What we heard during spring engagement
The goal of the voter-approved South Tacoma and Lakewood Stations Access Improvements projects is to improve the experience of getting to Sounder trains and regional buses in South Tacoma and Lakewood. This could mean investments in safer walking, rolling and bicycling connections with surrounding neighborhoods; better pick-up and drop-off areas; additional station lighting and weather shelters; parking options and more.
We hosted an online open house from April 1 – April 20, 2021, to introduce these projects and to seek public feedback on types of improvements that would support the community. More than 550 people visited the online open house, which was available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog. In addition, we held briefings with 11 local community groups, service organizations and commissions to talk about the project and seek input on potential improvements.
What we heard
Themes from the South Tacoma survey and briefings included:
- Bicyclist infrastructure: Protected east-west bicycle connections and connections to the Water Flume Trail would help fill gaps when traveling to the station.
- Pedestrian infrastructure: Installing pedestrian-activated traffic lights, painted crosswalks, curb ramps, and pedestrian-scale lighting would make walking in the station neighborhood feel safer.
- Station awareness: More signage or other techniques to increase awareness of the station.
- Parking and accessibility: Comments included interest in adding a multi-level parking garage and painting parking stalls on nearby side streets. Some respondents also shared that the parking lot’s current location can cause barriers for people with disabilities.
- Safety and security: Interest in having cameras, better lighting, and other safety measures at and near stations to increase the feeling of personal safety and minimize property damage and theft.
- Project goals: A few respondents provided feedback on the language in the environmental goal and asked for a goal of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more in the full outreach summary.
Sound Transit is incorporating input from this round of outreach as we put together a list of potential access improvements for each station, which we expect to release for public input this fall. After this second round of outreach, the Sound Transit Board will choose some potential improvements for further study.
Due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the project schedule is subject to change. The Sound Transit Board is working to determine how plans and schedules for many expansion projects, including South Tacoma and Lakewood Stations Access Improvements, will need to change to address financial pressures, through a process called realignment. The Board is expected to make decisions about realigning project schedules and plans in summer 2021.