Today we wrap up our roundup of institutional comment on ST3 projects by looking at Pierce County cities. Many Pierce County cities within Sound Transit’s taxing district did not submit letters, including Bonney Lake, DuPont, Ruston, Fircrest, Steilacoom, Milton, Edgewood, and believe it or not, Tacoma. ST did receive letters from Fife, Lakewood, Orting, Puyallup, Sumner, and University Place, and their responses are briefly detailed below.
Fife: Fife’s brief letter asked for an extension of Link from Federal Way to Tacoma along an SR 99 alignment, with a station in the vicinity of 15th Street E and 54th Avenue E, a block north of SR 99 in the heart of the planned Fife City Center. “Our preference for this alignment is for a light rail station to maximize ridership and benefit the City. (A light rail station located along the I-5 corridor would minimize the station’s ridership.)”
Lakewood: Lakewood began their letter by noting their opinion that, “The initial work of the Seattle and King County Corridor has been completed. It is now time to expand transportation projects elsewhere.” (I guess I missed the memo where we finished all of Seattle and King County’s transit needs?) Mayor Don Anderson then goes on to request 4 specific projects for Lakewood:
- Sounder extension to Dupont, with an additional station in Tillicum.
- Greater span of service on Sounder in Lakewood, which currently only operates unidirectionally with 4:41-6:46am departures to Seattle, and 5:25pm-7:25pm arrivals from Seattle.
- BRT in lieu of Link from Tacoma to the Tillicum Sounder Station along South Tacoma Way and Pacific Highway South.
- Use ST3 funds to transfer maintenance and security costs at Lakewood Station from the city to Sound Transit.
Orting: Orting’s one-paragraph letter asked for a Sounder spur line from either Puyallup or Sumner to the McMillin Industrial Park just north of Orting, along existing but abandoned trackage adjacent to the Foothills Trail.
Puyallup: Perhaps surprisingly, Puyallup’s letter never mentions the word ‘parking’, perhaps because so much of that work will have been completed under ST2 Station Access funds. Instead, Puyallup requested inclusion of 8-car Sounder trains, more Sounder service, and BRT from both Puyallup to Graham (via SR 161 and South Hill) and Orting to Sumner (via SR 162).
Sumner: Like Orting, Sumner asked for a Sounder spur to the McMillin area of Orting and for development of “satellite options to take the strain off Sumner.” The letter had a folksy, hyperbolic tone, “Families come here on a Saturday or Sunday, fall in love with the beautiful area, buy an affordable home, and intend to keep their jobs in Seattle…not realizing the traffic chokehold on SR 162 and all our highways… SR162 is already a parking lot with more houses being built off it every day…please include a plan to use existing…operational track to use train service. The highway is already so far beyond capacity that a bus would only get stuck.”
University Place: UP’s straightforward letter supported Link as far as Tacoma Dome (but not Tacoma Mall), as well as a Tacoma Link extension to Tacoma Community College.