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December 5, 12:42 PM click here to comment > 0

The Reader – Progress on Ballard rail

From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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Progress on Ballard rail
As reported in the Daily Journal of Commerce, The Stranger and My Ballard, the Sound Transit Executive Committee voted late last week to amend their 2012 budget to include $2 million to study of high-capacity transit from downtown to Ballard.

Mayor McGinn visits the Portland Streetcar earlier this year

Approved by the region’s voters in the Sound Transit 2 vote, this planning money, along with a $900,000 federal grant awarded to Seattle in October and City matching funds, will allow the City and Sound Transit to conduct a detailed analysis of alignments and technologies that will enable us to meet the longer-term demand for transit between some of our the fastest growing neighborhoods and downtown.

The Downtown to Ballard corridor was highlighted in both the Seattle Streetcar Study in 2008 and the Sound Transit Long Range Plan in 2005. The corridor also ranked highly in the City’s recently completed Transit Master Plan. Funding to study this corridor was included in the Sound Transit 2 package. This agreement would accelerate that work by 3 years.

“There’s a lot more work to be done, but I think we’re making good progress,” said Mayor McGinn. The full Sound Transit board must still vote to approve the budget on December 15. If the amendment is retained, the City and Sound Transit will then begin to identify a scope of work and each party’s responsibilities.

Many thanks to everyone who has been working to make this possible, including Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl, her staff, and the Sound Transit Board.

Read on for other progress we’ve made recently on rail in Seattle.

First Hill Streetcar vehicles to be assembled in Seattle
In October, Mayor McGinn announced that Inekon’s streetcar vehicles will be assembled by Pacifica here in Seattle. This includes vehicles for the First Hill Streetcar as well as any other contracts Inekon gets in the United States. The announcement, made at the Seattle Streetcar Maintenance Yard, highlighted investments in high capacity transit that are bringing, living wage manufacturing jobs to Seattle. The partnership will bring streetcar manufacturing jobs to Seattle and compete for other streetcar contracts around the country. Read more.

Seattle wins federal grant for downtown streetcar project
Earlier in October, The Federal Transit Administration announced the City of Seattle won a $900,000 grant to study a high capacity transit project, such as a rapid streetcar, through the heart of downtown Seattle. The project would connect existing and proposed high-density neighborhoods to one another and the regional transit system. The current Seattle Transit Master Plan shows that a rail system on this corridor could generate approximately 10,000 new transit riders in Seattle Center City by 2030. This federal grant will support Mayor McGinn’s plan to connect Seattle’s neighborhoods with high capacity transit. Read more.

Upcoming Events (for more see

Dec 6: 4:30 p.m. – Capitol Hill Skating Rink Opening, Cal Anderson Park (1640 Nagle Pl)

Dec 8: 6:00 p.m. – Open House: Wallingford Neighborhood Greenway, Hamilton International School Commons (1610 N 41st St)

Dec 12: 6:00 p.m. – Final Road Safety Summit Meeting, Bertha Knight Landes Room, City Hall (600 4th Ave)

What we’re reading:
City settles with 5 landlords accused of discrimination

State lawmaker drafts bill aimed at escort service websites

Major Grocery Association Says It Will Support Seattle’s Attempt to Ban Plastic Bags (Unlike in 2009)

Garfield students walk out to protest education cuts

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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill