WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Two dates, plus online look at ‘further study’ findings

4:52 PM: The Sound Transit Board‘s meeting has just concluded. As we learned shortly before the meeting, West Seattle “areas of further study” results for ideas such as scrapping the Avalon station were not part of today’s presentation after all, but will be included when the board’s System Expansion Committee meets at 1 pm Thursday, February 9th. The slide deck for this afternoon’s presentation by ST’s Cathal Ridge nonetheless included two dates of note:

Those dates: The vote to finalize the route and station locations is now expected on November 16th. The Final Environmental Impact Statement will be released at some point before that. According to the new timeline, the West Seattle project schedule has slid two months; the line is expected to open in the final quarter of 2032. One more note: While a new survey for the West Seattle/Ballard extensions mostly focuses on the unsettled areas, there is an open-ended option for providing West Seattle feedback; you can go here to do that before February 17th.

6:54 PM: The project website does recap some of what’s been found about the proposed West Seattle “areas of further study,” even though it wasn’t discussed today. Go here and scroll to where you can expand the West Seattle Link Extension section. From what you’ll find there:

Delridge access, integration and alignment refinement shifts alignment south towards SW Yancy Steet to improve passenger access and transit integration and reduce effects to organizations serving low-income and communities of color.


14 fewer residential and 3 additional business displacements
Eliminates potential passenger and freight conflicts
Permanent closure of 32nd Ave
Cost delta compared to realigned financial plan: + $50 million

Eliminate Avalon Station eliminates station and optimizes alignment to reduce costs. Assumes shifting alignment south towards SW Yancy St.


48 fewer residential displacements and 3 fewer business displacements
Longer travel times for passengers closer to DEIS Avalon Station
No expected decrease in project ridership
Reduces temporary and permanent roadway closures
Cost delta compared to realigned financial plan: – $80 million

Alaska Junction station access refinement shifts station entrance 42nd Avenue SW to improve passenger access.


90 additional equitable transit oriented development housing units
Eliminates need for pedestrian crossing of 41st Ave SW
39 fewer residential and 32 additional business displacements
Cost delta compared to realigned financial plan: + $80 million

29 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Two dates, plus online look at 'further study' findings"

  • JL January 26, 2023 (6:22 pm)

    I would like to know if it is possible to scrap the whole plan?  Not trying to be negative, I think the concept sounds nice in theory but reality of this structure preceded by many displacements and years of construction could be a future wrecker for West Seattle…anyone else wondering too??

    • Josh January 26, 2023 (6:38 pm)

      No. We need more mass transit decades ago and just because it takes time and prior generations didn’t see it through does not mean that we should pass the buck ourselves. Light rail is awesome and will only bring long term benefit to us and those who come after. 

      • Canton January 26, 2023 (10:22 pm)

        Is that because our local  bus system is overcrowded?

      • Morgan January 27, 2023 (6:06 pm)

        What may have been a missed opportunity in the 70s isn’t a reason for today….there’s a sink cost fallacy in this line of reasoning.im not saying gondolas but I have noticed less bridge traffic….are we still confident in need projections fifteen years from now for rail?

    • Jim January 26, 2023 (6:58 pm)

      Totally on board with you! I feel like this is one of those projects where we just need to suck it up and cut our losses we’ve dumped way too much money into this for continued over budget and behind schedule

    • Derek January 26, 2023 (7:06 pm)

      The displacement is very few compared to the benefit of 5000% more people.  And it’s not like they won’t get market value for their home in a time where most don’t even own a home.

      • The King January 26, 2023 (9:41 pm)

        There’s a reason eminent domain lawyers exist. Government offers aren’t coming from checking Redfin. In fact the first time they were going to run rail into West Seattle they acquired properties, changed their minds and when asked about getting their land back they were told to show up at the auction like everyone else. What if this happens again? I’m with the original poster, just throw in the towel. The city hasn’t shown it’s going to take violent crimes seriously. The future rail would be a haven for headlines.  Our money has been wasted enough as the unelected sound transit board studies and analyzes. 

      • ARPIGEONPOINT January 27, 2023 (5:49 am)

        You must not be losing your home. 

    • anonyme January 27, 2023 (3:17 pm)

      JL, I agree with you.   The simplest solution would have been to locate a station across the bridge with a robust shuttle system to West Seattle.  At this point, the whole thing is a giant cluster.

  • Derek January 26, 2023 (7:06 pm)

    Light rail is coming. We voted on it. We’re past that. We need trains so bad. This congestion and sitting around in traffic in single occupant cars is so silly. Seattle traffic is driving me crazy. We need to scrap Avalon station since it’s too redundant to the closeby stations. And go over the golf course. Elevated track over that direction makes most sense. Tunnel is too expensive and takes too long. 

    • Canton January 26, 2023 (10:27 pm)

      The local crowd doesn’t like overground structures, like our beloved viaduct. May the structure be remembered, and the view remain ingrained…

    • WSresident January 26, 2023 (10:52 pm)

      Their current projected time frame is 9-10 years out- which is likely WAY sooner than the actual completion date,  will you still be here and survive a 4 year shut down of Avalon/35th closure? We needed trains LONG ago, but this is where we land with lack of infrastructure planning. It’s maddening. 

    • Wseattlite January 27, 2023 (12:16 am)

      Derek, in the very recent past, you were extolling the bus system in Seattle as world class. Why do we need a fixed track system to do the same thing the bus system can do almost immediately by actually providing more reliable busses, that would be much more flexible and cost a tiny fraction of unmovable 19th century technology?

      • Derek January 27, 2023 (7:25 am)

        Por que dos? But for real, we need both types. Trains for long distance efficiency. Buses for expandability.

    • Corla January 27, 2023 (9:08 am)

      Getting light rail is not going to stop people from sitting in traffic in their single occupant vehicles. It already a short bus ride to downtown. Improving that would be better than wasting all this time and money on a light rail. 

  • SB January 26, 2023 (7:24 pm)

    Has the preferred alternative changed now to run down 32nd, or is the original preferred alternative still preferred? New to the area, and trying to untangle what is actually ‘preferred’ and what is just being explored.This makes me think the DEL-6 station is now preferred, is that the read that came out of the July meeting?

    • Marilyn January 28, 2023 (1:07 pm)

      .Sound Transit relies on us being unaware and uninformed.  How can we attend or comment at meetings if we are not told about them or if they are not held in  our community? We can request  an in-person open house here in WS BEFORE the Feb 9th ST System Expansion Committee  meetingContact :   leda.chahim@soundtransit.org   and/or phoebe.wu@soundtransit.org

  • Mel January 26, 2023 (8:09 pm)

    I’m in the camp of scrapping the whole thing. I’d rather not have light rail in WS at this point. Less people are commuting downtown, Public transportation hubs seem to attract more crime…no thanks. I’ll pass.

    • wsgolfer January 26, 2023 (11:20 pm)

      Mel, one common  argument against transit expansion is that expanding Transit will bring crime to an area. Studies from Los Angeles Contradict the idea that transit brings crime.Here is the studies in Question –Effect of Rail Transit on Crime: A Study of Los Angeles from 1988-2014:https://crim.sas.upenn.edu/working-papers/effect-rail-transit-crime-study-los-angeles-1988-2014Journeys to Crime: Assessing the Effects of a Light Rail Line on Crime in the Neighborhoodshttps://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol6/iss3/5/This Particular page looks at info from various different sourceshttps://marininfo.org/CarTransit/TWELVE_ANTI-TRANSIT_MYTHS.htm

    • Peter January 27, 2023 (8:29 am)

      Ah yes, the good old “public transit causes crime” lie. Can always count on some liar to bring that up. 

      • Mel January 27, 2023 (9:30 am)

        Liar? All one has to do is go to the larger transit hubs in the area. Have you taken a bus downtown recently? I have. I’ve Seen people doing drugs, passed out, attempted assaults on the poor metro drivers trying to do their jobs. What is going to keep that activity from migrating to the light rail?

        • The King January 27, 2023 (9:47 pm)

          The MARTA five year police report on transit is available online. Someone else mentioned in the comments that the marta rail got built in Atlanta instead of Seattle because of the city not moving forward a long time ago. Their light rail has around 4x the amount of crimes in every category they list versus the other means of transportation. So if assault, rape and theft statistics aren’t enough for these people then nothing will change their mind 

  • Martin January 26, 2023 (9:40 pm)

    Sound Transit’s CID proposals turned out to be infeasible, many residents objected to all the disruption. Now they propose to skip CID and only build a downtown station for $3 billion, why bother? I wish they would just focus building a new line between Westlake, SLU and Ballard sooner. West Seattle seems to be doing fine with buses or they can build SkyLink instead. Why waste another $3.5 billion? We have so many other transit needs in our region!

  • KB1000 January 26, 2023 (10:52 pm)

    Sound Transit claims to value transit equity. I’d like to understand how transit equity means turning my current one seat 30 minute downtown bus ride into a three seat (one bus, two trains) which will take upward of 50 minutes. Someone please explain how this little train is equitable for anyone in Delridge? Looks to me like the poor folks are getting screwed. 

    • Corla January 27, 2023 (9:02 am)

      Poor people always get screwed even though they always are trying to say all this stuff is to make everything easier for low income people.  Should just cut our losses and redirect the money to other projects. 

  • HappyCamper January 27, 2023 (10:22 am)

    For all of the people against light rail can we just take a moment of silence to contemplate what could have been if our predecessors actually built project forward thrust in the 70’s? They basically didn’t move forward on it and here we are having the same discussions and arguments against it decades later.So OUR train was built in Atlanta instead of Seattle and ridership in 2021 was 22,912,700 trips on the Atlanta MARTA. So people do use rail and it is effective.

    • Pro train January 27, 2023 (4:14 pm)

      Very disappointing. Don’t be like 1970s seattlites! 

  • Greg January 27, 2023 (2:54 pm)

    Oh good!  We have ten more years to yell at each other online about how bad or good this is.  

  • Divergent January 28, 2023 (9:26 am)

    With all the « densification «  projects in West Seattle – more appartement buildings in the Junction; the Alki Lumber location, micro-apartments with zero parking spaces; single family homes replaced by 5-10 townhouses – parking and traffic will be a nightmare. All these plans are made with the light rail in mind, so there is no other option. I wish we had light rail now rather than buses that get stuck for one reason or the other.

Sorry, comment time is over.