Eastside (King County, Washington)
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The Eastside, in the context of the King County, Washington, United States area, is a collective term for the suburbs of Seattle located on the east side of Lake Washington. In this context, Westside is synonymous with Seattle. More broadly, in Washington State, the terms Eastside and Westside can also refer to the halves of the state lying on either side of the Cascade Range, Eastern Washington and Western Washington.
There is no formal definition of the Eastside and the exact cities and towns that comprise the Eastside are a matter of dispute. The following cities are included in most definitions: Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Newcastle, Mercer Island, and Redmond. Sammamish is most often grouped with these core cities, so that all of the cities and towns between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, as well as the Sammamish Plateau, are included within the Eastside.
The incorporated neighborhoods west of Bellevue, collectively known as the Gold Coast, are usually considered part of the Eastside. These areas include Beaux Arts Village, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Medina, and Yarrow Point.
The Northshore cities of Kenmore, Bothell, and Woodinville may be considered part of the Eastside, as each city contains portions that are east of the lake and south of its northernmost tip. Similarly, on the southeast tip of Lake Washington, Renton may also be included.
In politics, the area is sometimes referred to as the "suburban crescent".
The cities on the Eastside mostly began as centers of logging or mining in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the years prior to World War II they became centers of dairy and berry farming. During the post-war boom, they became bedroom communities for Seattle. This was made possible by the 1940 construction of the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge across Lake Washington, as well, as the later construction of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge. Currently, the area is growing several edge cities.
Bellevue is the largest city on the Eastside and 5th largest in the state. A major technology center, the Eastside is home to many large high-tech companies, mainly in the software and wireless industries, including Microsoft, T-Mobile US, Nintendo of America, AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular), the former Western Wireless (now part of Verizon Wireless), Vulcan Ventures, Expedia, Inc., 180 Solutions and InfoSpace. Companies like PACCAR, Puget Sound Energy, Symetra Insurance, Boeing, Verizon Wireless, Google, Yahoo, Walt Disney, and Fox Sports also have national, major divisional or regional offices in the Eastside. The Eastside is also a hub for biotech and medical companies including Amgen, Icos, and Merck. Many local magnates, including Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, John Stanton, and Craig McCaw, live in the Eastside's more exclusive cities. The Eastside is also home to many video game and interactive media companies. These include Bungie, Valve Corporation, ArenaNet, Sucker Punch, Monolith Productions, Sony Online Entertainment, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Microsoft Game Studios, and DigiPen Institute of Technology.
Kirkland hosts the annual Junior League Softball World Series. Kirkland Signature is also the own brand of Costco, which was founded in Kirkland and continues to operate in the Eastside city of Issaquah.
There are public and private airfields on the Eastside. Major facilities include:
- Kenmore Air Harbor provides scheduled seaplane service to various points in the Northwest USA and southwest British Columbia.
- Renton Municipal Airport adjacent to the Boeing factory has a 1-mile (1.6 km) runway.
- Bellevue Airfield was closed in 1983.
The Woodinville Subdivision is a rail line built in the late 19th century. In 2008, the Wilburton Tunnel was eliminated, severing the line. The right-of-way was purchased the same year by the Port of Seattle. Eastside cities and King County are purchasing portions of the Port purchase for conversion to a rail trail called the Eastside Rail Corridor.
The Eastside is connected to Seattle by the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge from Medina (State Route 520) and the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Third Lake Washington Bridge from Bellevue via Mercer Island (Interstate 90). It is also served by Interstate 405, a loop route of Interstate 5 that runs to the east of Lake Washington from Tukwila to Lynnwood.
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