Friends of Marymoor Park

April 25th, 2007 Meeting Summary

-- see also the February 28, 2007 meeting summary

1) Attendees: Norah Gaynor, Herb Bone, Jack McKinnon, Christina Merten, Greg Helland, Michael Hobbs, and a team from the Marymoor Connector Trail team: K.K. Soi, Glenn Takagi, Robert Foxworthy, and a woman whose name I didn't catch.

2) Marymoor Connector Trail draft proposal

The Trails Team considered many possible routings, including using the road, running the trail along the west and south edges of the historic district, or using the existing trail. Finally, they chose three routes to pursue further: Northern, Central, and Southern.

Due to projected problems with permitting, due to wetlands issues, the Northern route was quickly dropped from consideration. This alignment would have run along the southern edge of SR-520. Just east of the turf fields is a mitigation wetland that would have to be crossed on this alignment, and that was the major impediment to this route, although wetlands in the northwest corner of Marymoor would also be difficult to get permission to cross.

The two remaining routes share endpoints: to the west, the new bridge over the Sammamish River north of the main park entrance; to the east, a trail easement next to the self-storage company just east of the park, to the east of the model airplane field.

Routings, from East to West: For both routings, the trail would connect to the East Lake Sammamish Trail immediately south of the self-storage facility on the 5300 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway, running on an easement across that property, and would enter the park due east of the driveway to the new maintenance facility. An elevated trail section would be necessary to traverse some wetlands just inside the park boundary. The trail would pass between the model airplane field and the new maintenance facility, and then would hug the south edge of Marymoor Way to a point about 250 feet west of the model airplane field parking lot.

Central routing: At that location, the trial would cross Marymoor Way and would follow the north edge of the road. The trail would cut north along the drive that leads due north from Marymoor Way towards the Climbing Rock. At the end of the drive, the trail would turn 90 degrees to the west, crossing the access to the Velodrome parking lot and the access to the Event Pad. It would continue to the west, generally following the north side of Marymoor Way, crossing the two accesses to parking lot K (the lot for the turf fields and tennis courts. About 750 feet east of the main entrance bridge, the trail would swing away from Marymoor Way to the north to connect to the recently constructed pedestrian bridge over the river and its connection to the Sammamish River Trail.

Southern routing: From that spot 250 feet west of the model airplane parking lot, the trail would ease south, cutting through what are now the dirt/compost piles east of the Interpretive Lot. The trail would cross the access roads to that lot and would hug the south edge of the Natural Growth Protection Area (a.k.a. Snag Row) as it passes the Interpretive Lot, the northern section of the Dog Area, the Pet Memorial Gardens, and the Community Gardens (Pea Patch). The trail would then cross Pea Patch Road before turning north and running along the western and northern edges of the historic district and crossing the entrance to the Mansion area parking lots. At the existing crosswalk, about 750 feet east of the main entrance bridge, the trail would cross Marymoor Way and would run north to connect to the recently constructed pedestrian bridge over the river and its connection to the Sammamish River Trail.

Trail Design: The trail would generally have a 25-27 foot wide corridor, with a paved trail of 12 feet. The remainder of the corridor would consist of unpaved path surfaces (for jogging and possibly equestrian use) and safety zones. In some places, in order to deal with grade issues, retaining walls and fill would be needed.

Issues and Concerns: Some of these were raised by the design team, others by FOMP members.

Either Route:

  • Herb brought aerial photos to show the overfly area of the model airplane field. A disabled airplane crashing into a trail user would be very bad. To avoid the overfly area and safety zone, Herb asserted that the trail would have to be routed on the north side of the new maintenance facility. The trails folks proposed simply hugging the south side of the maintenance facility tightly, and swinging the trail towards the north edge of the park to the east of the maintenance facility.

  • Christina raised the general concern that this trail is viewed as enhancing the park by providing new recreational opportunities. However, if poorly sited or designed, it might do so at the expense of existing park usages.

Central Route:

  • This route would have one road crossing (Marymoor Way) and four parking-lot access crossings.

  • Major events at the Event Pad would conflict with trail use, as parking for those events is in Lot B, with additional parking near the Bellevue ball fields area. Event attendees would have to cross the trail from Lot B; they might be able to skirt the trail from the overflow parking, but car traffic would have to cross the trail to get to/from the overflow parking area.

  • There are more wetland buffer infringements on the Central Route than the Southern Route.

Southern Route:

  • This route would have two road crossings (Marymoor Way and Pea Patch Rd.) and three parking-lot access crossings.

  • Parking lot G (the Interpretive Lot) would have to be widened, and maybe lengthened to the west, in order to provide the same number of parking spaces. Both of these would infringe on the Dog Area.

  • The northern section of the Pet Memorial Garden would have to be rebuilt to accommodate the trail.

  • The corridor would “eat into” the Pea Patch, and Jack and Christine pointed out that the Pea Patch is not something that can easily be “moved” 10 feet south. There are irrigation systems involved. There is no room to grow to the south except by taking space from the Dog Area. To keep plot sizes constant, paths would need to be converted into plot space and plot space converted into paths, which is not easy to do because of the effort needed to enrich soils for planting.

  • The Dog Area is not the best place for a trail, as dogs and bicycles are not a safe combination. There would need to be tall fencing to prevent dogs from attacking bicycles.

  • Concerts would cause significant trail conflict, as the trail would run between the parking area and the event area. Temporary fencing might be needed to prevent people from wandering across the trail en route to/from the concert. Traffic control would be necessary to manage the flood of people crossing the trail at the designated spots. A path would need to be maintained between Fields 12-16 and the Community Gardens. Policing would be necessary to prevent trail users from stopping to listen to concerts for free.

  • It was strongly asserted by FOMP members that most of the traffic within the park heads to the Dog Area parking lot and the Interpretive Lot (lots B and G). Thus, the crossing of Pea Patch Rd. and the throat to the Interpretive Lot would be more contested than the crossings to the Velodrome Lot and the Tennis Court Lot (lot K). Also, as most traffic comes in through the west entrance, having the trail cross Marymoor Way just east of the entrance bridge would be much worse than crossing that road near the model airplane field.


  • Greg argued to combine the trail with a rebuild of the road into a single project. Marymoor Way needs some major maintenance. He asserted that most of the users of the trail would be bicycles, and they could be accommodated by adding bike lanes to the road. Possibly, bicycles could be directed to these bike lanes, while pedestrians were directed to a new, pedestrian-only trail routed separately. The trail team presented several arguments against this approach.

  • The Central Route would bring visitors within close proximity of restrooms and concessions. It would increase the visibility of the velodrome to bicycle riders, who might be interested in events there. It would provide a commuting route to sports fields, the velodrome, and the climbing rock (whereas few people would be likely to try bicycling to the park with their dogs to use the Dog Area).

Arguments ran fairly strongly in favor of Central Route. However, meeting attendees strongly represented user groups located in areas effected by the Southern Route. It would be great to hear comments and concerns from user groups that use the parts of the park affected by the Central Route. All park users and park user groups are requested to send route preference notes and comments to Norah (

The May FOMP meeting will be an official Marymoor Connector Trail Public Meeting at Clise Mansion.

3) Parks Task Force Update

Michael reported that the King County Parks Futures Task Force had recommended to levies to the King County Executive.  One would be a 7 cent levy, with 5.3 cents going to maintenance and 1.7 cents covering projected shortfalls in CIP money (capital funds),  The second levy would be for 5 cents, and would be for trails and open-space acquisition and development, and would include 1 cent for the Woodland Park Zoo.

Executive Ron Simms modified this proposal before sending it to KC Council.  He asked for two 5-cent levies, with the idea that the CIP shortfall could be covered some other way.

The Parks and Open Space committee of the KC Council has apparently again adjusted the proposal.  However, regardless of what appears on the August ballot, it appears that there is strong council support for restoring parks maintenance levels to pre-2002 standards or higher.

4) Project Updates

  • Baseball field should be open in the next few days
  • Dog Wash will begin preliminary work next week.
  • The Marymoor Community Gardeners Association will be probably be submitting a grant request to FOMP soon.

5) Event Recap

  • Concert Series was announced 4/15 – see the concert website,

 Next meeting, May 23, 2007.

These notes were made by Greg Helland, and they do not constitute an official record of the meeting.  They may have inaccuracies and omissions.  If anyone has any complaints about the content of these notes, they should direct them to Michael Hobbs at, and he will endeavor to correct them.


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