Jan. 16 and Jan. 17’s Cascadia-sponsored Eastside rail forums held in Kirkland and Snohomish, were a success by any measure. More than 70 people filled the room at both sessions, with citizens spilling over into the balcony of Angel Arms Work in Snohomish on Thursday night.
News coverage was excellent, with stories in the Seattle Times (article here), and on KIRO-AM 710s Dave Ross Show. MP3 here (segment starts halfway through the recording, and you can fast forward by sliding the movable small circle on the horizontal axis to the right). The story was also covered on KBCS-FM 91.3s One World Report (MP3 here). The Everett Herald carried a supportive editorial the Sunday after the forums. Additional coverage came via two Everett Herald news articles, Seattle Times opinion columnist Lance Dickie, and the Kirkland Courier-Reporter. Several weeks later, Sound Transit showed its interest in the rail line, as reported in a follow-up story by the Seattle Times.
As those of you who attended either or both sessions will attest, the presentations by our panelists spurred a great deal of valuable, insightful conversation from the audience, which consisted of regional employers, private and public sector employees and neighbors. Each group, of course, has its own set of interests in the 42-mile corridor, but all seem united on one issue: the depth and breadth of our regions transportation problems insist that a smart, forward-looking population make the right choice for this corridor.
And as those in attendance heard, Cascadia Center continues to believe that rails and trails together is the right choice. We envision that the Eastside TRailway partnership will provide the platform for making that hope a reality.
For citizens who wonder what they can do to move the needle further on this critical issue, we recommend the following steps:
1) Contact the Port Commission and encourage them to purchase the right of way for the corridor. Write/Email: Tay Yoshitani (firstname.lastname@example.org), CEO, Port of Seattle, and make sure to cc the Port Commissioners. Mailing address: Port of Seattle, P.O. Box 1209, Seattle, WA U.S.A. 98111.
Port Commission: Bill Bryant (email@example.com), John Creighton (firstname.lastname@example.org), Patricia Davis (email@example.com), Lloyd Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org), Gael Tarleton (email@example.com).
2) Contact elected officials in Snohomish County to tell them that you want rails and trails in the corridor.
Write/Email: County Executive Aaron Reardon (firstname.lastname@example.org) and County Council member Dave Summers (email@example.com) Mailing address: Snohomish County, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. Also contact Everett City Council Member Paul Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2930 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 9A, Everett, Washington 98201. (Reardon and Roberts are also on Sound Transits board.)
3) Join the new Eastside TRailway partnership: Email Cascadia Center at: email@example.com. Put Eastside TRailway Partnership in the subject line and please share you email address, your mailing address and a phone number where we can reach you. The partnership is in the beginning stages, but we want to make sure to be in touch with those who want to be involved (either through support or organizing) going forward.