Seattle Transit Blog urges against 14th Ave light rail station

As options for the Ballard Light Rail alignment have been narrowed down, the Seattle Transit Blog is urging against a 14th Ave NW station.

Sound Transit’s Stakeholder Advisory Group’s current recommendations for the Ballard station include either 14th Ave NW or 15th Ave NW at NW Market St. The general consensus was that a 15th Ave NW station would provide closer access to downtown Ballard — the 17th Ave NW station was dropped because of “property, construction and visual effects”. Now, with 14th and 15th still on the table, Frank Chiachiere from the Seattle Transit Blog says that despite rail alignment benefits of 14th Ave, it’s not a good place for the station.

An approach via 14th avoids Fisherman’s Terminal and has the best options for crossing the bay (a fixed bridge for an extra $100M above the project baseline or a short tunnel for an extra $300M).

There’s a big downside, however: 14th & Market is a bad spot for riders, as Seattle Subway has pointed out. 15th & Market, just one block over, is superior.

A 14th Avenue station would force thousands of riders to cross 15th Ave every day on foot to get to and from central Ballard. The bike path is over on 17th and there’s no good way for bike riders to cross Market, either. An underground pedestrian tunnel might eliminate the traffic light penalty, but still add 3-4 minutes walking time and make some riders feel unsafe. Transfers to and from buses going north to Crown Hill and Northgate would be difficult.  Finally, 14th & Market is the far edge of the urban village, abutting single-family zoning.

Chiachiere says a station with options to exit on both the east and west sides of 15th would be ideal. “Nobody should have to cross traffic on Market St or 15th to get into or out of the station. That’s how the walkshed of the station gets maximized.”

The three recommendations moving forward are the following:

Central Interbay/ Fixed Bridge/14th This proposal is for a high-level fixed bridge crossing Salmon Bay east of the Ballard Bridge, with an elevated station straddling 14th Ave NW and NW Market St.

Armory Way/Tunnel/14th This proposal includes a tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station straddling 14th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

Central Interbay/Tunnel/15th This proposal also includes the tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station straddling the east side of 15th Avenue NW and NW Market Street.

For more background on the full scope of options presented for Ballard, click here.


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carsongbaker
Member
carsongbaker

Absolutely agree.
Thanks MyBallard and Seattle Transit Blog for giving us a voice! Let’s hope the SAG and ELG teams consider these points, they’ve done a great job at responding to community feedback so far!

CentralBallardian
Member
CentralBallardian

Bravo for bringing this up. An entrance closer to the more dense areas from 15th-17th makes the most sense.

Ballard By Boat
Member
Ballard By Boat

I still feel there’s already plenty of chaos on 15th. Putting the infrastructure on 14th alleviates some of the congestion that already exists on 15th. Additionally, if they’re building it on 15th, why not bring it all the way up to 85th at Crown Hill? Wouldn’t that quickly and efficiently serve way more of the community than ‘drop off at 15th/Market, hop on crowded bus to 85th’ would?

Must Love Dogs
Guest
Must Love Dogs

Reminder: Seattle “city planners” love chaos and forcing people to make what should be unnecessary hikes and extra transit legs.

Ballard By Boat
Member
Ballard By Boat

A lot of that is predicated on the fact that we’re surrounded by a big ol’ lake. However, the 15th Ave route up to 85th would be the first smart move from an increasingly boneheaded entity. It took us this long to get any kind of light rail at all. The city has only this one chance to inject some logic into the end result.

Truth
Guest
Truth

ST3 funding only allows for light rail up to Market. Similar to the Angle Lake Station, if we get a more favorable government in DC, an immediate or quick extension to 85th is a prime candidate for additional FTA funding.

Must Love Dogs
Guest
Must Love Dogs

Yes, we should cross our fingers for more Fed $ while we flout the law and harbor “undocumented” criminals and allow heroin to be openly sold and used (huh wonder where it comes from…such a mystery) on our streets.

Genius plan, local “leaders”! Keep resisting…common sense, that is.

Truth
Guest
Truth

Excuse me, the adults are talking about mass transportation. Take your homeless fetish elsewhere please.

Must Love Dogs
Guest
Must Love Dogs
Truth
Guest
Truth

Again, not Sound Transit. Not Ballard. Not even Seattle.

Take your fetish elsewhere.

James
Guest
James

I don’t think Central Interbay/Tunnel/15th is still on the table. The ELG only recommended bringing forward 14th Ave. options.

Ballard By Boat
Member
Ballard By Boat

So, there aren’t even 3 recommendations anymore? So much for choice! Meh. By the time this is ready to use, my self-driving surface-to-air car will get me where I want to go faster, in private.

carsongbaker
Member
carsongbaker

They still have 15th options, as the 14th options were only approved with the caveat that stations at 15th must also be studied. The part they didn’t carry forward was the alternate (and more expensive) tunnel portal location on the south side of Salmon Bay.

Tunnel Vision
Guest
Tunnel Vision

Central Interbay/Tunnel/15th is it. Why are we even discussing this?

James
Guest
James

Because the author was incorrect in stating that that is still an option. It isn’t. The ELG only moved the 14th Ave. options forward.

carsongbaker
Member
carsongbaker

They did, with the caveat that stations at 15th must also be studied. The part they didn’t carry forward was the alternate (and more expensive) tunnel portal location on the south side of Salmon Bay.

Toad (of Toad Hall)
Member
Toad (of Toad Hall)

Has the Seattle Transit Riders Union weighed in on this or are they too busy smoking dope and bitching about Jeff Bezos?

Yummycake
Guest
Yummycake

marijuana

broham
Member
broham

Why didn’t they build that dam monorail.

Toad (of Toad Hall)
Member
Toad (of Toad Hall)

I guess you don’t remember.
The Monorail Authority or whatever they called themselves died from the usual local infrastructure incompetence virus.
But on the plus side they all got 7-figure salaries and nice offices to sit in!

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Where would a station on the east side of 15th go? Close Safeway and/or gas station? Seems that the last time there was talk of a train/monorail coming through Ballard that businesses on the north side of Market, both east and west of 15th, were forced to close. Turned out to be a great deal for whoever ended up with that land.

Tim
Guest
Tim

A station at 15th would serve best, but a station on 14th will work–but only if there are entrances on the west side of 15th, either underground or via an overpass. That being said, Seattle really screwed up by not proposing a new and wider Ballard bridge (the existing one is over 100 years old), for both vehicles and trains. And not extending the line to 85th with provisions to someday extending it along Holman and connecting with the other line at Northgate is simply stupid and shortsighted.

evanb
Member
evanb

The other benefit of the 14th ave location (in addition to lower cost) is that with the proposed rezoning of that part of ballard many of the Single Family lots within 5 blocks or so of that intersection will be upzoned to allow high density residential and commercial uses. This light rail line is not even coming until 2035, at which point there may be many more people clustered to the east side of 15th than there are today.

Mary Beth
Guest
Mary Beth

Disagree, 14th is far better. Upzone the surrounding area and now you’ve got yourself a transit center. 3-4 minutes of extra walking? Great! More steps for all!

ebra
Guest
ebra

. . .and all us folks further west are still stuck without decent transport. Seriously, Shilshole marina and Golden Gardens are both city property, with no transit service.

Jeff Gordon
Guest
Jeff Gordon

Should have considered that when you moved there

doogie
Guest
doogie

Vote this post up if you saw this city turning into the sh*thole that it is when you moved here.

Bruce Linton
Member
Bruce Linton

If the problem is pedestrians crossing 15th street up from a Station on 14th, there are ways to mitigate this.
The Easiest and cheapest way is to reset the light at 15th and Market to include a pedestrian only crossing cycle with all four directions crossing at the same time. It would only cost the time paid to whomever to add the cycle into intersection controls. This is common practice in many cities and I’m surprised that this intersection isn’t set for that already. Turning south from Market heading west is a PIA and clogs up the right lane while pedestrians cross over with the green light. Setting a Pedestrians Only cycle with no turns allowed by cars for that cycle would ease that issue with or without trains & stations involved.