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Everett Wrestles With Sound Transit's 25 Year Timeline

Gilbert Ruiz of the Depot Cafe and Smokehouse. He could throw a brisket and hit the future light rail station in downtown Everett.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols
Gilbert Ruiz of the Depot Cafe and Smokehouse. He could throw a brisket and hit the future light rail station in downtown Everett.

Sound Transit is halfway through the public comment period on its big expansion plan, called Sound Transit 3. The current plan puts downtown Everett last in line for light rail. KUOW went to Everett to see how people feel about that.

TRANSCRIPT

Gil Ruiz runs the Depot Café and Smokehouse in downtown Everett. He opens the lid on his barbecue.

Ruiz: “Smell that Seattle. That’s what’s really cooking in Everett.”

Twenty-five years from now, Ruiz could throw a brisket from this spot and hit a passenger coming out of the proposed light rail station. But he’ll be long retired by then.

Ruiz: “I wish they could make it happen earlier.”

[asset-images[{"caption": "Dana Lantz of Performance Radiator, just a couple blocks from downtown Everett's future light rail station.", "fid": "125618", "style": "placed_left", "uri": "public://201604/dana_lantz.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols"}]]Just down the street, Dana Lantz works at Performance Radiator. She says light rail to Seattle won’t help her either.

Lantz: “Yeah. If you can get my guy from Granite Falls to Everett in acceptable amount of time, then he might leave his car at home. But right now, he can’t.”

Dave Somers is Snohomish County Executive. He says the wait will be worth it. But we should try to get to Everett in 15 years, not 25.

[asset-images[{"caption": "Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and his dog Hewitt.", "fid": "125619", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201604/dave_somers.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols"}]]Somers: “If there’s another recession, or if the tunnel machine hits another pipe somewhere, then the budget goes into the red and then Everett doesn’t get done.”

But he knows transit takes time to build. Kind of like Gilbert Ruiz’s barbecue.

Ruiz: “You can’t rush it.”

The public comment period ends April 29.