SounderBruce (Flickr)
SounderBruce (Flickr)

Four separate City Councils – Shoreline, Bothell, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park – will gather jointly tonight at 7pm at Kenmore City Hall to discuss ST3 projects within their respective cities, including planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on SR 522 connecting to NE 145th Street Link Station (Projects N-09 and N-10) and planning studies for SR 522 light rail (Project P-8, page 18). Sound Transit’s Ric Ilgenfritz, ST Boardmembers Claudia Balducci and Fred Butler, Kenmore Mayor David Baker, and the 522 Transit Now Coalition are confirmed as speakers, and their presentations will be followed by council discussion by the 4 cities.

Though there is likely little to learn from a project standpoint at this point in the process, these meetings are fascinating for the glimpses they provide into suburban cities’ thinking and priorities for ST3 on a number of issues, including station access, parking, TOD, bus/rail integration, and more. If you live in Shoreline, Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Jackson Park, Bitter Lake, or Lake City, it is well worth your time to show up in support of quality projects and connections.

Kenmore City Hall can be reached via the Burke Gilman-Trail, from Seattle (Routes 372 and 522), and from Bellevue/Kirkland (Route 234). Unfortunately, Route 331 from Shoreline to Kenmore stops running in time to be workable for this meeting. Apologies for the late notice.

81 Replies to “North King ST3 Meeting Tonight at Kenmore City Hall”

    1. So what? It would be great if there was a bus passing by my house every 5 minutes (as well as every other house in the suburbs) but that would be extremely expensive and completely insane. Nor is it practical to move everyone within a mile of major transit routes or to try to convince people they need to spend an hour (half of it waiting) when they could drive in 15 minutes.

      So having park and rides is not a bad thing. We can optimize their usage (fees, etc…), but it’s the only reasonable way to get most people living in the suburbs onto transit for 75% of their trip. I’d rather invest in more P&R’s and buses than widen 405 again.

      Besides which, Kenmore, Bothell, etc.. are investing in densifying their downtowns. It will never be as dense as downtown Seattle, but it will give people more options.

      1. I consider Park and Rides to be a necessary evil for suburban transit. I’m not really a fan of them either, but for the time being that’s the only way to get a substantial number of people riding transit up here. And they’re obviously popular: The Kenmore P&R is usually full before 8:00. I’m fortunate enough to live close enough to not have to use it, I almost always walk or bike to the Kenmore P&R.

        I do think we need to be careful about allocating money for transit parking because I’m not sure if there’s much of a future for P&R’s. I’m particularly interested to see if driverless car technology will mean people don’t need to park at transit stops anymore.

      2. Yes, they’re popular, but at 603 spaces the Kenmore Park & Ride only fills 7 or so buses. Parking can’t scale.

        I can support them as transitional, but there is always much better use of the land.

      3. @David
        I was meaning to point out that bus dependent folks who live in the area have no reasonable way to access the event. Its not particularly fair to require a car to access a public event.

        I don’t have as much at stake for this event, so I won’t be going, but someone in Lake City who is transit dependent would have few options for getting there.

        This is unfortunate as many of the new proposed routes would have bus corridors that currently pass through Lake City, skip Lake City instead to go straight to 145th St.

      4. Isn’t the City Hall within a few blocks of the 522? Why couldn’t someone from Lake City ride it?

        (Or are you talking about the low evening frequency? That’s a problem, but not so great as several other ST meetings.)

      5. If park and rides worked to allow station access to people in nearby neighborhoods but just out of the walkshed, that would be nice, and they would be a lot more justifiable, but that’s not how they work. Those spots are often filled by people much further out, who value them highly enough to get there early. They’re sprawl-inducing, and it looks like they may actually lead to an increase in carbon emissions, even while boosting transit use:

      6. I agree P&Rs are problematic at best, are limited in how much space they can provide, and are often used by people who have other options. There are ways of dealing with that though. Make parking before 9 AM permit-only (with either a nominal fee or a “real” fee), with permits only for those people nearby (you’ll need some flexibility with this with respect to routes, but it can be done in a common sense way I’m sure). Maybe you could charge a nominal fee for people from where you want them to come and a higher fee for those from outside that area.

        Another idea is to provide secure bike cages (for more than 4 bikes) that are a nominal fee (or even free, subsidized by the other permits). Not everyone needs to take their bike on the bus, but leaving it at most stations is likewise a bad idea.

        In any case, you will never remove sprawl so P&Rs or similar are not going anywhere. Too many people like living in houses and having a bit more space. Some (like me) are willing to live somewhere close to transit. But that requires tradeoffs, which not everyone will be willing to make.

      7. I really think this region needs to pioneer the P&R + TOD combo. Obviously the P&R detracts from the effectiveness of the TOD, but the TOD adds transit users and reduces congestion.

      8. I have no problem with park and ride users, but I think it is important to emphasize that park and ride users are almost entirely 9 to 5 commuters. In the middle of the day, you are very unlikely to drive to a park and ride, then take a bus which then connects to a train. You will either drive to your destination or drive to the park and ride by the train station. This makes it different than a lot of places in the city. For example, when SDOT studied the Madison BRT, they considered service focused on the peak (5 minute rush hour, 10 minute middle of the day) or the opposite (6 minute all day). For that corridor, ridership and farebox recovery was much better with good service (6 minutes) all day. That wouldn’t be the case here.

        That is why I argue (down below) that separating the two corridors is the way to go. Have this be focused on the commuters (with very peak oriented service) and the rest of the corridor (in the city) be provided with good, all day service.

      9. SeaStrap says

        I really think this region needs to pioneer the P&R + TOD combo. Obviously the P&R detracts from the effectiveness of the TOD, but the TOD adds transit users and reduces congestion.

        Oran says

        There’s already TOD at S Kirkland P&R and Overlake P&R. How well are those doing?

        Overlake Village has been a complete disaster. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it (i.e. S. Kirkland P&R TOD). ARCH saw “free money” from 520 mitigation and jumped on it to build subsidized housing. The rents actually aren’t that cheap but I expect most people living there get generous subsidies to supplement the subsidized rent. Darn few actually use transit. Of course if you don’t have a job then you don’t catch the bus. But it’s pretty deluxe to have a row of parking right in front of the building that doesn’t require using the crosswalk from the P&R. Really, it’s the same cars there every morning and they are not riding the bus. Meanwhile the “market rate” apartments seem to be largely empty. The whole subsidized housing was predicated on getting the dirt for “free”. Of course the cost of building a parking garage that netted no net increase in actually parking that would have increased transit use wasn’t considered. That “freebie” really resulted in some of the most expensive housing that could possibly have been built; and it’s still in a lousy location.

      10. “they considered service focused on the peak (5 minute rush hour, 10 minute middle of the day) or the opposite (6 minute all day). For that corridor, ridership and farebox recovery was much better with good service (6 minutes) all day.”

        10 minutes daytime is not “peak-focused service”. It’s very good all-day service. Of course 5 or 6 minutes would be better and more useful, but most Seattle core routes are still at 15 minutes, so first Metro needs to get to a general 10-minute minimum before we start worrying about 6 minutes. Otherwise it perpetuates the situation where a very few corridors have much better service than the rest of the city.

      11. “Of course if you don’t have a job then you don’t catch the bus.”

        Retired people go to the store and medical appointments.

      12. I’m not so opposed to Park & Rides when they are located in spots poor for TOD, as in next to and under freeways. Usually these locations have wasted buffer land anyway and no one would want to live or work there nor is it suited for people to do so. Example of Roosevelt/Green Lake P&R under I-5.

        Portland is a great example of TOD not sprouting next to the freeway stations yet Portland also having fantastic TOD when its in real neighborhood locations away from the freeway.

      13. Perhaps hard to believe but Portland is doing much worse in moving people away from cars to transit.than Seattle. And we’ve hardly gotten the best bang for the buck. Just because you lay rail doesn’t mean they will come.

      14. You are missing the point, Mike. SDOT had two different choices:

        Peak Hour – 5 minutes
        Off Peak — 10 minutes


        All Day – 6 minutes

        They chose the latter. This was the right choice, even though it will carry fewer people during rush hour. It was the right choice for that area, but it wouldn’t be the right choice for every area. I don’t think it would be the right choice for Kenmore. But it would be the right choice for Lake City. Or at least, that sort of preference (towards all day service versus peak hour) would be the better choice for the more densely populated areas.

      15. The two choices show just how expensive peak-hour service really is. The difference in wait time between 6-minute headways and 5-minute headways is negligible, yet improving peak service from every 6 minutes to every 5 comes at the cost of cutting all-day service in half! Even I didn’t think the cost of extra peak service was that bad!

        If that’s really the case – that a 17% increase in peak service requires a 40% decrease in all-day service to be cost-neutral, I don’t think it’s worth it for any corridor, unless the peak-hour buses are literally so full that they are leaving people behind.

      16. improving peak service from every 6 minutes to every 5 comes at the cost of cutting all-day service in half!

        It doesn’t scale that way. Running 6 min headways all day requires more service hours. 120 round trips vs 108. If fare recovery is a fraction off peak vs peak and the 6 min all day service is a way more expensive option. If it’s worth the extra service hours depends on ridership. I agree 5 min headways at peak is excessive, unless the buses are full. In reality 5 min headways turns into 10 min headways with two buses running nose to tail. FWIW, the same number of buses as 5 peak, 10 off would only be 6.7 min headways all day so the service hours aren’t all that radically different. Almost identical service hours would be 6 min peak and 8 min off peak but the hassle of scheduling that might not be worth it.

      17. @asdf2 — Don’t forget capacity, though. The difference between 6 minute and 5 minute frequency is practically meaningless when it comes to waiting for a bus, but a 17% increase in capacity is often the difference between being full and leaving people on the curb. There are trade-offs, and sometimes the trade-offs are worth it. For an area like Madison, you may leave people on the curb, but more than make up for it the rest of the day. But for suburban areas, the opposite is often the case.

        @Bernie — You are forgetting that rush hour service is more expensive. That was asdf2’s point. You would assume that service hours are service hours, but that isn’t the case. Rush hour service is more expensive because it leads to peak demand for service (more actual people you need to hire) and the purchase of more vehicles (to meet peak demand).

      18. Rush hour service is more expensive because it leads to peak demand for service (more actual people you need to hire) and the purchase of more vehicles (to meet peak demand).

        True that you need more buses if it’s just adding peak service. But I’d be surprised if you needed too many more buses running 5/10 that 6 minutes all day. It is certain that you’re running more platform hours so there is added operational cost (~11% more). As far as hiring drivers for peak that’s what the part timers (three hour trips in driver speak) do. They are less expensive than full time drivers because of benefits. Fare recover on packed peak buses is pretty good even when they run mostly empty the reverse commute. Typically the congestion is low in the reverse direction.

        Absolutely right that it depends on the demand. I can only speak to the 255. It’s packed standing room only in the peak direction. Reverse ridership is decent. But, even with the nominal 10-15 minute headways at peak bus bunching is a serious problem. It’s really common to get nothing for 20 minutes and then two, sometimes three buses playing leap frog. Rapid Ride B is never close to being equally spaced during peak. You might get two buses in 15 minutes or you might get zero; you sits and you waits.

  1. I’ll be speaking briefly at this meeting, talking from the perspective of a frequent transit user. I’m hoping to convince a few people of the worthiness of the 522 projects and maybe get everybody in the room to sing Asia’s “Heat of the Moment” together.

    1. Could you maybe put a word in for folks from Lake City who might not be able to make it? Its not a bad idea to keep the 522 corridor serving Lake City on the way to a 130th station (or at least keep it as an option on the table).

      145th will take a long time to fix for to be ready for anything that looks remotely like a BRT. A 130th Station seems to me like a much better option in at least the short term for 522 riders. Its also worth considering for folks who live along 522 and consider Lake City a destination in its own right…

  2. A gem in the linked comment thread: “The 145th/5th Station is a horrible location, it’s like deciding to put a Starbucks drive-thru at the 520/I-5 exchange.”

      1. It’s fairly similar. It is just the nature of having a train follow the freeway. It is cheaper that way, but the stations will be served largely by feeder buses and park and ride users.

      2. Maybe the 522 buses should be going to a 130th station

        Maybe not since Lake City worked hard for their traffic calming projects on LCW and 130th. 130th and 145th both have nothing there. Given the alignment along I-5 zero people with money are actually clamoring for an upzone at either location. The utility of LRT as it stretches into the less dense areas north of Seattle is truncating ST Express routes. 145th is the obvious choice since it has the shorter and faster access to bus routes on 522 and I-5. Nobody in Lake City needs to go to 130th & I-5. It’s not a destination and it’s a fantasy to believe it needs to be a destination. People in Lake City quite likely want to get to the U Dist, Northgate and maybe even Roosevelt. They may even want to go to Ballard! For getting DT a 130th station offers only minutes in time saving from Lake City (like ~2) and is trumped by the “needs of the many” for which it does no good but adds commute time and cost. I’d argue it’s not even good for Lake City because it will dilute frequency to actual destinations; unless of course you are only interested in peak commute and don’t care if Lake City remains the cut through route for all of north King and southeast Snohomish.

      3. I’m not sure what you are trying to say Bernie. I think I agree with a few of your points, but they seem to be muddled. For example

        Nobody in Lake City needs to go to 130th & I-5. It’s not a destination and it’s a fantasy to believe it needs to be a destination.People in Lake City quite likely want to get to the U Dist, Northgate and maybe even Roosevelt. They may even want to go to Ballard!

        Right, and no one in Kenmore or Bothell wants to get to 145th and I-5. That isn’t the point. How do they get to those other places? The obvious answer is Link. The best way to get from Lake City to Link is at NE 130th. It isn’t even close. Every other trip takes a lot longer. This not only screws up the individual trip (e. g. a trip from Lake City to downtown takes five minutes longer) but it screws up the bus network. The buses run less often. There isn’t enough service hours to connect to Bitter Lake. This means that a trip from Lake City to Ballard involves a ridiculous side trip to Northgate, which costs the average rider at least 10 minutes. It means a trip to Bitter Lake (and other places on Aurora) is an extra 20 minutes. It means that people without a car suffer ridiculously long bus rides, and those with a car just drive.

        None of that means I support running buses from Kenmore (and other, similarly low density commute entered areas) to Lake City. But you bet your ass I support running buses from Lake City to NE 130th (and on to Bitter Lake) because it is precisely how you build a decent, frequent grid for this city.

    1. Bernie – While I’m a working stiff from Lake City who needs to get downtown, I also want to go to Haller Lake, Aurora, Greenwood, and Broadview. Realistically, we need to build a grid in North Seattle with some reasonable E-W connection. 130th/125th is a slightly less congested E-W corridor and we need bus feeder service.

      1. You are confusing need with want. I “need” to get my 7 mile bus commute reduced from 60 minutes to 30 minutes (vs 17 minutes driving). Oh wait, that’s just me and maybe another 10-20 people on the 249. Not everyone can have a free pony. You live where you live and if it doesn’t work… MOVE! Living in LC and working DT is reasonable. And that’s a great demographic to serve with transit. If you think that entitles you to on demand trips to everywhere then sorry… no soup for you.

      2. I just love it when people tell you to move for ONE reason only. As if you chose that location for only one reason. The grass is green, let’s buy it! Look this house has a dishwasher, let’s sign now.

        The north end has a problem of park&rides being too small or local transit being to poor to take a local bus to the park&ride. People who live in Seattle look at these problems and think the solution is the park&rides are too big and there shouldn’t be any feeder buses because density isn’t high enough. Then they complain about sub-area equity ad infinitum.

        You can’t build 6 minute trains in the suburbs but you can find ways of building up ridership in areas that people already want to go. The Swift is an example of this. KC Metro only has 21 lines that carry more passengers everyday than the Swift.

      3. I think Bernie is a troll. I could be wrong, but he is exhibiting every aspect of a troll, from contradictory arguments (someone from Lake City may want to get to Roosevelt, maybe even Ballard, but they don’t need to, apparently) to silly arguments (what is need versus want, anyway?).

        But I could be wrong. It could be that Bernie just has trouble articulating an argument. So, Bernie, what exactly are you proposing. What exactly do you want in a bus restructure, after Link gets to Lynnwood. I can think of several general ideas, with several obvious variations:

        1) Keep the same bus routes. This means one seat rides to the places that Lake City residents go to most.

        2) Truncate buses at Northgate, Roosevelt or 145th. Through route them in some cases.

        3) Truncate buses at NE 130th or through route them to Bitter Lake (or beyond).

        I have argued that the third is by far the best option. It is faster than the second option (by a wide margin) while being a lot more efficient (and often faster) than the first. When buses spend time in traffic, or making turns, it is very inefficient. It means less frequent bus service. It means a lower farebox recovery. It is just not a good idea.

        But I’m getting ahead of myself. What exactly do you propose, Bernie?

      4. 145th will be built; done deal. 130th might get built but unlikely before Link gets all the way to Lynnwood. It’s pretty simple, truncate the bus routes, both I-5 and 522 at 145th. Lake City routes need to deal with that reality. Wishing for the 130th station to be built sooner rather than later (or never) is just a dream. In the interim, which may be forever, Lake City service needs to get sorted out based on what will be built. A bus from Lake City to 145th really is only a 2 min saving over 130th. Stopping a full train for a handful of riders doesn’t make sense. Lake City, unlike Ballard, has lots of good options; 145th, Northgate, Roosevelt, UW. Of those 145th is nothing more than an express to DT. The rest are useful as destinations in their own right as well as fantastic transfer points. Lake City can have great bus service without 130th station. Since Link is going to stretch at least to Lynnwood travel times DO matter. Let’s not repeat the mistake of Central Link where truncating routes at Federal Way or TIB is boarding on impractical because the high capacity light rail with it’s dedicated ROW is painfully slower than a bus stuck in traffic.

      5. OK, Sound Transit has already approved the future station at NE 130th. It will be built, it is just a matter of who pays for it and when. It will likely be part of ST3 (it would be profoundly stupid from a political standpoint to not propose it) but if ST3 fails, then Seattle will likely pay for it (just like we paid for the station at Graham Street).

        As I said earlier, I don’t think it is a big deal if bus service from Kenmore and similar cities goes to 145th. I think it could work out really well. But Lake City should be served by the NE 130th station. It is more than a two minute savings:

        Lake City to 130th: 0.6 miles. One minute direct drive without traffic.
        Lake City to 145th: 1.3 miles. Three minute direct drive without traffic.

        But there will be traffic. There will also be stops along the way. Getting to 145th is twice as long, and would take substantially more time. Running along NE 130th also means you pass by more densely populated areas. In other words, shorter, faster, picks up more people. That is better. Meanwhile, you also are headed the direction people want to go. It is only one stop, but it is still a mile between stations, and that takes another minute (plus dwell time).

        Is it worth it to make Lynwood (and Shoreline) riders wait thirty seconds so that people in Lake City can save five minutes? Hell yes, it is. Lake City is way more densely populated than any place in Lynnwood. Ridership will be high. Enabling a grid will have a major ripple effect in the area. But it won’t happen without buses serving Link.

        I believe someone said that Portland added rail, but still doesn’t have very high transit ridership numbers. Meanwhile, Vancouver has rail, and extremely high transit ridership numbers. The folks in Vancouver didn’t achieve that by skipping over stations. Quite the opposite. They built a system with bus service that complements their rail system. It means adding things like a station at NE 130th, and building a grid around it.

      6. OK, Sound Transit has already approved the future station at NE 130th. It will be built, it is just a matter of who pays for it and when.

        I’m a 130th fan, but I think that’s a premature thing to say. It’s far from assured that the station will be in ST3 (I’m mildly pessimistic) and that ST3 will pass (mildly optimistic).

      7. if ST3 fails, then Seattle will likely pay for it (just like we paid for the station at Graham Street).

        All I have heard about Graham Street is the mayor promised $10M toward the station if Prop 1 passed. That’s classic political lulu that he knows he’ll never have to deliver on. If the station is added he’ll be long gone from office. And the $10M would all be “in kind” like Bellevue’s contribution to a tunnel. Seattle is going to pay for all the cost over runs on Bertha too, right? If you read the original resolution from the ST board (circa 1999) when it decided to defer it’s pretty obvious that “defer” was political speak for delete. It’s a goose egg for ridership and the same would be true of 130th. The vast majority boarding at either infill station would be boarding anyway at an existing station. The mayor has even said the purpose of keeping a potential station at 130th was to allow a future upzone. That future is a long long way out. It’s about as far from being an Urban Village as Sarah Palins backyard from Russia.

        Outside of the stretch from the U District to International Station Link is commuter rail. Travel times are acutely important as we’re seeing now with the squawk of terminating south end ST buses at Link.

  3. Seems nobody coordinates meetup dates–tonight is also the East Link construction kickoff meeting at the Bellevue Red Lion.

    1. Scheduling isn’t easy. I suspect you’re just going to have to pick the meeting that is most interesting to you.

      This isn’t just a problem for Sound Transit, nearly all community meetings have conflicting meetings with some other city wide or community meeting somewhere else.

      There are only so many days in a week when folks are likely to show up to events after work…

      1. There are only so many days in a week when folks are likely to show up to events after work

        Be thankful it’s not scheduled from 1-3PM so the politicians driving to the event can avoid rush hour traffic; like so many of these public outreach meetings are.

  4. Is the Seattle Subway-drawn line on the table? That is, 522 communities to Lake City, then to Northgate, then connecting to the Ballard line via Northgate way, Holman Road, and 15th Ave NW.

    1. I imagine that would likely end up as two separate studies: one for LRT from Northgate to Bothell or Woodinville via Lake City, another for LRT from Northgate to Ballard.

    2. Getting to Northgate TC from the East or West is just such a mess (deviate to 92nd, etc), I wonder if it’s advisable to skip it altogether and focus on 130th. It’s just a 2-minute train ride from 130th station to Ngate anyway.

      What do y’all think of Bothell -> 130th station (assuming it’s built), continuing on to Ballard via Holman (and replacing the northern extension of the 40 to Northgate)? Ballard-to-Bothell BRT. Few people would ride the entire corridor, but it would be a feeder – like today’s 48 but turned 90 degrees. It’s a long corridor, but with decent stop spacing and exclusive lanes, it could have reasonable speeds and reliability (and avoids all major car chokepoints).

      1. I’d be cool with it. 130th is long overdue for an actual cross-town route, anyway.

        However, I think assigning transit priority lanes around the circumference of Northgate solves a lot of mobility issues … it’s a major destination, and a major transfer point, and right now just not particularly easy to access by any mode.

        Let’s do both?

      2. Not only is it a major location, there are lots of apartments reliant on buses running along meridian (not to mention the college).

        Moving the 40 to 130th would lose a lot of the north end ridership. Its true that Lake City has more density, but its not a good idea to remove service from one dense area to serve another.

        As @SeaStrap notes here, we need both routes. 130th crosstown line replaces the 41, not the 40.

      3. Charles, great way to think about it – 41 becomes a crosstown on 130th after LINK at 130th opens. And I like Frank’s idea to route it down to the eventual terminus of the Ballard line via Greenwood and Holman. That’s a better terminal than Shoreline CC.

      4. Imagine this: a well-designed N 130th station, with the platform extending underneath the overpass so that access to it can be made from both the south and north sides of the overpass (i.e. no need to cross the street to access the platform). Bus stops located at the entrance to the station–you get off the bus going either direction and walk directly downstairs (or take the elevator as necessary). Boom. With trains running every few minutes, I’d consider a bus-train transfer there at least equivalent to staying on the current 41 to Northgate what with typical mall-area traffic–and if you’re going to the south end of Northgate or the offices there, probably even faster. Going anywhere else on the system it’s a no-brainer. It seems that 5th Avenue, down the road, would make a good Link shadow from north of Roosevelt to 185th, so if you are going to Target or the north end of the mall, maybe you’d transfer to a frequent bus there instead of to the train. It gives you options to either from Lake City and from Bitter Lake.

        With the possibility of the ST3 “Green Line” giving Ballard a one-seat ride to the airport and removing it from the U District and points north, a quick, well-designed transfer at the new stations is a necessity (from Lake City you would have to transfer twice to get to the south end and the airport, once at 130th and once downtown, so especially critical).

        Who knows–perhaps ST and WSDOT will decide that construction of a station is a perfect time and excuse to replace a 60-year-old overpass with something similar to what our Medina friends got on 520–maybe even with bus-only lanes at the station entrances! (I can dream about transit transfer best practices, yes?)

      5. Another good idea, Frank.. In general, though, a few things jump out at me when it comes to considering these corridors:

        1) 145th is no slouch. Obviously a route by Lake City goes by more people, but 145th cuts right by a fairly dense area and performs the same purpose of providing an east-west connection.

        2) The Bothell/Kenmore riders are mostly commuters. As people mentioned above, the riders from Bothell and Kenmore are largely Park and Ride users. Not entirely, of course. You have some apartments and you have UW Bothell. But still, a very high percentage of people for the foreseeable future will be heading to town in the morning, and away from town in the evening.

        3) The rest of the corridor is the opposite. Most (if not all) of the users are walk up users, not park and ride users. Park and Ride users generally don’t take transit in the middle of the day — they just drive. They are very unlikely to drive to a park and ride, then take a bus to a train. They will just drive to the park and ride by the train. Someone along the Seattle part of that route (the non-park and ride part) will just take the bus in the middle of the day. Often because it is the only option, but often because it so much more convenient (no parking).

        4) There are different jurisdictions here, with different priorities. It is increasingly apparent to me that Sound Transit is focused on providing as much dispersed service as possible. This may be due to their organization (made up of people from various cities and towns that want transit). It may just be the way they think. There are no official plans for a “Metro 8” subway, despite the fact that the idea has surfaced and resurfaced repeatedly. If you gave an independent transit expert a census map of the city, I’m sure they would basically say “Hey, why don’t you run a train through that fairly dense area, not too far from downtown?”. Yet Sound Transit doesn’t propose that, but instead proposes BRT (and perhaps future rail projects) which, by their own estimates (which are often inflated) serve less than 10,000 people (or less than many of our regular, run of the mill buses). In short, serving the 522 corridor is preposterous, or at best way too early. It should be one of those “after we do everything else” projects (similar to the old Seattle Subway maps, which had a line to West Magnolia).

        Meanwhile, SDOT is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to bus service in this town. While Sound Transit focuses on suburbs, and Metro can’t seem to figure out how to deal with Sound Transit’s misplaced stations (or get their trigonometry right — 125 degrees — that’s pretty sharp, right?), SDOT is cranking away with plans that likely will transform transit in the area. Madison BRT will run every six minutes all day and likely carry more than a third the number who currently ride Link. Roosevelt BRT (if built) will be just about as fast for a trip from the U-District to downtown as Link. Along the way it will provide great service to Eastlake and a tiny little out of the way place called South Lake Union. Center running, off board payment, signal priority, all day, urban service; the works. In short, they have different priorities than Sound Transit.

        5) Folks from the north lake suburbs are not interested in going to Lake City. Their loss, in my opinion. Even if you said you were going to make that trip very fast (just about as fast as 145th) people would complain. Even if you promised 15 second dwell times and bus lanes the whole way, you still have to get through the Lake City to 125th intersection, and people will complain about that. They just want a fast ride to Link, that’s all. So give it to them.

        I would let Sound Transit build the BRT line to the 145th station. It will probably run very frequently during commute hours, and infrequently outside of it. This sucks for those headed to school at UW Bothell (and a few other people) but that is life. Meanwhile, Seattle should build first class, very frequent BRT on the rest of that corridor. About a third (if not more) of that line is north of the city limits. That is a substantial portion of the route that is a waste, in my opinion. I know there are people there, but not nearly as many as the rest of that line. From a connection standpoint, it isn’t as good either. Lake City is a pinch point, and thus a major connection point. For example, someone headed to Aurora from Sand Point or Wedgewood could take a local bus, then transfer to this BRT. That could happen in Bothell or Kenmore, but there are just a lot fewer people (close to a bus stop) up there. They could still do that (of course) but it would mean an additional transfer. But in general, despite what Sound Transit says, the big users of this system are in Seattle, not north of it. It makes sense to isolate the two so that the suburban users have good commuter service and the city users have better, all day service.

      6. @Scott — The main reason for the NE 130th station is to provide a connection to the buses. I would think the station would be focused on that, and provide the sort of thing you mentioned.

        The overpass, I believe, will be replaced as part of the project (I think it has to be). Some of the surrounding streets will also change a bit as well.

        Yes, you will need to run a bus along 5th. I would guess that such a bus would probably end (or cross) at NE 130th. Literally no one lives on 5th between 133rd and 145th. The only bus serving the area right now is the 242, which runs a whopping six times a day. Anyway, south of 130th, and especially close to Northgate Way there are plenty of people. A bus that starts around the Roosevelt neighborhood, goes over and up 5th, over to the Northgate TC and then back to 5th up to NE 130th makes a lot of sense. From there it could cross and go up Meridian, perhaps (or just end). There are a lot of possibilities.

      7. @RossB

        If you’re referring to the 130th overpass, I believe the latest Lynnwood Link docs show the overpass being kept.

        Unfortunately I believe they also now have the proposed 130th station fully north of 130th which would make transfers much less convenient.

      8. Are you sure? I thought for sure that the overpass was being replaced. The city I believe is also working on redoing the off ramp. I’ll see if I can find the documents for that.

        Requiring a long walk for both the people in the neighborhood as well as those transferring from a bus would be really stupid. North of 130th is by far the worst possible location.

      9. This sucks for those headed to school at UW Bothell (and a few other people)

        I agree with most everything else it this comment; but why in the hell would someone in Lake City want to go to UW Bothell Campus instead of the main campus? Seriously, the reason I lived many years in Lake City is because I started out renting a “cheap” basement room while at UW(’80) and then took over the rental of the entire house renting out said room to another UW student. UW Bothell was built to provide access for the burbs. Do we need spine density so Lake City can attend UW Tacoma? Maybe a bullet train from Lake City to Pullman so all those person (OK, maybe there might be two.. people) can get to WSU.

      10. “What do y’all think of Bothell -> 130th station”

        BRT, OK. LRT, unlikely because Northgate is a PSRC urban center so “must serve” in ST’s book. And in our book, it could be important if the job and residential growth there materializes. I see practical difficulties with getting LRT east of Northgate (go down the hill at Northgate Way? Follow the 41 duplicating Central Link?) but that’s ST’s problem and it has not even suggested an alignment yet, just a concept in the long-range plan. I wonder if ST will just go to 145th given the difficulties of getting to Northgate. So then you might be looking at a Bothell – 145th – Ballard line, although that has its own unlikelinesses.

        “They will just drive to the park and ride by the train.”

        Noty midday; the P&R will be full. More likely weekends.

        “It is increasingly apparent to me that Sound Transit is focused on providing as much dispersed service as possible. This may be due to their organization (made up of people from various cities and towns that want transit). There are no official plans for a “Metro 8” subway”

        Seattle already has a line in Capitol Hill, and a heir apparent line in Ballard. Bothell, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park don’t have any Link yet.
        There’s your dispersal.

        “serving the 522 corridor is preposterous, or at best way too early.”

        BRT is reasonable for that corner of the county, and a good BRT would lessen the calls for LRT. Even it its ridership is modest like RapidRide B, it gives greater access and plants the seeds for ridership increases and mode share and densification (as Dara says Kenmore is already planning). A 30-60 minute route can’t do it; it just keeps people in their cars, and driving to train P&Rs. And the population of Kenmore & Bothell couldn’t all fit in the 145th P&R anyway.

        “Folks from the north lake suburbs are not interested in going to Lake City. Their loss, in my opinion.”

        What is there in Lake City to go to? Fred Meyer is the biggest thing. There’s a drugstore but they probably have a closer one. There’s a library but their card isn’t valid at it (although they can get an SPL card). There’s a farmer’s market, but that’s a minor draw and they probably have a closer one. So anything they can’t find in their suburbs, they won’t find in Lake City either, so they’ll have to go further, which means Northgate or the 45th corridor or downtown. Which gets back to why they might value a 145th station (quicker access to where they do want to go). if they do want to go to Lake City, they can transfer at 145th, or maybe the 372 will still be going to Kenmore (although doubtful post-BRT).

      11. For Lake City buses, if 130th Station isn’t built, I’d focus on a frequent route to 145th Station. The 330 would just have to be moved a few blocks. People say it’s backtracking, but LCW + 145th are probably faster than getting bogged down at Northgate (or going up the hill at Northgate Way). A 130th route is also worthwhile, with or without a station for east-west mobility.

        South of Lake City, Metro is doubling down on the 372, and that’s important for northeast Seattle, but its luster to UW Station will fade as Link reaches northward, because of the crawl through campus and coming out at the far end of the U-District, and the frustration of busing past three Link stations to reach UW Station. Extending Roosevelt BRT to Lake City sounds more useful because of the destinations at Northgate, Roosevelt in the U-Disrtict, and Eastlake.

        A 522 route from 145th to Roosevelt might work but it doesn’t sound particularly strong, both because of the emptiness between 120th and 65th, and the number of destinations south of 55th.

      12. Re Lake City to Northgate, I’m not sure if the 41 or the 75 routing is better. Maybe boost both?

      13. “why in the hell would someone in Lake City want to go to UW Bothell Campus instead of the main campus?”

        A lot of people who want to go to the UW main campus can’t get into it because they don’t have top grades. Or the tuition may be less, or it has the evening classes they need, or they think a particular instructor is superior, etc.

      14. A lot of people who want to go to the UW main campus can’t get into it because they don’t have top grades.

        UW branch campuses are not supposed to be dumbed down degrees. They were created to provide access to a wider audience. The Bothell campus I really question being so close to the main campus. Part of it’s “mission” seems to overlap what our community college system was created for and it’s hard to fathom why the entire campus wouldn’t just be Cascadia CC other than they are trying to compete for the City University degrees catered toward the working professional. Unfortunately there’s a dollar grab with our state college/university system. WSU wants a medical school in Spokane. Granted there’s a need for doctors in rural areas which is eastern Washington. By the same token there’s a need for (small animal) veterinarians in the central Puget Sound region. Should UW have a veterinary college so that WSU can have their medical school. Maybe UW should have a food science department since more people eat food on the west side of the mountains. Anyway, there’s zero transit demand from Lake City to UW Bothell. The absurdity just highlights how thin the arguments for transit spending are.

      15. I’d tip it to the 75 vs 41. At 125/LCW, the 75 gets me to the Northgate Transit Center a good 5-7 minutes faster. The 75 seems to miss the worst pinch points on 125th/15th, 125th/Roosevelt, and misses the residential milk run that is 5th.

      16. Stand along Bothell Way during morning rush hour and count the number of cars traveling in the eastbound direction. Sure, it won’t be as many as in the westbound direction, but I will guarantee you, it won’t be anywhere close to zero. If there are significant number of cars traveling a corridor, that means there are people traveling a corridor, which means there should be transit along the corridor – whether you are able to enumerate specific origin/destination pairs that everybody is going to or not.

        I’m personally not too worried about the 522 skipping Lake City because Lake City to Bothell will still be directly connected by the 372, and I don’t see that changing. In fact, if the frequency/span improvements of the 372 proposed for next March hold up, the presence of the 372 along Bothell Way could allow the truncated 522 to skip more stops, allowing for faster service. For instance, as long as a frequent local shadow exists, I don’t think the 522 needs to stop anywhere along Bothell Way except for P&R’s and transfer points. By my count, the 522 could be reduced to just 5 stops between UW Bothell and I-5/145th – Bothell P&R, Kenmore P&R, Ballinger Way, Lake City Way/145th, and 15th/145th. An all-day every 15-minutes route 372 would be more than sufficient to fill in the gaps by continuing to stop at all the stops it services today.

      17. @Mike —

        >>>> “They will just drive to the park and ride by the train.”

        >> Not midday; the P&R will be full. More likely weekends.

        If the train park and ride is full then the bus park and ride will be full. People will find the park and ride that isn’t that full, or more likely, the park and ride that has parking only a little ways from the train station.

        >>>> “serving the 522 corridor is preposterous, or at best way too early.”

        >> BRT is reasonable for that corner of the county

        Right. If it wasn’t so damn expensive it would make a lot of sense. Anyway, what I meant was that light rail to Kenmore is ridiculous, yet Sound Transit is studying it anyway. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, they aren’t studying a Metro 8 subway, despite the fact that it would carry more people, cost less to operate, probably cost lest to build, and make a bigger difference in the lives of more people.

      18. Seattle already has a line in Capitol Hill, and a heir apparent line in Ballard. Bothell, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park don’t have any Link yet. There’s your dispersal.

        Right, and that is exactly my point. Capitol Hill doesn’t have a line, they have a station. One station. The greater Central Area (which includes Capitol Hill) does not have a line, they have a station. When Link gets to the U-District, people in Ballard won’t be that excited, despite the fact that the area north of the ship canal (their area) “has a line”. Same with the vast majority of people who live or work in the eastern part of Seattle (all those shown with an “E’ on this map — Link will only serve a handful of people in that area, because there is only one station, and it is not well connected to the buses (it can’t be).

        The idea that light rail should be dispersed to every area like community swimming pools is why our system is flawed. Transit doesn’t work like that. What matters is connections and density. The greater Central Area (the area on that map with the ‘E’) is by the most contiguously dense area in the city. Kenmore and Bothell are nowhere near as dense. Dispersion is a stupid idea when it comes to transit. It doesn’t even help the people it is purported to help. Build a light rail line out to Everett and someone from Everett still has to spend an extra ten minutes getting to First Hill, Ballard, Queen Anne or dozens of other places in the city. They are better off with the opposite — good service inside the city.

      19. Getting to Northgate TC from the East or West is just such a mess (deviate to 92nd, etc),

        That mess is what needs to get fixed. Yes it will be expensive but makes a lot more sense than some of ST’s big buck projects in the boonies.

      20. @Bernie — What Mike said. Seriously, that is a really stupid argument. Let me try something similar. Why go to Seattle U when you can go to the UW? Why go to USC when you can go to UCLA? Or Cal (Berkeley) instead of UCLA?

        Look, I’m sorry if you don’t understand how the branch campus thing works, but the two systems are not identical. Of course they aren’t. How could they be? Do you really think that professors shuttle back and forth during the day? They have different classes, and people from all over the area go there, instead of going to the main campus. It is for all the reasons that Mike mentioned.

        asdf is right — there are some people headed the other way. Since 522 is a major corridor, it isn’t clear why they drive there, though. My son in law used to drive it to drop off his kid in Kenmore — the bus wouldn’t have done him much good. But when he found closer child care, he would take the bus to UW Bothell (where he worked). I will have to tell him that he doesn’t exist.

        Anyway, there is decent demand the other direction, not zero. That is why I do feel that there is a benefit to having a strong bidirectional system. But I don’t think it is huge demand (although it shouldn’t be that hard to find out). Almost all of the demand from those suburbs is regular commute type demand (toward the city in the morning, away in the evening). This makes it very different than, say, Madison, where there is plenty of demand all day long headed away from downtown (because of Seattle U and the hospitals).

        I’m a big proponent of BRT. But the cost is really high for full BRT for this area. When you look at the ridership, it just doesn’t seem worth it. Hopefully there are some things that can be done to make a significant increase in speed possible without spending that kind of money.

      21. >>>> Getting to Northgate TC from the East or West is just such a mess (deviate to 92nd, etc),

        >> That mess is what needs to get fixed. Yes it will be expensive but makes a lot more sense than some of ST’s big buck projects in the boonies.

        What do you propose, move the station? Look, the city has done a lot of work the last couple years improving Northgate Way. They spent a lot of time, money and effort improving it. But there is only so much you can do. There is no way that it will ever be very fast to get to the station. There are several reasons for this:

        1) There is simply more traffic. The combination of streets and the freeway just funnels traffic along that very area (5th as well as Northgate Way). In contrast, NE 130th is not that busy. Even during rush hour it isn’t that bad.

        2) Getting to the station requires a lot of turns. You have a turn onto 5th, as well as a turn onto 103rd, and then a turn into the transit center itself. With the 41 you have an additional turn onto 125th (at Roosevelt). Getting to 130th, on the other hand requires only one turn (in Lake City). The 41 already makes this turn. If the bus follows the 41 route you have an additional 4 turns. If it follows the 75 route, it heads into the worse traffic, and then makes 2 additional turns.

        Then there is the issue of Bitter Lake. Bitter Lake is no slouch when it comes to density. So how do we connect them to Link? Run a bus down to Northgate Way, then back up and around to the Northgate station? That is absurd. That is about 8 minutes without traffic, as opposed to NE 130th, which is about 2.

        The best value by far is to run buses from Lake City to NE 130th, and then continue the bus to Bitter Lake, so that we can serve both areas. Without a major reconstruction of the Northgate area (taking of various lanes in a very crowded area and signal priority for left turns, etc.) it is way faster for Lake City. Connecting them means that you can actually have a grid for the north end, which means that trips that are less common — but still substantial — are possible. It would be the fastest way (by far) to get from Lake City to anywhere on Aurora, for example. It would also be the fastest way to get from any station (e. g. Lynnwood) to most places on Aurora.

        Running a bus along NE 130th would be cheaper and thus more frequent than zig-zagging to Northgate. Making improvements on that corridor would be a lot easier, politically, then taking a lane at Northgate. Taking a lane on NE 130th/125th would make traffic worse, but nothing like taking a lane on Northgate Way.

        A station at NE 130th as well as east-west service there is the way to go. The big question is where it goes in addition to that.

      22. You make a good argument that the station could have been built at 130th instead of 145th. But that ship has sailed. What I’m saying is that there isn’t a case for two stations in the middle of nowhere. 145th is only a couple of minutes farther from Lake City (125th/LCW) and there are actually businesses and apartments along the route. Lake City sent a pretty clear message with the traffic calming projects that reverted 130th from being a four lane arterial that they don’t want that to be a major thoroughfare.

        I don’t know what it will take to improve transit access at Northgate. It’s a destination. Transit needs to serve busy places. It’s a tough slog through DT Seattle or Capital Hill or the U District. You keep plugging away at it and eventually you get dedicated transit lanes. Seattle is doing pretty well at that and it’s money well spent. When Link gets to 145th it seems like the most obvious connector route will be something like Shoreline CC to Lake City using 145th for the east/west connection.

      23. >> That mess is what needs to get fixed. Yes it will be expensive but makes a lot more sense than some of ST’s big buck projects in the boonies.

        What do you propose, move the station?

        What can be done is limited by mere money and imagination. How about connect the grid at 100th over to Meridian/College Way. Make it a transit/HOV only ramp like NE 6th in Bellevue. Surely if there’s money for Bellevue to have a dedicated transit overpass then the dollars per public good ratio is at least as good at Northgate.

      24. @Bernie — The 41 picks up a lot of people along the way. I’ve been very surprised when I’ve ridden it. A lot of people get on around 15th (Pinehurst) for example.

        Anyway, this will be a challenge for a couple years. But after that, the area will be served with frequent bus service from Lake City to NE 130th. That is way faster than either option. Then you run a local along 5th, which funnels people into the Northgate Transit Center or NE 130th. Based on what I’ve seen, that bus will be plenty busy. Some of the people who now take the 41 will just walk to the station, but for many it makes sense to take a shuttle bus. Ridership along there is very big. It starts getting heavy at 112th, which I find somewhat surprising (but not that much when I think about it). Density — especially old building density — slips over the line past Northgate Way a bit. But even many of those new buildings are simply too far away from the station to expect people to walk. From the library, for example, it is still a ten minute walk — a lot of those people will take the bus (and pass their neighbors walking).

        Once Link gets to Lynnwood (which means we get a station at NE 130th) we will enable a much better grid. I could easily see a bus start at the Roosevelt Park and Ride, head up Weedin, then 5th, cut over and back to the transit center, then continue on, to NE 130th. Then you have a bus starting at Lake City Way and 145th, head down to Lake City, take a right and head to the station at NE 130th, keep going to Bitter Lake, and then onto Greenwood Avenue. Whether it continues or not is a different question, but it should be obvious that bus routes like that are way more of a grid, and spend way less time stuck in traffic or waiting at a light than the current system we have.

      25. “A lot of people who want to go to the UW main campus can’t get into it because they don’t have top grades.” “UW branch campuses are not supposed to be dumbed down degrees. They were created to provide access to a wider audience.”

        The normal target threshold to attend a university is somewhere around 3.0, maybe higher maybe lower. I was able to get into the U easily in the 80s. Now there are much fewer slots and more demand, so you basically have to have a 4.0 (perfect) GPA and still they pick only a subset of that. There are ways to get in if you’re just below, by starting Winter, Spring, or Summer quarter when it’s not as tight. (And summer quarter on its own is wide open.) But I would have trouble getting into the U now and I don’t know if I could.

        This is where the branch campuses come in. There’s less demand for them because they’re not prestigious, don’t have the classes or departments some people need, don’t have research opportunities, may have lower-echelon instructors, are in boring suburbia, don’t have a Beaux Arts campus, and have fewer transit options to get to them. (Quick: how to you get to UW Bothell from Edmonds on transit, how long does it take, and how frequent?) So they can adhere to the UW’s minimum admittance standards but they have more openings and less demand so they can admit more of the second-tier students.

        “Part of it’s “mission” seems to overlap what our community college system was created for and it’s hard to fathom why the entire campus wouldn’t just be Cascadia CC.”

        I don’t understand it either. Why build two schools next to each other rather than one combined?

        The spread of the UW and other universities is essentially a second wave of the expansions in the 1960s when the community colleges were created. And it’s partly because the state let the number of college slots stagnate for two decades while the population increased dramatically, demand from international students increased, and the universities turned to international students to replace the funding level that the state stopped providing. California has Universities Of and State Universities all over the place, and tons of junior colleges, so they kept up with the population increase. We didn’t and fell to about 50th in college slots per state population, so there was pent-up demand for expansions now (UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, Western/Central/Eastern/WSU branches, Bellevue College 4 year, Seattle Colleges 4 year, Cascadia CC, etc).

  5. Zach, I wouldn’t consider transitional measures and better use for the land mutually exclusive. Whether park or housing, the project can be laid out from the get-go so attaching it to transit will be easy when the time comes.

    Visual image: decades ago, I think it was Paul Goodman who proposed that two popular goals could be served not only efficiently but artistically: a car-washing fountain. First step for us: measure dimensions of artics and streetcars, and aslo pipe layout for rain gardens that can also separate oil and heavy metal.

    Would also give Seattle Art Museum a chance to make up for eliminating the Waterfront Streetcar. And gracefully design infrastructure for its replacement.

    Mark Dublin

  6. Re: deviation to 92nd, the RR+ 40 proposal will study accessing Northgate TC the more straightforward way (right turn on 1st NE)

    1. Even the more straightforward way still involves backtracking and plenty of turns. That (and the surrounding traffic) is the big flaw with the Northgate station. I understand why they put the station there, but it is a weakness. It is why frequent bus service to NE 130th makes more sense.

      1. @RossB

        Could you explain how you propose to reroute the 40 to 130th? What street would it take to get there, and how many of the current users would lose service for a faster bus connection to a lower density train station?

      2. It isn’t clear to me where all the various corridors should start or end. So keep that in mind as I ramble a bit when it comes to proposals. In my opinion, though, any major investment in an east-west corridor in the north end of Seattle should take place along NE 130th. What it does on the western end is hard to say. Assuming the focus will be on the 40 (as opposed to a shorter route (that ends in Ballard, for example) then I would simply go to Lake City instead of Northgate. Frank has part of this route on his map. Basically, from Greenwood and 105th, go up Greenwood until NE 130th, then go east to Lake City Way, then end somewhere around 145th. Ending at 145th would mean that there would still be a good connection to buses that come from Bothell and are headed along 145th. It would also mean that Seattle pays for all of it.

        The Northgate station is just in a terrible spot from a grid standpoint. Serving it takes a huge amount of time from the west. It is about the same distance from Ballard to the NE 130th station as it is to the Northgate station. From a time perspective, getting to NE 130th is much faster. I think it makes a lot more sense to run the fast, frequent buses from Lake City to Ballard via NE 130th. Run the less frequent service along Northgate Way. If it wasn’t for the out of the way location of the Northgate Transit Center I would certainly support serving it with the 40. But that looping cuts into ridership. Not only because people don’t want to take so long to get over there, but also because it cuts into frequency.

        The 40 is rapidly become a major hauler. With growth along 24th NW, ridership will only increase. The city is right to consider a major investment in the area. But a major investment should follow high ridership and a fast grid. A fast, frequent grid leads to a lot more connections and higher ridership all along there.

        The Northgate Way part of that route is really nothing special. To be honest, I’m torn about what to do there. One possibility is to just do the re-route and be done with it. I’m not thrilled with that idea — I want to build more of a grid, not less. But Northgate Way is no longer “on the way”. 130th is. Greenwood Avenue is. Killing off service along this part of Northgate Way would require extra walking for some people (to Aurora or Meridian). This really doesn’t look that bad to me. The bulk of the people live closer to either end. Now run buses more often on Meridian (where the 40 actually runs right now) and people will take the bridge to the station (or ride it while it does its current loop via 92nd). Not ideal, but probably better overall. Those at Northgate headed to Ballard will start with a train trip (and get off at 65th, the U-District or even 130th and connect to this). Again, not ideal, but it would save a huge amount of service hours (which would make those transfer painless).

        Then again, I could easily see something similar to today, but with less service, and serving
        a different corridor in Ballard. This would not be a major hauler, but still enable a decent grid, and decent service along Northgate Way. I would send the 28 to Northgate, instead of 3rd NW. If you look at Frank’s excellent proposal from way back when ( he truncates the 28, so that it no longer serves 3rd NW. So that might be the way to go.

        If folks in Broadview complain too much, then maybe have the 17 cut over to 3rd NW. That would actually make a lot of sense. The 17 and that part of the 28 are very similar — lots of single family houses with very nice views quite a ways from the busy areas. The bus routes would be pure coverage routes. All the pairings make a lot of sense to me. A fast, frequent, Lake City to Greenwood bus line would be extremely popular, just like the rest of the 40. That is a high volume, high frequency bus. Worth every penny of investment. The 28 and the Northgate Way/Northgate Transit Center part of the 40 are also similar. Not huge, but still all day decent service.

        That is basically what I would propose (hope that made sense).

    2. 105th/Northgate, 130th, and 145th all need real crosstown service. But removing crosstown service across 105/Northgate is really not a good idea. There’s a half dozen frequent buses to transfer to, future link at Northgate, and important nodes all along that line between Greenwood Ave and Northgate.

      Just do logical crosstown service on all these streets, in as straight a line as possible, and we get good, efficient, logical feeder service at all 3 N Seattle stations

      1. Yeah, I agree. We should have east-west service along every major corridor. But I also think we should invest heavily in some, rather than others. For the north end, that corridor is NE 130th. It is just so much faster than Northgate Way, assuming you make the detour to Northgate Transit Center.

        Up above I make a case for that ( Basically invest in that corridor (NE 130th) with the big guns (signal priority, off board payment, level boarding, bus lanes, high frequency) and then run more regular service buses along Northgate Way.

      2. This is the classic, “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” argument. Yes, 145th and Northgate Way are congested. That’s because it’s where people want to go. The City was able to revert 125th/130th to two lanes and make it a secondary arterial (neighborhood street) because it doesn’t have the demand.

        Looking at the census maps neither 145th or 130th have more than 20 people per acre and most <10. Of course the golf course skews that but it reaches south to within 3 blocks of 130th. And 145th being the City limit makes it hard to compare the Shoreline side.

      3. I would point you guys to Metro Route 50 on what happens with east-west crosstown service. Ridership is horrible!

        Why? Because Seattle business districts are in a north-south orientation, with a few exceptions closer to Downtown. A more useful route design would seem to be an L or a Z, in order to give residents in the residential areas a one-seat ride to nearby non-residential destinations. It’s especially true when crosstown frequencies are at 30- minutes (like Route 50 is at midday). Who wants to wait up to 30 minutes waiting for a second bus with groceries from a store just a mile away?

      4. Route 50 has some problems of its own making, but the fundamental part is south Seattle’s geography. The neighborhoods are isolated into narrow north-south pockets by steep hills and cliffs, the Duwamish River, I-5, and the Industrial District. This has prevented the neighborhoods from growing enough and merging together to form large commercial districts that would attract companies that would in turn attract customers from outside the neighborhood. So you end up with mostly-residential areas with minimal businesses (Delridge lacks a supermarket), and the auto-oriented industries in Rainier/MLK (which can get by with north-south access and the Swift/Columbian I-5 entrances).

        An earlier east-west bus route at Columbia City failed. The 50 is the second attempt (that I know of). And the 60 has been positioned as an east-west route for the south end (although only from the west half of Beacon Hill) and it has been successful there according to Brent. So we have to start with low expectations for an east-west route, but at the same time recognize that it’s important coverage service, and it may gradually heal the broken grid at least partially.

        As for the problems that are the 50’s own making, those are SODO station and the VA Hospital detour. There’s a tradeoff between serving SODO and going directly between West Seattle and Beacon Hill: you gain some riders and lose others either way. Columbia City Station is right there for those who want to transfer to Link; you don’t really need SODO station. But I think Metro has said a large percentage of riders get on and off at SODO. But that’s because people going from Rainier to the West Seattle Junction or vice-versa are discouraged from using it because it takes so long with the detours, and further discouraged from making the trip at all because there’s no faster way (transfer downtown?) — or they drive instead.

        The VA Hospital detour comes down to the hospital not putting its entrance at roadside next to a bus stop. Does the VA care about bus passengers or not? If it does, why does it make buses spend three minutes going into a car turnaround? Why can’t it run campus shuttles to the bus stops? Why should 98% of passengers be delayed so that 2% can go to the VA’s front door, and what about the general depression of ridership and usefulness of the transit network that the detour causes?

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