It still hasn’t sunk in yet. Seattle finally has mass transit.
Just like the streetcars of a generation ago this system will forever shape Seattle’s urban form. It will connect the region like it has never been before. Unlike the streetcars of the past I feel confident in saying that this system will never get ripped out. Just like the New York subway or the London Underground, LINK will over the next few decades become an inseparable element of the city.
Lets not fool ourselves, there is lots of work to be done. University LINK is just getting underway and ST2 will be built out over the next 15 years. Development near stations has yet to occur, leaving the station areas feeling desolate and empty. It will be interesting to watch the neighborhood plan updates. In many ways while yesterday was the end to what so many people have been working towards for longer than I have been alive, it is the beginning of so much more.
I know that all of us at STB learned a lot yesterday. Hands down Beacon Hill was our favorite station. The artwork at the station was great and the station entrance was pleasant and pedestrian scaled. I love the seating and bamboo. Actually, the artwork all along the line was amazing. The only other system that I know with comparable public artwork is Stockholm’s Tunnelbana. The artwork transform the stations from a simply utilitarian places that you pass through, to a place that constantly surprises. This really shows why 1% for art is important.
What a weekend. We won’t have anything like this for years to come.