News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Share your vision for Northgate Urban Design

July 17th, 2013 by master

How would you like to see the Northgate urban area evolve as we move closer to the completion of the neighborhood’s light-rail station in 2021?

You’re invited to share your thoughts at the upcoming Northgate Open House from 6-9 p.m. July 30 at Aljoya Thornton Place, 450 N.E. 100th St. Based on your feedback at previous meetings, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development already has drafted an Urban Design Framework for the neighborhood, but it’s seeking your help before it finalizes the plan in the fall.

The plan encompasses the station area and expands throughout the Northgate Urban Center, and includes such features as “urban plazas, active and green streetscapes, and a more complete neighborhood district near the light rail station.”

Your feedback is sought on:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle connections to the station
  • Public spaces in the vicinity
  • Other community amenities
  • Creating an active, healthy and sustainable neighborhood
  • Getting more green improvements
  • Getting more affordable housing

For more information or to comment online, go to the Northgate Urban Design website.

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Bids below estimate for Northgate Link Extension

June 3rd, 2013 by master

Since Sound Transit’s update May 23 on the Northgate Link Extension, the agency has announced that it received six bids below its $594 estimate for the 3.4-miles of tunnels from Husky Stadium to Northgate Station.

The bids ranged from $440 million to $517 million for the twin tunnels, which are the largest single piece of work on the $2.1 billion Northgate Link Extension project. According to the news release:

The winning contractor will launch two tunnel boring machines from the Roosevelt Station site to excavate the tunnels to the U District Station and on to the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium. A third tunnel boring machine will be launched from the Maple Leaf Portal near NE 94th Street and will bore two tunnels, one after the other, to the Roosevelt station. The work is scheduled to begin late this year and last just over four years.

Also, if you missed that meeting but still want to add your 2 cents to the project’s progress, you can catch all of the information that was available at the open house on the Northgate Link Extension project archive.

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More work planned for Northgate Link Extension

March 29th, 2013 by master

Next month, prepare for work throughout Maple Leaf in preparation for the new Northgate Link Extension.

Although we wrote about utility work on First Avenue Northeast last month, Sound Transit is now saying that work will take place in the beginning of April:

In the next several weeks you will begin to see utility work to prepare for the excavation of the Maple Leaf Portal for the Northgate Link Extension. Work will begin as early as April, take place in three phases and be completed no later than July 2013.

Phase 1: Seattle City Light (SCL) will relocate poles and overhead power lines from the west to the east side of 1st Ave NE between NE 92nd and NE 97th Street. This relocation work must be done to maintain power to customers and meet standards for distances between power lines and the light rail portal.

Phase 2: Century Link will relocate overhead phone lines from the west side of 1st Ave onto the new SCL poles. They will then remove poles and abandoned overhead phone lines along the west side of 1st Ave NE between NE 97th and NE 100th Street.

Phase 3: Comcast will relocate existing overhead cables from the west side of 1st Ave NE onto the new SCL poles along the eastside of 1st Ave NE.

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Northgate Station design already 60% done!

October 30th, 2012 by master

Sound Transit might not be rolling into Northgate Station until 2021, but the design of the light-rail station in the corner of Maple Leaf is already 60 percent completed.

You’re invited to learn more about the design at an open house from 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St., with the presentation set to begin at 6:30 p.m. On the docket are updates on bicycle facilities, pedestrian, transit connections, park-and-ride facilities and future transit-oriented development plans.

But possibly of interest to a broader swath of Maple Leafers than previous open houses, Sound Transit also will unveil details about landscaping and progress for public art. Following a national search, local artists Mary Ann Peters and Cris Bruch have been chosen to create original artwork for Northgate Station. According to the project update page:

In the coming months, Peters and Bruch will work with the Northgate Station design team to develop artwork for the station windscreen glass and a sculpture for the plaza area that respond to the character of the neighborhood and station. Their proposals will be presented to the community next year.

What kind of art and landscaping would you like to see at Northgate? Do I hear a shoutout for maple leaves, anyone?

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Northgate Station update tomorrow at Olympic View

September 24th, 2012 by master

Don’t forget about the Northgate Station open house tomorrow, which is your opportunity to learn about the light-rail station that is opening up at the current Northgate Transit Center in 2021.

The event is from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Olympic View Elementary School cafeteria, 504 NE 95th St., with the presentation set to begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a short Q-and-A and time to browse informational charts and speak with experts.

Expect to hear more about construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2013, construction noise, nighttime work and proposed truck hauling routes.

For more information, contact Rhonda Dixon at 206-398-5300 or northlink@soundtransit.org, or visit Sound Transit’s North Link website.

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Northgate Link Extension groundbreaking tomorrow

August 16th, 2012 by master

Celebrate the 2021 arrival of light rail to Northgate Station tomorrow at a groundbreaking of the Northgate Link Extension, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the former QFC at Northeast 66th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

A community kick-off celebration follows from 4:30-7:30 p.m., featuring:

  • Live music by Roosevelt High School Jazz, Nu Klezmer Army, the Illicit Jug Cartel and the Rolling Retreads
  • Face painter, balloon artist and train-themed bouncy house for the kids
  • Link train photo booth – bring your camera or camera phone
  • Zap Gridlock, Sound Transit’s traffic fighting superhero
  • Project information booths – learn the latest on the station designs, public art, bicycle parking and access, current Sound Transit service and more.

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Sound Transit approves Northgate pedestrian improvements

June 28th, 2012 by master

Sound Transit followed the lead of the Seattle City Council today, approving the proposed pedestrian improvements that include a bicycle/pedestrian bridge from North Seattle Community College to Northgate Station, according to a news release from the Cascade Bicycle Club.

It states that the Northgate Station Access Strategy commits Sound Transit to:

  • Completing a Northgate access improvement study to identify potential additional pedestrian and bicycle access improvements to enhance access to the current Northgate Transit Center and future Northgate Station inter-modal transit facility as part of the Northgate Link Extension Project.
  • Contributing 25 percent (up to $5 million) of the cost of a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over I-5 to North Seattle Community College and Licton Springs, which the City of Seattle will match with an additional $5 million. The City will also seek other funding partners to secure full funding to complete design and construction of the bridge (total cost approximately $20 million). If a full funding agreement for the implementation of the I-5 pedestrian/bicycle bridge cannot be completed by July 2015, the Sound Transit Board will reallocate any unspent bridge funds to other priority pedestrian/bicycle projects identified through the connectivity and access study processes.
  • Matching up to $5 million in City investments in pedestrian/bicycle facilities in and around Northgate Station consistent with the improvements identified and recommended by the connectivity analysis and access study.

In other Northgate Station news, the Thornton Creek Alliance is inviting the public to a panel discussion tonight on the changes and challenges to Thornton Creek as the North Corridor Transit Project becomes further developed. There will be representatives from Sound Transit, Seattle Public Utilities, State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Department of Ecology on the panel, which will be followed by the Alliance’s regular meeting.

The meeting is from 7-9 p.m. tonight at the Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave. N.E.

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Sound Transit has key Northgate vote Thursday

June 27th, 2012 by master

Although the Seattle City Council already approved $5 million for a pedestrian/bike bridge over Interstate 5 along with another $5 million for additional bike/pedestrian improvements around Northgate Station, the Sound Transit board has yet to agree to the joint proposal.

On Thursday, the transit agency will consider the Northgate Station Access Strategy proposed by City Councilman Richard Conlin, which would 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. [Read more →]

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City Council approves Northgate pedestrian bridge

June 25th, 2012 by master

The Seattle City Council today voted in favor of making Northgate more walkable by unanimously adopting a resolution dedicating up to $5 million for a pedestrian/bike bridge over Interstate 5, linking the future Northgate Station and North Seattle Community College.

The so-called Northgate Station Access Strategy also includes another $5 million as a match from Sound Transit for additional pedestrian/bicycle improvements in anticipation of the arrival of the North Link light rail in 2021.

The strategy, which was proposed earlier this month by Councilman Richard Conlin, also includes a request that Sound Transit develop of a 450-stall parking garage “that will support park-and-ride facilities, preferably shared use, with possible private funding used to provide additional parking garage stalls and potentially free existing surface parking for future development,” according to the text of Resolution 31389.

From Conlin’s news release:

“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.”

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Construction, parking on agenda for Northgate Station open house

June 4th, 2012 by master

Sound Transit officials will provide more details about upcoming construction, parking and other topics about Northgate Station at an open house from 6-8 p.m. tonight, June 4, at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St. Earlier this spring in March Sound Transit held a similar construction update. Here’s a sneak peek at tonight’s briefing:

Northgate Station Area Update PowerPoint

According to Crosscut, one of the options under consideration is the creation new garage with room for up to 920 spaces. From the article:

The garage is meant as “temporary mitigation” for the parking that will be lost during construction. Opponents, including Maple Leaf Community Council transportation committee chair David Miller, note that the project will only permanently displace 117 parking spots. A 900-car garage, in other words, would represent a net gain of nearly 800 spots, in an area where future developments are supposed to be transit, bike, and pedestrian-oriented.

“We’re opposed to the idea of building more parking at Northgate,” says Miller, who believes a “much better idea” would be to build a pedestrian bridge from North Seattle Community College across I-5 to link college students and commuters to the light-rail station. “If you’re going to spend X number of millions on a garage, you’re better off spending the same amount of money on a pedestrian bridge,” he says.

Do you have an opinion on the proposed garage or other changes? Attend tonight’s meeting or share your concerns/ideas via e-mail: main@soundtransit.org; snail mail at Sound Transit, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104; or call 888-889-6368; TTY Relay 711

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