The February, 2015 service change wasn’t expected to be all that exciting since June and September are when the big Prop 1 additions hit the streets. Western Central District residents, however, will see long-term reroutes on three major routes through the area beginning in early April. Metro is making these in conjunction with the 23rd Ave reconstruction being done by SDOT. The reroutes are expected to be in place from early April until approximately December, construction schedule permitting. As part of the street rebuild, 23rd Ave will generally be southbound only in the construction area; northbound traffic, including buses, will travel on Martin Luther King Jr Way. This will be the beginning of reroutes through the area. According to SDOT, these reroutes correspond to phase A of construction; phases B (E Cherry to E Union) and C (E Union to E John) are scheduled for 2016.
Since Metro doesn’t have maps published on its service change alert, I made some to show the changes.
Note: The green lines show the unchanged portions of the route. Blue is the route the bus will take while on reroute. Red are any segments that are removed or routed around during the change.
Perhaps the most visible change is the truncation of route 4’s southern tail to Judkins Park. Route 4 will act like several route 3 trips and stop at 21st and E James, a block west of Ezell’s. It will then travel through the turnaround and return to downtown and east Queen Anne.
Route 8 will no longer make the dogleg out to 23rd Ave S and S Jackson. Trips going both directions will stay on MLK Jr Way.
In a reroute that may be confusing to riders but still preserves access to Garfield High School for northern students heading to class, route 48 will be rerouted onto MLK Jr Way only northbound. Trips starting at Mount Baker TC going to Loyal Heights will detour by going east on S Jackson, north on MLK, then coming back west on E Cherry before continuing north on 23rd Ave. Metro says that the 23rd Ave / E Cherry northbound stop will continue to be served. Southbound trips will stay on 23rd Ave, though Metro says that “traffic delays should be expected.”