Metro is moving ahead with a WSDOT-funded set of minor capital improvements on the Ambaum/Delridge corridor served primarily by Route 120:
A new bus lane will soon be under construction on Delridge Way Southwest to improve bus speed and reliability for Route 120 – one of Metro Transit’s Top 10 busiest routes. [...]
[T]he half-mile-long northbound bus lane along a key stretch of Delridge Way Southwest will improve travel times approaching the West Seattle Bridge during the morning commute. The bus lane will operate 6-9 a.m. weekdays from Southwest Oregon Street to Southwest Andover Street and help reduce signal and queuing delays for Metro bus routes 120 and 125, benefitting more than 900 riders during the morning commute.
The roughly $170,000 bus lane improvements – striping, signs and pavement repair – are part of a larger $2.8 million Route 120 Transit Improvement Project funded by a State Regional Mobility Grant and King County matching funds. It is led by King County Metro Transit and coordinated with the City of Seattle.
More after the jump.
We’ve written previously about the 120 improvements package, which in addition to the bus lane headlined above, consists of eliminating overly-close stops, improving bus stops, and installing transit signal priority at several intersections. These improvements will take place over serveral months, coincident with SDOT repaving a large section of Delridge Way. This sort of unglamorous but relatively inexpensive work to improve the quality of local bus service is precisely what Metro and SDOT should be doing on more high-performing frequent-service corridors throughout the city.
As with seemingly every Metro proposal which goes through public process, this has been a little watered down. Out of the 21 stops originally slated for closure, five will instead be retained. I’m not sure of the reasons, but from the feedback I saw at the open house, I’m guessing it’s mostly riders grumbling about walking further to stops. This is a little disappointing, as even with the full slate of reductions, stops were still less than a quarter-mile apart on average, but overall this is still a significant improvement.
On the plus side, it seems that public feedback improved the headline rechannelization between Andover and Oregon, although I know we have readers from that neighborhood who know more on this subject than me; perhaps they can weigh in with their opinion of those modifications in the comments.