West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions:
Public Comment Period for Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Now Open
About the project

The West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions (WSBLE) project will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to dense residential and job centers throughout the region. In addition, a new downtown Seattle light rail tunnel will provide capacity for the entire regional system to operate efficiently. These two separate Link extensions are part of the regional transit system expansion approved by voters in November 2016.

How will West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions (WSBLE) impact Pioneer Square?

The project will add 4.7 miles of light rail service from downtown Seattle to West Seattle including 4 new stations between SODO and Alaska Junction. It will also add 7.1 miles of light rail service from downtown Seattle to Ballard, including a new downtown Seattle rail-only tunnel and 9 new stations between Chinatown-International District and Market Street.

The project will have an impact on transportation, the natural and built environment in the region. Locally, construction will affect traffic, parking and transit operations, directly impacting business operations and residents in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Please note, sections of this project categorized under the Chinatown-International District (CID) segment include both Pioneer Square and the CID, with most WSBLE alternatives falling within the Pioneer Square Historic District. The new station will serve the south end of the district. WSBLE alternative and design options will affect accessibility and passenger transfer options.
What can I expect as a project neighbor?

As a business, property owner or resident near a potential WSBLE route or station alternative, it is important to note the effects to residences and businesses and provide feedback to the Sound Transit Board to inform possible mitigation measures. Since May 2019, Sound Transit has been studying multiple light rail routes and station locations (called alternatives) and conducting an environmental review of the project. The analysis is now available for review and public comment until April 28, 2022.

This analysis, the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extension Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) describes what is being considered and how each alternative might affect the natural and built environment and transportation systems. Your feedback will be shared with the Sound Transit Board of Directors before they confirm or modify the preferred alternative for the project later this year.

How else can I participate?

In addition to learning about and commenting on the Draft EIS through the online open house, there will be multiple opportunities to connect with project staff, ask questions, and share your input. Click here for online public meetings, in-person drop-in events and more opportunities to get involved. Stop by the next corridor-wide focused in-person event next week to share a written or verbal comment via a court reporter:

Date: Thursday, March 17th 2022
Time: 12–6p
Location: International District Station Plaza (5th Avenue S and S King Street)

You can also take a tour of potential station alternatives across the entire project corridor, for both the West Seattle and the Ballard Link Extensions here. Paper copies of the EIS, including translated copies of the Executive Summary, are available at the Alliance for Pioneer Square offices by appointment. Visit the Historic South Downtown (HSD) website for tips on navigating the document and sections that are particularly important for our neighborhood.

Your input is an essential element the Sound Transit Board Board will use to understand community priorities.