Mayor Proposes New Light Rail Station at Graham Street

Mayor Proposes New Light Rail Station at Graham Street

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has proposed what many south-end residents have been asking for since 2009 when light rail first opened in the Rainier Valley — a station at Graham Street.

“Hillman City deserves a station,” said regular RVP commenter whatevernick back in 2009. “How else were they planning on giving downtowners access to Viet Wah and Joy Palace? Plus walking 20 minutes to Columbia City station in November is lame.”

The Graham light rail station at South Graham Street and MLK, Jr. Way South — between the Columbia City and Othello station — was cut during Sound Transit’s first phase, surprising many Rainier Valley residents who questioned the wisdom of a 1.6-mile gap between stations in such a densely-populated area.

“This station would plug the biggest gap in the Rainier Valley segment and place virtually everyone [along the MLK corridor] within a half-mile of a station,” said Martin Duke with Seattle Transit Blog. “It would also serve a minor retail district, middle school, and in the long run probably allow MLK to become a solid line of dense development instead of islands around stations.”

Longtime RVP commenter SolvayGirl agrees.

“I would definitely use the light rail more often if it stopped at Graham,” she wrote last year. “It would still be a bit of a haul (especially the return walk as I live near the top of the hill), but it would still be easier.”

Mayor Murray’s $10 million proposal to begin design and engineering to add the station back came as part of his nine-year, $900 million transportation levy plan announced last month. After a month of public outreach, the Mayor announced an additional $30 million ask.

Other Move Seattle projects include a Rainier Avenue road diet, Accessible Mount Baker and many more.

The $930 million price tag means a significant increase in property taxes for Seattle homeowners — nearly twice the $36 per $100,000 of property value collected annually for the current $365 million Bridging the Gap levy, which expires this year.

Voters will decide in November.

Photo/Rainier Valley Post


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