Seattle Department of Transportation spokesperson Ethan Melone told CHS that the environmental review process is complete for both the Roy Prospect terminus options. An Aloha option has been nixed. The city is now waiting for the Federal Transit Administration to make comments on those reviews.
The environmental review evaluates the streetcar’s impact on just about everything, from air-quality and noise to housing and utilities. Melone said those documents would be posted on seattlestreetcar.org as soon as they’re available.
According to Melone, there’s no firm deadline SDOT needs to meet to make a decision on the terminus options. “Ideally we would like to have a decision before we advance beyond 30% design, so next spring,” he said.
The Roy and Prospect options presented in last December’s open house are still, basically, the same. One small change in plans based on feedback has been made to realign the tracks in the center of the street as the route extends past Aloha, rather than on the right side of the street. Melone said the adjustment was made to accommodate concerns among cyclists and residents along the stretch of 10th Ave E, who wanted the train farther from their property lines.
The Prospect terminus was the most popular among respondents in a city survey conducted earlier in the year, garnering 64% of the non-scientific vote.
A two-block extension past Roy would add $10 million onto the $25 million Broadway extension. Melone said that funding is still up in the air, but sounded optimistic that the money could be found.
“If funding is [initially] a limitation, it would still be possible to extend farther than Roy.”
The initial line from Pioneer Square terminating at E Denny Way is scheduled to begin operations early in 2014. The total 2.5 mile line is expected to cost around $134 million. Track installation on the Broadway extension to Denny is already complete. Some elements of the restructuring of Broadway will open this year as a separated bikeway route in the area should open this fall.