First Hill Streetcar Jackson St. Corridor Update

First Hill StreetcarSound Transit and the City of Seattle will be holding an open house at Seattle’s Hong Kong Building at the Summer Festival on Saturday, July 10th to discuss recent developments and the next steps involved with constructing the First Hill Streetcar line connecting the Capitol Hill and International District LINK Light Rail stations.

The Seattle City Council has approved the First Hill Streetcar with a segment along Jackson St. through the Chinatown/International District neighborhood.

The latest visualizations for the Jackson St. portion of the route will be on display at the open house for viewing and commenting by the public. City representatives will be on hand to answer any questions regarding this portion of the route as well as the line in general.

WHEN / WHERE
11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 10th
Hong Kong Building
511B Maynard Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98104
For directions click here.

For More Information: Seattle Streetcar (official site)

Actual route map: Click here

Comments

  1. joshuadf says

    I wandered around the International District and Little Saigon a bit and there are many surface parking lots that are phenomenal opportunities for development near the streetcar line, not to mention it’s already one of the most urban parts of Seattle.

    The space under I-5 is also used as parking. If something could be done about the freeway noise, that would be a great spot for a covered market area (like Hau Hau has via tents); the underpass retail equivalent of the Columbia I-670 lid:
    http://citycomfortsblog.typepad.com/cities/2003/08/i670_cap.html

    • Gordon Werner says

      I believe city ordinances prohibit any construction under freeways. I mentioned the large vacant lot near Royal Brougham Way as a great spot for the maintenance facility and that was the reason they gave for saying no.

      • poncho says

        How did Portland manage to build the streetcar carbarn under I-405? Its the only permanent building I am aware of under a freeway (maybe outside Asia). Infact a second carbarn is under construction under I-405 for the Portland Streetcar.

      • poncho says

        Portland and Seattle are very similar in many ways, if one can do it, it would seem the other can especially with something related to cityscape or policy. (Hell, everyone on the East Coast thinks they are the same… “Oh, you’re from Seattle, I have a friend who lives in Portland” or vice versa).

        I know for one it had to be approved by ODOT but still there had to be many other hurdles and govt agencies to get approval from. Who knows what they had to consent to in order to be able to build under there. For Portland to be the only one to develop under the freeway it cant have be an easy process. I dont believe even in NYC there are permanent structures under a freeway, please correct me if there are. There are a few cities with structures above, Seattle obviously being one.

        Unfortunately it would make it more difficult to tear down the freeway with a carbarn under it, if that joyous day ever came.

      • Chris Stefan says

        The I-5 underpass site was looked at for a potential streetcar barn. One issue is the amount of vertical clearance isn’t enough to allow for a crane over the maintenance bays. Another problem is WSDOT doesn’t want to have a structure in the way should they ever need to replace or alter the bridge.

        That said, it would be nice to have some use of that area for something other than parking cars.

        I think some sort of year-round street fair/farmers market/flea market with food carts/trucks would be a nice pedestrian draw and avoid the problem of permanent structures under the highway.

  2. Michael Arnold says

    I can see that the International District should flourish with this new streetcar line. There are so many empty storefronts along Jackson in the Chinatown/Japantown area that should get snapped up quickly once this line starts. This area will be the epicenter of all transit, located around King Street Station.

    Little Saigon has even more possibility. In fact, I have been advocating the streetcar barn be located there with senior housing on top of the barn (a la Greg Smith’s Urban Visions idea for the defunct building that was supposed to house the Waterfront trolleys).

    Seattle’s Asian population is booming and I have a lot of Asian friends who have parents moving here and would like to locate down there. A streetcar barn with street level retail and upper level residences would be a win-win situation for this area. Now wouldn’t it be nice if this new streetcar barn would incorporate the old trolleys?

    • Ellen M. says

      I believe they’re looking at siting a trolley barn in the redeveloped Yesler Terrace. SHA is currently in the process of selecting consultants for the next phases and has mentioned that in some of the RFQ materials–though I don’t believe the current masterplanning phase is complete.

    • Chris Stefan says

      There has been some talk of using the block on the SW corner of 10th & Jackson for the streetcar barn as well.

      I hope whatever site is chosen, one large enough to serve as a primary streetcar O&M facility for the First Hill line, First Avenue/Central Line, Waterfront Line, etc. is chosen. It doesn’t need to be as big as a bus base or the Link O&M facility, but it should be large enough to handle say 20 to 25 cars.

  3. archie says

    complaint time: I never noticed until now how the location of the eastbound stop at Jackson & 5th seems relatively inaccessible for people coming from Intl District station (or King Street station, for that matter) as they have to cross a pretty busy street. This area’s poor excuse for a major transportation hub is already a bit of a kluge, and I can’t say this helps much… Can anyone help convince me otherwise?

    • Gordon Werner says

      ideally, the line would turn right from Main Street onto 2nd ave extension and then left onto Jackson Street where the stop would be right in front of the i-district station … getting from the streetcar to link would still require crossing Jackson but you have to do that on buses anyway

    • poncho says

      I agree, this transfer needs to be easier than what is proposed, across the street is not good enough in my opinion. There is nothing worse than just missing your transfer because of having to walk a needless block or across a busy street.

      Some transit agencies and transit companies were great at making easy super conveinent transfers, Boston Elevated was one (Ashmont, Fields Corner, Forest Hill (old), Charlestown Terminal (old), Harvard) and MARTA in Atlanta at some of their stations have buses enter the mezzanine level of the station (at one time this area was within the fare paid zone) – Arts Center and Lenox.

      I wouldnt mind the route staying on Jackson to King Street Station and having an off-street loop in the upper parking area of King Street Station. A center median stop (for both directions) could be located on Jackson in front of International District Tunnel Station (at least then its only halfway across the street for both directions). A simple non-revenue connection could be built linking the Waterfront Streetcar to this First Hill Line.

      • Gordon Werner says

        but that cuts off the Pioneer Sq portion of the route … if the tracks just cut back to Jackson on 2nd like I said, it would solve many of the problems (the trolleybus wire layout would be the only complication here … but not unsolvable)

      • poncho says

        In the map I posted/linked to above, they would both operate as separate lines and would both terminate at King Street Station. I understand this is how it is planned to be under the current proposal. The two lines would share the tracks between King Street Station and International District Station/5th Ave. At 5th Ave, they would go their separate directions, either up Jackson St to First Hill or up 5th to Main to the Alaskan Way. It is also possible from an operations perspective to have them become the other line when they terminate at King Street Station, i.e. run as First Hill line to King Street Station terminal then at King Street Station terminal become a Waterfront line.

        In the future the Waterfront Streetcar tracks in Pioneer Square could be relocated from Main St to Jackson St as Jackson would be a better street anyway and the new route on Jackson St in Pioneer Square would have double track (vs the existing single track with sidings on Main).

  4. Randay206 says

    Where is the barn for the First Hill Streetcar going to be?

    I know that in a perfect world it would be on Fairview Avenue (because the tracks would be connected to the SLUT down First Ave…)

  5. Lloyd says

    Sad that the “directions” to this meeting are a google map oriented to automobile drivers.
    For goodness sake, can we act like other “real cities” and list the public transport route numbers/names? Is that really too much to ask in 2010?l

    • gmer says

      I’m not sure if I would agree that it is oriented to automobiles. It is just a point on a map and if you click on the directions button, google will give you driving, transit, walking, and biking options. Or if you don’t need specific directions, you can overlay bus routes and stops as well as bike friendly streets.

  6. Lloyd says

    Ahem!
    Here, from the East Link meeting schedule also posted on STB today, are the City of Bellevue’s directions to the “Hospital” meeting:

    If you are walking, the pedestrian entrance (plaza) is located on 110th Avenue. When you enter the building, you will be on the second floor.
    If you are busing, get off at the Bellevue Transit Center on Northeast Sixth Street between 108th and 110th avenues Northeast. Walk east to 110th Avenue Northeast, cross and use the pedestrian entrance.
    If you are bicycling, bike racks can be found in the visitor parking garage accessible from 110th Avenue Northeast (covered), and also right beside the plaza pedestrian entrance (uncovered).
    If you are driving, the visitor parking entrance is located on 110th Avenue. After you park and enter the building, you will be on the first floor.
    The Oversize vehicle parking entrance is on Northeast Sixth Street. Oversize Parking Map
    Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and is free to those doing business with the city or attending meetings at City Hall.
    Additional information and assistance is available from staff at Service First, located on the first floor, when visiting City Hall during business hours.
    The Council Chamber and other meeting rooms are located on the first floor.
    Choose Your Way Bellevue provides guidance on all kinds of ways to get around Bellevue.

    I must say, if Bellevue, yes BELLEVUE, can share this much information about getting to meetings there, surely the City of Seattle ought to do as well or better about the new Streetcar meeting, doncha think?

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