A couple of stories in the Times have caught transit advocates’ interest in the past week. There are a few stories from STB’s past that are quite relevant:

First, although I discussed the general implications of Danny Westneat’s complaints about bus service yesterday, I didn’t address his specific issue with buses on Denny Way. Although more money would help at the margins, what’s really needed is a dramatic rethink of car flow in this corridor.  Zach wrote the definitive piece on how to inexpensively improve Denny, changing a few stops and streets, in 2011. There are also more subtle improvements on Denny near Seattle Center, including this and this. And if you’re thinking a bit outside the box, there’s the gondola proposal.

Secondly, a Mike Lindblom piece today hints at the possibility ($) of new revenue projections reducing the scale of Metro cuts, although the only numbers he provides are a “best case scenario.” We’ll know more soon, but in the meantime this spring’s discussion of the asymmetric bias of revenue projections is still relevant.

58 Replies to “From the Archives: Denny Way and Revenue Projections”

  1. Denny is obviously a problem for Metro. It affects not only reliability and travel time, but it really makes it more costly for Metro to run buses along this street. I would love to know if anyone has mapped where the worst stretches of slow buses are. The Transit Master Plan info doesn’t seem to examine this issue at all (which is an obvious failure of the TMP update, by the way).

    1. Haven’t there been some vague whisperings of a transit improvement project coming soon on Denny? Maybe something like Zach’s idea could be considered.

      1. Apparently there’s PSRC money to improve it…in 2018. But IIRC it’s just for signal optimization and possible TSP, which doesn’t do a damn bit of good if buses still sit in the freeway queue.

  2. Ah gondolas again… I suspect there will never be a serious reaction to these in the public until some private entity ponies up the money to make one without public support (like what got the SLU streetcar started).

    Here’s a weird thought about gondolas though…. could they be classified as a kind of “elevated guide-way”? If so maybe it could make use of the old monorail funding mechanism and actually be build quickly (unlike a monorail would). It might even achieve nice views of the city without having to construct a new N/S corridor that is intentionally disconnected from the core (and just gives a certain someone a pretty view of the waterfront).

    1. I’m not sure if you consider comments to this blog as “public”, but I think the overwhelming consensus here is that they make sense for the route described. If anything, I’ve yet to read a serious argument against it, other than possible legal problems because they are new to the area (i. e. plenty of people have built streetcars, but few American cities have built gondolas).

      In short, gondolas are a poor man’s subway. They are grade separated, have headways measured in seconds (not minutes) but don’t have the throughput of a real subway. But even with that weakness, they can still move a lot more people than a bus route like the 8 (which is one of Metro’s most frequent bus routes).

      1. I guess by public I mean people actually going to farmers markets or public events and advocating for it actively.. or even an advocacy website?

        It seems like it would take a lot less effort to get something like this off the ground in the mean time while we fight to get a region wide vote on ST3 and could provide real benefits downtown in the decade or so it would take to actually build ST3.

      2. Yeah, there is nothing like “Seattle Subway”. At best there is a handful of websites, explaining proposals, but no organized group. Nor is there any talk of anything by our elected leaders (although they seem to mostly be followers, not leaders).

        I agree that it should take less effort to build this than just about anything that would provide as much benefit. I hope someone will push for this, just as they did the monorail. I think when you get past the “toy” factor, it really makes a lot of sense. I think one of the big arguments (that didn’t exist a few years ago) is that it is working really well for Bogota.

        Like you said, though, this might take private funding. The thing is, if the waterfront proposal goes through, I don’t think it changes the dynamics (much). People still view it as a “ride”, rather than as a serious transportation option, even though we have lots and lots of fun public transportation machines (that are also really practical) right under our nose — they are called ferries.

      3. The fact that it’s an actual functioning gondola is more important than whether people view it as a “ride”. People were skeptical about Link until the initial line opened, but once they saw it running in a Pugetopolis neighborhood, now every neighborhood wants it. Somehow the fact that it’s running in many other cities isn’t enough: people have to see it here. If the Union gondola is built, the main obstacle for a Denny gondola is that it’s so close to it. “Why should downtown have two gondolas and a streetcar when West Seattle buses are stuck in traffic?”

        Not that I’m in favor of the Union gondola. It’s throwing money where transit isn’t needed and ignoring the critical needs. Like Denny Way (need) and the SLU Streetcar (non-need). But I’ll be glad if it’s all private money building it.

    2. If a short route is in order, I would much rather see a cable-pulled technology like that ready to open with the Oakland Airport Connector in the next few months. However, I can see that any above-ground alternative will be rather controversial and with the steepness of the hill, I don’t see how a surface alternative would work.

      .

      1. I couldn’t tell the difference between a gondola and an overhead cable car, so when I say “gondola” I mean any overhead technology that’s not (light|mono)rail or PRT.

        Speaking of which, could PRT be a possible alternative for Denny Way? I guess it would have to be a loop, so there’s the question of where the other side of the loop would be. Possibly at Union and down to the waterfront. :) Would PRT on that route have enough capacity for the demand? (“That route” meaning Denny – Broadway – Union – Waterfront.) Would it be obscenely expensive compared to (A) gondolas or (B) everything else?

      2. Gondolas are cable-pulled. They ride on (typically) a pair of fixed cables which support the cabins and are propelled by a moving cable which runs around the spools at either end.

      3. And PRT would be ridiculously expensive in the Denny corridor. It would have to be 100% grade separated with rather high supports to accommodate the gradient over I-5.

      4. @Mike Orr Indeed, but it would at least be a lot cheaper than an equivalent PRT, and likely with a similar ridership number.

    1. That’ll have an interesting impact on the reorganization issues. Seattle’s supplemental funding (if it passes) comes with pressure to preserve status-quo routing where it’s spent. (Whether it’s absolute pressure or just a minor suggestion is an unresolved legal issue.) But money recovered from the improving economy doesn’t have this limitation, so Metro could go ahead with its network consolidations. This will come to a head in Queen Anne, the Central District, and Fremont which are in most need of reorgs but are likely to need city funding beyond what the improving economy can achieve. If Metro can and is willing to reorganize those neighborhoods without tapping the city money, maybe it could apply the city money to other neighborhoods.

    2. Chad,

      If Metro “backfills in the city” while “reducing cuts in the county” that will be exactly what critics of Prop 1 have been predicting: city voters will be subsidizing service in the county for which county voters are unwilling to pay themselves.

      Now the county voters will say “Well, we’ve been subsidizing Seattle service for years” and they’d be right, so it’s perfectly justified in one way. Whether Seattle voters will see it that way remains to be tested.

      In the best of all possible worlds the extra money would not be used to purchase more unwanted and to some not insignificant degree unused service in the county but rather to accelerate the very much needed replacement of the bus fleet.

      1. Based on my unscientific talking with various folks … the possibility of, in effect, using Seattle’s Prop 1 money to “subsidize service in the county for which county voters are unwilling to pay themselves” is the one thing that can sink it.

        Someone needs to start thinking (if they haven’t already) about a straightforward, clearly understood formula to keep such a Seattle bailout of the rest of the county from occurring, something like “before every service change, Metro will apply its service guidelines to determine service levels without regard to the Seattle money; then Seattle money will be used to restore / enhance service in Seattle beyond that point.” It may need to be a bit more complicated, but it should be nearly as clear. Then, they need to start thinking about how to clearly and loudly express it. If they’ve already done the first (develop the formula), they haven’t done the second (get it out there for people to understand).

      2. the possibility of, in effect, using Seattle’s Prop 1 money to “subsidize service in the county for which county voters are unwilling to pay themselves” is the one thing that can sink it.

        I’m extremely skeptical that worry would be sufficient to take 66% down to 50%-1, especially since we’ll have a substantially more pro-transit electorate in November.

      3. As I commented in the West Seattle Blog article, “The Seattle money is tied specifically to certain routes and runs as agreed by the City Council and Metro, so only to compensate for “the cuts”. If Metro did yank additional hours from Seattle and gave them to the suburbs, that would be an additional “cut” and would have to be published [and six months worth of public hearings], and many in the county would call it unfair — and the council would probably veto it.”

        Before 2011, the county did have a policy of shifting hours to the suburbs (“40/40/20”), and councilmembers arbitrarily reassigned service hours to please one activist in their district. But that inevitably pits concilmembers against each other, because one district or street gets an extraordinary gain that the other districts or streets don’t. So then the County and Metro agreed on neutral performance metrics, mostly based on ridership but partly on coverage. That was part of the agreement that approved the 2-year temporary funding and ended the ride free area. Since then the Council is united that Metro should stick to those metrics, because not doing so would lead back to the bad old days of arbitrary route decisions and one district vs another.

        The existing subsidies seem to favor Seattle, and Metro’s ridership-based metrics also favor Seattle (because Seattle is where mega ridership happens). But Metro’s policy seems to be to keep the existing service hours in the existing districts (West Seattle, Southeast Seattle, Northeast Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, etc), and not shift them between them. Routes change, but freed-up hours are reinvested in the same district.

      4. Again, based on unscientific conversations with friends and acquaintances who voted “yes” on the county-wide Prop. 1, I suspect a fair amount of the support in Seattle was somewhat tepid. Effective counters exist to all the arguments and concerns raised by the transit-opponents (those counters have pretty much all been noted on this and other recent STB threads). But such counters need to actually be presented, loudly and clearly. What concerns me is what seems to be the widespread assumption by proponents that Seattle will automatically vote “yes” again, since it did so by such a strong margin last time, and therefore no effort need be made. More than one election has been lost by similar overconfidence.

        I’m also not sure about having a more transit-friendly electorate this time. True, general elections turn out more voters that special ones, and occasional voters tend to be more pro-transit that “perfect” voters. But, this fall, the Seattle turnout may not be all that large. There is no U.S. Senator on the ballot, no warm (let alone hot) Congressional races in Seattle districts, and very few really contested legislative races in Seattle proper. I don’t see much excitement/concern among occasional voters about the pre-school proposals. There IS excitement on the background checks initiative(s), but, notoriously, initiatives involving the NRA are far better at turning out pro-NRA occasional voters than NRA-skeptic occasional voters. Of course, NRA enthusiasts are considerably thinner on the ground in Seattle than in the suburbs, let alone Eastern Washington; but there are more than you might think. And most (certainly not all) of them are anti-transit. If the Eyman initiative to overrule Seattle’s minimum wage makes the ballot, that would be a godsend for transit, but it may not. So, the general election electorate this November could be about as pro/anti transit as the special election one.

        Transit will win in Seattle, and win comfortably, in November, IF transit opponents’ arguments are countered energetically, loudly, and intelligently (and with officeholder public buy-in where appropriate). It could fail if transit proponents think they can just coast.

  3. What makes the most sense is a light rail line to replace the 8. Of the various ideas, I would rank them roughly like so:

    High Value:
    Ballard to the UW.
    Metro 8 replacement. BRT improvements (which include SoDo to I-5 HOV lane).

    Medium Value:
    Additional line(s) to Ballard
    Kirkland to East Link light rail

    Low Value. Everything else. This includes (but is not limited to):
    West Seattle light rail
    Issaquah light rail
    Link south of Kent, or north of Lynnwood
    Various wacky ideas like another crossing of Lake Washington

    1. I’d rank a gondola as higher-value than a light rail line up Denny, because it’d be so much cheaper, more frequent, and more attractive to tourists.

      1. Ok, so how do you fund said gondola? Sound Transit has said before they will not build them because they are not specifically legally empowered to do so. (or something along those lines)

        Metro has no money for this kind of thing.

        If you can come up with a funding mechanism and start actually advocating for it (rather than just commenting on forums) this idea might go somewhere.

      2. City of Seattle? Seattle Monorail, as Charles suggests upthread? Or change ST’s legislation, since it’d need to be changed anyway to allow for an ST3 package.

      3. @William C.

        That Charles was me. I guess I am a little tired of just seeing ideas get bounced around without more action on them. We are already acting to try and make Seattle Subway a reality… how about some activism out there to make these shorter throws closer to reality?

        Anyone?

      4. (Oops, didn’t notice your name.) I haven’t worked with any political activism before since a bit of door-knocking in high school, and what’ s more, I live on the Eastside. So I’m probably one of the worst people to lead any campaign. But I’d gladly brainstorm ideas and join in when I’ve time.

      5. I don’t think there’s a legal impediment to ST building gondolas. From what I remember in ST’s long-range plan draft, ST just decided not to. Partly because there’s no existing gondola network in this area, and partly because gondolas haven’t been widely used in cities. ST put them in the same category as monorails and PRT and maglev.

      6. @William — I think gondolas are a better value (as I said above, calling them a “poor man’s subway”). I would be fully in favor of a gondola line through there, even if it someday becomes “redundant” in the future. The cost is really low, and I think it will always be reasonably popular, even if folks decide to take the subway. When you consider that it will probably be many years before a subway line is built there, it just makes sense to build the gondola right away.

        But a subway makes sense there, nonetheless. Just as a subway makes sense from the UW to downtown. It is hard to see how a subway line to Tukwila, let alone Federal Way, makes more sense than a subway line in one of the the most populous areas in the entire state (especially when the route also happens to be a major traffic bottleneck). Oh, and it is growing extremely fast (just look at this and zoom in to the area https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=z_Uf08eywQjk.k-13ENVDTX1g). As an example, consider this project, which is big, but fairly typical: http://web1.seattle.gov/DPD/permitstatus/Project.aspx?id=3017232&t=4. One thousand residential units, along with retail and 850 parking spaces. In Tukwilla, this one, single building would increase the population by over 5%. In Lynnwood, by 3%. But its not just the population (and the retail, which means plenty of workers) but also the cars. Adding 850 cars to an area that is already crowded will simply add to the traffic woes (and make the Metro 8 an even bigger headache for guys like Danny Westneat). There just isn’t anything like that in West Seattle, Burien, Federal Way, Tacoma or Everett. The fact that is only a few miles means that it is a much better value than just about anything else we are considering.

      7. Is SoundTransit specifically excepted from building elevators and escalators? The reason I ask is that they seem to be able to build those just fine so long as they feed Link lines.

        Maybe this would work as a good connection between the west side 520 bridge bus stop and the UW station? It would be really expensive at this point to add a full Link station there, and a gondola would be able to climb steep enough to get over the ship canal.

    2. One thing that I would personally like to see with the completion of the U-link would be shifting routes like the 545 and 255 out of downtown and start them from the U-District stop of the link light rail. Though my issue would be that there isn’t enough capacity on the current Montlake exit to really support it (plus the bridge is tricky on the best of times. Plus you can shift the 44 terminal over to there for maximum benefit. Also Montlake/Pacific would need to be reworked a bit…

      1. That is one of the trickier transfers in the system. Link should have added a station at 520, but didn’t (nor did they allow for future infill, which is probably the bigger mistake). The toughest part probably isn’t the ramp, which can be redone as part of redoing 520, but the bridge. There are only so many lanes across it, so a bus route that goes through there will probably be stalled, even if it “jumps ahead”. Unless the city spends a bunch of money (which is unlikely) it will probably end up being simply a bad transfer (requiring a sizable walk).

      2. It would seem like WSDOT could widen the Montlake exit to add a bus lane without too much difficulty. They already own all the necessary right-of-way. That would solve about 90% of the problem, right there. Even if the buses occasionally have to wait for a bridge opening, it’s a lot less big of a deal if they don’t have to wait in a long line of cars to cross the bridge after it re-opens to traffic.

        We could mitigate bridge openings even further if it were possible to convince the coast guard that it’s ok to make a billionaire wait an extra minute to get his yacht across when a busload of 50+ people is approaching.

      3. Kelly,

        A major reason that East Link comes from the south end of downtown is that Sound Transit’s ridership models show that once North Link reaches Lynnwood four car trains at three minute headways will be fully loaded between Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill stations. There were several long posts a couple of years ago considering having East Link diverge at Husky Stadium and cross in the SR 520 corridor. This was because there was some doubt that the State Supreme Court would allow the conversion of the reversible lanes on the I-90 bridge.

        The consensus is that there will be no capacity for more trains and that by 2035 the planned system will be at capacity. If there can be no more trains added and the trains which run are filled to capacity, there would be no capacity to carry the passengers from the diverted 520 bus routes.

        Yes, in the interim it could certainly work. So, if ST3 includes a Totem Lake-Bellevue spur to capture the riders crossing 520 and transferring for downtown within a reasonable timeframe — and passes — then such a truncation could work temporarily. It might require that the final car order for the main stem be accelerated but that’s not an insurmountable difficulty.

        By the way, such a spur to Kirkland and Totem Lake will require either the Montlake Vent be dug or some sort of turnback facility between Westlake and Capitol Hill be provided because headways from International District north to wherever the spur trains turn back will have to drop to 2-1/2 minutes.

    3. +1 RossB, although I’d raise West Seattle to medium. All quarters of the city need light rail or at least Swift-like BRT. That’s the only way to make the entire city accessible to the bulk of residents, which is an essential prerequisite to becoming a primarily-non-driving city.

      1. Swift like BRT makes a lot of sense for West Seattle. I won’t go into all the details, but consider:

        1) It already has much of the infrastructure of BRT (freeways with HOV lanes). It might need more, but unlike a lot of areas (Ballard to the UW) it is mostly there.
        2) SoDo could become a major transit center. It has greater potential than Northgate, just because getting to Northgate will always be extremely difficult. The SoDo station already has a busway, and is surrounded by freeway lanes (which could use HOV ramps).
        3) There is practically nothing between West Seattle and SoDo. This makes it especially bad for light rail. Miles of empty space are not good for light rail. You want multiple destinations. There just isn’t one between West Seattle and SoDo.
        4) Getting light rail to West Seattle is expensive. West Seattle is not unique in this regard (we have a tough topography). But it also means that it won’t be the relative bargain (per mile) that a lot of our transit is. I would argue that getting to Lynnwood is not a good value, but at least getting from Northgate to Lynnwood didn’t cost a fortune. Getting to West Seattle would be really expensive.
        5) West Seattle is a bulbous peninsula, not a linear one. This means that the trains can’t possibly serve all of the reasonably dense areas. Buses can funnel people to the train, but in many cases, it is easier if the buses use the existing infrastructure (i. e. just get on the freeway and go to SoDo).

      2. Truncating buses at SODO is a lot less effective than truncating buses at the UW for several reasons:
        – SODO is a lot closer to downtown than the UW, so a lot less service hours saved.
        – The approach from SODO into downtown is relatively uncongested compared to getting across Denny Way on Stewart St.
        – The UW is an actual significant destination in its own right. Virtually everybody getting off the bus at SODO would be transferring on to downtown.
        – A one-seat alternative from Redmond to the downtown would still exist, even with a route 545 truncation – ride EastLink all the way. Under your proposal, no such alternative would exist.
        – SODO is a really crappy place to wait for a bus, compared to the UW. Nobody is going to want to make the train->bus connection after dark – especially late at night, when even the truncated bus is likely to be half-hourly at best.

      3. @asdf,

        For SoDo to become a transfer point it would need to have some sort of elevated terminal with covered bays and some degree of security. A little “bus station”.

        Such a facility would probably cost at least $100 to $150 million dollars but it would pay for itself rapidly by removing thousands of bus hours per day from slow operation downtown. Make the inner lane of the Fourth Avenue off-ramp from Spokane and the right-hand lane of Fourth South north to Spokane bus only, add a bus right turn cycle to the light at that intersection so that buses can turn into a new center of the road bus-only lane with a pre-emption light at the busway for rapid left turns into the busway. Then, just about the grade up to the elevated for link raise the northbound lane to clear Lander, cross over it and curve right into a three or four lane elevated bus station over the existing rock yard.

        At the east end of the facility the buses would return to Lander via a down ramp, turning into an eastbound bus only lane. As soon as it crossed the Link tracks and under the new northbound ramp it would ascend to cross over Fourth South, the BNSF railroad tracks and curve into First Avenue South into the center left turn lane. Access from First Avenue South to the portion of Lander between First and Colorado would be made via a left turn at Forest and right turn onto Utah.

        Buses headed for West Seattle would stay in the left lane and use the First Avenue South ramp to Spokane; those headed farther south would move to the right and continue south on First Avenue South.

      4. @asdf — Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that any bus that serves (or could serve) the U-District should be truncated at SoDo. I am talking about buses that come from the south. This means everything from the southern freeways (West Seattle freeway, 509, 599/99, and I-5). This includes areas like West Seattle, Burien, White Center, Georgetown, Tacoma, etc.

        As far as your other points are concerned, I disagree. A significant amount of time is spent getting a bus from SoDo to downtown. SoDo, like a lot of the city, is likely to grow. It is no UW, nor will it be. But twenty years ago South Lake Union was a lonely, scary place too — now it isn’t. I’m not saying that SoDo will match that kind of growth, but it is less than a mile to Safeco Field, and the area is rapidly becoming part of “greater downtown”. It is also the global home of a Fortune 500 company (Starbucks). It doesn’t take much imagination to see growth from the Pioneer Square to SoDo. Much of the area is zoned industrial, and that won’t change in a dramatic way, but a little flexibility by the city could allow the area to grow substantially. Unlike a lot of neighborhoods, I doubt there would be objections to really big buildings. A handful of those and it changes the neighborhood. Likewise, a really good pedestrian corridor to the north would do a better job of connecting the area to Pioneer Square (an area that is seeing substantial growth right now).

        As Richard said, security would be part of the deal with any new bus station. Speaking of which, I agree with his post. I would go even further, and add a bus-only lane from I-5 to the busway. This would be expensive, but would provide for a completely grade separated line from Tacoma to SoDo, once the state finishes the HOV lane work in Fife. None of this is cheap, but it isn’t that expensive, either. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars, not billions (which is what light rail to West Seattle would cost). Meanwhile, this would benefit a lot more people than light rail to West Seattle. For example, a bus from Tacoma should be able to get to SoDo in about a half hour — during rush hour.

      5. SODO development is being held back by industrial zoning. If it weren’t, it would be like Belltown or SLU now. But some people including me and the city leadership are hesitant to allow our last remaining industrial areas to be converted to housing/offices/retail, because that’d puts all our economic eggs in one basket and eliminate the ability to expand industry in the future if the need should arise. It’s hard to believe that energy-intensive transoceanic shipping will continue forever. Either a war or a climatic shock could interrupt it, or a spike in oil prices caused by a mideast war. Local manufacturing may become more urgent at any time, and it would be good for Seattle to have land available for it. Not just manufacturing but the hundreds of small blue-collar companies that are always starting up and doing an incredible variety of things. They can’t pay the rents that residential/office/retail zoning would require, but they’re a vital underpinning to our economy and our way of life.

      6. I agree Mike, we need an industrial area. It is tough to get the mix right. But I would say a couple things. First, you would not need the area to look like South Lake Union to add a bunch of density. Unlike much of South Lake Union, big buildings wouldn’t be too controversial. I could easily see 25 story buildings being built without complaint. Second, I’m talking about carving out a relatively small area. Smaller than the “Seattle Mixed” area by South Lake Union. If you created an area as big as the “Pioneer Square Mixed” area, it would only reduce the industrially zoned area by a small amount (less than one percent by my reckoning). I’m not sure you would need to add even that much land to make it a bustling business area (if not a decent residential area).

  4. I don’t wish to hijack this comment thread, but it seems to me that the many, many buses that use 45th Street in the U District are subject to being stuck in precisely the same freeway traffic, to and from I-5, as the 8 is on Denny Way. The only thing I can come up with is to make the ramps to/from northbound I-5 buses only during the AM/PM rush hours and divert the car traffic to the 50th Street on/off ramps. Of course, I don’t know how bad the situation is already like on 50th Street during the rush hours, as I’m always stuck on a bus on 45th Street brainstorming solutions to the bugbear.

    1. 45th is the most acute need in north Seattle, and Denny Way is the most acute need in central Seattle. But almost everybody puts 45th first, as does ST and Seattle Subway and RossB above, because north Seattle has fewer transit alternatives. There are tons of ways to get from SLU or Uptown to downtown and transfer to Capitol Hill, but there’s no comparable way to get around north Seattle, and the distances are longer up there so it’s harder to walk or take an alternative route.

      1. +3. I’d go further and say that 45th street between 15th Ave NE and I-5 should be bus-/bike-only during peak times. Even after Roosevelt station opens, I don’t know that CT has any plans to terminate their UW-bound buses there. Either way, the 44 runs there all day and it’s a major chokepoint for it (along with all of Wallingford).

      2. “I’d go further and say that 45th street between 15th Ave NE and I-5 should be bus-/bike-only during peak times.”

        My northbound 71 today would have appreciated it. But if you did ban all cars from 45th peak hours, they’d have to go somewhere, and that means 50th and 40th. 50th has a freeway entrance, so would all cars be diverted to there? How would that impact 50th and the upper U-District (aka University Heights); would it degrade its pedestrian quality?

      3. @Mike Orr – 50th might possibly get worse, although it’s already so unpleasant to walk along/across I doubt anyone would actually notice.

    2. @Mike Orr

      Is there much parking on 45th we could convert into bus only lanes instead of taking the whole street?

      1. @Charles B – there is no parking at all, until one is in Wallingford (just past I-5 around 4th Ave NE). It’s two lanes each direction, with an occasional left-turn lane thrown in. According to the SDOT traffic volume map, 45th had 35,300 weekday traffic volume between 15th Ave NE and I-5 which is way too high for re-channelization (SDOT prefers volumes below 20000).

  5. Wow my mapping skills have sure improved since 2011. :) But I definitely still stand by that Denny proposal.

  6. Is there potential to save the 47 with these savings? make it rush hour only and an extension of a line into downtown like the 14 as it used to be. Its so short anyway but serves one of thr densest parts of the Pacific Northwest in a very hilly area on a legacy route with fixed infrastructure. If someone was going to choose a location to live where they could depend on transit, this is it. This going to be a real hardship for many.

    1. No. Metro and the county and city have already decided not to compensate for the September cuts. And Metro has already made the new route schedules and driver assignments, which start in just 1 1/2 weeks. Possibly in the future Metro might reinstate the 47 or something on Summit, but that would be a reinstatement, not a preserving.

      I lived at Bellevue & Thomas for five years, although now I’m further south where the 43 and 47 overlap. So I’ll be impacted by it, and I’d be more so if I still lived at Thomas, and even more if I’d taken that apartment on Summit & Roy I looked at. I noticed that it takes longer than it looks to walk from Roy to Olive or Pine or Westlake Station. But at the same time I noticed that the 47 (then 14) was almost empty off-peak. I also saw that Metro’s scheduling exasperated it, by putting the eastbound 47 three minutes after the 43. It should have been before the 43, to attract both the people who needed it and the people who could take it, but instead it lost both. So the 47 is a loss, but it’s a minor loss compared to the transit needs in other parts of the city that don’t have another route within five blocks.

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