Since we last reported on the Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project back in February, SDOT and Nelson Nygaard have been busy refining concepts with an eye toward identifying a Draft Preferred Alternative in June. Tonight from 5-7pm, SDOT will host an open house at Seattle Academy (1432 15th Avenue) to update the public on the status of the project. Tonight’s presentation will reveal SDOT’s updated thinking on several key decision points for the project, including but not limited to:
- Downtown’s eastbound pathway: Marion or Spring?
- Downtown’s western terminus: 1st, Western, or Alaskan Way?
- Eastern terminus: 23rd Avenue or MLK?
- “Open” or “Closed” system?
- Center, Side-Running, or a mix of both?
- Where should the I-5 vicinity stations be located? 6th or 8th Ave?
- How should SDOT integrate bicycle facilities along the corridor?
This is a very important stage in the process, and if you live, work, or travel along this corridor, we encourage you to attend tonight’s meeting. Just as one example, alignment decisions made now will have cascading effects on the eventual shape of the line. For instance, a side-running solution could be an “open” system shared by several routes, which would frame the BRT project as primarily a capital improvement that could adapt to various service planning concepts over the years. By contrast, choosing a center-running solution that requires left door boarding would turn a capital project into a permanent service planning concept as well, requiring new vehicles and a dedicated route in perpetuity. Whether this would be a feature or a bug is for SDOT, Metro, and the public to decide, but the decisions and tradeoffs are substantial.
If available, we will update this post tomorrow with SDOT’s slides from the presentation.