Are you following Broadway or I-5?
East or West near 164th Street SW?
North, South, or through Alderwood Mall?
Many decisions remain to be made regarding the 16-mile extension of the Sound Transit Link light rail from Lynnwood to Everett, which is expected to become operational at some stations by 2037. Two train stations north of Paine Field may not open until 2041 on a budget of $ 600 million. Shortfall will not be filled.
Sound Transit, the route’s regional development agency, would like to know what you think of the options for station locations and track position. An online survey is available until December 10th at bit.ly/3oQn45S.
“We’re considering refining the project,” said Kathy Fendt, environmental manager for Sound Transit East and North Corridor, in an online presentation on Wednesday.
Before the pandemic and when the election was proposed, staff estimated up to 58,000 light rail drivers through the Paine Field area, more than 56,000 daily passengers for an I-5 route and 54,000 for a line that followed Highway 99.
People shied away from public transit during the pandemic, but returned in some areas and passenger numbers rose after Sound Transit opened its Northgate extension in Seattle.
When the voters approved the voting measure, they based their decision on a “representative” plan for the railway line and the station locations. However, as design and development progresses, employees are floating alternatives that could be pursued depending on the input.
Those who complete the Everett expansion survey can participate in all six stations to be built. A seventh stop on Airport Road and Highway 99 was not funded in the voter-approved tax package for the expansion, but will be examined if money is available.
To date, funded stations are named for their approximate location: West Alderwood, Ash Way, Mariner, Southwest Everett Industrial Center, Highway 526 on Evergreen Way, and Everett Station.
Sound Transit’s light rail could follow one of several options for its line and West Alderwood station. (Sound transit)
West Alderwood has four options in addition to the “Representative Project” that extends through the southeast corner of Alderwood’s mall. In this proposal, the station would be east of 33rd Avenue W and south of the mall.
Alternatives include a stop on the mall’s campus, closer to the Interurban Trail, along 33rd Avenue West or 36th Avenue West, or north of the mall along 184th Street Southwest. The train lines are different for each station.
Alternatives to the Ash Way light rail station. (Sound transit)
Three of the options for Ash Way are west of I-5 and are directly connected to Ash Way Park and Ride. An alternative is east of I-5, where Snohomish County Council said it would like the station to be near 164th Street Southwest.
At the time this station opens, no new parking spaces are planned.
“Our intention at this point in time is to assume that the park-and-ride offer will continue to exist and be used by both bus and light rail drivers,” said Sandra Fann, Head of Development for the Sound Transit North Corridor.
Alternatives for the Mariner light rail station. (Sound transit)
The Mariner Station could be reached via the line east or west of I-5. But the station options are all west of I-5, generally between 132nd Street Southwest and north of 128th Street Southwest and east of Eighth Avenue West. Last year Snohomish County Council said it wanted a stop on SW 130th Street, between Eighth and West Fourth Avenues.
Alternatives to the Southwest Everett Industrial Center light rail station. (Sound transit)
From there the line would head west towards Paine Field and the Southwest Everett Industrial Center. Its route beyond that can vary widely, with options north of Highway 526, along the highway, or along West Casino Road.
The station options vary similarly. An alternative is north of Paine Field, where passenger flights began in 2019. Another is north of Kasch Park Road. Sound Transit’s representative project is located between the Autobahn and Casino Road, southwest of the intersection with Seaway Boulevard.
During last week’s presentation, someone asked about the alternatives showing the line along Casino Road, which worried them as it might involve the purchase and demolition of some existing low-income homes and lots.
Miranda Redinger, Senior Project Manager at Sound Transit Everett Link, said options to get to I-5 from Airport Road are limited.
Alternatives to the Evergreen Way and Highway 526 Light Rail Station. (Sound transit)
There are five options for the Evergreen Way and Highway 526 stations. One is near the intersection of Beverly Lane and Highway and west of Evergreen. Two are right on the highway and two are along Casino Road on either side of the evergreen.
The line could stay north of the freeway or follow Casino Road to 84th Street Southeast before crossing the freeway.
Alternatives to the Everett Light Rail Station. (Sound transit)
To the north of this, the line is to follow Broadway or I-5 in the direction of Downtown Everett. One option is to take the line east from Broadway and towards Smith Avenue to reach Everett Station. Other station options include the Angel of the Winds Arena on Broadway, Broadway, and Pacific Avenue on McDougall Avenue, or 32nd Street and McDougall Avenue.
Safety concerns have been raised with light rail being on an equal footing with drivers and pedestrians, based on 10 years of light rail in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, as recently reported by former Herald reporter Lizz Giordano at the South Seattle Emerald.
Similarly, The Urbanist reported collisions in this area for over a decade in 2019.
People can also share their thoughts on the location of the North Operations and Maintenance Facility. The building will store 150 light rail cars for cleaning and repair purposes and will require between 60 and 70 acres with access to the route, Sound Transit employees said.
Sound Transit staff cited the 33 acre Mariner High School campus as a comparison.
There are six locations between the Mariner and Southwest Everett Industrial Center stations.
Around 450 full-time employees are expected to work in the operations and maintenance facility and have administrative and changing rooms.
One in Seattle stores 104 light rail cars, and Bellevue’s smaller “satellite” location has space for 96.
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