Sound Transit returns to West Seattle to talk about light-rail stations, kicking off another round of feedback

Last night’s Sound Transit open house at the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction, the agency’s first in-person West Seattle meeting in many months, was largely a kickoff for a new round of feedback – which you can provide via this survey if you weren’t there to put sticky dots and/or notes on easel displays.

Though the final routing (alignment) of the $4 billion West Seattle Link Extension won’t be settled until after the final Environmental Impact Statement, its four planned stations – The Junction, Avalon, Delridge, and SODO – have ST-“preferred” locations on which the design discussion is focusing.

The feedback ST sought last night, and is seeking via the survey, focuses on possible projects near, and leading to/from, the stations, as well as the potential mixed-use Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that’s likely to be built on station-adjacent sites that are used for construction staging. Regarding the station siting, here is the main graphic for The Junction’s station:

For Avalon (which, it should be noted, is still under consideration for removal from the plan to save money):

For Delridge:

We’ve requested the PDF version of all the meeting displays from Sound Transit and expect to have that later thi afternoon, plus it’s supposed to be added to the project website. Also note: We’re only focusing on the line as it crosses the Duwamish River and heads into West Seattle, but SODO is considered part of the West Seattle Link Extension too, so you’ll see that in the full package. In this round of feedback, the Delridge has the largest number of potential “projects” proposed, and the survey will take you through each one (you can choose to give feedback on one specific station, or all four). It’s open until December 20th.

Aside from an in-person version of the survey, last night’s gathering did include a few remarks from the stage, but rather than presenting project information, it was mostly an introduction of who and what was in the room. Nonetheless, we recorded video just in case. The first speaker is Jason Hampton, ST’s current point person for this project; the graphics projected onto the stage screen were images of ST stations elsewhere in the city:

As speakers noted, there was a significant city presence at the event too, since that’s who would lead the many potential transportation projects connecting to the stations. There was also a pitch for the draft Seattle Transportation Plan (feedback on that continues through Tuesday, October 31). Once the survey’s over, ST promised to return to West Seattle “early next year.” The timeline for the project continues to estimate the West Seattle extension will open in late 2032.

ADDED OCTOBER 30: We’ve also published this separately but for the record, the meeting graphics as shown on easels and tables are here.

45 Replies to "Sound Transit returns to West Seattle to talk about light-rail stations, kicking off another round of feedback"

  • Derek October 26, 2023 (12:58 pm)

    I am so so so excited about Lightrail coming to West Seattle. Wish we could expedite this already! I am okay with keeping or removing Avalon. Seems like trips would be faster if it were removed. But we need transit so I am cool with either. We can afford to lose Taco Time or Habit or whatever else.

    • Al October 26, 2023 (4:35 pm)

      Ah yes, let’s tear down established businesses and single family homes so seattle can have more underutilized transit. 👍🏻 glad to see you care about those who will be displaced Derek! 

      • Michael October 26, 2023 (10:52 pm)

        You think this is underutilized? Have you ever been on the light rail?

      • DC October 27, 2023 (8:36 am)

        If you cared to look into it, anyone displaced will be fairly compensated for the inconvenience. And the new developments around the stations will more than make up for the displaced businesses and homes (FYI, condos/apartments, not just single-family homes, are also homes with real people and real families).

  • IHeartBPP October 26, 2023 (1:36 pm)

    Does anyone remember what the original opening date was supposed to be?

  • Spencer October 26, 2023 (1:47 pm)

    It was so excellent to talk with Sound Transit staff and see the extension really come into focus with all these cool renderings! I feel like I was able to get a great sense of physicality and space for the new stations – I can see them in my mind’s eye. :D SDOT’s feedback stations were really cool too, and I love to see the city enthusiastically engaging with transit improvements and connections in the immediate areas. I’m so jazzed about the extension! Great work everyone involved, 10/10 event!! 💙🚇

  • ConcernedCitizen12 October 26, 2023 (2:57 pm)

    Has Sound Transit considered the gondola? Or perhaps another Disneyland-type novelty?

  • WestSeattleBadTakes October 26, 2023 (4:07 pm)

    Let’s go lightrail!

  • West Marge October 26, 2023 (4:35 pm)

    The environmental impact isn’t worth it. period.

    • Bob October 27, 2023 (12:03 pm)

      The sources from, linked in, are incorrect. They appear to be entirely fabricated. Page 64 (3-14) here gives the actual daily rider estimates. Carbon reduction offsets would be achieved in 28 years in the worst case (no uptick in ridership following the downtown connection) and ~10 years in the best case scenario. Additionally, that is based on assumptions that construction won’t adapt to updated legislation in time leading to increased carbon emissions, which is a speculative hypothesis, not an authoritative fact.

      I really, really encourage you, as well as the rest of the readership of this blog, to look further into the sources that you cite. Where are they coming from? Do they link to authoritative sources? Do they have an agenda? What assumptions are they making? These are crucial questions to ask before sharing information broadly.

  • Rhonda October 26, 2023 (4:49 pm)

    Whatever, as long as Sound Transit keeps their crime-ridden trains far away from Arbor Heights.

  • Niko October 26, 2023 (4:58 pm)

    Defund sound transit 

  • TJ October 26, 2023 (4:59 pm)

    Realize that ST3 alone is costing $45,000 per person in the Sound Transit taxing district. This for something that will be rendered at least partially obsolete with new transportation technology by the time this extension is actually complete. All while displacing lots of businesses and housing and sticking out like a sore thumb. Meanwhile car usage isn’t going anywhere, no matter what some want or think should happen while predicting some dystopian future because of them. My shop is in Tukwila and I can see the elevated line from it, and I see trains that are at best half full at all times of the day, and sometimes only a few people. 

    • James October 26, 2023 (6:24 pm)

      Will pay for itself in the first year of running.

    • Josh October 26, 2023 (10:18 pm)

      What “new transportation technology”? We haven’t had a single new form of transportation arise since planes became mainstream over half a century ago. If public transit and trains didn’t become obsolete in cities that implemented them before cars were even accessible to most people, it’s not happening soon. Car usage isn’t going anywhere, but the amount of young people getting their license is going *down*. There’s nothing favoring an argument that this would somehow become obsolete anytime soon and legitimate data (seriously, look it up) favoring the opposite.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes October 27, 2023 (6:45 am)

        I believe this individual thinks self-driving cars are the solution. Delusional, but not uncommon.

    • DC October 27, 2023 (9:19 am)

      TJ, since you seem to be car dependent yourself, you should be ecstatic about a new transit option that doesn’t clog the streets or reduce general traffic lanes. Can you imagine if we kept growing at the rate we are now and the only way to get around was driving! Light rail keeps new cars off the road so people like you can drive around without traffic. 

  • The Earl October 26, 2023 (5:00 pm)

    The displacement of lives isn’t worth the trade off. Too little to late. No stopping the money train.

  • Elisha October 26, 2023 (8:13 pm)

    This doesn’t do anything for those in WS! It’s a bunch of money grubbing trash. Let’s displace those who have JOBS (where these stations are projected to tear down), HOMES (where these stations will be projected to be) and ruin the WS beauty with an eyesore of more crime and ‘dumpster fires’. I believe there are enough buses that a light rail is NOT needed! 

    • Keira October 27, 2023 (6:08 pm)

      Smells like Nimbyism I have no tolerance for Nimbyism you people make transit projects needlessly expensive and make them take longer we already voted on this

  • Johnny Stulic October 26, 2023 (10:37 pm)

    According to a lot of commenters here, nothing should ever get built by anyone anywhere because there is always someone somewhere who could [shudder] have to move. Had this mentality been in charge 100 years ago, Seattle would still be a bunch of shrubs and a few beaver dams, but at least no one would be “displaced”. Here’s a novel idea: if you want things to remain static and nothing to get built, stop having children. Within my lifetime, the world population nearly tripled, and the US population doubled. All these new people have to live somewhere. That also requires public transport, among other things, which can’t be built in the air, regardless how many fantasies about gondolas and magical new transportation technology (teleportation?) we have to listen to while I seriously consider sticking a rusty fork in my ears instead.

    • Mia October 27, 2023 (7:10 am)

      The entire Native American population was displaced. Thank you for referring to that as just a couple beaver dams. 

      • Yes October 27, 2023 (12:43 pm)

        Thank you, Mia. I was trying to figure out how to respond to that. Colonialism at its most obvious.

      • Bob October 28, 2023 (3:50 pm)

        The Treaty of Point Elliot was signed in 1855 and the Duwamish river was forever altered in the very early 1900s. Johnny’s wording may have been clunky but calling it colonialism is incorrect, given that, sadly, the ramifications from that rampant colonialism were already felt 100 years ago.

        Seattle’s history is interesting. I’d recommend reading up on it before using the wrong “-ism”. Potentially look into the Hoovervilles and call Johnny classist? Feels like a stretch but let’s at least get it right.

  • Ray October 27, 2023 (12:26 am)

    Imagine being one of the poor souls that would live at the Delridge station development. Dodging semi trucks as you leave your front door everyday, sleepless nights from Nucor’s 24 hour operation, and the sweet smell of the traffic on the bridge. That is a site certain for low income housing and future cancer clusters.

  • Keenan October 27, 2023 (7:01 am)

    This is a reminder that we voted “yes” on ST3 seven years ago and the project is still in the “post-it notes on the wall of a community meeting” stage.

    • skeeter October 27, 2023 (12:56 pm)

      Keenan – I appreciate your comment.  I voted for ST3 and support light rail.  But I agree this meeting has me concerned.  I thought the comment period after the draft EIS was the final opportunity for community members to give information and feedback to ST.  At this point ST should be fully engaged with experts, professionals, etc to incorporate the feedback from the draft EIS into the final light rail plans.  For ST to ask community members to stick post it notes on the wall at this stage really has me puzzled.  

  • TJ October 27, 2023 (7:46 am)

    Yes you are correct, it’s not new transportation technology, but the refining of existing technology in autonomous vehicles. Which is here now, and once it is set up on a large scale it will change the way some people travel. Some people can ignore that or not trust it, but it’s coming. 

  • PJK October 27, 2023 (8:27 am)

     Those of you who say light is under-utilized obviously don’t use it!!  i travel from the Tukwila Station to the UW every day for work – yes, I live at Glen Acres but I grew up in WS since 1952!  If you try to take light rail to any sporting event (UW football, Mariners games, etc.) it is PACKED!!  Ridership has only grown since they added the 3 stops beyond Montlake to Northgate.  When I enter at Montlake in the evening, many times I don’t get a seat until we get past Westlake where people transfer to buses.It’s the future – accept it.  There are housing developments along the route which have been built because of light rail.  Although, I would hope Taco Time could relocate!!

  • wetone October 27, 2023 (9:23 am)

    Curious on the numbers to how many people will be actually using ST ? For more than not it will have zero positive benefits for ones daily commute. Not enough time in the day for one to walk a mile or/then bus to ST station to get to next location to walk or take a bus or two getting to work then repeat for getting home. Age, family and work locations have big impacts on those that will be using ST or bus system. Biggest take of public dollars and land ever in US, benefiting so few. Should be focusing on better more efficient bus service for WS with center hub in triangle area, benefiting  those living in junction area. Without a large parking garage, ST and Bus services will always be limited in helping most the population of WS……

    • WS Guy October 27, 2023 (10:53 am)

      Keep in mind the train will end its route in SODO until 2039.  Won’t go downtown.

      • Derek October 27, 2023 (8:48 pm)

        That’s fine. Connecting is fine and how other cities do it for years. Portland is so far ahead of Seattle in the train game it’s wild. We NEED trains! Period.

    • Foop October 27, 2023 (11:25 am)

      The primary concern I have is that the light rail isn’t moving further south to WWV or WC.  I would gladly walk 10-15 minutes a day to get to it versus 5 minutes to a bus that is often late or early and gets stuck in traffic. I go to Northgate regularly and even with the transfer in SODO this would be much better than transferring busses downtown to the light rail or driving and dealing with I5 traffic that is often always backed up through Northgate.I also worry we don’t have enough safe bike and pedestrian ways to get to the Delridge stn and we need more housing density and amenities near Andover. It’s currently a husk of what it could be and I hope we see more development in the area.

    • Keira October 27, 2023 (6:03 pm)

      Light Rail isn’t for commuting it’s for other trips (although the decision to terminate in SODO is ridiculous) I’m also not sure why it’s going to be so short a line that short doesn’t benefit anyone (just look at the sheppard line subway in Toronto)

      • Foop October 28, 2023 (11:19 am)

        It will eventually continue all the way to Ballard, the SODO termination is just to get this segment running without waiting on the full line completion.

  • sam-c October 27, 2023 (11:18 am)

    You requested a PDF of the presentation materials from Sound Transit. Have they provided that yet?  The PDF that is on their website is from January 2022….. Under ‘Station Planning”   :  “Check out the Station Planning Progress Report – West Seattle Link Extension (49 MB) for more details.”I’d like to check out the current info before doing the survey.  Sound Transit doesn’t seem to be very timely in updating their website. thanks, 

  • Marie October 27, 2023 (1:29 pm)

    It appears that even Sound Transit agrees with posters who say it isn’t worth it to bring light rail to West Seattle. They studied the Build vs. No Build alternatives in their Draft Environmental Impact Statement a year and a half ago.  This article tells, in Sound Transit’s own words, what the studies concluded. 

    • Jeff October 30, 2023 (9:17 am)

      Your link is an anti-lightrail propaganda site spinning a study. Not exactly truthful here… there’s also studies supporting it and literally a big ST tool in the Taco time parking as we speak doing studies on the area.

Sorry, comment time is over.