http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_macster/sets/72157603519807559/

Ridership on the Streetcar still seems to be very strong. I can see the Streetcar improving once the new Lake Union Park is finished and easy transportation to the Summer Concert Series

I’ve been keeping an eye out for possible locations for the King County Passenger Ferry system along the South Lake Union area and noted a couple of good locations in easy walking distance to the Streetcar. Remember, there is a small Lake Union Water Taxi service already though it is currently not running this time of year.

I also took a look at the current ballasted trail that runs from South Lake Union Park to Fremont and believe it could be a great route for a Streetcar, grade separated on top of that, to serve the Fremont community. This would need 4 additional Streetcars and serve could allow every 10-15 minutes. The problem would be the lack of space at the current Seattle Streetcar maintenance facility which would allow 6 cars at the facility (4 outside, 2 indoor)

Also, looking at how Portland did some of their design towards South Waterfront, a line out to the University of Washington could be built easily but then comes the issue of parking. A bicycle lane can easily be installed but the displaced vehicles which most are residential would need to find a new location to park. I don’t see a simple or easy decision to this but it’s comforting to know that the idea would work. A fun fact – the Inkeon-Trio Streetcars can do 55mph but are all governed at 35mph, the maximum speed limit. The biggest question would be where to terminate the line? For example from Eastlake Ave to NE Campus Pkwy. Turn South onto University Way Ne to NE Pacific and terminate at Montlake Blvd. The other alternative to turn North onto Brooklyn Ave to Cowen Park @ Ne Ravenna Blvd. Either route will require 3 additional Streetcars but if both routes were selected, the system would need 2-3 more. More on this later

Also in the news is to keep an eye out on the testing segment between the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and the Operations and Maintenance Facility. Sound Transit is in the process of testing 4 car trainsets, a very cool site to see! The tunnel boring machine is stopped for a week for the Holidays and should pop out the first or second week in January.

And finally, wire is strung from Tukwila International BLVD station to SR 599 and MLK Way/Boeing Access Road to Alaska Street. Crews were welding rail at the Airport segment this afternoon when I drove by.

That’s all on this front. I won’t be posting until after the Holidays. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years. Please, please be safe out on the roads on New Years.