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State of King County: ST3 ‘the most important decision our generation will be asked to make’


(Image: King County)

King County Executive Dow Constantine dedicated his 2016 State of the County speech Monday afternoon to the area’s economic growth and opportunity to invest heavily in public transit.

“A generation ago, during the Boeing Bust, voters rejected the rapid transit portion of Forward Thrust,” the executive said. “We’ve been paying the price ever since. But today, the state of the county is strong—strong enough to give our children the choice to get out of their cars, to get out of traffic, and to get onto a transportation system that serves the needs of this century, not the last. ST3 represents an ambitious vision.”

Last week, officials rolled out the initial proposals for Sound Transit 3, a $50 billion spending package that includes proposals for a second downtown transit tunnel, light rail to West Seattle by 2033, and another line to Ballard by 2038. The long timelines and emphasis on delivering service to less populated areas like DuPont while not having a plan for brining light rail to neighborhoods like Wallingford have drawn criticism of the proposals as well as the expected backlash against another levy for property owners.

“This is the most important decision our generation will be asked to make,” Constantine , who also serves as board chair for Sound Transit, said Monday.

You can read the full speech here.

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9 thoughts on “State of King County: ST3 ‘the most important decision our generation will be asked to make’

  1. Gee, Dow, if you wanted us to vote for it — maybe you should have provided us with a decent plan to vote for.

  2. It’s ironic : strong enough to give our children the choice to get out of their cars, to get out of traffic,… But we can’t afford to spend money improving our schools. Most people would rank education higher than transit to ballard…

    • Nope comments on nearly every property tax post. But I think I must have missed nope’s education funding proposal :)

    • J, visit a local school and see the lack of funding. Computers are typically hopelessly out of date, libraries closed, sports facilities lacking. I can ride my bike from capital hill to slu – spend the money where it matters.

  3. Commenting on the draft plan should open up today. We all need to flood Sound Transit with demands to study the “Metro 8 subway’ line to connect SLU with Capitol Hill and the Central District. Sound Transit will not connect the dense areas of Seattle without our voice, so we need to speak up for a real, urban subway system.

    Also mention the Madison Bus Rapid Transit project. Sound Transit blind sided Capitol Hill by removing it from the plan, but we need their money to get it done.

  4. We should reject ST3 and build our own system within Seattle. Sounder can serve Everett and Tacoma. This plan is a handout to the burbs at the expense of Seattle for transit they barely want anyway.

    Why should we sacrifice the urban transit system we desperately need? We should be declaring a transportation emergency and coming together to figure out how to build grade-separated transit within the next 10-15 years for the city’s urban villages. Enough with the half-measures, streetcars and light rail for park-and-rides 40 miles away from downtown.

    • Been saying this for years too! Seattle can grow to become a first class city and have rapid subway/rail transit all over. Bellevue, Renton, Lynnwood can suffer through ever increasing gridlock if they do not wish to pay up.

    • Totally agree. I’m sick of waiting for Sound Transit to throw us table scraps while it builds its neither-fish-nor-fowl “regional spine”, which runs too slowly to be a good regional commuter train but has stops in too few places to be a good urban subway. I don’t want a train to Lynnwood or Federal Way – I want a train to Fremont, to Ballard, to Georgetown, to Belltown! What good is a train to Issaquah? How often do I go to Issaquah, maybe once a year? What about a train that goes to places I actually go, like, multiple times a week?

      Sound Transit is happily to take all the money we can afford to spend building trains and crow about the huge number of miles they’re planning to cover, but what good are all those miles when they do such a poor job of connecting the places they’re passing through? Let’s dump this turkey, get rid of all this subarea nonsense, and find a way for Seattle to build the transit network Seattle needs.

  5. I agree with the above comments. We need to prioritize inner city service, where ridership will be the highest, and not build a series of commuter lines. Please tell Sound Transit that you will vote no unless they prioritize the Ballard & West Seattle lines!

    Here’s the link to the ST3 survey: