TOPLINE, 3:37 PM: Sound Transit said the big objections to the draft ST3 25-year proposal involved timelines – such as, West Seattle light rail in 2033. So this afternoon, board members proposed changes that include, as seen in the list below, moving that timetable up by three years:
From earlier, here’s how it unfolded, and what happens next:
FIRST REPORT, 2:37 PM: We’re in the Sound Transit board room on the south side of downtown, with a full house of people interested in the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 ballot measure for a variety of reasons – from journalists to advocates to elected officials and beyond. Public comment’s been under way since shortly after ST board chair King County Executive Dow Constantine convened the meeting (see the agenda here) at 1:30, and has just wrapped up. Much of it has focused on concerns from and related to the east and north sides of the area. This is all leading up to an expected vote one week from today on finalizing an ST3 measure to send to voters in November. You can watch live via the embedded stream above and we will add notes of interest from here on out. First up, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff will talk about how they might “reduce delivery times” (relevant for WS, where light rail is proposed for 2033 arrival, in the ST3 draft) – including talking to communities before making specific proposals, so they know if they’re walking into a minefield. Also: “establish a transparent schedule for … timely decision-making … throw it up on the Web for all to see,” and other process tweaks, such as fast-tracking permits. In the end, Rogoff added, a “culture change” would be needed, overall, to help speed things up.
2:54 PM: Now, a quick update on the ST3 finance plan. It has “additional capacity to accelerate the program you have under consideration,” the board is told. That’s followed by board members from each of five “sub-areas” proposing changes to the overall plan.
First list of changes includes proposing moving West Seattle light rail up to 2030 – three years sooner than the draft plan released in March.
3:13 PM: The proposed changes are “fully affordable” and meet “sub-area equity,” the board is now told. Next step: The board will consider on June 2nd whether to include any or all of these changes in the ST3 plan. Chair Constantine says, “It’s clear to me … that the will of the board is to move forward with these changes,” so he’ll have them written up by that meeting. The final vote on what to send to voters in November, he says, will be on June 23rd. And with that, this discussion is over and the ST board is moving on to other items.
3:37 PM: The meeting has just adjourned, and Sound Transit’s just sent a news release that points us to this summary of the proposed changes. The only other mentions of West Seattle: “The scope of a study of high-capacity transit between West Seattle and Burien would expand to explore potential future service to Renton via Tukwila.”