Tonight's North Link Light Rail station meeting will include a discussion of transit-oriented development and land use around the Roosevelt light rail station. It's also a chance to get a peek at Sound Transit's plans for the station itself. It isn't pretty.

The first thing you notice is that the station, which occupies two city blocks, doesn't include any retail businesses or housing---just two blocks' worth of essentially blank facades concealing the station inside. This is in marked contrast to the University District/Brooklyn station, which Sound Transit is designing to accommodate transit-oriented development (apartments and retail) on top.

The difference is especially striking given that unlike, say, Mount Baker or Beacon Hill,  the Roosevelt neighborhood has historically been more than willing to accommodate new residents, taller buildings, and more retail. But unless people put pressure on Sound Transit to push for the kind of land-use changes that would make TOD possible around rail in Roosevelt, this blank behemoth is what they'll get.

To quote Roger Valdez over at Seattle Land Use Blog, "do we really want an airport concourse in the middle of the neighborhood?"

And to quote Cola alum Dan Bertolet at Citytank: "Unfortunately, the controversy that often swirls around proposed development has a tendency to overshadow the potential benefits." In other words, when people start arguing about density, the anti-density shouters tend to crowd out any sane discussion.

Tonight's meeting is at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave NE, from 6 to 8:30 pm.
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