There wasn’t much being said at Thursday night’s meeting to gather public comment on Sound Transit’s application to allow nighttime construction noise at the Broadway light rail site. Only one community member signed up to speak during the 90 minute session set aside for public input and the meeting wrapped up more than an hour early.
We asked DPD representative David George, the person in charge of collecting community feedback on the application, if he was disappointed in the lack of public comment at the meeting. “I am disappointed that more people from the east side — the people along 10th Ave who live right by it — didn’t come out,” George told CHS. “But we have received some very good written comments and will probably be able to meet with some of the residents.”
The purpose of the meeting was to add to the public feedback the Department of Planning and Development is collecting as it considers Sound Transit’s application for an additional 6 decibels of construction noise at the Broadway site during the overnight hours of midnight to 5 AM. The rest of the day, Sound Transit’s contractors will be subject to the city’s standard construction noise ordinances.
DPD has extended the period for written comments to be submitted to February 18. You can e-mail yours to [email protected]. DPD will have 60 days after the close of public comments to make a decision on the variance.
The lone public commenter Dennis Saxman, a neighborhood activist and Neighborhood Plan representative, spoke out against the lack of specificity in Sound Transit’s plans to mitigate nighttime noise at the construction site, and asked that the agency’s requirements for the contractor working at the site be made public before the variance is granted. You can find his written comments that he sent to DPD — and was kind enough to share with us — in the attached PDF. Here’s a clip of the final portion of Saxman’s statement:
Sound Transit, meanwhile, began the meeting with a brief presentation about why they need the variance — safety, cost, speed — and what they are doing to lessen the impact of the around 10% increase in nighttime noise the work is expected to cause. Here are the Sound Transit slides:
Some of the more interesting takeaways from the presentation:
- The variance won’t be needed until the end of 2010 when tunneling is expected to begin
- Boring the tunnels will take 26 months
- One of Sound Transit’s arguments for needing the 24-hour work schedule is that it’s too risky to shut the tunnel boring machine down
- There will be a city employee at the site to help monitor noise and manage community impact