Auburn to get ST funds for intersection fix-its

Projects to better zip the public to the Transit Station and back

Take a look at the intersections of 3rd and 4th streets Northeast and Auburn Avenue, and 4th Street Northeast and Auburn Way North.

Kinda tight, one could say.

For some time, city leaders have said that all three of those intersection could use pedestrian and signal improvements and new lane configurations to improve motorized and non-motorized vehicle access.

This week, Sound Transit’s Board of Directors agreed, naming the city of Auburn one of 27 jurisdictions in King and Pierce counties that will receive a share of more than $40 million to support projects that make it easier for people to get to the Auburn Transit Station and back.

The awards vary in size from $116,000 for new bike lanes in Puyallup – part of the Pierce County subarea – to $3.7 million for the design and construction of a nonmotorized bridge at 148th Street in Shoreline in the North King subarea.

The money will allow physical improvements at 20 of the projects and help cover project design either fully or in part at the rest.

All of the awards represent the first round of System Access Funds for projects submitted by jurisdictions in Sound Transit’s five subareas.

“These awards will fund projects that remove barriers for existing and potential transit riders and allow them to take advantage of the region’s growing, high-capacity transit system,” said John Marchione, Sound Transit Board chair and mayor of Redmond.

The 2016, voter-approved, Sound Transit 3 System Plan offered System Access Funds for projects such as safe sidewalks, protected bike lanes, shared-use paths, bus transfer facilities, and new pickup and drop-off areas.

The SAF provides $100 million to be allocated equally among Sound Transit’s five subareas for projects that make it easier and more convenient to get to transit. Up to $10 million was available for each subarea in the first round.

Board action completes a process that started earlier this year when Sound Transit solicited proposals from local governments and transit agencies. Sound Transit received 53 applications from 33 jurisdictions totaling more than $86 million in requests.

Sound Transit staff evaluated the project proposals based on policy and technical factors, rating applications high, medium, or low for each factor, and then assigned each project an overall rating of highly recommended, recommended or not recommended.

An online open house last summer that allowed the public to comment on applications received more than 2,600 project-specific survey responses.

Local jurisdictions will implement the selected projects, including planning, environmental review, design and construction. All completed projects will be owned, operated, and maintained by the local government. Sound Transit will enter into funding agreements closer to when local governments are able to advance projects and closely monitor implementation once the agreements are executed.

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