LIGHT RAIL: Here’s everything Sound Transit showed at West Seattle event, as another round of drilling continues

Thanks to the reader who texted the photo of Sound Transit‘s drill rig by Taco Time at 35th/Fauntleroy. It’s another round of the sampling they’ve been doing around the area as part of environmental studies for West Seattle light rail. ST spokesperson Rachelle Cunningham tells us it should be done at that spot by today’s end. Meantime, we promised to let you know when all the graphics show on easels and tables at last week’s open-house-style station-planning meeting were available – we requested them the next day but it’s taken ST until now to get them into a sharable format. Here they are, in PDF (41 pages).

P.S. The related survey remains open through December.

30 Replies to "LIGHT RAIL: Here's everything Sound Transit showed at West Seattle event, as another round of drilling continues"

  • Alex October 30, 2023 (4:44 pm)

    It’s a little crazy that until 2039, they expect people to take three different light rail lines in order to get to Redmond. 

    • bill October 30, 2023 (6:22 pm)

      Indeed, us provincial hayseeds cannot possibly navigate two transfers. Stay away from New York City, folks! (And Paris, and … any actual major city.)

      • Also John October 30, 2023 (7:40 pm)

        Agree with Bill….Oh the horror of not being able to go door to door via light rail.

    • winniegirl October 30, 2023 (8:40 pm)

      I agree with alex.  there are multiple transfers on the subway because the system was cobbled together over 100 years.  This modern transit system should be constructed faster and more coherently.  as someone who lived in NYC for decades (not an armchair traveler), I would avoid living in an area where I had to make multiple transfers.

    • David October 30, 2023 (9:11 pm)

      Ever ride The Tube? Multiple trains required to get many places – trains 5-7 minutes apart

  • pro rail October 30, 2023 (6:20 pm)

    By my count, it is two. Transfer downtown to the “Redmond line”. Not unlike many commutes in NYC or SFO where one has to make a transfer. It is part of the deal.It’s a little crazy that we don’t already have light rail. This has been in the works, in one shape or form, since the 60’s. We need it and need it badly to counter single-car usage, mobility challenges, and an ever-growing dependence on cars. 

    • Richard October 30, 2023 (11:53 pm)

      From 2032 to 2039, the WS line stops in SODO while the 2 line leaves towards Redmond from CID, so Alex is right. I personally don’t care, but it will be a hurdle in convincing people that commute via car from WS to Redmond when it’s incredibly accessible from WS bridge -> I5 -> 520 which is a disappointment 

      • SoCloseItHurts October 31, 2023 (8:03 am)

        It won’t be hard to convince them to ride the lightrail when it cuts 30+ minutes off their commute. 

        • Seth October 31, 2023 (10:13 am)

          As someone who commutes from west seattle (n delridge) to kirland, it takes about 40 minutes total for me to get there and back (7 am leave / 3pm return).  I would not take the light rail with 3x transfers.

  • Jerry Simmons October 30, 2023 (6:21 pm)

    Oh no, say goodbye to WS Taco Time!

  • East Coast Cynic October 30, 2023 (8:12 pm)

    And maybe say goodbye to Habit Burger:( , but for a good cause.

    • josh October 31, 2023 (8:00 am)

      I for one miss the wsu bar that once stood where the habit burger currently is but cities do change.

      • Notacoug October 31, 2023 (8:42 am)

        Josh, Are you referring to The Bridge?  
        It was not where the old Kentucky Fried Chicken and now Habit Burger, but where the new apartment building is to the south.  
        The Bridge has relocated to California and Graham.

        • WSB October 31, 2023 (9:52 am)

          I suspect Josh means Redline, which preceded The Bridge (and later had a brief revival across 35th).

  • flimflam October 31, 2023 (7:28 am)

    it’s really quite stunning just how long these projects take from “yes” vote to completion. 2039?

  • DC October 31, 2023 (8:59 am)

    These stations look great! And so many opportunities for new developments around them!! I don’t understand those so upset about the businesses and houses being displaced. They will be fairly compensated for the inconvenience and what replaces them will be even better! I just hope they add a proper grocery store to the Delridge station. We desperately need on in that area. 

    • YT October 31, 2023 (12:11 pm)

      One of the originally planned routes would have gone right through where my home sits.  I remained in favor of this desperately needed infrastructure, but it would have been a huge headache and possible financial burden for my partner and I to be forced to move.  It’s totally understandable for people to be upset, but this light rail still needs to happen. Many people were also upset when their homes and businesses were torn down to build our countries absurd freeways. 

    • Phil October 31, 2023 (3:16 pm)

      Unfortunately the businesses won’t be fairly compensated.  Just the property owners.  Sound Transit has a $50k cap on business relocation reimbursement.  Most businesses can’t move for anything near that.

      • Taunya October 31, 2023 (10:20 pm)

        This really is Sound Transit dirty secret, a serious injustice to small business owners and is a trend in their route planning decision process.  They are being cost effective by targeting pathways that have small businesses where they only have to fairly compensate the landowner not the actual commerce stations that create the value of the property.  It’s the very definition of government overreach and for those that say just move the business have no idea what it takes to run a business. Everyone agrees light rail is the right thing to do but Sound Transit is using tactics to shaft the mom and pop shops only to squander billions on project overruns with very little transparency.  

  • Jeff October 31, 2023 (1:05 pm)

    Need trains now! Can’t keep messing this up. Get it done!!

  • Scarlett October 31, 2023 (3:44 pm)

    This is all light rail fantasy.  Firstly, light rail is a redundant public transportation that will simply siphon off riders who currenly use the bus system.  Secondly,  the notion that riders are going to walk or take another bus simply to get to a light rail station when a single bus ride is much more likely to be easier to get to and get them closer to where they want to go, is absurd. Take a good look at the Central Link and a few of the very lightly used stations, and minus the riders going to the airport, if you want a preview of the West Seattle segment a decade from now.  All this for $4 billion and massive displacement and disruption.   Oh, and yes, I’ve ridden light rail here, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix.  Cost benefit wise, they are flops. 

  • John October 31, 2023 (7:10 pm)

    I’m positive the quality of work will be on par with the quality of work on the WSB, the fly bridge, and 35th SW.GOOD LUCK$$$

  • Scarlett October 31, 2023 (8:07 pm)

    You can’t superimpose light rail on cities that have been designed for cars and buses. It simply doesn’t work, at least not at the scale needed to make them cost effective and worthwhile.   That ship has sailed a long time ago and the cities that do have effective rail systems implemented them many decades ago and have a population accustomed to them, including a population that is used to walking – a lot of very physical walking.  I was just in Tokyo, and I was exhausted after a day of riding trains to and fro, rushing from one station to the next, climbing stairs, jostling with other riders.   The best solution for Seattle?  Expand the bus system, install more bus lanes, make it more safe.  

    • Jeff November 1, 2023 (8:36 am)

      What? This is absolutely false. “Superimpose,” no what we did was superimpose cars onto a streetcar city. And we are taking it back!  Single occupancy car usage is killing the planet and will get more and more inefficient as density in Seattle rises (as shown with housing data over the past decade+). Buses still have to fight traffic with single occupancy cars! It’s not efficient at this rate. Trains don’t have traffic. Also, we voted already on this and it was an overwhelming YES for support.

      • Scarlett November 1, 2023 (8:20 pm)

        None of these light rail segments, whether Northgate or Eastside or West Seattle, will ever remotely pay for themselves in terms of ridership or their massive contribution of carbon into the environment during construction. Where are all the riders that were supposed to accompany development around Central Link stations?  Have you ever seen the stations of Mt. Baker or Columbia City during mid-day?  They are ghost towns.   These light rail segments will be giant reminders of how the emotional appeal of an idea – yes, it a really enticing and seductive idea – can overwhelm sober and pragmatic analysis.   So be it. 

        • Jeff November 2, 2023 (9:11 am)

          Scarlett, again, you’re wrong. It pays for itself within two years with normal ridership. Midday is when people are working. They are regularly used for events, rush hour, and weekends. Much like CTA and other transit system ridership in the country of cities of similar sizes. You also ignored density argument. We are ADDING housing. So that housing = more single occupancy vehicles if we don’t fix train system. Plus, we voted for it.  The minor carbon emissions during construction seriously negligible compared to the DECADES of zero emissions. Come on now. You’re concern-trolling the short term versus the long term benefits.

  • James November 1, 2023 (11:09 am)

    The larger issue for me is that the core ride, from Junction-ish to Downtown, will be longer (and less convenient) on this train than on the Rapid C bus. This train for many routes slows down travel time. See previous express bus from Downtown to Airport and the train which easily adds 10 minutes. 

    • K8 November 2, 2023 (6:40 am)

      This! Right now taking the bus from West Seattle to Downtown  is only 10-15 min longer than driving. However, Taking the light rail from my office takes an hour instead of the 30 min if I got an Uber.

    • Jeff November 2, 2023 (9:13 am)

      Wait until boatloads of apartments go up and every single person is stuffing Fauntleroy and Avalon with single occupancy cars. 

      • Scarlett November 3, 2023 (9:11 am)

        If Central Link or the UW link – already cutting through two of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Seattle – are any harbinger of the future, this is not going to happen, Jeff.  This is what I mean by rosy, unrealistic projections that always accompany light rail projections, here and elsewhere.   I’ve been riding public transportation my entire life, but that doesn’t blind me to critically examining any public transportation proposal.  I’ll say it again, you can’t superimpose light rail on cities not designed for it and expect the sort of results that are required to make it cost-effective in terms of ridership, environment and traffic congestion.  It if did work, I would be fully behind it, but it doesn’t, and it’s not really even a close call.  

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