Friends of Marymoor Park

January 24, 2024 Meeting Summary

-- see also the October 25, 2023  meeting summary

  1. Welcome and Introductions:

    Greg Helland, FOMP President; Chris Jordan, Marymoor Park Administration, King County Parks; Glenn Eades, Eastside Audubon Bird Loop, neighbor;  Shai Hinitz, MAR/C; Michael Hobbs, Marymoor Bird Survey, FOMP Secretary; Angie Heyer, Seattle Event Solutions; and Liz Matson, Morgan Calder, and Annie Pfeifer present virtually to present a status update on the Lake Hills/NW Lake Sammamish Sewer Upgrade Program.

  2. Lake Hills/NW Lake Sammamish Sewer Upgrade Program:

    Overview: King County Wastewater Treatment Division owns operates maintains sewer services for 1.9 million people.  There are 34 local sewer agencies that feed sewage into the WTD main pipe system.
    This project will be upgrading 4.5 miles of WTD sewer pipes in Redmond, feeding to the line leading to Brightwater.  The new pipe should last for 50 years or more.

    The sewer route starts south of Marymoor, and running north to West Lake Sammamish Parkway.  Once there, the pipe runs under the Sammamish River Trail, therefore running along the entire west edge of Marymoor Park.

    Most of the work will be performed using open-cut ditching, but the portion under the entrance to Marymoor will be done by tunneling.  The ditching method involves clearing (and removing trees from) for 30-45 feet feet either side of the pipe.  Trees will be replaced: 1-1 for very small trees, 3-1 for trees larger than 6” in diameter.  They will plant a variety of trees.

    Of particular interest to Marymoor is the construction of a new sidewalk along the north side of the entrance bridge that will meet up with the Marymoor Connector Trail at its east end.

    During construction, there will be significant closures of the Sammamish River Trail along the west side of the park.  This will involve three intermittent closures over the 3-year construction window.  Work will be completed in sections and may not be consecutive.  Detours will be provided and required.  When necessary, from Leary Way to SR-520, southbound bicycles will be detoured onto a temporary path along the edge of, separated from traffic by a barrier, while the sidewalk along WSLP will be used as a mixed use trail for pedestrians and for northbound bicycle traffic.  From SR-520 to the entrance to Marymoor, all SRT traffic will be directed onto the sidewalk along WLSP.

    Greg asked about the new sidewalk into the park; Are there improvements to the bridge that is mid-way through the sidewalk?  The pedestrian path on the bridge is a large step up above the bridge, and too narrow for pedestrians and especially for wheelchairs.  WTD will get back to FOMP with an answer to that later.

    The project timeline has slipped again.  The new timeline shows project design complete and construction beginning in 2026, with completion not until 2029.  The current next steps are to acquire necessary permits and use of easements, followed by hiring contractors in 2026.

  3. Marymoor Parking Program:

    Based on significant feedback from MAR/C members, Shai brought up that the parking fee of $100/year or $1/day is very high for non-wealthy park users (and very significantly high compared to things like the National Park system or the state Discover Pass).  He suggested that park user groups to be able to sell discounted annual passes (for, say, $30 annually).

    Chris stated that it would not fly at the County level to have the organized user group members get a huge discount.  It would be a privilege not available to those who visit the park but who don't have an affiliation with a Park User Group.  It was pointed out that most people who come to the park 30+ times per year probably do have a Park User Group that they could work with.

    Angie suggested two-tier; one price for an annual non-event pass, and $100 for an annual+event pass.

    Michael asked about the relationship between annual non-event pass revenue and annual maintenance on the parking lots. 

    Shai pointed out that there are two goals for the parking fees; generate revenue AND discouraging cut-through traffic.

    Chris reported that non-event parking fees generate $700K annually.  FOMP asked for a breakdown of how many 3-month, 6-month, and annual passes, including a breakdown of how many are purchased directly as opposed to through SODA and SRA.

    The extremely high price for a parking pass at Marymoor remains something that irks many, many park users.

  4. Event Signage for Marymoor:

    Historically, Parks has deployed A-Boards ("sandwich boards") and posted non-standard signage on them.  On average, there would be approximately 6 A-Boards at any major intersection along Marymoor Way.

    Parks would like to install a semi-permanent signage system that will:
    1. Improve inter-Park guidance for vehicular traffic
    2. Reduce sign pollution and proliferation
    3. Lessen the time spent by staff on sign dispersal
    4. Align with King County Parks 2019 Sign Manual Standards
    5. Comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

    Their proposed solution is to install sign post sleeves secured in the ground by concrete that sits 1" below the soil surface.  Signposts will be placed in within these sleeves, and each post will have an 18"x24" sign with ~3 directive messages.  Each post will only have one sign fixed to it.  In seasons where the signage is no longer needed, the posts will be removed from the sleeves and stored in the Maintenance Yard.

    Sleeves to accommodate sign posts would be installed in 20+ locations, but many/most would not have a sign at any given time.  For example, concerts would only use around 10 signs and sleeves, and the rest would only be used if there were other near-simultaneous events in the park.  Likewise, when nothing is happening at the Event Pad, the Event Pad parking signs would be removed.

    This proposal was well-received by attendees.

  5. CIP/Project/Facility Updates:

    a.    Eastside Audubon Birdloop: Good turnout – 20+ volunteers in January, and February looks promising too.    The southern end of the meadow is still vexing EAS due to the persistence of the European Hawthorns.  They are going to make an even bigger effort to control these. 

    b.    Marymoor Community Gardens: No report, but there is a waiting list for plots.  Chris would like to know if the waiting list still has spots.

    c.    R/C Field (MAR/C): 2024 flying season underway.  January 22 ground breaking ceremony on their project, though the ground breaking was made significantly more difficult by the weather.  Working carefully to make sure the impervious surface area remains below the critical threshold; costs skyrocket if they exceed the limits.  They are also under time constraints due to the nearby Osprey nest.

    d.    Off-leash area (SODA): No report.  But Michael raised the issue that SODA seems to be doing more and more work, and bigger and bigger efforts, to limit wear in the Dog Area.  His concern is that putting down more gravel in more places may not be appropriate, or the best choice, or possibly not even legal.  Generally, SODA has had a relatively free hand to manage the Dog Area to the best of their ability, but they work without any approved plan.  Given that much of the Dog Area is a wetland, this is problematic.

    e.    Cascade Mountain Collective (Concert venue): There will probably be 20 concerts this year, though their wish would be closer to 25.  Very few are already announced.

    f.    Maintenance: The Art Barn got severely flooded due to frozen pipes in the ceiling.  They have pretty much gutted the building and are awaiting funding for a rebuild.  Lighting project for Lot A near Clise Mansion well underway.  The project has been delayed by weather, and by the damage to the Art Barn.  Vandalism and graffiti are also a continuing problem.  Soccer field lighting will come later in 2024.

    g.    Events Update:  Chris has a calendar coming, but he did list a couple of items that will be on it.  The Festival of Color will be in 2 sessions, both on March 23rd.  This event had huge numbers of people, this year capped at 3500 each session.  Also, Parks has been approached by the LPGA to provide parking for a Sahalee tournament.  Concerts have priority on the parking, so it would only happen if the time slot works.  Cirque de Soleil is probably coming next winter.

    h.    Cricket:  Nothing has shifted since November that anyone has heard.  Shai suggests that, given that we’ve had park user feedback, it is time to try to get time on the KC Council agenda.

    i.    Capital Site Planning: Traffic and Parking survey coming.  Greg had planned to make some comments on past documents, but hasn’t had time to do that.  Chris encouraged him that it’s not too late for it.  Greg talked about a survey out to park users to get feedback on the “competing” mission statements.  FOMP feels there should be a revised vision for the park that integrates and reconciles the 1995 Master Plan with the revenue plans that were part and parcel of putting park levies to the voters in the early 2000s.
    Next meeting Wednesday, February 28th 2024

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These notes 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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