The Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline city councils have all submitted their comments on possible Link alignments. Mike Orr’s report on the options may be a useful reference to follow along.
Shoreline’s letter suggests stations at 145th and 185th street (each with a 500-space garage) while dismissing one at 155th. 145th “will serve as a regional station” with good connections to neighborhoods East via a “main thoroughfare.” Furthermore, the Council’s letter cites that 145th was in the original ST2 literature, station area planning to improve access has already begun there, and Shoreline is even considering annexing the street from Seattle and King County.
155th is accused of “significant negative impacts to the surrounding stable, single-family neighborhood,” while 145th has mixed uses. The council also fears that the station will congest 155th, which currently has “one-quarter to one-half the daily traffic of 145th Street.” Of course, it was precisely this fact that led David Lawson to comment in Mike’s post that the lighter traffic would make bus service much more reliable on 155th.
Mountlake Terrace, with much less uncertainty in station location, suggested a line and station entirely east of I-5, rather than in the median, for higher TOD potential and in support of their “town center” vision.
Lynnwood‘s resolution endorses a “C3 Modified” alignment (press report here). Mike rightly criticized the original C3 for being farthest away from Lynnwood’s nascent downtown plan, but the modified location (see figure above) isn’t clearly less accessible than the other options.
It criticizes C1 for requiring the removal of businesses and a condo complex; having noise, property value, and vibration impacts on other adjacent apartments, condos, and single family homes*; and requiring right of way through Scriber Creek Park. C2 has “similar” property impacts and is still too close to the park for the Council’s taste. It complains (rightfully) that C3 is too far from everything, including the transit center, and reduces development opportunities along the freeway, all while being too close to Sanitary Sewer Lift Station 10 given its expansion plans and, uh, rider comfort.
For people more interested in future usability than impact to current residents, C3 modified is clearly better than C3. C1 is strongest in access to existing buildings (which is in effect why the Council doesn’t like it) and the future City Center, while C2 provides the best bus transfer experience. C3M is a hybrid of the two, somewhat closer to the buses than C1 and closer to the buildings than C2. It also has the advantage of a more direct path south with no sharp turns. The DEIS said C1 was about $30m more than the alternatives, and the ridership of all three options was the same. Given that, I would imagine that the models would put C3M on the cheap end with unchanged ridership. ST spokesman Bruce Gray said that it’s early but “at first blush we don’t see any showstoppers” with C3M.
The fiasco in downtown Bellevue shows that the Sound Transit Board is strongly inclined to defer to city councils on station details when their preferred alternative is cost neutral or a bit cheaper, so unless there are hidden drawbacks to these selections I’d make these the favorites going forward.
* Many of these homes would be along the ROW but not particularly close to the station, so reduced values are a reasonable assumption.