While Sound Transit digs a tunnel and builds a light-rail station under Capitol Hill, a block and a half of Broadway near East John Street will be used as a staging area for construction. But when the light-rail lines open in 2016, the Capitol Hill station entrances will take up only a small part of the above-ground space, and the agency hasn't decided what to do with the rest.
Carter Kinnier, a 48-year-old Capitol Hill resident, has an idea. He envisions a new, permanent home for the farmers market, currently a block north of the transit station, which will soon be displaced by an apartment building. Sound Transit expects 14,000 people a day will board light rail at the station—all potential customers. "Imagine getting a sandwich or a piece of fruit on the way to school or work," Kinnier says.
Kinnier acknowledges that his schedule as an IT manager prevents him from organizing the effort. But he's finding allies.
"It would be lovely to have a permanent location somewhere," says Chris Curtis, director of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. She's started talking to Sound Transit about the idea.
The agency will hold a series of public forums beginning in 2012 to field ideas.
"There is a lot of potential for a footprint of this size on Capitol Hill," Kinnier says. "We will never have an opportunity to do this again in our lifetime."