We currently have only one walking path project supported by a team and residents around Echo Lake. It is our hope other groups will be inspired to build a path in their neighborhood, with residents and a team leader.
While many have expressed a desire for sidewalks or paved walking paths, our research with the county has indicated the costs are beyond the financial capabilities of many in this community. There remains a desire for a safe walking or riding space through the neighborhoods. Currently the best way to fulfill that desire is for neighbors to step up and create a space for that purpose on the road easement. Perhaps in the future that space can be upgraded with paving, but for now, let us all work to make it happen.
Echo Lake Walking Path
A number of people in the Echo Lake neighborhood like to walk for exercise, fresh air, and many other reasons.
Since our neighborhood does not have sidewalks or safe ways to walk along the roads, we looked at some solutions to increase roadside safety without changing the speed limit to improve the pedestrian experience. The path at Lake Stevens was the example that we looked at first.
We contacted Snohomish County to see what options are available and discovered they do not have the budget to improve the shoulder of the roadway to enhance walkability. If you are interested in leading an effort to find funding for asphalted paths, contact info@EchoLakeCommunity.org.
Snohomish County suggested the option of a Homeowner driven plan. It could be useful immediately without much cost. The road around Echo Lake is very narrow, with small or no shoulders, a large ditch and poor visibility due to the curve of the roadway.
Following the suggestions offered by Snohomish County, the following outlines the project that we implemented:
● For property owners on the Echo Lake loop, a pathway or walking space could be added in the dedicated county right of way portion of the property. That is 30 feet on each side of the roadway centerline.
● Proposed pathway could be up to four feet wide, covered with wood chips, grass or other ground cover consistent with the rural feel of our neighborhood.
● The Echo Lake walking path is a project that addresses both the traffic and safety issues around the Echo Lake Loop while also improving the quality of life for the Echo Lake Community. Each property that is converted would be a space where people can detour off the road and be safe while walking.
● Pathways can be installed by the homeowner alone, or with the assistance of a volunteer team of community members.
● This is not an all or nothing project. Even just adding a few properties will make this effort a success. As more neighbors build paths or walking spaces, they will connect a larger path and the community.
● The Echo Lake Walking Path is not a running path but more a step-off for walker safety and a giving gesture to the Community by landowners to help provide a safe option to walk while coping with the traffic.
Our hope is that other areas of the Echo Lake Community may come together, as Echo Lake did, to create a walking path plan that works for their part of the Community.
First Segment of Path completed Summer 2021
This property on North Echo Lake Road has added a wood chip walking path per the County suggestion. Feel free to go try it out. Will something like this work on your property?
The Project Expands in Fall
Located on 131st, which is the road on the West side of Echo Lake, this section of walking path improves traffic safety and quality of life for the larger Echo Lake Community.
Right-Of-Way Walking Path
The generosity of neighbors to convert the dedicated county right of way portion of their property giving gesture to the community to help provide a safe walkway.
Interested in this project?
Have you stopped walking around Echo Lake because of traffic volume or speed?
Would you like an alternative to walking on the road?
As a driver, would you like fewer people walking on the road?
The ELCG Walking Path team is developing and will maintain a pathway around Echo Lake for safety's sake and the enjoyment of the entire community.
If you live on Echo Lake, please help make this a reality by adding a path on your property right of way.
If you don't live on the existing route, consider organizing a project like this in your part of the community.
Even if you don't live on Echo Lake, you can support this community project improving road and pedestrian safety in other ways:
Volunteer to help at a project work party
Have extra rock, gravel, bricks or support materials, etc.
Hired a tree service? Donate the wood chips to the project.
Make a targeted financial donation
Please contact us: WalkingPath@EchoLakeCommunity.org
We are posting updates on the Walking Path in the monthly community newsletter. If you are interested, sign up using the orange banner at the top of the page to receive an email link to the newsletter when it publishes the middle of each month. You can view past issues on the Newsletter page of this website.