Official Maps: Sound Transit Link Federal Way Extension Alternatives

Here’s some interesting isometric-style maps that crossed my desk the other day. They’re part of a series of maps from the Sound Transit Federal Way Link Extension Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Summary that outline all the proposed potential alignments from the soon-to-be-completed Angle Lake station south to Federal Way. 

I believe that the maps were produced by HDR as a consultant to Sound Transit, and they do quite a nice job of comparing and contrasting the different alignments in a simplified, visually interesting form. Each map shows the main route in its own distinctive colour, with “optional extras” shown in yellow. Elevated and below-grade track is easily shown because of the isometric format – an advantage over conventional “top down” maps, which have to resort to modifying the stroke of the route line and then explaining those changes with a legend. Remember: show, don’t tell!

Of course, I-5 and SR 99 don’t really run as neatly parallel as this map would suggest (they’re really quite close near the proposed Highline College stop), but for quickly comparing all the alternatives and reaching a diverse public audience – there are four maps like this in the DEIS summary – I think this format does an excellent job.

For the record, the I-5 Alternative with the Highline College station option – as seen in the second map above – became the Preferred Alternative for this project back in January 2016 (PDF link).

Source: Sound Transit project website