NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Sound Transit inaugurates service on Angle Lake Link, bringing light rail to S. 200th Street

The com­mu­ni­ties of South King Coun­ty, and lead­ers from around the Puget Sound Region gath­ered this morn­ing in Seat­ac to offi­cial­ly inau­gu­rate ser­vice to and from Sound Tran­sit’s newest Link light rail sta­tion at South 200th Street and 28th Avenue South. Angle Lake is the first of sev­er­al new Link exten­sions approved and fund­ed under the 2008 Sound Tran­sit 2 region­al bal­lot measure.

Orig­i­nal­ly slat­ed to open in 2020, Sound Tran­sit is deliv­er­ing light rail ser­vice to Angle Lake four years ear­ly and $40 mil­lion under bud­get. The ear­ly win was made pos­si­ble thanks in part to fed­er­al grants and a lead­er­ship team that took advan­tage of low con­struc­tion bids dur­ing the Great Recession.

This invest­ment in pub­lic infra­struc­ture, strong­ly sup­port­ed by NPI, also solid­i­fies liv­ing-wage jobs at a time of great insta­bil­i­ty, and will con­tin­ue to expand access and oppor­tu­ni­ties to south King Coun­ty res­i­dents for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Click the pho­to below to browse a selec­tion of images from yes­ter­day. An addi­tion­al col­lec­tion of images of the sta­tion ded­i­ca­tion can be viewed on In Brief.

[slideshow id=3]

The sta­tion itself, which is expect­ed to spur eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and draw 5,400 dai­ly rid­ers by 2018, is a daz­zling new land­mark for the neighborhood.

The ele­vat­ed plat­form crowns a once-drab stretch of Inter­na­tion­al Boule­vard (High­way 99), and frames spec­tac­u­lar views of Puget Sound and the Olympic moun­tain range from near­ly every angle.

The col­or­ful pub­lic art, includ­ing Lau­ra Had­dad’s “Cloud”, blends per­fect­ly with the archi­tec­ture. Even the 1,050-stall park­ing garage could be mis­tak­en for a work by Frank Gehry or Ren­zo Piano thanks to an abstract facade made up of flow­ing blue steel beams. It is topped with solar pan­els that will gen­er­ate four­teen kilo­watts of pow­er, accord­ing to data pro­vid­ed in Sat­ur­day’s presentation.

The pleas­ing curved lines of the plat­form and garage are linked by a large cen­tral plaza and walk­way cov­ered with match­ing blue glass. The ener­getic col­ors will cer­tain­ly bring a refresh­ing tone to Seat­tle’s many dark and drea­ry days.

Thank­ful­ly though, the sun was shin­ing on the hun­dreds gath­ered to mark Sat­ur­day’s grand open­ing ceremony.

The rev­el­ers were as var­ied as the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ty, home to some of the nation’s most eth­ni­cal­ly and lin­guis­ti­cal­ly diverse zip codes.

King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber and Sound Tran­sit Board mem­ber Dave Upthe­grove emceed the speak­ing pro­gram, which fea­tured remarks from:

  • Sound Tran­sit CEO Peter Rogoff,
  • Fed­er­al Tran­sit Author­i­ty region­al admin­is­tra­tor Lin­da Gehrke;
  • 33rd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mia Gregerson;
  • Seat­ac May­or Michael Siefkes;
  • Port of Seat­tle Com­mis­sion­er Fred Felleman;
  • Alas­ka Air­lines com­mu­ni­ty rela­tions direc­tor Shaunta Hyde;
  • Wash­ing­ton State Build­ing & Con­struc­tion Trades exec­u­tive Lee Newgent;
  • King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine, Chair of the Sound Tran­sit Board.

Also in atten­dance were Seat­ac res­i­dent and for­mer King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Julia Pat­ter­son and for­mer Sound Tran­sit CEO Joni Earl, both instru­men­tal in the plan­ning of Sound Tran­sit 2, which over­whelm­ing­ly passed eight years ago.

Per­haps the most res­onat­ing speech came from for­mer High­line Col­lege stu­dent body pres­i­dent and cur­rent Seat­tle Uni­ver­si­ty stu­dent Pa Ous­man Jobe.

Jobe’s activism was fueled by a vision for bet­ter tran­sit options that could open doors peo­ple in the High­line area. He cit­ed the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing reli­able tran­sit as an issue of equi­ty and opportunity.

These now-tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits of our invest­ment in Sound Tran­sit serve as a time­ly reminder of the impor­tance and urgency of fin­ish­ing what we have started.

In Novem­ber, vot­ers in King, Pierce, and Sno­homish coun­ties will be asked to approve the third phase of Sound Tran­sit’s region­al tran­sit plan, which appears on the bal­lot as Region­al Propo­si­tion 1. Mass Tran­sit Now cam­paign­ers were out in force and orga­niz­ing a can­vass­ing event imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the celebration.

The inau­gu­ra­tion at Angle Lake Sta­tion brought the com­mu­ni­ty togeth­er to cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of yes­ter­day and today. Now, that mes­sage must inspire much-need­ed action to help keep our region moving.

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