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.
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.
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.
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.