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Community Update ST3 Dec 17 2015

December 17, 2015

Sound Transit 3 Candidate Projects: Analysis released by ST; City analyzing data

On December 4, 2015, Sound Transit (ST) released the evaluation of all candidate projects, including projects to serve the Eastside for its ST3 ballot measure. The candidate project list was approved by the ST Board of Directors on August 27, 2015 and three projects are of interest to the City of Kirkland: 

  • Bus Rapid Transit on I-405 in the Express Toll Lane (Candidate Project E-02)
  • Light Rail Transit on the Eastside Rail Corridor* from Totem Lake to Bellevue to Issaquah (Candidate Project E-03)
  • Bus Rapid Transit on the Eastside Rail Corridor* from Kirkland to Bellevue (Candidate Project E-06)

*The Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) is a segment of the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Kirkland staff and consultants are reviewing the results of ST’s analysis and will submit comments to ST by January 21, 2016. At its January 19 Regular Meeting, the Kirkland City Council will consider a draft response letter to be sent to the ST Board of Directors.

For ST3 information, go to www.soundtransit3.org. For efforts by the City of Kirkland regarding ST3, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/ST3.

Community input regarding transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor

The City of Kirkland has been conducting extensive public outreach regarding transit options on the CKC over the past two months.   Outreach has included a community Open House held on November 19 at the Kirkland Performance Center, as well as presentations at Neighborhood Association meetings, service clubs and business groups.

The City’s outreach efforts will be expanded moving into 2016 until the Sound Transit Board makes final decisions in June on what projects will be included in the ST3 ballot package that voters will be asked to vote on in the November 2016 General Election.  

Plans are being finalized for a second Community Update to be held on Monday, January 11, 2016, in the evening at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. More information will be distributed through City email newsletters and posted on the City’s ST3 webpage at www.kirklandwa.gov/ST3. 

A presentation summarizing community feedback will be provided to the City Council at its January 5 meeting. The City recognizes that some residents do not wish to see transit on the CKC and others do. Some of the key issues that the City has heard so far include: 

  • Concern that transit on the CKC could result in the loss of the interim trail as it exists today.
  • Concern about pedestrian/bike safety, noise, fumes, loss of green space, loss of community feel, and impacts to the environment, views, and property value should there be transit on the CKC.
  • Support for transit on the CKC to help address Kirkland’s traffic congestion if impacts and concerns can be addressed.
  • Concern that a transit way on the CKC would divide the corridor and reduce or impede the ability for pedestrians to cross it.
  • Desire not to have any transit on the CKC and a preference to have transit on I-405 instead.
  • Desire that transit on the CKC must serve Kirkland’s needs and not simply be “pass through” service for the region.
  • Support for either buses or light rail on the CKC; although buses are often seen as more able to address the concerns about impacts to the Corridor. 
  • Concern about Sound Transit’s willingness to build transit on the CKC at a scale and impact that maintains Kirkland’s community character and quality of life.
  • Desire to understand Sound Transit’s ridership analysis and other information contained in the project templates issued on December 4, 2015.
  • Desire for more education and outreach about the options so that the community will be better informed.

The Kirkland City Council and staff appreciate all of the feedback that has been received so far and are listening carefully.   City officials are working closely with Sound Transit and City consultants to develop options to address the concerns that have been raised while also providing the transit service that Kirkland residents and businesses need.   The City Council will be discussing this issue at its January 5 and January 19, 2016 meetings.

Should you have specific questions or concerns regarding the City’s efforts, please email ST3questions@kirklandwa.gov or call 425-587-3800.