URGENt: Please join us at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 18 at 6:30pm to voice your opposition to funding the concrete overpass that would destroy the beach. Visit the "events" part of our facebook Page for details.
To bring together the Edmonds community to save Edmonds Beach (north of the jetty) from being ruined by a concrete access overpass that could easily be placed near the train station or elsewhere saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, solving the safety issue of emergency access to the waterfront, and saving the beach. Otherwise the trade-off far too much. In one of the most innovative and beautiful places on the earth, we need to stand up for our beach and force a search for a better alternative.
Below is a rough ballpark approximation of augmented reality photos to get a sense of what it might look like against the backdrop of REAL current beach photos (not "pretty" idealistic artist renderings).
Below are city artist renderings of what the city is pushing hard to put on the beach. Look at how small the people are on the beach - this thing is massive and destroys the beach/environment.
Below is approximately where the huge concrete pillar would have been during high tide - literally on the beach and in the water which is a marine preserve.
Know these two charts below and get grounded in it. You'll notice the top rated option is the Mid-Block pedestrian overpass by the train station, it requires $20 Million fewer taxpayer dollars, and it solves the problem! Not necessarily advocating for the Mid-Block option, but trying to expose the truth that there are other, better options. These charts come from the city funded engineering research on options (click for full report). City leaders who want the concrete overpass on the beach tend to try to change the subject when the highest rated Mid-Block option is brought up because they know it beats out the concrete overpass on the beach (FYI "Edmonds Street Overpass" on the charts is the concrete overpass option the city is pushing for in spite of the research showing it inferior to the "Mid-block Overpass").
Edmonds Beach is an asset not only for locals, but also for tourists who travel here to take in the culture and natural beauty of the waterfront beaches.
Edmonds Beach is a safe place for local seal pups to rest while their mothers hunt. Edmonds Beach is part of a marine sanctuary. It is up to us to preserve it.
Concrete is forever. It is also the third leading cause of man-made CO2. Do we really want to cover our pristine natural beach with needless concrete?
While there were open houses and idea generation sessions, something that is going to impact such a natural community asset deserves more diligence. Many people were initially supportive of the current plan thinking that it was going to go directly from the beach bathrooms to Sunset Way at Bell Street, but then realized it doesn't. Instead it extends another full block on and over the beach to cross over to Sunset Way at Edmonds Street, thus significantly impacting the natural beauty of the beach and ruining the postcard picture views from Sunset Way.
The main reason for the overpass is to provide emergency services in the rare event of a stopped train blocking access roads simultaneously coinciding with an emergency situation. A secondary reason is ferry rider access. The estimated cost of this project is $30 million. There are cheaper alternatives that don't ruin the community asset of a natural beach and adequately meet the emergency services issue. Here are just a few ideas:
- Stage public safety assets on the waterside of the railroad tracks that can be accessed via pedestrian overpass (see the fire ladder truck photo below that could improve safety response at waterfront emergencies).
- Designate a landing zone (marina trailer parking lot, Marina Dog Park, etc.) for emergency helicopter evacuations like they do in other areas around the Puget Sound.
- Create a pedestrian overpass near Harbor Square or mid-block from the train station to the new waterfront senior center that is suitable for an EMT ATV (see below) or golf cart for emergency evacuations. This could help passengers move between the bus, train, and ferry systems if there is train traffic.
- Create an overpass near Marina Park connecting to the Union Oil Road.
- Most of these ideas would far less than $30 million and they wouldn't destroy the beach.
What can you do?
Make it an issue
Show up at council meetings and candidate events to make sure they know you care about this. Signs and public comments are also good ways to show your support for saving Edmonds Beach.
Share your voice on social media. Put signs in your yard and bumper stickers on your car.
Sign the petition
We have created a change.org petition to let the Edmonds officials know about the opposition to the current overpass plan on the beach. Click here to sign petition.