Wedgewood Community Council

Laurelhurst blog dug deep into some proposed changes on Route 65 to take place as early as October, but probably in 2012. As far as I can tell this isn’t on the Metro website anywhere:

The proposed changes would include more stops along 40th Avenue NE where Metropolitan Market, the new Fire Station and businesses are located. The revised route would also include a new stop at Children’s Hospital…

[Metro planners feel] that there is enough potential ridership from Wedgwood and Meadowbrook to Children’s Hospital that would be attracted to the revised service that would result in more riders for the route. [They] estimate that the increased travel time would be approximately three minutes and that this is a reasonable tradeoff for improved service to a very important neighborhood facility.

You always like to see buses take the most direct route, but sometimes the big nodes aren’t on the big arterials.

26 Replies to “Changes to Route 65”

  1. I bet those 65 drivers appreciate squeezing down 35th between 65th + 55th; now they get to squeeze down 40th!

    Is the connection that great from 40th and Sand Point Wy.? Looks like SDOT/WSDOT (it is SR513) may have to conjure up a traffic signal there. Thinking ahead to the new addition Children’s is putting up along the old 41st Ave, this reroute doesn’t seem like a poor idea.

    [ot]

    1. Supposedly there is a traffic signal going in at 40th and Sand Point. Childrens’ is hosting a workshop about it later in March

    1. It could divert some people from the 30, both those living around the Metropolitan Market and those going from the U-district to U Village. It wouldn’t affect the 75 much because there’s unmet demand from the U-district – U Village – Children’s. The 30 and 75 are 30-minute most of the day but leave 5 minutes apart (going eastbound from Campus Pkwy). Many people take the 30 to U Village or Children’s because they just missed the 75, and then they have to walk further from 55th.

  2. I like this, and sent an email in support of the change, even though it may or may not turn out to be particularly useful for me. 40th and and Children’s has more potential ridership than the ghosts they could pick up cruising the cemetery on 35th.

    That said, I wish there were an NE option that would provide a reasonable transfer to downtown. All the buses weave lazily through campus in order to get to the transfer point, adding an unnecessary (and often deal-breaking – I drive if I have a morning meeting) 10-15 minutes to get to the transfer point at Campus Parkway.

    I am left to pine for the slim possibility of a transfer to LINK in 5 years for a direct bus. I hate to transfer, but I’d do it if it were faster. It isn’t.

    1. If Metro is smart, the 65, 68, and 75 will all terminate at UW station. But no guarantees.

      1. In terms of turnaround and layover area, how would buses terminate at UW Station? I certainly want buses to be able to do that, but I don’t think the design allows for it.

        Still, wouldn’t it be nice for these buses serving Children’s to continue on Pacific to drop passengers at various points on campus, including UW Medical Center?

      2. If it’s on Pacific, it isn’t really on campus. The only point where it isn’t a huge hill from Montlake or Pacific to the campus is at Rainier Vista. Hopefully the Rainier Vista land bridge will make it the walk from UW station to upper campus easier and more attractive.

        I was thinking of having the buses run through to Fremont via Pacific/40th and maybe onward to Ballard via Leary Way. That eliminates the layover requirement but adds unreliability to the route. SB Montlake Blvd between 45th and Pacific is heavily congested in the PM with the backup getting on to 520.

        Other nearby current layover areas include Campus Pkwy, Brooklyn Ave between Boat St and NE 40th St, Memorial Way on campus.

      3. The 68 is already interlined with the 31. The 65 is interlined with the 67, but the 67 could see much higher frequencies that the 65 wouldn’t match should the 66 be cut, or the 67 could be cut with it if the “66-74 megaroute” option is still alive. The 31 could also be mangled with, but indirectly, as an attempt to make North Seattle bus service more grid-like.

  3. This is a horrible idea. The distance between 35th Ave and 40th Ave is only 1/4 mile. The effect of this is that those going to or from a few specific destinations save 5 minutes, while everyone else (Wedgewood/Lake City->U-district) loses those 5 minutes. Unless half the people traveling down 35th are going to or from the Children’s hospital, this is a net loss. Furthermore, many people that would benefit from this change can already take routes 25 or 75 today if they don’t want to walk the extra 5 minutes.

    Furthermore, extra turns make the route less legible (more effort to learn where it goes). They make the overall ride less plesant (it’s far easier to read a book and not get motion sickness when the bus is going in a straight line).

    And, these changes make the route more expensive to operate at a time in which KC Metro is tens of millions of dollars in the hole. The extra 3-5 minutes may not sound like much, but when buses cost over $100 per hour to operate and you multiply the 3-5 minute delay y ~30 trips per day per direction, the costs add up.

    You can confirm this by doing the math for yourself:
    ~40 trips day per direction
    * 3 minutes per trip
    * $2 per minute (at $120 per hour)
    * 2 directions
    * 365 days per year
    = $175,200 per year!

    If we have to make $175,200 worth of service cuts to this or other route by cutting trips, this change becomes a bad idea.

    Furthermore, when U-Link gets completed in 2016, route 65->link will become the primary way to travel between Wedgewood and downtown/capitol hill. We don’t need to make this slower than it needs to be or have to revise the service yet again later.

      1. Eric, the stretch of 40th it’s proposed to go through is dramatically more dense than the stretch of 35th it goes through now (lots of apartments and multifamily housing versus single family and the cemetery). It will not only pick up riders who live there, but being much closer to the massive expansion currently underway at Children’s will increase utilization of the route quite a bit.

        I also wonder about the width of the street, and the tightness of those turns, and about the noise (I live right on the new route), but this is a big win for the neighborhood – it will still hit upper Wedgewood, but pick up so many more riders going through Bryant on the way. Enough extra riders in the long term to justify an extra bus or two an hour, I’d wager.

      2. The map with this post is pretty damning. Those are boardings and deboardings per day. Those numbers are pathetic.

        There will be more riders just by serving Children’s. But the line spacing is also better if the 65 runs up 40th, which is closer to the midline between the 372 and the 75.

        If the 65 were to continue up to NE 65th St, then it could serve the View Ridge PCC, another popular destination.

        The operating costs would go up, but so would fare revenue.

      3. Keep in mind, Eric’s concern is partly about everyone who rides the 65 from further north in Wedgwood, not just the people south of 55th.

      4. And the 65 will still get those riders further up 35th in Wedgewood. It will just get them 3 minutes later, and they will have a little more trouble finding a seat. The only riders who have to walk a little farther are the handful who were on 35th below 55th.

    1. Yes, the boardings are low, but keep in mind the neighborhood this is serving is not flat and is cut off at the Burke Gilman. Thus, the few using these 65 stops on 35th may very well find it hard to get up the hill (north) to stops on 55th, walk down across the Burke Gilman (with a big drop and steps), or all the way down the long hill under the BG trestle through the 5-way at Mary Gates Drive to hit the stop at BurgerMaster (just west of the 5-way and a very slow two stage ped crossing).

      If Metro does decide to do this change, they should at least try to time the 25, 65, 75 running from NE45ST and 36Ave by U-Village and up around campus so that they arrive at decent headways. As it is now, even at 6:40 in the morning, if you miss the 75/25 combination, there’s a 20 minute hole in the schedule.

      1. This detour does make sense. Provides service to a major medical facility and several businesses without inconveniencing too many riders.
        In a different vein, I would love to see the 65 actually continue downtown. As a Wedgwood resident, by necessity I have to ride the 71 with its very weird meanderings through the Roosevelt District and View Ridge before getting where I am going. Riders on campus would very much appreciate the chance to be able catch a direct bus downtown instead of walking to or transferring at Campus Parkway.

  4. I’d like it if they consolidated some stops along 35th to partially make up the time loss.

  5. I agree. Stops every 10th of a mile is just too much and they should probably be consolidated to every 1/4 of a mile with or without this change, but it’s still not a substitute for going in a straight line.

    One big question mark about the time effect of the proposed change is the impact on traffic the bus has to go through. For example, if the detour to 40th allowed peak hour northbound trips to bypass long lines of cars waiting to turn left onto 35th, I would consider this something that can be lived with. But I don’t travel through this area much during this period, so I don’t really know if this is the case or not.

  6. What really needs to be done is to widen Montlake Blvd and add an HOV lane. There is room there, but you’d have to negotiate with UW. Given their fiscal woes, a bribe would probably work to get ROW in there for a bus/3+ carpool lane.

    It will be interesting to see how the tolling will effect the stretch. My guess is that in the short-term, a bunch of cars will head West-bound on 520 to go down to I-90. That will start to get old for many, and as they realize that 20 minutes (or whatever) of their time might actually be worth 3.50, we’ll find a new equilibrium.

  7. as someone who lived 1 block from one of the proposed canceled stops until 3 months ago, this would have been a huge disappointment for our family. i think stop consolidation would have been a much better plan.

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