Image from Sound Transit
Image from Sound Transit

The Northgate Station: Design and Access open house will be held at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 NE 95th Street from 6pm to 8pm May the 23rd.  The presentation will begin at 6:30pm.

Sound Transit staff will discuss:

  • Refinements to station and plaza design.
  • Preliminary results of Northgate Station Access Study (pedestrian and bike improvements).
  • King County Metro’s transit center plans.

For more information, visit the Northgate Station page or contact the Northgate Link Extension project team at 206-398-5300 or northlink@soundtransit.org.

Thanks to Publicalendar for the heads up.

29 Replies to “Northgate Open House This Thursday (May 23rd)”

  1. Hypocrisy
    Vision Line next to major Freeway = Bad
    Northgate Stn also next to Freeway = Good
    Vision line pedestrian O-xing to Hospital & TOD at auto row = stupid idea
    Northgate ped O-xing to NSCC and existing MF housing = must have
    Vision line HOV direct access for bus in currently built = who cares
    Northgate bus intercept from HOV = too expensive to build for short run
    Vision line bus/train/DMU interface = No Good, too far from current Temporary BTC bus bays.
    Northgate = Must move permanent NTC bus bays to new site across the street.
    Vision Line, no huge ass parking garage. Northgate… Bring it on.
    Bellevue gets it’s tunnel to/from nowhere for no good idea except ‘just because’.

    1. Your analysis is extremely simplistic. There are noticible differences in most of your comparisons.

      And you don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word hypocrisy. The term you are looking for is ‘double standards.’

      1. From my Urban Dictionary ™:

        Hypocrisy is when one douchebag calls out another douchebag for being a douchebag, and the second douchebag responds to this by calling the first one a hypocrite.
        It is usually the case that the sheer mass of irony inherent to the situation at this point causes a tear in the fabric of space-time, resulting in both douchebags being sucked into a black hole of self-absorbed narcissism. Innocent bystanders are advised to quickly become apathetic to the confrontation, lest they too become sucked into the singularity.

    2. No one is saying that Northgate Station is perfect. Far from it. It inherits the weaknesses of Northgate TC and makes them worse in a couple of respects. But it’s still vastly better than the Vision Line (or the current gimped East Link station). Let’s break this down.

      First, before we get to your complaints, let’s remember that Northgate Station and TC are across the street from their primary destination. The center of BTC is already three to five blocks away from most of its primary destinations, and the Vision Line would have added another three blocks to that. That right there is enough by itself to show why Northgate Station is better than the Vision Line or even the current Bellevue station plan. But…

      Vision Line next to major Freeway = Bad
      Northgate Stn also next to Freeway = Good

      Yes, this is a weakness in both plans. The walkshed is smaller.

      Vision line pedestrian O-xing to Hospital & TOD at auto row = stupid idea
      Northgate ped O-xing to NSCC and existing MF housing = must have

      The NSCC pedestrian crossing is an adaptation to a weakness of the design; it’s not perfect. But it’s far better than the Vision Line bridge. The NSCC bridge will go right to the center of NSCC, whereas the Vision Line bridge would have put you more than a quarter mile from the hospital. Auto Row TOD is exceedingly speculative; the hospital is the only destination currently there. There is no housing there at the moment, and a few strip malls. By contrast, there is a lot of both MF housing and SFH extremely close to NSCC — everything around NSCC is housing.

      Vision line HOV direct access for bus in currently built = who cares
      Northgate bus intercept from HOV = too expensive to build for short run

      Lynnwood Link will obviate most of the need for it. The only buses that would benefit at that point would be the Bellevue buses, which probably aren’t worth a huge HOV access project on their own. By contrast, the Bellevue HOV lane is needed for all north-south express service.

      Vision line bus/train/DMU interface = No Good, too far from current Temporary BTC bus bays.
      Northgate = Must move permanent NTC bus bays to new site across the street.

      What? The latest Northgate Station design documents show the bus bays at their existing location, accessible from the station through a very short and flat pedestrian passage. They are considerably closer than BTC is from the currently planned Bellevue station, let alone the Vision Line station, which would have been three steeply uphill blocks away.

      Vision Line, no huge ass parking garage. Northgate… Bring it on.

      We fought against it and lost.

      1. Actually mic is correct about one thing: Metro is looking at moving the bus bays (demolishing the existing Northgate TC) as part of a plan to convert the surface parking lots to TOD. Take a look at slide 24, “Proposed TOD Plan,” in this presentation [PDF] from last November. The transit island is replaced with a bidirectional transit way with curb stops. I couldn’t dig up the Metro presentation about it. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it on Thursday.

      2. “everything around NSCC is housing”

        North of NSCC is a hospital, clinics, a medical school, and office buildings. One thing people don’t notice about Northgate is that on both sides of the freeway are midrise office buildings that would be at home downtown. That’s part of the cause and reason for the Link station.

      3. David Seater, thank you for the link. But mic is still wrong… the proposed bus bays are not “across the street,” but moved just a bit east from the current NTC location and still accessible by a short, flat, wide, unobstructed pedestrian path.

    3. Must… not… feed… trolllll….

      Oh, whatever.

      Northgate Station isn’t good because it’s next to the freeway, the other qualities of the line and its location overcome the problems of its freewayside location. And a compromised Northgate station will be, what, the fifth most important destination on Link (following downtown Seattle, the U District, Cap Hill, and the airport)? The compromised Bellevue station would be the central destination on the vision line.

      1. I agree with what you and David said. I would also add that my guess is that Northgate station will have trouble making the top 5 as soon as the other stations to the north are built. If a station is built on 130th, then such a station would be the feeder station for this area (not Northgate). 130th goes through (east west) while 100th does not. This means that bus routes like the 41 could easily be replaced by buses that move people from Lake City Way to 130th and on to Bitter Lake. Those buses could operate much faster and thus far more frequently than similar buses do today. In other words, the Northgate Station will be far less of a transit center, and way more of a station to serve the folks who work or live close by. Of course, there will be some buses that shuttle people from some of the nearby neighborhoods, but not nearly as many.

        This is why the bridge is so important. There is a fair amount of business and housing on both sides of the freeway (more than some folks imagine) and it is crazy to cut off half of it (especially since that half contains a college).

      2. I disagree. Northgate is a destination, not a commuter conduit. Besides the shopping center and NSCC, you have a lot of health care, including Group Health, a huge cinema and restaurants that don’t just serve the neighborhood. No one is going to head “to” 130th Street unless they live there or take a bus from there. I live in Wallingford and take the bus or bike to Northgate all the time.

      3. RossB, you’re making assumptions about Metro and the city that just don’t seem likely given their past history. Passengers may or may not prefer 130th, and an east-west bus route is still a possibility, but having them eclipse Northgate station or the Northgate neighborhood is another matter. The city is heavily committed to Northgate as the largest urban center between the U-District and Lynnwood, and will make the largest upzones there. A lot of people from Maple Leaf and the Meridian/Oak Tree areas will continue to go to the mall and to Northgate station. The 41 will not be replaced automatically; it requires a decision by Metro to do it. Metro will probably keep the 41 as-is (truncating it at Northgate station) because it likes to stick to existing streets and established patterns. The 130th route would probably start as half-hourly. I don’t even know if Metro is willing to reroute the 75 into a Sand Point – 130th route. My gut feeling is that it won’t. It won’t be willing to move the 75 away from Northgate (or to leave east Northgate Way without service). So the 130th route will have to be something different. Metro would have to show more reorganizational fortitude than it has shown, in order to reroute the 75 or 41. Its evidence will be the proven track record of the 41, as opposed to a speculative ridership on the 130th route that may or may not materialize. Metro will gain a lot of hours when it truncates the express routes, so that will surely be enough for a new 130th route.

      4. Mike, Metro is not quite as hidebound as you think. They are willing to reorganize when something like a Link line is dropped into their existing system. And they have planners who recognize the virtues of a gridded network. Once there is a 130th station, it makes far more sense from the grid perspective to have a 105th/Northgate Way crosstown line and a 130th crosstown line, and they will realize that. I don’t think inertia will be so great as to preclude a restructure that won’t really hurt anyone’s connectivity and will help a lot of people.

        Here’s how I see it going:

        1) Extend the 66/67 (which by then will probably be a single route with its south end in the U-District) up 5th.
        2) Move the 75 to 125th and 130th, terminating at either Greenwood or 3rd NW.
        3) Extend the 40 along the former 75 route along Northgate Way, to create a full crosstown 105th/Northgate route.
        4) Kill the 41.

      5. And some of these benefits (although not all) are achievable without a 130th station, once Northgate Station opens…

        1) Modify the 75 to use the current 41 routing between Lake City and Northgate, and expand frequency to 15 minutes.
        2) Extend the 40 along the former 75 routing as in the comment above.
        3) Kill the 41.

  2. NE 145th and NE 185th Stations’ open houses are tomorrow in Shoreline. I believe it’s held in Shoreline City Hall.

    1. I hope the favored station location ends up being 155th, not 145th. The walkshed would be far better.

      1. AGREED!!! Darned powerpoles in the sidewalk! Lack of E/W transit connections.

      2. Hopefully enough redundant downtown service would be freed up to make something like the 330 an all-day route, which would give the area and the station a real E/W connection.

        The 316 and 347 already both run pretty close.

      3. Excuse me… 346, not 316. (Well, the 316 also runs close, but would be completely pointless with 155th and 185th Link stations.)

      4. Agreed. 130th, 155th 185th. Give 145th to cars, and improve the ped and bike access to these streets. 155th and 185th are already decent, for Shoreline. 130th they need to completely redesign between Aurora and Roosevelt. It’s a ped and bike nightmare.

        Add a all-day, frequent bus running 125th/130th from Lake City to Bitter Lake, and this could one transfer I could stomach.

    2. You must mean this meeting. “Light rail station area planning, Wednesday May 22nd, 6:00-8:30pm, in the Council Chambers. Meet the project team — learn about environmental analysis and the process for station area planning. Find out how you could be impacted and how to get involved in decision-making.” Hmm, I’ll see if I can get to that.

  3. Here’s an idea to solve some of the parking issues at Northgate. File this one in the ‘so crazy it could even work’ folder.

    NSCC provides land to build a joint ST – NSCC parking garage in the northeast corner of the NSCC campus. ST uses the cost savings to build the ped bridge over I-5. Northgate station parking is now across the freeway.

    NSCC funds its share by selling off its south parking lot for development. The land gets more valuable because Seattle rezones it for 160′ skinny residential towers with reduced parking requirements, feeding riders to Link.

    One of the major problem with all this is that the arterials around NSCC can’t handle all the added traffic.

    1. It’s crazy only because ST doesn’t ever consider what makes sense or what the local population wants or would benefit by. This agency is completely driven by spending every cent in revenue it can acquire. “On time and on budget” is why we have the Bellevue aircraft carrier landing deck for a station west of BTC coupled with a useless tunnel. The idea of any hold up which would put money in the bank and bureaucrats out of a job is anathema to the agency’s ethos. Fortunately for them there’s a big line at the KoolAid fountain.

    2. I believe this was already studied. NSCC and ST couldn’t really share the garage (since their peak demand is at the same time). And for cost savings… the land might already be public at NSCC but there are large wetlands at that end of campus, which certainly would offset some or all any “cost savings”.

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