CHS Pics | A new trailhead on Broadway

The start of a pleasant Saturday hike

Every hour or so Saturday and Sunday morning starting this weekend, hikers could set out from Broadway on their start of a climb up the most popular trail in the region.

The Trailhead Direct service Saturday celebrated its expansion to Capitol Hill Station with a bus breaking through a ceremonial banner and a collection of urban hikers ready for a day on the mountain. You can now take the bus from Capitol Hill to Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe on weekends through October, weather permitting. Continue reading

Memorial Pathway will honor fight against HIV/AIDS, connect Cal Anderson to Capitol Hill Station

This mural of Cal Anderson was part of the park in 2012 on the “Big Red Wall” surrounding Capitol Hill Station construction (Image: CHS)

The search has begun for artists to create the AIDS Memorial Pathway, a Seattle AIDS memorial planned for Cal Anderson Park and the plaza at the heart of the development set to arise around Capitol Hill Station.

Artists have until the end of May to submit their proposals for the project “honoring the impact of the AIDS epidemic on Seattle and King County” — Continue reading

Beginning in May, you can hike from Broadway to Mount Teneriffe… via Metro

(Image: King County Metro)

The hike to the summit of Mount Teneriffe takes around four or five hours, and, starting this May, a King County Metro bus ride from Capitol Hill Station.

Starting May 19th, the Trailhead Direct program is expanding with routes connecting Broadway to the Mount Si and Teneriffe trails. Continue reading

Maybe Sound Transit’s ‘Vertical Conveyances Report’ will finally address the Hedberg principle — UPDATE

If you’re tired of encountering broken down — and blocked off — escalators at Capitol Hill Station and across the rest of Sound Transit’s light rail facilities, here’s hoping for some good ideas in the University of Washington Vertical Conveyances Report.

The wonky sounding update is scheduled to be delivered Thursday at the Sound Transit board’s afternoon session of the Operations and Administration Committee. The report follows a fiasco level incident in March in which every escalator at UW Station was out of commission and hundreds queued up for long waits for the only access to the platform — the elevator. Continue reading

Here’s Sound Transit’s plan to make the display signs at Capitol Hill Station work (or, at least, stop showing inaccurate info)

Next Monday will mark the second anniversary of the opening of Capitol Hill Station. And, yes, the station display signs showing train arrival and departure information still don’t really work.

“We’ve found that the display signs show significantly inaccurate arrival predictions when: (1) trains are deployed (or removed) outside of the schedule that’s been loaded into the legacy system; (2) a major service disruption occurs, such as a disabled bus blocking the tunnel,” a Sound Transit spokesperson tells CHS. “The legacy system cannot account for these situations, resulting in wrong arrival times.” Continue reading

Asian flavored H Mart in talks to fill key retail space at Capitol Hill Station

With PCC announcing its plans to open a new downtown Seattle store in 2020, another potential player appears to be off the board to fill the key anchor tenant space in the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” project slated to finally break ground this spring after a decade of planning. After a series of names attached to the project have either backed out or moved on, CHS has learned that talks have centered on a new, growing part of the region’s grocery and retail economy.

Capitol Hill Station master developer Gerding Edlen is finalizing talks with Han Ah Reum Mart, Inc. to fill the key retail space in the massively important housing, commercial, and community development set to fill a block of Broadway surrounding the light rail station, a person familiar with negotiations tells CHS.

The company’s H Mart stores are known for their Asian foods and home goods. The U.S.-based chain featuring fresh produce, meats, seafood, snacks and more opened in the University District last summer even as a long anticipated downtown Seattle project has remained on hold. Continue reading

Latest Metro boosts and changes mostly leave Capitol Hill routes unaltered

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After a busy few years of upgrades, optimizations, cuts, and eliminations, the next wave of Metro bus route changes scheduled to roll out starting Saturday mostly leave Capitol Hill’s routes out of the equation.

“Riders will receive more King County Metro bus service starting March 10 on dozens of routes, including more frequent daytime service, more commute trips to ease crowding, and expanded evening and weekend service,” Metro crows in its announcement of the new changes.

Routes like the 8, 11, 12 are lined up to receive “additional resources to improve the reliability of service” but most of the big changes are off Hill and, in some cases, out of the city. Continue reading

Spring groundbreaking planned for Capitol Hill Station development

Development on the four, seven-story mixed-use buildings surrounding Capitol Hill’s light rail station is proceeding toward a groundbreaking this spring, possibly in late April, according to Jill Sherman. Sherman is head the project for Gerding Edlin, the Portland-based developers leading the project.

The date has some community members ready to celebrate. Brie Gyncild of the Capitol Hill Champion group said her organization is hoping to host some festivities to coincide with the start of construction.

“We’re just excited we’re going to have a groundbreaking,” Gyncild said.

Sherman expects the construction to take about 21 months, assuming there are no significant delays, putting the opening in early 2020, as has long been planned. Continue reading

Get to Capitol Hill safely as you ring in 2018 with free bus rides, later light rail

The New Year is already shaping up to be better. King County Metro and Sound Transit have announced free bus service, more night service, and longer hours for light rail to ring in 2018:

For the first time, King County Metro will offer free rides on New Year’s Eve between 4 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31, and 4 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, including DART and Access service. In addition, Metro will add service to its night routes. The Seattle Streetcar will also be free on New Year’s Eve and Sound Transit will extend Link light rail service between Angle Lake and the University of Washington.

“As we put the finishing touches on 2017, we want you to be able to get out on the town and come home safe,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in the announcement of the holiday service upgrades that safety advocates and nightlife industry have been calling for. “Whether you are heading to the Seattle Center or other King County destinations on New Year’s Eve, Metro will get you there and back, all for free. It’s our way of saying thank you for making Metro the nation’s best transit system, and we look forward to riding with you next year.”

CHS reported here on King County Council member Dave Upthegrove’s legislation introduced in early 2017 to make the changes possible.

In addition to free Metro service from 4 AM on Monday, December 31st through 4 AM on Monday, January 1st, Sound Transit will run its light rail trains later through the night, operating “extended Link light rail service” with trains running northbound from Angle Lake Station every 30 minutes until 1:30 AM. Southbound trains from the University of Washington will run until 2 AM. Sound Transit typically operates the light rail system with a four-hour downtime overnight. Capitol Hill Station and the rest of the line operates 5 AM to 1 AM on weekdays and Saturdays.

Additionally, the First Hill Streetcar will operate until 1 AM.

The county says Metro routes with added service will include 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 24, 32, 36, 40, 41, 62, 65, 70, 101, 106, 120, 124, 150, 255, RapidRide A, B, C, D and E Lines, and ST 550, ST 554.

The fareboxes and ORCA card readers on Metro buses will be covered to remind customers not to pay. Regular fare will be required on Sound Transit services.

On New Year’s Day, buses and rail service will operate on Sunday schedules, and “regular valid fare will be required on all services.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Station sniffs 7,000 boardings a day as ridership continues to climb

Walking Fingers by Ellen Forney

Sound Transit’s annual light rail ridership rose around 13.5% through September — about 10% of the 72,000 additional daily boardings across the system’s 16 stops happened at Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.

Overall, third quarter boarding totals show Capitol Hill Station’s 2017 jump of 13.4% pretty much mirrors the full system’s rise:

Link light rail ridership continued its strong growth during the third quarter, with a 13.5% increase compared to the same period last year. Average weekday boardings were 76,821, a 13.5% increase compared to the third quarter of 2016. The Angle Lake extension opened the last weekend of the third quarter in 2016. The continued increase in ridership and average weekday boardings is attributed to the two service expansions in 2016 as well as the addition of the Angle Lake Garage with more than 1,100 parking stalls. The region has enthusiastically adopted Link as a convenient transportation choice.

According to Sound Transit’s just released quarterly ridership report (PDF), around 6,953 people board trains below Broadway every weekday — up by about 800 per day from 2016.

Not every piece of data in the set is good news for the system, however. Boardings at Sea-Tac were down more than 13% in the period. UPDATE: Sound Transit attributes the drop to the new nearby Angle Lake Station:

Sound Transit won’t have a enough history for full year over year annual Broadway-boosted comparisons until 2018 — Capitol Hill Station debuted in March 2016 and immediately helped jolt light rail ridership to “record” numbers.