By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
The Sound Transit Board unanimously approved a motion Thursday that supported the C3 option as the preferred alternative light rail route for the Lynnwood Link Extension.
The motion also directed Sound Transit staff to evaluate the potential modifications to the C3 option that were suggested by the city of Lynnwood. The “C3 modified” option was the preferred option of the city of Lynnwood.
In the C3 option, light rail follows Interstate 5 to the Lynnwood Park-and-Ride with a station at the existing Lynnwood Transit Center.
The C1 option, which runs along 52nd Ave. W and ends up at 200th Street SW., would have taken out a portion of Scriber Creek Park and also displaced a 77-unit condominium complex and 31 businesses. The C2 option, which goes along 52nd Avenue W. and then cuts across before Scriber Creek Park, had impacts similar to C1 to homes along 52nd Avenue and businesses along Cedar Valley Road.
Lynnwood City Council President Loren Simmonds, who was one of a number of people who spoke before the Board prior to the vote, was pleased by Sound Transit’s decision.
“I think the bottom line is that this is a preferred alternative,” he said. “They’re responded favorably to it. … I think we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”
Maryellen Walsh, who was one of the founders of a group called Save Scriber Creek Park, also was pleased by the action taken by the Sound Transit Board. The Save Scriber Creek Park group opposed the C1 and C2 options and was in favor of the C3 option. The group campaigned throughout the neighborhood and city and submitted a petition with 1,800 signatures opposing the C1 option.
“My reaction is that the people spoke and we were listened to,” Walsh said. “When we first started this I had no idea that we could actually succeed and we did. We had no money, no power and we didn’t know what we were doing and we won.
“We’re totally thrilled that the park is saved, the wetlands are saved. It’s great.”
Walsh and some of her neighbors started the group in June 2013. Walsh estimated she attended 15-20 different meetings and volunteered hundreds of hours.
“It was a lot of work,” she said. “I think the whole community came together: the neighborhood, the businesses, the residents.”
The motion stated that the Board will continue to consider all the alternatives and will not make a decision on the project until the completion of the final Environmental Impact Statement, which is anticipated to be completed in 2015.