JUDKINS PARK STATION
JUDKINS PARK STATION
Location: Central District, Seattle
Projected Station Opening: 2023
Background: The Judkins Park Link light rail station will become a key interchange station between East Link light rail and frequent transit routes on Rainier Avenue South. The station will be located within walking distance of local parks, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Northwest African American Museum, and multiple nonprofits that serve the community.
Pedestrian Challenges: The proposed station sits on the median of a highway interchange above a five-lane arterial street. This location in its current condition does not provide a safe and inviting pedestrian environment. Freeway ramps north and south of the station further impair safe pedestrian access. The proposed station is also less than ½ mile from the Lighthouse for the Blind, a nonprofit that provides social support and training for people who are blind, deaf-blind, and blind with other disabilities. Therefore, the station is anticipated to serve a large number of vision- or hearing-impaired riders and will require careful design considerations.
Feet First Actions:
Feet First held a Walk & Talk of the station area in June 2015 to discuss pedestrian barriers and potential improvements, setting the tone for the station design. Feet First also met with Sound Transit to stress the importance of pedestrian connection. Through Feet First’s actions, Sound Transit has agreed to open a station entrance on the west side of Rainier Ave with a pedestrian bridge over the arterial to improve pedestrian circulation. The station design now also includes a stairway and an elevator to the east side of the station to connect with the Mountains-to-Sound Trail and the frequent bus service on 23rd Avenue S. In addition, Feet First attended a Find It, Fix It walk with Seattle Mayor McMurray in August 2016 to reiterate concerns and to elaborate on collaborative, context-sensitive solutions. We have also created a Judkins Park Coalition made up of people who live and work in the neighborhood to continue the discussion.
Feet First Comments on Designs:
Current designs show that the west approach to this station has a crossing of the westbound light rail track for pedestrians. These plans do not include any installation of tactile and audible pedestrian signals to make this rail crossing safe for pedestrians with vision and/or hearing disabilities. Such patrons will have to rely on guided assistance to know when it is safe to cross and to be aware of oncoming trains.