This past Saturday, Eastrail Partners was excited to join other organizations in Bellevue, Redmond, and beyond as Sound Transit’s 2 Line opened to much fanfare, with 8 new light rail stations. At Wilburton Station, the Eastrail now connects directly to light rail, meaning trail users can bike, walk, or roll safely to frequent, rapid transit.

Throughout the day, thousands passed through Wilburton Station where they found trail information, were fitted for free helmets from our friends at Children’s Hospital, talked with practitioners from Overlake Hospital, and lit up their bikes with free lights from Kaiser Permanente. Cascade Bicycle Club also joined to talk about future bike projects in Bellevue. Despite some rain, spirits were high as the new trains delivered waves of passengers to each station.

In partnership with Eastside Urbanism and Livable Kirkland, a group of about 40 people on bikes, including Kirkland’s mayor, rode from Totem Lake to Wilburton Station entirely on the Eastrail. The trail segment directly north of the trail had opened just the day prior, allowing seamless connection to the station. Many trail users were also excited to see progress coming on the NE 8th Overcrossing, which opens June 23, and will provide a vital connection from the station to the south.

This is just the first of several future connections between Eastrail and rapid transit projects. Future Line 2 stations in downtown Redmond will also connect directly to the trail, as will Stride stations in Renton, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Connection to transit is part of what makes the Eastrail more than just a trail, allowing people of all ages to safely connect home, school, work, and other destinations on the Eastside and beyond.

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