Marysville works on dedicated trail for city’s east side

MARYSVILLE — Although it’s down the road a ways, walkers and bike riders can look forward to a straight, auto-free stretch ahead of them.

The city is acquiring land for what will be its first trail that’s not in a city park. When completed, the trail will span a three-mile stretch near the eastern edge of Marysville.

The city is working on buying enough land to build the continuous trail west of 83rd Avenue NE, running north-south between 88th Street NE and Soper Hill Road. The trail will run alongside Snohomish County PUD power lines.

The goal is to have much or all of the northern half, between 88th Street NE and 64th Street NE, open by 2009 and start work on the southern part in 2010, city parks director Jim Ballew said.

The first of the two phases is estimated to cost about $740,000, he said. The paved trail will include occasional picnic tables, benches and drinking fountains. A cost estimate has yet to be developed for the southern half.

Money has come from developers, private donations and state and national grants, he said.

The city has heard from many bike riders and walkers who feel they don’t have enough sidewalks and trails that keep them safe from autos, City Councilwoman Carmen Rasmussen said.

“The more bike and pedestrian paths we can provide, the better,” she said.

The city currently has 11 miles of recreation trails within parks and striped bike lanes on streets, but no standalone trails.

The city was recently given a parcel slightly larger than a half-acre where the corridor meets 75th Street NE. The grassy area, with an asphalt path already installed, was donated by WCD Development of Bowen Island, B.C. It will eventually provide access to the trail at that point, Ballew said.

So far, the city has acquired 90 percent of the property for the northern half and is negotiating with property owners to buy the rest, Ballew said. The city has bought about 60 percent of the property for the trail from 64th Street NE to Soper Hill Road.

There’s another reason the trails are a good idea, Rasmussen said.

“It kind of goes along with our Healthy Communities project,” she said.

Healthy Communities is a national movement to promote healthy living through efforts such as adding parks, walking paths and community gardens and encouraging good nutrition.

Marysville was the first city in the county to sign up. This summer, the city’s parks and recreation department added low-cost programs to encourage physical activity by children and adults.

Volunteers are working on a variety of other projects, too, such as developing community gardens, adding trails and streets that are connected for bicycling, and developing a meal program for seniors.

Also, the city recently became one of 18 communities and areas nationwide selected to be part of another national effort, a YMCA USA program called Pioneering Healthy Communities, to battle obesity and improve the health of children and adults.

Reporter Sharon Salyer contributed to this story.

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or

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