Photo by VeloBusDriver (Flickr/CC)
A light rail will be one of the high capacity transit options considered in the Ballard-Downtown corridor study.

Mayor to attend Ballard transit study open house tomorrow, March 12

If it's one thing Mayor Mike McGinn wants to be known for in Ballard, it's helping to push through progress on the Ballard-Downtown high capacity transit corridor.

On Tuesday, March 12, 5-7 p.m. in the Ballard High School Commons (1418 NW 65th St), he will be attending the first open house on the Ballard-Down transit study, which has started at the beginning of this year and will be completed mid-2014. For residents, it's a chance to express any initial concerns, questions and support for the study and the project as a whole.

Certainly, Mayor Mike McGinn is giving it all he has. Last week, he sent out a wave of robocalls to people in Ballard and those who have expressed interest encouraging them to attend the open house. He also sent the following statement in an email:

"Since coming into office, I’ve been working to help connect neighborhoods with rail and provide faster and more reliable transit options. One of our top priorities, as shown in the Transit Master Plan, is a Ballard to Downtown rail transit corridor. The Transit Master Plan showed that corridor having the highest ridership potential of any route in the City.

The City of Seattle has partnered with Sound Transit on studying this corridor. There are many questions and details to discuss as we move forward. That’s why I’d like to invite you to attend an open house March 12th on options for rail transit between Ballard and downtown Seattle. We are seeking public input on potential routes, station locations, travel patterns and other issues as we examine building new rail options between Ballard and downtown."

On March 1, the Sound Transit Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion to accelerate planning for the next phase of the Regional Transit System Plan (which includes high capacity corridor studies such as Ballard's) and update the Long-Range Plan by 2014. This would allow Sound Transit to bring a ballot measure asking for funding in 2016, which would likely include funding for the Ballard corridor.

If you can’t attend the meeting, you can offer feedback online through the project website between March 11 and March 15 at www.soundtransit.org/ballardstudy.

Zachariah Bryan can be reached at zachb@robinsonnews.com

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