Capitol Hill Station is getting a late third birthday present: stairs!

Preparation work has begun on Capitol Hill Station’s “back of house” stairs beneath the Denny entrance to the busy subway platform, Sound Transit tells CHS:

Once back-of-house stairways are open, riders will be able to use them during all Link light rail operating hours. One important note: work on back-of-house stairs will occur one stairwell at a time, with follow-on work happening for a while. This means after we open BOH stairs, riders may notice some stairways closed while work continues.

When it opened on March 19th of 2016, Capitol Hill Station was born with only emergency stairs connecting to its arrival and departure platform. It was designed to be accessed by escalator or elevator with the emergency staircase to be put to use in, well, only emergencies. Continue reading

Happy third birthday, Capitol Hill Station

Some 7,698 light rail boardings take place every day at Capitol Hill Station. Tuesday marks the three-year anniversary of the opening of the busy Broadway subway station that has forever changed getting to and from Capitol Hill.

Saturday, March 19th, 2016, then-Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine broke out the giant ceremonial scissors to cut the ribbon opening the $110 million station and the start of service on the $1.9 billion, 3.15-mile U-Link extension connecting downtown to Husky Stadium via Broadway. 16 to 18 trucks per day were used to haul dirt away from the site during construction. Sound Transit officials said some 19,900 trucks plied the streets of Capitol Hill hauling muck churned up by the boring machines. Continue reading

Art plan taking shape for AIDS Memorial Pathway that will connect Capitol Hill Station development to Cal Anderson Park

A lead artist has been selected and the “master art plan” for the project has been created. March brings opportunities for some early looks at the vision for the AIDS Memorial Pathway project connecting Capitol Hill Station development to Cal Anderson Park.

“Destined to become one of the most significant public art installations in the region, the AMP will use public art to create a physical place for remembrance and reflection; utilize technology to share stories about the epidemic and the diverse community responses to the crisis; and provide a call to action to end HIV/AIDS, stigma, and discrimination,” organizers from the Atlas Obscura Society Seattle write about the coming pathway and a tour they are planning to preview the site with project manager Jason Plourde.

Making A Memorial

Last August, CHS reported on the selection of social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law to lead the project’s artistic vision. ” I create work for regular people that examines issues of identity, memory, history and the meaning of community. As a public artist who is interested in socially engaged work, I value collaboration and partnership with community members through collecting ideas, cultural materials, and engaging residents in planning and production of public art,” Law said at the time. Continue reading

Good news for Capitol Hill Station riders as Metro buses prepare to exit Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel for good

King County Metro is rolling out another set of service upgrades and changes on routes across the Seattle area and while relatively public transit-rich Capitol Hill mostly misses out on any direct upgrades, the changes will include a major step for transportation in Central Seattle — and better service to and from Capitol Hill Station for light rail riders.

It’s time for the end of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel as we know it. In March, the DSTT begins its new life as a “rail only” conduit. Continue reading

Giant crane returns to sky above Broadway as Capitol Hill Station housing and retail construction takes off

After a few years of rest there is a familiar scene rising above Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station. A massive construction crane has again risen above the land between John and Denny along Broadway.

The busy giant being put to use by lead contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis is a sign of new progress. After a June ribbon cutting — and a true groundbreaking in July — contractor crews have set in on creating an expanse of housing, retail and commercial space, community spaces, and a new plaza about the bustling subterranean station. Continue reading

Beep beep — There’s a new sound from riders tapping out at Capitol Hill Station

If like CHS, you can’t hear a beep, chirp, bleep, toot toot, or other rhythmic sound sequence without immediately mimicking it like your aunt’s canary, you’re about to get a new song as you enter and exit Capitol Hill Station.

To help clear up confusion when using ORCA fare cards, Sound Transit is changing the way its sensor beep — beep beep:

Link and Sounder fares are based on how far you travel. So we ask you tap your card before boarding the train and again when you get off so we know the correct fare to charge you or your employer that’s paying for your ride. Based on rider feedback like the tweet below, the ORCA readers will now beep twice when you tap off and end your trip. One beep to ride, two beeps to end your ride
Continue reading

Sound Transit’s solution for Capitol Hill Station escalator problems: stairs

(Image: Sound Transit)

Sound Transit announced Thursday a plan to convert an existing emergency staircase inside Capitol Hill Station to provide a permanent alternative to the facility’s frequently out of service escalators and elevators.

The announcement comes as part of a much more significant by the agency to add new staircases at UW Station where the escalators problems have been even an more frequent — and expensive — problem.

“Our escalator plan is proactive: Escalators haven’t been a problem at our Capitol Hill station, but we’ll now make stairs available at all times there too,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said about the plan. “We’ve also changed future U District station design to include stairs on opening day in 2021.” Continue reading

Video shows ‘use of force’ arrest for fare enforcement issue aboard train in Capitol Hill Station — UPDATE

Video showing a violent tussle as four security officers attempt to subdue a man aboard a Sound Transit train Tuesday night inside Capitol Hill Station has many calling for the transit agency and King County Sheriff to explain the use of force and the policies around fare enforcement on the area’s light rail and bus systems.

A representative for King County Sheriff which provides police service along with Sound Transit police on the light rail system said a statement on the arrest is forthcoming and that he expects video showing the full incident to be released. Continue reading

After mystery summer disappearance, Capitol Hill mystery soda machine mysteriously resurfaces

Now it can be revealed. Capitol Hill’s mystery pop machine is alive and well and apparently sightseeing. And in a sure sign of the impending Capitol Hill apocalypse, it now has PR representation.

The viral soda dispenser  — yum! — missing for months from in front of the Broadway Locksmith resurfaced unexpectedly Monday morning on social media, revealing its temporary location to be near the Space Needle. The pop machine has also apparently hired a graphic design team. Continue reading

Artist selected to lead AIDS Memorial Pathway project connecting Capitol Hill Station development to Cal Anderson Park

Image: Lost & Found 10′ x 30′ x 30′ Screen size: 8′ x 8′ Mixed-media installation. Single-Channel Video Projection on Silk Rose Petals and Red Thread. Image Gallery, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon An installation with projection and sound on a screen made of silk rose-petal and red silk thread. The projection is a series of portraits of Portland parents and their adopted Chinese children projected on an 8’x8′ screen; a soundtrack of a Buddhist chant plays softly in the background. The installation is a meditation on conflicting issues raised by trans-cultural adoptions: individuals and the collective, uniqueness and commonality, longing and belonging, loss and gain. The screen symbolically and literally stitched the family together, as the screen itself was communally constructed by families and friends over several weeks.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture ‏announced Friday that social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law has been selected to lead a team of artists to complete 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:

A five-member, community-based selection panel reviewed the submissions and interviewed three finalists in June. The committee assisted by advisers, also community based, selected social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law to lead a team of artists to complete the project. Law pursued at MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. The impetus for his arts degree was his first-hand experience during the early years of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

“Much of my work stems from my identity and experience as a gay US citizen of Asian heritage,” Law said in the announcement. “Social interaction and community participation are important aspects in my installation work and public art projects. I create work for regular people that examines issues of identity, memory, history and the meaning of community. As a public artist who is interested in socially engaged work, I value collaboration and partnership with community members through collecting ideas, cultural materials, and engaging residents in planning and production of public art.” Continue reading