Bridge to the Ave Scheme
This concept would place a public square directly above the southerly end of the new light rail station and connecting the area between Brooklyn Avenue at the west and University Way (“The Ave”) to the east. Entries/exits to the light rail station below would occur via a single story structure at the southwest corner of the square and in the grade floor level of a new transit-oriented development building (T.O.D.) to the north adjacent the UW Tower (similar to the City’s scheme). Brooklyn Avenue and 43rd Street adjacent to the plaza could have limited vehicular access.
Additional properties would have to be purchased at the northwest corner section of the intersection of 43rd and University Way. The public square could be complemented by amenities for pedestrian use with features such as planter/benches, kiosks, outdoor sculpture and/or a fountain/pool, an electronic graphics display board (as shown), and possibly even a large glass canopy (not shown) to provide flexible inclement weather use. A more intimate widened alleyway area could open up off of the plaza (as shown) at the north side.
- Provides significant relief space for crowds of light rail users
- Partially matches current light rail T.O.D. building design at plaza north end
- Provides new public-use space for markets and fairs in the U District area
- Provides additional open space for the UW Tower office building
- Allows connectivity between both Brooklyn and ‘The Ave’
- Creates a new focus to the U District
- Complements pedestrian traffic flow to/from the UW campus and UW Tower
- Would allow natural light directly into light rail mezzanine below grade
- Could accommodate a sculpture/fountain feature at U District’s center
- Maximizes pedestrian traffic through the square creating “defensible space”
- Requires acquisition of private property at a section of “The Ave”
- Limited pedestrian-related retail use at plaza perimeter