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Trail Along the Rail

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LAST UPDATED:  July 10, 2019

Feasibility Study Final Report

In 2016, the City of Shoreline began a feasibility study to evaluate a possible 2.5 mile long shared-use path that would run roughly parallel to future light rail in Shoreline. The analysis continued into 2017, and the final Trail Along the Rail Feasibility Report has been completed.  This report includes:

  • The preferred alignment.
  • A near-term continuous pedestrian/bicycle route and the long-term vision.
  • Connections to key destinations such as future light rail stations, the library, parks, schools, and the surrounding transportation network.
  • Regional trail system potential.
  • A phased implementation approach.
  • The study process and next steps.

What Happens Next

It is anticipated that the trail will be implemented in phases. Many strategic trail segments could be completed in the near future in the City right-of-way or in conjunction with the light rail construction. The City has been working closely with Sound Transit to identify portions of the right-of-way that could accommodate a trail, and many segments are feasible. At this time, Council has given no direction for property acquisition for the trail project. In areas where topography or property challenges are present, on-street connections (referred to as alternate routes early in the study) will be used to connect gaps in the trail until a time when the greater vision of a continuous trail may be achieved.

Design development and environmental review of strategic trail segments, which could be implemented in the near future, is expected to begin in 2019. Project staff will actively pursue funding in the 2019/2020 funding cycle. More details will be developed and shared with the public during the project's next phase.

Open House Held March 15, 2017

An open house was held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 to share preliminary findings from the feasibility study. The project team presented the Draft Feasibility Study Trail Alignment with alternative routes.  This color-coded map illustrated: 

  • The relative degree of ease to construct segments of the trail.
  • Segments where trail might be developed in conjunction with Sound Transit light rail construction.
  • Pinch points (due to challenges such as steep topography, right-of-way constraints, and/or uncertainty of the final Sound Transit light rail alignment) where the trail could be redirected to the local street network.

When redirected to the local street network, improvements such as pedestrian pathways, speed humps, pavement markings, and signage may be used to better accommodate pedestrian and bicycle movements.  Please see the Alternative Route via Local Street Network Toolkit for examples of low cost treatments.

Following are materials from the open house:

  • Presentation.  This presentation was shared at the open house and gives an overview of the study and its findings to date.
  • Draft Feasibility Study Trail Alignment.  This pdf consists of three pages.  The first shows the entire trail corridor. The 2nd and 3rd pages break the corridor into north and south sections in order to provide a little more detail. 
  • Display Boards.  These boards were displayed at the open house and include information on trail networks, existing corridor photos, various trail cross-sections, and schedule.

   Various cross sections that may be used along the trail           
Illustration of trail under the light rail alignment. Illustration of trail next to a raised light rail alignment. Illustration of trail next to the roadway. Illustration of trail shared by maintenance.
In some locations, the
trail could be located
under the Lynnwood Link Extension (LLE) guideway.
In other locations, the
trail could be located adjacent to the LLE
transit wall.
Where a roadway closely parallels the LLE (e.g. 5th Avenue as it approaches
the 185th Street station),
the roadway could
be retrofitted to incorporate a trail on its west side.
In some locations, a maintenance access road could double as a shared-use path.
Illustration of on street connection. Illustration of another option for on-street connections.
Where there are physical challenges, such as steep topography or right-of-way pinch points, the trail may be redirected to the local street network. There are a range of options for creating
on-street connections.



Image of map illustrating pedestrian and bicycle connection routes.
 Pedestrian and Bike Connections

Development of light rail through the City of Shoreline presents a unique and rare opportunity. The City is looking at the possibility of building a shared-use path running roughly parallel to the light rail alignment through Shoreline.

Located on the east side of I-5, the shared-use path would run from N 145th Street to NE 195th Street. It would enhance pedestrian and bicycle access to the planned Shoreline South/145th and Shoreline North/185th light rail stations, as well as connect to the NE 195th Street pedestrian bridge over I-5. In addition, the shared-use path could connect to local streets, parks, open spaces, and schools within the neighborhoods adjacent to the light rail alignment.

Similar to the Interurban Trail, the “Trail Along the Rail” could serve as Shoreline’s segment of a potential regional pedestrian/bicycle network that could ultimately connect cities along the Lynnwood Link Extension (LLE) light rail alignment from Seattle all the way to Everett.