LIGHT RAIL: West Seattle Health Club seeks members’ support for shifting route

It’s been a month since we first reported on County Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda standing before the Sound Transit Board and asking them to put West Seattle light rail on a Delridge route that could bypass and potentially save local businesses. Those local businesses also have been taking their case to the board, while making contingency plans; we talked with Erin Rubin of Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) and Mode Music and Performing Arts in this report. Now another business in the project’s path, West Seattle Health Club, is asking its members for support. Several readers have forwarded us this message sent to WSHC members by club management today:

We have been informed of the recent decision by Sound Transit to alter its initial plan for the West Seattle Light Rail. Rather than running it around the West Seattle Health Club, the preferred route would require placing a pillar through our pool. We have been working diligently, alongside local businesses and King County Councilmember, Teresa Mosqueda, to ensure that our concerns are heard by the Sound Transit board. Specifically, we have requested a refinement of the plan to place the pillar 20 feet west of the club or over the top. The board has acknowledged our request, and a final decision will be made in June.

We are advocating for a change in the decision, which, while not immediately impacting the gym, would, over time, have significant ramifications. The removal of the West Seattle Health Club would not only result in the loss of a gym but also the displacement of a community. We believe that the decision-makers on the board may not fully appreciate the gym’s value to our community. Some of you have been members since the early 2000s when the gym was known as Allstar Fitness. You have shown remarkable loyalty and dedication to the club and its community, even during challenging times of poor management and financial struggles. We are aware that you have expressed concerns about the proposed changes because you do not wish to lose a community staple that has become so important to you. Some of you have made lifelong friends at the West Seattle Health Club, formerly known as Allstar Fitness, and have been members for over two decades. We are not merely a gym. We are an all-inclusive community that provides a sense of belonging and support. While there may be several other gym options in the area, none can match the feeling of walking through the doors of the West Seattle Health Club.

We support Sound Transit’s efforts to bring the Light Rail to the West Seattle community. However, the removal of our gym will have a profound impact, not only on our community of over 6200 members but also on over 100 employees who travel to West Seattle and support the businesses in the area. We implore you to support us in our efforts to communicate to the Sound Transit board that placing a pillar through the pool of the West Seattle Health Club is not merely a matter of relocating another business. It would have far-reaching consequences.

If you wish to voice your opinion, please contact Cali Knight at and Shannon Braddock at

Shannon Braddock, a West Seattleite, is deputy county executive for County Executive Dow Constantine, also a West Seattleite, who is on the Sound Transit Board. Calli Knight is also on the executive’s staff, as infrastructure initiatives director. The board has not yet made a decision about final routing but is expected to vote in the second half of this year, after the final Environmental Impact Statement is released (no date for that yet beyond “midyear”).

69 Replies to "LIGHT RAIL: West Seattle Health Club seeks members' support for shifting route"

  • Neighbor May 9, 2024 (5:35 pm)

    Light rail benefits the community at large for the next century.  Any route is going to disrupt local businesses today, but that’s a small price to pay.  So if another alternative is chosen what business gets disrupted instead of these? Light rail is slow and expensive to build because everyone in the path wants their pound of flesh and is willing to extract it at the expense of their neighbors.

    • K May 9, 2024 (5:51 pm)

      The alternatives displace residences instead.  There is no route that doesn’t displace someone.  

      • Seth May 9, 2024 (9:17 pm)

        Displace Nucor imo. Not suited for being at a light rail station makes no sense it’s much easier moved. 

        • Gatewoos88 May 10, 2024 (11:57 pm)

          Are you serious? Nucor is a pillar of the community…with high paying jobs…. Have you ever looked into Nucor?? Honestly??

    • Id May 9, 2024 (5:59 pm)

      I think the notable difference about the Health Club is the number of people it serves and that it supports the health, well-being and longevity of residents, which is a stated goal of King County, who is building the project.

      • Sheila G May 9, 2024 (8:44 pm)

        Yes, I agree with your comments. Thanks for posting.

    • Rhonda May 9, 2024 (8:19 pm)

      Health is FAR more important than government light rail transit that only a small percentage of community members will use.

      • Falcon May 9, 2024 (9:13 pm)

        Are you suggesting that more people attend the gym than would use the light rail??

        • M May 9, 2024 (10:48 pm)

          Falcon, There are 6200 members of the gym.  Been going there since 2006. A lot of retired people benefit from using this gym, including me.

          • K May 10, 2024 (7:46 am)

            So there are more people who will use the light rail than the gym.  Thanks for attaching a number to it!

    • Other neighbors May 9, 2024 (9:32 pm)

      I’ve lived here most all of my life. Downtown, Queen Anne, and Westside. Been on the a Westside for 24 years, my husband graduated from West Seattle High School in 1981.The amount of money and destruction going into this project is in my opinion is unjustifiable. I have witnessed back in the early 2000s the whole monorail debauchery, which cost taxpayers millions, and the outcome was absolutely zero. I believe the money allocated for this project would be better well spent fixing everything we already have. The bus system is reliable and it proved itself when the West Seattle bridge was broken. (In the middle of a pandemic)Why doesn’t Magnolia get rail? Same kind of island?? Does anyone remember when the Magnolia bridge was closed due to mudslides in the 90s? Just saying!

      • James May 9, 2024 (11:06 pm)

        Magnolia is way less people. Way less lower and middle class people who need transit. Way less density. This is a not even close to a good comparison. 

      • CAM May 10, 2024 (12:18 am)

        Um the bus system was horrible when the bridge was down? Try riding a bus that was beholden to a drawbridge several times a day? Aside from that, the only reason the buses to West Seattle were able to keep up with the bridge down was because it was the pandemic and people were avoiding public transportation if they could. 

        • V May 10, 2024 (10:55 am)

          Had the opposite experience. Very few people were taking public transportation or driving into work which made the bus service the most efficient I’d ever experienced minus the drawbridge wait. This coming from someone who rode the bus before, after and during the entirety of the pandemic.  Bus service in general is inferior to light rail. I get to my destination in a shorter time frame taking a combination of the light rail, bus and walking than I would strictly on the bus. 

    • Martin May 10, 2024 (8:34 am)

      Benefit the community?!? In what ways? Yes, I like riding shiny new trains, but I still have to take the bus from High Point or Fauntleroy to reach the light rail station. It’s much easier to take the bus all the way downtown. With a light rail I would have to transfer in West Seattle as well as SODO meaning my trip would take much longer. 

      • John May 10, 2024 (10:47 am)

        Transferring is easy especially with the new frequency and station in SoDo. And it’s only temporary until Downtown/QA/Ballard links are done. In a bunch of ways it benefits. You’re just one person, what about the thousands of people moving into the dense buildings popping up in the Junction and Delridge? 

    • Dazman May 10, 2024 (8:42 am)

      Light rail is fine and all but displacing a gym that is the cornerstone of the community is not worth it. They should keep the gym and move the light rail accommodate it. Same with ABA. 

      • John May 10, 2024 (10:44 am)

        Derail a century benefit for Seattlites just to save a gym that can be housed anywhere on the peninsula? Uh, what?

        • BND May 10, 2024 (12:23 pm)

          How does potentially moving a pillar 20 feet to the west as described in the post “derail a century benefit”? That’s a big leap to make there.

          If the gym is important to the community, and there is a solution that saves the gym while keeping the light rail, it should be considered.

          • JS May 11, 2024 (11:48 am)

            Yes, that level of detail is super important. Broad brush “oh well you gotta break some eggs” thinking is not the right answer 

  • KT May 9, 2024 (6:03 pm)

    …” Any route is going to disrupt local businesses today, but that’s a small price to pay”….   Wow, spoken like someone whose business or residence is not going to be “disrupted” and or destroyed.  

    • Falcon May 9, 2024 (9:15 pm)

      Sounds more like someone who knows it’s either business or residential that will be displaced.. because that’s literally all that’s in the area.. residents or businesses. Do you know of someway to not displace either of those while also ushering in mass transit that’s been available for almost 100 years now?

      • M May 9, 2024 (10:50 pm)

        Falcon, They can build the light rail pillar above the gym preventing the displacement.

  • Niko May 9, 2024 (8:24 pm)

    How about we put it to another vote of the people because something approved decades ago I don’t think should be locked in forever especially since the project isn’t done and it’s billions over budget and decades behind schedule. Defund sound transit and increase the bus service

    • ChrisSEA May 10, 2024 (8:52 pm)

      This is part of ST3 and was approved by voters in 2016. 

  • Joe May 9, 2024 (9:04 pm)

    Can they give up the pool and keep the rest of the facility? It’s the best health club in West Seattle.

    • PM May 9, 2024 (10:37 pm)

      The pool is the best part….

    • WSHC Swimmer May 10, 2024 (6:12 pm)

      Joe,WSHC pool is always busy! Always! Lap swimmers from 5 am until closing, water aerobics, swimming lessons, etc. it’s one of the very few pools that accommodate lap swim ALL DAY long. You can’t find that type of open lap swim schedule at the YMCA. LA Fitness pool has three lanes, which is not big enough. Evergreen pool has very limited lap swim times. We cannot lose this pool. As someone who uses this pool several times per week, I don’t know where else swimmers would go. This would be a huge loss for those that use the WSHC pool. Pools are an important part of every community in terms of water safety and water recreation. I wish the greater PNW region would value pools more. Also, it’s not like you can just build a pool somewhere else! 

    • Platypus May 17, 2024 (10:45 pm)

      They could rebuild the pool on the north side of the parking lot. 

  • Nate in Genesee May 9, 2024 (9:39 pm)

    Let’s not nimby our way to another boondoggle, get it done. Find another spot for the health club. 

    • Jim May 10, 2024 (10:03 am)

      How about we not let entitlement and poor planning ruin this community

  • Westie May 9, 2024 (10:00 pm)

    Does anyone know what is happening to the day care, ABA? Hoping such an important community institution is not impacted. 

    • Wsgal May 10, 2024 (6:36 am)

      All of those business are going. Ounces, uptown, daycare, mode, skylark. 

  • PK in White Center May 9, 2024 (10:02 pm)

    As a Californian in exile up here for the last 10 years, I am SHOCKED at how good this state/county is at building light rail. It gets better every year and I can’t wait for it to hit West Seattle.The cautionary tale of California rail development- they’ve been talking about connecting the closest part of the east bay (Fremont) to an existing, massive South Bay train station (San Jose) longer than I’ve been alive. (I’m 38). No progress has been made.Sorry to gym people but SOMETHINGS gonna have to move. It can be somewhere else, you just don’t want to play whack a mole w site specific NIMBY complaints or it’ll never happen. Figure it out and empower the Sound Transit/County people and this will be a place we all want to live in 30 years, and way better for it.

    • Scarlett May 10, 2024 (8:41 am)

      Los Angeles has 100 miles of ilght and it hasn’t moved the needle one iota on their notorious traffic.  So yeah, they are quite good at building expensive infrastructure – light rail – that is a flop in terms of moving significant numbers of people around.   This isn’t NIMYBISM, this looking at the plan and the most probable outcomes. This seems to be an impossible mental feat for most people.   And no,  thousands of people taking their excited joyride on the Eastside link doesn’t translate into thousands of daily riders once the novelty wears off.  

      • Arbor Heights Resident May 11, 2024 (11:11 pm)

        Scarlett- LA metro has 184,000 daily riders. It has ABSOLUTELY made getting around LA easier for everyone, both car and transit user alike. 

    • SRHNa May 10, 2024 (10:55 pm)

      BART Silicon Valley Phase II, Contract package 2 has ordered the tunnel boring machine to construct the tunnel in San Jose.  Earthwork is starting this summer (they’ve already started prepping the site behind PayPal Field to construct the shaft to assemble and launch the TBM in 2025).  

  • HawkMan12 May 9, 2024 (10:13 pm)

    How do y’all think they built I5? There wasn’t just a magical strip of land with no businesses or residences… people got displaced for infrastructure 

    • K May 10, 2024 (7:48 am)

      Exactly.  I-5 displaced about 4000 businesses and almost 10 times that many residences.  Car infrastructure causes displacement too, and a lot more of it than mass transit.

      • T Rex May 10, 2024 (4:04 pm)

        I-5 is an Interstate that goes from Canada into California, no comparison. Light rial is going to ruin West Seattle, great for commuters perhaps Monday thru Friday,  but will bring all the others who ride it for free, drug use and whatever else you can imagine during nights and weekends. 

    • BND May 10, 2024 (12:07 pm)

      So… what’s your point? Yes – businesses and people will be displaced due to construction of the light rail. When voting on final routing, the board, among other things, should consider the impact of these displacements. If someone cares about the WSHC and wants to voice the value it has to them or the community, that is awesome and can help the board better weigh the pros and cons of the proposed route(s).

  • James May 9, 2024 (11:03 pm)

    Very excited for Lightrail. Wish businesses could get better help but we really need this to move forward. In fact we need to speed this up. This is just another thing delaying. Let’s get going! 

    • Wsresident May 10, 2024 (6:38 am)

      This won’t happen until 2028-2029, at the VERY earliest. 

  • Bbron May 10, 2024 (3:47 am)

    please, folks, do not lose sight of the bigger picture this route adjustment speaks to: Mosqueda isn’t talking about selecting one of the proposed alternatives, but a modification to one that will save business(es) at the “expense” of parking and surface street space, i.e. car infrastructure. the light rail routes from the get-go should’ve prioritized using existing right of way rather than demolishing human infrastructure and building alongside our overly extensive car infrastructure. think about that: our society has normalized cars and their persistence into the future to the point that route planners of a major forward-looking non-car infrastructure project either consider displacing buildings and people as less impactful (or at least more realistic) than reducing car infrastructure or just never considered it an option. we are so very lost in the car dependency sauce…

    • Bob May 13, 2024 (10:00 am)

      This. 100%. 

  • Michelle May 10, 2024 (6:55 am)

    Am I reading this right that one possible solution is moving the pillar 20 feet to the west? Why not do that and get the light rail and keep the health club? “ Specifically, we have requested a refinement of the plan to place the pillar 20 feet west of the club or over the top. The board has acknowledged our request, and a final decision will be made in June.”

  • Nwe May 10, 2024 (6:58 am)

    This seems like a late disclosure. Why not just move the pillar a little?Had sound purchased the land required a long time ago, they may have had more options. So much has been built up in the last ten years. But this is the best indoor pool we have. The y is expensive and like a little dungeon. 

  • Neigh May 10, 2024 (7:02 am)

    Whyyyyyy oh why can’t they just take out Nucor and leave all these businesses in place?? Nucor could move anywhere. 

    • D-Ridge May 10, 2024 (9:59 am)

      Yes, a century old steel plant with railroad spurs covering acres of industrial land that provides a significant amount of steel for local construction, including materials that were used in the W Seattle bridge repair, and hundreds of high-paying manufacturing jobs, should be moved instead of one of the dozens of gyms in the area.

      • V May 10, 2024 (10:58 am)

        Not a well thought out comment really…just not a fan of the steel plant. I guess they don’t remember the concrete strike that shut down construction throughout the Greater Seattle area for several months in ’22. How many jobs were lost and millions flushed down the toilet. Shutting down a steel plant at this time has a huge snowball effect on the local economy. 

  • Belvidear May 10, 2024 (7:33 am)

    People would rather displace residents on Delridge? Yikes. That’s not very neighborly. 

  • TheAdmiralHimself May 10, 2024 (8:33 am)

    Plenty of gyms in the area, but not a lot of great public transit.

  • Id May 10, 2024 (8:35 am)

    Some folks are making the point that, “something has to be displaced to build this”. Yes, something has to be displaced, but the the Health Club wasn’t one of those things in any of the published alternatives. How is the community reasonably expected to know about and comment on this? Sound Transit should engage with residents before making changes like this. It’s a rug-pull. 

    • flimflam May 10, 2024 (10:35 am)

      Id – that’s a good point, thank you.

  • Latchkey May 10, 2024 (8:43 am)

    Let’s not let a small vocal minority ruin it for the majority benefit. Light rail will allow tens of thousands of people live healthier lives by promoting a lifestyle of walking instead of driving.

  • Delridge resident May 10, 2024 (9:27 am)

    I’m not really understanding the benefit of the modification made after the DEIS that moved the route south towards Yancy street and now takes out the Health Club (and goes over an open part of longfellow creek). Did that actually save any businesses or reduce environmental impact? I thought the idea was it would save the daycare, but now it seems that’s still in the demolition path? Seems to me that going back to the version that goes along the edge of Nucor on sw Andover rather than Yancy might be the most straightforward fix here. 

    • north delridge neighbor May 11, 2024 (6:50 am)

      the shift saved most of the transitional resources housing on avalon. planning this light rail is threading a needle and it’s not possible to make everyone happy. ideally the gym owners can find a location close by to build a replacement pool / gym.

  • Peter S. May 10, 2024 (11:19 am)

    Late to the game and I’m sure it’s been discussed before (probably ad nauseum), but why is tunneling as on Beacon Hill, Cap Hill, and U-District seemingly completely off the table??  Yes, obviously even more expensive to construct, but far less disruptive to neighborhoods as there’s no need to buy up wide swaths of property and displace multiple business and residences.  It’s also much quieter and far less of an eyesore and view blocker .  I’m no geo tech, but I’d think they could tunnel under the Duwamish waterway if they can tunnel under the Montlake Cut, which they have.  Sure seems it would remove the vast majority of objections.

    I’m pretty certain the reason they went tunnel in those other parts of the city was at least in part because of the massive cost of buying up many very expensive properties and community pushback.      

    • WS Guy May 10, 2024 (11:43 am)

      The proposed purple route tunneled through pigeon point and cost like $1.4 billion.  And since this is a valley it still emerged as an elevated track next to the golf course. 

      • Peter S. May 10, 2024 (2:16 pm)

        Why not go deep?  Under the Duwamish.  Under Pigeon Point.  Under Delridge.  Yes, I know that introduces some complexities (even more expense, deeper station shafts, making the rise to the Junction, etc.).  Done in Europe all the time.  We want to be a world-class city, right? 

        • Jason May 11, 2024 (7:25 pm)

          Will be hard without tons of property tax hikes. We have a terrible tax system in washington. Until you get Starbucks and Microsoft (who I think have the most employees in West Seattle) to help pay, then tunnel won’t happen. I am okay with an elevated track. People need to get over “eye sore” stuff. It’s tiring.

        • Neighbor May 24, 2024 (5:26 pm)

          Because you’d have to take a 70 story elevator to the station.  Where in the world are they drilling tunnels that deep?

  • Yacman May 10, 2024 (3:49 pm)

    Just a note, WSHC has 6200 members and 100 employees ( many part time ). Losing this health facility would be an incalculable loss to the community. The club is advocating that the support structure be moved slightly South or over the club to avoid destruction. The WSHC is in favor of the transit system. They are just hoping that the facility can be accommodated. 

  • Zac Thomas May 11, 2024 (12:36 am)

    I say they just build a new WSHC with all those club enhancement fees they charge! Maybe even enhance it in the process!

  • Marie May 11, 2024 (5:20 pm)

    Despite all the cheerleading for light rail here, the reality is that no one will benefit except politicians and contractors. As you read this, there are thousands of West Seattle residents, many in low income parts of the neighborhood, who have limited or zero access to transit. Not one of them will benefit from light rail.  Not. One. Here is an inventory of what we have now in terms of transit; what works; what doesn’t; who is left out, and more. I did the research so you don’t have to. Don’t come @ me until you have read this article.  

    • Jason May 11, 2024 (7:22 pm)

      This is just Gondola/Rethink the Link stuff. A bunch of opinions with little facts. All to encourage a “no build” lol. No. We voted on Lightrail. No takebacks. Everything benefits the wealthy and politicians, we might as well have good transit. Speed up lightrail!

      • Marie May 11, 2024 (8:41 pm)

        You did not read the article. There are lots of facts and backup research. No mention of a gondola. 

  • Arbor Heights Resident May 11, 2024 (11:05 pm)

    I hope they can move the pillar by like 20 feet so that the pool can stay there. Maybe put it in the parking lot? Losing a few parking spaces is not a big deal.

Sorry, comment time is over.