When Sound Transit 2 is completed in 2023, it will have been 27 years since the Sound Move vote in 1996.  That’s about 2 miles of light rail a year.

The 2007 Proposition 1 package proposed completion by 2027.  After its failure, Sound Transit came back with a plan that built less faster.

Happy Solstice!  And Happy Father’s Day!

20 Replies to “27 Days”

  1. A bit too long in my opinion. Sort of reminds me of the progress of something in an Eastern Bloc country…

      1. Do we know when Sound Transit will float ST3 at the ballot box? Are they looking at 2016? I’m curious to see what light rail routes they may want to finance? West Seattle and Ballard? A route up 405 (mirroring at possible Sounder service in the corridor). I would say finishing the line to Everett and Tacoma are no-brainers, as well as a spur to Issaquah. Maybe extension of the Tacoma Streetcar and a possible Everett Streetcar? I think all this told would be about 75+ miles and may require another tax. But we’d have an amazing mass transit system by 2030 of 130 miles of light rail!

      2. We’re not going to have much idea of what they’re going to float until 2013-2014 when the corridor studies get rolling.

        Remember that they have to build in each subarea. And I don’t think they’ll be going for anything like 75 miles in one vote!

      3. Well the corridor studies could be done earlier, but ST would need outside funding. I believe there has been some talk of having the City of Seattle fund the corridor studies for Ballard/West Seattle/45th in case the city decides to pay for one or more of those lines.

        In any case I believe studies for extensions to Tacoma, Everett, and Issaquah have been done (at least far enough for putting them on the ballot). In addition the Overlake to Redmond segment of East link will have the FEIS done by the time any ST expansion goes to the ballot.

        The big issue, even more so than corridor studies, is identifying a source of funding for any express bus, Link, or Sounder extensions. Authorizing any funding will have to make it through the legislature. I don”t doubt if given the chance voters in the ST district would vote for even further system expansion, a probability that will only grow the longer Link is open.

        I’d like to see something on the ballot as soon as 2012 but it doesn’t look like ST is planing on having anything ready prior to 2016 or later.

      4. Hmmm. Maybe a 45th St line that went to Redmond? I wonder if that should come first before downtown to Ballard?

      5. From strictly a ridership perspective Downtown to Ballard, Ballard to U-District via 45th, and Downtown to West Seattle should be built before a U-District to Redmond line via 520.

        Of course in any future expansion plans beyond ST2 for Link first priority should be on completing East Link between Overlake Transit Center and Downtown Redmond.

      6. U-District to Redmond line via 520

        That’s never going to happen in our lifetime. The new 520 bridge is a done deal and there’s no chance people are ever going to give up HOV lanes or accept a single GP lane in each direction. On top of that Link has made no provisions for the line to ever connect on the West side. A tunnel that went all the way to South Lake Onion or the Seattle Center would be horrendously expensive and a north south connection around Lake Washington would make a lot more sense.

      7. Any line between Ballard and the U-District needs to have stations in the “downtown” areas of both Fremont and Wallingford. Skipping either of those would be ridiculous. Of course, there is a lot of elevation gain between the two neighborhoods. Wallingford might require a Beacon HIll-depth underground station.

      8. Well, the Monorail proposals assumed either Fremont or Wallingford but not both. You can’t do both in a single east-west line without making a detour north-south, which would lengthen everybody’s travel time to server two communities which are arguably too close together to justify two stations. Although, granted, it is an annoying uphill walk from Fremont to 45th.

        Wallingford would be the most direct route, but Fremont is more of a population center and cultural center. So I’m not sure which is better.

        Ballard to both the UW and downtown makes sense. That would almost be the loop line I’ve envisioned from downtown to Ballard to UW to Capitol Hill to downtown. But with Link providing the eastern side of the loop, you’d have it all there.

      9. I would love to have a Tacoma extension (and Port of Tacoma doesn’t count, I mean all the way to 10th & Commerce)

        And wasn’t DuPont Station (where my Dad lives) designed to be Sounder convertible?

      10. Yes, it was. I believe Roads & Transit included a possibility for a Sounder extension to DuPont and Thurston County with other funds.

      11. I think a possible legislative goal should be authorizing Thurston County to join Sound Transit for the purpose of getting express bus and Sounder service to Olympia.

      12. DuPont is in the ST District so in order to extend service the extension to Lakewood needs to be completed, track upgrades from Lakewood to DuPont would be needed, a DuPont Station would need to be built, and funding would have to be available. Of course the ST board would also need to make a decision to extend service to DuPont.

        One thing other than funding that might prevent an extension would be the fear that most of the riders from DuPont would be from Thurston county which currently doesn’t pay ST taxes.

      13. I believe the ST bylaws already have a provision to either annex additional areas or to provide service on a contract basis. Either could be used to extend ST services to Thurston County. The big questions are if the voters of Thurston County would support such a service extension, how much service the Thurston County tax base would support, and if an annexation was done what that does for passing future ST district wide votes.

        I’d like to see it, but only if it doesn’t make passing ST 3/4/X harder. The Olympia Express buses should be run by Sound Transit with at least some single-seat rides between Seattle and Olympia. Sounder should be extended to at least DuPont as well. I’m not sure extending Sounder to Thurston County will prove practical. The BNSF mainline tracks bypass most of the population. There are current and former branch lines that come closer but the UP tracks from East Olympia are a bit of a long way around and the ROW to Lacey have been partially converted to a trail. Both branches have the problem that there really isn’t a suitable area for a station, parking, and storage tracks.

      14. Sound Transit has its hands full for many years to come spending the two million dollars per day the agency is receiving already with the Sound Move and ST2 tax authorizations. It’s not clear with existing tax rates that an ST3 tax increase would ever be necessary.

        In any event, the agency may want to finish the 1996 Sound Move plan of construction that covers S 200th to NE 45th Street before asking taxpayers for more money.

        The project level environmental review (NEPA and SEPA) completed so far only covers Northgate to S 200th, with another year to run on the process that covers planned light rail tracks out to Redmond.

        If you want to influence the future of transportation around here, I recommend submitting input BY JULY 13th on the Puget Sound Regional Council’s “Transportation 2040” draft EIS for the long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan required by State and Federal law. It includes five alternatives for the future with varying levels of Sound Transit investment. This opportunity is well described at http://www.psrc.org.

      15. On ST3 taxes, it would depend on whether ST decided to build more lines at the same time. ie, Extend East LINK to Woodenville or Duvall or Bothell or Issaquah, Renton, Tukwilla the West Seattle, White Center, Sea Tac loop, The U to Ballard, then North and Edmonds.

        There could be lines everywhere!

      16. Oh John, you’re still railing against spending money on infrastructure when it’s not for cars. :)

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