The Seattle Master Plan Briefing Book is a high level look at factors that interact with Seattle’s transit system. It assesses the state of transit in the city and lays out how the process will arrive at its recommendations. It includes the travel demand and transit market analysis information we previously wrote about.
The Introduction gives a good overview of the document and discusses the timeline for the remainder of the project. What I found interesting skimming the document:
- Chapter 2 is the travel demand and transit market analysis.
- Chapter 3 is land use and development. Nothing earth shattering.
- Chapter 4 has interesting data on Metro’s ridership demographics (pg 21), a cool scatter plot of cost efficiency vs productivity by route (pg 28), and some good graphics of performance of the Urban Village Transit Network (UVTN)
- Chapter 5 compares Seattle’s transit system to peer cities.
- Chapter 6 explains how the process will compare modes.
- Chapter 7 looks at best practices, focusing on issues that are relevant to the city. This section isn’t too in depth so it is only really interesting for novice transit nerds.
- Chapter 8 is a stakeholder and public outreach summary. Tell me if you see anything interesting.
I would specifically like to see visionary, strong planning and decision making processes for improvements in the speed and reliability of transit service. A good example is the 8 on Denny. That corridor is never going to get grade separated transit service but in my opinion will become incredibly important for city center neighborhoods, especially with the opening of the Cap Hill Link station and Rapidride Line D and E. Yet Denny way is already ridiculously congested.
What happens then? Do we look at parallel streets that could become transit priority streets, something else, or just give up and call it good? There needs to be a system to deal with this situations like this. Maybe this falls into a larger structure of warrants and corresponding improvements designed to bring transit service up to a specific quality level.