Voters again will decide the fate of the monorail after the
state Supreme Court last month declined to hear an emergency
stay petition to keep Initiative 83, known as the Monorail
Recall measure, off of the November ballot.
Initially, the King County Superior Court determined that
I-83 exceeded the scope of the City of Seattles initiative
power because it conflicts with state law, and therefore could
not be placed on the November ballot. However, that ruling
was overturned by the Court of Appeals, allowing the initiative
to go forward.
With the Supreme Courts decision, the appeals courts
ruling stands. The Seattle City Council has forwarded the
initiative on to King County for inclusion on the ballot.
While the initiative will be voted on in November, it is by
no means the end of the legal challenges.
Since the legality of the initiative remains in question
and we wont know until after the election whether the
initiative will pass, it is imperative that City planning
work continues. While the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) is
negotiating with the contractor, the City has the opportunity
to take the lead on planning work. This includes reviewing
and redesigning how the monorail streets will operate for
both vehicles and pedestrians to ensure that City goals are
furthered and that the monorail system can serve and be an
asset to the adjacent neighborhoods.
Station Area Planning
The news headlines have not affected the work DPD staff is
doing on station and corridor area planning. Staff attended
standing community meetings along the alignment in September
to present preliminary summaries of the draft station area
plans for the corresponding stations and corridors. They anticipate
more complete public presentations in October and November.
By the October round of community group meetings, the community
will have had an opportunity to review the summaries and provide
in-depth feedback on the actions proposed in them. DPDs
goal for October is to give more complete presentations to
a variety of community groups, with graphics illustrating
specific corridor designs and other actions, in order to engage
community members in discussions that will inform the final
product. In November, the City monorail team will be hosting
three open houses (times and places to be determined):
- Nov. 4 in West Seattle;
- Nov. 9 downtown at the Bertha Landes Room, City Hall;
- Nov. 10 in Ballard.
Each of the open houses will have the same format and materials,
providing an opportunity for residents to review and comment
on our draft station and corridor area plans for the entire
monorail alignment. To give the public additional opportunities
for reviewing and commenting, we will post our draft plans
and a comment form on our website
in October. By the end of 2004 the Mayor will forward these
plans to City Council as part of the Integrating the
In response to questions from the public, we have prepared
an information sheet that highlights the Citys parking
policies and sets forth the strategy to address Hide
and Ride parking impacts on neighborhoods. To find
out more about our draft plans and future meeting times and
locations, visit the Station
Area Planning website.
Corridor Task Force
The Seattle Monorail Green Line Project provides an opportunity
to revisit fundamental assumptions about priorities for the
design and operation of City streets in the monorail corridor.
Toward that end, the Citys monorail team is developing
street design concepts for several of the key streets where
the monorail will be built. These concepts are meant to clearly
define the Citys vision and objectives for traffic operations
and urban design. They also will serve as a framework for
informing future work on the Citys station area plans,
design guidelines, and review of preliminary and in-progress
design submittals for the monorail guideway.
As the concepts are completed, they will become a part of
the station and corridor area plans and available for review
on the website.