Debate rages over proposed Sound Transit stations in the CID
Mar 24, 2023, 11:10 AM
(Photo from KIRO 7)
The debate over the number and placement of Sound Transit stations in the Chinatown-International District (CID) continues to be contentious.
The analysis has been going on for six years, according to KIRO Newsradio Senior Transportation Reporter Chris Sullivan. The cost has been $140 million just for the studies.
Sound Transit’s governing board met this week to consider plans.
The Urbanist sees it this way:
In our observation, Sound Transit and its executive board of elected officials have been operating without developing or distributing sufficient useful information on future station locations. They have failed to adequately justify every step of this decision-making process to the public. They are not ready to make this decision.
Critics say whether there are one or two stations and where they should be have not been analyzed with basic questions in mind.
Proponents said the CID station(s) would add access and economic prosperity to the neighborhood.
The impact of the stations, according to the study, includes the construction of alternatives on 4th Avenue S would have the greatest amount of traffic diverted to other streets in the area because of the high traffic volumes on that roadway and the need to rebuild a portion of the existing 4th Avenue South Viaduct. The second alternative would partially close a portion of 5th Avenue S for a couple of years and a full closure for less than a year.
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The project website describes the extension:
The West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to dense residential and job centers throughout the region. In addition, a new downtown Seattle light rail tunnel will provide capacity for the entire regional system to operate efficiently. These two separate Link extensions are part of the regional transit system expansion approved by voters in November 2016.
The other part of the transit discussion involves a possible “superstation” under Pioneer Square. That is seen as a super-hub between transportation options. It would be super-big and come with a super-pricetag, upwards of $800 million.
One city council member calls that “ridiculous.”