Among the critiques Candidate Murray made of Seattle’s series of transportation master plans (Transit, Pedestrian, Bike, and Freight) was that the projects in those plans were neither properly integrated nor prioritized. Yesterday he unveiled a vision, called “Move Seattle,” intended to address those two concerns.
As one might imagine, there’s way too much stuff, for too many modes, to capture everything here. However, here are some of the 10-year transit objectives listed in the document:
- Provide 72% of Seattle residents with 10-minute all-day transit service within a 10-minute walk of their homes.
- Provide RapidRide levels of investment and service on 7 new corridors (for a total of 10 overall).
- Increase transit service and improve our streets to make transit more reliable
- Provide real-time travel information to the public.
And some three-year goals:
- Develop an iconic Seattle transit map to make Seattle’s transit system easier to understand.
- Expand Transit Screen displays to 20 buildings to improve access to transportation information.
- Partner to design and launch a real-time multimodal travel and wayfinding app.
- Implement “Always on Time” bus routes by focusing transit capital improvements on the routes that serve most Seattle residents.
- Ensure that 75% of Seattle households are within a 10-minute walk of bus routes with service every 15 minutes or better.
- Install red bus-only lanes and transit priority improvements at pinch points and implement targeted enforcement to ensure bus-only lanes operate effectively.
- Upgrade bus stops and stations by implementing a street furniture program and adding real-time information signs and better lighting to busy bus stops.
- Begin construction of bus rapid transit on Madison Street.
- Begin construction of the Center City Streetcar Connector and the Broadway Extension on Capitol Hill.
- Explore opportunities to require new development to provide transit passes and other travel options as a condition of development approval.
- Launch a “Car Light Living” program to promote alternatives to owning a personal vehicle when moving to Seattle.
- Partner with King County Metro or other transit service providers to pilot automated transit vehicles and expand the use of battery-powered buses to reduce carbon emissions.
But you don’t care about all these principles and pilots and “exploring.” You want projects. And here are the highest priority projects for a 10-year time frame. These aren’t funded; they will presumably be the top priority for a 6-year “Bridging the Gap” property tax renewal later this year, and the subject of a hunt for federal grants where possible. The project list starts on Page 39.
There are 17 projects the plan proposes to complete by 2024, plus another seven “Long-term priority projects” that are next in line. The letter codes reflect the ranking in the scoring system the document uses; A is the highest priority project and Q the lowest. If revenues come in over projections then presumably project R (1st Avenue South) would be the next one in line. I’ll group the first seventeen as follows:
Complete Streets (7): Delridge (G), Greenwood/Phinney/67th (I), Madison (K), Pike/Pine (N), Rainier Ave (O), Roosevelt/Eastlake (P), Yesler/Jefferson (Q)
Bike lanes, transit priority treatments, and pedestrian improvements. Madison Street also includes the Madison BRT Project from the Transit Master Plan. The Roosevelt corridor, 65th St to Downtown, would also be a fully electrified BRT corridor, in accordance with another part of the TMP. The Yesler/Jefferson improvements would also electrify it, allowing a badly needed streamlining of First Hill service to Yesler. The only major STB wish-list item from these corridors that isn’t called out is the Rainier Beach transit center (we’ve asked SDOT about that).
Corridor Improvements (2): 23rd Ave (A), 3rd Avenue (B)
As far as I can tell, these only differ from complete streets in that the bike infrastructure is on a parallel street. Trolleybus wire is not explicitly called out for 23rd Ave, although the city has already done some of the design work for this project, and is actively seeking funding, so we assume that’s baked in. This project covers 23rd Ave from Madison to Rainier.
Streetcars (2): Broadway Extension (D), Center City Streetcar Connector (F)
The Capitol Hill neighborhood very effectively organized to extend the First Hill Streetcar to Roy Aloha St. The CCC unifies the streetcar network and has dedicated right of way through downtown.
Transit Improvements (2): Ballard to Downtown (C), Market/45th (L)
The Ballard-Downtown work will make various transit priority improvements, make pedestrian and bike safety improvements to the Ballard Bridge, and “support a light rail expansion” in some unspecified way.
Freight Mobility (2): East Marginal Way (H), Lander Street Grade Separation/Railroad Crossing (J)
East Marginal Way includes Bike and Pedestrian separation. Bruce Nourish explains how a Lander Street crossing can help transit.
Bike/Ped Stuff (2): Burke Gilman Trail Missing Link (E), Northgate Pedestrian-Bike Bridge (M)
The Northgate Bridge will connect areas west of I-5, including North Seattle Community College, to the Link Station.
There are also the 7 “Long Term Priority” Projects, which the plan does not commit to finishing by 2024, but elevates above the soup of remaining master plan projects. These are, in priority order: 1st Avenue S Corridor, 23rd Avenue Corridor Phase 4 (Madison to Montlake), Aurora Ave Complete Street, Beacon/12th/Broadway Complete Street, Fauntleroy/California Transit Corridor, Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard, and Lake City Way Complete Street.
My initial reaction is that this hits most of STB’s in-city wish list, minus the megaprojects and some items that would clearly be Sound Transit’s responsibility (e.g. a center platform at Chinatown Station). If there’s one thing of the proper scale that’s missing, it’s Bruce’s proposal for a new ship canal crossing, from which Murray raided the study money to fund night owls last year, and of which there is no sign in the new document. But overall, these are clearly needed capital projects if the Prop 1 service hours are to not simply idle away in traffic.