Sound Transit to host open houses on Sounder station improvements

Publish Date
Body

Public invited to provide input on possible future improvements including parking expansions, pedestrian overpasses and sidewalks, bicycle accommodations

Starting Sept. 22 Sound Transit is holding a second series of open houses on options for improving access to south line Sounder stations.

Last year, the agency began a Sounder Station Access Study as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure passed by voters in 2008. The purpose of the study is to identify potential improvements to the ways commuters access Sound Transit's busy commuter rail stations.

Potential station improvements that could be funded under the approved ballot measure include increased parking; pedestrian sidewalks, crosswalks and bridges; and bicycle accommodations.
The open houses will provide the public an opportunity to hear updates on existing station access issues, discuss potential solutions, provide comment, and ask questions. The sessions are being held at the stations to make them convenient for riders to attend. All open houses will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the following locations:

Tacoma - Thursday, Sept. 22
Tacoma Dome Station
424 E. 25th St.

Kent - Tuesday, Sept. 27
Kent Station
301 Railroad Ave. N.

Auburn - Tuesday, Oct. 11
Auburn Station
23 A St. S.W.

Sumner - Wednesday, Oct. 12
Sumner Station
810 Maple St.

Puyallup - Thursday, Oct. 13
Puyallup Station
131 W. Main St.

Lakewood - Tuesday, Oct. 18
Lakewood Station
11424 Pacific Highway S.W.

The Sound Transit 2 ballot measure provided funding to improve access at eight Sounder stations: Kent, Auburn, Sumner, Puyallup, Tacoma Dome, South Tacoma, Lakewood and Mukilteo. Public outreach for Mukilteo options will take place next year. While the Kent and Auburn stations are included in the study, funding for improvements at these locations is uncertain as a result of the national recession.

Last year, Sound Transit initiated a process to realign the ST2 program when the recession eliminated a projected $3.9 billion in tax revenues through 2023. All five of Sound Transit's geographic subareas face significant revenue reductions. The South King County subarea has been hardest hit, with an anticipated loss of $851 million, or 31 percent, in planned revenues. The Pierce County subarea faces $692 million in lost revenue.

As a result of the decline in ST2 funding, some capital projects, including those at the Kent and Auburn Sounder stations, were placed in a suspended category. Since the access study analyzes population, employment and commuter growth projections by station area through 2030, the agency is continuing its planning work at these stations to determine possible future access improvements should revenue forecasts improve.

More information on the open houses can be found at stationstudy.