However, progress was made. ST announced that after an initial assessment, it supports long term use of the Nagle Extension for the Farmer’s Market. The planned continuation of Nagle Pl. will bisect the station property, creating a “green”, pedestrian focused street with ideally minimal car usage. A rough mock-up of the design created room for 45 vendor spaces, despite a 50-vendor request from the market, and a growing amount of sellers and buyers. However, ST representative Ron Endlich submitted the possibility of it spreading out onto Denny Way, closing the section of the street for a few hours every Sunday. “It’s great news, but there is more work to be done,” said Endlich.
Audience reaction was generally positive, but the proposal left some wanting more: What about when the market isn’t in session? How can this be a long term space that outlasts the organic food trend and creates a Pike Place type universal market? Can another street be added off of Broadway and connect to the Nagle Extension? Parking? Traffic? Inevitably, the concept of putting too much in the space was thrown in as well. Endlich noted ideas, and added “Nothing that we’re looking will preclude those ideas.”
Intertwined with the Nagle Extension issue is the issue of parking. The current policy held by ST is “limited underground parking for site tenants and retail customers” with no commuter parking or commercial parking. Many in the audience were satisfied with the policies, but a conflict arose between the ideals of Cap Hill residents and Cap Hill business owners. One audience member wanted even fewer parking spaces: a “Significant change from the status quo on parking spaces.” Another pointed out a lack of bike parking spaces (ST estimated 50 spot racks outside of stations), accommodation for scooters and mopeds, and an overall lack of need for parking on Capitol Hill. However, there was also the argument for meeting city parking code, developer attractiveness, and consumer attractiveness for businesses: commerce is hurt by the “perception” of no parking on Capitol Hill. “There’s not a parking capacity problem, but definitely a parking problem,” an audience member said.
View Sound Transit’s Presentation
ST is still deep in the planning phase of the project, and will continue to take suggestions and input from the community at another meeting in January. More information about the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station can be found here.