Trail connections to the future Judkins Park light rail station will get lighting along stretches of the Mountains to Sound Trail and the Dearborn Connection Trail. This fulfills longstanding requests from local resident and advocacy groups including Feet First. Planned access improvements also include ADA compliant upgrades to walking areas, a new staircase on Hiawatha Place S, and a signalized pedestrian crossing of 23rd Avenue S at S Grand Street. Funding will be provided by a Sound Transit System Access grant and Move Seattle Levy funds.
This is a very welcome development. The trails around Judkins Park are currently poorly-lit and unsafe to navigate at night. The parks to the north of the future station have absolutely no lighting from Rainier Avenue South to 23rd Avenue South, with dangerous gaps between 23rd Avenue South and Martin Luther King Jr Way South. People will be accessing the station on foot from all directions, and it is crucial that they are able to reach it safely at all times – including in the dark. An estimated 1,770 people will arrive and depart from the Judkins Park Station by 2030, with 45% coming and going by foot or bicycle.
Feet First has long been advocating for improved lighting around Judkins Park as part of our Sound Access for Allprogram. In 2014 we sent a letter to Sound Transit contending that trail lighting leading to the station was very poor and in need of improvement. In 2015, we organized and led a Community Walk & Talk event around the Judkins Park Station with representatives from seven agencies and community groups to discuss improvements. Feet First also endorsed Judkins Park improvements (including lighting) for funding from the Sound Transit System Access Fund in 2019.
The Judkins Park Station is currently scheduled to open in 2025.