Tag Archives: Sound Transit

A Light Rail Train Was Bearing Down on Them — They Had No Idea.

by Lizz Giordano


As Steven Wayne and Emoke Rock crossed the light rail tracks near the Columbia City Station last summer, they were unaware a light rail train was barreling toward them about to hit and kill the couple, according to a recently completed investigation of the July 2 collision.

“At no point does either pedestrian make any movement to get out of the path of the train or acknowledge its presence,” concludes the “Final Accident Report” written by King County Metro Transit. The bus agency is contracted by the light rail agency to operate the trains. 

The report is sparking renewed discussions about pedestrian safety along the light rail corridor, a critical conversation for Rainier Valley residents. 

Continue reading A Light Rail Train Was Bearing Down on Them — They Had No Idea.

Connecting the South End and North End and the John Lewis Memorial Bridge

by Lizz Giordano


South King County residents now have a new travel option to the University of Washington’s campus and Northgate, one that will offer a reliable travel time through one of the region’s most congested areas — downtown Seattle. 

On Saturday, Oct. 2, Sound Transit launched three more light rail stations, stretching the line to roughly 25 miles from Angle Lake to Northgate Mall. 

Thousands of people streamed through the new extension over the weekend, clapping and cheering as trains pulled into Northgate Station. For now, Northgate marks the northern terminus point until Lynnwood Link opens and trains begin running into Snohomish County — sometime in 2024, according to current projections. 

Continue reading Connecting the South End and North End and the John Lewis Memorial Bridge

Construction Begins on RapidRide G Line to Open in 2024

The new route will ferry 12K passengers daily from downtown to Madison Valley by way of First Hill.

by Ben Adlin


A groundbreaking ceremony in Madison Valley this week marked the official start of construction of a new RapidRide bus route — the G Line — expected to carry nearly 12,000 people daily along Madison Street between downtown and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The 2.3-mile transit expansion, projected to open in 2024, will include major upgrades to roads and sidewalks, including 240 curb cutouts to increase accessibility, new traffic signals, more visible crosswalks, signs that show real-time bus arrivals, and raised-curb stations designed to make it easier to get on and off buses — which will come every six minutes at peak times and have doors on both sides.

In the short-term, the $133 million project will likely mean a snarl of construction traffic on Madison, only adding to the region’s growing pains. But the investment of time and money will eventually mean a more connected, built-out transit system that links some of the city’s densest neighborhoods, speakers at Thursday’s, Sept. 30, event said.

“In some cities, the best lines of communication are from the city center to the suburbs,” said the Rev. Patricia Hunter of Mount Zion Baptist Church, where the groundbreaking ceremony was held. “But in Seattle, one of the best lines of transportation will serve those within the city, all along Madison.”

Continue reading Construction Begins on RapidRide G Line to Open in 2024

Graham Street Light Rail Station Dodges Delay

by Lizz Giordano


While other Sound Transit projects face delays, all three future light rail infill stations — stations to be inserted along existing rail lines — including one planned for South Graham Street, remain on time or early, the agency decided Thursday, Aug. 6, as it confronts a $6.5 billion budget deficit. 

At the beginning of 2021, Sound Transit declared much of Sound Transit 3 (ST3) “unaffordable” as the agency faced a shortfall. The agency blames rising land costs, declining sales tax revenue due to COVID-19 shutdowns, and pricey project add-ons for the budget gap, which has since narrowed in part due to increased tax revenue projections. 

The board approved a plan Thursday that placed projects into four tiers, prioritizing those in the top two tiers, which are mainly light rail and bus rapid transit extensions. Most of these are facing a two- to five-year postponement. Sound Transit estimates items in tiers three and four, mostly parking and Sounder train projects, could be delayed up to 10 years. On top of a financial setback, some ST3 projects face a one- to two-year planning lag which the agency attributes mostly to the pandemic.

Continue reading Graham Street Light Rail Station Dodges Delay

Block Party Lays Groundwork for Proposed Youth Achievement Center

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Last Sunday, the Seahawks cheerleaders, local activists, and graffiti artists gathered along Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Angeline Street in Columbia City for one purpose — to bring a youth achievement center to that block of South Seattle.

The building proposal for the center consists of a north and south site which will provide permanent and emergency housing and amenities for different age groups, in addition to space for commercial businesses. Both sites are located next to each other along Martin Luther King Jr Way South adjacent to the Columbia City light rail station. 

Continue reading Block Party Lays Groundwork for Proposed Youth Achievement Center

Couple Killed in Light-Rail Accident Remembered as Kind Community Members

by Elizabeth Turnbull


Emoke Rock, 76, and Steven “Skip” Wayne, 66, both involved community members, died July 2 after being struck by a Sound Transit light-rail train near the Columbia City Station.

The couple were crossing the street at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Way South and South Alaska Street in the Columbia City neighborhood in South Seattle at roughly 6 p.m. They were hit by the train while walking during a “Don’t Walk” signal, according to a Seattle Police Department (SPD) statement. Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad are investigating the incident. 

Both Rock and Wayne were recently retired real estate agents — Rock at the Edmonds Windermere office and Wayne at the Seattle-Mount Baker Windermere location. They were known for being community-minded, cheerful, and for their love for each other by many who knew them.

Continue reading Couple Killed in Light-Rail Accident Remembered as Kind Community Members

Graham Street Station Light Rail Unknowns Frustrate Neighborhood

by Lizz Giordano


In 2016, after a successful push to add a station to the light rail system at Graham Street, between the Columbia City and Othello stops, the community in South Seattle quickly developed a neighborhood vision to guide development and prevent displacement. But skyrocketing costs for light rail expansion, which could delay or scale back projects, have suddenly left the future of this neighborhood ambition murky. 

“We’ve been going after the station for the last 15 years,” said Abdi Yussuf, an organizer at Puget Sound Sage, a social equity organization. “The community has been waiting a long time.” The station should have been built when the line was constructed more than a decade and a half ago, he added. 

Continue reading Graham Street Station Light Rail Unknowns Frustrate Neighborhood

Legislation Eliminates One Objection to Sound Transit Fare Enforcement Reform

by Erica C. Barnett


(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 

Legislation that would make it easier for Sound Transit to adopt a fare enforcement system that does not involve the court or criminal justice system is coasting through the state Senate after passing the House on a near-unanimous bipartisan vote.

House Bill 1301, originally sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34, Seattle), gives Sound Transit the authority to create an “alternative fare enforcement system” that could include resolutions other than fines for people who fail to pay their fare. The State Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to move the bill to the Rules Committee, the final step before a floor vote.

Continue reading Legislation Eliminates One Objection to Sound Transit Fare Enforcement Reform

As Seattle Gears Up for Winter Weather, Officials Scramble to Secure Emergency Shelter

by Ben Adlin


Seattle officials are urging residents to prepare for a series of winter storms expected to bring snow and sustained below-freezing temperatures to the region this week, warning that the severe weather could cause power outages, create problems for drivers, and put vulnerable populations at risk.

“We have to check in with our neighbors at times like this, especially our seniors and disabled neighbors,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “And also remember, you have the responsibility to shovel that sidewalk in front of your property.”

Agencies around King County are gearing up for the severe weather — preparing to clear roads and adjust bus routes, for example — but leaders at Wednesday’s press conference acknowledged the ongoing pandemic will complicate some efforts, such as expanding emergency shelter for people without housing.

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Port of Seattle Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign Results in Higher Call Volumes to National Human Trafficking Hotline

by Ronnie Estoque

On Thursday, the Port of Seattle hosted a virtual media briefing to update the community about their efforts in support of a regional public awareness campaign around human trafficking prevention. The event was timely as Human Trafficking Prevention Month is in January, and the campaign has led to higher call volumes to the National Trafficking Hotline from Washington State.

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