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April 8, 2013 at 6:11 AM
Ballard Terminal Railroad has no standing
We in Kirkland expect the city will prevail quickly in the frivolous federal lawsuit filed by Ballard Terminal Railroad which has no business whatsoever with the city of Kirkland [“Railroad files lawsuit to block Kirkland’s removal of tracks,” NWFriday, April 5]. That private company has no legal standing and the case is without merit.
BNSF Railway wisely sold the railway, and Ballard Terminal Railroad did not buy it, because they knew that it no longer had economic value for freight. If it did, they would have clearly been happy to run their trains on it as that is their business.
A private company has no standing to require that myriad public owners that purchased the railway be forced to maintain and secure it for the that single private company’s profit that conflicts with the legal owner’s plans that will benefit the community who paid for it.
Ballard Terminal Railroad should be ashamed of itself for wasting taxpayer dollars by pursuing this litigation.
David Wall, Kirkland
March 20, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Maintain rail link
Lance Dickie’s Friday column provides a look at long-range thinking versus short-term thinking [“Putting the pedal to the metal,” Opinion, March 15].
The Eastside Trailways Alliance is thinking long range, as BNSF and Sound Transit should have done. Kirkland’s city manager needs to wise up and realize the value of leaving the tracks in place, rather than wasting considerable time and material ripping out a piece of the existing Eastside rail corridor and thereby throwing away the Bellevue to Snohomish rail link. Think about the possibilities for commuters who live in the North King and South Snohomish suburbs and work at Microsoft or Google!
–Peter Hawley, Covington
March 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Don’t eliminate link between north and south ends of Kirkland
I would like to add my voice to those who do not want to see the important rail link between the north and south end of Kirkland removed at this time [“Putting the pedal to the metal,” Opinion, March 15].
I support a multimodal corridor on the Eastside, which should include commuter rail. The Kirkland rail section is vital for future commuter-rail connectivity along the Eastside and in the region.
Rails and trails have been shown to coexist in other places and Kirkland residents will use the rail for commuting and the trail for bicycling and walking. A good example of this shared use is the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART Transit) now being built in San Francisco’s North Bay.
Now is the time to preserve the tracks and add a trail for future commuter use. The growth of Google in Kirkland will encourage more growth in traffic. These traffic impacts can be mitigated by use of rail and trail with a station planned at the Google campus, since the rail corridor currently passes through it. Commuter rail and trail can provide seamless connections with existing bus transit.
–Stephanie Weber, Kirkland
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