Opposing Light Rail in Seattle:
Lawsuit Filed

Press Release

Citizens for Mobility (CFM) and several individual plaintiffs brought suit in federal district court, naming as defendants the Federal Transit Administration, Sound Transit, and other governmental defendants. The lawsuit challenges Sound Transit's proposed Link light rail project on environmental and financial grounds.

CFM's co-chairman Emory Bundy said, "We are determined to use the opportunities provided in federal statutes-particularly the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, and Transportation Equity Act-to call Sound Transit to account." Don Padelford added, "Sound Transit says the voters have decided to build the Link system. But the voters did not decide to dump tunnel buses onto surface streets, gridlock the downtown and University District, violate air quality standards, kill several people a year in the Rainier Valley, or to build a system hundreds of millions of dollars over budget before the first spade of dirt has been turned."

In the lawsuit, Citizens for Mobility asks the court to enjoin further activity on the project, and order that a new environmental impact statement, or supplemental environmental impact statement, be prepared.

Specific complaints in the lawsuit include the following:

    Defendants' failure to address likely fatalities in the Martin Luther King Way corridor, if the project is built;

    Sound Transit's unwillingness to discuss any reasonable alternatives to the Link light rail project;

    Likely gridlocking of downtown Seattle and the University District if the project goes forward;

    The project will contribute to new localized air quality violations, and the defendants have failed to conduct either quantitative analysis or qualitative considerations of local factors, as required

    Sound Transit's inexperience and lack of qualifications to construct a project of the magnitude and complexity of Link light rail; and

    The lack of sufficient local financial commitment to the project.

Citizens for Mobility and affiliated organizations have worked actively over the past several months to see if Sound Transit would open its books, and to see if it would engage in serious dialogue regarding its project plans. Because Sound Transit has demonstrated firm resistance to any such open dialogue, it was decided that federal litigation is appropriate at this time.

Citizens for Mobility is an association of concerned citizens dedicated to promoting cost-effective, environmentally-friendly mobility solutions to traffic congestion in the central Puget Sound Area.

A copy of the Citizens for Mobility complaint will posted at www.citizensformobility.net/ on October 24, 2000. For more information, contact Donald Padelford (dfp@dfpnet.net; 206- 262-1155) or Emory Bundy (ebundy@nwlink.com; 206-726-9416)

(c) 2000 www.publicpurpose.com --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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