Residents roll out feedback on future light rail station

One of the concepts the City of Redmond presented at last week’s meeting. Courtesy graphic

Planning for link light rail to come to downtown continues as the City of Redmond is gathering feedback from the community on the station that will be in the Redmond Central Connector (RCC) corridor.

The city held a meeting on Jan. 26 to present four station area concepts to attendees, answer questions and get feedback. The presentation was followed by an open house.

Jeff Churchill, transportation strategic adviser for the city, said the concepts they presented were for two different locations, with a street-level and elevated concept for each. He said the goal was to share the concepts so people are familiar with them.

Churchill said the street-level concepts have light rail trains arriving at the station at street level while the elevated concepts have the trains arriving higher up, requiring riders to go up stairs to board and exit.

Churchill said the city wanted to know which concepts people liked and why. City staff wanted to know what is important to the community — safety, mobility, transit access or land use and urban design.

Some of the questions and concerns people had for Churchill and city staff included how the light rail train would share the corridor with the RCC. They also wanted to know what bus service in the area would look like in the future, wanting to know what kind of access there will be to the station and whether there will be route changes.

Churchill said people were also concerned about the noise of the light rail trains as well as downtown traffic and how the trains crossing streets and more buses will affect the area’s traffic flow.

“So a variety (of questions were asked),” he said.

Kate Cockerham, a resident of downtown Redmond, said her and her husband’s biggest concern about the upcoming light rail station pertain mostly to noise and traffic.

“We were happy to see several plans proposed for an elevated station that would not obstruct the flow of traffic nor require the train to sound more than initial arrival horns,” she said.

Cockerham moved to downtown about two months ago to improve her commute as she works downtown. She’s excited about the prospect of a light rail system.

She and her husband decided to attend last week’s meeting because they are interested in the new project and appreciated the opportunity to be engaged in their community. She said it was surprising and exciting to see so many people at the meeting.

“I am encouraged by the number of people wanting to be involved in planning our community and grateful for the opportunity to give my feedback as a citizen,” Cockerham said.

Churchill said about 65 people attended last week’s meeting and for those who did not attend, all of the information — including the four station area concepts — can be viewed at red mond.gov/lightrailexten sion. The website also has a link to a survey people can take to provide feedback on the topic. Churchill said the survey will be open through Sunday.

Once staff is finished gathering information, he said they will present their findings to Redmond City Council on Feb. 21. Council will use the information to come up with a preferred station concept to recommend to Sound Transit, who will be building the station. On Feb. 28, staff will bring a preliminary preferred concept to council but the latter is not scheduled to make any formal decisions yet.

Light rail is scheduled to come to downtown Redmond in 2024.