Photo by VeloBusDriver (Flickr/CC)
Light rail or another form of high capacity transit could be coming to Ballard in the future

Ballard in Mayor's plan to fund light rail study

Last week, Mayor Mike McGinn announced an ambitious plan to dedicate $6 million to study light rail and high capacity transit which would connect various neighborhoods in Seattle.

Ballard is a part of that deal.

In the 2012-13 budget proposal that he will announce to City Council on Monday, Sept. 24, $500,000 is dedicated to studying a north/south pedestrian, bike and transit crossing of the ship canal, one of the most constrained choke points in Seattle. (Anyone waiting for the Ballard Bridge to go back down can attest to this.)

The Transit Master Plan identifies that a high capacity route from downtown to Ballard via Fremont has the highest ridership potential.

"You could see the excitement on everyone's faces at last month's groundbreaking for Sound Transit's Northgate Link light rail line," McGinn said in a press release. "Families, commuters, and business owners came out to celebrate the coming of rail to the University District, Roosevelt, and Northgate. It's no surprise. Seattle loves rail. The question for our region is no longer if we are going to build rail, but when is it getting to your neighborhood."

The $6 million budget will also include:

  • $2 million to fund a corridor analysis of a future downtown to University District high-capacity transit line via Eastlake. If approved by the City Council, this work would begin next year.
  • Funding a $1 million corridor analysis of a Madison Street BRT line.
  • Funding a $2.5 million TMP Investment Reserve to fund the local match for the next phase of design work on this top corridor, starting in 2014.

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