Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Link


A good choice for Tacoma Link light-rail extension

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

There wasn’t an obvious “best” among the options for extending Link light rail further into Tacoma. But the City Council has tentatively chosen a very good one: the “E-1 North Downtown Central Corridor.”

Now all the city needs is to formally vote for it, get approval for its recommendation from the Sound Transit board, win a $50 million federal grant and find another $50 million or so from some other unidentified source.

In other words, this proposed Link project – essentially a consolation prize for not getting a light rail extension from King County – has a lot of hurdles to overcome before it becomes reality. It hasn’t even completely won over the council members, some of whom prefer a route that would serve low-income East Side neighborhoods and provide service near an expanded Emerald Queen Casino. Read more »


Boe’s light rail option deserves a (quick) look

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The Tacoma City Council has complicated an already complex decision on light rail in Tacoma. That’s OK – as long as it doesn’t also derail the decision.

Some background:

The regional transit package Puget Sound voters approved in 2008 didn’t give Pierce County a rail connection to Sea-Tac Airport and beyond. But the county did get a consolation prize: a promise to expand Tacoma Link, the small electric rail line that already runs from the Tacoma Dome north through downtown Tacoma.

The Sound Transit board is now poised to make good on

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Light-rail growing pains

No matter where Sound Transit points its trains, controversy seems to follow. I come to those discussions with the perspective of someone who was raised in Portland, where bellyaching about the mess caused by the latest MAX light rail project is a favorite pastime.

I grew up three blocks from the new North Portland line on Interstate Boulevard, which had become a sad strip of seedy motels and boarded-up stores by the time I moved away in the early 1990s. My mom still lives there and complained bitterly when she found out light rail was coming. But I think

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Bellevue’s ‘vision’ puts transit out of focus

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

A fight’s brewing in Bellevue that could have unfortunate consequences for light-rail users in the South Sound and across the Puget Sound region.

The value of the Sound Transit light-rail system depends on its proximity to people and the places they want to go. Opposition to the regional transit agency’s preferred light-rail route in Bellevue risks thwarting the system’s ability to deliver.

Eastside leaders have long been opposed to Sound Transit’s plans to run light rail on surface streets through downtown Bellevue. They say that construction would disrupt businesses and that trains would clog traffic.

The opposition is led by powerful interests that don’t like any light rail. Anti-transit developer Kemper Freeman Jr. owns a good chunk of downtown Bellevue and has led past fights against Sound Transit ballot measures. He’s also given heavily to local politicians. In November, he bought himself a majority on the Bellevue City Council.

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