Fall 2012 Restructure: Proposed Changes to Routes 2 & 12
Fall 2012 Restructure: Proposed Changes to Routes 2 & 12

One of the best aspects of November’s restructure proposal was the inclusion of the Queen Anne-Madrona Restructure, a major rethinking of the transit corridor that runs from the north side of Queen Anne to Madrona through Belltown, Downtown, First Hill and the Central District. Although I’ve written about this restructure in whole or part, several times, one thing I’ve not discussed in detail is how it will improve the southern part of Route 2.

In the Fall 2012 proposal, the northern part of Route 2 would be deleted in favor of running Route 13 (serving Uptown and Queen Anne) every 15 minutes (or better) until 10 PM, seven days a week. The southern part of the 2 would be rerouted two blocks south from the current Seneca/Spring pair to Madison/Marion, as shown on the map above. Its frequency and times of service would remain unchanged.

On Madison, it would join the restructured Route 12, which would be disconnected from its current 1st Ave connection to Route 10. I’ve written in the past about how disconnecting Routes 10 and 12 would improve the reliability of both, without inconveniencing many riders. After the jump, I’ll examine more of the tradeoffs between the current and proposed routing of the 2, from both a systemwide point of view, and from that of current 2 riders.

Most of the effects seem to be positive for almost everyone:

  • Frequency of service to the Central District will remain unchanged, while frequency from Downtown to First Hill will double. Both Routes 2 and 12 will still operate at the same frequency as they do now, but there’s a twist: Because the revised Routes 2 and 12 will share all stops between 1st Ave and 12th Ave, their schedules can be arranged to provide twice the frequency. This will be a boon for riders bound to or from First Hill.
  • Destinations on Seneca are a flat, two-block walk further from Madison. Those destinations include Virginia Mason Medical Center*, Polyclinic, Horizon House, the Seattle Public Library and University Street Station. I suspect most 2 riders already walk further than that to reach their current bus stops.
  • Should make Route 2 very reliable. Buses typically keep to their schedules very well on Madison. The current Route 2 is often late due to the long slog through Uptown and Belltown.
  • The City of Seattle’s Transportation Master Plan calls for rapid trolleybus service on Madison. Madison has been extensively studied with a view to improving the speed and reliability of bus service. Consolidating less-frequent, closely-spaced routes down to a smaller number of streets makes it feasible to contemplate transit capital improvements such as bus lanes and queue jumps that further improve bus service. The Fall 2012 proposal brings rapid transit-like weekday frequencies to First Hill — at no cost to the city.
  • Avoiding lane-blocking turns from 3rd Ave improves the speed and reliability of all routes on 3rd Ave. When the 2 turns left onto Spring, it usually blocks the passing lane for at least one light cycle, sometimes holding up buses behind it. Other routes in Metro’s network are being restructured for similar reasons — for example, Route 14 will now loop around on 2nd Ave between Pine and Pike rather than turning right on Pike from 3rd Ave, another lane-blocking turn.
  • Makes the transit system easier to understand. After 2016, when West Seattle routes stop using the viaduct, it’s likely that virtually every bus on 3rd Ave will run the length of 3rd Ave from Virginia to Yesler. This makes the bus network visually simpler on a map, and creates a more grid-like system of east-west and north-south buses.

There’s only one disadvantage that I can see for current 2 riders:

  • Riders bound for Westlake have to walk six blocks; riders bound for Belltown and Uptown have to transfer. With several frequent-service routes serving those destinations, and the stops close by, this seems like a reasonably easy transfer.

Every change to the bus network seems to draw out opposition from current riders for whom the current configuration works well, but the facts in this case seem to line up pretty squarely in favor of the proposed changes.

* Moreover, Virginia Mason has purchased and plans to extend into a block south of its current campus. Thus, Virginia Mason eventually will have a front door facing Madison, which would be very conveniently accessible to riders coming in on Madison’s improved bus service.

334 Replies to “Improving Route 2 in the Central District and First Hill”

  1. one thing they must do …

    they need to remove on-street parking on Madison between Boren and at least 12th ave …

    it isn’t 24hr parking … but when cars ARE parked … it messes up the buses since drivers wont usually let them into the traffic lane

      1. Also seconded. There is no shortage of parking in First Hill…folks should use the ubiquitous institutional garages, and leave Madison for travel. The side streets usually have metered spaces available, and there are surface lots that rarely fill up (such as Harvard/Seneca near the Baptist church).

    1. Even better would be in-line bus stops, which would require moving to 24-hour parking which would allow for building sidewalk bulbs at the stops.

  2. I am an Atlantic Base transit operator who drives the route 2/13 and 10/12.

    I agree with the comment about removing parking on Madison Street eastbound (I recommend no street parking 24 hours on Madison Street eastbound all the way 15th Avenue). I would also like to share following:

    Driver perspective:

    1) Deleting the routing on eastbound Spring Street is good due to delays from traffic turning right from 4th Avenue and queuing to the I-5 onramp during the PM rush hour (eastbound Marion Street also is backed up but this street is generally not as congested as Spring Street).

    2) Sixth Avenue northbound between Marion & Madison is tight due to taxis and tour busses servicing the Madison Hotel (the hotel passenger loading zone is on the LEFT side of the one-way street).

    3) The right turn from Sixth Avenue northbound to Madison Street eastbound is one of the most difficult in the entire trolley system due to a dead spot at the switch in the middle of the turn, which you have to coast through (without power) while going uphill. Removing one or two street parking spaces on Madison Street eastbound on the I-5 overpass would help by giving busses more space to make the right turn.

    Passenger perspective:

    Everyone knows that the grades in downtown are very steep—especially between 3rd and 4th Avenue.

    1) How do you service the Library? This is no problem for the inbound Route 10/12 stop at westbound Madison at 5th Avenue. The stop for the outbound Route 10/12 on Sixth Avenue between Marion & Madison is two blocks away and down a very steep hill. The sidewalk next to I-5 is very narrow and not ADA accessible. The current outbound stop for the Route 2 at Spring Street eastbound & 4th Avenue is very convenient for passengers travelling from 3rd & Union.

    2) How do you service Virginia Mason? It can be difficult for elderly/disabled passengers can walk the suggested two blocks to Virginia Mason, which is serviced primarily by the current Route 2 (Harborview has the Route 3/4 & Swedish has the Route 12). The existing stop at Seneca street eastbound at 9th Avenue is right at the front door of the medical clinic.

    1. Are they going to layover on 1st Ave, or live loop through downtown? There are some awesome eateries downtown. Not so much at the ends of the lines!
      Also, note to Pax. Hang onto your transfers if you’re heading N on 3rd. RFA going away soon!

    2. Driver perspective:

      2) Madison contra-flow lane.

      3) Madison contra-flow lane.

      Passenger perspective:

      1) Madison contra-flow lane.

      2) A simple fix: move the eastbound stop from Madison/8th to Madison/9th (right across from the westbound stop). This gives passengers a choice of two gentle one-block walks from Madison to the Spring street hospital entrances (Buck Pavilion and Jones Pavilion, on the corners of 9th and Boren, respectively).

      No one likes losing front-door service, but if you can get to one block from your destination four times faster than you can service on Seneca to the front door, why would anyone demand the former? As Bruce dutifully and repeatedly points out, how did riders get to the 2 in the first place? It’s not like it has front-door service from everywhere.

      1. A Madison contraflow lane would make a live-loop impossible as currently proposed because buses would have to turn around on the same street.

        Idea: From Madison, go north on 1st, east on Pike, south on 2nd, back on Madison or Marion. Restores some service on 1st Metro has been slowly killing while avoiding the southbound backup and runs right outside a tunnel entrance at 2nd and University. The downside is ferry passengers have to walk to 2nd to catch the bus heading east; a variant of the loop the 16 and 66 use now might work but wouldn’t have as many auxillary benefits in terms of serving downtown.

      2. This is a pretty good idea, actually. Traffic has been pretty decent northbound on 1st lately, and the loop involves nothing but right turns (or in the case of 2nd-to-Madison-contraflow, a left off of a one-way street).

        I would argue for turning around on Union. It gets close enough to Pike Place without directly dealing with the Pike/1st pedestrian scramble, it makes use of a little-known one-block contraflow on Union, and it can stop right across the street from a tunnel entrance for those unwilling to make that connection on 3rd.

        (BTW, a Madison contraflow doesn’t inherently make a live-loop impossible, even without this detour. The live-loop would just be 1 block instead of 10.)

      3. Wait, so 2nd-to-Marion doesn’t involve a left turn? Would you have it go 2nd-Columbia-1st-Marion? Considering the Viaduct on-ramp hits at Columbia, that sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, but it does serve the ferry walkway. Or are you thinking 2nd-James-Yesler-1st-Marion, serving part of Pioneer Square on top of the Market?

      4. No, no, that was your idea, simply shortened to Union.

        I said that the only left turn involved is from a one-way street (2nd), which is much better than having to turn left off of 1st or 3rd.

    3. These are very good points. Sometimes it is good to take a look at what may seem strange infrastructure and ask why was it designed in that manner. Usually it was designed to solve some problem and the problem will reappear if not considered. Also once a certain infrastructure has existed much of the development around it will depend on it. For instance the area around the library bus stop on Spring is well-designed for access and was a part of the library design. One of the primary reasons for entrance to the tunnel on Seneca and 3rd was to serve the #2. Much of the development along Seneca is dependent on direct access to the #2.

      1. For instance the area around the library bus stop on Spring is well-designed for access and was a part of the library design.

        That is so completely, utterly, and ridiculously false.

        That bus stop is on a moderately steep slope, halfway up the hill, in a lane used primarily for highway queuing, and next to the library’s garage entrance. Pedestrian access to the library is on the far opposite corners of the building, at Madison Street. There is nothing “part of the library design” about this stop.

        Every single infrastructural quirk Paul lists under “driver perspective” results from the chasm that I-5 carved between downtown and First Hill and the highway engineers’ total disregard for the effect they had on prior transit corridors. The reason we have problems is because they never even tried to solve the problems they created. And you would preserve their shoddy work!

        One of the primary reasons for entrance to the tunnel on Seneca and 3rd was to serve the #2.

        Okay, now you’re just making stuff up.

      2. I believe that there is a side door that allows access there with a very flat spot leading to it, not for all but for those who need it.

      3. There is a service entrance — keycard required — to the library’s second floor, which is the only level in the building that entirely disallows public access.

      4. Yes, the EB #2 stop by the library isn’t a pedestrian paradise. But it can be kinda fun if you want to make bets with yourself or friends on how many light cycles will be required to get across 4th… :-)

  3. It is really a shame that there will not be a direct route to the commercial portion of downtown and the major transfer station/tunnel at 3rd and Union from First Hill now. This is where most riders are going, not down to 1st and Madison. It isn’t clear who these changes serve, certainly not residents of First Hill or current users of routes 2 and 12. It would be better if one route looped south to Pioneer Sq (which really needs more easy access) and one looped north to Westlake at least for better transfers. The above says “proposal” – is there a chance that this change can be modified?

    1. I’d agree, as over time, the retail core continues to inch north toward the developments in SLU and the Denny Triangle, removing these two routes from the area strikes me as counterproductive. Further, all east/west routes in the downtown area ought to cross 3rd at a transit tunnel station.

    2. Let me run an idea by you:

      What if, at 15th Ave (right before the 2 goes through that bow tie intersection of Union and Madison), the 2 turned north and went up to Pine St, then turned left and joined the alignment of the 10, taking you right to Westlake Center via the heart of Capitol Hill? You’d lose the direct connection to Colman Dock and the middle of downtown, and you’d have to transfer to a bus or the First Hill Streetcar to get to the hospitals on First Hill, but you’d have the front-door access to the Westlake Link station and the commercial district that you want.

      This isn’t a project that Metro has the cash for this time around, it’s a post-University Link idea that I’m thinking of writing about.

      1. What about the 12?

        I’m wondering if the 12 could use Pike/Pine between 3rd and Boren, then use Boren to cross over to Madison.

        You lose two relatively little-used stops, but in return, you provide a direct tunnel connection, and a direct route to an all-day destination (Westlake). And you get closer to providing front-door service to Virginia Mason.

        With these two changes, you also further centralize east-west service downtown on Pike/Pine. This makes it easier to advocate for bus priority on those two streets (or even a bus-only contraflow lane on Pine), and you make it easier for people to take the first bus that arrives. (For example, I often have to choose between taking the 2, 10, 11, or 12; with this plan, I wouldn’t have to.)

      2. Boren’s a mess in the peak — full of cars — you don’t want buses on there.

        Long term, the best way to serve Madison is with a shortened (and very frequent) 12 from Colman Dock to 15th, and then serve the east part of Madison with a revised (and very frequent) 8+11. The idea of getting the 2 up to Pine would dovetail nicely with that.

      3. Okay, I buy that. My biggest objection to the current situation on Madison between 15th and 23rd is that it’s served by two different buses with two different downtown terminals. If all service on that segment of Madison went via Pine, that would be just as good.

      4. It might work, as you say some far time in the future. The area from Broadway to Boren along Seneca would still need service.

      5. Bruce – that’s a pretty good idea, but I kinda assumed that Metro was hell bent on getting better frequency on Madison between downtown and 15th sooner rather than later. In your proposal, would Metro defer that desire or would they get the additional frequency from some other route acting in cooperation with the 12?

    3. Were it not for the darned viaduct entrance at Columbia, Anika’s Pioneer Square loop idea wouldn’t be half bad. But given the realities of Seattle’s auto-centric commute period, avoiding major rush hour conflicts at all costs is a necessity.

      Really, the key is going to be making the new 2 so fast and reliable that the two blocks needed to transfer to somewhere else downtown become no more of a big deal than the blocks one walks to catch it at the other end.

      Getting rid of half the “bow tie” at 11th-13th is a good start. A bus-only “straight” lane/signal should be used to eliminate the other half.

      And counter-flow lane, counter-flow lane, counter-flow lane!

    4. I agree that it is really too bad. There is no other community that is losing direct access to the downtown core and the tunnel transit both. The needs of the ridership of the #2 are not being considered. The current #2 has the fifth highest ridership of any route in the Metro system and to imply that these changes will not negatively impact a significant number of transit supporters is arrogant and wrong-headed.

      1. The needs of the ridership of the #2 are not being considered.

        That’s an incredible disingenuous comment, Joanna.

        The needs of the ridership of the #2 to not wait endlessly for an unreliable through-route, and to not sit for minutes per block to crawl up First Hill, are being weighed against the ideal of direct service to the tunnel, to Pine, or to another major downtown destination.

        Unfortunately, with present auto-traffic patterns, doing the latter plainly makes the former impossible.

        What I appreciate about Anika’s comment is that she thought through some alternate suggestions. If an earthquake brought down the viaduct tomorrow, eliminating the Columbia Street ramp’s choke point, her idea of a through-route to Pioneer Square (perhaps intersecting the tunnel at 2nd and Yesler) would make perfect sense.

        The point is that Anika is engaging with the process, and looking for a solution that makes riding / using /living on the #2 better while still serving downtown needs as well as possible. On the other hand, you’re just bellyaching that any change is unacceptable.

        I’ve used the #2 hundreds upon hundreds of times. How it works now is unacceptable.

      2. losing direct access to the downtown core and the tunnel transit both

        Madison is two blocks from the entrance to University Street Station. Marion is two blocks from the entrance to Pioneer Square station. This is hardly “losing access”. Similarly the 2 will still pass through the middle of downtown Seattle. It just won’t provide a single seat ride to Westlake. If someone really doesn’t want to walk the whole way there are many buses on 3rd.

        I lived at 22nd and Union for a while. I absolutely hated how slow the 2 was. if the weather was decent I’d take just about any other bus (10, 11, 12) just to avoid the slow slog through First Hill on the 2.

        The current turn on and off 3rd hurts reliability and the turn off 3rd impacts every other route using 3rd especially at peak. Fighting with the freeway traffic on Spring in the afternoon means wasting as much as 25 minutes to go the 3 blocks between 3rd and I-5. The bow-tie on Madison is another huge time suck for the 2 in both directions. Furthermore the reliability of the entire route is impacted by delays in Belltown, at Denny, in Uptown, and at Mercer. I really shouldn’t be able to beat the bus by walking from 3rd all the way to 22nd but I often can.

        The proposed changes will be a huge improvement in service for anyone on the South half of the 2 route. It will also be a huge improvement in service for those on First Hill. Sure people might have to make some transfers they didn’t before. BFD. I’d really rather have frequent fast service where I have to walk a little bit than unreliable slow buses that run infrequently so everyone can have their personal one-seat ride.

    5. I’m intrigued by Bruce’s idea; for the few times I want to go to some part of downtown south of Madison, I could catch anything SB on 3rd to transfer. And the SU campus and QFC retail area would be similar walking distance to what they are now. And I suppose one could transfer at Madison to the 12 for trips bound farther south in downtown.

      I do agree with the sentiment that Pioneer Square access is not as easy as it should be. I’m not sure a modified #2 would be the way to solve that issue.

  4. I have been wondering about some of the one-way couplets that many E-W buses downtown run on, and whether it is worth it to try to eliminate them by installing a one-way bus only contra flow lane. Has this been considered anywhere? It would be most useful in location where queuing for I-5 backs up traffic.

    An example is current service to Capitol Hill via Pike. Buses in the PM almost always get stuck in a left turn backup at Boren. Why doesn’t Metro route these buses up Pine from 8th to where they currently turn onto Pine? Is the only reason the existing stops?

    1. Pike/Pine streetcar perhaps? ;)

      I think the Pike stops serve the Convention Center more directly, but I agree with you that Pine would be fantastic for 2-way transit via a contraflow lane. I wish we could make Pine pedestrian/transit only between 3rd and 6th, but it’s the only westbound street from Cap Hill to Downtown. Because of I-5 ramps on Pike and Olive, you couldn’t easily convert to westbound lanes to those streets.

    2. I remember hearing that buses used to turn off of Pike at 8th and connect to Pine St. However, this all changed with the construction of the Pine St stub tunnel. The wire is already in place and the only stop affected would be at Boren & Pike. Can that stop be relocated to Boren & Pine (or maybe Minor & Pine) instead?

      Almost forgot: the stop for the Convention Center could be on 8th just north of Pike.

    3. Pike may serve the convention center itself, but Pine serves Convention Place, which strikes me as a much more useful. Transferring from a downtown-bound 43 to the tunnel is super easy — why does the reverse have to be so much harder?

  5. While I like the improvements, I still think we should just eliminate the 12 entirely and reinvest those hours elsewhere. It doesn’t make sense to me that we have dense service spaced at only 4 block intervals.

    1. I assume that you’re referring to the 19th Ave tail of the 12? That’s a fair point (and one with which many here would agree), but note that we’re primarily talking about the much more productive First Hill segment of the 12.

      Also, note that Madison is a growing corridor even east of 12th Ave. There is consistent and growing demand between 12th and 23rd, and it would be stronger if not for the scattered nature of bus service.

      My vote continues to be in favor of adding trolley wire to allow service from Madison to 23rd and then north to the U-District — a 12/43 hybrid.

      1. The thing is the service on the 43 between 23rd & John and 15th & 45th in the U-District is entirely redundant with the 43. The Montlake Neighborhood doesn’t really have the density or ridership to justify 2 super-frequent routes passing through it.

        I’m all for lots of service on Madison between the Ferry Terminal and 23rd, but I’d hate to waste service hours by having all of those buses continue to the University District.

        Maybe loop back to the current E/W portion of the 8 via Denny, MLK, and Madison to John?

      2. In case it was unclear, that was supposed to be *instead* of the current 43, not in addition.

        That said, I think Bruce has convinced me that it makes more sense to serve Madison via two separate routes — one route west of 12th/15th, and another east. That way, you provide direct service to the Westlake tunnel station for riders from the east. (You get similar benefits from routing the 2 via Pine, with a jog at 15th Ave, like Bruce proposed above.)

  6. As someone who lived in Madrona for 18 months, took over 1,000 trips on the #2, and moved away from the neighborhood partially because it was so unreliable eastbound in the PM peak, I fully support this change.

    The emerging network Metro is building is encouraging: it helpfully separates transit and I-5 queuing, the single biggest source of transit delays. Within a couple years, we might just have a downtown where Jackson, Yesler, Marion/Madison, Pike/Pine, and Denny(?) are for local transit, while James, Cherry, Columbia, Spring, Seneca, University, Union, Olive, and Howell are for cars and I-5 buses. Innumerable times I waited at SPL as the #2 struggled through 5-10 light cycles waiting for the stop to clear of cars, and with that stop on Marion instead the problem simply goes away.

    Riders have tons of alternatives. 23rd/Union to the Airport is faster via #48/Link than #2/Link. #2 riders headed to Westlake have an easy transfer to the #10 or #11 at 13th/Pine, and #12 riders from 19th Ave have an even easier transfer to the #10 or #11 at 15th/Pine. For the time being, #12 riders from 19th Ave can also take the #43 from 19th/Thomas, and Madrona riders wanting a one-seat ride to Westlake or the DSTT can still use the #3. Lots and lots of options.

    1. 23rd and E. Union is about 20 minutes from the Mt. Baker station and about 10 minutes from the 3rd and Seneca station. And, that is only relevant if the rider lives near 23rd. These are not easy quick transfers nor to anything smacking of Rapid Ride type service. Making a good connection would be difficult.

      1. When does the 2 ever take only 10 minutes between 3rd & Seneca and 23rd & E. Union. That isn’t true even late at night.

      2. When does the 2 ever take only 10 minutes between 3rd & Seneca and 23rd & E. Union? That isn’t true even on the schedule (which itself bears no resemblance to reality).

      3. Actually a vast majority of the time it takes 10 minutes or less. I know I use it.
        d.p. I am sure that we share a passion for useful, well-designed mass transit that operates for the public good. And, that due only to the year of my birth, I can claim a longer passion for this.

      4. My hunch is that you’ve lost about ten of those years on the 2. And it seems to have warped your sense of time.

        The fastest the 2 ever runs from Broadway to 2rd is about 7 minutes — late at night, and only in the inbound direction.

        23rd is 5 minutes before Broadway — under zero traffic conditions, on an essentially empty bus making few or no stops.

        7 + 5 = 12.

        Under extremely uncommon circumstances and still only in one direction.

        [ad hom]

  7. Historic note, Adam: The Downtown Seattle Transit Project originally planned 2-way service on Pine Street all the way from Third. The Seattle City Council asked that Pine be kept one-way westbound to accommodate a Pine Street loading zone for the newly-renovated Roosevelt Hotel.

    However we do it, I think strong, simple trolley route connections at LINK stations are critical. It’s good to be able to give an arriving airport passenger sitting next to me on LINK a station and bus number- fewer transfers, the better.

    Bruce: I think our respective training and work experience really show in the matter of what ticks us off the worst. You can’t stand empty buses and duplicated service. I viscerally hate being aboard a bus stuck in car traffic- worst when I was in the driver’s seat, even though I was getting overtime for it.

    So let’s make a deal: I’ll think about removing the Route 2 from University Street Station if you’ll factor into your analysis a couple of signal pre-empts southbound on Third and a transit-only lane past the Library. I’m not against route changes. But considering the amount of capital already in place for a trolley route, I just think that before you take one out, it’s only responsible to be sure you’ve made every effort to make it work.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Thanks Mark. I certainly think that the 10/11/14/43/49 combined have enough service to warrant and bus only lane up from downtown.

      1. Thanks Mark and Adam. As 4X weekly user of the 11 I’d agree that bus only lanes are a necessity east on Pike from 3rd to Bellevue, and on Pine from Belmont to 15th, and west on Pine from 15th all the way to the stop just west of 2nd Ave by the Chocolate Box. I can hear the terrorized screams from the small businesses already, but really, how many cars over the course of a day park in that spot right in front of your door? Five at most?!

  8. Not convinced about the CBD terminal loop. Downtown has two core areas — the retail core to the north and the financial core to the south. This loop serves neither and will necessarily force a lot of transfers. Now I know all us transit nerds think transfers are just fine, no big deal, and all that, but a lot of our riders are not convinced.

    Let’s find some short trolley route/corridor to serve, so the buses turn either north or south on either 3rd or 1st.

    1. I would have said the financial core was just south of Madison, centered on Columbia — this serves it better than the current 2. My concern is that the financial district is mostly just a commuter destination — it’s dead outside of the weekday. Pioneer Square and Westlake are more than that, and it would be nice to provide direct service to one or both of those areas, although I don’t think it’s a prerequisite for doing this restructure.

      Much of the point of the 10/12/2 change is to get buses off 1st Ave (which is unreliable, particularly southbound) and to minimize turning movements, particularly on 3rd, and you can’t extend the 2 anywhere further than this without undermining the point of the change. I realize that these concerns are rather technical and not likely to interest most transit users, but that’s why we have transit planners, rather than putting routes up for popular vote. These issues matter to the system as a whole.

      1. You’re right; I said financial core but I was thinking Pioneer Square.

        Why not connect this revised 2 to the trolley wire loop Metro built years ago but never activated (James/Yesler/First/Cherry/Second)?

        And I fully agree with making Madison two-way, at least for transit. That gets rid of those ugly turns to/from Sixth at the hotel.

      2. I wondered about those switches on 1st, just north of Cherry. The switches are in place, but the wire on Cherry and 2nd has been taken down (if it was ever up — must be before my time).

      3. I just realized another problem with this downtown live loop — it’s right in between two DSTT stations, Pioneer Square and University Street. Transferring riders (read: most riders) will have a choice of another bus or a multi-block walk to a Link station.

        C’mon folks; we can do better than this.

  9. Historic routes where for decades the infrastructure and transit dependent development have been placed and have come together in an important way that serves many transit users. Many of the destinations named in earlier posts reflect this development that will not be well-served under the current proposal and is best served by the current structure of the system. Also what some may consider the odd little ends of some of the routes actually serve a purpose and eliminating them creates a new problem that may need yet a new solution and does not really provide that many additional bus hours.

    After listening to others and giving some thought what is a reasonable conversation and the use of language and terms that may or may not have meaning, there are some other ways to express different points of view to be considered. Many of the current trolley system and other historic inner city routes are among the most productive routes in the Metro system and carry a huge chunk of transit users. Many prefer a ride that comes every 10 to 15 minutes and arrives at the destination they desire rather than having to transfer from a ride that come every seven minutes. Offered a choice most would chose the every 15 minute route that does not require a transfer. It is easy to plan around these current schedules.

    The current proposal may offer advantages for the rapid ride and for some on a short and limited portion of the Madison corridor but offers practically no benefits for the vast majority of current users along these historic and productive routes. These rather organically…veloped together and it would be very difficult to in any way replace the organic relationship between the two and to develop a better system.

    1. New rule: “historic” is never allowed to be used as an argument for or against route planning in any way, shape or form ever again.

      1. I hope you are being facetious. When it has driven solid infrastructure and transit dependent development has been driven by the history of the routes it is relevant. The tunnel and tracks for the street cars will in 10, 20, or 50 years valuable historic infrastructure which has hopefully driven transit dependent development.

      2. If it’s relevant, then you can provide data. Naked “historical” anecdotes provide ZERO evidence for your argument. All it amounts to is “It’s been this way forever, why should we change it?”

      3. Morgan, once the infrastructure is there for sometime location and infrastructure (trolley wires and stops) grow together and impact each other. You will see that this has been true for sometime along the older routes.

    2. I completely disagree. I would much rather take an 2/12 (at 7.5 minute headways) and transfer on 3rd ave (to buses that come second apart) than possibly wait 15 minutes for a bus.

      As of now, when I go to my dentist or doctor on First Hill I almost always end up walking down to third ave because its faster than waiting for the bus. If the bus came every 7.5 minutes for better I probably would take the bus.

      1. I would much rather take [something reliable and fast] at 7.5 minute headways and transfer than wait 15 minutes [or more] for a bus [that is statistically likelier to be late and slow].

        You and pretty much the entire First World (plus plenty of the Second World).

        Joanna: Seattle’s transit mode share is low. 91% of its urban population doesn’t want to wait 15-30 minutes for a bus, no matter how direct it is, so they own cars and drive everywhere. You can’t win this argument based on what “many prefer” in the present. The numbers are already in, and you are wrong.

      2. That information would be interesting. I don’t remember seeing a survey specifically asking about having a bus come every 7.5 minutes and having to transfer to get anywhere rather than every 15 minutes to get where you are going. What was the methodology? Who was asked? Remember that the every 7.5 minutes is only a promise during weekdays and peak hours.

      3. The 2 and 12 run every 15 minutes now, during the midday. Combining them would allow 7.5 minute frequencies during the midday, not just peak hours.

        That said, I do wonder if there’s a point where frequency really does become less important than one-seat rides. It’s probably at better frequencies than the vast majority of Metro routes (probably past the point where you don’t need a schedule, so less than 10 minutes), so it’s not that relevant here, but it seems plausible to me.

      4. That’s how the entire world where people actually use transit works..

        Most of your neighbors currently drive most places, Joanna. And many of them even drive to places the 2 serves. Why don’t you ask them why!

        (And don’t try to debate the above fact. It is statistically inarguable.)

      5. Real-world results from Berlin on people’s preference for higher frequency over coverage, resulting in increased ridership:

        If faced with a choice between service running at very short intervals (10 minutes or less) and a somewhat greater distance to the nearest station or stop (10- to 15-minute walk) versus service running at longer intervals (20 minutes) with a station or stop in the immediate vicinity, the overwhelming majority preferred the longer walk. The lines with the highest levels of customer satisfaction are those that run at intervals so short that customers do not even need to look at the timetable.

        People in Berlin prefer a 10-15 minute walk and people here grumble about walking 2-3 blocks more! That and the fact that bus stops in Europe are spaced much farther apart than Seattle bus stops.

  10. What is the plan for the needs along Seneca. Horizon House, Exeter House, Virginia Mason?

      1. I just wish you could talk to the residents who live along this portion of the route and to the Virginia Mason patients.

      2. I support front-door stops (within reason) at medical and senior facilities, even if it means closer stop spacing in that short stretch of the route.

        Within reason = no loop-de-loops or having to pull off the main street the route serves, or keeping a route just to serve one facility

      3. I’m a Virginia Mason patient. Main entrance to the clinic is on 9th Ave, closer to Spring than Seneca. Its not much further to Madison (I mean, like 75 feet) vs. the stops on Seneca for the 2.

        Joanna – when these people who have to be dropped off on Seneca to get to Virginia Mason, because they can’t manage the walk from the 12 on Madison, get to the nearest bus stop to their house, how far do they walk? Or are they capable of walking a couple of blocks from their home to the nearest stop, but not the (probably shorter) distance for Madison to VMMC?

        I understand that you are uncomfortable with a lot of these changes in the Fall 2012 package – and there are a lot of stinkers in the overall plan, but these changes to the 2 needed to happen years ago.

    1. Joanna do you ride the 2? What’s your relationship to it?

      There are times when people that are directly affected by a change can only look at an issue from their first person perspective. Ie “I go from here to here so that is where the bus should go”. The issues is when designing a transit system you have to think about “Where are many people going to and from, how does it fit into a network, what is the most reliable routing, frequency, etc.” That is a very different perspective and that is the one that we bring to the table.

      1. I am a user of the #2, #48, light rail and tunnel, #60, #9, #43, #12, #11 #3, #4 and many more. I have used Metro as a student, as a Mom, as a employee, as a shopper since 1977. Some moves are improvements and some are not. Yes, the #2 is my main link to many to places. I have paid attention to the Metro issues in this area for many years and am quite familiar with many of the patterns and bus routes. Th “so called me” perspective depends on your perspective. If one’s focus is mainly on the Rapid Ride lines then they miss many of the details of the various neighborhoods and inner city needs. Does that make me unqualified to comment? Adam,hat is your role in the planning?

      2. Thanks for the info. My point is simply that most people’s gut reaction is to dislike change, especially if that change inconveniences them. Just how the world works.

        I personally have nothing to gain/lose from this change so I’m looking at it from a different perspective than you, not better, just naturally different and more high-level (I have a master in transportation engineering).

        I have no role in this planning but I strongly believe that our transit system needs some tough love when it comes to re-structuring the system to focus more on higher frequency, more reliable, more transfer based network. So as a editor of STB I agree with the intent of this routing change.

        You can see an example of my perspective here (https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2011/06/24/eastside-frequent-corridors/) which I just happen to have a personal interest in.

  11. What exactly is the demand for service along Madison between 12th and the ferries? The #12 does not make the list of high ridership.

    1. Gobs of people:


      I assume you are looking at the weekday ridership chart we have in one of our reference posts. That chart combines the north and south parts of route 2. When you look at them separately, the annualized ridership is as follows:

      12 1,164,312
      2N 1,150,190
      2S 1,310,109

      The southern part of Route 2 carries slightly more people than the 12, but it’s a significantly longer route. Per mile, the 12 carries more people. Also, part of the 12 is on 19th Ave, too close to the 10 and 43 on 15th and 23rd Ave, so it doesn’t perform particularly well.

    2. Joanna, the #11 serves the ferry dock currently, but it doesn’t go up Madison anymore, it goes somewhere else and then comes back to Madison (or leaves Madison) by the Central Co-op on 16th. This is kind of bizarre. The historical approach was up Madison all the way to Madison Park. At the time it was between ferry docks (there was one on Lake Washington.) Over the years, this service has been carved up and routed around. There does, however, need to be service along the Madison corridor for those of us who use it daily either in segments or all the way. A group of middle schools students of my acquaintance, for instance, rides the #12 from the West Seattle Water Taxi to 15th and Madison every school day both ways. This is just one nifty way people use the service. Another question is what is planned for the #11? (The September service revisions, as you know, is really quite vast with a huge number of routes affected.) Another question is why take the #12 off First Avenue? It is currently the only one on First Avenue (and goes to the Public Market and back).

      1. We don’t know what’s planned for the 11, but it will likely remain as-is until Capitol Hill station opens. There are tradeoffs between making the 11 all-Madison (easier to remember, the largest east-west street, and growing development) vs keeping it on Madison-Pine (a lot of people go from eastern Madison to Capitol Hill, and it stops at a Link station). So who knows which way Metro will prefer.

      2. As a frequent user of the 11, the fact that it travels on Pine instead of Madison definitely bugs me. There have been many times when I’m downtown, I want to get home, and I’m not sure if I should wait at Pike/4th (for the 10/11) or Marion/3rd (for the 12). If I could wait in one place for the 2, 11, or 12, that would be phenomenal.

        The reason to take the 12 off First Avenue is twofold. First, the service along First is actually relatively lightly used compared to the rest of the service. Depending on the time of day, the 10/12 may be virtually empty for that stretch.

        And second, First is actually a major reliability killer — there’s something like a 3-4 minute penalty for taking First instead of Third. (There’s an STB article about this too, but I can’t find it.)

        The Fall 2012 plan is to have the 12 immediately turn around once it reaches downtown and head back out. By skipping the expensive turns and little-used service on First, this allows Metro to get the same level of service on Madison for less money. The alternative would be to decrease frequency system-wide, which doesn’t save as much money as you think, and also just sucks. :)

      3. If you’re heading from Capitol Hill to points south, you’re going to take the 11 to downtown (wherever it lands). If you’re taking it to points north, depending on where you are, you might just take the 43/48/49 to the U-District, or the 8/43/49 directly to CHS, or even just walk to CHS.

        I think the only people who could benefit from a transfer between CHS and the 11 are peak-hour commuters to/from Madison Park who want to avoid bad downtown traffic. And in practice, it’s questionable whether they’ll really prefer a 3-block transfer to just staying on their warm bus for a one-seat ride.

        Long-term, it will be interesting to see the extent to which Metro intentionally detours buses to CHS. For example, you could imagine Bellevue Ave, 15th, 19th, and Madison Park service getting replaced with one or two circulators. Or the 8 could be extended to Madison Park to replace the tail of the 11. But the one thing I don’t think we’ll see is buses being rerouted through Pine/Broadway to connect with CHS — it’s just too far away.

      4. Yes and the 12 serves that need now. Dotty, I had no intention of implying that the #12 should be eliminated. The point is that the #2 serves a significant number of people too, whose destinations are different and questioning the need to combine the two routes between 12th and the ferries. The #11 serves Madison Park to downtown, and I have to admit that I forgot that it also still goes to the ferries. My understanding is that when the tunnel was planned it was routed onto Pine from Madison Park to give the ridership their expressed desire for direct access to the downtown core and to the tunnel transit. I know it also has links with the 125 to West Seattle. It has been awhile since I used that portion of it and would have to study how that works. While it has been sliced and diced, it seems useful for those who live in Madison Park, Madison Valley, and all the east section of Madison since if provides that direct access to Broadway, Seattle Community College, downtown retail and movies, and to the tunnel transit.

      5. The 11 gets on the Viaduct, so it does not serve the ferries.

        The ferries are served directly only by buses from Wallingford and from Eastlake, rather than on a consistent and logical east-west axis.

      6. On the other hand, the good part about buses from Walingford and Eastlake serving the ferries is that anyone north of Madison can hop on the ferry buses easily, and anyone from beyond downtown can transfer to the ferry buses on 3rd Ave north of Madison.

        If the proposed 2/12 becomes the main way the ferry terminal gets served (a distinct possibility, especially once U-Link opens), everyone will have to transfer at the same place, on Madison, and go to one of the stops on a steep slope. At that point, there’s not really much purpose to taking the bus to the ferry terminal at all, unless you happen to be on the route of the 2 or 12, and I don’t know that there’s any evidence the people on those routes are any more likely to use the ferries than any other.

        The routes that serve the ferry terminal are kind of arbitrary, but given the north-south orientation of downtown and its bus service, switching to using a “consistent east-west axis” isn’t really any less arbitrary and makes getting to the ferry terminal harder for everyone else.

      7. Truth is, there’s not much reason to take a bus all the way to the Alaskan Way doorstep of the ferry anyway; whether you’re able-bodied or disabled, the flat walkway from 1st is probably your better bet, especially since it’s going to be rebuilt from scratch in a more inviting form.

        Maybe someday there will be a subway under 2nd (with a level sideways exit out to 1st) providing north-south connectivity to compliment the east-west connectivity of the 2/12. (Or, even better, a First Hill Funicular under Madison itself!)

      8. The ferries are served by the 16 and the 66 along 3rd and at least on of those buses comes from Queen Anne.

      9. “I think the only people who could benefit from a transfer between CHS and the 11 are peak-hour commuters”

        I actually meant Westlake station now, not Capitol Hill station in the future. DP has complained that Pine Street is three blocks from Capitol Hill station, so it’s debatable whether that’s close enough to be a useful transfer. The problem is that Madison just doesn’t have any good options for Link, and Pine is mediocre if you’re east of Bellevue. The original problem is that University Street station should have been at Madison-Spring, and either a Union-Pike station added or the Westlake mezzanine extended to Pike. Then the Madison buses would have a direct transfer, and the library would have a closer station.

        The 11 was already on Pine in the early 80s, if I remember right.

      10. For the record, Madison and Seneca (downtown) are 600 feet apart.
        Pike and Pine (downtown) are 435 feet apart.

        Pine and Denny (along Broadway) are 1,260 feet apart.

        First two are apples. The latter in an orange.

      11. And yes, Joanna, <2 minutes' walk to transfer between modes is very different than 4 minutes' walk to do so.

    1. Joanna, I guarantee you that 7,999 of those 8,000 daily riders would appreciate a faster trip.

      1. Opps, I know that is not true. If you have some credibility, statements like this will ruin it.

      2. Really? You have a whole posse of people at your disposal who, as a rule, like slower trips better than faster ones?

        Where can I locate these mythical creatures? I surely must get them to plan the transit system on which I rely!

  12. As a longtime rider of the #2, I think the proposed changes stink. This plan will remove direct access to the downtown core and the arts and cultural center of the city: Seattle Center. How is this good for riders?

    1. In what way is the Seattle Center relevant? It’s a relic of a midcentury auto-dependant backwater town.

      One-seat rides should not be the overriding goal of the transit system. Maximizing one-seat rides at the expense of trip duration and reliability leads to a very unhealthy system.

    2. As a regular #2 rider, I would say “These changes aren’t necessarily being proposed for our direct benefit, even though we’ll get some benefit in terms of service reliability and on-time performance.”

      There is a ton of demand on Madison up to 12th (see the City’s Transit Master Plan among others) and this is one way of helping solve that issue. Yes it means #2 users have to transfer off our one-seat ride, but much of the proposed service changes are going to mean transfers as a trade-off to improved frequency and reliability. Remember that the #3 (which goes through to the Center) will run every 7.5 minutes on 3rd Avenue as part of this whole package.

      1. The #3 is not a great option for those west of 23rd, for those just north of E. Union and definitely not for Seneca. Walking an extra 5 blocks is time consuming to and from the #3, that is in the interest of time.

      2. I think John was pointing out someone could transfer at 3rd and Madison between the 2 and the 3, but the 3 is an option for for the entire trip for those S. of Union and East of Broadway.

      3. Yes, Chris, exactly, thanks. And obviously there will continue to be other routes that serve the downtown retail core as well as the Center via 3rd Ave, not just the #3.

    3. Heather, as a longtime rider of the #2, have you never felt frustrated as minutes of your life tick away on Seneca Street? Have you never wondered why zig-zagging over the mere half-mile width of First Hill has to take so long? Have you never wished you could just speed east into the Central District, without waiting two full light cycles just to get from 11th to the other side of 12th?

      How many hours of your life have you lost to your longtime ridership of the current bus route?

    4. @Heather. If you want to go to Seattle center you can transfer to the 3,4,13,15,16,18 which combined come literally every 2 minutes all day along.

  13. I understand the math and what the proposed changes are. I’ve lived in CH and Madrona, and 22nd and union for the past 18 years. I have ridden the #2 literally over 10 thousand times. Yes it can get jammed up. Yes it can get bunched. but it will come. it will come. and many of our young and old use this route for the infrastructure that is on the line. schools, shopping, elder care, grocery, banks. It is in many ways–a perfect metro route that has everything on it one needs to live in this city without a car. Altering this route is a bad idea.

    I’ve also lived on the other end of this route, at 5th and galer on top of queen anne. its ridership numbers from its terminal at raye to LQA must be very very low–although i have not looked. I remember hardly anyone being on it after peak service hours are over–and lets be brutally honest here–the folks in QA don”t take the 2/3/4/13/8 nearly as much as the folks in the Central District do. messing about with one of the city’s most productive routes–removing direct one bus access for so many of these things and tossing in a 2 block walk or a 10 minute transfer will severely debiliate it.

    I work in Belltown and transferring in the proposed structure is not going to work for me. At that point I will be taking the monthly auto parking pass and turning in my employer-provided transit pass. The extension of time for transferriing will negate the extra money I will spend drivign to 6th and denny–the 8 is not an option for me due to the denny mess and its unreliable (although improved) service. This proposed loop, waiting potentially up to 10 minutes to transfer (please be realistic 7.5 is really more like 10 in metro terms)

    Messing around with a historic, reliable–yes it is reliable although that run by the library needs to be addressed as does the turn off 3rd–and well-ridden route is a very poor idea.

    Watch the 2 ridership decrease if this change goes into effect. I fully support the Save the #2 Campaign currently posted along the route. It definitely needs some love and some changes coming off 3rd. Iwould like to see those done first, and if service does not improve then we can go foward with the proposed change. To radiscally alter this route which is proven and time tested is a foolish move by metro.

    1. “I’ve also lived on the other end of this route, at 5th and galer on top of queen anne. its ridership numbers from its terminal at raye to LQA must be very very low–although i have not looked.”

      It’s fairly well used up to Galer St, then it’s pretty empty. That’s why the 2-North (local) is being deleted and being replaced with more 13 trips. The 13 is better used, and several large mixed-use apartments are being built on Queen Anne Ave, which will be served by the 13. The 2 express will continue to serve the tail of the 2 during peak hours.

      What do you propose to do about the turn on 3rd?

    2. Yes it can get jammed up. Yes it can get bunched. but it will come.

      That is a deeply counterproductive way of looking at a transit system.

      I live in Ballard, and yet I routinely go places that the 2 accesses: not just First Hill, 12th Ave, places along the East Union corridor that the 2 accesses exclusively.

      Why should I, when leaving Ballard, have to wonder if my trip to East Union will take 45 minutes or take 90 minutes? How does it in any way useful to me that “it will [someday] come” if I have to leave 90 minutes early? Subject to the connecting schedules of the Ballard buses, I don’t get to emerge from a building 5 seconds before the 2 comes; I may be waiting under Benaroya’s awning for 25 minutes for the thing. Then it might be 25 minutes more before the bus even emerges from downtown.

      As you say, the 2 serves myriad destinations east of downtown. (And as I said, it serves many of them exclusively.) It does not serve downtown or Belltown exclusively, but those are the parts of the route that most delay it. Your one-seat insistence helps to put much of eastern Seattle out of reach of everyone else. And, as you yourself admit, it doesn’t even serve you reliably!

    3. “I work in Belltown and transferring in the proposed structure is not going to work for me.”
      What’s the problem with transferring to a bus on 3rd to get to Belltown? Buses come like every 2 minutes at peak. If there’s anywhere in Metro’s network where transfers work, it’s downtown.

      1. Also, Greg says he works at 6th and Denny, which means he already walks at least 3 or 4 blocks from the nearest 2 stop.

        Switching to an improved-frequency 3 or to a 16 will actually get him closer to work than he gets today. Or he could switch to any of four other routes and get dropped precisely where he does right now.

        His situation is the perfect example of someone whose commute is going to get improved by the Spring-avoiding effects of this change!

    4. Gregg – have you ever considered biking to work? It would probably be much faster than the bus with our without the restructure? Maybe even faster than driving if you count the time it takes to drive through a parking garage and search for a space, especially in the downhill direction.

      1. Eric, I believe others have said this before, but as another East Union neighborhood person – there are some brutal hills between where we are and where he’s trying to get. I have biked them, I am sure I will bike them in the future, but doing so everyday…

  14. To those complaining about the potential new transfer, consider for a moment (please) that hundreds if not thousands of riders on capitol hill using the routes 43 or 49 transfer each and every day to reach their jobs in the the southern and mid sections of downtown. I am one of them, and it works just fine. I also appreciate the increased reliability (although that is hard to believe at times!) this affords and I realize that the routes are probably only able to operate as frequently as they do because they don’t delve deep into downtown on long routes. Throughout the region, there are many thousands of trips that require a transfer to complete – it’s part of life – sorry Heather & Joanna, I just don’t see where you are more important than your neighbors.

    1. Right and you on the 43 and 49 have direct access to the tunnel transit to take you south, and to SODO, to the airport, and for those who want access to the downtown retail, you have that too. The destination proposed for the #2 doesn’t provide any of that. I hate to say this, but if one solution could be to route the #43 onto Madison to the ferries. Would that be better?

      1. There’s no trolley wire to go from 23rd to Madison.

        The proposed 2 route would put you two blocks from University St station.

      2. And I think that’s the crux of the problem:

        *The current 2 puts her zero blocks from University Street Station.
        *Especially on Marion, the proposed 2 is almost exactly halfway between tunnel stops, meaning it is not possible to make it a longer walk to (or, in this case, from) a tunnel station. (3 blocks to U-Street 2 1/2 to Pioneer Square)
        *Walking downtown, even on 3rd Ave, seems a lot less friendly than walking on First Hill.

      3. Madison contra-flow lane! Madison contra-flow lane! Madison contra-flow lane!

        It’s not a perfect solution, but it definitely helps route legibility, makes the transfer point the same in both directions (Madison to the Seneca tunnel entrance), and would speed uphill travel immensely!

        Ed, I’m so glad you reminded us about the 43 and 49: plenty of people have already figured out that it’s okay to transfer from one part of downtown to another. It’s also worth noting how amazingly preferable the daytime 49 (non-through-routed) is to the evening version (through-routed).

        It should also be noted that the downtown blocks north of University are nearly twice as long as those between University and Yesler! Pike-to-Pine = Madison-Seneca-tunnel! Really!

      4. That two blocks is very different from the access that currently exists with access both on Seneca and for anyone with mobility issues the one at 3rd and Pine is an option. It isn’t a quick two-block walk with no lights. Lights will cause delays to getting to the entrance. Frequency is less useful as you add minutes just to get to the stops.

      5. Well, for the first time ever, Joanna, we agree on something.

        Our downtown light cycles are preposterously long and hostile to pedestrians.

        I would argue for shortening the light cycles all around, so that no one ever has to wait minutes just move in any direction they are going.

        I would not recommend designing an entire bus network around a problem of walking 2 blocks with hostile lights.

    2. I transfer to the tunnel for a number of trips within or outside the city to maybe where the commuters live. Currently that means one transfer for me. They generally have one. Under this proposal the riders of one of the highest ridership routes in the whole system would have to change that to two transfers. How many passengers per mile or hour or coach do those routes serve? Routes also become part of a community over time. How many bus hours, coaches, miles of service is Metro saving by trying to force these changes in the inner city?

      1. Joanna, you’re making a fool of yourself.

        Madison to Seneca is precisely the same distance as Pike to Pine. That’s only forces “two transfers” if you’re the most stubborn human being on earth.

      2. Two things that are absolute must-haves for transfers to work are frequency and reliability. If you don’t have them, you’re going to waste far more time standing at the bus stop than it would take to walk from Madison to Seneca.

        For example, suppose the bus you want to catch in the tunnel is scheduled to leave at 11:00 and the paper schedule of the #2 indicates arrival times right next to the tunnel entrance of 10:35, 10:50, and 11:05. With the unreliability we have today, going for the 10:50 will be extremely risky since you’re dependent on the #2 getting all the way to 3rd and Seneca within 7-8 minutes of when it’s supposed to. So, you have to go for the 10:35, which means a wait time of about 23 minutes standing at the bus stop. Most will just say screw it and drive the entire way.

        On the other hand, with reliable service every 7.5 minutes, you can plan to be dropped off at 3rd and Madison as late as 10:50 and still feel pretty safe about making your connection. So you pay an extra 2-3 minutes of walking at most to save 15 minutes standing at the bus stop. Unless you have a medical condition where every step you take leaves you in severe pain, the restructuring looks like a huge win.

    3. Actually, I did like it better when the 7 came up to Broadway, and I’ll miss the 14 and 11 when they stop going to lower downtown and Chinatown. It makes the interminable slog through downtown a bit more bearable. But I’m not going to oppose splitting them if it makes the overall system more reliable.

      “plenty of people have already figured out that it’s okay to transfer from one part of downtown to another.”

      Those people probably don’t live on Capitol Hill.

      “It’s also worth noting how amazingly preferable the daytime 49 (non-through-routed) is to the evening version (through-routed).”

      What improvement? It’s exactly the same as far as I can tell. The only difference is now you have to transfer whereas before you didn’t. I generally hope the 14 is coming soon, or am glad in the evening when the 7/49 is combined.

      Fortunately, the First Hill Streetcar will partly make up for it, even if I have to walk five blocks to it. (I live halfway between Westlake and Capitol Hill stations, so the streetcar will be closer than either station.) Walking five blocks on Capitol Hill is better than taking a bus through downtown any day.

      1. What improvement?

        Um, the one where 49s, for all their other faults, generally let the first passengers on at 4th and Pike on schedule.

        As opposed to in the evening, when they’re 8, 10, 15, 18 minutes late as a matter of course… completely screwing up any sort of distribution of demand along the Pike corridor and therefore overburdening every 10 and 11 as well.

        Those people probably don’t live on Capitol Hill.

        That’s exactly to whom I’m referring. Just as Ed said.

        Mike, if lack of through-routing is causing you harm, then I’m sorry to say you’re doing it wrong. If you’re headed to Pioneer Square or the I.D., there’s no good reason you shouldn’t be switching to the tunnel the moment your bus pulls up outside Nordstrom’s.

        In the other direction, head to the 6th stop if you were on a train or the 9th stop if you were on a bus, and you’ll probably be a whole bus ahead of those waiting at 4th (or of any former through routes).

        Meanwhile, if you’re only headed to mid-downtown, there are 10 transfer opportunities a minute. Pick an emptier one with no one using the ramp and no one asking the driver a question. You’re only going 2 stops; it’s hard to call this an “interminable slog.”

      2. “If you’re headed to Pioneer Square or the I.D., there’s no good reason you shouldn’t be switching to the tunnel the moment your bus pulls up outside Nordstrom’s.”

        I do do that. But you’re not counting on the fact that the destinations aren’t right at the stations. Walking to the destinations may erase the advantage of switching to a tunnel bus. It’s better now because I can transfer at Convention Place, but that won’t work when Convention Place is closed. (Of course, I may move elsewhere when North Link opens…) If I’m coming back from Chinatown with heavy groceries, walking four blocks to Intl Dist just to walk another four blocks from Convention Place isn’t as appealing as taking the 14 or 7/49.

        Not than I’m whining. I know that bus service here is better than anywhere else in the county; that’s why I’m living here. I’m just pointing out that splitting these routes has more tradeoffs than you realize.

      3. Walking to the destinations may erase the advantage of switching to a tunnel bus.

        I didn’t say that it was perfect. When “Seattle” and “public transit” come together in the same thought, things rarely are. Your complaint is really with how massively overbuilt Westlake Station is. On older, less overbuilt subways, dropping below ground for a 3-stop/1.1-mile journey is kind of a no-brainer.

        Also, where are you shopping, out of curiosity? Obviously it’s not Uwajimaya, because that one’s way closer to the subway than to any stop on Jackson or 4th. (Any starting point and any transit route has its pros and cons!)

  15. I’m glad to see some discussion of these changes. I know that your blog is full of transit experts. However, some of this discussion seems to sink into some name calling. Comments like “what makes you think you are better than the rest of us” or “stop complaining and make some suggestions” make me, as a simple bus rider not want to join in this conversation.

    That said, I am very concerned about these changes and as are most of the riders I have spoken with. If these changes are so good, why has the information about the changes not been presented to the people who actually ride the bus? Sure, STB has been talking about it, but most of the riders that I speak with are completely unaware.

    This process does not make riders receptive to change. It’s not just that we are selfish babies. We don’t trust that our opinions and transit needs are being taken into consideration.


    1. how would you have Metro communicate it?

      I believe the changes proposed were on their website … I know that in many cases they post Rider Alert flyers in the actual buses talking about potential or proposed changes.

      usually the best way is by word of mouth … you know about them so share that with other riders and tell them to do the same …

    2. Shoshana,

      I don’t think any of the transit-geek regulars on this block find the proposed solution without flaw. It’s actually quite exciting when neighborhood residents (who may not have thought about these things much in the past) arrive with their personal experiences and insights, and a willingness to share and to brainstorm about how they could be better served than they currently are and better served than the present plan may allow.

      That back-and-forth discussion helps everyone to hash out the pros and cons of any particular service paradigm.

      What happens to get under my skin and, unfortunately, happens every time this particular route alteration gets mentioned, is when one particularly stubborn individual appears from the woodwork and blankets the thread with accusations that “the 2 ridership,” as a monolithic entity, is getting “ignored” or “penalized” or otherwise treated unfairly by the proposal. A proposal whose honest aim is to fix the slow speed and lack of reliability that have long plagued that very route. This individual claims to represent “the 2 ridership” as a whole, and can’t broach any other perspectives, even when other frequent 2 riders past, present, and future adamantly disagree with her view.

      So please, please come and engage, because unlike some others I could name, you actually seem to want to engage!

      1. Another issue is people frequently will oppose change as they know how to deal with things as they are now. After people have gotten a chance to get used to a change they often don’t want to go back. Of course there are changes that were bad ideas and didn’t work well too. Hopefully those are recognised and corrected in short order.

  16. would like to add that it is too bad that they couldn’t build the Link station at Madison and Summit like originally planned.

  17. Metro communication. Well, sometimes when I was talking to people about the proposals, I wanted to say just go their website. Really, I wondered why do I have to do more than that. The truth is that they were not very visible. The Rapid Ride routes were the best advertised and those communities best served by them were engaged. However, the it was not so transparent that there were these major changes proposed for the inner city buses. You had to first be interested in seeing the rapid ride route to Shoreline or West Seattle to discover how it might impact the inner city routes.

    1. you should contact metro directly with this concern … if you feel that potential changes have not been adequately disseminated to a particular neighborhood you have to let them know … if they are unaware of a problem they cannot fix it.

      1. I have many times. The people with whom I have spoken over time and it has repeatedly been acknowledged that, for instance community transit changes could be accessed directly from the home page: http://www.commtrans.org/ Since November Metro has said they were working on it and nothing has been done. It might be a step easier to see it. Still you have to already be aware that changes are occurring and then be looking for it with some directions.

  18. I would have Metro communicate by having changes posted on bus stops or flyers available through the drivers. Then, have the information easily posted on the website. Neither of these things have happened.

    Currently the bus #2 changes are buried within the Rapid Ride information. As a inner city user, I had wrongly assumed that Rapid Ride did not relate to my route. As for posters, the Metro communications person told me that there wasn’t money for posters or mailings. Yet, the day after hearing this I received a flyer for the Rapid Rider E at my downtown office.

    I became aware of the change through my local moms list serve. I then put up some flyers which have had many responses.

    The communications person at Metro is very nice and well aware that information has not been disseminated to our neighborhood. Ultimately, the information plan has not been effective and thus has not made riders receptive to the change.

    This just shows that to have buy in, there has to be strong communication.

    1. Shoshana this is a pretty consistent weak point for Metro. Things have become somewhat better from a few years ago but Metro has a long ways to go. STB has been critical of Metro on this account multiple times so you won’t find us arguing against what you’re saying. The more communication, to those that will be impacted, either positively or negativity is always better than less.

      Also just keep in mind that this is a year long, city wide system restructure so changes like this one (2/12) are occurring around the whole city and so there really is only so much bandwidth that can be used to talk about any one change when communicating broadly to riders. It’s not realistic to think that Metro is going to announce on its homepage that they would like to move the #2 two blocks south in a year.

    1. That’s ridership data. Without on-time performance metrics, or average speed-of-service metrics, or even rider satisfaction metrics, that’s a totally useless link.

  19. I am a ride of both routes frequently. I wonder if some of the other “enthusiastic commenters” really fathom the ridership patterns and demographics on the corridors. I have three major problems with the proposal.

    1. Madison and Marion Streets are effectively too steep for wheelchairs to board this high frequency route. Today, both routes loop through Downtown and have several flatter stops. This new alignment places the stops at steep grades, and several blocks from the bus tunnel, which is where many riders want to get. These grades are not debatable; they are simply too steep for wheelchairs. I suspect that an ADA activist can easily file a court challenge to this restructuring.

    2. Using Madison instead of Seneca is rather foolish for transit travel time. I ride both corridors frequently, and I am amazed how much faster buses travel on Seneca than they do on Madison. The reason? There are fewer traffic signals on Seneca! There are no multi-phase signals on Seneca! The notion of giving one road to congested traffic (Madison) and giving one road over to fast transit service (Seneca) would seem to have a win-win for transit travelers. The only “cost” to travelers on the route are that they are a block further from Swedish hospital.

    3. This proposal punishes us residents of the Central District to be the only area near Downtown that has no direct access to the Pike/Pine shopping are and the nearby doctors/dentists. The impact does not appear to save Metro money, but primarily to give more frequent service between the hospital area, the some Downtown employees and the ferries (and I note that it makes bus tunnel access further). This rerouting could even been eligible for a Title 6 violation as it negatively impacts lower income residents in the Central District along the Route 2 corridor. Many neighbors that I’ve talked to are really angry about this and feel that their travel needs are being ignored in favor of Downtown office workers and ferry riders.

    1. 1. Every sign along Marion and Madison has an ADA sticker on it. Let’s face it, no one is wheeling around our steep-sloped downtown who isn’t pretty strong or in a power chair. How do you think those same disabled people were getting up/down to the stops on 1st and 3rd? Flying?

      2. You have a reasonable point about the 2 (sometimes, but not always) travelling faster between 8th and Broadway than the 12 does. Unfortunately, this 30-second savings is wiped out waiting to turn on Spring in the first place, is doubly wiped out at the 11th Ave jag, and is wiped out tenfold by traffic crawling toward the I-5 on-ramp.

      3. This rerouting could even been eligible for a Title 6 violation as it negatively impacts lower income residents in the Central District along the Route 2 corridor. Except that it doesn’t. Because single-seat is not the same as better, and more frequent is not the same as worse, and faster is not the same as slower. I’m tired of living in Opposite World.

      1. Excuse me, D.P., but you are wrong about “higher frequency” benefit. That benefit is only for residents that live west of 14th Avenue. Those of us complaining here live east of 14th Avenue — as much as a mile east. We get no higher frequency service from this proposal. Instead, we get more inconvenient service — all to benefit that mere 3/4 mile of “high frequency service” for First Hill — an area that is already getting a new streetcar! Further, since most of both the Route 2 and the Route 12 are running on separate street segments for most of their routes, even on-time performance is not a guarantee. 7.5 minute service will easily be 12 minute and then 3 minute service.

        I frankly think the whole notion of restructuring anything on Capitol Hill is premature. The opening of the Capitol Hill rail station in 2016 will take thousands of riders off of Capitol Hill buses because the rail will be much faster; many riders of Route 12 on 19th Avenue will shift to Route 8 and take the rail into Downtown, rather than take Route 12 and have to transfer to another bus Downtown. The opening of the First Hill Streetcar will make it more attractive for those getting to the First Hill hospitals/medical offices from the north or south to use it rather than transfer to a bus on Madison/Marion. The net effect is that Route 12 (and Routes 10, 11 and 60) will lose riders to U-Link and/or the Streetcar!

        Why mess up Route 2 NOW? Won’t the inevitable drop in Route 12 ridership put pressure to increase the effective heady on Route 12 to less frequent service because fewer people will use it? Wait until after the 2016 changes occur!

      2. “many riders of Route 12 on 19th Avenue will shift to Route 8 and take the rail into Downtown”

        That’s music to a lot of people’s ears. Bye bye #12.

      3. Al,

        Why mess up Route 2 NOW?

        It is already messed up!! It’s a reliability nightmare and the slog from hell today! Why endure years more (on top of decades already endured) of such a nightmare? How does that make an ounce of sense? This is why transit doesn’t work in Seattle — we’ve been waiting forever to fix even the most minute problems.

        I was pretty clear, and Aleks was even clearer, that the main benefit for #2 riders is in reliability and speed, especially eastbound. The 2 and the 12 are both relatively reliable headed inbound, so it’s likely that the minimal-traffic live-loop will keep the buses on schedule (and thus evenly spaced) outbound as well.

        #2 riders do, in fact, benefit from the combined frequency on Madison, as each individual vehicle is less likely to get overloaded with passengers departing at every First Hill stop (as tends to happen with infrequent/late vehicles).

        Truthfully, I understand your reluctance to trust Metro to make the changes work. I’m usually Metro’s harshest critic on this blog, arguing most of the time that its planners and administrators accept the unacceptable in matters of frequency, speed, and service quality out of sheer inertia. This is a rare case where facts and logic support the consolidated routing and the live-looping they intend to use.

        Honestly, I’m not trying to be a jerk to those of you who oppose the change. But I can’t figure out for the life of me what you think is good about the way things are now!

        The next time you’re slowly turning right onto 11th, then waiting forever for the light to turn onto Madison, then stopping to let passengers off at SU immediately after, then waiting an additional cycle to cross 12th, think to yourself: “After the change, I never need to do this again!” Doesn’t that bring a little bit of a smile to your face?

      4. d.p. It’s really silly to blame a problem easily fixed by transit signal priority atone intersection by doing something as messy as restructuring an entire trolleybus route. Besides, even with the extended signal at 11th and Madison, the bus I’m on moves through it faster if I am on the #2 than if I am on the #12. I’ve often sat through for our five red lights on Madison while riding the #12 waiting to get through the light at 11th.

        The world you live in sounds like one where there is only one way — your way. That clearly shows how hard-headed you are on this issue. There are multiple alternatives here that can be considered to provide bus tunnel access and Pike/Pine access for Route 2 riders. The loop doesn’t have to go to First Avenue, or the 12 buses can go to First Avenue and the 2 buses can still loop through Third Avenue (btw, this whole “left turn delay thing is something that I have never, ever witnessed; I’d like to see real proof that it is a common problem.)

        There are huge shifts in transit ridership patterns coming with U-Link/Capitol Hill Light Rail and the First Hill streetcar. There are huge shifts in traffic patterns coming Downtown once the AWV replacement is in operation. Even the Streetcar alignment had alternatives!

        To mess up a route alignment that dates back decades for a major service change — to get a short “high frequency” segment a few years before rider patterns are going to shift dramatically — without developing viable alternatives — is rather offensive if not downright manipulative. We have a right as neighbors to call out Metro on this.

      5. I’ve often sat through for our five red lights on Madison while riding the #12 waiting to get through the light at 11th.

        I’m calling you out on this. When?

        That light is weighted about 5:1 in favor of Madison, and even at the height of rush hour, traffic on that stretch of Madison is never that bad.

        Listen, if it were just about that one zig-zagging glitch in the 2’s ability to get places, I would also think a smaller solution would be in order. But the 2 has about a dozen such trouble spots, and the through-routing renders headways — already only 15-30 minutes — so uneven that more often than not you wind up on an (already late) bus carrying 2 vehicles’ demand, crawling up Seneca, stopping every block, and taking 25-30 minutes before you even reach 11th. That zig-zag just adds insult to injury.

        Obviously, this cascade of problems is worst in the PM rush hour. But it often happens throughout the day and continues well into the evening. As a resident of the C.D., are you honestly telling me you’ve never had a 2 take 25-30 minutes just to get from 3rd & Union to the edge of your neighborhood? Because it happens to me about 1 out of every 2 times I use the route!

  20. I’m a semi-regular #2 user (near MLK and E. Union) and I’ve debated many of these same points with Joanna in the Central District News comments a few weeks ago. Although I’m generally ok with the proposed restructuring (while recognizing its weaknesses), I certainly understand the resistance to change associated with this proposal.

    If you can get beyond the “any change is bad” mentality, I think the basic issue comes down to trusting that Metro will make the transfers to destinations that you used to be able to reach via a one seat ride (plus a lot of other destinations) as painless as possible. We have a one seat ride entitlement mindset that clearly won’t scale, so we all need to get used to doing more transfers, as is common in other healthy, robust transit networks. However, if I’m going to Belltown and Metro kicks me off the #2 at Madison and 3rd without upholding its promise to give me a quick, reliable, easy to find and understand transfer from 3rd and Madison to Belltown, then I clearly have a right to be pissed. It can’t just be about Metro implementing the change and then not upholding its other plans to simplify things across the entire bus network. Bottom line, don’t take something away from me, dress it up in something fancy, and then say it’s “just as good unless it really is…

      1. I’d say Keith’s point goes to what Shoshana said above, which is the importance of communicating the changes and how they would work.

        It may be as simple as hitting the neighborhood meetings and e-mail lists and CD News, and saying, hey, we’re changing the #2, here’s how the transfers will work. These things seem simple to transit geeks, they’re not always that simple to folks who just use the system to get around and, rightly, fear change.

        And yes, Keith, I agree. I’ve been taking the #2 up to Virginia to transfer to NB routes (b/c I have my pick of 5 routes there to Fremont) and I’ll have to decide if it makes sense to stay at Madison or catch something north to Virginia. Regardless, it’s going to be crucial that folks can make transfers quickly and easily.

      2. My point was intended to be more general that just how to deal with the proposed changes to the #2.

        if Metro is going to move towards creating a network where eliminating many one seat rides is justified by promising frequency and reliability levels that enable riders to transfer painlessly, then they must live up to that promise. Doing that across the whole network opens up a range of endpoints (accessible via a painless transfer) that would replace *and* greatly enhance what current users of the #2 feel they are losing. But, if Metro just truncates the #2 without enhancing the rest of the network to deliver on the promise of painless transfers to many other endpoints (not just the destinations the #2N currently serves), then I’d consider this change a colossal failure…

  21. Oh, STB readers, you are a self-selecting group that is faithful to cause, but often lose sight of what the everyday rider wants. Yes, perhaps in Berlin people would prefer frequency to walking. But I’m not convinced this is true for Americans.

    I often choose a 39 (once every 30 minutes) to the 36 (every 6-10 minutes) in order to avoid walking four blocks uphill. I would be annoyed if I caught a bus like the 2 into downtown and it didn’t go to Westlake. As a non-commuter, I only go into downtown for retail.

    You are giving Joanna a hard time for what is likely a common opinion. Instead of bashing her and calling her foolish, you should acknowledge that she represents a fair portion of the population that is not represented here.

    In other news, I would never route a bus down Madison in hopes of being “reliable”, particularly in peak hours.

    1. I think the self selecting moniker also applies to current #2 riders. The simple fact that they still ride it means they like the current service ENOUGH to not find alternate routes. What about all the people who WOULD ride the #2 but don’t presently? They are every bit as much Metro customers and deserve a voice.

    2. Limes,

      First, please note that not all of us think that you (or anyone) is being foolish. I have my reasons for agreeing with the proposed changes, you have your reasons for disagreeing, and that’s okay.

      However, it’s still worth looking at the facts.

      Joanna may or may not represent a fair portion of current riders of the 2. However, she does not represent a fair portion of the current residents of that area.

      The 23rd and Union-Jackson residential urban village had 3,579 workers in the 2000 census. Of those, 27% commuted to work by bus. In contrast, 59% commuted by car. Thus, in a very concrete sense, for every CD resident who likes the current service enough to use it, there are 2 residents who don’t.

      And of course, this only takes into account commuting trips. CD residents might want to go to any part of the city (or vice versa). If you’re going from the CD to West Seattle, the proposed change is a major improvement. If you’re going to Ballard, or Wallingford, or the University District, or the airport, the same is true. The only people who will need an extra transfer are people heading to Belltown/Uptown — hardly the majority of #2 riders.

      Throughout the country and world, whenever a bus system restructures itself to provide more frequent routes with more connections, ridership goes up. There is every reason to believe that the same thing will happen here. Some people may stop riding the bus because of these changes, but many more people will start.

      Trying to preserve the current system, just because it works for current riders, means that we’ll never do better than the 27% CD ridership we have now. For me, that’s just not good enough.

      1. No Aleks, I think you are wrong. The proposal change puts Route 2 riders further for the bus tunnel. For riders east of 14th Avenue, there are no frequency improvements to Route 2. In fact, Route 2 runs at 10 minute headways today between 7:30 and 8, and between 5 and 6. How can going to 15-minute headways and making people walk further to the bus tunnel be an improvement?

      2. Al S. – can you point us to where in Metro’s proposal it says the frequency for the #2 is going down from 10 minutes to 15 minutes during the time periods you cite? My understanding is that Metro intends to maintain the current frequency levels for the #2S.

        I can’t point to any sources – it’s mostly an opinion based on how their proposal for the changes reads to me…

      3. First, as d.p. has pointed out, it’s about 600 feet from the 3rd+Pike bus stop to the tunnel, and it’s the same distance from the 3rd+Madison bus stop to the tunnel. So the situation is not as dire as it seems (though I grant that it’s not an improvement on that count).

        Second, the improvements that I’m talking about aren’t frequency in this case, but reliability. You’ve said elsewhere that separating buses from traffic congestion is a good thing. I completely agree. The city’s official plan is that Seneca is the street for traffic (especially getting on I-5), and Madison is the street for buses. Putting more buses on Seneca would actually *increase* competition between buses and cars, not decrease it.

        Long term, I think the best thing that could happen for city traffic would be to close all I-5 exits inside downtown, keeping only a single exit on the north end (Fairview) and another on the south end (Atlantic). This is what Boston did with the Big Dig. The net effect is that, instead of using I-5 for trips within the city, cars spread out to different city streets.

        However, in the absence of that, the best thing we can do is consolidate buses onto a select number of city streets, and then petition the city to grant buses priority on those streets. According to the TMP, Pike/Pine and Marion/Madison are the two designated E-W corridors out of downtown. Metro’s proposal simply reflects that reality.

      4. “close all I-5 exits inside downtown, keeping only a single exit on the north end (Fairview) and another on the south end (Atlantic)”

        OMG, the Deeply Boring Tunnel treatment for I-5! “No freeways shall have any exits downtown.”

        I think they should just put a lid over I-5 downtown and reclaim the real estate.

      5. Aleks. There are currently eastbound and westbound Route 2 stops within one block of the University Street station. It’s not 600 feet; at the maximum it’s 200 feet for us Route 2 riders.

      6. And when the bus stops along 3rd Avenue were re-arranged, Al, many routes that used to stop at 3rd & Pine (30 feet from the tunnel) were altered to stop at 3rd & Pike (450 feet from the tunnel).

        And no hissy fits were thrown on that particular point.

        Aleks’ point was that the 2 short blocks from Madison to Seneca are roughly equivalent to the 1 long block from Pike to Pine, about which no one screams and yells.

      7. I wonder if the change from stopping at 3rd/Pine to 3rd/Pike didn’t generate a lot of outrage because most inbound #2 riders who are heading to the tunnel are likely to get off at 4th/Seneca and just walk down the hill to the tunnel entrance at 3rd/Seneca. There’s usually a huge exodus of folks from the #2 at the 4th/Seneca stop and while I’m sure they’re not all tunnel bound, that definitely seems like the place where you’d get off if you were…

      8. Keith, I was actually referring to southbound routes from the north side of Seattle that, in the last reshuffling, found all of their stops moved further from the tunnel (Pine->Pike, Union->Spring) and with waiting through extra light cycles usually required before disembarking for the transfer.

        The switch hasn’t been ideal, but there was never the kind of outrage that this switch seems to be sparking within a small minority. Even though the additional distance is similar and the time penalty is actually greater!

        As for the 4th/Seneca stop, I’ve actually observed that many people get off here because they’re headed southbound, within downtown and on foot. (So it makes sense to get off before turning onto 3rd, at which point the bus doesn’t stop again until the very northern end of downtown).

        Life will get even easier for these southbound-walkers when the bus pulls straight into the center of downtown (on Madison)! Shame that these riders don’t fit into Joanna’s outrage narrative!

  22. What part of Seattle has a higher rate of commuting by bus? How are defining areas? The portion that is residential Urban Village is a very small portion of the areas impacted by these changes and certainly would not relate too much directly to the #2. What are the boundaries you are using to define any one area. Where are the other urban village areas? What percentage of commuters use the bus in those areas? I think the numbers of people using the #2 demonstrate that is is useful to many living along the route. If people do vote with their feet to the bus, which would make the #2 which is very productive route, supported. I would guess that UW students have a high rate of use.

    1. Joanna – You seem to be taking a static view of the ridership and focusing on how those currently riding the #2 will be negatively impacted. The point that most folks who are in favor of this proposed change are trying to make is that the proposed change makes the #2 *more* useful to folks who live along the route, many of whom don’t currently ride the #2. I think you have to factor in potential ridership impacts when arguing the pros and cons of this change.

      I can’t really parse all of your comment, but I don’t see how the proposed changes to the #2S have any real impact to UW students. Those living along the E. Union corridor will still be able to transfer to the #48 at 23rd and E. Union (which is what I assume is what most of them currently do).

      1. I do understand the points you are attempting to make. I just don’t believe that your methods are comprehending the needs and desires of the current and future riders in the inner city. I see them as in some ways serving the Rapid Ride plan, but not necessarily as serving those who represent a huge hunk of Metro riders in the inner cities. Our perspectives are different. The people who have talked about the fact that there will no doubt be changes to the inner city buses again when the Capitol Hill Light Rail station opens and that it doesn’t make sense to unnecessarily disrupt entire communities and riderships now make a lot of sense. I am concerned about the impact on the entire community.

      2. Joanna there will probably be changes, mostly to Capitol Hill/Madison Valley/North CD areas. I don’t see First Hill service drastically changing. Maybe one or two additional N/S routes but nothing in the E/W direction.

  23. Hi my comment about UW students had only to do with my question to which no has responded regarding any other neighborhoods that have a higher percentage of riders that the Jackson Urban Village. So how do is that being defined. I don’t think that area would comprise a high percentage of residents of the CD and that that area does not necessarily have a large residential population overall. I was thinking the UW probably has a high number, not necessarily all living at UW. Others were saying how poorly some part of the CD performed as a neighborhood and used the urban village around Jackson, I guess. I was trying to ask what boundaries defined that and any other neighborhood or urban village and how they compared to use. I guessed that students at the UW would be a high ride group as an example of trying to define groups and their use.

  24. In my rush to correct the understanding above, I realize the punctuation left a lot to be desired and am reposting in order to ensure no unnecessary misunderstandings occur. I do understand the points you are attempting to make. I just don’t believe that your methods of gathering and analyzing information is adequate to understanding the needs, transportation patterns and desires of the current and future riders in the inner city and perhaps of other areas as well. Your ideas to some extent serve those who will be directly connected by Rapid Ride and do not necessarily serve those who represent a huge hunk of Metro’s current and future riders in the inner cities. Our perspectives are different. Those who have posted about the fact that there will, no doubt, be changes to the inner city buses again when the Capitol Hill Light Rail station opens and that it doesn’t make sense to unnecessarily disrupt entire communities and riderships now are correct. If huge changes are forced now, it could lead to large wastes of resources and infrastructure, resulting in actions that have to be redone. I am concerned about the impact on the entire community.

  25. Adam, I am not sure what you mean by North CD. That would be the E.Madison and E.Union areas. Configurations that link to Broadway and E. John and the First Hill Street car will be very important. These considerations, along with the needs of Madrona, E. Union and Seneca require much more thought and community engagement.

  26. dp I realize that you have been not so politely making fun of my comments regarding the access to the tunnel by comparing something to something. However, you don’t seem to realize that there is an entrance at 3rd and Seneca and at 3rd and Pine, both of which are direct access with no measurable walk involved. The one at 3rd and Seneca does involve a slope. For that reason I would advise people with mobility issues to remain on the #2S to downtown to use the tunnel entrance at 3rd and Pine. There is no direct access to the tunnel at Madison and 3rd. I have already posted on the issue.

    1. Joanna,

      I have been making fun of your insistent claims that you “represent” the #2 ridership in your opinion that any alteration “negatively affects” them… something you have continued to do in the face of a dozen testimonials from #2 riders on this very thread who look forward to the speed and reliability improvements that the changes are likely to make.

      Does every single person with “mobility issues” live twenty feet from a #2 stop, with absolutely no slope? If not, then what’s your point?

      1. Leave Joanna alone. What he is saying has validity, and clearly she has talked to dozens of other Route 2 riders. You are trying to portray anyone that disagrees with you is somehow dumber than you or misguided. It’s that kind of insulting mentality that puts our national politics in the mess that it is. Put a mirror on yourself — and learn to respect other posters.

      2. Thank you, Al. d.p.,where have I said I represent all #2 riders? I don’t believe that I have made that claim. I do claim to understand the many patterns of transportation in this area and how many use it. I don’t get the hostility. d.p., what is your interest? What is your story? Who are you?

      3. My interest is that, every time I ever need the 2, it’s a total nightmare and I get to any destination I’m trying to reach ridiculously late.

        You and Al are actively working to perpetuate the problem. Therefore, you are looking to waste more of my time in the future.

        Since you now say that your aren’t claiming to speak for your neighbors, I suggest that you actually talk to them about this. Let’s say that the changes routinely save 10 minutes or more getting home from downtown. How many of them would walk further for a less frustrating ride?

        And talk to the neighbors who drive — trust me, they are many. Trust me, most will tell you that they’d like to take transit, but currently won’t because “it takes forever and it’s unreliable.”

        Be neutral in your questions — don’t broach the subject with “I’m outraged about this! Aren’t you as well!?”, as neighbors are more likely to sympathize with your outrage than to give their honest opinions.

        You’ve also indulged in a number of speculative/transference objections based on your perception of the needs of, say, the mobility impaired. Mobility-impaired people that I know want to get places fast as well — imagine that! — and avoid routes like the 2 if they can. They would also object to having their disabilities exploited for argumentative purposes that run counter to their actual needs and desires.

        Most of your dozens of posts boil down to “I fear change.” And since that has an effect on my time and my ability to get around, I’m under no obligation to respect your flawed rationalizations.

      4. I am sorry for your bad experiences. I am not saying that every single experience I have had with Metro has been positive. However, a vast majority of my trips have been pleasant and efficient with good drivers. While the proposals also affect my ability to get around efficiently, if I were to discuss those specifics of my experience I would be accused of “a me only” attitude. Many of the observations I have made are specific to me and others who use it in the same manner and some are related to how I have observed others using the bus.

  27. As someone who already has to walk 1 mile to get to the #2 bus at 4:45 am in the CD, the idea of adding another 3/4 of a mile through downtown seattle at 5:15 am is not very appealing. In case you have not noticed, that corridor of downton is not the safest.

    The #2 is currently my only option to get to my job by 5:30am.

    1. Mercactual, there’s no question that our transit system is not built for those who have to be at work that early. :-(

      Shame that you have to make such a long early-morning walk; based on the distance cited, it sounds like you’d probably be able to take a 3 or a 12 or a 14 if you didn’t have to work until 6.

      That said, the additional distance between Madison and Seneca is only 600 feet, which is barely 1/9 of a mile. And there are, surprisingly, still more than a few buses heading up and down 3rd at that hour (they’re actually more evenly spread out at 5:15 am than they are at 11:00 at night when they’re intentionally bunched at round numbers). Depending on where you’re headed, the tunnel is even open by that time.

      1. Thanks for the response unfortunatley my destination is Lenora and First, it’s not the 2 block change off of Seneca it’s the
        .7 miles that will be added on now that the bus will not travel down 3rd.
        This change will put me back in my car driving into downtown Seattle everyday.

      2. “There are, surprisingly, still more than a few buses heading up and down 3rd at that hour.

        (They’re actually more evenly spread out at 5:15 AM than they are at 11:00 PM when they’re intentionally bunched at round numbers.)”

        So even at 5:15 AM, you’re unlikely to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes for a bus to arrive heading northbound on 3rd.

        Next time you’re taking the 2 to work that early, watch for other buses just out the back window. Any of those will get you to Virginia/Lenora.

      3. Just to be sure I was being accurate, I checked the Metro scheduler.

        There’s a 13 to carry you across downtown at 5:17 AM weekdays.
        There’s a 28 at 5:23 AM.
        There’s a 4 5:26 AM.
        And there are probably others I wasn’t pulling up.

  28. The best case scenario would under the propsal would be to exit the #2 on either the souteast or southwest corner of Madison and 3rd. If the southeast corner, find your way across both 3rd and Madison. If the southwest corner, find you way across Madison, walk to Spring, cross Spring, walk to Seneca, and cross Seneca to the tunnel entrance. I don’t know exactly how many feet that is but each crossing has a light and I suspect that it is more than 600 feet. The point here is that this would considerably increase the time for this trip and for the roundtrip journey. Since time is of the upmost interest some on the blog this should be a considered. The proposal also would not offer a reasonable access for those with mobility issues.

    1. Coming from the Central District, you’d be exiting on the north side of Madison. The tunnel entrance is on the north side of Seneca. This is precisely 600 feet, honest. 600 feet is an approx. 2-minute walk. (And yes, thanks to bad design, it takes another 60-75 seconds to drop from street to platform, but that’s true no matter where you get off the bus.)

      As for the stoplights: we agree. It’s ridiculous to wait more than a few seconds for a walk light in an urban center, ever. As I said to Joanna, this is something the city needs to work on, but Metro can’t be basing it’s entire system based on how hostile the city is to pedestrians. When more people bus+walk, the city will have to respond to the needs of bus+walkers.

      In the meantime, just jaywalk whenever it’s safe to do so, as the rest of the world has learned to do. On those blocks, it’s safe most of the time.

      1. Off on the north side is correct going. On on the South side returning is correct. You may jaywalk. I don’t. And, if you are setting the standard for anyone you love, I hope you don’t. This is still a very different experience. I don’t know the number of feet, since I don’t know where the bus stop at closest to 3rd and Madison is. The delay for the people who have no mobility problems, is yes, the extra two blocks and the lights, which are important in a transfer. And, it is greater for those who do have mobility problems. And, it is especially a different experience coming out of the tunnel at night to return home.

      2. The good news is that no one sketchy loiters in that part of town. They’re really quite concentrated at the Pike/Pine bus stops and in Pioneer Square.

        As for jaywalking, the are mountains of evidence that jaywalking (while paying full attention) is one of the safest things you can do, safer in fact than paying attention only to the white and orange stick figures and expecting cars to yield to your right-of-way. Cities with strong pedestrian cultures, including rampant jaywalking, have some of the lowest rates of pedestrian fatalities in the world.

        But I’m even less likely to convince of this than I am to convince you that a faster 2 plus transfers is better than a slower 2 without.

  29. Success with jaywalking is a lot less likely to occur during high traffic times downtown. At lights jaywalkers can be ticketed. I have seen it happen. On the return home the place to catch the #2 in front of Benroya is easy and one of the most desirable. I think this specific conversation has lost sight of the need to engage the affected communities and also any real analysis of the advantages of preserving some of the crosstown buses. The connection it gives to communities may out weigh some of the disadvantages. I would guess that there is some over lap in the 2s and 2n especially in the 2n ridership numbers at night. I believe that metro also knows the numbers of riders who exit the bus at various stops along the way. These are all questions that most of the interested parties have not had a chance to ask.

      1. I am very careful to say “faster” and “more reliable” rather than more frequent.

        Although a bus coming precisely every 15 minutes is, in actually, “more frequent” than two buses bunched right next to one another every half hour.

        In addition, the combined 2/12 frequency over First Hill will be helpful to 2 riders, as it will evenly spread out the First Hill demand, leading to fewer cases of overcrowding with a dozen people exiting at every stop. Again, this is statistically proven: doubling frequency more than cuts in half delays from sporadic demand surges.

      2. “…in terms of the actual rider experience,” I meant (if not by the misleading term “average frequency”).

  30. The portion covered by the #2 and #12 in the proposal has no relationship to the current route for the #2 and will not increase frequency for the current ridership of the #2. The only piece of the current #2 that would continue to exist would be the portion East of 12th Avenue where no increased frequency is planned. The route frequency would depend on how the #2 was staggered with the #12 at the ferries. Occasionally I see #2s #3s, #4s, #48s, #49s (in all directions) bunched together mainly during peak hours when there has been a traffic issue. By and large they run withing 3 to 5 minutes of the scheduled time and arrive downtown closer to the scheduled times. The new buses should cut down on the time required for wheel chairs and lifts. Also I am clueless about how some of the bloggers here are able to bold their lettering. Although I probably wouldn’t use it often.

    1. …will not increase frequency for the current ridership of the #2.

      Have you even bothered to read my multiple replies to this statement? Have I at any point tried to conflate “frequency” with “speed and reliability”? It’s pretty ineffective to keep making your point in a way that reveals you have failed to even peruse the counter-argument.

      I have already written that, while you are correct that the number of buses per hour will not increase, combining the routes through First Hill (even regardless of the other changes) will increase reliability on the #2 from end to end.

      By and large they run withing 3 to 5 minutes of the scheduled time…

      1. I can only assume that you do not actually ride the #2 on a regular basis, and that you never ride it eastbound between 4:00 and 7:00 PM.

      2. Who cares if it “only” leaves downtown 3-5 minutes late, if it’s getting to the Central District 20 minutes late? How is that in any way a defense.

      3. Even when the bus is perfectly “on schedule,” it takes 15 minutes to get from downtown to the C.D. That’s the best it can possibly do under the current routing, according to Metro’s schedulers. It’s a single mile, Joanna!!! It should be able to do that faster than a brisk walker!! THAT is what this change is trying to achieve!

      Also I am clueless about how some of the bloggers here are able to bold their lettering.

      Before the text you want to bold, use an open bracket (“”). After the text you wish to bold, do the same thing, but add a forward slash (“/”) right before the “b”.

      1. Apparently, I can’t type the bracket symbol without it treating it as an attempt at code and hiding the intermediate text.


        Before the text you want to bold, use an open bracket (“shift-comma”), then type the letter “b”, then close the bracket (“shift-period”). After the text you wish to bold, do the same thing, but add a forward slash (“/”) right before the “b”.

      2. “open bracket””b””close bracket” [text you want in bold] “open bracket””forward slash””b””close bracket”.

      3. Great. Okay, so to make bold text, you surround it by <b>tags like this</b>.

        (And d.p., to write the angle brackets, I used &lt; and &rt;.)

  31. Thank you for the instructions on bolding. I do ride the #2 every day at many different times of the day. From downtown, 3rd and Pine, to 23rd and Union, 15 minutes is pretty good for a bus. In reality I think it is more like an 18 to 20 minute bus ride and the real distance is a little more than 4 miles. People have to enter and exit. Also as I said before the entering and exiting time that now require lifts should be improved with the new floors. The extra time and effort required for transferring will not enhance the experience. Those west of Madison, which is not a part of the current #2 route, will be the only ones who have some potential of a more efficient trip. I offer to test a walking contest between you and the bus. Even the driving directions from 23rd and Union to 3rd and Pine on Google maps estimates 18 minutes The #49 takes about 12 to 15 minutes at its best to get from Roy to 5th and Pine, which is about three miles. I think maybe you need to get a good book or something to read on the bus.

    1. Actually, 15 minutes is the current minimum-scheduled time only to the start of the Central District (13th Ave). It’s more like 18 or 19 minutes minimum to 23rd.

      And I think we both agree that it frequently takes much longer than that.

      You are 100% incorrect on the distances. It is precisely one mile from 3rd to 12th. It is only 1.7 miles from 3rd to 23rd. Please follow these Google Map links for proof:
      3rd to 12th, 1.0 mile.
      3rd to 23rd, 1.7 miles.

      You only think it feels like 3 or 4 miles because it has taken you so long to travel it all these years on the 2 bus!!

      15-25 minutes to travel this distance is completely unacceptable. 7-10 minutes in both directions should be easily achievable. My greatest hope is that this service change represents a huge first step towards that goal!

      1. Also, that distance you cited for route 49 is only 1.5 miles. And nobody would call the 49 fast, efficient, or direct either! :)

      2. Also, Google Maps claims a 7-10 minute drive depending on route chosen. Really, where are you even getting you 4-mile claim from? I’m truly confused.

  32. Location, location. I am talking getting downtown to 3rd and Pine from 23rd and Union (a main stop). Where on 3rd are you trying to go? However I was adding two distances together and making an incorrect distance. It is either a 2 or 2 1/2 mile trip from 23rd and E. Union (a fair distance) to a main destination at 3rd and Pine. Driving estimated at 8 minutes. Bus estimate in 16 minutes and I will say, I think that it is more often 18 minutes.The estimated time for walking is 37 minutes. I have not found that getting there can be easily accomplished in 8 minutes of driving.

    Again I will compare it correctly to the #49 Roy to 3rd and Pine on Google maps, that is 1.5 miles with driving time estimated to be 7 or 8 minutes. Bus time at best is 13 to 15 minutes (walking 27 minutes). While, I added some mileage to both earlier, the time estimates were correct. The #2 performs as well considering the distance and estimated driving time for buses.

    I am doing a comparison, due to the fact that buses have to allow passengers to enter and exit and will not travel faster than cars. The save time, money and headaches on finding parking. But the speed of travel will be slower. Any route can be criticized in the way you critique the #2, but you need some real comparisons to make sense of what is being said.

    1. 18 minutes does sound about right under current service conditions… inbound.

      As for outbound, you and I both know it’s more like 25-30. And often more.

      There is no way to get from 23rd & Union to 3rd & Pine that is more than 2 miles. Not by Madison, not by Seneca, not by Pike or Pine.
      All the options are on the left.

      2 miles should never take 25-30 minutes, in either direction. Frankly, it shouldn’t even take 18.

      And please stop obsessing over Westlake. Not everyone is going there. And transfer opportunities exist in many locations. Again, you seem willing to harm many others for your perceived “need” for a one-seat to and from Westlake.

  33. I agree that the distance from 23rd and Union to 3rd and Pine is generally 2 miles. I don’t know why when I used google maps another choice of using E. Cherry and that is 2.5 miles was displayed. Seneca is not shown on your choices. What you say is not necessarily true. The #2 is sometimes delayed coming from Queen Anne, especially during times of construction. I also sometimes catch at Union and Broadway headed to Madrona, and most often it is on time. We would both need statistics on the specifics for our arguments. It is sometimes late coming from Madrona to 23rd and E. Union, but by the time it arrives at Broadway it is on time. And, it does often accomplish the trip in 16 minutes There was a time of construction on Queen Anne when it was often delayed. If 2 miles should not take16 to 18 minutes than why does the #49 take 13 to 15 minutes at best to travel 1.5 miles?

    Look at the route #10 from E. John and 15th to 1st and Union is about 2 miles, 7 minutes of driving time, 32 minutes walking and 18 minutes by bus. The number #2 is not taking an unreasonable amount of time to serve its community and route.

    1. …then why does the #49 take 13 to 15 minutes at best to travel 1.5 miles?

      Because the #49 and the #10 are no better examples of how transit should perform on a high-demand in-city route than the #2 is.

      Significantly, both experience the same sort of bunching and the same sort of uneven passenger loads caused by infrequent individual routes whose “combined” functions get undermined by being too off-schedule to complement one another.

      They also both fight disadvantageous traffic lights, and do zig-zags on trolley wires, just as the #2 does.

      Remember that the #49 had its daytime routing through downtown truncated, and the #10 is about to do so as well, specifically to aid reliability and to avoid the overcrowding that terribly slows individual buses.

      Even then, those two routes are hardly ideal for the heaviest-demand uphill section with the most lights and cross-streets. That’s why we’re building a subway!

      (Incidentally, the Pike buses travel a full mile to reach Broadway, 30% further than the 2 does. That the #2 takes the same amount of time to reach Broadway as the 49 or 10 even under normal circumstances means that it is inherently traveling 30% slower.)

      1. Note: 1.5 miles is also how far the 15/18 travel to get from downtown to Mercer Street in Lower Queen Anne.

        This takes 11-12 minutes even on the most crowded buses, at all but the most traffic-clogged times. On a more lightly-filled bus late in the evening, this takes 9 minutes or less. (In fact, Metro’s schedules overestimate the time, frequently leaving the drivers twiddling their thumbs for three minutes at the Mercer stop so as not to leave early.)

        This is the minimum speed that a high-capacity transit route should ever travel at!

  34. Ok,d.p. we could go on like this forever. I attempted to find routes nearby the #2 or at least ones that run in similar densely urban settings not between on the roads available in the more dense and historic Seattle areas for comparison. The ones I chose are not across the board as productive as the #2, but at are at least if not more productive than the #15 and #18. The point that I am making is that for inner city, productive route the #2 is really doing ok. A bus traveing on freeway that is backed up will do a faster per mile speed. The speed limit there is greater and oh they won’t have to deal with pedestrians. The number of lights, the number of people who enter and exit, the number of stops, the hills, the bikes, and the number of times a lift is necessary will all affect the timeliness. The #2 is well within the expected time frame.

    I use the #2 at all times of the day and the time each weekday varies a bit between 8:00 Am and 9:00 AM and other times.. Suddenly between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM peak hour, the bus that is suppose leave 23rd and E. Union at 8:38 AM is often late. However, I have often wondered how is 8:00, 8:18. 8:38 and 9:00 AM peak hour service when normal service is every 15 minutes. It feels like something in the change over from what is supposedly peak hour back to regular service causes the 8:38 to be late. This is my only consistent complaint about its service. And, how is that peak hour service?

    1. I know it seems that we are talking in circles. But it is very clear that — in addition to our obvious and legitimate differences of opinion on subjective matters — you are either not understanding some basic (fact-based, non-subjective) explanations that I have tried to offer, or you are willfully ignoring them.

      The definition of the word “productive”:

      Productive does not equal “efficient.” Please stop using them interchangeable. In fact, in the Metro link you provided earlier, “productive” was used to mean “well-ridden” — no more, no less.

      You and I agree that the #2 is well-used. But that does not make it efficient. In fact, a route with that many people on it, yet travelling that slowly, is less efficient than an emptier route travelling equally slowly.

      Expectations for local bus service, in places that are not Seattle:

      It is often said that, on average, local bus service with no enhancements — on city streets, with no separate lanes, no curb bulbs, and no ability to preempt traffic lights — can be expected only to operate at 10-12 mph, including time stopped. This is hardly boasting; the statistic is usually used to explain why buses tend to leapfrog (and cause conflicts) with bicyclists, who travel at roughly the same speed. So a local bus and a bicycle travel at about the same average speed.

      10-12 mph means that the bus will travel one mile in about 5-6 minutes. As you have pointed out, the 2, 10, and 49 all take 18 minutes to travel 1.5 miles — i.e. 12 minutes to travel one mile — but only if they’re on schedule!!

      And in reality, all three routes are frequently slower than that: The 10 and 49 frequently take 15 or 16 minutes to move their first mile in the uphill direction. The 2 is the slowest of them all, often taking 18-20 to do that!!

      Even the flatter 15 and 18 — if you’ve ever used them, you know that they are hardly highway buses between downtown and Lower Queen Anne — are still taking 6-9 minutes to travel one mile. That’s far better than the 2, but far worse than the national expectation for a local bus (the lowliest form of transit service).

      It feels like something in the change over from what is supposedly peak hour back to regular service causes the 8:38 to be late.

      Your westbound 8:38 bus got a late start, because it was previously an outbound bus that was overloaded in Belltown, and then had to fight horrible traffic on Spring Street. This is precisely the sort of irregularity that the service change is looking to correct!

      Imagine if the bus always left when it was supposed to, in both directions, and always moved at roughly the same speed… a speed as much as twice the current speed! If you want to see that happen, you need to stop clinging to the way things are today!

  35. Under the proposal the #10 will go on second rather than first between Pike and Pine. I doubt that there is much resistance to that or much destabilization of the ridership community there. That bears no comparison to what is being proposed for the #2.

    1. The #10 currently travels all the way down to Madison to become the #12. For the sake of efficiency, the #10 will turn around between Pine and Pike and will not travel north-south through downtown at all, thus requiring a walk or a transfer to go elsewhere.

      This is EXACTLY the same as “what is being proposed for the #2.” EXACTLY THE SAME!!!

  36. The #10 has always and will continue to include the destinations of the downtown retail and tunnel access at 5t and Pine and 3rd and Pine. It as the #10 has always come back on Pike and will continue to do so. It is completely different. There is only one block of service that is different and not missing any major destinations. For those who thought of the the two routes as the same #12 riders to downtown core will be more affected under the new plan. That is they may miss many of the destinations that are the #10 piece of the route. Still the route to downtown remains the same. Now that I think about the new proposal and the #15 and #18, which are productive, but no more so than the #2, and less a part of the inner urban core having more direct access to Seattle Center, downtown retail, and tunnel transportation I should be upset. Right we could just run the buses on the freeway and not into the cities and they would be going faster and no one could access them easily making for fewer stops.

    1. Joanna, you’re just digging your wallowing-in-ignorance hole deeper. It isn’t helping your cause.

      The #10, as you know, does this: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/cftemplates/show_map.cfm?BUS_ROUTE=010&DAY_NAV=WSU

      It therefore goes to parts of downtown today that will require a transfer in the future. It is exactly the same situation.

      The distinction you are trying to make depends entirely on the presumption that Pine Street is the most important destination in the universe. Maybe it is for you, but it isn’t necessarily the be-all-and-end-all for me, for every #10 rider, for every #18 rider, or for anyone else.

      I for one, look forward to being able to come into downtown from any direction, to make my way to the Madison-Marion corridor (be it by surface bus, by tunnel, or by foot) and then zip up to the Central District on a #2 that I know will be punctual and quick.

      If I need the #10, I’ll head to Pike and do the same. If I need the #14, I’ll head to Jackson.

      Whether or not they each make a stop at Pine Street is irrelevant to me. All I need is for each of them to move east-west as promised. And that’s all you need as well, because the north-south options that bring to Pine are practically infinite!

      1. Important missed phrase:

        Pine Street isn’t the most important destination in the universe for all — or even most — #2 riders either. So please stop trying to project your needs onto all of your fellow riders.

        It’s beyond ignorance at this point. [ad hom]

      2. Now that I think about the new proposal and the #15 and #18, which are productive, but no more so than the #2…

        What the hell are you even talking about?

        Again, “productivity” is a bogus word that you are using to mean “ridership” and NOT “efficiency.” And anyway, the 15+18 have more than 12,000 riders a day — far more than the 8,000 on the current #2 (only 5,000 of which are on the #2’s eastern segment).

        Which makes the 15+18 both more efficient and more productive than your sacrosanct route.

        But Joanna, after all of this back-and-forth, will you please explain to me why you want to move slow when you could move fast! Really. That’s all I want to know. Because you’re coming close to making my head explode.

      3. d.p,

        Please tone it down. If you find the discussion frustrating, walk away from it for a while.

      4. You’re totally right, Martin.

        I didn’t need Joanna to change her mind. I just needed her to demonstrate an inkling of understanding of the content of the counter-arguments, to get why keeping things “her way” could actually cause harm to the large numbers of people who need the #2 in ways that conflict with “her way.”

        Unfortunately, that never happened. She repeated her obsession with Pine Street and antipathy towards any changes one hundred times, and never responded to any counter-arguments in a way that suggested she had actually read or reflected upon them.

        The final straw: her insisting that the changes to the #10 in no way resemble the changes to the #2. In fact, they are identical. But she couldn’t see the forest for a single tree at the corner of Pine Street.

        Joanna is fighting hard to preserve something that is destructive. To all transit mobility in this city. And to me, personally, as someone whose ability to get around has been thwarted by the current #2 more times than I can count.

        I have no qualms about treating her as the adversary and obstruction that she is.

  37. The 15 and 18 are two separate routes. The #2 is one route, and performs well even when broken into 2n and 2s. I think we are feeling the same. I have explained myself and you have too.

    1. The #15 alone has much higher ridership than the #2’s east segment.

      Also, the #15 and #18 are a shared route for more than 5 miles, and are neighboring routes for another 3 miles. For that very reason, they are being combined into a single route at the exact same time as the #2 is undergoing changes!

      Your #2 is moving two blocks. My #18 is joining the #15 by moving half a mile!

      I’m sorry to say, Joanna, that you have not explained a single thing in a way that squares with reality.

  38. Your community seems to support this proposal and was, I hope, engaged in the process and will gain a rapid ride line. You could better enlighten me about the improvements for the #18 and #15 riders, as since discovering by accident the proposed changes to the historical routes, I have not had time to satisfy my curiosity about the #15 or #18. i assume that there is a thread on it here. I do attend all open houses offered and only found the proposed changes after receiving emails and flyers regarding the rapid ride to West Seattle, Ballard, Shoreline etc. One day I decided to try to understand what it meant. Although I occasionally do go to those destinations, but in this case just wanted to see how it worked into the existing systems in what I thought would be those areas. Well, there buried in the details were the proposed major changes to the inner city bus system. Broadway was spared. This was being proposed without any outreach to the communities here.

    1. The #18 will no longer head straight downtown via Interbay, but will now exist primarily for connections to Fremont, Westlake, and South Lake Union. Those desiring a direct trip to downtown Seattle will now need to walk 1/2 mile (or transfer) to RapidRide.

      The #17 along 32nd Ave NW will now divert through Magnolia to serve as an inter-neighborhood connector. No one in her right mind would ride this route all the way from Sunset Hill to downtown. To go from Sunset Hill to downtown will require a transfer.

      I went to my local Metro outreach meeting. While many had additional suggestions and criticisms of some of the specifics — and while I was particularly critical of RapidRide’s lax definition of “frequent” — the majority of attendees were happy to be getting a system designed to create faster rides and easier connections to points all over the city. No one moaned about keeping his or her “one-seat ride” at all costs.

      For the sake of changes in the central part of the city, they held an open house at the downtown library — right next to the #2 (both old and new), and so easy for you to get to (since you think the #2 is perfectly fast enough as it is): https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2011/11/01/tomorrow-open-house-for-fall-2012-service-change/

      Did you go to it?

      1. Yes, I did as did others who are now involved in sane solutions and are not shouting. Since the impact on the inner city routes was buried, only some who found out about it at the last minute were able to attend. It was well attended especially, by some along Seneca. Right and sometimes were referred to talk to the person handling Southeast Seattle rather than the Central Area. It was chaotic but well-attended. However, it was well-attended.

  39. Explaining: Those desiring more frequency west of 12th on Madison to 1st or the ferries will benefit from this proposal. Most along east union and Seneca east of 12th will not benefit. Much of the ridership will become more isolated from access to destinations and connections to transit around the city. A portion of Queen Anne will also be cut off from access to any transit.

    1. Much of the ridership will become more isolated from access to destinations and connections to transit around the city. A portion of Queen Anne will also be cut off from access to any transit.

      Huh??? The service changes are intended to improve reliability and productivity but at the expense of using connections. Some folks in West Seattle may have to righteous gripes about losing access to all day transit, but Queen Anne?

      See http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/~/media/transportation/kcdot/MetroTransit/HaveASay/suggested_network_north.ashx. Show me any point that is more than half a mile from an all day bus route.

      1. North Seattle’s changes, as demonstrated on the map to which you linked, will be much more dramatic than the changes being made to the #2.

        The #18, for example, will now be primarily for connections to Fremont, Westlake, and South Lake Union. Those desiring a direct trip to downtown Seattle will now need to walk 1/2 mile (or transfer) to RapidRide.

        The #17 along 32nd Ave NW will now divert through Magnolia to serve as an inter-neighborhood connector. No one in her right mind would ride this route all the way from Sunset Hill to downtown. To go from Sunset Hill to downtown will require a transfer.

        I went to my local Metro outreach meeting. While many had additional suggestions and criticisms of some of the specifics — and while I was particularly critical of RapidRide’s lax definition of “frequent” — the majority of attendees were happy to be getting a system designed to create faster rides and easier connections to points all over the city. No one moaned about keeping his or her “one-seat ride” at all costs.

        For the sake of changes in the central part of the city, they held an open house at the downtown library — right next to the #2 (both old and new), and so easy for you to get to (since you think the #2 is perfectly fast enough as it is): https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2011/11/01/tomorrow-open-house-for-fall-2012-service-change/

        Did you go to it?

      2. Whoops, AW, I totally conflated my two separate replies to you and to Joanna. Sorry!

        The point is that: no, all-day service isn’t disappearing anywhere, but yes, North Seattle service is changing drastically, and yes, many are losing their “direct” service to downtown, but yes, that’s a totally welcome development because the results will constitute such a dramatic improvement in actual service quality.

        Just like the #2 change!

    2. Most along east union and Seneca east of 12th will not benefit.

      Unless they would like to get home faster and more reliably.

      Joanna, you have clearly made no effort to understand or learn anything. No one here can save you from yourself.

      1. Why not just have all the rapid ride lines end at the nearest link light rail station for access to downtown? Westlake for now would be the north end. Later the Roosevelt or the Northgate Station would work and those coming in from the South could end at Tukwilla or SODO or any of the southern stations. That would prevent duplication of services.

      2. In a questionable attempt to save money, Metro is combining the RapidRide lines from Ballard and from West Seattle, and is running them over the Viaduct.

        This is very, very bad from a timeliness and reliability standpoint.

        It does, however, mean that a transfer will be necessary to get to most parts of downtown.

        I am fine with that, as long as the transfer works. You should be fine with this too.

        And in the future, if Lake City is ever connected to Link via a RapidRide line, a transfer at Northgate or Roosevelt will indeed be necessitated.

        Now stop, Joanna. Just stop.

  40. I was wondering …

    could performance on the various ETB routes be improved if the ultimate destinations ONLY were changed? i.e. if the 2 went from Queen Anne to the northern section of the 14 for instance instead of up First Hill?

    Would changes like that allow for improvements in frequency and reliability without certain existing routes loosing service?

    1. Maybe in an ideal world, Gordon.

      In this world, unfortunately, any through-routing — and especially through-routings that require many downtown stops, crossing many busy intersections, and multiple turns — tends to suffer reliability problems and bunching before it even exits downtown on its second leg.

      Metro is correct that to make routes as straight as possible (while spending as little time in the downtown core as possible) will do the most to improve speed and reliability.

      1. I get that … was just wondering if the system we have today could be further optimized before we go all gonzo and change everything? or whether the routes that are there today (including the through-routing) is the result of that kind of optimization.

      2. It is clear to me that Joanna has not seen much of the world outside of her “old way” Seattle bubble. I’m curious about your travels, and what you’ve experienced elsewhere.

        After 26 years in Boston, New York, and Chicago, followed by 5 years in Seattle, I feel confident in reporting that Metro is in no way optimized for anything whatsoever.

        Essentially every urban route in Seattle moves more slowly than it should, comes less frequently than it should, takes longer to execute simple movements than it should, and is routed less logically than it should be.

        We already require lots of transfers downtown to get from any part of the city to any other. But our transfers are neither easy nor reliable. One vehicle or the other is always too early or too late, one leg of the trip always too slow. The last mile to the transfer point and the first mile from it often take longer than the rest of the journey combined. And even if you’re willing to walk a little to reach faster service — asking only to be able to get from anywhere in Ballard to anywhere in the Central District in less than 75 minutes — Metro will usually fail you.

        So no, there aren’t any minor tweaks we can make to fix a system that’s held over from a much smaller 1950s Seattle. A system designed to carry half as many people back when there was little traffic congestion. A system from an era when nobody but the poor and elderly were willing to ride transit, and a system that reflects how little value society assigned to the poor and the elderly’s time.

        We need a total overhaul. The Fall 2012 plan isn’t perfect, but I think it’s a really good start!

  41. In Seattle a few smart engineers working with even some of riders or others in community on few reasonable simple infrastructure fixes for the left turns onto Spring and third and how the segment past the library interacts with the traffic for the freeway. This does not have to be a big deal. I think all of us would have to explore what real advantages if any there would be in splitting the route into 2s and 2n. I have asked Metro to let me know that even now exactly how they are defining 2s and 2n. Certainly splitting the route as you suggest would be better than losing it altogether. Seattle Center would still be an issue for those on E. Union and Seneca portions of it and Town Hall for some on Queen Anne.

    1. Most people already have to transfer to get to the Seattle Center.
      Most people already have to transfer to get to Town Hall.

      This is not a problem for anyone but you.

      Stop, Joanna. Just stop.

    2. I have to transfer to get to Seattle Center or Town Hall. It isn’t a big deal.

      As for fixing left turns and I-5 traffic spillover, good luck. I’ve never seen a neighborhood successfully advocate for giving buses more priority, sometimes at the expense of solo drivers. In fact, I’ve seen them argue for taking it away (e.g. Magnolia). I’d love to be proven wrong.

  42. It is not a long route in terms of length. If split both have to turn around and certainly the Pine and 3rd stop would be important to both. It is food for thought. I note that the library is a destination for quite a few riders coming from the north part of 3rd Avenue. I am trying to find out how Metro is defining 2s and 2n. I have been assuming Westlake and south is 2s going south and Westlake is 2n and north, but haven’t seen an exact definition.

    1. 3rd and Pine is not the center of the universe.

      It is one transfer point out of many. It is categorically not where most people are ending up.

      Stop, Joanna. Just stop.

  43. just an fyi. It works as I assumed. 3rd and Pine/Pike would be important to both.

    “The dividing line is 3rd/Pine/Pike. However for ridership figures we add the inbound boardings and the outbound alightings. So for Route 2 South we count everyone boarding going toward Seattle and everyone alighting going away from downtown Seattle. So for someone who rides across the dividing line, they get counted as riders on both parts of the route. So we are correctly counting ridership on each part of the route. If you were to add the ridership of each part, you would be over counting ridership for the entire route.”

    1. What a pile of irrelevant information!

      Who cares where they draw the dividing line or where they count whom? That has nothing to do with where the final destination of the riding populace is!

      Stop, Joanna. Just stop.

  44. Again I ask: Why not just have all the rapid ride lines end at the nearest link light rail station for access to downtown? Westlake for now would be the north end. Later the Roosevelt or the Northgate Station would work and those coming in from the South could end at Tukwilla or SODO or any of the southern stations. That would prevent duplication of services.

    1. Again, I realize that you have no sense of geography.

      None of the currently-proposed RapidRide lines go anywhere near Northgate, Roosevelt, or SoDo!

      The Federal Way RapidRide already does end at Tukwila! And the Renton-Burien line will make Tukwila it’s major transfer point!

      Transfers, Joanna! Who would’ve thunk it?

      And I would be thrilled if the Ballard line ended at Westlake. Not through-routing the line to the Alaskan Way Viaduct and to West Seattle would make it five times more reliable. Please write Metro and tell them to do this!!

      Otherwise, stop, Joanna. Just stop.

  45. Rapid line C could easily be rerouted over to 4th avenue around Spokane and use the SODO station close 4th and Lander. There is a bus way right next to the SODO station. I have not written a specific letter about this but it has come up.

    1. No, not the way the new Spokane Street ramps have been built, it can’t. This is already on the horizon as a problem with no easy solution when Alaskan Way comes down in 2015.

      Joanna, this is over. You lost the argument the moment you revealed that your true intention is to keep everything the way it is, never to admit that current #2 service has serious problems requiring serious problem-solving.

      Everyone else in the world knows that the 2 needs fixing.

      Just. Stop.

  46. I have not studied all the routes and how they interact. However, I know from experience that there are a number of routes to and from West Seattle that use the bus way. I think while the tunnel,the busway, or even Link Light Rail may in some way be historic infrastructure for some, they are both pretty difficult to reconstruct at this point and are pretty recent in terms of major transportation infrastructure and design of new routes and new ideas should certainly make maximum use of these.

    1. Routes to West Seattle either:
      A) use the “upper level” West Seattle Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, or
      B) have been stuck on the “lower level” Spokane Street bridge ever since the reconstruction started, moving at about 5 mph.

      Unfortunately, the new ramps that are being built allow only for a connection from the “upper level” bridge to Alaskan Way or to 1st Avenue South. 4th Avenue South is not accessible in both directions without using the frequently blocked rail crossing at Lander Street.

      Any route to SoDo station — the lower bridge, the Lander crossing — would cause the RapidRide to be anything but rapid.

      Remember that we’re trying to speed things up.
      Just as we are trying to speed up the #2.
      Which most people would recognize as a desirable result.

      Joanna, stop.

      1. As I said before I do not know all the details of the West Seattle planning and would have to listen to how the people there use the bus and look at all the rout stats before venturing a big statement on West Seattle. However, I have recently been on the #21 and #22 which do use 4th Avenue in SODO and it was a fine experience. Part of designing new routes should be to take advantage of existing infrastructure and looking first at simple ways to improve it. I doubt that we will be knocking down hills and disrupting neighborhoods to build a different freeway. I think you and I agree that we want to minimize the need for more freeways.

      2. …and minimize the need to sit in freeway traffic. By, say, fixing the darned 2!!

        If you took more than 12-15 minutes to get to West Seattle, you took too long.

        The 21 and 22 are frequently so bad at rush hour that drivers have been forced to detour all the way to South Park just to avoid the Spokane Street Lower Bridge backup.

  47. Gordon, yes, your idea of maximizing much of the existing infrastructure is one good way of dealing with some of these issues. Also I agree that this is probably not the first time this type of study has been done and that the existing routes are there for a reason, which weather now valid or not should be understood. Also the needs and the transit dependent development needs to be better understood.

    1. Most of the existing routes have not changed whatsoever in 50 or 60 years!

      Many of them have not changed in 100 years, simply following the original streetcar paths (which in the pre-automobile era ran every 5 minutes, in zero traffic, before I-5 was in the way, and therefore bear no resemblance to the way service is run on them today).

      The Regional Transit Task Force study, completed last year, is to the best of my knowledge the first comprehensive examination and re-evaluation of service principles and priorities done in decades.

      Go ahead and read it before you make the asinine assumption that 50-year-old routes “probably” meet it:

      You are wrong, Joanna. So just stop.

  48. I haven’t seen the grades for all the routes. I imagine the #2 does well with this scoring. Productivity is not an issue for it.

    1. Are you just messing with me now?

      For the eighteenth time: “productivity” and “performance” are not the same thing.

      The #2 has terrible speed performance, terrible on-time performance, and a terrible passengers-per-service-hour rating terrible because so many buses have to be in service on it despite how short the route is.

      It’s the very definition of inefficient (i.e. poor) performance.

      You don’t know what you’re talking about, Joanna. Stop!

    2. Productivity is not the issue in this discussion.

      The issue this proposal addresses is schedule reliability. People give up and go back to their cars because transit isn’t reliable for them. Unreliable transit costs everyone time and money.

  49. Productivity is one of the grades for routes. People use it. Is there an overall grade sheet for all the routes somewhere? Again think, there are engineers who could fix some of the areas that cause delays on the route without a lot of expenses and in fact would be less expensive than much of what is being proposed. I also note that despite what d.p. said about the #21 and delays under the current proposal it would continue to routed along 4th Avenue in SODO.

    Being able to see the grades for all the routes on productivity and on-time reliability would be helpful. For instance, last night the #2 was delayed along Spring Street. However, all of downtown traffic from first to 5th in many directions seemed to be at a complete halt, especially on 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

    1. Who are these engineers and how likely are their ideas going to be well received by the public? What are their ideas?

      Despite the emphasis on productivity, it isn’t the only measure. Metro wouldn’t be proposing changes if there wasn’t a problem with on-time performance on the 2. The savings from making Rt 2 run better accrue to the entire system allowing improvements to other routes. Productivity ranks 4th in priority when Metro considers adding service, under passenger load, reliability and all-day network, in that order.

      1. You are saying that this is the ranking for adding service. They aren’t adding service to the #2. What is the ranking in considering cutting service? The same? Cutting service is the reality of what is happening to the #2. A very low productivity rank could make for a very reliable rating. Fewer passengers, fewer stops all would ensure fewer delays.

      2. They are not framing it as a service cut. The only area losing service (under the proposal) is that part of Queen Anne, everywhere else along the route will have same or better equivalent service frequency.

        Read the service guidelines page SG-15 on reduction priorities: “2. Restructure service to improve efficiency of service.” is under 1. low-productivity routes.

        Under the “Performance management” section on page SG-8, there is no ranking. Schedule reliability is evaluated independently of passenger load and productivity.

      3. Ok for most of us it is cut as we will have to transfer to get anywhere we want to go, including access to the tunnel. It is a cut in service for E. Union. We will be able to go the ferries or to first and Madison, which is not where most of us are trying to go. It is a cut in service. No one would be upset if it weren’t.

      4. I agree that it has not been framed as a cut in service. However, framing is not always true. Spin does not always lead to more truth.

      5. How do you know that there aren’t any savings? As Bruce explained:

        By splitting the 2S into a separate 15-minute headway route, and bringing all the other routes to a common terminus at the north, those routes can be scheduled as if they were a single route with sub-10-minute headways rather than four or five different 30-minute routes, leading to dramatic cost savings analogous to our simple example above.

  50. I will request the grades for each of the routes from Metro, since it apparently does not seem to be readily available in any form. When I attended the open houses they had books and piles of stats that they showed me for a variety of routes. However, they did not point me to the reliability numbers, nor did they spell out this ranking.

  51. However, the rapid ride plans do not seem to maximize the potential to link with light rail and not duplicate service along 3rd Avenue.

    1. You got it backwards. RapidRide is supposed to be a main line like light rail. Other services like the 2 should not duplicate it.

      There is no reliable path from the upper West Seattle Bridge to the busway for RapidRide to take. Taking the surface streets subjects buses to a railroad crossing and traffic from the lower level bridge. It defeats the purpose of “rapid ride”. It’d be nice if it could connect to SODO station but realistically, it doesn’t work. (See this post discussing pathways for buses from W Seattle to get downtown)

      1. A valiant effort, Oran, but this has already been covered. As has every other relevant morsel of information, as well as many irrelevant ones.

        It doesn’t matter. She’s a programmed robot. She is incapable of processing new information or of altering her sole output: rejection of any and all change.

        Our best bet is to each individually write to Metro, announce ourselves as frequent riders who have had bad experiences with the 2’s reliability and who look forward to the efforts to streamline it.

        I intend to specifically note that I am aware of the small minority of tenacious yet logically bankrupt obstacles to change, and that I categorically reject their obsession with maintaining the status quo as in any way representing me or the rest of the 2’s ridership.

        Now let’s stop feeding the troll.

  52. Oran, I will take a look at the discussion on West Seattle with an eye to the SODO, Stadium, International District, and Pioneer Square stations for logical connections. Rapid Ride can’t be successful without the local connections. And, downtown light rail stations parallel and duplicate the rapid ride lines in downtown Seattle.

    Troll definition: troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

    The level of name calling on this thread has been one-sided and not helpful to any discussion. My postings are not under an assumed identity and represent only some of the legitimate questions that remain to be answered. It is true that some of you and I have very different points of view. That, however, does not make anyone a troll. Name calling may be closer to actions of a troll.

    1. A troll engages in entirely tautological argument, intentionally misconstrues basic information, and engages not with the content of any counter-arguments but only with cherry-picked keywords from which he/she can launch into a wholesale restatement of his/her now-discredited original position.

      Intentionally or not, Joanna, you are a troll.

  53. The statement below was a little confusing. Are you speaking of the 2s and other routes or something different. Where is the northern terminus. I am a little unclear about which routes are envisioned as coming together at a northern terminus and where

    “By splitting the 2S into a separate 15-minute headway route, and bringing all the other routes to a common terminus at the north, those routes can be scheduled as if they were a single route with sub-10-minute headways rather than four or five different 30-minute routes, leading to dramatic cost savings analogous to our simple example above.”

    Since the statement you provided is about low-productivity routes, how does it refer to the#2. I will look at the page.
    2. Restructure service to improve efficiency of service.” is under 1. low-productivity routes.

    1. The #2 North and #13, which each operate every 30 minutes, combine to become the 2 South, operating every 15 minutes.

      Being a high productivity route does not exempt it from efficiency improvements, if any could be made. The implementation of RapidRide and light rail expansion are prime opportunities to take a holistic look at the network and restructure service instead of doing piecemeal changes.

      1. The #2s already run every 15 minutes during the day with some extra buses during peak hour. The plan may even lead to less service for the #2 riders along E. Union as the emphasis will be on staggering with #12 west of 12th Avenue along Madison. The #12 will not be serving East Union at all; east of 12th it continues on Madison until 19th avenue. Only the #2 will serve E. Union.

        Description: “Move the south part of Route 2 to Madison and Marion streets instead of Seneca and Spring streets.
        Extend the south part of revised Route 2 west to First Avenue, where passengers can connect with Washington State Ferry service at Colman Dock. The route would no longer travel north-south in downtown Seattle.
        Stagger departures for revised Route 2 (south part) and Revised Route 12 to provide service every 5-15 minutes all day.”

        I think you are thinking about Queen Anne 2n proposal is described as “Replace the north part of Route 2 (Current map and schedule) between downtown Seattle and Queen Anne with service on Route 13, using the same routing south of W McGraw Street.
        Add trips on Route 13 to reduce wait times.
        Link Route 13 with revised Route 3. (At the end of their routes, Route 13 buses would continue as Route 3 buses, and vice versa.)”

      2. Exactly, the 2S running every 15 minutes is a result of the 2N and 13 turning into 2S’s and vice-versa.

        Staggering schedules does not reduce service. The departure times may change but the frequency remains the same, while the common part of the 2 and 12 will get the benefit of double frequency. It’s just like how the 2N and 13 combine to provide 15 mintue service between downtown and Galer St on Queen Anne. The new 2S+12 would provide service every 7.5 minutes all-day between 12th Ave and downtown. That’s better than light rail’s 10 minute all-day frequency.

      3. Well from the perspective here on East Union, the #2 out of downtown toward E. Union is never a #13 and only occasionally changes to a #13 going north. This supposedly occurs at 3rd and Pike and is announced earlier, at which point a few riders panic and the bus driver then explains that it won’t make a difference until we get through downtown Queen Anne. The #13 is not shown for any revision under this proposal. Since now your focus is now on the #13, does that imply that the #2 along E. Union, no longer attached to the #13 will lose some runs?

      4. No change to the #2 along E Union, other than it not turning on 3rd anymore. Changes to the #13 are listed under “Route 2 (north part)” in the proposal. The resources for the 3rd Ave to Queen Anne part of the former #2 would be used to boost frequency on the #3 and #13 to every 15 minutes each, every 7.5 minutes combined on common sections like 3rd Ave and James St. Metro’s proposal is not clear on whether all #13s continue to Madrona as #3s or they end at 23rd Ave.

      5. Changes include that it continues down Madison to the ferries, not along Seneca and then does not run along 3rd. I understand that the #13 is going to be linked to the #3, sorry if that was not clear. Never has the bus along 3rd moving south that also turned left onto Spring been labeled a #13. Buses that arrived at stops along 3rd that were labeled #13 going south did not turn onto Spring; they continued to S. Jackson. However, your post made me wonder how Metro is looking at those that particular runs. If any of the runs that were in someway linked to the 13 were eliminated from the #2 on E. Union, that would imply quite a big decrease in service.

      6. Those are estimated times. We have always had every 15 minute service on Saturday, except for the night time service and that is not clearly shown.

      7. Joanna,

        Oran and I agree with you. The should not be one single point in time in the entire week at which the #2 is less frequent than it is now. So stop pretending that we, or anyone at Metro, thinks that frequency should be reduced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

        Streamlining the route and fixing reliability will bring actual frequency in line with on-paper frequency, which currently has little resemblance to reality when you actually try to go and ride the darned thing!

    2. Joanna, [ad hom]

      Priority #1 is to cut poorly-used routes completely. That does not involve route 2.

      Priority #2 is to restructure service for the sake of improving efficiency. That is where route 2 comes in.

      One is not a sub-category of the other.

  54. oops, I should say that it is not a #13, except for those who are headed to SPU. Those riders would be aware of which #2s become #13s.

      1. Correct. Joanna’s endless straw man replies and grand achievements in rhetorical tautology have gone way off-topic.

        Oran made a point that required explaining that some #2s are through-routed as 13s. Joanna’s response about whether or not the bus is “existentially” a 13 or a 2 (and for whom) is about as irrelevant as any assortment of words strung into something resembling a sentence could possibly be!

  55. d.p. your rudeness, combined with your dominance in this group will discredit the group. The #2 bus riders group is transparently a group focused on the community of the #2 bus riders and transit supporters of inner city transit. You identity seems to be that of one of the main transit blog group. If that is the case, then the transit blog has no intention of engaging with the communities affected in these proposals.

    1. d.p. does not write for the blog. He’s a passionate commenter who like most people here, have their best of intentions on improving transit in Seattle. Nobody appointed him to speak for the blog. The list of people who write articles for the blog can be viewed in the About Us page.

      Clearly there are people within the same community of riders who disagree with you, as I’ve seen in the comments here and on the Central District News. In fact, it looks like you’ve had the exact same discussion with a few of the people there as you’ve had with people here. Just like on the CD News, the opinion of one does not represent the opinion of the whole, even if one has the privilege of writing articles.

      1. Also, there as here, Joanna and Al S. appear to be the only two people who refuse to acknowledge that they represent a fringe mindset not shared by the vast majority.

        Seriously, they’re like the Orly Taitz of the #2 bus!

    2. I do not represent Seattle Transit Blog.

      I represent myself.

      You will notice that, while I express strong opinions in discussion with many other participants on this blog, I am always polite and respectful to those who seem interested in probing how their opinions are formed by experience, and how the experiences of many can be gathered in the name of pursuing a better transit situation in this city.

      You, on the other hand, haven’t engaged with a single morsel of actual content in the last 295 comments. All you do is repeatedly insist that I should continue to suffer slow transit because you happen to like slow transit, and that those who seek improvements in the efficiency of the 2 are somehow working against the interests of 2 riders. Which is, Joanna, total and utter bullshit.

      I am under no obligation to treat that kind of self-centered, destructive drivel with respect.

  56. On the subject of the proposals regarding the #2, there are those who are legitimately making comments against and for from a multitude of different perspectives,some are riders of the #2 and others are not and definitive proof of what the actual users of the route believe is not possible. What would be best for the system as a whole is not definitive. Mass transit should serve the masses. And, yes, I do represent on perspective on this, but have and do attempt to look at from many. I know that at the first meeting at the library there were far more than a few who opposed these changes. And as horrifying as it may be to you, you might be surprised to find our how many times in some general way we have supported the same people or view point in the recent past.

    1. Joanna, you are working to destroy a once-in-a-generation chance for the Central District to replace bad transit with good.

      It is my greatest hope that you are not successful in your misguided efforts.

  57. I’m not sure if most of these comments are helping either argument BUT I want to reconfirm that there are many people and institutions who do not like the current proposed changes to the bus 2 route.

    I know this because I am one of the people who has posted flyers notifying riders about these changes. Many people contact me and tell me how they use the bus and why they are scared of theses changes.

    People, like myself are not just misguided kooks who don’t want change.

    For example, Virginia Mason, an institution that applauds many of Metro’s changes has stated that they have concerns about the estimated 200 staff and patients who use the #2 daily, many of whom have mobility issues that would cause walking 2 blocks to be a real hardship.

    They also mention a concern about the safety of Madison, a street that their security department finds poorly lit and presents safety issues.

    They also say that they hope to find a “win-win” solution that will meet both the needs of our neighborhood and Metro.

    And with all this passionate, late night posting, I hope that we all can try to keep that sentiment in mind.

    Yes, I will have to readjust how I use my bus #2. And yes, I will have to accept some sacrifices. Likewise, I hope that the people who frequent this blog will recognize that there are some problems with the current plan and then use their fast wealth of knowledge and ingenuity to figure out a way to make these changes feel less like a sacrifice to me and many of the current bus #2 riders.


    1. What would you think about rerouting the 60 to follow the 2’s current route between 9th and Broadway? That would provide front-door service to Virginia Mason, albeit not through a one-seat ride from downtown.

      1. Moving the 60 to Seneca has been suggested by the First Hill Improvement Association.

        “First Hill Route 60 – The FHIA Board mentioned the concept of shifting the Route 60 to utilize Seneca Street, rather than Madison Street, between 9th Avenue and Broadway. This would more directly connect Horizon House, Skyline at First Hill, and the Virginia Mason campus to the LINK light rail stations on Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill. David Hull asked that we map out our proposed route, highlighting the population centers and benefits of this change, and forward it onto him. ”


      2. My only concern would be overall trip time on the 60, which (anecdotally) seems to be a very slow route already. Would more turns make things any worse?

        On the other hand, proposals like that make a lot of sense toward addressing some of the concerns folks have expressed about the proposed 2 changes.

      3. It wouldn’t really be adding any turns. Instead of turning from 9th to Madison and Madison to Broadway, it would turn from 9th to Seneca and Seneca to Broadway.

    2. Shoshana,

      Although I know this thread is a week old, has grown very long, and has occasionally spun in circles and overheated, I feel I would be remiss by not responding to your thoughtful, tempered explanation of some of the concerns you and others have about the restructuring of the 2.

      It is my strong conviction that, given the chance to experience faster and more reliable transit for basically the first time ever, many who are currently expressing concern will find those concerns allayed and will likely prefer the result. I base this on my experience of living in places where the best-used transit is very fast and relatively straight, and where transfers are commonplace. There are also mountains of statistics demonstrating that people do, indeed, gravitate towards transit that comes regularly and moves quickly, even walking further than they might have expected to from their prior experiences with slower transit.

      Imagine, for example, someone who lives along the triangular swath of the Central District between Union, Madison, Olive, and 23rd. They’re probably accustomed, for the purpose of getting home from downtown today, to choosing whichever route gets closest to their home (the 2 or the 12), waiting as long as it takes for that bus to come, and then walking less than a block home. Those same people might be pleasantly shocked to discover that, for the first time, they will be able to head to a single downtown location, take a 2 or 12 that is guaranteed to come in less than 7.5 minutes, and be dropped (either way) less than a 5-minute walk from home.

      And this isn’t just great for residents. Anyone heading to, say, Tougo Coffee in the daytime or Central Cinema at night can now do the same; those fantastic C.D. establishments can now draw patrons more easily, since making a quick jaunt over there is no longer an arduous affair.

      But please believe me, Shoshana, that I am not saying all of this just to win an argument, or to act arrogant or all-knowing or to lord my urban-living or urban-travel experience over any unsuspecting residents. I am adamant because I believe that better transit is as long overdue for the Central District as it is for the rest of this city, and I believe that fixing the 2 will yield positive results for everyone who relies on it on a regular basis.

      This is why I object so strongly to the talk of “winners” and “losers,” as defined by whether or not the final route stops directly in front of someone’s doorstep or directly in front of someone’s preferred primary destination. It creates a false choice, and it pits neighbors against one another unnecessary. As you said yourself, when transit works well, everyone gets to be a “winner.” But that definitely means making the best choices for speed and reliability. If a fatal bottleneck results from a well-intentioned, then we’re back to winners and losers again.

      Regarding the Virginia Mason concerns, at have to admit that I’m confused by their objections. They’ve just finished building a new pavilion, which functions as a primary entrance to the hospital complex, right at the corner of Boren & Spring. This is closer to the bus stops on Madison than it is to any stops on Seneca. The hospital complex, is spread over more than four square city blocks, so I’m not sure how they expect staff and patients to easily move about the campus while presuming an inability to walk the single flat block between Madison and the entrance.

      Also, I can’t help but observe that Swedish Hospital is primarily served by the buses on Madison Street (where its main entrance is), even though most of the campus is 1-3 blocks further south (between Minor, Marion, and Broadway). And how is Madison a safety issue for Virginia Mason, but not a safety issue for Swedish?

      Anyway, thank you for engaging this disagreement in a calm and rational way. I don’t intend to accuse anyone — even the circularly-arguing Joanna — of being a “kook.” I don’t even blame those who do fear change, as decades of poor Metro service have given them little reason to trust that transfers can be easy or than walking two blocks can ever be rewarded with improved service.

      But it would make me very sad if an excess of hesitation and squabbling eliminated the chance to ever experience what fast and easy transit feels like. Because it’s a life-changer!

  58. One of the concerned citizens on the #2 sent me this response to the #60 solution.

    “This would certainly solve the problem of service along Seneca to Broadway northbound, but would not provide a downtown connection or service to the retail core or Seattle Center. It would also not provide service eastward, as one would have to walk over to Madison on Broadway to catch a 2 eastbound/requiring a transfer. It would exchange service in the Madison segment between 9th and Broadway that gets so crowded during the day. (This would be good.) It would provide Seneca riders with an easy way to access Broadway (and eventually the light rail) as well as the #8 to the Seattle Center or eastward and south through the Central Area, but it does not run at night. And the light rail is not built, nor is the so-called First Hill streetcar. At this point I often take the #60 to Jackson (south) and either transfer or walk when I’m going to the King Street Station during the daytime.

    And, it is not a trolley.”

    1. …but would not provide a downtown connection or service to the retail core or Seattle Center.

      Crikey, Joanna. This whole “letter from a concerned citizen” is written in your voice, with your precise use of punctuation, you precise run-on-lack-of-point-making, and many of the same phrases (“retail core”, etc.) that have used 100 times as if repeating something more often makes it a more vital point of direct service.

      Aleks and Zed’sidea is a good one. Those who can walk 2 blocks now get faster service on Madison. Those who need front-door access on Seneca still have it. And the latter is provided using a route that already functions primarily as a low-speed, social-service route to hospitals.

      You wrote this “letter from a concerned citizen,” Joanna, and it’s obvious. Please try harder next time.

      1. Think what you like. What terms should he/she used “Westlake”, “downtown,” “3rd and Pine?” I think you could respond to her/his comments rather than going on and on speculating about whose comments they are. You said I berated people on CD News that was not truth and what I am saying now is the truth. I have not had time to look at the proposed solutions using the #60. This friend did however had more experience using the #60. I mainly familiar with it or the #9 at Broadway and Union to go north on Broadway and have on rare occasions taken it to get to Georgetown or to Cleveland HS. I am aware that the #60 service has within the past year been increased, which is good for my transfer to travel north on Broadway. Also it enhanced the meager transportation options for Cleveland High School students. This is all I know about the #60.

      2. I already did respond to the “letter writer’s” comments on the 60:

        “Aleks and Zed’s idea is a good one. Those who can walk 2 blocks now get faster service on Madison. Those who need front-door access on Seneca still have it. And the latter is provided using a route that already functions primarily as a low-speed, social-service route to hospitals.”

        The #60 is very much a hospital shuttle already, Joanna, serving Swedish, Harborview, and the VA Medical Center on Beacon Hill. It also serves many other neighborhoods on a slow, circuitous, indirect route, so it is already used by few others besides the mobility impaired. It is the perfect route to extend to Virginia Mason for the benefit of those who are unable to walk a block or two for faster service.

        Who cares if it’s a trolley? Who cares if it comes outside of outpatient-appointment hours? Who cares if it’s ultra-frequent or not? This is the route for those who absolutely must get dropped at the front door; fast and frequent is clearly not their top priority.

        (You can’t be frequent and slow and go absolutely everywhere, Joanna. The numbers just don’t pencil out.)

        Don’t call me a liar, Joanna. This is you, berating a Central District News commenter who called you out on your obsession with service to Pine Street:

        First person: “AMEN [to the proposed changes]! Trying to get from Madison Valley to 4th and Madison is a circuitous, ridiculous, 45 minute trial!”

        Joanna: “Why are you trying to get to 4th and Madison? You have great service to the retail core and access to Queen Anne.”

        Third person [clarifying on behalf of 2 or 3 people who share this reaction]: “We live in Madison Valley and we work in the business core, not the retail core, so getting from home to work is a 40+ minute nightmare.”

        Joanna [ignoring clarification]: “I find myself just fighting for a direct route to the retail core or to Broadway businesses and buses and to several places along Seneca where I often give presentations…”

        [Joanna then suggests that those who are not her could use her preferred one-seat route structure and then transfer to somewhere else, ignoring the careful distinction the other commenters made between one-seat destination preference and unacceptable time penalty.

        Joanna [playing the victim, missing the point]: “Here you recognize the importance and desirability of direct service for you, yet imply that it isn’t important when that disappears for others.”

        So there you go. People disagree with you, value overall transit-time over one-seat destinations, and you freak out and tell them why they must be mistaken.

        There, as here, you never get it, and you never give your harangues a rest.

      3. whenever I take the 60 … more people get off at SCCC than any of the hospitals … and the other direction … most are heading to Beacon Hill or White Center

      4. Good to know. I feel bad for all of the detours that those SCCC students have to suffer to reach the front doors of the hospitals.

        These SCCC students will no doubt benefit from the planned frequency improvements to the (much faster) route #9. The #9 plus a transfer to the #36 will eventually provide service about three or four times faster than a one-seat ride on the #60 will ever be able to.

        Good transfers can be really helpful in shortening trip times!

        And once the Capitol Hill Link station exists and the restructured West Seattle services exist, you’ll never seeing a SCCC-to-White Center rider on the #60 ever again.

  59. I invite all to read through that original post, which was intended as an alert to the community. By the way it also pointed readers to Metro links as well as the Seattle Transit Blog. You modified or cut short some of the quotes in the comment sections. This story was posted at the end of October just when I first discovered that the RapidRide implementation proposals had a huge implications for the inner city bus routes and had not been publicized. Most of the publicity had to do with West Seattle, Ballard, Shoreline. I had decided to look at the details of how it would work in West Seattle and in this exploration noticed that there were huge changes planned for the many buses here. The story I published mainly pointed the reader to information on the Metro website and listed the routes that would be impacted and acknowledged that at first glance some of it seemed upsetting and some interesting. I was still taking thinking over all the information as were most in the comment section. Quote: “Some of the new plans seem interesting and maybe good. Others seem upsetting enough that it will take a bit to for me to look at it and evaluate it as a whole. Everyone should take a look. The transit blog supports all of the changes. However, we should all have our say.

    Then in the comment section there was a fairly vigorous discussion that included the following comments
    Full QUOTE ONE: “There was talk of an express bus along Madison, all the way between the lake and the ferry terminal. Has that been scratched? These new proposals make my two-mile bus commute 40+ minutes with a half mile walk or a guaranteed transfer. It’s already hard enough to get up and down Madison from Miller Park to the business district. I think the changes are dreadful. This might have supported the #11 going to the ferries.)
    Full QUOTE TWO: RE: RE: Express Madison Bus
    We live in Madison Valley and we work in the business core, not the retail core, so getting from home to work is a 40+ minute nightmare. With the viaduct currently closed, we are resorting to walking (as long as the weather holds). This isn’t always viable. With the proposed changes we’ll be forced to transfer or walk at least a half mile each time we take the bus. With fares at $2.50 each way, and $10 daily parking at work, my fiance and I are likely to just start driving. The price is a wash and we’ll save a half hour. What a mess!(This post did not support the changes and is not impressed with current service along Madison.)

    1. Oh, wow. Wow. Did you really just try to steal people’s intentions away from them?

      Firstly, the “AMEN” quote was from someone who clearly supports the changes and the speed it will bring to the neighborhood. And yes, you immediately questioned why that person would have any interest in getting places other than your beloved “retail core.”

      But good job replacing it with a comment from a totally different person!!

      The point was that nobody but you thinks that “the retail core” is the be-all-and-end-all around which we should structure 50 separate routes. The point was that nobody but you is satisfied with present-day service, by which just leaving downtown on any route is such a nightmare that these city residents would find driving two miles to be better.

      The second commenter was wrong about the effect the changes will have on time. For the first time ever, nowhere within a “two-miles commute” will be more than 10-15 minutes from downtown, at any time, ever. 40 minutes is the current situation, and it needs to end!

  60. During this time I have also simply posted stories that were updates from Metro in an effort to give residents information with no commentary.

  61. d.p. I did not call anyone a liar. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, that all are sometimes mistaken in what they say without intentionally lying. I invite all to read the post from October and the comments and make their own judgments.

    1. Joanna, I do not actually think that you mean harm. But your stubbornness has lead you to abuse the arguments and statements of those who advocate for change with a level of disingenuousness that is difficult to stomach.

      It has been explained to you literally hundreds of times that the intention of this restructure is to dramatically speed up service and reliability for all. Not to “prioritize” the ferry terminal. And certainly not to hurt urban riders.

      And yet, time after time, you write things about how “Metro wants to serve ferry riders at the expense of everyone else.”

      So, time after time, we have to call bullshit on you. Faster service that comes when it’s supposed is not a penalty. Leave your victim complex at home.

  62. Gordon, yes, I agree that the #60 seems to be heavily used by students and maybe some faculty and staff at Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). If I were going to go to Seattle Community College I would exit the #2 and walk. However I am usually header further north on Broadway to around Mercer or Roy and enter the #60 at E. Union. I would say 50% to 75% of the riders exit at the next stop that is the one at SCCC and when I return to E. Union many enter the #60 at SCCC.

    1. Good to know. I feel bad for all of the detours that those SCCC students have to take to reach the front doors of the hospitals.

      These SCCC students will no doubt benefit from the planned frequency improvements to the (much faster) route #9. The #9 plus a transfer to the #36 will eventually provide service about three or four times faster than a one-seat ride on the #60 will ever be able to.

      See how transfers can be helpful?

      And once the Capitol Hill Link station exists and the restructured West Seattle services exist, you’ll never seeing a SCCC-to-White Center rider on the #60 ever again.

      1. ok, when will this all be integrated? I believe, d.p. that we can agree there likely be a need to rethink some routes in parts of the inner city when the light rail at E. John and Broadway and the First Hill street car begin service. Perhaps we could agree of this should be done in an integrated way that serves the inner city and engages the users and the affected communities, not mainly to make way for RapidRide. There are people in the communities who can offer solutions to some of the immediate concerns.

      2. This is not about “making way for RapidRide.”

        This is about fixing lots of problems on lots of routes simultaneously, and taking advantage of each downtown change to help every other line that accesses downtown work better together.

        Again, this is not about “making way for RapidRide.”

        Meanwhile, the #2 has been horrible on Spring/Seneca for years, and as the city’s population increases, it is only getting worse by the year. Waiting until 2016 to fix something that should have been fixed yesterday is insane and absurd.

        [ad hom]

    1. And, again, the money quote is this one:

      “Why are you trying to get to 4th and Madison? You have great service to the retail core and access to Queen Ann.” (sic)
      — Joanna to someone who clearly does not regard very slow service to the “retail core” as paramount in the way she does.

      1. Yes this was a fairly long thread. I invite anyone to look at it. At one point I realized that there was a misunderstanding and posted a remark recognizing that I was mistaken when I said returning from 4th and Madison would be a breeze. I was thinking about the #12 which is a breeze. I also recognized that walking to Pike or transferring from the #2 or the #12 would be the only options for Madison Valley from the Central Library. And due to a post desiring a bus from Madison Park Beach to the ferries down Madison I also said if the 11 were routed down Madison to the ferries, the #2 would not have to also be rerouted.

      2. I was thinking about the #12 which is a breeze.

        And the #12 is about to get breezier, when the reliability-killing 1st Ave loop goes away.

        Anyway, you’ve finally admitted it. The #12 is a breeze on Marion/Madison. The #2 deserves to be a breeze as well!

        Death to slow transit!

  63. ok, lets try a thread regarding the comment on the #60 as an alternative to the #2 on Seneca. When the Capitol Hill Link Station, the First Hill Street Car, improved service and all be integrated? I believe, d.p. that we can agree there likely be a need to rethink some routes in parts of the inner city when the light rail at E. John and Broadway and the First Hill street car begin service. Perhaps we could agree of this should be done in an integrated way that serves the inner city and engages the users and the affected communities, not mainly to make way for RapidRide. There are people in the communities who can offer solutions to some of the immediate concerns.

    Maybe the #2 is a breeze too as currently configured and a few improvements.

      1. breeze noun \ˈbrēz\

        1b : a wind of from 4 to 31 miles (6 to 50 kilometers) an hour

        The 2 averages 2-4 mph between downtown and the Central District. Actually slower than the gentlest of breezes!

        2 : something easily done : cinch

        Nope. Riding the #2 certainly isn’t that either!


        Sorry, Joanna. Even Mirriam-Webster thinks thou dost protest too much.

        “…as currently configured and a few improvements.”

        One suggestion.
        Just name one.
        That isn’t “keep the #2 exactly the same.”
        I’m all ears.

  64. Let’s try that again so that the question is clear. ok, lets try a thread regarding the comment on the #60 as an alternative to the #2 on Seneca. When will the Capitol Hill Link Station, the First Hill Street Car, improved service and all be integrated? I believe, d.p. that we can agree there likely be a need to rethink some routes in parts of the inner city when the light rail at E. John and Broadway and the First Hill street car begin service. Perhaps we could agree of this should be done in an integrated way that serves the inner city and engages the users and the affected communities, not mainly to make way for RapidRide. There are people in the communities who can offer solutions to some of the immediate concerns. Thus avoiding unnecessary major disruptions to the communities involved.

    1. Oh. My. God.

      “This is not about ‘making way for RapidRide’.”

      “This is about fixing lots of problems on lots of routes simultaneously, and taking advantage of each downtown change to help every other line that accesses downtown work better together.”

      “Again, this is not about ‘making way for RapidRide’.”

      “Meanwhile, the #2 has been horrible on Spring/Seneca for years, and as the city’s population increases, it is only getting worse. Waiting until 2016 to fix something that should have been fixed yesterday is insane and absurd.

      [ad hom]

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