A Reader’s Commute

The commute from Capitol Hill Station to University of Washington Station this morning was simultaneously exciting and boring.

I didn’t notice what time I got to the Capitol Hill Station platform this morning. A 2-car train arrived a couple of minutes later. The train was crowded, but I found a seat. (I don’t know what logistics are involved in running 3-car trains more often, but I do think someone should look into it.)

I remembered to look at my phone as we left the station. It was 7:10. I looked at my phone again as we arrived at University of Washington Station. It was 7:14. It was three miles in four minutes. That’s exciting.

Just for my own curiosity, I later went to Google Maps and asked for directions from Capitol Hill Station to University of Washington Station. It told me: 3 minutes by Link light rail, 11 minutes by car, via 24th Avenue (“10 minutes without traffic”), and 13 minutes by car, via I-5 and SR-520 (“9 minutes without traffic”).

Unfortunately, the trip was entirely underground, with no stops and no scenery whatsoever. That’s boring. If this was my daily commute, I’d open a book as soon as I got to the platform at Capitol Hill, and I’d keep reading all the way to Husky Stadium. I was too alert to the new experience to read this morning, however.


Station to the left, office to the right

It took me longer than four minutes to get from University of Washington Station to the U District office. I made the mistake of thinking the overpass would quicker than crossing Montlake Blvd and Pacific Street, and then cutting through the medical center. I wasn’t familiar with this area’s redesign at all. It seems that overpass is designed to get people to the main UW campus. I had to circle back a bit to get to Pacific Street, and then cut through the medical center. The crosswalks would have been quicker.


View from the UW Health Sciences Building

Then I went to the Downtown office. The train left University of Washington Station at 9:51. I stepped into Pioneer Square Station at 10:01. I am impressed. (I did read on the way to Downtown.)

4 thoughts on “A Reader’s Commute

  1. Being underground has a definite downside for those of us who like to zone out and watch the world pass by as a way of relaxation. I feel like it even makes people-watching on the train itself a little trickier, it seems to me like the act of observation is altered in some ways…..

    • Before the light rail station, I used to take either the 25 or 43 back to the downtown office. Those were both great routes for scenery. Alas, the 25 is gone, and the 43 is peak hours-only now.

  2. I am sure that it would have been more expensive to build a covered walkway, but that walkway over Montlake to get to the station???? Ughhhh I haven’t yet done it in the rain, not looking forward to it. And the huge amount of walking is a problem for me, from the bus stop, up, over, walk, walk, walk to get into the station…..

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