by MIKE ORR

Sound Transit is deciding where to put light rail stations between Northgate and Lynnwood and held a series of open houses on the subject this month. Although many here were upset that ST chose I-5 rather than Aurora for the line, we need to make sure it’s the best I-5 line possible, and each station has different potential for serving people and improving mobility.

The current proposal at right shows six potential stations, two with wiggle room: 125th-130th, 145th-155th, 185th, Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, 220th SW, and Lynnwood Transit Center. Last year’s Alternatives Analysis had only 145th, 185th, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood. The other two locations have been added based on citizen feedback. (Documents and maps are in the extensive North Corridor library.)

At March 17th open house in Edmonds, ST reps Roger Iwata and Matt Sheldon said that ST has no fixed number of stations in mind; it depends on whether all the stations are cost-effective. 130th and 145th are rather close for two stations but 125th and 185th are probably too far apart. This means a 125th or 130th station could push the 145th station north to 155th. The budget at this point is elastic enough to support all six stations if necessary, though further engineering may show otherwise. If the cost estimates indicate ST can’t afford all the worthwhile stations, it may have to defer one without abandoning it entirely.

Each King County station is 1/2 mile from either Aurora Ave N or 15th Ave NE (whichever is closer), and 3/4 mile from the other avenue. Here are some thoughts about each station, based on my walking and bus tour of the station areas:

  • There’s a strong argument for a 130th station. It would allow an east-west bus to run right from the center of Lake City to the Aurora/130th neighborhood with Link in between. This would significantly improve connections between northwest and northeast Seattle, and also help end Sand Point’s isolation from the west half of the city. A 130th station would be better than 125th because it’s on the main road, has several four-story apartments within a few blocks, and is a more open location. A 125th station would have the I-5 sound wall on one side, a sea of single-family houses on the other, and only one apartment building. The ST rep said that there has been significant public support for a 130th station, and that a 125th station is unlikely.
  • The main advantage of a 145th station is the existing P&R. If ST insists on a parking lot in this area, it may as well use this one, which is centrally located. There’s little potential for TOD around the station. An east-west bus would skirt the periphery of neighborhoods rather than centers. I’d call this station mediocre.
  • 155th is more residential than 145th; it’s a two-lane street and therefore less likely to be upzoned in the future. Its only advantage over 145th is it’s closer to the Aurora/155th shopping area, but it’s still a half mile away.
  • A 185th station would be near the Shoreline Community Center, which is surprisingly large and bustling. The city plans to redevelop the former elementary school into a multistory mixed-use facility. West of the station is the Shoreline P&R and Fred Meyer on Aurora, and the North City commercial area at 15th NE & 175th. The Shoreline Library is in an isolated location at 5th NE & 175th. A 175th station was apparently dropped earlier in the process; it would have been five blocks from the library.
  • The Mountlake Terrace Transit Center is sure to be chosen because of the existing transit investment in it. From the local bus bays, it’s a 4 minute walk to the freeway bays (a possible station location), 6 minutes to the library and civic center area through Veterans’ Memorial Park (not disability accessible), and 7 minutes to the library via streets. The civic center area is undergoing a minor redevelopment.
  • The 220th station is the most surprising. The ST rep said its main purpose was to access the Premera office parks. He said it’s the least likely station to be chosen, and it may be deferred even if it is.
  • The Lynnwood Transit Center is the main jewel in the segment. Lynnwood plans to build a large urban village there to rival downtown Bellevue. It’s the main transfer point for Community Transit buses to Edmonds, Mukilteo, and elsewhere.

Alicia McIntire of the Shoreline Council staff says that “staff is recommending Council identify a preference for the 145th and 185th stations and the alignment on the east side of I-5. Should Council agree with this recommendation, staff will prepare a letter to Sound Transit on behalf of the Mayor summarizing this preference.” See the staff report here.

It’s apparent that Lynnwood TC, Mountlake Terrace TC, and 185th will be chosen because they’re near the center of their respective cities. Of the other stations, 130th is highest priority and 220th is lowest. The most important thing transit fans can do at this point is to make sure the 130th station gets built.

71 Replies to “Link North Corridor Stations”

  1. Interesting, I like the idea of moving it slightly off-kilter from the main cross street, especially if it’s going to be a place that will be parking, transit junction oriented rather than walk-direct.

    So putting it on 130th could pull traffic away from 125th (rather than say have it backed up waiting to get into a parking garage). In that sense it doesn’t matter where it is exactly.

    1. 130th is the main street there, John. 125th is the main street in Lake City but the arterial turns NW on Roosevelt and crosses I-5 at 130th. 125th dead-ends at 5th NW.

      At least one entrance to a station there should be at 130th, as crosstown bus service would best serve it that way. Having it at 125th would force an unnecessary jog (although the station could be sited to the S of 130th with the north platform entrance at 130th). Buses terminating there could loop S on 5th from 130th, make a pull-in stop at the station, then E on 125th and back to Roosevelt (whence they could either go E or W).

      Only in Seattle would stops at 130th and 145th be “too close.” Wouldn’t it be best to focus more on potential ridership, transfer potential and development potential? 155th would force a jog at 15th NE for buses traveling from the east, as it does not go east of 15th NE into Lake City. However, TOD potential is somewhat less at 145th due to the golf course and Lakeside School on the south side. There is a park on the SW side of 155th and the freeway, but not too big to walk across. (There is also a park at 130th and I-5.) The siting decision between those two will be interesting. A station at 130th is an absolute no-brainer due if for no other reason than direct service to Lake City and Bitter Lake — both with excellent development potential — and land that could be easily upzoned at 125th and 15th NE.

      1. The reason NE 130th and NE 145th are “too close” is not because their “too close”, it’s because of their impact on overall travel time. Unless a station is removed somewhere else, each station has about a 1 minute impact on travel time, and travel demand models are extremely sensitive to travel time.

      2. I agree. That is something that is often overlooked. If travel times are too slow, people find other ways of getting around. For example, I looked into taking the 41 (from my neighborhood) then the train to the airport. The 41 is pretty fast (as fast as a car once it leaves Northgate) but the train from the tunnel to the airport is just too slow. We just decided to go with a shuttle.

        As for this specific example, though, I think 125th/130th is very important. So much so, that I would much rather have both it and 145th/155th than just 145th/155th.

      3. “The reason NE 130th and NE 145th are ‘too close’ is not because their ‘too close’, it’s because of their impact on overall travel time.”

        Not having one of those stations certainly impacts travel time for those who are coming and going from those stationless locations!

        It frustrates me that so many of these decisions seem to be based on the shortest possible end-to-end travel time. We’d like to be able to get to and from some of the in-between places, too. (Though admittedly there’s not much to get to at 145th.)

      4. sorry … but I don’t think that an extra 1-3 minutes is going to turn riders away … especially since this segment is grade-separated … it’s not like they will have to wait for traffic lights / wayward pedestrians

      5. Plus, Ingraham High School is on 130th, easy access if improvements are made to bus routes there.

      6. It’s not a minute or two more for a 130th station, it’s more like 20-30 seconds. We can add a few stations to Link without making travel time unacceptable. So the six North Corridor stations are fine, as would be a Graham sttion and S 133rd station. It’s when you start adding a lot of stations that people get grumpy. So Link from Brooklyn to 185th is 5 stations. But if we put stations every ten blocks as some people have suggested, it would be 14 stations, and from Westlake to 185th would be 20 stations. What burns people up is when they have to go through the same 7 or 14 stations every f*ing day. For Pugetopolis’ needs we need to support Seattle-Shoreline and Seattle-Lynnwood trips, not bog it down so much that people don’t use it.

      7. Even with a 20 second dwell time, a station stop will take a lot longer once you add acceleration and deceleration time.

    1. Since ST’s main goal here is to connect Lynnwood to Seattle, the stops in between are just gravy to them. To get the federal funding, they need a quick ride from Lynnwood southward, thus I-5.

      1. Do you mean because of New Starts criteria? With the proposed new criteria (hopefully) favoring more urban transit lines, do you think the Aurora alignment would have been seen more favorably?

      2. At the meetings last fall, ST talked as if the chance of funding was directly linked to ridership. With ST’s formulas, the I-5 route had more riders than SR 99 because it was quicker for Lynnwood.

  2. There are a bunch of apartment buildings there on 125th and 5th (many are pretty new), and many more on 125th and Roosevelt. I can’t think of any up on 130th.

    1. I think the discussion about NE 130th vs NE 125th isn’t an either or in the grand scheme of things. The northern entrance of a station should be at NE 130th and the southern end towards NE 125th. Assuming a platform length of roughly 500 ft this means that the southern entrance would only be 800 ft from NE 125th. It would also be nice to see the station platform span the roadway, so people transferring from buses to train or vice versa don’t have to cross NE 130th. This eliminates the people to running across the street to catch a bus when it’s unsafe.

      1. I agree. The key thing is there there be room for the buses to easily turn around. A station in between those two streets on 5th might make the most sense. The 41 would just go straight on 125th (as it does now) take a right on 5th and take another right onto 130th.

      2. I generally prefer high frequency routes to stay on arterials and minimize the number of turns. Non-arterial roads have lower speed limits and turns introduce delay and variability especially in areas with pedestrians. I think you would have to get into specifics to know which works best.

        What I had in mind was buses using NE 125th/Roosevelt/NE 130th and at 5th, have the station platform or at least the entrance span over NE 130th. This means that all riders transferring from one service to the other wouldn’t need to cross a road. I also do not envision service terminating at the station, rather going back and forth between Bitter Lake and Lake City.

      3. Yeah, if the entrance could span 130th, I think your idea would be great. The buses would just run back and forth between Bitter Lake and Lake City on the arterial (130th, Roosevelt, 125th).

        The area is a bit unusual, in that it actually lends itself to having a bus turnaround, if the station is placed on 5th, between 125th and 130th. The 41 currently leaves 125th when it does the dogleg. It goes straight, while the arterial continues on Roosevelt and onto 130th. This bus could just continue to do this, but then take a right on 5th instead of a left. Technically, the little connector of 125th isn’t an arterial, but the bus goes there anyway right now. I think that area just got sidewalks, too (Wow, sidewalks!).

        I think your idea is ideal. If there is a way to put the station at 130th and allow people to board on either side of the street, so that the buses can just keep going straight after dropping people off, that is best. If the station ends up on 5th, I would rather have the buses be independent and just turn-around. I think the Lake City bus will be a lot busier than the Bitter Lake bus for while. Having them separate allows Metro to run a lot more Lake City buses than Bitter Lake ones.

      4. There’s a problem in the “Lake City to Bitter Lake” idea: most people from either neighborhood not going downtown or to the U-District want to go to Northgate. The far riders would certainly benefit from the interception transfer, but those headed to the northend “downtown” would not. You’d make them transfer to Link for a one-station ride which would not be popular.

        The 41 (or whatever replaces it) should be a big bow-shaped loop between Brooklyn and Northgate via the current 8/41 route. Or perhaps the transfer should be made at the Stadium station with a tail that goes along Pacific into the District.

        I’m agree there’s a need for another cross-city line north of Northgate Way, but wouldn’t 145th serve that need better? It’s a larger arterial and has more activity centers along it. Perhaps a frequent service line from SCC to Stadium via 160th, Aurora, 145th, 15th NE, 125th and 25th NE would be a nice “string of pearls” route passing through a half-dozen activity centers.

    2. There are indeed some apartments at 125th/Roosevelt. Bus-wise, they would be served to either location as the crosstown routes would continue on Roosevelt to 130th. They would be a block or so further from a station at 130th, walking, assuming a station would be built between 130th and 125th (the blocks here go 125th-127th-130th). There are some new townhomes along 5th at 125th. They would be a very short walk to either location.

      If the station is built to the north of 130th bridge, the Roosevelt and 125th apartments would likely be out of the walkshed…however, a location north of the bridge would also bring the golf course into play in the station’s walkshed–not a great idea. Of course, if they site the station on the WEST side of I-5 for some reason, and it’s not at 130th, a pedestrian crossing all the way across the freeway would need to be built or there is NO walkshed due to the park and the freeway’s barrier.

      One would assume that development would occur in the SF blocks surrounding I-5 at 130th as well, should the station be sited there.

      1. At the Bitterlake open house, a ST representative said they were assuming the (eastside) 125th station would have a pedestrian bridge over I-5, regardless.

      2. It turns on 125th because that’s the most direct route to Northgate. There is currently no reason to go up to 130th then back on 5th. It certainly isn’t due to demand; the bus rarely has to stop on 125th between Roosevelt and 5th.

      3. One advantage of a 125th station is that the 41 already turns there. I did not contemplate a two-entrance station at 130th going south toward 125th. The stations in Rainier Valley and Capitol Hill are two blocks long, so a station spanning five blocks would be against ST’s precedents, and it would also contradict some people’s desires for smaller, counter to some people’s desires for smaller, cheaper stations.

      4. The 41 would certainly be slower if it had to turn on 130th. In my experience when I lived on 123rd up there, the bus almost always stopped at 125th…

        I suppose you could move those stops north to Roosevelt (which is what 125th turns into until 130th)

      5. It’s an open question whether the “frequent Lake City-Northgate route” should follow the 41 (125th and 5th) or the 75 (Lake City Way and Northgate Way), or whether both are equally important. I don’t think a Lake City – Nothgate route should try to reach a 130th station unless it happens to be on the way, because that should be a separate Lake City – Bitter Lake route.

      6. As far as I know, there will be a two year gap between the Northgate station and stations to the north. For those two years, I have no recommendations, other than the downtown part of the 41 should just be chopped off (no reason for the bus to go downtown).

        Once a 125th/130th station is built, it doesn’t make sense for the 41 to go to Northgate. Right now, it spends more time getting from 125th and 5th to Northgate than it does getting from Lake City Way to 5th. So, the route could be basically be cut in half by serving the 125th/130th street station instead of the Northgate station. This is huge. It means it would cost nothing to go twice as often. Rides north or south would be faster as well.

      7. Blocks aren’t the best metric to use. As d.p. pointed out repeatedly during the #2 discussions, the distance from Pine to Pike is the same as the distance from Seneca to Madison, despite being one block in the first case and two in the second.

        That said, the distance between the two streets is 0.3 miles. If you built the station precisely in the middle, and built the escalators so that there’s no backtracking, that’s still almost 800 feet to get to the surface. That’s not unprecedented, but it is long, and it would discourage use of the station, especially as a transfer point.

    3. There are large scale complexes near Aurora from 130th northward. It’s actually closer to Linden Ave and Bitter Lake, but clearly visible from Aurora. This area had tremendous TOD potential but the existing businesses and box stores apparently had a say in nixing that alignment.

      And FYI, the distance from 130th and Aurora to I-5 is 5101ft or nearly 1 mile. More than most people are willing to walk. Since most residential in that neighborhood is to the west of Aurora, frequent bus service would be needed.

      1. I agree. We would definitely want frequent bus service along 130th to this station. I think service similar to the 41 would make a lot of sense. Depending on the layout of the station, the buses could be combined.

        Personally, I think we need it faster than that. I would like to see fast and frequent bus service from the Bitter Lake area to the Northgate station. That is another reason why I support the pedestrian bridge. It would be much easier and faster for a bus to stay to the east of I-5 instead of crossing on 130th and heading down 5th. The bus would end at the college, instead of the transit center. I think this would shave off five or ten minutes each direction. But now I’m getting off topic.

    4. The row of apartments I saw was on 125th east of Roosevelt. At 125th & 5th I saw only one apartment building on the southwest corner, and single-family houses on the east side of 5th. I did not walk south or east from there, so the other apartment buildings may have been out of sight, and there may have been townhouses I misinterpreted as single-family houses.

  3. Living at the corner of 125th and 15th NE, i would prefer to see it at 130th. The local routes could turn into feeders (347,348) and put them into the system instead of going to northgate. The only reason i could see 145th being built
    Is the freeway bus stop. It could be engineered to allow buses to drop off on the interstate instead of northgate, since bus access to northgate could become dicey depending on traffic to the NG link stop

    1. I agree. That is one the trickiest part of the Northgate station. Traffic is a mess around there (for buses or cars) and I don’t see an easy solution.

  4. On another thought, it will be very interesting to see how lynnwood actually follows through with their TOD. I would love to see them take a proactive stance and built up not out. Would be nice to see a few 20 story buildings with a grocery store, drug store, condos, apts and etc within walking distance!

    1. Good luck! Lynnwood won’t even approve Community Transit bus stops on 196th St. At the same time they are approving a bunch of big-box crap all over the area, including right next to the Swift stations on 99. They call it mixed use because it has retail AND office with massive parking lots that shall ever remain half empty dripping toxins into our streams. If the current staff / administration aren’t replaced, that’s all they will ever build in that city. If they approve a 20 story tower, probably 7 stories of it will be parking. The LTC LRT stop will probably just be a giant parking garage too, if they don’t run into issues with the wetlands it’s built on… I’m serious. Check out their planning website. They stink like a sewer.

  5. Having spent most of my life growing up in Edmonds (but having moved out a while ago), I could see a 220th station benefiting Edmonds.

    Advantages:
    -It’s one of three routes Edmonds residents can take to get to Interstate 5, so people are already familiar with this corridor.
    -It’s a mile closer to Edmonds than Lynnwood or MLTTC Stations.
    -220th has significantly less traffic than 196th, 200th, 236th, or HY104, so buses would be faster and more reliable (limited stop service could be offered too)
    -Recent improvements to 220th have greatly increased walkability and bikability west of SR99, offering TOD potential.
    -220th offers a more steady speed and a straighter route.
    -The station could be the closest to SWIFT and SR99 at 3800’.
    -Edmonds has become underserved by transit with all the CT cuts.
    -Could spur TOD along the east side of the freeway.
    -Other things close to 220th:
    Swedish Edmonds, Edmonds-Woodway High School, Dicks Drive In, lots of offices, decent amount of residential, several MLT city buildings, the Premera Blue Cross complex, a big grocery store, and the Interurban trail.

    Perhaps Edmonds could give up Sounder service in exchange for a station at 220th.

  6. Thanks for the article! I agree with you about the need for the 130th Street station I will introduce a resolution on Monday endorsing carrying the 130th St station into the DEIS. The Council will vote on April 9, and the Mayor has told me he supports this as well.

  7. Excellent article. I completely agree about 125th/130th. The key is the 41 (and similar buses). It spends a huge amount of time just getting from 125th and 5th to the Northgate station. It spends more time going through that little stretch of road than it does getting from Lake City to 125th. Traffic is terrible around Northgate and not likely to get better. I just don’t see how it will ever be anything but congested in there. If the bus can just turn around at 5th (and 125th/130th) then it will be able to cut its route time in half (not counting the I-5 time, which will be eliminated as soon as the Northgate station is built). In other words, we could double the frequency without changing the number of actual buses. This means buses every 7 minutes or so. Add in the time saved by the Northgate station, and we could have buses every 3 or 4 minutes. That is a game changer. No one looks at schedules at that point, they just show up and wait.

    1. Instead of turning the bus at 125th NE & NE 5th, why not make it a crosstown bus? Continue on 130th to around Greenwood. That way it can feed the station from both directions.

      1. +1 And in a bit of (it would be nice if…) how about a loop from 130th and 3rd Ave NW to 125th to Greenwood back to 130th to go Eastbound?

      2. Yeah, that’s a good idea, and its discussed in the comments above. The key thing is that the service should match. If lots and lots of people are coming in from Lake City, but not that many from Bitter Lake (or similar areas) then it doesn’t make sense. Of course, Metro could combine the two types of buses. In other words, two out of three buses that start at Lake City continue on through, while the third just turns around and goes back to Lake City. Personally, I would be cool with that, as long as they number them differently. I hate the “41 to Bitter Lake” or “41 to Light Rail” type deals. It always confuses me when I wait for a bus. But it is common, and I’m just being nitpicky now.

        As you might guess, I really think the 41 will be a hugely popular bus when the 125th/130th station is built. It is already a very popular bus. It is almost always a double bus, and it runs about every 15 minutes from Lake City. I could see it being way more frequent. That is one argument for making it turn around. If it runs every four minutes or so, it is hard to keep in synched up with the next bus. The longer the route, the more likely it will bunch up (like the 44). If all it does is go back and forth between Lake City and 5th, it will be a very quick bus.

      3. @Ross I think if Bitter Lake services also covers Aurora up to say Shoreline Community College you would have pretty strong ridership on both ends of the route while also creating a frequent cross town route between the urban centers.

      4. That’s a very good point Adam. I’m really warming to that idea. I looked at the map some more, and there is great symmetry to a bus route that goes back and forth between Bitter Lake and Lake City. It takes about 10 minutes to get from one spot to the other (longer with heavy traffic). That is a short enough run to prevent bunching. This means that I could see a bus running every five minutes or so. This is ideal for a feeder system coming from Aurora.

        Of course, frequent boarding and exiting can really slow a bus down. I think this is one area where a BRT would make sense. Or at least one aspect of it. Make subway style stations, so that the bus opens all the doors at every stop, and people don’t have to pay to get on. That would really speed things up.

        In general, I think putting the station at 130th makes the most sense.

      5. Make that another +1 for running the 41 cross-town.

        Also, FYI, the neighborhood around 130th & Aurora is generally part of the neighborhood called Bitter Lake (the Bitter Lake community center and park are just west of Aurora, at 130th & Linden). I would also advocate for any cross-town bus connection to go all the way to Greenwood and not stop at Aurora–there are lots of apartments along Greenwood and a K-8 and the Broadview library branch at 130th & Greenwood. It gets pretty SFH pretty quick west of Greenwood.

      6. Also, remember that Bitter Lake is a designated urban hub, and has been taking on additional density over the past 5-10 years, and I hope we will be taking on more. The city’s plans for the neighborhood including pedestrian/bike improvements along Linden and better zoning, so that hopefully we’ll ditch some of the car-centric businesses in the area and replace them with TOD (i.e., the abandoned car dealership at 130th & Aurora–which is for sale, by the way, if anyone’s got some money they’d like to invest!). So, I think truncating the route at the Link station is a bad idea–better to foster cross-town connections between two designated urban hubs (Lake City and Bitter Lake).

  8. A station at 125th/130th would help those of us who use Lake City Way as our way into Seattle. I really hope that becomes a reality soon.

  9. I have a question. What is the long term plans for buses that travel along Lake City/Bothell Way and currently go downtown? Is the plan that they just continue going downtown, or turn and meet a train station. If they meet a train station, which one? 145th seems like the logical choice, but that assumes that the station is built there.

    I could also see an argument for making them go to 125th. Not only does that mean that they pick up the people who live on Lake City Way between 145th and 125th, but it compliments the 41. This would mean that the 41 wouldn’t need to run as often. Of course, synching up all those buses might be tricky. In an ideal world, I would like to see the 41 be so frequent as to not require a schedule. Depending on a bus coming in from Bothell could put a kink in those plans.

    Another choice would be Northgate, but I think getting to the Northgate station will continue to be really, really slow. Traffic is terrible as you get close to Northgate, and there are a bunch of lights to slow you down as well.

    1. My assumption was that the 72, 79, 306, 308, 309 and 312 would be cut and that other routes would pick up bits of the 306/308 while the rest of the service hours would be used to boost service on the 372/522, which would be truncated at the Roosevelt station.

      1. Yeah I think ST2 had SR 522 BRT service ending at Roosevelt Station as part of the official plan.

      2. I think that was for a BRT alternative to Link. It has no bearing on what the 522 might do when an I-5 Link route opens.

      3. The fate of the 372 depends if travel times are better by truncating at 130th/I-5 and forcing a transfer to Link or continuing down the current route. I’m guessing it is the latter. I think it is very likely the 72 would be replaced either by the 372 or a Lake City/UW route along the route of the 372.

    2. There is no official plan for ST Express or Metro routes I know of, and we probably won’t hear about it until two years before opening, or 2021.

      ST will probably truncate routes that directly follow the line, but it’s less likely for those that run diagonal to it like the 522 and 545. It all depends on whether the travel time from Bothell remains competitive. I can see 130th station being feasable but not Northgate (due to the Nortgate traffic). 145th would also be feasable, depending on how important a one-seat ride from Bothell to Lake City is.

      1. I’ve had some ideas on what might be considered post North LINK, though my ideas are flavored by my experience as a Transit user in San Francisco and the works of Jarrett Walker of Human Transit.

      2. The 545 may run diagonally, but if you exclude stops that it shares with the 542, it serves precisely the same corridor as East Link, just in a different direction. I can’t imagine that ST will keep running the 545 off-peak. With the train already covering that route, there just won’t be the demand for a redundant express bus.

    3. Post North-Link (and NCT) the 41 will at the very least truncated at Northgate. Metro might decide to do something entirely different as well (replace Northgate/Lake City service with something along the current 75 route and replace the North part of the 41 route with an E/W trunk running along 130th/Roosevelt/125th).

      As for Lake City Way service it really will come down to which Link station is faster and more reliable to access from 125th & Lake City Way. That could be Roosevelt, it could be 125th/130th, or it could be 145th/155th (it certainly isn’t Northgate TC). It may even make sense to just keep running the 522 all the way into downtown.

      In an ideal world 125th and Lake City Way would have fast and frequent bus connections to every Link station between UWMC and the Montlake Terrace TC including Brooklyn, Roosevelt, Northgate, 125th/130th, 145th/155th, and 185th (assuming all get built). We’re already close. The 372 comes very close to UW station. The 72 serves Brooklyn and comes within 3 blocks of Roosevelt. The 75 serves Northgate TC. The 41 serves 125th. The 330 serves 155th and SCC. There currently is no direct all-day service to 185th or Montlake Terrace TC from Lake City.

  10. “At the Bitterlake open house, a ST representative said they were assuming the (eastside) 125th station would have a pedestrian bridge over I-5, regardless.”

    Could we take the money for that bridge and apply it to a Northgate-NSCC bridge? It’s the same subarea, just one station over, and Northgate is arguably part of the North Corridor (being the interface from it to the rest of Link). You could get community support by pointing out that a Northgate bridge is vitally necessary now and would get much higher use, while a 125th-130th bridge would be marginal and could be deferred until later.

    1. I don’t think it’s an either/or thing. It sounds like there’s a decent possibility a pedestrian bridge would be built with Northgate Station from the beginning.

    2. I’m all for new pedestrian bridges (everywhere) but if the station ends up being on 130th (or very close to it) then it is not essential. You can walk across 130th right now. It isn’t a very pleasant walk, but you can do it.

      On the other hand, the Northgate station sits right in between the two crossings. I agree with you Mike — I would love to see that money used for a pedestrian bridge now, since we need it now. Once we decide on a location for the next station to the north, we can build a bridge there. If it turns out that we put it at 130th, the cheapest thing to do would be to expand the existing bridge (which I assume would be cheaper than building a new one).

      As alexjonlin suggests, I hope it isn’t an either/or thing. But if it is, my vote is for the Northgate pedestrian bridge. If there is no new pedestrian bridge to the 125th/130th street station, that is just one more argument for putting the station at 130th.

      1. +1. This would be another reason to site the station closer to 130th than 125th, then you can just do ped improvements to the existing freeway crossing rather than having to pay to build a whole new bridge.

    3. There is currently no money for a Northgate bridge. So if ST is to fund it, it would have to come from the North Corridor budget. If ST finds it can build all its stations and a bridge, perhaps it can be persuaded to put the bridge at Northgate.

  11. One advantage of 145th St. not mentioned in the article is the proximity to Lakeside High School. I don’t know how many students would use the train to get to school, but considering that the parking lot is quite small – a capacity of just 60 cars or so – the school would probably generate at least as much ridership as the park-and-ride.

  12. Don’t forget the tiny P&R just north of 130th: maybe it would be useful (finally) with a 130th LRT station! It would offer potentially close proximity to the frequent Metro #41 to Lake City, but no bus going west until one reaches Meridian. The traffic on 130th is fairly heavy, too, but not nearly as bad as 145th.

    As for 145th, the City of Shoreline is looking at acquiring 145th in its entirety for the purpose of finally expanding it after decades of mediocrity under its existing multiple ownership (WSDOT, City of Seattle, King County, and later Shoreline). Without this, a LRT station there would rocket the already-nightmare traffic on 145th into orbit. Meanwhile, the P&R at 147th & 5th NE is a paltry 60 or so slots and would need to be substantially expanded, taking out residences. Its present use is marginal for freeway bus riders, as it’s a long, wind-and-weather-blown walk to the west side of I-5. There would probably be fewer residences impacted by a station in this vicinity, but traffic would be a huge concern without widening of 145th. There is limited Metro bus service to the west (peak service from there to downtown) and all-day service north on 5th NE and east to 15th NE.

    On 155th North, while I disagree, it’s not substantially “more residential” than 145th, there’s an open area on a wider, less-traveled street than 145th that would provide adequate separation from freeway traffic and a safe pedestrian walk or bicycle ride east to Paramount Park or west to Aurora, unlike the hazardous 145th, which has uneven and narrow sidewalks, no bicycle lanes, and substantial traffic. At 155th & I-5, there’s a park to the west, a fire station to the east. By the way, Shoreline Community College is off of N. 160th, not 185th, so this location would provide the best connection to that as well as to Westminster Square (Central Market), and Metro has east-west peak service (#330) that does just that.

    I was surprised that 175th was removed from consideration, as it would’ve provided a straight shot to Shoreline’s City Center to the west (175th & Aurora) as well as the North City Business District (175th & 15th NE) and the large King County Library to the east of I-5, with all-day Metro service to the east and up to and across 185th. There seemed to be space both east and west of I-5 to put a station here as well.

    North 185th is a narrower street than 155th, and getting to the North City Business District is not in a straight line, but a zig-zag. It’s also complicated by the Shoreline Stadium on the west side. The School District has not been convinced to sell the Shoreline Center, it’s the city’s hope that they do (just as it’s their hope that they can financially take on ownershp of 145th). There’s all-day Metro service to NCBD and across Aurora to Richmond Beach.

    I agree, Mountlake Terrace Transit Center will be one of the stations, as that city has successfully lobbied and proven its clout despite it being less than ½ the population of Shoreline, whose residents are still waiting for their first return on their 15+ years of paying taxes into Sound Transit’s coffers while Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood residents (their combined population is = Shoreline’s) have had 7-day-a-week bi-directional Sound Transit express bus service over that timeframe.

  13. Shoreline CC is at North 160th Street. The closest Link station would be NE 155th Street, not 185th Street. An advantage of NE 155th Street over NE 145th Street is its lack of traffic congestion. NE 145th Street has a freeway interchange and will always have heavy traffic, slow bus service and hostile to both pedestrians and development.

    1. That’s a good point, that is a huge and very busy interchange, and it’s larger than just the intersection

  14. Here’s what I don’t get: the reason they nixed the Aurora alignment was because it would add too much travel time for people in Lynnwood and therefore reduce ridership, right? So, now we’re talking about adding 2 stations, which will increase travel time from Lynnwood? Don’t get me wrong, I really want a station at 130th, but having 6 stations instead of 4 would add back the few minutes they’re saving by putting the route on I-5.

  15. I have real issues with the choice to use the I-5 alignment over 99, and ultimately I can’t see this line being very successful. The problem is that if people who live relatively close to the city have to get in their car and go out of their way to get to the train, they will just drive to work. There is nothing walkable about the areas surrounding this corridor, so it will only be for park and ride commuters. We certainly need to move commuters, but transit can and should fit better into our lives outside of office hours as well. That is how we change how we get around. Aurora had a better chance of doing this.

Comments are closed.