NE 130th Street Link Station Update

Elevated NE 130th Street Station option, courtesy of Sound Transit.
Elevated NE 130th Street Station option, courtesy of Sound Transit.

It’s been over two months since I shared why Seattle needs a NE 130th Street Link station. In that article, I highlighted the benefits of the station to surrounding neighborhoods by noting that it would promote walking and biking in North Seattle, significantly increase transit ridership, provide fast and dependable light rail service to more than a half-dozen neighborhoods, all while doing it without any large investment in station facilities beyond the station stop itself. So here is an update on progress that has occurred on the station since then:

Lynnwood Link Extension EIS Released

Sound Transit released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lynnwood Link extension on April 1. The EIS supports what many NE 130th Street Station advocates believe: a NE 130th Street Station would be preferred by many Seattle residents who live in the areas between Northgate and 145th Street.

Support for Station-Ready Design

Last week, Sound Transit Board Members met at the Sound Transit Capital Committee to discuss amendments to the Lynnwood Link extension plan. Seattle Councilmember and Sound Transit Board Member Mike O’Brien proposed and championed an amendment that would make the design at NE 130th Street “station-ready”. O’Brien’s amendment would ensure that the I-5 alignment running past the station area would be designed with an elevated crossing over the existing NE 130th Street overpass. This configuration would make it easier and less expensive for a station just north of the overpass. This means that even if a NE 130th Street Station is not immediately approved and funded, a station could be added later at minimal cost and without significant delay.

Mayoral support

Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member, Ed Murray, wrote to NE 130th Street Station advocates to share his support for the project:

This station will be an important addition to light rail in Seattle and fill the gap between the light rail stations at Northgate and 145th St. in Shoreline. The station has the potential to spur the development of a new urban village in this area and will greatly improve the mobility of the community. If the station cannot be included in the preferred alignment for the Lynwood Link, I support funding the station as soon as possible.

April 23rd Sound Transit Board Meeting

The most important update is that the Sound Transit Board will vote on Lynnwood Link Extension station locations at the April 23rd meeting. NE 130th Street Station supporters hope that the Board will commit to building a NE 130th Street Station at this time. However, if the Board does not commit to a NE 130th Street Station, supporters will urge that the Board show support for the station and indicate what would need to occur for them to approve and fund the station. If you want to help support this effort, please join for the meeting or contact the Board.

Thursday, April 23
Union Station, Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 S. Jackson Street

If you’re interested in staying up to date on NE 130th Street Station progress, be sure to “like” the NE 130th Street Link Light Rail Station Facebook page.

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Renee is a community organizer who lives in the Pinehurst neighborhood. She has been engaged on land use, transportation, neighborhood planning, housing affordability, and parks issues both at a neighborhood and at a citywide level. Renee believes in inclusive outreach and she holds an urbanist perspective in her organizing.

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“This means that even if a NE 130th Street Station is not immediately approved and funded, a station could be added later at minimal cost and without significant delay.”
Either build a station or bury the train.
Having that thing cut through one of the few east-west passages over I-5 so that some day… this is the land of some day…. Do it or don’t.

Stephen Fesler

The Sound Transit Board has opted to make this a deferred station. It will eventually have an infill station constructed in Sound Transit 3.


Is the first official? I can’t imagine the second is, because they haven’t decided on what will go into ST3. But if the first is official (and everything I’ve heard said there going to go that way) it means that it could be built as part of ST3, or added by Seattle (like Graham Street station).

Stephen Fesler

Well, technically it’s not official for ST3, but it’s a project that will be funded. I imagine that it will be a partnership like Graham Street Station.

Daniel Ballard

The 145th St interchange will have to be completely rebuilt to accommodate the increased traffic in that direction this will create. Of course, it ALREADY is way past needing to be completely rebuilt, so maybe that’s a win/win.

Stephen Fesler

Are you saying 130th St Station would create demand at 145th St? That location is already getting a station, it’s hard to imagine that vehicular traffic would increase much if any at all at 130th St that won’t have any new parking.


I was assuming that his statement was more general (and not really specific to this post). To answer your question, though, I would think it would be the opposite. Adding a station at 130th would reduce the demand at 145th (which is a good thing). Fewer buses would have to serve the area, and more drivers would either catch buses to go to 130th, or drive somewhere to catch a bus along 125th/130th. For example, there is a park and ride at the Eritrian Church on 125th and 37th, which works just fine if you are willing to take a bus then the train. I think that works for anyone in the Olympics Hills area. On the other hand, without a station at NE 130th, that same person might just slog through the traffic to either the Northgate or 145th Park and Ride.

Daniel Ballard

My main worry is an increase in traffic departing the 130th station northbound on 5th Ave and the already nightmare rush hour situation where 5th crosses the northbound off-ramp.

Daniel Ballard

From the way I was reading the Original Post, it was advocating building the 130th station INSTEAD of the 145th station. I certainly would be happy with getting both.


OK, that makes a lot more sense. Fair enough — I think the idea of only one station (whether at 145th or 130th) is crazy. That is like saying we have to pick between Capitol Hill or the UW for a station (can’t have both). We need both 145th and 130th because they are separate (and substantial) corridors that could help provide a really good bus network (which would, in turn improve Link performance).

I would say that as things stand now, 145th would be used more by cars than 130th (which is fine by me). But both could have plenty of bus service, which would benefit the vast majority of people in the area (who live too far away to walk to the station).


That picture shows space for 100 different parking stalls. Any idea how much that costs?

I think I speak for just about every supporter of this station in that we don’t want to pay for that. It is unnecessary and counterproductive. One of the great things about this station is that 125th/130th is a very fast street and doesn’t have the traffic that 145th does. Unlike a lot of other stations, buses can move quickly through there. This means that a lot of people will walk to the bus and then ride the train. Even those that start their day by driving can simply drive to a different spot and catch the bus (as they do now with the 41).


Furthermore, we really don’t want to encourage people to drive up 5th. For folks coming from the east, this is no problem. But for people from the west, it means a left turn. As it stands now, that left turn clogs up traffic. It will only get worse as the buses stop along the right lane. The bridge will have to be redone, and if they add a left turn lane, along with a left turn arrow, this isn’t an issue. But traffic could be sped up considerably by simply eliminating left turns (from east bound 130th to 5th). Doing so would require someone to make three right turns, but those are short right turns. That makes sense if only a handful of people are headed that way — thus adding 100 parking spots would make it more difficult to manage traffic.


There’s already a lot there, so they’ll replace what they tear up, at a minimum.

What I didn’t realize about the initial preference for 145th, is that there’s a southbound I-5 offramp there for P&R. And 130th, there is no offramp. So the initial preference likely had a lot to do with thinking park-n-ride was going to be important.