The Slog reports that Mayor-Elect McGinn is considering putting Seattle-only light rail extension on the ballot as early as 2010 — that’s 11 months from now.
I think McGinn is basically right that Seattle voters (as opposed to Sound Transit district voters) will vote for transit anytime and anyplace*, so my only concern with timing is that the plan be mature enough to not have a revenue or cost meltdown in two years’ time. That probably means getting some ST staff involved that now has some experience with financing, building, and opening light rail.
I’ve speculated in the past that this project will consist of an all-surface alignment from West Seattle to SODO station, combined with a souped-up Ballard/Fremont Streetcar to connect those neighborhoods with Westlake Center. This would cost relatively little and punt the very expensive issue of how to get through downtown until ST3.
I have a call in to the McGinn team asking what the reasoning behind this is, besides it being awesome to have everything happen a year earlier.
*Except for the final blow to the monorail, but that I don’t think that example applies.