I think most people (myself included) would applaud Metro’s handling of our most recent snow/icestorm. Communication has been frequent and detailed, operators have been helpful and upbeat, and there has been an overall sense that Metro has been competently performing a public service under difficult operating conditions. Our other agencies have done pretty well, too.
Yet given the extensive contingency planning for just these types of events over the past 2 years, I have been disappointed that one aspect of snow routing has gone overlooked: headsigns. Despite ubiquitous reroutes, all headsigns that I have seen retained their usual designations. Two examples from yesterday: Route 2 read its usual “Madrona Park – via E Union”, despite the fact that it traveled to neither Madrona Park nor along E Union. Rather, eastbound it was traveling to 34th/Union via Jefferson and Cherry (the same as Route 3), while westbound it traveled its regular snow route. Secondly, every other Route 3 read its usual “First Hill” despite the fact that Metro’s website prominently warned “Route 3 is not serving First Hill.”
I don’t know how labor intensive it is to program new headsign choices, but I do think it would be helpful to have accurate displays on snow days. A brief and incomplete(!) brainstormed list:
- 1 – West Queen Anne via Kinnear
- 2 – Madrona via Int’l Dist // Lower Queen Anne via Downtown
- 3 – Madrona via Int’l Dist // Queen Anne via Int’l Dist
- 4 – Judkins Park via Int’l Dist // E Queen Anne via Int’l Dist
- 8 – Seattle Center via Downtown // Rainier Beach via Downtown/Cap Hill
- 14 – Capitol Hill via Broadway
- 16– Northgate via E Green Lake
- 24 – W Magnolia via 15th Ave W
- 27 – Central District via Yesler
- 30 – Sand Point via Montlake
- 33 – Discovery Park via 15th Ave W
What do you think? Would this be helpful, or add unnecessary complexity?