This afternoon the King County Council Transportation, Economy, and Environment (TrEE) Committee sent the ULink restructure to the full council without recommendation. The restructure ordinance will now be discussed by the full council, with a probable vote, on Monday, October 19.
Chair Dembowski and Councilmember Phillips introduced an amendment that responds to the bulk of the criticism received from the public, particularly on Routes 43 and 71. The amendment passed unanimously by a 7-0 vote.
The amendment significantly changes the restructure proposal:
- Retains Route 43, running its full route in both directions during weekday peak periods. So during peak periods, there will be up to 16 buses per hour running between 19th/Thomas and Capitol Hill Station via Routes 8, 11, and 43.
- Retains Route 71 on weekdays and Saturday, running every 30 minutes between View Ridge, Wedgwood, Ravenna, Roosevelt, the UDistrict, and UW Station via NE 65th St and 15th Ave NE. As a result, proposed Route 78 will not serve View Ridge, but will begin in Laurelhurst instead.
- Converts Route 373 into a local peak-only route instead of an express route. When Route 373 is running, Route 73 will only run reverse-peak, northbound in the morning and southbound in the afternoon.
- Moves Route 67 and 73 back to their current routing in the University District, with Route 67 on Roosevelt/11th and Route 73 moving back to The Ave.
There were additional items in the amendment related to continued public outreach and transfer improvement studies. There may be further changes behind the scenes prior to full council consideration on Monday, so stay tuned.
160 Replies to “ULink Restructure Goes to Full Council, With Significant Changes”
Not sure how I feel about this. By bending over backwards to resolve every complaint it feels like the restructure is being gradually eroded.
Glad the 67 still has 15 minute service for now, but movong it back to Roosevelt likely just angered yet another interest group.
And having it slog all the way to Northgate Way sucks.
Moving it over to Roosevelt makes a lot more sense. I really don’t know why Metro did the do-see-do before. My guess is that they wanted to minimize the distance someone had to walk if transferring, but such a transfer (e. g. 67 to 73) is rare. In general, it is best to avoid making turns. Making turns costs a lot of time.
Which brings me to Tim’s point. The button hook to Northgate is a terrible slog, and a terrible idea. You will pass by more people, but the overall line will be less densely populated (fewer people per mile). Meanwhile, you pretty much kill all connections at the Northgate Transit Center, the biggest argument for even going there. It is a crazy idea, and one I’ve complained about a lot, but Metro insists on it (for now) and thus we are stuck with it. I wonder who will be the first rider to get off the bus on Roosevelt, walk down the street to 5th, and then get back on (just for giggles)? It won’t be me (I’m too old for such shenanigans, even though I could easily do it with a leisurely stroll).
That’s assuming Northgate Transit Center is the only destination. The malls and Northgate Way are also destinations people are going to.
This is just anecdotal, and I’d like to see data on this. But when I take the 67 to Northgate, I see most people who get off with me at NTC continuing to walk towards the mall. When I take the 68 to Northgate, more people get off by Northgate Way than by NTC.
The connections at Northgate Transit Center are going to be terrible anyway. I don’t think it’s worth routing the bus further away from most people’s destinations just to make the connections a little bit less terrible.
Let me repeat what I said:
You will pass by more people, but the overall line will be less densely populated (fewer people per mile).
The most densely populated section of that line is between the U-District and Roosevelt (inclusive). By extending it further, you dilute the line. You waste service hours that could be better spent elsewhere. Those riding the route from Roosevelt are stuck in traffic. When an old man like me can shortcut a bus by walking down the street, it isn’t a good route. Put it another way: imagine a couple buses — one going on 5th, and one that loops around. If you are headed to 5th and 105th, which bus do you take? The answer is that it makes no difference. The bus that loops around will get you right to your door, but by then you could have walked from 100th. So you are basically saying that the section north of there is so much better than the area south of there (which includes the transit center itself) that it justifies the enormous cost in service hours. I don’t buy that for a second. The 67 is supposed to be the crowning glory of the north end restructure, but it will be hampered because of the button hook. Oh, it will be popular as hell between Roosevelt and the U-District, but that is true today with the assortment of buses that go that way. I’m sure all the riders from Maple Leaf will love it (both of them) but that hardly justifies that kind of frequency. Meanwhile, those who think that we are sacrificing one stop rides to downtown so that we can build a real network will be solely disappointed, as your following statement shows:
The connections at Northgate Transit Center are going to be terrible anyway.
Then why even go there? The whole point of serving the transit center is so that you can make a connection with other buses (e. g. 345/346). That is the whole point of making a grid, too. I don’t see why people think that just because Northgate has a couple of big buildings that it is suddenly Brooklyn. There just aren’t that many people there. It just seems like there are because the lack of a back streets forces people right onto the main street. Just take a look at an aerial view or a census map and it is obvious that it is nothing too special. It isn’t worth destroying the grid because of it.
A button hook is almost always a bad idea. It certainly isn’t part of a grid. Run the frequent buses up 5th (where, incidentally, SDOT is planning on running a major BRT line). Run a bus up Roosevelt. But then — here is a crazy idea — just keep going! Instead of turning around, just keep going north, past all the apartment buildings. where there are roughly as many people as there are if you make a series of left turns in a very congested area. Combine it with the 73/373 (move those buses to Roosevelt). The handful of people in Maple Leaf that want to get to Northgate can just make their way over to the 347/348. They will have to transfer, the way that folks everywhere do when you are on a grid.
All that is way more efficient, and you put the savings into more frequency. Now the 73/373 runs every fifteen minutes or so all day. The 67 runs just as often (as planned). Now transfers are actually reasonable, as you would expect. This would be a dramatic change for those areas, and make a huge difference. Meanwhile, the folks in the north end of Northgate (those closer to Northgate Way) come out a bit behind. They will have to walk a few blocks. Or, if they really don’t feel like walking a few blocks then take any one of the frequent buses headed north (41, 347, 348, 75).
That is the way a grid works. A few people have to transfer, but overall it makes for a better system. A button hook is a lousy excuse for a major route that is supposed to be part of a grid.
Could there be a compromise? Northbound, the 67 takes 5th and goes directly to Northgate Transit Center. Then it follows the current 68 routing to Northgate Way and then Southbound via Roosevelt. Clockwise around the button hook involves 2 right turns and isn’t very painful traffic-wise. Between 80th St and 100th St, the difference would be ~5 blocks so not major for anyone to walk.
U District –> NTC has the direct ride you want
U District –> Northgate Way has a slightly longer direct ride then the proposed button hook, but they wouldn’t have to transfer for the final 10 blocks which is a psychological deterrent.
Northgate Way –> U District (when people are more likely to be carrying heavy bags) has a 1 seat ride that doesn’t involve walking.
NTC –> U District is a bit longer than what you want, but making right turns won’t get too bogged down in traffic.
Good idea, Larry. That would definitely be an improvement. I like it. You get a bit more coverage that way as well.
Well, the 43 proposal would give Metro its first peak-only trolley bus route since…hey, when was the last time Metro had a peak-only trolley route?
It was one of the possibilities for the 47, and would have matched ridership. It doesn’t make sense for the 43. How many of the 43 activists expected it to be a peak-only route? I thought the point was to get a daytime route like Alt 2 had.
I can live with this, even if there is *zero* reason the 43 should run between CHS and Downtown when there’s already the 11 and 47. If it just ran as far as CHS, you could likely run it twice as often for the same money.
The 78 was already a weak route created for largely political purposes, so swapping its View Ridge tail with the restored 71 is at least a neutral change. The resulting 78 is a ridiculous route that very few will ride except for Children’s employees, but the new 71 is tolerable.
Will Children’s employees ride it? The 75 is superior in every way imaginable.
The Children’s Orange Line is superior to all Metro routes. Or is it the Green line? I don’t know because sadly you need a badge to ride it.
Opportunistically, sure they will, especially if transferring from Link. The 75 would require a walk to Stevens Way, while the 78 would stop on northbound Montlake in front of the station. They’ll just be doing a OneBusAway two-step to see whether the 75 or 78 comes first.
Assuming the 78 heads down Sandpoint, they’ll just be able to stand at the stop, and wait for the 75 or the 78 (no app needed), but they could also hop on the 31 or 32/65 complex, which is also scheduled to move to every 15 all day.
The corner of Sandpoint and 40th Ave NE is about to be a huge transit hub.
They’ll ride it if OneBusAway indicates that, by shear luck, it happens to be coming first.
But does the peak-only 43 take service hours from elsewhere in the proposal to accomplish?
There’s some shuffling around, but basically no. Base frequency was retained throughout the network.
At least the 43 isn’t going to follow suit with that deviation to Madison. Please tell me it’s staying on Thomas/John all the way to 23rd.
If the 43 is there, maybe the 11 should be too…
And in that case, maybe the 8 shouldn’t be rerouted…
A boy can dream.
The 43 will be a trolley, so it has to follow the wire. Ergo, staying on Thomas/John. 8/11 staying on 19th/Madison/Thomas
So, during peak hours, you can catch a bus to downtown on *THREE CORNERS* of 19th and Thomas?
Yep! Odd, isn’t it?
I was there at the hearing and I agree with you question about 11. The best we can hope for is for the full Council to run the 11 west to 12th or 15th Ave East and East Pine then north to East John and Light Rail. Metro doesn’t understand the problem they are creating west of 19 and they can no longer say the 11 is the replacement for the 43!
I guess now we just need to get a new route headed east at 19th & Thomas that will *somehow* go downtown. Sigh.
The 11 ought to follow the 8 and 43 and run on John/Thomas ask the way from Broadway to 23rd. Riders at 17th and Madison still have service on the 12.
Riders at 17th ave east have the 12, but that does not get them where they need to go today especially since it’s not an easy transfer to the 10 at 15th. The Chair was very concerned about the issue at 17th and so am I.
*all the way
“Thanks, Obamacorrect.” I’ve never heard that one before. Clever, I think I’ll start using it.
I can live with the 71. Though if I was bringing back a Wedgwood-U District bus, I’d have preferred it to start at 85th/35th, go down 35th, and across 65th rather than detouring through View Ridge. Sort of like what the 64 does currently.
Does the proposal keep the 62 running between Magnuson Park and Green Lake at 15 minute weekday frequency? That is a wonderful upgrade for NE Seattle. I’m worried that adding the 71 back in will be an excuse to cut back partially or entirely on the 62. With the 62 at every 15 minutes and the 71 at every 30 minutes, I don’t think View Ridge and Ravenna can support it. I’d rather see the 71 connect View Ridge, the university-named streets and Bryant (the part by Metropolitan Market) to the Stadium Station, leave the 62 as is proposed, and shift the 65 to run up 35th Avenue from U Village like it used to.
Rob, why do you want to put the 65 back on 35th? The stretch between 55th and 45th is SFH at best, and a literal cemetery at worst. The stretch on 40th is full of multifamily density.
Kptrease, I should have elaborated more.
I’m trying to make lemonade out of lemons. I’m very concerned that the 15-minute 62 and 30-minute 71 together are simply too much service on 65th. I am afraid that Metro will decide to cut back on the 62 to accommodate the 71, which would be a real shame. It would be better to keep one bus route running frequently, the Magnuson-Green Lake – Fremont route is attractive, and the 62 is a better and more logical grid-ish route than the newly proposed 71. I don’t think the 71 needs to duplicate the 62 through Ravenna. Instead it could serve View Ridge, the Metropolitan Market area, and then UW/ULink. I think that would satisfy the desires of people in View Ridge, keep the 62 pure, and as a bonus (yeah!) allow the 65 to go straight up 35th to save some time for people in Wedgwood trying to connect up to ULink (and serve some ghosts and goblins in the cemetery… they need public transit, too!).
@Rob — I think once they look at ridership, it will be the 71 that gets killed. Other than commute buses, a half hour bus is a really hard sell. But a frequent bus (even fifteen minutes) is a game changer. The other day my wife asked me about the 41:
“How often does the 41 come?”
“Fifteen minutes. I can tell you when it will be at the bus stop?”
“Don’t bother. It doesn’t matter. If it comes every fifteen minutes, I’ll just head out now”.
That just doesn’t happen with a half hour bus. This means that folks only ride the bus when it is a place that has terrible parking (like downtown). It is tough to park in the U-District, but those folks will just drive outside it, and either walk or snag a bus.
What makes the most sense for that route is what I described in my other comments. Basically, run a variation on the 62. Once every half hour, send it north to Wedgwood, instead of over to Sand Point. Even those that are headed to Sand Point might take that bus and just walk a little farther. That keeps the key part of that run — the most important and most popular part of that run — in tact.
Your idea for splitting the east end of the 62 is exactly what I fear. It would be killing the 71 in name but compromising the 62 as well. If the 62 has some funky schizo schedule and doesn’t serve Magnuson Park with frequency, it is not much better than the byzantine system we have now and are trying to get away from. A gridded system where the buses are predictably frequent and go in a logical direction, it’s brilliant. A bus that takes you to Magnuson Park only half the time… oh no!
I respectfully disagree with you that people will walk from View Ridge to the park, and most definitely not from the park up to View Ridge. I have never heard of anyone or seen anyone doing that with the current 71.
I walk from View Ridge to the park when I miss the 30 or it’s not running; in fact I did it this morning. There were three people on the bus at 70th at 8:30am, and when I’ve taken it around 11am sometimes I’m the only one on the bus or sometimes there’s one other.
The 62 is proposed for 15 minutes full time. If it drops to 30 minutes that will be sad but it’s no worse than the 30, and it’s better because it runs midday, and it’s on 65th rather than zigzagging around the frat zone and Ravenna Park. In any case, I don’t expect that to happen because the council specifically asked Metro if it could afford the 71 without compromising the reorg promises, so that implies the 71 has last priority to service hours. The amendment does not say the 62 will be reduced from its proposal, so Metro would have to ask the council’s permission to do so, which means another round of hearings over a three month (at least) service change request. If revenues drop routes will be cut, reorg or no reorg. There’s also Prop 1’s expiration in 2020. If Metro can assign the 71 to Prop 1’s hours, it will automatically go away when it expires. And I don’t think either the council or Metro expects the 71 to last past 2021 in any case.
Zach, I like your CHS to Husky Stadium Station route. But remembering my own MAN 4000-series driving days, the Broadway to CBD segment ought to stay. Unless 43 ridership has really fallen off over 20 years, I think the route now runs a coherent corridor that forced transfers will disrupt.
But the idea of any major central city route, and certainly one with wire overhead, going weekday peak-only, calls to mind the image of a kid in knickers with a little corn-stalk in his mouth chasing a pop fly into the 40th acre of the outfield.
Exactly like with “subarea equity”, we don’t live our lives like that anymore.
But the 71 and the other two U-District DSTT routes will work just fine leaving Downtown passengers off at the doorway of the last ten minutes of their ride. Their neighborhoods will also likely appreciate the smaller buses that’ll be possible.
But I’m completely expecting that much routing will be flexed and fixed more than once when LINK service is up and running. The really massive problem will be taken care of.
I see things for Montlake residents happening something like this:
Afternoon riders will quickly switch to going to UW and taking whatever bus goes south. Route 43 will get some of these afternoon riders but not a whole lot given their frequency. No one will go from CHS to Montlake unless that is their transfer point or end point anyway. This will happen within the first few weeks or months of Link operations.
Morning riders will continue to hop on Route 43 between Montlake and CHS, maybe even choosing specific buses using OneBusAway or other apps. Once they see plenty of other buses pass them by day after day, they will start boarding other routes or taking a long walk to the UW station so the Route 43 ridership will slowly dwindle.
Because of the increasing attractiveness to use the UW station over time, the Montlake bridge operations issue will be revisited. More citizens will experience the problem in the field and will come to demand a better reliable, high speed bus connection between UW station and 520 (contrary to wait-and-see recommendation in the 2012 report discussed here — https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2012/09/07/seattle-releases-montlake-bridge-report/).
Montlakers and Portage bay riders will not walk to the Husky Light rail Station. It’s simply too far, too dangerous (out of the way unlit tunnels, SR 520 interchange crossing, cut crossing). Much of Montlake and Portage Bay is more than a mile away from the LR station.
If they live close enough, they may consider riding the 48/43 to the LR station, but, at peak hours, the interchange is clogged with backups extending south past Newton, sometimes Boyer and Crescent. Access will be slow. So, this is not a good solution. At peak hours, the Light Rail Station will never be in easy reach.
Walking uphill and through woods to Capitol hill routes is also not a solution.
Montlake riders feel they have been abandoned. They are looking into the legality of the bus route 25 and 43 cuts based on Seattle Transportation Benefit District Board having passed Resolution No. 12 concerning funding for Metro Transit service.
I am very interested in your comments.
I have congratulate the riders of the 43 and the community organization for standing up for their transit needs. Contrast this to the Madison Park Community Council that rolled over, played dead until they did a back room deal with Metro without any input from the community that they purport to represent, but DON’T. The MPCC is the laughing stock of the County Government!
The 11 and 43 users have a common need and that is to get a FULL 43 back so we can have most of our 11 back, since Metro is using the elimination of the 43 to justify screwing up the 11 routing. BTW, based on what I’ve heard there may be ADA compliance issue in taking the 11 of East Madison west of 19th Ave East.
Yes, I would support both these legal action unless the FULL Council does something on the October 19th to fix the 11/43 problem.
I’m sorry but the CHS to U-District segment of the route 43 needs to die in a fire.
The backups in the Montlake mess while annoying (and they should be fixed as much as is possible for transit) aren’t enough to make today’s 43 competitive with taking a bus North to UW station and riding Link to CHS or downtown. The 43 absolutely crawls between 23rd and downtown. I’ll have to go look at the various proposals again but I believe the frequency to UW station along 23rd is better than today’s 43 to CHS and Downtown.
That said I also agree with Mark that Bellevue and Olive have enough ridership to justify some sort of service between Downtown and CHS. Given the relatively short distances involved the route would need to be frequent in order to see much use as many riders will just walk rather than wait for an every 30 minute bus.
All that said a large scale restructure of service in line with current best practices, current ridership, and potential ridership is in order.. The biggest ‘win’ I potentially see would be to split today’s 8 at CHS (turnbacks at Group Health and Aloha) and potentially Mt. Baker..
While I love Seattle’s ETB routes the location of the wire reflects transit demand from 40, 80, or 100 years ago. Restructures should run where they need to regardless of current wire placement unless the changes needed to keep a route electric are relatively minor. Bite the bullet and electrify routes that make sense. In general these should be corridors with high transit ridership, frequent service, and preferably the sort of hills that give the diesel fleet fits.
The ADA in no way obligates metro to provide scheduled route service to a specific address, stop, or street. There is also no ADA requirement to say provide a one seat ride between any two particular points.
Similarly while Prop 1 required service hours to be spent in Seattle AFAIK there was no obligation to spend service hours on particular routes or corridors.
So people can sue ove perceived ADA or prop 1 violations but don’t be surprised when such suits are thrown out of court.
So your what is your choice to throw seniors/handicapped off the bus or under the bus? To what extent to you want these people off the perfect transit system that only the young and able can ride!
Some day you my regret you words when you are in their position. This is personal for me and others and your insensitivity is being out of touch with the reality of life!
I would like to add the we seniors and handicapped vote and we may get the final say so on this!
Wait, the 78 serves Laurelhurst now? As in it does a loop in Laurelhurst and goes… where?
I thought Laurelhurst was fine with switching to walking if we gave them a better shelter with benches?
It’s basically a tiny shuttle now, running from Stevens Way to Children’s Hospital. See map here.
Wow. I thought that the main reason for that portion of the 78 was to provide coverage to Laurelhurst, but this proposal doesn’t seem to do a good job of that either (some areas are still more than a 15 minute walk to the nearest bus stop).
I nominate the 78 as the new champion:
Most useless bus route in Seattle, 2016.
I find it odd Laurelhurst is OK without any service — I guess they are richer than ever though. I rode the 25 a few times to pick up my daughter at the elementary school. It was an interesting route from downtown – quite a loop around Portage Bay.
I liked the 78 as it added service to my stretch of Sand Point Way, but the 75 will work fine.
Why can’t the 71 circulate in one direction and follow the eliminated 78 route? One big loop.
If the 62 is any precedent, when the next recession hits, the 78 will be the first to go.
This doesn’t seem like a crazy truncation to me. You really have very few people on that route once you got past Children’s, and certainly once past Sand Point. It was basically going to be the bus you catch when you thought you were going to catch the 75. It is still that, but at less cost to the system. I’m not sure why they even bother keeping it though, at this point. They should save even more money and have the 73 loop around the UW.
I don’t think a large loop would work. If the 71 ran clockwise, it’d be easy to get from the Ave to Wedgwood. But going from Wedgwood you’d have to ride through campus, at which point you might as well just take the more frequent 65/75. Or vice versa.
That being said, is the council pushing this as a reasonable way to get to UW / UW Station? Because I agree with others that at this point, the only place the 71 gets to faster is North U-District, not anywhere near campus.
Does this provide good enough bones that later administrative changes can build a good system (following service guidelines)?
Hard to say. The big restructure comes when Link gets to Northgate (and thus the U-District and Roosevelt). That will require a major change and you might as well just ignore all of this at that point.
But Madison BRT and maybe even Eastlake BRT might be done before then. I’m not sure how this fits into that — I think there is the possibility of major changes then as well.
And, yet, the 48 stops tantalizingly short of the next-big-thing in Seattle (Roosevelt) while pairing it up with a route (45) that’s tailor made for frequency cuts in the future. And 48 riders get to continue to sit in traffic on Montlake as compensation.
How I wish Alt 1 had been adopted as it was.
King County voters who actually care about decent transportation need to push for revoking the Council’s approval over routes.
The Seattle City Council does not have control over SDOT route-by-route funding, and that has been a good thing so far.
Of course they do, they have the power of the purse. They’ve chosen not to use it, as, for a while the King County Council has. At this point, it’s pretty clear that the service guidelines aren’t for real. How long until we get 40-40-20 back?
The power of the purse is indirect. That’s like saying Congress has the authority over executive agencies—only insofar as controlling their budget.
It’s not just the purse, it’s your boss telling you what to do. The county council supervises Metro. Congress doesn’t supervise federal agencies; Obama does.
The revised 71 actually does have a lot of merit in my opinion (at least until North Link opens). Under the previous proposal, it would have been very difficult to travel northeast from the northern part of the U-District. For example, going from 50th St and The Ave to Wedgwood or 25th Ave/85th St would have either been 3-seat rides or would have required backtracking all the way down to Stevens Way and back.
This is mainly because there will not be any east-west all-day connections between Stevens Way and 65th St, so the grid will still be incomplete. Thus, the “restored” 71 does help make some trips a lot easier compared to the previously-proposed version.
Of course, this will be irrelevant once North Link opens and the 44 is extended all the way across to Children’s (as in David’s Frequent Network Plan).
Hmmm, I don’t know. I think it would have made more sense to simply create a variation on the 62. Basically, this could be like the 347/348. It shares the route most of the distance. So one bus every half hour takes a turn and heads up to Wedgwood. Even if you are headed to Sand Point, you might just take that bus and walk.
The service along the north-south streets from 65th to the U-District (and Husky Stadium) will be very frequent, which is really a big part of making a good grid. I see no reason to make a one seat ride (especially one every half hour) for a service area that is not exactly huge. I think there are a lot of routes that could use an extra bus every half hour more than that one. For example, that would basically double the frequency of the 73 from 30 minutes to 15.
My main concern was that many areas would now be a 3-seat ride from the upper U-District (even though currently they have direct buses there). However, your idea of splitting off half of the 62 runs to Wedgwood would mostly alleviate this (good idea!)–a 2-seat ride, with the last leg being very frequent, isn’t very bad. Going from 25th Ave/85th St to the upper U-District would still be awkward; I suppose walking over to 15th Ave or Roosevelt isn’t that bad, but it still is a degradation of service.
19 buses per hour on Thomas/John. Each direction too. That’s like 38 drivers, so Link is really starting to pay big dividends in reducing manpower costs to provide public transportation.
Yeash. Making Sausage at its finest.
Blame Sound Transit for shipping our tax dollars on an express train to Lynnwood.
North King funds aren’t being used for Lynnwood. What gave you that impression?
North King funds aren’t being used to build track north of the Snohomish line, no. However, routing decisions in King County are being made with Snohomish in mind. If it wasn’t for them, we would probably have gotten a lot more stations and maybe even a line on Aurora which would serve many, many more people. So, Sound Transit is using North King funds to build a line designed to serve Snohomish at the expense of North King.
Getting an alignment along Aurora in North Seattle is a fight we lost long ago, and isn’t worth getting worked up over now. I doubt it has as much to do with Snohomish county as it does with the gut reaction most uninformed folks have when you say we should build light rail.
“Oh yeah, we really ought to build it along I-5”
Nearly every person I talk to who has never thought much about transit has this reaction and it explains better the gut reaction our politicians initially have to align on the freeway (well that and cost).
A single light rail line was never going to solve our problems and it does us no good to blame other cities for decisions our policy members made together before we were as organized as we are now.
The key here is to prevent future mistakes and push for better stop spacing on all urban sectons.
Our system is crap, and misguided assumptions like the one that Charles describes is largely the reason we have crap. The suburbs have largely, historically, pushed for more buses, while the city has pushed for rail. That was the case when the bus tunnel was built (way back when) as well as the first couple votes for Sound Transit (the first vote failed in the suburbs, while the second vote passed because it had just enough rail in the city and just enough buses for the suburbs).
The obvious answer in such a situation is to sit down with people and work out a transit system that makes sense and is actually what they want. Build a solid rail line in the city, with lots of stops. Have it go just far enough to the suburbs to allow for easy bus transfer and a big parking lot (e. g. Mountlake Terrace Park and Ride). That way everyone wins. The suburban rider takes a bus, then a train. If they happen to work at some place like First Hill (where huge numbers of people work), they get there much faster than under our current system, despite the fact that light rail will go right into their suburb. The rail line in general is designed to work with buses (both suburban and urban) with an understanding that a city this size will never have rail everywhere. In short, build a system that mimics every other successful system in North America (including one just to the north of us).
But somehow along the way, somebody thought it would be a great idea to build light rail connecting the major cities in the Northwest. I don’t blame them for the initial thought. If you think of light rail as similar to a freeway, then of course you want it to go to Tacoma — the second biggest city in Washington (tied with Spokane). But light rail doesn’t work like that. It has to integrate with bus service and distance matters (because unlike a freeway, you stop at every stop). You just can’t assume that buses can serve every station, as this restructure-fuck shows (pardon my language). Station placement is critical.
So, yes, I agree, “the key here is to prevent future mistakes and push for better stop spacing on all urban sections.”. But that isn’t the only thing to push for. Stop spacing is but one of many mistakes we have made. Even if we do better in that regard, we may continue to spend enormous amounts of money on systems that don’t provide much in the way of improved overall transit. Sadly to say, at this point, that seems likely.
“Sadly to say” — God, I miss the edit feature.
I testified today and the TrEE committee and Council Chair Dembowski agreed with my comments about the transfer problem at 17th Avenue. Based and my talk with Metro later, they don’t really understand the problem there and still are unwilling to resolve the issue.
This is going to be a BIG PR problem when the handicapped and seniors using the 17th Ave East and East Madison stops have no 11 connecting them to the destination. Access and the Hyde Shuttle are not the solution to the ADA compliant buses that they will not longer be able to use!
My solution for this is simple run the 11 to 12th Ave East or 15th Ave East and East Pine and the transfer become and eliminates ab big PR problem. The 11 is not needed to fill the void on John/Thomas since Metro is keeping the run, so why should the continue to have a problem with a simple fix, especially since it still gets the 11 to LR on Broadway! Metro Needs to listen to it’s users again!
There was also a lot of comments of Metro lack of outreach to those who will be impacted by cancellation or route changes!
So Reg doesn’t like the 11 running on Madison to 19th, we don’t like the 11 running on Madison to 19th… who does like it? Is there one single person in all Seattle who wants it running where it’s planned to be running in March?
Unfortunately it was the complaints of Reg N and others that resulted in the silly routing to 19th.
Let me state this again, I DO NOT SUPPORT THE 19th Ave East solution and never have. This is a Metro idea or have you forgotten the June proposal would have the 8 and 11 on John/Thomas. I really wish I had the much say so with Metro, BUT I DON’T!
Yes, the Metro Planners like it BIG Time and I heard it again after the meeting!
BTW, if they let the 11 go to 12th or 15th Ave East and East John then I will be happy with the compromise.
My understanding is that Metro received quite a lot of feedback from the Central Area Chamber of Commerce (office at 22nd & Madison) that bus service *had* to stay on every block of Madison. That’s why the 11 is there. To keep a common corridor the 8 had to move there too. Since John/Thomas is the better routing both divert back as soon as possible (where the 12 turns into Madison at 19th).
I just wish that the what your wrote about the 11 staying on Madison were true, but Metro has it turning at 19th Ave East, so who is Metro listening to, not me!
Too bad they didn’t divert the 12 down Thomas/John – 23rd – Madison, then. At this point in its route, it’d delay a lot fewer people. I guess they didn’t want to build a few more blocks of wire that they’d need eventually for the Madison BRT?
Again, Metro has only one solution for trolley routes cancel them as they’ve tried with the 12 and 43 or to leave them in place and that is the BIG problem with the CH restructure. BTW, I am for the BRT, but I don’t think the Seattle voters will pass it in its current form ($$).
I don’t know why Metro hates its trolley routes so much; they should start seeing the trolley routes as a positive asset.
Maybe the new trolleybuses will change their attitude.
Metro doesn’t hate the trolley routes. A few years ago it had to decide whether to phase out the trolley fleet or replace the aging buses, and it chose to replace them. That’s a long-term commitment to trolleybuses, and preapproval to expand the trolley network later if it decides to. The issue here is that rerouting trolley wires more than a couple blocks is a non-trivial capital expense, and can’t fit into a reorganization schedule, especially this reorg because already five months to opening and the council still hasn’t decided. First Metro has to make a long-term commitment to the new routing as a trolley route, then it schedule the rewiring job and find funding for it if it doesn’t have it on hand. For instance, I don’t believe the 19th Avenue routing is a long-term commitment, but just an expediency for the next few years, so it doesn’t make sense to electrify the 11 or 8 right now.
As for other possible trolley route changes, it’s unclear to me what people want so it’s impossible to evaluate them. I have suggested wire on Aloha to unify the 10 and 12, but it’s unclear whether the city would allow buses on Aloha anyway.
Reg N, I will again remind you that scheduled routed bus service is not a personal taxi for the disabled and seniors. Transit agencies are under no obligation to provide front door service, maintain bus service on a particular street, or provide one-seat rides.
Some day you may be a senior and hopefully not handicapped, be careful what you wish for! Seniors and the Handicapped can access the buses at 17th today (the 11), but not with what Metro is proposing; Please don’t suggest Access or the Hyde Shuttle let alone taxi script!
Reg, suppose I’m a senior living on… let’s say, 21st and Pine. Is Metro under any obligation to route a bus up that block of Pine for me? If not, why are they under any obligation to route one down 17th and Madison?
I like your question and the answer is no, but if the is an area like 17th Ave East and East Madison that has senior housing and handicapped facilities that is being serviced by ADA complain buses, then the answer is YES!
The housing and facilities are the because of the excellent bus connections and the elimination of the that is a BIG issue and could result in Metro being sued. This was inferred by a speaker today as well as last week.
Thank you, Reg; I’m suddenly understanding your position a lot better. You’re not concerned about preserving existing routes in amber; you’re concerned about preserving substantial front-door service to this one existing assisted living facility. Is that a fair summary of your position?
I assume that what you’re talking about is the Gaffney House assisted living on Madison between 17th and Pine? From a look at Google Maps, I’m surprised they’re riding the bus. The building is built facing toward 16th; the back entrance onto Madison goes down stairs without any ADA-compliant parallel path. And if anyone’s coming out the front and then walking around to Madison, they’re about as close to the route 10 stop on 15th.
Or is there more senior housing around there that you’re concerned about as well?
I not just referring to that place, but how about the Council House on 17th. I see the number of seniors and handicapped at the 17th Avenue stops and those are the ones that I’m speaking about. One of them was a King County employee in a wheel chair who knew nothing about the changes.
Part of the problem is that those impacted at existing location around 17th Ave East either have not heard about the changes or does not believe that anyone would do that to them. Again, we all hope to active, mobile and independent senior someday. In my case i am a handicapped senior and that is why am passionate on this subject!
One problem I see with the 10 is the shortage of low floor trolley coaches. Maybe that will have significantly changed by March.
Access service is definitely not a guaranteed fallback for facilities that lose bus service within the facility’s walkshed. But many facilties own their own ADA-outfitted van(s), and have staff who can drive them to infrequent destinations. The fixed routes, as a matter of respect to the taxpayers, have to be designed around frequent trips.
Actually access is a solution if necessary. I’m sure metro weighed the cost benefits of this move. They felt it would be cheaper to provide access service to those who need it most than to keep routed service there.
Keep in mind metro is required to run paratransit (access) in all areas it serves fixed route service and consistent with the hours of service on those nearby routes.
That’s probably not it. A lot of disabled people don’t qualify for Access, even if it’s pretty hard for them to walk a couple blocks to the bus or get on and off it. You have to be pretty severely disabled as Metro defines it, so I wouldn’t assume that everyone in those houses would.
Paratransit also consistently sucks, everywhere. Where the taxis are accessible, disabled people will use them in preference to paratransit if they can possibly afford them.
Of course, your taxis in Seattle apparently suck too, according to what I’ve read.
I would suggest that the city make a hard push to get Uber to introduce UberWAV (which they have in Los Angeles) to Seattle.
Taxis are cheaper than Access to operate if the person is capable of using them, and some taxis can fit wheelchairs. Access members can get half-price taxi vouchers.
So the TrEE passed this up to the full council without a recommendation.
Does that imply that even this hacked up proposal is in trouble?
Because I can deal with some short term flaws since they will become obvious with time and could be corrected later, but inject too many flaws into this and we will be living with a suboptimal system for a long time to come.
Too much meddling around specific routes.
Yes, the forwarded to the full Council with no Recommendations which might lead one to think that.
Well……. In the old days Metro would put forward a bad, status quo type proposal and then the council would meddle with it and make it even worse. At least this time Metro seems to get it. So at least we are starting out from a better place, and after a few iterations maybe the council will start to get it to.
It’s better than the bad old days when the council would always restore one or two little-used routes in their entirety regardless of how much it gutted the reorg’s improvements. In this case it restored only part of the 71 and 25, it asked Metro first whether it had enough reserve funds to do so without impacting the newly-frequent routes, and all the resurrections are daytime-only or peak-only. And this is all just a stopgap until 2021.
The 71 does make some sense. I myself was wondering how somebody on 65th would get to the U-District. The 372 would require walking across campus or a 2-seat ride; the 45, 67, and 73 aren’t up to ultra-frequent and are diluted at different stops, and Roosevelt Station isn’t open yet. The tail down to UW Station is just a nicety, not a belief that people will ride it from 65th to UW Station. It gives extra frequency on Pacific Street for “the gap”, and it fulfills the principle that “all routes should go to a subway station”.
Just something else to throw in the mix. The SDOT is now proposing to run the BRT as far west as Lake Washington Blvd, so what does that mean for bus service east of Lake Washington Blvd and the info is at http://bit.ly/1GG9hAo.
Don’t know if we can really adjust bus alignments to account for proposed BRT lines.
It would be better to plan a restructure to align with the opening of a new BRT line after said line has been funded.
Right, but I think you can make a decent argument that we shouldn’t do a restructure at all in the greater Central Area* until after we have the BRT line. There is only one station between the UW and downtown. It isn’t in a very convenient location from a bus standpoint. That is the problem. Metro keeps going around in circles trying to get things to work out right, and they keep failing. This is because the change isn’t positive enough for folks in the Central Area to justify the restructure.
On the other hand, the BRT could be huge. If done right, you have a major improvement in mobility for the area. Much bigger than the one inconvenient station. Just consider folks in Montlake, trying to get downtown. They can do the following:
1) Take an infrequent bus right to downtown. It will be infrequent because there just aren’t enough people along that corridor to justify the service. The bus won’t be especially fast, either.
2) Take a similar infrequent bus to the Link Station. Then transfer to Link. The tail end of the bus ride (from Madison to the station) is fairly slow (heavy traffic and a few turns). The transfer is also slow. This is not the fault of Sound Transit, but simply the result of a deep bore tunnel on a hill. It takes a while to actually get to the platform.
3) Take a very frequent 48, followed by a very frequent Madison BRT. Both buses are fast. The transfer is easy, since they are both at the same level.
Madison puts you right about at the middle of downtown, and along the way you cut through Seattle U, Pill Hill and other places Sound Transit forgot. If you need to go to one end of downtown or the other, then take a surface bus (it isn’t worth the transfer penalty of Link). If you are headed south or east, just stay on the 48 and get on either the stop at Mount Baker or Judkins Park. If you are headed north, just head north and get on at the Husky Stadium station.
Basically, the Madison BRT serves the Central Area better than the one and only Link station between downtown and the UW. Thus it makes sense to restructure then, not restructure now.
* By Central Area I mean the greater Central Area, which includes Capitol Hill and the C. D.
I fully agree with your BRT comments, but I don’t think Metro is willing to wait, nor is Sound Transit. The issue will be decided in November and I really don’t think this property tax increase will pas, but I will be voting for it!
It’s interesting that SDOT understands the uniqueness of the only water to water street in Seattle, I just wish Metro had listed to my idea of an 11 that would have been all Madison with a notch at Broadway and Pine for access to Pike/Pine buses; They gave us an all Madison run in May without the notch which did not pass muster!
I don’t think Metro is willing to wait, nor is Sound Transit.
Are you suggesting that Sound Transit is putting pressure on Metro to restructure? If so, that is big news.
ST was planning for a new route 591, passing by most of the Central Business District northbound in order to connect to Westlake Station, and possibly eliminating route 586. I haven’t checked in on the status of that in months.
How would Madison BRT make a restructure easier? Having the 49 and 10 terminate at it would force a transfer with both segments a mile or less, so you’d be waiting as long as you’re riding and people wouldn’t tolerate it. The BRT will raise a dilemma with the 12: if you delete it the 19th Avenue residents will complain loudly, and I don’t see how you could reroute it. (The idea of going up Madison to 23rd and backtracking to 19th was a throwaway idea; I don’t think the city expected Metro to adopt it, it was just showing how the BRT could be incorporated with the least changes to existing service.) There’s also Madison Park if the BRT doesn’t go that far. The BRT may make a Capitol Hill reorg a bit easier and less controversial, but it’s not a panacea. The further north you go, the more Madison is irrelevant and out of the way.
Ah, more sausage making in the works, with a different chef no less – SDOT.
Maybe it’s time for each council district to have its own bus barn and service, planned by the locally elected Council person. What could possibly go wrong?
just look at what they crated in the September changes by removing 60 foot buses and replacing them with 40 foot buses so that can leave people waiting at the curb, including wheel chair passengers. Yes, I know that shouldn’t be expecting a bus, but I believe that the Feds ADA compliance is required.
The above info is from several drivers on the 11 and I’ve heard it’s happening on other routes, and we should trust Metro, I no longer trust then when they use the same arguments for each for the last four plans they’ve proposed!
With the exception of the streetcars (which they inherited) I would say Seattle seems to be doing the best job from a transit perspective of the three agencies that work in the city. So far, every new HCT routes sounds good (and every route will be BRT, not streetcar). There are limitations in what they can do, obviously, but Madison BRT will likely turn out to be a bigger improvement in mobility for the Central Area than the Capitol Hill Station, despite costing a lot less.
It probably means an 11 or 8 will continue going to Madison Park, but whether it goes downtown is another question. It may do something on Pine or John Street, or possibly be a shuttle from Capitol Hill Station. Madison BRT is basically the 12 route pushed further east, and the 12 and 11 have coexisted forever; the overlap is less than a mile. Although I wish SDOT would just go with its alternative of terminating the buses in Madison Park. Then the need for a second route goes away. Although long-term Metro may wish for two routes from Madison Park, one going downtown and the other to Seattle Center.
Yeah, once you get the Madison BRT, other things fall into place. You run the new 11 from Madison Park to Madison, then over to John and Thomas to the CHS (basically following part of the current 8 route from MLK to Broadway). Meanwhile, there is no need for the 43. The 8 can go back to its current routing around Madison (via John and Thomas) thus reducing the number of turns and simplifying the route (no need to cover any more of Madison since the BRT will do that). That saves a huge amount of service hours, which can then be plugged back into the system. The 11 can run ever ten minutes or so.
No one seat ride from Madison Park to downtown, but a very fast two seat ride (either via Link or the Madison BRT). Same with Montlake. Connections to First Hill are much better and much faster. Connections to CHS are much better because the 11 as well as 8 both go from Madison to Group Health to CHS.
Other changes may follow as well (trickling farther south). In short, Madison BRT would be a game changer for the region in a way that the Capitol Station is not.
“there is no need for the 43”
Little need. There are people on 23rd/24th going to the Broadway & John, 15th & John, and Summit & Olive commercial districts, and the 19th & John communty center. Madison gets further from John the further west it goes, and the primary set of destinations is centered around John. That’s one of the reasons why this restructure is so hard, because serving one group of people creates a gap for another group.
Right, sorry. I’m not suggesting that people don’t go that way. What I’m saying is that they would take two buses. The first bus arrives way more often than the old bus, and the transfer consists of getting off the bus, walking around the corner and going “Oh, there it is!”.
OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but my point being that a typical trip is much faster. It is very difficult to time an infrequent bus like the 43, especially since it starts by slogging through some of the most congested traffic in the city. By the time it reaches Montlake, you can throw out the schedule. But if you manage to get it just right, and have no specific plans on the other end, then you might be better off with the 43. But if you leave your house when you are ready to leave (the way a car driver does) or want to get to a specific destination at a specific time (the way a car driver does) then the combination of buses will be much, much better. The 48 is a major hauler, and this just amplifies it. It is one of the big corridors in the city, so frequent service along there just makes sense. Meanwhile, you have, at a minimum, the 8 going to the station. You probably have the 11. That is major frequency there (and well justified). There are a lot of people there, and a lot of big time destinations there, even before Link added their station.
Right now Metro is stuck trying to make a grid when there is very little to work with. Madison BRT will change that dramatically.
As far as the actual ending of the bus route, I don’t think it makes much difference either way. If it went all the way to Madison Park, that would be different. But the difference between those two stops is minimal. The point being that it goes as far as MLK way, which is significant.
As far as the effect of the BRT line in general, see my other comment. It is quite possible that Madison BRT will have a bigger positive impact on the area than the Capitol Hill station. and thus justify a restructuring more than it.
Madison BRT will thrive best if the destinations and density migrate toward it. Right now they’re centered between Pine and John, and that’s why the 11 runs on Madison-Pine. If nothing changes around the BRT it will be mildly beneficial. But if Madison becomes more of a main street rather than just a hospital street, then the BRT will really be hopping. Fortunately there’s a lot of construction around Madison which will open in a few years. And longer-term I hope the downtown part of Madison gets some more mixed-use and 24-hour activities to counteract the 9-to-5 ghetto.
If nothing changes around the BRT it will be mildly beneficial.
Nonsense. Look, we all get why Sound Transit built the one and only station between the UW and downtown on Broadway. It is a happening place. With the college across the street and the commerce around there, it makes perfect sense.
But only if you ignore the buses. As should be obvious by now, Metro has head a hell of a time coming up with a grid for the area. This is because the light rail line adds so little from a bus perspective. The Madison BRT is the opposite. It completely changes the nature of the bus routes. It makes restructures a lot easier, because it is not only fast, but convenient. By simply crossing 23rd it accomplishes all that. But of course, unlike the light rail, it has multiple stops. It serves Seattle U as well as the hospitals as well as lots and lots of homes. It also becomes a very fast way to downtown.
It is all about the network, not about picking out bits and pieces and saying “that is worth spending billions of dollars serving”. The fact that Madison BRT will contribute more to the network for the moderately-dense-everywhere, destinations-everywhere area that is the Central Area just shows how messed up Sound Transit is. Madison BRT will cost billions less, but deliver way more from a transit network standpoint.
If you take the 48 to Madison and transfer to the BRT and get off at Broadway, you still have to walk several blocks if your destination is north of Pine or Denny. That’s the point: the destinations are up there, not on Madison, unless you’re going to a medical facility.
I’m not saying Madison BRT is useless because I’m cautiously optimistic, and it will bring full-time frequent transit to an area that has been neglected for a long time (and was scandalously overlooked when they were distributing DSTT stations). But at the same time you can’t say it will completely change the nature of bus routes. If a lot of people have to go a bit out of their way to get to Madison BRT, that’s the same kind of thing as going a bit out of your way to get to a Link station. It’s better than nothing but it’s not the best thing since sliced bread or something to rave about. I have more hope for Roosevelt BRT being right where people want to go.
I think you don’t understand the potential of Madison BRT, Mike. Just look at a map. Now imagine that we built a light rail line from downtown to Madison and MLK. Imagine it has the stops that the BRT will have. Now start redoing the bus routes.
A lot easier, wouldn’t you say? Again, just look at the various changes I outlined. Going as far as 23rd (or MLK) means that you interact with buses going on 23rd. That right there is huge. You’ve just served Montlake really well. You’ve just served Madison Park really well. As a result, you probably want to increase the frequency of the 48, which just means you served the C. D. really well. Now just look at every intersection that Madison crosses, and imagine what buses could intersect with it. Some of those are a bit awkward, to be sure (the product of our messed up street grid) but some of them (like Broadway) are ridiculously simple. In short, this is the type of change that enables a more grid like transit system. The stations are not “out of the way” but sit in the heart of the Central Area: 23rd, Seattle U., Pill Hill, downtown.
I can’t help but think that the reason you dismiss the Madison BRT is because it is BRT, and not light rail. A fair assessment. The jury is out with the Madison BRT. If it is stuck in traffic, then it is just another bus. Perhaps more frequent than some, but not that big of a deal. But if it operates like it should operate, like it looks like it will operate, then it is a fast, frequent bus.
Put it this way. If you are standing at 23rd and Madison, what is the fastest way to get downtown in a couple years. There are a couple options:
1) Take a bus to Link. The buses should be fairly frequent. But don’t expect them to be very fast. It is about an 11 minute bus ride according to Google. Then you have the transfer. This won’t be that quick. This is just one of those unfortunate things (as I mentioned). Digging a deep bore tunnel into a hill means you have to travel a fair ways down before you get to the platform. At best, not counting the waiting, you are talking about 15 minutes.
2) Take the Madison BRT. With off board payment, level boarding, grade separation and signal priority you should be able to get downtown in less than 15 minutes.
By the time the train arrives at the Capitol Hill Station, the rider on the BRT is already downtown. This is at the far end of the line! Imagine how that plays out closer to downtown. Imagine, for example, you want to truncate the 10 and not send it downtown. If you are on 15th headed south, you just catch that bus to Pine, walk a half a block, and catch the BRT. There is no way that a rider would be better off getting on Link unless the rider is headed to another part of the line.
Which brings up my final point (which is what I mentioned before). Madison only serves one part of downtown. The light rail (because it was built on the back of a tunnel that was built by people who knew what they were doing) serves many places downtown. So someone headed to a different part of downtown (say Belltown) might be better off getting in the tunnel. But staying on the surface might be just as good. When you factor in the fact that the Madison BRT is running perpendicular to a lot of buses (that run fairly fast) and going along the hill, it really depends on where you are going. If you are headed to some location on 5th or 1st, you might be better off taking a surface bus or just walking, versus taking the train.
But again, the key here is, unlike the Capitol Hill Station, the Madison BRT stations intersect the street grid well enough to enable a good bus grid. It would serve Montlake and Madison Park in ways that the Capitol Hill Station never will. This in turn, leads to more frequency along the major corridors — including those connecting to the train station.
How would more Link stations have helped the reorg? Only the 43 could theoretically be deleted without headache. The 10 would still need to run for stops where it diverges from Link’s path. The 11 could theoretically terminate at Broadway or 15th, but that may be excessive when the rest of the route is only a mile. A mid and west Madison route would still be needed because they’re a bit far from Link, and will be dense in their own right, and oh yes the hospitals. Perhaps the most likely outcome of more Link stations would be to make the current network more viable so there’d be less need of a reorg.
Also in the mix here is language literally forbidding the northbound stop at hec-ed on Montlake Blvd pending the results of a traffic study (studying impacts on general traffic by busses stopping at that new stop). Also, look closely and you’ll note the live loop through campus for the 65 has been replaced with a through route with the 67, with service using Stevens Way in both directions.
The net result of these two things is that last week Metro was touting a stop very close to the station at hec-ed with frequent service on the 65 and 78 to the NE serving destinations such as University Village and Children’s. This week, it seems everyone will be stuck with the more distant Stevens Way. Route 78 may still swing by the station but may be stop well away from it. Nice to know that once again, transferring passengers are always the absolute lowest priority.
Thank you; this is so horrible that I’m surprised it wasn’t called out in the original post. To be explicit:
To be clear, there’s no need to get up in arms yet. They’re merely delaying approval until the executive reports back with a study. How long will the study take, though? And will the Council then nitpick it to death?
Even if they do the stop it, it looks like only the 78 would use it at this point – its hard to believe that just that 1 route would have enough impact on traffic to warrant a study though.
oops, typo. should read :even if they do approve the stop
They might be preparing to send some eastside routes there next year? I hope?
The 243 used to stop there. Why didn’t they need a traffic study then?
By George, you just handed the council their traffic study!
I think you might be misinterpreting the amendment. The 67 is through-routed with the 65. But Stevens Way has a dotted line, not a solid line. Currently the 67 goes on Stevens Way, through-routed with the 68. The campus section is being deleted. Now the “67” stops at Campus Parkway and the 65 will continue on, presumably via Pacific Place since the 65 section mentions getting approval for the Montlake stop. Why bother even having that as a requirement if the 65 goes on Stevens Way through campus?
One also has to ask – what percent of the people along the proposed route 71 would get to the UW station faster via route 71 than another route, such as the 45, 372, or 65? The answer is nobody except for those living within a span of a few blocks on the 71’s tail – all single-family homes, all of which provide very little ridership to the current route 71. The new 71 will inevitably pick up a few riders waiting for other routes that just happen to see it come first, but there no way that this route is going to come anywhere close to meeting the standards of Metro’s service guidelines.
That being said, if we have to throw away a few million dollars on poor routes to get the rest of the restructure through the political process, it’s still worth it. Even if the Council votes to retain route 71 for now, it won’t survive the next recession and probably won’t survive a 2021 service restructure either, with the 62->Link connection at Roosevelt Station being an alternative.
I think the point of the 71 is to serve the U-District, not the station. That makes sense to me. But it does mean that you are basically giving up on the idea of a grid. The 62 (along 65th) is fairly frequent (7-15 minutes during the day and 15-30 at night). Meanwhile, there are a ton of buses headed to the U-District from the north. This will make things a little better, especially if it is timed with the 62 (no sense timing it with the north-south buses).
Personally, I would just make this a variation on the 62. Basically it would be the exact same route from 65th to downtown. Now you have an additional bus along the key part of the route (you would time it accordingly). Someone headed to Sand Point might still take the bus and just walk a bit when it turns. Getting to the U-District from Roosevelt will be so frequent that we really don’t need a one stop ride from anywhere (unless we have screwed this up, and I didn’t notice).
That tail is exactly where Dembowski lives, so there you go. We should just pass the hat and pony up for a cab for him instead.
“I think the point of the 71 is to serve the U-District, not the station. That makes sense to me. But it does mean that you are basically giving up on the idea of a grid.”
For five years. It’s mitigation until Roosevelt Station opens and the grid routes become even more frequent.
I have been one of the biggest proponents of the 43 but half-hourly peak only service is insulting. It is being set up to fail. I never realistically expected the stellar frequency we have now but I’d rather see those hours given to the 49 which even after the restructure won’t have as much peak frequency as the 43 does now.
An unrelated question. Is Metro going to change the stops on the 49 so that they are closer to CHS? If I were taking a 49 to Link to go the airport, I’d stay on the bus to Westlake vs getting off at Thomas and dragging my luggage to CHS.
So excited about the change to the 67 and 73, thanks Metro!
In the previous version, the 67 went S on Roosevelt, jogged E on Ravenna, then went down 15th. That’s ok. But the 73 went S on 15th, W on 65th, S on Roosevelt, and E on Campus Pkwy. The purpose of this restructure was to get more NE Seattle residents to the new light rail station, so why deviate away from the station only to veer back? Having the 67 continue down Roosevelt and having the 73 continue down 15th when they both go to Husky Stadium is a much more efficient routing.
Hear hear! That’s one definite improvement in these changes.
(I’m also wondering whether turning the 373 into a local is a good thing. It’d eliminate duplication along the 73, but it’d also delay Shoreline travelers however marginally. How much ridership does it get, I wonder?)
How is the 373 being turned into a local? I’m not sure I follow you.
As far as I can tell, the 73 and 373 will be identical south of 125th, as they are now, except for the stop spacing. Both will go to Husky Stadium. There won’t be an overlap, which means that catching a bus becomes a lot simpler (right now if you see a 73 you wonder if it is worth it to wait until you see a 373). About the only negative is that you lose service hours, from what I can tell.
The stop spacing is the local conversion.
Oh, OK, Mike. Now I understand the comment.
But I think there is no real change here for the 373. Basically, despite the confusing wording in the official document, the 373 (which has fewer stops) will still operate the way it always has (only at rush hour and only in the rush hour direction). This is no different than proposed (except that it is going back to 15th).
What is different (from what I can gather) is that the 73 will no longer operate in rush hour direction. Right now it is a mess, because the 73 and 373 are not synchronized. You might see a 373, then a 73 five minutes later, then a 373 twenty minutes after that. So by treating the routes as one bus route (or at least synchronizing them) you can get much better results.
What isn’t clear to me is whether the 73 routes that are being eliminated are simply being transferred to 373 routes. If so, then this is a great change. It would mean more frequent, more regular and faster service during rush hour. If the 73 bus routes are simply being chopped to make room for other routes, then folks who take the bus are just being short changed (so we can better serve Wedgewood).
In general, I wish they would get rid of the 73 stop spacing and just use the 373 spacing. But there is an obvious trade-off there. Some people have to walk farther. Those that are most likely to be adversely effected by walking farther are those that are elderly or handicapped. Many of those people (my guess is a higher proportion of them) take the bus in a non-rush hour way. Thus there is some logic to the change.
I worry about the 73 deadheading back when there are people who want to ride it that direction.
Not to mention that the good burghers living on Ravenna between The Ave and Roosevelt have something for which to be very thankful. Using Ravenna for the cross-over for a frequent service bus line, which no doubt efficient in bus hour terms, would have been a big impact on a street which currently has no transit at all and really doesn’t have the road surface for it.
“while” not “which”
Looked at that route 71 map and just started shaking my head in disbelief at yet another circuitous milk run. Why is Metro so averse to a simple grid system with routes that run north-south and routes that run east-west, like you find in Vancouver and Toronto.
Metro isn’t averse, public comment is.
… which is not to be confused with public sentiment, as we saw how well neighborhood associations represent the view of the electorate. Not.
This is not 75% of the restructure, it’s only 3%. It’s a temporary mitigation until North Link opens, because the grid is not sufficiently complete yet (at least in some people’s judgment). To evaluate the grid you have to look at Roosevelt Station (not open yet), the frequency of the 62 (15 minutes), the frequency of the 45, 67, and 73 (various combinations of 15-30 minutes split among different stops), the distance of the 372 from the Ave (walk through campus or backtrack from UW Station), and the trip distance on each segment.
Required reading for anyone planning transit in the Puget Sound region:
Grids are great if you have frequent, reliable service.
Which, in practice, means exclusive right-of-way on at least one of the two intersecting directions.
There’s a reason people hate transferring from one mixed-traffic bus to another mixed-traffic bus, and it has to do with traffic and bus bunching causing very long transfer times. Jarrett theoretically understands this, but doesn’t seem to understand the practical implications.
The following is an email I sent to a current 43 user about the 43.
“It appears that the 43 will only run in peak hours, but I’m trying to get clarity about this from the councilman’s office. If this is true, does this work for Montlake? For my part I want a full restore so that the 11 can be restored to go north on 15th Ave East not 19th Ave East.”
This is the response:
“I completely agree with you!! As neighborhood residents we need access to buses at all times of the day to see doctors, go shopping and so forth!”
I know what I heard from the chair and the words were service from 6 to 9, but we were unable to ask questions during the hearing. Based on what the blog comments I know don’t know.
That neighborhood resident already has buses at all times of day.They just don’t want to transfer.
So how many transfers would you be willing to do, how far would you be willing to walk and would you be willing transfer in unsafe areas. BTW, would you also suggest this for seniors, which this person is or might you suggest that she not take the bus at all?
Should we have a route from Queen Anne to Leschi because there’s a senior who wants to go there without transferring?
The changes to the 73 and 373 totally screw the pooch on my commute. I often rely on one or the other on peak hours, and the 73 on off-peak, to get to-from work. With these changes? Hell, the service will prevent me force me to commute to work by car. Seems like none of the comments I submitted were actually read or, it they were, understood… or, maybe, King Country Transit listens to those Districts with the deepest pockets. Who knows how they make their decisions. It still makes absolutely no sense to make such sweeping changes to North/NE Seattle service so far in advance of Northgate Link light rail station.)
I don’t understand; what’s changed? There’s still going to be all-day service in that corridor. The only change is that the 373 will now run local, and that peak service will be slightly reduced.
The change to the 73 is substantial in that that 373 is “peak only” and I often do not ride at “peak only” times to/from work in the U District…. and that will force me to drive to work, rather than take the bus. The change to the 73 is totally messed up.
I’m not sure that you have lost your bus commute. Morning ciommute, the 373 runs southbound and the 73 runs north. Afternoon commute the 373 runs north and the 73 runs south. Off peak, the 73 runs in both directions. So no matter what time of day it is, there’s a 73 or 373 running both north and south.
Your original post says you take either the 73/373, so I’m assuming you live south of 145th. If you do, you should be set. If you live north of 145th, then it seems off-peak your best bet would be to take a bus to Northgate and transfer to the frequent 67.
See my comment up above. I don’t think the 73 and 373 are changing much at all. Right now the 373 only operates in peak direction. The 73 operates all day. Essentially, the 73 won’t be running in the same direction as the 373 *when it is running*. This actually makes catching a bus much easier. No worrying about whether you should let a 73 go by and grab the 373. If you see a 73, it means the 373 isn’t running (and vice-versa).
What isn’t clear to me is whether there will be a cut in service. There will be fewer 73 buses (none in rush hour direction) but will that translate into more 373 buses, or will Metro just take those and distribute them to other bus routes? Ideally it would mean more 373 buses — but I won’t hold my breath.
It’s similar to the 512, which doesn’t stop at 45th when the CT buses are running in that direction to the U-District.
It seems to be duplicate to have Route 71 run up NE 65th St with Route 62 still running. Perhaps operate Rt 71 via 40th Ave NE then the route 30 route to University District (but operate to Husky Stadium area). This would reduce major duplication on NE 65th St and keep service in the Ravenna area.
Also, I hope that Route 43 will see a slight reduction in frequency (from every 10 minutes to every 12-15 minutes).
oops, I did not get a chance to read the document I guess the 43 is going to every 30 minutes peak period. That is good.
I’m confused. The new 67 map shows it stopping in the U-district, nowhere near husky stadium… how does it get to husky stadium?
The 67 is apparently getting through-routed with the 65, so it will continue down Pacific towards Husky Stadium.
I’ve lost track of which buses are through-routed to what, and which buses will go via Stevens Way vs. Pacific. But if the 65 is now tied to the 67, that eliminates the option to stay on the 65 as it goes westbound through campus, does a quick loop, and then stops right by the station.
And I think the only buses left on Stevens Way are the 75, 372, and westbound 65.
Ok, thanks. The amendment’s notes on the 65 are not clear on that front at all, so I was thinking I must have missed something.
Interesting note: How will the 44s get from the base to their route? Currently they take the 43’s routing and make the 43’s stops to Broadway, then turn south to the base. That adds several extra runs in the reverse-peak and shoulder hours, which is a significant convenience for riders. The 49 comes every 15 minutes, but sometimes I see two or three 43s while I’m waiting for a 49 southbound.
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