(Metro’s “Ted Talks” about each subarea are available on Metro’s website.)

In March, Metro released two alternative proposals for the service change that will take place in March 2016, at roughly the same time Sound Transit’s University Link opens.   We spent a lot of time covering (and mostly praising) “Alternative 1,” an ambitious restructure of service in Capitol Hill, northeast Seattle, and across SR-520.  “Alternative 2” was strictly a minimum change proposal.  As planned, Metro has now developed a single new proposal, based on feedback it received on Alternatives 1 and 2.  This proposal will be subject to one more round of feedback, after which Metro will send a final proposal to the King County Council for adoption.

The new proposal can be summarized like this:

  • In Northeast Seattle, Alternative 1 was adopted almost entirely, with only minor changes.
  • In Capitol Hill, Metro got negative feedback on both alternatives, and this proposal is substantially different from either of them.
  • Across SR-520, Alternative 2 was adopted—that is, almost nothing will change.

We should emphasize that, unlike either Alternative 1 or Alternative 2, this proposal includes funding from Seattle Proposition 1.  The service levels in this proposal are the service levels riders can actually expect to see in March 2016.

We remain as enthusiastic as always about the Northeast Seattle restructure, which will bring 15-minute service to a startling number of new corridors and create several new connections.  The Capitol Hill restructure is a “minimum pain” change for everyone but Montlake residents—but it’s also “minimum gain,” with several opportunities missed to increase frequency and connect riders to Link.  With three regular SR 520 riders on staff, we are quite disappointed by the abandonment of any change along SR 520.

Details below the jump.  And, as with our earlier coverage, many thanks to Zach Shaner for serving on Metro’s Sounding Board and providing much assistance with these posts.

Capitol Hill

We’ll spend the most time on this part of the proposal, because it’s so different from either Alternative 1 or Alternative 2.  Here are the highlights:

#8 New
Proposed Route 8
#38 New
Proposed Route 38

Route 8.  This proposal splits route 8 in half, but in a different place from Alternative 1: the Central District, rather than Capitol Hill/Madison Valley.  Route 8 would be truncated at 23rd and Jackson, and new route 38 would take over service along MLK Jr Way south of Jackson.  Frequency on both routes would be similar to the level current route 8 will reach once Prop 1 investments are made, but with an improvement to 12-minute midday service on route 8 only.  The frequent evening and Sunday service included in Alternative 1 is not included here.

Proposed Route 11
Proposed Route 11

“All-Madison” route 11.  Metro received much feedback, not at all consistent, about Alternative 1’s Madison Street proposals.  Its solution was to develop an “all-Madison” route 11, running every 15 minutes Monday-Saturday and every 30 minutes evenings and Sundays.  It’s not clear this solution will make anyone happy.  Downtown trips for eastern Madison riders will remain very slow, and will no longer reach the retail core.  Connections from Madison Park to Link will require a ride all the way downtown or a two-bus ride to Capitol Hill Station.  The route will have to use diesel coaches, which are far from ideal for the steep hills on Madison and Marion, and which will take electric trolley service away for riders on First Hill.

Proposed Route 12 (Or "Route 43 Jr")
Proposed Route 12 (Or “Route 43 Jr”)

Routes 12 and 43 survive… sort of.  These two routes, both proposed for deletion in Alternative 1, received a lot of love in comments to Metro.  Metro’s solution was to create a “route 12” which is really a truncated 43.  It would serve 19th Ave E north of Thomas, but be identical to route 43 between 19th/Thomas and downtown.  It would have the same frequency as the current 43, except 15-minute service would last a bit later.  This solution preserves frequent service between downtown and Summit and to 19th Ave E.  But it does not address criticism of Alternative 1 from Montlake residents, who would still have to transfer from route 48 to get downtown or to Capitol Hill.  It will also require changes to trolley overhead at 19th and Thomas.  Finally, with 15-minute frequency on this route and 12-minute frequency on route 8, it’s impossible to coordinate schedules between the two for super-frequent service along John St.

Route 49 stays on Pine.  Alternative 1’s move of route 49 from Pine St to Madison St got a lot of love from the STB staff, and some from commenters, thanks to the new connection between First Hill and Link.  But other commenters worried that Route 10 by itself was not enough capacity along Pine Street, and they carried the day.  Route 49 will stay on Pine.  It will also receive a daytime frequency boost from 15 to 12 minutes, except Sundays.

Other tidbits:

  • Route 47 is resurrected, and will run 7 days a week, every 35 minutes, during the day.
  • Route 48 (which will now be truncated at the U-District) will run every 10 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes nights and Sundays.
  • Route 10 will retain the frequency increases it is getting next month from Prop 1.

Northeast Seattle

Metro’s proposal here is broadly similar to Alternative 1.  So we will cover only the few differences from Alternative 1.

#73 New
Proposed Route 73

Route 73 retained, serves lower Roosevelt; route 67 less frequent.  Commenters disliked the need to transfer under Alternative 1 to travel between Jackson Park, Pinehurst, and the U-District.  Accordingly, Metro will retain route 73, running every 30 minutes, weekdays only.  The route will not go downtown.  It will serve Roosevelt Way between 65th Street and the U-District (addressing another common criticism), and will terminate at the UW Campus loop.  To pay for this service, frequency on revised route 67 is reduced from 10 minutes in Alternative 1 to 15 minutes.

No new through-routes.  Alternative 1 would have enabled new north-south and east-west connections by creating two new through-routes at the U-District: 1) the new route 67 with route 48, and 2) route 45 (the north half of current route 48) with route 271.  Neither is in the new proposal.

The 67/48 through route is no longer possible because of the lower frequency on route 67.  We also understand that there was some nervousness about creating the through-route only to break it when route 48 is electrified in the future.

The 45/271 through route is less practical because route 271 is no longer being shortened as Alternative 1 proposed.  With the retention of the long and unreliable Issaquah tail, Metro apparently judged that the through-route would compromise reliability too much.

Route 70 still serves U-District.  Alternative 1 rerouted Route 70 to serve UW Station rather than the northern U-District.  This change received enough negative feedback that Metro dropped it.

Even fewer U-District/Downtown expresses.  We identified the sharp reduction in U-District/downtown express service in Alternative 1 as its “biggest gamble.”  Metro is doubling down in this proposal; there is even less.  The only remaining express bus service between the U-District and downtown is peak-hour service toward downtown in the morning and away from downtown in the afternoon, and there are only 20 trips each direction on routes 74 and 355.

Metro is relying on all U-District commuters, and many downtown commuters, using Link and transferring to routes 44, 45, 48, 67, or 271.  Alternatively, slower local service remains, with frequency improvements, on routes 49 and 70.

DART service in Laurelhurst and View Ridge.  Responding to criticism of route 25’s demise, Metro is introducing a new hourly DART route serving UW Station, Laurelhurst, Bryant, and View Ridge.

The good stuff that remains:

Proposed Route 16
Proposed Route 16
  • New route 16, connecting NE 65th, Wallingford, Fremont, and downtown with 15-minute service.
  • 15-minute service on existing routes 65, 75, and 372 and new route 67.
  • Frequent service through the hearts of Wedgwood, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, and Sand Point.
  • Ultra-frequent service on five routes, with 21 buses/hour, between UW Station and the U-District.
  • New peak-hour connections between northeast Seattle and South Lake Union on revised routes 64 and 66.
  • Faster all-day service on routes 26X and 28X.

SR 520

Literally the only change to Metro’s SR 520 service in this proposal is the deletion of route 242, which has suffered much lower ridership as it has become increasingly redundant with ST Express routes 555 and 542. Metro’s Jeff Switzer confirmed that the hours from route 242 are not being redeployed to other SR 520 service, but elsewhere in the areas covered by this restructure plan.

Feedback to Metro does not really illuminate why the SR 520 restructure was abandoned, as there was feedback both in support and in opposition.  Fears about UW Station transfers may have played a role, as well as a feeling that there was simply not enough feedback to make a decision on such a major change.

Sound Transit proposes to make minor changes to ST Express service across SR 520, including the following:

  • Move route 540 to serve Houghton P&R and I-405 rather than South Kirkland P&R and reduce its frequency to 30 minutes (although timed with Metro’s 277 to provide 15-20 minute frequency).
  • Add new peak-only route 541 connecting Overlake Village and the U-District.
  • Extend route 542 to Bear Creek P&R, and convert a few peak route 545 trips to route 542.

228 Replies to “Metro Releases Next U-Link Restructure Draft”

  1. I am mixed on the Madison changes … what they had was ridiculous (3 buses to get from lake to bay) but removing trolley buses on Madison/Marion up to First Hill is not optimal.

    I forsee Pike/Pine running many empty buses between CHS and 2nd Ave

    1. Alt 1 was not “3 buses to get from lake to bay.” It was a ride on the 8 with a transfer to Link at CHS.

      1. Lake to Bay on Madison.

        changing buses at Bway/John would be counter intuitive for people trying to get from Madison Valley to WSF.

      2. How many people is that? The ferries are less frequent than the buses so half or fewer buses meet a ferry. Only a fraction of the people on the ferry are going to First Hill or Madison Valley, and only a tiny fraction of Madison Valley riders are going to the ferry.

    2. I’m mixed too. I’m in the short stretch that benefits from both the 11 and the 8, and I see my use of the 11 going way, way down in favor of a frequent 8 to CHS.

      The folks east of MLK, however, are hosed. I thought their 8/38 proposal was very creative if somewhat flawed — flaws that are possible to correct with enough eyes and feedback.

      1. East of the Arboretum we are indeed hosed. Thanks to my short-sighted neighbours – NOT!

      2. I agree with Lloyd. The 11 sucked before; it will suck even more now. No connection to the region’s high capacity transportation systems at all. Even though I live directly on Madison east of the Arboretum this bus becomes useless for me; some days I won’t mind the 3/4 mile walk to the 8 with then a transfer to Link at Capitol Hill, other days I may as well ask the firm for a parking pass and drive. Once I do that, I’ll probably just start driving again all the time. Way to go.

        I’m headed to the airport Thursday evening and will take the 11/Link to get there. I won’t be doing that frequent trip by transit any more either. Back to the car/cab for me…

        I am one of those people that want to take transit daily. It sounded as though several people in Mad Park wanted their route to Pill Hill or wherever the hell they go once in awhile to stay the same. Problem is, it didn’t. Now we will have no direct service to the retail core, no connection to Link/SLUT/Monorail (which at least the 11 used to have at Westlake) and no improvements to make the inferior trip at least faster. This service is demonstrably worse, and I didn’t think the 11 could get much worse. Thanks. Maybe I’ll rethink this should BRT reach all the way to Mad Park and the trip get faster, but until then I’ll wave at you guys waiting at the bus stop as I drive by.

      3. I agree with most of what you stated and that is the Alternative 3 that I gave Metro had the bus going to Broadway as it does goes west and then down south to Madison. This would allow for a seamless transfer to the 10 at Broadway Ave E and E Pine. I could also see this notch option using 12th Ave E with the bus stops between 13 and 14th Ave E.

    3. This amounts to a wait-and-see approach for Pine Street and John Street, which may be a good interim step. People will vote with their feet, and we can see how much ridership actually changes. I hope Metro reevaluates it in a year rather than just leaving it in stone for decades. Pine/John will probably be the first to be reduced; 8/”12″/43/47 sounds like overservice.

      1. Oh, the 43 is deleted; I misunderstood the “Sort of” part. So part of Pine/John will have the 12+47 and another part will have the 8+12.

        That “12” number is confusing if you’re used to the 12 being someplace far away. I think it probably needs a new number.

      2. Well taking one number from each gives either 13 (already in use) or 42 (sounds…. familiar)

      3. It wouldn’t be the first time Metro used an established number to propose a changed route and then found a new one. What is now the 40 was the “18” in both draft proposals.

        Personally, I’d love to see the new 12 called the “42” if it survives just to drive home the fact that the old 42 is gone for good. But that’s probably unnecessarily antagonistic.

      4. There’s another benefit to the number 42–It’s consistent (or at least moreso than the old 42) with the numbering system that labels UDistrict and Cap Hill routes in the 40’s

      5. … which means it’s hard to tell at a distance which route it is. This happens to me mostly with the 43 and 49 in the U-District; you have to look at the shape of the destination phrase and see if it’s one word or two, and if the word is about the length of “Broadway”. It was much easier when they were the 7 and 43 because the numbers look completely different. Fortunately the 48 is easy to tell because it’s a different kind of bus.

        If I lived in Kent I’d be annoyed that the 164, 166, 168, and 169 differ by only the third digit.

    4. Is there an element of can-kicking going on here until SDOT gets “RapidRide M” funded and implemented?

      1. Frank –

        I sure hope so. This looks, overall, not that great.

        Capital Hill is hard to serve, and unlike many other areas of the city, the geographic may dictate a transit grid that is not textbook optimal.

        The previous write-ups of Prop 1 by STB staff included a lot of “rah-rah” for Alt 1 when it was clearly not feasible (or even, in my mind, sensical) for Capitol Hill (note that I believe the Alt 1 changes for NE Seattle were outstanding). This is a bit better, but not much. The worst part of this plan is the Madison corridor.

        The Rapid Trolley being proposed by SDOT for the corridor cannot come soon enough.

      2. Oh gosh I hope so. Diesel on Madison downtown and on First Hill every day is just awful.

      3. Having to ride diesels? Definitely a First Hill problem. ;)

        I have to ride diesels several miles to catch a trolley. Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me.

      4. If this is what they came up with as a precursor to Madison BRT, it’s going to turn away a lot people who might otherwise be interesting. Previewing a route without the (presumably major) service and infrastructure upgrades has the potential to sour a lot of folks on the idea. This is really a nasty idea — if this is what they had in mind for the 11, Metro would be better off keeping the 11 just the way it is now and preserving the connections between East Madison, Pine, and the Retail Core.

      5. That said, the survey results that were released about “RapidRide M” were pretty encouraging. Center-running, dedicated ROW, electric, 1st Ave to MLK/Madison — yes, please!

        (But the common denominator still holds — no direct connection to Link, and east of MLK won’t be [immediately] served.)

      6. This is the way I see it playing out: The Madison BRT is implemented. It doesn’t go all the way to Madison Park. The 11 gets rerouted to go to CHS. Now folks in Madison Park have a really fast one stop ride to downtown as well as a fast connection to Link.

        There might be more re-routes as well. Madison BRT could have a dramatic effect on other routes — almost as much as Link, if it is done well. I wonder if it would make the most sense to just leave things as they are until that gets ready (rather than change things twice) especially since this is clearly not a universally popular plan.

    5. This new #11 will be the only bus route I ever ride. A straight shot between home, work, and the subway? It’s basically perfect for my needs. It’ll still be janky, bouncy, crowded, lurchy, and uncomfortable, since it’s still just a goddamn bus, but we’ve already established that comfort and convenience are non-goals for Seattle transit so I can’t really hope for any improvement there.

      1. Am I misreading the map? It looks like the west loop is on Madison and Marion, so it’d be two blocks north from Madison to the University Street station and two blocks south from Marion to the Pioneer Square station.

      2. Ah, yes. I consider that not a straight shot; it’s right in-between two DSTT stations.

      3. Fair enough. It’s no further than the distance from my house to the bus stop at the beginning of the trip, so it doesn’t seem to me like a significant transfer.

      4. Yep – I’m gonna LOVE splitting the difference on 3rd between U Street and Pio Sq stations – in the rain on the way to the airport.

      5. Hey look at this, someone who thinks walking from Marion/Madison to the tunnel is no big deal.

        Can you go talk to your neighbors who live on the 2?

  2. Does anyone know if the increased peak service on the 372 would be multidirectional?

    1. Probably not. Peak ridership on that route is strongly peak-direction. The 15-minute baseline frequency already represents a nice improvement in the off-peak direction.

      1. Ah, of course. That would be a big help, I think. My SO commutes reverse peak on the 522/372 to Bothell, and routinely experiences SRO buses, although rarely actually overloaded.

  3. Why why oh why did they split the 8 near Leschi? I cannot imagine the number of riders to that tail would (without transfers) be high at all.

      1. That or Madison Valley with overlap to CHS. But splitting on Yesler/Jackson serves no one well.

    1. The problem is not so much “splitting” because it’s a fine alternative for the 8, and better than truncating it at 15th or 28th. The problem is it leaves the 38 going nowhere.

      1. I think splitting the 8 is essential–but the point where they chose to split it doesn’t offer the advantages of either Mt. Baker or Madison Valley.

      2. If nothing else, I would extend the 38 until Cherry (to pick up Garfield High School). To have what is essentially a C. D. route skip Garfield is very weird, indeed. I can understand moving the cross over point away from the congested area (as much sense as that would make). But having the 38 turn around at Cherry would keep the 38 reliable, while providing decent service for that part of town. The 8, of course, will always be unreliable.

      3. That gets into whether Jackson Street and Yesler Way are part of the CD or not. :) Some people say yes, some no.

      4. The problem in Alt 1 was that everyone on the proposed new 8 to Madison Park would not have gotten reliable 10-mnute headway. The solution in Alt 3 is clearly much worse: dooming more riders to the unreliability caused by Denny, and having *less* frequency.

        What really ought to happen is that the 8 just run from Queen Anne to Capitol Hill Station, relieving everyone else trying to get to Capitol Hill Station of the impacts of the Denny Disaster.

        Overall, the whole Capitol Hill part needs to go back to Ted’s drawing board, and have the fortitude to not send four different routes down Pike/Pine, using up valuable service hours that could have enabled useful weekend frequency and Link-timed weekday 10-minute headway on some routes. With Alt 3, Capitol Hill is getting 42ed.

        If the 49 isn’t going to Madison, I’d rather just see it terminate at Capitol Hill Station, and have the hours saved from not having to crawl to the downtown be rolled into 10-minute, more reliable, frequency to the U-District. Or through-route it with a 38 that reaches Capitol Hill Station.

      5. Anyone who thinks that Yesler or Jackson is not part of the Central District, or Central Area, is very lost. CAYA (Central Area Youth Association) is right off Yesler. Washington Middle School (which once served as a satellite school for Garfield) is off Jackson. Speaking of Garfield, that is certainly part of the CD (the heart of it, really) which extends north, east, west and especially south from there. Just looking at the names of the maps can fill you in (Douglass-Truth library, Medger Evers Pool, etc.). To run a bus north from Franklin and then stop before reaching Garfield (and not stop anywhere more important) is, as I said, really silly. As mentioned, the only excuse that I can see is that they plan on doing another reroute later.

    2. I have a feeling (which is just my feeling, having nothing to do with anything Metro’s told us) that the 38 split is in this location at least partly because it will make a resurrected 38/106 restructure so painless.

      1. At one of the open houses I told a Metro planner I liked the 106-MLK route from the cut proposal. He was surprised to hear this because that route had only been intended as a last resort to mitigate cutbacks on the 14.

        I said it would probably be popular because it connects two low-income, ethnically-similar areas, (2) it avoids long transfer times southbound at Rainier Beach, (3) it restores a one-seat milk run to downtown for those who’ve been complaining about losing the 42 without adding service hours. So I wonder if other people have also been telling Metro to revive the 106-MLK idea.

      2. The STB staff pretty much universally liked it, and has written so on several occasions.

        From my experience driving the 106 until today I feel like Metro has never really “gotten” the ridership on that route. There are two parts to it. One is traveling from Skyway to downtown and just wants to get there as quickly as possible. Those passengers should be transferring to Link at RBS, so restructuring the 106 north of RBS doesn’t matter for them. The other part is making Skyway-Valley trips. The 8/106 restructure is perfect for them. And it is very efficient in terms of hours (why Metro put it in a cut proposal), should be relatively reliable if slow, and makes a lot of other, less common trips easier.

        The one catch is that you’d have to find money to increase frequency on the 124 to serve Georgetown adequately.

      3. The complaints weren’t about losing a 1-seat ride downtown. They were about losing a 1-seat ride to a non-profit building further east in the International District. The earlier-proposed 106 would not have done anything for these complaints.

      4. That was one organized group of protests. I don’t think that’s everybody who misses the 42 now. The original problem with the 42 was it was half hourly and diesel (the parallel 7 was more frequent and trolley), went on low-ridership Dearborn Street, and didn’t go anywhere at the south end but just petered out. The 106 proposal would be frequent (weekdays/Saturday), have destinations at both ends, create that one-seat ride between Renton and the Valley that hasn’t existed since the 142 when MLK was less developed, and go somewhere on the north end (not necessarily on Dearborn Street).

      5. What was nice about the original Alt 1 proposal was that it did take care of that for a large part of the current 8 (albeit while bringing the problem to Madison Park instead).

        Either way, something needs to be done about the Denny Disaster.

    3. Having the two routes terminate in the same place that no other route terminates at makes it look like they should be through-routed, losing much of the point of splitting the route.

      1. That contradicts why they are being split. Denny Way congestion throws MLK off schedule, and it’s such a long route that delays in two different places accumulate along the line rather than being swallowed in a near-coming layover.

      2. 14th & Jackson is also served by route 14, offering a different through-routing, as Mike explains in the sub-thread above. If that route were to happen, then splitting the 8 here has at least some purpose.

        That still doesn’t take away from how awful it will be for riders on the rest of route 8 to have Denny’s unreliability inflicted on them, well past CHS.

        It also takes away one-seat rides between some rival high schools, which was brought up at a hearing when the 42 was about to be eliminated. (A group of high school students got the 8 and 42 confused, and were petitioning to keep the 42 to keep their theoretical one-seat ride to Garfield, which none of the petitioners apparently actually used, or they would have realized the 42 doesn’t actually do that. The 42 could also theoretically leap over tall buildings with a single bound.)

      3. “That still doesn’t take away from how awful it will be for riders on the rest of route 8 to have Denny’s unreliability inflicted on them, well past CHS.”

        That’s not worse than the status quo. And the bulk of ridres who would be affected by Denny’s unreliability are west of CHS. A lot of the 8’s ridership is people just going eastbound up part of the hill between Westlake and 15th, and walking or doing other things otherwise.

      4. For riders on the 38 trying to get to somewhere along the 8, Alt 3 is worse than the status quo. Reliability + Unreliability = Unreliability.

        Alt 1 was better than either, but with the high turnover the 8 would see at Capitol Hill Station, that is the natural point for termini.

      5. That would cause a 2-seat ride for somebody going from Madison Valley to SLU. That’s such a short distance that it seems silly to break it up and force a 15-30 minute transfer, and it swallows up any practical advantage of it. It’s almost as silly as somebody coming north on the 60 from Beacon Hill having to transfer at Jackson to the FHS and then again at Denny to the 49. It’s one thing to have a 2-seat ride from Maple Leaf to the U-District to downtown, but it’s another thing if the route goes only a mile or two and is not a very-low-usage coverage route.

      6. From anecdotal observation riding the 8 during pretty much most hours, there is strong ridership until at least 15th from SLU.

        But going as far Madison Valley would make for a much more “complete” network. I can see the value of splitting the 8 “at” CHS, but both routes would need to overlap for a section to prevent truly unnecessary two-seat rides (as is the case in both Alt 1 [where they overlap at 2 points but go on different routes] and David L’s Ideal network plan)

    1. Most likely yes; the expanded weekend coverage will move to the new/revised 67. The overwhelming majority of pro-73 feedback referenced trips to school, which are mostly a weekday thing.

      1. Ah, so the money is available in September so we’ll make use of it in the 73 since that is what exists then. And then move it to the new 67 once that’s available as that section is the priority.

        I still wish I could take Link + bus home from a weekend baseball game without needing three connections on weekend schedules with their longer waits that don’t always match up well. Since the 41 is often full. But I can understand the compromises.

        Though 2021 can’t come soon enough. :)

      2. So, what you are really saying, Phillip, is that route 41 needs more service after sporting events, at least until 2021. Right?

    2. I am sad to see the 67 drop from 10 to 15 minute frequency. It will still be great, but 10 minute frequency would have been amazing.

      1. Which applies to a grand total of one group: those people going to the UW Campus, *maybe* Campus Parkway. For everyone else, the frequency is the same as the 66/67 today.

    3. I’m not thrilled with the new 73/67, but it is better than the old plan. Here are a couple things I don’t like:

      1) It keeps the button hook for the 67. From the Roosevelt neighborhood (or the UW) to Northgate you go all the way up Roosevelt to Northgate Way then take a left and another left (then a right and a left) to get to Northgate. It is basically a U-Turn. I don’t get that. That was in the original proposal, and made some sense then. The idea was to connect to the 347/348, which was essential if you wanted to go from Pinehurst to the UW. But that is no longer the case. The 73 does all that. I’ve played all the connections in my head (347/348 to 67, 41 to 67, etc.) and I don’t see much gained. Meanwhile, the folks who ride the 67 take a very roundabout route to Northgate. Maybe the other side of 5th is terrible, but unless that is the case, I don’t think the trade-off is worth it. If you want more coverage for Roosevelt, then move the 73 over there. Especially since the 73 fans (myself included) are just happy to have our bus. I certainly won’t complain if it moves over to Roosevelt — it did that exact routing for a year or so when the bridge on 15th was busted. It’s kind of nice, really (it connects Roosevelt with Pinehurst with minimum time penalty).

      2) The 67 goes down Roosevelt and cuts over to University Way. The 73 goes down 15th and cuts over to Roosevelt. Say what? It seems like you are slowing down two buses for nothing. The only possible advantage is that it makes it easy to switch from one to the other, but I don’t see anyone doing that. The routes are so similar that a strong argument can be made for sharing the lower sections (from the UW to Ravenna, it not further). But if they do run on separate streets through the U-District, then they should run on the same streets they started out on. If you are going to run the 67 on Roosevelt, then stay on Roosevelt. If you are going to run the 73 on 15th, then stay on 15th (or the University Way, which is essentially the same thing).

      Both these little tweaks cost a lot of time. Time = service hours. It also equals into people saying “forget about it, I’ll drive.” when combined with the rest of the trip. I’ll admit I’m biased, but I like all of my proposals better (https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2015/03/15/pinehurst-bus-suggestions-for-alternative-one/). I can think of other variations as well (e g. keep the 67 on Roosevelt and the 73 on 15th/University).

      So this is a step in the right direction, but I think it still needs some work. It would be nice to know why Metro has these two things.

      1. Ross, there is method to the madness with respect to both of your objections.

        “1) It keeps the button hook for the 67.” This is the price for keeping the service on Roosevelt Way, where the commercial activity and density are, rather than 5th. I’m sure Metro would love to cut through the neighborhood using NE 100th St, but the street would need to be rebuilt (probably with a physical gate opening only for buses eastbound) for that to happen. Metro made the call, which I think is the right one, that using 5th the whole way would put the major service through Maple Leaf at the edge of the neighborhood. I know I did the same thing in 2013 in the FNP but I wouldn’t do that today.

        “The 67 goes down Roosevelt and cuts over to University Way. The 73 goes down 15th and cuts over to Roosevelt. Say what? It seems like you are slowing down two buses for nothing.” These routes as planned in the latest proposal have two very different functions, which explain these routing choices.

        The 67 is intended to be the high-ridership, high-frequency core route, and connects Northgate, the heart of Maple Leaf, Roosevelt Station, and the heart of the U-District. The 73 is really a low-frequency coverage service which responds to three different coverage complaints about Alt 1: 1) necessity for transfer between Pinehurst and UW; 2) very long and steep walks to service on Roosevelt for people in eastern Maple Leaf east of 15th; and 3) lack of any coverage of lower Roosevelt. The X-shaped routing keeps the right frequency/focus in the right places. It also sets up both routes for good transfers at Roosevelt Station when there is a Roosevelt Station.

      2. Having the 67 stay on Roosevelt/11th would also continue to serve the UW Roosevelt clinic, which would have very poor service if the 66 becomes a peak-only route.

      3. The clinic is a much, much smaller destination than the central U-District. The new 73 should be more than sufficient to cover those few passengers riding to the clinic who can’t walk the three blocks from The Ave.

      4. Also, recall that the new 73 is a weekday-only route. For weekends to work, the 67 has to take a route that forms a usable network, without the 73.

      5. “The 67 is intended to be the high-ridership, high-frequency core route, and connects Northgate, the heart of Maple Leaf, Roosevelt Station, and the heart of the U-District. The 73 is really a low-frequency coverage service which responds to three different coverage complaints about Alt 1: 1) necessity for transfer between Pinehurst and UW; 2) very long and steep walks to service on Roosevelt for people in eastern Maple Leaf east of 15th; and 3) lack of any coverage of lower Roosevelt.”

        Problem is, I feel like Metro didn’t properly appreciate the underlying reasons for those objections, and produced a routing that didn’t make much sense.

        Maybe it’s because most of my experience of Maple Leaf was out the window of the 66 or 67, but I always felt 5th, not Roosevelt, was the core of the neighborhood even if it was closer to the freeway; that’s why I was so disappointed there was no Maple Leaf station on Link at 5th and 85th (as opposed to Roosevelt and 85th, which would have been harder).

        I don’t know if I have much of a solution that doesn’t involve moving the 67 off Roosevelt, but as much as I always hated the notion of cutting the 66/67 in the U-District because of its supposed redundancy with the 70-series, I’m surprised Metro felt covering Roosevelt in that area was enough of a priority to route the 73 that way rather than merging it with the 67 south of Ravenna.

        It really is sad that there’s no good east-west route between I-5 and Lake City Way between 80th and Northgate (except for 92nd west of 5th). That’s a *big* gap.

      6. “but I always felt 5th, not Roosevelt, was the core of the neighborhood”

        There is far more residential and commercial density on Roosevelt than 5th.

        “I’m surprised Metro felt covering Roosevelt in that area was enough of a priority to route the 73 that way rather than merging it with the 67 south of Ravenna.”

        Metro didn’t feel that way. Both public commenters and SDOT did; this was one of the bigger criticisms of Alt 1 in NE Seattle.

      7. I basically like the new proposals for the 73 and 67, but I think it would be more useful if the 73 connected with the Link station at Husky Stadium instead of going through the UW Campus. Is there really a large demand to go on Campus even at night? The 373 already provides peak hour service to campus.

      8. I understand, but I think this just furthers my case. If I understand you right, UW to Northgate should be fast and frequent. UW to Pinehurst does not need to be either. I agree.

        But from UW to Northgate, the Maple Leaf neighborhood is by far the weakest, least populous area. It is no more dense than 5th NE. It has less people than Pinehurst. Yet the button hook will take an enormous amount of time. In other words, those in Northgate heading to Roosevelt or the UW will have to spend a huge amount of time touring Maple Leaf. This cuts into both frequency and speed, making the route a mess. If you are going to have short, frequent, fast connector buses they should be frequent and fast, not go way out of their way to pick up a less populated area like Maple Leaf.

        The obvious solution (as I mentioned) is to run the 73 down Roosevelt. Now Maple Leaf has coverage (through the heart of it) and so does Pinehurst. It isn’t fast or frequent, but it beats the heck out of a two seat ride to the UW. The only disadvantage of the that is that it doesn’t covers 15th (in the north end). Big deal in my opinion.

        Even if they stick with the button hook For the 67 and the 73 on 15th, I still think it is a big mistake to have the two buses run on different streets through the U-Disrict. If I’m in the U-District (or just got off Link) and want to get to Roosevelt (or someplace closer) I want to take the first bus that shows up (67 or 73). Having them run on different streets kills this. Short popular trips should be frequent, while long distance trips can be less so. One way of achieving that is by doubling up the routes on the most popular segments. This fails in that department.

        I think this is Metro still trying to keep one foot in the old “let’s cover every possible inch of the city” mind set. Just to be clear — what they have done in general is fantastic. I really didn’t think they would be so aggressive, especially for this go round. But if you are going to do it, then do it. Don’t worry about connecting Northgate with Roosevelt Way with a single seat ride (5th is just fine). Don’t worry about coverage on 15th north of 75th (it isn’t that far of a walk to Roosevelt Way). And don’t worry about running buses on both Roosevelt and University Way through the U-District — people will walk from one to the other. The savings in speed for the vast majority of the riders and the savings in service hours from a more logical routing would more than make up for the extra distance that a handful of people will need to walk.

      9. “It is no more dense than 5th NE.”

        This is not correct. 5th NE has a few scattered low-rise apartment buildings, mostly SFH, and essentially no commercial activity. Roosevelt is low-rise apartments along nearly its entire length and has a meaningful commercial district between 85th and 95th. You can still argue that a faster Roosevelt-Northgate trip is more important than providing frequent service to Maple Leaf, but Roosevelt is a more important destination than 5th.

        “I think this is Metro still trying to keep one foot in the old “let’s cover every possible inch of the city” mind set.”

        I don’t think this was Metro’s first choice — it seems pretty clear their first choice would have been Alt 1, which had all of these hours running along a single corridor. I think they got enough feedback about Roosevelt from both the public and SDOT that they ended up needing to provide a coverage route there

      10. Wait — Did I read this right? The 73 goes down Roosevelt (in the U-District) while the 373 goes down 15th? Is that right? If so, that is nuts. Everyone who ever wants to go north just takes the first bus out of the U-District (the 73 or 373). Now they have to trust the schedule or trust One Bus Away before they even know what street to stand on! Wow, this is much worse than the other issues.

      11. I think it is fine if the 373 continues its current route down 15th and then goes into Campus since it is a peak only route mainly to serve the UW, but I don’t see why the 73 would also go on Campus. I live in Maple Leaf and have no problem walking to Roosevelt to get the 67, but when I come home from downtown on Link on a weekday the 73 would not be a choice unless I wanted to take a walk on Campus. Also people who live east of 15th who can’t get to Roosevelt would need to do two transfers if they want to get to Link, unless they wanted to walk from the middle of Campus to Husky Stadium.

        I also have a concern about the 67 only being every 30 minutes on Saturday nights and all day Sunday. Anyone who needs the 67 could potentially have to wait 30 minutes at Husky Stadium for the next bus. Maybe there really isn’t enough ridership to justify more frequent service, but it really does not make it very good for coming home on Saturday night or all day Sunday for people who do need the 67.

      12. To add to my comment, I would also prefer if the 73 went up 15th instead of cutting over to Roosevelt, but at least if it went to Husky Stadium that would help people taking Link to and from from downtown. After Link goes to Northgate in 2021 then the 73 or whatever bus goes down 15th could be diverted over to Roosevelt to connect to the 65th St Link station.

      13. Good point, MLKMike. The only advantage to having both the 73 and 373 run through campus is that if you are waiting for a bus, you can catch either one. But that doesn’t exist for most of that route. It as if they assume that everyone who ever catches a 73/373 is headed to campus. If I want to get to Fremont, then I will take the 73/373 to the U-District, and then a bus west. If I head back, I have to pick a street and hope that things work out. If I lived on Maple Leaf, it would be worse. Three different buses to choose from, but they all run on different streets!

      14. The difference between 5th and Roosevelt along those streets is minor. You can see this from the map or just walk there (I live in the area). There is no question that Judy Foos and Reckless Video are more popular than any restaurant on 5th, but that hardly justifies the diversion. The apartments start a bit earlier on 5th, but they are there, and just as heavy as they are on Roosevelt. They end a bit sooner, but you get to the station sooner. Meanwhile, the apartments dwindle and end around 100th on Roosevelt, and don’t pick up again until you are close to Northgate Way (an area that has other bus service). In terms of density (people per mile) it is very close.

        But that misses the point. The whole purpose of the 67 is to quickly connect the UW with Northgate and do so by picking up the densely populated areas along the way. Maple Leaf is not densely populated. It is nowhere near as densely populated as Roosevelt, and not in the same league as Northgate (and isn’t growing, unlike the other two places). Run the 67 on Roosevelt for a while and then run it on 5th and the difference in ridership will be minor, because very few people on Maple Leaf will use it (compared to the number of people in Roosevelt and the U-District). It just isn’t worth the cost in speed (to the riders) or the subsequent cost in service hours to serve a location as sparsely populated as that. Better to serve it with the 73/373, as I proposed. They still get service, just not as frequently.

        As to my claim that Metro still trying to keep one foot in the old “let’s cover every possible inch of the city” mind set, how else do you explain the fact that the 67, 73 and 373 follow three different routes through the U-District? Just imagine this — I work in the Safeco Tower. I live in Pinehurst, Maple Leaf or Roosevelt. Which way do I walk after work to catch a bus? The answer is it depends — better check One Bus Away. Sorry, but that is nuts.

        As I said below, I applaud Metro’s bold moves in this, but some of the details need work. Skip the button hook and please — Please! — consolidate the buses in the U-District (especially the 73 and 373).

      15. At first glance, 5th Ave. seems like a faster route to Northgate, but when you dig deeper, it’s only actually a faster route to Northgate Transit Center, and most of the real activity in Northgate is north of the transit center. If you are headed to Target, Best Buy, or any of the stores at the north end of Northgate Mall, you would access the 67 from the corner of 5th Ave. and Northgate Way – you would not ride the button hook all the way to the transit center. 5th and Northgate is also a shorter walk to get to the neighborhoods west of I-5 than Northgate Transit Center (at least until the ped bridge is built), so the new 67 allows people who live near Northgate Way and Merdian a 1-seat ride to the U-district, while if the #67 took 5th, it would be a 2-seat ride, with a connection at the transit center.

        If you think about it, the only people who are really worse off by the Northgate button hook at those at live right next to Northgate Transit Center (who could avoid it by walking up 103rd St. to Roosevelt), or those trying to connect to another bus at the transit center. In the latter case (say, Maple Leaf to Greenwood), you’re already looking at a 3-4X bus-time/drive-time ratio, even if the bus takes 5th, so you’re not going to get many people making such trips to choose the bus regardless.

  4. My immediate thoughts – First, the good: The revised 73 is excellent. The 541 is also good. Some service along John and Thomas that’s not linked to the Denny Disaster is also excellent. Keeping the 70 going to the U-District is good. Finally, just about everything that was kept from the initial Alternative One is also good.

    Next, the bad. I was really looking forward to the 49-Broadway-Madison; that would have been a necessary frequent southerly link from Link. Service between First Hill and Link will now involve either going downtown or taking one of two infrequent routes. The 11-All-Madison will, like you say, go very few useful places.

    Also, keeping SR-520 service on its current routing is a huge lost opportunity. I foresee many wasted evenings sitting on I-5 and Stewart St when I could’ve been transferring and in the tunnel.

    1. Over the long term transferring to Link will cost you more time with the current SR520 and Montlake infrastructural situation. I’ve been timing travel times at various points in the day from Westlake to Montlake station on the 252/255/257/311. MontakeWestlake it takes between 12 and 14 minutes 90% of the time and can be as quick as just a shade over 10:30. That’s very fast, but when it fails though it fails very badly as you know, Stewart is indeed terrible in the evenings most days. The further “into” downtown you work though the more it benefits you (I would have saved time as I work pretty far south) but the majority or riders seem to exit at Westlake.

      Link would make schedules more reliable which is good, but over the course of say a year it would actually mean that many would spend more time commuting given the above statistics, which also include some of the toughest commutes of the winter which I sat through. It comes down to what you prefer I guess. In my case as I have a flexible schedule I prefer the solution that results in me spending the least time in transit most days..

      So I wouldn’t call it a lost opportunity, but rather postponed for a future date when it makes sense. Say after 520 is complete and if improvements are made to the Montlake crossing situation.

      Personally I suspect Metro realized what many of us SR-520 riders realized, it added at least one and in some cases 2 seats to our trips and gained us marginally little. Opposition to changing routing was so strong that flyers were put up at the Kingsgate and Brickyard Park & Rides and my anecdotal discussions with riders indicated that the seat change was the biggie as well as elimination of local service into the surrounding neighborhoods.

      1. I think what will finally force the issue of a 520 restructure is Montlake freeway station closing for the construction of the Montlake lid. There is no way Sound Transit is going to accept a situation where getting from Redmond to the U-district requires detouring all the way downtown. For me personally, a downtown detour would a minimum of 30 minutes to my daily commute.

        I read the B.S. in WSDOT’s proposals about how buses “could” stop on top of the Montlake lid, but I don’t think that’s going to work very well. First off, it provides no solution during the multi-year process of constructing the lid. And, even when the lid is finished, it puts eastbound buses down the general-purpose Montlake exit ramp, which is frequently backed up, and would easily cost downtown->Redmond riders more time than a Link->bus transfer at Husky Stadium.

      2. Possibly. Though I wonder if what will happen is that you will end up with one single ST or Metro route going to the UW at very high frequency (perhaps to connect through to SLU ala 311’s Alt 1 plan) and all other routes will transfer to that @ Evergreen Point or Clyde Hill.

        This gets back to the shame of not having a transfer station @ Montlake or a way to get to the UW station area largely separated and at close to highway speeds.

      3. There’s really no difference trasferring at Evergreen Point and Montlake, if there is a very frequent bus at Evergreen Point. In fact, it would probably be quicker, because it’s get off one bus, stand where you are or perhaps walk to an adjacent bay and get on another bus. At Montlake the optimum transfer would require a change in elevation.

      4. It can’t be repeated enough that Evergreen Point transfers are awesome (and will be more so once westbound buses can use the permanent station location) and are the way to construct a useful SR-520 network.

      5. Evergreen Point would be a good transfer location – if not as good as a combined trunk to Link – if only the 271 would stop there.

      6. I guess walking is just so old school. Yes, transferring at EG Pt. is the way to go… during the day. Still hard for me to get used to. And depending on time of day, if your going to a Dr. appt. around the 10AM witching hour all ST buses to UW go poof. I thought we’d finally beat it through the heads of those who NEVER ride the bus that Montlake was a critical stop. But maybe they need a reason to justify the cost of the little used EG Pt station complete with elevators. Sorry, just can’t understand why that stop didn’t just go away. That amount of money just to create a transfer station where you stand in the same place and get on another bus after 5 other buses have slowed to 3mph to see if you want to get on?

      7. The 271 overserves Medina as it is; any sensical restructure involving transfers at Evergreen Point would either move the 271 off 84th or truncate it at Evergreen Point, probably a combination of both (move the Bellevue-U-District route off 84th and have a Medina route that ends at Evergreen Point). Realistically of course most of the routes would probably converge on Bellevue TC or Overlake TC, not one of the freeway stations in Gatesville.

    2. ” Service between First Hill and Link will now involve either going downtown or taking one of two infrequent routes.”

      There’s the First Hill Streetcar.

      1. There’s the First Hill Streetcar.

        But is there? Link might open first at this point. :)

      2. First Hill Streetcar: running every 15 minutes, 2 to 6 blocks away from all your favorite First Hill destinations, blocked by every delivery truck, at some indeterminate point in the future.

        It’s just amazing how much more useful the 10-minute 49-Madison would be.

    3. I’d actually prefer the 70 go to the Link station. Missing out on the opportunity to connect to light rail just to go 6 or 7 blocks into the UDistrict seems like a big mistake.

      1. Would that really make any sense before North Link opens, since the only connection would be Southbound? Would anyone’s trip not on the far North End of the 70 really be faster to downtown? And how many people going to the U-District would be disadvantaged?

        Even after North Link Opens, I’m not convinced it would really be any better than just sending the 70 to its current Saturday terminal since that would be by the U-district station anyway.

        I’m not trying to be a member of the one-seat-ride for everyone crowd but I’m kind of curious. It doesn’t seem to be a 100% analogous situation to the 43/48 since the 70 is not made wholly redundant by U-Link.

        Full Disclosure: I’ve only ever used the 70 to ride from SLU to the U-District farmers market, so I’ve never experienced it in the epic traffic I hear it gets on the lower part of Fairview during rush hour, nor have I observed any weekday use patterns beyond seeing people get on all along Fairview in Northern SLU for Northbound trips.

  5. Most of the stuff in Northeast Seattle is great. I’m still not a fan of connecting the 16 to Fremont at the expense of the 26 and 28, but it seems like Metro has wanted to move the 26 and 28 to Aurora in every restructure proposal for the past several years so it was only a matter of time.

    1. I think it’s more a matter of wanting to move the 16 to Fremont. Metro’s analysis really likes the Wallingford/Fremont frequent connection.

      1. I am surprised to see that the 16 in Green Lake will continue down Woodlawn instead of turning right on 65th, which would save so much time. With stops at 65th, Sunnyside, and Latona, the areas missed by having it turn straight onto 65th instead of doing that loopy-loop, would be more than adequately served.
        Also, I think many diwntown Fremont folks will not be happy to lose 40-service to Ballard. Providing direct service between Fremont and Ballard was one of the best things Metro ever did, in my opinion.

      2. 72nd is the center of the Greenlake neighborhood; 65th is the periphery. It may also be influenced by the current situation that 70th is the where the 16, 25, and 48 meet. However, the new 16 and 45 will overlap more now so maybe that transfer point isn’t as important. However, it arguably needs to go up to 70th to “serve” the Greenlake neighborhood.

    2. For the ambulatory, the 26 and 28 remain connected to Fremont. I am often in the position of heading to Fremont from Greenwood and choosing between the 28 and 5; I often take the 5 if it’s coming sooner, because from the Aurora stop into downtown Fremont is a short and easy walk. The connection from Greenwood to Fremont isn’t being lost in any meaningful sense.

      1. We’ll see where they put the stops. Right now I walk less than a block from my office to the bus stop, where there is a large covered waiting area. Metro is proposing to have the 28 go down 39th St instead. Will it have a stop at 39th and Fremont? Will that stop have a shelter large enough for everyone? Regardless of exact stop placement, this routing will add about five minutes of walking each direction, or an extra hour per week that I would need to spend commuting. Not the end of the world, but certainly not something I will welcome with open arms either.

      2. I’m assuming a shared stop with the 5 on Fremont Way N just South of 38th, before getting on Aurora. It’s a short block down the Alley to 36th. I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t stop there.

  6. There’s going to be bus-only lanes around the Husky Stadium stop, right?

  7. So here’s a new idea on improving First Hill service: Keep the current 11 routing (Madison-Pine), and reroute the 43/12 from this proposal down Broadway, to turn on Madison into downtown. Riders on the 43 from 19th and John can either transfer at Capitol Hill Station or stay aboard; riders from East Madison would be no worse off than present; riders from First Hill would gain a new frequent connection to Link. And, finally, Pike/Pine would now be served by the 10, 11, and 47.

    This’s largely off the top of my head, so feel free to critique.

    1. The problem with that is the 47 would be the only service between downtown and Olive/Summit. I’d be fine with that if the 47 were frequent, but it’s not.

      I’ll be making a slightly different proposal which involves keeping the current 11 routing in a future post.

      1. Better the 11 on its current route with 15 minute headways than sending it down to Ivar’s on the west end.

      2. Basically, it goes like this:

        Metro proposal for 8/38/47/48
        10 to John/Olive @ 12 min days/15 nights
        Today’s 11 @ 10 min peak/15 min days/nights
        Today’s 12, but peak-only @ 15 min
        49 to Madison @ 10 min days/15 nights
        Revise 60 to reduce duplication

      3. That’s the same off-peak frequency on Pine as in the original Alt 1, if I’m reading it correctly. Am I to assume that the 10 on Olive is intended to soak up some of the Pine demand?

      4. David, would your proposal for the 8/38/3748 be the original Alt 1 proposal, or the current metro proposal

      5. I also find the 47’s 35 minute headways bizarre from a legibility perspective–they’re arguably worse than 45 minutes for legibility. If only the could find the money to shave off 5 more minutes.

      6. Morgan, I agreed with Metro that 15-minute off-peak frequency on Pine was sufficient. I think much of the Pine demand on the 10/11/49 today will shift to Link. I’m providing 10-minute peak service, which Alt 1 didn’t, to match peak demand.

        My big complaint with Alt 1 is that it dropped all Olive/downtown service.

      7. In David’s outline, the 10 takes care of the John-Pine transition and is “almost the 12”. In other words, if shortening the 43 to 19th is acceptable and serves most riders, then shortening it to 15th should also be acceptable and serves most of those riders. Metro did suggest in the first open house rerouting the 10 to John, so this is not out of the blue. The feedback at my table was mostly positive: it gives 15th direct access to CHS, and the hole at 15th & Pine could be filled by the 11. And David’s 11 does just that. That deletes north-south service on 15th between John to Pine, but that’s short and there never was service south of there.

        The peak 12 keeps 19th from getting piqued. The #12 fans have been the second-loudest opposition to changes on Capitol/First Hill, behind the #2 fans.

        The 49-Madison keeps frequent service on Madison west of Broadway. I don’t feel strongly about where the 49 goes. It’s the most grid-incorrect route anyway.

        15 minute evenings does much to assuage the loss of ultra-frequent daytime service. David’s proposal guarantees 15 minutes on John to 15th, Pine to Madison Park, and Madison to Broadway. That’s a reasonable compromise, even if it may shortchange mid Madison a little bit. But John-Pine really has more ridership and destinations than mid Madison, and the further you go in mid Madison the closer you are to Pine.

        The loss on the 8 of evening/Sunday frequency is unfortunate. That makes the difference in whether the 8 is useful for spontaneous trips (e.g., Dexter to Summit) or whether it’s better to go downtown and transfer. It will also break the promise of 48+8 transfers. 15-minute routes are already marginal for 2-seat rides, because the total maximum wait is twice that or 30 minutes. and if the 8 is 30 minutes and the 48 is 15 minutes, that makes the total maximum wait 45 minutes. So I wish we could keep the 8 full-time frequent. But if we have to choose between that and the corridors from downtown, then it really has to be the routes from downtown for now. What’s innovative is that all three corridors from downtown are full-time frequent. Currently both the 43 and 11 drop to half-hourly, and that’s only partly mitigated by uncoordinated routes (8 and 10). But if we can get all three corridors up to full-time frequent, then we can work on getting Denny Way up to that.

      8. Mike, just to be clear, my proposal (unlike Metro’s or Prop 1) has 15-minute evening service on the 8, probably until about 9-10 pm, and 15-minute Sunday service.

      1. In this proposal the 12 is the 43 replacement for everyone except Montlake riders. There is no 43 replacement for Montlake, just improved 48/8 frequency and transfers at UWS.

      2. I think it’s worth continuing to point out that the “improved frequency” on the 8 is one extra bus an hour during midday. Compared to existing service connecting with the 48 it is a significant reduction in service.

  8. The proposed 11 has a BIG problem and that is access to Pike/Pine which if seamless, get off one but at the same stop and board another south of the Community college or at 12th Ave East would work.

    The 8 still has the problem parking lot on Denny whether they split in the south end or not.

    1. One other change for the proposed 11 that comes out the BRT meetings and that is to have the bus go west on Spring rather than Marian downtown!

      1. That gives somewhat-decent access to University Street tunnel station at the cost of sending the bus through the perpetual I-5 jam in the right lane of Spring Street. If Metro built an island stop between 4th/5th downtown to let it avoid the jam, that would be excellent. Even as it is, if they skipped that stop altogether and let the bus just take the left lane, I’d accept that proposal.

      2. Spring is much better than Marion. It’s closer to University Street Station and the library. If Metro is going to reconfigure the 11, now would be a good time to reroute it to Spring.

        The counterargument would be that Spring is further from the ferry terminal and the pedestrian bridge at 1st & Marion. But I suspect ferry riders are a small fraction of the route’s ridership, and the route shouldn’t serve the majority of riders worse to convenience them. That was the mistake with RapidRide C and F.

      3. That will not happen until substantial capital improvements are made to Spring (as SDOT is proposing for Madison BRT). As it is today, Spring is a graveyard of slowness for Route 2, which is scheduled at 15 minutes during PM peak — and often takes longer — to cover less than a mile between 3rd Ave and Broadway. Between 3rd and Virginia Mason the 2 is slower than walking if it’s on schedule.

        Given the chronic box-blocking by cars turning from 5th onto Spring, I’m skeptical that even a left-side bus lane would fix the situation. But it would be a major improvement over today.

      4. David,

        Give the drivers permission to crash into a few box-blockers (with old beater buses of course). That will stop them.

    2. Agreed, Reg. The longer walk to a station, no service to the retail core and the lack of connections to the streetcar/monorail means they should have just kept the 11 the way it was. I would have rather done the walk up Broadway to Cap Hill station when using Link than have to sit on the 11 all the way downtown.

      Maybe if Madison BRT becomes a thing it will be an improvement. For me, at any rate, the bus becomes a poor second choice now.

      1. The Madison BRT is a pipe dream, given the it requires the voters of Seattle to approve the mayor’s 930 million dollar tax increase and then get the approval of a Republican House in Washington. If that doesn’t kill it the hills will stop it too!

      2. Not if Murray succeeds in diverting ST3 North King resources to it. Madison instead of Ballard, anyone?

      3. Totally see where you’re coming from. Retail core service should perform better than Madison service downtown, especially on weekends.

        What about simply keeping the 11 and 12 on their current routes?

        The 8 covers John connections to Link, which I think would allow the legacy 43 to be retired. Madison Park retains retail core service, and the Madison corridor retains the 12 service all the way to 19th as it does today (which is much of the future BRT ridership).

        The old 43 riders would need to adapt, but they’d have 8-Link, 10, 11, 12, and 48-Link as options.

      4. That leaves out Summit-downtown service, which needs more frequency than the 47 alone can provide.

      5. Not just Summit-downtown, but the transition between John Street and Pine Street. The 8 and 12 serve John, the 12 and 47 serve Pine to East Olive Way, but only the 12 spans from John to Pine so the 8 isn’t really helping there.

        It’s like the current situtation around Trader Joe’s: one westbound stop has the 11 and 12, the next stop has the 10 and 11, but no stop has all three of them, so you have to figure out which one is coming next and guess whether it’ll be on time. Otherwise it’ll go right by you while you’re walking between the stops or standing at the wrong stop.

        And I had another experience like that earlier when I lived near Trader Joe’s (although it wasn’t there then) and worked near the waterfront. I could take the 2 or 12 westbound, but from different stops. That was the only time I’ve ever found the 12 more than slightly useful, because it had the best schedule. Usually I find the 12 is not going where I want to go. A Madison-Pine route really is useful for a lot of things.

      6. As a 43 commuter, I plan to “adapt” by driving instead. The extra time it would take me to walk to the 48/49 or make a connection removes any value from transit as a commuting option for me. Metro’s insistence that Husky Stadium station allows them to dramatically reduce breadth of service to the U-District is shocking to me.

  9. The revised route 11 as depicted WOULD, however, be an excellent user for the new Proterra electric buses … even better if they had a version that could use the ETB OCS to charge/run off of downtown … but they would allow for electric buses to be used on the entire Madison corridor … which is good for the environment and even better for the climb up onto First Hill.

    1. I fully agree and I suggested that to Metro just yesterday. I think most of us on Madison would welcome clean buses too!

    2. Yay Proterra! Built in my other “home town”…and they don’t look bad either.

      1. I just wish they would have modern lighting, rather than the 1970s-era coach taillights and headlights stolen from an old Dodge Charger.

      2. Well, it IS made in South Carolina…where it might actually be 1970 now :)

  10. One of my biggest disappointments is that any frequency improvements that come out of this restructure are pretty much limited to weekday daytime hours only. Evenings and weekends, routes like the 8, 372, 65, and 75, are still only every 30 minutes. The 67 is also a 30-minute route on Saturday evening and all-day Sunday.

    Meanwhile, the service levels on the Pike-Pine corridor seem too high (frequent #49 and #12 combined, on top of the restored #47), given that most people headed between downtown and Capitol Hill will ride Link instead, and improving the 49 from 15 minutes to 12 minutes daytime isn’t going to make all that much difference in the scheme of things.

    As far as the prop 1 investment is going, it appears that whatever NE Seattle is gaining in the short term (with the 71/72/73 being converted to full-time express) is being redirected to Capitol Hill, with the 45’s evening/weekend frequency being the only part of the prop 1 investment that remains east of I-5 and north of the ship canal. Disappointing, but I guess it kind of makes sense if you apply the service guidelines based on a world where everybody going between downtown and capitol hill has to take a bus, due to Link not being open yet.

    1. Remember that in several cases the Prop 1 improvements are from a baseline where evening and Sunday frequencies are hourly. There is no Northeast Seattle route that’s in worse shape under this alternative than it is with the Prop 1 additions to the current network.

      1. Lots are in better shape… during the daytime.

        The problem we run up against is that evening ridership in NE Seattle barely justifies the Prop 1 frequencies, let alone anything higher. Ridership in these areas is oriented very strongly around UW hours of operation.

        Meanwhile, the reason the 49 is getting the frequency increase is that it is the second-most-productive route in the Metro system after RapidRide D, and is packed at all hours. It needs more capacity, and would be in line for a 10- or even 8-minute increase absent Link. Perhaps if most of its ridership shifts to Link then the 2016 or 2017 SGR will show that it’s overserved.

      2. David –

        It is unclear what ridership in much of NE Seattle *could be* with better frequency during off-peak.

        There are a lot of dense neighborhoods there, and not all revolve around the UW. Even if they, the students all have U-Passes, and more than one system has shown that if you give students free passes and frequent service, they will ride at all hours of the day.

        Right now the off-peak headways are so abysmal living on most of those tails that these potential riders make alternative arrangements.

        One of the greatest failures of Metro under both Desmond and Walsh was a lack of intestinal fortitude to do a serious restructure in NE Seattle … at any time over the last twenty years. And yes, while there have been times within that period where it was infeasible, there were other opportunities where they could have done it but chose not to because “LINK was coming.” Twenty years later, we’re finally seeing what should have been done a long time ago.

      3. I agree with you that a fair amount of potential ridership is going unrealized. But you’re just not going to get 49-style ridership in any part of NE Seattle outside the greater U-District, because the land use isn’t there to support it. To have the 49, you need neighborhoods like the U-District and Capitol Hill along its entire length.

      4. Worst-case, NE Seattle will at least get a frequent #16 connecting to Roosevelt St. Station in 5 years.

      5. Just looking at 25th Ave NE, it’s a major improvement.

        The 68 runs every 30 minutes weekdays and Saturday. The last trip of the day is 6pm, no Sunday service.
        The 372 runs weekdays only every 30 minutes until 8pm. Then until 10pm it runs hourly. And those nighttime trips are pretty crowded when UW is in session.

        The new 372 would run everyday, every 30 minutes until midnight. So a quick count:
        Weekday daytime – no net change
        Weekday evenings – increase from 6–>12 trips
        Saturday daytime – double frequency (~20 new trips)
        Saturday evening – increase from 0–>12 trips
        Sunday – increase from 0–>trips every 30 minutes.(~36 new trips)

        The Prop 1 changes in September would add 68 daytime service on Sundays, but it would be every 30 minutes, and there wouldn’t be any additional evening service.

        So that’s massive improvement whether you’re comparing it to current service levels, or Prop 1 levels.

      6. Yes, it’s weird to get used to. Suddenly 25th Ave NE and NE 65th St will go from being places not to live if you want frequent routes to being some of the best places in north Seattle. A 372 that’s frequent and express and goes straight to the station: Sand Point Way and 35th are jealous. It could even make it reasonable to get from Lake City to Link the back way (since 130th station is uncertain and Northgate Station is a basket case of congestion). I have so hated the 72, with its slowpoke meandering between Lake City and the U-District and its frequency dropping to hourly. And the 16 on NE 65th Street I think will become amazingly popular as a crosstown route between Fremont and Sand Point.

    1. We were told yes, though they need to install a pair of switches at 19th/Thomas, which is currently just a straight crossing.

      1. That’s good to hear, I was thinking that’s all that was needed. Any idea if they will use standard or artic trolleys on the 12? If anything we need more electric transportation, and not just in Seattle.

      2. One assumes they’ll be 40-footers, because artics have not to date been cleared to use the turnaround wire at 19th and Galer.

    2. David –

      Artics can use the loop at Interlaken Park.

      Its been done, with diesel artics, in service.

      The limiting factor for the current 12 has always been the artic trolleys in the fleet. Both the 4000s and the 4200s suffer from less than ideal weight distribution over the drive axle, making them difficult to start in the rain on grades such has those seen on Marion.

  11. Luckily they backtracked on their disastrous idea of making the 545 peak only. Other than that, no re-routing affects me.

    1. In the meantime, the splitting of the 48, combined with the elimination of the 43 and the canceling of the 520 restructure means if it’s not rush hour, a transfer from the 545 to go pretty much anywhere in north Seattle requires walking at least as far as Pacific St – further if you want the 65 or 372. Meanwhile, in the eastbound direction, trying to catch the 545 at Montlake freeway station, the bus is always late by unpredictable amounts of time due to the unpredictable amount of time it takes to get through downtown – even if the freeway is wide open.

      That, to me, is the biggest disappointment about canceling the 545 change. It ignores opportunities to improve frequency, while making off-peak connections to anywhere in Seattle except downtown worse than things currently stand. And, all to save downtown riders a transfer, even if there’s no significant impact on total travel time.

      The 255 restructure had problems where it truncated the route, but did not improve frequency to compensate. The 545, at least alternative 1 compensated for the route truncation with improved frequency.

  12. For Pike-Pine residents and Seattle U, Capitol Hill Station is just a bit too far north so buses will remain important. From the perspective of Pike-Pine, here’s how I see it:


    1) Maintains Madison service from 19th/Madison to downtown
    2) Maintains increased 10 service to backfill for the 11 not serving E Pine


    1) No trolleys on Madison
    2) Less peak service on the 11 (4/hour) than the 12 currently provides (6/hour). It will get crowded.
    3) No downtown Pine service east of 15th (11 rerouted to Madison). This would only affect 11 riders who board along Madison east of 15th but who have downtown destinations closer to Pine. To be fair, this is not a lot of riders and the 10 remains as an alternative.

    Overall, it is better than Alt 1 but still somewhat worse than the current state. Certainly no improvements over today, which is unfortunate, but I think I could probably live with it.

    1. I should clarify – I’m talking about people living along the Madison corridor, not closer to Pine. The closer to Pine/Broadway, obviously CHS becomes more walkable.

    2. Although the route concept for Madison is reasonable given the City’s push for Madison BRT (so Metro is pretty much forced to go along), I can foresee in two years that none of those full non-trolley buses are going to climb the hill Downtown on Marion very easily. I suspect we’ll see them move to Spring faster than anyone expects.

    3. So if the all-Madison route is unpopular then… the city will rethink Madison-BRT?

      1. All-Madison has some merit, I guess, but when we’re trading off with other services to create an all-Madison service, I’m not sure it would be better.

        All-Madison really benefits only those people with both origin and destination along Madison (and one of those being west of 15th). I don’t think that’s a huge group, and right now they have a same-stop transfer with the 11/12 along Madison at the top of the hill.

  13. I agree that the change in the Madison corridor is somewhat unsatisfactory. I’m just bouncing off ideas here, but I have a proposal that seems like it would improve the situation of everyone in the Madison corridor. https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zZRjFlt3FFGg.k3WV9mDqtPuw

    Basically, the idea is:
    1. Reroute the tail of Metro’s proposed new 12 to Madison Park, instead of 19th Ave. The resulting route will give Madison Park residents a fast one-seat ride to Link, with continuing service to Downtown for people who don’t want to transfer.
    2. Truncate the 11 to run only from Downtown to MLK Way. A timed, same-stop connection would be available around 23rd/Madison to allow for easy connections from Madison Park to lower Madison.

    Just from looking at the map, this should be revenue-positive if 15 minute frequencies on both routes are maintained, and frequencies could likely be improved slightly in a budget-neutral scenario. Thoughts?

    1. John,

      Good to see some other proposals, but this was already proposed with the 8 and 38 and the answer flat out NO WAY. We need access to the shops on E Madison and having to take multiple buses for a one mile rile is counter productive if Metro wants riders on Madison.

    2. Right now, there’s nowhere to turn around or lay over a bus in the area of Madison Valley, where you propose to turn around your short 11. SDOT is proposing to build a terminal there as one of the options for the Madison BRT project, but that will require a rebuild of Arthur Place and, I’m sure, provoke furious local opposition.

      This also would not address Reg N’s complaints, for what they’re worth.

      1. Lets make this very clear there are people who ride the bus on a regular bus from and to Madison Park. Yes, some of those work in Madison Park, but there are others here who want to ride the bus and asking for better service than we have today is not asking too much.

        Please remember, we pay taxes in Madison Park too!

      2. The people in Madison Park who want to get to Link, many of whom have posted here, pay taxes too. Both this proposal and yours completely cut off Madison Park from Link, requiring a walk of two to four blocks or a two-seat bus ride to make the connection. As far as I can tell, you think the only necessary destination for Madison Park riders is Trader Joe’s.

      3. I also suspect the 19th ave tail is being preserved due to strong community opposition. But I do think that if service remains on 19th avenue the 11 and 12 tails should be swapped with the 11 serving Capitol Hill station and the 12 maintaining its present day route that would preserve trolleys on Madison and improve Link access for the valley and the park.

      4. There will never be good transit service to Madison Valley while I’m alive to care about it, but running Madison BRT out to Arthur Place would still achieve a substantial reduction of the current awfulness. I live half a block away from the proposed station, so I’ll do my best to counterbalance the NIMBYs with a very local, very much in favor voice should the discussion happen to get that far.

      5. Ah, I suppose that make sense. I somewhat understand Metro’s logic now–if there is going to be a route covering the full length of lower Madison, then it basically has to continue all the way to Madison Park (to avoid duplicating the 48 or 8). Still, it seems somewhat ironic that the U-Link restructure would actually make getting to Link from Madison Park more difficult than the current network, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like there are easy solutions unless a turnaround in Madison Valley gets built.

      6. The issue of a turn-around for the 11 was discussed at a BRT meeting and they are suggesting that the bus would run as a BRT to 23 Ave E or MLK and go as a local bus to Madison Park where there already is a turn-around location.

        This idea also solves the issue of needed stops between 23rd Ave E and MLK due to the hills.

      7. That sounds like a great idea. Now if only we could get more stops downtown, too…

      8. Maybe in the long run Metro can devise a route that runs along Spring/Seneca from downtown to the 19th Ave E 12 tail, to please both groups of advocates.

    3. That means no trolley service on John. Maybe that’s OK with people, but you better ask.

    4. As I said up above, that’s pretty much what I think will happen once Madison BRT is built. That makes a lot of sense if Madison BRT is really BRT (fast and frequent). It will actually make for an interesting race if you are on that bus from Madison Park and trying to get downtown — do you switch to BRT, the train or just stay on the bus? My money is on the BRT, but I think it will be close (which is a good thing).

  14. Getting people to accept bus restructuring is always hard. I think this represents a reasonable effort given that the Capitol Hill and UW stations aren’t open yet. I think it will take riders a few days or riding to places like to Capitol Hill station from Downtown before they say “I don’t want to take a pokey bus to Downtown anymore.” Many neighborhood riders aren’t mentally ready for that reality yet.

    I see this version this as an interim condition, and I expect to see another restructure in 2021 when Northgate opens, even in the Central areas. By then, we’ll know how the introduction of Link changes bus demand on lots of Metro routes.

    1. The real issue is how far people are willing to walk from Capitol Hill Station, and how pokey a bus has to be before walking seems preferable. Different people have different thresholds, and it also depends on the weather, how much you’re carrying, and whether you feel tired that day. It will be an very interesting test case to see how people react. If people switch to Link in droves in spite of a longer walk, then the buses will have to be cut back.

      I live halfway between the stations so I’m one of the guinea pigs. I still haven’t decided what I’ll do. Walk to Westlake Station? Take a bus to it? Walk “downhill” either from Capitol Hill Station or to Westlake Station? Walk to Capitol Hill Station to avoid crossing the freeway? Different things on different days?

  15. The new proposal really cuts off the area east of Capitol Hill proper (23rd Ave, Madison Valley) from the Broadway and Pike/Pine area on Sundays (and to a lesser extent weekday evenings and nights). Today the 43, 11, and 8 provide this connection with 8 buses an hour during the day on Sundays. Admittedly they’re not scheduled for even headways. Under the new proposal there are only 2 trips an hour on the unreliable 8, 2 trips an hour on the unreliable 11 that no longer connects directly to Pike/Pine, or a ride on the somewhat frequent 48 well out of the way into Montlake (I hope the bridge isn’t up) to transfer to Link to ride back to the Hill. Those who are able could walk up to 19th to get better odds with the new 12. Weekday evenings and nights are a similar story.

    Not only is this proposal a big step back in usefulness from Alternative 1, in my neighborhood it’s a lot worse than our existing service. I’m very disappointed to see Metro sacrificing frequency and utility in high-ridership areas in order to satisfy people who refuse to make a transfer between frequent services. How does this better connect to Link when my transit options to get there are worse than they are today?

    1. Yeah, as a denizen of east-of-Capitol-Hill, I’m really disappointed. Any new destinations are gone and current destinations are harder to reach. The 48 no longer through-routes to the 67 so we lose both existing service to Roosevelt and the new service to Northgate. The 11 doesn’t serve Pike/Pine or the Convention Center. The 8 truncates but bypasses one of the other big peak traffic generators in the area so the 48 will still be crush loaded.

      I was so hopeful with Alternative 1 but it looks like nothing useful for the western CD survived.

      1. Taking the Metro survey also doesn’t look particularly helpful to provide useful feedback. All of the multiple choice questions are couched like this:
        Q: We heard that riders wanted increased frequency. We increased frequency by deleting the 43 and not adding additional service. Do you agree that increased frequency is important?

        There’s no way to say, “No, this proposal is WORSE than anything else you’ve proposed because I can do math” until you get to a generic free response section at the end.

      2. I’m going to write an actual, paper letter this time. I’ve written e-mails and they don’t seem to go anywhere and since, due to my work schedule, I can never attend any of the open houses, I hope that a real piece of paper gets at least a little attention. Undoubtedly Metro is snowed under in feedback from all sides but it seems like the feedback that gets the most weight are the people who go to the in-person meetings, which I can’t do (sleep is nice).

        I get that restructuring is good. I really liked the 2011 restructure, for instance. But to see Alt. 1 turn out so well and then have all of that undercut in Alt. 1, v2.0 is disappointing.

    2. I’m probably going to write a letter too, but first I need to buy more envelopes. I used up all of mine writing to Sound Transit about their boneheaded ideas a few weeks ago.

      Luckily I’m able to make it to the Capitol Hill open house (Wednesday 5/20 6-8pm). I wish I could show up at the Madison Valley Merchants/East Neighborhoods District Council meeting that day but it’s at 9:30am.

    3. Who’s refusing to make a transfer between frequent services? The people on 23rd/24th are being told to transfer from the 48 to the 8 or 11 or else. That’s the biggest transfer issue, and it’s going ahead. (…Or else walk four blocks and transfer to the 12.) Madison Park/Valley has never had a route to lower Madison, at least not since the 11 was created, so that’s not a status quo preservation. I can’t believe that there are enough people in mid Madison (12th to 19th) going to western Madison to force the 11 change on their own.

      1. Mid-Madison people didn’t really want this either, in fairness. We don’t want Mid-Madison to Madison Park service per-se – we want downtown service to stay on Madison. The previous proposal took out 2/3 of our downtown service (both the 11 and 12) and left us with only the unimproved 2 and 10, which are further to walk to and already crowded.

        I’m coming around to David Lawson’s idea as well. It would still reduce service for Mid-Madison, which is unfortunate, but it maintains enough of the service to make it manageable. The 12 running only in weekday peak hours is tolerable as long as frequency can be maintained. If the 12 ran 5:30am-10:00am and 3:00pm-7:30pm with the frequency it has today (10-15 minutes), I think that would capture most of the demand. On weekends and mid-day we can hopefully manage with the 2 and the 11.

    4. I found both Alt 1 and Alt 2 and the alternatives (e.g., Reg N’s) an equal tradeoff for Capitol Hill. I liked some things of each but none was markedly better than the others overall. Now this new proposal I’m afraid takes some steps backwards. Starting with the evening/Sunday frequency on the 8. It’s depressing that even with Prop 1 money — which was going to cure our infrequency blues — now won’t in several cases. You have to think of another levy beyond Prop 1, and that would be harder to pass.

      Keeping the 11 on its current route is sounding like an increasingly good thing. I like David Lawson’s idea of frequent 10 15th-John, frequent 11 Madison-Pine, frequent 49 Broadway-Madison, and peak-only 12 19th-Madison.

      One good thing I see in the PDFs: peak hours is defined as 5-9am and 3-7pm instead of 6-9am and 3-6pm.

  16. According to the map, the 16 will be using 70th between Sand Point Way and 35th. Looks good on the map, but hard to imagine a bus going up or down that last stretch before getting to Magnuson Park.

    1. Until Metro terminated night and weekend service on the 30 in September 2014, it used that part of 70th nights and weekends. It’s steep, but not as steep as some other hills along bus routes.

      1. I thought they were using 65th as evening/weekend layover. That is where Irenember catching the 30 when I lived in Wedgwood and rode it frequently to get to Magnuson.

      2. Yes, they were using 65th to lay over, but they had to use a bit of 70th to get there.

  17. (a) I always hate to see trolleybuses replaced with diesel. This is always a step backwards.
    (b) The SR-520 non-restructure seems like kicking the can down the road; surely they’ll have to restructure this sometime soon, just to make *some* SR-520 buses stop at U of W (Husky Stadium) Station? Can they seriously have *none* of them do so? Does this really make any sense?
    (c) I don’t know what to make of the Capitol Hill options; not enough local knowledge; but it looks pretty whacky, and not very legible.
    (d) The Northeast Seattle stuff looks really good, honestly.

    1. …well, I guess the Sound Transit buses are increasing their connections to the U of W station. So that means the lack of an SR-520 restructure isn’t totally crazy, although Metro will probably watch passengers switching to ST.

  18. I was one of those who worried about Pike-Pine being underserved in Alternative 1, going from 10 buses per hour during peak at Pine/Broadway, up to 6 of them artics, down to just 4 buses per hour on Route 10’s mandatory 40′ coaches.

    But when I look at Alt 3, I regret voicing those objections, especially in light of Route 8. The 8 is now stuck with half-hourly frequency on evenings and weekends when Pike/Pine will still have sub-10 minute frequency, which seems like a significant distortion that overserves Westlake and underserves SLU and LQA.

    1. That’s the impression I’m getting from a lot of the changes: Metro responded very strongly to any criticism and only obliquely acknowledged the changes that had support. They overshot a little at first but have now backpedaled way too far.

  19. There must be something very obvious that I’m missing, because these proposed frequencies *post* Prop 1 seem to be worse than the frequencies under the original Alternative 1 for NE Seattle. IE 67 going from 10 to 15 min headways. Is ALL of the Prop 1 money plus ALL of the restructuring efficiency gain going to route 73? That just doesn’t seem plausible. Overall, this is horrible. Now I just want existing service plus Prop 1 enhancements. I was willing to sacrifice all day 66 for 10 min headways on 67, but this, this is ugly.

    1. What you’re missing is the breaking of both the 67/48 and 45/271 through routes. Through routes save A LOT of hours.

      On the plus side, breaking both of these ends up having the effect of providing a lot more service between UW Station and the U-District.

      1. Wow. In that case, why in the world did Metro retain the Issaquah 271 tail at such huge cost?

      2. I’m not quite sure, beyond just “we’re going to forget all Eastside changes for the moment.” I’ll be saying more about this.

      3. That extra service on Pacific Street also compensates for moving the 70 back to its existing route.

  20. It should be noted that the map of the 73 is wrong. KC Metro will be moving the 73 terminal to the Route 65 terminal at NE 143rd St this upcoming shakeup.

  21. There was an important thing that Jarrett Walker said a few weeks ago when in town, about how the worst outcomes always arise when the “train people” sweep in, drop their one lauded station in a 5-square-mile radius in an arbitrary location, and then tell the “bus people” to figure it out.

    This = that.

  22. It was always very odd that Metro was more aggressive about restructuring Northeast Seattle, where a lot of changes had to be “interim” until North Link opens, than Capitol Hill, where one might have thought would best support more aggressive changes. I can’t help but wonder, if Metro had gone all the way with Cap Hill changes, if more of them might have been left intact, but Metro’s experience with trying to move the 2 to Madison might have scared them off from doing anything substantive in the Central District, even the seemingly common-sense cutting of the 4S. I also can’t help but wonder, looking at the old maps again, whether Metro’s reluctance to substantially restructure the 9 or 60 might be the result of a desire to justify the FHSC’s existence; between Pine and Jackson it’s the only north-south frequent route between downtown and 23rd, I think.

    1. It’s mostly geography challenges on Capitol Hill. North Seattle is large and rectangular so it’s easier to have grid routes that go straight for several miles and have activity centers at both ends and reflect where people want to go or are at least willing to go. 9th Avenue to Madison Park or the Ship Canal is only a couple miles which is short for a bus route, and it only gets shorter from there. The Madison Park endpoint is much smaller than the villages around 15th and Broadway, and the south side of the Ship Canal is low-density residential punctured by highway no-mans-lands.

      The majority of trip origins/destinations are in the middle of this conglomoration (Bellevue to 17th), which would theoretically be great for a wheel-spoke system centered on a Link station, but the actual destinations and trip patterns don’t quite do that. Some of them go naturally through John, but over half go through Pine or Madison. Western Madison has only niche destinations (medical, office, ferry), so if you’re on mid or eastern Madison, a wider cross-section of destinations is centered on Pine, not Madison or Denny. This could change if western Madison gets a wider variety of businesses and more mixed-use, but that’s at least a decade or two away. Likewise, Denny Way could acquire a more comprehensive set of destinations and that could pull people naturally away from Pine, but again that’s mid-term future and there’s still the Denny Disaster to mitigate.

      This is what makes Capitol Hill hard. Every plausable frequent corridor ends up benefitting a significant number of people but also hurting a significant number of people. Every proposal so far has been a compromise and tradeoff. And that speaks to Madison BRT. It would be an asset if it’s all added service hours or 50% added service hours, but if it’s just reshuffling existing hours it ends up hurting almost as many people as it helps. That would only be mitigated if the BRT (or BRT + route 2) is so frequent and fast it makes up for these shortcomings. But that is still unproven, and can’t be done by March 2015.

      1. I agree. I’ve been focused on the 67/73 in part because I live around there, but also because the issues and trade-offs are so simple compared to Capitol Hill/Central Area. The north end is like checkers, while the east end of Seattle is like three dimensional chess. I think the biggest issue is Madison as well as the “old Seattle” convergence of grids (they should have listened to Doc Maynard). Running a fast frequent bus on Madison is great, but it doesn’t solve all of the problems because it a diagonal street. If you are on MLK and Union, and want to get to Madison and Union, what do you do if you see the 8 heading north? Do you take it and cut back, or wait for the other bus? These types of tough choices don’t happen with a grid. With a better layout, a bus on Union would go straight across, right to Belltown. It is pretty easy to imagine a really good bus grid if the streets followed a really good grid, but they don’t, so we muddle along.

      2. Still, if Metro were willing to take on the CD or RV’s hostility to any route changes whatsoever, they might come out with something with more benefits.

  23. >>The route will have to use diesel coaches, which are far from ideal for the steep hills on Madison and Marion, and which will take electric trolley service away for riders on First Hill.<<

    If it's using diesel coaches, why would it not run all the way to Colman Dock? It makes no sense to make people stepping off the ferry to walk several blocks inland to catch the bus when it could go all the way to the waterfront.

    1. Perhaps because of the construction on the waterfront over the next decade.

    2. Case in point. A few weeks ago I walked from the Harbor Steps to the West Seattle Water Taxi. There’s a chain-link fence in front of the piers and sidewalk for several blocks. The walkway is in the old road, and the road is under the Viaduct where the parking used to be. When they dismantle the viaduct they’ll doubtless have to close the road, and that will block buses. Then the waterfront reconstruction will come, and that will take a few years.

  24. I would like to thank Metro staff for the countless hours they have put into doing/undoing/redoing these proposals, gathering input from the public, smiling while occasionally getting yelled at, and calming re-explaining the reasoning behind various proposals.

    Even as I beg to go back to Alt 1 on the Capitol Hill restructure (or something much closer to that), I want y’all to know, you are appreciated.

    1. +1. I agree, it’s quite the dance to incorporate feedback that is frequently contradictory but all impassioned. There’s a lot I don’t like about Alternative 3, but it’s better than the status quo for most people (Capitol Hill-SLU and Montlake-CHS folks excepted, sorry David). :/

    2. Agreed, Brent and Zach. Metro has put a phenomenal amount of commitment and work into this process, and I appreciate every bit of it.

      1. I too would like to thank the Metro staff for the hard efforts in trying to put this plan together.’

        Given the comments in the blog, I think we need a working meeting with the Metro personal so we can hash the problems out in person. This was very effective at the May 5 SDOT BRT meeting.

      2. I appreciate that the Metro staff is trying its best to keep all the parties happy, too. I really liked Alternative 1 in the CD much better than this, yet I suspected that Madison Park and 19th Avenue (Route 12) pushback was going to happen.

        This Madison thing wouldn’t have been as much an issue if the City of Seattle wasn’t so obsessed with trying to make an all-Madison work to implement the BRT idea. Given the level of disappointment expressed here, it appears that the decision to even propose Madison BRT in the Transit Master Plan appears to not have gotten the amount of scrutiny that it should have.

      3. Al,

        I totally agree. The BRT is a pipe dream that won’t work on the 3 miles distance with possibly 6 stops. The hill downtown and east of 23rd Ave East are also a BIG problem. And last but not least, do we really think that the mayor’s 930 million dollar proposal will pass, let alone expect the current Congress to approve it?

        To be blunt, it’s just muddying the waters for the Metro Changes. I propose an water to water run on the 11, but my plan had a notch for a seamless transfer to the Pike/Pine shopping area, Metro has no satisfactory seamless option yet!

        Wouldn’t most of us rather see the money for the Madison BRT used to improve the street, for example the pavement needs to be urgently replaced, not just patched again and again!

    3. Yes. Who would have thought a year ago that Metro would actually propose moving the 49, deleting the 43, restructuring the 11 and 12, deleting the 71/72/73 before 2021, deleting the 25!, converting Eastside routes to UW feeders, or creating a frequent 65th-Sand Point route and extending it to Fremont! Even if some of them don’t go through, at least Metro is concretely asking the public to consider them and think about changing their bus-travel patterns. That can only be good after years of stagnation, wimpily withdrawing proposals at the slightest opposition, and self-censorship that killed proposals before they were published. The only way to get to a better network is to concretely propose a lot of things, and some of them will go through, and keep reworking the ones that don’t. And keep pushing for more service hours to mitigate the side effects of restructuring.

      1. I agree. I meant to send out a message saying exactly that last night, but got pulled away before I could finish. It takes a lot of guts to redo the north end routes, when lots of people (myself included) assumed they wouldn’t. Many assumed they would wait until Link got to Northgate (when the re-routes are a lot easier). I hope that sort of aggressive attitude continues, and we see more of this sort of thing in the future.

  25. I would also like to thank David Lawson for the excellent presentation of the Metro changes in this blog. Your write-up and maps are so good that we are posting the material on the Madison Valley Website!

    1. Happy to help, regardless of substantive disagreements. Credit goes to Zach for the maps — I just wrote the text.

      1. How would we get your okay to place the actual content on the website versus just a link? Yes, we can disagree, and new ideas are what we desperately need.

        In my view 24 hours of you post, I think that Metro should hold off the changes for March 2016 until they implement the service and frequency improvements from Prop 1 in June and September this year. Let LR go in and lets look at the restructure after March 2016 with the new “facts on the ground”.

      2. Reg, we can work with you so you can use some of this post. Please email me at [address redacted].

        I disagree that Metro should wait, because I think there are clear wins that could happen regardless of Link (such as the 49/Madison), and I think there are good ways to improve connections to Link — which really will make a lot of trips faster — with minimal pain. Tune in tomorrow for a proposal that would do so while keeping the current 11 intact.

      3. David,

        I tried to use [address redacted] with no luck. Any suggestions so that I can email you.

      4. The north Seattle and #48 changes should be approved regardless. The 520 changes have mostly been withdrawn so there’s little to approve, although people can argue for their reinstatement. Metro can do another round or two with Capitol Hill and the #38, and if it goes past the March change deadline (probably September) that’s not the end of the world.

      5. Unless Metro is able to do something about allegedly-timed connections actually being connected, I disagree that the route 48 change should happen until Roosevelt’s light rail station is done. Or, rather, I’d very much love to have the Alt 1 proposal back where the 48 and 67 are through-routed until Northgate Link opens. Why must all routes out of the CD have their not-south-ends in downtown or the University?

  26. One of the benefits of the current bus #8 route, is that it goes to the Mt. Baker transit station at McClellan and MLK,which is right across the street from the light rail to the airport. This avoids going to congested downtown to Westlake to get the light rail.

    If the new proposal goes through, with the #8 ending at 23rd and Jackson, it will require a transfer to the #38 to get to the light rail. This is possible, but inconvenient, as coordination with schedules will be required.

    Is there an option to have the #8 end at the Mt. Baker transit station, so that this direct connection is preserved and will also serve riders in that portion of MLK?

  27. Why is 8 only 12 minutes midday now? I thought it was supposed to be 10 minutes?

  28. I live near the end of the 73 route in Jackson Park. The only redeeming value of the current 73 is that it went all the way downtown–even though it took an hour or more. Now it won’t even go downtown. So this sometime bus rider will not be using Metro at all now. Sorry but I’m sticking to my car. I don’t have the luxury of 3 or 4 hours to get where I need to be and back. I am glad to see they are moving the north end of the route to 143rd and getting it out of the neighborhood.

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