Officials from Sound Transit gave a presentation during the June 15 Kenmore City Council meeting on the local options for accessing light rail.
The city of Kenmore is hosting an informal community meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting will discuss the options for Sound Transit projects in the area and how they will impact the local community.
“Sound Transit, as you know, is a regional operator of train and bus services. Our mission is to improve the way people get in and around major employment centers,” said Sound Transit Government and Community Affairs Offficer Matthew Bott. “For a region of this size, we’re a young agency. [Ridership] has increased over several years. In 2014 we carried 32 million riders.”
Currently, there are plans to open a new light rail station in Shoreline, on Northeast 145th Street, however Kenmore City Councilmembers are equal in their concern for an increase in traffic and a missed opportunity to have light rail along SR 522 or to expand Sound Transit options already running along SR 522.
“We’re very concerned with bus routes and transit along the 522 corridor and also the 145th Street corridor as we think it’s very important to get people to light rail,” said Kenmore Mayor David Baker. “We’re also concerned with park and ride facilities along the 522 corridor as we’re taxed now. The park and ride we have in Kenmore… is full by 7 o’clock in the morning, if not before.”
The other councilors who spoke, had many of the same or similar concerns.
“I drive on 522 everyday… and, as you may know, 522 carries more cars every day than Aurora does. It’s frankly a horrendous drive every single morning just to get down to Northeast 145th Street,” said Councilman Nigel Hergib. “If there is a corridor to really look into investing in, I think 522 makes a strong case for that. I would urge strongly that there is a closer look given the 522 for BRT [bus rapid transit] or light rail.”
While there are no current plans to expand Sound Transit light rail to the 522 corridor, the city of Kenmore has been hoping that citizens will make their voices heard in a Sound Transit survey.
According to the City of Kenmore, Sound Transit currently has no plans to construct any improvements along Highway 522, or anywhere else in Kenmore, even though traffic will likely increase along 522 once the planned light rail station on NE 145th Street in Shoreline is opened.
Sound Transit has given local municipalities until July 15 to submit a letter of interest including the city’s needs and hopes for Sound Transit expansion in the future.
For more information about local Sound Transit projects, please visit www.SoundTransit3.org.