Since the opening of Beacon Hill Station, many people who ride bikes have figured out that for a couple bucks, Link Light Rail will make one of Seattle’s mightiest hills disappear. Just hop on at Pioneer Square Station and two stops and an elevator later you are at the top of the hill.
Michael van Baker at the SunBreak asks: Will University Link do the same to Capitol Hill?
But it was on the ride back that we really had an epiphany as to how things would change when University Link light rail goes into operation, fall-ish of 2016. Capitol Hill cyclists, in particular, understand what Portland cyclist Elly Blue was referring to when she wanted to know how Seattle bikers dealt with our “monstrous inclines.” No matter where you go, off the Hill, it’s waiting for you on your way back. At the end of 40 miles, it can be a little disheartening.
As it happens, though, if you’re headed up Interlaken (which, still steep, is at least scenic and less car-frequented), you pop off the Burke-Gilman right by the future University Link light rail station. Once that opens, poof, no hill. It’s almost Buddhist. On Sunday, we waited for the 43 bus, and its front-end bike rack, but the drawback to that made itself clear when the bus hove into view, and we could see a bike already on the rack. Luckily, it was a 3-bike rack, so we still fit. But light rail will have the capacity to shuttle many more cyclists around than buses ever will.