A House bill seeks to keep the name of Sen. Scott White alive, in the new north-end tunnel that's under construction by Sound Transit.

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Back in October 2011, elected officials and northeast Seattle neighbors mourned after Sen. Scott White, one of the most energetic legislators, died suddenly at age 41, of an undiagnosed enlarged heart, while attending a leadership conference in Cle Elum.

Now a House bill seeks to keep his name alive, in the new north-end tunnel that’s under construction by Sound Transit.

The clause appears in the House version of the $15 billion state transportation package, which not only calls for an 11.7-cent gas tax boost, but would let Sound Transit send another $15 billion in projects to urban voters in 2016.  It says that if Sound Transit adds new property, sales or car-tab taxes, its board of directors “must undertake a process in which the authority’s board formally considers inclusion of the name, Scott White, in the naming convention associated with either the University of Washington or Roosevelt stations.”  White was elected to the House in 2008 and the Senate in 2010, where he served on the transportation committee. He left behind a wife, Alison, and two young children.

Rep. Rueven Carlyle, D-Seattle, said he drafted the clause. “Scott and I were elected the same year and were dear, dear friends, and I miss him very much. I think the state would be in a heck of a lot better shape if he were still around.”

So what might this language do?  Two scenarios that immediately come to mind are to put his name on the bike-pedestrian bridge over Montlake Boulevard, from the University of Washington Station to the Rainier Vista campus entry, when the station opens next year; or on a proposed bike-ped bridge over I-5 to link the 2021 Northgate Station to North Seattle College. Carlyle said he’d even support a station name such as “Roosevelt/Scott White Station.”  Or, some other transit structure along the line could bear the name, Carlyle said.

The details should be left to Sound Transit, he said, so long as the board chooses somewhere important.  “This is not about a park bench.”