Tom Rasmussen has opted not to seek re-election to City Council. According to The Stranger, transit advocates are “dancing on his grave.” Having attended the last STB board meeting, I can say with certainty that no grave dancing occurred, but it’s true that Rasmussen belongs to the camp who’d rather improve the existing bus network than spend money on streetcars. He wrote thoughtfully on this site about his bus commute and how it might be improved.
West Seattle is at an interesting junction (ahem) in terms of transit: RapidRide C is quite popular and will be expanded with Prop 1. Development in the urbanized areas is continuing, despite the usual protests.
With expanded bus service in motion, the most immediate transit issue facing the new Council District 1, which covers West Seattle, is light rail and ST3. Sending Link over the Duwamish will be geographically difficult and possibly unaffordable within Sound Transit’s self-imposed $15B regional package cap. On the other hand, federal grant money is always possible, the district has some well-connected residents, and keeping West Seattle in the fold is part of Seattle’s strategy to present a unified front in advance of a possible vote in 2016.
District 1 residents will get a sneak peek at potential candidates on February 5. I’d encourage our West Seattle readers to attend and let us know what you think. It will be an interesting few years for whomever wins the seat.