NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Sound Transit held a community workshop on March 13 to discuss the Chinatown-International District (ID) Station. The transit agency is planning a new Link light rail station that will connect the ID and Pioneer Square to more destinations throughout the city and region.
There were two meetings for the community on March 13 — one in Chinese and one in English. Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese interpreters were present. It was attended mainly by seniors who live in ID housing.
The new station with a tunnel would be built on either 4th or 5th Avenue South. Proposed plans involve closing 4th or 5th for anywhere from 4 months to 7 and a half years.
The community members’ main concerns were about safety, and Sound Transit promised to improve lighting and walkways in the area around the new and existing stations.
Several seniors also pointed out the lack of Chinese-language signage on light rail and bus routes and would like them to be added.
Maiko Winkler-Chin, the executive director of the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, is pushing for the 4th Avenue alignment. No street level retailers or apartment buildings occupy the superblock between Jackson and Seattle Boulevard South on 4th. The parallel stretch of 5th features several large apartment buildings, street-level retailers and restaurants, and the west side of the Uwajimaya complex. As a result, Winkler-Chin says the 5th Avenue project would be much more disruptive.
Winkler-Chin also said that the 4th Avenue alignment could reactivate Union Station as a public space and multimodal hub.
To comment on the project, call 206-903-7229 or go online at https://wsblink.participate.online/.