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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shoreline's Trail Project - Paramount Park Needs ATTENTION!

And it is Of Paramount Importance, seriously!

Littles Creek when trail crossing
was in better shape
Over the last 20 years or more, neighbors in the Littles Creek/Paramount Park Basin have been monitoring and advocating for this "little jewel in the crown" of Shoreline's Parks. It is important for many reasons, not the least of which as one of the important "headwaters" of Thornton Creek. It contains one of the finest riparian habitats in the entire city and highest quality reaches of creek in the city as well.
There have also extensive wetland restoration efforts undertaken by citizens.

Monday night, the City Council will hear from the Trails Corridor Study Group, who'll report out the results of their work on a 2006 Parks Bond element.
This represents some $2.5 million if funding from this Bond and the outcomes include many projects.

at this point, in my book it is missing this very important element. That is addressing the trail system which exists in Paramount Park Natural Area and the extended neighborhood. 
The photo below shows the Littles Creek overcrossing during the 2007 "100 yr" storm event.
And it happens this way every year during the rainy season. 
Littles Creek Overcrossing during 2007 Storm Event
The result is that in this spot, the erosion is an ongoing problem for water quality and for the TRAIL.
Dec 2010 Shows Same Trail Crossing
with continued erosion

So what's the big deal? Well, this under appreciated trail system, created in a casual way by King County 
long ago is actually a frequently utilized path for many users, including school children, commuters, families and recreational users. Every week it is used by hundreds of pedestrians and also cyclists.
The park and detention system was created here by Forward Thrust dollars back in 1970's. It suffered from benign neglect and eventually reverted back to the wildness that makes it special.

But, neglect will no longer do! There are serious safety and water quality issues at stake here! 

There are recreational trails along this now unofficially decommissioned street system. Both NE 148th Streets and 10th Ave NE traverse this park. 
Arial Photo Shows Potential for connecting
with Jackson Park and scale of
wetland area
The potential for these trails as alternate pathways for commuters and other users was covered in the SE Subarea Planning process. Paramount Park lies at an interesting intersection between 8th and 12th Ave's NE near Park and Ride's and Bus Stops.  The State Rt on NE 145th is a "no man's land" ( and NO Womens and certainly NO KIDS ZONE) where pedestrian or bike traffic is not recommended. It is also the site of frequent traffic accidents. 

Terrible Pedestrian Conditions on NE 145th St.
Narrow sidewalk, speeding traffic,
and utility poles in center of narrow sidewalks!
So, what can be done? The Paramount Park/Littles Creek overcrossing needs a new treatment.
In the near future, it needs some gravel fill at minimum, but seriously needs a "fish passable BOX
culvert". Then all these pathways need the same kind of attention that the other locations in Shoreline received.  

I would like to see the Trail Committee stop and think about this issue before they conclude their study.
The City has spent $2.5 million. Couldn't a small portion of that have been used to examine the great potential for this crossroads of Shoreline? 

Inquiring minds want to know! 

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