The Seattle Department of Transportation is moving forward with the previously-mentioned rechannelization of two blocks of Broad Street in Belltown, between 1st and 3rd Avenues. The result of this restriping will be to take away one general travel lane in each direction, along with 24 parking spaces, and create a westbound 24/7 BAT/bike lane, an eastbound bike lane, and a left-turn pocket for westbound cars turning onto 2nd Ave. Since the September restructure, every bus which goes to or through Queen Anne or Interbay has used this two-block stretch of Broad, adding up to 8,000 riders per day, according to this pamphlet from SDOT.
I’ve written previously (here, and here) about the larger Uptown-Belltown Transit Improvement Project, of which this restriping is a part, and in spite of months of nagging from me, SDOT still hasn’t updated their website to discuss it, so you’ll have to refer back to those posts for more of the history. Otherwise, I have nothing but good things to say about this and the other low-cost transit speed and reliability projects SDOT is doing around the city (e.g. Ballard, Delridge, 3rd Ave). SDOT tells me that the Denny trolleybus wire project discussed in previous posts is proceeding well; and, in addition, another new RapidRide improvement is in the works for Uptown: an inbound queue jump at 3rd Ave W & Mercer, which is currently in design, with expected operation in spring.
There is one thing which Metro could do to make this SDOT project better: the westbound bus stop at Broad Street & 2nd could, concurrently, be removed. As can be seen from the OneBusAway map excerpt to the right, the westbound stop at Broad & 2nd is far too close to the stop on 1st just north of Broad. Overly-close stops are bad in their own right (and against Metro’s service guidelines), but to me, it seems even worse when they are placed in a bus lane that is shared by buses (RapidRide and expresses) which don’t serve the stop and other local services which do.
I ran this idea of closing the two stops at Broad & 2nd past Metro staff, who responded in part: “There are no current plans to close either stop. However, the outbound stop appears to be a stop that could be closed while still providing for four-block spacing. [...] Your request to consolidate bus stops in this area is reasonable and currently under review.” (Here’s the full Metro response). So, fingers crossed, that stop may go away; thanks to Metro staff for looking into this.
You can submit comments about this project to Jonathon Dong at SDOT; the project should be complete by March.
NOTE: Except for the new queue jump facility mentioned in the post, the D Line Uptown Deviation is off-topic for this discussion.