NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

LIVE from Link: All aboard to Angle Lake!

Good after­noon from SeaT­ac! Near­ly eight years ago, I had the great priv­i­lege of join­ing fel­low activists, elect­ed lead­ers, and media for a pre­view ride on Sound Tran­sit’s Link light rail sys­tem, which at the time was under­go­ing test­ing in prepa­ra­tion for its grand open­ing nine months lat­er.

Today, Sound Tran­sit has once again invit­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives of NPI to par­tic­i­pate in a pre­view ride — this time from SeaTac/Airport Sta­tion to the brand new Angle Lake Sta­tion, which will become the new south­ern ter­mi­nus of our grow­ing light rail sys­tem when it opens for busi­ness this Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 24th.

Though we stepped aboard the train only moments ago, we’re already almost at our des­ti­na­tion — it takes almost no time at all to glide between SeaTac/Airport and Angle Lake. Once we detrain, King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine and King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Dave Upthe­grove will offer brief remarks at the new sta­tion, and then we’ll board a north­bound train to return to SeaTac/Airport.

This post will be updat­ed as this spe­cial event pro­gress­es.

Locat­ed at South 200th Street and 28th Avenue South in SeaT­ac, Angle Lake Sta­tion is an ele­vat­ed sta­tion, sim­i­lar to SeaTac/Airport and Tuk­wila Inter­na­tion­al Boule­vard Sta­tions. Unlike those sta­tions, how­ev­er, it was designed as a true park and ride to help entice south coun­ty auto­mo­bile own­ers to try out light rail.

Angle Lake Station from South 200th Street

Sound Tran­sit’s Angle Lake Link Light Rail Sta­tion as seen from South 200th Street (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

The sta­tion garage can accom­mo­date more than a thou­sand vehi­cles, and there are even more park­ing stalls locat­ed on the sur­face around the sta­tion.

Because Angle Lake is an ele­vat­ed sta­tion, we have the abil­i­ty to live­blog from Link again, just like we did all those years ago when Sound Tran­sit invit­ed us to try out Cen­tral Link (and lat­er, Air­port Link) before it was open. We weren’t able to live­blog the Uni­ver­si­ty Link pre­view ride back in March pri­or to Open­ing Day because that seg­ment of the line is all under­ground and did not have cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­i­ty at the time (it does now) but we did pub­lish pho­tos imme­di­ate­ly after­wards.

UPDATE: We detrained and were treat­ed to brief remarks on the sta­tion plat­form by Coun­cilmem­ber Upthe­grove and Exec­u­tive Con­stan­tine. Upthe­grove says his days of reg­u­lar­ly fight­ing traf­fic on I‑5 are over. Start­ing on Mon­day, he’ll be com­mut­ing to and from down­town Seat­tle using the new Angle Lake Sta­tion.

Con­stan­tine tout­ed the ear­ly project deliv­ery date and stressed the impor­tance of fur­ther sys­tem expan­sion with ST3, which is on the autumn bal­lot.

After fin­ish­ing their remarks, Upthe­grove, Con­stan­tine, and Sound Tran­sit CEO Peter Rogoff took ques­tions from reporters.

Media were giv­en an oppor­tu­ni­ty to walk around the sta­tion plat­form a bit, then we board­ed a train for the return jour­ney to SeaTac/Airport Sta­tion. As men­tioned, it’s a quick trip. The moment we pulled up to the SeaTac/Airport plat­form, our train went into ser­vice and became a reg­u­lar train to Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton Sta­tion.

As we exit­ed, we got some fun­ny looks from bemused rid­ers who were not expect­ing the train that was pulling up to have any peo­ple on it. After this week­end, though, SeaTac/Airport Sta­tion will cease to be the south­ern ter­mi­nus of the line, and that dis­tinc­tion will pass to Angle Lake for the next few years.

A num­ber of high qual­i­ty pho­tos from today’s pre­view ride and sta­tion walk­a­bout have been post­ed to In Brief for your view­ing enjoy­ment.

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