Community members pushed for their favored solution on a new transit hub in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District (CID), at a Feb. 15 Sound Transit meeting.
Paul Wu, a semi-retired architect and a long-time community volunteer, urged the Sound Transit Board to consider the least impactful option for the new transit station—the so-called 4th Avenue ‘Shallow’ Option 1A—which would mean the full closure of 4th from Main Street to Jackson for four years, and estimate nine to 11 years of construction and the loss of 210 parking spaces.
Wu said this option has the least impact to the Historic District and will provide transit access for both the CID and Stadium communities.
The other location option, Wu stated, would create unwarranted disruptions to local businesses and residents during construction and replace local property ownership in subsequent redevelopments.
Tuck Eng, born and raised in the CID, and a board member of Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area, also supports 4th Avenue ‘Shallow’ Option 1A because it “has the least impact…in terms of construction activities, noise, air pollution, blocked streets, minority property ownership transfers and displacement of immigrant businesses, tenants, and residents.” He added, “Help us keep over 1,000 elderly non-English speakers, other residents, and community members safe and revitalize Chinatown by staying on Fourth Avenue where there is no community of color to impact and no mass of immigrant businesses to force out.”
Eng said two other options on the table (Segment 5th Avenue Shallow and Deep Station) have serious flaws—chief among them planning several years of construction on top of a community of color filled with immigrant businesses and residents, a majority of whom do not have a command of English.