Over the next few weeks, Sound Transit is hosting three community meetings about the North Link project, which will extend the region’s light rail system from the U-District to Northgate. If you can’t attend, but have thoughts or concerns on these subject, you can reach ST’s outreach staff via email instead. The dates and times are as follows:
- March 21, 6:00 – 8:30 PM Northgate Station to Tunnel Portal Construction
Olympic View Elementary School — 504 NE 95th St, Seattle
- March 26, 6:00 – 8:30 PM Roosevelt Station Construction
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center — 6535 Ravenna Ave NE, Seattle
- April 11, 6:00 – 8:30 PM — Roosevelt Station 60% Design
Roosevelt High School Commons — 1410 NE 66th St, Seattle
Generally, construction meetings are oriented primarily towards neighbors, and focus on the details of construction effects and planned mitigations; nonetheless, it’s still a great chance to talk directly with agency staff, and interesting questions do sometimes arise in the public question period. Design meetings are more substantive, and fairly major changes have arisen from public feedback at those meetings, as happened with Brooklyn Station’s entrances. One thing that’s not going to change at Roosevelt is the decision not to design for TOD over the station box: the ST board voted to reject a plan to spend additional money for that last month.
I do have some good news on the parking situation at Northgate: multiple sources tell me that Sound Transit are in discussion with the City and other agencies on this subject, and the possibility exists (which I had previously been told was very unlikely) that ST could ask the FTA to remove the stipulation of one-for-one parking replacement in the North Link Record of Decision, a mitigation measure which would effectively force ST to build a parking structure at Northgate. If, like me, you believe that spending millions on “free” parking in a nascent urban center and transit hub is a disastrously awful idea, I would encourage you to attend ST’s Northgate meetings, or to email their community outreach staff — especially if you live near the future Northgate Station.