Public input sought on options for parking, pedestrian and bicycle access at Northgate Station

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Proposed public/private garage would maintain current park-and-ride capacity during light rail construction and enable six acres of transit-oriented development

Sound Transit is seeking public input on options for improving access to Northgate Transit Station for pedestrians, bicyclists, park-and-ride users and bus riders during and after construction of the North Link light rail extension project, which includes a station at Northgate.

Sound Transit will host a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 4, at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 9th St., Seattle. A presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available online at www.soundtransit.org/northlink. Comments can also be provided by e-mail, phone and mail: 

  • Email: northlink@soundtransit.org
  • Phone: 206-370-5569
  • Mail: North Link Access, c/o Sound Transit, 401. S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104

Sound Transit is preparing to start construction on the North Link light rail extension project from the University of Washington to Northgate, as approved by voters in 2008. Construction in the Northgate area is scheduled to begin in late 2013, and the extension is scheduled to open for service in 2021. Northgate will be the first light rail station located at an existing transit center. Today the Northgate Transit Center serves more than 5,000 riders each weekday and includes 1,522 parking spaces that are fully utilized.

Sound Transit is working with King County Metro and the City of Seattle on an integrated access plan for Northgate Station that improves access to the station for all modes - buses, bikes, pedestrians and cars - and complements future development goals at Northgate. Current work includes particular focus on final plans for mitigating the loss of parking during Sound Transit construction, as required by the project's federal Record of Decision (ROD) that culminated years of environmental review and community involvement.

Construction of the Northgate Station is expected to displace 428 park-and-ride stalls managed by King County Metro over a period of about seven years. In addition, station construction is also expected to displace 451 parking stalls at Northgate Mall for which Sound Transit must compensate the mall's owner, Simon Property Group (SPG). In order to comply with federal ROD requirements for mitigating the lost park-and-ride capacity and to provide a way for SPG to replace its lost parking, a shared use parking garage is proposed with a total of 600 - 900 spaces split between transit riders and patrons of Northgate Mall. The preferred site for the proposed garage is on Northgate Mall property near the future station site. The garage would be built before station construction begins to minimize impacts to current transit users and Mall customers.

Construction of the proposed garage would allow King County Metro to convert about six acres of surface parking lots to transit oriented development (TOD) near the station by consolidating surface parking in a garage. Completion of the TOD projects would generate additional transit ridership for the Northgate Station. Under this proposal there would be a net decrease of about 300 park-and-ride spaces at Northgate after King County redeveloped existing surface lots for TOD projects.

Sound Transit estimates structured parking costs at $30,000 per parking stall. Because the garage costs and use would be shared with the Northgate Mall owners, a conservative estimate would be $13-$14 million to build 450 replacement park-and-ride stalls in the garage; the actual final use arrangements and cost of these stalls will be negotiated in the future, if approved by the Sound Transit Board. The Board will be considering approval of the final North Link project scope schedule and budget in late June. Northgate parking mitigation plans are the last remaining major project scope issue to be resolved.

The ongoing North Link collaborative process caps more than 10 years of planning and design work. The project will include stations at Northgate, Roosevelt and University District neighborhoods and is expected to add 60,000 daily riders to the light rail system by 2030. A trip to downtown from Northgate will take 14 minutes by train.