Average Weekday Boardings, 2035, for Preferred Alternative with Options (p. 3-24)
Average Weekday Boardings, 2035, for Preferred Alternative with Options (p. 3-24)

[Update 11:15am: The Seattle Light Rail Review Panel agrees that 130th is important too.]

At tomorrow’s Sound Transit Board meeting, the agenda includes final approval of Resolution No. R2015-05, “Selecting the route, profiles and station locations for the Lynnwood Link Extension.” As it stands, the preferred alternative has a station at N. 145th St., but none at N. 130th St. You can let whichever board member(s) represent you know what you think of this.

Sound Transit’s own Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) showed, somewhat confusingly, that although 145th alone would attract 600 more riders than 130th alone, if both stations were present most people would select the latter. Moreover, the study did not seem to consider the relative ease of bus access via 130th, unclogged by cars trying to access the freeway, which will dramatically affect the plausibility of cheaply delivering riders. STB has hosted two extended arguments for this station.

Having both stations would be fine, but really if there is to be only one it should be at 130th. one of the two stations has to be deferred, it should be 145th.

76 Replies to “Action Alert: N. 130th Station Tomorrow”

  1. There has been ample discussion regarding the defects of the PSRC population model, which was used to generate the ridership estimates. This model predicts more population in outlying areas than there actually is, and less population closer-in than there actually is. It seems that a decent population model would have made it very clear that 130th was better.

    Just something to mention when talking to officials.

    1. And the people from the more outlying areas won’t be using 145th St. anyway – they’ll be using Lynnwood Station.

    2. But even the faulty population model makes a clear case for 130th over 145th. In any alternative analyzed with both 130th and 145th, 130th has the lion’s share of riders at the expense of people acccessing 145th (seen comparing the first and second slternatives above), demonstrating most people accessing the line from north Seattle and beyond would prefer to do so at 130th, or at least access is easiest there.

  2. I’m all for a station at 130th, though with all the discussion of the stations and upzoning at 145th and 185th, I am curious what kind of potential there is for upzoning at 130th. Haller Lake is about as suburban as you can get within the city limits of Seattle…

    1. A 130th upzone was included in the vision Settle vision 2035 materials. It’s clearly on the table.

    2. I live in this neighborhood and have thought that the connections to Lake City are probably easier down 130th, but I’m not a fan of having two stations so close together (i.e., Northgate, 130th). Seems like the money could be better spent elsewhere. Lakeside and the golf course do create barriers to development south of 145th, but there’s plenty of room for TOD in and around the north side of 145th along 5th.

      The board meeting should be interesting since they’re voting on the LLE alignment, baselining the East Link project and voting on the MOU with Bellevue.

      1. “…but I’m not a fan of having two stations so close together (i.e., Northgate, 130th).”

        Wrong pair of stations maybe? The Northgate station would straddle 103rd at the transit center; I measure it at about 1.4 miles on Google. 130th to 145th is close to half that, and even if they were to decide to have stations at 130th and 155th but not 145th, it’s still closer to 155th than it is to Northgate.

      2. In addition to the fact that they’re not close together at all (1.4 miles as the crow flies, 1.6 miles by shortest route), the access to 130th is much, much easier, making the impact of that difference greater than it otherwise would be. Bus access to Northgate TC has long been miserably slow, even for various random times outside of peak, and the added traffic associated with Link make this unlikely to change. By providing a better access point for North City and Bitter lake residents, you also decrease the pressure on Northgate station access, perhaps decreasing the misery of getting there.

      3. There is one four mile segment of MAX without a station. This section goes through an area with houses oriented so that they would be impossible to serve by transit, a fairly large cemetery. Everything else on MAX is one mile or less station spacing.

        Without a station at 130th, the average station spacing on Lynwood Link is about the same as this huge gap on MAX. However, there is a significant difference between ridership demands produced by several square miles of big houses on big lots, plus 100 acres or so of dead people, and the ridership demands of, say, Lake City (which would have much more difficult transit access without 130th).

        If the purpose of Link is to only provide high speed access to the Lynwood parking garage, then the fewer the stations the better. However, Link isn’t supposed to be Sounder.

        There does come a point when stations are far too frequent (the 220 feet between certain MAX stations is a great example of that problem), but people can’t ride trains that they don’t have access to. Too few stations and you’ve cut off access.

      4. It’s not about the TOD, it’s about the buses. It’s tempting to think that we will build ourselves around the transit centers or that Link will somehow manage to have stations at all the little pockets of density scattered around the city. But if you look at a census map, it is obvious that the latter won’t happen (my favorite map is this one, but it requires zooming in: http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?useExisting=1&layers=302d4e6025ef41fa8d3525b7fc31963a). There is just no correlation between population density and the stations. It is striking, really. There are no census tracts over 10,000 people per square mile in Shoreline. None. There are only a handful in Snohomish County. In Seattle there are a bunch and they are spread out everywhere, and most aren’t close to a station that will ever be built. The handful of places that are over 25,000 people per square mile are not served especially well, either. A few spots in Capitol Hill and the UW have good service, but other parts don’t. These include other parts of east Seattle (First Hill, etc.) as well as parts of Queen Anne and Lake City.

        Meanwhile, the places that are growing are growing independently of any transit. Roosevelt is booming, but only because they changed the zoning laws. Change the zoning in Wallingford and you will see plenty of big buildings — oh wait, there are a bunch of new ones in south Wallingford (again, zoning). Ballard, Lake City, South Lake Union are booming despite have mediocre if not terrible transit. Meanwhile, Rainier Valley plods along, despite having Link run right through it.

        But even if TOD occurs, it won’t represent much of the overall population. Put up six story buildings (yeah, right) on the little slivers of land close to 145th and it will still have way fewer people than just down the street (on Lake City Way). But even if it caught up, there are way more places that are simply too far from light rail. Given what we have built so far, it is highly unlikely that we can build enough rail to allow the vast majority of people in the area to walk to the train. It’s just not going to happen — we aren’t going to build that much rail.

        But we can have really good bus service that complements the light rail. Check out this map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=z-ZcpzpzqRA0.k6iH2FJatoUU
        Don’t get bogged down in the details, but consider it as a sketch of a new set of bus routes that would exist once Lynnwood Link is built. A couple key things to consider:

        1) It provides a good grid.
        2) Just about every bus goes by a light rail station.

        You just can’t do that without stations serving the 145th corridor as well as the 125th/130th corridor. You either run buses that don’t connect with Link (which means they won’t be very popular) or you don’t have a good grid.

        Building really good bus service to complement the rail service is not anything new. Vancouver does it. Toronto does it. Vancouver manages to have the third highest per capita transit ridership in North America. This is higher than lots of cities (Montreal, Chicago, Boston) that have way more rail. They do it with good bus service that complements the good rail line. Having stops at NE 130th and 145th would be essential for something similar in Seattle.

      5. “I’m not a fan of having two stations so close together (i.e., Northgate, 130th)”

        The issue is not the closeness of Northgate to 130th, but the distance of 130th to 185th.

      6. What Ross said,

        Link ridership in North Seattle will be completely driven by bus access.

        But I disagree that the popularity and utility of a bus line is determined by whether it connects with Link (or any other single line psuedo-commuter rail). It feels like people have forgotten or don’t realize that Lynnwood Link itself really isn’t going to improve mobility a ton (yay, we can get rid of or truncate some commuter bus routes!). What is actually exciting for mobility is the discussion around rearranging the bus network into a frequenr grid, it just so happens the coming of Link has been the catalyst for this dicussion. Link itself is not a necessary component for this concept. I’d argue the blossoming of transit ridership that could occur after Lynnwood (and North) Link opens won’t be so much because of Link but because the rest of the network has been rendered more useful for many more people for many more trip purposes.

      7. Oh, I agree Shane, we don’t need Link to build a good grid. But Link helps immensely. The city is built along north/south corridors, so it makes sense to have some fast, frequent transit that direction. A bus that goes frequently along Aurora, for example, is every bit as important to building a good grid system as Link is.

        But we can’t forget that there will be resistance to any change in the bus routes. Propose a grid for the entire city (beyond what is being proposed now) and you will get a lot of objections. But if you do both — provide for a quick ride to Link as well as a grid, then everyone wins. So while you could create a bus route along 125th/130th, keep in mind, none exists right now. More importantly, I doubt Metro will build one without a station. This means that folks trying to get from one side or the other are screwed. It means that Metro has to choose between providing a good grid or providing service focused on Link. With stations at 145th and 130th, Metro can provide both (and do so fairly cheaply — which means frequently).

      8. You’re probably right in that the only way a sudden shift could politically occur–from the network we have to a network oriented for more convenient all-day, omni-directional travel–is the opening of a high profile project like Link, it’s actual utility aside.

        The common way is probably to slowly make changes to the network so as to not arouse too much anger/resentment until it resembles something useful. Hopefully the establishment of a long range plan will set Metro on this path elsewhere in the county.

  3. Seattle Subway and a growing list of local organizations (Sierra Club, Seattle Light Rail Review Panel) support the 130th station. Its clearly superior to the 145th station for all the reasons Martin mentions above.

    It will be interesting to see how Sound Transit responds. Their position on 145th seems unsupportable by facts and built on the concept of freeway access as a primary motivation for station location.

    It should also be noted that this is part of ST2 and therefore money saved by projects like U-Link are applicable to both this project (if its in addition, rather than instead of, 145th), the Northgate pedestrian bridge, and a Graham infill station.

    1. NE 130th may be superior to a station at NE 145th, but it is crazy to think we should only build one (as I mention down below — https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2015/04/22/action-alert-n-130th-station-tomorrow/#comment-613474).

      Along with those arguments, if we only build a station at NE 130th, we would probably screw it up really bad by adding tons of free parking. The folks driving from the NE corridor want parking, and they expected it at 145th. Add that to the 130th station and suddenly traffic gets a lot worse there. It is over 4 miles from Northgate to 185th, it is crazy to think that we would have only one station between there, give the geographic realities of the area (my first three points in the other comment).

      1. Is this situation at all analogous to 120th Ave. and 130th Ave. stations on East Link which are only six tenths of a mile apart? One of those is planned with a 300 stall parking garage and both of them depend on potential development.

        130th in North Seattle is three quarters of a mile from 145th, further than those two in Bellevue… 155th is another half mile further still. To me, 130th and 155th make the most sense as a pair, but the most critical of all of them is 130th…

        Shoreline is already pretty far along in thinking about rezoning around 145th. Of course Shoreline’s station area planning process there must be coordinated with that of Seattle… and Seattle’s Mayor supports a station at 130th.


      2. Ross — I say it below, but just to be sure you see it. We do support both stations. We just want to point out that it should be 145th on the chopping block, not 130th.

        Regarding 145th vs 155th — I think that part of the argument is in the can, and we’re less set on one or the other given those two options. 155th is probably better because of the access issues at 145th and its intense freeway orientation — but it appears that argument is moot at this point.

  4. There’s so much crowing in Shoreline around 145th about “savings our suburbs” and “no radical rezone” that those in proximity to 145th would probably support a 130th station.

      1. I could see that, but I think we need both. I’m a big fan of NE 130th station, but even if 130th is better than 145th, it is crazy to only have one. Just look at a road map and a census map and a few things jump out at you:

        1) There are plenty of people to the east and west of there. Greater Lake City is more densely populated than anything north of the UW and south of the Canadian border (seriously — look it up). Bitter Lake is also populous and more densely populated than anything in Shoreline, and roughly equal in density to the handful of dense pockets in Snohomish County.

        2) There aren’t that many roads that cross I-5.

        3) The Northeast part of the county funnels into highway 522 and highway 522 has very few connections to the west. Ballinger Way and 145th are the only ones north of Lake City.

        These are just basic geographic facts. Traffic analysis and other train station locations just strengthens the argument. But there are a couple of key things to consider:

        4) Building a grid results in much better overall bus service.

        5) Buses should leverage the light rail stations as much as possible.

        These last two items are key. Without stations along the few spots that cross I-5, it is unlikely that we will get decent bus routes. There will be a huge gap in the north end. Either it exists from 185th to 130th, or from 145th to Northgate. Neither is acceptable, given the huge numbers of people who live east and west of there (my first point).

    1. 155th and 130th are a much better station pair.

      Almost the entire concept around 145th St station appears to be based around filling the park and ride as efficiently as possible, all other access is a second thought at best.

      1. I agree. 130th, 155th, and 185th are much better choices than 145th and 185th. Its bad enough that Link runs along a freeway, its even worse when some of the stations are being put right next to freeway on-ramps.

    2. If ST comes around to the idea that 130th Station is most critical, then the issue of 145th comes down to cost: does it fit in ST2’s budget, and if so, is ST willing to spend that money on it before ST3?

      The “final” EIS that ST is about to adopt says 130th is an option but it hasn’t been studied yet. So it would require another revision to the EIS, either before or after adoption. That would delay things, but only by a few months if ST expedites it.

    3. If 145th is deferred, it would give ST and the community time to reconsider how important the station is. The main reason it was in ST2 is the legacy P&R and freeway access from Bothell Way (e.g., potential 522 reroute). But that’s 1980s thinking. In 2015 it should at least be reconsidered in light of ST’s commitment to a regional+local transit network from urban villages (Lake City and Bitter Lake).

      ST could also reconsider 145th vs 155th. But doing that would require a stub station interface in the blueprint, and revising the EIS to add a 155th option. Shoreline would presumably object, and ST would defer to Shoreline because it usually defers to cities.

      1. “The main reason it was in ST2 is the legacy P&R and freeway access from Bothell Way…”

        … and it “serves” two cities simultaneously, which looks good on paper. But it’s on the outer fringe of both cities so it’s not serving them much. Putting a large urban village there, on one or both sides, would give the station much more ridership and reason to exist.

  5. This is a no-brainer, in my mind.

    I often attempt to navigate the 512 stop at 145th via bike and foot, and it’s horrendously bad to try to get to and from. I’m sure some infrastructure improvements are in the works, but the narrow sidewalk with no buffer along 145th for miles in both directions with cars whizzing inches from you, the vastness and impenetrability of the single-use “public” golf-course (not withstanding the recent sprinkling of rocks they call a path around the barbed wire fence), all add up to a park and ride station at best.

    There is no opportunity for any upzone on the Seattle side, with the school to the west and the golf course to the east. The Shoreline side might have some possibilities, though I don’t know the political climate. The walkshed is essentially a few dozen houses with large yards ATM.

    Additionally it currently takes 2-4 light cycles to turn onto 145th coming from Lake City during rush hour, and this would become worse, if people were driving to the desolate outpost of a station.

    130th on the other hand hand, has already had extensive ped and bike treatments, with more planned, The neighborhood already has higher density apartments to the southeast, lots of potential for upzone in both directions to the north with lower-value, older housing stock, a nice, popular and a rare public park to the southwest.

    Mothball 145th and build at 130th.

    1. Again, I think it is crazy to suggest that we can only have one station between 185th and Northgate Way (https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2015/04/22/action-alert-n-130th-station-tomorrow/#comment-613474). This is a multi-billion dollar light rail line, and the cost of a station is a very small part of that. For our transit system to be effective, we need stations along the few corridors that cross I-5. Both 130th/125th and 145th are major east west corridors, because they connect highway 522 with the west side (all the way to Greenwood). Suggesting that we can only have one stop in a four mile stretch is just nuts.

      Besides, this ship has sailed. We are getting a station at 145th. It is what voters approved. It is only because Sound Transit lacks common sense that we have to fight for a stop at NE 130th. Just about any planning agency in the country would have added a stop at NE 130th, and it would have simply been part of the ballot. But it wasn’t, so now they have to go through these hoops to get a station. Fair enough, but let’s not argue that both aren’t good. There are so few stations in our system that just every station is good. Both of these are essential, if we are going to get anything out of the billions we are spending on light rail.

      1. Ross, voters did not approve any particular station anywhere. Voters approve the legal language that was on the ballot measure, not what maps/brochures/power point presentations or even the summary of the initiative indicated was a potential station location. Unless somebody shows me in the actual ballot language that 145th and I-5 (or any other location) was to get a station, voters approved no such thing. I wish people would stop saying this.

        Of course, it can’t be pointed out, because even having the line on I-5 wasn’t finalized until years after the ballot measure passed.

        It would be criminally stupid for a transportation agency to tie their own hands this way; one can argue, often successfully, that ST’s station siting may have been made in several locations with darts and a dart board, but there’s no way they would have committed to placing a station location anywhere specific to that extent. Too many things could change in the interim that would make a different location better.

        There may be a political optics problem if a station is moved, but were I ST, I would gently point out that the entire planning process means that nothing is written in stone until permits are in hand (and even then, amendments can be made).

      2. I can’t find the actual ballot measure, but 145th was certainly in the proposal (http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Developing-Regional-Transit/History-what-voters-approved). Right on there it says “145th”. So, at best they could ignore their own proposal and simply build what they think is best. At worst there would be legal challenges.

        Sound Transit has repeatedly said they will stick with what has been proposed, unless they find a strong enough argument to do otherwise. So building at 155th instead of 145th was certainly on the table, since they both serve the 145th corridor. But 130th does not. That is the point — they are two different — both vital — corridors.

        But as I said over and over again — who cares? Do you really think that Sound Transit, given everything that has happened, will suddenly abandon 145th? Sorry, that is nuts. It will never happen. Meanwhile, do you really think that is a good idea? Arguing that 130th is better than 145th is like arguing that the UW is a better destination than Capitol Hill. Yeah, maybe, but anyone with any sense would have (at least one) stop at both places. We need both.

        If anything, that is the problem. Somehow guys like lazarus got into their head that one can substitute for the other. So Sound Transit says “we promised everyone 145th, we’ve already done some EIS work and have a nice park and ride there, the folks from Bothell like it, so we’re good”. But they are wrong not in choosing 145th over 125th (flip a coin, really) but in suggesting that one is a good substitute for the other. We need both. Arguing otherwise is just nuts, and will get you nowhere with Sound Transit.

      3. The actual enabling language was adopted in Resolution 2008-11, which cites Resolution 2008-10 as the defining the plan. The latter resolution explicitly mentions a station at 145th.
        Archival copies of the resolutions are at http://www.soundtransit.org/About-Sound-Transit/Board-of-Directors/Board-archives/Resolutions-archive/2008-Resolutions.

        It’s possible that the decision in Sane v. Sound gives the board the authority to change things up, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it. My recollection is that the decision hinged upon the fact that while the campaign materials made a great many promises, the actual ballot language didn’t promise much of anything explicitly. If this is indeed the case, the circumstances here are sufficiently different here that I suspect the case has only limited applicability.

        Politically, any move to take away one of Shoreline’s stations is going to magnify the sentiment [which we have seen expressed from time to time by Councilman Dembrowski and others] that non-Seattle North King communities are inadequately represented on the ST board.

  6. NO brainer in my mind either. I got a forwarded letter to Sound Transit written from a member of Seattle Planning Department in support of 130th. A very cogent statistic jumped out in the letter regarding the too-many-stations too-much-dwell-time argument. 130th is supposed to create an extra one minute of dwell time, leading to an extra one minute commute.

    Current increases in I-5 congestion stretch average SOV commute times by one minute every three months.

    1. Thanks, Baselle–good information.

      The fact that this is even a consideration in planning an urban rail system it makes me want to channel my inner d.p., which is never far from the surface when this station is discussed!

      The line would be several minutes faster if there were actually only a terminus at each end. All those pesky interim stations with their pesky passengers wanting to board just makes one’s God-granted ability to drive to the train, park one’s car in a free, megaparking structure and hop on the train for a nonstop ride to one’s destination untenable. Why, ST is here to serve the suburban lifestyle!

      If this is seriously the line of argument they are using, I can’t see myself voting for ST3 or anything else that will put a dime into their pockets. Let’s find a way to leverage Seattle money for our own needs.

  7. The ballot measure called for a station at 145th. Legal opinion at ST says that means a station must be built at 145th. I support a station at 130th as well, but it is not in question whether a station should be built at 145th. 155th is not really in play anymore due to wetland issues and its proximity to a busy fire station.

    1. Huh? Since when has ‘it was on the ballot measure’ ever stopped Sound Transit? Look at Sound Move and ST2, Compare the lines in the ballot measures to what has/is being built for Central Link, U-Link, Northgate Link, and East Link. The First Hill station was deleted, not deferred.

      Besides deferring 145th doesn’t mean it won’t be built, just that it won’t happen with current funding.

      1. Yes but you can’t build something else instead — something that was not even part of the ballot measure. A station at NE 145th will be built.

        But again (and I get tired of this) we need both. How many times must I say it (without a single rebuttal by the way): WE NEED BOTH. We need to serve both the 145th corridor and the NE 125th/130th corridor. Saying it is OK to only have one stop between Northgate and 185th (a distance over 4 miles, for heaven’s sake) is just nuts. That is a recipe for a really crappy system.

        Again, feel free to rip apart my argument. Here it is: https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2015/04/22/action-alert-n-130th-station-tomorrow/#comment-613474
        But better yet, tell me how you build a nice, gridded set of bus routes without serving both corridors. Really — here is my stab at it: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=z-ZcpzpzqRA0.k6iH2FJatoUU
        That’s not stupendous either. I’m sure there are things that could be improved substantially. But it does do two things:

        1) Provides an excellent grid.
        2) Every bus east of I-5 goes to a Link station.

        Leave out one of those corridors (145th or 125th) and I don’t think you can do that. You hamper the grid substantially, or you have buses that carry very few people (because they want to transfer to Link).

    2. Exactly. I don’t know why people argue otherwise. 145th is going to be built. It is all good and well to argue that 155th would have been better, but that has already been decided. While 155th may be better, the difference is fairly minor, and depends on the time of day. But either way, you need a stop in one place or the other.

      Likewise, you need a stop at NE 130th. It isn’t rocket science. It is so profoundly obvious I find the whole thing frustrating. Just look at a road map and a census map and it becomes obvious. How can you build a decent light rail system in a city like Seattle without leveraging the bus routes? The answer is that you can’t. You need good bus to rail connections at every logical place. NE 130th is one of those places (as is something that serves the 145th corridor).

    3. See my comment above. No station was on a “ballot measure;” the location of the line itself wasn’t even determined (Aurora? I-5? 15th? Lake City Way?) until years after the election.

      Unless the legal language of the initiative itself states that “There will be a station located at Interstate 5 and NE 145th Street,” the agency is not beholden to place a station there or anywhere. Station siting by PowerPoint presentation is simply insane.

      1. I do NOT think the station should be removed. If it’s necessary to DEFER a station, it should be 145th. If the language in the ballot measure (you know, the LAW) says that Sound Transit’s Resolution 2008-10 should be accepted in its entirety without modification then there is a point to be made. A silly point as for that station alone on the north line the location was set in stone without possibility of change (note the other stations are “Shoreline” or “Mountlake Terrace”), but a point nonetheless. Yet if this agency can’t make a cogent argument to the people as to WHY a different location would provide better service and make the case that a change is beneficial if we can only afford one, then they sure as hell don’t deserve another dime of our money when they come back hat in hand. At that point they are being willfully obstinate or afraid of the handful of people that would use 145th but not 130th.

        The whole idea of transit planning by ballot at that level of detail is sickening – particularly when the vast majority of voters voted yes simply because we need a system, and of those relative few that only voted for it because of a dot on a map – a dot that could’ve ended up anywhere between Aurora and Lake City Way – most of those few live in other areas and were concerned about other stations. Or perhaps they forgot about that First Hill station we were “promised” and voted on the first time. Maybe they can run a damn streetcar from Lake City to 145th. ;-)

        I’m not disagreeing with you, Ross – you’ve made valid points about the station locations. I also agree that we really need both for a much better holistic transit system in the far north end. I’m just saying that I believe ST has the authority to site stations wherever they feel it’s most useful even if a previous resolution says otherwise – and, if they have denied themselves that ability, they are negligent to say the least.

    4. Reality based commute: Specific routing isn’t mentioned in ST ballot measures. No worries on that front.

  8. The graphic omits the most important info — total system boardings. If that info was included it would show that adding a station at 130th St generates about “zero” (0) net riders to the system.

    As dumb as our elected officials appear to be sometimes, I sincerely doubt that they will vote to spend $40M taxpayer dollars to build a station that adds exactly zero riders to the system. Just aint going to happen.

    As for 145th vs 130th, clearly 145th is the better option. More TOD, better potential bus connections, north and southbound freeway access, better proximity to 15th, etc. On TOD neither are very good, but 145th is “least bad”

    1. As we’ve told you repeatedly before, your “0” figure is based on a dangerously incomplete Sound Transit report which pretends that King County Metro does not exist. Meanwhile, in the real world where Metro does exist, building this station will add numerous boardings.

      1. That figure is also based on the dangerously inaccurate PSRC population models, which have been savaged in previous blog entries here, and which I mentioned above.

        In other words, the “0” is false. There will, in reality, be substantial additional boardings from 130th station.

      2. I’m sure if you made those assertions to ST they would say that they followed industry standard protocols when developing those estimates. Or, even that they followed government mandated guidelines.

        But it doesn’t matter, the only data the ST board has to guide it in its decision is the ST data.

      3. Lazarus: This is just the point. The ST board is given obviously slanted information in order to make decisions and we have a problem with that. No one told ST to ignore the impacts of re-routing buses. No one told ST to make ridiculous assumptions about dropping significant riders based on an additional 1 minute of travel time.

        Saying that 145th has better potential bus connections and TOD potential is just false. 145th is backed up because there is a freeway on-ramp there. The fact that ST sees freeway access as an upside here is completely out of left field. We already gave up Northgate to park and rides (and didn’t even bother funding the far more important pedestrian bridge.)

        145th TOD is blocked by a golf course (unless that’s the real plan, in which case — I’m very much listening.) 130th is in the Seattle Vision 2035 plan as a potential site for an upzone. Presumably that potential is based on there being a rail station there.

      4. Still love how Lazarus ignores the fact — not disputed by anyone — that if both stations exist, every last fucking soul chooses to board at 130th, because it is better.

        But sure, build the less accessible, less desirable, less advantageous stop only. Because it’s only billions of dollars down the drain, so who cares about quality anyway? We’ve got a checklist of distant places to nominally “reach”!

      5. “…not disputed by anyone…”

        I just figured we had been over this so I mentioned it early and left it at that. Insufficient apparently.

    2. The underlying assumption is that almost all those in Lake City will sigh and take a slower bus to 145th or Northgate — or drive to the 145th or Northgate P&R — rather than not taking Link. And any that do abandon Link would be outnumbered by others going to 145th Station (from either around 145th or Bothell Way).

      1. From Lake City, it’s 19 minutes via the 522 to downtown. Nobody in their right mind would take link, unless you stole the 522, as it’s more than 19 minutes to Northgate, and probably just as long to 145th.

        If you are trying to degrade transit for Lake City, you don’t build the 130th St station and you reroute the 522.

        But why would you do that, unless you are so deep up your transit-planner hind-quarters and some imaginary dreamy grid nirvana, that destroying transit for one of the most dense areas of Seattle seems like a good idea.

      2. They won’t. I made that commute for many years. Those that can drive will do so (I gave up trying to take the LC – Northgate bus and just drove to the transit center so that I could catch any single 41 that came next). Those that are going to the UW or downtown already have a comparable or faster option today by bus than going back to 145th (as biliruben states). Going to Cap Hill? Then yes, you’ll backtrack 20 blocks to 145th.

      3. Don’t be so sure. I’ve had several STBers recommend and try to justify doubling the time it would take to get downtown from Lake City.

        “But what if we promised you buses to link every 5 minutes every hour to the day, even 2am?!?” was the most persuasive, if clearly delusional.

        Some here want to shoehorn every corner of Seattle into a grid, ignoring the obvious – Seattle isn’t a grid.

        There is a clear reason why Lake City Way was the first major road going north from Seattle. The topography demands it. It’s the most efficient.

        And it’s screws up the dreams of the squares here who dream of grids.

        I spent the last week carless in Albuquerque. Now THAT town is a grid. We need to ship half of STB to Albuquerque. Their transit blows, and they could safely implement their “efficient” grid system. Except they already have that.

        And noone takes the bus.

      4. The 522 makes a significant difference in whether Lake Cityans take Link, but it’s only slightly related to how Lake Cityans would respond to a 145th Station vs a 130th Station. Many Lake Cityans love the 522 and would still take it but it has four disadvantages in its current configuration: 1) It’s half-hourly. 2) Freeway slowdowns cut into its speed advantage and are only partially predictable. 3) It’s point-to-point: it serves only 125/LCW and 6th/Union, nothing in between or south of it or Shoreline or Lynnwood or the Eastside. 4) It’s overcrowded in the daytime.

        It wouldn’t take 20 minutes for a bus to get from 125th/LCW to 130th Station: the 41 does almost all of it now in eight minutes. For 145th Station we can estimate from the 330: 11 minutes to 15th/55th which is the same distance and three turns less.

        If the 522 is changed there are three likely scenarios. West on 145th bypassing Lake City. West on 125th, thus helping Lake Cityans get to Link and possibly faster than the 41 if it’s express. In either case it could continue west to Aurora or Shoreline CC. It could also go down to Roosevelt Station. Northgate Station is probably out because of the traffic and slow roads and the fact that 145th or 130th is right there. ST added “145th between Lake City Way and I-5” to its long-range plan in December, so that may suggest which way it’s leaning.

    3. Yes, and not only did they not consider the various ways in which Metro routes could be redone to maximize Link (and thus blow those paltry estimates away) but they completely ignored the overall impact on transit. There are two ways in which this will help transit:

      1) It will save a lot in bus service hours.
      2) It will encourage a good bus grid.

      As Link finally starts doing some heavy lifting, Metro can stop running so many buses downtown. This leads to two obvious approaches:

      1) Serve Link with good bus service.
      2) Build more of a grid.

      These are perfectly aligned if stations are added at 145th and 130th. Buses will cross both streets, providing an excellent grid as well a quick connection to Link (e. g. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=z-ZcpzpzqRA0.k6iH2FJatoUU). Take away one of those stations and you create a huge hole. Making a good grid and providing a quick connection to Link suddenly become at odds with one another. Chances are, the grid suffers, and overall ridership plummets. Someone who drives every day will (as they do now) say “well, I would like to take the bus, but it just takes too long. You see, I’m not headed downtown, I’m headed …”.

      So, in summary, Link can help save Metro a huge amount of money, as well as provide overall better service, both of which will lead to much higher transit ridership (if not Link ridership). But Sound Transit never studied that.

      1. Ross, given your logic, with which I certainly agree, isn’t there a need for a station at about 75th and Eighth? I guess the tunnels have already been dug and I seriously doubt there’s a secret flat place there, but it sure would be a fantastic place for a Lake City Way and 85th bus intercept. It might also solve the problem of NSCC; it’d be two stop lights and a stop sign away from Campus Way.

        People also could — and would — walk from East Green Lake and from up Roosevelt in Maple Leaf.

  9. So… redeveloping the north+south edges of Jackson park golf course, which abuts BOTH 130th and 145th… good idea or GREAT idea?

    1. Uhhh… awesome idea with cherries on top! Doesn’t seem to be on the table though.

  10. The Review Panel’s letter is very good and extremely well written. Hopefully the board will read and pay attention.

  11. Sound Move was changed in at least a dozen ways by the ST Board. If, after study, the optimal pair of stations is NE 130th and 155th streets, could not the court find that close enough to the ballot measure? Why must ST implement a very difficult low ridership station in a freeway interchange with high and growing traffic congestion? ST is studying the extraordinary cost of shifting the northbound on ramp to I-5 at NE 145th Street. Why get local bus service stuck in congested traffic? Both NE 145th and 155th are over the top of Thornton Creek; it was buried by I-5. (I played there as a kid before the freeway). In addition to the NE 130th Street station providing better transit access with Lake City and Bitterlake, the NE 155th Street station provides better access with the Fircrest and Sears sites. If the NE 155th Street is not provided a park-and-ride, what impact would it have on the fire station? I bet there are fire stations near transit stations all over the world. The issue is not TOD, as the alignment is in the freeway envelope. The issues are access and ridership. The main ST objective should be to maximize overall transit ridership. This is another interesting test for the ST Board.

    1. I don’t think it was just the ballot issue that caused ST to choose 145th over 155th. Folks in Shoreline didn’t want the station at 155th (they wanted it at 145th). Not what I would have chosen, but plenty of people want that station there.

      But that is pretty much beside the point. The station at 145th is going on. What matters is that we also get a station at 130th. That is very much up in the year, and will probably be that way until it is built. Once 145th gets built though, they won’t add another station at 155th.

      1. Ross — I’m completely OK with both stations being built. I think that’t probably the best option. But I did want to turn this conversation on its ear a bit. If we have to defer one, we should be talking about deferring 145th.

        eddie: Specific routing isn’t mentioned in ST ballot measures. No worries on that front.

      2. If specific routing isn’t mentioned in ST ballot measures, then why not just point Brenda at Lake City once they get to Northgate?

      3. Even if they could, it would take a large chunk of money for a line that’s not voter-approved and has no alternatives-comparison study yet, at a time when ST says its ST2 budget can’t stretch to a Northgate pedestrian bridge or 130th Station. If it did have extra money for the tunnel extension, it could easily afford the station and the bridge and have money left over. Of course, a tunnel extension would also require engineering work and an EIS that would have to be finished by the time Brenda reached the starting point.

        The Lake City/Bothell line could meet Central Link at 145th, Northgate, or conceivably Roosevelt. It’s not clear that Northgate is the best of these; that’s why a corridor-comparison study is needed. And maybe this is what ST had in mind when it added 145th to the long-range plan.

  12. reality: so the alternatives analysis that included study of BRT lines and a SR-99 alignment that could not have been implemented as the ballot title was binding? Could not the board make changes with a two-thirds vote?

  13. I completely agree, 145th should be deferred, though I’d add that 155th should have been the choice instead. Why? First, 145th is not ready to handle it, nor will it be. The city of Shoreline has yet to buy out King County, WSDOT, and the city of Seattle, their co-owners of the street. There’s presently a 60-foot right-of-way, and the only way to expand is to mow down blocks and blocks of houses. Presently, over 30,000 vehicles/day clog up most of this five-mile segment from Greenwood Avenue on the west to Lake City/Bothell Way to the east. There’s erratic sidewalk infrastructure and zero bicycle lanes. On 155th, there are complete sidewalks, bicycle lanes, about 1/3 of the traffic, and even a parking lot on the west side of the freeway (where a garage could be built on top of). There are a limited number of folks who will brave the traffic of Bothell/Lake CIty Way, which carries up to 60,000 vehicles these days due to SR-520 tolls – with more coming when I-405 starts HOT lanes this fall, and 145th, which has had peak-hour bottlenecks for decades. The proponents don’t have to worry, though, as they’re never held accountable, and they tend to be in a different elective or staff office or retired, long forgotten while those who have to travel through the area in question suffer with their consequences.

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