There are some target dates, arbitrary estimates and lots of questions at this juncture regarding the proposed Sound Transit Station planned for the east side of I-5 at N 185th Street.
Sound Transit and the City of Shoreline are still developing the public process that will allow citizens affected by the development to have a voice in the design and placement of the station.
A small group calling themselves the "185th Station Citizen Committee" wants to ensure the process is citizen driven. "185th Station Citizen Committee is a group of citizens who live near the proposed Light Rail N 185th station-area and work to provide educational outreach and facilitate a citizen-driven vision of development."
At the request of the 185th Station Citizen Committee the City of Shoreline took them on a driving tour of the area to point out possible locations for the station, potential parking areas, answer questions and listen to concerns.
According to Associate Planner Miranda Redinger who conducted the tour there are many options being examined and many questions being raised with no firm plans for any one scenario. The main priority now is to establish what the public process will be and to continue to gather information.
Now is the perfect time for local residents to get involved so they can help define that public process and provide information to the City of Shoreline and Sound Transit that will help influence future decisions.
Members of the committee expressed the importance of transparency and education. There is always a lot of fear when a major development is proposed in a community. The more information local residents have on what the timeline will be, what the process entails and where they can go to get information the more likely that people will experience a positive outcome.
One question the City of Shoreline is asking residents is what are the treasures that you want to keep even as transit oriented development changes the community? Some of the "treasures" identified in past public meetings have been the Shoreline Pool, Senior Center, Spartan Gym, Stadium and adjacent parks.
Possible station locations being discussed include the open space located between the east side of I-5 and 5th Ave NE just south of the N 185th street overpass and/or north of the overpass between the east side of I-5 and 7th Ave NE. Transit parking could be located on the west or east side of I-5.
It has not yet been determined whether the station will be elevated or at grade.
Miranda raised a number of questions: Could the overpass be widened and serve as a bus transfer area? What other businesses catering to commuters might want to locate to the immediate area? What pedestrian and bike amenities can be added to strengthen the connection between the community and transit?
How much of the development should be devoted to making the area a destination, and how much just to transit? (According to a recent report Miranda quoted, 91% of all tax money spent by Shoreline residents goes to locations outside the city. Increasing the business base would help reverse that trend)
What kind of housing options would be most appropriate for transit oriented development?
As Miranda pointed out on the tour "The area will be competing for private money. The City of Shoreline can put regulations in place to have design standards, but at the end of the day there are a lot of outside interests that will determine what will get funded and built."
Target dates to keep in mind: Summer of 2013 Sound Transit is expected to release their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The target date for construction is 2018 with the system expected to be operational all the way to Lynnwood by 2023.
The City of Shoreline will be updating their website with more information. Information is also posted on Sound Transit's website. Citizens interested in participating in the 185th Station Citizen Committee can contact the Chair, Suzanne Wynne at: email@example.com