Sound Transit’s long-awaited Angle Lake Station opened this past weekend to much fanfare. The station is Sound Transit’s first extension south of SeaTac Airport. Originally planned as part of a larger extension south to Federal Way (Star Lake), the station opened four years early thanks to federal TIGER grants and came in $40 million under budget at a total cost of $343 million. The 1.6-mile extension is expected to deliver an additional 5,400 daily boardings by 2018.

The station includes a number of local improvements, including new sidewalks in the surrounding blocks and bike lanes on S 200th St connecting to shared use paths on 28th Ave S and the Des Moines Creek Trail. Bike parking is spread between a handful of covered bike racks, a bike lockers, and a standalone bike cage. Meanwhile, parking for motorized vehicles includes a decadent parking structure (1,050 parking stalls) and 70 surface parking stalls. Sound Transit was required to build a commercial space as part of the parking structure, which is located near the plaza. It’s not clear what that space is destined to become, but a café or convenience store would make for a great use.

A lot of work went into building great public spaces and using quality materials. Laura Haddad’s “Cloud” caps the center of the platform with vibrant colors while Jill Anholt’s “Immerse” weightlessly over the grand staircase in the plaza. Speaking of the plaza, the space is designed for flexible uses. A canopy wraps around it to cover the area between the parking garage and station entrance. Small blue chairs flair out from the pillars offering a little respite for those who might be waiting for a bus or pickup. The kiss-and-ride area has small blocks that hint at the edge of the drivable woonerf and allow for sitting. Walking surface pavers are stylized with blacks and earthy greys. And the parking garage has a dazzling blue metal curtain wall masking the structure, making it less offensive to the eye.

The station itself is elevated across S 200th St and has a middle platform where riders board and alight on either side depending upon how the train enters the station. The platform feels fairly spacious with ample seating, wind-breaker alcoves, and wayfinding station entrances at both ends have escalators, staircases, elevators, and ticket vending machines for convenience.

This is the last southend light rail station expected to open before Kent/Des Moines station opens in 2023. Last month, we covered what Angle Lake station will mean for light users. We also covered zoning near the station and the transit-oriented development potential.

For a recap on our experience and insights from Saturday, see our tweets below:

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Doug Trumm is publisher of The Urbanist. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington in 2019. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.