185th project scope questioned at Shoreline transportation hearing

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A map shows the five segments of the 185th project with estimated costs;
North City residents have raised safety concerns about 180th 

By Oliver Moffat

This is the fourth (and final) article covering comments from the city council about Shoreline’s proposed Transportation Improvement Plan at last week’s public hearing.

North City has long been home to affordable housing with condo complexes and subsidized apartments. Recent construction has brought new apartments and new neighbors living in walking distance of the soon-to-open light rail station at 185th street.

To support increased vehicle, bike and pedestrian traffic in the neighborhoods near Shoreline’s south station, the city will spend $157 million on infrastructure improvement along 145th street.

A map from a North City resident shows the location of apartments and condos (yellow), the light rail station (red), recently completed sidewalks (green), and unfunded sidewalk projects (blue)

Out of the nineteen projects listed in Shoreline’s proposed Transportation Improvement Plan, the three running through the North City neighborhood are all unfunded.

On Monday, April 15, 2024 the council heard comments from North City residents concerned about 180th street, the primary cross street connecting the North City business district to Shoreline’s north light rail station on 185th.

In reference to concerns about the plan, council member Keith Scully said, “North City folks, we are $80 million short on that one. So it’s gonna be awhile and I appreciate the desire and believe me it’s not prioritizing part of the city. 
"These projects are unbelievably expensive and it takes a long time to get them in progress, so. My apologies but it’s gonna be a bit for North City.”

Of the $80 million worth of projects in the 185th Street Multimodal Corridor Strategy, $63 million would be spent to widen 185th street on the west side of I-5 from three lanes to four.

On the east side of I-5, $12 million would be spent to add on-street parking, sidewalks and bike lanes on 10th Ave between 185th and 180th.

Another $5 million would be spent to fill sidewalk gaps on 180th, where pedestrians must currently walk in the road; the city says the sidewalks won’t be built until sometime after 2035 (more than ten years from now).

A screen shot shows councilmember Keith Scully (left) listening as Mayor Chris Roberts questions the scope of the 185th project

In comments at the public hearing, Mayor Chris Roberts indicated he would like to revisit the plan and questioned the size and scope of the 185th project.

“We haven’t revisited this project in a while. Has there been any thought on refining the scope or separating out … that 185th project into more distinct projects? Maybe focusing on those east side projects”, said Roberts.

Whether walking, biking, driving or taking the bus, 180th is the primary road eastside residents will take to reach the 185th street station.

That segment of 180th is also the location of the of a school bus stop, the fire station, and later this year Metro’s 348 will add frequent all-day and all-night service to the street.


Anonymous,  April 23, 2024 at 9:41 AM  

It's so disappointing to learn that there won't be sidewalks connecting North City to the transit station that's one mile away for ten years. If they can't build sidewalks they should eliminate the street parking so pedestrians and bicyclists can safely access the light rail.

Anonymous,  April 23, 2024 at 1:10 PM  

Thank you for bringing attention to the 180th street sidewalk issue. I feel that if we can separate the $5MM section from the rest of the $80MM project, it would have a better chance of getting funding earlier than 2035. Hopefully MUCH sooner!

Anonymous,  April 23, 2024 at 3:47 PM  

I initially voted for widening of 185th to 4 lanes. I've changed my mind and would now prefer no widening, maybe make the center lane reversible for transit. These would keep the trees, lessen costs, and focus improvements on non-car modes.

Anonymous,  April 24, 2024 at 6:33 AM  

Having lived on 180th and 8th for some years, I can say that the school bus stop on 180th should be a priority. Peo
ple before cars. The kids waiting for their bus gather and spill off of the road edge into the street as there is no place for them to safely wait for their school bus in the morning and traffic barrels through there without awareness. They need a sidewalk before 2025 or the school district and city need to move the bus stop to a safer location.

Anonymous,  April 24, 2024 at 8:28 AM  

I watched my kids dodge into yards to avoid cars on 10th when they walked to their bus stop thinking, our time will come. With the station, I thought, at least now we'll get sidewalks. But the city council had no intention of improving north city ever? My mistake was being this patient. Now I'm irrate.

Just My Opinion April 24, 2024 at 8:41 AM  

Many of us wondered why the deluxe sidewalk was built on 5th NE from NE 175th to NE 185th -BOTH sides of the street. I assume it's because cars will be speeding on 5th to and from the light rail - so pedestrians need to be "safe". Once in a while a local resident can be seen walking their dog along the new pavement. How nice for them. There is no multi-housing on 5th (only now being developed by NE 145th). The sidewalks SHOULD have been built from North City to the light rail. Where in the planning process for any of these projects does common sense factor in??

Anonymous,  April 24, 2024 at 10:11 AM  

Funny, countries like the the Netherlands have mastered the integration of mass transit and pedestrians for decades but here in the US we're still looking at a hunk of wood and thinking "maybe that could roll" as we reinvent the wheel. What is so hard about consulting with other countries?

Anonymous,  April 24, 2024 at 11:22 AM  

Thanks for reporting on this. How can it be that the North City projects are unfunded if it's not prioritizing part of the city?
Thank you, Mayor Roberts for suggesting taking another look. I hope the Council takes him up on that.

Anonymous,  April 24, 2024 at 4:05 PM  

Why is 180th str ignored while it will be the main street that would be used to walk/bike to the station from 15th to 5th ave NE (from multiple apartment buildings and condos ) and car traffic from North City, LFP, Kenmore, Bothell, Edmonds and more? That street will be clogged up not to mention there is also a firestation..
Waiting 10 years seems irresponsible and insane!

Anonymous,  April 24, 2024 at 5:20 PM  

I agree that it would make sense to shift funds to prioritize non car projects that will support use of and success of the lite rail. It's already a serious challenge for a pedestrian to navigate 180th safely.

DKH April 25, 2024 at 12:14 AM  

Re moving the school bus stop: remember that the kids would have to walk to a new bus stop and that would be worse on that dangerous road.

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