Though it will be rendered only in blue and white, Sound Transit has selected a symbol of Gay Pride as the legally required identification icon for Broadways opening-soon Capitol Hill Station.
“Pictograms, as part of our overall general signage program, are not produced in color,” colorful Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray regretfully informed CHS.
The new symbol was spotted by eagle-eyed @gordonwerner in Sound Transit’s latest project update newsletter. Sound Transit also announced that the Seattle-side line of light rail will be known as the Red Line while Eastside extensions will be known as the Blue Line.
The Pride-based icon was selected as part of a design and community feedback process designed to “create pictograms to identify Sound Transit Link light rail stations” that “serve as a tool to easily differentiate stations.” “This is important for non-English speaking audiences, particularly those that do not use a Roman alphabet,” a report on the process reads.
It’s choice comes in a summer of revival for the rainbow flag on Capitol Hill. While the flag continues as a ubiquitous symbol around the neighborhood every June for Pride, the addition of 11 rainbow crosswalks in Pike/Pine has represented a small restoration, for some, of the neighborhood’s eroding LGBTQ identity. For others, it’s a groovy photo op. You might expect a similar response for the Capitol Hill Station icon — though we wouldn’t mind holding the license for the branded blue Pride flag merchandise.
Art inside the station will be, well, kinda gay, too, with war+love machine Jet Kiss (Image: CHS)
Sound Transit officials have announced that an important “first phase” of testing on the University Link light rail extension connecting downtown to Montlake via Capitol Hill Station is complete. And they included this groovy video view from the operator’s cab to show you how it feels to zoom through the twin tunnels at speeds up to 55 MPH.
The testing of “new power, safety, train control and communications systems in most of the 3.1 miles of tunnels between Westlake Station in downtown Seattle and the University of Washington” involves coordinating the newly installed equipment with the system’s existing infrastructure. The work is part of phases of testing that will continue through the summer and will grow to include Sound Transit’s working fleet of trains. “(W)hen final phases of testing beginning this fall, all trains that operate during normal service hours will continue on to Capitol Hill and UW Station before returning south,” the announcement on the completion of the first phase of testing reads. The full announcement is below.
CHS took you inside for a first look at Capitol Hill Station as work continues to have the new extension ready for service by early 2016. You can also join CHS on a walk through the light rail tunnels here. Meanwhile at the surface, the process to develop the land around Capitol Hill Station with a mix of market-rate and affordable apartments, commercial space, and community space is underway.
Sound Transit completes first phase of University Link testing
New video from operator’s cab previews fast and frequent service that starts in early 2016
Sound Transit contractors have completed initial work to integrate and test University Link light rail signal and power systems as part of the push to open the extension in early 2016. Continue reading
All 86 units planned for Site B-North will be below market rate. (Image: Gerding Edlen)
A prominent Capitol Hill nonprofit will be taking the lead role in developing an all-affordable housing building as part of the four site, mixed-used project that will one day surround Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.
Master developer Gerding Edlen has selected Capitol Hill Housing to develop, own, and operate the seven story, 86-unit building. According to Gerding’s winning proposal, half of Site B-North’s units will be restricted to households making no more than 30% of the area median income. The other half will be made affordable to households at or below 60% of AMI. Initial plans call for a community center and a day care, as well as a rooftop deck and computer lab. Continue reading
CHS showed you our take on the first look inside Sound Transit’s $110 million Capitol Hill Station. Here’s what the rest of the world saw:
- The Seattle Transit Blog — Inside Capitol Hill Station:
Sound Transit brought a four-car train up to Capitol Hill for the tour, providing a glimpse of what service levels could look like in 2021. Spokesman Bruce Gray noted that while two-car trains will still be the norm for U-Link, three-car trains will be mixed in during peak, with flexibility for four-car trains for special events. In 2018, three-car trains will be the norm, and four-car trains will run full-time upon the opening of Northgate Link in 2021. The station itself is compact, deep, and tall. Relative to the DSTT, the mezzanines are graciously much smaller, and the center platform really narrows the feel of the station box. The overall feel is reminiscent of a cross between an industrial cathedral and the flight pod from Battlestar Galactica.
- The Stranger — A Tour of the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station That’s Set to Open in Early 2016:
Lest the Bertha boondoggle hog all the limelight, let’s not forget that Capitol Hill has its own tunnel project. The only difference is that everything about it is wonderful. Instead of tunneling to build a massive highway, the project is to build a subway line connecting the heart of Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. It is under budget and ahead of schedule. It is definitely not sinking the Earth around it. It will be adorned with eye-popping artwork made by local artists.
- The Stranger also posted pictures here of the Jet Kiss installation provided by Sound Transit.
- CHS, by the way, posted pictures from 2010 of artist Mike Ross and crew at work on one of the jets:
Mike Ross and crew in 2010 after after receiving the A4 fighter jet for the future installation in Capitol Hill Station (Image: Kat Nyberg Photography with permission to CHS)
(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)
With a message one Sound Transit official was so proud of he repeated it twice, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray led a media tour Tuesday morning of the “ahead of schedule and under budget” U-Link subway line’s Capitol Hill Station.
“When U-Link opens early next year it will transform how people get around this city,” Constantine said before getting to the heart of the matter — a public push to pass the state transportation budget in Olympia including a fully-funded Sound Transit 3 package.
Mayor Murray echoed the call to Olympia before heading underground below Broadway. “Tens of thousands of people will use this as a way to commute to work,” Murray said, “to enjoy life when they’re not working. It’s going to make a difference.”
Tuesday’s tour was the first public opportunity to see inside the $110 million station that stretches from John to Denny below two acres of Broadway just northwest of Cal Anderson Park. Later this summer, Sound Transit says it will begin “pre-revenue testing” on the twin tracks between downtown and Montlake via Capitol Hill. Starting around August, every train will continue from Westlake tunnel to put the system fully through its paces. Passengers, of course, will need to get off the train before it continues all the way to UW station.
A cutaway view from the north of Capitol Hill Station’s main entrance at Broadway and John (Image: Sound Transit)
If you see smoke Friday night coming from the under construction Capitol Hill Station, you can probably relax. Sound Transit says contractors will be conducting tests of the station’s “airflow” —
Friday, May 22, from 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sound Transit’s contractors at both the Capitol Hill and University of Washington Stations will perform airflow tests in the University Link tunnels. Nearby residents and passersby may notice artificial smoke (a dense vapor produced by a fog machine) exiting vent shafts at the station sites. Additional airflow tests will also be performed on May 30-31 and June 6-7 during daytime hours.
If this were an actual emergency, never fear — Capitol Hill’s Fire Station 25 is home to Seattle’s only special tunnel firefighting machine.
The work is part of preparations through the rest of 2015 to open Capitol Hill Station and the U-Link light rail extension connecting downtown to Montlake by way of Broadway.
You can get a sneak peek here of the UW station and a look here at what it’s like inside the 3.1 mile tunnels. Riders will descend around 90 feet via escalators and elevators to reach the Capitol Hill Station platform, according to Sound Transit diagrams. In addition to the main entrance near Broadway and John, the station will also be accessed by an entrance near Denny on the west side of Broadway and a third entrance on the south end of the site. By 2030, about 14,000 Capitol Hill riders are expected to board the light rail trains each day.
Above ground, the process to develop the sites around the Broadway light rail site with a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments, a community plaza, and commercial space — including a home being planned for a new grocery store — is underway and planners are adjusting bus routes in anticipation of the new transit service coming online. Meanwhile, the surface level streetcar has begun testing on Broadway with hopes of opening the service to riders later this summer.
For the first time since they were selected to develop the housing and retail sites that will one day surround the Capitol Hill light rail station, developers Gerding Edlen met with the Capitol Hill community Saturday to show off its early designs for the project.
The Portland-based developer set up posters inside E Pine’s Century Ballroom for a public viewing of the company’s winning proposal, which Sound Transit selected and made available last month. The event was co-hosted by Sound Transit and Capitol Hill Champion, a neighborhood group that’s worked for years to insert community priorities into the “transit orientated development” project.
Members from the Gerding team and architects from Schemata Workshop were on hand to answer questions and take public feedback during the three hour open house. The event was a kickoff of sorts to a new round of community engagement on the project as Sound Transit spent much of the past six months scoring proposals from four teams.
A dog swimming pool, music practice spaces, a newsstand, and more vibrant color palettes were just a few of the colorful suggestions attendees offered after viewing the designs Saturday. Continue reading
The proposals for improving the bus network in Capitol Hill that have been coming from King County Metro over the past few years have varied pretty widely. From an emergency service proposal to staunch the effect of massive bus cuts, to a Seattle-only expanded service proposal that hasn’t even taken effect yet, the ideas for changing bus service on the Hill have been all over the place, and it would not be unreasonable to assume that the average Hill resident has not been able to keep up with them.
This week, Metro released its latest University Link restructuring proposal for Capitol Hill and northeast Seattle, set to take effect in the first quarter of 2016. After taking comments regarding its two alternatives, Metro has released a third proposal, dropping most of the really frequent service and retaining almost every area’s direct connection to downtown. The result is a proposal that falls short of a frequent service grid that was its clear ambition with alternative 1.
Here are the proposed changes, with the most dramatic stuff first. Continue reading
(Image: Gerding Edlen)
Representatives from the company selected to lead the most significant development project on Capitol Hill… ever will be on hand Saturday to meet with the community and begin the public process of sharing their vision for the blocks of Broadway between John and Denny surrounding Capitol Hill Station.
Capitol Hill Champion — Meet the Developers
Saturday, May 16th – 1 to 4 PM
In April, CHS reported on the selection of Portland-based Gerding Edlen as the “master developer” for the multi-site retail and housing projects. A protest from Capitol Hill Housing could also put the local nonprofit developer in the mix to handle the affordable housing earmarked for the B-North site. Developers were allowed to plan for 85-foot tall buildings along Broadway in exchange for going above minimum affordable housing requirements.
The $1.8 billion light rail extension connecting downtown to the University of Washington under Capitol Hill is expected to open for service by early 2016. Sound Transit forecasts that by 2030, there will be 14,000 boardings a day at Capitol Hill Station. The transit oriented development around the station on Broadway will add some 400 apartments to the site as part of 100,000 square feet of “transit oriented development” including housing, commercial, and community spaces.
CORRECTION: CHS erroneously reported the location of this incident. It occurred at the construction site across the street from the Capitol Hill Station site near where the Hollywood Lofts project is being completed.
Seattle Fire units responded to construction site in the 100 block of Broadway E Monday afternoon after a worker fell approximately 20 feet and was seriously injured.
SFD reports that the worker who fell was conscious before being transported from the scene at Broadway and E Denny to Harborview.
According to Seattle Fire, the worker in his 40s fell from construction equipment at the site around 12:30 PM.
Washington State Labor and Industries is investigating the incident.