This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Larry Lange reports on some proposed changes to Route 17 in Ballard. Some residents are opposed:
They’ve sent out notices of the meeting, arguing that the change will mean fewer buses on 32nd during the day and evenings, and seeking Metro statistics to justify the proposal. The notices question how making service less usable in their neighborhood is compatible with combating global warming.
They question why Metro is scaling back service on 32nd when voters in 2006 approved a major Metro expansion. Dublin says Ballard is growing, as shown in its burgeoning number of apartments and condominiums, and Metro just reported a record-setting growth in ridership overall.
“To me it is kind of a red flag when you’re getting ridership like this, to be cutting back in this neighborhood,” he said.
Obviously locals will fight any proposed change, whether it’s for increased density or decreased bus service. That’s not in and of itself a bad thing, and it’s something public servants have to weigh with every decision. This is why we have these public comment periods.
But the group’s thinking here is not very logical. With respect to global warming, one has to ask the inverse question: how effective is it to have a bus that gets 3.5mpg rolling up and down 32nd Ave with one or two passengers? I’m definitely in favor of using effects on global warming as a metric for land-use planning, but there has to be some sense to it.
Finally, I’ll just add a note to anti-bus people who complain every time they see nearly-empty bus trolling down the street, that this is an example of how difficult it is to reduce service on some of these routes.