EVERETT — Snohomish County is getting an early jump on planning for light-rail stations that might not be in use for another 18 years.
Public works officials launched a website this week to gather thoughts about future stops along I-5 near 128th and 164th streets. They hope to hear from people who live, work or own property nearby. They’re calling it an online open house.
“We’ve got some amazing opportunities, but also have some work ahead of us to make sure we’re taking maximum advantage of light rail as it comes north,” County Executive Dave Somers said.
The stations are part of Sound Transit 3, the massive light-rail and bus expansion that voters passed in 2016. The package would extend Link light rail and bus rapid-transit lines to Everett, Tacoma and new reaches of King County over a quarter century. It aims to deliver light rail to Everett by 2036.
The Lynnwood-to-Everett segment would open up at once, including two new stations in unincorporated areas: the Mariner and Ash Way park-and-rides.
At this early stage, nobody’s sure exactly where those stations will go.
County planners hope to make recommendations to Sound Transit by 2020. The transit agency has the final say on station locations and routes.
The feedback also should help county officials make changes to nearby zoning for high-density housing, retail and other types of transit-oriented development. Other considerations are parks, employment, parking and transportation.
Somers noted the new buildings taking shape in downtown Lynnwood, six years before light rail’s expected arrival there, and said to expect similar trends as the line expands to the north.
Increasing land-use densities around transit hubs is one of the county’s strategies to absorb population growth. Demographers expect the county to bring in an average of 10,000 or more people each year for the foreseeable future.
Link light rail is scheduled to reach the Lynnwood Transit Center in mid-2024. A dozen years after that, ST3 envisions new stations at Alderwood mall, the Paine Field area, Evergreen Way at Highway 526 and Everett Station.
Snohomish County expected to launch an online open house Friday to involve the community in planning Link light-rail stations near the Mariner and Ash Way park-and-rides: snocolrc.participate.online.