NE 130th Light Rail Station Update

We promised to keep the community updated regarding the NE 130th Light Rail Station planning.  Here is the latest:

Sound Transit

  • Last month, the Washington Legislature and Governor approved support for full Sound Transit 3 (ST3) funding authority which allows Sound Transit to advance plans for a November 2016 ballot measure.  The draft project list being considered by Sound Transit includes a light rail station at NE 130th St.and I-5 in Seattle as part of the Lynnwood Extension phase that would open in 2023.  The final project list for the November 2016 ST3 ballot measure is expected to be finalized in August 2016.
  • If the community is willing to have a conversation regarding land use changes in the 130th station area, it appears likely that the station would be included in the ST3 ballot measure and would open in 2023.  If the community is not willing to consider land use changes at this time, a station will likely still be built though it will not occur until some point in the future when other funding can be found.
  • For more about ST3: and
Land Use

  • The greater Pinehurst community is organizing a community-led land-use discussion to understand whether the community is willing to have a conversation about land use changes in the 130th station area.
  • We are keeping the Mayor’s Office, Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Planning and Development and Seattle City Council in the loop on this conversation.  We will also be reaching out to our King County and state legislative representatives.
  • Timeline: We will start the conversation this summer and hope to have a sense of how the community feels by early 2016.
  • Steering committee: Ross Bleakney, Phillip Duggan, Thomas Mercer, John Munari, Jesse Piedfort, Renee Staton, Daigoro Toyama, Eric Youngblut.  If you know additional Pinehurst/Jackson Park/Haller Lake people who might be interested or if you would be interested in the steering committee, please let me know.
  • We are drafting an outreach plan to engage the community. The tentative plan includes a series of 2-3 public meetings this fall/winter for public input and alternative engagement for stakeholders who can’t or are not likely to attend the public meetings.  This project will only reflect the community’s dreams to the extent that we allow all of the community to participate and dream.  Details of the outreach plan will be available soon.
  • A significant part of the outreach includes including affordable housing experts in the conversation from the beginning.

Questions: Renee Staton

11 comments to NE 130th Light Rail Station Update

  • Margaret Clowry

    Please let me know when and where the meetings are

  • Ruth Williams

    Me too, please!

  • Renee

    Absolutely! We will be posting here, on FB, and mailing to the neighborhood mailing list. We will also be looking for ways to reach our community members who can’t or don’t attend meetings.

  • P.Lorax

    Watch out Pinehurst neighbors. I support transit and light rail and am an avid cyclist, but what this means for every quiet neighborhood around 130th is… zoning changes for ultra-dense condo/apartment construction. 6-7 story (or higher, if they can get away with it) big box multi-family complexes with minimal parking provided and a lovely “patio” that extends out a few inches. This won’t just be in the block or so around the future light rail station, it will be at least a ONE SQUARE MILE walk-shed and even farther along the main corridors. Get involved and fight back while you can. Your committee is made up of density fanatics. They will call you a NIMBY, accuse you of “being greedy” for dwelling in a single family home like you’re some sort of Luddite who’s desperately grasping to preserve the days of Ozzie and Harriet, accuse you of being anti-progress, anti-change, and anti-environment, when the truth is, they are more than happy to see your 50 year old trees, vegetable garden, and backyard wildlife demolished and displaced to make way for an apodment.

  • Renee

    P.Lorax – I am sorry that you feel so strongly negative about this and distrust this conversation before it even begins. However, I hope that you will participate in our discussion. Anything that happens will only happen based on what the community articulates.

  • P.Lorax

    I’m not exactly sure how you surmised “strongly negative” from a comment in support of transit, light rail, and cycling. I’m actually sorry that you’re misleading the public into thinking that this conversation hasn’t begun yet. Because, it actually has begun. One only needs to have attended our district’s candidate forums, or search for twitter feeds, or the STB blog to see where each of your opinions from the committee on over-saturated density are at. What’s incorrect or “strongly negative” about sharing the committee’s collective fandom for reduced parking requirements and preference for seeing tall, high-density replace as many SFR’s as possible? I most certainly will be participating in the discussion, starting with: flyering and doorbelling this very weekend. Maybe “the committee” should consider doing the same? Game on.

  • Renee

    P.Lorax –

    We don’t see this as a game. Hopefully you don’t really see it that way either.

    We see this as an opportunity for our community to engage in an authentic discussion with no preconceived expectations of the outcome other than being pretty confident that 6-7 storey buildings, big-box and one mile walk shed are definitely not up for consideration. The formal conversation will begin this fall, but we will be doing outreach the next few months. Please call or email me anytime and let’s all sit down and talk. Face to face conversation is the best way to do this.


  • Scott

    I don’t live in Pinehurst, but I do pay taxes to sound transit, and I, for one, do not want to pay the large amounts of money that would be required to expand the system and have a station in Pinehurst if relatively few people will be able to use it. That would be a colossal waste of money. The fact is that low-density environments do that support transit–at least from a cost-effectiveness standpoint. If the neighborhood doesn’t want to have more density (a perfectly respectable preference as there are downsides to it) they should not get a high capacity transit station. It should be both or neither, IMHO.

  • Emily

    P. Lorax – sadly, you are absolutely correct. One only has to have been following the “discussions” and “community meetings” around the 145th St station in Shoreline to know how this process works: the departments of planning and development decide what they want and then figure out how to quietly impose it on the existing residents before they figure out what’s going on. I went to all of them and I have also read the fine print in the reports. If executed poorly, these stations and density “improvements” have the potential to devastate Thornton Creek Watershed – and what happens upstream affects what happens downstream, to the quality of the water flowing in Lake Washington and in Puget Sound. In addition, as a person who literally lives on the doorstep of the proposed 130th St. station, my quality of life will be completely destroyed unless I move away. My modest but architecturally beautiful 1950 house will be torn down, and all my mature native trees that provide habitat for wildlife will be clearcut. My neighbors on my street are all in blissful ignorance of what’s going to happen to our block. Public discussion? What a joke. Nine out of ten of them have never even heard of the proposed station, and the tenth has been lulled into a false sense of security by the propaganda put out by Sound Transit and the City. On my street none of us are rich, all of us have full-time jobs, none of us have the time it would take to fight back, but we are the ones who will be paying with our lives so that 500 people don’t have to walk an extra half-mile to Northgate or 145th. What a shame I decided to live in a real middle-class neighborhood and not in a gated community! No, Pinehurst, this is definitely NOT A GAME.

  • P.Lorax

    Exactly, Emily. Sound Transit *will not* site a station at 130th until the area is upzoned to something similar to what happened or is in the process of happening for the Shoreline stations. Not just in a 10 minute walk shed around the future stations, but all along the corridors West to Aurora and East to Lake City Way. Again, I’m not anti-transit, but this idea that there needs to be an urban village at every stop is ridiculous… and how many years before this is just another dated concept in city planning? It’s not future-forward thinking. We’re all going to be riding in self-driving cars/car-shares soon. No one wants to live in a tower hovering above I-5 with the noise. Do not let the “density fanatics” railroad your neighborhood into being the next Lake City.

  • RossB

    @Scott — I live in Pinehurst, but the point of the station at NE 130th is not to serve Pinehurst. You can make all the changes you want (or don’t want) to the zoning around there, and huge numbers of people still won’t walk to the station. There will be some (Pinehurst is reasonably dense as it is) but not huge numbers. Draw a half mile radius circle around the station and you can see why. A huge part of that circle is road. A huge part of that circle is park. You just can’t get that many people to walk to the station.

    But you can get buses to go there. Lake City is one of the biggest communities in Seattle. It is growing. The best way (by far) to get from Lake City to a station is at NE 130th. Northgate Way would work, but the traffic is terrible. 145th would work, but the traffic is bad, and it is the wrong direction. NE 130th just makes sense as a connection point for buses that are coming from the northeast (along 522) if not more local buses.

    But it isn’t just about those folks. It is about building a better transit network. If you look at the cities with really high transit usage, they all have bus and rail systems that work together really well. For example, Vancouver BC has over three times the transit ridership (per capita) that we do. It is third in the continent in per capita ridership (trailing only New York and Toronto). It has nowhere near the miles of subway that Montreal, Chicago or even Boston has, yet people ride buses and trains a lot more often. It is because the trains and the buses complement each other.

    The same would be true here. Buses would go between Lake City and Bitter Lake. Buses would go along 145th as well. You would build a better bus system that would enable much higher frequency (every five minutes in some cases, and every fifteen in others) making it possible to quickly get from one part of town to the other, even if it required a transfer. We just don’t have that now — try taking a bus from Bitter Lake to Lake City — forget about it. But a station there would enable that, and much more.

    That is what this is about. Sound Transit wants to see a change to zoning and there probably will be a small change in zoning (most of the city will probably see changes in zoning in the next few years). But let’s not pretend that Pinehurst will become as big as the U-District, or as big as Lake City. It won’t. There would be no point.

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