SEATTLE — The Sound Transit Board once again delayed making a recommendation for the location of the light rail station near Seattle's Chinatown-International District (CID) on Thursday.
Board members said they needed more time and information on proposed alternatives before making a recommendation.
The station would help riders connect to the West Seattle to Ballard Link Extension, which was approved by voters in 2016.
Sound Transit originally planned for a new station in the middle of the CID. However, it was expected the board would recommend a new location after pushback from the local community.
Those working and living in the CID have been outspoken for months about the impacts a Fourth or Fifth Avenue station could have in the heart of their home. A few months ago, transit officials shifted their focus to a third option: a station north of the CID and one south of it, rather than a sole station in the heart of the CID.
"We believe the North-South alternative will offer regional connectivity and meet the vital transit needs of our communities, without the devastation that a decade of construction on Fourth Avenue would bring," said one woman who publicly testified Thursday.
To the north, this option would put a new station just east of Fourth Avenue, between Jefferson and Terrace Streets. To the south, a new station would run underneath Sixth Avenue South, just north of the Stadium Station and Greyhound Bus Station.
While some see a decade of construction others see it as a draw for a community that could benefit from reinvestment.
“They understand that the 4th avenue station is a reinvestment into the community for revitalization for safety the more foot traffic you have coming through the safer it is,” said Amy Chen Lozano of the group Transit Equity for all.
"I think my preference would be again to talk about to be determined, I just think that's a wise approach," Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said about the proposed station sites.
“The cost of moving too fast is that we’ll end up with a system that doesn’t function well for riders for the rest of time," said Joe Reilly with a group called Seattle Subway.
The Board's recommendation would not be a final decision, and there will be a final Environmental Impact Statement before any construction commences on a new station.