Light Rail Update
It is an exciting time to serve as a Sound Transit boardmember because we are planning how light rail will be extended from SeaTac to Federal Way. One key decision the board will be facing during the next month and a half is choosing the location of the tracks between the new Angle Lake and the Kent/Des Moines stations.
I believe that running the tracks along I-5 (rather than down Highway 99) from Angle Lake to the new Kent/Des Moines station is the best choice because it:
• Respects Local Communities – Leaders in the affected cities support an I-5 alignment as the preferred alternative. The City of Des Moines is particularly adamant and resolute in their strong opposition to a Highway 99 alignment through their community.
• Controls Costs – An I-5 alignment is cheaper than options along Highway 99.
• Maximizes Ridership – The environmental impact statement (EIS) identifies daily ridership for this alignment at 2,000 daily boardings which is on par with the Highway 99 alignment.
• Minimize Travel Times – Estimated travel times for each alignment are essentially identical.
• Supports Transit Oriented Development – Depending on station location, the potential for transit oriented development is comparable between the two major alignment choices.
I oppose a Highway 99 alignment because running the tracks along Highway 99 through the City of Des Moines would unnecessarily disrupt the economic development of a growing South County community.
I appreciate hearing your thoughts on extending Light Rail through South King County. For more information about this project please go to the Federal Way Link page on Sound Transit's website.
Councilmember, District 5
Metropolitan King County Council
516 Third Ave, Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98104