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Help shape light rail service to West Seattle and Ballard

In-person and online open houses are waiting for input

Courtesy of SDOT

West Seattle and Ballard light rail service—which will connect to Sound Transit’s existing Link light rail line—is scheduled to begin in 2030 and 2035, respectively. But before the process moves forward, Sound Transit needs to collect input from the people who will actually be using, interacting, and living nearby the project.

Neighborhood open houses start tonight in West Seattle, with others in Ballard and downtown over the course of the next week or so. But those who can’t attend an open house can view the current Sound Transit plan and give comments online.

Sound Transit’s current plan for the West Seattle line includes stops in Delridge, on Avalon, and in the Junction. The plan for the Ballard line includes stops at Denny, in South Lake Union, at the Seattle Center, and in Interbay before its terminus at Market Street. The extensions include a new tunnel and station downtown.

A map in the online input tools allow users to zoom in on the exact proposed route, leaving comments along the way at any point along the map—so some users are dropping a pin along the route to give suggestions for that specific stretch of track, while others are dropping pins off-route to suggest where they think the line should go.

The Sound Transit Board approved a plan to open the extensions in 2030 and 2035 in September, shortening the original timeline by about three years. A plan approved by the Mayor and City Council in December commits both the city and Sound Transit to various timelines to stay on that schedule, including beginning project development by the end of 2017 and choosing preferred line alternatives in the first half of 2019.

Expediting the two light rail lines was a key campaign promise Durkan, who suggested expediting the construction and permit process to get light rail service started.

West Seattle’s open house is tonight, February 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Alki Masonic Center. Ballard’s is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 15 at the Leif Erikson Lodge. Another meeting downtown is happening Tuesday, February 20 at Union Station.