It’s apparent from the comments that many readers simply cannot look at the Transit Master Plan’s priority corridors and see anything other than a route map.

It is not. If you would like better service on a route or a new route to connect certain points, that’s great; take it up with Metro. The road investments in the TMP are meant to improve speed and reliability on extremely high-volume routes, because that’s where the big payoff is.

For all the faults of Metro’s network, it does connect the very highest-density neighborhoods to each other and put the most buses where there’s the most demand. And that’s exactly where the city should be focusing its resources. It doesn’t mean that people think your route has “no demand;” it’s just not an all-star, and it’s not likely to get the very short headways that justify heavy capital investment.

16 Replies to “The TMP is an SDOT Document”

  1. +1. These corridors are very smart and well-informed choices for modest-capital transit improvements.

  2. Key word is “priority corridors”.

    I can’t find any documents at this moment to back it up but my personal rule of thumb is that once a bus routes hits 10 minute peak headways, additional service quality enhancements should focus on speed and reliability, not frequency. Frequencies should be increased if additional capacity is needed, but the way you get the most bang for your buck (or actually save money) and improve the quality for riders is keeping existing service moving and on time. That is exactly what this part of the TMP is for.

  3. Reading those comments, I get the impression those commenters do realize the TMP isn’t necessarily a route map, but feel the improvements it represents would have too definitive an effect on the transit and density landscape of the city, and that Metro would listen to SDOT more than a bunch of random commenters on a blog.

    It may not make sense to make improvements where Metro will never run a route, but on corridors where Metro isn’t running a route but might, improvements might serve as a signal to Metro: “We want this corridor. Serve it.”

    1. In the next 10 or so years the whole Seattle transit system is going to be reworked. Rapidride to West Seattle and Ballard and to a lesser degree Aurora will result in revisions to the west side service. With U-Link you’ll see changes to Cap Hill/First Hill/CD and possibly some UW/520 changes. With North Link you’ll get a restructuring of everything north to the county line.

      These already planned system restructuring are really the opening for people to advocate for a large change to the network. After that it may be worth SDOT to invest in those corridors but I think Metro is the one that needs to make the first move.

      1. Adam is correct (although I don’t think RR E will cause any wider restructures). There are already tentative ideas for fixing the West Seattle-Rainier Valley problem with the RR C shakeup. This has absolutely nothing at all to do with the TMP process, as WS-RV will NEVER be a blockbuster ridership corridor like the future RR corridors, 7, 48 or 120.

        I will write about all of this stuff in due course.

      2. How about everyone wait until the RapidRide restructure ideas come out before complaining about them?

  4. Well, to be fair, one of the corridors runs along 12th Avenue east of First Hill, a street that currently does not have any transit service. SDOT is clearly assuming or anticipating that Metro will operate a bus there in the future, otherwise why propose making bus improvements? I personally think they should make this corridor a bus route by having the 49 switch from Broadway to 12th via Union or Madison, then continue down 12th, then either up to Beacon Hill Station or to Rainier and Mt Baker stations. This would be an excellent crosstown route parallel to the 48, hitting 3 or 4 light rail stations, the First Hill Streetcar, and several residential and employment centers.

    1. Metro’s well aware of the interest for transit on 12th, the Mayor’s Office is well aware of the interest for transit on 12th, the neighborhood continues to tell anyone who will listen of the interest for transit on 12th :) Yes it’s a new corridor but it’s been under discussion (informally, perhaps) for a very long time.

      I suspect we’ll see movement on this when the FHSC and U-Link come online.

      1. No restructures to the all-day network are planned when the FHSC opens. If it happens, it’ll be the U-Link restructure.

      2. Bruce, I thought Metro already committed to providing service on 12th Ave as part of the agreement to have the streetcar use an all-Broadway alignment (rather than a couplet with 12th)?

      3. The city also committed to run the FHSC as far west as Occidental to provide front door service to Pioneer Square, and that’s probably not going to happen now.

        Don’t hold your breath.

    2. Well, we’ve been waiting for a while now. Waiting for U-Link just means waiting a while longer.

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