SDOT is conducting an online survey about the Madison Street BRT project, which is in the planning process.  This project is intended to provide fast and frequent bus service along Madison Street between downtown and 23rd Avenue, using dedicated right-of-way.  The last day to take the survey is today.

Madison BRT project map, courtesy of SDOT.

The survey asks for community input on design priorities for the BRT right-of-way; priorities for transfers to and from the BRT; the location of future bike routes serving the corridor; and priorities for pedestrian improvement.  The transfer question is particularly important because transfers from Madison/Marion to 3rd Avenue bus service and the downtown transit tunnel are currently bad, and would have gotten even worse under early draft Madison BRT plans.

If you care about the future of the Madison corridor, please take the survey this afternoon.

14 Replies to “Last Day to Weigh In on Madison BRT”

  1. Done, and thanks for the heads-up. This is a line I will ride daily if the Madison Valley/MLK terminus is used, even if it’s still a bit of a walk from home. Connection to Link is critical IMHO, particularly as it can’t really pick up the Cap Hill station. With Madison really the only reasonable way out of the valley, actual BRT could be a game-changer. Current bus service is slow enough downtown that at least some potential riders don’t consider it–but driving downtown or to Cap/Pill Hills is often horrible as well. YES for center lane BRT, and YES to Mad Valley terminus!

    Nice to see (from my perspective) quite a few people recommending stations in Mad Park. It’s the natural terminus even if it’s not likely to happen. Add some boats to Kirkland and Meydenbauer Bay and it’s 1915 all over again! (Kidding, mostly; not a boat “foamer.”) :-)

  2. Madison/Spring is better for library access, DSTT access, bringing in the 2, and reliability (no 6th Avenue turn). It’s OK for the ferries because it’s just one flat block on Alaskan Way. Extend it to MLK to serve all the highest-ridership parts of Madison now rather than later, and to promote the entire urban village and commercial/multifamily destinations.

    I wasn’t sure about the bike routes. One is on Union-27th; the other is on Broadway-Denny-21st-Thomas-24th (from Union to Union). I would probably take Union-27th because it’s flatter and more direct. It does have four stoplights east of Broadway rather than two though, and it’s further from most of Capitol Hill’s commercial destinations. But those Denny Way hills and zigzags just seem like too much for a bike route.

  3. Possibly not the place for this, but it’s on the corridor.

    Did everybody see the newly-proposed 16-story building at Broadway/Madison on First Hill? It comes with a Whole Foods, 288 apartment units and nearly 400 parking spaces! (Also 98 bike parking spaces.) For something directly adjacent to a BRT line, a streetcar line, a protected bike lane, and a 10-15 minute walk from a Link station, we definitely need more parking!!!11

  4. One question, though–how are the Madison ETB’s going to turn around at 23rd? How will the loop be routed?

    1. Take the survey and see. :) I can’t get to the page without taking the survey again, but it makes a little triangle.

  5. I definitely see the need for efficient trolleybus service on Madison. But by my intersection count and my tape measure, there is only one way for the kind of service advertised to be any less consumer fraud than the rest of BRT in Seattle.

    The only way B_T can be R is to turn Madison into a transit mall between I-5 and Broadway, with only delivery and emergency vehicles allowed. With full signal pre-empt at every single one of many intersections.

    I’ve always hated transit that exists only in rendering. Early on in Tunnel project, Metro showed us renderings of the Breda buses. Tempted to describe level of similarity between appearance promised and that delivered.

    But San Francisco’s most recent streetcar purchase proved that Breda Ferroviaria could truly use Italy’s finest vehicle designer for the body shell for something out of the city dump in Palermo.

    Mark Dublin

    1. SDOT seems to be seriously considering dedicated lanes for this project along with signal priority and limited stops. Not as effective as a transit-only street, but it would make a huge difference.

    2. Mark’s comment serves to focus the mind on the conditions along Madison Street which include considerable vehicular traffic to and from major First Hill institutions, hospitals, etc.; considerable vehicular traffic moving ‘through First Hill en route to elsewhere, particularly I-5 during afternoon peak hours; the #12 route with its various stops around which transit usage has developed, and, oh yes, a struggling commercial district . BRT may “fix” the speed of bus service along Madison, but the vehicles are not going away any time soon. I realize that many on this site are intellectually and/or emotionally invested in BRT, but try as hard as I can, I just have not been able to gain confidence that this expensive project will produce the desired results. I hope I am wrong.

      1. Nobody thinks private vehicles are “going away” just because good transit service exists. Nobody except Mark thinks it’s necessary or even a good idea to clear all the cars off of Madison (I’d rather people drive on Madison than be all over the decent bike routes). That doesn’t mean it can’t produce very important, even “desired”, results.

  6. This would be such a godsend. Getting east-west in this town is such a drag. Has a funding source been identified yet?

    1. Because the city’s Transit Master Plan looked at the alternatives and decided that BRT was the right mode for this corridor. As they say on SDOT’s project page:

      “Madison Street BRT will use new state-of-the-art electric trolley buses (ETBs) that produce zero emissions and are extremely quiet. Surface rail transit is not an option for this corridor due to the steep east-west street grades.”

  7. The deadline for the comments has come and gone; I have a sense that quite a few citizens became aware of this opportunity really in the final week. I had a rather frustrating experience with the exercise–completed the survey, clicked to submit (and move to the map) and got instead an error from survey monkey. I eventually got the thing to work, but it took three tries. At least six of my neighbors who attempted to complete the exercise had a similar experience. The BRT folks, of course, could not reproduce my result and suggested to try again. Technology is our friend (mostly)

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