Angle Lake Station opened one year ago today, adding about 3,500 riders to Link every weekday. Only seven more years until trains head even further south to Kent/Des Moines, Star Lake, and Federal Way.

This is an open thread.

52 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Angle Lake’s 1st Birthday”

  1. New bike lanes on Pike-Pine… generally happy about them, just hope the cars don’t further impact the bus lanes as a result.

    1. I’m not a huge fan. I rode them today, and in places like westlake plaza, they cut out and dump you into traffic, forcing you to merge awkwardly with the cars or do a weird ascent onto the sidewalk. They should make it so bikes merge with/yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk.

      1. The sidewalk near Westlake Park isn’t wide enough for the large pedestrian crowds that are often there and also bikes. But then it bulbs out so there isn’t room for bikes to continue straight from the PBL on previous blocks. And the parking spaces right next to the plaza are regularly used by vehicles serving official events on the plaza… a real fix is going to take changes to the concrete, not just stuff you can paint and glue onto the pavement. I don’t think ushering general bike traffic onto the sidewalk there will ever be the answer.

      2. Why do you think that? The thing about bikes/pedestrians is that, unlike cars, they use negotiated flow. IMO having them filter through the crowds is definitely better than having them merge with traffic, but that might just be because I’m a bad cyclist

    2. Things are definitely looking up in bikeland- Pike/Pine started, 2nd Avenue almost done, 520 lanes open this fall, Arboretum trail just paved last week, Dearborn lanes in work, 9th Avenue lanes connection partially open, bike share bikes everywhere and still being used.

      School starts at UW on Wednesday and I expect thousands of bike share bikes to immediately be on campus. I am curious to see how that is going to work. My son said he has seen trucks dropping off bikes in the grass median on 17th (greek row). They don’t stay there long.

      We can also see the light at the end of the tunnel for the waterfront trail with bertha being done. That could be one of the most used trails in the city eventually. Yes we still have many holes- BG missing link, and many missing safe segments to get to places in the South End (Green River connection, Rainier Valley, Georgetown, West Seattle). I believe the more bikes that are out there will eventually mean more trails will be connected.

  2. Just a friendly clarification: It’s 3500 in only boardings! That would be 7000 total ridership if an equal number of riders leaving the station are considered.

    1. It is hard to say how many boardings were actually added due to ALS. Some of the boardings moved from TIBS and SeaTac Airport Station, but some trips were added to TIBS and SAS as a result of ALS being added.

      A big part of the solution for neighborhood access to the station could be the extension of LimeBike, Spin, and Ofo, but that would likely require SeaTac’s and Des Moines’ cooperation. Who knows what nutty fears NIMBYs have there, since Des Moines NIMBYs forced the future line to cut through a dense neighborhood over to I-5, because wealthier homeowners couldn’t imagine a solution to train riders being able to see into their backyards. And Councilmember Upthegrove couldn’t come up with that solution either. So, we lost 216th St Station, which could have been a TOD hub.

    1. Ack! The empty-house problem, AFAICT, was a talking point conceived by NIMBYs to force those trying to build TOD to keep renting their properties out, so that the same NIMBYs could cry “displacement” when the owner tells the lessors that they have to move so they can build a lot more housing on the same land.

      If it wasn’t an ingenious third order concern trolling trap, it will still have the same effect.

      Throwing the foreign owners clause in there is just a play to racial prejudices, IMHO, and could hurt undocumented residents as well.

      1. Many thanks, Mike. Clicking over to it now. Looks great- but factually, how’d they do? Any case, proud to have it there.


      2. I had an experience switching between Link and the 101 at SODO Station on Saturday because the buses were kicked out of the tunnel due to some construction going on at Convention Place. The northbound bus stop is perfectly positioned right next to the train station. Well done! But the southbound bus stop is located about 500 down the road, forcing you to cross two stoplights to reach the train. Could the southbound bus stop be moved nearside, to be closer to the train, ideally with a mid-block crosswalk of the busway where the track crossing is?

        Normally, I’m against nearside stops because cars block the bus stop while they wait for red lights and create dangerous situations by making right turns in front of a stopped bus. But, on a bus-only street, these arguments are completely irrelevant. It looks like Metro simply chose a far-side bus stop out of habit, here, without regard to the local situation.

      3. Chiming in as the author, I can only say that Wikipedia is about verifiable information, not necessarily facts. What The Times said about the tunnel at the time, along with modern accounts, are included, but personal anecdotes aren’t allowed.

      4. Until East Link opens in 2024, what you say is amazingly true, Glenn! It’s also a location that is a few blocks from I-90 east, I-5 south and eventually SR99 south and SR99 north!

        Unfortunately, Metro-ST integration and advanced planning is at about 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, and it should be a 10!

    1. DSTT… Seattle’s smartest transportation decision in a city otherwise known for poor and late transportation decisions

      1. Yes …. except for the missing down escalators between the mezzanine and platform, and the inability to easily add them later. Some stations have 50 steps!

  3. Who rode the first night owls under the new schedule?

    I went to Carkeek Park yesterday afternoon and saw the hourly D owl schedule listed at the bus stop.

  4. I’m looking forward to riding the every-15-minute 60 when I can get a weekday off. I’m also looking forward to Metro fixing the 60 and 107 schedules so that 15th Ave S can get 15-minute headway 7 days a week, from 6:15 am to 11:27 pm, costing virtually no additional platform hours. It is painful to see the 107 pull up a minute ahead of the 60, creating alternating headway of 1 minute and 29 minutes every evening. There is a similar problem all day on weekends, but with the 60 pulling up a minute ahead of the 107.

    You know the crowd is going to 15th Ave S or America’s Most Confusing Bus Stop in Georgetown because nearly everyone waiting gets on whichever bus comes first.

    1. Brent, absolutely no excuse for any missed regular connection. Especially that far from rush hour. Write to your council member a lot, and also call and leave a lot of e-mail. For the amount of damage a missed connection does, this one shouldn’t be hard to fix. Which might not matter. But nothing to lose.


    2. Back-to-back buses are not a complete waste of resources. They give you the benefit of reliability – if one of the buses is 10-20 minutes late, the other can still be on time.

      Often, in such cases, I’ll try to time my arrival for the first bus of the bunch, but I’ll cut it closer than I normally would, knowing that if I miss it, the second bus of the bunch is still coming. So, the second bus actually does reduce wait time compared to not having it.

    3. I tried to create a proposed schedule for weeknights between 6pm and midnight that offered 15 minute headways between Beacon Hill Station and Georgetown using the existing 60 and 107 platform hours. Because the 107 is connected to the Renton TC where buses meet on a pulse, I used the existing 107 schedule as a base and tried to adjust the 60 schedule to create 15 minute headways on 15th Ave S. Using the same number of buses currently assigned to the 60 at night (5), 15 minute headways can only be done if a very short turnaround time is scheduled at Westwood Village (usually less than 7 minutes). So, in order to maintain schedule reliability, Metro would likely need to add another bus to the 60 rotation at night.

      1. Thanks for that analysis!

        Do you think it’d be worth it to at least offset the 60 a bit more, so you’d maybe have alternating 10/20 minute headways?

  5. According to the article, it’s seven years until Midway, 288th and Federal Way open. There’s RR “A” serving those areas until then, but currently to go from Des Moines to downtown Seattle during the vast majority of the service day takes well over an hour winding through north Sea-Tac and South Park. Why can’t Metro provide some sort of semi-frequent shuttle timed to train arrivals, say every twenty minutes mid-day and thirty in the evening, between Angle Lake and downtown Des Moines? I expect it could be covered by three coaches mid-day and two in the evening with lay-over at Angle Lake.

    It’s only three fairly rural miles with a Google Maps driving time of seven minutes, and might build a constituency for transit in the little city.

    1. It is disappointing that Metro has not restructured more routes to feed Link. Route 166 is a good example of a route that could have been split or rerouted to enable direct connections to Link.

      With the Lynnwood cost overrun causes announced in the past few weeks, Federal Way Link could easily have the same problem. Waiting for anothe Link station seems now less logical because the wait may be beyond 7 years.

      1. I agree that a South Link restructure, to allow more riders a direct ride to TIBS, SAS, and ALS, is in order. Though I think route 122 is a better candidate for diverting to TIBS.

        Bike lanes on 8th and Des Moines Memorial Dr, and bikeshare expansion might be an even more fruitful approach than infrequent circulator buses. I’ll take 100 more bikes over another “free” parking spot any day of the week.

      2. I agree with the comment about integration between Metro and ST.

        Motion M2001-73

        Mission Statement:

        “Build and provide for the operation of the regional express bus, commuter rail and light rail services and facilities as described in Sound Move to create a regional INTEGRATED (caps mine) high-capacity transportation system serving the three-county Sound Transit District. Do so in partnership with public agencies and jurisdictions, relevant private-sector and other interests, and the citizens we serve.”

      1. That’s not right on two points. First, it travels on 188th, not 200th, so it doesn’t serve Angle Lake. Yes, people can change at Sea-Tac Airport Station, but WHAT a five minute PITA it is northbound!

        And, second, it doesn’t really serve downtown Des Moines very well. It just skirts the north edge at 216th and Marine View Drive. It also is scheduled at fifteen winding minutes to get to STAS, but of course there is frequently congestion on PHS there. It would be an easy, reliable nine or ten minutes to Angle Lake where there will always be a train waiting to board.

    2. I’ve talked to people who live out there – driving to Angle Lake Station is quite quick. The problem is that when 1) everybody has a car, 2) parking at the station is plentiful and free, it’s hard to get people to actually ride a shuttle. But, I can definitely say that the money ST spent on building the parking garage could have paid for quite a bit of shuttle service.

      As to bikeshare, I’ve noticed at least a few Lime Bikes lurking around the Angle Lake area – not sure how they got there. Did people carry a LimeBike from downtown on Link for last-mile travel to avoid a 45+ minute wait for a bus on south end to go 1 mile? Seems entirely plausible to me.

      1. I really don’t get this thing about a mile walk. I live 1.1 miles from 99th Street TC and walk there two or three days out of a week to go somewhere. And back of course. Even in November in the rain.

        No, I don’t have kids waiting for me to take them to soccer practice, but I don’t see why people are so insistent on direct service. We had legs long before we grew tires.

      2. Of course I realize that not everyone is physically able to walk a mile; I may not be able to in another five years. But the vast majority of the folks who post on this blog certainly can.

      3. Yes, it’s true that there’s a general consensus that walking a mile is too far especially in the rain, even if you are headed to a well heated home. But also, not every mile is the same. Uphill next to fast traffic and getting splashed while waiting to cross the street is a much longer mile than walking along a tree lined low speed street.

  6. Praise the Lord, hallelujah… We have a bus lane starting construction on Monday on Denny Way. Happy happy joy joy.

    1. Now, anything happening with re-configuring the John/Olive/Broadway intersection on the hill? That intersection has a level of service F- as far as I can tell.

      1. Thanks for the info David. The left turn signals will make a big difference at that intersection. I’m glad to see that SDOT is being proactive with some of these issues.

      2. I wouldn’t exactly call adding a left-turn signal at John and Broadway being proactive. That intersection has needed this ever since I arrived in Seattle some 30 years ago.

      3. I agree that it’s not proactive and has been problematic for quite some time. Central Seattle Greenways, which I co-lead, has made it a priority of ours to make the area around Capitol Hill Station safer and more comfortable for people walking, bicycling, and using transit. Improvements to this intersection are a big part of that.

        If you’d like to join our volunteer efforts you’re welcome to join us at Cortona Cafe (25th & Union) on the 2nd Monday of every month from 6-8PM. Our next meeting is October 9th. You can also connect with the larger city-wide Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition at a Volunteer Onboarding on Wednesday 9/27 at 5:30PM at Impact HUB in Pioneer Square.

      4. As a pedestrian, I like the intersection the way it is. No left turn signals means at any time, one of the two crosswalks is open. Adding a left turn signal simply means more waiting at stoplights to cross the street.

    1. I personally don’t find the article very convincing, insofar that the so-called “shady dealings” of the TCC are common practices, and making sensationalizing hit piece about TCC is unfair. What the TCC does is common across all political spectra.

      Is the revolving door between government, industry, and nonprofits a real thing? Yes, absolutely, such as when Democratic administrations fill their staffs from liberal nonprofits and Republican administrations likewise, and when those administrations bounce out of office the staff go back to the think tanks. Regulatory capture, where regulators and the regulated seem interchangeable is also well known.

      Is major nonprofits having a PAC attached a real thing? Yes, absolutely. Groups from the NRA, Planned Parenthood, to the AARP are all “apolitical” nonprofits– accused of advocacy– that have a PAC attached.

      Questions of public disclosure of contributors and money? Yes, see above. I can probably keep going.

      1. I love when readers call articles and editorials “hit pieces” when they are simply bringing factual matters to light. Lol. I think the author is well aware of the macro problems you mention with such “nonprofits” (their tax status, dark money, lack of transparency and the revolving door between government positions and lobbyists) and never indicated in his piece that these problems are unique to the TCC.

        I think your argument that the shady dealings at the TCC are common practices is what is quite unconvincing. The whole “business as usual” or “everyone does it” is part of the problem.

        Additionally, the TCC never refuted any of the filing discrepancies in response to the assertions made in the piece.

      2. I assert that the article author’s choice to specifically focus on one organization without acknowledging that these issues are systemic is a misleading, intellectually dishonest choice, regardless of whether they are factual. Though it is true that the author never explicitly indicated that these “shady dealings” are unique to the organization in question, the choice to focus on one organization without indicating the wider context has no rhetorical effect but to imply specific wrongdoing on the part of the target to the misled reader who is not already aware of these macro problems that the author may be well aware of. All I ask is for some acknowledgement of the macro problems in the piece so that the reader, who does not necessarily know about these macro problems, is not misled into thinking that TCC is a uniquely “shady” organization, assuming arguendo the assertions are true and that the practices are wrong. If these macro problems were well known, then it would be okay to skip that context, but that is not true here. Facts are best used with context: I can certainly say that there is are x many shark attacks a year and describe the goryness, but all that will do is scare my mother into a heart attack unless I give the context that the likelihood of being attacked by a shark is less than being struck by lighting.

        I think this is a general principle. There’s many an article going around right now decrying Amazon’s ask for public subsidies in their request for proposals for a second headquarters. I think it is intellectually dishonest and misleading to write an article digging into Amazon’s request for tax breaks without making explicit that effectively all major corporations do this all the time. Otherwise, readers may be led to believe (purposely by the author) that Amazon is uniquely evil on this issue, which is mistaken.

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