By Joe Veyera
Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) completed their report for the Ballard to downtown Seattle transit expansion study earlier this week. The new report includes the results of their analysis and a summary of public feedback on the potential corridors.
The study looked at several potential corridors that would connect Ballard to downtown — via various neighborhoods including Fremont, Queen Anne, Interbay, and Belltown — considering the cost of construction, peak period travel time, and the estimated daily ridership. The study’s outcome supports the implementation of the Seattle Transit Master Plan, and future Sound Transit Board discussions on high capacity transit options.
Since the study began in February of last year, more than 2,500 stakeholders participated through three open houses and interactive online tools to help inform the technical analysis. A majority of commenters (76 percent) preferred a tunnel option that connected Ballard to downtown via Fremont and Queen Anne.
The partnership between Sound Transit and SDOT also saved planning dollars during this project development phase. The study is one of nine high capacity transit corridor studies that were called for in the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure approved by voters in 2008.
The report will now be considered by City of Seattle leadership and the Sound Transit Board for possible future action. Any construction would be subject to Sound Transit and City policy decisions, and voter approval would be required for any Sound Transit investments.