Kent City Council committee favors Kent-Des Moines for light rail station name

Kent-Des Moines Station and Star Lake Station are the preferred choices by a Kent City Council committee for the two new light rail facilities.

The council’s public works committee voted 3-0 on April 18 to approve a resolution recommending that the Sound Transit Board choose those two names at its May 26 meeting. The council committee’s recommendation is forwarded to the full municipal council on May 3.

Sound Transit is building a 7.8 mile extension from Angle Lake station to SeaTac at Federal Way, due to open in 2024. The extension will have two stations in Kent and one in Federal Way.

Star Lake Station is the only name on a list of finalists submitted by Sound Transit staff after public input. This station will be at South 272nd Street, just west of Interstate 5, in a former Park and Ride lot.

The other Kent station will be near 30th Avenue South, just east of Pacific Highway South and south of Kent Des Moines Road. Other Sound Transit considerations include Midway, Highline, and Highline College.

Sound Transit staff listed one inconvenience on behalf of the Kent-Des Moines station. The agency already has a Kent station in the valley for the Sounder commuter rail, which might confuse people.

“Kent Station and Kent-Des Moines Station, I don’t confuse the two,” Kent Councilwoman Brenda Fincher said during the public works committee meeting. “I prefer Kent-Des Moines and I’ve already voted for it. People coming into town are already getting off at the Kent Des Moines exit off the freeway, and that’s what we’re already calling.

When Sound Transit held public meetings in Federal Way and Des Moines in 2019 and conducted an online survey, 390 people preferred the name Kent-Des Moines out of 552 votes, according to City of Kent staff. A total of 529 voted for the Star Lake Station name out of 678 votes.

Sound Transit’s station naming policy emphasizes geography, using the name of a city, neighborhood, landmark, or a combination thereof.

“People using the regional transit system will let them know they are in Kent and Des Moines,” Kelly Peterson, the city’s deputy director of public works, said in her report to the committee. advice.

The Des Moines City Council recently approved a resolution to send a letter to the Sound Transit Board to choose Kent-Des Moines Station, Peterson said.

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Jose P. Rogers