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Othello station

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Othello Station Pictogram.svg
Othello
Link light rail station
Light rail vehicle approaches ground-level station platform
A southbound Link train at Othello station
Location 7100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South
Seattle, Washington, US
Coordinates 47°32′16.5″N 122°16′53.5″W / 47.537917°N 122.281528°W / 47.537917; -122.281528Coordinates: 47°32′16.5″N 122°16′53.5″W / 47.537917°N 122.281528°W / 47.537917; -122.281528
Owned by Sound Transit
Line(s)
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Connections King County Metro
Construction
Structure type Surface
Parking Paid parking nearby
Bicycle facilities Bicycle lockers
Disabled access Yes
History
Opened July 18, 2009 (2009-07-18)
Traffic
Passengers 1,937 daily boardings (2015)[1]
Services
Preceding station  
Link
  Following station
toward Angle Lake
Central Link

Othello is a light rail station located in Seattle, Washington. It is situated between the Rainier Beach and Columbia City 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 station consists of two at-grade side platforms between South Othello Street and South Myrtle Street in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in the NewHolly neighborhood, part of Seattle's Rainier Valley.

The station opened 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. Othello station is also served by three King County Metro bus routes that connect it to Beacon Hill, Downtown Seattle, Mount Baker, Renton and West Seattle.

Location[edit]

Othello station is located in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Way between Othello and Myrtle streets in the NewHolly neighborhood of Seattle's Rainier Valley. It is at the center of the neighborhood's retail area, and is a short distance from a Seattle Public Library branch, the Othello Playground, and the Chief Sealth Trail.[2] The 7.4-acre (3.0 ha) Othello Playground is located a block east of the station on Othello Street in the Brighton neighborhood.[3]

Transit-oriented development[edit]

The area surrounding the station consists primarily of single-family homes, with some multi-family housing and commercial areas along Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Within a 12-mile (0.80 km) radius of the station is a population of 7,901 residents, of which 87 percent are of a minority group, and 758 jobs. The Othello area developed with short blocks and neighborhood-level retail, creating what the Puget Sound Regional Council called a "moderately walkable" environment.[4]

The construction of transit-oriented development around Othello station began before the beginning of light rail service. In the early 2000s, the Seattle Housing Authority redeveloped its Holly Park public housing area into a mixed-income neighborhood of townhomes and apartments called "NewHolly". The new, 1,450-unit development opened in 2005.[5][6] The Great Recession of the late 2000s delayed plans to redevelop strip malls and unused land near Othello station, cancelling several attempts by local businesses to sell properties to real estate developers.[7]

Light rail vehicle at ground level platform. Behind it is a multi-story apartment building
The Station at Othello Park, a 351-unit apartment building, is adjacent to Othello station.

The first major market rate development built adjacent to the light rail line in the Rainier Valley was "The Station at Othello Park", a six-story, 351-unit apartment building that opened at the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Othello Street in 2011.[8][9] A second phase of the project, the 355-apartment "Othello North", will be built on the north side of Othello Street and open in 2017.[10]

An additional low-income housing project will be built north of Myrtle Street by Mercy Housing on surplus land used for equipment staging that was auctioned by Sound Transit for $1.9 million in 2014. The lowest rents for the 108 apartments will be $450 per month; the building is expected to open in March 2017.[11]

The southwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Othello Street was planned to be the site of a 500-unit apartment building and public market, but plans fell through in 2015 after developer Lobsang Dargey was accused of securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.[12]

A small parking lot to the south of Othello station was converted into a sanctioned homeless encampment by the city government in March 2016, in response to the growing homelessness crisis in the city.[13]

History[edit]

Rails and exposed earth
Light rail construction at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Othello Street in April 2007

A modern light rail system was proposed by the newly-formed Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in 1995, including a line running through the Rainier Valley with a stop at South Othello Street.[14] After the $6.7 billion proposal was rejected by voters in March 1995, the RTA considered building a shorter elevated line on Rainier Avenue, including an option beginning at Columbia City, to the north of Othello, and ending in the University District.[15] In November 1996, a condensed $3.9 billion regional transit plan was approved by voters, including a light rail line between Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport running through the Rainier Valley, with an at-grade station on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South at South Othello Street.[16][17][18]

Concerns from Rainier Valley residents over blocked intersections, property acquisition, and equity led the RTA (later re-branded as Sound Transit) to study a $400 million tunnel through the Rainier Valley.[19] In November 1999, the Sound Transit Board reaffirmed its selection of an at-grade alignment on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, with a station at South Othello Street.[20]

Sound Transit awarded a $128 million contract to the joint venture of Robinson Construction and Herzog Contracting (forming RCI-Herzog) in February 2004 for construction of the Rainier Valley segment of Central Link.[21] A groundbreaking ceremony for the Rainier Valley segment was held by Sound Transit at the future site of Othello station on June 8, 2004.[22] Construction of the station began shortly thereafter and continued until late 2008.[23] Light rail test trains began running through the Rainier Valley in August 2008, with service expected to start in July 2009.[24]

The station was opened on July 18, 2009, on the first day of Central Link service from Downtown Seattle to Tukwila International Boulevard station.[25]

Station layout[edit]

Platform
level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound Central Link toward University of Washington (Columbia City)
Southbound Central Link toward Angle Lake (Rainier Beach)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Othello station consists of two at-grade side platforms in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South between Othello and Myrtle streets. The station is accessible from crosswalks at both streets, with the platforms running the entire length between the two. At both of the station's entrances are ticket vending machines and an ORCA card reader; beyond that lies the partially covered platform and waiting area, which includes seating and public art.[26] The station also includes two public plazas at the northeast corners of both cross-streets, as well as public bicycle parking.[27] Othello station, like others in the Rainier Valley, was designed by architecture firm Arai/Jackson.[28]

Art[edit]

Othello 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.[29] Along both platforms, Brian Goldbloom's Stormwater Project consists of eight stormwater channels carved into granite pieces, using everyday objects in a design inspired by the Osaka Castle. At the northeast plaza on Myrtle Street is Roger Shimomura's Rainier Valley Haiku, a 13-foot-tall (4.0 m) sculpture that consists of a "totem pole" of stereotypical Asian American items, including a rice bowl, chopsticks, a Japanese wooden sandal, and a graduation cap. The piece is placed atop a pedestal with four haiku written in response to a viewing of the sculpture.[30] Near the southeast plaza on Othello Street is Augusta Asberry's Come Dance with Me, a series of eight cut steel figures of African dancers in the style of traditional African art.[31][32][33]

The station's pictogram depicts a deer, which lived in the Othello area until the last of the population was relocated in the 1950s. It was created by Christian French as part of the Stellar Connections series and its points represent nearby destinations, including the Othello Playground, NewHolly neighborhood, and the Seattle Public Library's NewHolly branch.[34][35]

Services[edit]

Sign with the station's name and pictogram
Signage for the station

Othello 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 fifth northbound station from Angle Lake and twelfth southbound station from University of Washington, and is situated between Rainier Beach and Columbia City stations. Central Link trains serve Othello 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 Othello station every 10 minutes during midday hours and every 15 minutes during mornings and evenings. The station is approximately 15 minutes from SeaTac/Airport station and 23 minutes from Westlake station in Downtown Seattle.[36][37]

Othello station is also served by three bus routes operated by King County Metro that use bus stops adjacent to the station: Route 36, an electric trolleybus route,[38] begins at the station and travels north through Beacon Hill and the International District to Downtown Seattle; Route 50 travels west from the station to Seward Park, Columbia City, SoDo and West Seattle; Route 106 provides local, frequent-stop service on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South as well as service to the International District, Renton and Skyway.[39][40] Prior to March 2016, route 8 served the Martin Luther King Jr. Way corridor, connecting Othello station to the Central District, Capitol Hill, and Lower Queen Anne.[41]

Metro also runs the Route 97 Link Shuttle, a shuttle service serving Link stations along surface streets during Link service disruptions, between Downtown and Rainier Valley stations.[42] During the annual Seafair, free shuttle buses were used between Othello station and hydroplane races on Lake Washington at Genesee Park until 2013, when they moved to Columbia City station.[43][44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Appendix D: Stop Level Ridership Data". 2016 Service Implementation Plan (PDF) (Report). Sound Transit. December 2015. pp. 169–170. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ Lindblom, Mike (July 11, 2009). "It's a blank slate now but will the Othello station fulfill plans for high-density shopping area?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ Solie, Stacey (February 18, 2011). "Neighborhood of the week: Brighton". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ Growing Transit Communities Oversight Committee (October 2013). "Othello: Light Rail/Bus" (PDF). The Growing Transit Communities Strategy. Puget Sound Regional Council. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ Eskenazi, Stuart (July 4, 2005). "Reborn housing project reaches beyond the poor". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Case Study: Seattle TOD: NewHolly/Othello Light Rail Station". Puget Sound Regional Council. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ Pryne, Eric (April 6, 2009). "Recession stalls building boom along South Seattle light-rail tracks". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  8. ^ Pryne, Eric (May 20, 2011). "New apartment complex a test of light-rail's lure". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ Surdyke, Scott (June 28, 2012). "The key to successful TODs lies in taller buildings". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  10. ^ Stiles, Marc (December 10, 2013). "Big apartment project in Rainier Valley will be built in phases". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  11. ^ Stiles, Marc (February 26, 2016). "These Seattle apartments will rent for as low as $450 a month". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ Parkhurst, Emily (October 15, 2015). "Seattle Housing Authority warns 500-unit Othello project likely dead after developer misses deadlines". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ Demay, Daniel (March 8, 2016). "Othello homeless camp opens in South Seattle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  14. ^ "The Regional Transit System Proposal" (PDF). Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. February 1995. pp. 1–2. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  15. ^ Schaefer, David (January 11, 1996). "RTA ready to unveil new plan: rapid transit proposal's cost, scope downsized". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Sound Move: Launching a Rapid Transit System for the Puget Sound Region" (PDF). Sound Transit. May 31, 1996. p. 21. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  17. ^ Schaefer, David (November 6, 1996). "Voters back transit plan on fourth try". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  18. ^ Schaefer, David (November 7, 1996). "Transit plan can trace surprise success to suburbs; new support found on Eastside, in Snohomish County". The Seattle Times. p. B1. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  19. ^ Serrano, Barbara; Schaefer, David (January 29, 1999). "Calls get louder for rail tunnel: south end turns out en masse to argue against street-level trains". The Seattle Times. p. B1. 
  20. ^ Fryer, Alex (November 19, 1999). "A milestone for light rail: regional board selects station sites, alignment". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ Hadley, Jane (February 24, 2004). "Sound Transit signs light rail contract". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  22. ^ "ST to host June 8 Rainier Valley light rail groundbreaking celebration" (Press release). Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit. June 3, 2004. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Initial Segment—Rainier Valley". Link Light Rail Monthly Progress Report, September 2008 (Report). Sound Transit. September 2008. p. 25. 
  24. ^ Lindblom, Mike (August 13, 2008). "Sound Transit to run test trains through Rainier Valley". The Seattle Times. p. B1. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Link light rail launches new era of mobility for central Puget Sound" (Press release). Sound Transit. July 18, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Othello Station". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on July 11, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Othello Station" (PDF). Sound Transit. November 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  28. ^ Rainier Valley Link Light Rail Route & Stations (PDF) (Map). Sound Transit. February 2, 2004. OCLC 49259323. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 8, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  29. ^ "STart Public Art Program". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  30. ^ Farr, Sheila (July 6, 2008). "Get a head STart on light-rail artwork". The Seattle Times. p. I1. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Guide to art on Link light rail" (PDF). Sound Transit. 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Othello Station - Public Art". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  33. ^ Upchurch, Michael (July 12, 2009). "Sound Transit light rail's public art makes a big splash". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Stellar Connections". Sound Transit. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  35. ^ "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 6, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Link light rail schedule". Sound Transit. March 19, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  37. ^ Lindblom, Mike (September 17, 2015). "Light-rail trains to run every 6 minutes between Seattle and Sea-Tac". The Seattle Times. p. B1. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Trolley Motorization". King County Metro. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  39. ^ Ride the Wave Transit Guide (PDF) (September 2016 ed.). Sound Transit. September 10, 2016. p. 15. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  40. ^ Metro Transit System: Central Area (PDF) (Map). King County Metro. September 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  41. ^ "Metro Transit Service Change: March 26, 2016". King County Metro. March 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  42. ^ "No Link light rail service on Nov. 15 for system upgrades" (Press release). Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit. November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  43. ^ McKenzie, Madeline (August 3, 2012). "Blue Angels, hydros roar in for Seafair". The Seattle Times. p. E28. 
  44. ^ "Metro Transit shuttles to carry fans to Seafair hydros and air shows this weekend" (Press release). King County Metro. July 31, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]