By Alan Robertson
In Fall of 2000, a small group of neighbors were encouraged by the City of Seattle to plan bicycle paths in the neighborhood. They formed the Riverview Trail Improvement Project, rTrip. Their plan was a route that started from the South end of the Riverview Playfield, traveled North through the greenbelt, the SSCC campus and down the hill to connect with the Duwamish trail.
This project faced some major hurdles and uncertainties. Beyond the natural issues of slope and property rights, the Chinese Garden was in the path and faced with uncertainty, so it was difficult to plan around it. They optimistically began work on clearing an old utility road on the North end of the Garden, starting at SW Brandon St. Hopefully that trail is clear enough that I can include it in a future walk. That road was originally the path of the Seattle-Lake Burien trolley, where it started climbing the hill away from West Marginal.
Likely the biggest problem was the uncertainty of their travel through the greenbelt. This should have been the easiest, since this was a project sponsored by the city and the city owned the greenbelt. But in 2003 the city began looking at developing this land (the Soundway property) that had been designated as greenbelt. Until this issue could resolved, the project was stuck. And it was apparently enough to kill it.