Not long ago, a walking and biking overpass to dramatically improve access to Northgate Station was “off the table,” according to project officials. But an idea this good grabbed the hearts of project neighbors as well as transit, biking and walking advocates across the city.
Councilmember Richard Conlin led a political deal for the city to partner with Sound Transit to build the overpass and a smaller-than-originally-planned-but-still-huge parking garage (450 stalls instead of an originally planned 900).
Cascade Bicycle Club also deserves a lot of credit for their work to gather public support for the seemingly-dead overpass idea. Lesson: It ain’t over ’till it’s over. Here is their excellent map showing the no-brainer advantage of the overpass:
Only eight percent of station users are expected to arrive by car, yet plans originally included a huge, multi-million-dollar parking garage and no walking and biking bridge. Further studies also showed that a large number of current station drivers live within easy walking and biking distance, but the station lacks safe and comfortable walking and biking connections.
Originally estimated to cost about $20 million, a study of overpass options now estimates the cost to be around $16-18 million (depending on bridge style, width).
Here’s the full draft study document (h/t Publicola):