There are two open houses tonight for those of you interested in transit advocacy, one in Eastlake and the other in the Rainier Valley.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 10.41.37 AMRoosevelt-Downtown HCT
The Roosevelt-Downtown High Capacity Transit project will hold an open house tonight from 6-8pm in the TOPS School Cafeteria in Eastlake, in advance of identifying a Recommended Corridor Concept in early 2016. The plan could include dedicated transit lanes, protected bike lanes, both, or neither, all dependent on community feedback and neighborhood negotiation. Given Eastlake’s vocal neighborhood residents and the natural constraints of the corridor, there are likely to be intense debates about the tradeoffs and relative priority of cars, buses, bikes, and parking. For the bike advocacy perspective, see Seattle Bike BlogCascade’s, or Seattle Neighborhood Greenways views. And if you can’t make it tonight, there’s another meeting in the UDistrict Thursday.

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6 – 8 p.m.
TOPS School, Cafeteria
2500 Franklin Ave. E, Seattle

Thursday, Dec. 10, 6 – 8 p.m.
UW Tower, Cafeteria North
4333 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.10.25 AMSE Seattle Restructure
Metro will hold a meeting on the proposed restructure of Routes 8, 9, 106, 107, and 124 Wednesday evening at the Filipino Community Center. The proposal would combine Route 38 (south half of Route 8) and Route 106 to form a frequent all-day connection between Renton, Skyway, and the Rainier Valley, a meritorious idea that we’ve supported since it was first proposed in a service cut scenario in 2012. Unfortunately, the proposal also halves Downtown-Georgetown service and adds a duplicative 4th route between Mount Baker and the International District. We’d encourage attendees to listen to the planners and the community at this open house with an open mind, while also asking hard questions of staff. Suggested questions to ask:

  • Could better all-day, evening, or weekend frequency on Route 106 be achieved  for the same service hours as extending the route to the International District?
  • Why does Metro propose cutting service to Georgetown when the 2014 Service Guidelines Report called for 25,000 hours to be invested on the Route 124 and Route 131 corridors?
  • The 2014 Service Guidelines Report did not target any additional investments for the Route 7 and Route 8 corridors. Why are the other 58 corridors targeted for investment being left behind?
  • Are there additional options for a Route 106 terminus that would be less duplicative and create better network connections? What about the Central District, Yesler Way, First Hill, or South Lake Union?
  • A major rationale for splitting the Route 8 in the ULink restructure was to restore reliability along the route. Does this proposal undo that work? Does Metro think a Renton-IDS route could be reliable for riders?

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6 – 8 p.m.
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S (MLK & Orcas)

19 Replies to “Eastlake and SE Seattle Open Houses Tonight”

  1. Tom from Seattle Bike Blog here. I’d love to get an idea from you all what’s most important to transit efficiency/dependability. I tossed around a bunch of ideas here using Streetmix:

    My main question: What’s typically better for buses? A: Sharing a travel lane, but with in-lane stops and turn lanes to get turning cars out of the way or B: Dedicated bus lanes that are shared with right-turning cars? Eastlake traffic levels are actually pretty low (about 15K), so it’s not beyond capacity like Denny. I think transit and bike folks should get on the same page. Because no matter the option, there’s gonna be opposition to any change.

    1. In A, are you referring the Dexter Ave arrangement?

      I think B is preferable to A. I don’t think you could do A and call it BRT without a substantial amount of lying.

    2. As a frequent bus and bike rider I’m not sure the best balance here. Clearly a lot more people benefit from exclusive bus lanes (lots of bus riders on this route, actually). Safety is a huge issue though and when I am on a bicycle, I often find myself attempting to pass buses that make frequent stops (only to have them pass me again soon after).

      Would an exclusive bus lane that allowed bikes be palatable? Maybe if the buses were all electric and we didn’t have to breathe the exhaust?

      Would it be possible to rebuild the street to squeeze in a cycle track built into the sidewalk along with exclusive lanes and one GPL in each direction? There may be no easy answers, but the status quo is not acceptable.

      1. By “squeezing into the sidewalk” in I am noticing that there is a median with trees that could be removed to make more room in the corridor (maybe enough for a cycle track built next to the sidewalk. Its not ideal but if the street is being reduced to 1 GPL in each direction, a median is not as necessary.

    3. The problem with curbside lanes is that they are blocked not only by turning cars, but by taxis letting people on/off, other cars stopped letting people on/off, cars stopped while someone runs into a store (even if they’re not supposed to be), etc.

    4. I like the Dexter bus stop islands, with cut-throughs for bikes. I must confess I’ve only passed by them a few times and have never used them.

      Buses stopped are a bane of shared bus/bike lanes. Buses having to pull out of a lane to access a bus stop, and then wait for someone in traffic to obey the law and let them back in the traffic lane, is a failed approach that merely gets buses out of the way of SOVs. SOV’s ignore the transit priority just as wantonly as they ignore crosswalks. Perhaps more.

      Suggest reducing general-purpose lanes, and you get odd looks from the bureaucrats.

      1. One annoyance I’ve run into repeatedly along Eastlake is constant leapfrogging between bikes and buses. Bus passes bike between stops, then bike passes bus at the next bus stop, and the cycle repeats over and over again, all the way downtown.

        Dexter-style bus islands solve this problem rather well (faster cyclists going downhill can always choose to ignore the bike lane and just take the car lane), and if we could find the space on Eastlake for them, that would great for both modes.

        Another thing that is long overdue regarding transit along Eastlake is signal priority. Buses are already traveling along the dominant street, so giving buses green lights along Eastlake really shouldn’t be any harder than giving Link trains green lights along MLK.

    5. I was thinking about these 3 options depending on where there are stops/turns.
      - (whenever there is a stop)
      - (segments with no stops)
      - (corners)

      These options will require the stops to be staggered and it would leave some parking in the area, as well as giving buses exclusive lanes. It will also require modifying traffic lights so that traffic can move more efficiently (having one direction go at a time). Also, my only concern with the turns is that there is no barrier between the bike and bus lanes.

      1. EDIT: I modified the designs to preserve the trees. If the trees were to be removed, the traffic lanes would be 9′ and there might be room for 5′ bike lanes in each direction with 1′ separation (the transit shelters would serve as a separation when any stops are present).

    6. I’m a fan of the fairview bridge you over at Seattle bike blog talked about the other day, although I realize it is probably unrealistic. Eastlake was a pretty good bike route when it was my commute ten years ago, but I have a hard time envisioning the bus system we need, in terms of frequency and priority, with bikes and general purpose lanes, on that width of roadway.

      But also Tom, thanks for asking! I wholeheartedly agree, we are all on the same side, and need to coordinate so that we don’t end up fighting each other.

  2. So, would it be bad form for me to show up and complain about the Capitol Hill restructure or will they not even listen to me since I don’t want to talk about the official topic?

  3. Why doesn’t the 106 just terminate at Mt Baker, or better yet, Rainier beach? Looking at the current 8 ridership south of mt baker, it’s obvious people are willing to just walk to the nearest link station. A local bus shadow is unnecessary and redundant.

  4. I won’t be able to make these but hopefully there’ll be a good turnout for a rational transit network.

  5. I would have actually gone to one of these if it wasn’t actually tonight. I didn’t even see this post until like 6pm, so my tired self just assumed it was tomorrow.

    And why only one open house for the SE Seattle restructure? Are they really taking much feedback, or is it feedback theater?

    1. It’s always feedback theater. The plot is lots of chat about how hard staff has been working, followed by a skit on the past decisions (the intimidation part of the plot), followed by a rollout of one or maybe two alternatives, followed by a whining session (with token praise hoped). There might be a post-it not exercise about concerns that seems to be ignored. Maybe a translator. It’s as predictable as an episode of a 60’s TV show.

      1. Pretty true. I went to the SE meeting and was told that it’s basically too late to do anything–things are pretty much decided already. The public meetings are just procedural requirements. Nevertheless, I tossed out a few ideas that might be considered on the next reorganization (in 5 years or so).

      2. I’m always amazed at how staff has to defend having only one alternative as if it’s their message from God, rather than to understand that it is their job to give us many alternatives and seek meaningful input – because we pay their salaries to do that. Having one or two alternatives at a time and formulaic feedback sessions is actually being lazy.

    2. Most changes have only one open house. The U-Link restructure had more because it was so large and complex, and because it started with two test-balloon proposals rather than a concrete one.

  6. I cannot believe I just found out about this blog. I did attend the SE Seattle Open House and wanted to make my opinion known that I (& the rest of my family) did not like the 106 change to the 107. I was only met with silly explanations from a planner. People here from SE Seattle: what are your perspectives on the changes? I live on S. Beacon Hill and the change from the 106–> 107 would heavily affect myself and my family, plus other folks who are not familiar with the changes due to language barriers or lack of publicity on the issue.

    I spoke to a representative from Metro and she say that we are welcome to speak up regarding our opinions, whether that is taking the online survey, calling a number listed on the info sheet or leaving a comment on that poster board. However, I do not think this is enough. I am thinking of getting a group of folks together in S. Beacon Hill/SE Seattle who is against the 106 change (or at least, replace it with another route that is one-seat to downtown Seattle). I hope to bring publicity to this issue and start a community group.

    Anyone interested?

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