Another major project is harming the Seattle Chinatown International District (Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon): Sound Transit wants to take 3 blocks from the National Register Chinatown Historic District again. Transit Equity for All aims to protect the historic Chinatown International District neighborhood while improving access and quality of public transit for all residents, visitors, business owners, and community members.
· Emphasizing 5th Avenue is a better route than 4th Avenue in presentations through selective criteria, e.g. resident displacement: 120 for 4th Avenue, 0 for 5th Avenue.
· Blocking community members from being in the CID Community Advisory Group.
· Not explaining what “full closure of King Street or Weller Street” means to the CID.
· Not explaining how businesses on King Street, Weller Street will be permanently moved, disrupting community life, residents; 1200 elderly and 300 businesses.
· Sending agents to 5th Avenue and King Street business owners, offering moving money to begin 5+ year construction plan.
· Incomplete plans presented for 4th Avenue options.
· Concluding that demolition and construction “will not impact neighborhood cohesion,” AKA community life.
· Introduced no more than 3 months ahead of the announcement of a Preferred Alternative (March 2023), there simply have not been enough studies and analysis of North/South options impacts compared to the years-long review and community education about 4th and 5th Ave options.
· North/South options will include the removal of stops and potential connections from the existing Link station, which extends travel time and complicates transfers that "will mystify and anger riders of all incomes, backgrounds, and home counties for decades."
· The "hands-off" assumption about North/South's placement dismisses their potential disruption to historic Pioneer Square, which includes portions of the former Chinatown prior to early 20th Century displacement, as well as the northern edge of current Japantown, the National Register of Historic Places listed/eligible King County Administration building to the north and the former Immigration and Naturalization Services building to the south.
· Full closure of King Street, S. Weller and 5th Avenue for several years.
· Re-routing cars, buses, to 6th, Maynard, 7th, 8th, 10th & 12th.
· Gas, water, electrical shut offs to businesses, nonprofits and residents.
· Traffic detours throughout Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon.
· Daily dump trucks, cement trucks, cranes, supply trucks, delivery vehicles in CID.
· Construction workers taking parking from businesses.
· Increased noise & air pollution, dust, dirt, vibrations.
· Taking property from owners of color for demolition and resale after construction.
· Endangering lives of 1,200 elderly by blocking access/egress for emergency vehicles with street/sidewalk closures and detours.
· Permanent changes to National Register Seattle Chinatown Historic District—loss of 3 blocks, in addition to prior loss of 3 blocks for Transit Tunnel
· Disruptions to 300 businesses already battered by the pandemic, higher than ever anti-Asian hate crimes, criminal violence.
· Disruptions to 30 immigrant businesses permanently closed or forced to move.
· Disruptions to schools, daycares, programs serving thousands of children and youth.
· Disruptions to programs, classes, recreation for 1,200 elderly non-English speakers.