Sound Transit has poured through community feedback and narrowed the list of alternatives for where to build the Ballard light rail line. Now Sound Transit has entered the next phase — called “level two” — as it works toward agreeing on a single route by early next year.
Ballard now has 8 routes on the table. This is a bit hard to read — here’s the Sound Transit deck with more detail — but here there are on a single map (click for larger):
You may remember Sound Transit’s first proposal — down 15th Ave., across a movable bridge to a station at 15th and Market — was countered by Ballard and Interbay businesses who said they’d be impacted by the traffic disruptions.
After receiving a plethora of options over the last few months, Sound Transit has narrowed them down to this list, in addition to their original proposal. Each of these end with the Ballard station:
– Enter on 20th Ave., fixed bridge to 17th Ave. and Market
– Enter on 20th Ave., tunnel all the way to 15th and Market
– Enter near 16th Ave., fixed bridge to 15th and Market
– Enter near Interbay railway, movable bridge to 14th and Market
– Enter near Interbay railway, fixed bridge to 14th and Market
– Enter near Interbay railway, tunnel to 15th and Market
– Enter on Armory Way, tunnel to 14th and Market
These options now enter level 2 discussions with an updated set of evaluation criteria, which include rising construction costs and how the proposed stations fit in with local land use plans. The stakeholder advisory group and elected leadership group have several more meetings before making its level two recommendations — a shorter list — by September 26.
Then things move into — you guessed it — level three discussions before landing on a single route to propose to the leadership team for a vote by early next year.
(Photo of planning session from SoundTransit.org)