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Photo by the Author

On Tuesday afternoon, an estimated 125 students, faculty, and staff at Highline College rallied for a Link station on the west side of SR 99, directly adjacent to campus. Speakers claimed that the likeliest option – a station in the vicinity of 30th Ave S – would endanger student safety and worsen campus access by requiring a crossing of the 6-lane arterial to reach campus. During the 30-minute rally, roughly a dozen speakers were frequently interrupted by energetic chants of “Which side? West Side!” and “West is best!”.

Back in July, when the Sound Transit Board chose I-5 as its primary pathway for Link’s southward march from Angle Lake to Federal Way, the Board deferred to the unified voice of city governments over the similarly unified voice of stakeholder groups such as Transportation Choices Coalition and Highline College. While there are benefits to the I-5 alignment, namely a lower likelihood of lawsuits, lower capital costs etc, we still lamented the decision as a fundamentally suboptimal transit outcome for South King County riders given the objectively poor rider experience and reduced TOD potential of freeway-running light rail, especially at Star Lake.

But during the amendment process prior to that vote, Boardmember Upthegrove responded to community concerns by introducing an amendment to study options for siting the Highline College station as close to the campus as possible, including a station on the west side of SR 99, hence Tuesday’s rally. Given the location of Angle Lake west of SR 99 and the planned I-5 alignment south of Highline, siting a Highline station on the west side of SR 99 would require Link to cross SR 99 three times in just two miles.

Screengrab from RideWithGPS
Screengrab from RideWithGPS

Sound Transit’s outreach maps during the selection process did them no favors, with the deviations appearing far larger than they actually were. The distance between I-5 and SR 99 at Highline is approximately 1/4 mile, and the difference between a west side SR 99 station and the likely 30th Ave S site is far less, roughly 500 feet. A 30th Avenue S station would be the same distance from Highline as UW Medical Center is from UW Station.

The campus is absolutely right to want direct access, and a direct SR 99 alignment would have elegantly provided it. But though it was heartening to see such a clamoring for good transit by rally participants, the time for this type of organizing was prior to the Board vote. Given the Board’s selection of I-5, Des Moines’ vehement opposition to SR 99 “impacts”, and Boardmember Von Reichbauer’s priority for reducing commercial displacement above all else, political resources would likely be better spent making the 30th Ave site work as well as possible for Highline. This means supporting Kent in developing significant TOD at the site, as well as fighting for a safe, well-lit pedestrian bridge over the highway.

86 Replies to “Highline Students and Staff Rally for Direct Link Access”

  1. -1

    Sorry, but if there is the opportunity to make this line better by getting it closer to SR99, then it should happen.

    TriMet decided its preferred route to Beaverton was a surface alignment elevated above highway 26, and it took this type of community action to convince them the tunnel, while expensive, was the better way.

    This line hasn’t been built yet. There is still hope for something better.

    1. If there is any hope of getting the Board to reconsider its selection of I-5 in favor of 99, I’m with you 1000%. If not, making a 500 ft walk work well is better than a third crossing of 99 between two stations, IMO.

      1. I have to disagree vehemently with the idea of the footbridge over Highway 99. I’ve seen this approach too many places where the result is people just jaywalk, because it is faster, and the automobile traffic treats the bridge overhead as license to drive 10 miles over a speed limit that is already too high, through what should have been a school zone.

        Rainier Ave & MLK, next to Franklin High, comes to mind. I also saw such a bridge at my college campus, where people only used the bridge to take in the view, but crossed at grade. There is a similar footbridge just north of downtown Bellevue, that serves little more purpose than nice views and speeding up traffic. No Bueno.

        The footbridge is an attempt to reinvent a flat tire.

    2. Since the line is going to be elevated anyway, crossing 99 has zero additional cost.

      It is time to advocate for the correct station location NOW.

      1. But in fact having the station on 30th is the correct location. Have you seen what Kent has in mind for the three blocks between 99 and I-5? Now they may not get it for thirty years, but they intend it to be a high-rise mixed used neighborhood with both offices and residences. It’s where the station should go.

      2. Suuuuuure. Probably not for 30 years.

        Anyway, the correct location is directly over 99, actually, with exits on both sides. The 19th century elevated designers were smarter than the people we have these days.

    1. It’s not really Sound Transits lack of common sense, it’s Federal Way’s and all the other little South King municipalities in the local area.

      They fear the impacts of LR and don’t see the positives other than as nothing more than transit to DT Seattle and environs. They presented a united front against ST and the Hwy 99 routing. ST basically just threw in the towel and capitulated.

      That said,ST will claim the I-5 routing really isn’t that bad. I have my doubts about that (it’s all too easy to cook the books on these things), but I’m sort of losing my appetite to fight more stupidity.

      I do think however that a compromise routing that follows Hwy 99 at least as fat as Hightline C might be in-order. After that, if FW is really intent on being stupid then I’m just about ready to let them. But at least support the regional students at Highline with direct connects to Seattle CC, NS CC, and the UW.

      1. I think light rail service for the Redondo Heights neighborhood, and a couple more stations serving more neighborhoods, is very worth fighting for. They have serious walkshed, and lots of apartments already, and plenty of room for TOD. For every Mickey D that gets “displaced”, three restaurants will crop up to replace those jobs — with higher-wage jobs — as the population around such stations boom.

        von Reichbauer is looking at this through a backward Herbold lens.

      2. Absolutely, Link should take 99 at least as far as Highline, and you have minority support on the ST Board for such a position, at least with members like Phillips and O’Brien. But the ones who matter, Upthegrove and Von Reichbauer, went to bat 100% for I-5, then reverse engineered this Highline amendment to try to undo the damage they had just done by capitulating to the cities. .

      3. I hope Highline CC is successful in moving the station to the West side of highway 99 and that causes the ST board to reconsider the entire routing. At the very least the line should be on 99 between the CC and Angle Lake.

        At best the entire light rail line South of the Airport is a marginal proposition from a cost/benefit standpoint. Using 99 between Angle Lake and Federal Way (and eventually Tacoma) offers at least some hope of eventual TOD and perhaps transformation of parts of the 99 corridor into walkable areas rather than a car sewer. If light rail is going to be forced over to I-5 then let’s just skip building anything South of Angle Lake (or at worst Highline CC).

      4. ST could build a three-story building to absorb all those chain stores and strip malls that would be displaced, and charge them a discount rent for the first ten years, and hire consultants to help them choose an “urban format” design for their space.

      5. This is a good time to remind people that ST is on record as never seeing Link as anything more than Seattle’s version of BART. Anything that resembles actual urban rail is either an accident or the result of pushing from urban advocates who don’t realize this. In their mind, anything that makes the line useful for actual urban rail causes it to be subpar for both purposes.

  2. Highland CC vs McDonalds. Will something as trivial as student transportation win out over the need for big Macs during construction?

    1. “Will something as trivial as student transportation win out over the need for big Macs during construction?”

      No, sadly. Did you see Von Reichbauer’s testimony prior to the decision, where he specifically called out McDisplacement as the #1 priority? I was a very vocal proponent of 99, but if that ship has sailed, I’d rather us take our chances with a site 500′ away in a more supportive city (Kent).

    2. The people who have to live in the area prefer the I-5 route. I walk the area all the time. It is about 4 or 5 blocks to the campus. Get over it.

  3. Even if the station is east of SR-99, they could build a bridge over the roadway to connect the station to the campus. It doesn’t have to be the game of frogger that such a crossing would look like today.

    1. Hhhrrrrmmmph.

      It’s an elevated line. Put it above the street so they don’t waste valuable land on one side or the other. The highway is 6 freaking lanes plus a turn lane. There’s enough space up there you could build three Link lines above this thing.

      You wouldn’t have to take out any trees in the median or anything like that. One post in the median and one post on one side or the other.

      ST likes having big stations with lots of walkways going everywhere. By the time those get down to ground level they’d be on both sides of the highway.

      1. Indeed — if the station were elevated over SR99 it could have exits on BOTH sides and provide a pedestrian bridge over SR99 as a side-effect.

      2. It’s only a pedestrian bridge, in that case, if you tap on as you enter the station, walk the length of a soccer pitch along the platform, then tap off at the other end. The station itself will be less useful as a pedestrian bridge than the aforementioned attempt to reinvent the flat tire.

        Highway 99 needs to become a traffic-calmed school zone, next to the Highline campus, regardless of the station location. Look to Beacon Hill Station as the model.

      3. It would have a mezzanine if it were designed directly over the road. Oh, go look at elevated stations in cities which have them. Do NOT use anything in Washington State as a model… you’ve done nearly everything wrong.

  4. Why is a surface alignment down MLK good enough for Rainier Valley but not for SR99 in South King? It makes no sense. If done right, a surface alignment would be lightyears better than the ridiculous ‘preferred’ I-5 route.

    How can anyone think the zig-zag route is a good idea? It’s ming-numbingly stupid.

    1. Because federal highway ROW is cheap, state highway ROW costs more, and private ROW involves condemning properties. The Board is more worried about the cost of building the white elephant than whether the white elephant can be turned into useful transit for people living and working near train stations.

    2. Light rail designed by committee, unfortunately.

      Political interests take priority over useful alignments.

      Do you think the 90 degree turn at Tukwila International Blvd happened by accident?

      1. Bad choice for a negative example, Charles. Combined with the r viewing of Mt. Rainier over the Kent Valley, ST could get away with a GWF (Good Weather) fare.

        Not either a civil engineer or able to play one on TV, I can’t speak to technical considerations- but those curves might have been the shortest rail distance to climb that grade.

        But here’s good CT (for Credible Threat) in fast-food’s own language. Promise that if the pillars and station end up on the wrong side of 99, there’ll be a fiercely competing restaurant directly across those 6-lanes.

        With every elevator and escalator coming directly vertically to and from inside the “competish.” Transit will very likely get a Daily Break for years to come.

        Mark Dublin

    3. ST’s original proposal was essentially surface from Mt Baker to SeaTac to keep the capital costs low. Tukwila threw a fit and said it had just beautified 99 and didn’t want it torn up again, so that led to the current elevated alignment. Rainier Valley was surface basically because the city didn’t push hard for it to be otherwise like Tukwila did.

      1. Rainier Valley wanted a tunnel. They hated an elevated route (because it is ugly and loud). They compromised on a surface alignment. I’m with barman. A surface alignment makes the most sense for the south end now. It is hard to imagine this (elevated thing) working out well for anyone.

    4. Why is a surface alignment down MLK good enough for Rainier Valley but not for SR99 in South King?

      1. See SkyTrain ridership.

      2. Rainier Valley isn’t on a state highway. Taking a lane each way on SR99 would likely cause another level of state level nonsense.

      3. It’s a barrier to access that need not be there with elevated stations.

      1. The ROW required for the columns is 30 feet, even then, your support columns would be less than that maybe 10 feet in diameter at most. You should be able to squeeze it in by taking parking stalls and a few buildings here and there. Shoreline really missed the boat there by not going under after Northgate to 130th along SR 99. I am not sure what cities see with these delapidated corridors. SR 303 in East Bremerton, SR 410 in Bonney Lake. Sure you did beautification and in some cases have BRT like on SR 99, but what about doing better?

        These areas are not very walkable and look run down. This brings significant private investment through TODs and as long as the infrastructure has capacity for water and sewer, the costs to accommodate these buildings should be much lower than more standard subdivisions.

      2. The ultimate size will depend on how it is designed.

        If you do a single huge center post then 10 feet is fairly typical. There’s sections of freeway heavier than a Link line that have a post on each side and a supporting beam. The columns on each side are perhaps four feet or so in diameter. I am thinking along those lines here because one column would fit in the median pretty nicely, even though it is fairly narrow. The other wouldn’t be hard at all to find a spot for on the other side. You might have to cut a tree here or there, but mostly the median could stay the way it is.

      3. 1 — Oh come on. If you think the only difference between SkyTrain and Link is that SkyTrain is elevated than you are nuts. Hell, just look at the ridership of the elevated parts of Link and compare it to the elevated parts of SkyTrain. Besides, that ship has sailed. Rainier Valley light rail *is* on the surface. This means that every benefit from elevated south of there is gone. You can’t run trains every couple minutes in Federal Way, even if you wanted to.

        2 — This seems like a small problem considering the stakes (billions of dollars, 100 year system, etc.).

        3. Depending on where you are coming from, it could be the opposite. No stairs to climb. Unless you have ridership split neatly on both sides, you have quicker access overall on the surface. Folks forom one side at worse have to go up and down the stairs, while the people on the other side just walk right on.

        I think elevated makes a lot of sense in various areas, just not in this one. Barman is right — this is just another example of a dysfunctional process.

  5. For neighborhoods in South King County, losing light rail to a no-walkshed freeway alignment is a much larger impact than views being blocked or “noise” from the train occasionally rising above the symphonious din of Highway 99 raceway traffic. There are lots of apartment complexes with lots of potential all-day riders who are impacted by not having the easy access to our multi-billion-dollar high-capacity transit system already there. Their loss of access to light rail, without having to drive to a full park&ride, is a seriously negative impact.

    Impacts on Highway 99 businesses? Most of them will shut down, as light rail takes its riders along I-5, killing South King County commerce. Losing all those customers from the urban centers that could have sprung up is A MAJOR FAILURE TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE.

    What we have with ST3 right now is a plan to turn the spine into a white-elephant line to Everett via a long detour to one or two lucky points in the broad swath of the Paine Field region, thus ruining the ride for Everett commuters; and a white-elephant line down to Tacoma that is already noncompetitive with peak express buses due to the scoliosis already built into “the spine”. Now, the politicians are treating the diversion along 200th street to I-5 as a decided issue, making serving any further portion of Highway 99 the cause of more scoliosis, when the real cause is the fact that the train is pointlessly heading over to I-5 at all.

    Oh, and there are reasonably rich homeowners living on that half mile of 200th, that will now be gifted the blocked views and noise that got moved off of Highway 99.

    About those residents of Des Moines being impacted… The major impact is losing the light rail station that could have been built at 216th. Instead, Des Moiners will have to drive to Angle Lake Station and fight over those 1000 parking stalls. And, no, they don’t get to make that parking garage for Des Moiners only. Loss of 216th St Station is a much more serious impact than views lost and noise.

    For neighbors worried about riders being about to see into their backyard, we have an invention for that: walls, which can be put up along sections of the superstructure.

    Many may write off the non-spiney spine, which is really two white elephants if you stand back and look at them from afar, as the cost of doing business to get light rail with actual all-day ridership to Ballard and West Seattle.

    We have to get people who live near the “spine” to vote Yes in order to pass ST3. If the “spine” is designed to skip South King County and most of Snohomish County (except one or two low-boarding lucky spots in Paine Field, and maybe one urban village where the line zags from I-5 across Highway 99), where are those votes going to come from?

    1. That is where things matter is the voters. Do voters really want I-5? I am seeing cost estimates for Lynnwood’s new stalls at 80k per space. That is insane just to accommodate one vehicle with one person. I wonder how much more bus service can be reallocated and reduce dead-heading to connect to Link that would increase farebox recovery and make the capital cost a moot point.

    2. >> Where are those votes going to come from?

      Seattle and maybe Bellevue. It does make things very interesting. Let’s say the vote goes down like so:

      Seattle 80%
      East Side 60%
      North End 45%
      South End 40%

      Now assume it passes (general election year). Suddenly the suburbs are hosed by their own idea: subarea equity. If they would just let each area approve its own project, they wouldn’t have this problem.

  6. I’m surprised that ST did not take out KDM station locations alternatives 8 and 9 out of the picture immediately. Any of these two alternatives only have 5500 daily ridership, while the others have 8500-9000 daily ridership. Seems that Cities rather kill off residential properties over businesses. Witness the East LINK alignment now on 112th Ave SE. All the condos are now abandoned for the alignment, while they would been some parking taken if a different 112th AVE SE was used. Now, going to South LINK, the I-5 alignment north of KDM road has 258 residential displacements. Though I would have preferred an all SR-99 alignment, a compromise would been a SR-99 to I-5 alternative. Having too many residential displacements tells me that the City of Sea-Tac and Des Moines don’t give a S**T about residential.

    1. To be fair in the case of East Link the condo association actually asked to be bought out by Sound Transit. Sound transit actually moved the alignment to take advantage of the offer (and avoid a fight with the athletic club).

      In any case your point about residential displacement for Federal Way Link stands.

      DesMoines was concerned link would take too much property along their portion of 99, especially given their limited retail tax base. There is also concern from the cities involved that link would create further ‘blight’ on 99 both during construction and in the long term.

      As we know this is a rather silly position. Highway 99 TOD around stations could spark a wholesale redevelopment of properties along 99 leading to increased tax revenue and correcting the blight that is already there. Unfortunately while the suburban cities want light rail they are treating the actual infrastructure like something undesirable such as a homeless shelter or sewage treatment plant.

      1. Another argument for running it on the surface (which Rainier Valley folks preferred over elevated). This should run down the surface of 99 (if it bothers to run this far).

  7. If closer access to the proposed station site is the goal, why not take the opportunity to develop a new campus master plan and station area redevelopment strategy? The Highline College of 2030 will have a different function than it does today, and the area will look very different in 2030 than it does today. The ST discussion on this was pretty clear that they wanted to tie in Highline College into this station with safe and direct station access at the very least.

    Our region does seem to not be very good at integration visioning. We want new transit lines but rue over how it serves existing land uses. A developer proposes a 101 story building downtown with 750 parking spaces but no plans to pay for a station entrance and block or two of a new transit tunnel in the basement of the development, so ST will have to come along and pay for the whole thing rather than make it a part of the project mitigation.

    On this issue, I think ST is generally approaching things correctly. I do think that they however could ask the students to look at the issue another way. If $50M or $100M was put forth to improve connectivity, what would the solutions be (and providing Highline $200K to use studying solutions as a learning experience)? The students should be engaged to be part of the solution, and not treated as if they are the problem to the extent that they have to protest in the first place.

  8. UW Station footbridge to campus, with a similar length walk, gets a standing ovation from you people. But with this, which at a third of a mile is a similar distance, is an outrage? Lot’s of community colleges don’t and won’t have front door light rail service and they will do just fine. Stop the hyperbole. And please, for your sake, stop being so inconsistent all the time.

    1. No, UW Station does not get a standing ovation. Myself, I’m convinced that Sound Transit should have refused to build anything in that part of campus rather than settle for the existing design. What we’re saying is that, even with all its flaws, UW Station will be better than the existing service.

      Here at Highland, there’s still a chance to make the design better.

    2. Us people have serious reservations about what they did with the UW station. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Brooklyn station is coming in a few long years us people would be tearing up the station and re-configuring it.

      1. The UW station still oughtta be reconfigured — the footbridge there, requiring passengers to go from underground to above ground, then to go northeast along a chicane, before finally turning west, is completely ridiculous. A direct underground connection from the station to the Triangle, with elevators and stairs straight up to the surface inside the Triangle, is still *obviously* needed.

  9. There’s another constituency that hasn’t been mentioned, bus transfers from Kent. They may not be quite as numerous as Highline students but they’re more all-day demand, and it’s a critical part of regional mobility for a city that doesn’t have an off-peak counterpart to Sounder. How would a station on the west side of 99 be for bus transfers? And for that matter, how will the preferred station be since it looks hard for a bus to get to it.

    I’m glad the Highline community has settled on a station on the west side of 99 rather than one further west in the middle of campus. I absolutely couldn’t support that because it would serve only the college and not the neighborhood or bus transfers. But I could support a station on the west side of 99. Especially if it leads to a citizens’ movement to put the entire line on the west side of 99.

    1. Mike,

      I’d put a bus-only underpass at 240th and run buses to and from the Kent side through it. They’d approach the new station from the south and turn left to get on Highway 99 for their west side run. The reverse direction would go east on K-DM to 30th, turn right to the station and then continue on east through the underpass.

      Bus only and maybe carpools, but only with a camera.

      1. Really? Really?

        That is just a bunch of pure speculation and there hasn’t been that much design work done yet! Talk about getting way ahead of the horse and making assumptions. Business access, sure some will be lost but of course when you design strip malls with limited access, well that is a consequence of such planning.

        I took a street view through the area, there are green spaces, strip malls, and gas stations. I would be concerned about small business having access to cheaper real estate but at the same time what about people wanting better transit access?

      2. You wouldn’t lose anything. Look at roads with actual elevated lines above them elsewhere. It’s perfectly possible to have as much access as anyone needs.

  10. I was sorely disappointed with the Board’s decision. In fact, it made for a sour day after I read about their decision. I’m glad that HCC is being vocal and hope they gather much traction to deter ST’s decision and make them rethink the alignment.

      1. And I see you’re focusing on what’s best for you and other residents, not for the college.

        Someone’s definitely going to have to reconcile the two positions, yes, but there’s no principled reason for either side to start by giving in.

      2. People who attend Highline, like me, are only there for a limited time. People who are residents, also like me, are more going to be loving here much longer. It makes more sense to try and do what the people most impacted in there home lives in the decision.

      3. I don’t see why that’s necessarily the case. Yes, each individual college student will be impacted for a shorter time, but more college students are going to come in the next year. The “impact-years” will be the same as if the student population was residents. I guess you could make an argument that homeowners should have greater importance because they have no escape, but you could just as well make an argument that students should have greater importance because there’re more of them.

      4. A problem with a lot of the thinking here on this blog is the fact that how the light rail impacts the people living there. We will be hurt by the 99 and let’s face it. Highline Students will have to walk a few blocks in a pretty safe area. The slightly longer walk for students will hurt less that what the 99 route will do to residents.

      5. This “99 will hurt residents in the area”

        I need a better explanation of this. There is mostly strip malls the entire corridor and hate to say it roach motels. Along I-5, it ruins the potential for any meaningful ridership versus SR 99 where new residents could be accommodated and businesses could develop turning these corridors into something desirable instead of blighted strip malls.

        From Angle Lake to 276th, residents are far out of what would be a 30 foot right of way. You can easily design around business access sure not as free and easy but still can be maintained along with all the current lanes. Sure you would lose the parking adjacent to 99 but the benefits would be great having all day transit service in the corridor that is faster than the A line.

        Besides the business impact, what residential impact is there? No elaboration of your position simply does not help me figure out what is wrong with this. The only thing I hear is I don’t like it and it will impact residents.

      6. If the 99 route happened several apartments would have been torn down. Good apartments for low and middle income families. he I 5 route is better for Des Moines as a whole.

      7. There are about 5 apartment complexes along s 224th hat will be torn down for the 99 route. That is one street alone.

      8. +1 to William C

        Accommodating growth can be done right while still accommodating people from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds while preserving small business.

      9. The I-5 route is supposed to destroy several apartment buildings and several trailer parks.

        The 99 route would destroy… nothing, as far as I can tell? Anyway, less.

      10. @Nathanael,

        Ya, I think Renndawg has it backwards. The I-5 route actually takes out the most housing (by a large margin) while removing a smaller number of businesses. I think if the residents understood this they would be largely in favor of the Hwy 99 routing.

        And the Hwy 99 routing will ultimately lead to TOD, which means more housing, more businesses, and more jobs. Renndawg might be going to Highline now, but when he graduates he might need one of those jobs that a Hwy 99 routing would produce.

      11. “Yes, each individual college student will be impacted for a shorter time, but more college students are going to come in the next year.”

        That’s the other half of the tradeoff. Highline students aren’t the only purpose for Link, and they may not be the most numerous, but what they are is a large number of pedestrians in a concentrated area. That’s what mass transit does best, and is why Highline should have a station. But not a station that serves only it and ignores the rest of mid south King County. That’s the problem with UW Station: it may serve the UW optimally (according to the UW), but it barely accommodates its other responsibilities to the neighborhood and region.

  11. Suburban cities’ demands for the I-5 alignment is no different than Tukwila’s demand some years ago to put light rail along that cities’ freeways — as far away from Tukwila citizens as possible.

    All these years later, nobody has learned the folly of this? Maybe I can understand these benighted suburban cities, but Sound Transit not standing up for transit, for the future of its own project?

  12. One thing that need to be remembered is that Highline Students are temporary. They go to school graduate or transfer and move on. This is going to impact residents for years to come. Residents of Des Moines prefer the I-5 route. I have talked to Mayor Kaplan about this and he is in agreement that I-5 is better for those who LIVE here.

      1. Who says hat we will not take the train? I will. The thing is that everything needs to be considered. How the train impacts everyone needs to be a factor..

      2. How will they get to the train if the 272nd station is at I-5 and there’s no 216th or 260th station? Most people won’t be able to walk to it so they’ll have to drive to a P&R or take a bus to it, and I doubt there will even be any local buses to 272nd station so they’ll have to go to 240th or 320th.

      3. Yet HIghline may want to offer a 4 year program or two in the future.

        Let alone many college students depend on transit and especially for community colleges. Who knows what the future may bring? Being in Bremerton, our local Community College is pursuing more 4 year programs.

        Also UBC is one of the highest ridership generators in Canada and the Broadway Skytrain could easily take on 100k people per day at opening. Sure not the best example UW is better in that regard once it hits U-District but still. Many new connections that were harder to make could be made with Link let alone containment of sprawl and turning giant strip malls with excessive parking into vibrant areas.

      4. The Highline station is the Kent – Des Moines Station. There’s only one station planned between KDM Road and 240th.

        The point is that only a few residents will be able to walk to KDM Station wherever it is. If they live between 210th-230th or 250th-310th they’ll have to take a bus to it. That’s not the end of the world but it completely wastes one of the two biggest opportunities King County had for large urban villages with walkable rapid transit. Pacific Highway and Aurora could accommodate hundreds of thousands of non-drivers with the right development and transit, without disrupting anybody’s precious single-family house. Most of the lots there are decaying big-box lots and strip malls that will fall apart anyway and people don’t want to shop at and don’t want to spend time at for long. But now we’re throwing away both opportunities, with only a single urban village on the Kent side as mitigation.

    1. Right. Good point. The bulk of the riders in the area – one of the few arguments for extending Link this far – have very little political power. It is easy to screw over the students because they are “temporary”. Got it, thanks.

      Sometimes people who don’t understand the process wonder why we are building such a dysfunctional system. Thanks for enlightening us. A cold blooded, short sighted, dysfunctional political process leads to a dysfunctional system.

    2. “Temporary” just like UW students? I guess you think U-Link was a big waste of money then, since all those students are temporary.

    3. @RennDawg,

      “One thing that need to be remembered is that Highline Students are temporary. They go to school graduate or transfer and move on.”

      This statement has no bearing on the subject at hand and makes no sense per transit.

      Because, whereas any given student’s tenure at Highline is (hopefully) temporary, the existence of the student body is certainly not temporary. Any given student might come or go, but the size of the student body, and the demand for transit, remains roughly the same.

      Additionally, given the enrollment demands on our major universities, the enrollment in our junior colleges is sure to rise in the future. All the more reason to do the right thing and put the station at Highline proper.

  13. Great protest, by the way. The 17,000 sign got my attention, so I looked it up. Sure enough, there are about that many enrolled there. I wonder how big of a circle you need to draw to get that many residents?

    In other words, this is the only reason Link should go this far south, and they managed to ignore it. Wow.

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