The current bus bays at Lynnwood Transit Center, future light rail terminus (photo by author)
The current bus bays at Lynnwood Transit Center, future light rail terminus (photo by author)

The Lynnwood Link Extension, which will bring light rail service to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood, is seven years away from opening and is preparing to break ground on construction in 2018. Sound Transit is holding a series of open houses in November on the final station designs, including renderings and concepts for new stations, at three locations in the three cities. Each open house will focus on the specific stations in the area, but an overview will be available at an online open house at Sound transit’s site  beginning November 15.

Sound Transit staff will be present at the three open houses to answer questions and respond to feedback from the public on a variety of issues, including designs, project plans, station names, potential impacts, public art, and related projects from other agencies.

The open houses will be held on the following dates and at the following locations (of which only two are comfortably transit-accessible). All open houses include a presentation that begins at 6:10 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm:

Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood 98036

Use Community Transit routes 115 and 116 from Lynnwood Transit Center, or route 196 from Edmonds.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm:

Shoreline City Hall, 17500 Midvale Ave. N., Shoreline 98133

Use the RapidRide E Line from Aurora Village or Downtown Seattle.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm:

Nile Shrine Country Club, 6601 244th St. S.W., Mountlake Terrace 98043

Use King County Metro route 331, and walk up driveway. Additional routes, including Community Transit route 130, run on nearby Meridian Avenue.

To request accommodations for persons with disabilities, call 1-800-201-4900 / TTY Relay: 711 or email accessibility@soundtransit.org.

34 Replies to “Station Design Open Houses for Lynnwood Link Coming Next Month”

  1. Looks like a good way to spend an evening… or help wipe away tears if ST3 fails. G*d knows if ST3 fails, we and the Sound Tranit staff are going to need a support group because it’ll be much worse than when the Deflatriots beat the Seahawks. Much worse.

    1. Joe, transit lost a vote in 1995, and won another one the next years, with a much better plan. 2020 would give us time to polish and sharpen our plan (call it “Value Engineering”, which on the DSTT art project created a better art-piece with every edit)

      And it would also give voters four years additional daily experience with I-5, sitting on a bench also called your driver’s seat, in a parking lot called I-5. In major railroading, four years’ delay not only isn’t death, but actually prevents word “wrongful” being added.

      Glenn, how much time did MAX lose digging the TBM out from under the Zoo because somebody turned the cutter on in the wrong soil? Anyhow, Sam, most productive approach is to repurpose calendar dates now reserved for yowling and wailing.

      Which we need to conserve in case somebody can invent a bus engine that uses these combined chemicals for fuel.

      Mark

      1. Let me repeat the damn obvious: There is NO PLAN B.

        Multiple Sound Transit staffers have made clear: If ST3 goes down, light rail ends at ST2. Let’s not deny the hopes and dreams of so many on some fantasy the magic of 1995 and 2007 can repeat in 2016. Let’s buck up, shut up and put up with the good solution and work to make the good solution perfect.

        Oh and if ST3 goes down, a certain ST Quarterback is going to (have to) hand in her resignation. Let’s commit to ST3 and a generational investment in transit like our parents did for us and to start the process in Seattle.

        Attitude people. Attitude.

      2. If they have no plan B, then we need to fire all of them for lack of imagination.

        I’m confident they have a plan B (not detailed yet, of course, but some core of a plan) but are playing it close to their chest as a tactical decision so as not to dissipate momentum toward ST3.

      3. William C;

        Let’s not risk it. Let’s take the good solution after a year and a half of process called ST3, vote for it and implement it quickly. The need is there.

        I mean there is no Plan B. If you believe in transit, it’s time to really ask yourself if you think at the end of the day it’s in transit’s interests to spread cynicism, mistrust and division among regional transit advocates. It’s time to vote YES on Sound Transit Regional Prop 1!

      4. If they have no plan B, then we need to fire all of them for lack of imagination.

        Imagination isn’t what gets stuff on the ballot. There is a whole procedure and framework for getting feedback from everyone to put the proposal together. What is on the ballot is the result of that process.

        If it fails, then the process must start over.

      5. Of course there is a plan B. I’m sure every agency has already planned for it. They don’t talk about it much because they don’t want to imply that there is an alternative. Besides, it doesn’t really matter. They will come up with another plan — it is pretty much assured.

        If they don’t then individual agencies will. Speaking of which, you’ll notice that very little of this actually crosses jurisdictional. So the whole reason we created Sound Transit was not to build light rail from Lynnwood to Everett but to build transit that crosses county lines. Express buses from Snohomish and Pierce County to King County. Unheard of back in the day, since the major bus systems all operate within the county. Now we have a pretty good set of express buses serving those areas, and once ST2 gets built it, a very nice rail system to work with it. But ST3 is different — despite nearly doubling the amount of rail that exists within the system, none of the new rail crosses a county line.

        It doesn’t even cross from Bellevue to Seattle. Thus Seattle could — assuming funding authority — fund 100% of the new Seattle rail projects without even talking to the other cities. This makes it completely different than the two previous proposals.

        Anyway, it doesn’t matter if there is a plan B. There was no plan B when the first proposal failed, but a couple years later, they still passed ST1. Roads and Transit failed, but they passed ST2. You don’t have to have a Plan B ready to go immediately, you simply dust yourself off, figure out what you did wrong, and move on. Hopefully you learn from your mistakes — and there are plenty with this package — and propose something a lot more useful next time.

      6. Well RossB, I’m not too surprised you want to push your unofficial Plan B. That’s fine.

        I really am sick at the idea of going through all this again at the behest of the RossB Caucus that is anti-rail and pro-bus. The problem is we have yet to see true BRT with grade separation/dedicated right-of-way do all the RossB Caucus wishes.

        Let’s not jump into an abyss. Let’s vote for certainty and reliability. Vote YES on Regional Prop 1.

      7. I would argue that ST3 is not a Plan A. It’s a shopping list of politically popular rail line proposals and cash payouts to bus operators developed independently of each other without aggregate system performance measures being considered. That’s not really planning in a systemic way.

      8. *Of course* there either is (or will be) a Plan B. The proposal under vote is *hardly* the only possible way to expand the system. There are literally an *infinite* variety of other possibilities! Sure, I hope “Plan A” passes next month. (I can’t vote on it; I live outside the Sound Transit service area.)

        But if it fails, further expansion of light rail *certainly* doesn’t end for all time. To argue it therefore must is just plain silly.

      9. “despite nearly doubling the amount of rail that exists within the system, none of the new rail crosses a county line.”

        You forgot about the King-Pierce border. :) The counterpart in Snohomish doesn’t exist because ST2 already crossed the border. But Snohomans and Piiercians would say the goal of ST1, 2, and 3 was not just to cross the county border but to reach Everett-Seattle-Tacoma.

        Plan A took public and city feedback and was the best compromise they could achieve, the one that was the most likely to pass. Therefore any Plan B would be worse and less likely or it would have been Plan A. RossB talks about a roubust bus network that I would actually like, but the bulk of those “No ST3” signs aren’t people who want that: they want nothing at all, or more highway lanes. I was at Bellevue Square and Bellevue Park today, and in the street in between are lots of those No ST3 signs. I bet they were put there by Opponent #1.

      10. Joe, you said earlier that if ST3 fails, ST would put the same package on the ballot in 2020 and if that fails ST would call it a day. There has never been collaborating evidence for this, but are you now withdrawing the prediction? However, in some sense it doesn’t matter because 2020 may have different boardmembers with different ideas, and who knows which direction they would go then?

        So we can’t expect ST to have a Plan B, but in the event of a failure there will definitely be pressure on ST to do something or nothing, and on the cities to do something. On ST’s side, if it doesn’t run the same package again it will propose a smaller one, because a lot of the opposition was to that “$54 billion” price tag. Then we get into “What smaller?” RossB may get his wish in Snoho, Pierce, and East King, but the WSTT is a different story. The suburban subareas know that buses are the only alternative if Link extensions aren’t feasable. But those aren’t tunnels, they’re just upgrading ST Express. A downtown bus tunnel requires ST and City acknowledgment that this is a worthwhile project, and so far they haven’t. At least as likely is West Seattle light rail and a Ballard/Westlake streetcar. And ST isn’t going to suddenly start loving the Metro 8 subway and 45th line. The best way forward for Metro 8 on ST’s side is to get it into the Long-Range Plan the next time it’s updated, which may be around 2026 and ST4.

        As for what Seattle might do after an ST3 failure, there’s more room for variations there. Move Seattle will be completed with its several RapidRide lines. The C and D will be it the best Ballard and West Seattle can get for the near term. You could argue for an update to the Transit Master Plan and try to get the WSTT and one or two subway lines into it. But you reach the limits of funding quicker. The monorail authority can raise around $1 billion: maybe enough for a 45th or a Metro 8 line or a WSTT, but not more than one. Property tax runs up against the city’s little remaining property-tax capacity: the city wants to use it for other things and reserve some of it for emergencies. Getting another funding source would require legislative approval. You can say that the Legislature would be more willing if it knows ST3 won’t happpen, but that’s just conjecture without any kind of guarantee.

        If you want the WSTT to happen, the best way is to start a movement for it; then there would be proven public support. Or run for office so you can influence the decision-making. Seattle Subway has some post-ST3-failure ideas of its own, which I don’t know what they are. You might be able to convince SS to get behind the WSTT in that situation, but I don’t know if they would or not.

      11. Mike Orr;

        What I really want to happen is ST3 to pass and get my transit hero back on the 25 yard line to throw some light rail passes.

        However in the event 8 November is Kemper Freeman’s idea of Halloween I can assure you not just will the NoST3 coalition of RossB Caucus-Kemper Klique-WPC fracture into two, three or more pieces… but the Pro-Sound Transit coalition will fracture. The mistrust and suspicion of so many in the Puget Sound transit community will damage other efforts to grow, expand and champion transit.

        Please, for the love of G*d and Saint Karen the Russell Wilson of Sound Transit and the wonderful Seattle Transit Blog, just vote YES on Regional Prop 1. You’ll just get more transit with Sound Transit Prop 1 and lots more sexy light rail.

        There, you know what I want. Just wanted to clear that up.

      12. Al S.

        Let me be clear: ST3 is Plan A. A for Angel. A for Awesome.

        Unless you want 8 November for Kemper Freeman, Alex Tsimerman and Maggie Firmia to gouge themselves on half-price Halloween candy, STFU and just get Russell Wilson in heels her football back. Thanks.

        Let me even more clear for you: Regional Prop 1 yes votes mean yes to more transit now and for a long time to come. A NO vote on Regional Prop 1 is a high-stakes game with no off-ramp.

  2. As a steady user of Lynnwood Transit Center for its whole existence, I think image in designer’s minds needs to shift permanently from “Parking Lot” to “Station and Surrounding Neighborhood.”

    Which includes sit-down meals and coffee, and whatever else classes as commerce. Bathrooms might be a lot easier to police (and hose) if they’re built into something large, well populated, and emphatically civilized.

    Sorry, Elon, and Mark Zuckerberg, that your favorite power-word “Disruption!” (TM) has wrong “ring” to it, but that order change of thinking is really in order.

    Most reliable way to give transit the density it requires is to build as much of it as possible into transit’s every plan. Sadly, though, as you guys are already starting to discover, a business suit coat consisting of a black T-shirt no longer disrupts anything.

    Dress hoodies with your company emblems are also soooooooo 2014 Google. Though results of driverless cars’ misprogrammed instructions to think they need a bathroom will keep on Disrupting fire, rescue, and Harborview Emergency into prime Paleo (TM) condition.

    Mark

    1. I’m in agreement, but it needs to happen even sooner. I missed a late-night bus transfer on Lynnwood (as occasionally happens when the inbound bus is late), and would have loved a nice place to sit down and eat rather than waiting outside for 30-odd minutes.

      Luckily, there are provisions for TOD in the initial plans, especially on the site of the current furniture store. Surface lots could be converted to TOD parcels later on, and the garage is on the freeway-facing side of the station (which is the best location for it, if you have to build one).

      1. Last time I went through Lynnwood TC regularly there were several restaurants in the existing retail areas nearby; I’d see them on the way in or out on the 120. I don’t think I tried any of them (a missed transfer isn’t much time to eat), but I did stop at JD’s Market a few times (as a Chicagoan, it reminds me of a Devon grocery store and a Pilsen grocery store under the same roof). The streetscape with the big parking lot and the windowless walls of the furniture store may not invite you to set out on foot, but there is stuff just beyond that.

      2. For some time now I’ve wanted someone to buy the Black Angus and redevelop it into something similar that could serve foot traffic from the transit center as well as getting business from traffic driving by on 44th.

        As a side note, I tried not being another person driving a car to the transit center but if I missed the 120 in the evening it is either a one hour wait or a 50 minute walk home. Now my wife and I commute in one car to the Mountlake Terrace location.

  3. It will be telling to see if the latest plans are more user-friendly or not. In particular, 145th supposed to be different.

    The plans will illustrate whether the architects and ST staff understand transit rider behavior and needs.

    1. I would imagine it will be a lot like Northgate, it is a transit center, which makes it tough to mess up. Buses not only serve the area, but layover there.

      145th was different. They had a choice to go with the transit center model, or the transit stop model and they chose the former. So rather than commit to building a solid grid system (of frequent east-west bus service complementing frequent rail service) they expect each bus to curve around and park in the lot. The advantage of that is that when the train runs infrequently, the bus can actually wait for it. The bad part is that it makes this a lot more likely.

      Lynnwood is the terminus, though, and adopting the transit center model makes more sense. It is likely that the train won’t be that frequent (especially in the middle of the day) so a layover there makes a lot of sense. Even today every bus that travels on a nearby street (44th or 200th) goes into the transit center. So basically all they need to do is put the train stop close to where the buses park.

      Ideally you would have some sort of system that avoids the redundant payment. That is trickier to build, of course, and each jurisdiction would complain (CT would have no way of getting their fair share of the fares from folks who transferred). That all could be worked out, and it would all be worth it, but that requires a level of sophistication that is either lost on Sound Transit, or (more likely) simply not a priority.

      1. These are exactly the trade-offs that need to be discussed in good station design, Ross.

        I see 145th as a disaster right now. The station in a half-block off of 145th, which backs up today. People will hop out of cars at will on 145th. The loop from hell in the current station design will take 10 minutes to use because of congestion created by mixing every access mode together.

        Frankly, I have not assessed the other stations. I would assert that the lower the station area land use density, the more a station has to get the access modes right.

        These next designs need to do this well – and 145th needs to be better designed from an access functionality standpoint.

      2. I agree with your assessment of 145th, and I too haven’t looked too much at all the stations either. In general it has been a major weakness of the system, and has been reported on quite a bit here (https://seattletransitblog.com/2012/04/18/the-awfulness-of-mt-baker-station/). What I know about Northgate is that the plans sound quite reasonable. They decided to put the station at the Northgate Transit Center, which is why a more urban grid model simply wouldn’t work. You can’t run buses east-west (there is a freeway blocking the way) and 1st isn’t a logical through street either. In other words, a station anywhere near there breaks the grid. Might as well do as they do now, and have the buses layover right there. Meanwhile, the pedestrian bridge will enable good travel across the freeway (arguably justified in its own right).

        It is completely different than 145th. The main value of 145th is not to serve the neighborhood, but to complement good east-west bus service with good north-south rail service. A stop on 145th is a fine addition to the grid (one might say mandatory, along with 130th). Any deviation from that — such as the one that was taken — is a huge step backwards. It has similarities with the Mount Baker stop in that regard. A few blocks over and it would be outstanding. But instead, it is very limiting.

        In the case of Mount Baker Station, the buses don’t spend significant time cutting over to the train station and back — they just keep on going. The train and the bus largely ignore each other (very few people transfer). In the case of NE 145th, people will make that transfer. It is just that the transfer will be time consuming (not only for individual riders, but for the system as a whole).

        It is also possible that NE 130th will be designed better than 145th. Part of the problem is that NE 145th did call for significant park and ride spots. That complicates things. NE 130th doesn’t have that problem. It should simply be a stop as close to the intersection as possible (maybe right over it). I’m not sure if I know of a station that I would consider to be outstanding. It seems like they vary from terrible to obvious. But the station at NE 130th, if designed properly, could stand out as one that is optimized to save the transit rider, and the transit system, a lot of time.

      3. solid grid system (of frequent east-west bus service complementing frequent rail service) they expect each bus to curve around and park in the lot. The advantage of that is that when the train runs infrequently, the bus can actually wait for it…. he main value of 145th is not to serve the neighborhood, but to complement good east-west bus service with good north-south rail service.”

        From ST’s perspective, the majority of riders will be on the 522 coming from Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, and Woodinville, and the 522 will go right to the station. Straight west and east of the station won’t get as many riders because there aren’t as many people there: there are no entire cities in those directions. The only ones who will be seriously inconvenienced are those going between Lake City, Aurora, and Shoreline CC — those going past the station and beyond it. They may either have a bus that detours into the station or they may have to transfer at the station. However, I suspect Lake City will have a route like the 330 to the station and then northwest to Shoreline CC, so college students can use that. As for those going from 145th & LCW to 145th & Aurora, how many of them wouldn’t be satisfied going to 155th & Aurora instead? Especially since the latter has more destinations and will probably become an urban village.

      4. About that infrequent train. Not at 145th. 145th will have 5-minute off-peak service on two lines. ST might degrade Everett and Tacoma to 20-30 minute service, but it’s much less likely for Lynnwood, and 145th is on the way to Lynnwood. When you say, “The advantage of that is that when the train runs infrequently, the bus can actually wait for it”, you’re basing that on your prediction that the train will be infrequent, but there hasn’t been any evidence of that either, so you’re piling an unfounded speculation on top of an unfounded speculation. Link as been running for eight years now at 10 minutes until 10pm, 15 minutes until last run, and there has been no moves to downgrade it.

      5. One problem with the current 145th design is that all buses must deviate into the station. Multiple turns are involved. A bus cannot realistically stop on 145th at the station and keep going. All the buses, shuttles, drop offs and pick ups and parking commuters must use the same entrance and same exit, mingled with interchange traffic.

        The current design is much worse for buses than Mt Baker is.

      6. I reviewed the DEIS video of the alignment. It is here:http://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/Lynnwood-Link-Extension/Lynnwood-Link-Document-Archive/Lynnwood-Link-Documents/Video—Animation-of-preferred-alternative

        I am not sure if the final design will replicate these stations. I haven’t been keeping up with things, but it would not surprise me if the design in the video is out of date..

        Some general observations (possibly outdated) on the video version:
        – 185th looks pretty good. Since it’s not in the middle of an interchange, it’s hard to make a big mistake here. East-west buses will not be stressed here, and even drop offs and pick ups look rather user friendly.
        – Mountlake Terrace looks pretty good for people parking in the garage, but the freeway flyer stop looks like it’s a further walk than we have a SeaTac Airport today. It’s at the opposite end of the station site! It does make me wonder what is supposed to become of that forlorn freeway stop once Link is built. It could serve as a great drop-off point for those in HOVs heading southbound if the freeway buses go away.
        – The stop for Lynnwood is at 44th Avenue. This location a pretty big hike to Alderwood Mall and to any retail north of 200th Street. I’m also not sure how well this will interface with the bus routes in this area. I’m suspect there is a long history on this station site and how it’s supposed to work with buses.

        A final user question: Where will a person who is riding in a carpool get in or out of a vehicle to be a Link rider? Of all the stations, 145th Station is the likely station of choice. That’s the easiest off/on ramp configuration with I-5. I am not sure if Sound Transit and WSDOT have thought of this problem. It’s a huge issue at the I-280 ramps/ Balboa Park BART station today — and no one anticipated that! .

  4. Al, as a Chicagoan, ya really hadn’ oughta be cuttin’ anybody this kind slack for making CTA passengers walk across a parking lot an’ not be able to take the time to make a selection of their choices as to the contents of their corn beef sandwich!

    Let alone having to walk all the way around the garbage cans just to even look in the front windows for the restaurants. Yeah, the stuff is “just behind” the garbage area. So is it asking too much to get the owners to bring their places around front of it?

    Seattle transportation agencies really need a vital infusion of Al Bundy understudies. Absolute qualification is that you must pronounce the word for low intelligence like it has two “o”‘s between the “p” and the “t”, not a “u”.

    Mark

  5. Was visiting BC, Canada for two events. Even though car traffic was bad, I Am envious of their sky train out to the burbs, the water taxi, etc. Why is it taking so long for our region.
    I also took the BART between downtown San Fran & Burbs, it seemed proficient during my travel.
    Took the trolley and subway in Chicago without problems.
    Ughh. Get it together Puget Sound area.

    1. This is being discussed on Page 2.

      Vancouver approved the Skytrain around the time Seattle rejected Forward Thrust. The Bay Area approved BART a decade before that. So if Atlanta’s MARTA had been built here rather than there we’d have a twehty-five year head start in expanding it. Add to that the reluctance to “go big” in 1996 and 2008, and ST’s planning/budgeting problems in the early 2000s. The Page 2 comments discuss the differences between Vancouver and Seattle: the Skytrain goes to the burbs but not as far out; on the other hand Vancouver has nothing comparable to Tacoma and Everett.

      1. >> Vancouver has nothing comparable to Tacoma and Everett.

        Everett — Population roughly 100,000, (Driving) distance to downtown Seattle , roughly 30 miles.
        Langley Township — Population roughly 100,000, Distance to downtown Vancouver, roughly 30 miles.

        Tacoma — Population roughly 200,000, Distance to Downtown Seattle, roughly 35 miles.
        Abbotsford — Population roughly 135,000, Distance to Downtown Seattle, roughly 35 miles.

        None of these areas have high population density, or even pockets of high population density. From what I can tell, though, Langley does better than Everett, while Tacoma does better than Abbotsford. Oh, and Langley is pretty much on the way to Abbotsford, so you could easily combine the two projects (unlike Seattle and Everett).

        In short, Vancouver does have areas comparable to Everett and Tacoma, they just don’t run light rail out to them. They also have an area remarkably similar to West Seattle, called North Vancouver. Both have transit service by boat as well as express bus service on freeway bridges connecting it to downtown. The difference is that North Vancouver has an area of much higher density (along with much higher employment). Yet even though a North Vancouver SkyTrain would outperform West Seattle Link by a huge margin, Vancouver hasn’t built it. They have more important things to build — as do we. The big difference is that they are building them (or have built them) while we screw around with silly projects.

        But anyway — Mike’s first point is correct — they simply started earlier. But the big difference is that if ST3 passes, we will eventually have about twice as many miles of rail, but a system that performs not nearly as well. This station, meanwhile, will be built long before then, and perform quite well as a suburban terminus.

      2. Tacoma: port and industrial center, and aspirations of downtown jobs. The airport, Federal Way, and the Kent industrial/residential centers are on the way to it, and draw people from both directions.

        Everett: industrial center, and aspirations of downtown jobs. Lynnwood is on the way to it.

        Pugetopolis has been a Tacoma-Seattle-Everett trio since its founding. Where are equivalent areas of Vancouver that have been sizeable industrial cities with longstanding expectations of being in the Seattle high-capacity transit orbit?

  6. Just a radmon question, is the cement roadway in the DSTT going to be ripped up and replaced with ballast when buses leave it in the coming years, or will the roadway stay?

    1. I imagine they would go with a more traditional track on concrete supports design. However, I would expect them to wait 30 years or so, when they need to replace the rails, as it will have to all be torn out at that time anyway and there is no sense in removing the concrete before then.

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