The University of Washington Station Is Artistically and Architecturally the Best Link Station


It's very quirky.
Good Morning Charles,
I like your critique very much. I can't wait to check the station out. I especially enjoy public transit architecture. Among my favorites are Helmut Jahn's work on the O'Hare Airport Station for the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). Also, I really liked Moscow's subway in general. It was extraordinary. I visited Russia many years ago. And then, there's Paris' Metro. All very aesthetically pleasing.

BTW, I've seen some of the work of Berk at the Frye. Interesting artist.
The Capitol Hill station may not be beautiful at all architecturally, but it will end up as the most significant. Rather than just coming up between a stadium and a road, The Broadway/John station will come up directly into a cluster of large buildings with both stores and residences, and at the heart of the Broadway-Union-Bellevue-Roy-15th area.
...talking of Michelangelo?
Now there's the pointless, navel-gazing Charles we remember. What insightful comment will he make next? Buildings are tall! Flowers are pretty! Trains go fast! vrrrrrrroooommmm
I can.not.wait.!
@5 - Brilliant critique! Do you have a blog or a newsletter I can subscribe to? I want more!
UW station places its access route on an undulating overpass 25 feet in the air, for a train that pulls up to a platform 4 stories underground. Almost every use case involves an access penalty nearly as long as the ride to downtown itself, and many now-requested bus transfers via traffic-choked Pacific Street will "enjoy" a 20-minute penalty versus today's journeys, especially off-peak.

The point is that it doesn't matter how beautiful the interior is. A subway is the very definition of infrastructure whose form should follow function.

While Seattle is busy circle-jerking over its new deep-blue civic edifice this week, Sound Transit is off planning trains to the distant boonies, via highway embankments and zero-density zones of fantasy future employment, and near-impossible to use to non-laboriously traverse the very city whose inherent multi-functional density geometry you claim to value.

(Don't believe me? Plan a trip to Seattle U, to First Hill, or to any single square inch of the Central Diatrict this time next week, and see how the train saves you exactly zero time and offers you no better mobility than the mediocrity that has existed to reach those places for decades.)

If you endorse spending $500 million per station primarily to please architecture critics and political blowhards, should you be surprised when the trains can barely get you anywhere worth going?
I gotta say, as excited as I am about the new link route, I agree with d.p@8. The current access penalty for the UW station is nuts. Also, excellent point in bringing up the nightmare that is the traffic on Pacific Street. On peak times you probably can expect to hit the Ave faster by walking that by taking the 48. This will not be a problem in 5 years when the stop on Brooklyn Ave will open, but until then people are just dreaming. Also agree that rapid transit to the boonies, which frequently vote against this type of transportation, should not be a priority.
My main disagreement is with station aesthetics: beauty does not imply higher cost. I think we should aim for the maximization of beauty and the minimization of cost (not easy, but not a bad goal to keep in mind)