Lost in the general transit-palooza of the viaduct options is this little paragraph under surface/transit:
Examples of other surface street changes include new transit lanes on Madison, Stewart, Olive and Howell streets, among others, and converting Third Avenue to transit-only all day in downtown.
This is a big, big deal. As the endless streetcar comment threads attest, transit in its own right-of-way is the difference between a miserable trip and one that beats driving.
In the longer run, this’ll make it a lot easier for people to take transit to the Capitol Hill light rail station, too.
If Third Avenue is to become a transit mall, surely there isn’t a need for four lanes. Two in each direction and a center lane for passing should be adequate. I’ll leave it to the urban design folks to dream up things to do with that space, though I imagine a separated bike lane is pretty high up on the list.
Assuming the Governor picks this option…