Rendering of the station viewed from NE 130th Street over I-5 (courtesy of Sound Transit)

Sound Transit recently started its virtual open house for the NE 130th St infill station, where you can see the latest designs. As part of this open house, there is a survey where you can provide feedback on the proposed designs. In addition to the blue and green station-wide color scheme options, you can weigh in on the available plaza-level seating and bollard options. In addition to the station design, Sound Transit has provided an update the status of the project.

Timeline for construction and opening of Lynnwood Link and the NE 130th Street Infill Station (Sound Transit)

Though part of the Link Light Rail spine in the area of the Lynnwood Link Extension, the NE 130th Street Station itself was funded as part of Sound Transit 3, well after Lynnwood Link planning was underway. NE 130th Street is one of three infill stations funded by Sound Transit 3, which were planned to all open in 2031. However, since Lynnwood Link construction had not yet begun when Sound Transit 3 passed in 2016, there was a unique opportunity to fully or partially build NE 130th Street Station as part of Lynnwood Link itself, rather than disrupt Link service and start on the station after Lynnwood Link has opened.

Since previewing options for an accelerated NE 130th Street Station in January, Sound Transit is moving forward with preliminary engineering to determine whether the station can be constructed along with Lynnwood Link and open before the original 2031 opening date. Should Sound Transit decide to move forward with early construction of the station, it would likely open sometime in between 2025 and 2031. Though the timeline suggests that the station is unlikely to open with Lynnwood Link in 2024, pre-construction of the platforms and foundation of the station (which would be the same foundation as the guideway itself if build together) would allow Sound Transit to build the remainder of the station with little (or possibly even without) disruption of Link service on Lynnwood Link. Though Lynnwood Link is not affected by the project schedule realignment due to reduced revenue forecasts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NE 130th was part of the list of projects not under construction that could be affected by realignment. Despite this, Sound Transit’s latest update shows that opening NE 130th Station early is still on the table, and that the opening of the station is currently not expected to be delayed beyond 2031.

Aerial view of the station, showing improvements such as increased safety and aesthetic furnishings, new bus stops and a large drop-off area. Click image link to view a full-size JPEG.
Station features of the future NE 130th Street Station (Sound Transit)

Sound Transit has also shared updated design renderings of the station, detailing station features. The station will be constructed on the north side of NE 130th Street (regrettably not straddling either side of NE 130th), tightly fitted in between Interstate 5 and 5th Ave NE. Bus stops for potential bus service along NE 130th Street and Roosevelt Way NE will be placed at NE 130th and 5th Ave NE, close to the station but requiring a street crossing to reach either stop. The station will have two side platforms, with a pair of stairs, elevators, and escalators on both the north and south side of the station.

If you want to provide feedback on the latest designs, please check out the online open house between now and October 28th.

108 Replies to “Sound Transit shares latest NE 130th St Station designs”

  1. The open house feedback form was all about colors and artwork. However, the biggest issue was placement. The station will pretty much require a street crossing for everyone. I wonder if any improvements to the freeway crossing are on the table? The one advantage of the North side is that there is no freeway interchange there, making a nice led crossing. However, the crossing of 130th is problematic. There is an interchange at 5th, with a lot of cars turning there. Having the station straddle 130th just a little bit would help a lot. (Even if it was nothing more than a staircase down.)

    1. At an absolute minimum, the sidewalk needs to be widened so that people waiting for the crosswalk signal don’t completely block the sidewalk for others going the other way. And, of course, the light cycles need to be short (looks like the current configuration prohibits left turns off 130th St., which will help).

      Really, though, the station should just straddle 130th with an entrance on each side.

      1. Really, though, the station should just straddle 130th with an entrance on each side.

        Yes, and I wrote as much when they first proposed this. Unfortunately it was buried in the plans, and didn’t get much notice. No one did anything about it, and now it is too late.

        Or rather, it is too late to move the platform. You could provide a walkway, similar to the walkway at Judkins Park (see my comment below).

      2. Wider walkways, no permissive left turns and no right turn on red. Dedicated all walk signal phase on “pedestrian recall” no push buttons. It is the only sane way to do it given the station placement.

      3. A dedicated “all walk” signal phase just means longer waiting for everyone – including pedestrians and buses.

        But, definitely automatic walk signals.

      4. @Brandon — Yes, definitely. Worth noting that the plan is to make 5th one way northbound north of 130th. You also have lots of people coming from the south who like to turn left onto 130th. Given that, I think the light cycle should change, like so:

        1) Northbound 5th driving; north-south pedestrian crossing of 130th, both sides of the street.

        2) Northbound 5th to westbound 130th driving (left turn arrow); north-south crossing of 130th on the east side of 5th; east-west crossing of 5th on the north side of 130th.

        3) East-west driving — no left turns allowed; East-west pedestrian crossing of 5th (both sides).

        For the second and third phase, pedestrians will be able to get from the westbound bus stop to the station. Unfortunately, pedestrians can only cross 130th on that side of the street for one out of three cycles (another big reason why there should be a pedestrian overpass). I don’t see an alternative.

        In fact, the cycle I laid out seems to be the best for pedestrians. An alternative is to have the drivers *also* be able to go straight when the drivers are turning left (along with their own cycle). That is common in a lot of areas, but in this case it would mean pedestrians crossing Fifth (to get to the station) would have only one light phase to cross, not two.

        As far left turns go, it is a bit problematic. Left turns are not allowed westbound on 130th. But they are allowed eastbound. Lots of people would love to see those banned. Not only pedestrians, but drivers as well (it slows down traffic). The problem is, that forces driver to take three right turns. I think this is acceptable — I think we should ban permissive left turns all over the city — but some people might object.

        The problem is, the alternative is worse. You either live with the risk (and the traffic slowdowns) or you add another phase to the light cycle (for eastbound drivers on 130th to take a left). That would suck, for everyone. Traffic would increase around the intersection, which would slow down the buses. Pedestrians would have to wait for another phase (as drivers cut across both pedestrian paths to the station).

        To me, that is unacceptable. We should ban left turns, and ask people to loop around.

      5. Dedicated all walk signal phase on “pedestrian recall” no push buttons.

        >> A dedicated “all walk” signal phase just means longer waiting for everyone – including pedestrians and buses.

        I take that to be two different things. I think Brandon was just suggesting that there be no beg buttons. The intersection assumes pedestrians crossing all the time, which means that the walk signal is on, and there is sufficient time to cross.

        But now that I think about it, you could create a very good cycle that is similar to what I suggested above. The three phases would be:

        1) Northbound 5th driving; Northbound 5th to westbound 130th driving (left turn arrow); north-south crossing of 130th on the east side of 5th.

        2) East-west driving — no left turns allowed; East-west pedestrian crossing of 5th (both sides).

        3) All Walk

        The dynamics are very similar. You have three phases, like before. On 2 out of 3 phases, someone can cross 5th on the north side of 130th. On only one of the phases can someone cross 130th on the west side of 5th. The only difference between this and what I suggested before is that you could walk diagonally. I could definitely see the value of that, as the place gets built up. Someone walking from southwest of the station would be able to cross both sidewalks at the same time (https://goo.gl/maps/ExKr4X383WgANgP16).

        I think this approach might be the best option. The only drawback is that diagonal walking means a longer walk cycle, but that might be a good idea anyway, given how many people need to cross there.

    2. I wonder if any improvements to the freeway crossing are on the table?

      I believe there has been talk of making the bridge across 130th wider, to accommodate more pedestrians and bikes. It wouldn’t have to be especially expensive or big, as the crossing there is relatively short, and would only need to handle relatively light loads. To put things in perspective, the new pedestrian bridge for Shoreline will cost $16 million.

      I wouldn’t build a new bridge to the middle of the station (like 148th), but just widen the existing bridge to the north. This would allow the westbound bus stop to be moved under the station, which would mean riders wouldn’t have to wait for the crosswalk. The city could do this anytime, really (which is good, since it may not have the money for a while).

      I would also build a platform or sorts to the south (as asdf2 wrote). This could also be part of a bridge widening (which mean both sides would have a wider pedestrian bridge) but I don’t think that is necessary. The freeway ramp is to the south, which means the safest route (for pedestrians and bikes) would be to the north. So someone coming for the southwest would cross 1st and just along the north side of the road to the station (https://goo.gl/maps/rQ1okz9nq3FUE6wx7).

      1. Would a ped/bike bridge at 135th be a good idea? With the station fully north of 130, that would expand the walkshed for people coming from the northwest. Would be great it was a ramp approach on the west side of I5 and then direct access to the soutbound station platform without needing to go down then back up. Would make the northern entrance much more useful. Seems like this would be a great use of ST’s ‘station access’ funds, and ST should be able to it design in, even if the bridge itself is funded & built years later).

        (Also ties into Al’s question below about crossing the tracks … if this bridge is built, would then want to be able to cross over the tracks to access the northbound platform without needing to go up/down.)

      2. Generally, a no-stairs crossing over I-5 would be an intriguing idea! With a jog on the far side of the freeway it seems possible to get the distance needed for an ADA-compliant slope.

        I’m not sure how the residents of the area west if I-5 would feel about providing an access point that way. I’ll also note that the connection would appear to be more valuable for bicyclists unless that area is redeveloped at a higher density.

        I actually wish your idea was applied at the south edge of Mt Baker Station platforms as part of a MLK + Rainier pedestrian bridge replacement. There, it would be between the station and the pedestrian crossing at Walden St — and train speeds are already lower in that area. With just one elevator and one escalator on each side platform at Mt Baker, something needs to done!

      3. I wouldn’t worry too much about the SF homes there now because those blocks should all be fully redeveloped with or without a bridge.

      4. Would a ped/bike bridge at 135th be a good idea? With the station fully north of 130th, that would expand the walkshed for people coming from the northwest.

        135th would be too far north. But there are a couple possibilities: Roosevelt or 135th. Roosevelt is kind of a confusing street, but you can see that the freeway basically chopped it up (https://goo.gl/maps/hwHy5owFk9rbhz7EA). If I remember right, there are plans to make that western section of Roosevelt a bike path. On the east side, it would connect to the middle of the station. 133rd would work much the same way, and connect to the north end of the station. You can see both 133rd and Roosevelt on the aerial drawing of the station (notice how the station lines up with the church, which has a red roof and is the last structure on Fifth).

        Would be great it was a ramp approach on the west side of I5 and then direct access to the soutbound station platform without needing to go down then back up.

        I think it is roughly the same elevation on both sides. It is higher up on 1st than 5th, but both Roosevelt and 133rd dip down. So I don’t think a level ramp would reach the platform.

        One of the big advantages of expanding the bridge on the north side of 130th is that you also expand the room there, to add a bus stop. That could be done as an independent project, but that adds cost. The other advantage of a bridge right there is that it is shorter walk for people coming from the southwest. If you are trying to cross at 133rd or Roosevelt from the southwest, you would have to go all the way to 133rd before using either of those crossings, which is a lot of extra walking. The station is not that far north of 130th. Improving the 130th crossing makes life easier for folks on both sides of 130th, whereas a new crossing at Roosevelt or 133rd only helps those to the north (although it would help them a lot).

        Ideally we would have both, but given the fact that there are no plans to avoid either crosswalk for the vast majority of riders, I think we have bigger priorities. Like a lot of things, though, it depends on the cost. Maybe a bridge at 133rd costs as much as a bigger pedestrian bridge to the north of 130th. If so, then I could see it. At worst you live with the bus stop on the other side of 5th. Bikes would probably go around, while pedestrians would use the existing crossing.

      5. I meant for the new ped bridge to unlock the north entrance, so looking closer it appears the entrance is aligned with 133th, not 135th. And it would be elevated not to clear I5, but to meeting the elevated station. Just makes for an easier approach and completely removes the need for elevator or escalator.

        For the south entrance, a wider sidewalk on the existing 130th bridge should be sufficient. I think it would be good to have both.

        Shoreline’s ped bridge I think connects to the north entrance of on the station, not the middle?
        https://www.shorelinewa.gov/government/projects-initiatives/148th-street-pedestrian-bicycle-bridge

      6. And keep in mind I’m not arguing to scrounge up funding for a bridge at 133rd-ish right now, I agree that’s low priority. I’m just saying at this point in the process, ST should design in a future connection to a potential bridge, so it can be added later.

        As Seattle north of Northgate grows denser in future years, we’ll want to steadily add more I5 crossings to make the freeway more permeable (for example, at 125th). Anticipating these improvements in this Link station would be forward thinking.

      7. And it would be elevated not to clear I5, but to meeting the elevated station. Just makes for an easier approach and completely removes the need for elevator or escalator.

        I don’t think a bridge would make any difference. No one has mentioned a bridge before. It isn’t in any of the plans for the station area (http://www.seattle.gov/opcd/ongoing-initiatives/ne-130th-145th-multimodal-access-plan) yet ST wants to add escalators and elevators to the north. Who knows why? Maybe they feel like there will be lots of drop off riders at that end. Maybe they just like the symmetry of the station.
        But I don’t think a bridge would change the decision making.

        You can make a ramp up to the platform, but I don’t think that gains you anything. It would require just as much work to get up there as if you went straight across and then up (more work if they added the escalators). It would also mean more work for those who ride their bike. Someone would have to go uphill to the station, then take the elevator down to park their bike (or continue biking).

        No, my guess is that if they build a bridge, it will be flat.

  2. The station platform should straddle 130th, with entrances on both sides. Unfortunately, they never seriously considered that, and now it is too late. It pisses me off, but there is nothing we can do now. The pylons are already there. This was the plan months ago, but there was no organized call to have the platform straddle 130th.

    Other than that, the station isn’t bad, but it could be better. It isn’t too far north of 130th, which is good. The problem is, it is symmetrical. It is built assuming that roughly the same number of riders will use it from each side. That isn’t the case. Well over 90% of the riders will arrive from the south (130th). There is nothing to the north. The north end of the platform sits at the edge of the private property. The rest is a golf course. That golf course might someday be a park, but it is highly unlikely it will ever be developed. This is a feeder station (with all buses feeding it from the south), and it yet it doesn’t look like it.

    This leads to several suggestions (or at the very least, things they should look at):

    1) Get rid of the northern escalators and elevators to save money. You could probably also get rid of the stairs, but those are cheap.

    2) Move the south escalator south and swap it with the stairs. It is weird for everyone to have to walk by the stairs before they can access the elevator and then the escalator. Are they trying to discourage the fastest way up to the platform?

    3) If they do keep the stairs where they are, the stairs should be angled towards the platform, and start sooner. There is no reason for riders to have to walk extra just to get to the platform.

    4) Provide stair access and a walkway from the south side of 130th (where the bus stop will be). This is more expensive, and would have to be done in cooperation with SDOT. If nothing else, they should enable the project to be added on in the future, if SDOT paid for it.

    If these were implemented it still wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be pretty good. It would be similar to Judkins Park. The vast majority of riders to Judkins Park will be making a transfer from a bus. From Rainier Avenue they will have to walk or take an elevator up to the top, and then travel a ways to the platform. The walk isn’t short, but it doesn’t involve waiting for a crosswalk on a busy street. This should be similar.

    1. 1) Good call on cost savings. I’d keep the stairs, it does provide access for that 10% coming from the north, particularly if later on there is an I5 ped crossing at 135th-ish, and it problem makes for better circulation if there is a safety emergency.

      2/3 – agree. This should feel like Judkins or Mercer Island, where it is bus stop-sidewalk-escalator-platform boom boom boom, with no wasted space in between each element. If you need to access the plaza to get an Orca card or whatever, it’s OK if you need to walk around the stairs/escalator. Oddly, it appears the north entrance stairs does this better.

      4) Is there an ADA issue if there is stairs on the south side but no elevator? That would be the logical option – if you can’t take the stairs, then use the crosswalk to then access the elevator – but sometimes ADA prevents these sorts of cost saving moves.

      1. Is there an ADA issue if there is stairs on the south side but no elevator?

        I thought about that. I think it is OK, as long as you have a crosswalk there, but I’m not sure. An additional elevator would add to the cost, but I don’t know how much. I definitely wouldn’t bother with an escalator. My guess is some of the people who are headed to the station (from Bitter Lake) would prefer waiting to cross the street, while others just walk up the stairs. On the other hand, most everyone would prefer walking across and then down (if they are headed from the station to Lake City).

    2. Unfortunately, they never seriously considered that, and now it is too late.

      Did they seriously not study at all how much that could cost? ST never ceases to amaze me.

      1. Did they seriously not study at all how much that could cost?

        Not that I know of. The decision was essentially hidden inside documents released as part of the overall Lynnwood Link project. They showed where the station was going to be, but there was never a request for comment.

    3. Now that I think about it, I would have a slightly different design. Almost all riders will come from the south. Almost all riders will take a train to or from the south. The escalators are up-only (I assume). With that in mind, I would have an angled staircase on the southeast side, and a matching angled escalator on the southwest side. In both cases, these would be the first structures you would see, when approaching from the south.

      As a cost cutting move, I would get rid of the other escalators, but keep all four elevators (for ADA redundancy). I would also have the other stairs (they are cheap). So that means:

      East Side: Two staircases, one on the south side (angled to the south so that you can leave the platform, walk down the stairs and be very close to 130th) and one at the north end.

      West Side: One escalator, on the south side, angled in a similar way to the corresponding staircase. An additional staircase on the north side (which also serves as backup in case the escalator fails).

      That means 3 fewer escalators and one fewer staircase. I might keep the extra staircase, and put it towards the middle. That way if the escalator is down, the staircase is closer.

      I’m sure escalators are more expensive than elevators, so I think this would save a considerable amount of money, and the vast majority of people would get to where they want to go faster.

  3. As a long-time rider of rail transit in many other cities, I’m a big advocate for every station to be quickly identifiable by glancing out the window of the train. Too many systems design to have every station look alike, and it’s very frustrating. I hate having to scan a station for a word sign — and it may take 5 or 10 seconds to visually find that sign. I’ve even occasionally hopped off a train at a wrong station because it was impossible to tell where I was until I had left the train; I thought visually I was at the station I already knew only to find out that was at a wrong, look-alike station.

    Since the survey doesn’t show me the colors and architectural features of nearby stations, I’m having to guess what looks the most unique as I comment.

    It’s too bad because I think that the most important thing a design should do is to let a rider know where they are. Bus shelters are a small part of a field of vision so it doesn’t have this problem so uniformity is good. With rail stations, it occupies much of the field of vision (and subway stations occupy the entire field of vision) and that makes too much uniformity bad.

    1. Don’t today’s trains have internal signs that tell you what station you are approaching/stopping at?

      1. On crowded trains it can be hard to find a destination sign and refocus your eyes to read it if you can see it in the first place. Let’s not even get into scrolling of long station names. Similarly, a crowded train is often loud so announcements can’t be hard to hear.

        Quick visual cues are always fastest best. Otherwise, our traffic signals would say “get ready to stop” on a scrolling sign in the same color as both “stop your vehicle” and “go forward” rather than a Judy have yellow ball or arrow.

      2. The golf course will be on the right if you’re going northbound. At 145th it will be behind tail of the train.

      3. These will be above ground, and the visual clues will be huge. You pop out of the ground and there is Northgate. If you are headed northbound, lots of people will exit. The next station is 130th, and as Mike said, you have the golf course off to your right. Going the other direction everything will be above ground and chances are, the train won’t be that crowded.

        It is more of an issue in a tunnel, which is why the signs they put inside tunnels are so handy. A lot of subway systems also have signs on the inside. It can be confusing at times, but I guess I’m lucky in that I’m tall enough to see around people.

  4. I’m surprised that there was no question on naming. Isn’t this the point where ST asks about the station name?

    1. That’s probably later. This is the first time draft station details are released so it’s probably at 30% design. There would be more drafts at 60% and 90% design, and the final station name might be selected between the latter two. It’s usually a standalone process separate from these drafts. Do any of the drawings have a sign saying “Station Name”? That’s a typical placeholder until the board votes on a final name.

  5. One thing mandatory. Make any and all elevators and escalators conditional on bringing their maintenance completely in-house. And their design, the province of a world-leading instructional program in our region’s community colleges.

    But also, accepting a steady increase in vehicle-sized wheeled luggage as a given, a generous system of artistically-designed elevated bridges and ramps across every intersection containing a station. On every single station with possible airport connections, Sea-Tac, King County, and Everett alike.

    And entitle the program as “Satis Est Satis.” Because ever since Link’s first escalator inaugurated a generation of cascading breakdowns, Enough has certainly been Enough and then some.

    Mark Dublin

  6. With side platforms, I wonder if a design should include a pedestrian track crossing even if it’s just for emergencies or temporary access. Escalators and elevators fail often. When not in use, it could be gated.

    1. Definitely should include, particularly as East Link includes several side-platform stations where it is necessary to cross the tracks to access the other platform (East Main, Bel-Red, and SE Redmond, I believe). The higher frequency here makes it much more dangerous crossing, so I could see it closed most of the time, but having a gate staff could open if an elevator is out of use seems like a good idea. Would allow for only 2 elevators rather than 4 and still have good redundancy.

    2. They are planning two sets of stairs, so I think it will be OK. If they run a pedestrian track to the other side (and down to the ground) they should open it up for general use, as it would save considerable time for those transferring from the train to a bus headed to Lake City.

      1. I should have written four sets of stairs (two for the north, two for the south).

        I misunderstood what you were suggesting, but I still think it would be unnecessary to have a track crossing.

    3. Al S., not to be crude but, No Way In Hell. Think about what you’re saying. Bad enough with buses. But we’re talking regional four car trains.

      Would you really accept anybody precious to you being killed or paralyzed because the criminally-defective conveyances that YOUR taxes are paying for are EXPECTED not to work?

      If the constantly-anticipated collapse of Seattle ever does let me re-acquire my years’-long address there, a decision like that would force me to atone for my years of support for Sound Transit with an equal amount of time, if The Good Lord grants it to me, to fight for its replacement with a worker-owned cooperative!

      So because we’re both “regulars” of such longstanding, I’ll chalk this one up to futility-induced sarcasm. Maybe if we’re lucky “Remdecivir” might at least be of some use for this skyrocketing outbreak.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Trains are much slower as they stop or start at a station — like under 20 mph. It’s not as dangerous as a crossing located far from a train platform where trains are moving at 55 mph.

        ST has paths crossing tracks in SODO, MLK/ Rainier Valley, Judkins Park, East Main, BelRed and SE Redmond. It’s not a radical idea.

  7. Al S. the track-crossing sidewalks you mention are set in a lot less-concentrated open space than, excellently for-instance, Mount Baker Station. Where nobody but ST’s own personnel are allowed to cross at any time.

    I seem to recall that Portland Tri-met undercuts a fair amount of the walkway we still make passengers share with trains. Prejudice, maybe, but I’d rather fund undercut sidewalks than wrongful death settlements.

    And it’s because I’ve cared so much about Sound Transit for so long I’ll put this on record: A regional transit agency that over so many years can’t keep an escalator running should not be allowed trains a stair-step greater in length.

    Not my fault they’re all I’ve got, but Word to my State Reps next click.

    Mark Dublin

  8. Move the westbound bus stop to farside so it’s at the entrance. Metro’s 2025 and 2040 plans have east-west bus routes, not like 145th where they all turn north on 5th.

    Earlier I complained about the platforms being a way’s north of 130th. But since the entrance is right at the corner, that may not be a problem. Where are the escalators? Are they where the legend says “South station bicycle facilities”? If so, that’s close to both 130th and 5th so it should be OK.

    1. Where are the escalators?

      If you scroll down to the middle of the open house page you will see a section called Station Design (https://ne130thstation.participate.online/#station-design). There are bullet items that display renderings. You can enlarge them by clicking on the image (e. g.
      https://oohsttdlink.blob.core.windows.net/media/Default/images/AerialView.jpg). So the escalators are past the bike storage, stairs and elevators. It is less than ideal, as I wrote up above.

    2. Move the westbound bus stop to farside so it’s at the entrance.

      To do that, they would have to expand the north side of the 130th bridge. (I mention that subject up above). This is something that can be added later. I think the bus gets away with doing it the other direction because the front doors are close to the intersection, where presumably the sidewalk area is larger.

      Anyway, I am less concerned about that crossing. In the future, 5th will be one way northbound. There will be a three cycle light at that intersection:

      1) East-West
      2) Northbound cars, as well as pedestrians crossing 130th (the big one).
      3) Northbound cars turning left, to go west on 130th.

      So in two of those three cycles, a pedestrian will be able to cross. Furthermore, I expect lots of people to jaywalk there. It will be one lane, and there aren’t that many people going straight (most people turn at that intersection).

  9. It’s unfortunate that the questions are about aesthetics rather than logistics. The most important issues by far are: Where are the entrances? Is the path from entrance to platform short? Are the platforms center platforms rather than side platforms so people can change direction without going down and around? Is there a down escalator, and redundant stairs and elevators in convenient locations? Are the ORCA readers in your line of sight and don’t require you to detour out of the way no matter whether you choose the escalator, elevator, or stairs?

    The art issue is because art is a separate budget line item and proceeds in parallel, and is required by the “1% for art” law passed in the 1970s when costs were lower. Logistics is more of a science: there is a right way according to transit best practices. Art can be anything and requires arbitrary choices and input, and commissioning an artist for a large one-off installation, which they design themselves with only public input and board approval. So there are a lot of art and aesthetics questions but not as many logistics questions. That would be fine if we could trust ST to adhere to transit best practices, but it has shown many times that it can’t. The nearside westbound bus stop is just one example, as well as having the platforms on the north side of the 130th rather than stradding it so it could have entrances on two or four sides of the intersection.

    1. I agree. The first question for the open house is open ended. I intend to put all of my suggestions there. I hope others do the same. It might make sense for someone on this blog to contact the community outreach specialist (My Nguyen) and ask what the best way is to communicate our concerns.

      1. “I intend to put all of my suggestions there.”

        That’s a good idea, so I think I’m going to do likewise.

    2. “It’s unfortunate that the questions are about aesthetics rather than logistics.”

      I wholeheartedly agree with you but I’d rephrase your statement in a much stronger way by replacing “unfortunate” with “ridiculous but in typical ST fashion”. We’ve all seen this movie before and it just says to me that the agency really only wants public feedback on the window dressing and not the critically important elements of the station design and placement itself. It’s quite infuriating actually since the agency seems to routinely ignore best practices while over emphasizing station aesthetics.

      Question. Setting aside the ADA issues, is ST totally against building station access points utilizing pedestrian underpasses, i.e., tunnels? Do they consider them unsafe or maintenance problems? For me personally I’d gladly scoot from a bus stop through such a tunnel to reach a train station if it saves me the time waiting to safely cross the street.

      1. I have to admit great skepticism about these open house alternatives as well. It doesn’t get into flow discussions at all.

        It doesn’t even get into overarching aesthetic themes that guide design choices — say mid-century suburban or treehouse or art nouveau train station with a clock or fishing village or homage to the World’s Fair. Any reasonable designer picks colors after they define a theme and not the other way around. If someone told me that their design is based a florescent green color, I would laugh in disbelief and not hire them — yet here we are again trying to figure out how to give input to an agency that philosophically doesn’t want it. Some architect is probably terrified of the public not liking his or her vision so the result here is intentionally pretty meaningless survey.

      2. Probably capital costs or they never thought of it. Where would you put tunnels? The UW objected to extending the Triangle Garage tunnel to the station because it would increase UW’s security costs for non-UW users. But that only applies to that station and UW, and that tunnel would probably be longer than the one you’re talking about. The tunnel extended to the middle of Rainier Vista, an entrance that was hardly ever used. There is a stairway down at the east side of Montlake Blvd but I don’t know if it goes to the tunnel or if the tunnel ever extended that far.

      3. Well, since ST apparently will not be building this station to straddle 130th, I was thinking that perhaps there could be a pedestrian tunnel under 5th for station access from the westbound 130th bus stop. It seems like this could be done with no stairs and just a ramp thru the tunnel. Obviously this would add to the capital cost but perhaps, as AJ mentioned earlier, this could be paid for thru station access funding.

      4. I was thinking that perhaps there could be a pedestrian tunnel under 5th for station access from the westbound 130th bus stop.

        Well, that would be sadly appropriate. We have an elevated crossing to an underground station (at the UW) so why not have an underground tunnel to an elevated station?

        Anyway, that would be the wrong response. Nobody would use it, really. If the light cycle functions as I expect, most of the time there will be no wait. I also think people will routinely jaywalk there, given there will only one lane of traffic (although there will be a two way bike path). In the long run, they can build up the pedestrian part of the bridge so that the bus can stop on it. That would be much cheaper than a tunnel.

        I could see a tunnel of sorts on the other side though. You could fairly easily build a walkway under the 130th bridge, just west of 5th (https://goo.gl/maps/QP5f8JUpCGfmSoMQ9). That would be fairly cheap. There is a walkway like that under 145th (https://goo.gl/maps/Gwvyod6oMY1hhpUw8). While this would be cheap, I don’t know how many people would use it. Although crossing that street may take longer, my guess is most people would just wait.

        There really needs to a pedestrian overpass across 130th connecting to the platform. You could add the same for 5th, but I think that would be overkill. It would probably just be cheaper to extend the pedestrian bridge over 130th.

      5. “In the long run, they can build up the pedestrian part of the bridge so that the bus can stop on it.”

        Well that changes the whole dynamic. I was operating under the impression that there wasn’t sufficient ROW at the NW corner of that intersection and that was the reason ST was proposing to site the westbound bus stop where it is shown on the drawings.

        Honestly, I think ST has blown another station design if we are to conclude that the design is too far along to even have them reconsider having it straddle over 130th. Bah humbug.

        I hate the idea of folks jaywalking across 5th even if it ultimately is just one direction.

      6. Honestly, I think ST has blown another station design if we are to conclude that the design is too far along to even have them reconsider having it straddle over 130th.

        I think it is highly unlikely that the platform can be built to straddle 130th. The pylons are already there and my guess is it slopes down slightly before hitting a flat spot where the platform is supposed to go.

        But I don’t think that is a fatal flaw. If you look at the Judkins Park Station (https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/project-documents/east-link-judkins-park-display-boards-05022018.pdf#page=6) the platform is very close to 23rd. Most people would consider the “station” to be from about the at-grade crossing to the east entry. To get to the bus stops on Rainier, you have to walk on a pathway. That pathway isn’t really part of the station any more than the pathway from Nordstrum into Westlake Center is part of the station. Yet the pathway is critical for the success of the station — thousands of people walk through the department store on their way to or from the station. The pathway to the Judkins Park Station will be similar. In one sense it is part of the station, and in another sense it isn’t. Same with the pedestrian bridge connecting to the Northgate Station.

        The point is, a similar walkway for this station is essential. The platform and most of the rest of the stuff doesn’t need to move. We simply need to add a pathway so that people don’t have to cross 130th. It can be added in the future, if need be, but the station should be designed so that at some point, it has that. Likewise, a bus stop on 130th can be added later, as all it would take is making the north pedestrian part of the 130th bridge wider.

      7. “That pathway isn’t really part of the station any more than the pathway from Nordstrum into Westlake Center is part of the station.”

        Yes it is part of the station. It’s the mezzanine with the ticket machines, and it has several entrances on different streets to extend its reach. Before the station there was no underground passage between the department stores. It should have an extension to the south side of Pike Street for eastbound bus transfers.

      8. “That pathway isn’t really part of the station any more than the pathway from Nordstrum into Westlake Center is part of the station.”

        Yes it is part of the station. It’s the mezzanine with the ticket machines, and it has several entrances on different streets to extend its reach.

        I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the section of the department store that I used to walk through to go to work. Call it a route, if you will. The point is, technically the station ended right at that door for the department store. But that is a distinction without a difference for most riders. They get off the bus (now train) start walking, go up an escalator, make a turn, walk by a bunch of clothes, go through another door and finally they are outside. You really don’t feel like you are out of the station until you are outside. If you didn’t know any better (if you were from out of town) you would assume that the department store is part of the station. But it isn’t. It existed before the station, and they simply added some doors to enable a passage way.

        In some big train stations, stores like that are officially part of the station. But my point is, nobody cares. All they care about is egress — the ability to get to the platform. That is true of Judkins Park. If you get off the 7, walk up the stairs, follow the long pathway, cross over the tracks and walk to the platform, at what point are you “in” the station? It doesn’t matter.

        The same is true here. If the city of Seattle builds an overpass connecting to the station, it really doesn’t matter when someone is officially in the station, or for that matter, who built what.

  10. What are the best and worst art installations in the existing Link stations? (Or those revealed for Northgate and Federal Way Link if you remember those.) Are there any aesthetic designs outside the large art pieces that are especially good or bad?

    My choice for best is the fighter jets in Capitol Hill Station. What other subway station has WWII fighter jets? The worst is the cap-and-gown and the pebbly metal spoon-like thing in Rainier Valley. I understand the minority community wanted to emphasize education, but this cap and gown is silly. And the pebbly spoon doesn’t look right for collecting rainwater.

    1. I think the best art installations for a rail station are the hand diagrams at Capitol Hill Station. They are timeless, dramatically scaled, vivid and thought-provoking. Their biggest problem is the red color is jarring against the garish green tiles — which should have been something like golden or gray to better complement the art.

    2. Anything tunneled has the potential to become a homeless encampment or a panhandler zone. It takes deliberate design, lighting and monitoring to prevent that. They need “eyes” to make them feel safe.

      1. Check. Those are all valid issues to be sure. Do you think these are more prevalent concerns in the metro areas here in the US than they are in say places like London, Paris, Tokyo, etc.?

      2. There are more homeless in the US because of the gap in social services. If there were a homeless problem in stations you’d see it in the existing underground stations but there isn’t. I don’t know where or how long your tunnels would be so I can’t say how vulnerable they’d be to homeless people or drug dealers.

        In Moscow and St Petersburg there’s sometimes a pedestrian street underpass with a station entrance at the bottom, sometimes with underground retail and a shopping mall entrance. The intersection is blocked to pedestrians so you have to use the underpass to cross the street. So everybody uses the underpasses and they aren’t significant homeless magnets, at least not when I was there in the 90s. There were probably poor grandmothers selling cigarettes at the entrances, as there were throughout the metro.

        In England I saw pedestrian underpasses at major roundabouts and intersections. Bristol had a particularly large number, although that may be observer bias. The streets have both crosswalks and underpasses, so most people used the crosswalks. The underpasses thus attracted loiterers and potentially-violent people. My British friend said the underpasses were considered a failure because most people didn’t use them. I said they would use them if there weren’t duplicative crosswalks.

        The bridge at 130th & Aurora has the same problem: people don’t use it because the crosswalk avoids stairs. There are one or two underground underpasses along Aurora, and they were never well used, and may be closed now.

        In St Petersburg I encountered a train station (Findlandsky vokzal) with a very long pedestrian tunnel from the metro station. The long tunnel had only a couple lights so it was very dim, and I remember thinking, “Is this tunnel unsafe? It would be in the US.” But there was no one in the tunnel and it seemed little used. It must have been built when lighting minimums were low.

        (I have not felt unsafe anywhere in Europe or North America except Moscow and London. And Moscow may have just been from the stories of hooligans and mafia toughs. I had to remind myself, “All these people on the street are just family people coming home from work. They only look menacing because their culture is more reserved and it’s a big city.”)

      3. Pedestrian overpasses and underpasses only make sense when there is a change of grade anyway. So, for example, an underpass to an underground station makes sense. Likewise, the overpass to this station makes sense. As a rule, pedestrians don’t like to go out of their way. (Side Note: I sat on a jury once and we spent a lot of time listening to studies about this very subject. I’m sure it is common with lawsuits). The same is doubly true for elevation. It takes a lot more energy to go up and down, which is why people often jaywalk instead of use overpasses (which lead to this famous altercation: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/woman-punched-by-officer-in-jaywalking-stop-pleads-guilty-to-assault/). That is why overpasses only make sense if you have to gain altitude anyway. One example of this is in the U-District: https://goo.gl/maps/6DLQ5ph2xy31Qxjt9. What may not be clear in this picture is that on the left side, a pedestrian doesn’t go down. In other words, a pedestrian has to go up anyway, so they may as well use the overpass. This is true here, which is why it is one of the few places where an overpass is a good idea.

  11. Having a career Seattle Public Schools teacher in my family, I’m really think Othello’s Hat and Shoes were making a policy judgment. Because my relative agreed it was pretty much an accurate assessment.

    From what I know about the Republic A-10 “Warthog”, that really should have been Capitol Hill’s true “Close-Air Support”, because instead of the artist having to mount all those pieces, a Guard pilot could have just flown the ship right down the stairs and into its moorings and caught his Pierce bus back to JBLM before sundown.

    Politics. Strategic jet makers have long had the A-10 in their own gunsights. And defense department money pales in comparison to those deadly One Percents!

    But one thing I do remember from the meetings I attended. Whatever the artists wanted to do, professional “Value Engineers” decided what got bolted into place and where and how. And in the artists’ unanimous opinion, every technician’s change resulted in a better piece of Art.

    From here on, Public Input should include a lot of time behind a torch. But even after Pioneer Square Station gets the Colman Dock connection left hanging in the trolley-wire for thirty years, art-wise the really good stuff’s yet to come.

    Forget that costly “27” wire. A cable in a groove supplied with pulleys can let Pioneer Square’s renowned south mezzanine pull a whole “gripped-on” bus fleet all the way to Leschi. Like the song says, “Big Wheel Keep On Turnin’!”

    Mark Dublin

    1. The pilot would have to bring them on a carrier plane because half their shells are missing and they can’t fly. The missing parts are replaced by plastic replicas. I assume those parts were destroyed by a bomb or crash. Do you know where these planes came from or what battle they were in?

  12. Guess, like those 1950’s late-night monster movie used to say in the world’s worst imitation Austrohungarian accent: “Zere are sum sings dot MANKIND VASS NEVAIR MEANT TO KNOW!!!

    Cue the wolf and don’t blow the fuse on the lightning like last time. Very likely our armed forces present commander in chief has left endeavors of our contemporary armed forces in pretty much the same condition as those planes, but since Capitol Hill station was already finished….

    Maybe the installation contract went to a certain DSTT bus provider who left streetcar service in Oslo hanging from the ceiling in the same condition as those airplanes. Maybe somebody with a drone can ascertain with a quick look-see if any of those jets say “Breda?”

    Month or so back, some High Tech kids from Kamala’s part of the world parked next to me at the Capitol and flew an eight-propeller drone down the hole in the top of the dome, and back. Next time I see them, I’ll get a quote. And the video.

    Could save some serious grief at 130th.

    Mark Dublin

  13. Now we know why ST projected such low marginal ridership for 130th St Station: Because they planned on putting the station where it would have the smallest walkshed and get the fewest riders.

    If we can’t move the station to straddle 130th or better yet run from 125th to 130th, is it too late to scuttle the station? Or start over on the placement and give up on having it ready with Lynnwood Link?

    This is an ongoing vision failure on ST’s part. They look at stations as a dot on a map rather than a line on a map longer than a football field. Stadium Station, SODO Station, Rainier Beach Station, U-District Station, and now 130th St Station were all designed to minimize walkshed by having an entrance only at one end. Mt Baker Station and Tukwila International Boulevard Station similarly forced walkshed minimization by putting station entry in the middle rather than on each end.

    1. If we can’t move the station to straddle 130th … is it too late to scuttle the station? Or start over on the placement and give up on having it ready with Lynnwood Link?

      Wait, what? That makes no sense. If it is too late to move, it is too late to move. Waiting won’t make it better. This is certainly better than nothing and likely identical to what will be available in the future. They aren’t going to move the track just to make the station better. The longer we wait, the less likely they are to make major changes, simply because they are more disruptive. Besides, it isn’t that far from 130th. It is maybe 50 feet farther than it should be.

      better yet run from 125th to 130th

      Wait, what? It is about 1,300 feet from 125th to 130th. There is no way we would have a platform that big. That makes no sense — our trains aren’t that big. Besides, there is nothing at 125th.

      Let’s not get carried away. Yes, ideally the platform should be moved so that the *platform* is centered over 130th. But if not, then at least have a *walkway* from 130th. If you add the walkway from 130th, then you can consider it part of the station, which means that the station would straddle both sides, even if the platform doesn’t.

      The key thing is establish communication. Make it clear what we want. First choice is to have the platform straddle the station, with escalators, stairs and elevators on both sides. Second choice is keep the platform as is, but orient the escalators and stairs towards 130th, and add a pedestrian overpass of 130th, from the bus stop to the station.

      I agree. This is frustrating. But we all knew this was happening. If you followed this blog (and certainly if you wrote for it) you knew this was happening months ago. In fact, it was over a year ago that Sound Transit published the roll plot for this (https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/lynnwood-link-seattle-to-shoreline-roll-plot-map.pdf). The location of the station is pretty much exactly where they said it was going to be. That is why I complained so much at the time. I’m not saying we should give up, but this is not surprising. We all fought to have the station moved, but apparently we lost (or at least, we are losing). But if we lose this battle, at the very least we can make this station decent by building the proper things around it.

      1. Take a good look at the pdf you linked, RossB. There is literally no room to build a 130th pedestrian bridge on the east side of the tracks because the tracks run almost right above 5th Ave NE so there is nowhere to land an elevator or stairs at the southwest intersection corner. Further, the overpass could block the field of vision of the signal heads.

        It’s a reasonable conceptual thing to do ( as is shifting the platforms southward) but the room just isn’t there on the southwest intersection corner without moving 5th Ave NE at least 10 or 15 feet eastward.

      2. There is literally no room to build a 130th pedestrian bridge on the east side of the tracks because the tracks run almost right above 5th Ave NE so there is nowhere to land an elevator or stairs at the southwest intersection corner … the room just isn’t there on the southwest intersection corner without moving 5th Ave NE at least 10 or 15 feet eastward.

        I think you mean southeast, but I get your point. If so, just move the road. As it is, the road is likely to be altered (parts of it are closed off right now). Viewed from above (https://goo.gl/maps/nYZQpQCMPaNsrbQi9) you can see it is a bit messy there. There are five lanes on 5th just south of 130th (two southbound, three northbound). This is overkill. It is only one lane each direction a little bit south of there — it really doesn’t need that many lanes. Taking just one lane would likely create enough room. I would take that lane southbound. There aren’t that many people headed south on 5th. No one will be coming southbound on 5th, because north of 130th, 5th will be one-way northbound. No one comes from the east (you aren’t allowed to turn left there). No one comes from the freeway (there is only one exit, and that is south of the intersection). The only people who go southbound on 5th are turning right from 130th, and they got there on the surface streets. There just aren’t that many people doing that.

        The other thing that is weird is that northbound Fifth Avenue makes a slight swerve to the east after it crosses paths with the I-5 exit (and cars weave). If the swerve is eliminated that makes for more room — which I think is likely — there will be more room at that part of 5th. The swerve is outdated — it looks to be designed so that cars can quickly cruise that intersection headed north (which is impossible now, since there are stop signs on both parts of the weave). The weave can, and probably will be redone, and it will lead to a safer, less confusing intersection, with more space.

        I see what you are getting at. You can’t just put it anywhere south of 130th. The big limit is the freeway exit. You can’t have anything south of that merge point (https://goo.gl/maps/pgRCgja1dKMY8Yjj7). But they could easily have four lanes north of there, with the current bulb caused by the weave. It would instead be four lanes all next to each other, which should be enough to put the station or a walkway on that south side.

        Worth noting is that it is just over 400 feet from 130th to that weave point. So you couldn’t put the entire station south of 130th, but you could center the platform over 130th, and still have room for everything. Likewise, there would be plenty of room to add stairs and/or elevators from the south to provide for an overpass.

        All of this gets back to what I wrote earlier. SDOT has to be involved with this. ST and SDOT have to be cooperating, not only with the logistics, but with the planning. ST may have looked at the roads as they are, not as they will be — and SDOT can tell them how they will be (or can be).

      3. The diagram also shows scissor crossover tracks above 130th. Isn’t that also a major problem to drop a platform there since that’s on an aerial section?

        I’m also not sure about whether or not tracks are too sloped south of the designated platform area. There may also be a slight bow or curve so that there would result in an unacceptable gap (Like 1-3 inches more) between the platform and train. Siting platforms is always a 3-D task and roughly require flat, straight track segments.

        I see a more basic issue is how ST doesn’t future-proof for infill stations or even for new pedestrian connections to stations. It really hampers the ability to make changes even at this preliminary design stage.

        *****

        I do think that the half-interchange there is a horrible layout. However, changing the streets and ramps is a much bigger challenge than merely dropping in a station. Unfortunately, the station adds a whole additional dimension of pedestrian activity and sight line obstacles and temptations for on street stopping at what appears to be already a bad situation from a safety perspective.

      4. The diagram also shows scissor crossover tracks above 130th.

        I was wondering what that was. There is no reason to have the turnback there.

        Isn’t that also a major problem to drop a platform there since that’s on an aerial section?

        I don’t follow you. It is all aerial. You mean putting the station above the street would be a problem? I don’t see why.

        I’m also not sure about whether or not tracks are too sloped [or curved] south of the designated platform area.

        Right, and that is the type of thing that we are all assuming. This could have been fixed a while ago, but since they have already started construction, and have many of the pylons and cement tracks up there, it may be too late. That goes back to the original comment on this thread. We all saw this coming (OK, not all, but some of us did). We raised the alarm, but nothing was done. It could have been fixed, but now it is too late.

        But maybe it isn’t. The fact that we have to guess as to what the problem is means that it is possible that it isn’t a problem. It is possible that they somewhat arbitrarily decided to have the station to the north. It is also possible that they did that to minimize construction hassles, or to save a little bit of money. Both are reasonable, but Seattle may be willing to put up with the hassle, and we getting ride of an escalator or two might make up for moving it to the south (we certainly don’t need escalators on the east side — very few people will be heading north — they can take an elevator or walk the stairs).

        At this point, all we can do is try to get them to fix the station. If we can’t move it to the south, then at least try and add a pedestrian walkway.

        As I wrote before, it would be nice if someone at this blog actually asked Sound Transit or SDOT about this. If we find out that they can’t move the station then we will waste less energy fighting for it. If we find that it is possible but more expensive, we can ask that other things (like escalators) be dropped in exchange.

    2. This is an ongoing vision failure on ST’s part. They look at stations as a dot on a map rather than a line on a map longer than a football field.

      I agree with you there. But I honestly don’t know how to fix the agency. I mean, what else could we have done?

      1. I know this is a rhetorical question, and the answer I will give is not _my_ answer, but I know a couple of people who voted for I-976 despite having voted for ST3 because “Sound Transit” needs to be fixed.

        Is it the best answer, almost certainly not. Is it a popular reason people voted for I-976, definitely not. But I was hoping that the one message ST should get out of the I-976 mess is “you have lost the trust of a large enough category of people to require some adjustment”. I guess the jury’s still out on whether they got that message or not.

        The most disheartening thing, for me, is that on one hand, people who are at best luke-warm towards transit (like the two I mentioned earlier, one of whom is a close family member… so I have a little influence on, if not a lot) really don’t seem to trust ST right now, but on the other hand, from reading this blog, it seems to me that a lot of people who are very strong supporters of transit _also_ don’t trust ST right now. This seems very untenable in the long run. To me, this is the most important thing that the agency needs fixing on, and – like you – I do not know how. So, yeah, very disheartening, as I said.

      2. The voters in the ST District barely shifted between the percentage of yes votes on ST3 and no votes on I-976. I-976 still lost in the district.

        It is not the taxpayers in the district ST is afraid of, but the voters in the rest of the state, and the willingness of Tim Eyman to do initiatives for them to outvote those in the district that has ST perpetually worried.

        This all has little to do with why ST stations keep looking like they were designed by someone who has never ridden an urban passenger train system before.

      3. I know a couple of people who voted for I-976 despite having voted for ST3 because “Sound Transit” needs to be fixed.

        Yeah, I know a few idiots too. They make all sorts of weird votes, trying to “send a message”. You try to reason with them, and explain that it won’t work — that it has never worked — but they still vote that way. Even if I-976 passed in the ST3 areas, it wouldn’t matter. Even if it was upheld it wouldn’t of mattered. The idea that an organization will suddenly manage things better with less money is absurd. Sound Transit would make the same sort of mistakes, but just with less money.

        Consider the Ballard Station as an example. The math for the station is pretty simple. 20th is better than 15th which is better than 14th. Elevated is cheaper, but 20th can only be served underground. Elevated to 15th costs the same as elevated to 14th.

        After a few seconds of thinking, most people would come to the obvious conclusion: There are only two sensible choices. Either an expensive underground station to 20th, or a cheap elevated station to 15th. At this point it becomes a matter of money. Fairly simple.

        Except ST is clueless when it comes to station placement. They have thrown out the idea of an underground station to 20th, but are considering all other options, including an underground station to 14th (the worst of both worlds).

        Reducing their money doesn’t really solve the problem. With less money, they won’t build underground, but they still might built an elevated station to 14th. The problem is, they just don’t know what they are doing, and reducing their funding won’t help.

        As I’ve written before, I think the basic problem is that no one on the board really understands transit. They want good transit, but they don’t understand how to build it. They don’t have time to understand transit fundamentals, let alone the tricky nuances. They could defer to experts, but they don’t. At least, not for where it really matters. The experts will tell them what can be built, but those experts won’t tell them that a station at 20th is obviously better than a station at 14th, and why. So the board — made up entirely of people with very important jobs (like running the city police department) — basically just ignorantly comes up with ideas. They ask a city like Issaquah what they want, and Issaquah says “light rail” without any consideration of what that will mean for the populous. For the same money, Issaquah could have the best bus system in the state — with buses running by every major corridor frequently. Not only would they have express buses to Bellevue, but also to Mercer Island (connecting them with Seattle). But instead, most of Issaquah will have a three seat ride to Seattle, while a train runs by the freeway every 20 minutes or so.

        I’m not picking on Issaquah. Everett and Tacoma made the same choice. They didn’t consult with transit experts and ask whether it was a good value, or even what to expect 20 years later (i. e. infrequent and largely empty trains). They just assumed that the best thing for them is what the big city had, since it seems to be working out for them. They are acting like a father of three who trades in his minivan for a Corvette because his single neighbor really seems to be enjoying his.

        Sound Transit just isn’t very good at doing these things, but supporting an anti-tax measure won’t help them.

    3. If we scuttle the station people in Lake City will have to take a bus to Northgate or 145th. That’s worse than crossing one intersection. People at UW Station cross the street to get to the Pacific Street buses, and that’s a longer distance to the entrance than this is.

      1. Actually, Lake City riders could be served by a bus to Roosevelt Station. Going there might actually be faster than going to 130th St Station. If they are going north, then going to 148th St Station is a faster option.

      2. Actually, Lake City riders could be served by a bus to Roosevelt Station. Going there might actually be faster than going to 130th St Station. If they are going north, then going to 148th St Station is a faster option.

        Wrong on both accounts. It isn’t even close. The fastest way, by far, for people in Lake City to get to a station is 130th. It is shorter, there is less traffic, and fewer traffic lights.

        Going to 148th only makes sense if you are on 145th. Oh, and why is 148th acceptable? Here you are, saying this station should be abandoned, or delayed, when it is clearly better than 145th! This station is a few feet north of 130th. 145th is a few blocks north! It is so far that a bus can’t keep going on 145th. If we are going to dig in our heals and ask Sound Transit to redo a station, than 145th would be the one. We are spending a fortune redoing 145th so that a bus can go there, and the station isn’t even going to be on 145th! That is crazy. We might as well move the station to 155th, have the buses use 155th (which is a lot less congested) and save millions and millions of dollars.

        Oh, and what is so perfect about Roosevelt, anyway? Had it occurred to you that the station is in between Roosevelt Avenue and 12th? This means that southbound bus riders have to cross Roosevelt to get to the station. It means northbound bus riders have to cross 12th to get to the station. Should we wait until they promise underground walkways next to the bus stops? Of course not.

        I don’t mean to defend ST. I don’t like this any more than you do. I guess I resigned myself to this months ago, and wonder why folks didn’t make a bigger deal out of this then, before they started the actual work.

        But my main point is that this isn’t that bad. Or at least, with a little bit of work it won’t be that bad. If you actually measure the distance from the platform to the bus stop, it is better than most of the stations we are building. It is a shorter walk than our premier stations — the ones built by the county downtown (originally for buses). There is no silly mezzanine, which really only make sense if you have turnstiles. If you look at what I consider the best station built by ST in terms of bus to train transfers, it compares well. I keep comparing it to Judkins Park because that is the gold standard (for ST). With just a little bit of work this station would be similar and the walk to the platform would actually be shorter.

        To be clear, my first choice is that the platforms be moved about 100 feet to the south, so that they are centered over 130th. Have the escalators and stairs radiate out, so that they feed directly to the bus stop.

        But if we can’t have that (and we probably can’t) then it is nuts to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

      3. If we scuttle the station people in Lake City will have to take a bus to Northgate or 145th. That’s worse than crossing one intersection.

        Exactly. And don’t forget Bitter Lake. The alternatives for Bitter Lake are terrible without this — Link might as well not exist. It is very cumbersome to get to Northgate Link from Lake City. It is worse from Bitter Lake. This explains why there are no improvements for Bitter Lake with the Northgate Link bus restructure. Oh, you can get there, but it is so infrequent and so slow that few bother. If you are headed downtown, you just take the 5 and the E. If you are headed to the UW, you do the same, and transfer to a bus that slogs its way to the U-District. Even if you are headed to Capitol Hill you take the 5 or E all the way downtown, and then take Link (or a bus) back up the hill. Northgate Link might as well not exist.

        130th changes everything. From Bitter Lake to downtown is faster. From Bitter Lake to Roosevelt, the UW, or Capitol Hill is dramatically faster. Instead of a trip taking almost an hour, it is done in less than a half hour. It also changes the bus system. Instead of a 45 minute ride from Bitter Lake to Lake City, it takes about 20 minutes. The same is true if you are transferring from the E or the 5. Those sorts of things won’t happen with Northgate. They could happen with 145th, but that still leaves a huge gap — there would be no frequent crossing buses between 155th and the back-and-forth 40 on Northgate Way. That leaves a huge part of the city — lots and lots of people — without decent transit.

        The 130th station is essential for mobility in the north end of Seattle — warts and all.

      4. “And don’t forget Bitter Lake.”

        I remembered Bitter Lake, but Lake City is bigger. :) Lake City is an urban center in all but name, as is Ballard-Fremont, so it justifies a station just for that reason. Bitter Lake had a station in ST’s Aurora alternative, but you can’t really say Bitter Lake is large enough to require a station on I-5. But Lake City is, and Bitter Lake adds leverage to it.

        Ironically, it was the 130th station in the Aurora alternative that inspired 130th station after I-5 was selected. People thought, “If an extra station is OK in one alternative, it should be OK in the other.” And that would mitigate the problem of Lake City being left out of ST2 Link. And Bitter Lake could be served just as easily with the same east-west route, which would also improve the Seattle grid.

        Seattle’s official PSRC urban villages, and thus the must-serve areas for Link, are downtown, the U-District, and Northgate. Ballard-Fremont is fourth largest, and Lake City fifth, but they aren’t officially recognized. That’s because King County’s formula requires a minimum amount of zoned job capacity but doesn’t count housing. The other urban centers — e.g., Lynnwood, Totem Lake, Issaquah, Federal Way — zone for the required number of jobs but not as much housing. Ballard-Fremont and Lake City’s zoning have a more even balance between jobs and housing. That’s good for an urban village because it means more people can both live and work there. But it means their job numbers aren’t enough to make them urban centers and must-serve by Link. The county should either improve its formula or make an exception for Ballard-Fremont and Lake City because they’re so large and have so much potential.

      5. Yeah, Lake City is bigger than Bitter Lake. But this will make a bigger difference to Bitter Lake, as there are no good alternatives for reaching Link. In general it is the entire corridor. Getting to Ingraham, for example, becomes much easier from just about anywhere. That is why some in the city has proposed that the entire corridor be upzoned. As it is, much of the corridor already has apartments (Bitter Lake and Lake City are pretty broad, and then there is Pinehurst, which has apartments around 15th as well as Roosevelt). With only minor changes (which are likely) the corridor shapes up to be one of the better ones in the city, regardless of the official designation.

    4. WMATA designed many stations as “barbell” layouts as you are describing. The DSTT stations are generally designed with the same concept as well — as is Judkins Park, Mercer Island, Capitol Hill, Downtown Bellevue, Columbia City and Othello stations.

      A “barbell” really should be the default station layout as it gives two entrances to a station at least a block from each other. It’s like have 1.5 stations rather than just one.

      With 130th I’m not terribly upset that the station doesn’t straddle the street since those traffic volumes aren’t high like a busy street like Aurora or Rainier or NE 8th in Bellevue. I think there is less traffic there than at Broadway and John. Good crosswalks and guaranteed walk signals for every phase should suffice. The side platforms also play into it as the riders should be joined into one path ASAP.

      The fundamental opportunity lost at 130th is on the north end of the station because activity looks unlikely as long as the golf course is there. It seems irresponsible to not have conceptualized the station as a barbell between 125th and 130th when the planning studies were done years ago. I even wonder if the poor siting north of 130th was intentional back then — as a way to get the station removed from the original project alternatives.

      1. The pedestrian bridge at 148th makes sense, because the station is at 148th. In other words, someone coming from the south doesn’t have to go out of their way to use the pedestrian bridge. In contrast, a bridge at 133rd would not be used by people from the south. It would be so far out of the way as to be useless. It would be a nice addition, but it would only be used by people from the north.

        It also wouldn’t add that many riders. Even if the area across the way gets built up, the freeway takes up too much space (and adds distance). Again, I think it would be nice, but I don’t think we should assume it will be built, nor should be base any station decisions on the assumption it will be.

        Almost all of the riders will come from 130th. A few may come from future apartments to the north. A few may come from a future bridge. But the vast majority will come from buses on 130th, and the station design should reflect that.

      2. With 130th I’m not terribly upset that the station doesn’t straddle the street since those traffic volumes aren’t high like a busy street like Aurora or Rainier or NE 8th in Bellevue.

        It is still a busy street. That also misses the point. The only reason this station is being built is so that riders can access the station via a bus. That’s it. Everything else is a bonus.

        Therefore, it would make sense for the light cycle to favor east-west travel, because of the buses. But you can’t favor east-west travel at the same time you favor north-south pedestrian travel, especially at that intersection. Something has to give. As I wrote up above, the area will probably have a three phase traffic light cycle. But only one of those phases will enable a rider to cross 130th. If we make that phase especially long, it will increase congestion, and slow down the buses. If we keep it more or less like it is now, then pedestrians will have to wait a while to cross.

        Not only that, but all of those riders have to walk farther to get to the station. No, it isn’t that far, but the station should be designed so that most of the riders only walk a short distance.

        All of this could be avoided if the station straddled 130th. Riders wouldn’t have to cross the street, and they wouldn’t walk that far, assuming the stairs and escalators faced 130th. The station should be designed for the particulars of the area, not an abstract “standard” that isn’t appropriate. This isn’t Capitol Hill. With CHS, people get to the station from all over. With this station, almost all of the riders will come from bus stops on 130th.

        The fundamental opportunity lost at 130th is on the north end of the station because activity looks unlikely as long as the golf course is there. It seems irresponsible to not have conceptualized the station as a barbell between 125th and 130th when the planning studies were done years ago.

        If you put it south of 130th it would be just about as bad as if you put it north of 130th. Again, very few people will walk to the station. Holy Cow, it is next to a freeway. To the southwest it is a greenbelt. This means that if you built a bridge across (as AJ wants to do at 133rd) you connect to nothing but trees. This is what folks don’t seem to get. From a walk-up perspective, this is a terrible location for a station. But from a feeder bus perspective, it is outstanding. Even if the neighborhoods transform to allow a lot more people, only a few hundred will walk to the station. Yet thousands will arrive by bus. The station should reflect that, and straddle 130th.

      3. “Yet thousands will arrive by bus.”

        Exactly. The bulk of Link riders who utilize this station will arrive by bus. Sure, there will be some who can walk or bike to the station, and some folks will be dropped off, but the vast majority of ridership will involve bus transfers. That’s really the whole value with a station at this location to begin with. Personally I’ve supported a Link station here since the ST2 concepts were being drawn up and was disappointed that this ultimately became an infill station for a future funding measure. (Ideally, I’d love to see this station open with the start of Lynnwood Link, but that ship has apparently sailed.)

        Well, I guess the best we can hope for at this point is that there is indeed sufficient ROW to allow for moving the westbound bus stop to just before the 130th St. bridge right next to the southern end of the station. Hopefully SDOT and ST can make that happen.

      4. Ideally, I’d love to see this station open with the start of Lynnwood Link, but that ship has apparently sailed.

        Not really. The board still hasn’t decided one way or another.

        But yeah, that is what makes this thing so frustrating. We had to fight just to get the station in ST3. Now we are fighting to get it built with Lynnwood Link. We are still fighting to get the platform to straddle 130th, and if we lose that battle, we will fight to have pedestrian overpasses above 130th.

        All because ST doesn’t understand the value of bus service. Even after UW Link, and ridership greatly exceeded expectations, they didn’t make the connection. Of course a lot of those riders are headed to the UW. But a lot of riders were transferring from buses! Even with the really bad transfer, they did it. For many, it was the only choice. For others, it was just a lot more frequent than waiting around for their express. Even after all that, ST ignores the riders that will arrive by bus, and is focused more on walk up riders (that will never be large, because the stations are right next to the freeway) or park and ride lots (that can’t possibly scale).

        Done right, and this station will have more riders than most, if not all of the stations north of there. All of those stations will be dependent on bus service as well. 185th connects to Swift. Lynnwood connects to all of the express buses. 145th was built to serve buses from the 522 corridor. Riders from a bus will outnumber every other mode for Lynnwood Link, and yet they still seem confused about the purpose of this station. Yeah, it is frustrating.

      5. Maybe the difference between 130th and Lynnwood is that one is urban(ish) while the other is suburban and a well established transit center, and there is more of an expectation of transfers of that kind at the latter. Plus, CT made a pretty explicit commitment to truncate a lot of their expresses once Lynnwood Link opened early on, right? So it would be more on the radar of the ST planners (and the board). It’s just a guess, though.

      6. “nothing but trees” ? I totally get that
        1. Bus transfers first and foremost
        2. a N/S elevated crossing of 130th is far more useful than a 2nd E/W crossing of I5
        3. Any E/W 133rd Ped bridge would need to be funded at some later point.

        But it still seems rather useful to anticipate. If the whole swath of land between I5 and Aurora is up zoned to at least RSL, that’s a decent amount of people within the 15 minute walkshed of the north entrance, even with effectively zero people living east of I5 so you only get a half walkshed. I’m just arguing that ST should design the station so there is a landing spot for a future ped bridge connecting to the NW side of the station platform. Given the I5 barrier, it seems to me to be the logical extension of the barbell design, mirroring the existing bridge at 130th.

        If it’s not designed in, we would likely end with something like the bridge at 195th, which is fine, but would miss out on a natural incline connecting the street level west of I5 with platform level east of I5. That’s all.

      7. Maybe the difference between 130th and Lynnwood is that one is urban(ish) while the other is suburban and a well established transit center, and there is more of an expectation of transfers of that kind at the latter.

        Yeah, I think you are on to something. I think the difference between 130th, Lynnwood or Northgate is that Lynnwood and Northgate are transit centers. ST pretty much understands that idea. Just build the station close to the transit center (or build the transit center around the station). Likewise, they understand stations like South Bellevue (just built a giant park and ride lot).

        But this station isn’t like that, and maybe that got them confused. Maybe they just didn’t understand that this is primarily to be used for a bus intercept, even though the buses wouldn’t stop there. I doubt it. I think there is some other, technical reason why they built the station where they want to build it. Although I wouldn’t rule out the possibility they just don’t care.

        But again, that is why someone from this blog should reach out to Sound Transit and ask why the station doesn’t straddle 130th. Or, to put it another way: how much would it cost to have it straddle 130th, and could they save some money by building fewer escalators.

      8. If 130th access is the primary driver for the station, then ST should be widening the street in front of the station and the bridge just to the west of the station to accommodate bus stops, as others have suggested.

        If transferring bus riders are the primary driver for the station, then the access should then direct those transferring bus riders to a mid-block crossing roughly over the SB I-5 lanes to the bus stop over a widened 130th over I-5 as I mention. No matter what signal timing is done, intersection crossings are dangerous because cars blindly turn left or right at one.

        A mid-block crossing is how Judkins Park will work at 23rd and that road appears to have volumes higher than NE 130th St or 5th Ave NE there. (If a pedestrian exit should have accommodated a street crossing, that appears to be the better place to do it — and the tunnel is already there so punching a vertical shaft appears to have been the only needed digging.)

        Perhaps our collective frustration goes back to the access philosophy for this station itself. ST proposes only what is required by the station footprint here — and unlike a place like Federal Way where ST is planning street changes a block or from the station, ST says “it’s not my job” when it comes to this Seattle station area.

      9. Imagine if the existing station entrance highlighted exiting to the west — onto a pedestrian plaza built as a lid over I-5. Then, where the plaza meets 130th, there would be a mid-block crossing that prioritizes pedestrians and especially transferring bus riders.

        A further benefit is a better flow to development between I-5 and Aurora, which 145th can’t do.

      10. If the whole swath of land between I5 and Aurora is up zoned to at least RSL, that’s a decent amount of people within the 15 minute walkshed of the north entrance

        Yeah, the problem is that most people won’t walk 15 minutes to a transit stop. The reality is somewhere between 5 and 10, especially since that doesn’t include the time to actually get to the platform. So that puts you basically out to Corliss and 133rd. The walkshed forms a diamond to include 135th/1st and 130th/1st. It would extend a bit north to Lakeside, but to the south it overlaps with folks who would cross 130th. It just doesn’t add up to that much land because the freeway takes so much of it (and it takes the best part of it — people who would be very close to the station, and way more likely to ride). It is something, but just not a lot.

        The main goal should be to move the entire station, so that the platform straddles 130th. I keep assuming that isn’t possible, but maybe it is. That should have priority over everything else.

        If it turns out as I fear, and the can’t move the platform, then the next priority is the pedestrian overpass above 130th, followed closely by expanding the 130th bridge, which should allow us to move the westbound bus stop to the other side of 5th. After that, I really don’t care. If all of that can be done with the same set of escalators and staircases, then fine. Eventually we might have that bridge. But if money is an issue, and ST squawks about any of those projects, I would start removing escalators, even if it would mean additional walking for folks who access it from a future 133rd bridge.

      11. 15 minute walk to a high frequency train is reasonable. The data show the walkshed should be larger for this station than even a high quality bus stop.

        What’s the difference than this 130th pedestrian overpass you are advocating and simply a wider/nicer sidewalk on the north side of the existing 130th bridge?

        Al, I would counter ST says, “it’s not in my budget.” If Seattle wants to use ST3 dollars for a bunch of fancy station access, that’s its prerogative but it will come from somewhere else in Seattle’s subarea. Shoot, if we really had money to burn, lidding I5 north of 130th as a station plaza/public space is indeed an excellent idea.

      12. A mid-block crossing is how Judkins Park will work at 23rd and that road appears to have volumes higher than NE 130th St or 5th Ave NE there.

        23rd is a one lane each direction there. NE 130th is two lanes each direction. 5th avenue will eventually be one lane one direction with a bike lane each direction (a fairly quiet street). In terms of risk it goes Rainier, 130th, 23rd, 5th (from riskiest to lowest risk).

        Anyway, with Judkins Park, they chose a midblock crossing because the alternatives were too expensive. They couldn’t have the platform straddle 23rd — it also serves Rainier. Since the platform is below the street, that left only a level crossing or an expensive new tunnel. It probably wasn’t worth it (and there may be something to the idea that neither the city nor Sound Transit want to maintain and secure tunnels). The only reason the crossing is midblock is because that is where the station is. There is no road over the freeway/Link tunnel — only a bike path (https://goo.gl/maps/PJmuJ2YK5idmDGYy5).

        In contrast, if the 130th station is moved to the south a little bit, there is no need to cross the street. If that doesn’t happen, then they could build an overpass (like the southbound Rainier access to the Judkins Park platform). Overpasses aren’t that expensive (they are a lot cheaper than tunnels).

        If neither is done, then folks cross by the station, which is by the intersection. It doesn’t make sense for people to cross the street, then walk half the block to get to the station. Nor would have it made sense to run the tracks there (it would be way cheaper to just put the station over 130th).

        So no, a midblock crossing doesn’t make any sense there.

        Perhaps our collective frustration goes back to the access philosophy for this station itself.

        Yes. Everyone is frustrated because access from the bus stops is poor, because they didn’t have the station straddle 130th. That would have been fairly simple, fairly cheap, and much, much better.

        Imagine if the existing station entrance highlighted exiting to the west — onto a pedestrian plaza built as a lid over I-5. Then, where the plaza meets 130th, there would be a mid-block crossing that prioritizes pedestrians and especially transferring bus riders.

        Dude, you are missing the big picture here. If the station straddled 130th, you wouldn’t need ANY crossing. No one would cross 130th to get to the station. That is prioritizing pedestrians and especially transferring bus riders. Eventually they wouldn’t cross 5th, once the city adds a little space for a bus stop (but again, crossing 5th isn’t that bad). You don’t need a new freeway park to accomplish any of that. Just move the station a few feet south.

      13. What’s the difference than this 130th pedestrian overpass you are advocating and simply a wider/nicer sidewalk on the north side of the existing 130th bridge?

        The 130th pedestrian overpass would start with a set of stairs by the eastbound bus stop on 130th (this is the stop just west of 5th). The stairs would switchback straight up, then go across, to reach the platform on the south end of it.

        Meanwhile, a a wider/nicer sidewalk on the north side of the existing 130th bridge would make it easier to cross the freeway (on the north side of 130th) and provide enough room for a bus stop. I think the only reason the westbound bus stop is on the other side of 5th is that they don’t want a bus stop 60 feet into a very narrow walkway.

      14. “ 23rd is a one lane each direction there. NE 130th is two lanes each direction. ”

        Shall I remind you that 23rd Ave had four lanes in front of Judkins Park Station until just about two years ago, well after when design decisions were made?

      15. Shall I remind you that 23rd Ave had four lanes in front of Judkins Park Station until just about two years ago, well after when design decisions were made?

        I wouldn’t be so sure. The city doesn’t usually change a street willy-nilly. It is quite likely that ST knew that street was going to be two lanes. More importantly, SDOT knew, which is why they didn’t push for alternatives. But again, what alternatives were there? Seriously, so what if it was four lanes — what would they have done? Built an overpass that no one would use? Built a tunnel? ST hasn’t built any tunnels like that anywhere. Not even to the UW station, which has a ton of lanes, and a lot of fast moving cars. A tunnel connecting the hospital to station would be great — it would save a lot of people a lot of time. But it isn’t going to happen.

        It really isn’t about the lanes. The crossing at 45th for example (to access the U-District station) is no big deal, despite being being four lanes (or five if you count the turn lane). What matters is the traffic light cycle and the flow of traffic. If cars are moving fast in multiple lanes, then it is dangerous, or at least feels dangerous. Crossing 45th doesn’t feel dangerous — cars are moving too slowly and visibility is pretty good. The traffic light cycle is not great, but it isn’t terrible.

        In this case, everything about it is bad. You have four lanes of traffic, and it is highly unlikely that will change. I could see bus lanes being added, but that still means four lanes. Worse yet, traffic moves pretty fast and there is a curve, which means that drivers aren’t looking straight ahead at the crosswalk. Someone who is trying to make the light may blow through the intersection as it turns from yellow to red, and someone may not notice them and step off the curve. Or late at night, when traffic is light, someone might jaywalk, and not see the car coming from the southeast in time. The city could do some things to make it safer, but it is tough to do that without making it (a lot) slower for the buses at the same time.

        Then there is the light cycle. Not only does it favor east-west traffic (as it should, since that helps the buses as well) but you have a left turn light there as well (from northbound 5th to westbound 130th). There is no avoiding that. Cars will turn left there, and they need a light phase. Those cars would be turning where people would be walking. That means that two out of three light phases require the pedestrian to wait.

        This sucks, and unlike the crossing of 23rd, can be avoided in a fairly affordable manner, by either moving the station to the south a little bit, or building pedestrian walkways over 130th.

        We can quibble all we want about which crossing to stations are worse, but most of those are to underground stations. Consider Judkins Park, which requires going uphill from Rainier and downhill from 23rd. To avoid crossing streets, that requires an elevated walkway from Rainier and a tunnel from 23rd. Only the elevated option is being built. This is no coincidence. ST doesn’t want to build additional pedestrian tunnels, from across the street. But they have been willing to build elevated walkways, and they should in this case (or just move the station).

  14. Of course complicating everything is the role of SDOT in all of this. The city built the pedestrian bridge over I-5 at Northgate. It will be an integral part of the station, but it really isn’t “the station”, especially as far as Sound Transit is concerned. Likewise, ST doesn’t control where the bus stops go. The westbound stop would move to the bridge if it was wide enough to accommodate riders. But that isn’t really ST’s concern. While we all want ST to move the entire station (platform, escalators, stairs, elevators) south so that it sits in the middle of 130th, that probably won’t happen.

    There are things they could do to the station, but my guess is that they will leave the tracks and platform exactly where they propose, and have proposed for over a year. The escalators and stairs can be moved closer to 130th, but it is quite possible that an overpass will have to be built by the city. The main thing is, the station should be built so that adding that is trivial.

    1. The main issue is, why didn’t ST plan to straddle 130th in the first place? Entrances on two sides of a major are obviously better for passengers than one entrance on one side of the street, especially when both sides are bus transfers. Shouldn’t ST aim for maximum passenger convenience to maximize Link’s ridership and usefulness? Why do we have to beg ST for the optimal number of entrances at every station, why isn’t this the default?

      1. Perhaps a larger question is whether Metro is involved in the station planning, saying how they would like the buses to interface with the station.

        They were no-shows at the planning charets for UW Station, and later said they would plan bus routes as the station was getting ready to open. I hope and pray they are more far-sighted about station design now, but 130th’s poor placement suggests they are not in the loop.

      2. Perhaps a larger question is whether Metro is involved in the station planning, saying how they would like the buses to interface with the station.

        Huh? I mean, that is obvious. The buses will go on 130th. There is no alternative. 130th is the only corridor between 145th and Northgate. That is why the station is being built — to serve that corridor. You want the bus stops right underneath the station if possible (that is also obvious). There are situations where Metro should consult with ST (e. g. Northgate, where the location of the transit center is an issue). But in this case it is pretty obvious.

    2. Are riders at the Lynnwood station expected to travel to Seattle or to Everett when the line is complete? I think the expectation, like for all of light rail, is everyone will take the train to commute to Seattle, because Seattle is “dense”. I am not so sure, with the “new future”. At least the PSRC sees most regional growth going into counties other than King, primarily Snohomish Co. But would anyone drive or bus to transit to then take it to Everett? Or would they simply drive to Everett?

      The irony I see is why would anyone live in Lynnwood and commute to Seattle unless Lynnwood is where they could afford a single family home. If I am going to live in TOD — either by choice or necessity — why would I live in a TOD in a remote area like 130th or Lynnwood? Why not in the urban core? Unless this is some long range “Cascadia” Vision from The Urbanist.

      Also, re: the 130th station, is the thinking that if there is no park and ride for a station this far outside the urban core everyone will have to take feeder buses to get to the station to take rail to Seattle? Or bikes (which bike groups think should replace transit) or walking? How far is a resident going to have to walk to get to the 130th station?

      Or will they drive to Lynnwood to catch the train to Seattle, or just drive to Everett?

      Finally why are all ST light rail stations such disappointing architecture (except Rainier Valley which got “platforms”). The station at 130th looks like a bomb shelter.

      1. If I am going to live in TOD — either by choice or necessity — why would I live in a TOD in a remote area like 130th or Lynnwood? Why not in the urban core?

        Because they can’t afford to. Oh, and the same goes for why they don’t just eat cake.

  15. The station siting only makes sense if the golf course is eventually developed. That would, potentially, give the north end of the station a walkshed of use.

    It could even be that just having the station there, which would no doubt increase the value of the Jackson Park land if it were to be developed, increases the likelihood that the city sells it off at some point in the future.

    1. The station siting only makes sense if the golf course is eventually developed. That would, potentially, give the north end of the station a walkshed of use.

      That still wouldn’t make sense. Even if the golf course was developed, there is no reason why development there would exceed development to the south. In fact, there is less potential, because there is a lot of wetland in there (which can never be developed).

      Nor is it realistic to assume that the golf course will ever be developed. It is common for cities to turn golf course to general purpose parks. It is unheard of for a city to transform a park into a housing development. The city even has a law against it. (Although the city has taken existing housing on old military bases and converted them to low income housing. This happened at Magnuson and Discovery Park.).

      Even if all of that happened. Even if they converted the parkland to housing, and it became built up — it still doesn’t make sense. There is limited room there (the freeway takes up a huge portion of your walkshed). Riders who arrive by bus will outnumber those that walk to the station. Forever. That is just the way it is, and the station should be built with that in mind.

    2. I thought the entire point of TOD’s were they were affordable. That is what The Urbanist claims. Why build unaffordable TOD’s if transit is about equity and those who cannot afford a car?

      So I guess I was right: TOD’s are about artificially creating the density for ST through zoning and TOD’s next to rail, and making sure developers make a huge profit by buying up the land before the upzone (or ST uses eminent domain to do the same and realizes the profit), and then building high end TOD’s because no developer builds affordable housing unless subsidized, with proximity being a part of the cost.

      I also find it a bit strange we are using the old “equity” straw man for TOD’s in urban Seattle or 130th. Light rail is not about transit for the poor. Metro is.

      Why not just admit it: TOD has nothing to do with affordability, except the canard that if you just create more housing the new construction and TOD’s will somehow trickle down to the poor, just not south of Sodo. Urban Seattle has plenty of vacant or undeveloped land for TOD’s. Why build at 130th? Because TOD’s are not about gentrification either.

      I could not figure out why someone would want to live in a TOD at the intersection of 130th next to I-5, but I guess cost is the reason (although new construction is rarely affordable). I would rather live in an existing if older single family home in the 130th neighborhood than a new TOD for the same price.

      And for those who don’t know, let them eat cake predates Marie Antoinette and actually translates into let them eat “brioche”, which in England is a rich pastry made with eggs and butter and so was translated as ironic, but in France is closer to angel food cake, which was less expensive than bread because cake flour was cheaper than bread flour, and bread was more filling. Like TOD.

      1. I thought the entire point of TOD’s were they were affordable. That is what The Urbanist claims. Why build unaffordable TOD’s if transit is about equity and those who cannot afford a car?

        Who said TOD wasn’t affordable? It depends on where you are. A place by Roosevelt is likely to be more expensive than a place by Montlake Terrace. But that was always the case. In fact, you could easily make the case that the Roosevelt area isn’t even TOD. It was being developed long before they planned on adding a station there, and would have developed if there wasn’t one (just like Ballard, Fremont, and a lot of other places). I suppose the zoning changed because of the train, but that could have happened either way.

        So I guess I was right: TOD’s are about artificially creating the density for ST through zoning

        What is the difference between artificial density and real density?

        and making sure developers make a huge profit by buying up the land before the upzone (or ST uses eminent domain to do the same and realizes the profit)

        ST is not allowed to “make a profit”. Most of the land they acquire continues to be used by ST. 80% of the surplus land is sold to a local agency to create low income housing (https://seattletransitblog.com/2017/11/20/st-plans-zero-cost-land-transfer-affordable-housing/).

        no developer builds affordable housing unless subsidized, with proximity being a part of the cost.

        Of course developers build affordable housing. It is just rare around here because there is so little affordable housing. If you buy a house for a million dollars, you really can’t expect a bunch of condos going up for a hundred grand. Then, of course you have the zoning, which encourages more expensive housing by limiting the supply. For the most part, developers add as many units as the law allows. This means they are as affordable as possible. The price of those places depends on the market, and with such a limited supply (and lots of demand) the price is high. But developers don’t set the price, the market does.

        I also find it a bit strange we are using the old “equity” straw man for TOD’s in urban Seattle or 130th. Light rail is not about transit for the poor. Metro is.

        Wait, what? Poor people aren’t supposed to use light rail? Oh, and what about people who take a bus and then transfer to a train (like just about everyone using this station)? Are they by definition middle class?

        I could not figure out why someone would want to live in a TOD at the intersection of 130th next to I-5, but I guess cost is the reason (although new construction is rarely affordable). I would rather live in an existing if older single family home in the 130th neighborhood than a new TOD for the same price.

        Yes, and I would rather live in a mansion in Capital Hill than a condo in Lake City if they were the same cost. But they aren’t! That is the point. Houses in that neighborhood are way more expensive than condos. I realize you have no idea what it is like to be poor, but just do a little research, Daniel.

        And for those who don’t know, let them eat cake predates Marie Antoinette …

        And for those of who do know (like me) you are missing the point. We can all look that up on Wikipedia. The phrase “Let them eat cake” was probably not spoken by “Marie-Antoinette”. It doesn’t matter. When I used it, I was using the commonly understood phrase. It is simply an idea — shorthand for someone who proposes a simple solution to poverty that is ignorant of the situation.

  16. I’ve been following the discussions on this thread for a couple of days now and they’ve been pretty informative, so thanks to the OP for posting this update. My general takeaway has been that I guess I should’ve been paying closer attention to the station siting and design details when this blog did a piece on this infill station earlier this year. At that time, I was more focused on the project timing and funding issues than the station design itself. That was probably a strategic mistake on my part, driven largely by my advocacy for building this infill station sooner, ideally along with Lynnwood Link. Now it appears to be too late in the process and Lynnwood Link construction too far along to get ST to modify their plans and move this station so that it can straddle 130th St. Shame on me for not paying closer attention to this part of the discussion in the previous post on this subject matter, particularly the part of the thread kicked off by commenter Nathan here:

    https://seattletransitblog.com/2020/01/13/sound-transit-hears-ne-130th-options/#comment-839603

    I don’t know if it would’ve made any difference in the final outcome, but perhaps these last nine months or so could have been used to get the agency to take note of the concerns raised in this discussion. Yeah, I’m feeling quite frustrated with ST’s basic lack of understanding on how this particular station will interact with the majority of its ridership, which will be folks transferring to and from buses.

    1. There is no reason to criticize yourself. This was buried in a comment thread. Yes, there were documents, but they were buried too, as if these were unimportant details. Sound Transit had a bigger press release about the number of trees that were cut down (and replanted). This is the first time that Sound Transit has released anything I would call public.

      I think this blog dropped the ball as well. The station design deserved more notice. To be honest, I figured they wouldn’t actually build anything until they had an open house (like the one that is occurring now). That clearly isn’t the case. A lot of pylons are already in. So yeah, I dropped the ball as well, I should have put more pressure on this blog to write something (or contact my representative, or the Seattle Times) but I thought we had more time. We all screwed up.

      You can also add SDOT to the list, as well as the mayor and city council. But at the top of the list is Sound Transit.

      This station should have been included from the beginning. That set in motion a set of actions that have lead to this. The station is an add-on, planning for it is much later than the rest of the stations. The folks who really want the station were focused first on fighting for it to be part of ST3, and are still fighting for it to be built with Lynnwood Link. Even if we win those battles, it appears that Sound Transit will basically say, OK, here is the station, you have no input as to where it will be — but you can pick the motif!

      That is a just a dysfunctional system. It shouldn’t work that way. This document — this “open house” should have come out a year ago, even if it basically consisted of “we are thinking of putting the station here”. That should have been a post on this blog, and hopefully a small article in the Seattle Times, along with a way to contact Sound Transit.

      If it is too late for that, then the only shame is on Sound Transit. If it turns out that the station really can be built straddling 130th, then we should do what we can to make it happen; otherwise, shame on us.

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