Station Overview

Last night Sound Transit held an open house for the Roosevelt Station, which is expected to add 8,000 boardings by 2030. STB reported on the design of the station yesterday, knocking it for not having any potential for TOD in the station footprint. While that certainly is a disappointment, we do have to thank Roosevelt residents for their hard work in 2005 to get the station sited at Roosevelt’s commercial core and not at Metro’s NE 65th Park & Ride underneath I-5.

This underground station will be located just west of 12th Ave NE with entrances at NE 65th and NE 67th Streets. Both entrances will have stairs and escalators leading to a mezzanine and an elevator leading directly to the platform. Elevators will directly connect the surface to the platform, 70 to 90 feet below ground. Construction will require the acquisition of three chunks of land: the entire block currently housing QFC, the empty lot at 67th and 12th, and a chunk next to 12th between 65th and 66th. The latter chunk is currently home to four townhouses and the Standard Radio building, which Sound Transit recently announced did not qualify as a historic landmark. The four townhouses are up for sale and could be transported to a nearby location. If not sold, fixtures and materials of the townhouses will be salvaged or recycled. Sound Transit will launch the TBMs tunneling to Husky Stadium from this station.

12th Ave looking West

The 30% design presented has two buildings located along 12th Ave NE. Dubbed “greenhouses” by critics, the buildings will house two entrances to the station that will be bathed in natural light from large windows and skylights. Brainstorming by the architect led to keeping both entrances similar in function and appearance. More than half of the actual footprint of the buildings will be for support facilities—vent shafts, mechanical rooms and the like. These buildings will be pulled away from the sidewalk a bit, allowing for an open plaza area with significant amounts of landscaping. The station will also feature spaces for 50 bikes in the form of racks, lockers, and a bike sanctuary–a locked room for bicycles—and could be expanded to accommodate up to 100. The stairwell and escalators from the surface will lead to a mezzanine, which will connect to two separate sets of stairs for riders to reach the platform level. The mezzanine will have natural light brought in from skylights.

It will be necessary to have two vent shafts with each entrance. The current design—which is not final—has a large stack that will block the windows of some units of the 6 story Dwell Roosevelt Condominiums located next door. This design caused great outcry from residents, citing that their view would be lost due to this shaft. The same residents expressed opposition to any secondary functions or building on top of the station entrance, stating that only a 1-story entrance is acceptable.

Sound Transit suggested that a commercial food cart could be installed at the station, but dismissed the idea of building on top of the station entrances, citing two facts. First, current zoning laws cap building heights at 65 feet here. Building on top of the station entrance, it’s unlikely you could get more than a couple of stories, in a small footprint, thus making this uneconomical. Second, Sound Transit pointed out that much more land will be available from the parcel north of NE 67th and about 75% of the QFC lot. The QFC lot alone could produce as many as 260 units.

Sound Transit expects to have a 60% design in early 2012, and a 90% in late 2012. As always, your feedback can be sent to

93 Replies to “Roosevelt 30% Design Open House”

  1. “… we do have to thank Roosevelt residents for their hard work in 2005 to get the station sited at Roosevelt’s commercial core and not at Metro’s NE 65th Park & Ride underneath I-5.”

    Absolutely! It seems obvious (there’s that word again) that the TOD possibilities are better around the proposed station location. It’ll be interesting to see what develops on the property that the fruit stand sits on at 65th & 15th Ave NE. That large property is a comfortable walk to 12th.

  2. This underground station will be located just east of 12th Ave NE with entrances at NE 65th and NE 67th Streets.

    A quick correction, the station will be located just west of 12th Ave NE.

  3. Brainstorming by the architect led to keeping both entrances similar in function and appearance.

    True genius.

  4. When are people going to learn that they live in a city, and nobody’s “views” are sacrosanct?

    1. I wish there was a “like” button. Apparently we are sacrificing urban living, environmental sustainability, ridership, and traffic reduction so that some people can have a view.

    2. I almost wish I was at the meeting so I could call out the neighborhood for these attitudes. What did they think they were getting when they pulled the station to the commercial core, their own private choo-choo train? Be careful what you wish for. This sort of short-sighted parochialism and lack of anyone willing to sacrifice short-term political points for the long-term good of all is making me lose my faith in democracy. See you in post-climate change hell.

    3. Somewhat in their defense, it sounded like they aren’t necessarily worried about “losing a view” so much as having their view be directly into the side of a new building.

      In my opinion, whoever designed their building really shouldn’t have assumed that the neighboring property would remain single story forever. I think it shows a real lack of foresight on the part of the developer. The building does have small setbacks from the property line on the upper floors, though, and if any structure were built atop the station it could certainly do the same. They might lose the current view (along with some property value), but almost certainly wouldn’t have to be staring into a wall a foot away.

      While I have some sympathy for the current property owners, having a large development on top of the station would not need to be “bricking up the windows” as the lady who interrupted Bruce put it.

      For reference, here’s the Street View of the property in question.

      1. I’ve been in the building. The hallways are dark and dimly lit. The elevator is slow as hell. Just sayin’

      2. The builder did contemplate a similar structure right next door. The only surfaces built to the property line have no windows. All windows are on walls set back a few feet.

        I’m sure most of the buyers know enough about development issues to know they don’t have any vested right in their view across neighboring property, not without buying a view easement from the owner (now Sound Transit, and they are unlikely to sell such an easement). No, what they’re doing is tub-thumping — intimidation to convince ST it’s not worth the fight, even tho ST surely wins in the end. In the early days, ST would probably have caved, but it’s doubtful they will (or can) this time.

  5. Time to move forward of course, but a station at the park-n-ride would have been much better for the also-important Green Lake urban village.

    1. Putting the station at the Park & Ride would have had deleterious effects on its walkshed and passenger comfort.

      1. I had the same Monday-morning quarterbacking thought as Matt.

        I’m very much the “put it in the center of things guy,” but the city’s refusal to up-zone in any significant way combined with Sound Transit’s habit of taking over 2 blocks just for itself make me wonder if we’re getting “the center” of anything worthwhile.

        If the station had been sited under the freeway, and if the near-empty blocks between the freeway and Roosevelt Way had been aggressively up-zoned in a way we’re not getting in the current “center,” could we not have ended up with a larger and better center than the one we’re getting?

        The freeway is only 800 feet from Roosevelt Way and 1200 feet from 12th. The walk just feels far because it’s empty and dark. If development were to fill in the gap with consistent and active street frontage, the distance would be imperceptible.

        (Note that the “development will fill in the gap” argument is being used to justify removing nearly all direct downtown bus service from central Ballard in favor of RapidRide a full 2600 feet away. Also note that I wouldn’t disagree with this in principle, if RapidRide weren’t slated to be a crock of sh*t. It also wouldn’t hurt if the development along that 2500-foot stretch were of better quality.)

        Again, I know it’s Monday-morning quarterbacking, but I’m not sure if the walkshed for an under-freeway station would actually have been worse — not having to walk beneath the freeway to access the Green Lake area might actually have been better — and the “passenger comfort” would have been the same if it were still built underground, with stairs/lifts emerging on either side of the freeway gash.

    2. Metro is aware that Green Lake exists. There will be some East-West bus service revisions. Sadly, we may not see them until 2019 or later.

      1. The Green Lake commercial district is a half mile walk from Roosevelt Station, and it’s also directly accessible via Metro 48, all the way up to the north end of the lake. The Ravenna commercial district, community center, etc. is a half mile walk to the east, and Metro 71 covers NE 65th St. all the way out to 50th Ave. NE today.

        Roosevelt Station would also make a good southern terminus for the future equivalent of ST 522 up Lake City Way, which would no longer have to contend with I-5.

        There are roughly 1500-2000 students, faculty and staff heading to Roosevelt High School every day, across the street from the station — an existing dense land use that’s here to stay. And as much of a missed opportunity as it would be to have no TOD directly above Roosevelt Station (which is not yet finalized), it would be a much greater missed TOD opportunity to have sited the station adjacent to I-5.

        The missed opportunities were greater at UW Station and Mount Baker, though the latest UW station access plan is an improvement, and Mount Baker is fixable as the area is redeveloped.

  6. Did they say about how much this station is going to cost?
    Seems like the number $400 Mil was tossed out when talking about Brooklyn Stn last month, and 1.3 Bil for the whole 4-1/2 mile segment (UDS-NTC), including 3 stations. That all seems quite low considering U-Link is only 3 miles and two stations for 2 Bil.

    1. They didn’t give any cost estimates. U-Link is 100% bored tunnel, whereas the last segment of North Link is retained cut/fill and elevated (don’t remember how many miles of that), both of which are cheaper than tunneling.

      1. Both U-Link and N-Link have about 3 miles of bored tunnels and two underground stations.
        In addition, N-link has an extra mile or so of cut/cover/elevated and another elevated station at Northgate.
        U-Link is 1.9 Bil.
        N-Link is ??? Bil.

      2. Why don’t you ask someone at Sound Transit? Then you would know and you could share it with everyone else.

      3. Got it.
        2.7 Bil + 1.9 for ULink for a total of 4.6 for about 7 miles.
        (ST Financial Plan)

  7. One correction. I knocked the design for because it had “no activation or TOD potential along or above [the station]”. I should have emphasized the activation more because that is what I’m most worried about. There needs to be some secondary uses right at the station entrance that helps to create a more place oriented atmosphere.

  8. A commercial food cart is their idea of livening up the dead space station? Such non-architectural gimmicks point to the failure to do something sensible under the constraints of that place. Even if they can’t get it up zoningwise there is still lots of space wasted at the station that could be used for commercial activity.

    And what does the QFC lot have to do with that? Is it an ‘either-or’? If 263 units can be built on QFC is that a reason to piss away the opportunity at the entrances? Why not develop the QFC lot together with the northern entrance as a one-block development or is that a technical challenge?

    The current station plans make the 12th ave a desolate jogging track including the corner at 66th. How many bycicle spaces will there be? To make the space count why not have hundreds?

    1. spaces for 50 bikes in the form of racks, lockers, and a bike sanctuary–a locked room for bicycles—and could be expanded to accommodate up to 100.

      Potential for up to 100 bikes at a station claiming 8,500 boardings a day. I guess only ~1% of the ridership will want to bike to Link? Or, that 8,500 number is wishful thinking and there’s plenty of bike space with the room for expansion should boardings top 3,000.

      1. That’s quite a leap Bernie.

        Not everyone who rides to the station would want to leave their bike at the station.

      2. Good point. What are the numbers like today for bikes being taken too Link and bikes on the train? Of course I would expect that a lot more people destined for the UW would take bikes with them vs people going to DT. And of course nobody rides their bike if they are catching a flight at the airport. Still, 100 bikes for 8,500 passengers seems pretty light. Especially on a nice summer day when Link ridership has shown to be the highest.

      3. “Not everyone who rides to the station would want to leave their bike at the station.”

        Yes, yes, and yes.

        So why waste an entire block and design the entire f*cking station around that ~1% !?

      4. I just tossed out the expanded bike parking idea as an example. Though I think biking will and should increase [to the point that more than a hundred spaces are needed] it doesn’t have to be the best use of space there. The point is to use the space effectively for something other than standing around.

      5. So why waste an entire block and design the entire f*cking station around that ~1% !?

        Have you even LOOKED at the design? One set of escalators take up more space than all the bike parking combined.

      6. Yes. The number 6 (“bicycle storage”) appears three times.

        And, more to the point, bicycle facilities are a key “amenity” being used to justify the large station boxes. They’re one of the roots of the “let’s build two whole buildings for it” mentality.

        Please, Tim, demonstrate to me where the pedestrian majority and the aim of a pedestrian-scales city guided this design.

      7. Build it and they’ll come. Yes, I know it’s an extreme example, but leaving a bit extra space will account for the fact that Greenlake is close by, there are already wide bike lanes in the area and room for more. This station has enormous potential for inter-modal connections of all kinds (Foot, bike, and bus).

      8. I think the argument isn’t against leaving space for bikes so much as there is a boat load of space where bike racks could be located already. In the gianormous covered stoops at each entrance or by reducing the size of the lobbies from something akin to the one at Benaroya Hall. Just stay far away from the bioswale, oooh ;-). Adding yet more space is symptomatic of how this colossus has grown out of proportion for a neighborhood station. In the north building alone I count five stories of “ancillary rooms”. There isn’t some of this that can be purposed as a “bike sanctuary”? Heck, maybe a “bike sanctuary” is something that should be left to private enterprise creating TOD near the station.

      9. And, actually what I was thinking about was BIKE PORT but the pricing and structure seem to be almost identical. Although BIKE PORT wins with me for not having “hidden” fees (why I bank with BECU).

      10. Basically, Tim, I’m with Bernie here.

        It’s not so much that I have an objection to particular amenities, nor that I delusionally believe you could build the hole-in-the-sidewalk stations of old today. It’s that I get the gnawing sense that Sound Transit pictures a giant station box and a formidable surface presence from the outset, and then looks for ways to fill it.

        Like Bernie says, there are well over a dozen subterranean “support” rooms! You’re nuts to think every inch of that is necessary! Is this a transit station or a secret military lab?

        Here’s the salient fact: we’re getting two block-long buildings that are no more than a funnel for a maximum few hundred people per hour. Really, really think about how ludicrous that is!

      11. Agreed. One idea: radically shrink the northern station by getting rid of the long escalator. Instead put in a stairwell facing 66th street / 12th ave. Relocate aboveground ancillaries further south and use the rest for something else. Maybe this is all wishful thinking. Or shift the station box a bit south or north so that the entrances don’t hog two blocks (I don’t know whether that’s practical).

        It’s possible to do those ‘hole in the ground’ stations if you’re willing to let the passengers do everything underground. There would have to be an escalator/stairs at the sidewalk that would lead to the underground facilities (with some short tunnels for walking). Which would mean no airy ticket hall with natural light, only a few TVMs aboveground, and TVMs on the mezzanine.

        Maybe it’s the ventilation shafts and safety requirements that make it impossible to have such designs.

        And if they absolutely have to put in some ‘fig leaf’ functionality, they should do it right. For example this or this.

      12. Looking at the site I see no reason the portion above ground supporting the station couldn’t be moved back from 12th far enough to allow retail along 12th and more importantly at the corners. Perhaps even more space could be gained if the vents were through street grates like the DSTT rather than stacks in the station head-house?

        My biggest concern isn’t loosing the above ground station footprint to TOD but all of the blank walls this design puts on what are supposedly pedestrian oriented streets. These streets, especially 12th, need some street-level activity to stay pedestrian friendly. The high level of pedestrian traffic the station will create should make any spaces fairly attractive to retailers. Even if we’re just talking Quizno’s, Tully’s and similar businesses it beats dead walls.

      13. I believe they said capacity for 50 total, and that would include the sanctuary, so I would assume that the 100 figure would as well.

    2. And why is Sound Transit using the CURRENT zoning (or the craptastic upzone proposal) as a defense to not building on top of the station entrance?!?

      1. Because they have to play by the rules? Sound Transit doesn’t control zoning. The City of Seattle does. And it is not set in stone that they will change it.

    3. A commercial food cart is their idea of livening up the dead space station?

      I think this or a similar video has been link to on this blog before but it just goes to show how ST could get by with a lot less space:

      How close to a train track can you set up a vegetable market?

      With ST on a shoestring budget you’d think they’d be trying to make to most of the smallest space possible :=

  9. Speaking of decisions that affect the walkshed: Is there a good reason the tracks need to be two stories below ground rather than one? (i.e. why do we need a mezzanine?)

    1. TVMs have to go somewhere. ST seems to prefer having a mezzanine for passenger circulation reasons.

      1. Also, if you put the station just one story below ground, the bores end up going through a lot of people’s basements. If you bore under their basements but keep the station shallow, you’d have to have a sharp slope on either side of the station box. Putting the box lower helps keep the tracks flatter.

      2. Okay, that makes sense — I guess all the shallow subways I’m thinking of were built as cut-and-cover under road right-of-way.

      3. I will give Sound Transit credit for not requiring disabled people to take two separate elevators to reach the platform.

        But they don’t even want their TVMs on the mezzanine (TVMs are also their excuse for oversized surface lobbies).

        There’s no reason for huge mezzanines (20 seconds to cross) when small escalator landings (2 seconds to cross) could serve the same purpose.

        And Tim, for what it’s worth, I noticed that on the bored segments of the Canada Line (Granville-Broadway), the trains make just that sort of sharp ascent as they reach the shallower stations. Doesn’t seem to cause a problem.

      4. The tunnel does go up as it reaches the station, but it has to pass under the Roosevelt Square parking garage and the Roosevelt station is slightly uphill from there. All-in-all it’s not really that deep of a station, the top of the tunnel is only about 30 feet below 65th.

      5. huge mezzanines (20 seconds to cross)

        If you want to walk across the entire mezzanine, you’re more than welcome to it.

        But if you actually LOOKED at the design, you’d notice they’re just switchbacks.

      6. That diagrams were mislabeled in the version linked to yesterday, but yes, your link does appear to be an improvement over what I could make out from the prior version.

        Simple switchback if entering from the north. 60 or 70 feet walking if entering from the south.

        I remain unconvinced that the double entrances were necessary at all, nor the additional ~120 feet of lobby that each entrance requires crossing.

      7. Once again you are absolutely out of your mind. The north entrance, as you correctly noted, is a switchback. The south entrance is a distance of approximately 5 TVMs, which, if memory serves, are about 4 feet wide. So about 20 feet. Not even close to “60 or 70” feet.

      8. Eyeballing the measurements couldn’t be easier. These blocks are 200 feet north-south.

        From 65th street to the south escalators is clearly 120 feet.
        From 67th street to the north escalators is precisely 100.

        The 3rd slide has a 40-foot scale in the lower right corner that backs me up.

        Both outdoor “landscaped plazas” and indoor “lobbies” are dead space needing to be traversed!!

      9. …Oh, we’re talking about the mezzanine. You tripped me up by describing TVMs, which they apparently don’t even want on the mezzanines now.

        Again, check the scale on the appropriate (5th) slide. It’s a minimum of 50-55 feet from the top of either platform escalator to the bottom of the escalator to the primary (65th Street) exit.

      10. Tim, you’re losing it a bit. Your image shows about 25 feet between the staircases. Of course, given the depth of the station and the fact that taking the stairs requires a third landing level, you can bet the escalators will be the primary route of egress.

        And in your own image, the escalators land another 25 feet beyond those TVMs.

        This mezzanine is hardly the most egregious in the Link system, and Roosevelt’s problem is clearly the surface excess rather than this. I just pointed to it to highlight how “spacious” is always their default mode of design.

      11. 25 is still a hell of a lot less than 50-70. 25 feet can be walked in about 5 seconds. Not your original ridiculous claim of 20 seconds.

      12. Oy.

        Again, it’s 25 feet (5 or 6 TVMs) between the stairs. Clearly, according to the scale on slide #5 and according to your side-view, it’s more like 55 or 60 feet between the escalators.

        So I guess it’s a 10-12 second walk.

        Still seems like a waste just for a switchback on an otherwise purposeless mezzanine.

      13. Ok, Tim, step away from the “Ctrl” and “V” keys!

        Where are you getting all those TVMs from, anyway? Shouldn’t you be deploying them around the metropolitan area to encourage ORCA adoption?

        For the record, I’ve already said that the mezzanine situation — making people walk the length of an articulated bus to switchback between escalator segments — is pretty minor when compared to the over-scaled design on this station’s surface. Not the biggest deal, in the grand scheme of things.

        But taking the “shorter route” between stair segments is hardly a reasonable suggestion, given that the station’s depth will discourage most from using the stairs, and given that the stairs require reaching a third landing anyway.

        (And for the record, your TVM-pasting is still a few feet off. The floor of the mezzanine is not at the thin black horizontal (where you’ve drawn your vertical red marker), but at the thick black horizontal, another “TVM width” to the right. And any escalator will flatten out at its ends, pushing its terminus another 4-6 feet beyond the point where it reaches its final altitude.)

      14. I knew you’d ask. That’s why I circled it in yellow in the first one.

        your TVM-pasting is still a few feet off.

        No it’s not. Look again. And I levitated the TVMs a few feet off the ground because otherwise they’d butt right up against the edges of the stairwells making it hard to tell where they begin and end. That’s why I drew those extra lines–it shows where the escalator ends. You’ve proven through this comment thread that you suck at reading engineering diagrams.

        Besides, this is only a 30% design. Nothing is final. But that won’t stop you from armchair quarterbacking.

  10. If you’re familiar with STB uber-commentor Bruce (who is different than ST spokesperson Bruce Gray), he would have commented here already, be he’s going to be off the grid for a few days so he sent me his remarks and I’ll post them verbatim on his behalf:

    As Bruce Gray promised, Thursday’s presentation was invaluable in providing context to this discussion, although not quite for the reasons he suggested; technical considerations don’t really enter into this. While I still think that in an ideal world the station would be integrated into the basement of a mid- to high-rise landmark tower surrounded by a 65’+ upzone within walking distance, I think within the realm of what’s possible in this neighborhood, something like this design is as good as it’s going to get; moreover it’s vastly better than what could have been. Let me explain.

    First, understand that before this neighborhood stepped in, the plan called for a freeway station with a P&R at I-5 & 65th St. Clearly, that would have been the worst possible outcome from a land use perspective; but of course, such a station and alignment would have been much cheaper and quicker to construct. So while this is unlikely to sway those of you who believe that the ST board has a malicious anti-urban bias, it’s a fact in this case that ST’s board has chosen to prioritize TOD and serving city neighborhoods over saving money and hauling ass for the Snohomish county line. Moreover there is no other denser urban village of that has been passed over in favor of Roosevelt. It was either this or the freeway.

    Second, there are a lot of NIMBYs here. My purely technical question about whether it was structurally possible to build three stories on this station box was rudely interrupted by a neighboring condo owner enraged at the possibility of destroying her views. The Roosevelt Urban Village is actually a “residential urban village,” which, if you read the policies for, is actually a pretty weak designation; they mention a residential density of eight units per acre. For better or worse, this neighborhood has never bought in the idea of having large scale development, and trying to ram it down their throats would be unwise. It’s worth noting that the Beacon Hill urban village with its crappy upzone also belongs in this category, where as the North Rainier/Mount Baker area, currently going through a much better upzone, is a hub urban village.

    Third, of the spectrum of possible stations you could build here, you can boil them down to about four representative cases, and only one of them meets all the necessary constrains. Those are: (1) a fully underground city-style station, just entrances and vent shafts at the surface; (2) a one-story station-only design; (3) a three story mixed use, like the one story but with a couple of floors on top; and (4) a 10+ story tower-style development integrated into a station. We can rule out (4) as being completely incompatible with neighborhood sentiment as discussed above. Cost constraints eliminate (1) as it would require a deeper and stronger station box (if the land were to be subsequently built on). What I was surprised to learn was that it isn’t economically feasible to build (3). You have to have several floors of market-rate units for that kind of mixed-use to pencil out. So you’re left with case (2), which is, of course, what they’re building.

    Fourth, although the renderings in the slideshow portray something that might uncharitably be described as Brutalism applied to glass, I don’t think they’re doing the plan justice. In addition to bearing a striking resemblance to the late Buckminster Fuller, the architect has interesting ideas about lighting the station primarily with natural light, and surrounding the station with largish trees to moderate the effect of the all-glass enclosure on the neighborhood. I’m not much of an aesthete (everyone else hates all of ST’s elevated stations; I don’t mind them), and I’m not going to go in to bat strongly for or against his ideas, but they’re worth listening to and looking at the slideshow. Presumably this post will link to the presentation, and apparently Ravenna Blog is going to post the audio, so listen to it if you care about that stuff.

    Finally, a general point about ST and land use advocacy. ST has plenty of problems on its hands right now. In addition to the non-trivial problem of building a many-billion-dollar regional transit system with 25% less money than expected, they’re having, or have had, to fight off whining and potential lawsuits from idiots in Federal Way, Bellevue and the Ranier Valley at vast expense. If ST gave up its official agnosticism to land-use policies in the areas around stations, they would inevitably embroil themselves in a host of regional and local pissing contests, to no immediate benefit and crippling cost. Allowing themselves to be painted as the big bad transit agency that wants to build skyscrapers in your back yard would be handing their enemies as massive stick to beat them with, an outcome likely to be far worse in the long run than the presence or absence of a few hundred TOD housing units here and there.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

  11. Now that Roosevelt has succeeded in getting an underground station in their center (instead of a cheaper freeway station that would be 3 blocks to Roosevelt and 5 blocks to Greenlake), they need to hold up their end of the bargain for upzoning. Don’t cater to one-story buildings next door: cater to future buildings at the height limit. Or maybe Seattle can offer to buy the neighbor’s property so they can move two blocks to a one-story block.

    I suggested eliminating the north entrance. Yesterday somebody suggested a single entrance on 66th, but that would impact bus transfers on 65th. The north entrance is across from the high school but two blocks is not long to walk, and all the TOD parcels and even the single-family area north of them are within easy walking distance of the south entrance. I asked a ST rep how much of the north building would remain if the entrance were eliminated, and how much money ST would save. He didn’t know about the cost, but only about a fifth of the building would remain (the ventilation shafts on the west side, which are the tallest rectangles in the sketch).

    I also asked the rep about mezzanines, which some people consider overbuilding. He said mezzanines are mainly because of the depth or height of the platform, and the differing heights of entrances. So essentially, it’s to avoid extra-long escalators. Roosevelt’s entrances have a 20 foot height difference, or two stories, due to the gradual hill. TIB’s mezzanine is due to the height of the platform, which has to be high so that the line can cross above the freeway without a steep incline. And of course I’ve noticed that DC and Moscow have long escalators that take five minutes to ascend, but many Americans find those undesirable.

    I walked around the neighborhood and saw several boarded-up houses along 65th; I suppose those are the infamous “Sisley properties”. I also saw something even more curious. Several corner lots have no house at all, just grass growing. One lot gives a nice parklike view from 65th to Roosevelt HS. The grass in these lots is only lightly tended, but not knee-high. Some have stone steps, suggesting that a house had previously been there. But the overgrowth is so complete that the house must have been gone for at least twenty years. What are these parcels? Are they parks or protected open space? Or are they idle lots waiting for development? Who do so many of them happen to be corner lots? If they’re waiting for development, then Roosevelt has a lot of expansion potential.

    1. I believe most, if not all, of those empty lots were part of ‘Sisleyville’ – certainly they were covered with houses as run-down and ill-miantained as the rest of his properties.

      As far as I can recall, all had building on them in the last 5 years, and most of the open spots were just bulldozed in the last 12-18 months or so.

      Note that if you look at the aerial photo for the station location that there are structures on the greater majority (if not all) of the now open properties.

      1. (Aand I assume the structures that were taken down were mostly due to tax considerations, although at least one and possibly more were condemned; at least one after it burned.)

  12. Yup. Because otherwise “allowing for an open plaza area with significant amounts of landscaping” just translates to “a load of deadspace.” Sound Transit seems to fail to understand this exceedingly simple concept. See Mt. Baker and Beacon Hill stations.

    1. I did hear a defense of that at the meeting. Given that there’s significant public pressure for open space, putting it at the station makes a stronger case for not putting any more elsewhere in the neighborhood because it’s already there at the station.

    2. Sorry, this post was supposed to be in reply to Adam’s comment that “there needs to be some secondary uses right at the station entrance that helps to create a more place oriented atmosphere.”

  13. The meeting was at the Ravenna-Eckstein community center, at 65th & Ravenna (22nd). That unwittingly highlighted the need for a bus from east Ravenna to Roosevelt. Both the 71 and the 48 turn on 15th so there’s no through bus (except the peak expresses). But somebody living in Ravenna, or going to the several upscale restaurants or playing basketball at the community center, would naturally want a direct bus to Roosevelt Station.

    I initially assumed there would be huge opposition to routing the 71 away from the U-district. But Link would provide the fastest service to 45th and campus, and those going to in-between places (50th) may not be more numerous than those going to Roosevelt, Greenlake, or downtown/elsewhere.

    There are a few ways to restructure the routes.
    (1) Combine the 71 and 48 from Ballard to Magnuson Park. Add a route from Roosevelt south, and beef up the 65 for Wedgwood. The 30-east could potentially be downscaled or deleted.
    (2) Leave the 48 alone and terminate the 71 at Roosevelt.
    (3) [This one seemed to be hinted at by Metro’s budget-cutting spreadsheet.] Combine the 71 with the 26. Wedgewood (or Magnuson Park) – Ravenna – Roosevelt – Greenlake – Latona – 40th N – Fremont – Dexter – downtown.

    The 71/26 seems like a long milk run but it may have some advantages. (A) Preserve a one-seat ride to downtown, although longer and slower so it won’t compete with Link. (B) Save the 26 from the chopping block. (C) New connection from Ravenna to Greenlake. (D) New connection from Queen Anne/Fremont to Roosevelt/Ravenna. (E) Two-bus frequency on 65th from 15th NE to Greenlake.

    As for the 80 super-express to replace the 66/67/71/72/73, a logical route would be the existing route up University Way, Ravenna Blvd, 12th-or-Roosevelt, and the 66 path to Northgate. An alternative would turn at 50th to 11th-or-Roosevelt, but I used to live at 56th/U-Way so I’m biased toward that routing. :) The recent corridor maps say 15th is not a priority corridor north of 50th, so that suggests the 65th/15th intersection can be axed. The 66/67 routing south of 65th is suboptimal because it’s less frequent than the 71/72/73 and goes almost to the U-district but not quite, and if you’re taking the 67 to downtown you have to cross Campus Parkway to transfer. Metro seems to be already cutting down south Roosevelt as it’s hourly after 8pm except two 67 runs (8:15 and 8:45, leaving a hole at 8:30).

  14. What was the zoning for the property that the station is going to be built on before that site was selected? I’m wondering if the folks complaining about potential lost views have a legitimate gripe or if they were just as likely to lose their views to some other future development. In any case, I suspect ST will bend over backwards more to accommodate those concerns than any private developer would…

    1. hence the term NIMBY … usually those who buy cheap land near airports and then complain about the airport being there

    2. The lots where the station is built (that would block the view) are currently zoned for 65 feet, just like the building the condo owners are living in. If not ST, another developer could certainly have bought those lots and build a similarly large structure.

    3. Here’s City of Seattle zoning maps, the station area is plot 43. It looks to be all NC3-65 or NC3P-65 with the exception of a small sliver of LR2 RC just west of the station area. I don’t know which plot the condo in question is on. I think the QFC is on Parcel A 2765.

      1. It looks like that puts them on the opposite side of the street (Roosevelt) from the station. I’m having a hard time matching up the zoning plot map with the aerial photograph but I’m having a hard time understanding what their gripe is. People directly to the west that will be staring into 3 story ventilation shafts I can understand being hacked off.

      2. Ah, got it now. This whole thing seems like a stupendously expensive station for where it is (the edge of single family residential with a couple of grocery stores and ???). How is it that ST can claim more boardings here than the entire C segment for East Link?

  15. It would be nice if Sound Transit used up to date photos for planning purposes. Been a few changes to the neighborhood since 2005.

  16. Seattle Public Schools is pretty tight on cash right now, and the state is cutting wages for teachers.
    Maybe they’ll sell the ball field for TOD on the cheap.
    Timings about right!

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