Vertical construction has reached the northernmost of Seattle’s Link stations, bringing with it plans to improve surrounding streets for all modes. While both stations at NE 130th Street and NE 145th Street will be at freeway exits that bookend the Jackson Golf Course, there is room for better access, especially from the east and west.
The Office of Planning & Community Development has been drafting a multimodal access plan for the two stations over the past year and has reached the next step in their planning process. A new online survey, open until August 19, presents a slate of 18 potential projects for public feedback before they are whittled down to recommended options. Each project on the website has a separate survey, allowing for the public to pick and choose those that matter most to them without having to rank them like a traditional survey.
Some of these projects are also being planned in tandem with improvements to the north side of North 145th Street that are under the purview of Shoreline. Their corridor plan includes left turn lanes, a shared-use path, and a separate crossing of I-5 for pedestrians and bicyclists at North 148th Street. These projects also tie into a proposed “Trail Along the Rail” that would follow I-5 from 145th to the existing 195th Street pedestrian bridge. The cities and WSDOT are also designing a potential double-roundabout (or dumbbell) interchange to replace the existing ramps at NE 145th Street, which would improve traffic flow but at the cost of additional crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
Each of the candidate projects are described below the jump. Click through the survey links on the project page to see maps and a fuller description.
West Sector Projects
- 1. NE 130th Street Overpass & Shared-Use Sidewalk (Cost: $1M or more): The north side sidewalk on NE 130th Street would be expanded to add a shared-use path and provide room for bus stops and other necessities. A connection to the 3rd Avenue NE Neighborhood Greenway and protected bike lanes on NE 130th Street would also be included.
- Alt 1A would explore a separate non-motorized crossing of Interstate 5 north of the station, potentially connecting with Roosevelt Way.
- 2. N 145th Street Crossings (West of I-5) (Cost: under $500,000): Improves existing or builds new signalized crosswalks at 1st Avenue, Corliss Avenue, Ashworth Avenue, and Aurora Avenue (SR 99).
- 3. N 130th Corridor Improvements (SR 99 to I-5) (Cost: $1M or more): Adds shared-use path on north side of N 130th Street and improves crossings. Potential options include 3-lane configuration with center turn lane or transit priority lanes.
- Alt 3A would create a neighborhood greenway on N 128th Street to avoid conflicts with transit on N 130th.
- 4. 1st Avenue NE Improvements (South of 130th) (Cost: under $1M): Adds shared-use path along east side of 1st Avenue NE and improves crossings.
- 5. Corliss Avenue N Neighborhood Greenway (Cost: under $500,000): Creates north-south neighborhood greenway on Corliss Avenue N between 130th and 145th streets.
- Alt 5A would move these improvements to 1st Avenue NE with potential for a longer greenway corridor down to N 117th Street.
- 6. Roosevelt Way N Neighborhood Greenway & Shared-use Path (Cost: $1M or more): Creates a neighborhood greenway on the diagonal section of Roosevelt Way between 145th/Aurora and NE 130th Station.
- 7. N 137th Street Neighborhood Greenway (Cost: under $500,000): Creates a neighborhood greenway between the Interurban Trail and 1st Avenue NE.
- 8. Ashworth Avenue N Neighborhood Greenway (Cost: under $100,000): Creates a short north-south greenway between 137th and 145th streets. Extends the already-planned Ashworth greenway, which continues south to Northwest Hospital.
Out of the West Sector projects, the most important will be the creation of an east-west multi-use corridor, either a shared-use path on North 130th Street and/or a neighborhood greenway on a parallel street. The Roosevelt Way greenway proposal is also significant, as it would provide a diagonal crossing with a better connection to the Interurban Trail from NE 130th Station, avoiding the more treacherous conditions on NE 145th Street.
Northeast Sector Projects
- 9. Jackson Park Trail Improvements (Cost: $1M or more): Adds new pathway along the south side of Jackson Park between 130th Station and 15th Avenue NE, including greenway-like elements on N 130th Street and 10th Avenue NE.
- 10. NE 145th St Crossings & Sidewalk Improvement (East of I-5) (Cost: $1M or more): Improved crossings at 5th Avenue NE, 15th Avenue NE, 20th Avenue NE, 25th Avenue NE, and 30th Avenue NE, along with planning for the Stride BRT line.
- 11. 15th Avenue NE Street Redesign (Cost: under $1M): Reduces street to 3 lanes and adds protected bike lanes from 125th to 145th.
- 12. NE 135th Street Greenway (East of I-5) (Cost: under $100,000): A short east-west greenway that connects the Jackson Park Trail to an already-planned greenway at 20th Avenue NE.
- 13. NE 143rd Street Neighborhood Greenway (Cost: under $100,000): Creates a new neighborhood greenway from Jackson Park (west of 15th) to 27th Avenue NE, where it meets an existing greenway.
- 14. 20th Avenue NE Neighborhood Greenway (Cost: under $100,000): Creates a short north-south neighborhood greenway between 135th and 145th streets.
The star of the sector is undoubtedly the total revamp of 15th Avenue NE, which today is four lanes with the occasional turn lane. The south end of the corridor would tie into existing partially-protected bike lanes that could be quickly and easily improved (barring the usual process intervention) to provide a continuous bike facility for much of Northeast Seattle. Most of the other projects in this sector are low-cost greenways that are no-brainers to implement, especially to support conncetions to the bike facility on 15th Avenue NE.
Southeast Sector Projects
- 15. NE 125th Street & Roosevelt Way NE Street Design (Cost: under $1M): Road diet to 3 lanes to add protected bike lanes, and improved crossings.
- 16. 8th Avenue NE Neighborhood Greenway (Cost: under $1M): Extension of the already-planned Northgate greenway to NE 130th Station, with improved crossings at NE 125th Street and Roosevelt Way.
- 17. NE 125th Street Transit & Crossing Improvements (Cost: under $500,000): Adds queue jumps for buses, improves crosswalks, and improves bus stop amenities with an eye towards frequent east-west service to Lake City.
- 18. 5th Avenue NE Sidewalk Improvements (Cost: under $1M): Improves sidewalk and adds landscaped buffer from Northgate Way to NE 125th Street.
Providing a continuous network of lower-stress streets for pedestrians and cyclists from Northgate to the northeastern edge of the city seems to be the general goal of these projects. NE 125th Street will be balancing the needs of faster transit and safer facilities for cyclists, which can be done with great care.
Altogether, the entire package of 18 projects would cost at least $16 million, going by the estimates given in the survey. Even with the over-million projects likely needing much more funding, the need to be completely miserly with basic station access is not evident, even amid the coming budget crunch.
The surveys close on August 19, after which the Office of Planning & Community Development will start another round of design refinement, community engagement, and analysis while trying to identify funding sources.