Page Two articles are from our reader community.

Madison Park resident Reg N, after some discussion earlier this week where he vigorously objected to Metro’s Alternative 1 plan for extending the 8 to Madison Park in place of the 11, recently presented his own attempt at a restructure. (He later added that “there is an error on the map (hopefully corrected soon) the 11 will turn to E Pine at E Madison to Broadway and then south to Madison.”)

The newest feature of his plan is a “Most-of-Madison” route diverting to at least part of the main Capitol Hill business district. This seems to me a significant advantage over an all-Madison route skirting the south edge. The only disadvantage I see is in terms of speed – though, as usual, aggressive signal priority and reduction of parking could help.

Another very good proposal of this plan – which I think is its single best feature – is truncating the 8-North to Capitol Hill Station, rather than extending it to Madison Park. This would safely insulate everyone else from the Denny Disaster, given SDOT’s reluctance to consider innovative solutions such as restructuring the freeway entrances or building a gondola.

The less-satisfactory elements of this plan are focused around enabling everyone to access the one single Capitol Hill Station: restoring the 43, turning the 48-South to Capitol Hill Station (down John), and moving the 49 to 15th to replace the 10 (leaving no service on 12th). While they’re definitely not the optimal solution, their appearance here reminds us that long-distance station spacing can make it significantly harder to plan bus routes.

My new proposal would be:

  • Keep the 48-South as it is currently.  (Or, as it will be under Alternative One, with the 67 through-route.)
  • Truncate the 8-North to CHS.
  • Create an 11 going from Madison Park down Madison and Thomas-John to CHS, turning south on Broadway, and turning again to live-loop on Madison downtown. This basically merges the east part of Metro’s proposed 8 with the south part of Metro’s proposed 49.
  • This leaves the (north part of the) 49 truncated to CHS. If the First Hill Streetcar were a bus, the two could be through-routed – and given the slow delivery of vehicles, that might almost end up happening anyway! (This reminds us not to build rail along only part of a corridor.)  Assuming the streetcar is a streetcar, though, the 38 is a reliable-enough route for through-routing.
  • If we really want to restore something like the 43, it should be routed somewhere other than John and Olive, since that’s already served.  If I wanted to do that, I’d cut the tail of the 10 or 12 to Aloha, string trolley wire over to 24th, and extend that route to UW Husky Station.

People who’ve been paying attention to Alternative One are probably screaming “But the 49 will be at 10-minute frequency and the 38 at 15-minute!”  That is a problem, but turning back every third bus at CHS or Broadway and Madison – and letting another lay over for five minutes – can solve it.  Or, perhaps the other buses can be through-routed with the 60.

The 11 has room for 10-minute frequency without going over the Alternative One budget (ignoring the 43 idea), since all its corridors had 10-minute frequency there.  I might downgrade it to every-fifteen-minutes, to allow the 47 to be restored and the 3 to be upgraded to fifteen-minute frequency all the way out to Madrona.  But, then, all these musings are more or less moot until we see where Seattle decides to spend its Proposition One money.

133 Replies to “Musings on the Capitol Hill restructure”

  1. You plan has merit and I would suggest that we can speed up the 11 by eliminating some stops and I can name two in Madison Park along. Your idea of diverting the 11 over to John/Thomas would make the trip longer and eliminate some of the shopping on Madison from Safeway to Pine. I would also suggest possibly having the 38 go further north to pick up north Capital or even 19th.

    Thank you for hearing me in the forum too.

    1. Yes, it’s definitely a tradeoff. My proposal would lose access to Pine, but it would gain access to John and to Capitol Hill Station, which I think is a fair tradeoff. It’s a bit longer to downtown, but not much – half a mile at most.

      And the 38 would be through-routed with the 49.

    2. What is wrong with 11 E Madison riders transferring at 23rd and E John to get to the Light rail if they want to go directly to the UW or the Stores downtown?

      We want to make the 11 smooth and fast run that gets people on the Madison corridor to the places they frequent like the Safeway on Madison, places of worship, Community College, Trader Joe’s, The Coop, Seattle U, Swedish Hospital, Pill Hill, Virginia Mason, Poly Clinic, the financial district, major hotels, government buildings, Coleman dock and the new waterfront once the viaduct is down. going north to the CHS via John/Thomas defeats the advantage of a Madison corridor bus except between 16 Ave e and Broadway Ave E) totally, Once the 11 is at E Pine and Broadway Ave E, it’s just a quick hop by bus or foot to the CHS from E Pine to E John.

      Bottom, line going to CHS turns the 11 into a milk run and not a run that will put butts in seats in both directions and all points in between. The Madison corridor is growing with a lot of new development coming with commerce on the first level with housing above.

      1. If the Madison-Pine route is significantly faster than the Thomas-John route, then that would be worth considering. But I’m not sure it is. Google Maps says that it’s only three or four minutes shorter, ignoring traffic, which isn’t worth it in my mind. But I’ve never been through there at rush hour – is one route significantly better then?

      2. I have to say it again, its location location location and what will be missed on E Madison. If you want butts in seats then give people on the Madison corridor access to places they go as I’ve mentioned above. If you take that access away then they will go by car.

        The bottom line, the shopping is on E Madison and NOT on John/Thomas! Three or four minutes can make a big difference when you asking people to transfer or walk from John to over to E Madison in all kinds of weather and streets.

        Remember you NOT getting the bus from point A to B, your getting people who have a destination in mind! In other words Metro moves buses to move people!

  2. The map on this page contains an image (as does the map on the page). In both cases it looks like a map built using Google Maps. Can you reference a (read only) link to that map? I think it is much easier to follow your proposed changes that way (I realize that your changes differ a bit from Reg’s, but the map makes for a great starting point).


    1. You’re welcome, and thanks for the reminder. I added a picture and a link to the full map.

  3. As to the substance, I’m not sure if I quite understand all the suggestions, but I think I like both of these proposals better than the stock alternative one. Specifically, I like the fact that there is a more straight forward connection between the Central Area and CHS. Personally I prefer Reg’s suggestion in that regard. His 38 becomes a milk run, and makes lots of twists and turns. Meanwhile, his 48 is a straight shot — up 23rd, then a hard left to the station. Most people will avoid the meandering 38, but if you live right next to it, and don’t want to walk, you will take it. Way more people surround 23rd then MLK (because there aren’t nearly as many people to the east of MLK) so I could see a lot more frequency added for that run. On the other hand, eliminating the old straight shot to Montlake is a tough one. That bus has been popular for years and carries students to Garfield, if nothing else. Tough choices, to be sure. I admire the effort, and I’ll try and come up with an idea or two soon.

    1. 23rd/24th Ave E are going to have increased usage once the new 520 opens since there will not longer be an entrance to the 520 from the Arboretum. You do make a good point about the 48 and Garfield,

      Your point about milk runs on the 38 is the same point I made about the 11 going over the John to CHS. I’ve seen comments on Nextdoor about people on the old 8, new 38 being happy that they will have access to Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Coop all a very big selling point for them

    2. The 38 is essentially identical in both our plans and in the official Metro Alternative 1. The only difference is that I’d through-route it with the 49.

      Regarding the 48, I thought about Reg’s idea of having it turn to the station but decided it wasn’t worth it for any of the places where people from the Central District could be going on Link. They’d either be going downtown (in which case they could take existing radial buses instead of the 48), further south (in which case they could take the 48 south to Mount Baker), or further north (in which case it’d be better for the 48 to take them to Montlake rather than backtrack to Capitol Hill Station.) It’s been popular for years; changing it wouldn’t give a significant advantage to anyone except people actually going to Capitol Hill – and people going to the UW or points north are a larger market.

      1. Having the 48 go to the CHS was a concession to Metro/Sound Transit since they are trying to focus around the CHS. I would rather not do it and then you could eliminate the 43 so there wouldn’t be duplication.

        The real point is every plan will hurt some and benefit others; the hard point is to get to a compromise that everyone can live with. For example, eliminating the 43 and not having the 48 got to CHS means that 43 users going to Group Health will have to transfer which is a hard sell based on Nextdoor comments I’ve received.

        Again, I think the 11 should be the run I proposed and we need to make the other runs work!

  4. Thanks to William, I now see this post so I’ll repost what I said in the Sunday open thread:

    Reading another article on that site (that does have a link, for some reason), I’m kind of mystified at the proposal they submitted to SDOT and Metro. Sending the 48 to Capitol Hill Station instead of onward to passing by UW Station while keeping the 43 just seems counterproductive. Of course, I see why they proposed it; in their map, Madison Valley gets the modified 38, the 11, the 43, and the 48 as one-seat rides to more or less everywhere south of the ship canal. I wouldn’t even mind their proposed route 38, since it makes a longer trip on 23rd and passes a lot more useful destinations than hanging around the relatively-empty part of MLK, but the 43/48 idea is just odd…

    And now, to expand:

    The 48 is a major trunk route for south of Madison (it’s our only north/south route between Broadway and MLK) and it serves a lot of people in between the two light rail stations who are going to the University. Also, one of the best things about Alternative 1, in my opinion, is the through-route with the 48 and the 67 so we finally get access to north-end destinations that aren’t Green Lake power walking and the northern reaches of Ballard. I’d almost rather just keep the 43 in “exchange” for that greater access.

      1. I have one suggested change from the Seattle Transit Blog:

        8 – Run to 23rd Ave E and East Madison and turn-around.
        43 – Drop run
        48 – Straight run as suggested in Alternative one, Use 8 to get to CHS at E John.
        Edited 29m a

  5. After pondering it for a few minutes, I do like Reg’s original proposal in one, big-for-me-personally, regard: Having the 48 go to CHS would keep a one-transfer connection to Pine and 9th (near Convention Place) if the proposed route 49 happens. Having that connection be changed to only route 10 is going to be a big pain, I feel.

    1. Are you asking for a one-transfer connection from the Central District to Convention Place? If so, is there any reason why you can’t transfer downtown? It seems to me that’d be a lot easier than asking everyone riding the existing route to transfer to continue to the UW.

      1. Is there a reason that makes logical sense from the network perspective? Probably not. From a usability perspective? All transfers downtown are complicated by 3rd and Pike, which can’t be solved with Prop 1 money or savings from having light rail… Having to transfer there to get to Convention Place would probably result in at least one transit rider in my household going back to driving.

      2. I am not asking for one-transfer access to convention Place and I agree about the downtown transfer.

      3. Reg, William is asking about me wanting to go from the CD to Convention Place via not-downtown. (Unfortunately, this blog’s reply function doesn’t go more than two levels deep.)

        Yes, I would like to keep the connection that exists right now with the 48 to the 11 or 43 to Convention Place. Right now, transferring to any routes downtown is an exercise in…shall we say, interesting living…that I can’t ask of others in my household. If the 48 went to CHS and then Reg’s proposed 49 continued on to Convention Place, I’d even cash in my objection to routing the 48 to CHS and not going to Northgate because it’s worth that much to not have to transfer downtown.

        Discussion of how to reform 3rd Ave, unrelated to transit use, is left for another time.

      4. Wes, all I can say is, I’m not you, and I don’t have regular errands around Convention Place. But I’d rather clean up Third and Pike than distort the rest of the bus network to compensate for it.

        (Alternate solution which might work, depending on exact addresses: Transfer in a better part of downtown to the 545/512/522, which will take you near Convention Place without having to get out at Third and Pike.)

      5. William: The problem is, I can’t rely on “reform 3rd” when making my opinions known to Metro. For one, they can’t promise it. For another, it probably won’t stick. For a final, it definitely won’t happen by the time this is all put into place. That means pushing to keep a handful (well, two, really) of the connections my house has now and rolling with the others, most of which are very good. Just getting down route 3/4 can be “fun.”

        Reg’s idea also has the bonus of making the 23rd and John transfer point more useful.

        What about sending Alt 1’s 38 down the path the 11 and 43 used to take? Is the northern turn to compensate for the 9X?

    2. The 10 and 49 buses can be adjusted by possibly using 12th avenue, but one of them needs to go downtown via Pine and back via Pike for my plan to work. Also, the removal of service on 19th is still a problem that should be solvable in some way I hope since it’s a long walk uphill in that area with 30 to 45 degree inclines on the hills. I know that because I’ve walk them going to garage sales.

      1. Da, I get it now, I for one don’t like catching the bus downtown and try to catch the 11 at Macy’s or Nordstrom because of that. The Seattle Times had an editorial on that last month and not a problem we can solve here, not can Metro promise safe transfer points, let alone police protection that everyone is asking for in Seattle.

        Yes, transfer in some parts of the central are NOT very desirable even in daylight on a sunny day. Who know what kind of problems will arise at CHS given the problems on Broadway.

      2. I hope they won’t be routed down 12th – that’s my favorite way to bypass the mess that’s become Broadway when I’m on my bike…

      3. Strange comment from a bike rider especially since Broadway is what it is partially due to bike lane! I find this very very strange have almost been hit by bikes running lights and intersections!

      4. @Reg,

        The protected bike lanes on Broadway are hardly a paradise for cyclists. The north end dumps you out into traffic, and then you get to deal with confused drivers, buses, street car tracks, etc. I’d much rather be on a quieter street.

  6. With regards to RegN’s proposal:

    Shifting the 49 over from 10th to 15th is a significant loss of coverage to parts of Capitol Hill west of 10th, especially with the loss of the 47 that is not restored in your map (and the 25 down Lakeview is also gone). You idea leaves people near Summit and Roy quite a bit more isolated than Metro’s proposal leaves people on 19th. It also increases travel time to the main business district in Capitol Hill from the western part of the U-district and the north section of Eastlake. (For these riders, going to Link is out of the way compared to just riding the 49).

    I also think taking away the Central District’s direct connection to the U-district is a bad idea, and is going to generate a lot of resentment.

    Overall, it seems to put too much emphasis on the specific trip patterns that someone has complained about on NextDoor, at the expense of other trip patterns. Having every bus coverge on Group Health is also overkill. Under Metro’s proposal, it is already served by a frequent 8, plus the 9. And, in practice, the vast majority of people headed there are more than capable of walking the 5 blocks from Capitol Hill Station. We can’t design a bus network around once-a-month medical appointments for the small subset of Group Health Patients who 1) can’t walk 5 blocks, 2) don’t want to transfer, and 3) happened to have a one-seat ride to the front door of Group Health before – even if one of those people happens to be complaining loudly on NextDoor. The bus network needs to focus on trips made more often by larger numbers of people.

    1. I would first ask that you review my proposal and see that I am not focusing on Group Health at all the attempt was to provide an alternative. You also seem to have a problem with the users of Nextdoor and I suggest that these are real people who use the bus and the Metro system needs to be designed for bus riders and not for the buses. Please get over you problem with Nextdoor and users of Nextdoor have the right to state their views!

      The is the first totally negative response to my proposal and that is your choice, and I like you have the right to propose an alternative that most of the comments have said deserve some consideration.

      Again the idea is to get butts in seats and to make use of the light rail station on CHS for points north and south. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but let’s hear your alternative and mine is a work in progress that deserves a serious review by Metro and its user. This alternative will be discussed with Metro this Wednesday!

  7. I suggested that this post be created last night, but this morning, I’m wondering if focusing on third alternatives is the right thing to be doing at this point in time. At this stage of public outreach, I’m sure that Metro would prefer that folks tell them what they like about alternatives 1 and 2 and why they like or dislike them. To the extent that changes to the plans are suggested, it’s probably best to do it at the margins; e.g., what do you like about one specific routing and how do you think it could be made better.

    That said, I’m wondering why Reg and William want to terminate route 8 at CHS. Is there even any place to layover there? Neglecting for a moment the problem with the Denny congestion, it seems to me that continuing past CHS may enable some transfer-free trip pairs than terminating both 8 and 48 at CHS. I would suggest keeping the 48 on its current routing (as in both of the Metro alternatives) and the 8 should go at least as far east as 23rd creating a transfer opportunity for 48 riders to get to CHS.

    With respect to the reliability problems on the 8, it seems to me that having a longer congestion-free portion of the route at both ends gives more of an opportunity to smooth out any irregularities in headway.

    1. As far as I know, the Denny Disaster is regular enough and extreme enough that it’s impossible to smooth out around PM rush hour no matter what. We have a long congestion-free portion right now, and buses are still bunched by the time they get to the Central District.

      Which is a pity, because thinking about it overnight, keeping the 8 to 23rd would really help smooth out the rest of the network.

    2. “I’m wondering if focusing on third alternatives is the right thing to be doing at this point in time.”

      It creates a logistical problem if Metro puts a third routing in the final proposal that hasn’t gone through public comment, but there’s no other choice. We have to suggest what we think is best long-term, whether it’s 1 or 2 or something else. At worst it would mean the third alternative gets debated during the final proposal hearings, and if the council is not satisfied it’ll send it back to Metro for another round.

      I have to think more about this proposal before I comment on it. I’m having a hard time keeping track of which line goes where and its impact, so I’ll have to consider each line separately for a bit.

      1. Metro will come up with a third alternative no matter what we do. We should be telling Metro and ST what we like and dislike about the first two alternatives so they can avoid perceived problems in their third alternative. Coming up with a complete network plan is a waste of time and effort. I expect the current two plans to be melded into some sort of composite beast.

        Metro and/or the city might be influenced to retain the 73 or the 11 in their current form since their loss is causing heartburn in certain neighborhoods. Prop. 1 funds could possibly used for that purpose.

      2. If both 1 and 2 are weak we need to say so, and show where they’re wea, and what we think would address it. The 73-Pinehurst proposals are a perfect example. In the absence of feedback, Metro will either take alternative 1 or will combine parts from 1 or 2, but not add totally new routing because if they’d wanted that they would have put it in one of the proposals. But feedback could convince Metro it needs to consider new routing.

      3. Mike, that’s precisely what I meant. If you don’t like the 73 routing in Alt. 1, and you don’t like the 73 routing in Alt. 2 tell them that.

  8. I can live with the 8 going to 23rd and so that users could transfer to and from the 48. This would also allow the elimination of the 43. Some won’t like it, but we all have to give a little. The only question how the 8 could do a turn around at 23rd Ave E and E Madison.

    Thank you for you for your suggestion.

    BTW, I hope that Metro will give us a fair hearing or why hold the outreach. They are working for us, this is still America and we still have the right to suggest alternative. If Metro doesn’t listen, then future ballot funding will be in BIG trouble.

    1. I would like to ask for the blogs opinion on the following based on comments I’ve receive.

      1) How about restoring the 8 from MLK just to CHS
      2) Eliminate the 38 and use it to provide service to and from CHS and Seattle Center/SLU
      3) Leave the current 10 as is going downtown
      4) Have the 49 run from North Capitol hill and possible combining with the 9 or 60 since both are on Broadway

      I really want your feedback so we can give Metro what it needs, and that’s our feedback!

      1. I’m not sure what you mean to do with the 38. Are you suggesting leaving the 8 as it currently is except for the Denny Way segment, and then adding on a new route going from Madison-Pine-Broadway-Denny? Again, Denny will kill reliability on the rest of that route during afternoon peak, and you’d also upset the MLK people wanting to get to the Madison shopping district.

      2. I suggesting that we have the 8 do it’s current route and turn around at CHS, skipping Denny. Start the 38 at CHS and run it to the Seattle Center and SLU.

        I’m still splitting the 8 into two, but not at MLK and E Madison, but at CHS. Hope this helps with the Denny problem.

        Any thoughts about the 49, 60 and 9?

        Thanks again.

      3. I’m fine with interlining the 49 with anything, as long as the frequency lines up in some way (perhaps by some short turns, like in my example.)

        The problem with the 8 is that people along MLK want to get to the stores on Madison, just like people in Madison Park do. They’d have all the objections to keeping the current routing that you had upthread to my proposal of sending the 11 down Thomas/John. It’s a difficult problem to solve. Maybe one bus – be it the 8 or 11 – could go down Madison a few blocks to 19th and then head north to Thomas/John, and the other could continue down Madison to Pine?

      4. Good feedback and by keeping the 11 as I stated in my options, the 8 rider would be able to transfer at MLK to the stores on Madison as well as the medical facilities on Madison. The 8 passenger could get to Group Health by staying on the 8.

        Again the Revised 8 goes with my Revised 11, one goes with the other! and provides options to both set of passengers.

      5. Well, with my revised 11 and 38, or Metro’s original Alternative One 8 and 38, people from Madison Park could transfer at MLK to the stores on Madison.

        See, it works both ways. The question is, I guess, which connection would be more used.

  9. The problem with Alternative one with 8 and 38 for E Madison is that it would take 3 buses to get to Pill Hill and the Hospital area!!! My plan gives current users of the 8 and 11 the least amount of transfers and has an excellent chance of driving traffic to our area with the fewest connections.

    Just think about the person coming from downtown who wants to see the Japanese Garden taking three buses. I have to ask what area of town you like in and why are you trying degrading the service we have today. My plan is a compromise for all in the Madison Corridor and I must ask, don’t you want us to be able to access the places we use the bus for. Remember that the buses are run for the passengers, not the planners at Metro or the people on this blog!!!

    1. No, it would only take a single transfer, to the 49 at the Capitol Hill Station. I agree that’s traveling out-of-direction, but does it take noticeably longer than current service?

      If so, you have a decent point.

      1. Again, you miss the whole point of going to the Pill Hill Hospital area, it’s not for the fun of it, it’s to see a doctor not to explore the sights of Seattle on a bus. Yours and Metro plan one will make sure that ridership drops given transfers and the unreliability of an 8 on the Denny corridor.

        How many people are going to put up with that stress versus drive or take a cab? You forgot that some Metro riders are elderly and possibly infirm and you’re asking them to try to make bus connection! This is not just for Madison Park; this is the whole East Madison Corridor!

        Again, I ask where you live and I also ask if you are bus dependent like some of us are. We currently have connections to get to the places we need to, and you OFFER US NOTHING IN RETURN other than stress in our daily commutes…

      2. Yes, I am bus-dependent. I’m used to transferring, as you can’t have a one-seat ride from everywhere to everywhere. Look at the UW – including the UW Hospital -, the Pine St retail core, and all the other places you’ll need to transfer to. Look at all the other neighborhoods of Seattle that don’t and won’t have a one-seat ride to any hospital, including the ones you’re talking about.

        Naturally, the features of a transfer can definitely use work. Transferring has become more problematic to me after I moved to the Eastside, where most buses are only half-hourly. But under any plan, both buses in the transfer you’re talking about will come every ten minutes. And I agree the 8 is highly unreliable; as I said in my post, truncating it to CHS to insulate everyone else from the Denny Disaster is the single best feature of your plan.

        Now I’m not completely rejecting the notion of a one-seat ride to First Hill; my original plan gives you one going by Capitol Hill Station. All I’m doing now is pointing out that “there must be a one-seat ride” is a bad argument.

  10. My Alternate Three was review by residents of Madison Valley, Madison Park and Metro today and the reaction was very open given the alternatives. The plan will be distributed by Metro at other Metro events.

    Metro to their credit listened especially to how and where we use the bus and they were interested in the alternatives that they hadn’t thought of! A big area of confusion is how people pay and those not using ORCA will pay more per Metro.

    1. Glad to hear it! I hope especially that Metro makes it much easier and less costly for people throughout Seattle to get Orca cards. That’s by far the best way to avoid problems with transfers costing more.

      1. If you don’t have an ORCA, then you will pay again when boarding the Light Rail! More confusion and Metro/Sound Transit can work this out. And then there is the streetcar confusion on top of that! What fun!

      2. BTW, if you need to transfer at CHS, you’ll be able to acquire and refill an ORCA inside.

      3. I have an ORCA with auto refill, but you can’t believe the resistance from people and we even had one in the meeting today. It’s not only older, but the occasional user don’t want one. Guess if they don’t care then they pay more!

      4. It’s another card they have to carry, money locked up in an e-purse that they may not use for several months, and that $5 card fee.

  11. OK, I’ve spent some time looking at this, and playing around with some ideas, and I think the route map you have is the best (the one devised by the post’s author — I think it works great for now. If the city goes ahead and creates a Madison BRT, then I would make one change, like so:

    Change the 38 so that it follows the old 8, but stops at CHS. In other words, have it make a more direct B-Line to the station (by following the path that the 11 follows from Madison to the station).

    That would double up service on Thomas/John. It would also provide a faster connection for folks in the central area to CHS. I believe that will be the fastest way to get to Link. In other words, if I’m standing at MLK and Union, I would be able to get to CHS before I get to any other station (using any other bus). Correct me if you think I’m wrong on this assessment, but I think downtown traffic is just too nasty.

    This might even be the fastest way to get from 23rd, to CHS, if you are far enough north. I would take the 48 to John and transfer. With two sets of buses coming along, I think I will beat someone who decides to stay on the bus north (to Husky Stadium) especially if the bridge is up (or there is a lot of 520 traffic). It might be faster to catch the 2 or 3 downtown, but not if I’m in between the big cross streets. For example, I think at 23rd and Pine, or 23rd and Marion you are better off catching a 48, rather than walking a couple blocks to catch the 2 or 3. Of course, this depends on the frequency of the buses.

    Meanwhile, the Madison BRT goes as far as 23rd (which I believe is a given). So you don’t lose any coverage.

    1. Also, I played around with another idea, but I didn’t like it. Anyway, start from that same map, and do this:

      1) Modify the 38 (peach colored) route. It would be the same from south end of MLK all the way to Madison. But from there, head north to Husky Stadium (and beyond).
      2) Now, take the 48, but turn left to CHS (using John) and end there. So basically you have a bus go up 23rd, then head east to CHS.

      What I like about this:

      1) The 38 zigs and zags already, so making it zig-zag some more isn’t unusual. This is about coverage. MLK does not have as many people nearby as 23rd does, because density really drops off to the east of MLK. If folks are in a hurry, then can walk over to 23rd and take a fast(er) bus to CHS.
      2) The new 48 would connect the Central Area to CHS about as well as possible. This should be pretty fast.

      What I don’t like:

      1) Lots of turns. The 38 is turning, the 48 is turning. Too many turns.
      2) No one stop from Garfield High School to Montlake (a minor thing, perhaps, but I would imagine this will still get plenty of use, especially after Link reduces the need for the long distance runs).

      I just wanted to throw that out there. Just more musing, I suppose :). If the streets allowed MLK way to more elegantly connect to 23rd, then I would support this idea. But they don’t, so I don’t think this approach makes a lot of sense.

      1. Russ, I prefer not having the 11 go to the CHS due the already congested Broadway and people who want to go to CHS can switch to the 8. In effect, the 8 and 11 are a joint package as we learned from it’s users.

    2. RussB I’m not sure that you’ve got my correct Alternative Three, so here it is:

      • 8 – Run down MLK to MLK & E Madison, to E John, then to CHS (Capitol Hill Station) only.
      • 9 – Look into covering 19th Ave E
      • 10 – Leave run as is.
      • 11 – Run the bus from Madison Park to the Coleman dock at 15 minute intervals. Downtown Pike/Pine access via tunnel or CHS.
      Run to Broadway and Pine south to Madison to Coleman dock.
      • 12 – Drop, replace with 9 and 11.
      • 38 – New Run from CHS to Seattle Center and SLU.
      • 43 – Drop in favor of 48.
      • 48 – Run from current route on 23rd/24th Ave to UW.
      • 49 and 60 – Combine with route 60 to pick up north portion of 49.

      Does anyone know how to update the Google map to reflect these changes and would they be willing to map it?

      1. First, let me just say, congratulations on developing an alternative that Metro is actually going to present to others. Now that you’re keeping the 48 on its current route, I think your plan is very good, and quite possibly better than the current Alternative One.

        I added your revised plan as a new layer to mine here. Though, I think Ross does understand your alternative; he just prefers mine.

        The big problem with both of our ideas is the 49. We both end up through-routing it with the 60 (I add in the 9), but in neither case do the headways match up. Maybe short-turn buses can deal with this, if we install a turnback somewhere in First Hill?

      2. Is there to get a layer showing the plan with the 8/38? BTW, really Iappreciate you taking the time to map. Also can we just include the 8, 9, 10, 11, 38, 48 and 49. I tried the other night with no luck, but I was totally berned out too!

        I’m just glad to see you and others contributing to an alternate to Metro’s, since they have only one plan that they really can’t explain as I saw Wednesday!

        Just one other point, was talking to my personal trainer today who drives to Madison Park form the Seattle U area and it is less expensive for her to drive than to go by bus. I think Metro buses may be losing a lot of people due to this and the need to get to work on time, especially if her appointment with me.

      3. Just a suggestion, I think there would be less confusion if we stuck with original route numbers as much as possible, like the 8.

      4. First, thanks William for mapping this out. I know it is a pain in the butt (having spent way too much of my time doing it recently) but I find it much easier to understand. I wish Google made it easier (I can think of several ways they could).

        But back to the substance, while I like Reg’s new version more than his old, and it is pretty good, I still prefer William’s. I like the fact that Madison Park links very quickly to CHS. I like the fact that Montlake still has a one seat ride to downtown. You don’t have quite the coverage on the north part of Capitol Hill, but there aren’t huge numbers of people there, and I think you make up for the lack of coverage with frequency. I am guessing that overall, William’s route plan is a bit more efficient (less time for the overall routes) and thus could have better frequency.

        I prefer Reg’s MLK (peach colored) route, but I would simply wait until the Madison BRT is done. I do like the additional coverage heading to Yesler Terrace that Reg has, but I wonder how much that “costs” in terms of service hours (and thus frequency).

        One possibility is to run a bus from Jackson and Boren (or even further south along Rainier Avenue) north on Boren, and on to Fairview. That would be somewhat similar to the 8, but a bit of a shortcut. I don’t know if that would have the same scheduling problems, though, in that it might get bogged down horribly on Boren and heading to South Lake Union. But I think that would compliment the Madison BRT quite well, and might make sense to add after that is added. Sorry for not drawing a picture, I don’t have access to my Google account from here (password is stored at home).

  12. Right – problem is when we’re splitting the existing 8 into two routes, which is why I labeled them “8 South” and “8 North” on the newest map. I tried to label things as best I could.

      1. I don’t understand; your plan from 4:52 today was what I just added. Unless I misinterpreted it?

      2. Oh – That’s it! I did post your plan, but I got your name wrong! Sorry; hope everything’s correct now!

      3. Thanks, so I would ask to relabel the two 8’s as 8 and 38 (CHS to Seattle Center)? Also how can I get a copy so we could put it on the Madison Valley website with the words for Alternative Three.

        I really appreciate your help in this matter.

      4. Relabeling done: “8 (South)” and “38 (8 West)”. And feel free to put this on the Madison Valley website, but please credit me if you don’t mind. The best way to get a copy is to click on the arrow symbol next to the Twitter symbol; that’ll let you “Print Map” (print the viewable area to an image) or “Embed on my site” (as an embedded Google map). Alternatively, you could always just take a screenshot and then crop it in an image editor.

      5. William, thank you so much and I’ve asked that you get credit, especially since I really think you deserve it.

  13. What’s the rationale for having the 8N/38 stop at Harrison instead of continuing on to QA/Mercer as it does now? The latter seems like a more frequent destionation, and provides better transfers to the SB stop on QA just south of Mercer. And of course more convenient for people travelling to/from North or West of that stop. Is there some significant advantage to skipping that one extra stop?

    1. Because I didn’t zoom in far enough while placing that one last point. :) Fixed now; thanks.

  14. Minutes from the 3-18-15 meeting with Metro regarding the changes to bus routes.

    Jeremy Fichter, Transportation Project Manager III is the lead from Seattle Metro on these changes. He met with community members to outline the bus proposals and to answer questions.

    Please visit for a description of the proposals.

    Primary concerns for attendees at the meeting:

    • Increased frequency of buses (every 10 min) will lead to traffic congestion and perhaps delays.
    • Increased transfers to other buses, light rail, streetcars so less one seat rides to destinations.
    • One seat rides overwhelming choice over increased frequency
    • Safety when transferring and walking to other stops or one’s destination. Increased walking distances to shopping destinations so carrying purchases would be burdensome.
    • Metro is very much encouraging use of ORCA cards for public transport. They are striving for a paperless system in future.
    • Implantation of whichever plan is chosen will take place in 2016 after the light rail to UW and Capitol Hill street cars are operating.

    Have a say:
    This website includes an online survey and a calendar of events so that you can plan to attend a community meeting.

    1. Was this a specially-arranged meeting with Madison Park neighborhood representatives? And what was the reaction to Metro’s encouraging Orca use?

      1. These are very good question’s First the meeting was arranged by the President of the Madison Valley Community Council and all the people along E Madison and MLK were invited. There were only three people from Madison and we were outnumbered!

        The ORCA thing is a mess in my own view. I know people who don’t/won’t get a card because they don’t ride enough, but they are willing to pay double since Sound Transit does not accept Metro transfers. Just think of the confusion for visitors who will have to pay twice if the ride Light Rail. Metro and Sound can’t wait until March 2016 for ORCA to the fan, if you know what I mean.

        We got feedback in the meeting that Metro’s Alternative on NOT only impacts Madison Park, but actually affect the surrounding areas more than us. I plan to continue to work with the users of the 8 and 11 to insure that we get the kind of service we need along MLK and E Madison and not one imposed on us.

        Let may say this one last time; my proposal is NOT a Madison Park proposed nor is it endorsed by and official body in Madison Park! Yes, I started out as defending this as a Madison Park issue, but I listened and found out that users of the 8 and 11 have common interests in our use of Metro.

      2. Glad people are talking; keep up the good work!

        Yes, the Orca situation is a mess, created by the paucity of Orca vending machines and the $5 card fee. Fortunately, there’re vending machines at every Link station, so that part of the issue is going to be largely solved for Link (if not for ST Express buses.) The $5 fee is the big roadblock remaining… let’s all keep pressing ST and Metro to reduce or eliminate it.

      3. What is the $5.00 fee? I have a Senior card and I don’t remember paying it.

        There is a another big issue I read in the comments we got, and that is that people are going to drive, especially since for some it is now cheaper to drive and given Metro’s plans more convenient to drive ones car. This is already very noticeable on the buses I ride.

      4. If you want to get a normal adult Orca card, without being over 65, you need to pay $5. That’s in addition to whatever you put in the E-purse, and you don’t get any credit for it; it’s what you pay just to get the card itself. In my opinion, and the opinion of very many other commenters here, that’s the single largest barrier to Orca adoption.

        And, yes, for some people and some trips it’d be more convenient to drive under Metro’s reorganization – but for other people and other trips, it’s more convenient to drive under the current system. In my mind, the change will be a net positive even with Metro’s unmodified Alternative One. With some changes, though, we can make it even better.

    2. This just sounds like people complaining about change. Of course these folks show up at the meeting. The problem is that lots of people have given up on Metro, and have no idea that things are changing (or could change). Changes like the one on this post, or similar ones elsewhere are attempts to smooth out the rough edges. Saying that “Increased frequency of buses (every 10 min) will lead to traffic congestion and perhaps delays” just means you’ve never experienced a real bus system (where buses run a lot more frequent than that). By the way, we have a lot of runs that do run more frequently than that, just not enough. Saying “One seat rides overwhelming choice over increased frequency” is just another way of saying “I’m lucky, the bus goes exactly where I want it to go” and “when it doesn’t, I just drive”. There are so many rides that will be made substantially faster because of this. The trade-off isn’t just between one seat rides and increased frequency. It is between one seat rides and a fast ride. In other words, would you trade an hour ride (and one seat) for a half hour ride (and two seats). Ultimately, that is the trade-off, its just that folks are only thinking in terms of their limited world (that is sadly out of date for this city).

      1. I was there and I’ve heard the comments on Nextdoor from the users of the 8 and 11. They are not just complaining, they want Metro to listen to them and to provide better service than we have today. For example, I have to one bus earlier to make doctor appoints and you’re asking me to swap frequent service for frequent transfers. I say NO way I know that position will cause more people to flee Metro for their own car!

        Again, a big majority of these people were NOT from Madison Park and Metro needs to respect what they’re saying, I know I do! If Metro does listen then we all lose and future transportation packages will lose and lose big.

        My alternative for the 8 and 11 will work and that is the feedback we’re getting for it! My plan will get butt in seats and isn’t what the objective should be rather than making Metro hard to use, then it is right now! It appears that some wish to make as many single seat rides into trips requiring transferring and those on the 8 and 11 won’t give in to that!

      2. For most origin/destination pairs the frequency is increased under Alternative 1. Yes some current one-seat rides require a transfer, but if both routes are frequent enough transferring really isn’t all that much of a hassle. Especially when it means you get a bus every 10 minutes near where your trip starts and ends instead of every 30 minutes. Even better Alternative 1 enables some new one-seat rides that aren’t currently possible. Say MLK & Cherry to Trader Joe’s, or Seattle U, or North Broadway to Swedish or the Polyclinic.

        Those who demand one-seat rides everywhere are asking for slow, infrequent service over limited hours of the day and week all so they can avoid a transfer.

        That said Metro has a horrible history with transfers. Often the intersecting routes are so infrequent as to make the transfer a pain in the rear. In addition many transfer points aren’t the best locations. They are in many cases dark, with no benches, shelters, or other amenities. As they frequently are in the middle of residential neighborhoods there may not be any place to get a coffee, buy a newspaper, or use the bathroom nearby.

      3. Chris you made some very good points on the transfer problem and I would how about evening and weekend transfers where the buses are less frequently, if at all!

        In addition, there is the issue of personal safety which is bad enough today and Metro wants to make it worse.

        Lastly have you ever been at a bus stop with smokers who can’t read the signs posted by Metro. Who is brave enough to ask them to stop smoking so one can be in a two seat shelter! So why would anyone use Metro when it’s made more unsafe than it is today!

        I will take the new 15 minute service on Alternate Three for the 8 and 11 over any other proposal. Amazingly my option allow us to get to Metro meetings downtown and get back as a one-seat ride. Maybe slower, but I’ll get there and I won’t even have to catch one early bus with the 15 minute frequency!

      4. How ironic that people will claim they will go back to their cars because the bus runs more frequently. Cars are convenient because people can leave whenever they want.

        Exposure to smokers and personal safety risks are reduced when you spend less time waiting for the bus. You wait less when buses run every 10 minutes than every 15 minutes.

        Comments about more frequent buses causing congestion sounds like drivers complaining about buses getting in their way. If people were really concerned about better transit service they would complain about cars causing congestion for buses!

        A one-seat ride that is slower and less frequent than the 10-minute network alternative certainly does not sound like “better service” to me. You are not going to get “butt in seats” when you make transit slower and less frequent because that’s precisely the opposite of what people enjoy from choosing to drive their car!

      5. [ad hominem]

        Ten minute service is a joke and Metro is not going to run one empty bus after another and we WILL NOT HAVE 10 MINUTE SERVICE in the evening or weekends! There is too much congestion in Seattle to support this level of service. Metro can’t be on time with 30 minute service, how in the world are they going to be on time with 10 minute service without
        bunching up?

        The buses are already hurting due the fact that the cost of gas is way down!

      6. It’s not a joke. Metro has been running 10 minute daytime service Mon-Sat on Route 7 and 36 for years. People riding those routes are not asking Metro to cut their service because their buses are late. That’s counterproductive. They’re demanding signal priority, bus lanes, and whatever is feasible to make the buses run reliably.

        You won’t have 10 minute service evenings or weekends but you will have 15 minute service during those times, which is much better than the 30 minute service right now and that’s purely Metro funded, not Prop 1. Prop 1 on its own doesn’t even get you 15 minute service on evenings.

        We’re not going to have an alternative to congestion in Seattle without truly frequent and reliable transit that attracts people out of their cars for all activities: work, errands and leisure. The city has made it a goal within 10 years to provide 72% of Seattle residents with 10 minute all-day transit service within a 10 minute walk of their homes. 15-30 minute frequency doesn’t cut it anymore.

        The buses are hurting because Metro is breaking all-time ridership records, in spite of lower gas prices. Buses are getting overcrowded. Overcrowded buses lead to delays because people are getting passed up. People want more service. Hence a 60%+ yes vote in Seattle last year to preserve and expand bus service.

      7. You are speaking for the buses you are familiar with and so am I! They buses I generally ride are empty most of the time! I would be willing to bet if Metro imposes it’s Alternative one on us, it will never get another vote passes for additional funding. The fare is already too high.

        What works in one area may not work in others and requiring us to transfer more than once makes Metro a poor choice for transportation. And telling people to transfer multiple times on short trips from where they live to where they need to go will force people to find reliable and safe alternatives.

        Yours ideas will lead to MORE CONGESTION just like taking all the buses out of the tunnel will. Putting bike lanes and street cars to nowhere all add to congestion. Dedication transit lanes also lead to congestion on out narrow arterials in Seattle.

      8. Have you ever thought about why those buses are empty? If what you say is true, then Metro as it is right now already a poor choice for transportation for the vast majority of people living along that route and is only used by those that have no choice. That’s no way to design a transit system.

        Dedicated transit lanes make transit faster and more reliable, which fixes the bus bunching problem you raised earlier. Are you really arguing against transit priority? Making statements like that is not going to make people take you seriously as a transit rider who genuinely cares about better transit.

        Seattle’s arterials aren’t going to get bigger and the only way to increase their capacity and performance is by carrying more people in less space. That means transit or bikes.

      9. Why don’t you take a look at Alternative Three that has been presented to Metro and that has received positive comments from the attendees of that meeting, this blog and Nextdoor neighborhoods of the route 8 and 11? Our users of the buses have mostly said NO to Alternative one!

        If you can’t find it, then say so and I will repeat it just for you!!! It has also been mapped out so you can see it visually and it proposes changes for the other affected routes in the central area. In some cases it requires one to walk versus the trouble of transferring to another bus or the LR!

        FYI, I am a senior and TOTALLY bus dependent to get around. Your alternative will make my use of Metro a living hell! I won’t even be able to go grocery shopping without taking at least two buses each way and most of the location I frequent a less than two miles from my house. If you don’t believe me then you may contact me off line!!!

      10. Reg,

        I fail to see how Metro’s Alternative 1 forces you to transfer to go grocery shopping.

        If you are a current 11 rider out past MLK you have access to the Safeway at 15th & John A well as the Westlake Whole foods without a transfer. The stores on Madison are all a 1/4 mile walk or less from stops on John. In addition there are 3 QFC locations a 1/4 mile or less from bus stops on John.

        If you are a current 8 rider who lives South of MLK and Madison your shopping situation actually improves as you will have front door service to the 23rd & Madison Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Madison Market, and Harvard Market QFC.

        Again it is not possible to design a network such that everyone’s frequent trips are served with a one-seat ride. Perhaps there are more people who will benefit from the new routings than lose by having their old one-seat ride taken away.

      11. Chris, please look at the map. I would have to take the 8 to MLK where I would transfer to the 38 to go to Safeway, Coop or Trader Joe’s. Since when is it the job of the blog, let alone Metro, to tell us where to shop. We can get there today without walking or transferring.

        Your solution as seniors and disabled walking with grocery bags really? Would you have everyone walk in all kinds of weather so we don’t have one-seat convenience to the places we go today? This is a pretty hard sell unless Metro wants to lose more riders, which it will if Alternative one is implemented!

        Please refer to my Alternative Three above which is a compromise solution for users of the 8 and 11, and please [ad hominem]

      12. Reg, Metro literally cannot run a one-seat ride from every neighborhood to every grocery store. If Alternative One is telling you to shop only at 15th & John or Westlake, the current system and your proposal are just as much telling you to shop only at 23rd & Madison. If this’s an indictment of Alternative One, it’s just as much an indictment of the current system and of your own proposal.

        What’s more, note that under your current proposal, people who live along MLK and ride the 8 will still have to transfer to the grocery stores around Madison which Alternative One would give them a one-seat ride to.

        This is not an objection to your proposal. As I’ve said repeatedly, there’re many things I like about it. It’s saying that it should not merely be evaluated by which one-seat rides it preserves.

      13. My Alternative is a compromise and does require at most one transfer for places people frequent who use the 8 and 11. It asks some compromise from all with better access to places that now take two buses for many, like the medical facilities and Hospitals!

      14. The 23rd & John stop is only one block from the 23rd & John Safeway. You still have what I would consider a one-seat ride. Metro is not going to lose hordes of riders because some might have to walk an extra block or two.

        If the distance is such a problem for you I would suggest buying a folding cart.

        In a functional transit system that serves as a real alternative to car ownership riders have to transfer and nobody is entitled to a one seat ride anywhere. In such a system one-seat rides are simply an artifact of an origin/destination pair located along the same corridor.

      15. I think this blog has gone off it rails when it starts telling people to accept that they have to walk no matter their age, condition or weather condition. Now you’re telling them to get a grocery cart, how nice!

        The Blog forgets that buses are run for people who use the bus and if the bus does not serve the people, who is Metro running the buses for?

      16. Reg,

        While I understand things like a transfer or walking an extra block can be a challenge for some transit users that doesn’t mean we should design the entire transit network around their needs alone. First those with mobility challenges do not represent a majority of transit riders in King County. Second the transit dependent benefit from a fast, frequent grid network just as much as choice riders if not more since they can’t just use a car instead.

        I don’t see that making you walk an extra block between the store and your bus stop,as an undue hardship. Nor frankly does Metro, this is why they’ve been more than willing to make riders all over the county walk extra distance to transit stops as part of their stop and route consolidation projects.

        People don’t abandon Metro simply because they have to walk al little further to a stop. If anything past restructures and stop consolidations have increased ridership.

        ‘Serving the people’ does not mean offering front door to front door one-seat service to every transit rider for every one of their frequent origin/destination pairs.

      17. Let’s get this right, you’re asking users of the 11 to walk or user other methods to get to places the use the bus today. You are asking the handicapped to find other methods of transport and violate the ADA requirements.

        Now since you guys have all the answer, how would suggest the current one-seat ride to Trader Joe’ be done without transferring or walking more than one block.

        Bottom, if you represent METRO and this is a done deal then say so we stop wasting your time and MINE! Why are we discussing something that you’ve already made up your mind about and do the users of METRO HAVE ANY SAY! Remember we are voters and taxpayers just like the few on this blog!

      18. Reg,

        Metro is not obligated to provide any one-seat service as part of its Federal ADA mandate. It is required to provide paratransit within its service area, which it already does via Access. Access provides “curb-to-curb” transit. Metro’s fixed route service has no such mandate, and I don’t believe it ever has had one. Neither alternative proposes any changes to Access.

        I’m a little bit confused by your claims – Metro does not and never has required people to walk to their bus stops. This is why buses come equipped with wheelchair lifts, bike racks, and some even service park&rides. If walking an extra block is an issue for grocery shopping, another poster suggested a fold-up cart. There are also delivery services which might help. Also consider this – would you be this upset if your grocery store of choice moved off your one-seat bus route?

        You might find the FTA’s ADA requirements useful:

      19. YOU did not answer the questions about getting to Trader Joe’s without walking or transferring for current users of the 11 from my area or is that by choice?

        Your ADA comments seem to be say, let the handicap take Access or get to the bus locations this blog is favoring!!! These are your words, not mine!!!

      20. Reg,

        My point is that, aside from Access, Metro already requires its riders to get to a bus stop using their own transportation (walking, driving, biking, etc.). Whether that ride is a one-seat one or not is a different matter. As other posters point out, Metro cannot provide one-seat rides with one-block walks from every location in the city to every other location. If walking an extra block really is a deal-breaker, that’s what Access is there for. It provides the “curb-to-curb” transit you’re asking for.

      21. Reg,

        Forgive me for being confused. What exactly is it that you’re asking for? It seems that you want Metro to provide one-seat service no matter where you’re living, to a select list of establishments.

      22. Skylar asked what I was going to ask. The current bus system does not provide one seat rides to everywhere — it can’t. But it does provide one seat rides (with very few exceptions) to downtown. That is the part of this whole system that is out of date. It made sense when getting in and out of downtown was fairly easy. It made sense when almost all the jobs were downtown. It made sense when we didn’t have a billion dollar light rail line that gets you downtown faster than any bus. But that isn’t the world we are living in. Metro spends a huge amount of service hours sending buses to downtown, and it costs the entire system a lot. It means that some routes have simply gone away, or been cut severely.

        A more grid like system will of course mean that there are more two seat and three seat rides. But it means that the two seat rides are less painful. There are plenty of trips that involve going downtown and waiting a really long time, even though downtown is nowhere near where you are headed. This should reduce the pain.

        Like I said, there are some rough edges that need to be smoothed. Williams proposal does that. Your proposal does that. But neither have been analyzed to see what kind of service hours this means, and thus what kind of frequency this means. Without the frequency improvements, you have nothing. You have the current system, which is basically OK if you are taking one bus, but useless if you aren’t. It is a “salvage” type system. You pretty much assume that some trips will be terrible and only those who can’t afford to drive will take it. But you figure you can salvage the bulk of riders by simply sending buses to the most common destinations (downtown and the UW). That is not a good transit system. It is a cop out, and we can do better.

        Focusing on one seat rides misses the point. Focus on trips. Doesn’t it makes sense to force a two seat ride that costs one rider five minutes, to save the other rider a half hour? Tell me that your route plan can provide for some common one seat connections, while still maintaining the huge service improvement from alternative one. That sounds great, and I assumed that was the focus of your efforts. But please don’t tell me that the best part of this is that it means a one seat ride, because the first thing I would ask is: For whom?

      23. @Skylar,

        Not every curb can be served by Access. In some areas, especially downtown, Access riders often have to make their way to a Metro zone or loading zone where the vans are able to pick them up. And providing an Access ride is much more expensive than the $1.75 being charged for the ride. Nor can one just call and get a van to show up at one’s house within an hour. Access riders have to book their rides by 5:00 the day before.

        Forgive me if I chafe every time a commenter idly mentions here that Access can be the catch-all for rides that can’t be done conveniently enough by fixed routes. The fixed routes are supposed to adapt over time to make Access unnecessary for more and more riders with many different disabilities, so that riders with disabilities can live more like the rest of us.

      24. I for one looked into using Access last year when I face 10 weeks of 5 days a week radiation treatment and was told by Access that I didn’t qualify! Thank you for your real world comments on Access!

      25. @Brent,

        I actually never said Access should replace those trips. What I did say was that if going an extra block is an issue, then Access could be an alternative to the fixed-route trip. Maximizing the ridership on that fixed-route trip is the best way to make sure that people (abled and handicapped alike) are able to live close by to that route, and have destinations along that route. Maximizing the ridership means that it has to be useful to as many people as possible.


        I totally understand your objection to transfers. In fact, as a north Fremont resident lacking a car, it’s one of the reasons I almost never go to the Capitol Hill area, except at night where I can take advantage of the 43->44 (single-seat!) through-route. That means I’m less familiar with Capitol Hill than I am with north Seattle, but here’s an anecdote showing how Alt 1’s transfers will be beneficial.

        I happen to live close to two trunk lines (44 and E). My doctor’s office is a Group Health Northgate, though, which requires taking the 16, about a 4 block walk with a big hill. Once I get to the 16, it’s a single-seat ride, though the 16 has numerous well-documented reliability problems and only has 20-30 minute headways off-peak. This means it can take an hour (occasionally more) to go the 4 miles to Northgate. Even ignoring traffic delays, it’s 35 minutes to Northgate, so missing that every-30-minute bus could mean a 65 minute trip.

        Alt 1 will move the 16 to serving Wedgewood/Sand Point so I will no longer have a single-seat ride to Group Health. What I can do, though, is walk two blocks to the 44 (which will run every 12 minutes midday due to Prop 1), and then transfer to the beefed-up 67 (headways of 10 minutes midday) at Roosevelt. The worst-case travel time (ignoring traffic delays, which I expect to be less of an issue than the 16) is 52 minutes. Average case would be 41 minutes, which is not much worse than the best case for the 16 (I don’t think anyone ever has experienced that case though).

        Not only that, I only have to walk 2 blocks because of that transfer, rather than 4! This is the power of the transfer-based grid transit system Alt 1 moves us towards.

        Finally, Reg, you mentioned in a previous comment about not coming back to STB. Please don’t go! The last thing any community needs is an echo chamber. Diversity in ideas is only a good thing.

      26. If we who use the 8 and 11 continue to be disrespected and minimized by unacceptable suggestions then I will leave. I have already received two oligopolies and I don’t want to try for a record.

        We are will to given and that is what we did in my alternative for the 8 and 11. It does require some transferring, but we gain so much more that the pluses out weight the negatives.

        People have to look at a Seattle map and see that Madison is the only east west street and it runs diagonally across the city. We in Madison Park are basically isolated since there is only ONE arterial in and out! Most of shopping is on the E Madison corridor and it is used by riders of the 8 and 11.

        I don’t want to stop blogging, but am very tired of the mudslinging and people try to tell us where to shop and even where to go for medical care! This is still America and it’s our choice and Alternative one does not work for us and there will be continued loss of riders.

        We need reliability, not rerouting to streets that we don’t frequent. If the 8 and 11 are not there for us on then who are they running the bus for!

        Whether I stay or not depends on the people blogging and their ability to hold an adult conversation.

      27. Reg, I agree that the need for reliability is paramount. That’s why I thoroughly support detaching the Denny section of the 8 from any part of anything else. And looking at the stop data for the 11 seems to support what you’re saying about the popularity of shops along East Madison; I’m coming to somewhat favor your plan.

        But to move to the theoretical – could you please explain how Alternative One is telling people where to shop any more than your Alternative Three is? Your Alternative Three doesn’t run a one-seat bus route between Madison Park and (say) the Safeway at 15th and John, or the Lowes by Beacon Hill Station; are you telling people not to shop there?

      28. It is really sad that this blog has no way to a one on one chat, so in lieu of that I would suggest that you look at my map and compare it to Metro Alternative one! In particular look at the locations that would be on the 11 west bound that are mentions about.

        The map is: file:///C:/Users/Reg%20Newbeck/Desktop/Metro/Capitol%20Hill%20restructure%20musings.html

        Yes, my route 11 doesn’t go to the 15th Ave Safeway, since that is not one we use. We also go to the Coop and a lot to Trader Joe’s. Yes I have transfers in mine put my pluses out weight the negatives. My Alternative causes fewer transfer and provide a lot more access to places people go via the 8 and 11.

      29. And my own answer to my question would be: People can certainly still shop anywhere they want, thanks to transfers. This shows how necessary good transfers are, which means Metro should significantly improve the transfer experience – such as running buses more frequently, and providing better, dryer, and safer places to wait.

        Of course, some people won’t have to transfer; there’ll still be a one-seat ride going somewhere. Where it goes should be determined by how well it enables easy connections with the rest of the network, and by the dominant travel patterns in the neighborhoods. So, Madison Park should probably get a one-seat ride to East Madison. But not because Metro shouldn’t be telling people not to shop there – but because it should allow people to access easily their most-preferred destinations, and because it fits with the rest of the network.

  15. RegN said, “They buses I generally ride are empty most of the time!”

    Reg, this is exactly why Metro is trying something different. As you say, there are no butts in the seats right now.

  16. I can understand why people who mostly drive are fearful of transit lanes (even when the transit lanes improve the people through-put on a road).

    I don’t understand the fear of having a bus come by every 10 minutes, in a general-purpose lane, or why RegN would prefer having a bus only every 30 minutes to having one available every 10 minutes. I’m quite sure those wanting less frequency aren’t actually riding the bus.

    Less frequency means waiting in the rain for your bus up to 20 minutes longer.

  17. As for transferring, I have to agree with Chris that Metro needs to do a lot better job making transfers tolerable. Frequency is a big part of it. But also shelters at major transfer stops, real-time arrival signs, and siting the stops so as to make getting between each drop-off and pick-up easy. That may mean, in some cases, a little redundancy, but these are very important stops to make the network work.

    Convince the City to subsidize the new frequent network with Prop 1 funds for the first year or two, and use funds freed up for Metro to install a lot of capital improvements.

  18. Yes, the 11 E Madison runs empty some of the time and the solution is NOT providing more frequent service, the solution is providing better service that is reliable and cost effective. Users who try to use the bus to get to an appointment must take one bus earlier in order to make appointments. I face this with every time I take the bus to events or doctor visits. Secondly the bus is empty since it is less expansive for some to drive versus paying Metro $7.50 for a round trip. And last, there is the concern for ones safety whether it is on the bus, downtown or transferring!

    Bottom line, if Metro cannot get buses on a 30 minute schedule to run on time, how do they expect to get 10 minute service to run on time? We had hoped that the unbundling from West Seattle would help, but no way. You have to understand the frustration of using the bus like being charged an extra fare when the bus is late and that’s a $3.50 hit for most people! There have many a time when I’ve walked home from 23rd because the bus was running late and in some cases never showing up!

    Bottom line, I will gladly take the Prop One 15 service next September, but only if they make it reliable and means scheduling and creating runs that the drives can actually drive.

    Alternative one will not provide reliable service and all it does it take the unreliable 8 running on Denny and gives it the Madison Valley and Park and I say no thanks! To top it off, we are expected to transfer to get to the places we go today.

    The comments in this Seattle Transit Blog are amazing and I think they should be made public. Telling handicapped people to take Access if they can’t do transfers, telling people to get a folding cart to transport their groceries, telling people to wait all hours of the day or night for connecting buses and telling people to wait/walk in unsafe areas of Seattle just so there is no one–seat rider does not cut it for me. Have any of heard about the gridlock that occurred this week?

    Last point, how long will Metro be able to run empty buses whether they be on a 10 minute or 30 minute schedule. Metro riders need a reliable system, not one that runs buses which don’t serve the need of the Seattle voter/tax payer!

    1. The comments on this blog are public. They each represent the viewpoint of the commenter, not of the blog’s editorial board or staff. Most of the commenters on this post are not on the blog’s volunteer staff. The blog is a private operation, and not affiliated with any public entity. Most of the posts do not necessarily represent anyone’s viewpoint, other than the author’s, unless the Editorial Board is listed as the author.

      As for Access, that is not even guaranteed to be a 1-seat ride. You have to call and book a ride the day before, and since it is a shared-ride service, you have no idea what path you will take to get from your origin to your destination.

      I have no idea how you are coming up with those $3.50 and $7.50 figures. The transfer window on ORCA or a paper transfer is 2 hours. Within Seattle, the largest fare is $2.75, or $5.50 round trip. For seniors, the largest fare is $1, or $2 round trip. Same for anyone with the disabilities RRFP.

      There is one point of yours that makes sense to me: Terminating route 8 at Capitol Hill Station would improve its reliability dramatically.

      I have no problem with 15-minute service on an all-Madison bus route. If it turns out to be a mistake, at least it is a different mistake than the currently failing status quo.

      Alt 1 is about frequency and paths. Prop 1 money will be used, starting this June, to improve reliability on some routes with standby buses. Alt 1, with better scheduling and some reliability restoration backups, can keep 10-minute service on the eastern portion of route 8 pretty close to on-time. The western portion is definitely a challenge. The eastern portion of route 8 will be travelling less-congested streets than the current route 11 is, or an all-Madison route would be.

      1. I heard the users of the 8 and 11 and so did Metro, they want the 11 to stay on its current routing until at least Broadway. Moving to a less congested street which does not have the business they frequent does not work! Telling them to find new places to shop does not work for them. Next telling them to find new medical facilities will not work either!

        Metro with the support of the blog is breaking the only thing that works right on the 8 and 11, and this is getting us to where we need to go! Please stop telling us what to or would you like use to tell you what and where to go!

        And yes, my STB post will be posted on Nextdoor for all to see, which they and pres should see!

      2. These user of the current 8 commented on Nextdoor as well as a Metro Presentation last week at Cafe Flora. It was open to all and Metro reps were there! They are up in arms with the split of the 8 into a 38 and 8. We who were working the 11 issue didn’t even know how upset were and we were hit hard forgetting them!

        My Alternative Three is the only one that we can get agreement from the 8 and 11 users and we learned that the 8 and 11 are a package deal

        May I suggest that you do a CTL F so you can find the minutes from the meeting and Alternative Three!

      3. And if you insist on taking that tone with me, I will point out that you don’t speak for the riders of route 11, if you think that bus is empty. You haven’t met 99% of the riders on that route. That route actually does have riders, if you look at the data provided on Metro’s homepage.

      4. So who in the world are you speaking for and who do you represent. I am a 11 user and have been such for over 50 years. So do you ride the 11, well I do for everything I do away for my home and I have an ORCA card.

        BTW, your tone is uncalled for on this blog and I’ve already received two apologies for such on this blog!

      5. I represent only myself, and RegN only represents himself. A couple of Madison Valley residents have even chimed in that he does not represent them.

        I still support Alternative 1, not because I am closed-minded, or want to tell people where they should shop or get medical care, or want to force as many people as possible to transfer when travelling on transit. Those accusations make no sense, directed at anyone.

        I support Alt 1 because it was developed by a planning staff that has collectively decades of training and experience, has collected reams of data, has been through this meat-grinder before, and has been proven right when they said they expected ridership to increase on various routes from previous restructures. Thanks were not necessary, and never really came. Transit planning is clearly a very thankless job. Well, let me offer a belated “thank you” to the Metro planning staff whose route restructures yielded fuller buses after 2012.

      6. Given you feelings and that the Metro staff is so good, why are we discussing this and why shouldn’t we close this discussion and let Alternative One be implemented today!

        If we the actual users of the bus system have NO say, then all I can say it’s even sadder day in America than I thought! I am sorry that I expressed my views and I all I can say is good night!

        Brent, how do we shut this discussion down so you and Metro can further destroy a system that many have admitted is broken and a proposal that is worse than what we have?

      7. I propose we take a poll on this blog about shutting down this discussion and if Brent and Metro win then we just accept Metro’s edit as a “done deal”!

    1. Thanks, Reg, that map is helpful (and actually more readable than Metro’s PDF map). What frequency are you proposing with your routes 8 and 11?

      1. I would propose 15 minute service all day and into the evening and a timed schedule so that the MLK transfer points works, like 5 minutes between the 8 and 11 buses. 4 buses per house would not add to the congestion on Madison, particularly the Valley choke point at Bailey Boshea due to the middle load lane and emergency vehicles. This would mean 8 buses per hour there versus 12 with a 10 minute schedule. I could also live with a 12 minute schedule if that would work better for all concerned.

        Madison is a two lane road with turn lane that is used as load zone which stops traffic. Hopefully we could maintain at least 20 minute or better service on weekends. I can tell you that the buses are full for football and who knows what winning baseball or soccer might do?

        One thing that I’ve only seen mentioned once is the need for bus shelters which will become major transfer points and the 8 and 11 need one at MLK and E Madison. Unfortunately there is NO curb space for them and even BRT was proposing another location with no curb space either. In my view as a transit user, transfer points should be where people can safely wait for connections and preferably in a business area which is well lit.

        BTW, I really appreciate that you and others are seriously looking at what I’m proposing and I hope there is also a serious look at the other parts of the proposal which in my view are more flexible, given that I believe the 8 and 11 are a package and we learned that the hard way from the users.

      2. That’s a very good point about shelters at the Madison and MLK transfer point; they’ll be needed no matter what alternative’s implemented. It’s a real pity there’s no curb space. Do you have any suggestions?

        But I don’t understand how you plan to manage the transfer point. People are going to be transferring in both directions: from the northbound 8 to the westbound 11, and also from the westbound 11 to the northbound 8. The only way I can think to manage that with timed transfers is to have both buses arrive at once and wait for each other – which would really back up traffic, as well as delay everyone on the first bus who’s not transferring. Unless one direction emerges as clearly dominant, the best thing I can think of is just to run both frequently, maybe with timing one direction like you suggested.

      3. The head of the Valley Council and I were just talking about that and it’s a real choke point. Your suggestion of having the buses wait for each other is great, but what how long do you wait given the buses break down and we can have problems like happened earlier this week.

        The one good this is that people will no longer use the Arboretum as an entry point to the 520 which also causes congestion on Madison in both directions approaching Lake Washington BLVD.

  19. William, you made the following statement yesterday “And looking at the stop data for the 11 seems to support what you’re saying about the popularity of shops along East Madison”. Could you elaborate on the stop data since I didn’t know that that existed? BTW, thank you for your statement and help again!

    For me this statement proves my argument that buses need to go where people go otherwise, what purpose do the buses serve? And yes, your about quote was supported by the Metro meeting attendees (see minutes) as well as posters on Nextdoor! And this applies to current 8 and 11 users.

    1. It’s in the very detailed route-level data linked from Metro’s Link Connections page.

      The danger with using this data is all the trips that can’t really be taken on the existing network. For example, before the 40, it was very hard to get from Lower Fremont to Ballard; route-level data then would’ve shown few people were taking such trips. But now that there’s actually a bus going there, people are taking it! Still, even though this doesn’t show us everywhere people want to go on the bus, it shows us where they currently are going on the bus. And, yes, that’s important to keep in mind.

      1. Thank you. As a side note, I’m surprised that there isn’t data from ORCA since I can see every connection and bus ride I take is tracked. Yes, it doesn’t show final destination when I get off of the 11 where it be QFC and Harvard Market or doctors I see on across from Swedish.

        If my plan were implemented then I and other who use pill hill area from the Madison corridor would have easy access to these facilities. Outside of this blog, there has been plenty of feedback for 8/11 users. It’s too bad that some on this blog want to tell people where and how they should get to their destinations and I don’t think that they use either bus!

      2. William, there once was a time when buses would wait for their connecting buses and major transfer points, but I guess that time may be past and one would have to question if frequency mitigates the connection problem. Also bus drivers would actually call the connecting bus to ask them to wait and the thing they did was honk, but that didn’t always work either!

  20. To my surprise today a resident ask me about my alternative and said that she heard about it a League of Women Voters. It seems that the word is getting out about an actual alternative to what some on this blog are saying we should accept as a done deal.

    As you may have gathered I don’t intend to quit or stop posting until my proposal gets a fair review versus the alternative which is Metro’s Alternative One! There are two alternative theirs and mine!

    1. RegN, there is no fait acomplii. There are many people here who would prefer Alternative 1 over Alternative 2, but those same people probably fear that people’s hankering for the status quo will win the day. I personally don’t like the idea of amatuer transit plannners (including the regulars at this blog) coming up with competeing plans. As I stated at the begining of the comments to this post, you and everyone else who is concerned should bring their concerns about both of Metro’s proposals to their attention. The end result of the process will be neither Alt. 1, nor Alt. 2, but something else that hopefully works better for more people.

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