Happening nearby: Citizens gather for Sound Transit light rail open house

As Sound Transit begins work on designing the light rail stations in Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Shoreline, the organization hosted three open houses last week in those cities to share preliminary designs and answer questions from citizens.

The open house in Mountlake Terrace was held Thursday at Nile Shrine Center. About 50 people attended, including residents, city officials, Mayor Jerry Smith and several city councilmembers. About a dozen Sound Transit employees were on-hand to discuss ideas and answer questions.

The event began with a brief presentation by Sound Transit, showing off preliminary design elements. The boarding platform in Mountlake Terrace, for example, will have a center platform design. Wind and rain shields will run down the middle of that platform, made of lightweight, clear materials so passengers can see all the way down the platform.

“Platforms will be brightly lit (by either sunlight or lights) for security,” Architect Howard Fitzpatrick said.

The station will also include elements that are typical for most existing light rail platforms, like signs, bike racks and lockers, tactile strips for the visually impaired and ORCA card readers leading into a “fare paid” zone, meaning passengers will pay to ride before boarding the light rail, not after.

There are some elements where the community will be able to influence the design. For example, Sound Transit is accepting ideas for naming the station or feedback on the kind of art that should be featured in the station.

“You know more than we do about your community, so we are looking for your feedback,” Architect Yvonne Olson said.

If you were unable to attend the open house but would like to review available documents and give feedback, click here for an online open house that will be available until Nov. 30.

Similar open houses are planned for spring and fall of 2017 before construction is set to begin in 2018.

–Story and photos by Natalie Covate

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