Friday, October 14, 2016
The Lake Forest Park City Council voted to support Sound Transit’s ST3 Proposition No. 1 to provide for the expansion of bus rapid transit, light rail and commuter rail throughout the Central Puget Sound region.
This support came by way of a 6-1 vote following an October 13 public meeting in which testimony was taken from all points of view.
Council deliberations following the public testimony covered a broad range of sentiments and values that invoked the past -- when there was a rail line between the newly-formed Lake Forest Park and Seattle; and the future – pointing out that the more compelling future is one where there is a fully developed mass transit system; interrupted by the present – with a city bogged down by two surface highways with huge traffic volumes, cut-through traffic and difficult local access to existing transit.
ST3 provides the next phase of high-capacity transit improvements for central Puget Sound. With this plan, the light rail system will more than double to 116 miles with over 70 stations. Light rail will expand north to Everett, south to Federal Way and Tacoma, east to downtown Redmond, south Kirkland, and Issaquah, and west to Ballard and West Seattle.
While this “big picture” colored the deliberations, planned improvements in the SR 522 corridor – Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), completed bus lanes, a park and ride garage and 25 blocks of access sidewalks -- punctuated the conversation.
Lake Forest Park, along with the cities of Bothell, Kenmore, Shoreline, and Woodinville, jointly advocated for Bus Rapid Transit on SR 522 (Bothell Way) and SR 523 (145th Street) between the UW Bothell campus and the 145th Street Light Rail station, with an extension to Woodinville.
The request also included the addition of structured parking facilities in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and Bothell town centers, and the future study of light rail on SR 522.
“These planned early-action investments not only bring the promise of a more functional SR 522 corridor,” said Deputy Mayor Catherine Stanford, “they more rationally integrate these facilities with our community.”
Councilmember John Resha provided cut-to-the-chase comments by noting, “There are 1 million people coming to this area. We need to invest in mobility and infrastructure.”
Councilmember Phillippa Kassover spoke in more visionary terms, saying, “This is critical to the future of our area. If you are going to be a world class city, you need great mass transit. This will define our destiny.”
Learn more about ST3 here.