Cliff Mass says, “The new forecast models are increasingly threatening for colder temperatures and lowland snow from Sunday through Wednesday of next week,” though he does qualify this prediction, stating that the forecasts aren’t “ideal for a truly major event.” Define “truly,” Cliff.
Anyway, we all live on a hill, like many Seattle residents, and know that snow can provide some unique challenges to mobility. Unlike many neighborhoods, however, we have access to Link light rail, which should make it easy to get around—as long as you are going where the train does.
If it really does snow, and South McClellan is closed to cars, I recommend using Link as a ski lift. Ski down McClellan to Mount Baker Station. Take the train back up to Beacon Hill Station. Get a hot cocoa at The Station. Ski down again. Repeat. Your ticket is good for two hours. (If you actually try this, I’d love to see photos and video.)
Be prepared, stay warm, and cross your fingers for next week, whether you’re a snow-lover or a snow-hater.
After the hard work, it’s time to enjoy some art, music, or dance. You have several choices tonight.
NEPO Little Treats presents Trotter, an exhibition of works by Amanda Manitach. The opening is tonight, Saturday March 5, from 6 until 8 p.m. Bacon-wrapped dates will be served, and there will be a screening of Cremaster 4 at 8 p.m.
If a musical trip is more your speed, Light Rail, Dark Rail is for you. Live performers including the Beaconettes, Cafe Racer Sessions, Jordan O’ Jordan, Tahoe Jackson, and more will liven up Link Light Rail trains.
Start at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the International District/Chinatown Station for a “summoning performance” by Prawnyxx. Then at 6 p.m., enjoy a “Musical Tour Guide and Overture” on southbound trains to SeaTac. At SeaTac, you’ll deboard, then board a northbound train. One is Dark Rail, and the other is Light Rail—you don’t know which you’ll get. Head to Sodo Station for the after party at Radar Hair + Records, 2721 First Avenue South, at 7:30 p.m.
If you prefer swing dancing, stay up on top of the Hill for the Beacon Rocks!swing dancing fundraiser, from 8 until 11 p.m. tonight at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave South. There will be a live swing dancing performance and swing-dance lesson by Savoy Swing at 8:15 p.m., a live cake raffle, and more. Suggested donations start at $10.
On Sunday at 3:30 p.m., visit our neighbors in Mount Baker to see the Medieval Women’s Choir perform a short concert at Mount Baker Community Clubhouse, 2811 Mount Rainier Drive South. The choir will sing medieval music with soloist Linda Strandberg, accompanied by period instruments played by percussionist Peggy Monroe and harpist Bill McJohn.
Todayâ€™s loser: Residents of Southeast Seattle who might, had Sound Transit not decided to build an expensive (and over-budget) station through Beacon Hill, have had two more light-rail stations in their part of the city.
Barnett’s analysis appears to be in error, however. She claims that:
…The distance between stations on the south end of the line is much longer than in the central, north, and (planned) east portions of the line: Nearly two-and-a-half miles from station to station, compared to just over 1.5 miles for the north section and just over a mile for the central portion.
However, the 2009 Seattle Transit Blog article in which she has found this statistic is not referring to Southeast Seattle when it describes “South Link.” The existing light rail line, from Westlake south to Sea-Tac, is known as “Central Link,” and is listed on the STB article with an average station distance of about 1.2 miles. “South Link,” on the other hand, is used in the STB post to refer to the extension of the line from Sea-Tac to Tacoma (or Redondo/Star Lake — it’s unclear which version of the proposed line is being referred to here). The distance between the Rainier Valley stations actually averages (very roughly) 1.25 miles.
More recent numbers released by Sound Transit last month (February – June station activity based on actual boarding data instead of survey responses as was the February survey) found here and here show Beacon Hill Station with more boardings than Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach, SODO and Stadium, and more deboardings than all of the above plus Mount Baker, and only a few short of Pioneer Square.
During last week’s miserable, rainy weather, we noticed something disconcerting—it was raining in the southbound tunnel of Beacon Hill Station.
The leaks along the wall in the tunnel (seen above in the photo on the right) were noticeably worse, and a constant shower of droplets was falling over the platform, all the way back to the wall, where drops were falling out of the front of the light fixture there.
We asked Sound Transit about this, and spokesperson Bruce Gray told us: “The short answer is, we have a leak and are fixing it. We donâ€™t think itâ€™s indicative of anything seriously wrong. Our engineering folks tell me this is fairly common over the first year or so of deep-mined projects, which is why the work is all covered by warranty.”
Indeed, this week work is being done on the south platform.
The tunnel “voids” affecting properties above the Link Light Rail tunnel path through the hill continue to be identified and addressed. From an article in the Engineering News-Record:
Crews have filled in about 80% of nine voids leftover from a 2-mile tunneling job through Seattleâ€™s Beacon Hill. Japanâ€™s Obayashi Corp. did not discover the voids while boring the parallel, 1-mile tunnels as part of its $280-million contract, which has since increased to $312 million. Owner Sound Transit contends the contractor is at fault.
. . .
â€œWe put Obayashi on notice that we think this is an avoidable situation, and the cost is going to be withheld from its final payment,â€ Gray says. Sound Transit has spent $1.6 million filling the voids.
â€œThe adequacy of the geotechnical data supplied by Sound Transit and the actual behavior of the ground during construction are under discussion with Sound Transit,â€ says Obayashi spokeswoman Carmen Stone.
And they’re not quite done yet: Sound Transit estimates about 430 cubic yards remain left to find and fill. Read the rest of the article at ENR.
The removal of construction scaffolding from some offramp overpass projects in Sodo will prevent Link Light Rail from running north of Sodo station at Lander Street this weekend. From our news partner, the Seattle Times:
Link light-rail service will not run through the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and parts of the Sodo area this weekend as state Department of Transportation contractors remove scaffolding supporting a new offramp over the tracks and station just south of downtown.
Free bus shuttles will carry Link passengers from the Sodo light-rail station at South Lander Street via Sixth Avenue South to the tunnel stations. King County Metro and Sound Transit bus routes that normally use the Sodo busway will also be detoured during the work.
12:08 pm update: According to an announcement on Sound Transit’s website, the station has reopened. However, you should be aware that the ticket machines at the station are currently not accepting credit and debit cards — cash only. (This problem predates the station closure.)
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The Link light rail station at 2700 Beacon Ave S is closed. bhnw.org scanner logs indicate it is closed until Monday. Metro is running shuttle buses from in front of the station to Mount Baker Station on the east side of the hill. Sound Transit and Metro customer information lines make no mention of this closure as of 10am, but there is a posting on the Sound Transit website.
KIRO noted the closure at about 1am on Twitter: “ST: Beacon Hill Station is out of service, closed. They are experiencing some sort of signal issues. Back up bus service is available.”
Security personnel at the station do not have any information regarding the reason for the closure or when it will re-open.
10:10 update: After multiple attempts and a lengthy wait on hold, a Metro customer service agent says the only information they have is that “The tunnel between stations closed, shuttles until further notice on Saturday.”
They’re also seeking volunteers to help with day-to-day tasks, fundraisers, programming etc. If you’re interesting in helping out, contact Jessie McKenna at 206-323-7115.
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Due to budget cuts, there will be only twoSmall and Simple Neighborhood Matching Fund cycles in 2010. If you have projects that the NMF could help with this spring or summer, be sure to get your applications in by January 11th. Second-cycle applications are due in July.
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Get to know about City Year‘s mission and impact in Seattle and King County at their Breakfast of Champions, 7:30am on Friday, January 8th. For more information about the breakfast, contact Teresa Thomas via email or at 206-219-5002.
As Jason mentioned earlier, there was a derailment of a Link light rail train on the elevated section near the maintenance yard this afternoon. Sound Transit has been able to keep Link service running, though with notable delays, by using only the northbound track through Beacon Hill and Mount Baker stations. Trains are supposed to be running every 20 minutes for the rest of the day.
Reports from riders so far indicate that you should allow more than 20 minutes for the delay, though this may improve as the rush hour traffic dies down. Jesse Odam reports that his usual 15 minute Link trip from the International District to Beacon Hill just after 5:00 pm expanded to nearly an hour, including being passed by a jam-packed train, and then a half-hour wait at Stadium Station.
Sound Transit warns that Link service will be temporarily suspended later, during the removal of the disabled train, because both northbound and southbound tracks will be blocked. During that time there will be a shuttle bus (Route 97), which will operate between the Stadium and Mount Baker light rail stations. We aren’t sure yet when this will happen, but Sound Transit says they’ll update this rider alert page when they are ready to remove the disabled train.
Folks on Seattle Transit Blog are discussing the derailment, its possible causes, and Sound Transit’s handling of the situation, here.