Mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan has detailed her plan to speed up light rail construction to West Seattle and Ballard. The city’s current plan won’t deliver light rail to Ballard until 2035.
The former U.S. Attorney’s plan includes expediting the design, engineering and permitting. In a statement, Durkan detailed five specific steps to speed up the process:
- Speed up delivery of light rail through appointing a new leader within the Mayor’s office to coordinate ST including a review of City codes, policies and permitting requirements;
- Start immediately to improve Ballard & West Seattle Transit Corridors;
- Prepare for opening 3 new stations in four years;
- Accelerate delivery of Seattle’s two infill stations at NE 130th and S. Graham streets;and
- Plan easy access for riders to all existing and future Light Rail Stations.
“The next mayor will play an integral role, especially as a member of the Sound Transit Board, to accelerate Sound Transit light rail expansion,” Durkan said.
Durkan’s opponent Cary Moon, an urban planner, also wants to see light rail come to Ballard sooner than planned. She told the Seattle Times she would add city money or use the city’s bonding capacity to speed things up. “There is a lot of buffer time put into the planning and design process; let’s make sure we don’t squander it spinning our wheels on debate,” she told the Times.