Future Pinehurst Streetcar?

When Link light rail opens in Northgate in approximately 2020, many changes will be made to existing bus service. Buses that duplicate the route of the light rail will likely be eliminated, merged with other routes, or will become local service only (no downtown service by bus). Routes which may be impacted in some way include routes 41, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 79, 304, 303, 316, and 355.

Obviously this is the point of the light rail. It will be faster, cheaper to operate, and able to carry a lot more people. It will also be guaranteed to be there for years to come so we can plan development around it. Zoning increases for Northgate are already being planned ( But what about the large portions of Pinehurst and Lake City that are miles away from a station? We need to make sure we all have good connections to the future light rail as well as the new development in Northgate.

Transit planners will begin public discussions about revisions to bus service about a year and a half before the Northgate light rail station opens and all of us will have opportunities to comment on changes at that time. For those interested in more significant investments such as the possibility of a streetcar or electric trolley bus, conversations and advocacy that begin today insure a higher possibility of having that investment in place by the time light rail arrives in Northgate.

To that end, a Facebook group has formed to start that discussion. Learn more:

3 comments to Future Pinehurst Streetcar?

  • You’re right. That was a rather silly typo… I’ll write that off to wishful thinking. 🙂

  • Chuck

    2010 is definitely wishful thinking, earlier than 2020 needn’t be, just a matter of money burn. Suppose the station and aerials were constructed now (like ya know, during a cheap money period) and were ready to hook up to the Lake City Way portal as the tunneling machines emerged. Suppose as soon as the tunneling machines completed the Husky Stadium to Capitol Hill dig, they were immediately repurposed for the Husky Stadium to Lake City Way dig…could we then have Northgate Station open for business as early as 2018, or maybe even 2017? Probably.

    Or hey, here’s an idea, suppose BOTH contracts were let at the same time in January and we actually had 4 tunneling machines operating and digging both sets of tunnels next year. Could North LINK open for business at the same time as University LINK? Yup. Will we do that? Nope. Maybe someday Seattle “process” will be tamed, but probably not in time for an early opening to North LINK.

    It is ironic that trolley lines are now being “reconsidered”. One photo op I missed during the Olympics, but will get the next time I’m up in Vancouver, was the the meeting of the old trolley tracks coming from Granville Island toward False Creek and the brand new “demo” trolley line put in for the Olympics leaving False Creek area and heading toward Granville Island, with its tracks laid right on top of the old route the trolleys plied last century. Here’s a cool link to the old Seattle Interurban:

    Maybe this century we’ll learn from our mistakes and only do things like upgrading our mass transit instead of destroying it. Vancouver’s Skytrain was automated and driverless, and Paris is now converting one of its subway lines to automated as well. The LINK trains could easily go that route, but that would probably involve some intersection improvements in the Rainier Valley and Sodo, and more isolated guideways on future routes.

    How does the old saying go? “Everything old is new again” and another favorite, “Every time History repeats itself, the price goes up”

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