I don’t believe it. Remember that backroom deal for Northgate that’s bad for bicycling? Well, it’s worse than we thought.
According to Sound Transit, right now, 70 percent of the 5,000 people using the Northgate transit center daily get there on bike, foot or transit. In 2030, 90 percent of the 15,000 people accessing the light rail station daily will get there on bike, foot or transit. 90 percent.
Yet at the Sound Transit Board meeting last week, agency staff presented the plot they hatched behind closed doors to spend $40 million of limited taxpayer dollars on a 900-stall parking garage, while tossing a few scraps at making it easier for people to safely access the station on bike, foot or transit.
Instead of working to figure out how they can provide the 90 percent of people who will access the station on bike, foot or transit with safe and convenient ways to get there, Sound Transit might spend tens of millions of dollars benefiting the 10 percent at the expense of everyone else. That’s just not fair.
Northgate deserves a fair deal. So does every community where Sound Transit builds a station. From Redmond to Tacoma, Lynwood to Federal Way, Edmonds to Issaquah, and right here in Seattle – we need to stand together and let Sound Transit know that there’s a better way.
As we mentioned last week, the construction of the light rail station at Northgate provides a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is our chance to transform a neighborhood dominated by an ocean of parking lots into a bikeable, walkable and transit-rich community where everyone who wants to can safely bike or walk to the station.
For a fraction of the cost of a $40 million, 900-stall parking garage for the 10 percent, Sound Transit could choose to make hundreds of small shovel-ready improvements that would benefit the 90 percent of people who will access the station on bike, foot or transit – and create more jobs than building a garage. Improvements like cycletracks and neighborhood greenways accessing the station, a bike/pedestrian bridge over I-5 to North Seattle Community College and Licton Springs, sidewalks in the surrounding neighborhoods, and improved bus service to the station. Improvements that the community and existing users of the transit center actually want.
We can get a fair deal for Northgate, but only if we stand together and make our voices heard at the June 4th open house.
We’d love to have you join us and ride to the open house together. We’ll meet in front of the Green Lake Starbucks (7100 E Green Lake Dr N Seattle) at 5:15 p.m. and ride to the open house on a route past the transit center and the potential location for the proposed parking garage.