Study of Ballard-to-Downtown high capacity transit corridor to begin soon

Sound Transit is beginning their Ballard transit expansion study soon to figure out whether Ballard is a candidate for high capacity transit (HCT), e.g., light rail or street car.

For Ballard, which is tucked away in the northwest corner of Seattle and far from I-5 -- yet still has a popular nightlife scene on Ballard Ave and the third most visited tourist attraction, the Ballard Locks -- it's a long time coming.

The study was first approved by voters in 2008 when they passed the ST2 plan, which included studying potential HCT options from Ballard to Downtown.

The study will have to answer a difficult question, though: How to cross the ship canal. A new bridge could be costly, but there may not be enough capacity on current bridges for HCT.

Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation will study the following:

  • Identify project goals and objectives
  • Identify possible alignments between Ballard and downtown Seattle
  • Evaluate and refine potential HCT light rail and rapid streetcar alignments and station locations
  • Develop general ridership estimates and cost estimates
  • Summarize and document findings
  • Present findings to the Seattle City Council and Sound Transit Board for possible future action

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