by Arvia Morris and Iris Antman
To address expected population growth, promote economic development, and develop a more sustainable transportation system, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has been studying an ultra-high-speed ground transportation (UHSGT) system between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland, Oregon, for the past six years and is required to report progress to the Washington State Legislature. Its most recent report to the Legislature is shockingly substance-free, casting doubt on WSDOT’s ability to communicate effectively about this enormous infrastructure commitment. Most egregiously of all, the report does not include any updated cost estimates, which is not only essential information but is also required by law in updates such as this.
Continue reading OPINION | WSDOT Must Be More Transparent About High-Speed Transportation Project
New research shows how community engagement is integral in its success.
by Sarah Goh
With a growing population in the Pacific Northwest, the call for better public transportation heightens. This March, Washington’s State Legislature signed off on a transportation milestone, allocating $150 million to a high-speed connection between Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
Though this funding could reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, and better connect these coastal cities, a high-speed rail that travels above 200 miles per hour between major cities has never been done before in the United States. How will Washington get started? How will the State ensure a successful project?
Continue reading Plans Develop for High-Speed Rail in the PNW
by Phil Manzano
Could the decades-old government housing discrimination program, commonly called redlining, have anything to do with pedestrian fatalities today?
According to a recent national study that compared federal redlining maps of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation with data on 2010–2019 pedestrian deaths from the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the answer is yes.
Continue reading Redlining Continues to Reverberate in Seattle Nearly a Century Later in Pedestrian Deaths
“This false assertion that the CID isn’t a residential neighborhood has been used over and over again to justify harmful infrastructure projects being placed there,” says artist Tessa Hulls.
by Amanda Ong
On April 8, the Wing Luke Museum debuted two new exhibits, “Nobody Lives Here,” with art and text by artist Tessa Hulls, and “Resistance at Home,” an exhibit by the museum’s cohort of YouthCAN students. The exhibits are distinct but contain interconnected themes. “Nobody Lives Here” looks at the 1960s and the construction of I-5 through the Chinatown-International District, as well as its resounding effects, and connects it to national projects of urban renewal that have come at the detriment of low-income neighborhoods of color. Meanwhile, “Resistance at Home” features artwork from members of the museum’s youth program, who were asked to reflect on the history of resistance in the CID and what “resistance” and “home” mean to them personally.
Continue reading Wing Luke’s ‘Nobody Lives Here’ and ‘Resistance at Home’ Take a Look at Sound Transit and the Future of the CID
by Ronnie Estoque
The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided two federal Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants to Seattle transportation agencies. One grant of $2 million was awarded to Sound Transit and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to increase the general safety around the Link light rail along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, which statistically has been the most dangerous for local residents as reported by the Emerald last year.
Continue reading Sound Transit and Seattle Department of Transportation Awarded Federal Grants for Improvements
by Alex Garland
Seattle is a train town. Some might not hear the train’s horn or its rumble over the tracks, but it’s there, carrying our garbage, our food, and even the crude oil that still powers much of our lives. Walk out of Costco in SoDo, and you might see an oil train rumbling by; go to a Mariners or Seahawks game, and you might smell a hundred garbage cars on the rails. You might also cross the bridge over the tracks at Carkeek Park or wait as the crossing arms go down at Olympic Sculpture Park. With over 600 trains carrying hazardous materials running through our city every year, what keeps Seattle from experiencing a disaster like Lac Megantic, Quebec, or East Palestine, Ohio, or, most recently, on the Swinomish Reservation near Anacortes, Washington? So far, it’s been the work of rail safety experts and activists, safety-minded train crews, and a few federal safety regulations.
Continue reading Could It Happen Here? Train Safety Still a Risk Under Downtown Seattle
by Guy Oron
(This article was originally published on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Speculation over the location of a new light rail station in the Chinatown-International District (CID) neighborhood ignited a fierce debate over accessible transportation, displacement, and equity in regional government planning and decision-making. Some community advocates say that divisive online discourse about the various proposals may have caused lasting harm to progressive movements, with traditionally allied groups backing different sides of the increasingly polarized issue.
Continue reading Placement of Future CID Light Rail Station Sparks Heated Debate, Strains Relations
by Friends of Little Sài Gòn Board of Directors
Sound Transit has the power to shape equitable development in neighborhoods south of Seattle’s downtown for generations. The political discourse over where to site a station essential for light rail expansion and potentially other non-car modes of transportation has become another existential battleground, falsely pitting our community’s fears of displacement, gentrification, and desire for transit equity in a city experiencing hyper wealth inequality against the simultaneous and very urgent need for connected, reliable, efficient transportation options that also support climate resilience.
Continue reading OPINION | From the Other Side of I-5: Little Saigon Weighs In on Sound Transit’s Light Rail Expansion in the CID