This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
I loved Zach Shaner’s radical plan for re-thinking bus service on Capitol Hill and the CD once light rail opens. Basically we’re sacrificing some direct routing for better and more frequent connections, with no net new service hours. It’s elegant.
I have two quibbles. First, I would have liked to have seen East Link figured in here. It will open a few years after U-Link, yes, but the link station at Rainier & Massachusetts will be a useful southern anchor for this grid.
Second, as Jarrett Walker has argued, grid systems are wonderfully efficient, but they work best when there’s an anchor at both ends:
Anchoring means designing a line so that it ends at a major destination, so that there will be lots of people on the vehicle all the way to the end of the line. A line with strong anchors at each end will have more uniform high ridership over the whole length of the line, and a much more efficient use of capacity overall.
How do we do a better job of anchoring the East end of the grid? We have small neighborhoods like Madrona and Madison Park, but the grid will really sing as more development occurs along 23rd Ave and MLK Way. I’d expect this to happen in the next development boom, as development in the last boom crested at about 17th & Madison.