Tomorrow, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Silver Cloud Hotel on Broadway, the Seattle Department of Transportation will host an open house for the Madison BRT project. Madison Street, from Colman Dock to 23rd Ave, was identified in Seattle’s 2012 Transit Master Plan as a high-priority corridor which deserves investment for faster, more frequent, and more reliable transit service. Preliminary feasibility analysis indicated that 40′ buses or trolleybuses were the only viable vehicles on Madison, due to its severe slopes and hill breaks.
Last week, I sat down with Maria Koengeter, the SDOT planner in charge of this project. This meeting, and the work done so far, is essentially about the “homework” of the design: defining the purpose and need, surveying current conditions, identifying specific locations likely to be problematic, and getting agreement from key stakeholders on those things. The serious analysis and problem-solving work will take place in the coming months, notably including:
- The evaluations of different terminals, 23rd or MLK at the east end (and where to find layover space), and how best to connect with the waterfront at the west (here’s my take on the latter);
- Possible service patterns, either an open busway which could be used by services that then turn down 23rd or Broadway, or a closed service; and
- The choice or center or curb running, and if center running, whether to use island platforms with left-side doors.
I’ll be there, and I hope to see lots of STB readers there. While SDOT seems to have pervasively good ideas about transit right-of-way, signal priority and high-quality stops, it’s always good for them to hear from the public about the importance of those things.