Leary Way & 20th Ave NW, looking at a bus stop
Leary Way & 20th Ave NW

See that bus stop? You probably wouldn’t unless you were looking for it, and if you were walking on that sidewalk, you’d find it’s almost impossible to see until you stumble onto it, the sign being completely obscured by the bushes. If you try to catch a bus there, you’ll find you have to stand right at the curb to be visible to the driver (here’s the passenger’s-eye view from that point) — and it’s worse at night, when the bushes block what little street light there is, making it easy for drivers to sail right past you, and lending the stop a sketchy, unsafe feel despite its proximity to bustling Ballard Ave.

The stop has other problems. The sign is bolted into a concrete slab about 4′ wide at the curb, placed in a narrow gap in the bushes. Because parked cars usually crowd the front of the zone, it’s very difficult (impossible when the bike rack is open) for a bus to pull all the way up to the sign to the deploy the ramp or lift correctly onto the slab; assuming the driver sees you, you’ll probably have to step down into the street to get on the bus. So basically, this stop is ADA-inaccessible, for the sake of a bit of laurel hedge. There’s no shelter. And to crown it all, there’s a stop with none of these deficiencies about 400′ southeast of here, directly across from the Ballard Food Bank — a minute’s walk down this street.

All these problems might merely be vexing and not terribly pressing if they were associated with a little-used stop on a turnaround loop, or even on a sleepy daytime-only coverage route, but this stop happens to be on two important routes from Ballard to Seattle, the 17 and 18. After September, it’ll be on the revised 18 (renumbered 40) and the new 61 (Sunset Hill shuttle), the former becoming a major trunk route between Ballard, Fremont, South Lake Union and Downtown. Getting this stop wrong affects lots of people — and Metro is getting it seriously wrong right now.

More after the jump.

It’s worth zooming out a little and looking at the whole stretch of Leary Way between 15th Ave NW and Market St, as there are several ways it could be improved for both transit and pedestrians. The road has two wide travel lanes, with parking, in each direction; there are no signals, and only one marked crosswalk, at 20th Ave. Near 15th Ave, the area is industrial, without much pedestrian activity, but towards Market, Leary cuts into the pedestrian-friendly heart of Ballard; cars tend to move pretty fast throughout, it’s not a nice street to cross, and buses get stuck trying to pull out from stops, of which there are too many. Here’s how they are laid out:

Bus stops on Leary Way
Bus stops on Leary Way

The stop photographed above is labeled orange, and the offset northbound stop it’s paired with is purple; the stops on 15th Ave labeled blue are future RapidRide stops (and are already well used), the green stops are the main stops for the heart of Ballard (and easily the busiest in the area); the red stops are by the Food Bank, and it’s obvious how the red and orange stops are absurdly close. (The second stop icon near the purple dot is the layover bay for the 75, which is technically a different zone, but the distinction isn’t important on the street).

If I had my druthers, Metro would take out all the stops between 15th and Market except those at the Food Bank. The rest are very lightly used; there would be about 0.3 miles between stops, just over Metro’s quarter-mile standard for local service, plenty to maintain coverage in this flat, gridded area. Next, I’d upgrade the Food Bank stops with bus bulbs, so buses didn’t have to turn out of traffic. These very small, very cheap changes would significantly improve the speed, reliability, and usability of the buses on Leary, and could be done administratively, without extensive public process.

The final improvement is probably out of scope for Metro, but would dramatically improve the pedestrian experience in this area, greatly benefiting riders. When streets cross obliquely, such as at 20th & Leary, they tend to create diamond-shaped intersections that are terrible for pedestrians: longer crossing distances than in an equivalent right-angle intersection, traffic coming from all angles, and drivers taking the resulting shallow right turn (in this case, from Leary on to 20th) too fast, because the safe-looking turn has deceptive sightlines. Compounding the problem here is Vernon Place, awkwardly intersecting Leary just west of 2oth Ave at a different angle.

To fix this, I’d have SDOT construct curb bulbs on each corner of the intersection of 20th Ave and Leary, basically in a combination of what’s being done in Eastlake, with the Fairview & Fairview intersection, the intersection of Blanchard & Westlake, and the simple bulbs found in places like 3rd & Cedar. This would narrow all the pedestrian crossings by about a third, eliminate the shallow turn, dramatically improve pedestrian sightlines, and make the intersection safer for all road users. Finally, I’d have SDOT install stop signs at this intersection, which would significantly reduce car speeds in the vicinity, creating a transition between the car-oriented part of Leary and the pedestrian-oriented center of Ballard.

Small fixes to make stops (and the surrounding pedestrian infrastructure) safe, accessible, obvious, and easy to use aren’t going to save the world, but I regard them as I do Sound Transit’s belated fixing of the misleading voice messages at Convention Place Station: a sine qua non for a competent transit agency (and in this case, the city) to prove to you, the public, that the agency is actually trying to win your patronage, to get you to leave your car and walk or ride.

62 Replies to “Fixing Leary Way”

  1. Yeah, I’d support Metro making all these changes, too. Even with the cars zooming by, it’s not too much trouble to walk along the same side of the street, so 0.3 miles is fine.

    As far as how it cuts into the heart of Ballard, I find myself going the long way (via Market St. and Ballard Ave.) just to cross that road when going by bicycle, even though I’d much rather cross at 20th.

    1. Yeah, I agree. Even just a cheap road diet from Market to 17th or 15th would help slow down cars and greatly improve pedestrian crossing safety. I’ll bet there are fewer than 25,000 cars a day along this stretch (SDOT’s threshold for considering road diets on 4-lane roads).

  2. “Because parked cars usually crowd the front of the zone, it’s very difficult (impossible when the bike rack is open) for a bus to pull all the way up to the sign to the deploy the ramp or lift correctly onto the slab; assuming the driver sees you, you’ll probably have to step down into the street to get on the bus. So basically, this stop is ADA-inaccessible, …”

    This is the case with many Metro bus stops. Cars park all the way up to the stop sign, leaving insufficient room to pull up at the actual stop and deploy the lift or ramp. Metro drivers do this as well, when swapping vehicles.

    I don’t know if this is an SDOT oops, or ubiquitous throughout all the cities served by Metro.

    Of course, if they are going to go to great expense to fix this oops, why not use this as an opportunity to start turning all the stops into bus bulbs, where feasible? Do that, and the parking spot can stay. Without it, a parking spot needs to go away.

    1. It’s ubiquitous everywhere, and actually much worse in a lot of other cities than it is here, because we have fairly strict parking enforcement.

      In DC and Boston it is common for the entire zone to be taken up by parked cars. Wheelchairs often have to be loaded from the street; distressingly often, they get passed up.

      The solution is bus bulbs. If we can’t have bus bulbs, then (in Seattle, where people at least sort of refrain from parking in bus stops) the next best thing is to have an accessible pad or area set back 6′-10′ from the sign, and make sure the sign is a bus length plus 6′-10′ from the intersection behind it. Quite a few stops are already like this.

      1. needed: precast bus bulbs, with bus stop post included in the cast.
        sdot brings on a truck, unloads with forklift, metro bolts on correct sign.

      2. I’d say that drivers are much worse about temporarily standing (motor running) in bus zones in Boston and New York, but that they really don’t park in them, as the tickets are well over $100 and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get one if you’re even an inch beyond a legal space.

        In Seattle, parking enforcement is pretty lousy when it comes to “on the fence” situations like the one by that hedge.

        That said, Seattle drivers are relatively respectful of the striped curbs when they’re clearly visible. So the solution is twofold but quite easy:
        – Refresh the paint
        – Move the sign so that it is five feet behind the start of the paint

        And if you want to go the extra mile, paint striped triangles at the front and back of the bus zone, to clearly show where the bus pulls in, how far it pulls forward, and the path it needs to pull out.

      3. My comment is based on experience living in both cities.

        My first apartment in DC had bus stops outside of it. They were full of parked cars throughout nights and weekends. (And, yes, the bus route involved — the D6 — ran nights and weekends, reasonably frequently.) I never saw any enforcement, not even a ticket, even though people got ticketed regularly in the adjacent metered spaces.

        My house in DC also had a bus stop outside. Enforcement would target people in the back of the zone, but not in the front. Typically there would be 1-2 cars parked behind the bus stop sign at all times. On Sundays, enforcement was ignored altogether and the zone was usually full. (The bus, the 64, ran on Sundays.)

        When I lived in Boston (going to school), there were bus stops directly outside of my school. People got ticketed, but ignored the tickets and parked there anyway. It was very rare for the bus stop to be completely unblocked.

      4. One more thing… don’t move the sign. People think it’s OK to park in front of the sign even if the curb is painted. Instead, just have the bus stop a few feet behind the sign. There’s no Metro policy requiring you to stop directly at a bus stop sign.

      5. I get the sense that people are a little warier of tickets (in Boston) now that they’re well-archived electronically and there’s risk of a boot. But again, this keeps people from leaving their cars in blatantly illegal spot; they’re still perfectly willing to sit wherever with the motor running.

        I don’t know DC well, but I wonder if gentrification will bring better enforcement.

      6. I’ve actually heard about a thing (in San Francisco I think) where they essentially build a deck out into the street, usually where a parking spot used to be, for outdoor seating and such. It is a low-cost way of extending the sidewalk without needing to pour pavement. I wonder if something like this would allow us to get a lot more bus and pedestrian bulbs for our money. I would prefer something a lot more permanent, of course, but we have to deal with the reality. The question is whether something like that would be safe enough, and stand up over time.

      7. …And yes, do move the sign.

        When the sign is at the very front of the bus zone, and cars can 100% legally park six inches in front of that sign, and many operators feel an obligation to pull right up to that sign… that’s why you have to wait for both lanes to clear before the bus can swing back into the road.

        My experience is that people in Seattle respect the painted stripes as long as they are visible. So keep them visible.

        And in areas where you need to be extra clear about the space the bus needs to pull out, use these: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4588797277_260a37d4c6.jpg

      8. Better to train operators that they don’t need to pull all the way up than to try to train random car drivers. I can tell you with some certainty that, in parking-challenged neighborhoods, people often use the sign as their landmark for where they can park. I remember this being a particular problem along Summit/Belmont, at the always-fun inbound Pine and Bellevue stop, and at Fremont/34th.

      9. “Better to train operators that they don’t need to pull all the way up”

        But that’s the thing, with these stops that are just little concrete slabs, you actually do need to pull all the way up if you aren’t going to make riders step into the street. The fix is to not build (or to close) non-functional bus stops.

      10. The Leary stop in question has two slabs. On the infrequent occasions when I used to stop there, if a car was parked immediately in front, I would stop with the front door at the back slab, rather than the front. Sometimes people would be slightly annoyed having to walk 15 feet, but it worked pretty well.

        In the city, there are only a very few stops where you have no option but to pull all the way to the sign, and most of them see relatively little use.

  3. I wholeheartedly support the bus bulbs, not just here, but pretty much everywhere. They are a huge benefit to bus riders, pedestrians, and the transit agency itself (because of the time savings).

    But I’m not convinced stop signs would be warranted here. I’d rather see an on-demand pedestrian signal. We need to strike a balance between pedestrian safety (which would be meaningfully enhanced by the bus bulb) and traffic flow. We don’t want to end up like DC or Boston, where it takes 15 minutes to drive one mile because you have to stop, or wait for a signal, at every single intersection.

    Remember, slow-as-molasses traffic flow affects buses too. When I lived in DC (along 11th St NW for those who care), I used to make a game of racing the 64 bus downtown while jogging. I’m not fast; I jog at a maximum of 8 mph. Eventually I quit the game because I beat the bus every time. We don’t want buses moving at 6 mph average here (well, we already have them on Cap Hill, but we don’t want them anywhere else).

    1. I agree completely with you. Having lived in Ballard for a while, I’ve rarely had any issues crossing at 20th, as pretty much all drivers will stop for you while crossing. Even during rush hour, most drivers headed to and from downtown take Seaview (although that might change when the missing link is put in). A pedestrian signal couldn’t hurt, but I don’t think it’s warranted at this time. And the traffic signal at Market and the horribly mistimed signals along Market are more than enough to slow drivers down as they enter downtown.

      But bus bulbs at the food bank stops and elimination of other stops along Leary are really good and cost effective ideas.

      On a side tangent, does anyone know which side of 15th the new 40 is going to stop on before heading east to Fremont?

      1. No, I was going to write about why I think it should be on the east side, but the piece was long enough already.

      2. Bruce, I’ll be curious to see that post. I’m usually in favor of farside stops no matter what, but I actually see an exception for the 40 at 15th/Leary in both directions.

        Northbound… Given that the 31 and new 32 will serve people wanting to reach Interbay or Seattle Center from Fremont, it seems to me like the more important connection from the northbound 40 at 15th would be to northbound RR D. It’s also hard to see why anyone would want to transfer from southbound RR D to northbound 40. And of course people will want to transfer from northbound RR D to northbound 40.

        Southbound… of course, the big transfer would be from the southbound 40 to southbound RR D.

        So it seems like the stop should be nearside in both directions. Just do the poor drivers a favor and set the nearside stops back from the intersections at least 30 feet, to avoid sharp right turns directly in front of the bus.

      3. Bridge traffic, bridge traffic, bridge traffic.

        Now that the 40 doesn’t have to deal with crossing the bridge, the last thing you want to do is force it to fight the right-turners just to drop its passenger.

        The east-west light is quite long here, meaning that a bus headed through the intersection and stopping on the far side will pretty much only ever have to stop once.

  4. It’s true, this stop stinks. I often eat at the restaurant across the street, Senor Moose, and I’ve seen plenty of busses blow right past people waiting there. Between the shrub and parked cars you pretty much have to stand in the street to be seen.

    There is not that much traffic on Leary and it goes way too fast. It should be lowered to two lanes and get the full Dutch cycle track treatment.

    1. It is those over grown shrubs that are the real problem. Correct me if I an wrong, but the torment belongs to the city. The shrubs need to be cut out and cement placed instead. The most difficult issue arises if a passenger needs the lift. I realize the apartments adjacent to thee stop instilled the shrubs for noise reduction and privacy, but safety on a public sidewalk has priority over a private desire to use a public thorough fare.

      1. I would personally rather see this stop removed then remove shrubbery that provides a nice barrier for pedestrians.

  5. I lived in this area when I first moved to Seattle – Leary was a pedestrian nightmare at the time and I was just over there last weekend and things really haven’t changed that much. I found that I rarely used any of the stops along Leary – there was no Express service at any of them – for 17 or 18 Expresses you had to go to Ballard/Market or 15th/Leary and there were 15 Express stops at 15th/Market and 15th/Leary. I would typically get a 15X southbound in the morning and either a 15X or 18X home (since they both stopped on 3rd Ave then 1st – the 17 used 2nd and 4th if I’m remembering correctly).

    One centralized stop with bus bulbs and a signalized crosswalk would be great. I don’t feel comfortable crossing four lane roads without a signal.

  6. Shrubs aren’t the only issue impacting visibility at stops. Those shelters with the etched glass that are turned facing *away* from the street also obscure the view both of drivers, and of waiting passengers, resulting in many buses “blowing right past”.

    As for Leary Way, I agree with Bruce – there really only needs to be one centrally located stop – near the Athletic Club and new condos – between Market and 15th. Other stops are superfluous, and mainly used by drunks stumbling up from Ballard Avenue Taverns and The Shelter on Friday and Saturday night.

    1. The Ballard Food Bank strongly advocated for its stop, and that stop (“red square” on the map) definitely represent’s the mid-point on the northbound segment between 15th and Ballard Ave.

      In the southbound direction, the “orange” square may reasonably be the mid-point, but it makes more logical sense — and increases visibility — to keep the “red” stops as a pair.

      1. Also, it should be noted that in the 5 years I’ve lived in Ballard, I have seen precisely two passengers board at the Canal Station condos in the northbound direction. Functionally, it is an exit-only stop.

        The stop at the food bank is used both to board and de-board, in both directions, and should therefore be prioritized for retention.

  7. The “hedge” stop has been that way on Leary Way for years … decades.

    At least Metro comes along and trims the hedge back. There have been times in the past where it grew out into the street, totally obscuring anyone waiting at the zone. It is a totally substandard zone and Metro’s facilities department should just close it.

  8. I’m a crusty old cynic, and my view is that Leary is unfixable. It’s simply far too wide. Not just the roadbed itself; the vast stretches of nothing on either side. Cross streets hitting at an angle, or even two (two right angled streets of the grid tangentally), and parking lots, and angle parking — all of these add to the amount of visual emptiness, as does the enormous setbacks further down. Emptiness creates those almost-freeway speeds, as much as anything. Plus, none of the buildings really engage the street; this is true all the way to Fremont. Some of the buildings are correctly designed — coming out to the deep-vee corners — but are dead in practice.

    The new emerging cafe society here and there is making a stab at it, but it’s still very much a major arterial through an industrial area. That’s never going to change.

    The thing about Leary is, it’s absolutely choked with traffic further down at certain times of the day. I drove through there yesterday a little afternoon and the bridge backups pretty much filled the entire neighborhood. A mere block away and there was no one. But you’ll never fix it unless you get rid of its arterial purpose (which has largely petered out by 20th, but still) and get rid of the bridge (or build four more of them). Seattle is a city of chokepoints.

      1. Indeed. Generally better to put the streetcar tracks in the center and make them streetcar-only, mind you. Then build platforms, and voila, you have a light rail line…

  9. Pretty much everything in this post is spot on. Bruce has a better handle on how/why Leary service does/doesn’t work than most of my neighbors do. Score one for paying close attention (and for learning the underlying principles of transit service).

    Admittedly, I often run to the “orange” stop when I think I’m going to miss the bus on Market Street (i.e. if OneBusAway says it’s early, which has been happening a lot in the mid-day ever since Metro hyper-padded the schedule). I’m a lot less likely to beat the bus all the way to the “red” stop. But this would be a reasonable trade for never again having to stop three times in a single mile in either direction (usually to discharge one person per stop).

    My only disagreement is with the suggestion of an all-way stop at 20th. A 10-second stop at the Canal Station condos often means an extra 90-second wait for the Market/Leary/22nd light to cycle through; this is one of the advantages of eliminating that stop. An all-way stop at 20th would retain the experience of (visibly, frustratingly) missed greens a block away.

  10. I have taken away from watching Metro over the last few years is there needs to be a never ending rolling review of the system. Every route, alignment and stops, should be reviewed at least once every 5-10 years. Metro should set aside a few million a year set to make capital improvement necessary to make those changes possible. These types of artifacts will build up in any system, and unless there is a ongoing and systematic review of these issues they will fall through the cracks.

    The key is there needs to be an ongoing stream on money to make changes possible and there needs to be an institutional commitment that if employees/rides actually bring up issues, the issues will at least be looked at.

    1. They don’t have to worry about the most egregious problems – Bruce studies them and makes recommendations pro bono! But you’re right they do need funding to implement the fixes.

  11. To the point and accurate conditions on this road. There are far too many stops along this road (stops mean wasted time and fuel). I ride this bus and wow that bush is my stop and I stand in the road at night waiting for the bus. As I believe the owner of the apartment is not breaking any ordnances by keeping the bush that big, since it is not hampering pedestrians on the sidewalk or car movement on the street. The ordnance (Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 10.52 WEEDS AND VEGETATION http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?s1=10.52&s2=&S3=&Sect4=AND&l=20&Sect1=IMAGE&Sect3=PLURON&Sect5=CODE1&d=CODE&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&Sect6=HITOFF&f=G) needs to be updated for the bus drivers to see those waiting to catch the bus and the those waiting do not have to wait in the street at night to be seen. If the stops change this will not be an issue here but there are other stops in Seattle that have the same issue of Low Visibility Hidden Bus Stops.

  12. Interesting that you didn’t mention the biggest issue on Leary Way, which is the terrible condition of the pavement. You guys aren’t very bike friendly, are you?

    1. I don’t recall particularly bad pavement quality here. And I’m not sure Leary will ever be a good bike street, absent a total rebuild — it’s too wide. I usually use Ballard Ave for access to the heart of Ballard, Shilshole to go east, or 20th Ave to go north.

    2. Ahh, yes, that hellhole of gaping angled concrete slabs and wildly speeding drivers. No, I use the adjacent Burke-Gilman or the perpetually-under-legal-delaying-action-missing-link-moonscape-of-free-parking that is Shilshole when I bicycle through that area.

      Good thing there’s all that tax revenue to repair the roads, right?

    3. Go troll on the Seattle Times. Your asinine comments are more welcome there. STB encourages and fact based comments so please back up whatever you say with them.

    4. I bike on Leary regularly, and it’s a smooth paradise compared to Market and other streets in the area.

      I usually am on two wheels when the Sun is down, and prefer to not ride on dimly-lit bicycle paths when the roads are wide open. Yes, I do realize I need better headlights.

  13. You know what would fix Leary? A big ol’ elevated railway down the middle. Something like a, I dunno, maybe even a monor–

    Sigh. Good thing our zero-attention-span city is focusing on the important things to spend money on, [ot]

  14. I agree about bus bulbs (they work especially well on 4-lane roads because cars are able to go around the bus) and pedestrian crossing bulbs at the 20th intersection. Those are very needed improvements. Long-term, I think the parking should be removed and replaced with cycle-tracks or wide bike lanes. There is no real need for on-street parking on such a throughway arterial, and it would be great to have better bike access to the heart of Ballard. The Burke-Gilman is great for recreation, but is too far from the main destinations in Ballard.

    I agree with other commenters that a 4-way stop is not a great idea, but I do think there need to be more lights on Leary to regulate flow and make for better crossings. They could add one or two more lights and time them for optimal speeds. That would work very well here, since the crossing roads are not that important until 15th.

    One thing you didn’t mention is how dysfunctional the crossing of 15th is for pedestrians, an important consideration if people are going to be transferring from the 40 to the RapidRide. The most annoying thing is that the pedestrian crossing light only turns if you get there in time to hit the button. It does not simply match up with the green lights for cars. This is supposedly for safety, but actually just reinforces the idea that cars always have priority and pedestrians are the “guests.” The cycle times are also very long, which is something I can never understand about traffic engineering. Isn’t it better to use shorter cycle times, especially in a situation like this where you want to meter traffic onto the bridge? The long cycle times just add to congestion on 15th and add frustration to drivers and pedestrians.

    1. Another frustrating thing is that ped signal to cross 15th doesn’t even last long enough to cross 15th without running. Even though the Leary traffic light stays green for much longer, legally a typical person would need to wait in the center part for another cycle. Seems very SoCal to me and not Seattle.

      There was a time, if I remember correctly, where the ped signals did turn green automatically, but they changed them about 2 or 3 year years ago to have buttons, along with signal cameras. I believe they did that so that the intersection was actuated instead of timed.

      But I usually run up the west side of 15th to get back home from the Burke-Gilman and it’s frustrating to get to the ped button 2 seconds after the southbound signal gets a green. Of course I end up jaywalking, because the signal takes another 90 to 120 seconds to cycle during rush hours. Maybe they can implement automatic ped walk signals during the morning and evening rush hour times, especially once RR A starts.

    2. One thing that every pedestrian in the U.S. learns very quickly is that if the car light is green in the direction you want to travel, you cross anyway, regardless of whether the pedestrian light says “walk” or “don’t walk”. The only reason you really need to wait for the walk signal when the car light is green is if you can barely walk and are unable to run the rest of the way should the light decide to turn yellow when you’re halfway across the intersection.

  15. As a Ballard resident that has to cross Leary regularly as a pedestrian, bicyclist and a car driver, this street often feels like the bane of my urban existence. If ever I were to be killed in this town, it would probably be on Leary Ave.

  16. It’s funny how psychology works. Painted crossing bars every which way, not just across Leary, would help.

    My rough measurements put the size of that intersection, counting all the parking lots and setbacks and what have you, at well over half an acre of empty space, just for 20th & Leary. 17th & Leary is larger, in psychologically empty dead space. Leary and 8th is probably three times that, all told, plus there’s the dreaded through space of parking lot-parking lot-parking lot that used to plague the Regrade right near there; if you carry on to Fred Meyer there must be well over a mile of consecutive lots. This area is incredibly blighted, as the city has apparently decided that the marine and light industrial uses need to go away, but makes it impossible for anything better to replace it. That Fred Meyer store is a major-league blight.

  17. Yeah, I hate that stop. When I drive the 17 or 18, I always pull up to the second slab of concrete to load passengers. The first one is impossible and I found that most of the time, people would actually wait on the second slab of concrete as opposed to the slab with the flag and the parked car.

  18. It seems, to me, that a good solution to the problem of parking entirely or partially within a bus zone is to subtract a few hours from meter enforcement, and add a few hours to bus zone enforcement. And, by “bus zone enforcement”, I mean citing and impounding vehicles that are entirely or partially in a a bus zone.

    1. I don’t know. As d.p. said, most people seem to respect the stripes, and I’ve seen people get towed when they don’t.

      My favorite was when I was walking home one evening and there was a tow truck removing a vehicle from the zone at 1st & Blanchard. That zone is only used four times a day, and this was long after the last trip, but they towed the car anyway.

  19. Dunno, but since the bus stop in question is only two blocks away from me I can’t see all this fuss over Leary. Hell, it’s my fourteenth year here now in B’town.

    It isn’t the best road by any means, but not as bad as some make it out to be. As a cyclist, I don’t ride the northwest end of it any longer unless absolutely necessary, I prefer Ballard Ave. The pavement isn’t as bad as some make it out to b either on Leary.

    The suggestion though that there should be only one stop(Food Bank, right?) is insane, at best. I see people get on in the middle of the day at 17th and Leary, not just drunk patrons as one poster suggested, which seemed over the top to me.

    1. Why can’t the people getting on at 17/Leary walk one block to the food bank, or two blocks to 15th? The stops in that area are too close together. That makes buses slower.

    2. Insane? You have a pretty low bar for insane. The stop is unnecessary, and somewhat dangerous. Makes sense to close it to me.

    3. As someone who would’ve missed his bus a few times if the Hedgerow stop were deleted and I had to walk to the Food Bank, I still advocate for the stop’s deletion. It’s dangerous, difficult to see, causes bus drivers to block cross-traffic, and slows down the 17 and 18.

  20. At this stop along West Valley in Kent, which is rarely used except for rush hour, they put a flashing light on top of it to signal the driver to stop. The sign tells you to press the button when you see the bus coming.

    You can see the white cowling of the light on top of the sign here:

    http://goo.gl/maps/kTa4c

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