Woodinville neighbors fear new trail will bring trouble

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 6:57 PM

WOODINVILLE, Wash. - When Mieszko Matkowski looked out his window Thursday morning, he wasn't greeted with the usual sounds of birds chirping along the trail behind his house.

"I was baffled," he said.

Heavy equipment is now tearing up the earth. What used to be a little neighborhood walking path is being expanded -- connected by a new trail to the busy Woodinville-Duvall Road.

The original trail was already trouble with transients, and now neighbors are worried things will only get worse.

"There was some drug use and alcohol use in the backyard and we’re very concerned that the people from outside will bring more of that," said Matkowski.

The trails border the property lines of several homes along 144th Avenue Northeast -- so close you can actually see in the windows. It essentially opens up a back door to the neighborhood for anyone to wander through, and it doesn't make sense to the people living there.

"It grants access to our backyards that’s unobstructed so that anyone could come into the community," said neighbor Nancy Cassell.

KING 5 looked for answers at Woodinville City Hall, where we were told no one was available for an on-camera interview.

Public Works Director Tom Hansen eventually gave a vague statement about the $69,000 trail connecting pedestrians on the other side of Woodinville-Duvall to downtown retail as part of a program to get people out of their cars.

Oddly, there aren’t even sidewalks along the stretch of Woodinville-Duvall Road in question for people to walk on.
 
"I’m not sure what the purpose for the trail really is," said Cassell.
 
For now, neighbors can only wonder what awaits them further down the trail.

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