From the press release:

North Link light rail project : Community Meeting

June 16 , 2010
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Roosevelt High School Commons

1410 NE 66th St., Seattle

Light rail is coming to North Seattle

Sound Transit is hosting a meeting to kick off final design of the North Link light rail project. North Link is a 4.3-mile extension to the regional light rail system with stations at Brooklyn (University District), Roosevelt and Northgate.

At the meeting you will:

  • Find out how to get involved in the final design process
  • Review engineering drawings and recommendations
  • Talk about next steps

Please join us from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Your participation is important.

For more information
Contact Keith Hall via e-mail or at 206-398-5468

To request accommodations for persons with disabilities, call 1-800-201-4900 / TTY Relay: 711 or e-mail accessibility@soundtransit.org.

96 Replies to “North Link: Community Meeting”

  1. Question: why did the middle stations get infinitely unhelpful names instead of helpful names (45th st, 65th st)? Can you imagine if in New York they named one of the Madison Ave line stops “Madison Avenue”?

    1. It’s not that unusual. The L in Chicago has stops with names like Fullerton, Southport, Addison, Ashland. People just learn where each stop is or check out a map.

      1. My point though wasn’t that they have names rather than numbers, my point is that they’re named after the streets they’re parallel to rather than the streets they cross. This is the rule for every Metro everywhere that I’m aware of, besides landmark names like Northgate which of course make sense.

        The Madison Avenue line goes under Madison Avenue. If you named a stop ‘Madison Ave’, it wouldn’t tell you where on the line it was… a stop with that name could be anywhere between Grand Central and the Harlem River. Imagine they decided to do an in-fill station on Brooklyn… by this naming convention that station would also be called Brooklyn.

        In Chicago, the Fullerton stop happens where the red line crosses Fullerton… completely logically. You don’t need to check a map if you know that street layout.

      2. Er… by the rule for every… I meant the rule for every metro I’m aware of is to be named after the streets they cross (which is helpful information) rather than streets they run parallel to (which is completely unhelpful).

      3. Two of the three stations are named after the neighborhoods they’re serving (Roosevelt District centered on 65th and Roosevelt) and Northgate. I’m sure the Brooklyn stop would be called University District if there wasn’t already a University of Washington stop. I bet they’ll wind up calling it Brooklyn/NE 45th or University District/NE 45th.

        I’m used to transit stations being named after nodes/landmarks/neighborhoods, but then I’m originally from Boston where that’s the way the MBTA does it.

      4. The SLUT has two or three names for each station. One is the intersection, one the landmark, and one the sponsor’s name. The map and on-board announcements give at least two of the names. So the same is possible for Link maps. Have a big station name and the intersection in smaller letters, and announce it as, “Brooklyn Station, NE 45th Street”.

      5. Er… you jumped to the conclusion that Roosevelt was named after the parallel street, greatly offending my heart (I live just south of the neighborhood). And then you were so confident in that being the case you thought it would be obvious you were talking about parallel streets, not neighborhoods. EPIC FAIL.

    2. I think Roosevelt Station is named after the neighborhood rather than the street, but I don’t get why it’s Brooklyn Station instead of U-District Station. I guess they thought that just didn’t sound good?

      1. I assume they just aren’t big on abbreviations and acronyms. It’s International District/Chinatown, rather than ID/Chinatown. Thus it would be University District Station, not UD Station or U District Station, which could be confusing to some coming right before/after University of Washington Station (which is what they’ll no doubt call it, as opposed to UW Station or U-Dub Station). It is a bit silly, as there are tons of names they could’ve gone with for the southern station (South Campus, Husky Stadium, Pacific, etc.) that wouldn’t’ve created any conflict.

    3. Brooklyn is an old name of the U District surrounding that station, Roosevelt is the name of the neighborhood surrounding that station, and Northgate is the name of the mall/emerging neighborhood surrounding that station. There are tradeoffs for every approach; New York’s system tells you the cross street, but nothing about what’s around the station, not to mention that it can be confusing when there are multiple stations on that street. There are, for instance, five 23 St Stations in Manhattan. The system of naming stations mostly after neighborhoods is used in plenty of places, such as Boston, DC, and San Francisco, with no problems.

    4. there are and will be far, far fewer stations in the Link system than in the New York City subway.

      so i don’t imagine there’s a need for a coordinate based naming system. it will be easy enough to just look at a map, or rely on the neighborhood name.

    1. The Brooklyn stop should be named University District/NE 45th St.

      And the University of Washington stop should be named Husky Stadium/UW Hospital.

      And the unnecessary word Station should not be part of the name of any stop or station.

      1. Agreed on the unnecessary “Station”, though it helps on signage. But I believe your alternative names are too long.

        Personally I’m a very big fan of “Brooklyn” as the name of that station. I would agree on changing the name of the station at Husky Stadium.

      2. Shorter than “Tukwila International Boulevard Station”

        Could do UW Stadium/Hospital
        Could do University District

        Montlake is not ideal because the neighborhood called Montlake lies south of 520, even if the Montlake Blvd is north of there.

      3. From the King County Metro website telling you how to take the bus to Huskey games:

        * Look for buses signed to “Husky Stadium” or “UW Stadium” or “Montlake.”

        It’s the Montlake Cut, The Montlake Bridge and the homes between 520 and the cut are most definitely part of the Montlake neighborhood. Hopefully they’ll come to their senses and keep the Montlake Flyer Stop to facilitate connections to Link at Montlake. If they’re going to be consistent in naming the stations for the closest neighborhood that they serve then Montlake is the only name that makes sense. You wouldn’t want to call it Laurelhurst.

      4. Agreed – it is redundant to have every station name have the word “station” in it. I only imagine it is useful for bus riders transferring to light rail, and even then it isn’t necessary. It makes everything longer – signs, labels on maps, stop announcements, scrolling reader boards…

    2. “U-District” would be too easily confused with the other stations that use “University” in their names. Giving the station a distinct name is the right thing to do, and Brooklyn works. People will get used to it.

      1. Incorrect. The station names are named after neighborhoods, and almost nobody calls that part of town the Brooklyn neighborhood. They call it the University District. Also, I’ve never once seen you complain that the Overlake TC should be renamed because it’s too easily confused with the Overlake P&R.

        No, I am correct. It should be named the University District Station.

      2. Get a grip on yourself. There is nothing that says stations need to be named after neighborhoods instead of streets. And since the Brooklyn station is on Brooklyn Ave and just up from Brooklyn Square, it makes perfect sense to call it “Brooklyn”.

      3. Who knows, maybe people will start calling the area “Brooklyn” after the station has been open for a while.

    3. Brooklyn is a good historic name. It avoids the confusion of two “University” stations next to each other. The U-district is Seattle’s second-biggest business district, so “Brooklyn” connotes the other Brooklyn and its relationship to Manhattan.

      If you think Brooklyn is a stupid name, I’m tempted to guess you haven’t lived in Seattle or the U-district long enough to appreciate it.

      1. I like Brooklyn too for the same reason. University Station DT similarly hearkens back to when the UW campus was DT. The UW still owns the land and turns a tidy profit leasing it. I don’t like naming stations for a destination close to the station. Montlake for example will be a major transfer point for people not having anything to do with the UW. Husky Stadium will only be the destination a few times a year. The Airport is different in that it’s really the only reason for getting on/off there. Although I guess they could call it Jackson Station to really confuse people :=

      2. I’m confused – what do you mean “The Airport is different in that it’s really the only reason for getting on/off there?” It seems to me that the station at the airport serves the community also.

      3. Yeah and in accordance with that it’s SeaTac/Airport Station, not Sea-Tac Airport Station. It’s serving both the airport and the future location of SeaTac’s city center.

  2. To all:

    Station names are not final. When we were in this stage of Central Link, Tukwila Int’l Blvd Station was called “S 154th Station”

    1. True. Rainier Beach station was called Henderson station until the last year or so. I still call it Henderson station when I’m not thinking, and hope I don’t mislead somebody someday into looking for a nonexistent station.

    2. Thanks for point this out Tim. I wish I had waded in here several dozen comments ago.

      Bruce

  3. Why is there no Green Lake station?

    If you look at Seattle’s future land use plan: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@plan/@proj/documents/web_informational/dpdp019239.pdf

    there are a set of core areas that are designated “Urban Villiages.” I would hope that one of the goals of public transit should be to facilitate high-density walkable urban development focused in the designated urban villages. Green lake is designated as one of these, it’s along the path of the light rail (roughly) but there is no station there. I’m sure there would be increased cost to create a greenlake station (since you’d have to extended the tunnel further to pass under I-5 and then back again). However it seems like a complete shame to have the light rail be so close, but to leave the green lake urban village outside of the commonly-cited 1/4 mi walking radius that is usually drawn around light rail stations.

    1. Maybe in another several decades there’ll be a streetcar along Ravenna Blvd and 65th. Stops at 71st, Marshall AHS (I guess?), Roosevelt, 15th, 20th, and 23rd or 24th. :-)

      1. Other than a lack of money I see no reason to wait decades for a streetcar along 65th. The transit ridership along the route of the 48 between East Green Lake and Montlake is very high. In addition there will continue to be a need for local transit service between Roosevelt, Brooklyn, and UW stations once North Link opens.

        If a streetcar isn’t practical we should consider electrifying the 48, giving it 1/4 mile stop spacing, 10 minute or less headways, bus bulbs, signal priority, BAT lanes and off-board payment.

      2. The 48, known as the “Forty Late” to some, is Metro’s longest and highest ridership route. It’s likely to be split into two halves at some point down the line, perhaps when UW station opens. The north half would go from Loyal Heights to UW station, no longer crossing the drawbridge. This would be a lot of work to electrify as there’s nothing to work with north of 45th St.

        The south half would probably go from around Brooklyn station to Mount Baker. It’s already electrified all the way to 23rd/John St. and for the stretch on Rainier. This would require about 2.5 miles of new wire.

      3. “In addition there will continue to be a need for local transit service between Roosevelt, Brooklyn, and UW stations once North Link opens.”

        I continue to believe — and frequently reiterate ;-) — that if you need local transit directly above your subway line, you probably planned your subway line wrong.

    2. The original Link routing would have put a station at I-5 and Ravenna Boulevard. But the Roosevelt residents got really active and convinced ST to put the station in the middle of Roosevelt, and agreed to tall height limits there.

      I was negative on that at the time because the original station was close to both Roosevelt and Greenlake. But seeing how people in Beacon and Rainier are fighting upzoning at stations, it’s refreshing to see how united Roosevelt is in wanting Link.

      1. The planned Roosevelt Station location is still pretty dang close to Green Lake. I used to live in Green Lake near the old Albertson’s and walked to Roosevelt almost every day. It only takes maybe 10 minutes to walk to the lake from Roosevelt. I also think the new location will work better for bus transfers.

      2. It really was all the same neighborhood until I-5 came through. It’s really striking when you look at it on Google Maps and imagine I-5 not there. I think we should spend the money for the viaduct tunnel instead on burying I-5 from 85th to the Ship Canal Bridge.

      3. I run between the proposed station and Greenlake every Saturday and it takes me 5 minutes, so a 10 minute walk is about correct. It’s an easy walk, run or bike for people near Grenlake. Those people are quite used to a long walk anyway! Greenlake IS 2.8 miles around.

      4. So I don’t claim that this isn’t an easy walk/run/bike if you want to. But as I understand it, the fact of the matter is that light rail usage drops off precipitously outside the 1/4mi radius, as do the development benefits of the station. If Seattle is really serious about creating dense walkable urban villages then they should be very focused on providing them with great, fast, transit options.

      5. I would agree that there’s a certain effective radius of a station. However, a 1/4 mi walk by Green Lake is certainly more pleasant than a 1/4 mi walk along parts of Aurora, so people would be attracted to travel further.

      6. I would think a walk to Green Lake from the proposed station location would be quicker than a walk from Ravenna with more north-south distance to walk. Ravenna and Green Lake Way (around at least to Latona) is the main portal to the park, which at that point is north of 65th.

      7. In Vancouver, the 1/4 mile radius idea doesn’t seem to apply. Whenever I am up there, I generally (along with my friends who live there) walk sometimes over a mile to get to one of the downtown stations and no one questions it or complains.

        In Shanghai, the closest subway station was over 1 1/2 miles from my hotel and I walked it everyday (along with many of the people who lived in that area) with not one whimper.

        In other parts of the world, people are accustomed to walking some distances to get to stations and it’s going to have to happen here.

      8. Given the heinous traffic in the north end, once Link is in place, it’s not a stretch to imagine people walking 20 minutes to avoid sitting in traffic.

      9. Good frequent connecting bus service to the North link stations will help those who aren’t near link stops. If you live in Tangletown and can take a short bus ride to either the Brooklyn or Roosevelt stations you are much more likely to take transit than if you have to rely on the all too slow 16 or 26.

      10. There needs to be good E-W routes at every north end station. Maybe a streetcar for 65th. :) The farther north you get, the more people will be willing to ride a bus to Link (assuming their destination is downtown or the south end).

        And that applies for people going north into Snohomish County too. There are express buses from downtown, but if you live in most of north Seattle you have to take a local bus to the 358, then to Aurora Village, and then to a CT bus. Taking one bus to Link will be much faster.

      11. As I’ve said elsewhere, 3/4 mile (15 minutes walk) is a reasonable distance for most people to walk to transit, if:

        1. The transit is really good
        2. There aren’t other physical or psychological barriers (vacant lots; Seattle-style development with no street frontage; poor sidewalk lighting; no sidewalks at all)

        1 mile (20 minutes walk) is pushing it for most.

        Which is why Link’s 1-2 or more stop spacing is pretty disastrous.

      12. By “people in Beacon and Rainier” you really mean 5 or 6 people, because those appeals against the neighborhood updates were filed by 1-3 people in each of the three neighborhoods. You can’t take that as any indication of the overall feeling in the area. (I’m certain that there are people who agree with the appeals, but it’s by no means certain that they represent the majority.)

    3. Roosevelt is a dense urban village that’s right around the Roosevelt Station, while Link doesn’t come very close to the Green Lake urban village.

    4. The real question is, why is there no Maple Leaf station? There’s a REALLY big gap between Roosevelt and Northgate, and an 85th St station would fit right in.

      1. It’s only a couple miles of gap, though-and I honestly don’t see the need for there to be an 85th St. stop on the line. 65th is a major transfer point, 45th is also, but 85th? Not quite, when you look at the routing.

      2. Yeah I don’t think there’s much potential for development around an 85th St Station because it’s right on the freeway, and anyways there’s not enough room in the freeway ROW for a station so they would have to have it be an expensive underground station right next to the freeway. I do think they should consider a Haller Lake Station at 125th or 130th between Northgate and Jackson Park, though. That’s just a few blocks from Ingraham High School on one side and a little business district on the other, and the freeway ROW is very wide at that point so maybe they could fit in a station.

      3. The neighborhood in Maple Leaf is fairly low density, especially around 85th and the freeway. Also the freeway cuts off half of the station walkshed.

        92nd might be a better infill station location since there is already an overpass there, the surrounding density is higher, and the station could serve NSCC. Though there is the problem that the station would be very close to the Northgate station at that point and the freeway still limits the station walkshed.

      4. There’s nothing walkable at 85th, and a large part of it is the Banner Way no man’s land.

      5. One thing I think will happen in the northend if these are the final stations in the North Link line, there may come a day where infill stations will be a possibility. I think on the Central Link line, a Graham St station, Boeing Access Rd and 133rd/Hwy 99 station in Tukwila could be imagined with ST3 or ST4. I believe other systems have added stations once an area has become dense and shown a need for a station.

      6. You’re all right that there’s no obvious place for an infill station.

        But that doesn’t mean 2.2 miles isn’t an outrageous distance for what is supposed to be a flexible urban transit line — by which I mean useful for getting around the city, and not just to and from downtown.

        If you’re well within the urban area and can’t find a good station location over a 2.2-mile stretch, then your routing is bad. Period. It means you should have spent the extra few dollars to send the line somewhere useful.

  4. I would prefer U district station as well. However, the neighborhood used to be called Brooklyn, from historylink.org:

    On May 3, 1891, Seattle more than doubles in size when a large area north of downtown is annexed. The communities annexed are Magnolia, Wallingford, Green Lake, Brooklyn (later renamed University District), and Ravenna.

  5. Since there is already a station called “University Street” there should be no others with the word University in them UNLESS we rename the station in the tunnel station downtown.

    “Brooklyn” and “Med School” will suffice, I should think.

    1. It’s University Street station that should be changed. “University” should rightly be the university stop. The downtown station could be called Financial District station, or perhaps Midtown station. Or better yet, Symphony station with a treble-clef symbol. That would be cool even if the symphony weren’t next door. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a downtown station called “Symphony station”?

      1. I’d agree. On a couple of occasions I’ve had friends from out of town ask:
        -“Is University Street Station was near UW?”
        I’d say no, so invariably the next question was:
        “So Seattle University then?”
        Again no, so finally (and a point I’ve agreed on ever since I’ve moved here):
        “Well that stupid.”

        I understand the historical context of University Street and Brooklyn districts. However, I think is really going to be odd for the occasional visitors of the 2020s to wonder why ‘University’ is not indicative of the U-district, of for that matter any university at all.

      2. I agree in principle, but U-Street station predates Link as part of the transit tunnel. Besides, for Link purposes Westlake is “Westlake/Seattle” so I doubt they want to give the station too much of a downtowny name like “Financial District”, lest it steal Westlake’s thunder as THE Seattle station, yet I don’t think “Symphony” would be an appropriate enough landmark or descriptive enough name for the area.

      3. Station names change all the time as logic and the evolving city dictate. A city loses an industrial landmark. A government building relocates. A neighborhood previously served by one station gets a second.

        When the downtown tunnel was built, those were the only five true mass-transit-esque stations in the city. All five were downtown, so anyone who knows the downtown street names knew where “University Station” was.

        Now we have a line on which stations are variously named for landmarks, neighborhoods, and streets. This line will eventually reach an actual university. Confusion will ensue.

        Does Seattle have such an stultifying fear of change that it couldn’t adapt to a thoughtfully disambiguating name change?

  6. I’m with those who say the only really misnamed station is University Street downtown.

    It’s the only tunnel station named after a cross street. Almost no other stations on the entire planned system are or will likely be named after streets (Tukwila International Boulevard, and S. 200th on South Link, and a few of the East Link stations.)

    It should be named after a recognizable neighborhood or destination instead. “Symphony” is good (or “Benaroya Hall” if the family wants to pay for the naming rights), but “SAM Station” wouldn’t be bad either. Either works for both locals and tourists, and will avoid the confusion with the UW stations.

    1. It tends to be troublesome to change station names — the opportunity to change it should be taken if/when signage is being redone.

      1. That’s the only existing station name that’s poorly chosen.

        There’s probably a better opportunity to avoid making the same mistake with stations that haven’t been built yet. Any ideas for those? Here are mine:

        S. 200th—> Angle Lake

        For East Link:

        SE 8th—> Surrey Downs, after the nearby park and to placate the neighborhood
        124th and 130th—>Bel-Red West and Bel-Red East? Or better yet, work with developers and choose names for what will essentially be two new neighborhoods.

        People visit neighborhoods and destinations, not streets. In many cases, streets are notable markers only because of the needs of car drivers. Transit station names should be determined by the needs and expectations of riders, not drivers.

      2. I agree about naming stations after neighborhoods instead of just cross streets. The Bel-Red developer wants to name the area around 124th St Station “Spring District,” but I don’t think the 130th St Station area planning is nearly as far along.

      3. “Surrey Downs station”, not to placate the neighborhood, but in ironic honor of the neighborhood.

      4. Isn’t the Surrey Downs neighborhood closer to South Bellevue station?

        According to ST’s project web site, the Bel-Red west station will be at 120th, not 124th – but that’s still only a little over half a mile to 130th, compared to 1.7 miles as-the-crow-flies to Overlake Village station from 130th. If the 130th stop were at 140th it could be called Crossroads.

        Google Maps claims there’s a “Wilburton” neighborhood south of 8th and east of 124th.

      5. East Link won’t be anywhere close to Crossroads.

        130th is a station because of freeway access. It’s a P&R and should just go away.

        Surrey Downs is “close” to South Bellevue P&R. If they build a South Main Station that would be closest except there’s no parking or transit connections to get there. In fact South Main is pretty useless.

        140th would be another totally useless station. There is no freeway access since 520 is a good 50′ above 140th. North of 520 140th is part of the Bridle Trails Neighborhood (R-1). South of 520 140th is car dealerships, strip malls and a large park. It’s supposed to be part of the great stream day lighting promised along with the Bel-Red development. 12 story condos and a P&R we’ll most likely get. Stream day lighting; well, no funding source has been established to date.

  7. I’m a day late on this, so you probably won’t see it, but do you see the irony in what you’re saying? Above you call Brooklyn a good “historical” name, but here you complain that University Street Station is confusing. Perhaps you haven’t lived in Seattle long enough to appreciate the fact that the University used to be downtown (the UW still owns about four square blocks around 4th & University). If the fact that no one has called the U District “Brooklyn” in perhaps 80 years is no reason not to name that station Brooklyn, it seems silly to complain about University Street despite the UW’s having moved away a mere 105 years ago.

  8. Regarding neighborhood-based vs street-based station names.

    Both schemes are legitimate and have been used in other cities. But Sound Transit has clearly chosen the neighborhood route, and has renamed some stations compared to planning documents (Henderson station -> Rainier Beach station). It has continued this in the ST2 extensions, and I see no reason to oppose it.

    Othello station, NE 145th station, and S 200th station are anomalies because there’s no widely-recognized neighborhood in the area. (The same for University Street station, which was named before Link.) ST probably would be amenable to suggestions from the local communities, particularly the Angle Lake station idea. Because it looks bad to have a few numbered streets standing out like sore thumbs. (Vancouver has “29th Ave” and “23rd Street”; NYC has “West 4th”. These are useless if you can’t get a feel for where the numbered streets around them are.)

    Othello could be called Hillman City, which is the area between Columbia City and Rainier Beach, but it’s not a well-known name.

    I think Othello will become a (quasi-)neighborhood name because of the station. People, especially visitors, tend to think of neighborhoods based on subway station names, even if the names don’t correspond to real neighborhoods. I think Othello will become the same way, especially after the TOD is built out and it becomes a full-sized neighborhood. (Including the neglected part at Rainier & Othello.)

    1. “I think Othello will become a (quasi-)neighborhood name because of the station.”

      Uhh… I’ve been calling that area Othello for years.

      1. I consider the area between Columbia City and Rainier Beach the “Rainier Valley” neighborhood, even though the entire stretch up at least to Mount Baker station and possibly to I-90 is kinda-sorta the Rainier Valley.

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