Location: North Seattle
Projected Station Opening: 2021
Background: The Northgate light rail station, scheduled to open in 2021, will provide access to North Seattle College, Northgate Mall, Northgate Transit Center, North Seattle DSHS Community Services Office, medical centers, park-and-ride facilities, and nearby homes and businesses. Since 2012, Feet First has been working to improve walking access to this important regional transportation hub.
Pedestrian Challenges: The I-5 freeway effectively split the Northgate community in two. To walk from the future station to North Seattle College currently requires a long detour via Northgate Way to the north or N 92nd Street to the south.
Feet First Actions:
A key victory was securing funding for the Northgate Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge. This bridge will span I-5, providing a safe, direct connection between the light rail station and North Seattle College, DSHS Community Services Office, and homes – west of the freeway. This bridge will carry thousands walkers and bicyclists every day, tying together the two halves of the emerging urban village currently divided by the freeway.
Feet First formed a coalition consisting of local community groups, non-profit organizations, North Seattle College, and grassroots activists to advocate for funding. In 2012, this coalition convinced Sound Transit and the City of Seattle to set aside $20 million for walking and biking improvements around Northgate Station. Half of this money was dedicated for the bridge, with the other $10 million set aside for additional pedestrian and bicycle improvements within a fifteen minute walk of the station, such as a protected bike lane along 1st Avenue NE and a new sidewalk along NE 103rd Street.
Additional funding for the bridge came from Move Seattle’s transportation levy and Washington State Legislature’s transportation budget, both approved in 2015.
With full funding for the bridge now assured, Feet First and the Northgate Coalition continue to monitor the Pedestrian/Bike Bridge project to ensure that the bridge project stays on time and on budget. We anticipate the bridge to be open at about the same time as the Northgate light rail station in 2021.