Sound Transit is seeking feedback on several station access improvements recommended for Edmonds and Mukilteo. The goal of the program is to deploy a variety of walking, biking, transit, and parking access improvements to Sounder commuter rail. A total of $40 million in funds are available for projects due to new revenue from Sound Transit 3.
Staff have made initial recommendations on the projects based upon a mix of evaluation criteria, such as ridership, equitable and reliable access, implementation time and costs, environmental factors, and consistency with agency plans. Public feedback will be taken on the recommended improvements through November 4th and two open houses will be held next week.
Recommended Edmonds projects
For Edmonds Station, there were 22 station access projects that made the initial cut, but this is recommended to be whittled down to 15 by Sound Transit staff. Four bike-only access projects are being recommended, including:
- New on-demand secure bike lockers (#11) at the station;
- A new set of bike lanes and sharrows (#14) along 9th Avenue S and 100th Avenue W from Walnut Street to 244th Street SW, which constitute about a mile of improvements;
- A new set of bike lanes and sharrows (#15) along Bowdoin Way from 9th Avenue S to 84th Avenue W, which constitute about a mile of improvements; and
- A new set of bike lanes and sharrows (#16) along 80th Avenue W from 220th Street SW to 228th Street SW, which constitute about a half-mile of improvements.
Comprehensive pedestrian and bike improvements are recommended (#12) for 228th Street SW from 78th Avenue W to 95th Place W, about a mile of improvements within existing right-of-way. Other pedestrian improvements that staff are recommending include:
- New sidewalks along Pine Street from 9th Avenue S to SR-104 (#17) where they are missing on the 12-block stretch;
- New sidewalks along SR-104 from Pine Street to the mid-block crossing near Edmonds City (#18) where they are missing on the three-block stretch; and
- New pedestrian lighting, flashing beacons, and high-visibility crosswalks (#13) at Sunset Avenue/Main Street, Dayton Street/2nd Avenue S, and the mid-block crossing on Dayton Street between Railroad Avenue and Sunset Avenue.
Sound Transit staff are recommending four parking access projects. One of the parking projects (#3) would be located at a site owned by the City of Edmonds on the southeast corner of the Dayton Street/2nd Avenue S intersection, which is about two blocks from the station. This would add 25 to 30 new parking stalls, but require relocation of an existing tenant. Another parking project (#4) would add 80 to 90 parking stalls at an existing paid parking lot at the northwest corner of the James Street/Sunset Avenue intersection.
Two additional parking projects are recommended. One could involve adding park at the Salish Crossing site (#5), but a total number of parking stalls is still to be determined. Another project could provide additional parking (#10) at the Edmonds Grace Lutheran Church located near the intersection of 9th Avenue W/Hindley Lane, which is about a mile away from the station. The site could provide about 30 parking spaces and is currently served by Route 196 that connects with the station.
For transit, staff are recommending that up to three additional bus bays be installed at the station for passengers or bus layovers (#19), conversion of bus stop pull-outs along SR-104 to in-lane stops (#20) to improve speed and reliability of buses, new wind and rain screens at the station for waiting passengers (#21), and modifying bus schedules to improvement bus-to-train connections (#22).
Recommended Mukilteo projects
For Mukilteo Station, there were 16 station access projects that made the initial cut, but this is recommended to be whittled down to nine by Sound Transit staff. Three projects are recommended to improve parking access at the station, including:
- Expansion of park-and-ride use at an existing parking lot in Lighthouse Park (#1) for 30 to 150 cars;
- Collaboration with the City of Mukilteo to permit 20 to 30 on-street parking spaces (#2) near the station to be used by transit riders; and
- A new parking option at the Rosehill Community Center (#4), about four blocks from the station, for 30 to 50 parking stalls.
To improve transit access, Sound Transit staff recommend the installation of a new traffic signal system (#7) at the junction of Mukilteo Speedway with 5th Street. The adaptive signal would revise signal timing based upon traffic, benefiting transit movements through the intersection by lower delays. Another transit project would involve construction of bus stops (#14) in Old Town from 2nd Street to 5th Street along the Mukilteo Speedway. Staff also recommend that bus schedules be revised to improve bus-to-train connections (#16).
Several pedestrian and bicycle projects are being recommended for advancement, including:
- New sidewalks which are missing along Mukilteo Speedway between 2nd Street and 3rd Street in Old Town (#11);
- A new shared-use path and bike lane along 5th Street from Lincoln Avenue to the eastern city limits (#12), which would be just under a half-mile; and
- New on-demand secure bike lockers (#13) at the station.
However, staff are not recommending four projects that could benefit people walking and biking. One of those projects, if ever advanced, would involve construction of a new bridge over the railroad tracks (#15) to improve transit, bike, and pedestrian access to the ferry terminal and station. The project would likely slide well past 2024 to complete and cost over $10 million. A version of this as a pedestrian- and bicycle-only bridge (#8) was also discarded for similar reasons while a new pedestrian bridge at Loveland Avenue between the 1st Street and 2nd Street (#9) and a pedestrian-/bicycle-activated crossing on Mukilteo Speedway between 2nd Street and 3rd Street (#10) were also not recommended for advancement. Staff indicated that costs and lack of foot traffic weighed down on their value.
In addition to the online open house through November 4th, Sound Transit will hold two in-person open houses next:
- Tuesday, October 29th from 5pm to 7pm at Cascadia Art Museum, 190 Sunset Avenue, Edmonds; and
- Wednesday, October 30th from 5pm from 7pm at Rosehill Community Center, Christiansen Room, 304 Lincoln Avenue, Mukilteo.
A decision will be made next year by the Sound Transit board on projects to be moved forward for environmental review. That review phase will entail more opportunity for public feedback followed by a final decision by the board in 2021 on projects to construct. Station access projects should be completed by the end of 2024.
The featured image is courtesy of Sound Transit.
Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.