Last night Sound Transit held a 30% design open house for Brooklyn Station. Brooklyn Station is the southernmost station of North Link, which will extend U-Link from Husky Stadium to Northgate. This design combines the best elements of the two options shown in January. Brooklyn Station is projected to add 12,000 daily boardings by 2030.

Sound Transit briefly discussed the name of the station. Brooklyn Station is the working title. A community activist was on hand collecting signatures to petition ST to change the name to “University District Station”. A quick poll held at the beginning of the open house indicated strong support for this name, followed by “Brooklyn Station”, “NE 45th Station”, and “None of the above”. I’m a bit partial to “NE 45th Station”, as it eliminates the confusion between this and University Street Station. There’s already confusion betweeen Tukwila and Tukwila/Int’l Blvd stations. NE 45th Station might not be the best way to describe the neighborhood, but seems like the lesser of two evils.

The station box will be excavated under the 4300 block of Brooklyn Ave NE at the current location of Chase Bank. The station will have two entrances: one mid-block on Brooklyn and one at the northeast corner of Brooklyn and NE 43rd St. Both entrances will have elevators that go straight to the platform level and a bi-directional pair of escalators and stairs that lead to a mezzanine. A second set of escalators will lead from the mezzanine to the platform, which is located 75-85 feet below surface level. Stairs won’t be installed between the mezzanine and platform because few people would use stairs to climb 75 feet with a working escalator immediately adjacent. However there will be emergency access stairs from the platform that exit to the alley behind the station entrances. More after the jump.

Rather than try to describe the details of the station, I’ll point you to the presentation from last night’s meeting which contains detailed drawings of the station layout. Thanks to Will Green, we have a full hour of audio (external link to dropbox) that accompanied the presentation. Note the TVMs on the surface, the bike lockers, cages, and racks (which will be accessible 24/7), and the open airy entrances designed to bring in lots of natural light. The mezzanine will “float” above the platform—similar to Westlake, but more open. The exhaust shafts will be placed at the rear of the station entrances and will vent in to the alley. The exhaust shafts will be visible from Brooklyn until the TOD is built, which will cover them up and could be built right next to the shafts.

South Entrance

Between and above both entrances Sound Transit has opportunities for TOD. Currently, the area is zoned to a maximum of 65 feet above ground level. Sound Transit will leave the specific uses up to the developer; the gray above the station is an example showing height of four stories (not an Apple store!). The station is engineered to for up to 85 feet of TOD with no additional modifications. If the City of Seattle were to extend beyond 85 feet, Sound Transit would need to engineer the station to stronger specifications. If the push beyond 85 feet doesn’t happen before design is complete, the station would likely not have any TOD higher than 85 feet due to the costliness of retrofitting the station.

I personally think a limit of 85 feet should be achievable. In the immediate vicinity are:

  • UW Tower: 22 stories (325 feet)
  • University Manor Apartments: 9 stories
  • Maloy Apartments, 4337 15th Ave NE: 8 stories

The U-District is no stranger to tall buildings—other buildings south of 45th include the 7-story Trinity 43rd, and 10-story 4131 11th. The 23-story condo building at 4540 8th, the 16-story Hotel Deca, and 11-story 4700 12th are the tallest north of 45th. With the relatively transient nature of the residents of the U-District, upzoning would meet little opposition from NIMBYs.

The 4300 block of Brooklyn will become a “Green Street”. SDOT mandates a minimum 18 foot sidewalk outside light rail stations, so ST is planning on incorporating planters and trees. It’s possible that the street could become a woonerf, but that decision is up to SDOT. ST is taking feedback on the green street.

Starting around 2013, the 4300 block and the 43rd/Brooklyn intersection will close for about 7 years for station construction and staging. Sidewalk access will be provided to nearby businesses and residences. The alley between Brooklyn and The Ave may become northbound-only during construction. Station box excavation can’t start until both TBMs pass through. The TBMs will be launched from NE 65th (Roosevelt Station) and will continue to a stub currently under construction just north of the station under construction at Husky Stadium. The tunnel alignment south of Roosevelt Station will be finalized this year; the alignment north of Roosevelt will be finalized next year.

The always-interesting Q&A period somehow missed the “are you going to build parking” but kicked off with “are there any restrooms?” Since this station does not qualify as a major multimodal station nor as a terminus station, you’ll have to walk to one of the dozens of nearby businesses or campus buildings to do your duty. An attendee asked if ST considered a pass-through entrance to The Ave. ST’s opinion is that two entrances are enough (both are less than a block from The Ave) and that the cost of acquiring property isn’t worth it.

STB uber-commenter Bruce asked why this station can support 65 feet of TOD but Roosevelt can’t. Sound Transit gave three reasons:

  • The U-District is an urban center, Roosevelt is an urban village
  • Brooklyn has other high rise buildings nearby, and Roosevelt does not.
  • ST believes market would support development at Brooklyn but not at Roosevelt.

While it is too early to discuss connecting bus service, Sound Transit pointed out that most stops are within 1-2 blocks. Metro Planner Jack Whisner pointed out that because this station has been a long time coming, Metro was able to plan ahead and install bus bulb pairs at NE 43rd on University Way and NE 15th.

If you have comments on the station name, design, or anything else and don’t want to wait until the 60% design open house being held early 2012 or the 90% open house in late 2012, you can submit them to

110 Replies to “Brooklyn Station Meeting Report”

  1. Naming this University District station would be a sure way to lead to confusion between University Street station, University of Washington station and this one. I’m fine with Brooklyn station, but NE 45th St. station may be better for folks who are not intimately familiar with the city’s geography.

    Other acceptable names might be NE 45th/Brooklyn or NE 45th/University District. Perhaps the next station north could be renamed NE 65th/Roosevelt.

    Is it too late to rename UofW station as Husky Stadium station, University St. station as Symphony station or Stadium station as Royal Brogham St. station?

    1. There’s a relevant post at Greater Greater Washington today on station naming. It’s worthwhile to click through the link to the WMATA board presentation on “station naming guidelines”.

      Thinking ahead 100 years to when Brooklyn Station is a transfer station on the NE 45th subway, I’m thinking that naming it NE 45th/Brooklyn Ave would be the best name because it pins it geographically for both lines.

      1. Phoenix uses street-grid station naming for their light rail, and it does little more than further the auto-centric culture of the city. I’m a huge fan of our less anonymous station names that help contribute to the stations’ and neighborhoods’ identities. Since Brooklyn isn’t a major arterial, I think it fits the bill quite well. NE 45th/Brooklyn, on the other hand, is boring and dry…

      2. Except that 45th is itself a major landmark/reference point in this city. Brooklyn Ave, not so much.

        Why intentionally make the choice to confuse, when you could so easily make the choice to clarify?

    2. I’m all in favor of choosing street grid names rather than neighborhood names or local landmarks. I love the name Brooklyn, but I understand that people probably aren’t going to associate the line with Brooklyn Avenue, and the neighborhood isn’t really known as Brooklyn.

      But whatever we do, can we please drop the “Station” part of the names? I’m not exactly expecting the train to stop anywhere else!

      1. It seems like half the time I ride link we have at least one stop at somewhere that isn’t a station :(

      2. can we please drop the “Station” part of the names?

        Sure, that’ll make directions easy to give–just take the (insert number) bus to “Kent“.

        When you drop the word “station” from the name of a station named after a neighborhood, you lose all ability to distinguish the neighborhood from the station without context. This might be OK for single-mode stations, but I wasn’t aware that any of these stations were being built as anything less than quad-mode.

      3. Internal to the system, that is on the trains and on the platform, they should not append “station”. Externally, yes.

        “Next Station: UW, not Next Stop: UW Station”

        “This bus terminates at UW Station.”

      4. Exactly, Oran. Kyle’s point is that it’s contextual. The word “station” is informally appended when headed in that direction on food or on another mode of transport.

        But when you’re on the train itself, you are headed to the area, not to the station itself.

        Frankly, I think capitol-“Station” obsession goes hand in hand with the overbuilding tendency like we saw in the Roosevelt proposal. Planners forget that the station itself is not the destination!

        (Brooklyn 30% is an infinite improvement over the prior proposal and over the Roosevelt debacle, though. Feeling optimistic about this one!)

      5. City/suburb distinction.

        “Kent Station” was born as a marketing proposal. In the absence of any prior density or markers of place, the name (marketing term included) has become a landmark.

        You won’t find that kind of b.s. anywhere with a pre-existing sense of place.

      6. Dude, it doesn’t matter what it’s describing–a city, a neighborhood, a cross street: the station is the destination!

      7. 1. No, it isn’t. Not everyone is a transit geek. People want to get places, and the station provides their conduit. It is the means, not the end.

        2. Even in Kent, you’re wrong. Is that website about the transit node? No, it’s a lame pseudo-village-esque-mall-thing. Thanks to the appropriation of the “station” name, and thanks to there being essentially nothing there before, that is the landmark, and that is why people include the word “station” in describing their destination.

      8. I know there’s nothing I can do to convince you that I’m not just harping on you.

        I just think language has power, and that the west coast’s weird love affair with euphemisms is extremely destructive.

        We destroyed the word “townhouse.” (If it has zero relationship to the street and you can’t walk to anything resembling “town,” then it isn’t one.)

        Then we let “concept malls” commandeer the word “village.” (“Gated communities of commerce” would be more like it.)

        Now “station” is the commercial-activity buzzword, intending to conjure an image of activity, of people on the move, even when clumsily applied to the same old lazy consumption of the same old mass-produced garbage. At least Kent Station took its name from an actual adjacent transit hub; this is not always the case.

        The most corrosive effect of language destruction is upon those who, thanks to accidents of age and geography, internalize the “new” meanings before ever having encountered the antecedents.

        Tim, have you ever seen a real townhouse with your own eyes? A pre-automobile-era village so compact that its population of 2000 boasts a population density of 5000/sq mile? A transit station that has been there so long that nobody remembers life without it, that it is one with the place it serves, and that it doesn’t need to proclaim its importance with giant lobbies and superfluous words in its name?

      9. “None of which would be there if there wasn’t a multi-modal station built there.”

        When you develop some overly sterile residential and/or commercial project on the Sisley properties, you should feel free to call it “Roosevelt Station.”

        People will still call the area Roosevelt, because the neighborhood predates your project. And the Link stop will actually serve all of Roosevelt, and not just your development.

        Which would make “Roosevelt Station” an implicitly incorrect name, in that it implies special relationship with your development, when in fact it serves the entire Roosevelt area equally. “Roosevelt” is thus the correct destination and the most helpful signage.

        This is analogous to your Kent Station argument.

      10. You two have different definitions of “destination”, I see.

        Tim is using “destination” to mean the destination of this particular trip on this particular mode.

        d.p. is using “destination” to mean the destination of the entire trip, the point at which one can actually do something, the “ultimate destination”. If your ultimate destination is the station… what exactly are you doing there? Its entire point is to help you get to somewhere else, and if you’re there to do that it’s not the ultimate destination, wherever else you’re going is.

        For ST’s purposes, there are virtues to both approaches. This is why I’m lukewarm at best about the “Husky Stadium” and “Symphony” station names (although I’m not a big fan of “University Street” either – “Financial District” or, once U-Link opens and appending “Seattle” to Westlake Station is no longer effective at indicating that’s the direction it’s headed, “Seattle City Center”?). As for “Royal Brougham”, how about “Safeco Field”? International District station is better if your destination is Qwest CenturyLink Field anyway, and there’s not much there other than Safeco Field, Qwest CenturyLink Field Events Center, and stuff that’s only there because those two things are there.

        (Tangent: I’m not sure I like the prospect of “CenturyLink Field”, which sounds to me more like a college or minor-league stadium, certainly not an NFL one. How long does Qwest’s naming-rights deal last?)

    3. I think Symphony station would give the Symphony too much free advertising. Bad enough they got an ugly, three-storey building occupying a whole block downtown with a tacky LED sign and no shops or other businesses on the street front. All this in a place with a subway station no less!

      Let’s not double down on the badness and name the station after them.

      That Greater Greater Washington post nails New York but not other cities. In London all the stations are named after areas or landmarks, and in Tokyo there are places with two stations with exactly the same name, or with slight variations. One example is Ginza, Higashi Ginza, Ginza Itchome. At least those are usually connected or at least near to each other.

      More confusingly (which that article praises as a good thing) in Chicago a large number of stations have this problem, but much worse! There are three stations named “California” and four named “Western” for example. These stations are very far from each other and if you take the wrong one you will end up in a terrible neighborhood. If that’s good usability, then I’m a giraffe.

      New York is named the way it is because street names run directionally away from Downtown. In Manhattan, you know you’re going uptown if the streets are increasing. In Brooklyn, you know you’re getting further from Manhattan if the street names go up. The could work here (at least in the city), too, but we shouldn’t misunderstand why it does.

      1. It’s worth noting that London has nothing resembling a grid system, and the street names are notoriously confusing (there are numerous unconnected streets named “North Street” or “Lord North Street”) so the intersection style of naming would never work there.

      2. While the ultimate crime of the building of Benaroya Hall was the forced relocation of Nielsen’s Bakery to Lower Queen Anne:

        Is there not a Starbucks that is accessible from the Third Avenue side, or has it closed? (I know, Seattle does not have enough Starbucks locations)

        Could the University Street Station peharps be re-named after the Art Museum which is nearby and unlikely to be moving anytime soon?

      3. FWIW, Nielsen’s in LQA is still top-notch and seems to do fine for itself, despite being hard to find for the uninitiated.

        (I haven’t been here long enough to know if it was better-known when its location was more prominent.)

      4. I think there are a few businesses on the walkway paralleling the sidewalk on 3rd. Funnily, I also think there’s another Starbucks near the 2nd Ave entrance.

    4. Symphony Station, I like the ring. Seattle must have the only symphony around here.

      Otherwise, we could name Brooklyn Station as [UW] Symphony Orchestra Station, and Tacoma’s ‘theatre district’ station as Sypmphony Station.

      We could also rename the Bellevue Transit Center as Symphony Station. Or would that have to be Philharmonic Station?

      What, Bellevue doesn’t have…..D’oh!

    5. I agree, “Brooklyn/45th” would be the best name (phonetically faster than “45th/Brooklyn”).

    6. As a side note in Paris the metro stop is in the address, not the other way around!

    7. “Brooklyn” is the best name for it, and I hope they stick with it. It is and will remain unique to that station. No future light rail station will also be located on Brooklyn. And the neighborhood way back when was actually called “Brooklyn.”

      “45th” is OK but I can see a future Ballard-UW light rail route having a stop on 45th in Wallingford.

      “University” should be phased out for all stations, because it’s just too ambiguous.

      1. Especially when Seattle LINK will someday run all the way to UW-Tacoma, possibly UW-Bothell, and in my dreams, UW-Friday Harbor

      2. Funny. In my dreams Link ends at Highline CC, and commuters from Tacoma ride commuter rail.

    8. The GGW post also touched on station icons which is a feature that our Central Link has. Any speculation on what the icons for UW and Brooklyn Stations would look like?

      1. I’m thinking that Sound Transit should license this for the station near Husky Stadium.
        As for the station at 43rd & Brooklyn, the first thing that comes to mind is this to symbolize “The Ave”

  2. I would propose naming the husky stadium site “Hospital Station” and the brooklyn site “Safeco” – that should clear things up.

    1. If nearby business want to advertise by naming light rail stations after themselves, they can pay for the privilege.

    2. Stations should be named after cross streets, that is one of the things that I think they have done absolutely correctly here in Chicago. All stations are named for their cross-streets, and all station-signs display block numbers (Chicago[Ave.] – 800N-0E/W, [)
      They also frequently indicate what street is in which direction on their edges and which way down the platform to go if your are disabled.
      The box that indicates the exits Also will be solid colored, or have multiple color bars, displaying the colors of the lines stopping at that station.

      In general, Signage, and graphics is what CTA is its very best at. And I think lessons could be learned worldwide from them.

      I think that the stations on the Link line should be named 45th, 65th, etc. Neighborhood names aren’t as useful IMO.

      Though frankly, I believe the vernacular of getting around will form itself around Link, so perhaps it won’t matter either way.

      1. I wrote this above, but that’s crazy. Four stations named “Western” is not “absolutely correct”, it’s absolutely stupid.

      2. I think that the stations on the Link line should be named 45th, 65th, etc. Neighborhood names aren’t as useful IMO.

        I’ll volunteer you to be a station agent so you can answer questions such as “What station do I get off at to get to the University District?”

      3. It is not stupid, you specify where you want to go, it works very well here.
        You just have to be specific as to where you’re going.
        Hey I’m trying to get to Phoenix Military Academy! –
        Oh, that’s easy to get to, just take the forest park (West) branch of the blue line to Western, and walk north 2 blocks then west 1!

        to someone looking at it with no intention of using it it may look stupid, but to someone who is using it it works great.

      4. Tim,
        Most people going somewhere tend to have an address to my experience, not a vague idea, and if its absolutely necessary, supplement decent station naming with maps on platforms that indicate which neighborhoods are where.

      5. I am from Chicago. Four stations called “Western” is fine if they’re on different lines, because you know what line you’re on. If you’re building a system that’s going to last for a long time you name stops after things that will last a long time. Neighborhoods are fluid in name and boundary (especially in a place with a widely contiguous street grid like Chicago) and often their names and boundaries carry social and political baggage that it’s best to avoid. Also, there are often multiple stops within a neighborhood. There are a bunch of stops in Lakeview, several within greater Lincoln Square. Sheridan (on the Red Line) is on Irving Park Road, sort of on the border between Lakeview and Uptown, and there are a bunch more stops in Uptown.

        Now, because of through-routing there are sometimes multiple stops with similar names on the same line. That can be confusing to someone that doesn’t know the geography of Chicago. For example, those hipsters that took the Green Line the wrong way trying to get to the Pitchfork festival (near the Ashland stop) and ended up in Englewood (near the Ashland/63rd stop). Maybe Ashland should be Ashland/Lake. Before the Blue Line’s Douglas branch was split off into the Pink line the Blue Line had three Western stops itself, which is ridiculous. There I might use “Western (Milwaukee)”, “Western (Congress)”, and “Western (Douglas)”, as the branch names are fairly well-understood.

        Seattle isn’t Chicago and doesn’t have super-long streets. It’s unlikely we’ll run into the problem of a single line that wants to re-use street names. If multiple lines re-use the same street name that’s good, especially if there’s a bus, running directly along that street, that connects them. Oh, wait, this isn’t Chicago. Darn.

      6. I don’t doubt the “Western” thing works if you are from Chicago or live there. A system doesn’t have to be intuitive for people who are going to learn it. For Seattlites, no one is confused between “Husky Stadium” or “Sodo Stadium Area” and no real Seattlite is likely going to be confused about “University Street” and “University District”.

        Those aren’t the people you design intuitive systems for.

      7. You just have to be specific as to where you’re going.

        In this case we can happily name them all “University District” “University of Washington” “University Street” and “Stadium”.

        “You got lost? You have to be specific as to where you’re going!”
        Sarcasm aside, those station names would not be confusing to people who know Seattle.

      8. Andrew, I’d rather not have our tourists getting stranded at the wrong station because they misinterpreted our system. They blame their stupidity on our city.

      9. I agree with you, Tim. For that reason, I think Brooklyn/45th is fine. If they don’t call that area Brooklyn now, they will!

      10. @Andrew: First, if you’re visiting Chicago and are going to travel around a pretty small part of the city you’ll probably only need to worry about one or two L lines/branches. Second, if you’re traveling widely across the whole city, the first thing you should learn, before you learn where the trains go, before you learn the neighborhoods, is the street grid and its major streets.

        Neighborhood naming could work better in Seattle than Chicago. We’re building really wide stop-spacing, and a lot of our neighborhoods have unchangeable physical boundaries. But the more a part of Seattle resembles Chicago — connected street grid, close stop spacing, neighborhoods defined more by habit than by hard physical features — the more problems neighborhood names will have. Consider the slew of place names vying for spots just north of downtown Seattle. LQA, Seattle Center, Uptown, SLU, etc, blurring into eachother, dependent on various redevelopment plans. Chicago is like that all over. Five Ashlands spread across the system is better than five stops named for sub-neighborhoods of Uptown all in a row, when the neighborhood map has so many overlapping bits that there’s no definite correct ordering.

      11. Al is correct re: Chicago visitors.

        Chicago is enormous, and no traveler in her right mind would venture out into its vast expanses without first glancing at a map. Once you have even the faintest lay of the land, you’ll never confuse Kedzie (Douglas Branch) with Kedzie (Ravenswood Line) — or even Western (O’Hare Branch) and Western (Forest Park Branch) — in a million years.

        Maybe, just maybe, the two Oak Park lines (Green and Blue) will still confuse a newbie. But those are ~1 mile apart, and how many times have Seattle Transit Bloggers tried to argue that >1-mile walks to rail transit are “no big deal?”

        Frankly, I’m changing my station-naming vote from “45th/Brooklyn” to “45th/U-District.” Shortening the university to a single letter keeps it succinct. The neighborhood destination is invoked for both locals and Tim’s tourists. The 45th provides memory-mapped specificity that “Brooklyn” cannot. And having both eliminates any confusion with the next station to the south or any hypothetical future station to the west.

      1. I’m not a regular here any more. I have no idea which persona means what. Except Bruce’s. I know that guy.

    3. I like the idea. It will be fun to see all the lost Mariner fans wandering around the U District.

    1. We have to have something to argue about. If it’s not TOD it’s the name, and if it weren’t that it’d be the width of the elevators or the color of the concrete.

      1. Bruce, they were very clear that the green is just a “placeholder” color. ;-)

    1. It’s Husky Stadium, not Montlake Stadium. 65th/12th isn’t really near Green Lake. It’s an easy walk, but not a nearby attraction.

      Unless you’re a real estate agent–their idea of the boundaries of Green Lake make the neighborhood about three times its actual size.

      1. Of course it’s not Montlake Stadium, but the name provides three features: the nearby neighborhood, the adjacent arterial name, and the primary destination for that station – the stadium.

        I don’t like adding Greenlake to the Roosevelt name either, but let’s face it – Greenlake is a major destination that many people will be going to during the summer using LINK.

    2. Montlake, Brooklyn, Roosevelt, Northgate, done. “U-District” is ambiguous because both the Husky Stadium/UW Hospital station and the Brooklyn station are in the U District.

      Montlake is less than ideal because it’s not in the Montlake neighborhood, but there’s never going to be another station in the neighborhood or on that street so it will work fine.

      1. Why not SELL the naming rights? Who cares what they call it.
        “Next Stop – Lusty Lady Stn”

      2. It’s right next to the Montlake Bridge. Further, the Dawgs and their stadium are colloquially referred to as being “down on Montlake”, especially in sports columns.

        Neither here nor there, but considering the Montlake neighborhood would be served by the station in question, it seems logical to call it that. We can’t name everything for the convenience of tourists: this is our city with our landmarks.

        Chicago’s system is so convoluted and I spend a lot of time there: a mind-numbing list of street names, usually two together.

      3. How is Chicago’s System (CTA) Convoluted? Train Lines radiate out from downtown, Busses are on a grid. End of story, Easiest system to navigate EVER!
        I’ve often just winged it getting around with no planning, because it is so simple!
        I have to get to X, well I’ll just go to this major street, assume (correctly) that there is a bus line running its length, take this bus to a major street going perpendicular to it, Assume (correctly) that there is a bus on it, take that and be where I want to be!
        You’re never really more than 2 busses, or 1 or 2 train rides and a bus ride from any destination!

      4. I consider the U-District to be only that part that’s NOT in the UW campus. The campus is basically a neighborhood unto itself. Seriously, compare its size to nearby neighborhoods.

    3. What, not one mention for The Ave? A block removed to be sure, but that moniker once referred to the entire neighborhood.

      1. Some people on top of Queen Anne call Queen Anne Avenue “the Ave”, and I’ve also heard it for Broadway.

  3. While Brooklyn/45th would be acceptable, I would find “U-district” much more clear and obvious. It’s sited in the middle of the U-district after all.

    And since approximately 98.2% of all current Seattle residents likely to ride LINK funnel through UW in one capacity or another before settling here, I don’t think many will be confused by the ubiquitous term.

      1. Have to Agree with Grant here: Husky Stadium, U-District, Roosevelt, Northgate

        I think people live and work in the University District, but when you are going there or describe a directon — it is out in the U-DISTRICT.

        Whoever or Whomever is responsible for this at ST – seems to be directing us toward confusion.

        Mountlake (Terrace) and Montlake (Husky)
        Stadium (Kingdom) and Stadium (Husky) and Stadium (High)
        Rainier (Ave) and Rainier (Beach)
        University (St) and University (District)
        International (Blvd) and International (District)
        Tukwila (IB) and Tukwila (Station)
        Overlake (v) and Overlake (TC)

        Here in Bellevue we just get to name them after Park and Rides, Transit Centers and streets that you can’t identify.

      2. Built and Not Under Consideration
        Built and Possible and Not Even Going To Be A Station
        Not A Station and Built
        Built and Under Consideration
        Not Technically Its Name and Is Slashed With Chinatown (some people just call it Chinatown station. I call it IDS)
        Both confusing. I’ve directed people on Link to take the 140 from TIBS after they boarded the Sounder downtown.
        It’s Actually “Overlake Village” And Not Just Overlake But Still Could Be Confusing and Built

      3. It could be changed to Mount Baker Tunnel station.

        Likewise, UW station could be changed to Rainier Vista station.

  4. IMO: The stations should be U-District Station and Husky Station. University Street downtown still confuses people, though.

    Anyway: 85 feet on top of the station seems reasonable, but the surrounding area needs to be upzoned to at least 175 feet. I’m okay with the idea of keeping the UW Tower as the tallest building in the neighborhood, but this area screams for higher density, and nicer living accommodations. There are rows and rows of terrible, decrepit, single-family homes smashed together just north of the U-district that ought to be replaced with modern apartment and condominium buildings.

    1. “Husky Station”?? The station’s nearest landmark is “Husky Stadium”. Either keep “stadium” in there or replace it with “Cougars suck”.

      There are rows and rows of terrible, decrepit, single-family homes smashed together just north of the U-district that ought to be replaced with modern apartment and condominium buildings.

      Then say goodbye to sub-$500 rent and hello to $1100+ rent.

      1. Then say goodbye to sub-$500 rent and hello to $1100+ rent.

        Like anything else, rent prices are set based on supply and demand. If apartments like Trinity and Helix/Ellipse and Lothlorien are able to charge over twice the rent of the “single-family” slums, it’s because that’s what people are willing to pay.

        Yes, this means that some people may get priced out of a market that they can currently afford. But if we want to see the U-District continue to grow, that’s inevitable. A platform of “the rent is too damn high” is a vote for economic stagnation.

        Also, don’t forget about the “supply” part. Part of the reason that Trinity charges so much is that the market for high-end apartments in the U-District is woefully undersupplied. (Capitol Hill has the same problem, which is why we’re seeing so much construction down here.) As new buildings open up, this pushes the price level to a lower equilibrium.

      2. Aleks, I hate to give in to stereotypes, but prior experience gives me a bit of insight. In the U-District only, the general tendancy was: The higher the rent, the more likely it was an international student living there.
        I suppose if you’re paying $25k annually for school and $7k+ for rent, what’s the difference of an extra $5k annually for nicer digs?

      3. Let us not forget that the main point of this nice transit system we’re building is that people will be more mobile throughout the city and region so that UW students will be able to more easily use the cheaper and older multihousing stock at Northgate or rent el cheapo apartments in south King.

      4. I currently live near Roosevelt Way in that no-man’s-land between 50th and Ravenna Blvd. Our place is, admittedly, a quadriplex. But IIRC, our rent is somewhere near $900 and that’s only because we’ve been here since the mid-90s – we know that if we were to move, a) we’d have to pay over a thousand and b) the landlord would be able to charge some frat boys substantially more for the space.

        I’m pretty sure an upzone would immediately extend the U-District at least to 52nd St, where there are already townhomes and apartments at 11th and 12th (and more than a few people living in student arrangements east of 15th). Beyond 55th, though, we’re getting a decent distance away from the campus and any stations – especially the further west you go, but the area north of 55th and east of 15th is VERY hilly.

      5. At 55th though you start getting into the walk/bike circle around Roosevelt station. Certainly a good reason to allow fairly dense building the entire length every street from 15th to I-5 and campus to 75th. I doubt DPD will go that far though. But the area along Roosevelt and 11th/12th between the stations is prime real-estate and should be zoned appropriately.

    2. Yeah I can’t imagine why anyone would be opposed to more highrises next to a subway station in the middle of the second largest urban center in the state. But of course, a ton of people will be… I hope they push it through anyways, cause it just makes sense.

  5. Brooklyn was the name of the neighborhood before the university. Brooklyn Station is a nod to that history. I think it’s a great name.

    Most of Link’s stations are named after neighborhoods, following the London model rather than the NY/Chicago/LA model. That clearly works well when people want to know, “How do I get to Beacon Hill or Rainier Beach?” One of Seattle’s strengths is its strong neighborhood identities. People like Seattle because of Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, Fremont, etc. Few neighborhoods are ever likely to get more than one Link station, both because the neighborhood centers are small and because of Link’s wide stop spacing. It’s ironic that in the one neighborhood with two stations, people want to name both of them similarly.

    Othello is in a conundrum because the proper neighborhood name, Hillman City, is not widely known, and it has deteriorated so far that there’s no neighborhood center left. I predict that when the station area is built out it will be called the “Othello neighborhood”, as I already tend to refer to it.

    Of course, you could also say the entire Rainier Valley is one neighborhood and that’s true in some sense, but that doesn’t help with station naming.

    The Chicago El does have unique station names but they’re used inconsistently. The Western station on the O’Hare branch is called “Western” on the map but “Western & Milwaukie” in the onboard announcement, and I think I’ve seen a sign “Western/Milwaukie” inside the station (?).

    Clearly the differences between Chicago and London reflect how the city leaders conceived of the subway when it was built. In London it was to connect neighborhoods; in Chicago it was to connect streets within neighborhoods. That could mean that London neighborhoods are smaller than Chicago’s.

    1. Chicago has been fiddling with their station names and line identities a lot in the last 10 years. The downtown Library stop keeps changing its name. Stops on the subway lines downtown are renamed to emphasize the nearest place to transfer to the Loop Elevated. In other places they’re clarifying ambiguities (two Westerns on the Blue Line really is silly).

      I think the differences in transit stop naming between Chicago and London reflect how differently the cities are organized, not necessarily differences in the transit systems’ conceptions. Chicago has long, straight streets and London doesn’t. Chicago’s neighborhoods move around, grow, shrink, and change names all the time; perhaps in London they’re more stable. Seattle is somewhere in the middle.

    2. I think a station at Graham Street would be more fitting of the Hillman City name. It’s closer to the Hillamn City business area at Rainier & Orcas.

      The area around Othello Station is more associated with the Holly Park (now New Holly, which appears as a subtitle under the Othello Station on signs) public housing project. The neighborhood is already called Othello in planning documents.

    3. I’ve said this before, but I consider the vague amorphous area between Columbia City and Rainier Beach to be the “Rainier Valley neighborhood”.

    4. Well, I’d consider the “Rainier Valley neighborhood” to be the commercial area around Mt Baker station. There used to be a Rainier Market around there, alongside the Columbia City Market and Beacon Hill Market. All the neighborhoods around it had a name, but not the area where the highways cross, or really even up to Dearborn Street. So it was just the “Rainier Valley” neighborhood. Mount Baker I always thought of as the residential area further east.

  6. Symphony Station would be a great name regardless of the fact that the Symphony is next door. It would give downtown and the city an unconventional, artsy feel, and it would lift people’s moods when they see the station name. It shouldn’t be seen as just free advertisement for the symphony; that’s thinking too small.

    By the same token, Hospital Station is a bad name because it connotes sick people and unpleasantness. How would you like to tell people, “I live near Hospital Station?” It would be one thing if Seattle had one preeminent hospital with a station next to it, but we have several hospitals, including two with stations.

    1. Mike, we also have hospitals and a Hospital Station in Bellevue right on the East Link (but we have no sick people). And we also had a Symphony until yesterday, so go for it.

      1. Yes, I’m talking about that Hospital station on East Link. I wish it were named something else.

      2. I like how Seattle highlights the historical roots of it’s neighborhoods with station names. Given the historical use of 116th perhaps “Auto Row Station”? To avoid confusion the Bel-Red station at 130th could be called “Luxury Auto Row Station” :=

  7. Is there really no way to have an entrance to this station on the north side of 45th? Think of the pedestrian traffic this might alleviate.

    1. Most unlikely. The foundation of the UW tower reaches wide and deep and would force you to dig under the Neptune theater, so you couldn’t just dig cut’n’cover like they’re doing at CHS. It would cost a fortune.

      Also, the only really big route transferring on 45th St that would benefit from an underpass is the westbound 44. That’s a large number of people but not more than you can handle with a big crosswalk and wide sidewalks. It makes sense to encourage all other transfers to take place through the south entrance to 15th Ave which is set up for major bus traffic.

    2. No, there isn’t. You’d have to rip apart the Neptune theater, which is a historic landmark. Or tunnel under it and buy out the back third of American Apparel, in which case you’d have a long pedestrian path underground, which isn’t a whole lot different than having people walk a half block on Brooklyn to 45th. Not to mention several hundred million cheaper.

      1. And then there was the idea I mentioned at the meeting to simply have a pass through from the Ave through the alley to the north station entrance. Could be done very cheaply (probably less than $1 million) and would massively increase the walkshed for the station.

    3. At the open house, they said they expect something like two thirds of the foot traffic to use the south entrance and head east on 43rd.

      1. I wish I could have attended the 30% open house, but I was on a plane back from San Francisco. (Not a train, alas, because the scheduling was horrid. Would have done it in a heartbeat if it didn’t mean offsetting my sleep schedule by 6 hours after a weeklong convention.)

        I would have asked whether ST had any idea about the feasibility of buying out the My Favorite Deli and extending the station entrance to front 45th St.

      2. My Favorite Deli is part of the Neptune building, which can’t be touched because of its landmark status.

  8. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any station be named “Art Museum” as was suggested for the “Symphony” station (nee University…great new name BTW). The Streetcar Killers at the Seattle Art Museum deserve no recognition, no free advertising, and none of our hard earned dollars. I for one will not attend any event at any of their venues under any circumstance until I can ride a streetcar (one on rails with an overhead power collection system) to the venue.

    1. You are completely correct. Damn you Mimi Gates Gardner!

      OK, so let’s name the University Street Station for the nearby excellent restaurant that has been there for ages:


    2. Why do people care so much about a streetcar that was slower than a trolleybus, and whose single track prevented it from going more frequently than every 20 minutes? I always found it faster to walk than to take the streetcar, or to ride a bus to Pike or Bell or Broad and walk down from there. I probably only rode it thee times while it was there, and the second two were to take my mom and a visitor from Mebourne on it. (He said it reminded him of his youth.) I like the sculpture park. Am I the only one in Seattle who likes the sculpture park?

      Proper waterfront transportation would be a trolleybus or two-way streetcar running every five or ten minutes. The Waterfront Streetcar was not it.

      1. I like the sculpture park. But I wonder why it couldn’t have had a trolley barn sculpture installed in it.

      2. I always thought of those old Aussie streetcars as rolling sculpture. Too bad more creative and thoughtful people were not in charge (at both the Art Museum and Metro Transit).

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