Sound Transit: Northgate Station update

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Joni Earl, CEO
Sound Transit

reprinted with permission

There’s a lot of interest throughout the region on the future Link light rail station at Northgate, as well as the vision for transit-oriented development in the surrounding area.

Sound Transit staff on Thursday presented the Board with updated options to consider as part of the integrated access plans for the station. Kevin Desmond, general manager of King County Metro, also outlined Metro’s Northgate objectives, including future transit-oriented development potentials.

Northgate is already a very busy transit center with about 1,500 park-and-ride spaces and around 5,000 bus boardings a day. It will be considerably busier in 2021, when Link trains begin service. By 2030, we expect to have 15,000 light rail boardings there a day.

We’re looking at a number of options for dealing with parking during construction of the Link station and then when trains are running. One option is a potential 600-900-stall shared use parking garage to replace about 430 park-and-ride stalls and 450 Northgate Mall parking stalls that would be displaced during six years of construction.

Other options we were asked to explore included shared parking opportunities on the west side of I-5 with a possible pedestrian bridge.

The garage option has the potential of converting seven acres of surface parking lots into a structure that takes up one acre, leaving about six acres free for redevelopment by King County. Overall, there would be no net increase in transit parking.

We’re planning to break ground on the 4.3-mile North Link extension from the University of Washington to Northgate in August. A Northgate construction update public meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary School cafeteria, 504 NE 95th Street, Seattle.

Editor's note: The Lynnwood Link, which will run from Northgate to Lynnwood, is currently in the planning stages.


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