Designing a future LINK station at 46th Street and Aurora/Hwy. 99

I’ve been giving some though as to how a future LINK station here would work, given Aurora passes over Hwy. 99. Currently people wanting to take the Aurora buses are forced to walk up to Aurora from the appropriate side, given that Aurora is a divided highway here. What I think would be cool is elevators going directly up to either side of Aurora from the underground station. That way people could just step off the elevator and right onto the bus without having to walk up any outdoor stairs or ramps:

East side elevator

West side elevator

Maybe someone else can speak to the technical complexities that this would involve.

Obviously those elevators couldn’t be the only entrances to the subway. So where to place the “main entrance”. This is tough, as there doesn’t appear to be much open space available. If ST could keep the above-ground footprint at an absolute bare minimum (and examples like Roosevelt Station suggest they can’t), I guess the place to put the entrance would be this little triangle on the south side of 46th:,-122.3467083,3a,75y,184.53h,91.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTBgjX-LPORt5DHA8KdXdbg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

This station would present some challenges not found elsewhere. Does anyone else have any insight on how to design it?

LINK service patterns with a “Ballard Spur”

There has been some talk about how to serve Ballard with light rail in the future. There have been suggestions for a route running north from downtown to Ballard, and for a “spur” running west from the UDistrict to Ballard.

Advantages of a direct line from downtown:

-shorter Downtown Ballard travel times
-areas in-between, like Belltown, Denny Triangle/SLU, and Lower Queen Anne can be serviced

Advantages to a line running west from Brooklyn station:

-faster service alone 45th Street corridor
-would create both north-south and east-west lines in north Seattle. The entire north Seattle bus network could be redesigned so that every bus route serves at least one LINK station. Presumably, many could serve two (for instance, a bus route could connect Northgate to a stop on the Ballard spur)

If a Ballard spur were built, I first thought it should be a separate line, and not be interlined with other routes. However, I really only think that would be a good option if LINK service were always super-frequent. I now think it should be interlined with other LINK lines. So this is my proposal:

Ballard spur service

Ballard spur service proposal

There would be four lines:

1. Angle Lake (or whatever the southern terminus is) – Lynnwood (the current “Central Link” plans)
2. Redmond – Lynnwood (the current “East Link” plans)
3. Angle Lake/southern terminus – Ballard
4. Redmond – Ballard

These are my proposed service levels. No longer would there be less frequent service before 6am or after 10pm:

Peak hours: -each line would run every 12 minutes
Off-peak hours: -each line would run every 20 minutes

This would result in the following headways:

Peak hours:
-ID station – Brooklyn station: -every 3 minutes
-Angle Lake/southern terminus – Brooklyn station: -every 6 minutes
-Redmond – Brooklyn station: -every 6 minutes
-ID station – Ballard: -every 6 minutes
-ID station – Lynnwood: -every 6 minutes

Off-peak hours:
-ID station – Brooklyn station: -every 5 minutes
-Angle Lake/southern terminus – Brooklyn station: -every 10 minutes
-Redmond Brooklyn – station: -every 10 minutes
-ID station – Ballard: -every 10 minutes
-ID station – Lynnwood: -every 10 minutes

The only drawback to my plans compared to the current plans would be less frequent service between Brooklyn and Lynnwood. However, I believe that it is worth it to serve Ballard, and to provide one-seat service from Ballard to as far as Angle Lake/southern terminus and Redmond.

Proposed stations:

-45th/I-5 (entrances at both 5th and 7th Avenues)
-45th/Wallingford Avenue
-45th/Stone Way
-45th Aurora (entrances at about Winslow Place and Linden Avenue)
-NW Market/3rd Avenue
-NW Market/15th Avenue
-NW Market/24th Avenue
-NW Market/32nd Avenue