NEWS

Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

The Everett Station District Alliance, which represents individuals close to Everett Station, needs Sound Transit to judge a light-weight rail station over the BNSF tracks and beneath the Pacific Avenue overpass. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

When riders attain the northern finish of the sunshine rail line in 20 years, they may very well be nearer to downtown, Broadway or Everett Station.

Sound Transit is evaluating these choices. However Everett Station District Alliance, a gaggle representing some property house owners across the transit hub, needs Sound Transit to take a look at a brand new risk their members name Different X.

The alliance envisions the station platform northeast of the prevailing Everett Station constructing. Placing it there means the sunshine rail line should cross the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks north of forty first Road, then run parallel east of them to Pacific Avenue.

The entire different alignments probably would reduce via current companies, alliance govt director Brock Howell stated. Different X solely goes via two as soon as it will get east of the practice tracks, and the east properties it will displace are an undeveloped “brown discipline” and Sound Transit parking.

“It’s an inexpensive possibility that has much less influence,” Howell stated.

However the tracks already there — and utilized by Amtrak, freight and weekday Sounder commuter trains — current an issue for Sound Transit.

Early in its station location screening course of, Sound Transit workers thought-about three different websites east of the BNSF line. Stations are evaluated for entry, price potential, fairness, current transit integration and feasibility.

All three websites east of Everett Station scored low for transit integration and entry to downtown. A significant disadvantage was their “constructability threat” of crossing an lively freight and rail line, spokesperson John Gallagher stated.

“The prevailing rail line is a serious barrier to entry the west the place a lot of the companies in downtown Everett are,” Gallagher stated.

Constructing an elevated monitor throughout a rail line can add price and greater than double the size of these concrete spans to about 250 ft, Gallagher stated.

The alliance thinks its Different X may work as an elevated station above the Sound Transit parking zone east of the practice tracks, and underneath the Pacific Avenue overpass.

A “lid” on high of the platform may have a park and path that leads west over the practice tracks to Smith Avenue. That additionally may supply one other entrance on the north facet of Pacific for individuals to move downtown.

On this situation, the best lanes in every route of Pacific Avenue can be bus and switch solely lanes, turning the street right into a excessive frequency switch cease.

“The neighborhood is fairly bisected by the tracks. This is able to positively assist,” Howell stated.

However Everett’s preliminary desire is a light-weight rail station between Broadway and McDougall. Metropolis leaders suppose a tall station straddling these roads may assist riders get between transit choices and to downtown.

Town’s Metro Everett plan for the realm round downtown envisions each lanes of McDougall Avenue as a bus-only avenue between thirty third Road and Pacific.

Everett additionally may elevate Pacific Avenue west of the Smith Avenue ramp so it extends flush with Broadway, as a substitute of dipping to McDougall then rising to Brodway.

“Bringing that heart of gravity slightly nearer to downtown, the place quite a lot of the occasions and locations the place individuals need to be” is a aim for metropolis leaders, planning director Yorik Stevens-Wajda stated.

A small parking storage constructed alongside the Smith Avenue ramp may assist assist the transit hub, too.

Different X’s location places it nearer to a possible swath of property that may be redeveloped into tall, dense housing. A research finished for the alliance checked out growth potential round Everett Station.

Two properties inside 1/4-mile of the Different X location stood out.

Simply two streets east is the town’s public works and transit campus alongside Pine Road between Pacific and thirty third Road. That land’s present zoning permits for buildings between seven and 11 tales tall and represents over 2 million gross sq. ft.

One avenue north of the Different X station is the Lowe’s residence enchancment retailer. Its property is zoned for 12 to 25 tales, which is about 3.8 million gross sq. ft.

“Actually the catalytic space is that strolling distance,” Howell stated.

Displacing companies and residents for the sunshine rail line and for building staging is on metropolis leaders’ radar, financial growth director Dan Eernissee stated.

“It’s clearly one of many negatives that you just’re attempting to keep away from,” Eernissee stated. “It’s an inventory of compromises.”

Town needs to attenuate market stress on actual property, particularly housing, by spurring building throughout costs, Stevens-Wajda stated.

“We’re hopeful none of those choices lead to a ton of displacements and teardowns,” Stevens-Wajda stated.

Metropolis and Sound Transit workers share issues about the place the sunshine rail line may go from its northern finish if it ran parallel to the BNSF railroad. To date there are not any plans to construct gentle rail north or east from Everett, each of which might require costly bridges throughout the Snohomish River and its delta.

However the line will at the least want a tail monitor, basically practice automotive parking off the principle line.

Different X is an concept, and never an engineer’s report on the structural and technical feasibility of the station possibility. However the alliance hopes it may be evaluated within the subsequent section with the opposite options.

Have a query? Name 425-339-3037 or e mail [email protected] Please embrace your first and final identify and metropolis of residence.

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