The Brickyard in-line station would lie approximately between the sign span on the left and the bus on the right.

The future Brickyard Stride BRT station in the median of I-405 could provide access to more than just its namesake park & ride lot. Instead of crossing only halfway from the parking lot, WSDOT’s latest concept now has a footbridge extending across the entire freeway, creating a new non-motorized crossing as a shorter alternative to the busy NE 160th St overpass.

The east entrance at 116th Ave NE & NE 155th St puts more of the Queensgate/Kingsgate neighborhood within walking distance to the station and creates a new gateway to the Tolt Pipeline regional trail. The west entrance at the Brickyard Park & Ride is in a more central location, making it more convenient for people parking in the southern lot.

As a former regular user of the Brickyard station, the lack of a bridge to the east side was glaring when I first saw the early concept in 2019. I gave my feedback during the open house in February this year and it is nice to see the project continually refined even as it faces delays.

This latest concept comes from plans included with environmental review documents prepared by Sound Transit for the I-405 BRT project in September. Let’s look at the details.

Bridge plan for the Brickyard Park & Ride in-line BRT station at 5% conceptual design (WSDOT)

An early concept had the west entrance at the existing bus stop near the north side of the lot. Now there will be a new plaza just south of the existing bus stop where the park & ride bus loop diverges from the southbound ramp. This new location is better balanced between the north and south lots.

An elevator provides access from the bridge to a path leading to the south lot and four new accessible parking stalls, which eliminates the need to cross a roadway. There will be a crosswalk from the north lot.

People using the Tolt-Pipeline Trail on a Sunday afternoon as viewed northwest from 124th Ave NE
Tolt Pipeline Trail connects Bothell and Duvall using Seattle Public Utilities right of way

The east entrance is situated in public right of way where 116th Ave NE curves into NE 155th St. It includes a ramp, stairs to a small pick up/drop off area, illumination, and a crosswalk to the Tolt Pipeline Trail and the sidewalk on the east side of 116th Ave NE. Without this connection, people coming from southeast of the freeway would have to walk all the way up to NE 160th St, over the freeway and across busy ramps.

Station platforms are now staggered with the southbound platforms south of the bridge and the northbound platforms north of the bridge. Access to the platforms will be by stairs and elevators. The early concept had both platforms directly facing each other with access from the north end.

Conceptual design for Brickyard bridge spanning 294 feet across I-405 (WSDOT)

Bicycle racks and lockers will be provided at the west entrance at the park-and-ride. There is no bicycle parking at the east entrance, a major inconvenience for those riding their bikes from the neighborhood. They would have to cross all the way to park their bike and walk back to the platform, double the walking and stairs.

These revisions increase the station’s potential ridership via non-motorized modes and it could be increased further if WSDOT, Sound Transit, King County, and the cities work with the surrounding community to address issues like a lack of safe places to cross the street or ride a bike.

Here’s a fun piece of trivia: this bridge would span two cities with the east end in Kirkland and the platforms and west end in Bothell.

36 Replies to “Brickyard BRT station could bridge both sides of 405”

  1. This is great news, and for the regional trail system as well as Sound Transit. I’ve hiked the Tolt Pipeline Trail several times using and, each time, have longingly wished for a trail bridge over 405 to connect the two segments. When ST3 was on the ballot, I knew that if it was ever going to happen, it would be built by Sound Transit to improve access to the I-405 BRT bus stop.

    Now, if they could just add some cheap bike racks on the east end, so people don’t have to lug their bikes up and down stairs twice, just to reach a bike rack…

    Also, the traffic light at the P&R entrance off Juanita-Woodinville Road is long overdue for getting a crosswalk. There’s an apartment complex right across side of the street, and the people that live there should not be forced to play Frogger to reach the bus stop. Especially when a traffic light is already there, but the benefit of cars entering and exiting the P&R.

  2. Memory says your “take” is just perfect, Oran, especially the emptiness, the weather, the temperature, and the ar-tic. “Cell memory” just made me turn up the heat in my office.

    So my “call” is that we make this just a start. Make your bridge “essentially” a building, as was common in the Venice that was not in California. Part of a thriving, well-populated neighborhood of residences, cafe’s, small-manufacturing and all things educational.

    Rail-conversion or addition, matter of time so no rush. But post-COVID the East Side IS going to thrive. So same cafe-
    chain gets a branch both there and Ballard, Mercer Island without saying. OK if ST (or its successor) names the whole thing after you?

    Mark Dublin

    1. The latter concerns me. This looks like a solid improvement, but it still doesn’t look that good. A bus like the 231 will be fine. It follows Woodinville-Juanita Way from the south, so it will do a little detour next to the freeway stop (on the west side) and keep going. At worse there are issues with freeway traffic, but hopefully that can be worked out. Likewise, the 257 is fine — at most the loop on the east side of the freeway is moved from 119th to 153rd/116th.

      A bus like the 239 is a different story. It gets close to the freeway overpass, but not the new bridge. Even after you fix the crossing (as asdf2 wrote) you still have a pretty long walk (https://goo.gl/maps/jmBCNCXjZ3vMsW9k6). That being said, I think this is the best they can do, especially given the desire to serve the park and ride lot. This is better than the original sketch, yet probably not any more expensive.

      1. The 239 directly serves the P&R lot going toward Kirkland but not toward Bothell, where it just turns north from 160th. In any case, there is no safe way to cross NE 160th St at 116th Ave NE and people have to walk over to the NB ramps and cross with a signal. That pair of intersections need to be redesigned to be safer for both turning vehicles and people trying to walk or bike.

        At the NE 85th St BRT station WSDOT is using roundabouts for the new intersections. I think they should consider something similar at NE 160th St.

      2. I think the walk from the nearest on-the-way part of the 239 is good enough, considering that nobody is going to park at a park and ride to ride a local bus like that.

        The number of marginal riders you get by adding the detour is very small.

      3. In any case, there is no safe way to cross NE 160th St at 116th Ave NE and people have to walk over to the NB ramps and cross with a signal.

        Yeah, that is what I was getting at when I wrote about “fix[ing] the crossing (as asdf2 wrote)”. Now that I look at though, asdf2 wrote about a different crossing.

        Anyway, we are talking about the same crossing. The city needs to add a four way signal to that intersection, with a crosswalk on all corners. That makes way more sense than the existing crosswalks next to the bridge, which feed only to freeway ramps: https://goo.gl/maps/tCUtbeSAMLcVxdkv6.

      4. I think the walk from the nearest on-the-way part of the 239 is good enough, considering that nobody is going to park at a park and ride to ride a local bus like that.

        It wasn’t about the park and ride. It was about folks on the 239 trying to get to Bellevue (or Lynnwood). Now that I look at though, it is probably fine. The loop (that I wasn’t aware of) helps, as does the fact that it connects to Totem Lake in the south. You are right, probably not enough riders being inconvenienced to worry about.

      5. The existing crosswalks serve the NB flyer stop.

        I don’t know how well signals would work so close to another signalized intersection, hence my suggestion for a roundabout which WSDOT seems to be favoring over signals these days for good reasons (calms traffic, reduces collisions and delays, shorter crossing distances, cheaper in the long run).

        My ideal configuration would be to consolidate the eastside into a single roundabout. Illustrated: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=17hoQrQWqjwg74h6CcpHzqRlsF5o8HQpU

      6. Ah, *that* missing crosswalk. I was referring to one on the other side of 405, but you’re right. That place badly needs a crosswalk to.

        I also wonder whether the 239 could be restructured better. The 230 already goes Kirkland->Bothell, and is much faster, and the section of the 239 near Brickyard is redundant with the 231. (The 230 and 231 are the types of straight line, legible routes the Eastside needs a lot more of).

        One option I thought of is for the 239 to stay on 124th, serve Woodinville, then Bothell. This adds a Woodinville->Totem Lake connection that doesn’t exist today, while also avoiding the need for a dedicated Bothell->Woodinville shuttle from Sound Transit, saving a lot of service hours. Bothell->DT Kirkland gets a bit slower, but it’s not really meant for travel all the way, that’s what the 230 is for.

        I don’t think a 239 connection to STRIDE at Brickyard is that critical if you can also make the switch at either Totem Lake (walking a couple blocks) or Bothell. The only local bus route that really needs to serve Brickyard is the 231.

      7. I could see the 239 changing, but Bothell is a much bigger destination than Woodinville, especially since it has the college. I think the big question is how (or if) the various routes through Bothell are modified to serve the new BRT bus stop.

        In general there are a lot of potential “last mile” problems that can arise, unless there is a restructure. Crossing over (as the 231 does) is a good way to solve the problem. Doing that as a general rule, though, would be challenging.

      8. would not the bus network be changed if Stride is implemented? Why worry about routes 257 and 239? Perhaps they should be changed.

  3. It’s great that the pedestrian bridge goes all the way.

    This looks potentially quite noisy. The curved canopy on the bridge would appear to bounce freeway traffic noise into the bridge walking corridor. There appears to be a decorative border but sound will pretty much travel right through that. It’s not clear what the platforms will have — and glass bounces that sound along.

    It’s a good sign when agencies improve walking. However, I’m not so sure that a badly-needed acoustical assessment with appropriate adjustments have been made. I wonder how much of the design team has has spent a regular commute waiting for a bus in the middle of a loud freeway.

    The

    1. Having use Eastgate freeway station regularly, it’s certainly loud but not so much to discourage ridership. There, the station platform is elevated above traffic, and I personally enjoy watching traffic pass by, which more than offsets the occasion left-lane semi rumbling by.

      A more comparable design would be the 520 freeway stations? I don’t think those have any noise barriers.

    2. The worse freeway station accoustics I’ve ever seen is Mountlake Terrace, where 5 minutes waiting for a bus caused by ears to hurt for 30 minutes afterward. For the sake of my hearing, I will not use that stop again, at least not without ear protection.

      Eastgate is not that bad, neither are the 520 stations. The trick to keeping the volume down is twofold. Use laminated glass for the station walls, with no air gaps. And repave the freeway with quieter pavement. The latter has already been done on numerous Piget Sound freeways, and should be funded by WSDOT if it hasn’t been done already.

      1. Montlake isn’t nearly as bad as Mountlake Terrace. What makes that one so bad is that the freeway is that the hilly terrain around it turns the freeway into a sound chamber. Also, the fact that the station is at the same vertical level as the freeway, a mere 10 feet or so from speeding cars. And, the glass walls around the station were designed for blocking wind, not sound. Their holes make them accoustically equivalent to no walls at all.

        The concrete parking garage also reflects a ton of sound, further amplifying the noise level.

        Eastgate avoids this by 1) elevating the station, 2) moving the parking garage an extra 100 feet away from the freeway, 3) having less steep slopes than Mountlake Terrace.

        The good news is that, even Mountlake Terrace, if you’ve got earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, you’re going to be fine. You just have to remember to bring them.

      2. I second the criticism of the Mountlake Terrace freeway station. The noise there is pretty terrible. I took the bus from there only a few times but waiting at least in the Southbound direction is extremely annoying. I don’t think I got any hearing loss _just_ from that (loud concerts are more likely culprits :) ) but I do try to avoid going there as much as possible.

  4. The TIBS Stride station will also create a new pedestrian crossing of 518, correct?

    Interesting to contrast TIBS and Brickyard stations with the Stride stations at 44th, 85th, 522, and 195th that involve massive investment in vehicle infrastructure that are generally an improvement but only tangentially related to transit.

    Looking towards future Stride infill stations (or new Stride lines), I hope the success of this station emboldens decision makers to look at other locations that can be implemented as a relatively modest transit project rather than a massive highway interchange rebuild.

    Stride 405 North seems to have good station spacing mostly by piggybacking on a multi-billion WSDOT investment in HOT interchange. Stride 405 South, however, seems like it opportunity for multiple infill stations between TIBS and 44th … particularly with Renton in East King, a subarea likely to have money to burn?

    1. eddiew, since their inception as Dwight Eisenhower’s means to keep Pearl Harbor in Hawaii instead of California, We the People have been Free to make those myriad miles of concrete Ways do anything we want with them to.

      What’ll carry cars and trucks will also carry bikes and trains, which can couple on trailers full of bike-racks like in Stuttgart.

      Al S., scary noisy freezing walk-way or warm safe comfortable indoor linear neighborhood, it’s a hundred percent Our Call.

      Only impermissibility is our present choice to make them twice-a-day regional parking lots where you can’t get out and get a cup of coffee. In the Third World, there’d be lots of carts and vendors. So if Third’s our choice of Worlds, maybe relief’s in sight.

      And AJ, since Jay Inslee is going to Cheat us out of both Goose and Gander as well as turkey, the solution Kingsgate gets, Tukwila International Station will certainly deserve. Transit as an energizer for a neighborhood that’s as profitable as it is lively and vital.

      Machine-drawing-wise, incidentally, “Tangential” merits attention. Steel wheel and rail, perfect example of parts that touch at one place and one place only. If memory serves, Tacoma International Boulevard Station has long touched up against an ethnic neighborhood.

      That used to feature an East African restaurant whose parking lot always hosted half a dozen taxicabs whose drivers always ate there. Worth the World’s loudest “Yelp!” to me.

      For the freeway-lidding structure that the SR 518/SR99 complex really should become, a massive much-needed development is TIBS’s to LOSE. So word to both TIBS and Sea-Tac Airport is “Don’t.”

      Mark Dublin

  5. I must say, I’ve been impressed with the 405 BRT plans. At every turn, they seem to be making it better. Is this what they mean by “BRT Creep”? The BRT lines keeps creeping better?

    1. RossB, since I’m often time-trapped in Sixties-land”, trust me that while his glasses and pocket-protectors might have lost him some dates for being a nerd, BRT was always much too nice a kid to be a creep.

      Though he was also really into an annoying TV series that really was called “Branded”, whose hero was a former Union Army officer unjustly accused of being a coward because he thought route-letter consistency was more important than signal-priority.

      However many doors the thing has, on how many sides, and painted what colors, buses in their own reserved lanes contending with as few right-turning cars as possible can never be wrong. Don’t let bully tell you different.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Being nice animals with considerable intelligence, Jim, pigs probably feel the same way about your socks, but would never put it online for the whole world to see. The lipstick, though, they’d call you aside and at least suggest a color that would be more flattering.

        Mark Dublin

  6. And with my parents’ most-respected Presidencies in mind, Franklin Roosevelt’s and Harry Truman’s, terms “money” and “burning” have a well-earned reputation for sheer horror.

    Which to me points out our transit’s likely funding source Post COVID. Pearl Harbor cost us 2,000 dead Americans. World Trade Center, about 3,000 more. This year, COVID’s killed 246,000 and counting.

    Any foreign enemy had done that to us, ever since an H-bomb crater for a country. No, the Chinese didn’t do it. But those casualty figures definitely put the C-word under National Defense.

    And even more, a major piece of spending we can now avoid. The Golden Gate Bridge was a lot higher-funded by the Second World War than the other way around. Since The World seems glad to have us back, the war we’re not going to have, leaves us safely off the hook to lid some freeways.

    Mark Dublin

  7. And on Tangential TBI and Sea-Tac, here’s another thought. Between the Sea-Tac “gates” and the Enterprise Rent-a Carl, existing bus costs more time than many passengers have.

    So whether it’s gondola, people-mover, or moving walkway, straight mechanical connection between Enterprise and Link might be as affordable as it will be appreciated.

    Mark Dublin

  8. Suspicion, Jim. Back home in the Russian Brooklyn called “Odessa” (where dey only believe what de’re eyes see WIT’ DE’RE OWN TWO HANDS!) a money-laundry creditor named “волосы”, called “Hair” because he’s bald, had started measuring Donald for a snazzy waterproof concrete raincoat.

    But back here where “Conserve’s The Word” except among self-style conservatives, since ST’s service area is basically a disused company town whose last tenant was an aircraft manufacturer, why don’t we just move into those “shops” and build the buses we need ourselves? Everett, Renton, and East Marginal, no lack of factory space!

    And since Climate Change has made the Pacific a hundred percent water, we can finally put an end to the threat of anything Breda. Worldwide. And by shipping work to the Palermo factory for which hundreds of unemployed Sicilian bus-builders will light us votive candles in thanks for re-hiring them.

    Real sorrowful moment RE: DSTT was when, in the midst of King County’s all-commanding granite-tantrum, a young old-country official whose work uniform had epaulettes told me:

    “We can’t get a single decision on the buses we’re building you!” And pointing sadly: “THIS IS NOT A BREDA!” Maybe now they’ll give us the trade-name to rehabilitate!

    My own political intrigues have also hit a snag. Since T’Wina Nobles unseated Steve O’Ban for State Senate, my plan to name a Tacoma Link extension to Steilacoom for him is on hold ’til T’Wina has a minute.

    So who’s the Representative whose contact e-mail you’re going to use to deliver your ongoing counsel on buses and their acceptable price? Because where you live, Jim, you’re not the payer, the rider, or the customer.

    Fact you’re the OWNER means you’ve got no Union protection at all!

    Mark Dublin

    1. Oh, that train left the station 20 years ago, Mark.

      I just watch with amusement at the trials and travails of the eastside corridor, and since I’m not in the Sound Transit taxing district, save for any sales tax I pay when in the area, my concern is only with how much of my gas tax and car tab fees get funneled into the mega-road-project over there.

      However, until I croak, anyone who says that BRT in the I-405 corridor was chosen as superior to commuter rail on the ERC because of direct analysis of the numbers will be corrected. (And it happened one night on the Frank Shiers show when I called in to ‘correct’ Senator Horn after he made that same erroneous statement (about 19 years ago))

  9. Childhood romance thing, maybe. Because to me, while my speedometer lets me directly analyze the numbers as collected, my “re-gen” braking saves my life while I correct them.

    My own travel-uses are a lot less the point of my highway taxes than the food, clothes, medicine, and other needed things that come by truck. Jeff Bezos, stop crippling your workers and we’ll have a talk on Drones.

    And when my taxes can help liberate commuter rail and all its trains from their present owner, those purple bathroom-bearing streamliners in Southern Sweden seem a good fit Everett-Olympia.

    ‘Til then, on lanes 100% their own, buses any name, color, and door-arrangement can reserve those defense-intended lanes for trains when everybody who both counts and cares agrees the answer’s obvious.

    And for the honored “Ill-wind” award? Across the board, private and Government, retirement will render a lot of poll-defeats and other terminations unnecessary. And if trade-school taught me anything, it’s that nothing trains a worker like a job.

    Mark Dublin

  10. A somewhat similar situation exists at the Kent-Des Moines station on FW Link. A footbridge that crosses I-5 to the east at SE 240th St would greatly extend the walkshed for the KDM Station.

    1. Did they ever decide where that station was going to be? If I remember right, the best location would be SR 99. Even if they put it at 30th, it is probably too far for a bridge to work. There is very little on the other side, and even if that changes, there won’t be much. It doesn’t look like there is a bike path over there, and it would be difficult for a bus to serve Jeffrey Road (a dead end). If you put the bridge at South 240th, the bus stop would be almost half a mile from the station. The only way a bridge over to the other side makes sense if the station is on I-5. Let’s hope that isn’t what they are building (as it would be bad for other reasons).

      The best solution would be to have a road over I-5 on South 240th. That way, a bus like the 165 could go over the freeway, and avoid all the freeway traffic. Unfortunately, it is likely way too expensive to add that (unless WSDOT adds it for other reasons).

    2. For KDM, the station will be west of 30th and span 236th. I don’t believe there are any plans for east-west elevated ped crossings.

      The KDM and FW stations are pulled away from I5, so I don’t think ST will be looking to build a bridge as a part of the initial design. A ped crossing at 240th or nearby could be excellent but would be a distinct station access project.

      For Star Lake there could be a ped bridge at 268th to interface with the north entrance of the station, which is a bit more akin to Brickyward, but I think a cheaper option there just to create a footpath north to the 259th under-crossing.

      https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/federal-way-link-extension-open-house-displays-20191106.pdf

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