March_2022 - 31

Sound Transit
ments, the project team made some surprising discoveries
that led to pivotal design decisions.
" For example, the most valuable land in development
terms was not actually land we needed for
the trains, " shared Spieler. " We realized that the site
topography could actually help us, as part of the
site was elevated and could minimize the impacts
of the trains and essentially hide the maintenance
facility from view, providing natural noise and visual
mitigation. Through operations and economic
development analysis and a series of realignments
we were able to meet all the stakeholders' requirements.
Of course, there was compromise, but we
managed to make everyone buy in to the design.
The crux of the solution, though, really focused
on listening, understanding and respecting what
everyone wanted and then showing them how they
could get it. "
Spieler credits the charrettes, graphic displays
and technical data in helping get everyone on
board. And the stakes could not have been higher.
Sound Transit had delivery already scheduled for
96 new light-rail vehicles, each costing between $4
to$5 million. Though they would be commissioned
at an existing facility, OMF East would create the
required space for commissioning and testing. In
addition, Sound Transit's full-funding agreement
for the $2 billion Lynwood Link was tied to having
OMF East's final record of decision on its environmental
process.
For Bellevue, in addition to 700,000 to 800,000
developable square feet, the city also sought 6.5 acres
for two affordable housing projects, commercial office
space, retail and market-rate housing. The city
was also counting on the development and light-rail
line to drive revenue and help complete its BelRed
Corridor plan. Each stakeholder had vital interests
riding on OMF East and its resolution.
" You really do need to pause and reflect on your
partners' positions and interests, " said Mihkels.
" Then you need to look for those ways to align
them or find win-win solutions. That's opposed to
approaching it as a quid-pro-quo battle or something
to that effect. In a perfect Sound Transit world, we'd
have spread the facility out more. But the facility
is completely functional in its concise design. We
couldn't give that up. Knowing what the must-haves
and desires for all parties was key. "
Wall agrees.
" We took the pitchforks and torches charging
against us, found out what they wanted, and then
helped Sound Transit resolve those issues so that
everyone could come on board, " he said.
At present, the OMF East facility is up and running,
but not yet connected to Sound Transit's system.
In fact, its older light-rail vehicles are being trucked to
the facility so that the new vehicles can be commisFor
more information, visit www.MassTransitmag.com/
MARCH 2022 | MassTransitmag.com | Mass Transit | 31
2111MASS_NoblePine.indd 1
11/1/21 3:11 PM
" We took the pitchforks and torches charging against us,
found out what they wanted, and then helped Sound Transit
resolve those issues so that everyone could come on board. "
-FRAN WALL, vice president and civil engineer, Huitt-Zollars
sioned and tested in its current facility. Though not
ideal, that was part of Sound Transit's compromise.
" We needed this facility to be done by a certain
date. So, we had an open-door policy with stakeholders,
complete transparency, " said Hale. " The
city even sat in on our selection committee and attended
all briefings. It was that level of involvement,
but that's exactly what helped get this done. We hid
nothing. They heard the same things we did. We
weren't the 800-pound gorilla telling everyone what
we wanted and for them to work around it. "
A compromise on this scale should be impossible.
Fortunately, no one told the OMF East project team
that, so they just delivered the impossible.
*NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard
Arthur Schurr is a
New York-based
freelance writer
who reports on
transportation
infrastructure.
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March_2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March_2022

Editor’s Notebook
People & Places
Riders are Coming Back but Where are the Drivers?
Turning a BRT Line into a Successful Network
Capital Programs Strike Steady Pace
How the Village of Bedford Park and Uber Connect People to Jobs
Sound Transit Driving Consensus Against All Odds
Products
Best Practices
March_2022 - 1
March_2022 - 2
March_2022 - 3
March_2022 - 4
March_2022 - 5
March_2022 - Editor’s Notebook
March_2022 - 7
March_2022 - People & Places
March_2022 - 9
March_2022 - 10
March_2022 - 11
March_2022 - Riders are Coming Back but Where are the Drivers?
March_2022 - 13
March_2022 - 14
March_2022 - 15
March_2022 - Turning a BRT Line into a Successful Network
March_2022 - 17
March_2022 - 18
March_2022 - 19
March_2022 - Capital Programs Strike Steady Pace
March_2022 - 21
March_2022 - 22
March_2022 - 23
March_2022 - How the Village of Bedford Park and Uber Connect People to Jobs
March_2022 - 25
March_2022 - 26
March_2022 - 27
March_2022 - Sound Transit Driving Consensus Against All Odds
March_2022 - 29
March_2022 - 30
March_2022 - 31
March_2022 - Products
March_2022 - 33
March_2022 - Best Practices
March_2022 - 35
March_2022 - 36
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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/march-april-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/january-february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/november-december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/mass-transit-at-the-show-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/july-august-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/march-april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/december-2022-january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/november-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/july-august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/june_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/april-may_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/march_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/february_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/at-the-show-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/december-2021-january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/september-october_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/july-august_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/mass_transit_june_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/aprilmay2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/december2020january2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/november2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/septemberoctober2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/julyaugust2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/june2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/aprilmay2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/Mass_Transit_March_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/february2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/december2019january2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/november2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/Mass_Transit_September_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/julyaugust2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/2019railproductguide
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/2019busandparatransitproductguide
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/aprilmay2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/march2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/masstransit/february2019
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