by TIM MCCALL

201311_MAP_Lynnwood-Link

The updated Final Environmental Impact Statement for the N 185th Street Station was released on 26 December 2014, in addition to the 185th Street Station Subarea Plan.

One of the goals of the Subarea Plan is to rezone the area surrounding the station. This includes a significant amount of MUR-85’ (Mixed Use Residential – 85’ Tall) in the vicinity of the new station. Those familiar with area recognize the area is currently occupied by Shoreline Center and single family homes under R-6 (6 residences per acre).

The N 185th Street Station FEIS and Subarea Plan will be subject of a public hearing before the City of Shoreline Planning Commission on January 15, 2015. Comments can be submitted email to Miranda Redinger (mredinger@shorelinewa.gov).

Additional Shoreline City Council discussion will take place on 9 and 23 February with public comment available. Council adoption of the Subarea Plan is tentatively scheduled for 23 February. Be advised, residents in the North City, Meridian Park and Echo Lake Communities are none too pleased with the FEIS and Subarea Plan. As Zach posted on Christmas, neighborhoods are setting up Facebook groups and websites to take on City Council and the Planning Commission.

Tim McCall is a resident of Shoreline.

56 Replies to “185th Street Station FEIS and Subarea Plan Public Comment”

    1. Out of curiosity, are you living in one of the places the neighborhoods fought hard to prevent from being built?

      1. Not sure, but its possible.

        I think the biggest protests in Northgate were against Thorton Plaza before they did a version that resurfaced the creek, but I don’t know about the building I am in specifically.

        I am now a vote in this area for density and pedestrian friendly streets. Northgate has quite a bit of room to grow still, especially in and around the mall property.

  1. Pro-transit voices should make themselves heard on this one. The objectively pro-sprawl, any change ever is a great injustice zombies are mobilizing.

    1. Just cancel the station if the city caves on the up zone. And the current expresses from the area; make the NIMBY’s transfer or drive. No N-Judah stops on Lynnwood Link.

      Shoreline axed the better Aurora alignment. If they won’t at least make the most of their “downtown” station, they aren’t being serious.

  2. I took a look at that website trying to mobilize the NIMBYs. 6 comments on it, 1 comment is positive.

    Transit, like nature, is supposed to abhor a vacuum. If you put a LR station out in the middle of nowhere (compared to where a LR station really needs to go, 185th is nowhere), nowhere had better convert to somewhere.

    1. What is the justification for a stop at 185th, anyway? Unlike some other stations (145th) buses won’t funnel riders there. This is just a good example of the dysfunctional nature of Sound Transit. One could easily argue that you shouldn’t go past 145th, but even if you do, why have a stop at 185th? There is nothing there. If your goal is to serve the hinterlands with fast service, than minimize the stops. Do the math, people. If you cluster a bunch of stops, then have miles of empty space, the train moves really fast. Much faster than if you evenly space the stops.

      One quick look at the census map tells you that north of 145th, you really shouldn’t have any stop in Shoreline. You are much better off adding a stop at 125th/130th. That stop could serve the much more populous areas to the east and west (Lake City and Bitterlake) while slowing down the train minimally. Somehow Sound Transit decided it would have consistent stop spacing without bothering to consider whether anyone actually lived there. Now we are busy trying to tell folks in Shoreline that they should “embrace urbanism”, even though, you know, they live in Shoreline.

      1. The justification was a station near the center of Shoreline’s population and its primary destinations and institutions, That means 175th or 185th, and 185th won out. There is a feeder bus, the 348. The location is next to an old school that’s now an ad hoc community center and various offices which is ready for redevelopment, the “Shoreline Conference Center” on the map. The bus connects it to the library on 175th and the TOD node at 185th & Aurora with Fred Meyer and the ice rink. City Hall is a bit more out of the way on 175th & Aurora. The 145th station does not serve any of those or anything comparable; it would be a better station to drop. It’s on the residential edge of Shoreline and the residential/golfing edge of Seattle. But that station was chosen because of its P&R and the highway that the 522 could run on, and maybe because it serves two cities (although it doesn’t really). If you drop 185th it would be several miles between 145th (or 130th) and Mountlake Terrace. People scream about the same thing around the Boeing Access Road and S 133rd — yet NE 185th has an actual city and residents and destinations around it, which those other areas don’t.

        It’s a bummer that Shoreline wasn’t told if it wanted Link it had to agree to a major upzone. The two should go hand in hand without this reneging or disavowing and “I want a station next to my single-family house — and I don’t want any new townhouses or apartments in the neighborhood!” But when ST2 was decided, ST was neutral on upzoning because it didn’t want to be in the middle of these pro/anti NIMBY battles and be universally hated. Since then it has come out for dense station areas — but that’s after 185th Station was decided so the NIMBYS can argue they should have a grandfathered exception. Unfortunately that’s the environment this battle is in.

        But on the other hand, if you believe that cities and transit agencies just do what they want anyway regardless of what the public thinks, then it may turn out to your advantage in this case, because the city and ST have just announced what they want to do and maybe they won’t be swayed. What they want to do is pretty good (for a small suburb).

      2. The beauty of 145th as a station locaion (besides a straight access point for route 522) is the lack of invisible-gated single-family housing surrounding it. With the area more of a tabula rasa, and each side of 145th afflicted by only half a NIMBY-shed, more serious infill development should actually have a much easier time getting approved around this station.

        And there is no law saying Jackson Park has to be a golf course in perpetuity.

        And yes, I also support 130th Station, even if I find some of the arguments for it to be off-target.

      3. >> The justification was a station near the center of Shoreline’s population …

        That’s a really arbitrary designation. It is in the center of an area. It is not more populous, or the center of activity. It is not “downtown Shoreline”.

        >> There is a feeder bus, the 348.

        Right, one bus. By the way, I know that bus. I wait for the 73 along 15th, south of 125th. Folks there call the 348 the “damn” bus. As in, “damn, it isn’t the 73”. You can tell it isn’t the 73 much more easily from the side, because unlike the 73, it is never articulated. In other words, it doesn’t carry that many people.

        >> The bus connects it to the library … Fred Meyer and the ice rink.

        Well why didn’t you say so. A Fred Meyer AND an ice rink; by all means then, we should have a multi-million dollar light rail station there.

        >> The 145th station does not serve any of those or anything comparable;

        You have got to be kidding. Dude, just look at the census map. Seriously — look at it. I’ll wait. There are tons of people close to 145th. In Western Washington, the highest density tract north of the UW is along 145th (and Lake City Way). The surrounding area is no slouch, either. Bitterlake is pretty good, too (tracts there are more densely populated than anything in Shoreline). Seriously, I’m not exaggerating. Look it up and correct me if I’m wrong, but Shoreline just doesn’t have much in the way of population density (you can practically see the border on 145th here: http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?useExisting=1&layers=302d4e6025ef41fa8d3525b7fc31963a).

        Feeder buses? Good God, man, you have to be kidding. 145th is the first obvious location for buses headed from Highway 522 to Link.

        Now, I like the 130th station. I like it a lot. But buses will (and should) run along both 125th/130th and 145th, as they do now. There are just too many people along that route to throw out one for the other. Besides, it is obvious that Bothell and Lake Forest Park love the station at 145th. Fine. It will have a big park and ride lot, to be sure. If all those folks want to drive 522 and park at 145th, I say go for it. Meanwhile, the buses connect the dots and cut over at 125th and serve a station at 130th. This becomes an ideal system. Let the cars have 145th, and the buses have 125th. Meanwhile folks in Shoreline ride their bus a little longer or drive a little longer to 145th. With all those folks in Shoreline, you might actually have decent ridership on 145th.

      4. There are no all-day buses on 145th, just peak-only ones. And 125th has an all-day bus only between Lake City Way and Roosevelt (and another one east of Lake City Way). So 185th already has more service. And all the feeders and potential feeders will be strengthened, both on 185th and everywhere else.

      5. Ross:

        General question here that is applicable to this situation. Why is it ST feels obligated to spend millions upon millions of dollars on stations? Why can’t this be a bare bones platform with covered walkway? This stop isn’t tunneled, it isn’t elevated. No reason to make 185th into a multi-million dollar stop.

        As for the placement at 185th, I’d imagine it might because it is the closest location on the freeway alignment to the tax base of Shoreline; Innis Arden and Richmond Beach directly down 185th-Richmond Beach Road.

        In regards to the Ice Arena, Puget Sound is surely lacking in this public amenity. Brushing off Link’s proximity to ice arenas could be missing out on the next Apollo Ono!

      6. NE 145th Street is a jurisdictional nightmare. Shoreline will say it, Seattle will say it, the County will say it and WSDOT will say it. Between Aurora and Bothell/Lake City Way, 145th is classified as State Route 523. The centerline of the roadway doesn’t form the mutual boundary of Shoreline and Seattle. In fact, from the centerline of the roadway to the Northern edge of roadway right-of-way, N(E) 145th is unincorporated King County. RCW 35A.21.210 requires municipalities to annex all or none of roadways abutting city limits. Those that were already occupying half of the roadway were grandfathered. This law was established just prior to the Growth Management Act, so cities (i.e. Shoreline) fell victim to the restriction. The problem is that roadways in despirate need of improvement due to uncontained sprawl like SR 516 lie in a wedge of unincorporated King County yet are weged between two cities demanding state and county action.

        That being said, I think the upzoning around the 185th Street Station is a bit ambitious given my experience with the City and the drama associated with left-turn access from the MUR-85′ development, in which I reside, a couple years ago. Even members of the Planning Department suggested that they wanted to maintain and preserve the “neighborhood feel.”

        …but alas, I get the vibe by many that Shoreline is the bastard child that shouldn’t get nice things. Thankfully, my commute is only 2.5 miles.

      7. >> So 185th already has more service.

        What??? Now you are just making up stuff. Have you never heard of the 41? it runs way more often than the 348 and has way more passengers.

        Besides, bus routes can be changed. As I said, there are lots and lots of people along that corridor. You can feed the station at 185th all you want, but you will never get the kind of numbers you get along either 145th or 125th. There just aren’t that many people there. Again, look at the census maps. There just aren’t that many people. Feel free to correct me. Feel free to tell that I missed some hidden tract somewhere that has oodles of people. If anything, the numbers are even worse for Shoreline than I thought. A lot of them are really tiny. The biggest tracts I can find are around 7,000 people per square mile. In contrast, that area along Lake City City Way, next to 145th has over 30,000 per square mile. Oh, and most of those tracts in Shoreline that have over 7,000 are next to 145th.

        Besides, the two main feeder areas are highway 522 and Shoreline Community College. 185th just makes no sense at all for either one. Look, many of us wish they had put in a station at 155th instead of 145th, but they didn’t. This means that even if all the highway 522 buses go on 125th, and the 41 goes to 125th (and onto Bitterlake) that you can still, easily justify a frequent bus along 145th. At a minimum you could simply move the 330 to serve 145th, and have it run more often.

      8. CharlotteRoyale: Shoreline is offering to annex it. Seattle is likely to say yes because it’s more important to Shoreline than Seattle (it being closer to Shoreline’s center and Shoreline being a smaller city). The state is not that likely to object because it would take the maintenance off its hands.

        RossB: The 41 doesn’t go between Roosevelt and Aurora. So it’s not much of a crosstown route. There may be higher residential density around 145th than 185th but there’s not the commercial/government destinations that attract concentrations of transit riders, and many of the people in the census tracts you talk about won’t take Link even with a feeder bus because the bus stop is still several blocks from their house.

      9. “There are no all-day buses on 145th, just peak-only ones.”

        Correction: There are no all-day buses serving the full length of 145th. 145th is served well by all-day routes E, 5, 65, 73, 331, 345, 346, 347, 348, 372, 512, and 522. Did I miss any? These routes provide a sane service pattern getting residents to business districts, institutions of learning, and also downtown. The north-south nature of most of these routes is the natural result of geography.

        Indeed, there are very few east-west all-day bus routes north of the ship canal. Link will change that.

      10. Yeah, what Brent said.

        >> There may be higher residential density around 145th than 185th but there’s not the commercial/government destinations that attract concentrations of transit riders, and many of the people in the census tracts you talk about won’t take Link even with a feeder bus because the bus stop is still several blocks from their house.

        Hogwash! Either they take a bus along 145th, or take a bus along Lake City Way. Neither one is very far from that census tract because the track borders 145th and Lake City Way (and 30th and 135th). In many cases, the bus stop is right next to their apartment: http://goo.gl/maps/7aoYz. The main reason those census tracts along 145th are so high is because of the apartments on 145th itself. Along the 185th corridor, there are some apartments in Richmond Beach, but that is about it (and it isn’t much).

        As far as non-residential destinations in Shoreline, there is only one worth talking about: the college. The best way to connect to the college is via 145th.* Let me give you an example. Let’s assume that the 522 buses run on 125th (not 145th). Let’s also assume that it runs often enough that the 41 becomes unnecessary. Now modify the 330, ever so slightly, so that it runs along 145th across the freeway. This is a fairly short run (by Metro’s standards) so you can run this bus all day at a very fast frequency by shifting just a bit of the savings from the 41 to this bus route. This means that the most populous areas in the north end (by a huge margin) are not only connected to each other, but connected very quickly to Link and to the college. That is a bus that is worthy of being compared to the 41. It also means that people from the highway 522 corridor can very easily and quickly get to the college (and all the other businesses along that route that you seem to ignore).

        Of course, you can accomplish the latter by going via 185th. The problem is that going that way costs a significant amount of time, and there are very few people along there. It is simply a matter of geography and street layout. 185th does not go through to the east of I-5 very far. It is very difficult to connect to 522 that way. You can either wiggle through the streets (Perkins, etc.) or go all the way up Ballinger Way up 15th, then go south. But if you run a bus that direction, you might as well serve the station at 236th.

        Let’s face it, there will be a station at 185th, and the buses will funnel people (from the east) to it. It will be more convenient for those folks to use 185th, instead of going up to 236th. But let’s not pretend it will get anywhere near the number of people that a station at 145th does, even if all of the 522 buses avoid it.

  3. I know one of the city council people in shoreline, and he wants very much to have the political support to do the right thing here – he totally gets it, and is working hard to get the support so that he can do it. Which is to say, email te council. The number of people who take the time to is shockingly small – you can have more influence than you think.

    1. What do the other council members say?

      Do you live in Shoreline?
      I’m hoping you’re one of the attendees at the council meetings.

    2. When I attended a North Link hearing in Northgate, I was the only one who said anything for or against the specifics of the proposed alignment and stations. Half of the other speakers just said “We want light rail!”, and the other half were members of the Latvian Community Center saying, “This community center is vital to our community and we can’t afford to relocate it so please don’t go through it.” That could be addressed easily by a simple engineering change, and didn’t require twenty people to testify for it. What people didn’t say was anything that would help ST make a decision on the proposal it was currently considering.

      My point is that few people speak up, so the ones who do get heard well. Sometimes the comments say little as in this Northgate case, and sometimes they’re all the opponents of upzoning as this Shoreline case is looking like. But in any case, few people respond to proposals like this, and so a few voices speaking together can make a big difference.

      1. North Link Lynnwood Extension hearing

        It was this very extension that the hearing was about, Northgate to Lynnwood. I wrote an article at the time, and my statements at the hearing were similar to the article, namely that the most important issue was a 130th Station.

  4. It’s pretty clear that the people of Shoreline do not want a station at 185th. The logical solution is to cancel it and spend the money to expand light rail in Seattle. That way the people of shoreline get what they want (nothing) and the people of Seattle get what they want (more light rail). Win-win.

      1. Also, you could always “future proof” the system by putting in a flat spot at 185th so that you can add the station later. That way, if Shoreline ever changes its mind, and decided to become more urban, they can get a station.

      2. Amen. Cancel this station, and move the money to improving speed and reliability (or access, like the 130th station you suggest), elsewhere.

        But, that’s not actually what they want. What they want is the benefits of the station without the density that would pay for it.

      3. kpt,

        Exactly. The people in walking distance want their own private N-Judah station so they (and only they) can get to work lickety-split and VERY reliably. That makes them HUGE winners in the house value lottery.

    1. Well, it is the same subarea, so there’s no legal impediment to moving the station to 130th. We just need enough people in Shoreline to say they’re OK with that, and they don’t mind their share of taxes going to 130th.

      But as I said above, it would be a bigger win-win to move 145th Station to 130th than to move 185th Station. Let 145th be deferred (like 130th and Graham are now), and there’ll still be the option to fill it in later (if that makes some boardmembers more willing to approve the move).

    2. Hmm. SFH residents upset about significant upzone === don’t want light rail. The comments don’t look all that different than what we saw at the Roosevelt station. Heck, even the U District rezone, which isn’t all that much more dramatic than this, seems to be controversial. Perhaps we should conclude that Seattle doesn’t want light rail?

      1. Perhaps we should conclude that a few people don’t want fast/frequent transit, or they think the station is conveniently close to their current residence and they don’t give a f*ck that other people would like to live near the station too. I bet you can easily find 30,000 UW students that want light rail and U-District station, and most of them either want or don’t object to highrise housing next to it. Only a tiny number of people think the U-District’s #1 problem is lack of open space and this station site is critical for it. And in Roosevelt, an upzone did go through even if it wasn’t the maximum possible, so those who wanted to preserve the single-family houses a block from the station for their own convenience — like one person who said that at a station hearing — lost out. And there are tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people who want light rail — especially this underground segment between downtown and Northgate — and voted for it with a healthy majority. It’s insulting to them to say Seattle doesn’t want light rail. It’s just a few vocal people living around the stations who don’t want upzones, and that happens everywhere.

      2. Touche. But there are some significant differences. To begin with, Roosevelt, despite being close to the freeway, is a decent station, even without any growth. There are just a lot more people there (and the buses feed really well there). Second, the original plan was to put it on the other side, where there was more liberal zoning regulations. But the folks in Roosevelt pushed for moving it to other side, and never bothered to ask the city if it meant an upzone. In other words, if Roosevelt really, truly, didn’t want the station, then Greenlake would have taken it (thank you very much). Then you also have the slumlord situation (and this is really, really complicated). None of that exists in 185th.

        To be fair, the folks around 185th should have been told from the get go about the upzone (that was a problem in Roosevelt as well). But at this point, unlike Roosevelt, the choice is clear. You can easily remove the station, and it costs the system very little. You can always add it back later.

      3. William,

        Oh, Seattle wants Light Rail. It’s just that the suburbs don’t want to change in a way that makes it worthwhile to extend it for them. If the thing were just entirely within Seattle as was proposed in the 1960’s, it would garner much more political support.

        And after all, Seattle is already paying for it!, so there’s no need for the suburbs.

    3. Curious – what makes you so certain that the people of Shoreline don’t want light rail, and that the majority are against the upzone? Is there any evidence that this isn’t simply a case of a very vocal minority?

    1. 130th is an approved but deferred station. It just needs construction money (which is beyond the ST2 budget), and a board action to construct it. But if, theoretically, 185th Station were cancelled, that would free up some of the budget, which may be enough for 130th, since the two stations are substantially similar (at-grade from the freeway’s perspective, below-grade from the local streets’ perspective).

    2. The “additional stop” in Mountlake Terrace is 220th. It’s in the same situation as 130th, approved but deferred. ST chose an alignment which would allow a future 220th Station (and rejected an alignment which wouldn’t).

      Travel time is not an issue when it’s grade-separated and there aren’t stations every half mile.

    3. cjw,

      “Slow[ing] down service” for the 6,000 people who might ride Link from Lynnwood to Northgate should be the last of anyone’s worries. So what if the trip takes five minutes longer because there are more stops? The trip will be so radically more reliable than the torture on I-5 that people will be happy to make those stops. And it’s already written in stone that it will be blazingly faster south of Northgate.

  5. I used to live a block or so away from this proposed station. While I would have been whole-heartedly in support of such a station for selfish reasons, it is a seriously bizarre place to locate a station. Perhaps if Sound Transit hadn’t been so short-sighted and ran this sucker up Aurora where there is much more current and potential density, then 185th would have made sense. Maybe a tumble weed or two will role into a car, and they can count it in their ridership numbers.

    Now I live in Lake City, so while again I can’t fathom the rationale for running this train up I-5 instead of Aurora (stupid stupid stupid), I guess I would have to advocate for 130th much more than 185th. I could at least bike there without too much trouble, though I’m one of maybe 4 others who would do the same. 130th at least has SOME density within walking distance and potential for more. 185th has North City Mower and Saw.

    1. The rationale for I-5 was 4 minutes shorter travel time, which gained more riders than it lost by not being on Aurora according to ST’s estimate, and I think slightly lower construction cost.

      1. I would assume it was much lower construction cost (but what do I know). If your goal is Everett (or bust) than it makes sense. Even if you goal is Lynnwood, then it makes some sense. But let’s not pretend that there are good, solid destinations equally spaced along the way. There just aren’t. Even in Seattle, between Roosevelt and Northgate, there is no station. This is in Seattle, which is way more densely populated than Shoreline.

        There just aren’t any good stations in Shoreline. Add a spot in case that changes, but for now, just skip it.

      2. ST assumed that too (much lower construction cost) but it turned out to be only a little less. I-5 is over forty years old and mostly viaducts, so if ST disturbed any part of it it would have to retrofit the freeway at its own expense. Better to let WSDOT do that when it overhauls the freeway. The chosen alignment is in the freeway ROW but as far away from the viaducts as feasable.

  6. This is the craziness of designing a light rail system that mimics the freeway network, and promoting an ideology that land use should serve transportation needs rather than the other way around. There is so much ideology and so little strategic planning going on that my head hurts, and the farther rail gets from the urbanized area the more it hurts.

    I watched electeds draw proposed system maps on flip charts when the original system plan was being developed, and every sketch was a map of the freeway system. If we started thinking of transit customers as pedestrians instead, we would envision a very different network. Imagine putting stations in the places pedestrians want to be? That would be a great transportation system, but it doesn’t fit the political capital distribution model we’re working with.

    Is there a human rationale to want high density housing directly adjacent to a freeway, with few walkable destinations nearby? Is that where people want to live? As all development does, it will create more car trips than transit trips — and how will all those car trips affect that already freeway-besotted area? Are we expecting everyone to get on the train to get everything they need, or for every need to be available in walking distance at this location? Will this place have all the elements needed to be walkable, livable and self-contained?

    Of course, cancel this station and all the ones after it. There’s no competitive advantage of rail over bus beyond 145th St. All the suburban freeway stations will draw this same debate — why would we want to put high density housing in freeway rights of way knowing that they’re inherently the least pedestrian-friendly and most congested places in the region? The alternative we’re not allowed to consider would build an actual urban transit *network* that lets us get around the urbanized area (Seattle and the Eastside) for all sorts of trips, not just to downtown Seattle for commuting.

    1. Quasimodal, you are right that designging a transit spine along an unlidded freeway is madness. We have been fighting that fight for years, and losing. Its advantages are that (1) the right-of-way is cheaper; (2) there is less need for tunneling; and (3) the stations have smaller NIMBY-sheds, which thereby enables higher upzones, at least in theory.

      I agree with your suspicion that this is not where people really want to live. But it is where organized well-heeled neighbors will allow more people to live. The largest irony in these land-use battles is all the handwringning over property values going down. Um, no the upzones will have just the opposite effect. Yes, park & rides will be a blight, but new TOD multi-story housing with lower-floor commercial uses will not. But they still deprive neighbors of their American birthright to see every point on the horizon from their roofs. (Never mind that there used to be a forest in the way of that birthright before the Europeans chopped down every species in sight.)

      1. “Lidded” freeways are a maintenance nightmare and tax burden.

        While aesthetically pleasing to those that don’t want to see the freeway, there are some significant hidden costs with those pesky lids that seem to have been gaining traction after Mercer Island got the Lid. One will have to deal with exhaust and supply fans associated with the lidded tunnel. Lighting that will adjust based on exterior light conditions (photocells) will need to be installed. Tunnels greater than 500 feet in length must have fire detection and suppression systems.

        Operationally, frequent fire suppression testing and maintenance require hazmat cargo restrictions (fuel trucks, vehicles combustible cannisters) resulting in those vehicles using undesirable alternate routes. Lidded roadways will make any type of improvements (sight distance improvements) nearly impossible.

        On paper and in principle, lidded freeways sound great, in actuality, they are horrible for long distances.

      2. Charlotte,

        Spot on. All of your points together make long lids exactly as you say, “horrible”.

    2. Now, there is still an advantage to having grade-separated transit reach all the way to Lynnwood (even though it is unfortunate that reaching did not occur along Highway 99). CT’s commuter armada gets stuck in traffic, and only serves two destinations in King County. Link will serve every destination along the way, including the Shoreline Center, whatever replaces what is now Northgate Mall, the rizty Roosevelt business district, both ends of UW, Capitol Hill!, the stadia, neighborhhod business districts south of there that will become increasingly ritzy, including some districts catering especially to the area’s large Asian population, and, oh yeah, the airport.

      Someday in the coming decades, this line will run out of capacity for larger and larger chunks of the peak commute, and there will be increasing pressure to build a second train line from downtown Seattle to points north of Seattle, with Highway 99 being the best available right-of-way in which to make this happen.

    3. 185th is a lot less “besotted” than most of the proposed stops — without an interchange, and with the freeway underneath, there’s really not much car traffic and it’s not even all that loud. The problem with 185th is less that you don’t want to walk than that there’s nothing to walk to.

      So now the upzone plan wants to swap one problem for the other…

  7. The road expansion piece for the proposed upzone is pretty shocking. They want to make all the arterials into 4-lane roads, each one a little 145th or 175th. 185th isn’t a bad place to be without a car today, especially east of 1st Ave NE, but start expanding the road and putting in parking garages and suddenly it’s a hellhole. We’re not talking about a 4-lane road without too many mid-block curb cuts like parts of Market Street — existing houses already have driveways, whose access from a 4-lane street will be a safety problem for everyone, and the street grid may not be well connected enough to prevent larger future buildings from requiring uncontrolled turns across the sidewalk.

    So naturally the upzone opponents point out that this proposed road expansion isn’t enough. Apparently they don’t want to live near a 7-story building but they do want 6-lane arterials.

    1. Where do you find this? I haven’t been able to find it in the FEIS, under any logical headings. Road expansion would be terrible here (though cul-de-sac connection would be a big pedestrian boost)

  8. The “Sound Off Shoreline” blog has what is essentially a “no posts except ones I completely agree with” policy. Bunch of NIMBY jerks who think they’re living on the N-Judah and have been given a streetcar stop.

  9. After thinking about it overnight, there’s no way ST will delete 185th station so it’s tilting at windmills to try to get them to.

    (1) The board has decided and will not want to reopen the decision.
    (2) If it did entertain a motion to move the station, it would mean one or more boardmembers have turned against 185th, and the board would probably be heavily divided, so much that it might not be able to reach consensus (meaning the previous decision would stand) or would lead to lingering divisions and acrimony within the board. Presumably the Shoreline members would be pro 185th and some other members would be anti 185th, and it would seem like the latter are caring only about themselves and their area.
    (3) The board is busy preparing a system plan for ST3 and courting the legislature. It will not want the distraction of reevaluating a decision it recently made.
    (4) The work on the EIS and Shoreline master plans would be thrown away.
    (5) The Lynnwood Extension was always predicated on a Shoreline station, and that doesn’t mean 145th. Shoreline voters approved ST2 believing they would get a station, and that also figured into their ST1 vote (since they haven’t gotten anything from ST1 except a 145th stop and Mountlake Terrace stop on the 512, and the 522 not really close enough to count).
    (6) ST bases its decisions heavily on what the city governments want, and Shoreline wants 185th, both cities want 145th, and Seattle thinks 130th is third priority. ST will not override these because some NIMBYs want frozen zoning or some transit activists want to move the station to 130th. It would take a significant number of Shoreline voices, and most effectively the Shoreline city government, to get ST to consider moving the station.
    (7) The Shoreline government realizes it needs to increase density, transit, and walkability in order to remain economically competitive. Those factors are becoming increasingly critical to attract businesses, residents, and their tax base. Suburbs who don’t will be left behind to stagnate (and eventually become semi-slums).
    (8) Because of the previous, the NIMBYs may be able to force Shoreline to downscale its upzone (as happened in Roosevelt), but they won’t be able to prevent it entirely.
    (9) In any case, whether an upzone goes through or not, 185th Station is here to stay.

    1. I agree with that – there’s no use trying to change course, and there’s no place north of 145th that’s a better location; these are done deals. I just come out of my hole once in every few years to scream and then go back in. The problem I’m having now is that bad transit system design is prompting a domino effect of even worse land use outcomes because it’s a truism that density around transit stations is good. Yes, transit can contribute to walkable and livable neighborhoods, but there are a lot of other factors needed for this not to be a crappy place to live, and one is not to be next to a freeway — that’s not where we should put our settlements just because of the shortsightedness of transit planners and policymakers.

  10. “..(3) the stations have smaller NIMBY-sheds”

    Get more involved. Be the regular voice at the council meetings.
    Talk to your neighbors… even the ones that already seem to have a set point of view.

    “..the shortsightedness of transit planners and policymakers”

    They’re only reacting to what they perceive as the “problem” that needs to be solved.
    That’s why almost every municipality is locked into the “cure the intersection LOS” problem at all costs.

    And then wonder why there are so many cars driving through their commercial districts making it less attractive for shopping and living.

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