Multimodal corridors are intended to reduce automobile dependence by integrating rapid transit into existing freeway infrastructure. However, designing transit around freeways can make it difficult to veer from car-centric habits.
The current N 145th Street corridor that divides Seattle from Shoreline is dominated by automobile traffic. About 30,000 vehicles crowd into the corridor daily, leaving little space on the road for other modes of transportation.
As a result, narrow sidewalks tightly hug the road and are decorated with warning signs for wheelchair users and would-be street crossers. No bike lanes, not even sharrows, indicate that cars should share space with bikes. Buses navigate congestion, while bus riders wait at stops that squeeze them close to traffic.
Jurisdictional oversight is also a major problem. Running along the border of Seattle and Shoreline, N 145th St is shared by both cities and part of the land that runs beneath it is technically part of unincorporated King County.
With the arrival of light rail planned for 2024, transportation planners must figure out a way to optimize N 145th St, an important east-west arterial, so that transit riders, pedestrians, and cyclists can move “safely and reliably along and across the corridor.” The result is Shoreline’s 145th Street Multimodal Corridor Project, which makes improvements along N 145th St from Aurora Avenue N to I-5. In addition to light rail, Sound Transit Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service is intended to begin operating on N 145th St between Shoreline and Bothell in 2024 (it also extends to Woodinville at lower frequencies).