Help make sure Judkins Park Link Station has adequate bike parking, access

Image from 2013. The planned bike cage is on the right.

Image from 2013. The planned bike cage is on the right.

Sound Transit is hosting an open house Thursday to discuss updated plans for the North Rainier/Judkins Park East Link Station, the only new Seattle station on the Eastside-bound light rail line scheduled to open in 2023.

Among the vital details for station planning is secure bicycle parking and improved bicycle access for both the Rainier Ave and 23rd Ave entrances.

This section of Rainier Ave is a high-priority street for a street safety and bicycle facility upgrades. The Bicycle Master Plan calls for protected bike lanes on Rainier from MLK to 12th Ave, running right in front of this station entrance. The station should be designed assuming that bicycle use on these lanes will be very high, since it will likely be among the most heavily-used routes between downtown and the southeast neighborhoods.

It also would not be out of the scope of this project for Sound Transit to help Seattle fund bicycle access improvements, like protected bike lanes on 23rd and Rainier and neighborhood greenways connecting to people’s homes. Of course, these improvements should happen well before 2023.

Station plans presented in 2013 showed some quality bike parking plans, like a secure bike cage, bike lockers and standard bike racks. But for a neighborhood where so many people bike in 2014, it’s very likely that the station’s plans won’t be enough after nearly a decade of anticipated bicycling growth. After all, the I-90 Trail leads directly to the station’s proposed entrance on 23rd Ave. As Cascade Bicycle Club put it, “we believe demand will quickly fill the cage and bike lockers.”

More details on the open house:

July 31, 2014
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Presentation begins at 5:30 pm

Northwest African American Museum
2300 South Massachusetts Street, Seattle, WA 98144

Sound Transit has reached an important milestone! Design plans for the Rainier station located in the center of I-90 with entrances from Rainier Avenue South and 23rd Avenue South, are 60 percent complete.

Please Join Sound Transit to review current designs, meet the East Link project team and provide feedback.

Project documents and past meeting materials

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6 Responses to Help make sure Judkins Park Link Station has adequate bike parking, access

  1. Josh says:

    When you look at the distance from Seattle to Bellevue, most commuters are never going to ride across I-90 by bike. (Many do, but we’re not the average commuter, we’re generally people who really enjoy cycling.)

    But look at the bikeshed of the new station, at the existing bus ridership despite lousy conditions, at the rapid densification along the existing light rail line, and at the rapid growth of neighborhood greenways, and this looks like a location that could well need parking for well over a hundred bikes.

    Rainier itself is about as close to flat as you can get in Seattle, it’s a route suitable for couch potatoes on cruisers, not just MAMILs.

    As for timing, that bike parking could be used today. Try taking a bus from the existing I-90/Rainier freeway station — where’s the nearest safe, dry, reliable bike parking?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I agree. I know a lot of people are not about to leave their bike locked up under the I-90 overpass all day, but if there were a secure option it would be used even with today’s awful road conditions.

  2. Brock says:

    One more thing to call for: building protected bike lanes on Rainier Ave to the Mt Baker Link Light Rail Station, improving bike access to & between both the Judkins Park station and the Mt Baker Station.

    It’s in the bike master plan. Let’s make sure it’s integrated into the Sound Transit access investments.

  3. Ben P says:

    The sooner we get proper bike facilities on Rainier the better. Sometimes I can’t resist how flat and straight it is compared to other options. I always regret riding it. The traffic there is nauseating. My other options seem to be wending my way along Lake Washington or climbing Beacon Hill.

  4. psf says:

    The only Mountains to Sound link to the station in the previous plan was on the 23rd ave side, at the top of a hill.

    On the Beacon Hill side, the last published proposal required people to descend all the way to Rainier, then cross the I90 offramp traffic, then climbing up to the station level.
    See here: http://www.soundtransit.org/Documents/pdf/projects/eastlink/20130917_RainierStationboards.pdf

    There is an available connection from the MTS greenway, at station height, on the Beacon Hill side at this point on Street View
    https://www.google.com/maps/@47.589771,-122.307633,3a,75y,130.22h,78.63t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1s71_nTk9FE7Fb4-C_5i5XXg!2e0!3e5

    Please let ST know this needs to be included.

  5. Josh says:

    The presentation from the open house is now on-line,

    http://www.soundtransit.org/Documents/pdf/projects/eastlink/Rainier60perc_web2_July%202014.pdf

    Looks like the only bike parking planned is a bike cage with room for 20, and potential expansion to 30 bikes. Basically window dressing for a station of this size, likely to be inadequate within the first year of operation given the many greenway connections within a mile of the station.

    Maybe I’m wrong and Rainier Valley won’t bike even if it’s convenient, but surely they should have contingency plans for 100+ spaces of secure bike parking within five years of opening?

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