79 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: U District Link Flyover”

  1. Does anyone have any inside information on when in 2021 they expect to open this thing? Or a best case/worst case time range? I’m really looking forward to it.

    1. I’ve seen the goal of September 2021. But if it breaks all expectations and opens in January 2021, I will gladly defend it against any trolls who say ST lied about the opening date.

      I also hope there will be negotiations in advance with ATU to have a service change within a month after the opening, even if it isn’t March or September. If it won’t be ready until April, I certainly don’t want to see it held off to September just because of the ATU contract.

      1. Be fair, Brent. Local 587 didn’t order any of our elevators.

        So I think the respected multiple-choice algorithm quotient evaluation will show that if first Northgate arrival leaves grooves across the frozen flames of Hell, first delivery of vintage cabernet whines goes to the other side of the bargaining table.

        Which also reminds me. While ago, they found a little crocodile on an island in Green Lake. So both Water Quality and EastLink need to keep its eyes open. Hungry enough, an algorithm can outrun a horse. But that’ll only be a LINK problem for elegant horsewomen around Redmond.

        Though ATU Facilities Maintenance shop stewards are already getting bombarded with grievances about those equestrian bike racks. Twitter Rooooools!

        Mark

  2. The last published quarterly progress report for Link indicates a revenue service date of Sep 24, 2021 for the Northgate Link project, of which the U District station is tied to. Sadly, this is the original northern terminus of the initial segment (Sound Move) and thus will be delivered some 15 years late.

      1. Not I. I think it is great, but the critics are still looking for something to whine about.

        The critics also have to be a bit worried about what happens after NG Link opens. It is very possible that sometime after the opening Link ridership will exceed Max ridership. What will they complain about then? The color of the LRV’s?

      2. Overcrowding at Capitol Hill.

        Link is a very different system from MAX, in a very different city geography and corridor context. So while it will be interesting when two-line Link surpasses five?-line MAX, it’s mostly apples and oranges. Link has a downtown tunnel which makes it faster going through the most critical area. It has/ill have large ridership generators like UW and the U-District, Bellevue, Redmond, and Capitol Hill which I don’t think have Portland equivalents. Portland’s open geography has more parallel buses (Burnside, Stark) which may dampen ridership. (I’m not sure if Powell and Hawthorne are close enough to have this effect. Also for cars, wide parallel streets like Stark seem to compete with the Banfield Freeway. Seattle has many geographical barriers and bottlenecks, especially around downtown, southern Seattle, the Ship Canal, and Lake Washington, which tend to funnel people and cause congestion and thus make high-capacity transit more competitive. These geographic bottlenecks and Pugetopolis’ higher population make it so that if Link doesn’t surpass MAX, then there may be something wrong with Link. (E.g., effective corridors, too wide stop spacing, etc.)

        I’ll be glad if Link opens in 3 3/4 years, and I’ll be even happier if it opens earlier than that. Northgate Link will be a major improvement in my mobility, and the lack of it has often been the biggest impediment in my mobility for four decades. (As I commented earlier, how can it possibly take 45 minutes from 65th & Roosevelt to Capitol Hill Station on the 67 and current Link? Or how can the 15-minute 49 be faster than the 3-minute Link for transferring between Broadway and the 75?) As to the flawed estimates before the 2000 reform, I don’t care much about them and don’t know what to consider them.

      3. Substitute classic working-world terms like “griping” and “grousing” for “whining”, and morale on the job improves. To a good foreman, like vibration in a running motor, complaining is a gauge of how well the project is going. Silence means real trouble.

        But one thing missing today long overdue in these discussion. That can at least put complaint to its best use. For every problem foreseen, start working on measures to at least get around it and keep moving. Real meaning of “inertia”: Too hard on accelerator of brake gets you an accident report.

        So a transit project, energy for argument about completion dates, time and energy arguing completion dates better spent planing how to keep moving when we lose a substation. Or find a sunken mountain range.

        Mark

      4. I’m happy it’s completed but the idea it was on time or early is patently false, unless you believe a status update with a new completion date resets the clock.

        If I’m 15 minutes late to work but call my boss on the way to tell her I start work at 815 starting immediately, am I on time? That’s a simplification of what ST did.

      5. If I’m 15 minutes late to work and Link is opening today rather than in six months I’ll be on time. What happened 15 years ago is long passed and can’t be changed.

    1. Not technically true. The original plan only was promised a station at Husky Stadium. The extension to the U Dist was to be built only if funding and initial segment costs allowed for it. They didn’t.

      1. I’m sure Tlsgwm can produce the documents showing that someone *promised* (or at least projected) that Northgate Station would be open by 2006. I look forward to seeing said documentation.

      2. @Brent,

        It doesn’t really matter to me what obscure comment from whoever that he dredges up. NG Link is going to happen and it is going to be awesome.

      3. I never heard that. I recall 45th, and maybe another UW station (anywhere from 8th to Husky Stadium. The first time I heard about Husky Stadium was when the Montlake Ship Canal crossing surfaced. It may have been in the initial Alternatives Analysis but I don’t recall it.

      4. Absolutely false. The original northern terminus was at 45th in the U-District. Check out the archived Sound Move documents if you’d like.

        To suggest that this station isn’t being delivered 15 years late is simply engaging in revisionism.

      5. “I’m sure Tlsgwm can produce the documents showing that someone *promised* (or at least projected) that Northgate Station would be open by 2006. I look forward to seeing said documentation.”

        Brent. Sorry to burst your bubble but I never suggested that. Thus your reply is nothing more than a straw man type of argument.

      6. There were several preliminary proposals but the concrete ST1 Link plan in 1996 was 45th to SeaTac. That was originally scheduled for… Tisgwm says 15 years ago, so that would be 2003. At the time there was no specific timeline for if or when any more extensions would be built or how long they’d be. There were just the abstract goals of someday going to Northgate, Federal Way, Lynnwood, Redmond, Everett, and Tacoma.

        I thought ST2 would end at Northgate, and was surprised when it went all the way to Lynnwood. I think that was partly for the Snohomish subarea, and partly because Northgate would require new exit ramps and huge layover space to truncate hundreds of express buses there. Getting those buses through the existing ramps and Northgate Way to the transit center is just not possible.

      7. Mike Orr. Almost correct. 2021 would make it 15 years late (2006). Sound Move was a ten-year plan to build, among other things, the initial light rail segment from SeaTac to 45th in the U District.

      8. Voters had rejected the ST concept in 1995 and the proposal was modified and resubmitted to the voters for the 1996 general election. Sound Move was a document outlining the 10 year plan for regional mass transit. It was published in May 1996 prior to the election in November 1996. Whether or not ST should be held accountable for the promises contained in Sound Move is debatable. The ballot measure approved in 1996 authorized the establishment of an agency that became known as Sound Transit but the vote wasn’t specifically tied to the plans outlined in Sound Move.

        Sound Move does include a station at an unspecified location in the University District as part of the 2nd stage of construction within the 10 year plan.

        Sound Move: https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/news/reports/soundmove/199605_soundmovethetenyearregionaltransitsystemplan.pdf

      9. GuyOnBeaconHill. You got so much wrong in your reply above. The RTA that we know today as Sound Transit in short was created back in 1993. (I believe they shortened the nomenclature by board resolution in 1997.) The ballot proposition for Sound Move in 1996 DID NOT create the RTA.

        You should familiarize yourself with the 1996 Resolution 75. Here’s the relevant section authorizing the Sound Move ballot proposition:

        >>Section 7. The Executive Director is authorized and directed to certify to the Pierce County Auditor, the King County Manager of Records and Elections and the Snohomish County Auditor, at least 45 days prior to November 5, 1996, a copy of this Resolution and the proposition to be submitted at said election in the following form:

        REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (RTA)

        PROPOSITION #1

        REGIONAL TRANSIT SYSTEM

        For implementing a regional rail and express bus system to respond to traffic congestion growth and linking Tacoma, Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, other cities, Sea-Tac airport, and major education, Employment and retail centers, as described in “Sound Move, the Ten-Year Regional Transit System Plan”, shall the RTA impose a sales and use tax up to four-tenths of one percent and a motor vehicle excise tax of three-tenths of one percent, as provided in Resolution No. 75?

        YES
        NO<<

        "Whether or not ST should be held accountable for the promises contained in Sound Move is debatable."

        Huh?? There is nothing debatable about that.

        "….but the vote wasn’t specifically tied to the plans outlined in Sound Move."

        Uh, no, that's not correct at all. (See above, for example.)

        Finally, here are the detailed project items for the North King County subarea light rail section as outlined in the 1996 Sound Move Ten-Year Plan Appendix A:

        Project List
        Electric Light Rail –
        North University District to Boeing Access Road –
        Capital Cost (1995$millions), $1,355
        O&M, $30
        Combined, $1,385:
        -NE 45th Street Station
        -Pacific Street Station
        -Capitol Hill Station
        -First Hill Station
        -Convention Place Station
        -Westlake Station
        -University Street Station
        -Pioneer Square Station
        -International District Station
        -I90/Rainier Station (Atlantic St.)
        -McClellan Street Station
        -Columbia City Station
        -Othello Street Station
        -Henderson Street Station
        -Boeing Access Road Station

        North University District to Northgate
        (contribution pending additional funding) –
        Capital Cost (1995$millions), $26
        O&M, $
        Combined, $26:
        -Roosevelt Station
        -Northgate Station

        Enough of the revisionism.

      10. @Guyonbeaconhill,

        Holding ST accountable to a proposal that was rejected by the voters is a standard that doesn’t exist in any democracy in the world, and nor should it.

        But hey, if that is the lengths the critics of ST need to go to to find something to be critical of then kudos to ST.

      11. Tlsgwm, the station at 45th became impossible within the budget when it was decided that tunneling under Portage Bay would be too great an environmental impact. The “hospital” station was supposed to have been at 38th and 15th and U District at 45 and the Ave or maybe Brooklyn.

        From the ST website:

        In 1996, voters approved Sound Move, the first phase toward realizing the long-term vision of a regional high capacity transit system. This vote authorized the creation of Sound Transit, tax collections for funding, and the first set of regional transit projects. These included:

        Light rail service between Sea-Tac Airport and the University of Washington, with a northward extension to Northgate dependent upon additional funding
        Peak period commuter rail from Lakewood and Everett to Seattle
        ST Express bus routes linking the region’s population and employment centers
        Capital investments in transit facilities (transit centers, park-and-ride lots, etc.) plus HOV direct access ramps that improve bus speed and reliability

        It does not say “the U-District”; it says “the University of Washington”. Which is where Husky Stadium is located last time anyone looked.

        Are complaints about the schedule fair game? Yes. But not the extent.

      12. @Lazarus.
        “Holding ST accountable to a proposal that was rejected by the voters is a standard that doesn’t exist in any democracy in the world, and nor should it.”

        No one is suggesting that. The proposal at issue is the Sound Move plan passed by voters in Nov 1996.

      13. @Richard Bullington
        I’m well aware of the history as I voted for Sound Move back in 1996 and have been paying the RTA taxes ever since. As for the list of stations along the alignment for the North King County subarea, see my reply above.

      14. The system plan had a station at 45th & University Way, or at least between Brooklyn and the Burke Museum. The whole point was to serve the center of the U-District, because the first proposals would have been at 45th & I-5 which would not serve either the district or the university very well. ST may be calling it “University of Washington” on its website either to be vague (the university and the district are one seamless thing), or as marketing spin to deemphasize its failure to reach the last station originally in ST1.

      15. @Mike Orr.
        “…or as marketing spin to deemphasize its failure to reach the last station originally in ST1.”

        Bingo!

    2. When is the First Hill station going to be built? I’ve been waiting for that for a long time.

      Sorry, couldn’t help it. Seriously though, this will be a huge addition to our system. Each station will be in the UW-Capitol Hill range, while simultaneously lifting those stations, as unlike a lot of ours system, you will see a lot of trips that don’t involve downtown. Thousands of people will travel between Capitol Hill and Roosevelt or Northgate to the UW, as well as various other urban combinations. In short, it will look like a real, urban subway (albeit with mysteriously missing pieces, like a stop at First Hill).

      1. Lol. I agree. I am looking forward to being able to take the train down to the U-District and Northgate from the north end (once Lynnwood Link is completed).
        And, yeah, First Hill got screwed.

  3. Metro needs to start the public process on the Northgate Link route restructures soon. It will take at least five rounds of watering down, with county council micromanagement in between each round.

      1. I think Metro’s long range plan is a decent starting point. There are a few ideas that don’t make sense anymore, as well as some that don’t make sense yet (or at least I find peculiar). Such as:

        They show the Roosevelt RapidRide (formerly Roosevelt BRT, then Roosevelt HCT) heading all the way up to Northgate. I really don’t see that happening. The initial plans have it ending close to the Roosevelt station, and I really doubt there will be interest in extending it before we have RapidRide service to places like Lake City.

        They have a 75/41 hybrid that avoids the shortcut on Roosevelt and 125th. Not sure why they go that way. It might be easier (and make a lot of sense) once they redo the 130th intersection close to the freeway, but that won’t be done until NE 130th is complete. When that occurs, a very frequent Lake City, Bitter Lake line makes a lot more sense (regardless of how it is extended).

        They continue with the 67 button hook, but zig-zag through Tangletown (taking over the 62) before hooking around to the U-District. I don’t like the button hook, and this just seems even more strange. Maybe the idea is to be more of a coverage route, which means they won’t worry about running this a lot. Even the existing route will get hammered by low ridership once Link goes away, as the most common connections (Northgate, Roosevelt, U-District) make more sense with Link. Why take a bus that spends half of its time twisting and turning around Northgate (and now Tangletown and the U-District) when you can just take Link.

        Other than those minor quibbles though, I think it looks fine. But the devil is in the details. Specifically, how frequent is each route, which can make a huge difference.

      2. “They show the Roosevelt RapidRide (formerly Roosevelt BRT, then Roosevelt HCT) heading all the way up to Northgate. I really don’t see that happening.”

        Right, that definitely won’t happen: SDOT doesn’t have enough money to extend it to Northgate. So Metro will probably restore the 67. If Metro has money to launch more RapidRide lines in Seattle by 2025, it will start with other corridors that have more critical transit needs.

        “They have a 75/41 hybrid that avoids the shortcut on Roosevelt and 125th. Not sure why they go that way.”

        I’m neutral on whether the 75 should use Northgate Way or 5th Avenue to get to Northgate because I can’t tell whether one is better.

      3. I just thought of something. Maybe Metro is switching the 75 to 5th Avenue just in case the station is built earlier, then it wiould be easier to reroute it to it without disrupting the rest of the route. And it would prebuild ridership between Sand Point Way and 125th so they won’t be disrupted when the 65 ie rerouted west to Greenwood in the 2040 plan. Only those going from 125th to Northgate or SPW to Northgate would have to find another route or transfer, and that’s not a lot of people.

      4. “They continue with the 67 button hook, but zig-zag through Tangletown (taking over the 62) before hooking around to the U-District. I don’t like the button hook, and this just seems even more strange.”

        It’s assuming people will transfer to Link or Roosevelt RR at 65th. That’s not unreasonable because Link is faster and Roosevelt RR serves the in-between stops. The 45 also stops at the stop south of 65th, so that’s 6+4=10 buses per hour to the U-District. It will lose the one-seat ride between upper Roosevelt and the U-District, but people have been saying time and again that we need an efficient network over one-seat rides, and overlapping with Roosevelt RR for a mile is not efficient.

        The turn left and doo-dad is clearly coverage service, although Frequent rather than Local. It’s up to interpretation which transit markets they have in mind. Most likely upper Roosevelt to 65th, and Tangletown to 65th and the U-District. Maybe upper Roosevelt to Greenlake, Tangletown, and Latona?

    1. I agree Bruce! If the U-Link restructure experience is any indication, the shorter the feedback period, the more fears will overrule constructive changes. Also, some serious consideration of curb space is needed in case buses will need maueverability or layover space — and a last-minute plan that misses the small but important things could ruin bus operations. It would be very foolish to play out a “love it or hate it” restructure approach like Metro did with the U-Link restructure.

      The 2025 vision is a good start but I think that the public will be more supportive if several alternatives are initially presented and not just one or two.

    2. It’s the other way around: a long period just means the same controversies and Metro-bashing will be repeated again and again. The LRP is what we have: it gives something to criticize and critique at a conceptual level, and that’s enough to allow possibly-better alternatives to emerge. I don’t recall if the LRP came out before or after the U-Link restructure, but there definitely wasn’t any long-range plan in any of the earlier ones like 2009 (or Metro’s 2012), so we were deciding it in a vacuum and Metro waited until the last year before opening to say anything. That was excessively in-the-dark, but Metro’s LRP gives a conceptual context to consider these, knowing what will likely be coming around them and after them.

      If anyone has any specific alternatives to the LRP in north or central Seattle they want to promote, they can start a separate thread below for them. If any get broad consensus we can recommend them to Metro.

    3. David Lawson earlier had specific network outlines which differed from the later LRP. However, last I heard he supports the LRP in spite of any reservations about specific segments, because the most important thing is to get some kind of modern grid network into place. And in the final proposals there will be time to argue for tweaks and for connecting a segment to one route rather than another. The final 2016 restructure was not the same as Metro’s initial proposal.

      This will also be phase 2 of the debate on how much we should consolidate corridors. Metro initially proposed 10-minute frequency on Roosevelt (67) and peak-only on 15th (73), and three frequent routes on Pine (10, 11, 49) and only the 47 and 8 on Olive. In both cases the final restructure spread out service to keep all four streets 15-minute frequent. Should we keep these kind of coverage compromises in 2021 and have more of them? The tradeoff is frequency on the primary street. This will probably become an issue in the Northgate restructure, the Madison restructure, and Lynnwood/Redmond restructure.

      1. My biggest beef with the LRP is – even looking all the way out to 2040 – there are no full-city east/west routes north of 45th. I live in NE Seattle, slightly east of I-5. Going to the same latitude on Greenwood requires a hike down to Green Lake, which I’m generally happy to do, unless it’s pouring rain. But someone less open to walking would have trouble with that. I have a number of friends who live in the general vicinity of 60th and Greenwood. Can’t really even get there on two buses.

        I realize the challenges that I-5 and Green Lake provide in creating an east/west network in North Seattle. But for a long-range plan, I’d like to see Metro and SDOT thinking about it. Perhaps 80th? It goes most of the width of the city as a two-way (and could jog down to 75th at 20th Ave NE), though there is a brief one-way (east only) part right where it crosses I-5. But I don’t see why that section can’t be repurposed if it gets us a better transit network.

      2. I thought the 75 went from Sand Point to Greenwood on 125th/130th but it looks like that’s not until 2040. It may depend on whether we can get 130th station expedited. But there is a frequent route on 125th/130th from Greenwood to Lake City Way (terminating at Shoreline CC and Lake City), which is almost everything. You can do a same-stop transfer from that to the 75.

      3. Mike, I’m not sure which route you’re talking about there, but even if I’m understanding you correctly, I’d just modify my statement to ‘there’s no full-city east/west route between 45th and 125th. That’s a pretty big gap, even accepting that 30 blocks of that is due to green lake.

      4. I think you are talking about a bunch of different problems, really. The 45 serves 85th and Greenwood, cuts south to 65th, but then goes south again to the UW. This makes for a potentially really popular bus, as it serves Greenwood really well. You have connections to Aurora and Link, along with a one seat ride to the UW. Unfortunately, it cuts you off from Sand Point. That could be solved by simply running that bus all the way across (something David Lawson proposed way back when — https://seattletransitblog.com/2013/08/19/your-bus-much-more-often-no-more-money-really/). That is more grid like, but at the expense of that one seat ride to the UW. That is a common trade-off when you move away from a grid (it takes longer to get to a less common place, but faster to get to a more common one).

        Another problem is that there is no east-west service in the northeast part of town, between 65th and Northgate Way. So if I’m at 80th and Lake City Way, I don’t have a good way of heading over to 80th and Greenwood (or even 85th and Greenwood) despite it being relatively close. According to Google, the fastest way to get there is to walk to over to Green Lake, and pick up the 45 there. A bus that ran across around 75th/85th would be nice. It would start at Sand Point, get on 75th heading west, cut north on 15th, then west again on 80th which turns into 85th as it crosses the freeway. There are several problems with that, though. First, it would get clogged up in freeway traffic during rush hour. Second, it would manage to avoid the Link stations (despite going right over the line) and it passes through a very low density area. While there is great potential there for growth (more than there is in most suburban areas) it is low density now, and it is understandable that ST didn’t add a station there.

        Another problem is the lack of a bus line on 65th in Ballard. This actually is (relatively) high density (and growing). It would also curve around Green Lake, which means it would run by the Roosevelt station. It could continue across, serving double duty as a cross town connector (Sand Point to Sunset Hill) and connection to Link (for both sides of the Lake). It would be a popular bus, and probably justify 15 minute headways, if not better. The problem is, I don’t think buses can manage 65th. I think there are too many twists and turns (or hills) to make that work, which is why I think Metro never proposed it. It just makes too much sense as a bus route otherwise.

        That in a nutshell is one of the big problems with our network. It is very difficult to create a walkable grid. There are two big advantages to a grid. First, it makes for a very efficient bus system (compared to hub and spoke). Second, it allows rider to make very straight forward trips involving two buses. Walk from house a few blocks to pick up a north bound bus, then transfer heading west. Or walk to a westbound bus, then head north. The problem is, we don’t have enough east-west lines. In various parts of the city, geography screws it all up, and we can’t get across. In other parts, the decision to put Link stations away from the cross streets make it more difficult (e. g. Northgate). The easy two seat rule just doesn’t apply, unless I want to walk a very long ways. The fastest way to get to Ballard High School to just about anywhere on Phinney Ridge (even straight across) is to walk. If you want to take a bus, then three buses (north, east, then south) is the way to go. This is for Ballard and Phinney Ridge, two of the more densely populated (and growing) parts of this city. Places like Wedgewood have the same problem but low density to boot. It is why we can’t expect our system to be a great grid, unless we deal with some of our density and geography problems.

        We might have to wait until self driving cars usher in a new wave of self driving transit vans.

  4. OK, just figured it out. “Flyover” means flying over it with a recently invented infravioletred X-ray camera that, when triggered by video music, makes underground utilities show up as ultraviolet lines.

    So. As soon as plans finalize, we’ll be able to see the pedestrian bridge from University Hospital to UW station. And ramps to 520. Shown as red lines. Add dots and it’ll look like standard flip-chart route-map, as seem from a satellite.

    But I’ve read about hand-dug cross passages. On the Channel Tunnel project, these passages where done by very strong Irishmen with hand-held air-driven jack-hammers, Well, two hands. A lot of Irishmen took our Transcontinental railway through more than one mountain.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/386092.The_Chunnel

    But reason this is really good news is that we’ll finally get a traffic free walk to UW station. Tough passenger and budget-wise, would’ve been better if we’d actually had ramp, because it would have saved us the amount of sandwich signs and cones necessary for a LINK station elevator.

    But still and all because lines will have to be red, FOX will leave us alone about whether or not our News is Fake. But like Bruce Springsteen and Emmylou Harris say in the song: “Well ’round here baby, I learned you get what you can get…” You just gotta be tougher Than The Rest.

    MD

    1. Didn’t know about the Irishmen. I envisioned the tunnels being dug with spoons by POW camp escapees.

  5. 1) POLITE REMINDER: There is a Fares Hearing this Thursday at high noon at Sound Transit HQ. Hope some of you will be there please.

    2) At this point, I may just go to the Fares Hearing and then start heading home. Depends if there’s anything I care about on the Executive Committee and Operations and Administration Committee agendas. Without going on a windy tangent, it’s been decided in a decision I support & endorse to address public comment trolling and “12 for Transiting” (my phrase for my kind of speeches) equally by forcing public commentators to stick to the agenda.

  6. It looks like the track has lots of curves! I hope those standing at crush loads (after Lynnwood then Everett Link opens) in those Link cars have a strap or bar to hold on to.

    I notice that the videos highlight the rail track alignment and not the station design. I don’t think it’s that important to a rider. How will these escalators and elevators work? How many places in the U-District will be reachable without crossing a busy street? This will matter more to a rider than wondering what UW building they are under.

      1. It appears (in the 60 percent design presentation online) that there will be two station entrances on the same block, behind the Neptune Theatre. It appears that there will not be an entrance north of NE 45th St.

        At least there will be four escalators total, so a 3+1 configuration could be run for a crowd surge. Also, because there is no entrance facing NE 45th St, there wont be many people hopping in and out of cars on this major street. I don’t know if the SDOT folk are ready for the drop-off and pick-up activity likely here though.

      2. I still think it’s worth a lot of effort to get pedestrians between University Hospital and UW Station without having to cross traffic and wait for lights. Not the best for someone using a wheelchair, whichever direction buses they’re transferring to.

        Pretty sure there are still some plans around, because this is exactly the kind of thing that gets planned, approved, and then found bludgetted in an alley. This really is a major missing piece of transit in a place where its loss is being missed every day.

        Mark

      3. How deep is U-District Station compared to Capitol Hill?

        The 45th issue is mostly about proximity to the 44 (and 45th RapidRide).

      4. Well apparently we dont do seamless transfers and certainly not anything like Toronto here. I love there where the buses enter the fare paid zone of the stations… now thats a transfer.

      5. “We” want them. ST stubbornly refuses to consider them for U-District station, to the extent that seems bizarre and inexplicable. When I raised this issue at an open house for the station several years ago, the ST rep said ST could not spend money for lines that hadn’t been voter-approved yet and where they didn’t even know whether the alignment would go to U-District Station or further south (Northlake Way to UW Station and 520). If I were head of planning, I would design transfer stubs into U-District station in any case, because it’s the most critical and densest transfer in north Seattle (the north-south axis and the 45th axis).

        As for Toronto, when I first went to Toronto in 2000 I discovered that the original subway goes north-south on Yonge Street, and at the time there was expected to be an east-west subway on Queen Street, so they built Queen Street station with a transfer stub, But the second line was stalled for a few decades, and when it was finally built it was a mile further north at Bloor Street (i.e., midtown rather than downtown). So the stub won’t be used. Still I consider it a wise investment, and what U-District station should do.

      6. “Anyone know is there going to be a ped tunnel under 45th to connect to the north side?”

        If it was going to happen, we would have seen the construction site by now. See the west entrance to Capitol Hill Station as an example.

      7. Mike, Of course you are right. Not providing underground passageways crossing adjacent arterials from major stations is the stupidest example of “penny-wise, pound foolish” that transit planners can do.

        Fire them all.

    1. The solution is to remove private vehicles from that block of 45th. The neighborhood activists wanted to save an old theater. They should sacrifice a little arterial automobile access as their skin in the game.

      The buses should all be picking up and dropping off on that block *on 45th*, unless they are headed down to Pacific Way.

      If private vehicles are allowed to use that block at all, it should be redesigned similarly to how the block of Beacon Ave S in front of Beacon Hill Station is now designed. There is a one lane each way, with an island in the middle. The cars have to wait for the buses. Pedestrians use the crosswalks at will (and there are no signals), and cars just stop.

      1. The Guild 45th facades should be saved and restored, because they’r an irreplaceable example of Art Deco architecture which our city has precious little of (and which looks several times better than all this modernist/contemporary crap). Whether it can be saved as a viable movie theater is questionable. But that’s not the only possibility. Both the Melrose-Pine building and the Pike Motorworks building successfully restored the one-story facade with a multistory building behind it, and the Rite-Aid at Broadway & John saved its movie-theater marquee.

      2. Why would you ever demo/alter the Neptune Theater? Thats madness. Any tunnel connection can be under the RoW.

        Sound Transit should take some cues from the Broad Street Subway in Philadelphia, that thing is full of proposed branch stubs, unfortunely few actually utilized. Its easy to build it during construction and hard later. Even the LA Green Line was designed for a future and now under construction branch to LAX.

      3. Is Brent talking about the Neptune or the Guild 45th? There is no parking in front of the Neptune; it’s a major bus stop, and it’s on the connector road between UW and I-5 so it has high car volume. But parking has been a big deal in Wallingford, with people saying that removing parking would kill the business district there. Although I don’t understand what parking has to do with whether either theater stays or goes. Only two out of the hundreds of theater patrons can fit in the parking spaces in front of the theater, and if we included all of Wallingford’s street parking on 45th as if it were all for the theater, that would only be some twenty spaces. Is every car going to bring eight people? Then we might as well build a drive-in theater.

  7. Doesn’t 12,000 people a day seem low? Seems like ST is being conservative with thier numbers. Will link be all 4 car trainsets on maximum frequencyy when this opens?

    1. I believe not. East Link won’t have been opened in 2021, nor will Lynnwood Link. So all the cars will not have been delivered. However, the tranche due starting next year will have been, roughly doubling the current fleet. Either the trains will be four cars with current headways or three cars with greater frequency.

    2. Some video editing is needed. The station is called the University District Station here yet ST is on record calling it U District Station. The video says it will serve 12,000 passengers but the ST presentations say it should have 12,000 boardings which would mean it would serve 24,000 passengers.

      1. @Lazarus, good. The last thing we need is a third long station name starting with “University.”

      2. The activists that asked for the station to be named to “University Street Station” rather than “Brooklyn Station” used the full name. But ST eventually went with U-District station, and everybody uses the terms interchangeably anyway. One advantage of “U-District Station’ is that while many visitors will recognize that U means University, those that don’t will think it means something else, and thus won’t mistake it for the University of Washington if they’re looking for that. Although in fact, half the campus is closer to U-District Station and the other half to UW Station, so students will quickly figure out which station is closest to their classroom and go there.

      3. There is already a “University St. Station” downtown. It would be way too confusing to have two stations on the same line with the same name.

      4. It’s not “University Street”. It’s “University Avenue“. Streets run east-west; avenues run north-south.

      5. ST has asked the county to consider renaming University Street Station. No word on whether it will ever go ahead.

      6. What would they call a renamed University Street Station? Seneca Street? Art Museum? Benaroya Hall? Financial District?

      7. I like Symphony Station. It would show that Seattle cares about culture, like Mayakovskaya Statjon in St Petersburg on the main street. Plus the imagery of classical music would have a soothing destressing effect on harried commuters. But it would run afoul of naming stations after private entities so it’s unlikely. Maybe Seneca Station. Hopefully not Financial District Station; that sounds so real-estate marketroid.

      8. Yes something referencing the arts since not only Benaroya but SAM is so close. How about Fine Arts Station? Fine Arts District Station? Arts Center Station? I would even like Public Market Station, since it’s the closest Link exit to Pike Place Market — and the most common question I get from tourists on Link is “Where is the Market?” anyway. Maybe Microsoft would want to pay to name it the Xbox Station – LOL! Heck, even Third&University would be an improvement.

      9. If we want to pick a composer’s name, I’d suggest Hovhaness Station. Alan Hovhaness wrote many great works, and lived in Seattle the last 27 years of his life.

  8. Come on Oran! This morning-and afternoon’s exchange is going to get STB privatized over to Veolia. I know! Couple of Podcasts back was last we heard about a cure for sprawl. Which ended with a discouraged opinion from Martin that nobody knows what to do about it.

    Like a range-fire, best first move is to get around front of it and from somewhere south of Centralia, touch off a “backfire” -no, not usual project result- toward the sprawl. Streetcar suburbs, DMU’s on old freight spurs that are now bike trails, and all.

    Next! Start thinking about a Region as means to create both density and freedom. Many square miles of would-be sprawl-food acquired and zoned to organize development into corridors easily served by transit. Leaving space for nature and rurality.

    And, like in any mass unwanted-refugee situation, start organizing disheartened former Seattleites, many of whom were forced out because they only have one million dollars for a home, into combat units for the War on Sprawl. Also a lot of people in Aberdeen and Hoqiam being forced out of their homes by fleeing millionaires have necessary job skills for our effort.

    Also really is time for another vote about joining ST. Pro’s and Con’s should last ’til five tomorrow morning. Because Trieste, two streetcar-bearing Empires, bike-rack streetcar trailers, and Istanbul have enough links to starts some burning in reverse. Glad I just figured out where LINK came from!

    Otherwise: Got an appointment with General Mattis and Hugh Bannon to have NSA computers pull cyber war campaign that’ll be worse than STB with A-bombs. North Korea has UTUBE., and link network that can hit Seattle before the sirens can whine one note. Emmylou Harris has been working from cute up to gorgeous for forty years. And cable from Trieste is reeling off a Transatlanticsteamship with four funnels as we speak. You’ve been warned.

    Hugh, Jim, and Name Redacted

  9. As a follow-up to a question from a couple of weeks ago about favorite local parks…

    There’s an intriguing and unfinished project to build a system of trails in the Cheasty Greenbelt between the Jefferson Park golf course and Rainier Vista/Columbia City Station. The trails have been defined but they are still unfinished and currently require some heavy boots to deal with all the mud. Visually the trails could be somewhere deep in the forest, but you can still hear jets overhead, Link trains and kids playing in the Vista to remind you that you are actually walking in the middle of a city.

    1. Thanks for this, Guy. Because it’s exactly the kind of work that will let a worker park the car they’re living in- or use the LINK station- where they used to live until their job died.

      Budget? Seattle’s chief attraction is an educated population, and fact that they still live in Seattle is proof that their can buy a currently homeless family a home of their own free and clear, for a present. So since a lot of them hike, jog, and ride bikes, hiring workers to build more parks instead is better bargain than Amazon.

      Jeff, will reduce the number of non-paying tenants on your own property. Positive precedent: Franklin Roosevelt did a lot of this. And got called a Communist for it, but won four elections anyhow. Though maybe that was because nobody called him a liberal.

      Which would be a lot worse now becauseProgressives would be too scared to vote for him for fear of anybody thinking they’re still liberals. Or the Far Right, for fear somebody will accuse them of being closet Republicans.

      Chase-cutter: Move these people back into the houses they got evicted from and pay them to be caretakers.

      Mark

    2. Yeah, I’ve been following that. It is a good project, in that it will both provide nice trails, as well as a good pedestrian path for people in the neighborhood.

Comments are closed.