Ballard light rail route and station options: share your input

Sound Transit is in a massive information gathering phase as they roll out the options for the West Seattle and Ballard light rail extensions. They’ve been holding informational meetings, the next of which is coming up on Monday, Sept. 17 from 5:30 to 8pm at the Ballard Eagleson VFW (2812 N.W. Market St).

Route options for the Ship Canal crossing explore a few possibilities: a tunnel, a high-level fixed bridge, or a moveable bridge. Ballard station options are plentiful: an elevated station at 15th and Market, an elevated station on the east side of 17th and Market, a tunnel station on the west side of 15th and Market, an elevated station at 14th and Market, or a tunnel station at 14th and Market.

In a recent overview of the options, the Seattle Transit Blog suggested that another bridge over the canal could pose issues for Fishermen’s Terminal. Their recommendations for route/station alignment was for 15th Ave NW — they say 14th is too far from Ballard’s core, and 17th would be too disruptive and far from major bus routes along 15th.

Here’s a synopsis of each route option for the Ballard extension, as listed on Sound Transit’s website (click on the title to view the maps and pros and cons of each):

ST3 Representative Project Elevated guideway in the middle of 15th Avenue W. Includes an elevated station near Elliott Avenue W and W Prospect Street, an elevated station at 15th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a movable bridge crossing Salmon Bay just west of the Ballard Bridge, and an elevated station on the east side of 15th Avenue NW just south of NW Market Street.

20th/Fixed Bridge/17th Elevated guideway west of Elliott Avenue W. Includes an elevated station on the west side of Elliott Avenue W, then heads west of the BNSF property along 20th Avenue W. Includes an elevated station at 20th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a high-level fixed bridge crossing Salmon Bay farther west of the Ballard Bridge, and an elevated station straddling the east side of 17th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

20th/Tunnel/15th Elevated guideway west of Elliott Avenue W. Includes an elevated station on the west side of Elliott Avenue W, then heads west of the BNSF property along 20th Avenue W. Includes a retained cut station at 20th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station on the west side of 15th Avenue W just south of NW Market Street.

15th/Fixed Bridge/15th Elevated guideway west of 15th Avenue W. Includes an elevated station near Elliott Avenue W and W Prospect Street, an elevated station near 16th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a high-level fixed bridge crossing Salmon Bay just west of the Ballard Bridge, and an elevated station just southwest of 15th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

Central Interbay/Fixed Bridge/14th At-grade guideway west of Elliott Avenue W. Includes an at-grade station on the west side of Elliott Avenue W just north of the W Galer Street bridge, then continues at-grade just east of the BNSF property. It moves to an elevated guideway and includes an elevated station near 17th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a high-level fixed bridge crossing Salmon Bay east of the Ballard Bridge, and an elevated station straddling 14th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

Armory Way/Tunnel/14th At-grade guideway east of Elliott Avenue W with an at-grade station near Elliott Avenue W and W Prospect Street. Becomes elevated to cross 15th Avenue W and travels along W Armory Way, then continues at-grade just east of the BNSF property. Includes retained cut station near 17th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station straddling 14th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

Central Interbay/Moveable Bridge/14th At-grade guideway west of Elliott Avenue W. Includes an at-grade station on the west side of Elliott Avenue W just north of the W Galer Street bridge, then continues at-grade just east of the BNSF property. It moves to an elevated guideway and includes an elevated station near 17th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a movable bridge crossing Salmon Bay east of the Ballard Bridge, and an elevated station straddling 14th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

Central Interbay/Tunnel/15th At-grade guideway west of Elliott Avenue W. Includes an at-grade station on the west side of Elliott Avenue W just north of the W Galer Street bridge, then continues at-grade just east of the BNSF property. Includes a retained cut station near 17th Avenue W and W Dravus Street, a tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station straddling the east side of 15th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

Sound Transit is asking for input on preferred options — click here to provide feedback.

 


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Macklemore's Dealer
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Macklemore's Dealer

How about we keep the light rail station off 15th so that commuters don’t have to deal with the criminal human scum that has turned Market and 15th into a crime vector. The problem, it seems, will only continue to get worse while Chief Best and Durkan lip sync and cheer for sportsball nonsense instead of enforcing the law.

Jayne
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Jayne

Golly! Criminal human scum … sounds a bit harsh to me. Explain.

Macklemore's Dealer
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Macklemore's Dealer

Ask the rape, robbery, and theft victims. Sorry to be so “harsh” to your delicate fee fees.

Ducks for cover
Guest
Ducks for cover

I wondered how long it would take for the comments to circle around to the politics of crime in Seattle. Even I am impressed.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Take a drink every time it happens. 🙊

Martin
Guest
Martin

That is extremely dangerous advice.

Macklemore's Dealer
Guest
Macklemore's Dealer

Stick to soy milk and you’ll be fine.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

The fake names that “Macklemore’s Dealer” usually posts under are Scott and Scott D. The other fake names they use include Cyclist, Access Hollywood, California Uber Alles, Simon Jack, Simon Says, O’Brien’s Flying Cucks, Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces, nannystate, Low Testosterone, Low Testosterone City Council, Durkan Supports Human Trafficking, Urban Decay, boojabana, and Buxom Lady. And many, many more.

Why soy? Because they want to steal our precious bodily fluids. Don’t ask.

Macklemore's Dealer
Guest
Macklemore's Dealer

“Fake names”? What, your parents wrote “elenchos” on your birth certificate?

These are ideas, not “fake names”. You should read something besides Lindy West. She’ll give you diabetes. Say hi to your sex offender junkie pals. We really appreciate them in the neighborhood.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Sock puppetry. You have conversations with YOURSELF. You pretend to be two different people so you can get an amen from the peanut gallery. You have no support, no followers. Nobody likes you. So you make up fake supporters.

You’re a scammer, a grifter. You created “cyclist” so you could pretend to be an avid bike rider who supposedly knows all about riding the Burke Gillman.

You couldn’t use most of your old fake names because of your habit of regurgitating the tired old “war on cars” anti-bike crap you year from Dori and Jason. One of the uses of sock puppetry is talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Guest
Guest
Guest

That’s a lot on infrastructure cost for service that additional buses would easily provide. Buses can be rerouted in an emergency, and can be used for disaster response. In a disaster, trains become very expensive paperweights.

Buses lul
Guest
Buses lul

I would be for additional buses if we dedicated infrastructure specifically for them (dedicated bus lanes, etc.) and had active enforcement for this new infrastructure. Sadly this will not happen as the uproar of taking away lanes from drivers would not go over well.

Ray
Guest
Ray

Because those lanes go to bicycles.

Beth
Guest
Beth

The City has already taken away lanes for drivers, and no one says boo. Instead of installing light rail and THEN putting in bike lanes, they have squeezed 2 lane roads down to one lane to accommodate bike lanes. I’m all for people who ride instead of using fossil fuel, but the City is doing it backwards, creating MORE delays and MORE traffic jams. Build your light rail FIRST, THEN take away our lanes! I’d welcome buses only if they didn’t choke the air with more fossil fuel. Electric buses would be welcome. But trains are faster and would get more people out of their cars.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Nobody says boo? There’s mountains of evidence behind this. Years of research. How about this?

More lanes means more car trips. You can’t make congestion going away by increasing capacity. There’s always one more guy thinking about driving across town to see a different movie or save $2 on Cheerios. As soon as you had the lane, those people join you and traffic remains just as it was. Just barely tolerable. Every time you wonder “where did all this traffic come from?” the answer is, it was people (not unlike yourself) who might have stayed home or gone somewhere more local, but the figured it congestion was just low enough to make it worth it.

The only thing that “get people out of their cars” is when congestion hits their limit of tolerance, and then the choose alternatives.

Kip
Guest
Kip

Well, your results may vary but when I was in a natural disaster (Loma Prieta quake) the electric buses turned into instant paperweights and the BART trains kept running (once they checked the tunnels for leaks).

Guest
Guest
Guest

The D line, 15, 17, 18, and 40 don’t run electric buses.

NoCamping
Member
NoCamping

Growing up in the 50’s-60’s, both the 15 and 18 were electrified, I remember them cutting off the metal poles on the ballard bridge in the early 70’s. Would be way less expensive to electrify 15th and elliott, and provide lot’s of the newer hybrids, unfortunately it makes too much sense compared to the bloated idiotic streetcars. Will never happen in the new Shitty of Seattle…

Ron Swanson
Guest
Ron Swanson

Actually, you’ve got that exactly backwards. See, for example, BART, which began running 12 hours after the 89 quake on a 24/7 schedule to allow people to get around with major roadways impassable.

http://www.bart.gov/marketing/25-years-after-Loma-Prieta-quake

BAM
Guest
BAM

Sadly a lot of us will probably be dead, buried, decomposed and forgotten by the time this opens up. I can just imagine the cost overruns on this project with the incompetence that we have from our city leaders.

All aboard
Guest
All aboard

None of the above.One that crosses over to U station then to downtown with limited stops seems like the better choice.

mdnative
Guest
mdnative

A number of commenters on Seattle Transit blog supported this option, but the city (in SDOT proposal to Sound Transit) wanted to cover Amazon (SLU) and Expedia.

All aboard
Guest
All aboard

Amazon should build their own darn train line.

Ballard Rocks Hard
Guest
Ballard Rocks Hard

I’m not confident this will be completed on time or come in on or under budget. I’d love for that not to be so, but I’ve very little confidence in Sound Transit. Light Rail is something we needed 50 years ago. By the time this is implemented, self-driving cars will probably be the norm (or close to it). At that point, is anyone going to want to ‘share’ their commute with others?

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Self-driving cars are still cars. Coordinate all their moments with a hive mind, and traffic will flow really well. But all that does is attract more people to take more trips they wouldn’t have when it didn’t flow as well. More and more trips fill the capacity right up to the point where it is just barely tolerable for the most motivated travelers. You’re right back where you started. Increasing capacity by adding lanes or timing lights or increasing speed limits, or the magic of self driving cars, does not solve congestion.

That means there will be demand for alternatives to cars, which will always be sitting there with angry people inside, wondering where all this traffic came from.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

The State’s transport chief says it’s because nobody can afford a home near where they work. That’s not quite accurate — it’s that most people choose to sit in traffic for X minutes per day in order to have a larger house than the one they would have if they spent fewer than X minutes commuting. The time X is always constant. If you add capacity, the distance they can travel while they’re spending X minutes increases, so greater sprawl becomes possible. But X will always be the maximum time they can tolerate in order to have the biggest house and/or yard they can get.

(In case anyone doesn’t already know, the reason I split my comments into two parts sometimes is that I hate the way this site convert my paragraphs into a wall of text, so I break it up.)

Macklemore's Dealer
Guest
Macklemore's Dealer

TLDR
Get your tent dwelling sex offenders out of the parks and sidewalks, elenchos.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Pick name, Cyclist. Scott. Access Hollywood. You’re not fooling anybody.

Macklemore's Dealer
Guest
Macklemore's Dealer

Nobody’s is trying to fool anybody, except for City Hall (and folks like you) who want us all to pay for our own local scumbag population and get their overpaid consultant friends cushy gigs. It’s a racket, and you’re the carnival barker. And not a very good one, even.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

Really? Not trying to fool anybody? Then pick one name. Stop having conversations with yourself. If you’re not trying to fool anyone, then stop the tricks and games and masquerades.

Easy. You can do that.

Ballard Rocks Hard
Guest
Ballard Rocks Hard

And that’s fine. There should be alternatives to cars. I’m just saying, in 20 years or however long it takes to finish this, there will still be people who don’t want to share their commutes with others.

elenchos
Member
elenchos

True. That’s Elon Musk’s whole deal: make electric self-driving cars for the driving alone market. It’s fine, whatever. But the mainstream, the public works projects, can’t follow those guys and their atavistic car fantasy. The future is in density, biking, walking, and mass transit. (And maybe gizmos like electric scooters or jet packs or monowheels. Goofy and probably irrelevant.)

Meh Ballard
Guest
Meh Ballard

its going on orange or purple the city overpaid for salmon bay marina

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

The 14th street Armory option has an additional bonus for the future. It has the room to build a turn should we ever decide to connect Ballard to UDu b stations.

Damon
Guest
Damon

The 14th Ave options all have the disadvantage that they are insane. The great majority of trips made on this line will be by people going to or from places west of 15th.

bolide
Guest
bolide

Is that Damon Hill in your picture?

Long Time User
Guest
Long Time User

Seriously, just ride a bike. It’s damn easy, better for you, faster and cheaper than driving. The rest of the world has learned this, you can too.

BAM
Guest
BAM

Looking back, we should have built that monorail. It would probably be in service by now and would have been a heck of a lot cheaper.

Wakeupalready
Guest
Wakeupalready

You guys are fucking idiots for not seeing Seattle should have had rail lines 30 years ago.

I don’t care what a “small industrial city” it was;
This is 2018!!

Every single person in Seattle owns a car because public transportation is SHIT!

We could get cars, bikes, and buses off the roads with this.

But it’s not even a question….

SEATTLE IS THE ONLY MAJOR CITY IN THE WORLD WITH- OUT A FUCKING SUBWAY SYSTEM.

Make bezos and the rest of the boys front the bill.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

BAM
Guest
BAM

We had the opportunity to get money for light rail back in the 1960’s from the federal government but we turned it down. Kind of short-sighted for our city leaders but they didn’t think we needed it. Instead Atlanta got it.

Lampchop
Guest
Lampchop

And Atlanta wasted it.

Debbie McClure
Guest
Debbie McClure

The bus system works just fine. Leave us alone.