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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:08 PM   #2141
Dan78
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I think it will open at around November 2016.
What a long time wait! Of course, in the DC area, we're going to have to wait until 2016 for a surface-aligned connection to Dulles Airport.

I notice the alignment of the new tunnel between Capitol Hill and UW goes right under Volunteer Park near the Asian Art musuem near E. Prospect Street.

Any chance for an intermediary station someday? It seems like a long distance without a station. Or is it a NIMBY thing from Montlake and Stevens residents?
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:42 PM   #2142
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It will be 3 minutes trip between Capitol Hill and University District. Sound Transit already planning to build a streetcar on Broadway next year and will be extend to all the way to Aloha street (I think they might want to extend again beyond Aloha street sometime in the future). That will serve north/south Capitol Hill neighborhood. As for Montlake part, I don't know much about it and they're not that far from University station. Most parts of Montlake neighborhood are walk-distance from University station. I doubt that they will build an intermediary station between Capitol Hill and University stations.

Last edited by CrazyAboutCities; August 2nd, 2010 at 08:12 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 02:56 AM   #2143
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Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
What a long time wait! Of course, in the DC area, we're going to have to wait until 2016 for a surface-aligned connection to Dulles Airport.

I notice the alignment of the new tunnel between Capitol Hill and UW goes right under Volunteer Park near the Asian Art musuem near E. Prospect Street.

Any chance for an intermediary station someday? It seems like a long distance without a station. Or is it a NIMBY thing from Montlake and Stevens residents?
I think it's something about the grade the tunnel between UofW and Capitol Hill that makes a Volunteer park station a non-starter.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 10:43 AM   #2144
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I think it's something about the grade the tunnel between UofW and Capitol Hill that makes a Volunteer park station a non-starter.
Capitol Hill is quite a bit higher (figuratively and literally...) than the University District. The line has to dive down from not too far under street level in Captiol Hill, under the Montlake cut (read: canal, water, sea level), and then back up again to the husky stadium station. I'd imagine to keep the grade reasonable, it would have to be pretty far underground by the time it gets to volunteer park.

However, the city is pushing for the extension of the new street car line planned for Broadway (The Broat... get it... like Boat? Better than if it were to be the TWelfth Avenue TTrolley...) all the way to Aloha st which is only 2 blocks away from Volunteer park. Not perfect, but I'd surmise its the best we could do given the geography. Same goes for why there's no real plans for any kind of high capacity transit stop at the top of Queen Anne Hill (that and they dont like poor people coming up there too much...)
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Old August 8th, 2010, 04:57 AM   #2145
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The cost of tunneling and digging out a big station can be too much. But the Beacon Hill model seems doable -- no escalators, only elevators.

North Capitol Hill isn't very dense, particularly the part that's an uninhabited park with a large cemetery next door. Because much of the neighborhood is steep hills, it's also hard to draw passengers from a large area. Combine a high cost with low potential to add ridership, and it's easy to delete a north Capitol Hill station. Particularly since a station would delay trips between more popular stations.

Beacon Hill isn't very dense either, though it's certainly denser than the Volunteer Park / Interlaken area. But Beacon Hill has feeder buses too, and a working/middle class population, in contrast to north Capitol Hill.

Queen Anne is an intriguing idea. The top of the hill is a large, reasonably flat area that's great for walking, and has enough density that a rail station should get a lot of use. Maybe they could make it elevated on Lower Queen Anne to give it a head start on elevation. Do a station on Lower Queen Anne, an elevator-only station around Queen Anne & Howe, and another around Seattle Pacific University (with an elevator DOWN to the university). It would be high to allow a new bridge as high as Aurora. Another station high over Fremont, then underground through Phinney...

This would only happen if the line was built as a high-capacity spine for the region. My guess is lower-speed, lower-capacity at-grade rail will come before it...maybe more streetcars, and it sounds like Ballard and West Seattle will get some sort of vote eventually...not aided by our enthusiastic but stumbling mayor.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #2146
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Quote:
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North Capitol Hill isn't very dense, particularly the part that's an uninhabited park with a large cemetery next door. Because much of the neighborhood is steep hills, it's also hard to draw passengers from a large area. Combine a high cost with low potential to add ridership, and it's easy to delete a north Capitol Hill station. Particularly since a station would delay trips between more popular stations.
Good explanations. Thanks, all. I think Link will really take off in terms of ridership once the University Link/Capitol Hill Section is done. I was in Seattle last week and had a chance to see where the new Capitol Hill station will be, and also to ride the Link all the way from my hotel around Westlake Center to Sea-Tac.

The idea about Queen Anne Hill is interesting. Ultimately, a Link Light Rail line through this area would be far better than a surface alignment through Interbay.

How about a completely subsurface alignment branching off from Westlake Center, taking this route: Belltown (Bell & 3rd Ave) > Seattle Center (Denny and 3rd Ave) > Lower Queen Anne (Queen Anne Ave and W. Mercer) > Central Queen Anne (Queen Anne Ave and W. Howe) > Seattle Pacific University (Queen Anne Ave and Nickerson) > Fremont (N 43rd and Leary) > Ballard (15th and Market NW) with the alignment becoming surface around NW 65th (or maybe further up the hill in Ballard) and then continuing to Crown Hill, Aurora, and Shoreline?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #2147
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I like the general idea but the specifics are problematic.

The existing Transit Tunnel will be around its capacity limit with its upcoming expansions. I wouldn't count on using it for a new line. It would be better to build a new tunnel under Second or Fourth Avenue, both of which seem to work given my limited understanding of the two, and soon three, other tunnels through Downtown.

If it's underground on Lower Queen Anne, it'll be too deep under Queen Anne Hill. You have it going under the ship canal between SPU and Fremont, which would mean it would be extremely deep under the hill. I doubt they'd consider it. (My station high over SPU would also be a likely no-go.)
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Old August 16th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #2148
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I like the general idea but the specifics are problematic.

The existing Transit Tunnel will be around its capacity limit with its upcoming expansions. I wouldn't count on using it for a new line. It would be better to build a new tunnel under Second or Fourth Avenue, both of which seem to work given my limited understanding of the two, and soon three, other tunnels through Downtown.

If it's underground on Lower Queen Anne, it'll be too deep under Queen Anne Hill. You have it going under the ship canal between SPU and Fremont, which would mean it would be extremely deep under the hill. I doubt they'd consider it. (My station high over SPU would also be a likely no-go.)
Thanks for the clarification. It's often hard for me to get my head around the sharp elevation changes in Seattle, even to areas that I've visisted. I agree with you on the second downtown tunnel. I think it will be necessary once the East Link opens, if not earlier.

I'm working on some fantasy Seattle Link/Streecar maps and will post them to the fantasy map thread on this board when I'm done. I'm trying to take suggestions from people here and elsewhere to develop a new plan. Based on my experiences and other input, I think Sound Transit should avoid more street-running sections (unless there are significant mitigating factors) and concentrate on separated ROW, whether surface, elevated, or underground.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 03:32 AM   #2149
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East Link will use the existing tunnel. It'll be fine with two lines, I just don't think a future third line would work.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 10:55 PM   #2150
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Old June 6th, 2011, 03:42 AM   #2151
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^ that's a great video. I really hope DT bellevue gets a tunnel though, but with the recession and current city council..who knows.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 06:13 AM   #2152
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Can't wait for East Link, and Bellevue definitely needs the tunnel. An LRT subway station + Direct connection with Bellevue Transit Center = Awesome.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #2153
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Does anyone else think that Seattle's LRT system would benefit from clearer branding and less-clunky nomenclature? Referring to lines, and segments of lines, as [direction] Link is awkward. I think Sound Transit missed an opportunity by not branding it as a metro, or something similarly pronounceable. What do people actually call it now? The Link? The LRT? The light rail? What happens when the east line opens? Long-term, as the system inevitably expands, this naming system won't be sustainable.

"Doris, to get to the Space Needle, you just need to take the East-Northeast Link down to Such-and-Such Station on the East Link, and then take that to the International District on the Central Link, change trains there, and..."

Clunky. What Seattle now has is a light metro. Line 1, Line 2... much easier. Thoughts?
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #2154
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Quote:
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Does anyone else think that Seattle's LRT system would benefit from clearer branding and less-clunky nomenclature? Referring to lines, and segments of lines, as [direction] Link is awkward. I think Sound Transit missed an opportunity by not branding it as a metro, or something similarly pronounceable. What do people actually call it now? The Link? The LRT? The light rail? What happens when the east line opens? Long-term, as the system inevitably expands, this naming system won't be sustainable.

"Doris, to get to the Space Needle, you just need to take the East-Northeast Link down to Such-and-Such Station on the East Link, and then take that to the International District on the Central Link, change trains there, and..."

Clunky. What Seattle now has is a light metro. Line 1, Line 2... much easier. Thoughts?
I'm with you! Central Link. North Link. University Link. East Link. Tacoma Link. Ugh.

I have a feeling these naming conventions might just be for planning purposes. North Link and U-Link will become part of Central Link. East Link could become its own brand. But since they both will share tracks downtown...idk.

Also, Seattle Times has article about freeman and wallace wanting to unseat current council members because of the light rail issue. They want new members who will put light rail on the freeway alignment rather than the bellevue way one.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ouncil06m.html
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Old June 6th, 2011, 10:39 AM   #2155
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I'm with you! Central Link. North Link. University Link. East Link. Tacoma Link. Ugh.

I have a feeling these naming conventions might just be for planning purposes. North Link and U-Link will become part of Central Link. East Link could become its own brand. But since they both will share tracks downtown...idk.
If looking at other transit systems provides any inclination I am guessing Sound Transit will switch to a letter or color coded naming convention.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 07:53 AM   #2156
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I just call it the Central Link Light Rail.

I think the names are to make a clear distinction between each of the extensions and their segments, especially since some of them are extensions of extensions.

Let's be realistic, we won't be seeing examples like these:
Quote:
Doris, to get to the Space Needle, you just need to take the East-Northeast Link down to Such-and-Such Station on the East Link, and then take that to the International District on the Central Link, change trains there, and...
Even when the University Link is completed, I'm 100% sure most(if not all) would still refer to it as the "Central Link Light Rail". I think Central Link will stay Central Link since all the extensions are extensions of Central Link. The East Link would just be called East Link. Those would be the two lines: East Link and Central Link. Done.

Plus, I think the naming as actually pretty original being something besides the boring "Phase 1" or "Phase 2"

Imagine if LA's Expo Line segments were called "Culver Link" or "USC Link" for Phase 1 and "Santa Monica Link" or "Beach Link" for Phase 2.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #2157
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I found this on flickr:


Doesn't it look like a bus??? We need sleeker models... it's pointless to build tracks and then use trams that look just like bendy-buses on them.

I like this cute caterpillar one in lyon. Even Houston has sleek trams.



As for the SLU line, isn't it getting extended to the U District? What's the timeframe for that?
nice, looks more and more futuristic lol
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Old July 29th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #2158
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Seattle's transit master plan has been released:
http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~publi...20110726_6.pdf

Page 9 shows the eventual 'high capacity transit' (i.e. light rail/streetcar) network plan. The current priority corridors mirror the original streetcar network plan but with talk of larger vehicles and better grade separation (i.e. dedicated lanes). Pretty exciting.

Edit:
Seattle Transit Blog has links to more info on the individual corridors mentioned in the study.

Ballard/Fremont/SLU/Downtown: http://seattletransitblog.com/wp-con...orridor_11.pdf
U-district/Eastlake/SLU/Downtown: http://seattletransitblog.com/wp-con...Corridor_8.pdf
Madison Park/Capitol Hill/Downtown (the 'should have rail but can't' corridor): http://seattletransitblog.com/wp-con...Corridor_6.pdf
First Ave Streetcar: http://seattletransitblog.com/wp-con...rridor_CC1.pdf
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Old November 15th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #2159
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From: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...nk-light-rail/

Quote:
Agreement on Downtown Tunneling for Seattle Region’s East Link Light Rail
October 30th, 2011


» City of Bellevue will get its desired underground segment through downtown thanks to an agreement from Sound Transit.

At a cost of $2.5 billion, Seattle’s planned East Link light rail extension project is one of the nation’s largest and most expensive transit expansion programs, which makes it remarkable in itself. A new connection across Lake Washington and into the cities of Bellevue and Redmond will significantly decrease transit times for intercity trips in the region and attract about 50,000 riders a day once it is completed in 2023.

The real achievement of the project, though, is its response to local demands in the form of the construction of a tunnel through Downtown Bellevue, agreed upon by the transit agency Sound Transit last week.

The passage in 2008 by Seattle region voters of the Sound Transit 2 package of bond releases guaranteed that local funding would be available to construct new lines extending the original Seattle light rail line from downtown to Sea-Tac Airport, which opened in 2009. East Link is the largest funded segment, though additional lines running north and south are also planned.

Once it became clear that light rail would be running through Bellevue, the city council made apparent its interest in tunneling the section of the line through the business district. From a point of regional equity, that might have made sense (since Seattle had its own downtown tunnel), but according to initial studies it would cost up to $1 billion more than a surface-level line. With broad streets and thus plenty of potential right-of-way, there would be little reason to spend so much.

But further engineering studies suggested that the tunnel would cost only about $320 million over the surface line, and the city agreed to chip in half of the extra costs, making it feasible to include the underground segment in the project. After Sound Transit’s agreement, the city has until November 14 to sign the accord, settling the matter once and for all. Though opposition from Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman — who has been fighting light rail expansion into the city for a decade — remains an issue, the path forward seems to be construction beginning in 2015 or 2016, including a tunnel.

What is intriguing here is that Sound Transit, which has the legal right to build the project as it wishes, is choosing to develop a project that costs more because it is interested in acquiring the support of Bellevue’s local government. The $160 million it has agreed to further contribute to the project’s costs to satisfy local demands could have been spent on another project.

And there may be an argument for putting the line underground. At the Rail~Volution conference in Washington earlier this month, Arlington County Board Chairman Christopher Zimmerman argued that the long-term benefits of digging tunnels for rail projects more than make up for their higher costs. The theory goes that development is more likely to follow when the noise and visual intrusion of trains are out of sight and mind, even as stations themselves are easily accessible.

[...]
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Old November 15th, 2011, 10:43 PM   #2160
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Can't wait for this to start, too bad all infrastructure project in the States will suffer from years of delays and billions of dollars of budget overruns. I think once they start charging tolls on SR520 and I90 bridges people will start to favor a reliable mass transit option to cross the lake.
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