Sound Transit to begin engaging the public for light rail extension plans
By Gwen Davis
Light rail is coming to West Seattle by 2030. Although that may seem light years away, Sound Transit is starting the public engagement process now.
On Thursday evening, at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) meeting, Sound Transit presented its light rail plans.
Here is what you need to know about the West Seattle light rail extension so far:
- This plan, called ST3, was approved by voters in Nov. 2016, and funding was secured at that time.
- The light rail extension will stretch from the Junction neighborhood to downtown Seattle, primarily on an elevated guideway. The extension will connect to the existing light rail underground in downtown Seattle.
- The light rail extension will be overseen by a group of stakeholders from West Seattle. Those stakeholders will be supervised by the Sound Transit board. This stakeholder group will be put together in Jan. or Feb. of 2018.
- Sound Transit will need to buy private property, at various points, which will displace people. In accordance to federal law, Sound Transit will pay for all relocation costs.
- Community engagement will be critical, and the agency will frequently hold open houses, and actively solicit feedback from the neighborhood. Open houses will start in Jan. of 2018.
- Sound Transit will work closely with the city's housing planners, to ensure that light rail is placed close to high-density residential areas, and is widely accessible.