Lynnwood City Council prefers light rail line runs along I-5

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- The Lynnwood City Council wants to make sure the city's future light-rail line runs along I-5 and hopes Sound Transit will consider an alternative route and station location to ensure it happens.

On Monday, city councilmembers voted unanimously to support a resolution calling for a modified version of Sound Transit's segment of Link light rail running from Mountlake Terrace to the Lynnwood Transit Center.

The city's modified option follows a portion of Sound Transit's third rail line route released in its draft Environmental Impact Statement - known as C3 - but it places the rail station in a different location than where Sound Transit is proposing.

Loren Simmonds, council president, says the exact route and station location under the city's modified C3 plan is not entirely known because Sound Transit engineers have not completed all of the design details for the specific route. But he says the goal of the city's resolution is to keep Sound Transit from moving forward with its first two rail line options and ultimately reevaluate its third option alongside city leaders.

Sound Transit outlined three proposed options - C1, C2 and C3 - for this particular section of rail line.

Over the last few weeks, the city council held several public meetings and listened to a number of residents worried about the impacts local neighborhoods, business owners and Scriber Creek Park would see under options C1 and C2.

The city also determined Sound Transit's C3 option, which runs parallel I-5 to the Lynnwood Park & Ride station, would negatively impact future development along the City Center block, locate a station too far from the current bus transit center, require reconstruction of the existing bus loading areas, and impact the city's ability to maintain and expand one of its sanitary sewer stations.

After reviewing each of the options, Simmonds says the city decided to develop a modified C3 option he says avoids most of the residential, business, and environmental concerns considered in Sound Transit's proposed routes and station locations.

The city council's resolution will be included with the public comments received on the draft Environmental Impact Statement. Sound Transit will present the comments and the city's modified alternative to its board later this fall. Bruce Gray, spokesperson for Sound Transit, says the board will review all the information and vote on its preferred route alignment before a final Environmental Impact Statement is released later next year.