Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin Proposes Northgate Access Strategy

Sound Transit Board Member and Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin will propose a coordinated access strategy for the Northgate Link Light Rail Station at the Sound Transit Capital Committee on Thursday, June 14.

Northgate Update: Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin proposes Northgate access strategy

June 13, 2012                                                

Sound Transit Board Member and Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin has announced that he will propose a coordinated access strategy for the Northgate Link Light Rail Station at the Sound Transit Capital Committee on Thursday, June 14, 1:30 p.m. at 401 South Jackson Street. 

This announcement arrives following the latest of several letters to Sound Transit regarding accessibility at the proposed Northgate Light Rail Station. The most recent one was sent yesterday, and requested Sound Transit to look more holistically at their approach to transporting Seattle Residents:

“Parking has dominated the Northgate Link Light Rail Station conversation for too long. The region needs a transportation system that includes cars along with other modes: rail, bus transit, biking and walking…Feet First encourages Sound Transit leadership to look more holistically at how the agency moves people. 

“Working together, we can ensure that the Northgate Light Rail station is pedestrian friendly for the many people who live in the nearby multi-family developments and surrounding neighborhoods. We need leadership from Sound Transit to support the community’s vision of a place for people to easily be able to walk, bike and take the bus and train.”

Download this letter here.

Conlin’s Proposed Northgate Access Strategy

Councilmember Richard Conlin’s proposal will commit Sound Transit to:

  • Match up to $5 million in City investments in bicycle and pedestrian facilities around the Northgate station;
  • Commit up to $5 million as a 25 percent share in a bicycle/pedestrian bridge between the Northgate station and North Seattle Community College;
  • Agree that Sound Transit will fund park-and-ride facilities including a new 450 stall parking garage, preferably shared use. Private funding could be used to provide additional parking garage stalls and potentially free existing surface parking for future development.

“A coordinated access strategy is critical to making light rail work and to realizing the vision of the Northgate Urban Center and enhancing the neighborhoods around Northgate,” Conlin stated. “We can accomplish so much more by recognizing that all modes of access are necessary in order to prevent gridlock and ensure that transit and urban development work together.”

The proposal includes Sound Transit being credited against the sum for any required mitigation imposed as part of permitting and other City regulations, and includes actions that Sound Transit has already engaged in to design the station to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle improvements. 

Under the Conlin proposal, Sound Transit would be committing up to $10 million for pedestrian and bicycle facilities along with approximately $12 to $15 million for Transit’s share of parking garage construction. The proposed investments would be funded within Sound Transit’s budget for North Link. These investments, in turn, will leverage other public and private funding.

The City of Seattle would have to commit $5 million to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, an amount that is consistent with the City’s long-range plans for this area. A consortium of entities would have to be brought together to fund the remaining 75 percent of the pedestrian bridge. 

“If the Sound Transit Board agrees to this proposal, and the other funding partners join the commitment, we will be able to invest $10 million in pedestrian and bicycle facilities and up to $20 million for the pedestrian bridge over I-5,” Conlin noted. “I am confident that the City would invest $10 million, and we will ask our regional partners to come up with the other $10 million.”

Projected public investment in access to the Northgate station:

Pedestrian/Bicycle facilities                       $10 million

Pedestrian/Bicycle bridge across I-5        $20 million

Parking garage                                               $12-15 million

Total:                                                                $42-45 million

 

Sources of funds: 

Sound Transit                                                 up to $22-25 million

City of Seattle                                                 up to $10 million

Other potential partners:                            up to $10 million

King County

State of Washington and grant dollars

For more information about Councilmember Richard Conlin’s proposal, contact Laura Lockard, Council Communications at 206-650-6692.

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