This morning from 9am-12pm, the Sound Transit Board will hold a special meeting to finish up the substance of the ST3 System Plan, formally voting on a series of amendments reflected in last’s weeks Draft Plan Update ahead of a final vote on June 23.

When live video is available, it will be linked live here, and our Twitter feed will be embedded below. As always, please share your thoughts in the comments.

35 Replies to “Sound Transit Board Meeting Liveblog”

  1. Random encounter: I was on the bus with a suit who was making calls about the meeting on his way downtown. He was emphasizing that he didn’t want any debate to run through the summer, that it was important for ST3 to get things locked down. He also said that was likely at odds with Joe McDermott’s desires, which would be to keep debating through the summer so that he looks like he’s working for his constituents.

    Hope that wasn’t a secret, loud phone talker in the brown suit.

    1. He was on PUBLIC transportation, so if he inflicted a secret private call on the rest of the bus, he gets exactly what he deserves.

      1. In the future: Let’s please not dissuade our pro-transit politicians from using public transportation folks. Yeah that was a bit rude having a voice convo on public transportation about a very sensitive matter, but I don’t want to make our politicians feel uncomfortable riding the transit with us sheeple, ok?

        Yes, it creates a massive gulf for transit users when politicians who govern transit don’t ride the transit.

    1. How do you know he wasn’t just some guy pretending to be talking to somebody on his cell-phone. And picking out at random the most inane meaningless thing he could think of?

      Anytime I’m walking through someplace like the lobby of an expensive hotel that doesn’t want its guess to think they let people like me in, I take out my cell-phone and pretend I’m a CEO or a crew chief, and finish the fake conversation with something decisive like,”Well, get back to me!”

      And besides: who cares what somebody in a brown suit thinks about anything. Doubt Joe McDermott does.


  2. If Orting is King County’s affordable housing bank, then does that mean Pierce County’s urban growth boundary is less upheld than King’s?

    1. The ST district is unbalanced: Pierce County has more exurban land than the other counties do. Orting, Bonney Lake, Spanaway, Puyallup, and Sumner are in; while Covington, Maple Valley, Marysville, Lake Stevens, and Snohomish are out. I don’t know how that happened; some have speculated it was smooth negotiating on Pierce’s part. But that’s why Orting gets consideration. And the boardmember said as justification that Orting is getting 10,000 houses over… I didn’t hear the time period, maybe per year or under construction now.

  3. Board members don’t like provisional projects because they see provisional status as a promise to deliver the project.

    They seem less fearful of what the legislature will charge for the next ST vote (in terms of required freeway spending without voter approval) than some of us.

  4. Can I ask a nagging question? Why is the word ‘provisional’ used? It seems like such a vague term that it could be interpreted a number of ways. I’m suspect that STB posters all interpret the word used differently already. I really don’t like it!

    I could see some provisional projects as ‘deferred’, which would be those carried through an environmental process but screened out later because of cost or environmental or community complaint issues.

    I could see others as merely ‘potential and subject to further study”, which would be those that have some merit but don’t have the consensus and alternatives flushed out in a way to raise their visibility.


    1. They should probably use terms like “if funding becomes available”. No question what that means.

    2. CEO Rogoff raised that issue at the May board meeting [1], saying that ST has been using the words interchangeably but should clarify the distinction and fix its literature, and that definitions would be forthcoming. As I understand it, “provisional” means ST can allocate any extra money to those projects during the 25-year period without another vote. That doesn’t mean it has to, just that it can.

      The Orting-advocate boardmember brought that up, saying he was concerned that Orting wasn’t provisional yet so they’d hit a wall if the money does appear. That’s when Dow said the board is hesitant to add provisional projects because the public perceives that as a promise, and he didn’t think that’s appropriate when most of the proposed provisional projects are unlikely.

      1. While I see their point, I feel like there are ways of making it glaringly obvious that these projects are conditional on funding availability. On public literature, for example, the lines could be printed in very light gray with disclaimer text, or even list “preliminary research for Ballard-UW” as a line item. Believe me, if they do this right, then the only group that will take this as a promise is Save Our Trail.

      2. Given their acronym, can we just start using “the SOT’s” to indicate the good burgers [sic] of South Kirkland living along the Cross-Kirkland Corridor?

    1. Wish I’d been watching the feed so I could have seen Joe’s “incredibly spirited testimony.”
      Does anyone know if these feeds are archived and available online at a later date?

      1. I too want the archived feed up ASAP so we can get on YouTube a speech that fired up the pro-transit crowd. A speech inspired by Paul Keating and Seahawks football players.

    2. Quite welcome, I was SO NERVOUS going into the chamber.

      Thankfully that Drumpf boy.

      It’s no secret I am unhappy with ST3 as going to the voters. But we are where we are at. The fight now must be for a ST3+ or a roll of the dice four years into the future. We owe the true believers – not just one K.K. at Sound Transit HQ – but also Frank, Dow, Martin, Claudia and Shefali a win here. I have absolute faith in Everett Transit & Community Transit to listen to us to make ST3 work and into a ST3+ for the North.

      Watch the video:

  5. So the news is, no real news, moving forward smoothly. Too bad it doesn’t sound like the provisional project idea is gonna work, but we’re already getting a massive improvement in transit with ST3, so I’m happy.

    1. And if I was convinced we’d be getting a massive improvement in transit, then I’d be happy too.

      1. Yes! Exactly. In no way would I call this plan “massive”, other than in reference to the scale of its park-n-rides and the large number of faux commuter-rail miles it stretches through low-density suburbs.

    2. There may be additional amendments to add provisional projects or refine details in a couple of the amendments. Rogoff told the board to send them in the next day or two, or by June 13th at the latest. Each change requires rewriting parts of documents and appendices, so they need to give staff time to do that before June 23rd.

    1. How much would Ballard to UW cost? What are the odds ST just happens to find an extra $3b lying around to build it? They absolutely should plan the DT/Ballard line to accommodate a junction but it’s not going to get built without a new source of revenue.

      1. I aaked if the monorail authority could be used yesterday to do this. The answer from the horde was yes.

    2. My understanding was that sub-area equity only applies to planning the primary projects, not provisional projects. In other words, the $200 million saved by U-link being under budget is being shipped to Federal Way and Everett, not Seattle’s money to spend.

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