Announcements

CALL TO ACTION ON LIGHT RAIL: January 28, 2016

Please click here for the Facebook Event page.

Dear West Seattle, South Park, White Center, and Burien Residents,

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) is made up of your neighbors. We are community volunteers who have been tracking mobility issues for the Peninsula and White Center since September 2013. We have been successful in bringing attention to our transportation challenges by banding together and asking for solutions.

In the Sound Transit 2 package, money was set aside to study potential corridors for Sound Transit expansion (ST3). Sound Transit has been studying the Ballard transit expansion since 2012. The three years of comprehensive citizen outreach and planning sessions have culminated in multiple routing and delivery options for Ballard. However, West Seattle and points south have not had the benefits of the same planning sessions. On December 4, 2015, Sound Transit presented to the Sound Transit Board (STB) a proposal for expansion of Sound Transit light rail:

http://soundtransit3.org/document-library

The WSTC has raised a question to the STB and the City of Seattle. The proposed three options are in direct conflict with projects voted on in Move Seattle. With a draft proposal set for March 2016 and a final draft set for June 2016, how can we get three years worth of planning done in three months?

Click here to read the letter that we sent:

http://www.westseattletc.org/letter-on-proposed-plans-for-sound-transit-3/

We need your help. Our next meeting is Thursday, January 28, 2016. We want to have a brainstorming session on ways we can help Sound Transit and the Cities of Seattle and Burien hold successful accelerated planning sessions.

You don’t need to be a transportation planner, you just need to want light rail to come to West Seattle, White Center and Burien!

Join us.

Date: January 28, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: (new location) The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW

Letter on Proposed Plans for Sound Transit 3

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition sent the following letter today to the Sound Transit Board, the King County Council, the Burien City Council, the Seattle City Council, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) is a peninsula-wide organization representing Seattle’s largest constituency of more than 100,000 people living and working in the 10 square mile area between the Duwamish River and Puget Sound.  These community leaders, advocates, business owners, and residents are working to address the peninsula’s transportation, mobility and commuting challenges.

The WSTC membership has some concerns about the “3+1” West Seattle ST3 options that have been presented to the Sound Transit Board (STB) for consideration.  The proposed ST3 projects with at-grade or elevated tracks will directly conflict with the Move Seattle funded Fauntleroy Boulevard and Delridge Way SW Visioning / Complete Street projects. In addition, the decision by Sound Transit not to include comprehensive planning to West Seattle in ST2 funding puts us at a distinct disadvantage.

Therefore, we request that before the March draft of the ST3 plan is unveiled, a significant effort is made by Sound Transit, with the assistance of the City of Seattle and WSTC, to get constituent input on potential light rail routing.  We propose meetings be held in each of the West Seattle Urban Villages (Alaska, Admiral, Morgan, Westwood/Highland Park and North Delridge) as well as in the City of Burien.

WSTC strongly believes that our region requires a fully connected light rail system. The system should accommodate our fast growing population and economy, and the reality in which we must live and commute from more affordable housing in our suburbs and outlying areas.  We endorse all the projects presented to the STB on December 4, 2015, to form the Complete Regional System. Our hope is that the STB chooses to ask for the taxing authority in order to successfully implement the complete, regional light rail system.  

We look forward to working with Sound Transit in order to Move the People.

Sound Transit

City Council Candidate Debate: October 13

wstcdebateblog2015Please join the West Seattle Transportation Coalition and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce for a City Council Candidate Debate about our local issues. Hear about the issues, and meet the candidates! Please feel free to share this far and wide.

If you would like to RSVP on Facebook and share the event, click here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1706751236210417

Our guests will be:

It will be on October 13, 615pm, at Neighborhood House High Point Center.

Directions: 6400 Sylvan Way SW in West Seattle, three blocks east of 35th Ave SW & SW Morgan.

New WSTC Leadership team

The WSTC is proud to announce our leadership team for 2015-2016, after latest board elections in May 2015.

WSTC-smallNew officers and Executive Committee:

Chair: Amanda Kay Helmick
Vice-Chair: Tom Linde
Co-Secretaries: Deb Barker & Martin Westerman
Treasurer: Larry Wymer

Committees: 

Action Committee Co-Chairs: Martin Westerman & Amanda Kay Helmick. The Action Committee is responsible for interfacing with and engaging directly with elected officials, agencies, and stakeholders to work toward achieving outcomes the WSTC seeks.

Outreach Co-Chairs: Jon Wright & Marci Carpenter. The Outreach Committee is responsible for public contact with our membership and the public.

Legislative Committee Co-Chairs: Michael Taylor-Judd & Tom Linde. The Legislative Committee is responsible for developing, honing, and maintaining our legislative agenda.

Communications Committee Chair: Joe Szilagyi. The Communications Committee is responsible for maintaining our website and social media presence.

The WSTC meets on the 4th Thursday of every month at Neighborhood House High Point, 630pm, at 6400 Sylvan Way SW, from January through October. All are welcome at these public meetings.

WSTC Statement: Move West Seattle First.

West Seattle Transportation Coalition – Move West Seattle First.

For Immediate Release

June 11, 2015

West Seattle has been working to resolve its transportation challenges for 125 years. We initiated Puget Sound’s first ferry service in 1888 and we built America’s first municipally funded commuter rail system in 1906. Today, that extensive rail line is gone, replaced by inadequate bus service and single lane choke points that hamper the mobility of our 100,000 citizens.

Seattle has not supported or expanded our historically great transportation ideas. Thanks to the lags and half measures the city has offered over the years, there’s widespread perception here that West Seattle and its transportation issues are not, and never have been priorities for the City of Seattle.

Bridge rebuild, 1983

Bridge rebuild, 1983

It took the City five years to re-build the South Park Bridge after significant lobbying efforts of citizens, six years to rebuild Seattle’s Spokane St. bridge after a freighter rammed the old one in 1978, and decades to re-start the seasonal cross bay West Seattle Water Taxi to downtown. After significant citizens efforts and pressure, the City is finally addressing safety and speeding issues on SW Roxbury Street and 35th Ave SW.

As our Peninsula population increases, traffic increases and further chokes ingress-egress. Our two bridges are gridlocked for hours every day now — with 93,000 vehicles crossing West Seattle’s high bridge, and 13,000 crossing the low bridge. Together, these bridges are Seattle’s busiest, non-freeway traffic corridor, carrying more human and freight volume than any other city bridge. By the time Move Seattle expires, West Seattle’s population in our Alaska Junction and Triangle areas alone will grow to equal or surpass that of Ballard.

Move Seattle fails to address West Seattle’s key issue — getting into and out of the peninsula, safely and efficiently. While the WSTC appreciates and supports the proposals West Seattle pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, we ask the Mayor and City Council to support and clearly define Council Member Tom Rasmussen’s amendment to Move Seattle. We would like the levy to:

  • Provide a fully funded, integrated, West Seattle Peninsula ingress-egress plan with a scope of work, timeline, and funding source. Its structure should be fully compatible with conversion to a future Sound Transit dedicated right-of-way, Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit system.

In Sound Transit polling, more than 94% of West Seattle residents supported a dedicated solution for the people living in District 1. Currently, all of West Seattle’s transportation hopes and dreams seem to be bolted to the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 (ST3) proposal. Meaning, West Seattle’s transportation fate is now in the hands of Olympia legislators, the Sound Transit Tri-County Board, and competition from regional and local interests who also need ST3 resources.

West Seattle Bridge, 2010.

West Seattle Bridge, 2010.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down for West Seattle as our population and development density increase, and the Port gears up with planned expansions on Terminal 5, where freight and industrial growth will further choke traffic flows to SR 99, I-5, I-90, Marginal and Alaskan Ways. It’s a perfect storm of adverse effects on our situation.

West Seattle and South Park need a solution today. We cannot wait for some future, theoretical ST3 or ST4 package. We expect our leaders and elected officials to do whatever it takes to move the people of District 1 now.

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Kay Helmick at (206) 708-5617.

Regards,
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition
http://www.westseattletc.org

New WSTC Board for 2015-2016 elected!

Our May 2015 meeting.

Our May 2015 meeting.

Here is your new WSTC Board for 2015-2016! We elect positions by year, so for 2015 we elected odd-numbered seats. Next year in May 2016, it will be even-numbered seats.

Position 1: Chris Bast
Position 2: Amanda Kay Helmick
Position 3: Mark Jacobs
Position 4: Deb Barker
Position 5: Ray Krueger
Position 6: Michael Taylor-Judd
Position 7: Thomas Linde
Position 8: Marci Carpenter
Position 9: Jon Wright
Position 10: Martin Westerman
Position 11: Larry Wymer

The board internally will choose a new staff of officers between our May and June meetings. Joe Szilagyi and Victoria Nelson both opted to not run again for the board in this cycle.

To read more about the new Board members, click here to read their candidate statements from last month.

2015 WSTC Board Election Candidates

It’s 2015, so the ODD numbered West Seattle Transportation Coalition board positions are up for election: positions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. For those six positions, we have nine applicants this year. Our elections will be at our May 28, 2015 meeting.

They are:

Thomas Linde

ThomasLindeI’m a 25 yr. resident of West Seattle and a lifelong resident of the greater Seattle area.  I’m a Project Manager with a background in transportation engineering and software development.  Currently employed at CH2MHill as a Senior Project Controls Manager focusing on effective schedule and budget management of large scale civil engineering projects regionally and all over the globe.

I have a desire to participate and help guide the transportation and livability solutions in the area I’ve made my home.  I support moving people, not cars, reduced use of fossil fuels and efficient use of our tax dollars.  I strongly wish to see and indeed help create a more integrated environment between our city/regional planning entities and operational groups that have to execute and live with the outcomes the planners are creating.  This has NOT been the case for many years and WS is in a state of great change.  If we do not thoughtfully guide and indeed demand solutions that work, this area will suffer for generations to come.

I’m looking forward to helping us solve these difficult issues in the way that is both satisfactory for today but more importantly, sets us up for a bright transportation future for all our residents.

Michael Taylor-Judd

MTJMichael Taylor-Judd, Transportation Chair of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council, and active member of the 34th District Democrats, has been a local political activist since he moved to Seattle to canvass door-to-door in West Seattle for statewide healthcare reform 15 years ago. Since arriving from Southern California, he has been active in marriage equality and transportation issues and grassroots organizing the Democratic Party. He’s helped to bring a bus-service funding problem to the attention of King County Metro, in which Seattle was slated to receive only 20 percent of Metro’s monies, even though it accounts for 75 percent of bus service, fought for improvements to local bus routes, and helped North Delridge get a new traffic signal at the top of Genessee and the 26th Ave Greenway.

Chris Bast

chrisbastI’ve always been an engaged and active citizen in each of the communities in which I’ve lived and I’ve come to see that the strength of our community is a direct reflection of how we travel from Point A to Point B. Transportation and transit solutions that reflect the nature of the places we live are vital components to building strong, healthy communities with vibrant economies and a high quality of life. My wife and I chose West Seattle to raise our family (spoiler alert: we’re expecting in September!) because of the strong sense of community on the peninsula and the unique sense of community that West Seattleites share. I’m committed to ensuring that we keep this sense of ourselves by being a strong advocate for walkable neighborhoods; safe, affordable, and reliable public transportation; and equitable transportation solutions for the city and want to volunteer my time, energy, and skills toward the mission of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

I am currently the Business Partnerships Manager for Climate Solutions, the leading regional organization focused on accelerating practical and profitable solutions to our climate and energy challenges. At Climate Solutions, I bring program management, communications, and policy support to the organization’s corporate engagement initiatives. In addition to building relationships with the business community, I am also responsible for building and maintaining strategic partnerships with other organizations and associations working to move the clean economy forward. These are skillsets that would serve me well as a member of the WSTC Board of Directors.

Prior to joining Climate Solutions, I worked in a variety of political and government roles for Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia including managing the Governor’s Renew Virginia initiative to support energy efficiency and promote clean energy and sustainability.

I am also a Truman National Security Project Partner and am on the Board of Directors for Northwest SEED. The Truman National Security Project unites next-generation veteran, political, and policy leaders to develop and advance strong, smart and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face. Northwest SEED empowers community scale clean energy to help communities achieve their sustainability and economic development goals.

I am a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia and am currently an MPA candidate at Seattle University. My wife, Caitlin, and I live in the Morgan Junction with our 3 year old puppy and soon-to-be baby daughter!

Joe Szilagyi

joeszilagyiJoe moved to Arbor Heights in West Seattle with his family in 2012, after living in Magnolia by the Ballard Locks for seven years. Originally from Connecticut, he was brought home by his West Seattle native wife in 2005. He is a two-decade veteran of various corners of the IT industry, including telecom, ISPs, web hosting, tech support, system administration, and engineering.

He is one of the founders of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, and is one of the founders of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. From October 2013, served as the primary webmaster and social media presence of the WSTC, as a board member, and as it’s first board chair from May 2014 to May 2015.

In his dreams West Seattle would have grade separated Light Rail to every neighborhood as well as zip line, zeppelin, or vacuum tube commuting options to downtown in the spirit of multi-modal integration. He spends his downtime with his wife and son, cursing yard work, and writing.

Victoria Nelson

victorianelsonVictoria is a third generation West Seattleite; having grown up just a mile from where she now lives with her husband and two dogs. A passionate environmentalist, she spends much of her volunteer time working on projects that will help keep neighborhoods and beaches healthy. Along with her husband, Victoria worked with other residents to bring a farmers market to West Seattle.

Having retired from the insurance industry in 2012, she is expanding her volunteer work to include a broader range of issues by working with the City Neighborhood Council – Neighborhood Planning Committee, and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. It is her hope that when a community takes a holistic approach to high density development along with the corresponding traffic issues, a good balance can be achieved so that one does not outweigh the other. Currently, West Seattle has three major challenges to address. First, over one million vehicles move through our neighborhoods. Second, we live in a peninsula that can easily become an island due to weather and traffic incidents. Finally, West Seattle does not have its own hospital which means we must leave our peninsula to get treatment for serious health issues. Her hope is that by working together with the city, the WSTC can help provide solutions to these challenges.

Ray Krueger

raykruegerRay Krueger is a retired sales engineer from IBM Corporation; subsequently a project manager for tech programs and enterprises including the State of New Mexico, MCI and Verizon and Year2000 consulting for national clients.

Ray has been active in community mobility issues’ advocacy since 2007 within a larger context of a systems approach to urban mobility, or more broadly, accessibility. Mobility is not an end in itself; rather it is a means to an end: meeting our needs using social transactions with friends, caregivers, merchants, etc. He used proximity as his model to find a home in Seattle adjacent to activity centers and rich transit services. He uses the Internet extensively to meet other needs. These factors are the three touchstones he uses to support his personal social interactions: mobility, proximity, and tele‑commerce.

Colorado Springs, Colorado:

2009: • Appointed by Green Cities Coalition of Colorado Springs as Transportation Working Group facilitator offering monthly meetings held at City Hall with invitations to a wide audience of 400+ individuals including elected officials responsible for transportation funding governance. Attended public meetings where regional transportation issues were resolved by elected officials and their advisory committees.

2010: • Joined the Board of Trustees and served as chair for Amblicab, a 501(C)(3) non-profit offering door‑through‑door transportation outside the service area of the region’s transit authority for ADA eligible persons of any age (above 18) with disabilities.

2011: • Joined the Colorado Springs Citizens’ Transportation Board (CTAB) as its primary advocate for transit services.
• Joined the transit Passengers’ Advisory Committee representing Amblicab to advocate for transit riders’ coordinated service delivery between the transit agency and related service providers.

2012: • Served as vice-chairman for the Future of Regional Transit (FORT), a steering committee representing 20+ community groups, working with the chair (mayor of an adjacent city), transit director and staff, and AECOM consultants facilitating efforts to evaluate and offer alternatives to governance and funding for the regional transit system.
• Joined the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority (PPRTA) Citizens’ Advisory Committee as one of three representatives for CTAB and joined the effort to successfully pass a ballot measure to reauthorize the PPRTA 1% sales tax (including 0.1% for regional transit operations and limited capital improvements) for transportation projects and programs in members’ jurisdictions from 2015 – 2024.
• Led the Transportation topic section of the Pikes Peak Regional Sustainability Plan.

2013: • Joined the Performance Measures task force of the Colorado DOT Transit and Rail Advisory Committee to develop metrics required by provisions of MAP-21 for federal funded projects.

Seattle, Washington:

2014: • Joined Board of West Seattle Transportation Coalition to build conversations for sustainable and productive transportation choices.

As a heavy user of the Internet for transportation topic research and news, he shares stories and data across several community blogs and Facebook pages that address an audience interested in mobility issues.

Jon Wright

jonwrightMy name is Jon Wright and I am interested in serving on the Board of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition as a “concerned citizen.”

I grew up on the East Coast, moved to Seattle in 1983, and was here until 2006. I moved around for work, living in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Portland, and rural Alaska. I moved back to Seattle at the end of 2013.  My wife and I bought a house in Seaview last year. We love the neighborhood and this is where we plan to raise our two daughters.

Our family gets around in many ways. My wife commutes downtown on the C and occasionally the water taxi. We enjoy walking to local parks and shopping. When we drive, we use our electric car. We take the ferry to Vashon for my oldest daughter’s preschool. And for weekend outings, the girls love riding Link light rail downtown.

I have worked in IT for twenty years and in aviation operations for ten. My previous careers have led to the best job of all: stay-at-home dad.

I have served on some volunteer boards: a non-commercial radio station, Rotary, and chamber of commerce. I have also been an elected library board member.

I would like to serve on the WSTC board because I think transportation is an interesting topic and I want to work toward a future where West Seattleites can get where they need to go.

I believe in data, not anecdotes. I like market-based solutions. I recognize that—as the city grows—there is not enough room for all the cars. That does not mean I am anti-car, I just feel we have to do a better job of allocating scarce resources. I go in believing that SDOT is part of the solution and not the problem. I am open-minded and I want to help improve transportation in West Seattle.

Mark Jacobs

markjacobsBSCE – University of Washington in 1984.

Professional Engineer in Washington and Oregon

Professional Traffic Operations Engineer

Work Experience:  4.5 years working for the Public (WSDOT and the City of Renton) and 25 years private traffic engineering consulting.

West Seattle Transportation:

Being able to get from point A to point B in a safe and efficient manner is paramount.  We all eat and need to get groceries!  Mail and garbage services, truck deliveries, automobile, transit walking and biking options all need to be accounted for.  All are important from a parent needing to drive to work because they need to include a drop off/pick up of a child, where transit is not a viable option, to the elderly simply out for a stroll.

As a long time West Seattle resident I am very familiar with the streets, trails/sidewalks, water taxi and transit in the area.  I personally use all modes of transportation.

Goals:

I am an avid walker and bike rider and have a keen interest in trails and for opportunities to expand the system.   Creating urban trails and pathways connecting parks, business and other points of interest can be cost effective and encourage more walking and bike riding!

As an Expert Professional Traffic Engineer I have concerns with SDOT’s failure to maintain existing infrastructure but yet can continue to fund projects with little technical merit!  I see SDOT veering away from using nationally vetted standards; that the existing safe system is based on, to a system that disregards the vetted criteria that I believe will result in reduced safety to all users.  And I have concerns with SDOT costing to deliver services; they are much higher than other local Agencies.

Endorsements:

I am endorsed by the Admiral Neighborhood Association.

Larry Wymer

larrywymer

My name is Larry Wymer and it is an honor to be considered for a board position on the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.

I believe I would be a great asset to the Coalition given my professional experience. I am a licensed traffic engineer (in California) and civil engineer (in Florida) working on obtaining my professional engineering license in Washington. I have over 25 years of experience as a traffic engineer/transportation planner since graduating with a civil engineering degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1989. I am currently a self employed traffic engineering consultant for projects outside of Washington, a scenario which would allow me to avoid potential conflicts of interest as a Board member. Throughout my career I have been actively involved with the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) serving in over a dozen positions culminating in a term as President of the Northern California Section, and campaigns for Secretary-Treasurer of the Western US ITE District, and as ITE International Director. My career has given me the opportunity to live in many metropolitan areas around the country including Dallas-Fort Worth; Southeast Florida (West Palm Beach-Ft. Lauderdale-Miami); San Francisco Bay area; Southern California (Los Angeles-Orange County-San Diego); and Sacramento, CA. I was also able to experience and witness the unique transportation, development, and political dynamics and challenges unique to each of these communities, and through my work I was able to help make those communities more livable and safer. Additionally, as my wife and I have settled into West Seattle, circumstances have resulted in us having the unique opportunity to live in and experience the varied and sometimes unique transportation challenges within three different neighborhoods: Delridge, Junction, and now Admiral.

My wife and I made a conscious decision to relocate from California to the Pacific Northwest 3 years ago, and we cherry picked West Seattle as the place to make our new home because of the lifestyle it affords. Since moving away from my hometown as a teenager, I have never before lived in a community I have loved so much I wanted to become an active part of it, until now. Over the past 3 years, I have become increasingly involved in a variety of ways, all of which I am hopeful is helping to make West Seattle an even better place to live. This involvement includes:

● Volunteering with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society/Log Cabin Museum (and almost being selected as their Executive Director)

● Volunteering at the Alki Art Fair

● Current “fun” part-time job as a Manager at the Admiral Theater

● Current Assistant Track Coach (shotput, discus throws coach) at West Seattle High School

● Current WSTC “West Seattle Circulator-Connector Committee” member (& early involvement with the Admiral Neighborhood Association).

I believe my transportation expertise, diverse experience, and enthusiasm would provide great value to the WSTC Board, and I respectfully ask for your consideration and vote.

We encourage everyone to attend our April 23 meeting as well, to meet the candidates.

WSTC

December 2014 WSTC Agenda

Here is the Facebook Event page for this meeting, if you wish to join or share it:

https://www.facebook.com/events/398757576945283

DECEMBER 4 UPDATE:

Here is the full Agenda, with segment times and specific guests.

6:30-6:45: Welcome to the WSTC, Introductions, Community News & Updates.

6:45-7:45: Emergency Plan with Q&A: Lawerence Eichhorn (Eich), Emergency Management & Security with SDOT and Debbie Goetz, the Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s Community Planning Coordinator. They will be be joining us in order to provide the whole community perspective and capture ideas for improvement. There will be a 20 to 30 minute presentation on West Seattle earthquake emergency access that will enhance our discussion – with Q&A afterwards.

7:45-8:30: Potential Rapid Ride C Alaska Junction Stop Change: Jonathon Dong, SDOT and Paul Roybal, Metro Transit

A discussion around the proposed changes to the Rapid Ride C in the Alaska Junction. Instead of jogging around 44th, a proposal of the Rapid Ride C continuting down California with a right hand turn onto Alaska with the bus stop just east of California. A SDOT study finds it will save 1 minute to make this change.

8:30: Adjourn.

NOVEMBER 12 INITIAL VERSION:

The full agenda will be pending yet for the December meeting of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, but here are our three core items:

1. Emergency clearance of the West Seattle Bridge, Spokane Street Viaduct, SR99 north of Spokane. Yet again, on November 12, we had another hours-long event where things were stuck in the morning commute for lack of a timely tow truck. Enough is enough: the city is required to fix this. We have reached out – repeatedly – to SDOT, SPD, the Mayor’s office, and City Council – about this, for months.

2. Emergency access to and from the West Seattle peninsula in the event of an emergency or disaster – if the bridges are closed, or jammed, how does an ambulance reach Harborview Medical Center, for example? We had planned on this since October, before the latest bridge event happened. We will be joined by SDOT’s director of emergency preparedness, Lawrence Eichorn, along with Cindi Barker and Sharonn Meeks of the West Seattle Emergency Hub program.

3. SDOT is looking into moving the Rapid Ride C terminal from eastbound SW Alaska to northbound California SW. Basically, from next to Key Bank to in front of the new condos next to Talarico. The Rapid Ride and other buses would go right up California, for a potential savings of one minute of travel time. SDOT has been doing outreach on this and we will be joined by them, the West Seattle Junction Association that represents Junction businesses, and other stakeholders for a mutual discussion on the pros and cons of the idea.

We hope to see you in December, and remember – starting in January 2015, we will no longer meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and are moving to the 4th Thursday of each month.

Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit are coming.

Sound TransitToday, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Chair of the Sound Transit Board, and County Councilmember Joe McDermott, also on the Sound Transit Board, announced their plan to add future high-capacity transit service to West Seattle and Burien to the Long-Range Plan now being prepared for Sound Transit.

When Sound Transit did a survey of residents — nearly 1000 respondents from West Seattle, we heard — the desire and approval for Light Rail from West Seattle to downtown was well over 92% in favor. That’s absurdly unprecedented uniformity and desire in favor of it happening. This is the only option we have in the long term for our kids and grandkids, and we’re decades behind from our predecessors allowing Atlanta to take Federal money away from us to get their subway before us by failing to pass Forward Thrust.

We need to do this or we’re completely done. There is no part of the city not growing denser, and all communities have to absorb their share. There is no viable political tactic to stop jobs growing here and no legally viable way to keep people moving here. The only opposition we have ever really heard to Sound Transit and Metro are based in general opposition to public transit or general opposition to rail, or the unsubstantiated belief that if we do nothing it will somehow “freeze” our city in time and place, or just West Seattle. Every viewpoint is out of alignment with every political reality on the ground or in Seattle in general.

Those issues are generally outside the WSTC’s realm, but transit isn’t. Transit is coming, transit will grow, and transit must grow. The other things happening just cement that need.

This is not just to service today’s population, and the wishes to a degree of today’s population must be secondary to the needs of our children and tomorrow’s population. It’s how it has to be and it’s what poll after poll and vote after vote has said. We need expanded transit and our population overwhelmingly and demonstrably supports it.

News coverage:

http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/sound-transit-light-rail-for-west-seattle-constantine-mcdermott-announce-theyll-seek-to-get-ws-into-sts-updated-plan/

http://www.westseattleherald.com/2014/10/30/news/constantine-mcdermott-call-adding-west-seattle–0

Five West Seattle peninsula transportation issues

Seattle, Washington & King County – September 28th, 2014

###

After one year of meetings, panels, research, and outreach, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition has identified the following as the most pressing transportation issues for the West Seattle peninsula, which are within the power of the City of Seattle to directly address and resolve. It is our belief that the City can resolve each of these concerns if funding were made available.

These are an assortment of safety, commuting, business impact, freight mobility, and quality of life issues. In some cases, lives may be on the line.

The issues are the following:

  1. Expand vehicle capacity from the West Seattle Bridge to SR-99.
  2. Develop a “West Seattle Peninsula” emergency relief plan.
  3. Increase access to the westbound Spokane St. Viaduct from SODO.
  4. Complete the Lander Street Overpass.
  5. Immediate mitigation of traffic events to West Seattle peninsula chokepoints.

Today, we have sent a letter to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, City Council President Tim Burgess, and City Council Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen, on behalf of our membership of eleven local community groups and various citizens.  The letters details each of these issues, possible resolutions, and calling for action to be taken on and spearheaded by the City of Seattle to resolve each of the five items to the satisfaction of West Seattle residents and businesses.

We have asked the City of Seattle to respond to our concerns with a plan of action for each of these five items by January 9th, 2015.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition (WSTC) is a peninsula-wide organization working to address transportation and mobility issues for Seattle’s largest constituency. Representing more than 100,000 people living and working in the 10 square mile area between the Duwamish River and Puget Sound, we are community leaders, advocates, business owners, residents and workers focused on addressing the transportation and commuting challenges of West Seattle.

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You will find a PDF copy of the letter to the City of Seattle here:

WSTC Letter to the City of Seattle – September 28 2014

You may also read it in-line here:

 

WSTC

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