9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Light Rail Mobility Negotiations and Opportunities
While the benefits of predictable, gridlock-free travel to Seattle or Bellevue are pretty apparent, the construction of any large public works project also brings some adjustments for residents.
|Light Rail Outreach Meeting|
The City and your Councilmembers have been working diligently to gain the maximum transportation benefit possible for Islanders while minimizing undesirable changes to the daily routines of all Islanders.
With the community's concerns in mind, the City has been actively engaged with key representatives at the local, regional, state, and national level to respect historic agreements.
Starting in early 2016, the City has also been focusing intently on negotiations regarding access to
Many of these complex, interconnected issues have long histories, and their successful resolution will depend on the support of multiple parties.
In October 2015, based directly on community input, Council developed a set of 6 priorities that have been used to guide all mobility negotiations with Sound Transit and WSDOT. View the updated 2016 language here
Download a simple 2-page overview
(Oct 2016) about current light rail mitigation issues.
future HOV lanes (the "R8A Project") to be added to I-90. Learn more here.
If you have questions that aren't answered in the FAQ, please use the online comment form.
Verbatim comments to date will be available soon.
Or contact Kirsten Taylor, Assistant City Manager, by Email at: Kirsten.Taylor@mercergov.org
What's Happening Now - Meetings; Events
[Note: Public updates on negotiations over Sound Transit rail construction, as well as WSDOT-related issues, began at the September 19, 2016 City Council Meeting, and continue at most Council meetings Click here for Agendas.]
Outreach presentations and events occurred in 2016 at various community clubs and civic groups around Mercer Island, including:
- Sun 10/9 -- Farmers Market 10:00am-3:00pm
- Wed 10/12 -- PTA Council Meeting (20 mins within 9:30am-11:30am mtg)
- Thu 10/20 -- PTA Membership Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL) 12-1:00pm
- Tue 10/25 -- Rotary Luncheon 12-1:00pm
- Thu 11/3 -- Chamber Luncheon 12-1:00pm
- Weds 11/9 -- Community Open House (@MICEC) 6:30-8:30pm
- Tue 11/15 -- Aljoya Roundtable Discussion 11:00am-Noon
- Weds 11/16 -- Osher Current Events Roundtable 10:00am-11:00am
- Weds 11/16 -- MI Clergy Association 10:30am-Noon
- Mon 11/28 -- Covenant Shores 2:00-3:00pm
- Thurs 1/19 -- Community Open House (@MICEC) 6:30-8:30pm - General Listening Session
- March -- Community Open House (@MICEC) Public Safety & Emergency Response Issues. [ Note: This meeting was scheduled for March 8, but has been postponed to April.]
Council discussed these matters more fully, and received a Traffic Impacts Study and an assessment of I-90 Vehicle Access Alternatives, at its Monday, November 7, 2016, meeting (webcast here)
View the KPG Traffic Impacts Study Powerpoint presentation here
View the City's Powerpoint presentation here
In June 2016, Mayor Bassett held meetings in Washington, DC, to ensure the City's case is fully understood by all necessary federal agencies and our State's congressional delegation.
Negotiations with all relevant agencies are continuing.
Based on Sound Transit listening events in the fall of 2015, and ongoing feedback from Island residents, commuters, and community groups, the following are the City's goals, as reiterated at the July 19, 2016 City Council Meeting (footage available online here):
- Determine access to the new lanes to be added to the outer roadways (referred to by WSDOT as the "R8A Project"), in the context of historic agreements, before the center roadway closes to cars.
- Changes to I-90 access should not significantly impact mobility in and around Town Center.
- Improve availability of convenient commuter parking, enabling Island residents to access bus transit services and in the future, light rail.
- Increase on-Island transit options through existing and future innovative services, facilitating better "last mile" connections to light rail.
- Regional commuter bus operations on Mercer Island should not generate additional adverse impacts.
- Implement safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle access to the future light rail station, and enhance interconnections with existing trails and paths.
Frequently Asked Questions
Due to the overlap of related issues, the FAQ's on Sound Transit matters are currently merged with the FAQ's on future access to HOV Lanes (operated by WSDOT).
Historic I-90 Agreements and Documents
East Link Light Rail Documents