Mount Baker station
|Link Light Rail station|
The northbound platform at Mount Baker station
|Location||3000 Rainier Avenue S
|Owned by||Sound Transit|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections||King County Metro|
|Parking||Paid parking nearby|
|Bicycle facilities||Bicycle lockers|
|Opened||July 18, 2009|
Mount Baker is a light rail station located in Seattle, Washington. It is situated between the Columbia City and Beacon Hill stations on the Central Link line, which runs from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport to Downtown Seattle and the University of Washington as part of the Link Light Rail system. The elevated station consists of two side platforms located west of the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in the Mount Baker neighborhood, part of Seattle's Rainier Valley.
A light rail station in the Mount Baker area was first proposed in 1995 and approved the following year. Construction began in late 2005 and the station was opened for regular service on July 18, 2009. Trains serve the station 20 hours a day on most days; the headway between trains is 6 minutes during peak periods, with less frequent service at other times. Mount Baker station is also served by five King County Metro bus routes that connect it to Downtown, Capitol Hill, Rainier Beach, the Central District, and the University District.
Mount Baker station is located west of the Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way intersection in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle, at the foot of Beacon Hill. The area surrounding the station consists of single-family detached homes and retail big-box stores, housing 6,675 and employing 2,208 respectively. Nearby pedestrian amenities include a bus station for King County Metro routes one block northeast and an overpass of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way connecting to Mount Baker Boulevard and Franklin High School.
A 10-block, 37-acre (150,000 m2) area surrounding Mount Baker station was designated as the Mount Baker Station Area Overlay District and approved for rezoning by the Seattle City Council in June 2014. The rezone raised building heights from a maximum of 65 feet (20 m) to 125 feet (38 m) with hopes of attracting transit-oriented development around the station; the first new development in the rezoned area was the four-story Artspace Mount Baker Lofts, which opened in 2014 and lacks parking spaces for its 57 units.
In 2014, the Seattle Department of Transportation began planning of its "Accessible Mt. Baker" plan, which would rebuild the street grid surrounding the station and adding facilities for bikes and buses. Part of the $10–20 million plan would move bus stops at the existing off-street transit center to the plaza under Mount Baker station, with bus lanes and a special bus-only street on South Winthrop Street between Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way; the proposal was funded as part of the "Move Seattle" levy passed by voters in November 2015.
From 1891 to 1937, the Rainier Valley was served by the Rainier Avenue Electric Railway, an interurban railway on Rainier Avenue that traveled to Downtown Seattle, including a stop at McClellan Street in the vicinity of the modern light rail station. A failed rapid transit proposal published in 1928 by the Seattle Traffic Research Commission recommended that a future southern extension on Rainier Avenue terminate at either McClellan or Winthrop streets in Mount Baker.
A modern light rail system for Seattle was proposed in 1995, including a station at the intersection of Rainier Avenue and McClellan Street in Mount Baker. The proposal was rejected by voters on March 14, 1995, and was condensed into the "Sound Move" that was approved the following November, retaining the proposed station in Mount Baker. In 1999, Sound Transit, the agency charged with planning and constructing the light rail system, chose an elevated station at McClellan Street to be situated between a tunnel under Beacon Hill and a surface line on Martin Luther King Jr. Way as part of the Central Link route. The light rail station, designed by Seattle-based Boxwood and engineered by Federal Way-based BergerABAM, was tentatively named "McClellan Street" and unveiled to the public alongside Beacon Hill station at public hearings held in 2003. The station was named "Mount Baker" after the surrounding neighborhood by the Sound Transit Board in January 2005.
Sound Transit awarded the construction contract for Mount Baker station and the Beacon Hill Tunnel to Japanese general contractors Obayashi Corporation in June 2004 for $280 million, the costliest component of the Central Link project. Construction began in September 2005 with the permanent closure of Stevens Street and utility relocation to clear the station site. By the following April, Obayashi completed erection of columns that would be used to support the elevated guideway and station. Mount Baker station was declared substantially complete in June 2009, excluding work on the elevators and escalators.
Mount Baker station was opened to the public on July 18, 2009, during the first day of Central Link service. The station hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the line and served as the point at which the inaugural trains met and departed with passengers.
|Northbound||← Central Link toward University of Washington (Beacon Hill)|
|Southbound||→ Central Link toward Angle Lake (Columbia City) →|
|Street level||Entrance/Exit, ticket vending machines|
Mount Baker station, designed by architectural firm Boxwood and engineered by BergerABAM, consists of two elevated station platforms, a community plaza beneath the station building, and a nearby bus station. The 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2), brick-clad station building contains the 400-foot-long (120 m) side platforms situated 35 feet (11 m) above a plaza with ticket vending machines at ground level.
The station also houses three art installations as part of the "STart" program, which allocates a percentage of project construction funds to art projects to be used in stations. Sheila Klein's "Sky Within" consists of six chandeliers, recycled from former street lights, that are suspended above the plaza level on the underside of the train guideway. The southbound platform has two stained glass windows made by Guy Kemper, facing away from the station and towards the surrounding neighborhood: "Rain, Steam and Speed" serves as a colorful contrast to clear and overcast skies, while "Seattle Sunrise" represents a sunrise against the horizon.
The station's pictogram, a pair of mountains, depict Mount Baker and Mount Rainier (both visible from the station). It was created by Christian French as part of the Stellar Connections series and its points represent nearby destinations, including Franklin High School, the former site of Sick's Stadium, Colman Park, Cheasty Boulevard, and Mount Baker Park.
Mount Baker station is part of Sound Transit's Central Link line, which runs from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport through the Rainier Valley and Downtown Seattle to the University of Washington. It is the seventh northbound station from Angle Lake station and tenth southbound station from University of Washington station, and is situated between Columbia City and Beacon Hill stations. Central Link trains serve Mount Baker 20 hours a day on weekdays and Saturdays, from 5:00 am to 1:00 am, and 18 hours on Sundays, from 6:00 am to 12:00 am; during regular weekday service, trains operate roughly every 6 to 10 minutes during rush hour and midday operation, respectively, with longer headways of 15 minutes in the early morning and 20 minutes at night. During weekends, Central Link trains arrive at Mount Baker station every 10 minutes during midday hours and every 15 minutes during mornings and evenings. The station is approximately 22 minutes from SeaTac/Airport station and 16 minutes from Westlake station in Downtown Seattle.
Mount Baker is served by six King County Metro bus routes that stop at the Mount Baker Transit Center, a three-bay bus station located on Forest Street between Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way that opened on September 19, 2009. Routes 7 and 9 Express run through the transit center, connecting the Rainier Valley to Downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill; Route 8 terminates at Mount Baker, running north to the Central District, Capitol Hill, and the Seattle Center in Uptown; Route 14 runs through the transit center, connecting Downtown and the Mount Baker area of the city (that the station was named after); Route 48 terminates at Mount Baker, running north to the University District via the Central District; Route 106, which begins in the International District, switches to local, frequent-stop service at Mount Baker, running on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South to Rainier Beach and towards Skyway and Renton.
- Growing Transit Communities Oversight Committee (October 2013). "Mount Baker: Light Rail/Bus" (PDF). The Growing Transit Communities Strategy. Puget Sound Regional Council. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Lindblom, Mike (July 11, 2009). "Revamped bus routes to carry commuters to Mount Baker light-rail station". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Seattle City Council (June 23, 2014). "City of Seattle Ordinance 124513". City of Seattle Legislative Information Service. Seattle City Clerk. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Bicknell, Lyle; Staley, Brennon (June 14, 2013). "II. Introduction". Director's Analysis and Recommendation on North Rainier/Mount Baker Town Center Rezone Proposal (PDF) (Report). Seattle Department of Planning and Development. p. 8. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Mannix, Manny (June 23, 2014). "City approves taller buildings, more density near Mount Baker station". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Thompson, Lynn (June 10, 2014). "Debate over tall buildings splits neighbors near Mount Baker rail station". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Bhatt, Sanjay (March 23, 2013). "Housing for artists coming to Mount Baker". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Stiles, Marc (May 24, 2013). "Structures: 57 apartments, plus retail — and not a parking space". Puget Sound Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Accessible Mt. Baker". Seattle Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
- Lindblom, Mike (October 18, 2015). "Move Seattle levy: Better bus service or a bunch of 'guesstimates'?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
- Crowley, Walt (October 17, 1999). "Seattle Renton & Southern Railway -- King County's First True Interurban". HistoryLink. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- McNerthney, Casey (November 9, 2010). "P-I archive: The railway that used to be on Rainier?". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Pollock, C. D.; Seattle Traffic Research Commission; Clearing House Association of Seattle (December 1928). Report of the Seattle Traffic Research Commission, 1928. Seattle Traffic Research Commission. pp. 28–29. OCLC 11052336.
- "The Regional Transit System Proposal" (PDF). Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. February 1995. pp. 1–2. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Sound Move: Launching a Rapid Transit System for the Puget Sound Region" (PDF). Sound Transit. May 31, 1996. p. 21. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Schaefer, David (November 6, 1996). "Voters Back Transit Plan On Fourth Try". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Sound Transit Board achieves historic milestone by selecting route for central Link light rail" (Press release). Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit. November 18, 1999. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Mt Baker Light Rail Station, Seattle, Washington". Boxwood. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- "The Central Link Light Rail Opens for Business to the Public". BergerABAM. 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Lindblom, Mike (April 9, 2003). "Light-rail station designs unveiled". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Sound Transit Motion No. M2005-09" (PDF). Sound Transit. January 13, 2005. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Sound Transit Motion No. M2004-59" (PDF). Sound Transit. June 10, 2004. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Local Digest: Sound Transit board approves big contract". The Seattle Times. June 11, 2004. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Construction begins at Mount Baker Station" (PDF). Beacon Hill Link Light Rail Construction Update. Sound Transit. September 27, 2005. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 22, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Tunneling Progresses At Seattle's Beacon Hill" (PDF). Parsons Brinckerhoff Notes (January 2006 ed.). New York City: Parsons Brinckerhoff: 16–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Mount Baker Station" (PDF). Beacon Hill Link Light Rail Construction Update. Sound Transit. April 4, 2006. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 31, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Initial Segment—Beacon Hill". Link Light Rail Monthly Progress Report, June 2009 (PDF) (Report). Sound Transit. June 2009. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 16, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Link light rail launches new era of mobility for central Puget Sound" (Press release). Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit. July 18, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Gutierrez, Scott (July 18, 2009). "Light rail open for business". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Seattle, Washington: Central Link Light Rail Line and Mount Baker Station" (PDF). BergerABAM. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Silver, John, ed. (March 19, 2010). "2010 Masonry Institute of Washington Excellence in Masonry Design Awards - Institutional Honor Award: Sound Transit Link light rail Mount Baker and Beacon Hill stations". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "STart Public Art Program". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Guy Kemper: Painting with Glass". Kentucky Muse. June 21, 2010. Kentucky Educational Television. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "STart - Sound Transit Art Program: Guide to Art" (PDF). Sound Transit. April 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Mount Baker Station - Public Art". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Stellar Connections". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
- "Stellar Connections: The story of the pictograms at Link light rail stations" (PDF). Sound Transit. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 8, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
- "Link light rail schedule". Sound Transit. March 19, 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Expanded Metro bus service coming; Link light rail ramps up in downtown tunnel" (Press release). King County Metro. September 16, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
- "More bus-light rail connections roll out Saturday" (Press release). Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit. September 18, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Mount Baker Transit Center (PDF) (Map). King County Metro. September 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Ride the Wave Transit Guide (PDF) (September 2016 ed.). Sound Transit. September 10, 2016. p. 15. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- Metro Transit System: Central Area (PDF) (Map). King County Metro. September 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mount Baker (Link station).|