Through our Sound Access for All campaign, we have been monitoring accessibility by people traveling by foot at future Sound Transit Link light rail stations throughout the region. This includes the future Rainier Station, which will be built within the I-90 right of way between 23rd Avenue South and Rainier Avenue South.
The Rainier Link light rail Station will be a major transfer point for people who live and work in Seattle transferring to and from Metro routes #7,#9, and #48. Metro #4 and #8 also run close to the station. All five of these routes serve many low-income riders, who often walk to transfer to another bus. In addition, many people who live in Beacon Hill and Mount Baker communities would like to access the station on foot and by bike.
The current environment in the area has significant problems for people going by foot. The Rainier Avenue station entrance is directly beneath I-90. If you have been there then you know that it’s dark and forbidding for people accessing the station on foot. In addition, station users going to and from the southbound bus stop on Rainier Avenue South must navigate two crosswalks along Rainier and the eastbound freeway off ramp. If that wasn’t bad enough, foot access to the 23rd Avenue station entrance is hindered by the lack of lighting and clear wayfinding. Finally, there is no direct access to the Mountains to Sound (MTS) Greenway running parallel to I-90; a missed opportunity to leverage the transportation system.
In consultation with local residents, we have identified a number of low-to medium-cost improvements that would significantly improve pedestrian access to the Rainier station. Take a look at the Rainier @ I-90 Station Access letter we sent to decision makers.
The time is now to ensure the choices we make today make it easy and safe for people to walk to the station in the future. As of now, leaders are at a stand still to make investments for people going by foot. To stay involved with this issue, let us know by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line put: Rainier Station.