Station Entrances

I tend to avoid reading the comments on stories about Seattle’s transit projects, unless I’m looking for an answer to a question I have. Reader comments tend to be repetitive, and not well informed. No matter what the project, according to the comments, it’s the biggest waste of money ever (superlatives are popular), nobody’s ever going to ride it because a) it’s too slow and b) it doesn’t go anywhere anyone wants to go, and it’s proof of how corrupt our current mayor is.

One comment on the new Capitol Hill Station has started me thinking, however. The comment was that it’s totally unnecessary (superlative, again) to have a station entrance/exit on Denny Way, just one block from the entrance/exit on John Street. I don’t agree, and it makes me wonder how many Link stations the person making the comment has visited, but it’s causing me to look at how our transit stations are designed.

It’s something I’ve seen, but had never really thought about, so I’m relying on memory right now.

All but one of the Downtown Transit Tunnel stations (which were designed for buses in the 1980s, but retrofitted for light rail) have entrances/exits at either end of station, and they tend to be about a block apart. The one exception is Convention Place Station, which, you know, I’m not fond of. I’m pretty sure the surface stations in SoDo and along Martin Luther King Boulevard are open at both ends, and those stations are about a block long. It makes sense, and that’s what makes the comment about the Capitol Hill Station seem so odd to me.

I think the above-ground stations, Mount Baker, Tukwilla, SeaTac Airport, and the new University of Washington, have single entrances and exits in the center of the station, but I’m not sure of that at the moment.

The odd one (and I don’t mean that in a bad way) is Beacon Hill Station. It’s shaped like the letter H. A bank of elevators connect to an underground central area, with platforms on either side. It’s the only Link station accessible only by elevator (except for emergency exits, I suppose).

I don’t remember what MAX stations in Portland tend to look like – where the entrances and exits are. Of course, in Downtown Portland, they’re not really stations, but stops on the curb, like bus stops.

Two new Link stations open tomorrow, and Angle Lake Station opens later this year! I’m excited!

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