In the institutional comment on Sound Transit 3 (ST3) from King County cities north of Lake Washington, the “522 Transit Now” coalition effectively rallied cities, the legislative delegation, King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, universities, and private citizens around three requirements:
- Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on SR 523 (N 145th St.) to connect the cities of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Bothell, and Kenmore to the light rail station.
- BRT on SR522 towards downtown, and planning for light rail on that corridor in the future.
- Structured parking on SR522, especially in the town centers of Bothell, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park. The Lake Forest Park letter highlights the walkability challenges due to “natural features [that] prevent gridded streets” as a driver of parking demand.
These three points are strikingly consistent in almost all letters to Sound Transit from these areas.
Shoreline requested 10 minute and 15 minute headways in the peak and all-day, respectively. It says that although “Shoreline currently has no official ownership” of 145th, “it is willing to address access problems” to make the Link station successful. Multiple letters talked about transit lanes and other speed and reliability improvements. Encouragingly, the joint letter from all four cities (p.102) says HCT is important to “provide diverse opportunities for people to live without cars.”
Somewhat late in the game, these areas have figured out that organizing is the key to gaining priority at Sound Transit. Although park-and-rides aren’t as cost-effective per rider as other projects, the BRT proposals are quite worthy. Unfortunately, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, and all of SR523 are in the North King subarea. To the extent that Sound Transit adheres to subarea equity, many of these projects will be stacked against some of the most coveted and most expensive projects in the entire ST3 package.