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Abandoned rail line may become an Eastside bike trail

By Ashley Gross

The dream of a bike trail stretching from Renton to Woodinville has moved one step closer to a reality. The Port of Seattle commission today voted to approve a $15 million sale of former rail land to King County.

Bike enthusiasts are excited about King County acquiring the land. They hope that after this sale goes through, the county in a few years will be able to build the bike trail. Cynthia Welti is executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, which has advocated for the rails to trails project. She says this stretch from Renton to Woodinville will meet an important need.

"We have several strong East-West connections, the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trail along I-90 and the Burke-Gilman Trail, but we lack good strong North-South connections," Welti said.

After this trail is done, bicyclists will eventually be able to make a loop over the new 520 bridge over Lake Washington through Seattle and back on the I-90 trail. Under the rails to trails agreement, if there’s ever a need to create another rail line along the route, the land will be available for that as well.

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