Sound Transit

Light rail runs on the surface in Seattle's Rainier Valley.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The Seattle City Council wants two more light rail stations added to Sound Transit 3, the expansion plan that will be on the November ballot.

Monday, the City Council unanimously passed a wish list for what they want added to ST3. It includes light rail stops at South Graham St. in south Seattle and Northeast 130th St. in north Seattle's Olympic Hills.

Gilbert Ruiz of the Depot Cafe and Smokehouse. He could throw a brisket and hit the future light rail station in downtown Everett.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Sound Transit is halfway through the public comment period on its big expansion plan, called Sound Transit 3. The current plan puts downtown Everett last in line for light rail. KUOW went to Everett to see how people feel about that.

Sound Transit's Capitol Hill Station, prior to opening, 25 January 2016.
Flickr Photo/Don Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Efv737

Light rail ridership has hit all-time highs since two new stations opened in Seattle on Saturday. On the heels of that success, Sound Transit revealed its newest proposal Thursday.

It would expand the light-rail system to 108 miles total — but take decades to get there.

'Jet Kiss,' by Mike Ross at the Capitol Hill light rail station.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Two new light rail stations open Saturday:  Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill.

One of the things riders may notice is the artwork.

Barbara Luecke, Sound Transit’s art director, showed KUOW's Joshua McNichols a sculpture at Capitol Hill Station called "Jet Kiss," by Mike Ross.

Jan Young on the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. Young argues that it's cheaper and more effective to put transit on I-405, leaving this trail for non-motorized use in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

All over the region, undeveloped open spaces face enormous pressure. In Kirkland, the pressure for more mass transit is butting up against green space that filled a spiritual need some Kirkland residents didn’t even know they had.

Sound Transit's Roosevelt Station, under construction in January, 2016.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

An independent consultant says Sound Transit is doing a good job estimating costs as it shapes the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. But a cost estimate can’t predict everything — future property values, for example, or even more earthly things, such as the cost of a pound of rebar.

Sound Transit Senior Planner Val Batey on First Avenue in Seattle. Batey says her agency is exploring First Avenue as a possible surface route for trains serving Ballard and West Seattle.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

This fall, voters will decide whether to extend Sound Transit’s light rail farther, like to Everett and Tacoma. The ballot measure is called Sound Transit 3.

Planners are deciding now where to put the trains that the measure would bring into Seattle because there isn’t enough room in the existing downtown transit tunnel.

The outside of the Francia Russell Center in Bellevue. The Francia Russell Center is part of Pacific Northwest Ballet and will soon have to move because it is in the light rail pathway.
Google Maps

UPDATE: On Monday, Jan. 25, King County Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle ruled against Pacific Northwest Ballet. The judge said Sound Transit may use fair market value for PNB’s eastside school, rather than the replacement value of the facility. The ruling only determines the method of assessment for the property value. A jury may still place a higher value on the school. A court hearing on the issue is set for June.

Pacific Northwest Ballet has performed in a lot of places.

But Friday the dance company will be on a new stage: a King County Superior Court room.

PNB wants a judge to settle a dispute with Sound Transit.

U District Station, 90 percent designed, shows conservative art referencing the neighborhood's architectural heritage.
Sound Transit

The public will have its last chance to weigh in on the design for the University District light rail station this Thursday. The project is 90 percent designed and shows a conservative approach to its public art.

At least, it's conservative compared to Capitol Hill Station. That station features two fighter jets, which appear to explode like brittle origami cranes in a jet kiss over the station platform. 

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

You probably know there’s going to be a big Sound Transit package on the ballot next fall. On Friday, Sound Transit released cost studies examining all the different routes being considered.

Graphic courtesy UW Special Collections

Before Move Seattle and Bridging the Gap, there was Forward Thrust. Fifty years ago this week civic leader Jim Ellis introduced Forward Thrust at a rotary luncheon at the Olympic Hotel. Forward Thrust was the name for a huge package of infrastructure improvements and for a countywide political campaign Ellis envisioned to get them paid for.

A bus moves into traffic on Delridge Way in West Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Ross Reynolds speaks with King County Executive Dow Constantine,  who also chairs the Sound Transit Board, about a planned transit expansion in the Puget Sound region known as Sound Transit 3. Public comment on the first phase of planning can be submitted until the end of the day on Wednesday, July 8.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Correction 1/15/2013: This story has been changed to reflect that construction has  eliminated a center turn lane, not reduced the lanes from four to two as originally stated.

A previous version of this story also incorrectly said construction on all of the projects would take another three years. The current lane closures are scheduled to end in December, Sound Transit expects the Capitol Hill light rail station construction to be complete by spring 2015, and the First Hill streetcar is expected to be operating by the middle of 2014. Work on the First Hill streetcar started affecting Broadway in April of 2012. The story below has been corrected.

For many of us, years of light rail construction on Broadway has been a traffic headache. But some small business owners along Capitol Hill's main street worry that ongoing construction could force them to shut their doors.

Amy Radil

A group called “U District Square” is asking the University of Washington to help create a European-style public plaza around the neighborhood’s future light rail station.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Correction 10/10/2013: This story has been changed to clarify candidate Vandana Slatter’s position on light rail and differs from the audio.

Bellevue has three City Council races on the ballot this fall. The candidates for those races say they have ideas to help Bellevue manage future growth and to make the downtown feel less like “an airport terminal.” They spoke at a candidate forum yesterday hosted by the Bellevue Downtown Association.

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