The Seattle Department of Transportation has finalized its plan for a bus lane on Broad Street, a facility which will improve the speed and reliability of outbound trips on RapidRide D and Routes 1, 2, 13, 15X, 17X, 18X, 19, 24, and 33. We’ve written about this project several times (1, 2, 3) since its inception. In response to public feedback, including complaints about parking loss from adjacent retailers, a couple of components from were eliminated or reduced from the original plan: the bus lane will only be in effect from 7 AM to 7 PM (rather than at all times), and the eastbound bike lane originally proposed was eliminated.
One aspect of the plan has actually become more ambitious: both westbound and eastbound bus stops on Broad will be removed. In a previous post, I argued for this, as the stops in this segment are very close together, but in a response to my questions, Metro staff only agreed to consider removing the westbound stop. I’m not sure what changed Metro’s mind, but I’m certainly not going to complain. Both eastbound stops between Denny and 3rd will ultimately be replaced in favor of a single stop on Denny once SDOT completes the Denny trolleybus wire project. SDOT staff tell me that project just finished 90% design, and a public open house will be scheduled for June.
I’m little sad that the bus lane times were cut back, but congestion isn’t usually a problem on Broad St after 7 PM, so it seems like tolerable compromise. Similarly, the bike lane would have been nice, but the huge hill immediately west of 1st would have limited its patronage. One idea that occurred to me, which SDOT has promised to look in to, is extending the hours of the northbound bus lane and queue jump on 1st approaching Denny, just north of this map. Currently this only operates from 3-7 PM, but harmonizing its operation with the new lane on Broad St makes sense to me.