Transit station could mean more local development
By LeiLani Hector - Staff Reporter
A vision for an elevated light rail station located in the Kent/ Des Moines area may provide new transportation and housing affordability, two professors said recently.
University of Washington professors Rick Mohler and Gregg Colburn gave their presentation on Leveraging Transit to Address Housing Affordability for Green Week on Nov. 1.
Green Week was a week- long series of events, with presentations and programs on all things from Climate Change to being able to afford housing and
transportation. One of the visions of this
project is to create the station within the Kent/ Des Moines area, having it close to High- line, but having it elevated so that people do not have to worry about crossing a railway. They might not be able to cross easily if it was on the surface, Colburn and Mohler said.
Within this project, is an- other project called Entwine. This project's vision of the transit station leads to the creation of three different and distinct neighborhoods, Mohler said.
These three neighborhoods will be:
• A "Garden" neighborhood:
which will be down south, adjacent to what is envisioned as a new park on top of the existing landfill.
• A "Highline" neighbor- hood: which will be south of Highline, on the other side of State Route 99.
• A "Midway" neighborhood: which will be a higher density/ more people living in it per given area, adjacent to the light rail station.
What these three neighborhoods will essentially do is:
• Create distinct housing.
• Leverage the existing landfill.
• Distribute affordable housing.
• Minimize parking requirements.
Although, "Transit doesn't solve problems for everyone," Mohler said.
"The idea is to get as many people living close to transit as possible, so that ideally [people will] not have a car at all," he said.
"The idea that once light rail is put in place, King County can then use those service hours, the amount of time and number of buses they have driving around, they can reconfigure those to make it easier and faster for people to get generally in the East and West from their home to the transit station," he said.