Seattle Department of Transportation has a call out on their blog for survey responses on how transit is working in Seattle. The transit master plan hasn’t been updated since 2005, and with the monorail dead and Sound Transit 2 passed, an update now will help inform what investments the city should make next.

The transit master plan update will expand upon already identified important transit corridors and assign preferred modes to each. This will be the first time since the monorail that the city will officially take a position on what transit mode should be built in lieu of that project.

The other major purpose of the master plan is to improve existing service through small investments. The Transit Master Plan web page specifically mentions bus bulbs and signal priority as tools in the city’s purview.

Martin sits on the Transit Master Plan advisory group, which next meets on Friday at 8:00am in the Boards and Commissions room at Seattle City Hall.

11 Replies to “Comment on Seattle’s Transit Master Plan Update”

    1. uh, and the question is

      Which of these sentences best describes you?
      I use transit for commute trips (to work or school) only
      I use transit for most trips
      I use transit for different kinds of trips, but not very often
      I use transit only when traveling downtown
      I use transit only when traveling to special events, like games
      I use transit mostly to get around within my neighborhood

      1. I use transit mostly to commute, but also for the occasional trip around my neighborhood, and sometimes for special events, but I wouldn’t say I use it for “most trips.” I ended up checking “I use transit for different kinds of trips, but not very often” except, I use transit pretty often. I think this would have been a better question if it had been written more as a choose-more-than-one. So, you could choose “I commute by transit” and “I use transit for special events” and “I use transit for trips in my neighborhood” instead of having the question pigeon-holing people as a “neighborhood” or a “commuter” or a “special events” transit user.

  1. Thanks for letting us know about this. Completed the survey and updated the blog with the ideas I submitted to STB a month ago. We’ll see if anyone reads the ideas and implements them. Now how do we get Oran on this advisory group?

    1. Not to pick a fight, but I have to take issue with some of your suggestions. I replied at length on their blog although I’m not sure if they’ll post it, so here are some highlights:

      – Running Sounder “all day, everyday”, would be a total, utter, and complete waste of public money, and I say this as one who hearts trains and public transit. Outside of commute hours the ridership would be almost zero.

      – Monorail IS basically a tourist attraction as currently constituted and it should be run like one (as they do now.) Monorail extension ideas have been floated and shot down for years now, and I would much rather spend the money on Streetcars.

      – How and why the heck would you run the WSL up to Pier 91? That’s pie-in-the-sky. We’ll be darned lucky to get it back on it’s old alignment.

      Many of your other suggestions are worthy but really not realistic in the current fiscal and political environment.

      1. Sounder all day everyday is a great goal. A ton of people ride the 150 in from Kent and Tukwila at all hours of the day, and they would mostly switch to Sounder. You would also get a lot of people from Auburn and Puyallup who don’t currently use transit. You might want to start running midday and evening just from Seattle to Auburn where ridership is highest, but then you could go from there.
        Why criticize someone’s idea for a long term goal to extend a streetcar threee miles as pie in the sky? We’re talking about a 20-year plan here, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to plan to not only restore the Waterfront Streetcar but also extend it.

      2. Sorry to be dense but, where’s the blog and where did you read Ben’s suggestions?

        Improving Sounder South to all-day service is at least worth considering even if it may not ultimately be feasable (due to cost and BNSF traffic). Its off-peak ridership would be the same people who ride the 150 all day, plus those further south who would be riding an equivalent route if it existed.

        (I don’t think Sounder North is worth improving due to its out-of-the-way location and severe track challenges.)

        Not sure what WSL means, I guess it’s the waterfront streetcar. I would like to see any bus or streetcar that goes north on Alaskan Way and east on Broad Street to Seattle Center. That would bring Seattle Center tourists to the waterfront and sculpture park, and make it generally easier to get to the waterfront.

      3. Regarding the Waterfront Streetcar, I think bringing it back along its old alignment would be nice, although a lower priority than many other local and regional transit projects. I think, if it were free, it would attract plenty of riders and would bring some more tourist dollars to the waterfront, but it would generate no farebox revenue and require a large initial outlay of money we don’t have. It doesn’t strike me as the kind of thing the feds would subside either. In short, it’s a nice-to-have, not a must-have.

        As for an extension up to Pier 91, I stand by my pie-in-the-sky remark. Where would it go? There’s no space west of Elliot Ave. If it went down Elliot it would probably require expensive work to cross the tracks at Broad street and would almost duplicate the the north end of the proposed 1st Ave streetcar — a much more useful project. Given the chance to build three miles of streetcar somewhere in Seattle, this would be my lowest priority.

        I could absolutely be persuaded of the value of an extension up Broad Street to the Seattle Center (especially if a Sounder station was put in near Broad St) but I wonder if the the steep grade up Broad St makes that impossible.

        Here’s the crux of the matter to me: advocating for lots of projects that range from essential to nice dilutes the effect of that advocacy. Effective interest groups (of which we presumably aspire to be one) focus on a handful of politically and fiscally achievable things they really want (how about continuation of trolleybus service past ’14?) and push hard for them.

        I don’t mean to bash Michael and I hope I don’t come off as a total prick, I just hate to see effort wasted on far-off ideas when much of what we already have is threatened.

        Finally, it’s true that this is nominally a 30 year plan, but it’s only been five years since they updated it. Who knows, in five years we may all be rolling an cash and we’ll build the Waterfront line out to Ballard :-)

      4. The Port of Seattle had previously offered to provide ROW along Myrtle Edwards Park to extend the Waterfront Streetcar to their new cruise ship terminal at pier 91. This was a few years ago when the streetcar barn was being torn down to make way for the sculpture park. I’m not sure what happened to the proposal, but I’m sure that politics and the Seattle process paralysis probably got in the way.

      5. @Bruce: I’m happy with the waterfront bus, and it could climb Broad Street and charge a normal fare. A streetcar on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 5th is much more important than reinstating the Benson streetcar. And don’t the Benson streetcars need an expensive rebuild anyway?

  2. You may be correct, but someone needs to make the suggestions. I don’t see many other comments on the city blog. Remember, what I proposed would be in a perfect Seattle world with all the money at our disposal. Take what you will and do what you can.

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