City to fill gap in Interurban Trail

LYNNWOOD – Jordan McCallum dislikes dodging traffic perhaps more than the average bike rider.

McCallum was hit by a car one day on 196th Street SW.

“I was OK,” said McCallum, who rides his bike to work in Lynnwood every day along the Interurban Trail from his home in Seattle. He rides part of the way on Lynnwood city streets.

“It’s just Lynnwood. I think people don’t really care about bikers,” he said.

McCallum was happy to hear the city plans to help keep bike riders, joggers and walkers off the streets by filling in a gap in the Interurban Trail, a paved trail that runs intermittently from Seattle to Everett.

The $3.9 million project includes building a pedestrian bridge from one end of the trail, at the Lynnwood Park and Ride lot at 202nd Street SW and 44th Avenue W., over 44th Avenue W. and a southbound I-5 onramp.

The bridge would land on the other side of 44th near I-5. The trail would then be built another couple blocks until it meets up with the current trail at 200th Street SW and 40th Avenue W.

Currently, northbound trail users who reach the park-and-ride have to detour along 44th about a block to 200th and cross one of Lynnwood’s busier intersections. Then they must move along 200th for about another quarter-mile to the trail at 40th.

The city hopes to build the bridge and trail extension in 2008, city engineer Jeff Elekes said.

The city is working with a Seattle firm on the design and to find the least expensive way to build.

The city is about $1 million short of the money it needs for the project and is applying for grants, Elekessaid.

Lynnwood’s only other missing trail link is farther south at 208th Street SW and 52nd Avenue W., a gap of about two blocks, Elekes said. The trail is interrupted there by those streets, but they are in a residential area and aren’t nearly as busy as 44th and 200th, Elekes said. No plans are in the works to connect the trail there, he said.

Plans for the bridge over 44th Avenue W. have been on the books for 10 years but the city didn’t come close to having the money to build until it received a $1.75 million federal grant in 2004, Elekes said.

The city has heard from many trail users who’d like to see the connection, Elekes said.

Praise for the idea isn’t universal.

“I don’t like those kinds of bridges,” said Irene Coffman of Lynnwood, who occasionally uses the trail. “It’s not that hard to get over there,” she said of the detour around 44th. “I think it’s a waste of money.”

The vast majority of comments the city has received have been positive, Elekes said.

Residents will have a chance to comment on the trail plans at an open house Oct. 24 on the Lynnwood City Center project. That plan proposes to transform Lynnwood near I-5 into a mid-rise downtown.

The open house is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th Street SW.

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or

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