interurban Trail, from S. 380th Street in King County to Edgewood’s existing segment in Pierce County, about one-half mile in length. They have obtained $50,000 in federal dollars, secured $150,000 from King County Parks, and anticipate completion in 2023.
The Interurban Trail provides commuters with a non-motorized option, with many using the trail to bike to work. It provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike who use the trail for walking, biking, jogging and other non-motorized activities. The construction of Edgewood’s missing link will provide for a much safer transportation network by completing a missing east-west active transportation network connection. Users will be able to stay off Jovita Boulevard, a busy arterial roadway traversing a narrow canyon with limited sight distance and narrow shoulders.
Edgewood’s current request is for design of their missing link, connecting their existing segment to the City of Pacific’s portion of the trail. This project has vast public support and has been planned for in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan, and Capital Improvement Plan. Edgewood is willing and prepared to carry out the project and has the ability for the funding to be obligated within the required time period.
My Club and I have been advocating for Pierce County’s trail development for over thirty years. We have seen so much positive progress since the original ISTEA program administered by the PSRC. We participated in the original feasibility study with Edgewood and we know it will be challenging to design and build the missing link, but it is time to complete the network.
Director of Community and Government Relations
Tacoma Washington Bicycle Club
December 1, 2021