Mayor shares residents' input on Ballard-Downtown transit corridor

At March's open house about bringing high capacity transit to the Ballard neighborhood (which could be but is not limited to light rail or streetcar), residents had a lot to say. The overall feeling is that Ballardites were excited to have more transit options, but were wary of again getting stuck with something like RapidRide, which had initially failed to live up to expectations. (Missed it? See our full coverage here.)

"We’re working hard to connect our neighborhoods with more rail," writes Mayor McGinn on his blog. "This year we’ve partnered with Sound Transit to begin the planning process for high capacity transit to connect Ballard to downtown."

Nearly 150 people joined were at the open house at Ballard High School on March 12, and 270 others shared their comments online. The Mayor's Office says participants of the open house had this to say about possible high capacity routes:

• In order to deal with congestion on existing bridges, a new Ship Canal crossing is preferred.
• If a new system is to be built, commenters prefer prioritizing reliability and speed. To that end, they prefer grade-separation for either transit mode to minimize interference with existing traffic and bus service.
• Connections with the existing and future transit system, including Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail and the City of Seattle’s South Lake Union Streetcar, should be prioritized.
• Commenters are interested in a system that mobilizes and connects people and places reliably, efficiently and without redundancy.
• A single route did not emerge from the comments received. Two general corridors south of the Ship Canal received the most comments: Westlake Ave North and 15th Avenue West.

The Mayor's Office says the public will have another opportunity to provide feedback in June.

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