City of Lynnwood
City of Lynnwood

The Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline city councils have all submitted their comments on possible Link alignments. Mike Orr’s report on the options may be a useful reference to follow along.

letter suggests stations at 145th and 185th street (each with a 500-space garage) while dismissing one at 155th. 145th “will serve as a regional station” with good connections to neighborhoods East via a “main thoroughfare.” Furthermore, the Council’s letter cites that 145th was in the original ST2 literature, station area planning to improve access has already begun there, and Shoreline is even considering annexing the street from Seattle and King County.

155th is accused of “significant negative impacts to the surrounding stable, single-family neighborhood,” while 145th has mixed uses. The council also fears that the station will congest 155th, which currently has “one-quarter to one-half the daily traffic of 145th Street.” Of course, it was precisely this fact that led David Lawson to comment in Mike’s post that the lighter traffic would make bus service much more reliable on 155th.

Mountlake Terrace, with much less uncertainty in station location, suggested a line and station entirely east of I-5, rather than in the median, for higher TOD potential and in support of their “town center” vision.

Lynnwood‘s resolution endorses a “C3 Modified” alignment (press report here). Mike rightly criticized the original C3 for being farthest away from Lynnwood’s nascent downtown plan, but the modified location (see figure above) isn’t clearly less accessible than the other options.

It criticizes C1 for requiring the removal of businesses and a condo complex; having noise, property value, and vibration impacts on other adjacent apartments, condos, and single family homes*; and requiring right of way through Scriber Creek Park. C2 has “similar” property impacts and is still too close to the park for the Council’s taste. It complains (rightfully) that C3 is too far from everything, including the transit center, and reduces development opportunities along the freeway, all while being too close to Sanitary Sewer Lift Station 10 given its expansion plans and, uh, rider comfort.

For people more interested in future usability than impact to current residents, C3 modified is clearly better than C3. C1 is strongest in access to existing buildings (which is in effect why the Council doesn’t like it) and the future City Center, while C2 provides the best bus transfer experience. C3M is a hybrid of the two, somewhat closer to the buses than C1 and closer to the buildings than C2. It also has the advantage of a more direct path south with no sharp turns. The DEIS said C1 was about $30m more than the alternatives, and the ridership of all three options was the same. Given that, I would imagine that the models would put C3M on the cheap end with unchanged ridership. ST spokesman Bruce Gray said that it’s early but “at first blush we don’t see any showstoppers” with C3M.

The fiasco in downtown Bellevue shows that the Sound Transit Board is strongly inclined to defer to city councils on station details when their preferred alternative is cost neutral or a bit cheaper, so unless there are hidden drawbacks to these selections I’d make these the favorites going forward.

* Many of these homes would be along the ROW but not particularly close to the station, so reduced values are a reasonable assumption.

97 Replies to “North End Cities Comment on Lynnwood Link”

  1. What makes ST think an interstate alignment will work better here than it does in Portland or Denver?

      1. The suburbs just really want these stations as far away from their homes as they can get them… enjoy your long walk. Lynnwood can congratulate themselves on a damned empty downtown when its complete, because no one is really going to want to walk all the way from the transit center to whatever they manage to create. I wonder if they plan to run shuttles from the transit center to their downtown every time a link train shows up. Thirty minute waits that are pretty standard on buses outside of Seattle will not be acceptable to people who just got off of a high frequency train line.

        Hopefully when Link gets extended up to Everett, the city leaders will not be as dense as those to the south of them, but I suspect they will want their station down at the Everett train station (which fine if they also have another stop or two in potential growth areas, but its too early to say at this point).

        Meanwhile down in Seattle, we need to make sure our future lines don’t go anywhere near the freeway unless its to transfer to central link. Fortunately Ballard and West Seattle are nowhere near any kind of freeway, so that’s looking good so far…

      2. The distance is not as bad as you make it out. The C3M station is at 202nd & 46th. The center of the downtown upzone district is around 198th & 44th, so just a 5-minute block away. The furthest opposite corner (194th & 40th) is 15 minutes away. That’s comparable to Bellevue TC if not better. We don’t know where the biggest destinations will be downtown, whether they’ll be in the nearest quarter or the furthest quarter, so we have to just take the average of the two. But given that the station will be sited before the development, that gives Lynnwood the opportunity to put some significant destinations in the quarter closest to the station.

      3. Charles B: Just compare the distance to a major shopping mall, including walking from the parking lot, which folks do without thinking twice about it.

      4. The difference being that downtown Bellevue actually exists, which downtown Lynnwood does not. And that even sub-optimally-placed BTC is at least contiguous with downtown (Bellevue Link, less so; Lynnwood Link, not at all).

        Oh, and no one goes to the mall expecting a long, dead walk from the car to the nearest entrance, and less than once a year is that the experience one encounters. And even then, the one has started from one’s actual starting point, rather than being forced to jump through whatever access hoops ST planted on the other end.

        TL;DR: Far and desolate = far and desolate.

    1. ST looked at an SR99 alignment for Lynnwood but concluded it would be too costly and long. It required a tunnel from Northgate to SR99 as a surface line would have bisected the street grid and wiped out a bunch of things. Oddly, I do remember ST’s report saying TOD would be better along I-5 rather than SR99. No idea how they came up with that.

      1. The biggest issue was the 4-minute travel time difference, which according to ST’s calculations would lose more riders than it gained. I-5 was a bit less expensive, but not enough alone to tip the balance. It was both factors together that tipped the balance. ST did not say specifically that 99 was too long (as in distance) or that the tunnel north of Northgate was excessive. In fact, one alternative for 99 even added a station, which if I remember was the original inspiration for a 130th station on the I-5 alignment.

      2. There are two factors going into that “mere” 4 minutes. One, the general principle that every minute causes a few people to make different decisions, and these add up when it’s multiple minutes and tens of thousands of travelers. Two, the estimate from Lynnwood to Westlake is 28 minutes. Psychologically, that’s “less than half an hour”, which also encourages riders. Adding 4 minutes brings it to 32, which is “more than half an hour”, and “approaching an hour when you add in the time to get to the platform and wait for the train”. These factors discourage riders.

      1. From the Denver Post article about accessing the mall:

        “It was 8:21, and we were sailing. Traffic on the highway, meanwhile, was at a crawl.”

        It’s just a matter of time until people get tired of sitting in traffic. Link’s continued ridership growth shows this. Even Kemper Development may eventually come around although probably not until somebody else in the family takes over.

      2. Denver: Where everyody loves to crow about their shiny new rail system, but nobody ever uses it.

        The overwhelming majority of Denver’s ridership is for peak-direction CBD commuting and occasional sporting events, Velo. Those people are sitting in traffic not because they want to, but because the rail is 100% useless for going where they actually need to go. Even if that destination is in a bustling area of Denver proper.

        I hadn’t seen this analysis of yours before, Zach, but it’s spot-on. Sadly, the outcome of the recent dust-up over the University Hospital alignment demonstrates that Denver and its RTD haven’t learned a damned thing from their past mistakes.

      3. My point isn’t that Denver’s system is a model to follow – obviously, it’s not based on your description. However, given time, people will seek out alternatives to sitting in traffic and incremental improvements will occur. Looking at the Mall in the above article on Google Maps today shows a pedestrian bridge and sidewalk leading to the mall, for example. Is it optimal? Hell no. But over time, pressures will build to improve the situation and take advantage of all that wasted space (aka parking).

        Now, imagine what a few improvements to the area’s bicycle trails could do for the mall, and this station, and the area’s residential areas. Add in a few strategic upzonings and you’ve got some choices for people who want to avoid sitting in their car looking at other parked cars.

      4. Suburban Denver has tremendous bicycling infrastructure. But that doesn’t mean a damn to those who would like a non-automobile, non-Colorado-winter exposed trip to real places that already exist, which RTD flagrantly bypasses and which Sound Transit mimics at its peril.

    2. The model says anyone of these locations will produce 16,000 daily boardings a weekday, or twice as many as all three downtown Bellevue stations will produce.
      And that’s with only adding 500 more parking spaces.
      This station location next to the freeway will surely rewrite all the engineering books on the subject and launch Lynnwood into the recordbooks for fastest CBD development ever.
      Way to go Loonewood and $oundTransit.

      1. Mic- you know full well I wrote an entire post showing those numbers are entirely reasonable. But you won’t let that get in the way of your campaign of FUD and name calling.

      2. Looking back to Oct of last year, when you wrote the article, I pretty well debunked the ability to move that many buses through Lynnwood without huge investments in bus queue lanes to meet the incoming trains in the PM peak. You never even addressed the problem of Lynnwood station having greater capacity than the DSTT during it’s bus only heydey.
        Buses to connect to Link don’t fall out of a vending machine. They have to arrive, wait, and move out at their allotted time. That takes lanes. Look at CPS, and it got very crowded sometimes.
        Lynnwood and ST are not interested in building the infrastructure to interface that many buses and rail, as it’s only an interim ‘end of the line’ station. Lynnwood would be shooting themselves in the foot to build it big enough, as they want 1 or 2 more stops in the yet to be built CBD.
        Ah, but you forgot all that Martin, so it’s easy to shout FUD and declare a victory.
        16,500 boardings and alightings each day, mostly in the peak is fantasy, and should be addressed as part of real station planning.

      3. OMG, it gets worse. ST is publically showing 20,000 boardings per day from just Lynnwood Stn.
        Today, there are a total of 108 buses traveling down I-5 from either Seattle or Udist to or going past LTC. If they all stop there (28 don’t now), and they’re all full, that’s about 5,400 riders, or nearly 15,000 shy of their claims to fame.
        20,000 Link arrivals in the PM Peak (3-6), would require a bus every
        30 seconds.
        Show me another station anywhere in the world that moves that many riders from rail to bus, and compare those facilities to the drawings of LTC.
        But, apparently your mind is made up, so I won’t confuse you with facts.

  2. Since Shoreline has come down this clearly in favor of 145th, I expect 145th is what’s going to happen. Martin is exactly right that ST prefers (for good reasons) to defer to local governments where possible That implies two things:

    1) The fight for a 130th station just got a little bit more challenging. We need to keep putting pressure on both Seattle and ST for 130th. The 145th station will do very little for Lake City or Bitter Lake, which are arguably the two growth centers in all of Seattle that have the most capacity for uncontroversial growth, and neither of which is at all well served by Northgate Station.

    2) If it is going to be 145th, then a good-faith effort to solve the considerable problems at 145th becomes very important. There are three parts to this:

    – a) Trying to improve the currently horrible pedestrian access from all sides;
    – b) Trying to find a reliable way to get buses through from the east, without completely breaking car access (which a bus lane on westbound 145th would do if there were no other changes); and
    – c) Trying to maximize the limited TOD possibilities at the station.

    All of these will require a lot of creativity and cooperation on the part of Shoreline, Seattle, ST, and WSDOT (as 145th east of I-5 is a state highway for some odd reason).

    1. +1

      While we are fighting for better pedestrian access, let’s do something for bicycles on 145th too, that street is pretty damned horrible for anyone who isn’t a car.

      Considering how bad the TOD options seem near 145th, access will be of paramount importance.

      1. I don’t think they will do anything for bicycles on 145th. The Shoreline letter (see link above) suggests improvements to 155th instead. I would link to the exact bullet point item, or copy it, but unfortunately the letter is a PDF that appears to be a scanned, printed document. I’m not sure if they only had a typewriter, or what. Anyway, it is the first bullet point item on the ninth page (from the PDF’s perspective) or “Page 5 of 15” as shown on the bottom of the scanned paper.

    2. There has already been an immense outpouring of support for 130th; I don’t think there’s much more we can do. The Seattle city council supported it unanimously for the same reasons we did (better access to Lake City and Bitter Lake), so the same city-deferral principle works in its favor. ST has also gotten hundreds of individual comments pro 130th, both in official EIS comments and throughout all the planning stages. In fact, I suspect 130th is the most-supported aspect of anything in this extension.

      So I think it will probably happen, and ST will accept the uneven stop spacing. That puts 2.75 miles between 130th and 185th, but that’s just a bit wider than in the south segment, and the one with the biggest clout to object is Shoreline, which isn’t objecting.

  3. I think the problem most people have with the way Sound Transit behaves is the confusion caused by their name –
    the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority.
    the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Confederacy would be more apt.

    The interurban alignment was the logical choice for the north end, but as Martin politely pointed out, they weren’t interested in running headlong into the Shoreline buzz saw.

  4. A thought on the C3M. They could put the massive parking garage between the Link station and the freeway. It could act as a visual and sound barrier for the freeway, as well as freeing up the more valuable land to the north for TOD and a city center.

    1. That’s a parking garage plan I would endorse.

      Especially if it’s a Sea-Tac style garage, where zoning requires street-facing ground level retail in the structure.

  5. As y’all know, I strongly support the 145th St Station, but not the 145th parking garage. That parking garage will be an attractive nuisance that will yank the rug out from under route 522 ridership, creating a spiral of need for the parking garage and a spiral of traffic jam. Let it be built on the northwest corner of 145th and I-5. Don’t make it a more attractive option than riding the bus. Charge heftily for using the stalls. Do that, and the projected number of stalls needed will hopefully plummet.

    The City of Seattle should resist having the garage built south of 145th, and at the very least, use it as a bargaining chip to get 130th St Station built.

    Moreover, the same arguments apply to the amount of money spent per capita on people driving to the station compared to wheelchairing, walking, biking, and riding the bus to the station as has been applied at Northgate. I’m betting the per capita cost of these capital improvements will be much lower than those riders using parking stalls. Let’s demand per capita modal-cost equity. ADA-quality sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus lanes are cheaper than a parking garage.

    1. The Kenmore City Council recently expressed their preference for a station at 145th, and that’s left me wondering what effect the station is going to have on us. There will most certainly be some sort of bus restructuring, but it’s anybody’s guess how it will manifest itself at this point.

      What I’d like to see is a station that emphasizes bus accesibility over car accesibility. I guess I can live with a parking garage as long as it’s not a hindrance to bus and pedestrian accesibility, but something tells me that’s not going to be the case.

      1. I think Kenmore is making a mistake by picking 145th. As I said below, on paper, it looks great. But without improvements to 145th, it will fail. There will just be too much traffic on 145th. The buses will either slog through it (there goes your increased frequency) or continue on Lake City Way to 130th (which might be worse — hard to say). If I was a Kenmore representative, I would make sure that Seattle and Shoreline signed off to improvements on 145th geared towards getting the buses through. There is very little incentive for Seattle to make the improvements and just a bit more for Shoreline. The folks who really care about it ride the bus from Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell.

      2. Whaddaya bet the Kenmore City Council is thinking more in terms of people driving to the station than taking a bus to it? It’s hard to argue with 145th from a driving perspective because it’s already a state highway, wide, has a P&R, and is more direct than 130th. 155th and 185th aren’t feasable for Kenmore cars because of the hillside and lack of direct roads, and Mountlake Terrace Station is also pretty indirect.

        As to what the 522 does, I think it’s premature to give it more than a preliminary consideration because ST won’t make that decision for almost a decade, and the alternatives are about equal. Either the 522 will terminate at 130th, 145th, Roosevelt, or continue to downtown. 145th is the fastest way from Kenmore to Link. 130th would bring in Lake City, which is a lot of people and an urban village. Going all the way to downtown would have the fastest travel time, and it’s arguable that Lake City Way is too far from Link to reasonably truncate it (at least until the 150 and 101 are also truncated). We’ve been wanting the 522 to go to 130th for Lake City, but really, Lake City just needs a bus route to 130th, not necessarily the 522. A local route would have a greater chance of being frequent. And there would certainly be something from Lake City to Kenmore if the 522 weren’t there, perhaps the 372.

      3. I agree that Kenmore may be thinking more about cars than buses. I wonder if the folks in Kenmore know this. A 500 car garage is big, but not everyone from highway 522 will get a spot. Meanwhile, I wonder how many people ride buses from that area? In other words, the representatives should probably recognize that more people will ride buses to that station from Kenmore (if all goes well) than drive.

        As to the truncation, I think it is very complicated. A lot depends on the time of day. If there is no traffic, just continuing down Lake City Way may be the fastest, although I’m not sure. 145th to Link may be just as fast.

        With traffic, it is also very hard to tell. 145th can be terrible. My guess is that if you don’t make any stops, there are days where you are better off staying on Lake City Way and getting on at 130th. Meanwhile, in the evening, Lake City Way southbound is terrible.

        One advantage to having the routes cut over to Link sooner rather than later is that it benefits folks going to other destinations. For example, if the bus just continues on to downtown, then folks traveling from Bothell to the UW have to backtrack (or find another bus).

        I agree that 145th is a good route in general. If there wasn’t so much traffic, no one would be talking about 155th. If you lived in Kenmore and wanted to find the fastest route to a spot (any spot) over the freeway, your best bet at 8:30 in the morning would probably be to drive 145th and then cut north to 155th. It isn’t as direct, but sometimes traffic forces you to go out of your way.

    2. I think the park and ride would essentially be an extension of the existing parking lot, which means it would be to the northeast of the station. Basically, it would extend the existing park and ride south. This is the only land I see around here that could be grabbed quite easily (from the state). They would have to do some work on the interchange, but that is mentioned in one of the documents.

      I can’t but think that it is really parking that is driving this decision. While 145th looks great on paper, it struggles under the weight of traffic. Meanwhile, if you want to build a big parking lot and piss off as few people as possible, then put this station at 145th. Increased bus traffic on 155th might upset the neighbors a bit, but it won’t really have the “significant negative impact” that a big parking lot will.

      I know I’m feeling a bit cynical, but I have a feeling that nothing much will be done to improve the bus traffic situation. Frankly, I don’t see how you can without hurting drivers who already don’t like this street as well as the hundreds of people who are supposed to use this park and ride. Letting 145th slow to crawl won’t hurt Shoreline much at all, but will really damage the buses coming from the northeast, which will, in turn, hurt everyone who depends on those (and other) buses.

      1. ST engineers I’ve heard have described parking garages as mitigating parking impacts for the surrounding neighborhoods, not creating traffic impacts. We have some data gathering to do to convince them the latter also happens.

      2. I heard the same thing but I think they mean it in a different way than you’re interpreting. Not that P&Rs don’t generate traffic, but that the decision whether to have a P&R and what size it should be is driven by what’s needed to prevent “hide & ride” on neighboring streets.

      3. How much would a 500 stall parking garage cost?

        How much would an elevated busway between Meridian and 15th NE (about a mile) cost, with a station above the Link Station?

        Which would serve more people?

      4. Neighborhood parking zones may be a solution, but suburbs like Shoreline are wholly unaccustomed to them.

      5. I can just see suburban residents saying, “What, you want me to get a permit and pay to have guests park in front of my house? What a load of city-slicker socialism! Tim Eyman should run an initiative banning residential parking zones outside Seattle. And Sound Transit should pay for the full impact of its station, including a parking garage.”

      6. @Mike. Are you sure about that. I know that Mercer Island already has a couple NPZs, and I’m fairly certain I’ve seen them elsewhere in the gerater Puget Sound area.

  6. The 145th site allows for a perfect transfer point for a number of current downtown headed bus routes (301,304, 308) that could be truncated there and the service hours used to increase service to those areas while reducing the number of coaches having to sit on I5 during the rush housrs. Some areas could actually receive frequent all day service in place of single seat rides. This would also improve traffic flow downtown. 130th and Lake city should receive improved bus service to the station at Northgate from the route 41 hours that will not be needed as the Link replaces the 41 ride to the DSTT from NGTC as the 41 and all of the other busses will be out of the tunnel by then to make way for more frequent train service.

    1. Two points…

      1) For the 145th transfer point to work well, a solution will need to be found to get buses reliably through everyday traffic jams approaching I-5 on 145th from both sides, but especially from the east.

      2) 130th should not have more bus service to Northgate. It should have more bus service to a 130th Station. Forcing Lake City residents to transfer at Northgate is a very bad solution because there is no reasonably fast way for a bus to get from Lake City to Northgate.

      1. I agree completely on both points. For the first point, I really don’t think the Shoreline folks have thought it through, or they just don’t care too much about the station, and its efficacy. If nothing is done to improve the station at 145th, it is likely that buses will use 130th (more than originally thought). Lake City Way is slow, but 145th simply doesn’t move during rush hour. To be fair, I’m not sure if Lake City Way is the same way (you might know David).

        To make 145th work, they will probably have to restrict car access. In other words, make one lane transit only. This would piss off drivers in the area. This is why I’m not sure if they have thought it through. Pissing off lots of drivers is probably a lot worse than upsetting folks close to 155th. Side Note: Sometimes I wonder if some of the suburbs even want light rail. Run it close to my neighborhood (a single family housing neighborhood) and I would be ecstatic. But somehow Shoreline doesn’t want a station because it might upset the neighbors. Jeesh.

        Then again, I just took a look at the Shoreline boundaries. They don’t extend that far east. In other words, they could care less what happens to nearby Lake Forest Park, Kenmore or Bothell. Maybe they won’t do anything to improve 145th. The handful of buses that travel on 145th will continue to slog through 145th. If buses coming from Bothell/Lake City Way have to slog through the same traffic (or find alternative routes) it is no skin off of their nose.

      2. I want to follow up on your second comment as well. As a “Transit Station”, Northgate makes sense right now. It won’t once the train station is built. It makes sense right now because there is an express lane entrance right there. Once the train is built, every train station becomes the access point for “the freeway”. Along with access to a station, the other consideration for a transit center is easy access by bus. Northgate is terrible for this. Absolutely terrible. 130th is quite good (it would be even better if there were no freeway ramps at all, but half a loaf is better than none). Once the train stations are built, we should just rename 130th as a “Transit Station” and make Northgate station just a station.

        By the time the station is built, Northgate will basically be a scaled down version of the Capitol Hill station. There will be a campus on one side, as well as a bunch of buildings scattered around. It will never have the charm (nor quite the density) of Capitol Hill, but it will be a solid urban neighborhood, filled with apartments, clinics, class rooms, offices, and oh yeah, a mall.

  7. On paper, 145th looks like a great choice. From the ground, during rush hour, it doesn’t. Unfortunately, if Shoreline really wants a stop there, then they will probably have a stop there. They don’t own 145th (yet), so Shoreline should settle with Seattle with regards to a station there. Seattle is way to concerned about 130th to worry about 145th. If they can strike a deal with Shoreline to build a station on 145th in exchange for one on 130th, then it will be approved easily.

    Such a deal might require Seattle selling their share of 145th to Shoreline as well. Otherwise, I’m not sure what improvements can be made to 145th that will actually make it work. If a bus lane is added to 145th, then this will back up car traffic. A bit of that car traffic is likely to spill south, to 130th. If you are a Seattle representative, you won’t like that. You would simply nix the traffic changes, and let 145th congeal. Too bad, so sad, Shoreline, that is what you wanted.

    Then there are the truncations. There are a number of buses that use Lake City Way. Most of those will meet the train at 145th or 130th. If improvements aren’t made to 145th, it is quite likely that the buses will use 130th, especially if improvements are made to 130th (although it isn’t clear whether any are needed). Lots of buses on 130th can get some drivers to consider alternatives for I-5 access — such as 145th. Now you have a station at 145th that is used by a handful of buses and a handful of pedestrians. This might be a very lonely station.

    1. It’s not “striking a deal” for 130th in exchange for 145th because 145th is what was in the voter-approved ST2 map. So ST will have to justify any deviations from it, with a statement saying they’re necessary or better. 130th will need such a “waiver”, but as I said Seattle is pushing hard for it so I expect it will happen. 145th doesn’t need anything because it’s the default choice. 155th would need an extra incentive to get it chosen, and that’s percisely what Shoreline is not doing.

      1. Thanks for the clarification.

        Well, shucks! That is a crazy process. Send a proposal to voters with stations that have yet to be studied, or even thoroughly discussed and that becomes the default. In other words, we should have had this argument before the proposal even went to voters (I guess). Somehow I missed the open house, or comment period for that.

      2. It was intended to have this argument now. That’s why the referendum gave ST broad authority to alter the alignment and stations. They didn’t want to make the monorail’s mistake of locking in every street and station so that any deviations would violate the law or require another referendum. Also, ST couldn’t commit to an alignment or mode before the Alternatives Analysis or it would forego any federal grants. So deviations are possible, and ST has made them and is willing to. But it does require ST to put out a statement saying why the deviations are justified. So it’s a small hurdle, but it’s one ST will jump over only if the alternative has significant advantages over the default.

    2. The (bus) routes that come into Seattle from Bothel Way/Lake CIty (State Rte 522) are planned to connect at Roosevelt when it opens not any farther north. I don’t recall the reasoning but it did make sense. Ithink it was to avoid 145th, 125th, and NGTC.

      1. Unfortunately, Roosevelt has its own issues… namely four non-synchronized traffic signals that buses have to get through to reach the station. Those traffic signals by themselves will make any Roosevelt transfer too slow to be useful.

        For what it’s worth, I haven’t heard any such thing about Roosevelt already being the transfer point of choice. I don’t think that decision has been made yet. If we base it on minimizing travel time for the greatest number of riders, the clear choice will be either 145th or 130th depending on how local Metro service is structured.

  8. Are there any traffic studies planned for any of this? As I (and many others) have said, I think Shoreline is making a mistake with the 145th street station. But I could be wrong. Maybe traffic isn’t that bad. But if it is, then I think everyone would want to know. Maybe the folks in Shoreline wouldn’t care that much, but the folks in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell would. If 145th is a mess and there is nothing that can be done, then the routes coming from 522 are hurt in a substantial way. It might even make sense for them to use 130th, instead. I would also like to see the parking garage be part of that study as well — I don’t see how you can add lots of parking spots to an already congested area and make it easier for vehicles (including buses) to get through.

    Then again, maybe you can do something for buses without screwing up car traffic. Or maybe you do screw up car traffic and just live with it. Again, I would love to see the studies.

  9. Reading the actual letter from Shoreline is very interesting. They make it clear that they want the station on 145th because it would be good for everyone. Basically, they are well aware that buses coming from the northeast will stop there. They are also well aware of the traffic concerns. Unfortunately, they don’t plan on doing any work (e. g. planning) on traffic improvements until after the board decides to build the station there. Basically, Shoreline is saying “We know about the bad traffic, we want to improve it, trust us, we will, once you approve the station”.

    I would feel a lot better about the situation if it was done in the opposite order, or if someone else was in charge of the street. This isn’t meant as a slight towards Shoreline, but the Shoreline board represents Shoreline residents. Shoreline residents have a lot less to lose with a bad 145th than residents in other parts of the county. They also have only so much money to pay for improvements. I’m not saying the county, or ST, or anyone else has money, but they have a lot bigger budget. Frankly, I don’t see how you can do too much to improve the situation without picking winners and losers (make folks on 5th avenue wait a really long time, make cars wait for buses, etc.) unless you pay for new ramps. I’m not a big freeway infrastructure fan, but if this interchange really is the lynchpin for much of the area (connecting Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell buses to light rail) then perhaps a few new ramps might be in order.

    1. Since 145th Street is State Route 523 from 99 to 522, any traffic improvements will likely be driven by WSDOT, not cities or the county.

      FYI, 145th Street here averages 28,000 cars per day, according to WSDOT, which is the same traffic volume as I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass. Perhaps a bit of “freeway infrastructure” is needed from their mindset (if WSDOT has any money left over after 520 and 99…).

      1. It is occasionally done, but rarely, and typically only when the State has constructed another parallel state highway that supersedes it.

      2. For example, SR 527 between 405 and SR 522 was recently turned over to Bothell, because Bothell asked for it and it parallels 405 closely. The Washington State Transportation Commission did a study and decided it wasn’t needed as a state highway anymore.

        Similarly, the state gave SR 908 back to Kirkland and Redmond when they asked for it. There’s no parallel other highway, though, so that part’s not a definitive rule.

      3. WSDOT doesn’t want SR513 any more because it’s been orphaned, by the cancellation of planned extensions in both directions. At the north end, A 3rd floating bridge was going to connect it to SR 908. At the south end, it was going to continue to be connected to SR 900 via the Thompson Expressway.

        SDOT doesn’t want it because they feel in Seattle’s interest to have a formal state highway that handles the Montlake interchange mess, crosses the Ship Canal, and bypasses the UW.

      4. I think the main issue with SR 513 is actually ownership (and maintenance) of the Montlake Bridge. Anyway, it’s just an example of nonparallel state highway that a local jurisdiction could have if it wanted.

  10. I bet property next to 145th is realitively cheap (hence, the lack of sidewalk upkeep, which is compounded by it being a double-orphaned road on a boundary between cities). If more lanes are truly needed, that can happen, probably for cheaper than the cost of building a parking garage.

    That said, something slightly more fancy could be done to preserve the shrubbery on the north end of the golf course. Make one of the lanes reversible by time of day. In the morning, have three westbound lanes: one for buses, and two for cars. Is there really a need for more than one eastbound lane in the morning?

    In the evening, have two general-purpose lanes each way. Are the lanes approaching I-5 congested after the morning rush?

    1. The worst problem is really in the afternoon and evening. That is when a bus lane is needed the most.

      If we could build a fifth lane on the north side, that would solve the problem; just make it a full-time eastbound bus lane. I just think that’s going to be an expensive and disruptive proposition; most of the properties along that part of 145th are not pricey, but they are single-family, and there are a lot of them.

      1. “A lot” is in the eye of the beholder. I didn’t count that many houses last time I walked that stretch of sidewalk, er walking space, a month ago. However, there are some topographical hurdles on the north side that probably preclude adding a lane on the north.

        The south side might be able to yield up an extra lane up to 15th Ave NE, given it is mostly park space most of the way. A few business demolitions would be involved, but, again, those properties don’t look terribly pricey.

        If there is a quality sidewalk on the north side, there is little reason to have one on the south side. Eschewing the need for that walking space could cut the width of the property condemnation in half. Though it isn’t a perfect solution, having bikes share the bus lane wouldn’t be the end of the world either.

        The poor condition of the sidewalk is most definitely not a serious argument against having the station at 145th. If poor sidewalks were enough to scare away ST, then the MLK segment would never have been built.

      2. Yes, but I think both of Brent’s proposal’s are intriguing. Shave a few feet off of the golf course, and I think very few people will mind (even golfers). Is it sufficient to do that (widen the street to 12th)? I’m not sure, but I would love to find out. Oddly enough, that would require cooperation from Seattle, not Shoreline. From a political standpoint, this is a very interesting problem, as it will require cooperation from two municipalities, while many more depend on its success.

        I’m not sure how practical reversible lanes are for a street. Otherwise, I like that idea as well.

      3. I remember a reversible street lane from about 30-40 years ago. It was a five lane street with the center lane being reversible; toward downtown in the morning and away from downtown in the afternoon. The direction of travel was indicated by lighted signs above each lane, a green arrow or a red X (like the reversible lane on the old I-90 bridge). I looked at the site using Google Streetview and today it is a six lane road with narrow lanes and no shoulders.

        I expect the MUTCD would frown on such an implementation (but I am not a civil engineer).

      4. If Google Street View is any guide, shaving a few feet from the golf course would require chopping down a large number of trees so, yes, I do believe that residents would mind. Especially golfers, for which these trees form the buffer that separates them from the sound and sights of traffic on 145th St. Yes, you can always plant new trees, but by the time they grow to be as big as the existing trees, most of the older golfers will be dead.

      5. I was thinking the same thing: shave a few feet from the golf course. Although I was thinking of using it for mixed-use housing.

  11. In the Shoreline letter: “The NE 185th Station is likely to serve as a transit center, with Community Transit considering termination of their Swift BRT service there.”

    I’ve been thinking that would be best for Swift: south on Aurore and east on 185th to the station. That would also provide the frequent transit on 185th that’s otherwise missing (assuming Swift goes back to its original frequency by then). Then for RR E, keep the existing route but extend it south on Meridian to the station. That way both routes will overlap in the same direction at the 192nd P&R, which would allow people continuing north or south to get off and back on at the same bus stop. The only other alternatives for the E are to also turn at 185th, or terminate at Mountlake Terrace station. But turning at 185th would abandon Aurora Village and force onward travelers to cross the street and sit through two turns. And taking 205th to Mountlake Terrace station seems a bit long and low density, although it could be a potential replacement for the 347’s tail.

    1. Would your proposal involve the E-line being the only service on Meridian between 185th and 200th? Or would this be in addition to the current 346 (or whatever replaces it)?

    2. This would not affect the Meridian bus. I don’t know whether the Meridian bus should continue to go to Aurora Village or turn to 185th Station. I’m just looking at Aurora riders going to Link, Swift, or Aurora Village.

  12. Now this is B-I-G:
    Note also that Thursday night, Vancouver’s transit district council approved a financing plan for operating lite rail. CRC could very well happen after all.


    In terms of the Lynwood station, I like the newly modified siting…it’s certainly an improvement over the original C3. And in terms of the distance between Link and the urban village, perhaps that’s a space for a streetcar. In fact, a few years back I mentioned to Mill Creek city planners that once Link’s route northward becomes clearer, they should think about a feeder streetcar (As Joe Citizen, I suggested something of a “T” route, that runs along B-E from Murphy’s Corner-past McCollum P&R, all the way down B-E to the Bothell P&R on I-405, with a mid-section branching out from 164th & B-E, down 164th to I-5, and over to Alderwood Mall). I wonder how many north-end cities will do the same.

    1. Oh God. Kill the zombie bridge! Kill it!

      Seriously, they’re proposing to pay $90 million to destroy three industrial businesses so that they can build the zombie. This is insane.

  13. I live in Shoreline, close to either choice of 145th/155th. I prefer the 145th station choice because it seems that Shoreline/Sound Transit are going to insist on building a parking garage and I’d much rather have it at 145th than 155th. As for the 145th–that actual street–I would think on either side of 145th there would be space to build an additional lane, then fix one lane each way as BAT lanes. At least from Interstate 5 to 15th Ave NE. In an ideal situation, bus service would become so awesome that many people who drive would be able to switch to buses as their connection to LINK. As I said to the group forming an opinion to send to Sound Transit, there shouldn’t be a parking structure at 145th/155th because Sound Transit shouldn’t be spending money on building for cars, they should be building for transit. Plus, if someone really wants to drive from Kenmore/Woodinville, then they can drive to Mountlake Terrace or even Northgate.

    However the station is situated at 145th, I really hope that Metro will figure out how to have feeder routes through the area. I would love to be able to take a bus from my home to Central Market/Sears(as well as all the future construction coming soon!). Yeah, there’s the 330, but it runs…not at all for my needs.

  14. Assuming the stations at 130th and 185th are a given, 155th provides a more even spacing between the stations, which results in better coverage of the area. 145th results in two stations within a half-mile of each other, followed by a 2-mile gap. If there were big destinations at 130th and 145th that justified having two stops so close together, that would be one thing, but the reality is, there isn’t.

    It seems like the only purpose we can come up with for even having the 145th St. station is that the cost and traffic impacts of having all of Shoreline’s parking at 130th and 185th would be too much, so we have to split it up, and 145th happens to be the location that’s most convenient, at least assuming that everyone will be driving to the station and that nobody will be walking there.

    Without giving 145th St. a drastic makeover, all non-driving forms of access to the station are going to be terrible. Buses will get stuck in the combined traffic of people driving to the station and getting onto I-5. Bus connections to anywhere useful, such as the SR-99 part of shoreline will probably be once-an-hour at best, outside of rush hour, because that’s all the passenger demand will support. Bike access will be ok from the north, via 155th St. and 5th Ave., but from the west or east, it’s going to be awful. Essentially, you get to choose between detouring all the way to 155th and back or getting run over. Walking access will also be awful for anyone that doesn’t live in the tiny handful of single-family homes right next to the station. The sidewalks on 145th are atrocious. (In won’t even bother to consider access from the south, since those people will probably be better off just using the 130th Station instead).

    The whole Lynnwood line feels like a little bit of double-speak. On the one hand, we are planning the stations as if the only form of access that matters is people driving to the station and parking. On the other hand, we have long-term daily ridership forecasts that far exceed the total number of parking spaces at all the stations along the line. Either some people are going to have to walk, bike, carpool, or bus to a station, some people are going to have to use Link for reverse commutes, or the ridership forecasts of Lynnwood Link are vastly inflated.

    1. Biking will be bad, even though they are planning on making a handful of improvements. Walking might not be too bad, as they plan on improving the sidewalk. Generally speaking, this is expected to pretty much be a pure feeder station (served by buses and cars).

      As far as buses go, I personally favor 155th, but I can understand why Shoreline (and communities close to highway 522) support 145th. If Shoreline manages to give 145th a makeover, then it will work great. Basically, if traffic is not an issue, it is the quickest way to get folks from the highway 522 area (Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park) to Link light rail. 155th would require extra turns and backtracking. The only reason 155th is supported is because of traffic concerns. If Shoreline (with the help of Seattle, the county and maybe the state) manages to solve the traffic issues, then everything is fine. As noted above, the cheapest solution is probably to carve another lane out of the golf course. That might be sufficient (adding a lane to 12th). If not, then private property might be bought (which is always a loss less popular). The nice thing is that on the Seattle side, you are talking about commercial property (which may be more expensive to buy, but won’t get you a depressing headline in the news).

      Then there are the other negatives with 155th. The neighbors don’t want the extra (car or bus) traffic; folks don’t want to give up their house for a park and ride; and extra traffic on 155th might hurt the fire department’s ability to respond. Probably minor complaints in the grand scheme of things, but that is why Shoreline really doesn’t want the station there.

      1. If 155th St. were chosen for the station, I would assume that buses on SR-522 would use the 130th St. Station, rather than the 155th. This would maintain the direct connection between Bothell Kenmore, and Lake City, and would also avoid the backtrack north to 155th. I would be more supportive of the 145th St. location if things like sidewalk improvements and a bike lane could happen, but when budgets are tight, and the choice has to be made between better sidewalks on 145th or an extra level in the parking garage, the extra level in the parking garage always wins.

  15. Shoreline’s choice of 145th, the more I think about it, strikes me as an admission by Shoreline that it is not really interested in having any usable transit network, and as a total capitulation to SFH NIMBYs in the 155th/I-5 area.

    I just can’t figure out how you can make 145th into a station that’s useful to, well, anybody without spending a staggering amount of money. Every solution we are talking about in this thread would require taking of property from either SFH owners or the City of Seattle, and would solve only one of the access problems to the station. We really haven’t even talked about TOD or connecting bus service, and any solution for pedestrians that isn’t deeper than what we’ve discussed will result in an uncomfortable 6′ sidewalk on one side of a high-speed, five-lane highway. Perhaps it’s the beers talking but I’m finding this situation depressing at the moment.

    I can only hope for a kick-ass 130th station and frequent connecting service to it from Lake City (and ideally Cedar Park) so I never have to think about 145th.

    1. I never expected more than that; that’s why I’ve been leaning toward 145th. What if the 155th station is built and no upzone at all occurs, then what do we have? A station among houses, a 20-minute walk to Aurora, and the 330. Not much of a station. (But nice access to Twin Ponds Park.) 145th is more likely to be rezoned because cities are more willing to upzone along highways. Shoreline clearly wants to keep development to its periphery: 145th, Aurora, 185th, leaving the area inside the square in blissful single-familyness. And somebody said something about an agreement Shoreline made when it incorporated, that it wouldn’t upzone certain areas. So that may be a constraint.

      145th may end up being the most throwaway station on Link. Luckily it’ll be an inexpensive station if the surface alignment is chosen.

    2. David,

      I still don’t believe that EVERY Link station needs to have lots of TOD around it. For 145th, No Parking Garage but GREAT BUS CONNECTIONS is what I feel is needed for this specific LINK station. I think the station at 130th will be much better for regional bus connections to LINK while 145th will be much better for local neighborhoods(15th NE to Shoreline CC).

      1. How do you get “great bus connections” without a substantial, expensive rebuild of 145th, including the addition of enough ROW for a new bus lane? Right now it is a parking lot for most of the afternoon and evening, and occasionally in the morning.

      2. @David

        So, you have a substantial, expensive rebuild of 145th. If not for the various municipalities involved, I would say it is pretty easy and cheap. Unfortunately, the various factions will make it extremely difficult to get anywhere. It will require cooperation between various governments (gasp!). As I mentioned above, I would just shave off a few feet from the golf course. I really don’t think golfers would mind too much (most of them are just happy that city golf courses are still around). Unfortunately, that is Seattle city property, which leads me to the general rundown of the situation:

        Seattle — Has the best land to offer. Unfortunately, it has very little motivation. It won’t benefit much from a better 145th.

        Shoreline — The city that wants to do the most to solve this problem (according to the letter). They seem willing to go to bat for this project. Are they willing to take away home owner’s property to make the situation better? I doubt it. Furthermore, a bad 145th isn’t really that big of a deal for most residents of Shoreline (whether they drive or ride the bus).

        Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park — The folks with the most at stake. Unfortunately, unless they want to give Seattle/Shoreline some money, I’m not sure how they can help.

        The County and State — It would make a lot of sense for them to get involved. These are the sorts of problems that the county or state should solve. I’m not sure if either one has a dime to solve the problem, though.

        So, yeah, it doesn’t look great. Personally, I think it might make sense to spend the big bucks and add proper ramps for the area. Most of the backup is due to the fact that people are forced to take left turns to get on the freeway. Add proper freeway ramps and the problem goes away. We all now how tricky getting any sort of freeway project done is in the current environment. It may take a while before the problem is solved.

    3. Cinesa, so you would move the 330 to 145th? What other feeder routes to this station would you think make sense, and how closely do they match where people want to go?

      1. Instead of just moving buses around, why can’t we talk about ADDING bus routes? A bus starting at 145th and LINK station, heading north on 5th, turning left on 155th and heading west to Aurora Avenue(Sears and Central Market) then heading to Greenwood Avenue or even 3rd Avenue then circling around back to 145th and LINK station via 145th. Then another route that goes up 5th Avenue but turns right on 155th Street and heads east, either to North City and back, or Sheridan Beach and back to 145th and LINK station. The point is to get people in that area to the LINK station without having to drive to a parking garage. And if people still ‘need’ to drive, then they can drive to Northgate or even Mountlake Terrace to take LINK from there.

      2. Sounds like a good idea, Cinesea. Sounds exactly like the type of route that David came up with for Seattle. However, I don’t agree with the idea of 130th being better for regional bus connections to Link while 145th is much better for local neighborhoods. If 145th somehow solves the traffic problem, then it makes perfect sense for the region. If you are coming from highway 522, that is the fastest way to meet link. Going to 130th means extra distance and extra traffic (on Lake City Way). Meanwhile, if 145th continues to be a traffic mess, then your suggestion won’t work very well. It doesn’t mean that it won’t be a worthy bus, but that traffic will make it a crappy bus. You will have to pad it so much that it won’t run that often. If it doesn’t run very often, you lose popularity, and it becomes mediocre (like so many of the routes that exist right now). Meanwhile, a frequent bus route from Lake City to Bitter Lake (give or take a few blocks on either end) is extremely popular. It has been mentioned numerous times on this blog.

        I also agree with you about the park and ride. I don’t think you will find too many people on this site who want the park and ride there. However, the representatives in Shoreline, as well as those in the highway 522 communities support it. My guess is that killing a park and ride is pretty easy in Seattle, but not in Shoreline. I could be wrong. When the Northgate station was planned, almost everyone spoke up to say that the park and ride there was unnecessary, and that improvements to sidewalks and streets (to make walking and biking easier) as well as a new pedestrian bridge (over the freeway) were far more important. When it comes time to work out the details for the station at 145th (if it is approved) then it will be interesting to see if folks feel the same way there.

    1. Thanks Paul, a ton of info in there.
      CT and ST plan to truncate every route at Lynnwood or Mountlake Terrace, but I can only see 14 layover spots for buses at LTC and 6 bus load bays. Those volumes of buses, feeding a 1,900 car, 7 story mega garage will require a lot better bus/rail integration than is currently planned for.
      19,800 daily boarding (in the doc) at LTC is much larger that anything BART has going in it’s non/CBD feeder stations, and much larger than anything ST currently does.
      The lack of facilities should be subject to intense debate, if the spine system is ever going to function as advertised. (IMHO)

      1. Correction: The buses and garage are fed by a common intersection, not buses feeding the garage.
        A bus departing less than a minute apart in the PM peak hours will really have to be well thought out, otherwise the bus platforms will quickly backup with trains arriving up to 4 minutes apart, discharging hundreds of riders each.

  16. I might have been supportive of a 145th Street station if Shoreline had been objective and come forward with a plan. Instead, they were political about it, putting on a full-court press, enlisting an unprecedented assembly of public officials to appear at ST committee meetings and many other meetings to dismiss other alternatives by using convenient arguments.

    For 175th, “too much traffic” was used as the why not, yet 145th has more traffic and incomplete sidewalks in an identical cross-section (2+2). For 155th, it was called “a quiet, single-family neighborhood” that didn’t need the traffic, yet 185th is the same with an identical 1+1+TWLTL+bicycle lane configuration, and with a greater canopy of trees to interfere with bus travel (and adding maintenance costs). They’ve even ignored surveys of residents at drop-in events that show the spilt at 50/50 between 145th and 155th, I suspect because that runs contrary to their choice.

    The reason that 145th is desired is because “it’s the only way we can get the street fixed,” according to what I heard one official accidentally let slip out. And, I suspect that, seeing how Shoreline has worked the process, they will get the station, probably without a complete fixit (due to financial limits) despite the many fallacies of the choice of 145th that many have put forward here, and which I will add comments to.

  17. Re: zoning of an area, which has reportedly been done, we all know that doesn’t translate into developments. More meaningful to me are actual plans – or close to it. For instance, Shoreline Community College (~160th/Aurora) has a master plan with intent to add its first-ever housing units. Westminster Square (155th & Aurora) has the recently-established Aurora Square Community Renewal Area. To the east, multi-family units are planned in the vicinity of NE 155th & 15th NE. This compares to, last I saw, nothing planned on 145th. Closer to the stations, only certain quadrants could be developed, and only 185th could possibly have all 4 quadrants available (no private school, public golf course, etc.).

    Traffic capacity is available on 185th & 155th, which carry just over 11K vehicles compared to > 31K vehicles on 145th between 5th NE and 15th NE, the latter nearly equivalent to what’s on Aurora, and >25K approaching I-5 from the west.

    We live in a financially-constrained environment, and this is not likely to change, as 10,000/day retire and still others are retired, not by choice, but by the economy, = flatter tax base. ST will look at the mitigation costs Shoreline is demanding, such as a 13 foot cross-section for sidewalks, and they just might come to the conclusion that 130th is far less expensive than what the staggering costs to tear up 145th will be. On the other hand, co-145th owners King County, Seattle, and WSDOT will be happy to offload the ongoing maintenance costs of that street to Shoreline taxpayers, who will probably also pick up the 20% local tab for part of any reconstruction.

    If 145th is selected, bicycle and especially pedestrian access will be limited. Bicycles and many vehicles, including buses (unless one HOV lane is added on the north side between 5th NE and 15th NE, another on the west approach) will access the station from 155th and 5th NE (i.e., 155th will see increased traffic on either option), and pedestrian access will be limited to the danger-seekers who dare cross over on the narrow sidewalks of the freeway overpass and those in the NE neighborhoods. The two options to the north could use wider sidewalks, but lighter traffic – and bicycle lanes – are adjacent to them.

    Politicians from as far away as Woodinville (20 miles) suggest that people will drive to 145th, forgetting that Lynnwood, with triple the parking, is 11 all-freeway miles away, and frequent, all-day bus service runs through their cities. Even people from Kenmore (political allies of Shoreline, IMO why they’ve endorsed a 145th station) are unlikely to gamble on finding one of 500 parking spots plus having to slog through existing traffic on 145th. I’d wager they would more likely use Ballinger Way, 205th/244th, and 5th NE (opposite Nile Country Club) to go to the 185th St. station, particularly if the garage is located on what’s now a stadium parking lot. I figure it “planned” that the Twin Ponds Park parking lot at the southwest corner of NE 155th/I-5 wasn’t considered for a similar upgrade at that location. I also expect Shoreline to enact neighborhood parking permits and initiate a parking enforcement program due to these stations, some of the hidden costs.

    @Brent The garage at 145th is planned for the northeast quadrant, not the northwest quadrant. Some are advocating it be half the size, with a second, similar structure to the east. My suggestion would be in the 15th-20th NE location to capture those folks just south of 145th/15th, though I suspect that many of those-as well as those from LFP-will use the back way around the southeast edge of the golf course, or even NE 125th-to go to the 130th station, the path of least resistance (traffic). In addition, a Shoreline official said that buses will head west on 145th, as continuing south adds 20 minutes of time to a downtown journey, dismissing a Metro service planner’s assertion that half of the 522 riders are headed to destinations in the Lake City area.

    @Ross B @ David Lawson I agree with most of what you each wrote, as I’ve been saying the same things, e.g. it hasn’t been thought through. Consider this: the Aurora Corridor re-design in Shoreline was 3 miles, and the process started in 1998. It still isn’t finished. Compare this to 145th Street, which is ~5 miles from Greenwood to Lake City Way, and there’s 10 years to get it done. Add to that is the disruption of traffic the street overhaul is going to create. I can imagine the re-build of 5th NE-15th NE will divert traffic to 155th and 125th/130th…in both ways, as well as all eastbound traffic, including that which exits I-5 at 145th (since 130th lacks a full interchange).

    The ST map in the voter guide was as much an illustration as the one for Central Link was. Compare what was proposed vs. what was changed. Compare ridership estimates to reality. This process places too much weight on ridership “estimates” and how ridership “will” be affected by one location or another vs. what’s closer to known, such as properties displaced, environmental impacts, etc. Meanwhile, Shoreline officials are using a specious argument that voters expect what they see in a map. We’re closer to expecting what Metro presented as “illustrative” as what service they’re going to cut next year, barring legislative action. Further, future bus service estimates are iffy as well, as many of those forecasting will be retired or in different jobs by 2023, and who knows what the economy will look like, after all, who predicted the Great Recession in 1998?

    @Mike Orr The #348 provides frequent all-day bus service along 185th, though more routes/runs go by 155th (#242, 330, 347, 373). Given that transit will probably need 185th widened, which is unlikely to happen, I wouldn’t be surprised if 5th NE (from 205th, after going to Aurora Village, or visa-versa in the other direction, if a traffic signal is added there, else a CCW routing) is used to service 185th, particularly if the parking garage is at the northwest quadrant. Shoreline has been pushing for AV to move to 192nd/Aurora for some time now, and a CCW loop for BRT from the north would allow for interlining there. On another of your points, there’s more to walk to from 155th, FWIW: Central Market (and, for the most hardy, Shoreline CC) to the west, a skateboard and general park to the east, and the Crest Cinemas to the north.

    It’s noteworthy that the City of Shoreline’s document (2/27/12 council meeting) states that 145th is “not a very highly used transit corridor” and “due to its currently-congested nature, Metro prefers not to provide service on 145th Street.” Yet, ST is being asked to pony up a bunch of money – taking it away from other options – and trust them that this can be changed, yet almost nothing in the way of details has been given to comfort us.

    1. My bad. I meant a CW routing, e.g., for southbound from Snohomish County onto SR-104 (244th/205th) to 5th NE to 185th, east to Aurora, north back to Everett, interlining with RapidRide at 192nd (hopefully, Rapid Ride will continue north from there, at least to the Aurora Village area). If RapidRide served the 185th station, they’d hopefully do similar, though they might have to double back to 192nd, i.e. head back north after crossing west on 185th. There is a lot of traffic on that street between Aurora and Meridian, as it’s a main alternative to using 175th all the way from Aurora to get to I-5.

  18. Reports have it that the City of Seattle and King County have endorsed having stations at 130th and 0.76 miles away at 145th, no doubt what Sound Transit’s Board will approve. Other than noting how many comments they received from individuals – over 500 – and tallying which options that everybody who mentioned this provided (individual, business, community group, and otherwise, not differentiating, and the total of these numbers not statistically relevant, but no matter), from what I can tell, individual comments were boiled down to this single sentence devoted to them buried in the Public Comment Summary Report (Draft): “The public comments came from a wide array of parties, and included comments made during the public hearings, as well as many written comments.”

    I doubt that the Sound Transit Board read, were aware of, or considered the many excellent, thoughtful comments and concerns such as what I’ve read on The Seattle Transit Blog, e.g. this story’s comments. These were the types of matters which should have been aired out in public meetings by the Sound Transit Board, yet that never happens. At best, a “foray” may happen, but only at a committee meeting, where one member may begrudgingly and hesitantly ask a question about something outside the “groupthink.” By the board meeting, they’re silent. From watching this process and others, I think many officials have lost the ability to present their alternate case or ideas objectively, to debate issues, and fear expressing differences. With the public comment period over, though, it can now be checked off that “public comment” was taken, and those on that board can vote in unison, no doubt smugly considering what’s ensued was a good public process.

  19. Some will walk to transit and light rail stations. Some will bike. Some will take the bus. Some will be dropped off. Too many expect and will expect to drive to the station and park their cars there for free. Almost all the station parking lots are maxed out already, including Lynnwood’s parking lot with around 1,400 spaces. What is the solution? I have proposed a flex van system in which vans would deliver riders to and from stations.

    Most of the buses in Lynnwood go around empty most of the time. It could also be expanded to provide door-to-door service. The solution is a flex van system that will provide door-to-door service. If third world countries can have jitneys, we can too.


    James Robert Deal, Attorney

    1. James,

      You say that, “the Lynnwood area would be divided into a dozen or so zones, with vans ‘orbiting’ each neighborhood zone. A van would probably pick you up within ten minutes.”

      How many vans would be required for this? How long would be the average ride to the transit center, while the van detours to pick up other passengers? And how reliable would it be – since if once every two weeks it can’t get you to work on time, you won’t ride it no matter how fast it is the other nine days? If the numbers work out, this could be a good program. But I’m afraid the numbers won’t work out, given such things as the sheer number of vehicles in the Microsoft shuttle system, and simple math such as this treatment.

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