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Streetcar Coming to Broadway? Idea Gets Major Boost

The idea of extending the First Hill Street car from Denny Way, along Broadway, to Roy Street is getting a boost. Mayor Mike McGinn is expected to announce at a press conference this morning that with a new $850,000 federal grant, it looks like the city will have enough money to begin designing the extension through Broadway's commercial district.

The half-mile extension, sought by the Capitol Hill community, was made possible Oct. 25, when the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) adopted its Regional Transportation Improvement Program, according to a press release from McGinn's office. It included $850,000 of Federal Transit Administration funds for the first phase of design and preliminary engineering for the Broadway Extension.

Additionally, PSRC's Regional Project Evaluation Committee has recommended that Seattle receive $900,000 in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds to complete the design work. Final approval and award of these funds is scheduled to occur in early December.

When completed, the line currently under construction will allow riders to easily travel between neighborhoods on Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, the Central Area, the Chinatown/International District and Pioneer Square, and better access Link light rail service, the release said.

"The process by which this project grew into such a comprehensive neighborhood asset is a perfect example of what we can achieve when the city and neighborhoods work together rather than at odds," Capitol Hill resident Josh Mahar said in a press release.
Kery Murakami