Community Post

New Details on I-90 Light Rail Station

I went over to the Sound Transit open house at Thurgood Marshall elementary tonight to get a look at the latest design for the light rail station planned for I-90 between 23rd & Rainier. It’s all part of the new East Link route that will link downtown Seattle with Mercer Island, Bellevue, and the Microsoft campus.

Here’s some of the highlights:

  • There will be entrances from both 23rd & Rainier, with the station situated closest to 23rd.  
  • Access from 23rd will be provided via 2 elevators, escalators, and stairs, with a ticket station up at the level of 23rd
  • Access from Rainier will be via a long ramp that connects to the existing pathways that lead from the street up to the bus stations on I-90.  This will allow connections from the #7 bus and the express buses that run along I-90
  • There will be stops for the #48 bus on each side of 23rd in front of the entrance to the station
  • Bike racks & lockers will be provided in front of the station on 23rd
  • The light rail station will be open-air, but will have overhead protection from the rain

Sound Transit will be accepting public comment on their plans until February 25th.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, with service to Bellevue opening in 2020. My recommended comment? “Build it faster!”

Detailed drawings of the station are in the attached PDF file.

0 thoughts on “New Details on I-90 Light Rail Station

  1. Scott

    Could you post the photo’s as a down loadable jpeg?

    I really wish they had done better outreach. I never got a notice and I am within a couple of blocks from Judkins Park .

    Thanks for your continued good work!

  2. Here’s a link to a downloadable version of the main photo above:

  3. If you sign up on the Sound Transit website, you’ll get regular emails and fliers in the mail informing you of changes and meetings in the neighborhood. I also live near Judkins Park, and I get something from Sound Transit via email at least once a week, and a monthly mailing as well.

  4. For those not following the action, there is legislation right now at the State level that will mandate higher density zoning around station areas. The proposal is for 50 units/acre net density within 1/2 mile radius around the site. As we will see with the rezoning around Beacon Hill, McClellan, there will be much more density there.

    Parts of Jackson Place, Judkins and Mt Baker will be affected by this Link II stop. 1/2 mile radius is about 480 acres. This issue has come up very fast – the City Neighborhood Council is discussing it tonite. Last week the Community Council Federation looked at it.

    Here is a notice that has been going around I include in its entirety:

    Important! Hearing on Futurewise’s Pro-Density Gentrification Bill Wed 8AM in Olympia (HB 1490) 1490)

    Our city’s low income housing stock, Greenbelts and tree canopy are directly threatened!
    We really need you there to tell your legislators you are opposed to the Futurewise “Transit Oriented Development TOD Bill” HB 1490….or you must call/email ’em ASAP!

    Hearing 8AM Wed. 28th, Olympia Hearing E. John L. O’Brien Room: (for more info email us or call 632-0668)
    if you cannot attend, you must email and call legislators listed below ASAP – a lot is at stake!
    (call us if you need a ride and we will try and accommodate you if possible)

    “Yes clustering growth around transit stations makes sense but the densities this bill requires, particularly in SE Seattle, spells only one thing – accelerated displacement of low income and minority households and loss of more trees and open space in our neighborhoods” We don’t have to meet this important objective by sacrificing the values that make our city liveable!

    “This bill could requires densities around stations greater than Belltown. The building industry, developers, and pro-density bureaucrats crafted this bill without the participation of one single affected community – let affected neighborhoods first have a say in how any such bill should be crafted. And scale back the required densities, protect trees, open space, and our stock of low income housing before you proceed or it is little more than an aggressive pro-developer driven bill wrapped in a phony patina of “green”.

    Seattle’s neighborhoods along the rail route have already spent years improving their neighborhood plans, undertaking extensive station area planning. They are not only meeting, but exceeding their 20 year growth targets. HB 1490 would negate all that and require densities more than 3 times what our city’s 20 year growth targets say these areas need! The bill as written is a developers dream and a nightmare for neighborhoods, small businesses, and low income communities within these affected areas.

    What’s at stake and what you need to say when you call (also for more details on their bill go to the Coalition’s website (google Seattle Displacement Coalition and it’s the lead story):
    The hearing Wed. it’s early but we really need affected neighborhoods down there. If you can’t come call members of the Local Government Committee (#’s and emails we’ve listed below) and tell them you are opposed to Futurewise’s bill HB 1490 euphemistically described as a “Transit Oriented Development” or TOD bill to curb greenhouse emissions. Lacking any consideration of existing uses, current neighborhood plans, and ignoring the fact that affected areas have been doing just fine in Seattle meeting and even exceeding their growth targets, the bill is a bull in a china shop. It really is just a pro-developer pro-density pro-gentrification piece of legislation in its current form and pays no heed to the existing character of our neighborhoods. The bill essentially says our neighborhoods, our low income housing stock, our open space, tree canopy, and urban streams must be sacrificed in order to prevent climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth! Low income and minority communities are especially hard hit because the bill.

    HB 1490 drafted by Futurewise and disguised as a bill to curb greenhouse gases would force cities to zone for 17000 households within one half mile of each light rail or bus rapid transit station. That’s a density of 50 units per acre that cities would be required to zone for within what is called a “Transit Oriented Development” or TOD area. There are 45 proposed rail stations around the region including six in Seattle’s downtown with nine in our neighborhoods. Together the nine neighborhood stations including five in SE Seattle contain about 32000 units (and average less than 4000 in each TOD area) and 20 year targets call for a total in all 9 by 2024 of about 45000 units. Futurewise’s bill would require zoning for 153, 000 housing units total in these nine areas. It would force cities along the rail route to either upzone a lot of single family areas within each TOD area (which makes up as much as 2/3rd’s of the area around most of these TOD’s or instead offset those low densities areas with even higher densities in the remaining areas around TOD’s perhaps as high as 100 units per acre or more. These density approach parts of Manhattan and Chicago.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of low income and minority households all along the transit route whose homes would be turned into rubble. (what’s green about tossing that into a landfill and pouring tons of concrete for all the new high density development) what’s green about wiping out open space, tree canopy, creating more storm runoff into our urban streams, displacing inner-city poor who work in-city to the burb’s giving them only one choice to drive carbon emitting cars long distances to work?

    The bill includes some housing mitigation measures but those measures are wholly inadequate to curb the displacement and gentrification that would ensue. No attention or mitigation is provided for loss of open space and tree canopy. It’s a false and arrogant claim – to tell/order Seattle’s neighborhoods to sacrifice their liveability and affordability in the name of impacting climate change and preserving farmland. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Check out our website for more details and call/email your legislators and those listed below on the House Local Government Committee:

    Local Government Committee Jan. 28th Wed. 8AM House Hearing Rm E John L. O’Brien Building Olympia, WA HB 1490:
    committee members address/ph’s (the best way to communicate with them if you cannot reach them directly – first email them and then call their staffmember and make sure they got it and the briefly express your concerns)
    Official title of bill: HB 1490 – “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through land use and transportation requirements”
    Geoff Simpson mailto:Simpson.Geoff 360-786-7918
    Sharon Nelson (also prime sponsor of bill: mailto:[email protected] ph: same prefix for all (-7952)
    Mark Miloscia mailto:miloscia.mark (-7898)
    Larry Springer mailto:[email protected] (-7822)
    Dave Upthegrovce mailto:[email protected] (-7868)
    Scott White mailto:[email protected] (-7886)
    Brendan Williams mailto:[email protected] (-7940)
    Jan Angel (mailto:[email protected] (-7964)
    Doug Ericksen mailto:[email protected] (-7980)
    Glenn Anderson mailto:[email protected] (-7876)
    Shelley Short mailto:[email protected] (-7908)