The Future of Puget Sound Area Traffic

Sound Transit has put forth an ambitious plan, called the Sound Transit 3 Plan, to extend Light Rail service throughout the Puget Sound area. The plan is currently receiving public feedback from a number of neighborhood meetings being held throughout the different neighborhoods that will be affected. The finalized plan may be on the ballot in November. All residents (not just homeowners – renters too!) need to be aware of the expansion plan, the timeline, and the bottom line. I encourage you to go to one of the live meetings if you are able to do so.

Sound Transit has a great image that summarizes the expansion, costs and timeline that you can take a look at here (view image), but in summary, the below stations are planned for the following neighborhoods (six separate extension lines in all) and timeline:

  • Northgate – 2021 (already approved and in process)
  • Lynnwood – 2023 (already approved and in process)
  • 128th – 2036
  • Everett – 2041
  • Ballard – 2038
  • Overlake – 2023 (already approved and in process)
  • Redmond – 2028
  • Issaquah- 2041
  • West Seattle- 2033
  • Angle Lake – 2016 (already approved and in process)
  • Highline College – 2023 (already approved and in process)
  • Federal Way – 2028
  • Tacoma – 2033

From a property value perspective, traffic in our region is one issue that keeps a lid on growth. Adding additional traffic-curbing mechanisms will keep the traffic and workforce on the move. This will improve property values, especially for those properties within a few minutes’ drive time of Light Rail stations.

However, this development comes with a price tag. Sound Transit indicates that between sales tax increase, property tax increase, and car tab increase, taxes will increase for most households an average of $400 per year. Many households recently received their property assessments and found their property tax had risen dramatically already. This would be in addition to that.

If you live in one of the neighborhoods that will be getting a Light Rail station in the next few years, you may be excited and feel it is worth the price. However, if you are further north, east, in West Seattle, or in Tacoma, that may be a lot of years before your neighborhood can benefit. As the Seattle Times put it, “To go big takes a very long time.”

I encourage you to learn more. If you are in one of the neighborhoods that will be affected and you want to know more about what this means for you, give me a call, text, or send an email: (206) 226-5300 or sold@windermere.com.

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