VIDEO: Drop Avalon light-rail station? It’s a cost-cutting possibility, Sound Transit tells West Seattle Community Advisory Group

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With the West Seattle-to-Ballard light-rail project still projected to have a nearly $2 billion “affordability gap,” Sound Transit has floated some cost-cutting ideas – including axing the Avalon station.

Those ideas were presented very briefly, in the last 15 minutes of tonight’s two-hour Community Advisory Group meeting for the West Seattle/Duwamish section of the project.

This is the second-to-last meeting for the advisory group. The meeting began with a quick recap of what the group has done since it was convened last fall. Then the CAG members were separated into three breakout groups for ~40 minutes of discussion on “issues, tradeoffs, opportunities” with the routing/station alternatives that were studied for the Draft Environnmental Impact Statement, which is open for comment until April 28th. And they heard from city reps about where the city’s going with its official comments on the DEIS. But the cost-cutting possibilities were the biggest news of the night, so we’ll start there.

POSSIBLE COST SAVINGS/REFINEMENTS: ST’s Cathal Ridge presented the ideas. The West Seattle to Ballard project still has a projected $1.8 billion “affordability gap,” he said, so in the “realignment” process last year, the ST Board told staff to look for potential savings. Now they’re offering a few possibilities. Ridge noted that none of these ideas are part of the Draft EIS, just possibilities that are being surfaced separately. It’s up to the board to decide whether to even study any of these ideas – “it’s very preliminary,” he stressed.

Two of the five ideas are in West Seattle – eliminating the Avalon station, and moving the Fauntleroy Way station alternative a bit

Shifting the Fauntleroy station would save $200 million, mostly via avoiding tearing down the new mixed-use development at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW:

Doing that and eliminating the Avalon station – which has come up often in community discussion, given its lower ridership projection and relative proximity to the other two WS stations – would save $325 million:

Or, eliminating the Avalon station and building the “medium tunnel/41st SW” version of the Junction station could save %60 million.

Other possible points of “refinement: included one in West Seattle, related the Andover option for the Delridge station – changing access by building a pedestrian bridge, possibly closing or rerouting 32nd SW, or shifting the station location further south. “This would facilitate a lower guideway and station,” Ridge said.

CAG member Willard Brown wondered how the cost-savings projections are being assessed. Ridge said they were being measured by “the costs available in the Draft EIS” – that’s 2019 dollars. CAG member Agape Moon asked if the Avalon station could be dropped now but added later. Ridge said this concept is to simply eliminate it forever; to allow for it to be built later would require a lot of infrastructure and less savings.

CAG member Deb Barker said she supports the idea of removing the Avalon station but observed that the Andover refinements seem like “lipstick on a pig,” and the entirety of the Andover/Avalon routing remains “unsustainable.” CAG member M Miller seconded what Barker said, and said it’s important that West Seattle doesn’t “lose a station with nothing to gain for it.”

Again, these ideas go nowhere unless the board directs staff to study them. (Here’s tonight’s full slide deck, if you’re interested in a few more details.)

CITY COMMENTS: Nicole Kistler from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and consultant Kokila Lochan gave a look into the city review of the DEIS and the resulting draft of city comments on the project. West Seattle to Ballard light rail is the “biggest infrastructure project in the city’s history,” Kochan said. The “draft comments” are being sharec for community feedback. Here’s what the city is seeking to answer:

Here’s a summary of the comments they’re drafting so far:

The city reps stressed that the city is a “strong supporter” of the project but just wants to be sure all those issues are thoroughly addressed as it moves forward. “Ultimately we want the best project.” This will also be discussed at a City Council committee meeting one week from today, on April 19th. In May or June, the city will formally adopt a resolution with its official position and preferred alternative. Here’s the full list of city “next steps”:

CAG member David Bestock suggested a stronger focus on finding out who would be affected by displacement – right now, numbers of residences have been cited, but not who lives there. CAG member Inaki Longa said it’s important to convey a positive message about increased density. CAG member Moon said that as a tenant, what’s vital is not just to be given money and told to go find someplace to live, but to be given “a lease,” stressing the importance of housing security. CAG member Pete Spalding asked about what community outreach had been done to collect what’s gone into the comments that city reps have drafted. The answer boiled down to “nothing much” aside from, for example, participation in meetings like this one. Spalding then said that was concerning, that the city’s not bringing residents into development of its vision for the project. CAG member Brown said he’s not clear on how the city and ST are working together regarding the project’s potential effects on Longfellow Creek. Kistler promised followup on specifics.

BREAKOUT DISCUSSION: At the start of the meeting, CAG members were split into three “breakout groups” to discuss their overall thoughts on the routing/station-location alternatives. (Note that while the Avalon-station removal hadn’t yet been formally presented before this portion of the meeting, the CAG members got advance looks at the slide deck, so they knew it was being suggested.) The first group expressed “a lot of interest in the Junction tunneled stations,” particularly reducing displacement, getting close as possible to The Junction and its dense neighborhoods. The 42nd SW version would have more business effects, 41st would be less costly and less displacement. They also discussed how that might feed into southward expansion beyond ST3. For the Avalon station, there was interest in a tunnel, options for station access, and what the “walkshed” looks like, as well as whether the station is needed at all. For the Delridge station, the tradeoffs they discussed included the importance of Longfellow Creek and how it might be affected, the benefits of a lower guideway, and how the Dakota station site might offer more Transit-Oriented Development opportunities. The Andover option would have less residential displacement but they wondered how it would affect Nucor operations. They also expressed interested in the north Duwamish River crossing for less effects on wildlife as well as staying away from the Pigeon Point north slope.

The second group also expressed preference for an underground Junction station. For Avalon, they noted many topographical challenges as well as congestion from normal traffic flow in that area, but the group also was “open to the idea” of dropping that station entirely. For Delridge, the group liked the Dakota Street 30′ platform alternative. They felt the alternatives further north might not be as transit-accessible. Most of this group did not prefer the north Duwamish crossing because, among other reasons, it would affect the port and maritime businesses.

The third group talked about costs and human impacts of the Junction alternatives, and supported tunneling there. Consequences were more of a concern than costs. “The more tunnel, the better,” one group member was quoted as saying. For Avalon, they talked about whether it might be needed later even if it’s not built at the start. For Delridge, they wanted to see the option that did the least damage to the area. For the Duwamish crossing, this group had “an overwhelming desire for the north crossing.”

NEXT MEETING: “Consolidating feedback” is the theme for the advisory group’s May 10th meeting, 5 pm online – watch this page for a viewing link.

YOUR CHANCE TO COMMENT: If you haven’t yet commented on the proposed routing/station-location alternatives that are in the DEIS, you have until April 28th – here are your options.

67 Replies to "VIDEO: Drop Avalon light-rail station? It's a cost-cutting possibility, Sound Transit tells West Seattle Community Advisory Group"

  • admiral admirable April 12, 2022 (10:35 pm)

    I support removing the Avalon station and tunneling. 

    • Derek April 13, 2022 (9:01 am)

      It’s a no-brainer. Any pushback on this is nonsensical. Do not need to rip up the Triangle nor do we need two stops so close together. Plus cut down on monstrosity elevated design. Win for all sides.  Delride and Junction stops only please.

  • Delridge neighbor April 12, 2022 (11:36 pm)

    Just hurry the fup and focus on getting the light rail built, instead of wasting all this time.

  • Jort April 12, 2022 (11:36 pm)

    I have warmed to the concept of a dropped Avalon station, but Deb Barker is correct in saying that West Seattle should not “lose a station with nothing to gain for it.” The Avalon Station’s most important function was serving as a bus transfer location for North/South routings. If the station is to be deleted, then bus connectivity and street space transit prioritization must be incorporated into the design of the other stations and surrounding streets. This means that street space must and will be allocated away from cars and towards transit connectivity around the stations. It is important to note that Sound Transit is forcing hundreds of homes and apartments to be demolished, so that not one single square inch of traffic lanes is taken away from cars. Inexplicably, the DEIS imposes zero (0) sacrifices from car drivers on city streets. The good news is that there is still plenty of public land currently allocated to cars that can be repurposed for the greater societal good of transit, and Sound Transit will need to do this if Avalon is removed. 

    • DC April 13, 2022 (10:27 am)

      Very good point JORT! As long as they prioritize ease and speed of bus transfers, the loss of the Avalon station can be mitigated. I agree they shouldn’t get rid of the station without those mitigating measures.

  • Avalon resident April 12, 2022 (11:46 pm)

    Looks like I am going have to put up flyers around Avalon. This is outrageous. Loosing the station and getting nothing in return. Are these low projected numbers with the current buildings or are they considering the 4 apartments, and like 2 micro apartments literally being build on Avalon? It’s nuts that Avalon has the most apartments on one street but no station. 

    • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (4:30 pm)

      What you get in return is no construction disruption.  Avalon is only a few blocks from the Junction station and is well served by rapid ride.  You will take a short bus ride the the Alaska Junction then get on a train that will take you down to Delridge and beyond.  There are large apartment complexes all over that part of West Seattle.  Everyone has easy access to the Alaska Junction or Les Schwab spots.

  • Avalon neighbor April 13, 2022 (12:07 am)

    Don’t understand the huge push to remove the Avalon station. Over 850 units are currently being built/will be built within the next 5 years on the street and the majority of them don’t have parking. I also don’t believe these buildings were accounted for when presenting ridership numbers. As well as the triangle hopefully becoming a shopping hub once the apartments are completed there. Removing it would save money now but be a mistake in the long run. We have to think about the future growth of this city in these discussions and not just the just the present. 

    • Keep the station April 13, 2022 (6:50 am)

      Agreed! I live in the neighborhood, will be directly impacted by the new construction, and would be one of those people who would use the future Avalon station. Please keep the Avalon station, because it would be needed in the future. There is a lot of new development (both apartments and retail) being built and planned at the moment that needs to be called out more in these meetings. Plus, Avalon is one of the major transit hubs. I truly hope this doesn’t get cut.

    • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (4:31 pm)

      I don’t understand the idea for suggesting it in the first place.  It’s already well served by bus to the Alaska Junction transit hub.  Where else in the network are there two stops so close together.  It’s a nonsensical expense.

  • Niko April 13, 2022 (3:21 am)

    It just keeps getting worse. Defund Sound Transit and support SkyLink

  • David April 13, 2022 (5:42 am)

    Why not simply end the system at Avalon? Avalon is already a major bus transfer location. I personally think this location is the best option as there are frequent buses from the other locations that take riders to Avalon.

    • Pigeon pointer April 13, 2022 (4:25 pm)

      I kinda like this. Route frequent buses or shuttles to one station at Avalon. They could cone from delridge, alki/admiral, and the Junction.

    • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (4:33 pm)

      The plan is to continue the lines all the way down to White Center in the future.  Avalon has bus access to both Delridge and the Alaska Junction.  With an eye to the future a Junction stop makes more sense.  So go a little further now and be in better shape in the future.

  • Morgan April 13, 2022 (6:46 am)

    What would really save billions is give up and build a gondola. With a bridge reopening, hybrid work schedules and automatic cars on a fifteen year horizon, we could buy every seattle resident college and a mortgage downpayment for these same billions…sunk cost fallacies abound here.

    • shotinthefoot April 13, 2022 (8:16 am)

      the only fallacy here is that a gondola would work here as mass transit. 

      • Pessoa April 13, 2022 (9:56 am)

        Mass transit?  Really?  This light rail extension project when it is finally hatched will be just another expensive, ill-conceived boondogle, servicing relatively few and making really no difference in access to mass transit.   But, people are enamored with the romantic idea of shiny trains whisking them from point A to point B. 

        • shotinthefoot April 13, 2022 (12:06 pm)

          You know why we’re enamored with that idea, Pessoa? Because we’ve been to Portland. We’ve seen it firsthand. Light rail works. Gondola is a pipe dream, fostered by whatever y’all are smoking in said pipe. 

        • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (4:37 pm)

          Have you taken the light rail?  I just took the 50 to Sodo and took the train to the U District.  Was a breeze to pass by ID, Downtown, Cap Hill and UW.  It was comfortable, fast and predictable.  It works great for Seattle today.  It will work great for West Seattle in the future.

    • Jay April 13, 2022 (10:09 am)

      Self-driving cars don’t solve traffic, they make it worse.  Removing the inconvenience of being stuck in traffic doing nothing will make people more likely to drive, because they can just relax, take a nap, or catch up on work while their autonomous car grinds through seven miles of traffic in an hour and a half. Plus car storage at the destination. The autonomous cars will drive back home, circle blocks endlessly, or need massively expanded parking capacity.

    • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (4:35 pm)

      You and your kind have already wasted enough money forcing an investigation into this absurd idea.  Skylink doesn’t work for West Seattle.  This has been explained repeatedly.

  • Mellow Kitty April 13, 2022 (6:53 am)

    “Shifting the Fauntleroy station would save $200 million, mostly via avoiding tearing down the new mixed-use development at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW”Which genius okayed the building permit for a new multi-use building right in the path of a proposed light rail station, or was it the other way around? Was the station okayed after the building went up? Either way, someone really needs to investigate this stupidity. It’s no wonder the public transportation costs are out of control.

    • WS Resident - 67 years April 18, 2022 (3:40 pm)

      My thought exactly after reading that sentence Mellow Kitty!  OMG ~ you can’t make this stuff up!

  • Joe Z April 13, 2022 (7:07 am)

    The reason we asked to eliminate the Avalon station is to get a longer tunnel, which benefits the line as a whole. Lower Delridge station height, lower guideway along Genesee, and a better location for the Junction station on 41st. Eliminating the Avalon station without a longer tunnel is NOT of interest to us. Ideally there would be underground stations at both Avalon and the Junction but we have repeatedly been told that is not affordable. 

  • snowskier April 13, 2022 (7:16 am)

    Chop the Avalon station and put the savings into a tunnel with a station on the BofA property on 41st.  The Delridge rapid ride will run directly by a station as will the other rapid ride from Westwood.  Buses on 35th can be easily routed to either station.  Put low income housing atop the station on 41st for true transit oriented development.

    • Sweetiebee April 13, 2022 (8:59 am)

      You seem to be the only intelligent problem solver I’ve heard on this matter👑👑👑

  • Jeepney April 13, 2022 (7:19 am)

    Perhaps the affordability gap would be less if Sound Transit was allowed to enforce fares..I think an Avalon station is needed, as the area is already dense and going to be growing even more in the next decade.  

  • East Coast Cynic April 13, 2022 (7:50 am)

    As one who used to live in the Upper Morgan corridor and took those crowded 21E buses to go downtown to work, I think it’s a bad idea to eliminate Avalon in the absence of any plan to efficiently get residents from Gatewood, Upper Morgan and Highpoint, not to mention all those apartment and condo dwellers to either the Delridge or the Alaska Junction station.  It seems like a selfish wish with a huge dollop of short term thinking for those who won’t be affected by the deletion to save the homes and apartments of people who will be compensated for the removal of those places and will sabotage the ability of West Seattle link to deliver effective long run service to a growing critical mass of people living on the peninsula.

    • East Coast Cynic April 13, 2022 (10:05 am)

      Referred to the apartment and condo dwellers who live on or close to Avalon Way who would be screwed by the elimination of an Avalon stop.

      • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (11:41 pm)

        Take the rapid ride to the junction?  Or the 50 to Delridge?  I don’t see the problem.

        • CAM April 14, 2022 (6:20 am)

          The problem is that you and others are simultaneously arguing that the same people will be able to take these new buses from their current locations to the Junction to catch the light rail because you’re deleting the station their bus goes to and that the bus that they take right now to get other places in West Seattle will remain available to them even though you have rerouted it to only go to the Junction. So now everyone in West Seattle must first travel to the Junction before they can travel to another location in West Seattle because all buses will direct to the Junction. There aren’t that many buses or bus drivers available to essentially provide double the bus routes for these same neighborhoods because you think people who aren’t you can walk farther or take an extra bus. 

    • CAM April 13, 2022 (10:28 am)

      I also used those stops by the future Avalon station for convenience although I walked there or transferred there and can tell you that saying you’re going to turn all those buses to the Junction AND also keep buses running to the Triangle for local transit needs is completely nonsensical wishful thinking from people who didn’t ride the bus or use those stops. Just because ST did a poor job calculating the # of people that would use that station does not mean that it should be eliminated. 

  • Derek April 13, 2022 (9:00 am)

    Remove Avalon and use funds for a tunnel to the Les Schwab spot. It’s a short walk from Junction and Triangle. Everyone wins. Why make this harder and more expensive? Plus rail stays efficient and fast. Let’s get it done.    

  • Also John April 13, 2022 (9:42 am)

    Yes….. combine the two stations!   Remove the Avalon station and relocating the Junction station east.  Purchase the block that Trader Joe’s is on.  That would be a great location.

    • Derek April 13, 2022 (10:05 am)

      Les Schwab spot is better. But I am for getting rid of the church and Trader Joe’s if needed. I prefer to keep the stations closer to apartments than the houses/Fauntleroy. Since that would just cause more traffic. Easier to move it down closer to Edmunds area. 

  • MyThruppence April 13, 2022 (10:05 am)

    I think that the idea of eliminating the Avalon station is self-serving for several small constituencies.  Some want to save their homes and a tunnel solves that for them. Some want to eliminate the tall guideway at Genessee as if there aren’t tall bridges all over the city for public egress. Destroying the opportunity of thousands of transit-walkable housing units in the relatively underutilized ‘triangle’ is the worst kind of NIMBY-ism, in the guise of creating a ‘better’ result. I want to know, better for whom exactly? No one living near 35th and Avalon is going to walk to either the Junction station, or the Delridge station. Saying that the station won’t be missed is an egregious misinterpretation of reality. The whole point of light rail is to get as many people on to the dedicated rail line and off of the existing roadways. That does NOT apply just to single occupant vehicles. It also applies to buses, as they too take up limited roadway space. This system is being built to accommodate regional growth in both population AND commerce. The income to the region from said commerce is what will pay for these investments. Fifty years from now those entire neighborhoods along the route may be gone, but the light rail will still be there and operating for all of our benefit. Please don’t be short-sighted and penny-wise yet pound foolish.

    • Derek April 13, 2022 (10:41 am)

      I walk from 35/Avalon to Junction daily. It’s less than 7 minutes. Come on.  And a bus goes from 35/Avalon to Junction already for the immobile. This is screaming about nothing. Tunnel is such a good option. Saves our views, and still have rail. All sides win.

    • flimflam April 13, 2022 (12:21 pm)

      “Some want to save their homes” – you throw that out like it’s just a small thing, losing your house to eminent domain…

    • Pessoa April 13, 2022 (12:38 pm)

      This is the type wishful thinking that has been used to peddle light rail to many cities.   Of course, those companies with vested financial interests – construction for exampe –  have certainly been behind much of the peddling. 

    • Avalon neighbor April 13, 2022 (3:39 pm)

      Thank you for this point! I walk to the Junction and Trader Joe’s from Avalon, about where the current station is proposed, and it’s a LONG walk, even as a pretty average healthy person. We’re talking half a mile crossing major streets that lack lighting at night. At that point I’d rather drive to the junction station rather than walk… Lots of people pointing out how these stations are “close” have not walked the route. 

      • Avalon resident April 14, 2022 (11:29 am)

        YES! THANK YOU!! Also reminder to everyone. When the bridge opens up you need to jump TWO busy lanes. So now everyone in Avalon will have to deal with that or walk all the way down to take the rapid lane and then a bus. So silly. 

    • Judah April 13, 2022 (5:26 pm)

      Saving properties is a byproduct of dropping the Avalon station, not the reason for doing it. It’s not nimbyism, it’s critical thinking. The station as studied and proposed by the agency that will be building it is an unnecessary BIG expense that overlaps the walksheds of two other stations and has laughably low ridership estimates. And the 3 station density for this short stub of light rail is not justifiable with such low estimates.  And a longer tunnel is better for West Seattle because it preserves the built area instead of ripping it apart and dominating the skyline. The above ground Avalon station would be the highest station built yet. Taller than the Tukwila station. There’s a reason that tunneling is preferred by neighborhoods that get light rail. The biggest argument sound transit had for doing elevated was to save money and their own studies have shown that the delta between elevated and tunneled is not significant enough anymore to hold that much weight.  All the reasons for keeping the Avalon station are anecdotal predictions about the future. Everyone who wants it is a fortune teller apparently who just knows that if they build it, riders will come, because…reasons. Dropping the station is based on the data we have now that came directly from studying the issue. It’s baffling to hear so many arguments for keeping the station that don’t even respond to the benefits of dropping it. Guess it’s just easier to call it nimbyism. 

    • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (11:44 pm)

      35th and Avalon has a rapid ride stop that goes to the Junction.

  • KD April 13, 2022 (10:15 am)

    With the popularity of remote work, there’s no need for the train anymore. Have you ridden the bus recently? I have and it’s usually me and 3-5 other people. We need to step back and realize the world has changed. 

    • Bus April 13, 2022 (10:42 am)

      I ride the bus daily and the numbers of people going back to work in person are increasing every week.  It was the case that there were just a half dozen or so of us a couple months ago, but that is not present reality, and all indications are that it’s not the future either.

    • Derek April 13, 2022 (10:43 am)

      Then get rid of cars. We need to replace car driving. That’s the point mostly. Climate change is real and pollution of cars is bad. And charging cars with batteries still charges from a source that damages the climate. Trains eliminate this car centric world. 

    • Y2 SkyLink April 14, 2022 (6:48 pm)

      Sure seems like a gondola system would have fewer logistical problems, would be easier and faster to build, would save money, homes, land, and be better for the environment… Why is this potential alternative not being vetted more seriously? Realize a lot of work has gone into the planning for light rail to WS, but come on, a potentially better solution has come along, and think there may be regret down the line if not explored further now.

      Know some of your think the gondola proposal is ‘ridiculous’ but it really is not, and it’s too bad not everyone can share the vision at this point. A more serious study is needed.

      WSB, has there been any news from the SkyLink team since the feasibility report a week or so ago?

      • WSB April 14, 2022 (7:21 pm)

        I contacted them immediately requesting comment on/reaction to the report. One week has passed and I have yet to receive their comment/reaction. Don’t know whether they’re still drafting something or have just decided not to comment on it. Meantime, ST presented at last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting (which already had a SkyLink. presentation some time back). The staffers who were there reiterated that it would be up to the board to decide whether to do anything further, such as order an independent study, though if you recall in my story last week, board vice chair County Executive Dow Constantine, who requested the report, said he would await staff direction on whether to study the gondola further. What happens next? Quite possibly nothing. – TR

        • Y2 SkyLink April 14, 2022 (8:22 pm)

          Thanks for sharing the latest!

  • Ballard first to save money April 13, 2022 (1:59 pm)

    If it is cost savings that Sound Transit really wants, then I still think they should build out Ballard first and then see what is left for West Seattle tunnels.  More Metro busses will work for West Seattle for the next 15 or 20 years.

    • Derek April 13, 2022 (3:35 pm)

      No. Us first. We’re an island. Ballard is already pretty centralized. 

  • EHinWS April 13, 2022 (4:54 pm)

    If we have to cut one of the stations, Junction or Avalon – My two cents: Cut the Avalon station – People that live in that area or use the buses that would stop at the Avalon station could easily be able to transfer to the Light Rail at the Delridge station via the 21, 50, 55 etc. etc. if those get re-routed to the future Delridge station instead of the west seattle bridge/low bridge. The precedence for having two stations within a 15 minute walk of each other elsewhere in the City doesn’t really exist. I like the idea of saving some money, reducing construction schedule (no third station) and helping get this project approved quickly. 

    • MyThruppence April 13, 2022 (6:41 pm)

      May I ask why you believe that a station must be cut at all? If we cut the Avalon station, then there will be even more pressure to utilize every square foot around the Junction station, for it’s most population-dense use. In other words, kiss the ‘old’ Junction goodbye as development inevitably forces taller and taller buildings within walking distance of the station. The Avalon station is where modern, taller, housing units can be created while maintaining the oldest parts of West Seattle intact. Imagine one station area for living, and one for working/shopping/dining/entertainment, all without having to gut the Junction to achieve it. The Avalon station is what we approved, and the Avalon station is what we should fight for.

      • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (11:49 pm)

        Avalon and the Junction are already linked by bus.  Linking them with a train changes nothing.  Skipping the Avalon stop preserves more of WS that you claim to value.

  • Roxhill C line rider April 13, 2022 (6:09 pm)

    Before moving forward anymore, we should seriously consider stopping this costly LINK project and thinking of alternatives.  Without proper upzoning to allow skyscraper residential buildings near the stations, which few WS residents want, I really don’t see how we can justify multi-billions for a project that may not really have a great impact on our regional housing and transportation issues.  In fact, this may lead to adverse effects most do not want – super expensive housing near the stations.What about an alternative (besides a ridiculous gondola), like a bus only bridge from WS, across the Duwamish to the SODO busway or other potential North-South thoroughfare that could be made bus only?Potential benefits:   likely a fraction of the cost of this LINK project, established bus routes that are already used by thousands daily and already cross the WSB would become much more efficient without dealing with high/low bridge or 99/WSB intersection traffic, and maybe the biggest benefit to WS residents that don’t live near a bus stop (or frankly, don’t want to ride a bus) = the removal of the bus lanes on the WSB and 99.Compared to this costly LINK project, a bus only bridge may save time and money and benefit most WS residents AND folks that ride buses from Burien and White Center to downtown!

    • Neighbor April 13, 2022 (11:53 pm)

      You are describing the 10 year out of date system we already have.  Roads are at capacity.  The low bridge is effectively a dedicated transit bridge.  See how well that works with buses stuck in traffic?  Light rail carries so many passengers buses no longer run in the downtown tunnels.  That was dedicated bus infrastructure.  Think about the future.  I wish our predecessors had.

      • Pessoa April 14, 2022 (9:47 am)

        Road infrastructure works and if allocated properly can easily accomodate much more bus traffic.  It is a flexible system that doesn’t require a permanent, expensive light rail system that once built, is there forever regardless of changes in demographics.   Visit any major city and see the abandoned rail tracks that once served a purpose but no longer do.  

      • Roxhill C line Rider April 14, 2022 (11:18 am)

        A *NEW* bus only bridge, not the low bridge.A new bus only bridge could be a better, cheaper, more beneficial solution

  • max34 April 14, 2022 (11:18 am)

    pretty sure we’ll get nothing because of the seattle process.  good job everyone. 

  • WSDUDEMAN April 14, 2022 (12:19 pm)

    I cannot believe the option of having 2 insanely expensive stations within walking distance if one another was still in consideration at this stage. Unreal. 

  • Junction Lady April 14, 2022 (3:33 pm)

    Perhaps we should not build this monstrosity which will disrupt many households and businesses. We could avoid a lengthy and costly construction mess!Apparently riders don’t pay anyway, so think of all the money saved on fare enforcement officers who can’t really do anything anyway with uncooperative freeloaders.  I vote NO for light rail in West Seattle! 

    • KM April 15, 2022 (10:24 am)

      You’re about 5.5 years too late on this vote. But if you are interested in learning more about freeloaders, I would like to introduce you to car drivers.

  • 22blades April 15, 2022 (5:52 am)

    Any notion of the Skylink conjures up another name in any wind over 5 knots: “Vomit Comet”.

Sorry, comment time is over.