Metro still hasn’t released anything about Ballard or Aurora RapidRide, but tidbits continue to drip out in the P-I:

If adopted, the proposals would bring wider sidewalks and an end to the center turn lane to a 35-block-long stretch of Aurora Avenue from North 110th Street to the Shoreline border, said Rick Sheridan, a spokesman for the Seattle Department of Transportation. Three lanes would carry traffic in each direction, including one lane reserved for bus and business traffic…

A bus rapid transit line would be included in the redesign. The proposed line would shuttle people into the city’s core with minimal stops and buses coming at 10-minute intervals.

Sheridan said the designs are preliminary and that construction wouldn’t start until 2011 at the earliest.

So it seems that there will be a bus lane for at least part of the Aurora line, much like Ballard. Good.

That makes four of the five RapidRide lines (Ballard, Aurora, W. Seattle, Pacific Highway) that will have at least some portion of the route with a semi-dedicated right-of-way. It’s just the Eastside that gets nothing in this department.

But hey, maybe we can overcome Ron Sims’ objections to East LINK, so that they can get something too.

Search for “RapidRide” in the bar at the top of the page for our other coverage of this topic.

UPDATE 8:46 AM: Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes are explained here.

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13 Replies to “Aurora”

  1. To me, this begs two questions:

    – what does “bus and business traffic” mean? That sounds suspiciously like watering down the bus lane idea to the point of meaninglessness.

    – why does it take us three years to even start a lane restriping project?

  2. Eldan,

    I interpreted “business traffic” to mean vehicles about to immediately turn in to a parking lot, but there I go making assumptions again.

  3. *cough*

    There already is a bus lane for the 110th-Shoreline stretch. It’s one way for those 35 blocks, and then north of there, it’s two way from 145th-165th, thanks to the city of Shoreline:

    Kudos to King County for restriping 110th-145th, and I would love it if there’s a sidewalk built, but they’re really trying to trump up work that’s already done.

  4. Ben,

    Neither the article nor my post should be construed as suggesting that this is somehow being funded by Transit Now. The point is that RapidRide will be able to leverage investments in bus lanes in almost all the corridors, which is a good and important thing.

  5. Hmm. I smell Martin trying to trump up work that’s already done. The article doesn’t trump it up at all and doesn’t even imply that the bus lane is new.

  6. With improvements coming to Aurora I hope it gets backing for a future rail line. After the viaduct is gone we could run a line along the waterfront, through the battery tunnel, between the SLU and SeaCenter, then North to Fremont, Greenlake, Greenwood, Aurora Village, etc.

    With such a large right of way already there, and the 358 one of the most popular routes anyway this seems like a logical future rail spot.

  7. Martin, I agree, I just still don’t see that rapidride is anything other than a rebranding.

  8. Well, different buses plus offboard ticket purchase potential, and a little bit of IT goodness.

  9. So, what, does the north route get (improved?) dedicated bus lanes and West Seattle gets nothing with RapidRide, except the demise of the good route 54? I know that the city is planning some sort of “transit priority” during viaduct construction, but it’s not been defined.

    Sure, give us a jail, but in no way make it easy for the residents and releasees to get around. I’m really getting depressed about the situation…thank goodness I rely on my bike (at least as long as construction doesn’t shut down the only bike route out of West Seattle, but that’s another story)!

  10. al, Transit Now didn’t even cover the increase in fuel costs. ST3 will probably build rail to West Seattle and Ballard, but you don’t get ST3 until you get ST2.

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