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I’ve have reviewed the August 25, 2015 Metro proposal and I am sorry to say it fails since:

1. It lengthens the runs of the 8/11 which are already among the most unreliable routes.

2. It does not allow for seamless transfers between the 11 and 12 going east and west.

3. It removes the 8 from John/Thomas.

4. It does not allow seamless access to the Community College on Broadway and other places on East Pine.

5. It duplicates service on East Madison from 19th to 24th which does solve any problems, but eliminates access to bus service on East John between 19th and 23rd Ave East.

6. It will require changes in the 19th Ave East and East Madison intersection for 60 foot buses to turn west or north.

I know that Metro has spent the last two months trying to work this out and I believe that plan could be made palatable by moving the 8 back to East John/Thomas and by having the 11 continue west to 12th Ave East where it would turn north to John and light rail. These are easy fixes and would leave the rest of the plan intact!

Amazingly this plan has united the users of the 8, 11 and 43 in opposition to the Metro 2016 Capitol Hill restructure! I look forward to talking to you about these issues. If this plan can’t be modified then I would suggest like others are, that the Capitol Hill changes be postponed until after the implantation of Light Rail so that the impact of it and the Prop One changes can be reviewed!

If you would like to provide public testimony to the King County Council on this proposed March 2016 Metro Transit service changes please go to:

9 Replies to “My Reactions to the August 25 2015 Changes for the 8, 11 and 43”

  1. I don’t know enough about the routes in question to comment usefully on any particular restructuring. However, it seems like it would be a better approach to do a restructure with any warts it may have at or near the time U-Link opens and then adjust routes and schedules where they don’t work.

    If you defer all the changes, then there will be no data about how the status quo could be improved with a restructure. There will always be winners and losers when changes occur. But the winners may not be the same set as the current riders.

  2. Here’s a rebuttal since the plan really isn’t as bad as you say it is.

    1–The 8 is shorted by splitting it at Mt Baker Station. This will improve reliability far more than the new deviation down to Madison/19th would hurt it.

    2–The new transfer would require walking across one street at a signal for a total distance less than a couple hundred feet. While the existing no-walking transfer would disappear, this short walk is common in most all transfers in Seattle or other cities.

    3–I agree with you (woot!) that it makes sense to keep the 8 on John because it’s more direct… though it’s only a four block gap in coverage.

    4–Huh? John is less than 2 blocks from Central. And the 10 will still be on Pine.

    5–See #3.

    6–Sure. Moving the 11 to John the whole way would solve this problem.

  3. Here’s my take. Route 11 is my main bus (I live in Madison Park).

    I support the route modification to go past the new Capitol Hill Light Rail Station (CHS). CHS is the nearest station to east Madison neighborhoods. Getting downtown will be faster taking light rail from CHS, as will getting to Husky Stadium and UW Medical Center in the opposite direction.

    My responses to the six concerns raised by fellow transit enthusiast Reg Newbeck:

    1. Yes, the proposed 11 is about a quarter mile longer than the current 11. The increased frequency will help some. But the extra quarter mile is a price worth paying for access to CHS.

    Suggestions for Metro and SDOT: consider signal prioritization at the two quick turns near Group Health and Safeway, and for west-bound traffic, consider extending the length of the right-turn only lane on Olive for traffic heading west on Denny.

    2. The transfers between 11 and 12 are no longer step-off/step-on, but nonetheless reasonable. The west-bound transfer entails about a 100 pace walk, and the east-bound transfer about 200 paces. No steep terrain is involved.

    I would urge Metro SDOT to consider either (1) painting a cross-walk across 19th Avenue at Howell, or (2) adding an east-bound bus-stop on Madison just east of 19th. The latter change would cut the east-bound transfer distance in half.

    3. Route 8 is indeed removed from John/Thomas and placed on Madison/19th. With this shift, 8 matches the route of the proposed 11 all the way from MLK and Madison to Olive and Denny. The same route over that distance will simplify transfers and will reduce confusion if the two buses shared a route, then deviated, then shared a route again.

    4. The current 11 does not provide “seamless” access to all parts of the Community College. It drops students off at the southern end of the campus. The West Station of CHS provides access less than one block from the northern end of the campus.

    With respect to businesses on Pine between Madison and Broadway, it is true that the proposed 11 will no longer provide step-off access. But all route changes involve a trade-off: the new 11 will provide one-seat access to Group Health, Safeway, and the 15th Avenue business district. The new 11 will also provide good access for students attending the Meany Middle School opening in 2017.

    5. Yes, moving 8 off of East John between 19th and 23rd Avenues does eliminate direct access to this neighborhood – riders will have to walk a few blocks to the bus stops on 19th or Madison. But East John between 19th and 23rd is residential, in contrast to Madison and 19th, which are major roads. The current 43 bus service is electric, and going away. 8 is fossil-fueled. The new route change to move 8 off of East John will make for a quieter neighborhood, perhaps worth the longer walk to a bus stop.

    6. Yes, the west-bound turn from Madison onto north-bound 19th is sharp, less than 90 degrees. But the turn is no sharper than what 8 currently negotiates east-bound on Madison turning south on MLK. I think Metro and SDOT agree with Reg’s statement that changes will have to be made at this interchange to make the turn easier. I am confident that Metro is already considering such changes.

    The changes to Route 11 that Metro is proposing will make it easier for east Madison riders to connect with the new Capitol Hill Light Rail Station. That is the goal of Metro’s Link Connection project. I believe the new route, while no by means perfect, is a step in the right direction.

    1. One correction: I understated the difference in distance between the current and proposed 11 route. The difference is a half mile, not a quarter mile. Measured from 19th and Madison to Pine and Bellevue, the current route is about 5000 feet; the new route about 7500.

      At 10MPH the route difference expressed in time is about 3 minutes.

      I apologize for the inaccuracy. Lesson learned: measure twice, blab once :-)

  4. Moving the 8/11 from John to Madison between 19th and 24th Avenues makes sense to me. Overall, we need to look at the location of each stop and see how that inconveniences riders first and overall travel speed second..

    With Route 43 going away, this will be a much more important transfer point for Route 48. If the stop stays on John, riders to/from 23rd Avenue would have to walk quite a distance to transfer to a John Street bus stop. The westbound bus stop for the 8/43 today is between 21st and 22nd Avenue, and is quite far from a 23rd Avenue stop.

    Sure, moving this stop to use the one on Madison does inconvenience some neighborhood riders. However, that inconvenience is really only two blocks — to 23rd and Madison.

    The 19th/John stop westbound stop at 19th and John can just be moved to be on the northbound 19th Avenue stop. This appears less than 100 feet.

    The new routing puts riders closer to Safeway and Trader Joe’s. It also makes it easier for Capitol Hill residents to get to these places (of course nothing that there is another Safeway on this route at 15th Avenue).

    The new routing allows for an easy transfer across only one street (19th Avenue) between Route 8/11 and 12, and today some of those transfer take crossing two streets.

    As far as increased travel time goes, the signal at 23rd/John has a long cycle, and many times westbound riders are left sitting at the light for quite awhile. There is much greater amount of green time on Madison at 23rd Avenue. The net result will be a fairly comparable travel time whether 8/11 uses Madison or John. The eastbound direction could be a bit longer of a journey, but even then the travel time addition appears minor.

    In sum, the use of 19th Avenue for Route 8/11 seems to have more advantages than disadvantages for riders who will be using the stops, especially those who transfer from Route 48..

  5. I find it amazing that some on the blog support whatever proposal Metro comes up with. For example, some of the people who supported have the 8 and 11 on East John going west from 24th Ave East are not saying they like have those same buses on East Madison.

    We are all entitled to our own opinion, but not facts. First Metros had several objectives in the restructure access to LR, reducing duplication and improving reliability. The current plan removes the 43/48 duplication, but adds in for the 8/11. The current plan does not improved reliability for the 8 or 11 since both runs a longer and Ted from Metro has admitted that the 11 run will be 3 to 5 minutes longer. Currently the 8/11/12 are some of the most unreliable routes in the fleet based on Metro’s own stats, I can attest to their lack of reliability! The routing for the 11 is longer than a quarter mile since the bus will be going down Olive and Bellevue instead of done Pine directly. Please check this out on the Metro maps.

    I know it’s real easy to say transfers are easy, but are they seamless by which I mean get off one bus and get on another and the answer is flat out NO! Currently the stops at 17th Ave East are a major transfer point and a lot of the people transferring are senior and/or handicapped. In addition, a lot of the transfer are for people going to Swedish, Virginia Mason or Poly Clinic which are all on Madison. You must remember that we all hope to be seniors one day, and yes we hope that we will not be handicapped!

    Please don’t comment that these people should be using Access or the Hyde shuttle. My plan which runs the 11 to 12th or 15th Ave East and East Pine then to go north plus moving the 8 back to East John and Thomas is a better plan. This plan also removes the need for SDOT to work the turn problems at 19th Ave East and East Madison.

    Yes, the Metro plan moves move buses to access LR on Broadway, but as far the 11 users they do a short walk from Broadway and Pine to the LR. That walk is far shorter than the one I do every time I go to the bus! It is most interesting that no effort has been made to get the 9, 12 and 60 to go to LR on Broadway.

    So to me it appears that Metro has failed on it’s three major objectives that it announced months ago for the implementation of Light Rail. One last point messed by some is the the 11 E Madison bus is not just the for the residents of Madison Park and the needs of those NOT living in the Park need to be considered by King County and Metro!

  6. The following is from an email that I received from Denise and reflects the view of a current user of the route 43.

    Subject: [arboretum-neighbors] Elimination of Route 43 would cut off bus access for Montlake and Arboretum neighborhoods!

    Date: September 10, 2015 at 4:33:55 PM PDT


    Cc:,,, Nextdoor Arboretum ,

    Testimonial regarding proposed March 2016 changes to Metro routes: Elimination of Route 43 would cut off bus access for Montlake and Arboretum residents heading south and west

    I am a senior who has resided in Montlake for over 40 years and I have always taken Metro bus route 43 to get me directly, with one single bus, to my research position at the UW School of Medicine, to my medical health care facility at Group Health Capital Hill on 15th Avenue East, to grocery stores and drug stores on 15th Avenue East, to Broadway, and to downtown.

    For those of us who reside throughout Montlake and the Arboretum neighborhoods, anywhere below or near 23rd and 24th Avenue East, the proposed elimination of Metro route 43 would be disastrous! It would require us to take TWO buses instead of one to get from 24th Avenue East to 15th Avenue East (Group Health, Safeway. QFC, etc) with a transfer necessitated to get from the 48 to the 8 on 19th near E. Madison (which is not a safe place to wait for another bus for 15 minutes in the dark and rain!!!). In addition, we would need to transfer to and take yet another bus (the 11, THREE BUSES) to get from Montlake to downtown.

    In essence, this proposed change neglects the public transportation needs of an entire neighborhood!!!

    I urge you to 1) maintain Route 43 OR 2) to restore the link between 23rd and 19th Avenue East along E John/Thomas so that we can continue to have access to all of the important places we need to go on a daily basis.

    And as a senior, please know that in the coming years the elimination of route 43 would make me completely dependent on cabs or personal vehicles.

    Montlake resident since 1975

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