I’m sitting here after a lot of rides, letting my feet rest and thinking about all we’ve seen.
A few comments on the trips taken today: Tukwila had serious crowds. Sure, not three or four hour waits, but there was a steady wait of 20-30 minutes (some 3-400 people) through most of the day. I really like the station – the bus bays under the platform will allow for easy transfers, and I think several adjacent properties look like they could become transit oriented development.
Othello had a great little festival – there were breakdancers and live music, some local artists selling their creations, the Undriver’s License folks and Transportation Choices Coalition were there. The Station at Othello Park also had a presence – essentially the first TOD for Central Link, a six story project with about 20,000 square feet of retail and some 350 apartments will break ground shortly on the southeast corner of the intersection. The developer also wants to build something similar in the space to the northeast of the station.
Columbia City has some fantastic public space on the corners just to the east of the platform – it does feel like Sound Transit helped the city out a lot, creating plaza space that we’re going to be very thankful for in the next few decades.
Mount Baker is cool space, but definitely needs a coffee stand and a newsstand. I hope the neighborhood uses the station for gatherings, but there’s a dearth of seating. There’s also a huge TOD opportunity around this station.
I was worried that Beacon Hill would take up too much space, wasting land that could be used for density later, but I think they’ve done a good job here too. It looks like the space just to the south of the main station could be a cafe or restaurant with seating spilling over onto the station plaza. All we need is to get rid of the parking lot across the street…
I’ve taken a lot of photos, and I’ll be doing a photo post or two later on tonight when I get them off the camera.
One last note: the spoilsports trying to downplay ridership are not to be believed. Every single train I’ve been on in the last eight hours has been standing room only. If anything, I suspect Sound Transit is undercounting, given how overwhelmed the people with the counters have looked.