NE 130th Street High Demand Corridors
NE 130th Street Station – Linear, High-Demand Destinations

Since October 2010 we’ve  followed the Lynnwood Link project fairly closely. Unlike other Link extensions, Lynnwood Link had several viable alignments including SR-99, I-5 and NE 15th Avenue. While many in the transit community who believe in the importance of TOD favored the SR-99 alignment; New Starts competitiveness, cost, and institutional momentum favored the I-5 alignment.

From a TOD perspective this was disappointing. However, as discussions about the I-5 alignment advanced, the idea of a NE 130th Street Station to serve the Bitter Lake and Lake City neighborhoods emerged. This station, located half way between the two Hub Urban Villages would certainly help mitigate the lack of TOD immediately around Lynnwood Link stations. Today the City Council will again move to support the NE 130th Street Station.

Because TOD potential along I-5 between Northgate and Lynnwood is so limited, feeder transit must play a disproportionate role in connecting riders to the stations. Frequent, fast and reliable bus connections to the Aurora Avenue and Lake City Way corridors via Bitter Lake and Lake City Hub Urban Villages would do that. These areas have already grown significantly and have strong and growing transit demand. Since 2005 the Bitter Lake and Lake City Hub Urban Villages have seen more than twice as much growth as the Northgate Urban Center (1,522 to 739) and transit re-orientation of Aurora Ave in Seattle and Shoreline could result in significant additional growth.

NE 130th is the best connection between these two areas. Low-levels of congestion, the sequential and linear location of major destinations, and Link headways of 4-58 minutes all-day make transfers to very-frequency feeder bus service ideal. Currently it takes 40-50 minutes to get between the two Urban Villages by transit compared to ~5-10 minutes by car. A single very-frequent route along Aurora Avenue, NE 130th and Lake City Way could connect:

  1. Shoreline Community College
  2. The ripe-for-redevelopment Aurora Square and WSDOT Dayton facility
  3. The Aurora corridor from NE 160th Street to NE 130th Street
  4. Bitter Lake Hub Urban Village
  5. Ingraham High School
  6. Haller Lake Neighborhood
  7. NE 130th Street Station
  8. Pinehurst Neighborhood
  9. Lake City Way Hub Urban Village
  10. Lake City Way from NE 130th Street to NE 145th Street
  11. SR-522 Corridor (i.e. Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell)

Because of the location of these high demand destinations only a NE 130th Street station would have a geometry that allows for frequent, direct, efficient and simple transit service. A NE 145th Street Station would require multiple, lower-frequency routes and perpetuate the fractured East-West bus system in North Seattle.

We know frequent feeder service works. Community Transit has already committed to extend Swift to the Link station at NE 185th Street where four other bus routes will also converge. The DEIS estimates that this station, with only 350-500 parking stalls and fairmodest TOD potential could attract nearly 7,200 riders a day. Metro has not yet made similar commitments to any stations, with service details at even Northgate Station still outstanding.The DEIS also make the unrealistic assumptions that feeder bus service and headways do not alter for the three different station combinations in Segment A. In all alternatives a single bus route operating at 15-minute peak and off-peak headways is the only feeder service at the NE 130th Street station.

For Lynnwood Link the key to mitigating the lack of TOD opportunity falls squarely on the shoulders of frequent, fast and reliable feeder bus service, and I believe a NE 130th Street station is critical for this. Metro must give clear and well developed guidance to Sound Transit on how it will restructure service and Sound Transit must work better to ensure that station allow for seamless platform to bus stop transfers to and from feeder buses.

126 Replies to “NE 130th Street Station: A Critical and Underdeveloped Idea”

  1. Minor note: you misspelled Ingraham High School.

    As to the substance of your article, I completely agree. I will say, though, that I would not expect Metro to get too detailed about how it would restructure their routes based on a station at 130th. A more generic statement like “We hope that Sound Transit will implement a station at 130th, as this will greatly improve our ability to serve communities to the east and west of there. This includes Lake City and Bitter Lake.” would be sufficient. Even if the station is built, people will fight over the routes. There are trade-offs to be made. For example, I would prefer that route simply go west, towards Greenwood (as opposed to north on Aurora). Some would rather have that route start closer to Lake City (as the 41 currently does). Hopefully there will be multiple routes serving a station at 130th, so that won’t be much of an issue.

    1. I don’t expect Metro to lay out every single route. With that said this is precisely the time for Metro to determine which stations work best for serving the primary O-D pairs in this area. How will Lake City and Bitter Lake be connected to Link? Is it faster to use NE145th, NE 130th or going to Northgate? Should RapidRide E connect to Link and if so where? How will peak-hour service change once Lynnwood Link opens?

      These are all general questions that should be ironed out now so ridership forecasting, station designs and other capital investments can be made now so we don’t have another Mt. Baker Station.

    2. Ross, I don’t think it’s suffcient for anyone to say “let’s hope ST biulds the station” and then we’ll be able to serve those other areas with better bus connections. The 130th station is not in the ST2 Plan, so including it in Lynnwood Link is going to require building a case for it that is based on data. I’m guessing the “net 400 riders” ST is reporting right now is assuming current bus service at that location. So I would agree that some work needs to be done now to quantify how the station could benefit the surrounding areas. It’s a reasonable hypothesis that the ridership at 130th would be better if a bus route was feeding downtown commuters from Lake City and Bitter Lake, but the evidence doesn’t exist yet to support it.

  2. Sorry, but 130th does not pencil out as ‘worth the effort’ to build a station there.
    Your claims of 4-5 minute Link headways all day is pure fiction, and the argument for sequential linear development reminds me of all the strip malls in Texas.
    According to the latest DEIS, building the station at 130th only has a ‘Net’ gain in ridership of 200-400 boardings per day, over building the more centered 145th stop between Northgate and 185th, which are now givens.
    In exchange, for a couple of hundred boardings, you eliminate two stations (130th and 155th), and speed up the entire trip by several minutes for the 20,000 daily boardings from across the Snohomish Co. line.
    THINK REGIONALLY for BART II.
    145th has much better TOD potential than 130th, unless you’re planning on eliminating the park or golf course.

    1. Even if it only nets 200 more, what about everyone that will be forced to transfer at Northgate or 145th. We may not lose riders because of it, but the experience will be infinitely worse.

      This is why d.p. gets so mad about this stuff. We’re talking about saving at most a couple hundred million (I doubt even that much) for a mistake that would stay with us for 50+ years. This is it. We can’t screw it up.

      Also, I don’t know if you’re being intentionally ridiculous, but I think you won’t find much sympathy with you’re BART II logic here. That’s what people want to avoid.

      I also don’t think anyone’s talking about 130th vs. 145th. It’s 145th vs. 155th.

      1. I’m not sure you all caught Mic’s triple-layered irony here (it did get a bit confusing).

        Building multiple stations between Northgate and 185th would not slow down Lynnwood’s tens of thousands of passengers, because those tens of thousands of passengers will not exist.

        Meanwhile, there’s no way that the ridership difference between a station with useful connections and a station with a golf course and a fancy prep school would be so negligible. (If 145th consideration is the prep school’s doing, then this would be the proper place for some class warfare. Because these are Seattle’s tax dollars, on a line that already skipped First Hill,
        and that’s just ridiculous.)

      2. d.p., it’s unlikely that Lakeside had anything to do with 145th being favored. That was mostly driven by the City of Shoreline, while Lakeside is in Seattle.

      3. d.p. gets an A+
        Please move to the head of the class.
        Also note the 5+ mile stop spacing on the south end of Seattle, while Adam argues for sub one mile spacing on the north end at about the same distance from the CBD, along equally busy freeway lanes.
        Now, that’s ironic.

      4. South end stations are much closer than 5 miles apart with the exception of Rainier Beach to TIBS which is about 5 miles. Columbia City to Othello is less than 2 miles.

      5. The 5+ mile spacing is in exactly one area that’s almost completely heavy industry and highways. You can’t carry a tractor on a train, and the number of industrial workers who might commute on Link is in the single digits.

        There have been proposals for a 133rd station to meet the 150, and a Boeing Access Road station to meet Sounder, the 101, and a Boeing shuttle. All of these have some minor value but are weak compared to the millions of dollars it would cost to build the stations — money that could be spent on another extension or station elsewhere. Meanwhile the ridership of SeaTac and TIB dwarfs the potential ridership of these stations.

      6. I’m not sure you all caught Mic’s triple-layered irony here (it did get a bit confusing).

        Oy, jokes on me I guess.

        It’s hard work keeping track of who’s serious vs. who’s joking/trolling here.

    2. Aurora (between 125th and 145th) already looks like a Texas tornado alley strip mall development. If that neighborhood could be connected to Link, the development potential is tremendous. With a high school located on the line, families would find the neighborhood attractive. The Aurora RapidRide won’t entice a lot of people to move to the neighborhood because the trip to downtown is still rather lengthy and getting to the UW would still require a transfer to another rather slow bus route. A quick bus ride from Aurora Avenue to Link could create a huge demand for family housing in the Aurora Tornado Alley neighborhood because trips to downtown or the U District would be much faster with the Link connection.

      1. I think Aurora in general has great development potential. Unfortunately, like a lot of areas, is lacks momentum. I agree, though, I think better transportation options (linking up with Link) could make a huge difference. That, and maybe making it look a lot nicer (it looks better in Shoreline than it does in Seattle).

      2. Shoreline has really taken the ball with Aurora BAT lanes and TOD. Seattle could do the same if the council had the will and the property owners weren’t so car-oriented. But that may gradually change one property at a time.

    3. I think you are confused.

      >> Your claims of 4-5 minute Link headways all day is pure fiction
      What? Why is that fiction? This line is the same line that connects the most important parts of the city (downtown, the UW and Capitol Hill). It could be empty from Lynnwood, but will pick up plenty of people in those areas to justify 4-5 minute headways (if not more frequent). Or maybe I’m confused. Are we going to have “express trains” from the UW (or Northgate) run all day, but trains from Lynnwood only run in the morning? Is that your plan?

      >> 145th has much better TOD potential than 130th, unless you’re planning on eliminating the park or golf course.

      What? The golf course is on 145th. Lakeside school is on 145th. If anything, 130th has better TOD. But as the author said, this isn’t about TOD near the station. It is about access for the areas that are already dense and are growing: Bitter Lake and Lake City. Besides, no one is suggesting that we get rid of the station at 145th.

      >> the argument for sequential linear development reminds me of all the strip malls in Texas.
      So, Lake City and Bitter Lake remind you of strip malls in Texas? What? These are your TOD areas. These are the areas which are already dense and growing. If they are served by good transit (fast frequent buses followed by transfers to a fast frequent train) then they will continue to grow.

      Finally, as the author mentioned, 130th is simply faster than 145th. It has less traffic, which enables buses to go faster on it. Do you really think a bus should go from Lake City back to 145th? Or are you ignorant enough to suggest another station? Just to save you the embarrassment of proposing one and having folks ridicule it, allow me to eliminate a couple possibilities:

      1) Northgate. Northgate is terrible as a feeder station. The only reason a transit center is there is because it is next to an express lane on-ramp. Well, that and when they built it hardly anyone lived there. Now, of course, traffic is a mess there and will continue to be a mess. The 41 takes as much time to get to 130th as it does getting from 130th to Northgate. Think about that for a second. A station at 130th would mean twice the frequency and half the time for each Lake City rider at no extra cost. This is with today’s traffic. Things are only getting worse in that area (as it builds).

      2) Roosevelt. This is better than Northgate, but still has its problems. Lake City Way clogs during various times of day. Not as badly as the Northgate area, but still pretty badly. Then you have the left turn on 15th, which you can’t make directly. This forces you to make an early left turn, then a right, then another left (assuming you come from Lake City Way). There is no left turn light, so basically, you are screwed unless the city changes things. Don’t count on it (Lake City Way is a mess as is). A better route would be to go Northgate Way and then take a left on 15th (where there is a left turn lane and arrow). Unfortunately, this is slow as well — it would take twice as long as getting to a station at 130th.

      So, basically, you are saying everyone in Lake City and Bitter Lake (as well as a few other communities) are screwed because we don’t want to delay Lynnwood residents? Given the size of Lake City (not to mention Bitter Lake) that seems like a really bad trade-off.

      1. RossB,
        Actually for buses to access Roosevelt Station from Lake City Way the best bet is to use the direct ramps to/from Roosevelt Way and 12th Avenue. No left turns needed. Loop the buses at either 65th or 66th.

    4. First off did you even read my post? The whole point is that neither stations has enough TOD potential to really make sense, but the NE 130th Street station has much better potential for connects to rapidly developing urban villages at either end of the corridor. Secondly, Link headways will indeed be 4-5 minutes here. ST’s operation plan calls for two 8-minute headway interlining routes from Lynnwood to IDS. Thirdly, as I explained I believe the assumptions in the DEIS are conservative and thus ridership estimates for NE 130th are lower than they should be because access to the station isn’t adequately provided.

      1. My heartburn was with the ‘All Day’ statement. Sure, 4-5 in the peak will likely happen, but early AM, Midday, and late PM – is dreaming.
        DEIS estimates are ‘conservative’? So I should up my 20,000 boardings from Lynnwood’s mega garage to what?

      2. Each of the two lines (Redmond to Lynnwood and Federal Way to Lynnwood) will not have worse than 10-minute off-peak frequency, thus on the interline segment, IDS to Lynnwood they will have 5-minute combined headways at the worst. Even in the early AM and late PM when service is every 15 minutes this segment would still have 7.5 minute headways. At these times of day bus transfers can be timed to ease transfers between bus and rail.

        My statement with regards to the DEIS being conservative is narrowly direct at feeder transit access assumptions.

      3. I share Mic’s skepticism that there will be enough demand to justify running all trains through to Lynnwood.

        But a 10-minute wait is infinitely less painful when the feeder and transfer experience are optimized, which means 130th Street.

        Meanwhile, the authors of any study that presumes no change in ridership between a line with good access and a line with poor access — especially as is impacts non-9-to-5-commute usage — should have their heads checked.

    5. “Sorry, but 130th does not pencil out as ‘worth the effort’ to build a station there.”

      This is from the same Mic who doesn’t think the Lynnwood Extension is worth the effort, so the result is really the same.

      But Mic is right about the headways. ST’s plan is to terminate East Link at Lynnwood peak hours and at Northgate off-peak. That means 130th station will have 4-5 minute frequency only at peaks unless ST changes its mind. (Which it might if Mic is wrong and the extension gets good ridership… Speaking of which, is there any possibility for turnbacks between 130th and 185th?)

      1. Is that true? From what I’ve read I though the two routes run all the way to Lynnwood. Where did you read this?

      2. It has been on several of ST’s alternatives maps. Initially ST suggested a three-line configuration (Lynnwood-Federal Way, Lynnwood-Stadium, Northgate-Redmond), but the later configurations have all been consistently Lynnwood-200th and Lynnwood-Redmond peak, and Lynnwood-200th and Northgate-Redmond off-peak.

      3. It doesn’t defeat your primary point, Adam, but it had better be true. 5-minute off-peak service out into the sprawl would be an aneurysm-level commitment to waste.

        There’s no such thing as off-hour 5-minute suburban service, even in places where suburban rapid transit actually makes sense.

      4. I’ve never said Lynnwood Link is not worth the effort, but comparing actual data to some of the fictional nonsense being thrown around is counter productive to good line and station planning when it matters most.
        Look at all the stations on BART, how they relate to our situation to (long legs with stations far apart, big parking garages outside of the CBD’s) then say with a straight face we will do dramatically different than our neighbors to the south are doing.
        http://www.bart.gov/docs/StationProfileStudy/2008StationProfileReport_web.pdf
        If Lynnwood is going to unload 600-800 capacity passenger trains every 4 minutes in the PM peak hours in the current design, with most getting on a bus to go a few more miles up the road to their car, then show me a BART station that even gets halfway to this scenario. They are 40 years old now.
        If they don’t materialize, then you can kiss your 4-5 minute headways goodbye except in the busiest hours of the peaks, and access to Link gets worse everywhere.
        Meanwhile, we’ve taken 2 minute headways off the table, and kaboshed any trunk lines flowing into the current bus tunnel because we MUST reserve the slots for the mythical 4 minute headway trains from the north.
        No Irony here this time, just pointing out the opportunities missed by all the euphoria coming from the north.

    6. 145th is a horrible location for a station for anyone not arriving by car. It is a pedestrian hostile environment and due to the traffic and freeway ramps little can be done to improve that. For people trying to transfer to and from buses 145th will force routes to miss activity centers or to twist and turn in order to access the station. In addition buses trying to go to 145th have to deal with horrible traffic most of the day.

      1. I don’t understand all the wild exaggerations about the inability to do basic things like build good sidewalks and a bus stop conveniently located at the foot of the station elevators and/or escalators. Just have the station extend over 145th.

        The same wild exaggerations could have applied equally to some stations along MLK. But ST invested in improving the pedestrian environment, and now those stations are beautiful and accessible. It can be done. It has been done.

        If we used the excuse that the sidewalks are run-down in some neighborhoods, so Link shouldn’t go there, where would Link be today? It would be running only through rich neighborhoods (like 130th).

      2. Sure you could add lots of nice sidewalks around 145th but no amount of pedestrian improvements is ever going to make 145th a pedestrian friendly environment. There are simply too many cars and too many freeway ramps for that to happen.

        When I say 145th is a horrible location for transfers to and from buses I’m not commenting on possible stop layouts, I’m speaking to the physical location on a map as well as to the traffic on 145th between 15th NE and I-5. A station at 145th does not allow buses to serve both Lake City and the Link station on the way to/from Kenmore/Bothell. It also means any bus you connect from 130th & Aurora is going to have to make several turns on its way to and from a 145th Link station.

        BTW I’d hardly call the area around 130th & I-5 a “rich” neighborhood, no more so than 145th & I-5. BTW I seriously doubt Sound Transit is going to be willing to pay for pedestrian improvements for more than a block or two around each station.

      3. 2-minute trains are not kibboshed forever, and 4-minute Lynnwood is not reserved forever. After the extension opens and we see what ridership is approaching 2030, then we can see how much capacity Lynnwood really needs and perhaps reallocate some of it to something else.

      4. ….interesting how any discussion of [the good idea of] a NE 130th quickly turns to the 145th station site — and what a crappy location that is (155th: much better).

        One additional factor AGAINST a station at NE145th:

        there are currently the I-5 flyer stops at that location — and they are those awful stops on the outside of the lanes which require busses to ‘weave’ from the inside TOD lanes.

        Hopefully, somewhere there’s still a plan to rebuild & improve that interchange to shift the flyer stops to the center of the highway….. and that someday it will happen.

        BUT.

        I fear that if light rail, WITH A STATION AT THAT LOCATION, is all shoe-horned into the 145th interchange and highway corridor there will never be enough physical space to ever accommodate relocating the flyer stops.

        ( ….and no, I don’t think the flyer stops are going to be moot/redundant/unneeded once Link starts running…… there are still going to be lots of express busses coming/going to the north, beyond the reach of Link– a number that could well grow in the future….)

      5. “there are still going to be lots of express busses coming/going to the north, beyond the reach of Link”

        Those will all terminate at Lynnwood or Mountlake Terrace.

      6. mike orr says:
        “Those will all terminate at Lynnwood or Mountlake Terrace.”

        is that decided/announced policy, or just an assumption?
        (if published, where?)

        the busLink connections shown in the DEIS at Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace are not particularly efficient, easy, quick…. and I could see riders from the north (i.e. Everett) who are heading to/from most of North Seattle not being particularly excited about an Xfer to Link for all of a couple stations — especially if they then have to transfer a second time to get back off the “spine”…

  3. The debate isn’t over 130th v 145th. A station is almost certainly going to be built at 145th and at 185th. That is what was in the ballot language and that puts a heavy legal burden on ST to keep that alignment. TOD at 185th is actually pretty good due to a 65 acre surplus Shoreline schools site. Shoreline and the 522 communities want 145th.

    King County previously commented that 155th should be considered due to better bus access. But that option appears dead due to Shoreline opposition, wetlands, and a historic log cabin on the site. So, in their most recent comments, King County dropped mention of 155th and instead strongly urged a station at 130th. If you build both stations, 145th becomes the auto-oriented station and 130th becomes where east-west transit riders access Link. Adding a station at 130th is probably about 40 million and building the platform there but deferring the station adds about 10 million. We should try to add 130th if it is affordable, but we should at least plan to have a station there. If construction bids come in low enough, then the station at 130th could be added before opening. This is what happened with the deferred Stadium station on Central Link.

    1. 130th + 145th, Yes!

      130th should get a local RapidRide or better route something like Adam is proposing (but maybe on Greenwood rather than Aurora, but that’s a minor detail when the debate at hand is where to build stations). An infrequent route with no investement like the 50 won’t cut it.

      145th is still the best connection place for the suburban-oriented ST Express connection to Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, and Woodinville, as making them crawl through Lake City to get to Link would be akin to forcing South Park riders to crawl through the Georgetown saloon district to get downtown. Removing a lot of the scoliosis on the 132 has helped ridership on the 132 balloon. But I digress.

      Want to find the money for building 130th? Don’t build the parking garages at 145th and 185th. The primary effect of these parking garages is to pull the rug out from under the ridership on the connecting bus service, as well as reduce pedestrian and bike path usage. The effect will be to ruin the frequency of the connecting routes, and potentially LOWER the total number of riders eventually using the stations.

      While the City of Seattle would probably find it rude to oppose the parking garages, the council could at least say that more analysis of the capital investment per rider is in order. That is, figure out how many riders the garages would serve, at what cost per rider; and compare that to the cost of enough bicycle storage options for the number of bikers that could be predicted to use the stations if bike paths make them attractive, and if bike path investment happens. Don’t forget to subtract out the number of people who would use the station anyway even without the garages, but will use the garage because the stalls are available and free or cheap.

      Then figure out how many additional people will walk to the station, if the pedestrian paths are made excellent and safe, and what the cost of improved pedestrian paths and quick access will cost.

      Then, figure out how much bus service will cost, and how many riders will be added with best quick access from the bus doors to the platform, keeping in mind that there may be some through riders who don’t want to spend five minutes loop-de-looping through a parking lot. Balance quick bus rider access to the platforms with miniminizing additional travel time for east/west through riders. In other words, if an on-street stop can happen right at the foot of escalators, make it so. I realize bus access has the highest operating cost, but the calculations of cost per marginal rider should be done.

      What I think will come out of these calculations is that parking garages will be exposed as a poor investment for which only about half the parking stalls can truly count as adding a marginal additional rider. Pedestrian access will be cheap, but have a limit on marginal riders it can add. Safe bike paths will probably be the most lucrative source of additional marginal riders, have a huge bikeshed at both 130th and 145th, and be rather cheap from a capital investment standpoint. In addition, streets with bike paths will have reduced maintenance costs in perpetuity! … but serve more people.

      130th St Station yes! 145th St Station yes! Bicycle and pedestrian path improvements throughout far north Seattle and Shoreline yes! Getting Metro/ST to plan for a consolidated frequent east/westish bus line serving each station yes! Pricey parking garages that merely incentivize people out of walking, biking, or riding the bus to the station, not so much.

      1. Oh, lest I forget: How many potential riders will be lost from the inability to build residential TOD on the same plot of land where a parking garage is being built? Do these garages yield *any* marginal ridership once you factor in how many fewer riders will walk, bike, or ride the bus to the station?

      2. Thank you Brent. That’s the best narrative of good station area planning objectives I’ve heard,
        I wish common sense prevailed on all stations like you suggest, especially on the outer nodes, but those trains all left the stations years ago. The best we can hope for now is to maximize the utility of those stations and spacing we’re stuck with, so Adam is spot on to suggest making 130th more productive with frequent, all day service, minus the traffic clusterfucks at 145th, Northgate, Roosevelt. (see Adam, I did read your post and actually agree with you)

      3. A weakness of the Lynnwood Link Extension as currently presented in the DEIS is the attempt to meet every need at every station – which will lead to congestion of ALL movement and negatively impact the station-areas. ( this planning falls into the trap: “Jack-of-All-Trades; Master of None.” ) Just as I can accept that every station site will not be perfect for Transit-Oriented-Development; Sound Transit should not insist on extensive vehicle AND transit access at every station location. Planning should designate the focus and goals of each station, and concentrate on those uses at each locations.

        The most significant difference in uses is between individual vehicles vs. transit. Both the cars coming to park at a station, and the transit (principally buses) stopping for riders to make connections are going to congest the station area. At a broad, spread out location (e.g. SeaTac Airport), both can and will coexist. But some of the station sites along the Lynnwood Link are already cramped, they have a small number of adjacent arterials, and they have limited street connections to the surrounding communities. This is not simply a conflict of different vehicles (bus vs. car) on the road – buses make stops, take up more of the road, and let off passengers who then become pedestrians in crosswalks. All of this cause public safety issues and can slow down car traffic, which in turn can clog up intersections and roadways limiting the bus’s ability to stay on schedule and make their connections.

        It is true that these are public streets, and everyone is welcome to use whatever station they wish. But Sound Transit, along with its partner agencies and municipalities can manage and moderate some of this conflict, segregating differing uses to some locations but not others. Transit /buses can easily be controlled through the design of routes and schedules; and the amount of cars typically using a station can be limited by the amount of parking available. If parking is limited, so is car traffic at and near a station.  

        Looking at “the whole” of the Light Rail system from Northgate to Lynnwood, there already exists (or is planned) extensive commuter parking at Northgate, Mountlake Terrace, and the Lynnwood Transit Center. Parking could therefore be evenly distributed by only adding a significant parking structure at 145th/155th.

        This creates a pattern of every-other-station focusing on park & ride commuters vs. bus-riding transfers as shown:

        Northgate – significant parking and transit connections
        NE 130th – transit connections
        NE 145th/155th– significant parking
        NE 185th – transit connections
        Mountlake Terrace– significant parking and transit connections
        220th SW– transit connections
        Lynnwood – significant parking and transit connections

        So a new parking structure ONLY at a 145th/155th station, and do not build them –or at least greatly reduce them– at 130th, 185th, and 220th. Likewise, in turn, concentrate the efforts of designing for and accommodating transit connections at those same stations but accept that those efforts can be minimized at 145th/155th.

        —–
        [note that I assume support for the 220th station– something far from guaranteed, and yet in its own way a mirror image of the question of whether there should be a 130th st station].

    2. Dropping 145th is not realistic. That would lead to 2.75 miles between 130th and 185th, and only one station for the City of Shoreline which has been paying ST taxes since the 1990s with hardly any direct benefit.

      1. So have the second Shoreline station at 155th. Unfortunately the nearby homeowners are rather opposed to such a notion.

      2. Chris,
        Living equidistant between the 145th and 155th choices, I don’t know of anyone who’s opposed to either station to the point of possibly protesting against it. Personally, I wouldn’t mind 155th because that would (hopefully) mean much improved bus access to/from Aurora on a road with much less traffic. But, since the Shoreline Council is dead set on having a parking garage, many of the people I’ve spoken with would prefer to have that monstrosity at 145th instead of 155th. If we could be guaranteed of no parking garage, I would instantly go for 155th.

  4. The Seattle City Council will take up 130th Street Station (among other Lynnwood Link issues) at today’s meeting at 2pm at City Hall. If you can’t make it please send an email to council@seattle.gov urging all members of the council to support Councilperson Conlin’s resolution.

    1. Res. 31486 (PDF Version)
    Concerning recommendations for the Lynnwood Link extension by the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Agency (Sou ndTransit) Board; stating that the City of Seattle recommends that the A1 alignment (through Seattle) be designated as the Preferred Alternative; recommending that the 130th St station be carried forward for full analysis in the Final Environmental Impa ct Statement; and stating that the City of Seattle recommends inclusion of the 130th and 145th Street stations, in Segment A of the Lynnwood Link extension in the Preferred Alternative.

    INTRODUCED September 30, 2013 (Conlin)

    http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=full.comm.&S3=&s2=&s4=&Sect4=AND&l=20&Sect6=HITOFF&Sect5=AGEN1&Sect3=PLURON&d=AGEN&p=1&u=%2F%7Epublic%2Fagen1.htm&r=1&f=G

    1. OK, I read through the summary above and pdf of the motion put before the council…..

      and I swear they got it wrong.

      They repeatedly state that they “recommend the A1 alignment” be adopted; but they also say they want the NE 130th street station to be included. But alternative “A1” does not include a NE 130th station….. Alternatives A5, A7, A10, A11 do include that station.

      see DEIS summary, page “S-7”:
      http://www.soundtransit.org/Documents/pdf/projects/North_hct/Lynnwood%20DEIS/201307_DraftEIS_02_Summary.pdf

      Personally I think “A5” (mostly at-grade, stations at 130, 155, 185) is best; but if seattle wants 130th + 145th stations they should be recommending “A10”.

      [ ….or am I missing something here? ]

  5. I have an honest and sincere question. Is the author of this post suggesting that 130th is a “high demand corridor” now, or might be one day in the future? And if connecting the two “urban villages” is as important and needed as is suggested, why doesn’t Metro have a route connecting the two now?

    1. Because Metro is only very slowly getting used to the idea that crosstown routes should exist at all and that people might want to go somewhere other than Downtown. Until recently, the only such routes that existed were the 8, 44, 48, and old 75, and the first three all have stories scattered in old comment threads about how hard it was to get Metro to institute them at all. Metro is still very much lacking in crosstown routes, especially north of Northgate. Besides, this is as much about connecting Bitter Lake and Lake City to Link as anything else.

      I’m very surprised Adam would propose such a loooooong U-shaped milk run of a route with such redundancies with RR E (especially since if Lynnwood Link has three King County stations a crosstown route serving the middle one would likely have Shoreline CC as its western terminus) and the 372-522 corridor (which I wouldn’t replace with this route as I think Northgate is a better place to send those trips, but then I also think a 130th route should head down Sand Point Way). It seems like such a route would not know the meaning of the word “reliability”. I would much rather have the 28’s old Broadview routing serve as the western terminus of a 130th route, especially given the desire to at least partially replace the weird route with the detours, I think it’s the 375 or 385? Just because development has progressed linearly along Aurora and Lake City does not mean we should be chasing and perpetuating those developments in a redundant fashion, especially since the closest thing Lake City has to a downtown is centered on 125th anyway.

      1. I’m not proposing a route per-say. The primary purpose of the map is to show why NE 130th is so central to good East-West transit service. I think Metro needs to figure out a good solution for connecting the N/S service on Aurora and LCW to Link and I’m skeptical that Northgate is the place to do that, especially for Bitterlake and regional service from SR-522.

      2. I’m not sure how the 522/372 trips will be better served by going to Northgate rather than 130th or 145th. The approach to Northgate station will be the slowest of the three, and we’d be able to get there anyway from either of the other two stations.

      3. Northgate is a horrible place to send any connecting bus service, because it is in a location that guarantees that connecting bus service will take forever to reach it from almost any direction (the southwest being the lone exception).

        You can debate whether 130th, 145th, or even Roosevelt is the best destination for connecting service from the northeast, but all of them are superior to Northgate.

        Remember that the two bus routes currently connecting Lake City and Northgate take between 10 and 13 minutes (!) to make the trip.

      4. Good God … I really don’t see how anyone could thing Northgate would be a good place to send the 522.

        Personally I’m in favor of sending the 522 to either a 130th station or Roosevelt.

        145th doesn’t really make sense because it bypasses central Lake City and many of the riders on the 522 are going to/from Lake City in both directions.

      5. Metro is slow at recognizing the need for crosstown service. But at this point it’s more about the budget. If Metro had the money it would fill in evening/Sunday frequency on the 5, 11, 75, and 40, and get around to doing something for 130th, 145th, and 185th. This is shown by its making the 330 all-day last month, its unsuccessful attempt to increase the 5’s frequency last year, and over the years in filling in the frequency gaps on the 36 and 49. The problem now is it’s operating in a zero-sum environment where adding service one place means taking it away from somewhere else, and it feels it has almost cut to the bottom of what it can take away without causing hardships.

      6. I only suggest sending the 522 to Northgate because I prefer routes to be as straight and clear as possible, following a single corridor as far as is realistic. You would send the 522 to 130th and the 75 to Northgate, which means they would “bounce off” one another at Lake City Way and 125th. That’s not an attractive route pattern. All else being equal, I would much prefer to send the 75 to Broadview and the 522 to Northgate just so they continue to move in relatively straight, clear lines. Now, there may be sound policy, ridership or other reasons to do otherwise, but David below would make the 75 and 522 redundant from Lake City Way to the station (and I’m not sure how you’d terminate a route there), while making the 40 more expensive to run and less reliable (and more of a milk run). For better and worse, Northgate has a natural magnet effect on any surrounding grid, in part precisely because of how far off it it is, and that makes it a natural place to terminate multiple routes. In a perfect world, it’d be closer to Northgate and either 5th or Meridian, but then I don’t know how different it would be from Roosevelt.

      7. Straight routes are good, but not when they add 8-10 minutes to travel time, which sending the 522 to Northgate would do as compared with sending it to 130th. My #1 priority is speed. My #2 priority is also speed. Northgate is a speed graveyard from almost every direction.

        My 522 and 75 wouldn’t be redundant because the 522 would be running without stops while the 75 would be providing local service.

        You’d terminate a route at 130th Station by sending it around the Roosevelt/125th/5th triangular loop. Alternately, you could have it cross the freeway and use 3rd -> Roosevelt -> 1st.

    2. Right now, a 130th crosstown route would only serve demand between Lake City and Bitter Lake. There is some such demand, but without any connection to decent north-south service there is not enough to justify an all-day route. The network in the area is oriented around Northgate and its fast connection to downtown, and the partial crosstown service on 130th on both sides of I-5 connects to Northgate rather than continuing through.

      A 130th station would eliminate the need for this service to detour to Northgate.

      If I were dictator, I’d arrange service around a 130th station like this:

      1) Truncate the 522 to 130th Station, with no stops between the station and LCW/125th. In exchange, make it twice as frequent.

      2) Kill the 41 and 345.

      3) Revise the 75 to run every 15 minutes, continuing west on 125th and 130th from LCW all the way to 3rd Ave NW, with a layover at 3rd NW and NW 125th. This replaces 41 service along 125th and 345 service along 130th and makes a new frequent east-west connection.

      4) Extend the 40 to Lake City. This replaces the Northgate Way segment of the 75.

      5) Extend the 66/67 north on 5th to 130th. This replaces local service along 5th on the 41.

      6) Make the 346 more frequent to provide replacement north/south service near NSCC and NW Hospital.

      1. Folks.

        I really believe you need to retain direct access to Northgate from Lake City some way. It doesn’t have to be frequent but it should get both the Lake City “downtown” and 125th and Roosevelt. People are going to balk at being forced to ride one station to get to their mall.

      2. It is also necessary for the neighborhoods in between. Is someone who lives at, say, 15th and Northgate Way expected to walk 20 minutes to Northgate Station, then ride Link one stop, then catch a another bus, just to get to Lake City? We’d be talking about a 45-60 minute transit commute (depending on the wait time at 130th for the connecting bus) for something that would be a 5-minute drive or a 5-10 minute transit commute today.

      3. Have another look at what I proposed. All of those trips are covered.

        Northgate -> LCW/125 or 130: Extended 40.
        Northgate -> 125/Roosevelt: 66/67 and walk two long blocks (or one stop on Link and walk slightly further).
        LCW/125 or 130 -> 125/Roosevelt: 75.

  6. My boss, Councilmember Richard Conlin, sponsored the resolution to be voted on today advocating that 130th be included for study in the FEIS because: 1) when paired with the 145th station, this scenario provides the highest ridership (3,200 weekday riders at 130th and 2,200 weekday riders at 145th); 2) 130th provides safer bike and ped access to rail than 145th; and 3) 130th is supported as a bike hub with City-proposed cycle track facilities along 130th St. Roosevelt Way, 125th St., and 5th Ave. NE incorporated into the draft BMP. While existing conditions in the walkable area around 130th are not prime for TOD (park use and single family) now, things could change.

    We’re told Metro is supportive of stations at 130th and 145th. The ST Capital committee is likely to take this up this Thursday and support including 130th in the FEIS.

    Here’s a link to the resolution: http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=&s3=31486&s2=&s4=&Sect4=AND&l=20&Sect5=RESNY&Sect6=HITOFF&d=RESF&p=1&u=%2F~public%2Fresny.htm&r=1&f=G

    1. I can’t believe anyone is seriously considering 145th, nevermind both.

      It’s a golf course, a fancy prep school, and a highway interchange that makes walking dangerous in of three directions.

      Spending Seattle Subarea money to build a station here — on a line that skipped over First Hill — is unconscionable.

      1. It’s a golf course now. Do you really think it will be around two or three decades from now? The site will eventually become a mixed use development.

      2. BTW, why isn’t the City of Seattle aggressively working to turn the golf course into TOD like Bellevue did with the Spring District?

      3. Not going to happen from the northwest corner, thanks to the horribleness of the 145th highway interchange. If anything, it would be redeveloped starting from the south, which is actually closer to the proposed 130th location.

        But that’s really not the point. Building transit around random hypotheticals is proven folly. Especially when places that already exist are terribly served as a result. 130 is the better cross-transit solution for already-existing-and-presently-growing North Seattle.

      4. …Because the Spring District is roughly downtown-adjacent, while this golf course is a dozen miles from any serious urban center.

        The Spring District might turn out pretty lackluster anyway, given the tepidness of its “urban design” and the remaining growth and improvement potential of downtown Bellevue itself.

      5. And 130th is … a golf course (the southern end of it), no fancy prep school, and a highway interchange. This difference between 130th and 145 isn’t as big as you’re making it out to be. They are more similar than they are dissimilar. The contrast between the two locations by some is bordering on hyperbole.

      6. 130th is not a golf course. And it’s only half an interchange. It also has a not insignificant amount of density within walking distance between 8th and 15th. And it’s almost never congested and backed up like 145th, as it’s access to the highway is limited and much lighter. I’d suggest closing what it does have.

      7. Jackson Park Golf Course … owned by the City of Seattle. Zero property taxes on the giant 160 acre parcel. Here’s why Seattle isn’t working to turn the property into TOD like Bellevue did with the Spring District. Bellevue is more forward-thinking than Seattle. Seattle lacks vision and ambition when it comes to this kind of long-range planning. Seattle is passive. Seattle should be looking, with the Link station in mind, looking to sell off this golf course to a developer, and create a Spring District or Renton Landing there.

      8. “why isn’t the City of Seattle aggressively working to turn the golf course into TOD”

        Because it’s Open Space.

      9. Sambot,

        The 130th interchange isn’t nearly as massive and inhospitable as the 145th interchange. It also isn’t nearly as traffic-logged at peak hours.

        130th/125th Streets do, however, briskly connect multiple places to the Link line that should be briskly connected to the Link line, as part of a legible and reliable through-route that would be able to garner significant enough ridership to make the bus frequent, thus to make the connection work.

        This cannot be achieved so easily at 145th. Thus Adam’s post.

        So even with “nothing” at either location, 130th is the hands-down winner.

      10. d.p., massive and inhospitable like the 520 and 40th street interchange, where East Link’s Overlake Transit Center Station will be?

      11. Yes, in fact. No one ever said this was great, but this is far worse.

        Those images are at the same scale. The 145th interchange and its frontage roads occupy literally the entire square. Walking through the area may require crossing half a dozen different roadways with traffic coming from every possible direction.

        Overlake is a crappy place, but it’s a crappy place where thousands of pedestrians safely cross the legible rectangle of access ramps every day.

        145th is an automobile free-for-all where you will never, ever see a pedestrian, unless that pedestrian has a deathwish.

      12. Seattle and Shoreline are in the same subarea, but have different interests. You can’t spend all the subarea money in ways that please Seattle without pissing off the folks in Shoreline.

      13. I’m not trying to screw over Shoreline. 155th splits the difference between 130th and 185th better anyway. You could build an inexpensive single-platform station there, with a super-convenient kiss-and-ride drop-off point. Crucially, there’s precisely zero highway-bound traffic to contend with.

        I haven’t a clue why anyone would think a highway-interchange decision made 60 years ago somehow makes that location the natural place for a rail stop today.

      14. (Seriously, I bet a 155th station wouldn’t cost 1/10th of what the litany reconfigurations and their associated architectural inflations at 145th would cost. And after all is said and done, you’ll see a station used in similar ways, but less pleasant and less convenient.)

      15. To be clear, I do agree with d.p. on the 155th vs. 145th issue. Unfortunately, the Shoreline City Council doesn’t, so 145th is what we get.

        If you think about it from their perspective, it makes sense. If you act as if the only forms of transportation that matter are driving and driving to Link (with buses barely tolerated out of compassion for the poor), you get strange results. The unwalkability of 145th St. suddenly changes from something bad to something good, as you no longer have to deal with the hassle of establishing and enforcing an RPZ to prevent people from parking in the neighborhood when the garage fills up. And the movement of buses on 145th instead of 155th becomes good too, as moving the noise from the diesel engines further from residences matters more than making it more than the convenience of actually riding the thing.

        Again, I do not agree with any of this logic. But it is not my decision to make, and this is the attitude we have to deal with.

      16. d.p.,
        From what I remember, a station at 155th would be an elevated station on the East side of Interstate 5 with access to buses below. If they choose to build at 155th, I would hope they figure out a way to have a good connection to the buses on 155th.(Yeah, I would hope Metro improves/expands the number of bus routes from that station.) Again, I would love to be able to get to Sears/Central Market on a bus. The new times for the #330 mean that even a quick trip to Central Market could take 90 minutes or more.

      17. Yes, 155th would be better than 145th, especially with a good east-west bus route and an upzone. But Shoreline doesn’t want to convert a quiet single-family neighborhood, and we have bigger fish to fry than trying to force it to.

  7. As someone who just moved from the CD near First Hill to Lake City, I really hope they don’t skip my area again.

  8. Sent my email to the council. Sam raises a reasonable point about why no transit on 130th already. During my move from Greenwood to Lake CIty I would have LOVED that route. One would hope that when Rapid Ride E comes online that that would be another ‘destination’ for a 130th route.

  9. First, I’m still really pissed off an the short-sighted decision making which decided that skipping two large, growing in-city TOD locations (Bitter Lake and Lake City), in favor of a bit of cost savings and a bit faster shot to the Lynnwood PeRM (Park and Rides and Mall) was a good idea. We should have the northern horns – one on Aurora one on Lake City, which go where people actually live now. Adam’s horns basically attempt to emulate that idea, mitigating a previous poor decision to avoid the massive TOD potential of the too areas. Poorly. Okay, I’m trying to let go, but it’s hard; the spine decision was so outrageously short-sighted and stupid it’s hard to not get steamed.

    Moving on, In an attempt build arms to the spine, however, we should certainly run metro as a fast, frequent express-level route along 130th. I would vote to turn it around at Bitter Lake and Lake City rather than the longer deviations, instead throwing hours into upping the E and 522 frequency, and making those connections coordinated. I’d even shut the northbound onramp to I-5 at 130th, but I know that’s not going to happen.

    1. It’s not “stupid”, it just wasn’t in the traditional thinking yet when ST2 was drawn up. The traditional thinking was, “Of course there’d be a station at 145th” because it’s a highway, and it has a freeway entrance and an existing P&R, and is right between north Seattle and Shoreline. The ST2 map was always “to be determined”, not something set in stone. So it’s not a high barrier to add a station, but ST would have to write a justification statement.

      The way the 130th station emerged was this: After ST2 passed, ST did an “alternatives analysis” considering Aurora, I-5, and 15th NE. (Federal grants require this alternatives analysis.) The Aurora alternative included an optional “extra” station at 130th. That became popular, so when the Aurora alternative lost people started asking, “Why not add a 130th station to the I-5 alternative? If it’s possible in one alignment, why can’t it be possible in the other?” That started people looking at the possibility of connecting Lake City to Link, which had previously been considered unfeasable. Then it became clear that a single east-west route could not only connect Lake City to Link, but also the densest part of Bitter Lake, and dramatically improve east-west transit simultaneously.

      So if ST was “stupid” to not consider it in the first place, then transit activists were also stupid to not have prodded ST to do so.

      1. Thanks for the history, Mike. I was transit-aware for the last half, but not the first.

        To be clear, the station locations aren’t specifically what I was calling stupid. I feel that the choice of the I-5 spine was and is a stupid, penny-wise pound-foolish decision.

      2. I agree that the I-5 alignment is a tremendous loss of opportunity given what Aurora could have become. But a frequent rapid transit line is critical, even if it’s on I-5.

      3. You can blame subarea politics for the idiotic “spine” idea to begin with. Snohomish County should be served by a line straight up 99, something Community Transit recognizes with its Swift routing, and it makes a lot more sense for that route to go to Greenwood and Ballard than Northgate, while the route to Northgate should go along the 522 corridor, if there isn’t a third north-south line. But ST has never learned that making long-term infrastructure decisions based on short-term needs is always a mistake, especially when those short-term needs are entirely artificial creations.

  10. Anyone know about the current state of the planning for transit connections to the UW (Husky stadium) Station? Apparently, we are 30 (?) months from opening and I’ve seen nothing to date. How are “end of the line” connections to NE seattle to be addressed?

    1. They will be addressed with disdainful courtesy.

      Stadium station will be an island, and probably should until the city gets serious about Montlake. There has to be a bus lane there for any sort of decent transit connections.

      1. This and SR-520 Link/Bus integration are another example where lack of vision, planning and coordination are going to result in long and poorly integrated transfers between bus and rail.

      2. Regardless of perceived attitude of professional service planners, outreach to northeast Seattle neighborhoods ought to commence quickly. We can debate circularly about the ideal route restructure until we turn blue in the face, but what people say during the outreach process will carry the most weight. If we want to convince Metro to adopt a particular new route map, that starts with convincing stakeholders (riders) to ask for it.

    2. Look at it from Metro’s perspective. If it makes any proposal or commitment this early, it will get a huge round of criticism from the naysayers. It’s like debating about the 2016 presidential election in 2013 (and 2014 and 2015). Metro will have to make a proposal a year in advance because it takes that long to reorganize, so we’ll probably hear around spring 2015 if the accelerated opening date sticks. (Although it’s not a precise date yet.) Meanwhile, Metro has to do a major round of cuts in 2014 and 2015, and it really has no idea what what its budget will be in 2016 because that depends on what the legislature does and what the economy does. If it proposes routes now and then has to scale back, it will get criticism from people who were “promised” certain improvements.

    3. You will likely not see changes to Metro routes in NE Seattle until U District, Roosevelt and Northgate open. There is too much going on at Montlake to make that a major transfer point needing bus layover, etc.

      1. And in the meantime, everyone in Northeast Seattle is just supposed to suck it up and accept a close-to-an-hour trip to downtown and back that takes 20 minutes to get through the U-district, whenever the peak expresses aren’t running, for 5 more years, just to avoid the trouble of re-arranging some bus routes? People need to get through to Metro that this is not acceptable.

      2. Well if a solution to the funding problem isn’t found soon Metro will be forced to massively axe service hours. That is likely to result in a rather major reconfiguration of the 30/66/67/71/72/73/74.

        In any case I’m not sure even at times when the 71/72/73/74 expresses aren’t running if transferring to Link at Husky Stadium really would save much time. I suppose if you transfered to/from the 48 at 65th you might save significant time simply by avoiding the long slog up/down The Ave, Eastlake, and Fairview.

      3. “In any case I’m not sure even at times when the 71/72/73/74 expresses aren’t running if transferring to Link at Husky Stadium really would save much time. ”

        Well, if you have to take two local buses just to reach the Link station, of course it won’t save time over the slog down Eastlake and the Ave. But that’s a problem with our current bus network, not anything inherent.

        If there existed a bus that ran reasonably frequently and took a reasonably direct route between home and the Station, it would save a lot of time. Even if nothing is done, taking the existing route 65 or 75 to the UW campus would still save some time on the 71/72/73 local, at least in the southbound direction. But in the northbound direction, I’m concerned that if nothing is done, this option would have a death-of-1,000-paper-cuts problem and end up being no better than just slogging it out all the way on the 71. First, the walk from the station to the bus stop and the deviation the bus makes to go through campus (actually increasing the walking distance) all adds up, as does the 65’s detour to get closer to the Children’s Hospital. But, the real killer is lack of frequency. In the southbound direction, it’s not such a big deal – you just plan around the schedule. But in the northbound direction, you have to allow for 10-15 minutes of padding (in addition to the walk time) to ensure that a late train won’t cause you to miss your half-hourly, or hourly bus.

        On the other hand, if the service hours of sending the 71 and 72 downtown were folded into making the 65 and 75 more frequent, as well as making the 65 and 75 take Montlake to Pacific, rather than detour through campus, the transfer-to-Link option is suddenly starting to look a whole lot better. (Leaving the 73 to continue to go downtown for the time being for U-district->downtown traffic).

  11. As a Bothell resident who used to ride the 522 and could again, my worry is that we won’t get a station on 130th, the 522 will terminate at 145th station, and the current connections along Lake City Way (including the heart of the neighborhood) will be harder to access, with little or no time gained to trips further south in Roosevelt, UW, and downtown.

    Neither 130th nor 145th have anything worth putting a major express/commute line on. 130th might have manageable traffic now, but with park and rides at all the nearby I-5 stations, traffic will get worse along all cross-town routes unless there’s a dedicated bus lane the entire distance.

    All of this underscores the obvious failure of an I-5 alignment, rather than going for both a 99 and Lake City alignment (the first to serve Lynnwood and the second Bothell).

    130th with separated bus lanes in both directions is the absolute minimum. 145th only would be a disaster.

    1. I-5 won because southwest Snohomish County is a much larger transit market than Bothell + Woodinville. Lake City Way was considered but it didn’t even make the top three alternatives, which were Aurora, I-5, and 15th NE. (However, ST’s long-range plan includes a Lake City line.)

      If the 522 terminates at 145th (which is a way premature speculation), there’s no reason a frequent local bus couldn’t run from 130th station to Lake City and Kenmore, or from Northgate to Lake City and Kenmore, or some such variation. It wouldn’t “improve” travel time from Lake City, but one line can’t do everything.

      As for the 522, we don’t know whether it will be truncated, much less where. It’s not like the 512 or 550 that will clearly be deleted. Lake City is far enough away from I-5 that it’s 50-50 whether it’s reasonable to truncate it, the same way the 150 is still running in the south end.

      1. I think the potential frequency benefit from truncating the 522 is too large to ignore at every time except peak-hour, peak-direction. (My preliminary thought is that you could double frequency, or maybe even more, on the part of the route between Link and downtown Bothell.) Peak direction during peak hour, it’s a much harder call. I’ve said before that I think there will be a lot of resistance to forcing peak Link transfers when the existing bus service is so fast the Link transfer will likely be slower despite Link’s speed, and so frequent (7-8 minutes) there is little benefit to any further frequency increase.

      2. One thing the additional frequency in a peak truncation of the 522 could buy is an express overlay that would mitigate the time spend at the numerous stops between Bothell and Lake City. For example, the peak period could have a local 522 running every 10 minutes or so (current stops to 125th/Lake City Way, next stop 130th St. Link Station), combined with an express 522, also every 10 minutes, that would basically serve nothing but P&R’s and Link. Between the time saved by skipping stops and faster travel times within downtown (it doesn’t matter how fast the bus moves down the freeway – every bus slows to a crawl once it gets off the freeway and slogs through the downtown streets), the truncated express version of the 522 could get people downtown in about the same amount of time as the existing level of service. But for commuters to destinations along the Link line other than downtown, it would be a huge win.

      3. The peak inbound 522 honestly doesn’t have a downtown travel time problem because it uses Union Street. I ride it every day; it reaches 6th and Union within 2 minutes after exiting I-5, and 2nd Ext/Jackson within 6 minutes. It’s actually faster than a trip through the tunnel, and will probably still be even once Link has the tunnel to itself.

        Outbound, Pike is a bit worse, but it’s still the best route through downtown that any bus takes, and only a couple of minutes slower than a Link-only tunnel.

        The peak-direction 522 is really the perfect downtown express route, which is why it’s so hard to improve on its speed by using Link (and a major reason I, as a downtown-working transit geek, moved to Lake City. :) )

      4. Ah, yes. I forgot that the 522 market gets the privileged path through downtown that nobody else gets. Why the 522 gets to take the Union St. exit, while the 545 is stuck taking 10-20 minutes just to get from the Stewart St. exit ramp to 5th and Pine, is beyond me.

      5. Perhaps because the 545 also serves the Capitol Hill – Microsoft commuters? But in reality, I don’t think that’s what they were thinking, given the absence of an Olive Way freeway station and given that the 51_ and half the 4__ take the same Stewart St. route.

    2. If the 130th Station doesn’t get built, my vote would be for truncating the 522 at Roosevelt Station.

      1. Either that or 145th with improved frequent local service between Lake City and Roosevelt. Either one is fine. The only option that is a real disaster is forcing Lake City/Kenmore/Bothell riders to transfer at Northgate.

      2. Yes – 145th St. vs. Roosevelt ultimately depends on whether traffic is more likely to be backed up on 145th St. or Lake City Way. I suppose it would not be totally inconceivable for the bus driver to check the traffic report and dynamically head for whichever Link station has less traffic right now. But I fear a proposal like that would be thinking too outside the box for Metro to take seriously.

      3. Generally the traffic on Lake City Way, while heavy is at least moving. When I lived in Kenmore I generally found the 522 to be fast and reliable even at peak travel times.

        At least driving I found it pretty much a wash travel time wise between taking 145th to I-5 and Lake City Way. If anything Lake City Way was faster.

      4. @asdf: that might (barely) be okay for incoming buses, but what about outbound buses? I want to catch a 522 to Woodinville, where do I go?

      5. Obviously, for outbound buses, the dynamic-reroute-to-traffic idea does not work. But, even doing it just for inbound buses is worth something.

      6. For legitimately one-way commuter expresses, I agree. But it wouldn’t work for the 522 and anything else that runs round trips.

  12. With Northgate being the terminus of the East Link line, it amazes me that the opportunity to create an extension spur line is not being advocated more strongly in the vicinity of 130th Street. Adding a line either to the east (terminating at Lake City) or to the west (terminating at Aurora) could be a real system game changer that would open up fast access to downtown from more than merely the I-5 corridor. At the very least, the need for a turnback tail track could be a good operational justification to create an 130th Street Station that is only served by the East Link line.

    1. In the long term, one potential idea that has been repeatedly floated by many people is to extend a Downtown-Ballard line along roughly the path taken by current bus routes 40 and 75, crossing the existing North Link at Northgate. This plan would miss Bitter Lake but would have many of the other benefits of both 130th spurs, and grade separation would make for effective transfers at Northgate which are not an option with buses.

      1. +1
        I am a big fan of that diagonal connection up through Northgate through lake city way. It gets around most of the problems Northgate has as a transfer location by skipping the crowded roads all together. The most important part of this would be to put those stations in Northgate right on top of each other or immediately adjacent. I hope this would go better than our bus coordination with link has been up to this point.

        On Bitter Lake…
        I think areas like Bitter Lake (and Greenwood, Phinney, and Crown Hill) could do with some upgraded bus service eventually (maybe even a BRT or exclusive lane Streetcar?) to connect to the Link lines before they reach downtown. I could see an argument for truncating some of these lines at link stations north of the canal and using the additional service hours to increase frequency. I don’t imagine the #5 would be needed south of Fremont if it connected once or twice to intersecting Link lines. I suspect the south end of the 5 (the 21) would need similar connections to link in West Seattle.

        Aurora still seems like an ideal BRT corridor to me, so upgrading the new Rapid Ride going down that corridor as much as possible seems like a good idea to me. Accommodating transfers to any east/west link here also seems like a good idea at first glance…

  13. Not everyone here agrees 130th St Station should be built. Not everyone here agrees 145th St Station should be built. At least one person here disagrees that Link should ever have been built at all, but he lost that vote, and it is being built.

    We disagree about where ST 522 should end up connecting to Link (if it connects outside downtown at all).

    Can we at least agree that, if both 130th and 145th St Stations are built, that they be built in a manner that facilitates quick and easy transfers between buses and trains, while also making it quick and easy for pedestrians and bikers to access the station platforms?

    1. Of course. The sticking point is whether easy bike and pedestrian access, or quick bus access, are possible at 145th without spending a staggering amount of money.

      1. The sidewalks on 145h are run-down, but not the death trap some here paint them to be. I recall the sidewalks on 5th Ave NE, serving the closest SFH neighborhoods, to be satisfactory. Bike access via 5th Ave NE shouldn’t be that difficult to improve, if it really needs improvement. The major cost of improving bike and pedestrian access would be right-of-way. If the City of Seattle wants to do its part, it can donate the right-of-way from a narrow strip of Jackson Park.

        The gift from the City of Seattle would be the smaller part of improving the bus access. The widening of 145th would still not be cheap, but how long does a separated bus lane really need to be?

      2. Bike access from 5th is fine. Unfortunately, that’s the only direction it’s fine. It is not reasonable to expect everyone coming from due west or due east of the station on a bike to have to detour north all the way to 155th and back south again on 5th just to avoid getting run over.

  14. Got an email response last night that the resolution was passed unanimously by the Council. Sound Transit Board next.

    1. This thread raises 2 of the basic questions raised in the Lynnwood Link DEIS:

      #1. Station at 130th NE: Yes or No?
      #2. Station at NE 145th NE 155th?

      Regarding this first question, there should positively be a station at NE 130th.
      WITHOUT it, everyone to the NE, and especially everyone to the NW from about 100th to 140th will need to make their way (by car, bus, bike, or foot) through all of the congestion at Northgate to get to the station south of the mall. This is already currently one of the most congested areas in North Seattle, and with the coming of Light Rail to Northgate (and its associated parking garage and connecting transit routes) the congestion is certain to get worse. This is no small factor, since whether or not people can easily get themselves to transit is often the deciding factor of whether they use the system. So yes, definitely build a station at NE 130th. It will be an effective location and help the system’s ridership numbers.

      Then, considering that there would therefore be a station at NE 130th (see above),

      the answer to the second question is that the next station north should be at 155th, NOT 145th. Just on the basis of geometry/arithmetic, a station at NE 145h would seem very close to the 130th street station, and a station at 155th more evenly divides the distance between a station at 130th and the planned a station at NE 185th. But furthermore, while the site at NE 155th is not the best for a station, the location at NE 145th and I-5 is certainly the worst spot for a station considered in the entire DEIS. The existing current conditions at that location are already terribly congested and often backed-up in every direction, and the idea of adding a station with thousands of boardings means a significant increase of pedestrians in crosswalks; connecting transit coming to this site; and hundreds of vehicles accessing the planned park & ride garage. Basically, with a station at this location there can expected to be utter gridlock at “rush-hour(s)”, every morning and evening. Additionally, the NE 145th location offers almost no Transit-Oriented-Development potential, with three out the four surrounding quadrants (highway, highway, golf course) unable to be developed at all.

      So with the answers to these two issues (yes to 130th; choose 155th over 145th), I have fallen in line with what is described in the DEIS as Alternative A5 for Segment A .

      ———-

      a few other thoughts about a station at 130th:

      The DEIS showed an “Option #1” for the station with an at-grade (actually kinda below-grade) station and no significant additional parking created. This seems much preferable to the “elevated version they showed in the DEIS. For one thing this would enhance potential TOD development at 130th by allowing station “overbuild” to provide commercial and/or community space above the station. Besides allowing the best possible integration of the station with the local community, this would help shield the neighborhood from the sights and sounds of the highway and light rail.

      Furthermore, since in this option the line passes under the approach to the 130th bridge over I-5 it would allow the station to shift south approximately 150 feet, “spanning under” the bridge. This would create a direct connection from eastbound buses to the station rather than forcing people transferring to cross the arterial on foot. This would also decrease the amount of vehicles and bicycles making left turns onto 5th to get to the station; and significantly reduce the number people needing to use the crosswalk across NE 130th Street – a busy arterial that will become more congested with the opening of the station.
      [ Note that this strategy of “spanning” the adjacent east/west arterial is shown in the DEIS at the proposed 155th , 236th, and 220th stations — and should be embraced for an at-grade 185th station as well].

  15. When I sent my email to the Seattle City Council, Conlin’s office indicated that the Sound Transit Board was going to review it on Thursday. I’ve sent a similar email (and also commented on it during the Seattle Open House) to them also supporting 130th.

  16. Please note that many Northshore transit riders want to travel to and from Lake City; Seattle may generate about one-half the passenger loads on routes 522, 306, and 312. Perhaps the Route 522 or its successor should reach Link at NE 130th, NTC, or Roosevelt, so that it can also serve Lake City. Accessing Link via NE 145th Street on transit may involve buses stuck in traffic due to the interchange.

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