This was my web site promoting the Seattle Monorail Project, but the project was cancelled in November 2005.
I am maintaining this site for historical reference.

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Extending the Green Line to Lake City


In November 2002 the citizens of Seattle voted in favor of a ballot measure authorizing a new monorail line, to be known as the Green Line, that would have been about 14 miles long and wwould have gone from West Seattle to Downtown Seattle and then north through Ballard to terminate at 15th Ave. N.W. and N.W. 85th St. in the Crown Hill district.

In November 2005, in another election, the voters cancelled the project to build the Green Line. However I am keeping this page on the web site because what I refer here as the “Green Line Extension” could still be part of a future monorail system.

The Green Line was intended to be the first of five monorail lines that would form a network throughout Seattle. The long-range plan also included an extension of the Green Line southwesterly to the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock and easterly from Crown Hill to Northgate and Lake City.

My Opinions

THE ROUTE: From the proposed terminus of the Green Line at N.W. 85th St., I propose extending the route northeast along Holman Road and then east to a point near the north side of North Seattle Community College, then across the freeway to the Northgate Transit Center, then north along the east side of Northgate Mall to Northgate Way N.E., then east to Lake City Way N.E. and north on Lake City Way to the city limits at N.E. 145th St.


PHASE 1: CROWN HILL TO NORTHGATE — This would meet most of the advantages given above, and would be about three miles long.

PHASE 2: NORTHGATE TO LAKE CITY — This would extend the line about two or three miles beyond Northgate into the Lake City business district.

Map of proposed extension of Green Line to Northgate and Lake City

Map of My Ideas for Green Line Extension

The darker green line is the Green Line to be completed to N.W. 85th St. in 2009. The lighter green extending from the 85th Street Station to the northeast then east is the proposed extension to Northgate and Lake City.

I have indicated a specific route and stations on the above map, however it is only a suggestion. As with the Green Line, the actual route and station locations would be determined by the Seattle Monorail Project, largely influenced by input from the public.

The Meridian Station is near Meridian Ave. N. and N. 100th St. and would serve North Seattle Community College and the many offices and apartment houses in this area. However the station is close to the Northgate Transit Center Station and there is good bus service between this section of Meridian and the Northgate Transit Center, so it may be better to eliminate this station.

I believe that it is very important to have a monorail station at the Northgate Transit Center because this is a main hub of transit connections. I have indicated the route deviating south from Northgate way east of Aurora Ave. N. because there is a steep hill east of Northgate Way where it curves to the north. In order to reduce the grade of the monorail, I am proposing that it angle down the face of the hill in a southeasterly direction, and this would also bring it into alignment to pass just north of North Seattle Community College and cross the Interstate 5 freeway to the Northgate Transit Center.

I think that it is likely that a deal can be made with Simon Properties, owners of Northgate Mall, to route the monorail along the east edge of their property, along the west side of 5th Ave. N.E., and to build the Northgate Station on the edge of their property south of Northgate Way. It may also be possible to build the guideway down the middle of 5th Ave. N.E. because there are only a few left turns along this part of the street.

THE SCHEDULE: Because of the importance of the extension to the overall success of the Green Line north of Downtown, I think planning on the extension should begin very soon. There will need to be the planning, hearings, revisions, and a public election to approve this as a new project. And then, of course, detailed design and construction.

The currently-approved 14-mile Green Line is scheduled to begin operations in late 2007, however this would only be on part of the line. Due to the construction of the bridge over Salmon Bay (between Interbay and Ballard), the portion of the line north of the bridge probably won't operate until 2009.

It is about three miles from Crown Hill to the Northgate Transit Center, and about three miles more to Lake City. There are no significant bridges so the construction time will be less than for the initial Green Line to Crown Hill. I would say that there is an excellent chance that the extension could be completed at the same time that the current project is completed, so that when the Salmon Bay bridge is completed, trains could start running all the way to Lake City!

COST? The current Green Line project is 14 miles long and the cost is estimated at $1.7 billion. That line includes a large high-level bridge across Salmon Bay, a restructuring of the West Seattle high bridge, expensive construction in Downtown Seattle, and costs of modifying or demolishing the existing Seattle Center Monorail. None of these unusual costs will apply to the extension. I am not a professional, nor an engineer, nor in the construction business. So my layman’s guess is that the three-mile extension from Crown Hill to Northgate would cost less than $300 million and from Northgate to Lake City it would cost less than $250 million.

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©2003 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 20 March 2013

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