King County Metro 2 by Seattle Public Library
King County Metro 2 by Seattle Public Library

Tomorrow, from noon to 2 PM at the Seattle Central Library, King County Metro will host an open house to provide information and obtain feedback about the initial proposal for the Fall 2012 service change. It is the first in a series of similar events that will be held throughout the city over the next two weeks. These events are a great opportunity to communicate directly with Metro staff, to learn why these changes were proposed and for you to explain how they will affect you. I highly recommend attending at least one of them if you have the chance.

Full announcement text and future dates after the jump.

King County Metro Transit is inviting the public to discuss proposals to make bus service more efficient in several communities next year, including parts of Seattle. Many of the changes are being proposed to support the launch of the Rapid Ride C and D lines next September.

“We won’t just be adding RapidRide service next year, we will also be restructuring our transit system to improve service quality, provide more connections, reduce duplication, and be more efficient,” said King County Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “As we move toward our new vision for public transportation, we are striving to build a highly productive system that gets people where they want to go, leveraging the most value for riders out of every dollar spent on transit.”

In the coming months, Metro will be gathering feedback on a set of proposed bus service changes that will take place in June and September 2012. Some of the proposals will make service simpler and more direct, or reduce duplication. Others will reinvest transit hours, reducing or replacing services that do not meet the productivity guidelines adopted this year. Those hours will be shifted to corridors that have many current – or potential – riders.
The two upcoming RapidRide lines will feature frequent, fast, and reliable service:

Between West Seattle and downtown Seattle, the C Line will travel from Westwood Village via Fauntleroy, Morgan Junction, and Alaska Junction. It would replace Route 54 and Route 54 Express;

Between Crown Hill in North Seattle and downtown, the D Line will travel via Ballard, Interbay, and Uptown. It would replace Route 15, both local and express service.

Metro is proposing to make changes to more than 60 bus routes concentrated in Seattle, Burien, Des Moines, Shoreline, SeaTac, and Tukwila. It is hosting seven open house meetings to provide information, answer questions, and get feedback. The meetings will be held:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, noon-2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 3 – Adams Elementary School, 6110 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, 7-9 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 7 – Catharine Blaine Elementary, 2550 34th Ave. W, Seattle, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9 – Chief Sealth High School, 2600 SW Thistle St., Seattle, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 14 – Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St., Seattle, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – South Park Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Ave. S, Seattle, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 – Madison Middle School, 3429 45th Ave. SW, Seattle, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Metro wants to hear your ideas. Learn more by attending one of the meetings, visiting an information table, or going online to: www.kingcounty.gov/metro/haveasay. You can make comments about potential changes on that website, at the meetings, by emailing haveasay@kingcounty.gov, or by calling 206-263-9768 (English) and 206-263-9988 (Spanish).

Metro’s new “Have a Say” website, is a public engagement portal that offers one-stop-shopping for people who want to get involved. The site offers opportunities to share your opinion using a variety of tools – from the traditional to the virtual – all designed to make it easier to connect with Metro.

32 Replies to “Tomorrow: Open House for Fall 2012 Service Change”

  1. How about better access from the Eastside to Seattle neighborhoods *without* requiring one to transfer through Downtown? I’ve long hoped for a variant of the 545 that continues from Redmond (or Kirkland!) across the north edge of the ship canal to Wallingford, Fremont, and Ballard, connecting Rapid Ride lines B, D, and E. However, regional connections like this seem to be far outside the scope of every shakeup, and Sound Transit refuses to do it because it requires too much travel on surface streets.

    1. That is one reason that maintaining the Montlake Flyer stop is so important – it provides connections for Eastside routes to destinations other than downtown

      Or even better, if we had light rail on 520 it could continue via U-Dist – Wallingford – Fremont – Ballard… or Fremont – Seattle Center – downtown

      1. Carl,

        While I support the better connectivity and elimination of the need for downtown transfers for everything, you should probably read Jarrett Walker’s post on why the disparate nature of the Eastside’s destinations prevents 520 light rail from making sense:

        http://www.humantransit.org/2010/04/seattle-railbus-tradeoffs-on-the-520-bridge.html

        And, once again, I point to my North Seattle east-west subway map, initially drawn up to point out the absurdity of shackling a 3-mile rail line through one of the region’s densest corridors to a dozen-mile rail (over empty water) to some of the region’s sparsest:

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/67869267@N07/6212212349/

        (Simply look at the distances involved. You’ve nearly doubled the length of the line before you’ve even gotten to the floating part.)

        Also, it’s worth noting that the pain of a downtown transfer depends on how slowly and laboriously each leg enters and leaves downtown. Surface buses have horrible downtown penalties. Grade-separated through corridors like the future Link will halve the downtown penalty; and riders from northeast to south will see no downtown penalty at all. (In cities with extensive rail networks, many transfers are made downtown, with little penalty.)

      2. With all due respect to Jarrett Walker, that post of his doesn’t make much sense. A driverless Skytrain with a single-ended station in Bellevue TC that continued east to Overlake and Redmond on the approximate alignment of East Link would have met almost all the demand that East Link will meet, PLUS most of the demand across 520; all you’d miss are Mercer Island and South Bellevue (Zzzzz), which could be served by I-90 BRT. Of course, this also assumes that Central Link had been built fully grade-separated.

        520 would have been a MUCH better place for a a BART-like system like what we’re building (except driverless). Instead, of course, Metro and ST will spend the next 50 years driving fleets of diesels across 520 to meet U-District demand.

      3. You seem to be arguing that 520 should have been chosen over I-90 for the initial cross-lake rail corridor. Maybe so, but that’s a totally different argument to have.

        What Walker is arguing is that, given that the first Bellevue Link line will already exist, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to build a second, extremely expensive (entirely new infrastructure) fixed rail corridor with no clear east anchor, no continuous-corridor demand, and three divergent service-splitting tails. (I know how much you love petering-demand tails, Bruce.)

        (Also: “single-ended station in Bellevue TC”?)

      4. For a driverless system, the overhead of single-ended station is minimal, provided your headways don’t go below the minimal signal-block times. A line could come from the north to BTC, then head back out on an alignment almost exactly like East Link’s, but grade separating the last two crossings that aren’t currently planned to be.

        This is, of course, all immaterial at this point.

      5. The issue was ST had money burning a hole in their pocket and they didn’t believe 520 replacement would happen before they wanted to start East Link. Of course they also think I-90 isn’t going to need replacement on or before every other pontoon bridge we’ve ever built. At best we’ll get about 25 years of life out of the East Link crossing before it has to be replaced. So, we’re stuck with Central Links detour that makes it impractical to go much farther south than the airport and East Link that past Bellevue is slower and costs more than buses.

        It’s another 50-60 years before there’s another chance of rail on 520. Desiged for rail is a ruse. There’s no way in hell the carpool/transit lanes will get taken for rail and the thought of only one GP lane in each direction is a fantasy. This region just can’t pull it’s self out of the funk of building short term solutions. The exception being the DBT which while nice is, I think, a way overpriced solution to what should have been just a single level viaduct.

      6. Bruce,

        Given what I know of you, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have a legitimate reason for disagreeing with the arguments in the “Why Link Will Cross I-90 first” post. But I am curious to hear your opinion on the issues it raises.

        Most importantly, how do you deal with the misaligned frequencies? With an I-90 routing, the trunk, with maximal frequency, goes from the ID to Northgate. With a 520 routing, either you branch at Husky Stadium (meaning that you lose frequency on North Link, and force a transfer from UW to Bellevue), or you terminate 520 service at Husky Stadium (meaning that you force a connection for downtown to Bellevue).

        Anyway, to be entirely honest, I’m not convinced that Metro will need to run fleets of diesels over 520. From Brooklyn to downtown Bellevue is expected to take 33 minutes, about the same as the 271 during peak, and only 5 minutes longer than the standard off-peak length. And by definition, if you stop at downtown Bellevue, then the differential time to Overlake/Redmond wouldn’t be any different than it will be under East Link.

        My guess is that, once East Link is up and running, the only remaining 520 service will be peak service to Redmond, and all-day service to Kirkland and points north.

        (Oh, and don’t forget Mercer/SBP&R. With 520 Link, we’d *definitely* have to run fleets of diesels to those destinations all day. There are no comparable destinations on 520 that will not be served by East Link.)

      7. I like the idea of a Sand Point bridge better than 520. You can have a Ballard to U-District E/W line that then hits Kirkland. Then have it split, half continuing East to Redmond, half going S. to meet East-Link (then possibly turning East on 90 to hit Issaquah.

        That way you don’t have to jog south to 520 to then go back north to hit Kirkland or bypass Kirkland again.

      8. I’d settle for a connecting route from Montlake to Wallingford, Fremont, and Ballard; the 44 comes closest, but it’s quite a long walk to SPU and other employment areas in Fremont (in addition to the walk from Montlake to UW).

      9. Anc, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

        It’s downright offensive to rhetorically attach a vital 3-mile line to a 20-mile Fantasyland Express.

        Seriously. Ballard to the UW is three miles.

        The U to Sand Point is another three miles with only a single destination. (No offense to Children’s, but they’re not more important than the half-dozen hospitals whose First Hill station we didn’t fund either.)

        And you “like” the idea of a new bridge that would be yet another three miles long.

        You’ve tripled the line’s length before you even hit Kirkland, and before you even start discussing multiple branches snaking through dozens of miles of sprawl.

        There’s literally no valid equivalency between the Ballard-UW east-west line and any “expanded” lines you can imagine. Stop tying them together; it’s destructive, it’s unrealistic, and it’s stupid.

        Rodney, the problem with connecting from cross-lake to cross-North Seattle transit is twofold: the connection is bad, and the transit itself is bad.

        I sincerely hope to see both fixed someday. But (as you seem to know) neither service-splitting one-seat methods nor pie-in-the-sky dreams like Anc’s are going to be the solution.

      10. D.P.
        I doubt we’ll see a E/W link line between Ballard and the UW without a Downtown/Ballard line first or as part of the overall line.

        If nothing else I suspect ST isn’t terribly interested in figuring out how to splice in a flying junction North of Brooklyn Station. Especially once North Link opens.

      11. I like the idea of a Sand Point bridge better than 520.

        No more F*ing paving over the Lake! Sink the damn barges cutting up the Lake and build a real bridge; I don’t care if it’s cars, rail or pack mules. Or, just cut the ties to Seattle entirely. Tough on the Port but natures moat would be great for the Eastside.

        I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have a legitimate reason for disagreeing with the arguments in the “Why Link Will Cross I-90 first”

        Because it will cross I-90 first doesn’t mean it was a good decision. ST makes politically expedient decisions which are almost always in contradiction to long term wise decisions. Although, in the case of NOT building a 1st Hill Station and BUILDING a Montlake Station they were coerced into doing the smart thing. Not much hope for East Link since the smart route was never even considered and all the pissing is over how to make a stupid route as least bad as possible (and even that’s a fail).

      12. D.P. the current political reality means that any Seattle E/W line HAS to be part of a larger regional line. Until something changes ST3 is the only hope to getting a Ballard U-District line (which I agree is the most important segment).

        Now it looks like someone is trying to shake things up:
        http://seattlesubway.org/
        but for now the ‘pie in the sky’ is the best we’ve got.

      13. Bruce and Aleks,

        This is definitely a different argument than Jarrett was having. He absolutely presumed that 520 transit, in whatever form, would be augmenting the existing East Link. He wasn’t playing a hypothesizing a do-over. And the fact remains that an additional and very expensive northern rail crossing would be dealing with split demand nodes east of the bridge and present no clear prevailing alignment to manage them.

        As for the BART Millbrae-via-SFO-esque suggestion Bruce had for downtown Bellevue: I suppose that would have been slightly easier with automated train control, though don’t underestimate the speed reductions that would still be required for pulling in and out of dead ends. (They safety-speed concessions mean such a thing is never fast.) But I’m not sure how that would even have helped Overlakers who would be detouring just as much as they are under the East Link plan, or helped Kirkland transit become more multi-use in any way.

        You also would have been dealing with an extreme vertical disparity at the Montlake junction with no easy solution.

        Chris,

        I’m not the only one who’s made the argument that an east-west alignment serves North Seattle, and serves a much greater purpose in a connective Link network, than a north-south line that serves LQA eight ways from Sunday and speeds to Ballard but does much less for “getting around.”

        I agree that it’s harder to work in a junction after the fact. That’s why I’m harping on this obsessively now. They won’t actually be digging in Brooklyn for a few more years.

        Flying junction: not necessary. Period. High-volume level junctions are a light-rail fait accompli. Boston’s Green Line carries 235,000 a day with them. London’s DLR is approaching similar numbers, and has them.

        Bernie,

        I don’t disagree with you about the “paving over the lake” new-crossing fetish.

        Cancelling First Hill was stupid and political. Now we’re building circuitous streetcars and floating BRT corridor proposals in a valiant “plan b” effort to make it possible to reach Seattle’s densest mixed-use area from anywhere in less than 20 minutes. Stupidity on a platter.

        I have no idea what you mean by “coerced into BUILDING Montlake.” You mean as opposed to a Portage Bay alignment? Yes, I probably agree with you there. Although the jury’s still out on whether the station getting built will actually have good foot access to anything it claims to serve, or to 520, or to transfers in any direction.

        Anc,

        I disagree with your statement of the political reality. There should be transportation improvement projects all over the ST service area. They don’t all need to be rail, and they certainly don’t all need to connect to each other.

        Welding the $1 or $2 billion “most important section” to $10 billion worth of “not particularly important” should pass no one’s smell test.

      14. Bernie,

        Have you read the page I was referring to? (Given your summary dismissal of it, I’m guessing not). The page gives a number of solid technical (not political) reasons why East Link over I-90 is the right long-term decision. If you have an alternative proposal, I’d like to hear how you respond to those objections.

      15. DP, notice how you say there ‘should’ be transportation improvements all over the service area… not there ‘are’ transporation improvements… That’s the difference between fantasy and reality. Yeah, it’d be great if ST built a 3 mile Seattle only line. But the reality is that unless something pretty radical changes it isn’t.

        As a pragmatist, the best path is to work within the current framework (any study of an E/W Ballard-Issaquah/Redmond regional line would be useful for a Ballard U-District stand alone line as well) while simultaneously working to change the political reality.

      16. I get what you’re saying, Anc.

        And I do, in fact, believe that ST3 should include all kinds of improvements all over the region.

        In some cases that may mean better all-day bus coverage. Maybe it even means an additional spur off East Link (though from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, I really doubt it).

        But I think it’s incredibly important to divorce unrelated (if politically linked) projects in our minds and in our discourse.

        A cross-Seattle line and an Issaquah line are two utterly different things. The first step to “changing the political reality” is to stop accepting the fallacy that they need to be attached to one another at all!

        “Working with the existing framework” by adopting really problematic discourse is counterproductive (just ask the Democrats who find themselves having to fight for “death taxes”).

      17. As I said earlier I believe that if an E/W line between Ballard and the UW is proposed as part of ST3 it will be as part Of a
        larger Downtown to Ballard line.

        I disagree with those who say any Link expansion in Seattle must directly be part of some larger line. Sub area equity means that if other areas want projects they have to allow projects in Seattle. As d.p. said it is unlikely billions will be spent on things like a new Lake Washington bridge when there are other higher priorities for that money on both sides of the lake.

      18. Unfortunately subarea equity doesn’t mean that if ST3 passes in one subarea it’s good to go in that subarea. In order to pass it you are going to have to have projects in all subareas, and not just any project, but projects that get people excited.

      19. ST will come up with some proposal for Ballard-UW. Whether it continues to downtown and Burien is just our speculation, and a Sand Point-Kirkland bridge even more so. Another possibility is continuing to Lake City and Bothell, which I think is more likely than Sand Point because LCW is on ST’s radar as a future HCT corridor. But to make DP happy, note that Ballard-UW is higher priority than any of these extensions, because it’s in ST2 and none of these others are.

        Also, it may be *easier* poltically to build Seattle-only lines or short lines after Link reaches Mountlake Terrace. Because then the cross-subarea lines will exist. At that point the other subareas will probably be thinking about projects within their subareas rather than pushing for more cross-subarea lines, and it will seem perfectly fine for Seattle to do the same.

  2. While some dream of a direct bus between Microsoft and Wallingford, I just want to be able to get to more places around south King County and Pierce County without having to transfer twice — first in out-of-the-way Burien, and then in Tukwila or SeaTac. Or, without having to go through downtown.

    Can anyone explain the point of the 132 going to Burien?

    1. I can think of a number of reasons, but probably none that would satisfy you. And I hate to break it to you, but South Park is just not that big of a place as to warrant trunk-line service going anywhere much other than downtown.

      Go to the hearings and give it to Metro.

      1. Well, since you won’t give reasons, I’ll just put out some straw ones. ;)

        1. an extra way for riders to get between Burien and downtown. … only if they are unaware of the much shorter and much more frequent 120.

        2. connecting to an employment center (i.e. downtown/Olde Burien) … which makes some sense until you compare it to the number of jobs around the airport, not to mention all the other job centers throughout South King County.

        3. connecting Burien to other job centers to the north … which is actually accomplished more quickly by taking the 140 to TIBS and transfering to the 124.

        4. to connect two heavily Hispanic neighborhoods. Now, there’s a reason I can’t rip to shreds (as Bruce likes to say). Of course, the 60 already connects South Park to White Center, which is much more heavily Hispanic, as well as to El Centro de la Raza. Is that enough of a reason to have a non-trunk route swerve away from TIBS to serve the anglicized Burien town center? You tell me.

        5. to serve the neighborhood around S 146th St (such as it is) … which consists of parks and mostly undeveloped land to the south, and which could also be better served by a route connecting it directly to TIBS, if riders want to get downtown in less than an hour, which could be accomplished by scavenging the hours from the 129. Or, as I’ve suggested elsewhere, run the 128 down 128th.

        6. Military Rd S would then be overserved. This heavily apartmented neighborhood doesn’t deserve interlined 15-minute frequency. If it got it, more unintended transit-oriented development could spring up northwest of TIBS. We can’t have that!

        7. You could do a chart showing a chunk of ons/offs in Burien, which begs the question of where those riders are headed next.

        Now, will my approach be to rip Metro to shreds? Nope. I’m delighted to get 30-minute frequency on the non-trunk 132 to downtown, to get the quickest connection to SODO Station, to get the 60 to reach the Line C, and to end inside-the-parking-lot service at the VA. Metro put out a gutsy re-grid map. I’m probably going to be too busy defending the overall plan to get the additional fixes, but I’m afraid it’s now or never, given how often these sorts of re-grids happen.

  3. With seven meetings scheduled, I find it curious that all are within the City of Seattle limits. As the post states, ” Seattle, Burien, Des Moines, Shoreline, SeaTac, and Tukwila.” are all involved in the route changes. I guess the suburbs opinion doesn’t count for much.

    1. Also odd is that the only one near central Seattle is in the middle of the day. Capitol Hill and CD residents interested in the changes to the 2, 10, 11, 12, and 14 either have to be able to get to downtown mid-day (tough when you work somewhere other than downtown) or bus to areas that aren’t conveniently accessible after 8:00pm.

      Admittedly these routes are not the main focus of the change, but I imagine there are a lot of people upset about the loss of one-seat trips through downtown from such close-in neighborhoods.

    2. Interesting note, Mike! I would further note that every single one of these locations is west of Interstate 5! Because many service change proposals that are potentially controversial are east of Interstate 5, it does seem that the chosen locations are where the most supportive crowds would be. Coincidence?

Comments are closed.