When we last left the Northgate Pedestrian Bridge project, it had failed to qualify for a $15M federal grant, putting $10M in local matching funds in jeopardy. Before Christmas, Mike O’Brien and Larry Phillips sent their fellow Sound Transit board members a note asking them to ignore the next deadline for federal grands in 2015 and instead simply commit to finding the funding for the project.
You can read Tim Bond’s previous coverage of the bridge project for more details on the design options.
The pedestrian bridge is an excellent project and it would be a damn shame if Northgate station opened without it, so kudos to O’Brien and Phillips for making the ask to their fellow board members. The bridge would serve 7,000 trips per day. To put that in context, Northgate Station is expected to have 15,000 daily riders by 2030. The bridge would drastically transform the transit options for North Seattle Community College and the surrounding neighborhood.
Sound Transit has the money, with U-Link and North Link coming in under budget. The board just has to authorize the expenditure. Given that the agency’s recently-updated system access policy calls for considering pedestrian and bike access at stations, the bridge should be a no-brainer. If Sound Transit is going to continue to site stations directly adjacent to I-5, then it ought to do everything it can to make non-motorized access as pain-free as possible. Let’s build this bridge.