WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: ‘Further study’ results due at Thursday’s Sound Transit Board meeting

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: When the Sound Transit Board meets Thursday afternoon, it’s scheduled to hear a report on some as-yet-undecided aspects of the West Seattle light-rail project, the “Areas of Further Study,” which most notably included the possibility of scrapping the Avalon station. The “areas” were recapped in a presentation at a board-committee meeting back in November – this is a slide section showing the West Seattle study subjects:

(The full slide deck from the November meeting includes closer looks at each “area.”) Some residents close to the proposed light-rail route have received a flyer mentioning the presentation planned tomorrow – we heard from one resident near 32nd/Genesee who said a printed copy was hung on her front gate. The flyer also says the “further study” results will be discussed when the board’s System Expansion Committee meets February 9th. Here’s the 1:30 pm meeting’s agenda (including how to comment); we’ve requested the report in advance but it hasn’t been made available yet.

One other West Seattle light-rail-related note: ST is now doing more field work, involving “noise monitoring at several properties near the West Seattle Link Extension corridor” as part of the work toward the Final Environmental Impact Statement’s publication later this year. This flyer, forwarded to us by another community member, has gone out to residents who agreed to allow monitoring devices on their property. The flyer, among other things, says they’re not recording actual sound, just decibel levels. We have several followup questions out to ST, including asking which areas these studies are being conducted in.

ADDED 12:13 PM THURSDAY: As noted below, we have finally obtained some advance information on today’s discussion, and are told it will NOT include West Seattle results, but will focus on other areas of the project, particularly Ballard. West Seattle will get a closer look at the February 9th System Expansion Committee meeting, we’re told.

29 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: 'Further study' results due at Thursday's Sound Transit Board meeting"

  • Johannes January 25, 2023 (4:28 pm)

    Really frustrating that letters/flyers didn’t go out to all residents in the area. This DEL-6 plan is so bad and West Seattle needs to advocate for tunnel only options. Above grade rail is noisy and ugly and at grade kills pedestrians. 

    • Derek January 26, 2023 (8:00 am)

      Tunnel is so expensive and “ugly” is a NIMBYism that is not rooted in any real argument. The cost and time of a tunnel is just going to take too long. Elevated track across the golf course into Junction down Edmunds or Alaska makes most sense to me. Golf courses are the biggest waste of land there can be. Less houses need to be torn down. It’s a win.

      • Kyle January 26, 2023 (10:24 am)

        Calling out “Nimbyism” in the same breath as advocating for removal of public golf courses. Classic “if I don’t enjoy it then it’s a waste and no one else should either” attitude. 

        • KM January 26, 2023 (1:55 pm)

          Some people are now saying that transportation and sports are different and should be treated as such.

        • WestSeattleBadTakes January 26, 2023 (2:05 pm)

          One is right and one is wrong. This isn’t complicated but it isn’t too surprising that folks will try to play the hypocrisy card without understanding what they are saying.

        • Derek January 26, 2023 (7:02 pm)

          Kyle, how is a golf course more beneficial to society than a train? What? NIMBYism is KEEPING the golf course and keeping things as they are. Your point does not make sense. The golf course should be a park for all to enjoy not just people who have expensive clubs and like an extremely niche sport.

      • Johannes January 26, 2023 (11:04 am)

        That was the original preferred alternative, and I agree still should be! That plan iscalled Del-1a and Del-1b:
        https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/0-wsble-drafteis-executivesummary-202201.pdf
        I highly encourage you to email the board before their meeting today to advocate for Del-1. 

        meetingcomments@soundtransit.org
  • Kim January 25, 2023 (4:33 pm)

    Wish the Feb 8th public meeting was more accessible. There really should be a meeting in West Seattle too, so sent Sound Transit an email asking for one. I encourage you folks ti send a quick email to ST, if you want to attend, but aren’t able to make it downtown on that afternoon. 

  • East Coast Cynic January 25, 2023 (5:02 pm)

    As long as we don’t “further study” West Seattle Link into extinction.  If you take the Avalon stop away from Avalon and nearby residents, give them a viable option for quick and reliable access to link.I’d hate to be an Avalon condo owner or apartment resident waiting for what’s going to happen.

  • Also John January 25, 2023 (8:03 pm)

    If Sound Transit elects to scrap the Avalon station, they should move the Junction station to Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection.  That would be a very short walk to where the Avalon station would have been.  I walk it everyday….maybe a 5 minute walk at most.

  • Dd January 25, 2023 (9:08 pm)

    Why would they scrap an Avalon Station? Densely populated, no parking and developers continuing to build more highly stacked and closely knit housing units all the way down and onto Harbor Ave. 

  • Marie January 25, 2023 (9:17 pm)

    Does anyone know what will become of Metro’s C line if light rail is built?

  • Niko January 25, 2023 (10:38 pm)

    Just defund sound transit cut our losses and move on

    • Corla January 26, 2023 (7:06 am)

       YES!  

    • Derek January 26, 2023 (7:56 am)

      No.  I would argue ST needs even more funds. I do not understand this logic. We need trains for multiple reasons. We are a dense and urban city and we need clean energy solutions that are efficient. Not one person in gas guzzling car taking up so much space on public roadways. It’s time to be a grown up city. We VOTED for this. No takebacks!

  • Rhonda January 25, 2023 (10:51 pm)

    This is a train wreck ten+ years before the train is even built.

  • Augustine L January 25, 2023 (10:54 pm)

    I don’t understand why scrap the Avalon station? They have two micro apartments about to be cleared. Another big apartment being built. Golden Tee rebuild soon. The alki lumber apartments in a few years(?)I feel like the junction and Avalon are the two most highly dense areas here! If the Avalon station doesn’t get built it NEVER will. 

    • wsresident January 26, 2023 (10:02 am)

      Maybe the impact of 35th avenue/avalon intersection being closed for 3+ years for construction, per the main developer I spoke to. NIGHTMARE to have everyone who comes up Avalon, not being able to, or coming down 35th toward the bridge no available. So EVERYONE is on Fauntleroy, for 3 + years. 

  • Derek January 26, 2023 (7:54 am)

    Scrap the Avalon station. Do not need it. Junction and Delridge only please!!! Avalon is redundant and it will be a nightmare congestion. But just build the dang thing! We need it!!! Tired of both my car and the bus. I want to be a real city!

    • KM January 26, 2023 (12:16 pm)

      Anyone on the 35th Ave SW corridor would be SOL with using the light rail if Avalon is scrapped, and Avalon is poised for more development than exists now. Two busses, or a bus and a hill in either direction for those living south just to get on the train is going to discourage a lot of riders if they lose access to Avalon station. The geography and zoning of the area definitely warrant the station.

      • WS Guy January 26, 2023 (12:33 pm)

        Walk three blocks east to Delridge station, downhill, on the way downtown.  Walk three blocks East from Junction station, downhill, on the way back.  Easy. 

  • Scarlett January 26, 2023 (8:12 am)

    A little more “Seattle process” should have gone into the placement of, or necessity of, certain stations on the Central LInk line that are virtually deserted most of the day.  All you need is a tumblewood and a lonely train whistle to complete the effect.   The entire ludicrous, wasteful project should be scrapped, but of course it won’t be. 

  • Michael Taylor-Judd January 26, 2023 (8:54 am)

    1) Metro’s current long-range planning assumes that when light rail comes online the RR C Line will continue to run but no longer through Downtown. Current thinking assumes that it could be reouted to run through the Waterfront Tunnel to exit into South Lake Union and end at or nearby its current endpoint in that neighborhood.2) There are TWO basic issues with the Avalon Station. The first is that if the Delridge Station is built in the expected places, then these two stations would be much closer together than is typical for a rapid transit system, especially outside of a Downtown/business spine. The other is that the possible locations for the station present significant challenges for safe access by pedestrians outside of the immediate surrounding blocks and to service well with buses. For example the planning process has ALWAYS assumed the most likely place for the 21/22 routes would be to turn on Alaska and run to the Junction station rather than trying to serve an Avalon station.Feel free to stop by or keep up with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. Our next meeting is actually this Thursday evening.

    • Joe Z January 26, 2023 (10:44 am)

      There is a giant hill between Avalon and Delridge. When the actual walking time is considered, the stations are not that close. The Avalon area will be further transformed by the massive development at the lumber yard. Avalon will look completely different in 20 years.If the DEL-6 option is selected for the Avalon Station, it will be an extremely easy bus transfer as the station is currently designed. The bus stops as they are drawn in the DEIS look great. Additionally, it will present a golden opportunity for the 21 to continue northward on 35th Ave to serve Admiral and Alki — into areas that are currently poorly served by transit (because nobody wants to detour through the Junction if they are trying to get to Admiral or Alki). 

  • Joe Z January 26, 2023 (10:51 am)

    The updated DEL-6 route is going to show a slight southward deviation (relative to the existing DEL-6) between the Delridge and Andover station, so along Andover the track will run directly over the fitness center (as opposed to being on the Nucor side of the street) and then along the north side of Yancy St before turning left as Yancy approaches Avalon/32nd. The reason for doing this is twofold — first, they want the Delridge Station to be slightly closer to Andover St than it was initially designed, and secondly, they want to avoid bulldozing the Transitional Resources main offices on Avalon. So the new track will ‘thread the needle’ between the new TR buildings on the south side of Yancy and the main office. They are currently doing the noise study near the corner of 32nd Ave and Andover. My property on 32nd is scheduled to be bulldozed by DEL-6 but would probably avoid demolition with this modified route. Many of my neighbors are unsure if they will get bulldozed or be spared by these modifications. As you can imagine, it is very traumatic for the neighborhood along 32nd Ave to have this still be up in the air after over 6 years of planning. Construction is getting closer and they still haven’t finalized the route. They need to hurry up and make a decision. 

    • Derek January 26, 2023 (12:11 pm)

      Seems like a no-brainer to go the Golf Course and Stadium route to me. Way less bulldozing of meaningful homes and buildings. 

      • Heidi January 26, 2023 (1:31 pm)

        Agreed!  This is the route that makes the best sense and causes the least disruption and destruction of homes. 

    • Andrew J January 26, 2023 (6:11 pm)

      The amended alignment further south as well as eliminating the health club also brings it right to the edge of dragonfly park basically overshadowing it, which would be a huge loss to the community. Plus the south amendment would take it over the one of the beaver colonies resides right at the Yancy intersection and a key area of the salmon run.  Personally I will be commenting to keep it running along the edge of Nucor where the impact is much less.

  • WSB January 26, 2023 (12:11 pm)

    Update – I finally got some advance info from Sound Transit. No revelations on the West Seattle “further study” items are expected at this meeting. ST says they will be discussed at the February 9th meeting. We’re still planning to cover today’s meeting. – TR

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