SDOT has just released engineering drawing of the First Hill streetcar alternatives. The alternatives are still generally along 12th Ave, Boren and Broadway with a few refinements. As reported yesterday, all alternatives will use 11th Ave as a couplet with Broadway. The Boren alternative has seen the most revisions with the Broadway and 12th Ave alternatives sharing refinements. I have included links to the PDFs below.
There are two alternatives for the southern most segment in the International District. The first is more direct, staying on Jackson St and either ending where the waterfront streetcar used to end or in a loop that gets closer to Pioneer Square. The other option uses Weller St in Chinatown to turn around, returning to Jackson at 7th Ave. It also has the option for a loop that gets closer to Pioneer Square.
The Jackson to Yesler is fairly straightforward. There is an alternative alignment that takes the streetcar to 14th on Jackson and then back on Yesler. I would assume this is to avoid the Boren and 12th Ave intersection.
The northern most end of the alternatives have seen the most revision with a couplet on Broadway and 11th Ave being the most significant. The major benefits of doing this as described by Ethan Melone are;
- simplest and most efficient turnback option for streetcar service;
- easier to avoid bike conflicts with tracks in only one direction on Broadway between Madison and Denny (see proposed roadway section on forthcoming drawings);
- improved reliability with only one direction of travel impacted by traffic congestion in this section of Broadway;
- reduced construction impacts;
- fewer utility conflicts.
View 11th Ave in a larger map
The Boren alternatives now has two options through the heart of First Hill including a couplet on Boren and Minor and a two-way alignment on Boylston Ave. Also, neither of the options include using Madison, rather opting to use Seneca to get back to Broadway. Additionally, all three alternatives go right through the center of Yesler Terrace using the very southern end of Broadway and Yesler rather than Madison. To me this looks to be a smart move. It’s also good to see that bicyclist safety has been taken into account throughout the project. For example the Broadway alternative would remove parking from one side of the street allowing for a bicycle lane in both directions.
SDOT also released several maps showing the commercial and residential development potentials as well as existing commercial and residential densities of different stations. The maps shows that the Boren alternative would hands down be the best at serving current and future residential development. The commercial map shows that the Boren or Broadway alternatives would best serve existing commercial developments while future development would probably best be served by a Broadway alignment.
UPDATE: Here are some additional documents provided today.
- 2nd Ave S Concept Section
- 5th Ave S Concept Section
- 11th Ave Concept Section
- Capitol Hill Station Concept Section
- Yesler Terrace Concept Section
Streetcar Bicycle Interaction