Sound Transit chose to skip North 130th Street on its Northgate-Lynnwood line, but offered to help buses and bikes reach the trains at congested North 145th Street .
Sound Transit’s governing board chose four station sites Thursday for its line from Northgate to Lynnwood, while skipping a fifth train stop at North 130th Street.
The $1.7 billion, 8.5-mile corridor was approved by voters in 2008, along with extensions to the Eastside and South King County. Forecasts call for the Lynnwood extension to open in 2023, and for 70,000 riders to get on or off a train there.
The board unanimously voted to put stations along Interstate 5 at Northeast 145th Street, Northeast 185th Street near Shoreline Stadium, the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and the Lynnwood Transit Center.
But members also agreed to spend an extra $10 million on the trackway, so stops could be added at North 130th Street in Seattle, and at 220th Avenue Southwest in Mountlake Terrace.
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This would be done by building elevated tracks at 130th. At 220th, tracks will run through Edmonds School District land west of the freeway, creating room for a possible station.
The Pinehurst Community Council, Seattle Transit Blog and the city’s Light Rail Review panel support a 130th site on opening day — because of access to urban villages one mile west and east.
“We can easily and quickly get to a 130th Street station by walking, biking and transit,” said Pinehurst Community Council member Renee Staton, with 11 backers standing behind her.
“Bitter Lake and Lake City are two of the densest neighborhoods in North Seattle. They also have significant numbers of community members who live in subsidized housing and rely on public transportation. These neighborhoods, especially, should have efficient access to the light-rail station,” Staton said.
However, the site itself is surrounded by Jackson Park Golf Course and low-density housing.
Sound Transit predicted a stop would add only 1,500 daily boardings and would slow the trip to Lynnwood by a minute.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a transit-board member, predicted the extra stop will be needed someday.
“As you know, Seattle is growing rapidly,” he said.
San Francisco permitted 1,300 new housing units last year, while Seattle is building 7,000 units, he said. “I have no doubt that despite the ridership numbers, Seattle is breaking the models we use for this, and for everything else.”
The project calls for 500 park-and-ride stalls at North 145th Street, another 500 at Shoreline, and adding 500 spaces to the existing 1,370 slots in Lynnwood.
Land around Shoreline Stadium has been rezoned for transit-oriented, seven-story housing, said Shoreline Mayor Shari Winstead. That’s causing a backlash in the quiet residential neighborhoods.
She testified that 145th Street station is particularly valuable in serving northern Lake Washington, where congestion is rapidly worsening.
“In particular, the station at 145th Street would be the access point to Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Bothell,” she said.