At Tuesday’s Transportation, Economy, and Environment (TrEE) Committee, Councilmember Rod Dembowski will introduce three motions that respond to directives from the major ULink restructure that passed last autumn. In order, they are:
- Motion 2016-0089 presents the results of the traffic study commissioned by Dembowski to study the general-purpose traffic impacts of adding a northbound bus stop on Montlake Boulevard for routes 65 and 78
- Motion 2016-0092 establishes a multiyear workplan for improving bus-rail transfers at Capitol Hill, UW, Roosevelt, and Northgate
- Motion 2016-0093 directs Metro to analyze ridership change and solicit feedback on the March 2016 restructure no later than March 2017.
Details on all three motions after the jump….
Montlake Traffic Study
Unsurprisingly, the traffic study concluded that a single bus stop served by two routes would have no impact on general purpose traffic. Vehicular level of service (LOS) on Montlake is already poor with or without the stop, with an LOS of D or F depending in the intersection in question.
Even with the addition of the new bus stop, there was no increase in travel time for general purpose traffic. Queuing for northbound traffic on the south side of the intersection of Montlake Blvd NE/NE Pacific Pl exists, but is not excessive.
ULink Restructure Feedback Workplan
The restructure feedback workplan has four phases: immediate surveying in February and March prior to ULink launch, a 6-month quiet period in which riders adjust, a second survey in September and October, and finally a residential survey that will attempt to capture the sentiments of non-riders as well:
In February and March 2016, Metro will conduct surveys on-board bus routes that will later have significant changes (or be eliminated) in the U-Link integration. Consultant staff will distribute self-administered questionnaires on Routes 8, 16, 25, 26, 28, 30, 43, 48, 49, 64-68, 71-76, 242, 316, 372, and 373. Surveys will be conducted on about 50 trips selected on these routes to provide an overall picture of customer response. Metro estimates about 1,300 completed surveys….
In October and November 2016, Metro will conduct a follow-up survey to assess customer response to the service changes. This will be more than six months after the service change, when riders will have had time to establish new travel patterns in response to the changes. As well, the University of Washington (UW) will be back in full session. Consultant staff will distribute self-administered questionnaires on Routes 8, 38, 43, 45, 48, 49, 62-65, 67, 71, 73-76, 78, 316, 372, and 373, as well as passengers boarding or deboarding Link light rail at the UW or Capitol Hill stations. Surveys will be conducted on about 50 weekday trips selected on these routes to provide an overall picture of customer response. Metro estimates about 1,300 survey responses will be completed…
The resident service assessment reflected in the March 2016 U-Link Service Change ordinance is a new component that has not been done in previous research on transit service changes. Many of the respondents to the customer satisfaction research described above will be residents of the areas around the service changes. The on-board research described above will capture riders in the area who no longer ride after the service change, and it will capture new riders in the area. The additional resident assessment is intended to gather information from residents who were not riders before the service change and continue to be non-riders after the service change.
Transfer Improvement Workplan
By far the meatiest of the three motions the committee will hear, Metro will present a multiyear workplan for transfer improvements at 10 locations along the ULink and Northgate Link corridors. In addition to the future improvements for Roosevelt and Northgate, this workplan gives us the clearest indication yet of just how the Capitol Hill and UW transfer environments will look and what amenities they will offer.
At UW Station, Metro expects transfer activity to increase from 220 t0 1,800 riders daily, a 718% increase. There will be 7 bus stops in the Montlake vicinity – two on Pacific St, one on Pacific Place, two on Montlake Boulevard, and two on Stevens Way. The workplan reveals that while all seven stops will have shelters, lighting, and landing pads, only two of the seven stops will have real-time arrival information upon ULink’s launch, namely the stop pair on Pacific Street at Montlake Boulevard (served by routes 48, 167, 197, 271, 540, 541, 542, 556, and 586, and also by outbound routes 44, 45, 71, 73, and 373). At the other stops on Montlake Boulevard and on Pacific Place, Metro expects to install real-time signage in 2018. The workplan notes that any improvements on Stevens Way will require separate approval by UW.
At Capitol Hill Station, Metro expects transfer activity to increase by 400%, from 140 to 700 riders per day, but far less will change in terms of station locations or passenger amenities. Disappointingly, none of the four stops will have real-time arrival information upon ULink’s launch, which Metro expects will be installed by 2018. Both the westbound stop at Olive/Broadway (Routes 8, 10) and the northbound stop at Broadway/John (Routes 9, 49, 60) will remain at their current locations, though the workplan notes that the SDOT and Metro will work to move the former stop to 10th Avenue East (closer to CHS’ north entrance) and will defer moving the latter stop to Denny (and thus to Capitol Hill Station’s south entrance) until the First Hill Streetcar extends to Roy Street, allowing a shared stop.
The workplan also details transfer and amenity improvements at several other locations:
- All 4 bus stops at NE Northgate Way and Roosevelt Way NE
- NE 65th Street (at Oswego Place, Ravenna Boulevard, 8th Ave NE, 25th Ave NE, etc)
- Campus Parkway (at 12th, Brooklyn, and University Way) and University Way (at NE 41st St)
- All 7 bus stops in the 23rd/Madison/John/Denny triangle
- 19th and Madison (contingent on Madison BRT)
The committee will hear all three motions at its Tuesday meeting at 9:30am.