Yesterday I posted this comment in the Alternative 1: Capitol Hill and First Hill thread:
The 11’s poor ridership in Madison Park was (is?) rooted in traditional local racism. Back in the day, the 11 was considered a fine way for domestic help to get to work, but no resident of Madison Park/Broadmoor would ever ride the 11.
Unfortunately I didn’t include any information about Seattle’s historic pattern of housing segregation (known as red-lining) which, until the 1960s, concentrated Seattle’s Black citizens in an area that was bordered on the north by Madison Street, but kept the Madison Park residential area whites-only. By failing to provide that historical context in my post, it may appear that my post is trying to say that Madison Park currently doesn’t generate great ridership because Madison Park residents are racist. That was not my intention and I would like to apologize to anyone that read my comment and felt insulted by my words. Also, an apology to the STB editors and staff for my clumsy self-editing. STB cultivates a well-mannered and intelligent readership. I hope my words didn’t make STB look like a haven or a mouthpiece for some crazy village idiot.
Red-lining was a policy practiced by banks and real estate companies that refused to allow people of color to purchase or rent property outside of a certain geographic area. Combined with the racially restrictive convenants that were often added to real estate deeds on property located outside of the “red lines”, it was nearly impossible for people of color to live outside of the red-line zone. In Seattle, those policies concentrated the Black population in the area that is today known as the Central District. For a better summary of the history of red-lining in Seattle, I can refer you to these on-line sources:
One result of red-lining was that the transit routes that served the Central District (2, today’s 3S*, today’s 4S* 11) were patronizing almost exclusively by Black riders. The wealthy neighborhoods located at the end of those routes (Madison Park, Madrona) accepted transit mostly as a means to convey their domestic help to and from work. Today, Madison Park and Madrona are much more accepting of public transit (and people of any race), but those low-density neighborhoods don’t typically attract great numbers of transit riders outside of peak-hour commuters. Meanwhile, the Central District has become gentrified and more transit oriented. So, what I was trying to express in my statement is my opinion that the history of segregation in Seattle still influences transit patterns–not that Madison Park is a enclave of racism. Again, my apologies to anyone who understandably took offense at my statement.
*then know as the 12 E. Cherry or 12 – 26th Ave. So.