It probably says something about the media that the opening of a Starbucks roastery on Capitol Hill got more national coverage than the hype this week leading up to the opening of Capitol Hill Station and U-Link.
The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angels Times probably see the opening as a major extension of Seattle’s existing light rail infrastructure.
We’re biased but we’re pretty sure this is more than an extension. Saturday’s opening represents a major shift in how the line can be used with the University of Washington and Broadway and Pike/Pine now within its reach. Maybe the trend-highlighting, feature stories are coming next week. Or maybe they’re not.
You can see what CHS has to say about it all here in our LIGHT RAIL 3/19 coverage. Here is what the other locals are saying about it.
- Seattle Transit Blog plays it cool — We like how the train nerds have stood back and taken this on like just another day in boomtown. Here is STB’s no nonsense review of the preview ride to Capitol Hill Station. Of course, STB is already looking to what’s next: “Immediately north of the UW platform, we were also given a look at the retrieval shaft where tunnel boring machine (TBM) Brenda will arrive in a couple weeks.” How will they celebrate the launch of U-Link? A “Blog Open Thread,” naturally.
- The bike angle — Seattle Bike Blog hijacks the train to make the case that the city should use the big celebration as an opportunity to showcase its newly acquired bike share.
- “Giant crowds” — The Urbanist group can’t help but imagine the future teeming microhoused masses of Seattle:
Initial impressions: the stations are deep, particularly UW station, which has a sub-mezzanine that Sound Transit calls “the chamber” before you get to the final escalator to the station platform. These stations will be able to handle gigantic crowds.
- Old school — One of the more interesting mass media items is this from KOMO sharing a 41-year-old report on Seattle’s “mass transit.” “They even talk about tearing down the Viaduct!” — sigh :(
- No Savage Love light rail edition? The Stranger dedicated it’s entire issue this week to the opening. Our favorite reports? Now more opportunities for pants-less light rail rides and Dan Savage’s waxing on the poisonous seepage of Capitol Hill across the entire city. Meanwhile, given how far UW Station is from the U District proper (far!), this article about the neighborhood’s theater options doesn’t make any sense.
- Funny — The best of the “Seattle, personal reflection” category is this piece for Crosscut by former CHS-er Samuel Heft-Luthy: In a city of lovable transit losers, a rare victory
- Traffic sucks — The Puget Sound Business Journal keeps things simple with a contrast of the route’s speed vs. reportedly decaying commute conditions across the region. Also: a slideshow!
- Pretty pictures — You’ll also find some nice pictures from the Seattle PI.
- “Oh, we’re speeding up.” — Check out KUOW’s brief, charming chat with some of the folks who made U-Link real.
- Boom — NWProgressive.org is excited:
University Link is going to fundamentally reshape mobility in Seattle and beyond. The addition of these new stations will likely result in a huge ridership boom.
- How to — The Seattle Times likely has more to come but, for now, check out the byline on this piece. Sound Transit can write. If you want to know How to Build Light Rail just in case you were thinking about it.
- Mainstream: Here is the news boiled down to its essence on the AP wire. Here is the hilariously can’t-believe-this-kind-of-thing-still airs local TV talk show version.