Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The early scoping process is intended to support the alternatives analysis and a future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping process, as appropriate. In addition, it supports FTA planning requirements associated with the New Starts ("Section 5309") funding program for certain kinds of major capital investments. While recent legislation may lead to changes in the New Starts process, Sound Transit will comply with relevant FTA requirements relating to planning and project development to help it analyze and screen alternatives in preparation for the NEPA process.
Public meeting times and locations are described immediately below. Following that is a more detailed discussion of the project and the early scoping process.
2. November 13, 2012, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Harry S. Truman High School, Gymnasium, 31455 28th Avenue, Federal Way, WA 98003.
3. (Agency and Tribal Meeting), November 7, 2012, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The agency and tribal meeting will be conducted in a webinar format, accessible via the internet and by teleconference. Invitations to the on-line agency scoping meeting and the public scoping meetings will be sent to the appropriate federal, tribal, state, and local governmental units. Invitations will include details on how to participate in the on-line meeting.
Supplemental information about the project is provided below. Also, Sound Transit will provide information on the alternatives analysis at the public meetings, along with opportunities for spoken or written comments. Additional information is available on Sound Transit's Web site at:
In 2004, Sound Transit began planning for the next phase of investment to follow
• Provide a reliable and efficient two-way, peak and off-peak transit service of sufficient capacity to meet the projected demand between the communities and activity centers between the cities of SeaTac and Federal Way and the other urban centers in the Central Puget Sound area;
• Provide a mobility alternative to travel on congested roadways and improve connections to the Central Puget Sound regional multimodal transportation system;
• Support South King County communities and the region's adopted vision for land use, transportation and economic development, a vision that promotes the well-being of people and communities, ensures economic vitality and preserves a healthy environment;
• Support the long-range vision, goals, and objectives for transit service established by Sound Transit's Regional Transit Long-Range Plan for high quality regional transit service between Seattle and Tacoma.
The project is needed to:
• Meet the growing needs of the corridor and of the region's future residents and workers by increasing mobility, access, and transportation capacity connecting regional growth and activity centers in the study area and the rest of the region, as called for in the region's adopted plans, including the PSRC's VISION 2040 and Transportation 2040, as well as related county and city comprehensive plans;
• Address the problems of increasing and unreliable travel times for transit users in the study area, who are now
• Provide an alternative to automobile trips on I-5 and SR 99, the two primary highways serving the corridor, which provide unreliable travel times throughout the day;
• Help implement Sound Transit's Regional Transit Long-Range Plan and allow the future extension of HCT south to Tacoma;
• Expand and enhance transit options serving transit-dependent residents and low-income and minority populations concentrated in the study area;
• Provide the transit infrastructure needed to support SeaTac and Federal Way, two designated regional growth centers that provide housing, employment, public services, and multimodal transportation connections;
• Help the state and region reduce transportation-related energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with goals established in RCW 47.01.440, and Chapter 70.235 RCW.
As part of this alternatives analysis, Sound Transit will explore alternative alignment, station, and design configurations that could meet the project's purpose and need. Alternatives could include alternatives on SR 99 or I-5, or other alternatives that arise during the early scoping comment period. The alternatives will reflect a range of high- and low-cost capital improvements, including a “no-build” alternative which can serve as a “baseline” for measuring the merits of higher level investments. Sound Transit will identify measures for evaluating the relative merits of alternatives, and technical methodologies for generating the information used to support such measures. These measures typically include disciplines such as travel forecasting, capital and operations and maintenance costs, and corridor-level environmental and land use analyses.
At the end of the alternatives analysis process, Sound Transit and the FTA anticipate narrowing the range of alternatives for further evaluation in a NEPA document. If the resulting range of alternatives involves the potential for significant environmental impacts requiring an environmental impact statement (EIS), FTA and Sound Transit will publish a Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS in the