WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Avalon-area neighbors walk the (potential) line

(Sound Transit rendering, possible routing at Genesee looking east toward Avalon)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you haven’t yet decided what you want/need to say during the last major comment period before Sound Transit locks in West Seattle light-rail routing and station locations, a community workshop Thursday might help you formulate your feedback on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. (More about that later.)

Some neighborhoods in light rail’s potential path have been studying the proposal independently and extensively almost every step of the way. Among them, Avalon-area residents, some of whom might be forced out of their homes depending on where the train goes to get between the Duwamish River and the West Seattle Junction. They’ve had several meetings with ST, including one last Thursday night devoted solely to Q&A. Hours before that, they accompanied ST reps on a walk through the neighborhood, from the westernmost potential Avalon station location eastward along potential routing paths. We covered both events and have chronicled some of their other discussions, going back almost two years to this one, shortly after they learned the ST Board had decided to study a route through their neighborhood.

Thursday’s walking tour was intended to be a firsthand look at where the station might go, and how the trains would get there. Neighbors and ST reps, plus a rep for King County Councilmember and ST Board member Joe McDermott, gathered first by the Avalon Starbucks and Taco Time. ST’s reps included Jason Hampton, currently the lead for the West Seattle extension. This had been long enough in the works that ST brought the hard-copy equivalent of a slide presentation, customized for this tour.

After introductions, it was off to the first stop on the north side of Pecos Pit (WSB sponsor) at 35th/Genesee, which would be at the west end of an elevated Avalon station, with a 55′-high platform – or just northeast of a tunneled station going 90′ down.

What Avalon gets depends on what the board chooses for the Delridge and Junction stations, primarily the latter. And in turn, getting to a tunneled Avalon station would mean a tunnel starting at the SW Genesee/Avalon hilltop, around where the Golden Tee Apartments are now.

“How long would it take to get down” to the 90-foot-deep tunneled station? wondered one participant. That’s not in the DEIS, apparently. Neighbors also wondered about parking, since none of the stations will have it. Hampton said an RPZ would be a possibility to ensure the street spaces didn’t all vanish to “hide-and ride” drivers. They also discussed where Transit-Oriented Development housing might go once the line is open – that could replace the Starbucks and Taco Time, for example.

Walking to 32nd and Genesee, the heart of the residential neighborhood, neighbors had many questions about which houses would stay and which would have to go. They’re nowhere near a final design, Hampton reminded everyone. But as they talked more about the possibilities that were studied, one thing was clear – stations have a sizable footprint. Commenting on the DEIS, you will want to be very specific about which station option you would want to see and the Junction and Delridge options that go with it.

The neighbors weren’t just trying to imagine the stations and guideways; as Kim Schwarzkopf, who coordinated the tour, described it, “we’re trying to envision what life will be like during construction.” Also comment on construction concerns, Hampton advised the neighbors when that came up in the conversation. The neighbors tried to pull out as many details as they could – how fast would the trains be going? Hampton said they could travel up to 55 mph on elevated tracks but on the West Seattle extension, that’s only likely crossing the Duwamish (a rail-only bridge whose route hasn’t been settled yet either).

The group continued on, to 32nd/Andover – noting that’s a popular bike route, connecting to the recently strengthened bridge across the west end of the West Seattle Bridge – and then Avalon/Yancy/Andover, where an elevated track would be 80 feet – eight stories high.

There, the tour wrapped. Less than eight hours later, the Q&A session began online. This was entirely discussion, no presentation – the Avalon neighbors have been through many of those. Questions started with displacement-related issues. For some properties, they might be working on mitigation rather than acquisition, ST said. Same with properties potentially affected with construction activity – too doon to narrow down exact effects, so ST will “keep talking” with the community as more is known.

One person asked about what led up to the choice of routing alternatives that were studied for the DEIS – they would like to see a tunnel that’s not on the list of possibilities, and they wondered why. Hampton noted that Appendix M of the DEIS discusses the process during which the alternatives were developed. Even at this stage of the process, ST reps said, you can suggest “refinements,” but people should realize that studying new options might add to the schedule. The higher costs that led to the recent “realighment” was also pointed out. “Doesn’t mean you can’t advocate” for something different, but keep it in mind. Something similar was looked at in the early going, but it was tossed out for several reasons, including that it would only result in two stations, and voters approved three. (This is briefly summarized on page 15 of Appendix M.) Also noted: Not only is tunneling expensive, so is undergrounding stations.

At this point, the suggestion of dropping the Avalon station resurfacing – maybe that would enable more tunneling? Discussion also turned to station and routing pairings – it’s not all mix-and-matchable.

Question: Where in the DEIS can information about construction staging be found? Answer: Appendix J. Page 48 was shown as one example, showing stormwater facilities, power-related facilities, “signal bungalows,’ and other things beyond just the guideways. They were asked to show something with the Avalon Station; page 73 was brought up. Looking at those drawings, they again asked for clarity on what properties would be acquired – the black dash line, for example, is the boundary of the staging area, and if a property is potentially affected, you’ll find that in Appendix L.

Then the question came up yet again: How easy would it be (or not) to let go of the Avalon station in the plan? ST has clearly in the past skipped a station or deferred/delayed it for various reasons, one attendee observed, and added that people have long discussed ditching or at least deferring it. It’s pointed out that Metro has been planning to serve Delridge and Junction stations with transit, not Avalon. ST replied that Metro will be serving the Avalon station, “but not with many routes.” Also, ST is definitely in the process of figuring out how to address the “affordability gap.” ST will propose some ideas and expects some from the public.

Asked to explain a potential .06 acres of golf-course impacts, ST explained that it’s space that would be permanently removed from the park, not part of the construction staging area. What could be done under the guideway would depend on various factors. Aligning on the north side of Genesee would still have some effects on homes. They might need to use “straddle bents” – columns on both sides of the road – rather than just concrete columns down the middle.

What about businesses like Nucor, or the potential displacement of Transitional Resources ….what kind of outreach are they getting? ST’s Leda Chahim acknowledged some businesses/facilities would be particularly difficult to relocate. They’re just trying to explain “how to engage in the process now” and to “highlight the opportunity of sharing with our board.” She said ST is trying to learn more about the unique organizations and institutions in the area.

Bottom line, observed a neighbor, you’re bringing a train through a developed area.

Looking beyond the planned-for-2032 West Seattle light-rail launch, what is the thought about ST4? one attendee asked. Would it go to White Center, and what beyond that? Answer: The ST3 measure called for long-range studies but they haven’t been done yet. Following up on that, an attendee asked if what’s done in The Junction will determine how it would proceed south – if it ends in a tunnel, does that mean tunneling would follow to get to the south? Answer: Potentially.

It was brought up at that point that Metro had said that the long range vision for the H Line might be as a cross-West Seattle route. Ella Williams from Joe McDermott’s office advised reviewing Metro’s long-range plan.

Last but not least, ST reiterated that all the comments received on the DEIS will have to be addressed in the final EIS, which will be followed by board members deciding what will be built, “late 2023.” While a “preferred alternative” will be “confirmed or modified” before the final EIS, it’s not the last word. ST characterized what happens from here is for each step in the process to hone in a little more.

READY TO CRAFT YOUR COMMENT? Even if the light-rail line isn’t going near or through your neighborhood, your input matters – what routing, whether tunneled or elevated, how transit connects to the station you’re likely to use – whatever you want to say, figuring out the most effective way to say it is what the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s workshop Thursday night (April 7th) is all about. Between 6 and 9 pm, you can either go to American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska) in person, or watch/participate online – our calendar listing has the link. April 28th is the deadline for commenting – your options are here.

56 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Avalon-area neighbors walk the (potential) line"

  • ryan April 6, 2022 (8:44 am)

    I think you mean looking west to Avalon 

  • Jan April 6, 2022 (8:57 am)

    FYI – My sister and I attended the Avalon-area neighbors walk. We were saddened and discouraged about what will happen to our beautiful West Seattle. The West Seattle light rail options are costly, displace homes, destroy green spaces, and take years to build. We need an alternative.Check out the 34th Democratic Legislative District’s Proposed Gondola Resolution. https://34dems.org/gondola-resolution/   . . .   a  proposal calling for a new independent study.  

    • Derek April 6, 2022 (9:38 am)

      A gondola is even uglier than a train and will displace too. No. We want train!!! Or build a tunnel!

      • Look Both Ways April 6, 2022 (5:43 pm)

        A gondola is far less of a neighborhood and/or carbon footprint vs. a train. By a huge factor. Gondolas operate across several global urban environments extremely well.

        • Highlander April 6, 2022 (9:12 pm)

          The gondola is so unrealistic and backward. We need trains, Trains that integrate with other train lines into an a actual subway, not this hodgepodge of methods.Yes, it may be difficult for a few households, but ultimately there are over 100k people in West Seattle who will be served by this line.  

          • Look Both Ways April 7, 2022 (9:08 am)

            Gondolas operate both ways, just like a train, not backward. They can easily handle the 100k+ volume of riders, and integrate with existing train stations.

          • Robert J Schmidt April 7, 2022 (11:32 pm)

            On what do you base that 100k+ number?

    • Ron Swanson April 6, 2022 (9:51 am)

      Nope.  The gondola is a pointless distraction from ensuring the light rail is built as well as possible as soon as possible.  Building a Ballard-West Seattle route with a completely incompatible technology from the rest of the system has already been tried and discarded.The Andover/medium tunnel alternative and ditching the Avalon station for cost savings is an eminently practical solution.

      • Zark00 April 6, 2022 (11:13 am)

        The 2032 timeline and $12B budget for the WSea light rail are a joke. 2032 is completely, unquestionably, impossible. We’re looking 2037 at the absolute earliest. ST already jacked up the $7B to 12B, and with the current state of planning expect another 40% increase above that – if we’re lucky. People who are begging for a train have no idea what they’re asking for.  The short tunnel option was the ONLY viable option, and they killed it instantly with an inflated estimate. They killed it because they can displace people, seize homes, etc. But they can’t go toe to toe with the port or USCG. We were sold a bill of goods with ST3. At grade rail to WSea, nope. Ballard connection in the 2030s, nope. Nothing has been completed, not even preliminary work, and ST already talked on $4B. WSea light rail won’t even connect to the system. You’re pushing for a completely disconnected WSea spur at an astronomical cost, that will move fewer people, and will always require buses to fill the planned in gaps.  The noise level alone is insane. It’s too late, we’re toast, people have no idea what they voted for, why, and what it really means.

      • Steve April 6, 2022 (11:23 am)

        100% agree with Ron. 

        When composing the comment for yes-tunnel, no-Avalon, here are the points that come to mind. My phrasing will be different, but is there anything else worth calling out? (Unfortunately, we can’t make it to the comment workshop.) 

        For the West Seattle Link Extension, please use:

        Pigeon Ridge/West Seattle Tunnel:

        – Delridge station – DEL-6, Andover lower-height option: lowest residential and traffic impact.

        – No Avalon station – Too expensive, too much construction in a critical location, and too close to the other stations.

        – Junction station – WSJ-3b: The Junction Jefferson Square Station option #6, terminating underground.

        – Medium tunnel option – Smaller footprint, no longer a significant cost difference, in line with Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, Roosevelt among other stations.

    • Sasquatch April 6, 2022 (4:10 pm)
      • I looked at your website and there isn’t much there. I’d like to see schematics, illustrations and statistics that support your claims. 
      • A gondola is going to service the rich and white residents of North West Seattle. Residents in other parts of West Seattle will have to bus to a gondola station. 
      • It is clearly the dream of out-of-touch privileged folks who have little to no empathy for those whose voices have been historically under represented.
      • Y2 SkyLink April 6, 2022 (5:23 pm)

        You’ve got it backwards, @Sasquatch, my friend.

        The proposed gondola offers similar station locations, plus the proposal suggests using the major cost savings to expand light rail to the south end much sooner.

        And, it would be more feasible to build additional gondola lines, say to Fauntleroy and White Center, etc, in the not too distant future, than it would be to expand light rail to these and other areas.

        Also, keep in mind, building gondola lines would have significant less impacts on housing, businesses, natural areas, and traffic, vs light rail construction impacts.

        There are numerous examples of other successful gondola transportation systems in use, and more being built, around the world, because of the many benefits of these systems. One you may want to look up and read about is in La Paz.

    • StuckInWestSeattle April 6, 2022 (9:18 pm)

      Please stop this stupid Gondola idea. Its a tourist gimmick not a true transportation solution. Its not viable and honestly just dumb.

  • shotinthefoot April 6, 2022 (10:26 am)

    Folks wanting a gondola…would you have wanted to be in it when it was as windy as it was on Monday? Or are you ok with your main transit being largely shut down frequently for weather? Gondola is a non-starter in this region, sorry. I agree the light rail is ugly AF but come on. 

    • Zark00 April 6, 2022 (11:19 am)

      Gondolas can handle up to 40mph winds. It’s a common misconception from people who think a gondola for transit is the same thing as the Disney ride or a ski lift. Similarly people think “light” rail means it’s a quite train, it’s not, it’s a monster than rattles windows and destroys property value for homes blocks away. It’s like choosing to reroute SeaTac landing patterns over you house because you think planes are neat. Shortsighted is a massive understatement.

      • shotinthefoot April 6, 2022 (4:48 pm)

        “can handle up to 40mph winds” – all well and good, except we get much higher wind gusts than that, frequently. You can have it. They’d have to clean out the gondola if I were up there in a gust. 

      • Seth April 7, 2022 (8:37 am)

        Sorry but being close to light rail stations increases value of homes.  Its estimated by a minumun value of 25%.  You can see this huge disparity in the poorer parts of seattle where a house within a mile of the station can go for double houses further away. Turns out people like being able to walk and be connected to the majority of the city go figure.

    • Y2 SkyLink April 6, 2022 (5:34 pm)

      Maybe… they say that depending on the type, gondola systems can withstand winds up to 70mph.  

      But I’m not sure I would want to be out walking, biking, busing, boating, or driving over a bridge either.

    • Marfaun April 6, 2022 (9:30 pm)

      Gondolas SkyLink recommends are rated for 65 mph winds.  In the 72 years since 1950, Seattle has had 6 days of those winds (NOAA stats).  High winds like that also stop ferries, halt floating bridge traffic, ground airlines.   The gondola will stop running during that kind of windstorm, too.

  • Ron M April 6, 2022 (11:05 am)

    I don’t believe there’s a need for a gondola or lightrail at this time. I get to and from downtown just fine with the many buses that run here.

    • Zark00 April 6, 2022 (11:24 am)

      You are correct. There is no need for a train or gondola if they fix the bridge and increase bus service – right now. In 5 years that won’t be the case. Unfortunately the light rail will be woefully inadequate if/when they can ever finish it. A gondola could be designed, planned and built in about 5 years for a cost about 5% of the light rail they are “planning” or less with the coming budget increases. 

    • Lisa April 6, 2022 (11:25 am)


    • Rick April 6, 2022 (12:02 pm)

      And there’s always the live entertainment on them. Free of charge!

  • Blegh April 6, 2022 (11:30 am)

    What a nightmare. Everything about this line is gross and will further ruin west seattle. It will never be that full, they could just add a couple more bus lines if needed. Just going to bring more “downtown” to the west seattle stops. I feel so bad for the houses and people who will have to look at this ugly monstrosity. But hey, job security for a few right? 

    • skeeter April 6, 2022 (12:31 pm)

      More busses will not solve the problem.  Busses use the same overcrowded streets as cars. Very few are going to take a bus if it means sitting in traffic for cycle after cycle of red lights.  We need something that is sustainable and moves people quickly.

      • Natinstl April 6, 2022 (7:00 pm)

        Getting to the light rail, changing at SODO to get to the downtown core isn’t exactly fast. The bus is one shot with a dedicated lane. 

  • The Dude April 6, 2022 (11:36 am)

    Damn kids get out of my neighborhood.  I don’t want anything to change ever!

  • Chris Barnes April 6, 2022 (11:54 am)

    No, no, no, no…a tunnel is the only solution that doesn’t destroy the very thing we love about living here.  I would prefer to rely on buses than this monstrosity.  

    • Martin April 6, 2022 (1:18 pm)

      Chris, have you looked at the tunnel alignments? It will only save the Junction area, may be some portion of Avalon, but certainly not Youngstown or Pigeon Point whereas a SkyLink gondola would.

  • PTrider April 6, 2022 (12:07 pm)

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Personally I can’t see how anything could be uglier than a large concrete viaduct running through WS.  Secondly the label WS/Ballard route is somewhat of a misnomer since the WS line will not go directly to Ballard but head north to Everett.  And, the light rail to Ballard is predicated on a second downtown tunnel which is controversial because it is very deep and not close to the existing tunnel (adding time to trips and making some transfers difficult.)  Third, gondolas can operate in winds up to around 70 MPH and are being successfully used in many places with more challenging wind and weather elements than Seattle (like the Alps.)  

  • Joe Z April 6, 2022 (1:05 pm)

    If you are writing a DEIS comment and support tunneling the light rail, please mention that you specifically support the “preferred long tunnel” alignments and NOT the “short/medium tunnel” alignments. The less-desirable “short/medium” tunnel alternatives would still include 100+ ft tall guideways and significant displacements in the Avalon area. Basically,  we want the tunnel portal  directly into the hillside along Genesee to the east of Avalon. The long tunnel also means that the Delridge station would be lower height which makes the bus transfer to the H-line easier! 

    • Steve April 6, 2022 (3:39 pm)

      Thanks for this info, Joe! In that scenario, specifically which Delridge station should we be requesting?

      • Joe Z April 6, 2022 (8:40 pm)

        Personally I like the one that is directly over Delridge Way, that would be the easiest bus transfer. In the other alternatives the bus has to turn off of Delridge to access the station.

  • Transit Rider April 6, 2022 (1:26 pm)

    I encourage people to also ride the alignment and observe how businesses and residents are affected by being near a station.  Martin Luther King is full of new construction, but I wonder how much the rent is and the vacancy rate.  I see alot of empty lots enclosed in a chain link fence next to the stations on MLK  Does Sound Transit own these lots?  It seem like a waste to have them fenced and get overgrown.  Is it really booming for business to be near a station, I’m not sure.  Those mom and pop stores on MLK, seem to be struggling.  Beacon Hill station is underground, Mt. Baker and Tukwila are elevated.  I personally like  Beacon Hill better.  I wish Mt. Baker station had businesses at the ground level.  It would help make it feel more like a gathering space, instead of crime waiting to happen.

    • Y2 SkyLink April 6, 2022 (5:41 pm)

      Speaking of the line along MLK, I’m reminded of another benefit of a gondola system…

      No car/people/bike/train accidents.  There have been more than a few major collision accidents/fatalities involving Link light rail trains, and this would be a non issue with gondolas.


      • CAM April 6, 2022 (7:54 pm)

        Lucky for us then that the train is grade separated and those kinds of tragedies also won’t be an issue with the WS Line. But good scare mongering. 

        • Y2 SkyLink April 7, 2022 (5:54 am)

          Will there not be any areas of surface/street level tracks on the proposed line(s)? If not, my mistake.  Not fear mongering, it seems an important point to raise, to me. One person per year being hit and killed by a link light rail train, seems an important statistic to consider, to me.

  • Interested Neighbor April 6, 2022 (2:34 pm)

    I am a consultant who specializes in environmental documents, particularly environmental impact statements for large public works projects. I am not involved with this project. I would like to leave a tip about providing comments. While it is certainly your right to state which alternative or design option you prefer, remember that this is not a “vote”. Sound Transit will not tally the preferences and pick the one with the most. To be most effective, your comments should focus on potentially significant adverse environmental impacts. Don’t just say “I don’t like Alternative X” – add why you think the potential harm to the environment precludes that choice. Focus on topics like social justice/equity, climate change, potential impacts to water of the United States, potential impacts to parks; all these topics have additional federal and state laws behind them that mean that Sound Transit needs to give them special consideration. Use a neutral tone and remember it’s not a vote. If you only say “I don’t like X” without providing factual reasons, the response will be “Thank you for your comment.”

    • Steve April 6, 2022 (3:41 pm)

      Interested Neighbor, you rock! Thank you.

    • Judah Stevenson April 6, 2022 (4:37 pm)

      Thanks for this helpful comment! Great advice!

  • Nicki April 6, 2022 (4:56 pm)

    Every single time light rail comes up, without fail, you have the SkyLink/gondola supporters. Great it handles 70 mph winds…what about if one of the gondolas ends up having a mechanical issue while it’s over the Duwamish Waterway? Have you planned for that? How do the people in that cab/car/whatever you want to call it get to safety? There’s no tracks beside them so now you have to figure out a way to reach them. If you’re going to tell me it’s safer….the thing is, there is no safety net with gondolas. How do you plan to integrate the system with the rest of the local transit? What if someone is traveling from SODO to West Seattle and has groceries? Do the cabs have the room for that? Using a direct quote from your own website: Gondola consultants/manufacturers estimate SkyLink would cost at least $2 billion less. Who are these consultants and or manufacturers? I see so many of you complain about Sound Transit not being upfront and lying but yet I see only general descriptions. You rant and rave about Sound Transit but yet you’re not giving the people details either. Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    • Y2 SkyLink April 6, 2022 (6:56 pm)

      Yes, you would be able to bring the same kind of load you could bring on light rail or a bus. Bicyclists and parents with strollers could also easily board.

      If you watch some of the videos available regarding the proposal, or for other gondolas in operation, you will get a better sense of their capacity.

      Another of the benefits, the gondola cars would cycle/arrive faster than next trains would. 

      • Nicki April 7, 2022 (12:00 am)

        I notice you picked and chose which questions you answered. Answers about the capacity and when they’d arrive but nothing about the safety, the costs or the integration. 

        • Look Both Ways April 7, 2022 (9:26 am)

          The integration time and cost savings for the gondola are significant and well-documented for anyone who wants to read them. Trains get stuck all the time. Train accidents also occur all over the country. Same with buses, cars, bikes…. No transit is perfect, but let’s not let perfect be the enemy of better. Statistically, riding in gondolas is safer (even safer than skiing). Here’s an example of data: https://www.gondolaproject.com/faqs/

    • CAM April 6, 2022 (7:48 pm)

      The gondola madness finally got picked up by a few of the local TV stations last week and made it into Facebook. The comments were refreshing. Most people commented on how horrible they thought the idea was and blamed ST and SDOT for wasting money on it (because they assumed it was their plan). Other people indicated it was the reason they were happy they didn’t live in Seattle. I’m sure this comment will merit some response from a gondola promoter (paid or not) that will be telling me why I’m misinformed and is basically an advertisement for gondolas the world over. Simply, it’s the same commenters over and over again flooding the comments with the same information and I can’t believe that the 34th District Dems put out any kind of position statement in support of it. That’s a serious lack of judgment on display. 

      • CAM April 6, 2022 (7:59 pm)

        I take back my criticism of the 34th District Dems (at least temporarily). The position statement posted by Jan above has not been endorsed by them and is being proposed by a single individual and is on the agenda to be discussed at their meeting next week. There is no suggestion they agree with it. I was hasty. 

      • Martin April 7, 2022 (10:59 am)

        Same commenters? Their petition shows over 1300 signers: Let’s get moving on a gondola for West Seattle NOW – Action Network

    • Martin April 7, 2022 (10:47 am)

      The City of Kirkland did a gondola study last year with 3 stations (between downtown and I-405 rapid bus station) and found it would cost $81m. If you don’t believe SkyLink’s claims, make your own estimate what it would take to build one with 6 stations about twice as long. You might also check out the westseattleskylink.org website as it has more info on capacity and many more aspects.

  • Richard Shaven April 6, 2022 (5:37 pm)

    I love light rails as they weigh far less than heavy rails. Whoever suggested a gondola as the solution should be dragged behind a car driving over the unrepaired bridge (so that when the car plummets to the water below, the gondola dummy slams into the trunk as it plunges into the water). 

    • Martin April 7, 2022 (11:03 am)

      Light rail is a great technology, but steel wheels are limited to about 3% incline. That explains the challenges getting up the Junction and why it has to snake around Pigeon Point rather than go over it. A gondola has no such limitation. VancouverBC and Los Angeles have a lot of rail, but for their hills they plan to use gondolas, Portland already did.

  • Look Both Ways April 6, 2022 (6:31 pm)

    After having endured the extreme pain, cost / time overruns and community implications of major projects in past cities like Boston, Chicago, and LA, it seems folks here don’t appreciate how bad a multi-year train system development will disrupt lives.  Take the bridge outage pains and multiply by 5. Instead, the gondola is a very smart and efficient option. I’ve seen them work quite well in other geographically challenged urban centers like Bogota and Medellin. Paris just greenlit a similar project. The benefits vs. a train are substantial: — much cheaper & faster to build– much smaller community & carbon footprints, and less wildlife impact– wifi riding option, quieter, more scenic, ease of use for wheelchair/disabled persons– ease of expanded lines or integration with existing stations– promotes the area as a feature vs. just another long term construction slogI welcome and look forward to voting for this sensible initiative.

  • Popular transit April 6, 2022 (9:20 pm)

    Enough with the idiotic gondola talk. We voted on this, we need a holistic approach here. No to NIMBYs, yes to the raised trains. Take a look in Tukwila, Bellevue, and Redmond, they are absolutely fine.

    • Martin April 7, 2022 (10:38 am)

      Light rail is great in Tukwila, Bellevue, and Redmond as those cities neither have density nor hills. Let’s keep building light rail where it makes sense and gondolas where we have waterways or hills to deal with such as in West Seattle or up QA, Denny or First Hill. There are better ways to use $3.2b than to build a 2 mile long and up to 15 story-tall guideway up the Junction when Seattle can’t even pay for maintenance of their existing bridges.

  • Scubafrog April 7, 2022 (6:11 pm)

    I’m really excited for light rail.  I think it’ll be great for Western Wa’s economy, commuters, and the environment.  We’ll be connected to Bellevue, Redmond, Federal Way, Lynwood, all of Seattle, and Tacoma.   

  • DaPuffin April 8, 2022 (10:29 am)

    And of course, no matter what is decided, I have no doubt that Arbor Heights will still not benefit.  We have had horrible bus service here since I moved here in 1995. 

Sorry, comment time is over.