Between yesterday and today, there have been a couple of posts here and on Publicola that, in my opinion, fail to cover the most important parts of the discussion about high capacity transit planning on Eastlake, have some clear misstatements, and make assumptions that aren’t borne out by the Seattle City Council’s actions.
Let’s step back. Seattle’s Transit Master Plan identified several corridors as the highest near-term priorities for city-built high capacity transit. The highest demand of these corridors are Ballard via Fremont and the University District via Eastlake and South Lake Union. Personally, I wouldn’t really call these high capacity transit – we only called the fast lines to West Seattle to Ballard “intermediate capacity” in 2000. But the transit master plan clearly finds that these corridors, with even a streetcar in semi-exclusive right of way, are very cost effective, and will carry tens of thousands of people with far faster and more reliable commutes than they have today.