$20 Millon for Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements

This is a huge win for Northgate pedestrians and bicyclists! This week the Seattle City Council and the Sound Transit board unanimously passed resolutions committing a total of $20 million to pedestrian and bicycle improvements for the future Northgate light rail station. Thanks go to Seattle Councilman Richard Conlin, who led the charge within the City Council and Sound Transit board. This culminates a month-long effort by a coalition including Maple Leaf and Pinehurst Community Councils, Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, Sierra Club, and Leadership for Great Neighborhoods.

The big ticket item is a pedestrian (and bicycle) bridge spanning I-5 from the future Northgate light rail station to North Seattle Community College and the Licton Springs neighborhood. The City of Seattle and Sound Transit have each committed $5 million to the bridge. The bridge will enable students and employees to use the station with a 5 minute walk rather than a bus transfer or a 20 minute walk. It will enable residents of the Liction Springs neighborhood to walk to the station in 10 minutes rather than 30 minutes.

The rest of the money (another $5 million from Seattle and $5 million from Sound Transit) will be spent on pedestrian and bicycle improvements identified by an access study. This will likely include new sidewalks on streets close to the station (e.g. NE 100th and 103rd Streets) and safe, family-friendy bicycle facilities leading into the residential neighborhoods (e.g. cycle track on 1st Ave NE, buffered bicycle lanes on 5th Ave NE).

Sound Transit will also contribute funds to a 450-stall parking garage on Northgate Mall property, which will allow King County Metro to potentially redevelop the surface park-and-ride lots as retail and/or housing.

The time frame for all of this coincides with the opening of the light rail station in 2021.

4 comments to $20 Millon for Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements

  • I think your math is off. Based on the presentation last night by Sound Transit at the Thornton Creek Alliance meeting, as well as articles on Maple Leaf Life and the Seattle Times, only half of the money to pay for the overpass has been committed ($5 million from Sound Transit and $5 million from the city). Where is the other $10 million? The overpass is not yet a done deal.

  • Sorry I wasn’t clear on that point. Yes, the bridge is expected to cost $20M, with $10M of funding not yet found.

    What I meant is that the City and Sound Transit are each putting $5M into the bridge and each putting $5M into not yet specified projects. 5 * 4 = 20.

  • Phillip

    And it’s worth noting that I’ve heard from a lot of people that the “first money in” is the most important for projects like this. Once they have commitment from city government (Seattle) and regional agencies (Sound Transit) it opens the door to a lot of other funding sources.

    Also, I’m pretty sure it’s written in such a way that the funding will still go to pedestrian and bicycle improvements if the bridge doesn’t happen for some reason.

  • An Observer

    May I suggest turning the section of NE 105th Street between 5th Ave NE and 8th Ave NE into a pedestrian and bicycle only section of road? You know, the one lane, two way Thornton Creek “Bridge” that has no guardrails, no pedestrian/vehicle separation, is only ten feet wide. Just south of the Library.

    Add the street right of way to the Park, allow bikes and pedestrians, no cars. There is something called a “Woonerf” which is designed to allow safe passage for pedestrians and bikes, while still letter cars thru at low, low speeds. Google “Woonerf”, it is a reasonable resolution.

    It seems odd that an unsafe, narrow one lane road is expected to take all the traffic that was blocked at NE 103rd and roads south. NE 103rd has a traffic light at 5th NE, lets see traffic be able to get at least one way on NE 103rd and the opposite way on NE 105th. Fair is fair, and using a substandard stretch of road as if it were a traffic calming device makes no sense.


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