Edited map of Lynnwood Link with new station names (by author; original by Sound Transit)

On Thursday, the Sound Transit Capital Committee passed its recommended names for Lynnwood Link’s four stations, until now known as NE 145th, NE 185th, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood. The recommendation will be up for final board approval later this month, giving the public a chance to comment one last time on the names.

The proposed names are as follows:

Temporary Name Public Suggestion Recommended Name
NE 145th Jackson Park Shoreline South/145th
NE 185th Shoreline Shoreline North/185th
Mountlake Terrace Transit Center Mountlake Terrace Mountlake Terrace
Lynnwood Transit Center Lynnwood Transit Center Lynnwood City Center

Seasoned readers and transit riders may not need to second glance at these name to know they aren’t as good as they could be. Based on Sound Transit’s own guidelines for station names, these suggestions don’t quite stack up: only one of them can be considered brief; two of them share similar names; and three of them reflect almost nothing of their immediate, current surroundings.

During the Capital Committee meeting (beginning at 34 minutes in this video), boardmember Rob Johnson brought up the existing confusion between University Street and University of Washington, and how the Shoreline pair here could cause similar frustration in the future. The presenting staffers explained that city officials from Shoreline had asked for the city’s name to be included in both station names, in a move that will undoubtedly turn first-time visitors red-faced when they discover they’ve walked out of the wrong Shoreline Station.

Now, while Lynnwood Link will be snaking along Interstate 5 through mostly indistinguishable suburban land, there are still decent landmarks and neighborhood names that can be used for these stations.

  • NE 145th Street (Shoreline South) is technically in Shoreline, but is only two blocks from the northern city limits of Seattle. It is also at the northwest corner of the Jackson Park Golf Course, a recognizable landmark; other nearby green spaces include Twin Ponds Park, Paramount Park, and Paramount School Park (the latter two would also make for a fine name). While Jackson Park may or may not be named for Andrew Jackson, the Seattle City Council could lend a hand and re-designate the park for another Jackson.
  • NE 185th Street (Shoreline North) is closer to the “heart” of Shoreline, albeit several blocks from both the Aurora corridor and the North City corridor on 15th Avenue, and would be more deserving of the city’s name than NE 145th/NE 147th. Alternatively, it could take its name form nearby neighborhoods, like Meridian Park or North City.
  • Mountlake Terrace is the only station name that really makes sense, and is a total no-brainer. No change needed!
  • Lynnwood City Center (Lynnwood Transit Center) is likely coming at the behest of the city’s grand vision for a walkable, dense downtown that currently consists of strip malls, a convention center, and two new apartment buildings. While Lynnwood will have two other stations by 2036 (Alderwood and Ash Way), they are distinct placenames in their own right and wouldn’t be confused with Lynnwood. There’s a weak case to change this name back to Lynnwood Transit Center, or to simply Lynnwood, but it would be fine if left untouched.

The Sound Transit Board will finalize these names during their meeting on July 27. Public comments to the board submitted before that meeting could help avoid years of rider confusion and poor signage. According to the staff report in the proposed motion, “a one or two month delay would not create a significant impact to the schedule”, so there really is nothing to lose in going back for a second, thorough look at station names. Only you can prevent name sprawl, duplicate names, and unfortunate names.

76 Replies to “Sound Transit Proposes Station Names For Lynnwood Link”

  1. These names, particularly the Shoreline Stations, are a big mistake.

    In the case of 145th, Shoreline seems to be creating a place where one never existed before. I have living in Seattle 50 years, and I have never ever heard the name “Shoreline South” or “South Shoreline”. We’ve always said “145th” or “Jackson Park”.

    “Shoreline North” is almost Ballinger, almost Meridian. You can make the argument is should be called “Shoreline Station” instead of Ballinger or Meridian although the historical place name are more correct IMO.

    A regional rail entity’s job is not to create places, it’s only goal should be correctly communicating existing places served on their regional map.

    1. This isn’t really quite true. If Shoreline wants to do a bunch of development in those places and create a new neighborhood these names are fine. In DC, almost nobody ever used the “Ballston”/”Clarendon” neighborhood names before the Metro came along- now everyone in Arlington knows them.

      1. Fine if Shoreline wants to do it, but then they shouldn’t half-ass it. The first ingredient to a real neighborhood is a real name, and South Shoreline is not a real name.

    2. Ridgecrest for 145th?

      Swit Blue has names for all the Lynnwood stations, which don’t correspond to the neighborhood names that I’ve ever heard of (although I’ve never lived in Lynnwood). Maybe they’re census track names, or maybe the city coined names for the future urban villages that are zoned around the stations. Shoreline South seems like another attempt at that.

      And then there’s Othello, which is in a no-man’s land between Columbia City and Rainier Beach. Historically Hillman City and Brighton where somewhere around there. But I tend to call the village Othello, and in the future that may be what everybody calls it, especially with those “O Hello Othello” neigborhood banners, and the next generation may not know that the Othello neighborhood didn’t exist before Link.

      1. I was under the impression that Othello Station was named for the nearby street, and not a neighborhood.

      2. It was named for the street, but the station area had no name so it needed one. Otherwise it’s hard to say “I’m going to X (the village around Othello Station)”.

      3. Traditionally Othello was called Holly Park, which was the name of the name of the housing built in the 40s to house defense workers, working for the war effort at Boeing. After the war this was converted into public housing, and the name took on a less desirable name. When Holly Park was rebuilt in the 90s by SHA the name was changed to NewHolly. I guess people still had bad memories from the Holly Park projects to use either of those names for the station.

      4. Othello is a great example as to why the Shoreline names are less good than a more place-centric name. As Mike notes Othello is now a neighborhood in it’s own right with a clear center and character. And it wasn’t a name that people associated with anything else prior to the station naming (except maybe the park).

        There just aren’t any identifiable place names that close to the 185th or 145th stations. I guess that’s what you get when the line follows the interstate. Maybe North Shoreline will be synonymous with North City which is the most notable nearby neighborhood with a strong center. South Shoreline as Jackson Park is still the obvious name… Even Metro used to use that name as the terminus for the 73.

      5. I thought Holly Park was originally built as low-income housing. If it was built for Boeing workers, does the same apply to Rainier Vista and Yesler Terrace?

  2. Why the hell is Lynnwood not naming its station after Community Transit Exec Director Emmett Heath? For the love of transit, what is wrong with people?

    Furthermore, rename the University Street Station the Constantine Station. Good gawd.

    No secret [] whose name should be on the Paine Field Station, right?

    Good gawd. I mean we have rightfully the Ruth Fisher Boardroom and the Joni Earl Plaza. What about our other transit superstars?

    I’m sure we could name a Tacoma Link Station the Marilyn Strickland Station, right? Right?

    1. Naming stations after people is a really bad idea, generally, since it gives you very little information about where it is. The exception is when a street is renamed for someone and has been accepted as an identifier for decades.

  3. “City officials from Shoreline had asked for the city’s name to be included in both station names”

    Do the cities, themselves, have the deciding vote on this?

  4. I think the names are fine. The STB guidelines apply best to urban areas and not necessarily to the suburbs.

    Jackson Park is a terrible name for the 145th Station. I can see it now: “Going to Jackson Park? You need to get off at 130th, NOT the Jackson Park station. Otherwise you’ll be walking 1.4 miles to the actual park entrance!”

    1. If 130th St station ever gets built.

      With the R’s in Oly trying to gut ST funding, and with the R’s and their buddy The Trumpster in the other Washington trying to gut transit funding, it is looking increasingly likely that ST will be making cuts in ST3, and the 130th St Station is near the top of the cut list.

      1. Says who? There would be hell to pay if NE 130th is cut. Besides, it is in Seattle, and in case no one noticed, it was Seattle that won the thing, and is quite capable of funding their own station (if it comes to that). Cut the station and you have a major PR disaster on your hands.

    2. There’s always a chance that we’ll flip Jackson Park into an actual park with TOD around the stations (since when do we really need yet another golf course in the city?). 130th would be better suited as Pinehurst or Haller Lake.

      1. Now that would be nice. That golf course is a waste of space.

        The street numbers are the most important part of these North Seattle stations. Seattle is a city and we need to embrace the fact that we have logical numbered gridded streets. The add-on name can be anything, maybe “Land of Missing Sidewalks” is more appropriate.

    3. The Sound Transit guidelines, not the STB guidelines. The guidelines are based on accessibility requirements in federal and state law. The 30-character limit and distinct names are to make it easier for disabled people to find the right station. Metro’s stop announcements also follow the 30-character limit. The pictograms (which haven’t been decided yet) come from state law, inspired by the Mexico City metro.

    4. This is what I do when people ask when going to CenturyLink. “Don’t get off at Stadium Station. Yeah, I know.”

  5. The “Shoreline South/Shoreline North” thing is a huge mistake — a disaster in the making. We already have one CF with the whole “University Street/University of Washington/U-Dist.” Why make it even more confusing….

    If Shoreline wants to attach their name to one of the stations for marketing purposes (Shoreline needs all the help they can get) then they should choose one station to name and stick with it. If you go down this path then probably you would just rename the 185th St station as “Shoreline Station” since there is a bit of a civic center there (at least by Shoreline standards).

    Personally I think the temporary working names are by far the best. ST should just tell Shoreline to go pound sand, unless of course they want to come to the table with cash for naming rights. Then ST should at least have the conversation.

    1. How do you feel about the two stations with Bellevue in the name, or the likely creation of two stations with Redmond in the name?

    2. “North” and “South” aren’t necessarily bad. BART has “Berkeley”, “North Berkeley”, “Hayward”, “South Hayward”, “El Cerrito Plaza” (formerly “El Cerrito”), “El Cerrito de Norte”, “12th Street/Oakland City Center” (previously “Oakland City Center”, “19th Street/Oakland” (previously “19th Street Oakland”), “West Oakland” (formerly “Oakland West”).

      What bothers me is that the plain name should be the city center station. BART has it right with “Berkeley” and “Hayward”. The Oakland names can be forgiven because they had to juggle five stations (including MacArthur and Lake Merritt) and improved their first choices. “El Cerrito Plaza” is OK because a plaza connotes a central square. I’m told that “El Cerrito de Norte” was just to give it a Spanish flair instead of “North El Cerrito”.

      Yeah, California Spanish. When I was in preschool living next to San Jose and had just learned to spell, my mom always said “SannoZAY” but when I learned spelling I said, “But it’s spelled ‘San JOE-see’!” We moved to Seattle when I was six and I still hadn’t gotten used to it by then. Years later I started saying “San khoZAY” as I do now.

  6. I’m fine with the Shoreline station names. Had it been non-geographic like Shoreline Center and Shoreline Village, it would have been confusing — but making it clear which is north and ehich is south I think works pretty well.

    Is there dissection on redundancy in Redmond Station names? That anticipated naming is much more confusing.

    1. But aren’t the Redmond station names still temporary? I would assume that it the end they’ll go with Redmond and Marymoor as names.

      1. There is already an approved name on the edge of Redmond: Redmond Technology Center. The end Station in Downtown Redmond is across from a Redmond Town Center.

      2. Ugh I dislike “Redmond Technology Center” so much. I wish they called it “Overlake” or something.

      3. “What station is Microsoft at? Oh, Redmond Technology Center.”

        That’s the point though. Redmond is trying to become Silicon Valley 2 because of all the tax receipts that would bring. So it designates a Technology Center, and then more companies will supposedly locate there because it’s the prestigious place to be (and it has a convenient light rail station). You might compare it to a Chinese special economic zone, or Moscow’s Moscow City business center.

    2. Overlake station isn’t near Overlake Hospital. What station is Microsoft at? Oh, Redmond Technology Center. And all the other tech companies in Redmond? Um, not sure. What about South Bellevue? Is it in South Bellevue? Oh, no, not really. It’s north of I-90. And East Main must be on the east end of Main Street, right? Nope. It’s still downtown, a mere 12 blocks from the west end of Main St. and 50+ blocks from the east end of Main St.

      Locals will know station names and not care. Tourists will be confused as hell. But that’s Seattle for you. We don’t give a crap about anyone who doesn’t have “nativish” credentials.

      1. Yes, I’ll grant that the twin “Overlakes” aren’t ST’s fault But all the other names?

        And people trying to take the train to Overlake Hospital aren’t going to care that Overlake Village is actually an unknown little corner of Redmond.

  7. Seems like poor form to name a station after one municipality when nearly half of the walkshed of that station is in another municipality.

    1. I doubt that. between the Park, the private school, cannibalization by the 130th station, and transfers from 522 buses, I suspect that the vast majority of the riders will either be from Shoreline, Lake Forest Park or the northern Eastside.

      The names are more or less fine. There are two stations in Shoreline, both have Shoreline in the name. They have reasonable disambiguation, and the street number is there for good measure. As far as I can tell there’s no there there at either station, so I doubt anyone is going to say ooh, I need to go to Shoreline [why?] and end up at the wrong station: as far as I can tell, most of the time *neither* station will be right.

    2. Shoreline has more of an arguable right to the name because it has put more investment in the area, and is offering to buy the highway and maybe the south side. It’s closer to Shoreline’s commercial centers than Seattle’s. Seattle has basically treated the area with neglect and would probably be glad to get rid of the cost of maintaining such a peripheral area.

  8. Shoreline South /145th should be called “City Limits”. Shoreline can claim that it references their city’s boundary, and everyone else will correctly assume it marks Seattle’s city limits. It’s descriptive, accurate, and unique.

    1. Well, since half the ridership at 145th will be from Seattle and about half the ridership will be from Shoreline, maybe a combined name would work best — I suggest “SeaShore Station!”

      Seriously. It worked for SeaTac. If Shoreline really wants to compete and be a real city, then they should follow SeaTac’s example.

    2. Half the ridership from Seattle? Do you expect a lot of golf players to come by Link? Do you expect that a lot of golf players exist?

      1. I might not golf, but I certainly recognize “Jackson Park” from the terminus of the 73. I guess a problem is that riders from further north wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with the 73 but at least some of them would be. I definitely think it’s more distinctive than North/South Shoreline.

    3. The primary source of ridership will likely be 522 BRT, at least initially until Shoreline’s upzone gets built out. By Lazarus’s logic, we should call it Lake Bothmoreline Station.

  9. Lynnwood City Center would be a fine name if it was in an actual city center. I’m not sure where the center of the city of Lynnwood is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not in the middle of a big park and ride.

    1. The planned city center is basically the corridor from the transit center to Alderwood, centered around the current convention center on 196th. It’s a bit far off, and Lynnwood had proposed adding an additional station over 196th to actually serve the new city center, but it was left out of the preliminary ST3 plans.

    2. Oh, I don’t know — I think it is very close to what I would call the center of Lynnwood. I used to live up there, and Alderwood always seemed “out there”. SR 99 and 526 (196th) would also be a logical center, but that, ironically, is very close to Edmonds Community College. 196th and 44th seems like the heart of Lynnwood. It is fairly open and busy, with apartments and a lot of shops. I think calling the nearby station “Lynnwood City Center” is fine. A bit wordy — I would just go with “Downtown Lynnwood”, in the hopes that it actually looks like a downtown in a few years (and I think it will — a very small one — but still one).

    3. It will be more developed in six years when Lynnwood Link opens. It makes no sense to call it “Lynnwood Sprawl Park & Ride (There’s No There There)” when it has definite plans to improve. It’s in the same position Bellevue was in 1985, when the city had decided to build a big dense city center and bask in the sales-tax income, but it took a decade or two for enough development to make it visible on the ground, and now people say it’s a major city center and wow look at the highrises, it’s not your father’s Bellevue anymore.

      1. Yes! I was just thinking that Lynnwood is technically a city (there is no Lynnwood County somewhere else) so the extra middle name is rather redundant.

        I could appreciate Lynnwood Civic Center if it was a government building complex or Lynnwood Sports Center if there was a stadium — but this proposed name sounds merely like a developer paid for it.

    4. “196th and 44th seems like the heart of Lynnwood.”

      I always thought the center of Lynnwood was 196th & 99, and I thought it was sad I-5 went so much farther east that you couldn’t transfer from an express bus to the 99 buses. But they they rebuilt the Interurban Trail and it actually goes to the Lynnwood Transit Center. So I assume the Interurban streetcar went that way too. In that case it turns everything on its head. If that was downtown Lynnwood in the olden days, then the problem was really highway 99 bypassing it. That could explain why there’s not much “downtown” in Lynnwood, if the highway drew people and shoppers away and led to downtown’s decline, and it was all torn down. And if highway 99 is doing the wrong thing, then ironically I-5 did the right thing, by reinstating the Interurban routing and downtown Lynnwood.

      1. Lynnwood was established in the late 30s at Highway 99 and 196th, to take advantage of automobile traffic; the interurban primarily served Alderwood Manor, a separate community that was built in the 20s. Lynnwood slowly grew eastward and then accelerated when I-5 was placed there in 1965.

  10. The stop near NE 145th should be called “NE 145th St Station” or maybe “City Limit Station”; all of the other landmarks it could be named after–Lakeside, Paramount or Jackson Park–would be misleading to a degree.

    Ironically, the stop at 185th would be best described as “Shoreline Stadium,” since it’s the closest major landmark and apparently it’s currently not a problem to have two stops referencing stadia.

    1. Lakeside is a private school. No private names. That’s why “Redmond Technology Center” and “Everett Industrial Center” are called such.

  11. Lynnwood City Center is a poor name choice for the station. It’s the only station with the word Lynnwood in it, and it’s located at Lynnwood’s planned downtown. Just call the station Lynnwood.

    In common usage, people aren’t going to call it “Lynnwood City Center Station”. They will just call it
    “Lynnwood Station” and question why the official station name is unnecessarily long.

    Also, don’t only email the Sound Transit Board, email the City of Lynnwood since they are the reason the Lynnwood City Center name is being proposed.

    1. Lynnwood probably thinks it sounds grand. It gives the connotation of having a city center and going upscale, which would attract affluent shoppers.

      (Almost Live says, :”But it’s still Lynnwood.”…)

  12. City Center seems redundant. If I name station after a city big enough to have a destination CBD, and I don’t give it modifiers, I expect it to approximate the CBD.

  13. Great report. The main problem with the names is that they are way too wordy. I suggest:

    145th — Very few characters, and straight to the point. Jackson Park is fairly confusing, and really not that much of a landmark. Unless you golf, you really don’t know it (unlike Green Lake). I live about a mile from it, and I sometimes get it confused with Jefferson Park (I know they are in completely different neighborhoods, but both start with ‘J’, and both are golf courses). On the other hand, everyone knows where 145th is, even if they have never been there. It is north of 130th (of course), but before 180th (of course).

    185th — Again, keep it simple. It is just a street. That means that eventually you have 130th, 145th, 185th right in a row.

    Mountlake Terrace — Like you, I think this is fine. 236th would be kind of confusing when 220th is added. The numbers go up, then down (130th, 145th, 185th, 236th, 220th). OK, not that confusing (it is a county line) but still. Mountlake Terrace is a city, and since it is the only station in the city, works out well. The city can be abbreviated fairly easily, too “Mntlake Terrace”.

    Downtown Lynnwood — City center takes more characters, and is silly. Just call it a downtown, even if it isn’t much (yet).

    Having such long names means much smaller text in every map or sign, which adds to confusion. There are ways around the confusion (make “145th” really big, and “Shoreline South” really small) but if you just have “145th” it makes it obvious.

    1. The idea of using the increasing numbers is great. People will have a reasonable idea of the progress they’re making in heading toward, eventually, Everett. Works great in New York on Chicago’s South Side.

      1. Exactly. It is common on subway systems all over the world. Sometimes station names in places like New York get wordy, but mainly because they have a lot of stations, and because they have cross streets that differ significantly. But for much of the line heading to Lynnwood, it simply follows the freeway, and that makes it simple. 130th is basically short for 130th and I-5. Same with 145th, 185th, etc. Put those names on a map and anyone in Seattle instantly knows where each station is (and those from out of town figure it out really quickly). It also makes it really easy for people to figure out which station to use, based on addresses that people give them. For example, if someone says meet me at 150th and 15th NE, I would know exactly what station to get off at, even if I only look at the station listing.

  14. So if Jackson Park was dropped as a station name because the park might be named for Andrew, maybe we can rename it for Samuel L.

    I understand he is an avid golfer, too.

  15. Has anyone fully “gotten” that there is nothing different about 130th Street in the map? I can’ see anything. There is no “ST3” or “2032” or shading. Nothing.

    Which means that 130th Street is now a part of ST2, as very nearly everyone who thinks about this agrees makes huge sense.

    Time for a little celebration?

    1. Oh, I’m wrong. Darn! The circle around 130th is still dashed, but there’s no explanation in the Legend.

      Darn, darn, darn!

    2. The original map has a little note explaining that 220th and 130th are provisional stations. I decided to omit them for simplicity here, since we’re talking about station names and not infill stations.

  16. I don’t know. Except for twenty years after an oil tanker helmsman makes a couple degrees’ mistake, word “Shoreline” carries some nice natural images. Wind. Salt water. Sunrise (of the other one)…

    Upper and Lower carry unwanted snobbery. Especially if it’s got stairs down to the water, with servants’ quarters at the bottom. So how about “Shoreline Heights and Shoreline Beach?” But there’s nothing final about any of this. The line will be here a long time.

    If somebody does something noteworthy or heroic in the vicinity, the there could be a stately ceremony renaming it for him, or her. Though the transit world has at least one real tragedy that everybody in New York City simultaneously wanted memorialized, and wished they could forget.

    Look up “Empire Boulevard” and “Malbone Avenue.”

    Mark

    1. I find Shoreline North and Shoreline South to be vapid place names that hold no authenticity to the actual places they represent. Like CheeseWiz — you know it was cheese once, maybe even good cheese, but now it’s processed and pressurized and tastes like whatever it is next to.

  17. I don’t like using North/South to distinguish the Shoreline station names either. Based on the comments on this post, it seems like these names are not in line with the names people in Shoreline actually use. It also makes a needless presumption that there will always only be two Shoreline stations. The directionals aren’t needed and should simply be removed:

    Shoreline/145th St
    Shoreline/185th St

    The area around Lynnwood Transit Center is not the “Lynnwood City Center” and giving it that kind of name feels like public relations BS intended to hype the new station and reshape the area around it. ST should go with the public’s suggestion on this one and call the station what it is: Lynnwood Transit Center

  18. The problem I see with the Shoreline South / Shoreline North is the inclusion of the street name in that fashion could get confusing to the of us that come from cities with opposite street names.

    Shoreline ( South 145th St) or Shoreline South (145th Street)? If you are from Portland, where streets are Southeast 34th and not 34th Southeast, the compass direction might look like it belongs with the street number and not the direction in Shoreline.

    So then you wind up with Shoreline South / North 145th Street? Imagine that being played on the train loudspeaker a few times.

    So, at the very least, put the directionals in front of the Shoreline part so it isn’t so close to the street number.

    1. Good point, Glenn. The street cardinal directions are the same way here (avenues are reversed): North 145th Street, 15th Avenue Northeast. I’m not sure that’s a huge issue here though since unless you really have never been to the city, and you’re going to Shoreline, even if you’ve never been to the area it’s pretty clearly north of downtown. Anyone who has that problem would have it driving or taking a bus to a north end (or south end) address anyway. (Odd thing about Seattle – I don’t believe any of the “North” avenues have numbers; they’re all named, as opposed to NE or NW.)

      I think RossB’s post above nails it. Street numbers are sufficient until the county line because they give you a reference point; you have to change that at the county line as the numbering reverses so Mountlake Terrace (which is a place known to most; it’s been an exit on the freeway for 50+ years) works well there. Between Northgate and Mountlake Terrace the freeway plowed through areas that really didn’t have neighborhood names at the time – the older communities (Lake City, Bitter Lake, Shoreline) weren’t centered on the freeway. Lake City is less than 1.5 miles from the 130th station, but it would be silly to call it that.

    2. The numbering not only reverses, it jumps from 205th King to 244th Snohomish. There is a deferred 220th station north of Mountlake Terrace, which is not just 1 1/2 miles north of 185th like might be assumed.

      Also Glenn, have you noticed the gap on Capitol Hill, where there’s a wedge of named streets between 9th and 10th Avenues. It starts as just four or five blocks on First Hill, but by the time you get to Denny Way it’s almost a mile wide. I sometimes have to tell visitors how to get to 19th Street when they get lost in the names, or tell them that 5th to 12th is not just an easy 7-block walk.

      1. For which we can thank the teetotaling surveyor Arthur Denny, who laid out the streets on his claim parallel to the shore, not in the N-S/E-W manner prescribed by the Donation Land Claim Act. Doc Maynard, whose claim was immediately to the south (south of what is now Yesler Way), and who was assuredly not a teetotaler, laid his out correctly – which is why 9th and 10th are a block apart south of Yesler as you’d expect.

  19. I think most people in Shoreline agree that there is no heart of Shoreline, as some City staff would like to dream of. Shoreline, like Seattle, has multiple neighborhoods with varying character, some with commercial centers. In fact, in order to be walkable, Shoreline has to have multiple neighborhoods with commercial centers, and not just one “heart”. It’s a good thing. Ridgecrest is the neighborhood that the “145th Street” station will be in. There’s a little commercial neighborhood center in Ridgecrest less than one mile due north on the same street as the future station, with the Crest Theatre (the last Landmark theater in town) and a coffee shop and a pub and a Crossfit and a guitar repair shop, and so on. And that area in Shoreline around the station and up to the existing commercial center is rezoned for taller mixed use buildings. Shoreline is a nice name, sure. So is Ridgecrest – its name comes from the fact that the neighborhood is built on a rounded ridge (technically a drumlin left by glaciers, like Phinney Ridge and so on.) I think that there’s a little of the usual generic city pride at City Hall showing with their support of “Shoreline South” and “Shoreline North”. Yet consider, instead of declaring “You’re in Shoreline!” at both stations, showing just a little ankle instead, by naming the station after the nearest neighborhood or landmark as in Seattle at almost all stations. That would be more intriguing and fun, as well as more consistent. Jackson Park, while a significant landmark just across the street, is facing away from the station. It’s a long walk along chain link fence to its front gate and relatively few people use it since it has the single purpose of golf. The 185th Station presents a need for creativity, since the existing North City commercial center will be separate from the future development there. But the same principles apply – think local, not municipal. And I don’t know if there ever was a true conversation about it.

    1. I’m starting to lean towards “Shoreline Center” for the N 185th station. That or “Shoreline/185th” as Dustin suggested above.

      I’m aware that the actual Shoreline Center property might be purchased and cease to exist, but even if it does, it’ll actually be neat to remember the largest area property that will be ‘sacrificed’ to declare this transit-oriented development is for real. In other words, the station name would honor its (expected) legacy. The main issue is if the School District decides to retain the ‘Shoreline Center’ name for another property or subset of the developed property.

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