24 Replies to “Metro Considers Route 22 Revision”

  1. I think absent specific reasons to do otherwise, bus routes should stay on the same street as long as possible.

    Seattle bus routes are byzantine. When I lived in Portland, a bus would come and it would say something like “12 Sandy Blvd to Gresham” and you could guess, even if you’d never ridden that line before that it went down Sandy Blvd to Gresham. You could also guess that it was a bus that continued as the 12 Barbur Blvd to King City because the numbers matched.

    Seattle buses say “44 to Ballard” – it doesn’t tell you a route beyond the number, you can’t really guess what roue it takes to Ballard, so if you want to go somewhere half way between here and Ballard, you can’t be sure you’d be anywhere near.

    West Seattle buses are worse – The different thoroughfares through West Seattle are often cut off from each other by hills and cliffs. If you’re taking the X to White Center, but you want to get off near the Ferry, you better know the specific routes of all the buses that say “X to White Center.”

    Knowing that, for the most part, the 22 goes down California Ave makes it easier to choose intermediate destinations and embarkation points.

    Ok, this was more a rant on how difficult it is to break into the da Metro Code, but I think my point is clear: simple is better than complicated, unless there’s a specific reason to complicate things.

    1. What we could also do is create prefixes for different types of routes (c for commuter, a for arterial, etc.)

    2. Things like “Sandy Blvd to Gresham” are only useful if you know the street grid, whereas neighborhood names are helpful to those who may be new to the area, tourists, etc. Unless I know where Market St or 45th go, “44 45th to Market” tells me far less than a neighborhood name, regardless of how large that neighborhood is and thus how vague the neighborhood name may be.

      And it’s funny that you cite the 44, as it’s arguably one of Metro’s most straighforward and obvious. If you asked a dozen folks how to get from the U District to Ballard, at least 10 of them would describe the same route as the 44. Which is to say that anyone with familiarity with the streets in the area (familiarity of the sort that you’d need to know what a sign like “45th to Market” means) could probably guess the route the 44 takes based on just “Ballard”. But it doesn’t work the other way: if I’m unfamiliar with the street grid, “45th to Market” tells me absolutely nothing of use. The fact is that there are very few non-byzantine routes from A to B in this city regardless of your mode of transport. Just as it’s rare that you can summarize driving directions with just two street names, it’s rare that you can do that with a bus route.

      1. I think the idea is the sign would read “44 45th to Ballard”, not “44 45th to Market”.

      2. Ah. I didn’t know if Gresham was a street, neighborhood, or what. I do think it’s silly not to use “x via y” signage for all routes, though I think most do use it, e.g. 43 “To Downtown via Cap Hill”. I just don’t think the street is better than the neighborhood.

        Apropos the other night I saw an 8 going up Denny from LQA signed as “Rainier Beach / MLK JR WY”, which seemed completely useless, as it was using two screens to basically say the same thing; the second screen should have said “via Capitol Hill”.

    3. I believe that Phoenix at one time had a system where they tried to match the route number to the street number if possible. So, if a route used 22nd St, the route number would be 22. However, the grid in Phoenix does not have multitudes of roadways with the same number designation but different directional quadrants.

    4. “I think absent specific reasons to do otherwise, bus routes should stay on the same street as long as possible.”

      Do you mean across time (like over the years) or space (like on the same road)? I think you mean space.

  2. When Metro created that route, they chose it to run along 41st Ave and Ida street, instead of California Ave, for a specific reason. I’d be curious to know what that reason is.

    1. Did Metro even create it? 22 seems like a route number that’s pretty low, and therefore most likely a pre-Metro route. Was it old enough to be a former streetcar route? Maybe someone could reply and link to a historic map if they know where one is…

      1. Oh, forget that – I didn’t see below. In any case, it wasn’t Metro’s creation.

      2. Actually, this part of the 22 was originally the 18 Gatewood. It split between this branch and the 18 Fauntleroy.

  3. The route 22 is one of several routes that does a loop on 15th and 16th Ave SW to turn around south of White Center. If just one of these routes continued east to 4th Ave or 1st Ave S, and back around on 12th Ave SW, these multi-family housing residential streets would have much quicker connection to downtown, and the 128 could be relieved of providing herky-jerky service on 12th SW and back-and-forth down the hill to Boulevard Park.

    The 128 would be the ideal route to provide the increasingly-imprisoned denizens of South Park access to most of West Seattle, as well as to Tukwila International Boulevard Station. We South Parkers have frequent service to Beacon Hill, but have to transfer to get to any of our closest neighbors besides White Center. Getting to most parts of West Seattle is a three-seat ride from South Park.

    For South Parkers, our best option to get to the airport is still backtracking downtown. With the 128 straightened out to go down Cloverdale, a 70-minute adventure (not including original waiting time) getting to the airport could be reduced to 35 minutes. For those who would lose front-door service for the 128, they are still within a few blocks’ walk to a 1-seat ride to TIBS.

    Furthermore, it makes sense to have the 128 provide service between South Seattle Community College and people living in the Seattle Community College District. Instead, the 128 takes the fastest path to leave the district. If the 128 were to go through South Park, the 50 minutes it can take to get to SCCC from here would become 15 minutes.

    Plus, our shortest ride to the nearest grocery store would be reduced from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.

    I know I am in the minority among my neighbors, but I’ll gladly accept vastly-improved bus service and a permanently-crossable foot/bike bridge over the Duwamish over spending $150 million to keep the automobiles flowing through my neighborhood. If we can turn the other side of the footbridge into parking for South Park Historic District visitors, we’d be able to keep South Park as a vibrant place of employment. The trucks will just end up taking other bridges further south.

  4. Brent–you make some good points about Metro connections to South Park that Metro planners should be looking at.

    Sam–I used to live on the block of Ida that the 22 goes up. It is double wide for that block only. I am told that this was the original streetcar line. When Seattle sadly ripped up its streetcars and replaced them with buses like many other cities at the time, the bus route stayed on the same route.

    The 1941 Seattle Streetcar map is shown here:


    1. That map is pretty cool. It’s interesting how many extant bus routes of the same numbers are similar to the old streetcar routes.

    2. That’s actually a bus map, with the exception of the 19 streetcar on 8th NW in Ballard. (The 8th Avenue line ran until April 1941 and was the last line in the city.) Conversion of streetcar lines to buses began in 1939.

      It is true that many of the bus lines kept (and still have) the original streetcar line numbers. There are also quite a few extant buildings in the city built at the termini of streetcar lines–you’ll notice them in many cases as a couple of blocks of 1-2 story brick buildings such as at NE 55th and 35th NE. Early TOD–get off the streetcar and shop a bit on your way home!

  5. I like this change. As a driver, I feel any change like this on the 22 is great, because it seems like you’re always turning. Especially with a 60ft bus, which really isn’t needed on the 22, except for the fact that it is linked with routes 15,18,21,56,and 57. This change would make replace three turns with one. Also, a problem I’ve never had, but I know some drivers do, is missing the turn onto Ida, going outbound. Just look for and turn at the front yard with the stone wall. And one more point is, at certain times of the day, turning from 41st Ave SW, onto Thistle can be a pain. First, you can’t see very well and second, there are constantly cars coming around the corner a block away from California, so sometimes you have to wait awhile for a gap to turn. Not that it’s really that difficult, but it would make things easier and more simple.

    And I really like the idea above, about extending it down Roxbury to the new developments and increase service. There are enough routes on 15th Ave SW between Albertsons and 15th/Roxbury already. Just as long as the new layover is near a bathroom.

    It could continue east on SW Roxbury, R-8th Ave SW, L-SW 102nd, L-4th Ave SW, R-Olson Pl and Layover at the P&R, and do the same in reverse.
    Or have it travel south on 8th Ave SW and then send it back west toward White Center on either 100th, 102nd, or 108th/107th. Then the same in reverse. That would then double the service having the 22 and 128 running through the new delevopments.

    1. What big thread hijacking grows from a simple re-route. ;)

      I’ve been under the assumption that the bottleneck is the time it takes the boring machines to complete the U-Link tunnel, and that expediting the tunneling would require buying more boring machines, so a federal loan wouldn’t save us money there. Still, I can’t help but expect that the odds are against both boring machines remaining operable all the way to Northgate… If we knew how many machines we’ll likely need, it would be nice to get them going now, and tunnel in both directions from the Capitol Hill station pit. Once the tunnels to downtown are done, we could move those boring machines to Northgate, or lower them into the Husky Stadium Station pit, and have the machines meet in the middle (if it won’t cause a flood).

      Or, we could get the Capitol-Hill-Westlake tunnels done just in time to move the machines to Bellevue. One way or another, the City of Bellevue can’t be expected to shoulder the burden of a tunnel that will benefit light rail riders from all over.

      Are the Beacon Hill boring machines defunct? If so, what does that say about how many machines it will take to get all the way to Northgate?

      Regardless, I’d pay higher taxes to get Link built all the way to the Federal Way Park & Ride, even if it means waiting on consideration of a West Link route. I want the spine first. I want to see the end of the 577/177, and severe curtailment of bus hours on the 590s. Yes, getting Link built out will reduce operating costs. South Link ought to be easy, especially compared to a secondary neighborhood line that crosses two navigable bodies of water.

      Jobs now! — building stuff we want, not stuff we don’t want

      1. My understanding is that U-Link is going to use three new boring machines. One will launch from Capitol Hill toward Downtown. After it gets to the Pine Street Stub it will be extricated, moved back up to Capitol Hill, then launched back toward Downtown to bore the second tunnel. Roughly at the same starting time, another boring machine will launch from Husky Stadium toward Capitol Hill. About a month later the third machine will also launch from Husky Stadium to Capitol Hill to bore the second tunnel.

        The Beacon Hill boring machine was actually owned by the construction contractor for that project, not Sound Transit, so it was (is?) not available for use on U-Link unless the new contractor buys it. Last I heard it was up for auction.

        I don’t know the plan for the Husky Stadium to Northgate segment.

        As a downtown Redmond resident I’d love to see East Link get built faster, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

      2. Can ST bid at auction for the boring machine, and then lease it to the U-Link contractor?

      3. Well, since they’re actually going to leave the shells of the TBMs entombed in the U-Link tunnels, Sound Transit wouldn’t get much back at the end of the lease!

  6. I oppose rerouting Bus Route 22 for the following reasons:
    1. Metro could spend the money on improving service rather than redoing schedules, setting up new bus stops, eliminating old ones.

    2. The section of 41st was designed for transit, is wider and each cross street has stop signs to allow for it.

    3.California Ave at this section narrows eliminating the designated bike lane. Bikers now join the vehicle traffic between Ida and Thistle adding to congestion.

    4. Since this section is narrower, many parked cars have been hit and even totalled, usually the other driver does not stop. Neighbors that park up on their parking strips to avoid being hit, get hit with a parking ticket. Many of these houses have shared driveways or no driveway so must park on this very busy street.

    5. Traffic regularly travels well above the 30mph speed limit.
    This section is dangerous for pedestrians trying to cross the street, especially if you add more foot traffic trying to catch their bus. Pedestrians have reduced visibility due to parked cars and have to negotiate the additional bikes in the traffic lanes.

    6. There is often a 10 or more car backup at the Thistle stop and very few actually stop before turning. This is a narrow 90* turn, not easy for a big bus.

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