Northwest NEWS

October 11, 1999


Ten-foot trail too narrow for pedestrians, horses

   The "ReLeaf" tree-planting project along the Sammamish River is a perfect example of our ongoing fish-over-people mentality.

   For decades, King County has owned a 50'-to-100' trail right-of-way on the west bank of the Sammamish River. It was purchased for one purpose: to relieve the overcrowded east-bank Sammamish River Trail. The intention was to allow pedestrians on both sides of the river, with cyclists on the east bank and equestrians on the west bank.

   After reading that "ReLeaf" tree planting includes the west bank by the Redhook Brewery, I called the King County "ReLeaf" spokesman to see whether the tree planters are remembering that a major recreation trail is intended along the west bank and how much unplanted area will be allocated for that trail.

   The answer was: ten feet. Ten feet for people and 40-to-90 feet for fish. It doesn't take much imagination to visualize the problems with a couple of pedestrians on a 10' trail with horses converging from both directions and heavy brush and trees on one side and a steep river bank on the other.

   Sammamish River Trail users should call King County Executive Ron Sims and their Council members to voice their concerns.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville