The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Monday, November 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
In Our View/Lynnwood Light-Rail Route


Just a Stop Along the Way

As far as bureaucratic processes go, the winnowing of light-rail routes into Lynnwood went pretty well.
Members of the Sound Transit board of directors listened to vocal locals and voted unanimously not to displace residences along 200th Street SW and Cedar Valley Road -- and not to disturb the damp quietude of Scriber Creek Park.
After the vote, one empowered citizen told Herald reporter Bill Sheets, "It feels wonderful to be able to make a difference."
Nobody wants to quibble with a happy ending. But this decision was made somewhat easier by the fact that the Lynnwood route won't take commuters anywhere but to their parked cars. There is only a modest assortment of businesses, housing and amenities convenient to the park-and-ride lot.
The Lynnwood stop, an expanse of asphalt just west of I-5, represents a stopgap part of a bigger strategy.
The first phases of Sound Transit's northern light-rail plan reflect a simple assumption: On work days, a lot of people from Snohomish County want to travel south into Seattle. And if light-rail helps several hundred people conveniently achieve this goal, then we'll have several hundred happier people and several hundred fewer cars jamming and smogging up the highway.
Long-term ambitions for the commuter line, however, need to be greater than this.
National Public Radio correspondent David Schaper recently reported that "reverse commutes" are increasingly congested in some cities, as urbanites struggle to reach jobs in thriving suburbs. In Chicago, for instance, train ridership on the reverse commute is up 64 percent over the past decade.
This cannot be a chicken-or-the-egg proposition. It should be about the chicken and the egg.
Northbound ridership will increase as King County residents find more reasons -- jobs, college programs, leisure options -- to venture into Snohomish County. And businesses and schools and entertainment venues will flourish as light rail makes the area more accessible.
So, the Lynnwood park-and-ride lot cannot be the end of the line. Sound Transit must realize that the light-rail line needs to reach downtown Everett (the hub for bus service to the entire county) and -- to be forward thinking -- all the way up to the nascent WSU-Everett campus.
This reality is reflected in the priorities outlined by Paul Roberts, an Everett city council member who sits on the Sound Transit board. It is fine to consider additional light-rail stops in North Seattle and Mountlake Terrace. But they can wait, he said. For now, the imperative is to use available money to push the line further north.
Next stop, Lynnwood. Some day, Everett.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.