Jackson St. Streetcar Visualizations

From the latest visualizations it looks like the current plan has the following changes:

  1. the line now becomes single-tracked (around 2nd Ave and turns left to a terminal on 2nd Ave and King Street … forgoing the Pioneer Square portion of the route.
  2. the 5th & Jackson street station will be center-tracked, with an island platform
    in the middle of Jackson St.

The Seattle Streetcar has posted visualizations for the Jackson Street portion of the route.

For More Information: Seattle Streetcar (official site)

Actual route map: Click here

Broadway visualization: Click here

Comments

  1. alexjonlin says

    I like the new plan. Jackson looks incredible in these new visualizations. I think it’s okay to replace the old Pioneer Square loop with this because this plan still serves Pioneer Square, but it also serves King Street Station pretty well, and makes it easier for the Central Streetcar to interline in the future.

    • Michael Arnold says

      Jackson will look amazing with the new streetcars. Someone better snap up some of those old street front stores before they become too high priced!! I wonder if the old auto garage next to House of Hong will finally be made into apartments?

      Also the new line won’t duplicate any of the old Waterfront route…hmmm, wonder if that means something? Does anyone know if there will be a short rail run from the Waterfront terminus to the FH line just in case a miracle occurs and the Waterfront line rides back from the sunset? What are we talking about, 20 feet?

      I do like the fact that the line will connect King Street Station with the IDS/Chinatown Station and then eventually the Capitol Hill Station. Nice to see a Seattle transit line connect with other transit modes. This line will NOT be deemed a train to nowhere.

      • alexjonlin says

        The problem is that the Waterfront Streetcar can’t interline with these streetcars because it has a different voltage. I really do hope that they bring it back someday. We should make sure they at least put in provisions for streetcar tracks along Alaskan Way during the Waterfront design process.

      • Michael Arnold says

        Actually I was just hoping that they could store the old trollys at the new streetcar barn and only connect to the new tracks so they can get the old trollys back and forth from the barn.

      • Wells says

        I’ve been studying an extension of the Waterfront Streetcar Line up to Lower Queen Anne. It’s about 2 1/2 miles of double-track from Occidental Park with any alignment along Alaskan Way. A permanent bridge over the RR tracks at Broad Street is already proposed, highly desirable, and could accommodate streetcar tracks. The route from there is via Elliott, cross Western at 3rd Ave W, then Thomas to the Queen Anne/1st Ave N couplet with a turnaround at Mercer.

        I looked at a Western Ave, Bay Street to 1st Ave N route, but the hillclimbs of Broad and Bay Streets are probably too steep. The Thomas corridor is busy enough, not too steep (I think), and pedestrian access to Myrtle Edwards Park opens up. The new Waterfront is going to need better transit, that’s for sure, and this idea would generate ridership on Waterfront Streetcar line segment.

        These visualizations of Broadway and Jackson help a lot. I’m not yet convinced it’ll work, but the ducks may be lining up in its favor. I’d say more, but I don’t want to open up a can of worms. Good work.

      • alexjonlin says

        I think it would be better to have the Waterfront Streetcar continue to the cruise ship terminal, and have the 1st Ave Streetcar serve Lower Queen Anne. More of a grid-style system.

      • Wells says

        By extending the Waterfront Streetcar Line further north, Sculpture Park and Myrtle Edwards are reached, and Lower Queen Anne gets new access to them and the Waterfront. There’s already transit on 1st Ave which will conflict with a streetcar line there. I’m still very leary of center station/left lane operation and notice that the Broadway and Jackson routes are a combination of that and curbside track. I’m just sayin the Waterfront Streetcar Line is very popular and could be reinstalled.

      • Gordon Werner says

        The Waterfront Streetcar would also do EXACTLY the same thing that is intended with the First Hill Streetcar … that is connect neighborhoods to LINK … with the addition of the Sculpture Park, Pike Pl. Market, the Aquarium, Pier 66, Ferries, etc …

        My thought is sell the old ex-Melbourne trams to museums / other places and use the same new Inekon/Skoda/Oregon Ironworks streetcars for rt. 99

      • SR Das says

        I talked with Mr. Melone on Saturday, and he says that the tracks will be demolished with the viaduct project, and the tracks would have to be rebuilt, but yes, they HAVE thought about it–maybe double-tracked along Alaskan Way and a couplet in the Pioneer Square/Int’l District section, but they’ll work that out later.

      • alexjonlin says

        Yay! This is the first time I’ve heard a city official say that they are considering taking steps to restore the waterfront streetcar.

      • Michael Arnold says

        Did you ask if they’d mothball the stations as well and also about a possible extension north?

      • NJL says

        If city/county officials are dead set against bringing back the Waterfront Streetcar, at least they could still connect the track (just a few feet away) and run one of the new trains down the waterfront line on weekends or at least special events.

      • Wells says

        The city/county officials’ deep bore tunnel pile should be flushed down the toilet along with their Mercer West and Alaskan Way design committee bowel movements on paper.

      • says

        That’s the last thing this low-income, racially diverse neighborhood needs is for it to become gentrified. Many agree that gentrification if a form of racism.

      • alexjonlin says

        No he’s right, it’s a really tough balance to make sure we can make large benefits for the neighborhood while not pushing the existing unique, vibrant community out.

      • joshuadf says

        You know, I was just reading John Perkins’ With Justice For All about gentrification. In his view the gentrification of many inner city neighborhoods is a fact of 21st century life and the key is to include and support the current community instead of slowly replacing all the people. Perkins is a Baptist minister and unapologetically Christian, but I think most of what he says is applicable to any situation. It’s based on three things: relocation (to the neighborhood), reconciliation (between the people that live there and newcomers or those returning after “escaping” to better areas), and redistribution.

        He’s an article about him I found after a quick search:
        http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/march/35.48.html

        With all the changes coming via the streetcar, Yesler Terrace, etc I think we could really use this approach.

      • Geoff says

        Nobody with any money wants to live in Pioneer Square. White, black, brown, etc. It will always be a neighborhood of low income folks.

      • wes kirkman says

        He means “I don’t want to live in Pioneer Square”. Those pronouns get confusing.

  2. says

    Oh boy, I can’t even start to imagine the mess that’s going to happen on gamedays at the west end of the route..

    • alexjonlin says

      Even if it’s for a block and a half for the purpose of turning around, just like the ones on the South Lake Union Streetcar?

      • d.p. says

        Any time I see single-tracking, I picture future service planners making excuses for why they have inadequate headways.

        Running this thing every 10 minutes of better including in the evenings — and every 5-7 at rush hour — will be the difference between it becoming a crucial addition to Seattle’s urban mobility or a pointless waste of money.

      • Zed says

        It’s one block of single track at the terminus. Jeeze. Portland’s first light rail line had a mile of single track, did it keep them from expanding? Mountains out of molehills.

      • Wells says

        That mile of MAX LRT single-track was in a rural setting close to the last station in Gresham and double-tracked years ago. Wherever the terminus, expansion is in the design. The whole thing is questionable, and shouldn’t be accepted as perfect as-is, but it’s a good depiction of where the planning process is at.

      • alexjonlin says

        They won’t be expanding there, as you can’t really go anywhere from Second & King. When the Central Streetcar is finally built they will certainly build a EB track on Jackson there, and there’s no reason to think it won’t be. But as long as there’s only the First Hill Streetcar, this is the best way to do it, so that the terminus can be next to the sidewalk without it having to merge just after the left turn.

      • Wells says

        From 2nd Ave terminus, a single-track extension could turn west on King to meet either the Waterfront or 1st Ave Lines. The other track could run straight on Jackson to either of those lines. If instead the First Hill Line were to turn north to a terminus on 2nd, that’s within the proximity of the existing line on Main. Is there a site proposed for the streetcar barn. I really don’t believe the site adjacent to Occidental Park is suitable.

      • Lloyd says

        It may be “just a tail” but on game days will there be room to store t or even 3 trains for use after games? Can we please plan ahead for these kinds of events rather than reacting after the fact?

      • alexjonlin says

        Well they won’t buy an extra two or three streetcars for use only after large events so they wouldn’t have that capability anyways.

      • Peter E. says

        if/when they did buy more cars, obviously you’d extend the track into that parking lot thing by the stadium (not sure what that’s there for) and part the streetcars in that area, right?

      • alexjonlin says

        Well they’re not going to buy a large number of extra cars for use during special events ever. They’re going to have as many as are needed to have good peak service levels, plus one or maybe two extra in case one breaks down. The stadium parking lot will be developed with a large project with a few skyscrapers once the economy improves. http://www.danielsdevelopmentcompany.com/projects_northlot.html

        Two-car streetcars won’t happen on our streets because their length would make it a lot more complicated for the driver to know what is going on around the train, and one-car trains can always provide enough service.

      • Kaleci says

        “Two-car streetcars won’t happen on our streets because their length would make it a lot more complicated for the driver to know what is going on around the train, and one-car trains can always provide enough service.”

        I disagree. As long as the blocks are longer than 130-feet and the stations can accommodate them, it shouldn’t be a problem with technology we have today. Two-car trains could easily be used on weekends when there are significant events along the line when they can use the peak-hour cars.

        There are cities all over the world where streetcars are coupled together – and we have done it before in Seattle in the 1920s and 1930s.

      • Lloyd says

        Or, after looking around down there today, why not turn the westward line south on occidental, east on King, north on 2nd and then east on Jackson?

  3. DJ says

    And maybe it means that there is still a place for Waterfront street car, since PS is not served as well with this route.

    The map you have up is the old one, with the PS loop and not the spur to King

  4. archie says

    I’m loving the new Jackson St and am extremely happy to see that the Chinatown stop for both directions is right close to the light rail station.
    Also, it’s interesting that between 10th ave and 5th ave, there is one uphill car-travel lane but two downhill travel lanes. If one is enough for uphill, it makes me think that the width of that second downhill lane would be better served as bike buffer space or perhaps a north-side parking lane, both of which would calm traffic and reduce the pedestrian crossing distance across Jackson.

  5. Seattlefire says

    I wonder where the maintenance base is going to go for this line. Is it going to be the south lake union base or an new one.

    • joshuadf says

      Because it would be a pain. It also doesn’t show existing ETB or utility lines, stop signs, etc.

    • Mike Skehan says

      Prediction: Trolleys will be gone during construction along Jackson(7,14,36), and never return after the streetcar begins operations. “Conveniently”, they will never return, just as the WFS went away.

  6. Brett says

    Will there be any changes/impacts to route 36 (or any of the other routes that run along Jackson)? There will be significant overlap between 36, the streetcar, and link, although I don’t see how you could get rid of the 36. Any re-routing possible?

    • joshuadf says

      I’m guessing the existing ETB wires for the 7, 36 etc are one reason for the placement of the stations. That’s how the SLU streetcar and MT 70 ETB coexist on Fairview Ave N–the 70 uses the outside lanes and the streetcar uses the inside lanes with a center station.

    • Gordon Werner says

      36 might stop between the streetcar stations (with the exception of 12th and Jackson) …

      Speaking of 12th and Jackson … that intersection has always sucked thanks to all of the asian grocers on each corner.

      • Gordon Werner says

        which part?

        the streetcar is only going to stop every couple of blocks. It would make sense for the 36 (if it remains on Jackson) to stop in between the streetcar stations … reducing a bit of duplicity of service.

        At 12th and Jackson there are 2 Asian grocers … they use 12th ave to unload deliveries and their parking lots cause a lot of congestion. Granted I haven’t worked on Beacon Hill in some time so things may have changed … but I remember that the 36 always got stuck at that intersection due to cars entering/exiting the strip centers, forklifts and delivery trucks blocking the street, as well as just heavy traffic.

        The problem is that there isn’t a whole lot of space for the businesses there … wasn’t trying to make a disparaging remark about asians (or grocers)

      • Michael Arnold says

        Isn’t 12th and Jackson the heart of Little Saigon? Where else would Asian grocers go?

      • Gordon Werner says

        I’m not saying they should go anywhere … I’m saying that the intersection is often heavily congested.

      • Andreas says

        By specifying that they’re Asian, you sound like you’re saying that intersection is bad because, you know, those people are bad drivers. You might want to just say “grocery stores” in the future to avoid sounding like a bigot.

      • Zed says

        I think what someone infers from Gordon’s comment says more about the reader than the author.

      • Patrick says

        Driving a little forklift at a 45 degree angle across traffic to cross 12th where there isn’t an intersection is why the grocery store operators are a hazard to public safety.

      • Bernie says

        Yes, one should avoid the use of adjectives. In fact “grocery” is questionable. Thank god you had the good sense to not refer to it as “produce”. “Minority owned business” is the currently acceptable phrase but it leaves you sounding racist when the next version of the PC dictionary is published.

      • Andreas says

        Don’t worry Bernie, I was just saying that’s how some people might take Gordon’s comment. Personally, I try to specify race or ethnicity whenever possible, even when it’s not at all relevant. I find it makes for more colorful (get it?) descriptions.

      • Mike Orr says

        “Asian” is being used to mean high-density. Asian-dominant neighborhoods and high density go hand in hand in Chinatowns all over North America, as well as the Asian-developed condo towers in Vancouver. It may have been clumsy wording, but it’s hardly racist to note that Asian-built neighborhoods tend to be high density.

  7. Warren on Beacon says

    I see no electric trolley buses or wires in these animations. It means that the City is prepared for the phasing out of electric trolley buses in 2014 by King County Metro. Even if the trolley buses were still around, I wonder how the wires will co-exist at 5th/Jackson and 12th/Jackson where there is lots of switches around. 5th/Jackson is a key intersection for trolley buses, since all trolley buses must cross this intersection to/from Atlantic base. I always called this the “Achilles heel” of the trolley bus system, since if this intersection went down, most the trolley bus service goes with it.

    • joshuadf says

      Settle down there… there are no wires of any kind in the visualization. Streetcar and ETB wires already coexist at Virginia and Fairview, so it can be done.

    • Oran Viriyincy says

      They didn’t simulate the wires for the streetcar either or street lights, signals, signs for that matter. I don’t think you can conclude the future of the ETB system from a 3D visualization designed to illustrate the general alignment.

      • TomK says

        There are no cars on I-5 in this simulation! That proves the city has a misguided expectation that the streetcar will magically make all the traffic on the freeway disappear! Or they have a socialist agenda. Or both!

        /sarcasm off. ;-)

    • Kaleci says

      No buses or bus stops either. The City must be planning on there being no bus service on Jackson. Perhaps the 7 will continue through on Boren and end at South Lake Union. The 14 could turn-around on 12th/Yesler/14th. Finally the 36 can just continue up 12th Ave to Aloha/10th. This would meet the “no bus stop seen” in the animation theory.

      • Patrick says

        Yeah, I noticed the lack of the usual 7/14/36/another 36 conga line that often develops. I love trains and I love bikes, but I’ve gotta say one lane uphill on Jackson seems iffy to me. The buses get pretty backed up as is.

        I also don’t know how useful the bike lanes will be. Downhill it’s pretty easy to stay with traffic, even for a non-hardcore rider like myself. And uphill you’ll have to deal with buses pulling in and out from the bulbs. I know I wouldn’t want to play leapfrog with a 7 and 36. Or to have to pull around the inevitable tail end of the 2nd artic that’s hanging out into traffic (and probably blocking the streetcar too).

        I feel like I’m being too critical, but maybe it’s just my 10 minutes of waiting in the DSTT for buses to clear for Link this afternoon – I want to make sure early in the planning process that trains don’t have to get stuck behind buses!

  8. justinf says

    There are a number of intersections where the track is in the left lane and there is no left-turn lane. I’m assuming that no left turns will be allowed at those intersections — otherwise there is lots of potential for the streetcar to get stuck behind cars waiting to turn.

  9. says

    Wonderful visualization of the proposed streetcar, two comments:

    1) The line seems far too short, it should be at least 10 miles long to be useful.
    2) The single track stub station will constrict capacity and operations. I know of no European tram lines that have a single track stub terminus, though many tram lines have single track operation.

    • alexjonlin says

      1) It will be extended in the future to northern Broadway, and perhaps on to the U District some day. But the main purpose of this line is to serve short trips within neighborhoods or to the light rail stations and each end of the line. It’s not meant for end-to-end riding.
      2) Single track stub terminus is the easiest way for it to turn around. Even with the going down the single track, dropping off, waiting for a couple minutes, and leaving, you could still have 5 minute headways on this line. Future lines will continue double tracked down Jackson and you could have trolleys coming every couple minutes or less.

  10. poncho says

    Why the lane imbalance on Jackson 2 westbound, and 1 eastbound? I’d rather there be on-street parking on both sides of the street and fewer travel lanes (say 1 in each direction). Can the bike lanes go away on Jackson and make King Street a bike boulevard? It seems like too much on Jackson to have streetcar, buses, auto traffic, parking and bike lanes. Of course there would be nothing wrong with riding on Jackson, just take the lane.

    Why not keep it double tracked to Pioneer Square so that it can eventually be connected into the Waterfront Streetcar?

    Why no off-street terminus loops for streetcar and for trolley buses? Some cities are big on these, Toronto and Philadelphia in particular. They beat single track stubs with better capacity and easier operation plus dont require all the extra track to do an around the block loop.

    Love the center island stop for both directions in front of International District station!!!! Hopefully another stop can be added in front of KSS, I know its close to Int’l District station stop but these are key busy interchanges (and the streets around them arent exactly calm and pedestrian friendly).

  11. says

    Putting the platform at the far terminus right at the very end of the single track leaves no storage for peak hour extra trains, or broken down trains. Having the stub track around the corner also means the operator of an incoming train has to assume (or tell via signals) that it’s clear, making it difficult to stack an extra train at the terminus. Works only when it works; will cause headaches when it doesn’t.

    Otherwise a cool visualization and a great street for a streetcar.

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