Light rail is coming to North Seattle and in transit-years, 2024 is just around the corner!

The City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) hosted an open house on March 13th at Ingraham High School in North Seattle. For two hours, the room was buzzing with discussion as residents imagined what they want the future to look like for the neighborhood.

The event was also attended by Councilmember Debora Juarez, Sound Transit, King County Metro, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Office of Housing, and Seattle Department of Transportation representatives. Community members had opportunities to provide feedback about transit connections, sidewalks, future development and express concerns about parks and equity. There were more than one hundred people in attendance.

The term “station area” typically refers to the area around a station that is accessible within a ten-minute walk. On flat terrain, this roughly correlates to a half-mile walk. OPCD will also study a larger area to understand how the new stations can be accessible by bus, bike, people on wheels, and, of course, cars. (Credit: City of Seattle)
More than one hundred people gathered at Ingraham High School on March 13th to talk about the future of North Seattle. (Photo by author)
The City of Seattle’s analysis of displacement risk and areas of opportunity maps were shared to help attendees focus on equity concerns. (Photo by author)

The event on March 13th focused on both current and future residents, as well as those working and enjoying recreation in the area.

Throughout the next year, the city will draft and adopt a plan to implement the community vision, including:

Plan for future changes, services and other opportunities near the stations

Design sidewalks, bikeways and street improvements to make it easy to walk or bike to the station

Coordinate and prioritize City investments to achieve multiple benefits.
Improve the capacity of the neighborhood to advocate for community goals

Spring 2019: Generate ideas for Land Use, Mobility, Amenities, etc.; Discuss, Analyze and Prioritize; Community Workshop

Fall 2019: Feedback on Draft; Next Steps; Community Open House

At various tables attendees shared their ideas about sidewalks, parks, bike lanes, and other mobility concerns. (Photo by author)

SHARE THE CITIES ASK THAT *YOU* TAKE ACTION!

  1. Subscribe to OPCD emails.
  2. Take OPCD’s survey. It is critical that you take a few moments to share your thoughts and visions for this project with the City of Seattle. Share with folks who are not online. Ask for translated materials for communities that need it!
  3. Email Sound Transit to ask that they open the 130th station in 2024, not 2031. Their email is: emailtheboard@soundtransit.org.
Councilmember Juarez tweeted “District 5 needs more public transit, so I’ve been fighting to get the NE 130th St Light Rail Station open 7 years early. You can join the fight, too! Send a note to @SoundTransit at emailtheboard@soundtransit.org. #LetsGo #D5

The NE 130th and 145th Station Area Planning process is an opportunity for the community to come together and create a vision for the area surrounding the future light rail stations. I founded Share The Cities with other pro-housing advocates because we want voices that are often left out of the conversation included. We knocked on doors and spoke to neighbors and many of them were unaware light rail was coming to 145th in 2024 with 130th planned for 2031–with a chance it could be advanced to 2024, too.

At the event I spoke to a number of people who were very excited about light rail. The overwhelming sense in the room was, “Let’s bring it sooner!” Dan Remke, told us he will be “30 yards away” from the future station.

“Light rail is a net good to the community but the personal impacts to us and neighbors is challenging,” Remke said. His family bought into the neighborhood ten years ago. The idea of light rail coming directly by his home every seven minutes isn’t what he planned for his family, he said. We need to work with neighbors like Dan and also find resources to do equitable direct outreach to the many neighbors who did not attend the open house.

Attendees (like yours truly) were asked to share their “big ideas.”
The Open House focused on housing types, mobility options, equity concerns, and collecting community members’ hopes and dreams for North Seattle. (Photo by author)
Community members were invited to complete OPCD’s survey. (Photo by author)

Ethan Bradford of the Haller Lake Community Club said that his community is excited about the upcoming changes. (Photo by author)
Patricia Stordeur and Jesse Piedfort discuss the upcoming changes to their community. (Photo by author)
Community members left comments about preschools, coffee shops, grocery stores, and what they love about their community now. (Photo by author)
Patrice Carroll from OPCD explains the neighborhood demographics. There are 23,710 neighbors in the Study Area with 27.6% of people speaking a second language at home. (Photo by author)
The median household income in the Study Area is 16.2% less than Seattle as a whole. The median housing value is $396,900. All charts from the Open house will be available on the City of Seattle website in the coming weeks.

To learn more about Share The Cities, email sharethecities@gmail.com.

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