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Trail Coalition elects officers; gets update from county parks

From left, Betty Bauer, Patty Garrett, Pat Skipley, Chuck Randall, Beth Hill and Erik Tillman were elected the 2007 officers of the Snohomish-Arlington Trail Coalition at the coalitions regular quarterly meeting March 5. Randall is president, Tillman is vice president, Skipley is secretary, Bauer is treasurer, Garrett represents bikers and Hill represents equestrians on the coalition, which has worked since the 1980s to complete the Centennial Trail from Snohomish north to the Skagit County line. -
From left, Betty Bauer, Patty Garrett, Pat Skipley, Chuck Randall, Beth Hill and Erik Tillman were elected the 2007 officers of the Snohomish-Arlington Trail Coalition at the coalitions regular quarterly meeting March 5. Randall is president, Tillman is vice president, Skipley is secretary, Bauer is treasurer, Garrett represents bikers and Hill represents equestrians on the coalition, which has worked since the 1980s to complete the Centennial Trail from Snohomish north to the Skagit County line.
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ARLINGTON If all goes as Marc Krandel hopes, the north section of the Centennial Trail will go out to bid at the end of this year for construction in 2008.
The process has been much smoother for this next portion of the trail, said Krandel, senior parks planner for Snohomish County as he gave an update on the status of the completion of the trail project which was launched by the Arlington-Snohomish Trail Coalition in the 1980s.
The first section from Snohomish to Lake Stevens was relatively easy but the mid section from Lake Stevens to 152nd Street south of Arlington took more than 10 years to finish.
These linear parks are a challenge, Krandel said.
But we have had no problems with the Corps of Engineers on this round, Krandel told the coalition members. The corps supervises impacts on wetlands and fisheries for the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Ecology.
As cyclists, equestrians, skaters and pedestrians use the now 17-mile trail from Snohomish to Arlington, regular users eagerly await the completion of an unfinished section from 152nd to 172nd streets in south Arlington and north Marysville, as well as the final section north of Arlington.
Krandel said that he is working on engineering the challenging section from 152nd to 172nd, which was not completed with the mid section because of wetland issues.
Krandel said the neighborhood has been informed that the former railroad right-of-way does belong to the county, and that engineering is underway, but no funds are available for construction. Phase two, north of Arlington, on the other had, is entirely funded.
An avid equestrian who lives south of Arlington and who hoped that Arlington would find a way to bring horses through town, Beth Hill reported to the group that she has almost accepted the fact that there is no real good option for bringing horses through town. Arlingtons portion of the trail from 172nd Street north to 204th is essentially a wide sidewalk and would not be appropriate for horses, and other options would take horse riders way out of the way.
We looked at a lot of different options and none are very good, Hill said.
The good news, Krandel said, is that the new parks director, Tom Telgem is very enthusiastic about opening the Whitehorse Trail at least to Trafton.
If we can get that portion done, than horse people will have access to a nice long north of town, he said.
The county plans to restore the barn at the north trailhead just a few hundred feet from the Skagit County line, near Lake McMurray.
The trail coalition announced they had purchased bike racks and one, which was paid for by the Downtown Arlington Merchants has been installed on the trail at Fifth Street in downtown. Two more will be installed at Legion Park with the park project is completed, reports Sarah Hegge from the city of Arlington. There are also bike racks located in the plaza of City Hall.
Krandel also reported that King County has acquired the rail line from Renton north to Snohomish and the Puget Sound Regional Council is considering options for that route.
If the Centennial Trail were extended on that rail line to Bothell and Woodinville, cyclists would have access to the Burke-Gilman Trail into Seattle and the Lake Sammamish Trail on the east side of Lake Washington all the way to Issaquah, with potential connections to the John Wayne Trail through Snoqualmie Pass.

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