Sound Transit will hold a public intake meeting Monday, May 2, at Sammamish City Hall beginning at 6:30m to receive comments on Sound Transit 3 (ST3), the $27bn tax hike for $50bn in projects over the next 25 years.
This is on top of tax increases approved for Sound Transit 2.
Sammamish citizens should attend this meeting to make it clear to Sound Transit and King County officials that ST3 is poorly conceived, ill-timed, extends over too long a period and short-changes not only Sammamish and the Eastside, but also Everett City Center and the Boeing Everett plant, where so many people from our local environs work.
Our citizens also need to urge the Sammamish City Council to opposed ST3.
Sammamish Comment supports the goal of ST3: dramatically expand light rail and other public transit throughout the region. I-405, I-5 and SR99 simply can’t handle today’s traffic efficiently, let alone tomorrow’s traffic. Light rail systems throughout the country have proved their value over and over.
But ST3 simply is bad planning:
- “Provisional” stations identified in ST3 aren’t even funded in ST3; these would require even more money, presumably from even more taxes.
- Light rail is proposed from downtown Bellevue to Issaquah, opening in 2041–25 years from now. A station is proposed at the Eastgate transit center–but no direct link to the light rail on I-90 is proposed to go into Seattle. Commuters will either have to change at Eastgate to a bus, or go into downtown Bellevue to connect to a rail to Seattle.
- A rail line parallel to the Bellevue-Seattle line will be built, under ST3 planning. These might be better sharing a rail line.
- More importantly, the Issaquah line and the Bellevue line should have a common connecting point. The Seattle-Bellevue line doesn’t connect to Eastgate, but rather the South Bellevue Park and Ride. The Issaquah line will go to Eastgate, but not the South Bellevue Park and Ride. There is huge, unnecessary cost with this plan for parallel lines and duplicative stations.
- Light rail won’t go to the Boeing Everett plant. Says ST3: “This project would provide a new infill station on the Central Link light rail line in the vicinity of Boeing Access Road and I-5.” Another bus connection would be required. This isn’t planned until 2041, either.
- Sammamish and Issaquah will lose some bus service under ST3, members of our City Council say.
For all this, the average home across the entire Sound Transit taxing district, will pay another $400/yr in taxes. Sammamish, where home values are considerably higher than the average home across the ST taxing district, the tax hike will be greater than this.
In an OpEd in the Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter, King County Executive Dow Constantine urges Issaquah and Sammamish residents to let Sound Transit and King County know your views.
“Time for Issaquah, Sammamish residents to speak up about transit | King County Executive,” reads the headline on the OpEd. No kidding. It’s time to give officials an earful.
They can’t be serious! The taxpayers are being treated like a cash machine by the government, and don’t answer to anybody but those who lobby for these outrageous projects. We have to fight to vote it down.
ST 3 is for our community and regional benefit, the timing and improvements can adjust as time allows and progress occurs. We need to be aware of all the benefits to get this passes in fall with a yes vote.
A bus connection is necessary to get from light rail to most of Paine Field anyway, no matter where you put the stations. I spent a good chunk of the past few years around Paine Field so I know from first-hand experience light rail CANNOT serve Paine Field as well as Bus Rapid Transit/BRT.
ST3 will however make Paine Field much more transit friendly.
It is obvious once again that we have a situation where growth has not been paying for growth. We the citizens are being asked to pay the costs associated with correcting this regional traffic mess. That is wrong and needs to be corrected. The fault lies with our short-sighted elected officials in KC and other jurisdictions who didn’t impose sufficient fees on development to cover these externalized traffic development costs. Until KC starts assessing fees on new development to pay for the added cost to handle future traffic impacts, this citizen will vote NO on PT3 or any tax intended to pay development cost associated with increased traffic from future development. Development must pay for their decrement costs.
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