Sounder Bruce (Flickr)
Sounder Bruce (Flickr)

September 30 was a glorious day for transit ridership in many respects. Link broke 100,000 for the first time, and our system bent but didn’t break under the simultaneous pressure of a regular afternoon commute, a Mariners game, and a relatively rare weeknight Husky football game. But the darker side of this is that regular commuters in NE Seattle were thrown under the bus.

We’ve long supported 2-seat rides in cases in which they strengthen the network, permit greater overall frequency, or offer unquestionable speed advantages, as is the case with Link. But forcing such transfers should come with an explicit guarantee that the network will function no matter the event-related disruption. Reroutes that extend transfer walks beyond a reasonable limit, or that force a 3-seat ride with an intermediate shuttle, are nearly the equivalent of not offering service at all. Choice riders will flee, and the transit-dependent suffer.

Our instincts are all wrong for gameday diversions. We shun the highest capacity and move it far away to let low-capacity vehicles maintain their free and general access. Though the event shuttles are a good and necessary service, and though they queue on Montlake Blvd itself in many cases, general transit availability is more necessary when events cause massive disruptions, not less. If we can’t bring ourselves to engineer permanent bus lanes on Montlake yet, we can at least provide them when a capacity crunch demands it.

So a modest proposal: until Northgate Link opens and/or as long as UW Station remains the primary transfer hub in NE Seattle, we should guarantee that we will maintain the integrity of the service network we just overhauled, no matter the event. If we’re going to force 2-seat rides, riders deserve to be able to count on them.

79 Replies to “The ULink Restructure Doesn’t Work If You Can Cancel It for Football”

    1. The re-routes for Friday, September 30 were similar to the weekend game re-routes. The main differences were (1) who operated the shuttles, from where, and the RSVP requirement; and (2) how many regular transferrers were impacted.

      It would be easy for UW to agree to not play any weeknight games until Northgate Link is open, if it weren’t for the potential money they’d be foregoing. But weekend commuters would still be getting disrupted, having to transfer to an extra semi-frequent shuttle between Campus Parkway and UW Station.

      After the first year of data with the new situation, I hope Metro and UW can agree to let more regular routes keep their normal path, and to find a better place to let the shuttles lay over than in the middle of Montlake. Bus-only-lanes-for-the-day would help immensely.

      1. The UW’s schedule is set by the PAC-12, and ESPN has first rights to certain time slots. They don’t get to “agree” with it.

      2. The problem was not the event shuttles but the fact that regular bus service was completely eliminated south of NE 55th Street, east of 15th Ave NE, and on Pacific Street except those that cross the Montlake Bridge (48, 271, suburban expresses). That turned an already barely-acceptable quarter-mile gap between UW Station and the 75 and 372 into a half-mile gap (via Pacific Street) or mile gap (via Montlake Blvd). And all they gave us was this lousy 7 1/2 minute shuttle from UWay & Pacific. Just six months ago Metro recognized the extreme importance of the Pacific Street gap and saturated it with buses every 2-3 minutes., and now on game day they think 7 1/2 minutes is enough for the even larger crowds?

        The Storm That Wasn’t also made me realize another problem with the 75 and 372 transfer. The eastbound stop on Stevens Way has no bus shelter, so if it’s raining and windy you have to stand in it for possibly 15-30 minutes. That didn’t happen to me because I avoided the area, but i realized that sometime this winter I may not be able to avoid it. A major transfer stop needs a roof.

      3. “The UW’s schedule is set by the PAC-12”

        The PAC-12 probably doesn’t specify the minimum amount of SOV access.

        The ultimate problem is that northeast Seattle is a constrained area, with only two four-lane roads to access it south of 65th. The stadiums are right next to a freeway and several 4-6 lane truck roads so they can absorb a lot more crowds.

      4. >The ultimate problem is that northeast Seattle is a constrained area, with only two four-lane roads to access it south of 65th.

        Which is why we desperately need a *local stops* East-West subway, thank you very much.

      5. Actually, the stadiums are next to two freeways. Or three if you count the stub end of 99 south. (Soon with an extension to Mercer Street! Another win for the DBT: sports-fan access from north Seattle. Please pay the toll with your ticket.)

      6. The shuttles aren’t the whole problem, but they are part of the problem. There effectively are bus-only lanes, but they are for parked buses. Would be nice to use them for moving buses so the regular routes can bypass the mess without significant reroute.

      7. “The eastbound stop on Stevens Way has no bus shelter, so if it’s raining and windy you have to stand in it for possibly 15-30 minutes.”

        If you’re going to be standing there for more than a couple of minutes, just walk 300 feet to the southwest to the next stop over, which has a nice, big shelter.

      8. There’s no reason to be at the Rainier Vista stop if you’re taking the 75. If you’re coming from campus, just walk to the stop at Okanogan Lane or the HUB like asdf2 said. If you’re coming from UW Station, just take the 65 and transfer at U Village. You’re more likely to not be passed by a crushloaded bus and it saves you the walk up Rainier Vista.

        Still a problem for 372 riders though. Or riders heading to Fremont on the 31/32 or Northgate on the 67. Since there is inexplicably no bus that travels from UW Station to Campus Parkway without needing to walk at both ends.

      9. “If you’re coming from UW Station, just take the 65 and transfer at U Village.”

        That’s two waits of up to 15 minutes each with just a mile between them. It can turn a three-seat ride into a four-seat ride.

        “You’re more likely to not be passed by a crushloaded bus and it saves you the walk up Rainier Vista.”

        I’ve never seen a crushloaded 75. And the fullest ones I’ve seen are westbound rather than eastbound.

  1. And it’s not just for big events. For routine closures of Stevens Way for construction, they route the 75 to 45th, away from UW station, which is insane. That forces another transfer or a 1 mile walk. Is there any rationale to this at all?

    1. The choice of where to re-route route 75 is what is insane. It remains on Stevens Way because that path is supposedly faster for most riders, as well as for the route. It ought to be able to move to Pacific/Montlake when Stevens Way isn’t available.

      1. Montlake is also the snow route for the 372. If you are not familiar with the UW campus it is uphill from 25th Ave NE to Stevens Way and there is no way buses would make it up that street if it is covered by snow and/or ice.

      2. All the routes that normally take Stevens Way, 45th, or 55th switch to Montlake and Pacific when it snows. The car traffic shrinks enormously so it can all fit into one lane without congestion.

  2. Who exactly made the decision to do this to bus service? Was it made under a specific threat from the University of Washington? If so, can the public see the language verbatim? And whatever the reason, what can the voting passenger public do to prevent a recurrence?

    Thanks for the posting, Zach. Could be most important one this year, because I doubt this is the only time this problem is intended to happen. If somebody is looking to quietly set any kind of precedent which passengers are supposed to just get used to, first step for transit is to remove the “quiet” part.

    Mark Dublin

    1. No idea, but last time I checked, the city owned Pacific St, and the city and state jointly operate Montlake Blvd (AKA SR-513). The city should take two lanes on Pacific and Montlake for bus-only lanes. If UW balks, the city should threaten to use its parking enforcement and police officers to trickle out SOVs at a rate low enough not to impact other traffic. If it means there are people stuck in the parking lots until 2AM, well, I guess they should have taken transit (or walked, biked, etc.).

      The streets are publicly owned, and it’s simply insulting that we’re made to suffer so that the UW football coach can make his millions.

      1. This service was MANDATED by the City when the stadium was expanded in 1987 and has operated ever since. Buses have served game day crowds (and have been staged at or near the Triangle) since at least 1956 (I have a game day map from that year). Because so many fans take the bus service–i.e. it’s a SUCCESS–they have to have the buses stay somewhere. On Saturdays it’s not the world’s biggest problem because traffic on Montlake is minimal, relatively speaking, and flows reasonably well until the streets become contraflow away from the stadium for an hour or so following the game.

        The Montlake problem is a City problem, and one they have studiously avoided trying to fix for eons. Montlake should absolutely have transit only lanes, 24/7, each direction–even if it means (gasp!) widening the street. It’s a major route and chokepoint for all of NE Seattle and it is unusable several hours out of every day. The UW isn’t going to have an issue with it; their campus master plan involves removing most of the parking along Montlake for new construction anyway, which would be better served by transit. To reiterate: the CITY mandates a vast additional transit service, won’t allow the road to be widened and won’t form defacto transit lanes during the seven days a year that games occur.

        Again, this was the second weekday night game in 71 years. The UW has fought the conference more successfully in this regard than any other program – they don’t want the night games either. Most schools have had several and most Pac-12 schools are in areas urban enough that traffic and transit is affected during weekday games.

  3. Maybe rather than parking hundreds of buses on Montlake and Pacific for the Husky shuttles, they should make those lanes transit only throughput and park the coaches in the E3 lot or behind the hospital. They could have someone there with a radio dispatching them one at a time as needed. They would use bus only lane created by not parking them on the shoulder to get to the pickup spots.

    I don’t know…they do this all the time (and I’ve never used any of the shuttles for a Husky game), so I tend to think Metro has a good system that works well for dealing with their shuttles, but the queing of the shuttles takes up a lot of capacity from Montlake that could potentially be used to send the regular routes through – bypassing the private vehicles.

    1. Gotta queue the buses up somewhere and I doubt the UW wants to loose the revenue generated by the E3 lot on a game day.

      1. Yeah, and I’m sure the UW would rather not pay the cost to subsidize the shuttles, but they do. They also may be willing to reduce some of the parking revenue to improve the transit situation .

      2. If metro decided they needed that space on the street, they or the city could also require the UW shuttles be queued somewhere other than on the city streets.

      3. shuttles Should queue And load at mason rd. Same place UW stores non-metro buses for big on-campus events

  4. Thank you, my thoughts exactly. Cars and shuttles are by their nature, flexible and frankly one time means of transport which needs to fit around standard fixed routes. And isn’t the idea to build upon public transit first, rather than create a whole new shuttle network before every event? After North Link, wouldn’t the idea be to run a mosquito fleet of small shuttles to Link stops leading to HSS?

    That way when there is a call to use public transit, public transit isn’t swamped.

  5. I am one of the NE Seattle transit-dependent riders who advocated for the 2-seat ride and value of “the grid”

    Geographically, Husky Stadiium station will always be my point of transfer to Link (i.e. N’Gate etc opening has no effect)

    I agree with Zach.

    1. It depends on where you are. If you’re north of 55th Roosevelt Station is much better, and the 62 makes that possible. When RapidRide 44 goes through to Laurelhurst it will make U-District Station viable without the campus crawl, and that will be more convenient for those who can take it.

      1. I think they will probably re-orient a lot of NE Seattle service at a transfer point around U-District station. Or at least I hope they do. They can send buses down the NE 45th street viaduct with speed and simplicity, without having to reroute for construction or even games. I really hope that Metro decides that people who are going places in NE Seattle, use the bus, and would like some speed and simplicity are a bigger priority than saving young energetic UW students some walking on campus by rerouting every bus directly into Stevens Way like their own personal UW taxi-cab.

      2. I just remembered, Metro wants to reroute the buses on campus. So they would come up the Pend Orielle hill and then turn right instead of left on Stevens Way, going past the north campus dorms and the Burke Museum to 43rd Street and the station. But it would require a new road since the part south of the Burke is a sidewalk in grassy open space with stairs down to 15th. So it remains to be seen whether the UW will consent to it. However, I think the UW has its own reasons for wanting to get buses off lower Stevens Way, so those may coincide. I thought that developing open space would be an absolute blocker, but the UW itself has been putting buildings in open space and its new master plan has a lot more buildings, so maybe the space at 42nd isn’t sacred.

    2. Here’s a concrete example. In the LRP EapidRide 44 and Frequent 75 and 65 all overlap from Children’s to 25th. If you’re coming southbound on a 75 or 65, who will:
      A) Get off at Rainier Vista and do the 5-minute walk to UW Station.
      B) Ride all the way through campus to U-District Station.
      C) Transfer to RapidRide 44 with a maximum 5-10 minute wait but a straight shot to U-District Station and no campus/Montlake congestion?

  6. The UW Board of Trustees and the City of Seattle ought to prohibit the “Athletics/Show Biz” Department from staging weekday football jousts at their Montlake Dog House. National TeeVee is far less important than running an effective transit program. Saturdays should suffice.

    1. You forgot the money that alumni season-ticket holders bring, and not just the direct income from tickets and concessions, but Husky Fever is also a way to recruit them into giving estate grants and other large sponsorships.

    2. The Pac12 Conference has contracts with Fox and ESPN where each school has to host a weekday night game and the UW has told the conference that it will do so the minimum number of times allowed in the contract. The game on September 30th was the first one since the UW hosted UCLA on a Thursday evening about 4 or 5 years ago. The UW is very much aware the impact a weekday games has on the traffic and accessibility to the stadium area which is why they minimize the number of weekday games they will host

      1. The City Council could set up a situation where a court has to determine which is stronger, a city ordinance or a private contract…

      2. The UW is a state entity. If it can’t override the ordinance it can ask the legislature to pre-empt it, saying football is essential to the university’s financial well-being. And Montlake Blvd is a state highway.

  7. Hopefully, UW and Metro will be able to reduce the size of the problem next year by not running shuttles all the way to UW from Federal Way, South Renton, and Eastgate.

    A shuttle from Federal Way to Angle Lake Station might help, if the Angle Lake parking garage is filling up on game days. Then find a local layover site willing to help out, on the cheap.

    South Renton shuttle service should connect at Rainier Beach Station, and then cut a deal for cheap layover space at Rainier Beach High.

    Eastgate service may as well head downtown and connect at International District / Chinatown Station, enabling the shuttle buses to lay over at base.

    Then, come up with an arrangement for Link to honor shuttle passes as day passes for those days.

    This would reduce the shuttle fleet needing to get to the stadium by roughly 1/3, I suspect.

    1. And feeding all these riders into an already full LINK train is going to accomplish what? You may save the need from parking coaches at the UW, but you are going to have a bunch of pissed off riders who can’t get on trains. The STB and it’s commenters is famous for throwing out all sorts of ideas about truncating routes to feed into LINK, some of it makes sense and most of it does not. They also fail to fully address the transfer penalty, travel time penalty, and most importantly the capacity issue. If you had 3 or 4 buses terminate at a LINK station and all were full, that’s 180-240 people making the transfer alone, plus having to contend with all of LINKS existing ridership…

      1. MrZ, tempting to say that LINK advocates and implementers deliberately withheld critical information about urban rail transit worldwide.

        But think it’s more likely that a lot of the planners came from vast majority of the world’s transit systems, who just assume everybody knows that if anybody can get a seat on either game day or ordinary rush hour, you permanently cancel the train for lack of ridership.

        At one time early on, I think cars were reserved for ladies. Maybe because local early-1900’s Harborviews nationwide could no longer handle all the hat-pin wounds to men whose hands should have been on stanchions or straps.

        Though I suspect that anyone suggesting these special arrangements to ladies now would immediately become entitled to special seating due to disability. Also good future-demand fashion metric to ladies’ hat designers as to how many hats still have pins.

        But I also think that as word gets around about standing fast rides versus seated slow ones, horizontally as well as vertically, people prefer 60 mph elevators to stairs. Or stationary chairs on motionless tires.

        Mark

      2. The current light rail cars are rated at 200 people each, but let’s call it 180 because people won’t pack that tightly into them under most situations.

        If you are running 3 car trains every 6 minutes you get 10 trains per hour.

        That’s 5,400 per hour. You can’t count traffic in both directions because this is an end station and its right at the arena.

        For a 70,000 seat stadium, that’s not especially great capacity.

        Get this up to 28 trains per hour (what MAX does on the surface near the Moda Center arena) with 4 car trains and you’ve got closer to 20,000 per hour.

        Either way, you’re dealing with limits imposed by this being an end point station for the time being.

      3. ST does not have enough LRV for what Glenn suggests. They have 62 cars. They can use four-car trains in 2021. today, at six-minute headway, they can use a mixture of two and three cars.

      4. @eddiew

        ST could put more LRVs in and out of Husky Stadium if the buses were out of the DSTT. Do that one thing and ST could interline a second line from HSS to SS with 3-min headways. That would put more LRVs and more LRV service hours were they are needed. And overall reliability would go up to.

        But this situation is temporary. Buses come out of the DSTT soon, and in 2021 (hopefully 2020) HSS will no longer be a terminus.

      5. They just ordered new Link trains last month, to be in service in 2019, so I think in 2019 they can run all 4-car trains. It’s a pain that it will be a terminus until 2021, but the 4-car trains alone will be an immense improvement.

      6. FTA requirements for spares ratio planning is for normal peak service levels. Special events and unusual circumstances fall outside this.

        62 cars is enough for 20 three car trains plus two spare cars.

    2. The problem is not the shuttles, it’s the SOVs. What if UW banned non-VIP cars from the Montlake parking lot and greatly expanded the shuttles to other parking locations? Or we could do like the East Coast does and encourage everybody to take high-capacity transit to the game from their local P&Rs once ST2 is built out.

      1. The UW discourages fans from driving to the stadium by subsidizing the shuttles from the various park and ride locations and by charging large fees for parking near the stadium. They also pay Metro for the shuttles from Ballard and Lake City.

        For cars with at least 3 people it cost $30. For 2 people or less it is $40. RV’s and motor homes it is $120.00.

        If you have a trailer attached it will be an additional $30.

      2. Jeff Pittman, if tens of thousands of people are willing to fork over hundreds of dollars PER SEAT to see the football game, I somehow doubt that a $10 to $20 per person parking fee ($30 to $40 split between the vehicle occupants) is going to discourage driving a personal vehicle to the game. Most people go in small groups or with a significant other. They need to make the cost to park privately significantly higher than the cost to take the shuttle, especially on a weekday night game. Call it a congestion convenience charge. Or, perhaps, they should just start expanding the campus into the parking lots and eliminating parking spaces. They are sitting on free real estate and using it as a parking lot!

      3. @Engineer,

        You would be surprised what discourages people from driving to the games.

        I have a neighbor who has season tickets for the Seahawks and I went with him to a game this season. The tickets cost $140 a ticket and he has 2 tickets. For the season he pays $2,800 for 10 homes games as he is required to buy the tickets to the pre-season games.

        When we went he parked in a garage uptown about a 20 minute walk each way to the stadium because it only charged $7 to park versus other garages and lots closer to CenturyLink Field which charged anywhere from $30 to $50 which were posted on signs as we were walking to the game. He parked in that garage because he wasn’t going to pay that much money to park closer.

        So he was willing to pay the $2,800 for the tickets but not more then he has to for parking.

      4. The price of parking is, realistically, irrelevant to traffic congestion as long as the size of the parking lot is constant and it fills up (or comes anywhere near that). It doesn’t matter if the price is so high that a lot of people won’t pay it. If a full lot holds enough vehicles to cause congestion, the only way to relieve that congestion is to effectively shrink the lot — by physically shrinking it, by limiting the number of spaces that can be used for event parking, or by charging so much money that the lot is left half-empty. It’s hard to imagine any rational parking lot owner doing any of that, so any shrinking would have to come via regulation.

        The same thing, of course, applies to rush-hour traffic and office parking. But where the city might be able to claim the authority to regulate the overall number of office parking spaces available, UW fights every attempt at city regulation on principle and often wins. So regulating UW event parking would probably require state help; because the Montlake Bridge and Montlake Boulevard are in the state highway system this is plausible, but it doesn’t seem politically likely.

      5. UW has a great tailgate tradition. You’ll never ban SOV cars. E1 is going to be around a long time.

        Also, E1 is built on a landfill. To build anything on it would require a lot of expensive mitigation.

      6. It will require mitigation but the university is planning to put several buildings there anyway. Not right away but in the next few decades.

      7. @Brent: Can’t, there’s no parking there. Don’t you read the Time’s comments about how nobody goes to Capitol Hill because there’s no parking? ;)

        @Mike: I’ve seen that master plan, but like all master plans, I have to wonder if that’s just a pie in the sky. Currently, E1 is a net positive revenue source, with little to no maintenance necessary. I would think it would make more sense for the UW to expand north and west of campus before attempting the expensive mitigation of a landfill in a swamp, to build on it.

        Granted, U-Village did it, but well before some of the more stringent mitigation laws came into effect.

    3. The solution to full Link trains is to run more of them. That’s the usual practice after major events.

      September 30 was an outlier because the Mariners were playing a must-win game simultaneously. If UW won’t work with others’ schedules, the M’s, Sounders, and Seahawks can certainly pay attention to the Huskies’ schedule in the future. The latter three work with each others’ schedules quite commendably, and even pay attention to when Torchlight Parade is happening.

      ST could have run trains even more frequently before and after, if it had a larger fleet available (as it will by 2020). Former shuttle riders won’t overwhelm Link’s capacity, but merely partially make up for the M’s crowd that will hopefully never compete with the Huskies’ crowd again.

      And if a few dozen passengers have to wait five minutes for the next train? Crying over that requires the world’s smallest violin.

      1. The schedules for the M’s, Sounders and Seahawks are done by their respective leagues and the UW schedule doesn’t come into play or is taken into consideration.

        In the case of the M’s and Seahawks they cannot play at home on the same day. With the M’s and Sounders they sometimes have home games on the same day but one will be in the afternoon with the other in the evening and they try to have a least 3 to 4 hours between the end of one game and the start of the other games.

        As far as the Torchlight Parade the M’s if they are scheduled at home on that Saturday will play in the afternoon and they do so because some of the streets in the stadium area are closed as it is the end of the parade route.

        The Sounders do the same thing if they are scheduled at home on that Saturday. In the case of the Seahawks no problem as their first pre-season game is not until around the middle of August.

    4. It cost $5.00 for a roundtrip on the Husky Shuttles and people are not going to pay that if they are forced to transfer to Light Rail somewhere along the way with no guarantee that there will be room for them. Also the shuttles do no accept transfers, passes, Orca and UPASS cards.

      This is similar to the shuttles for the Seahawks games except for those games the shuttles only come from the Northgate Transit Center, South Kirkland P&R and Eastgate P&R and for the Seahawks games it is $8.00 roundtrip.

      In both cases the shuttles are subsidized by the UW and Seahawks.

      1. That is a point. In European countries a ticket to a sports event or trade conference sometimes doubles as a transit pass for trains to the venue or even the city’s entire transit network. No $5 fee involved, pay as you enter.

      2. Jeff, thanks for calling attention to a signature non-problem. King County Executive just has to call UW and tell them that anybody with a problem with the buses they rent using ORCA and UPASS cards can rent buses from somebody else.

        If King County Council itself is setting the anti-ORCA policy, phone system handles recall campaigns too. Not like you don’t have a block of regular riders already in a combative mood because they’re football fans. Some of them can even steal intimidating cheese wedge hats from Wisconsin.

        But really, considering traffic hassle and parking prices, I think most riders, who do have choice of driving, don’t consider an extra $5 or $8 on their travel fare a deal-killer. Though any crap about putting whole thing on ORCA oughta get somebody killed!

        And with game-day operations, one train missed leaves you first in line for next one five minutes later. Probably get a seat too. In other words: Brent, be patient. Average passenger’s great grandfather got the family’s last transit ride.

        But UW music department can certainly arrange their students’ first-hand experience in the only paying career reliably open to most of them.

        Not major budget item just to give every student about ten dollars in one’s to stuff their hat with as they comfort transfer-misery with the 19th century’s most depressing nocturnes and dirges. Though the cash they’ll collect to make them stop will let the music department bail out the athletic program.

        Mark

  8. Thanks, SounderBruce, for the escalator picture! Once Northgate Link opens, ST is clearly going to have to let the down escalators at UW Station become stairs before Husky football games.

    1. It is probably unsafe to do so. May even be against the manufacturers recommendations, which would be grounds for a lawsuit, and the defendant would not win that.

      1. Maybe have three escalators going up and one going down before the game, and the reverse after the game.

      2. It’s actually pretty common to shut them down in crush load situations. What’s more dangerous, people getting crushed at the bottom of the escalator or someone maybe slipping on a step.

        I also don’t understand why there is a belief that it is more dangerous for people to walk up/down a stationary escalator than a moving one. There are no signs posted that say people should not walk on the moving escalator (or do so at there own risk). The liability issue is a straw man.

      3. @Michael,

        Before the UW game, I got scolded by a Securitas rent-a-cop for walking down the escalator. Seattle has gotten very good about walk-left-stand-right, so I have no idea why he felt this was his job. I just ignored him and kept walking down the escalator.

    2. Brent, considering how long and steep those escalators are at UW Station, I don’t think they’ll make especially good staircases. Especially if they have to handle foot passengers in both directions. One thing worth investigating, though. They may have a mechanism for manually reversing direction.

      In that case, station staff, who should be directing escalator users in any case, could also coordinate escalator boarding, and handle the reversing switch. One load going up alternating with one coming down. Also, I think busier system have experience in the most efficient escalator use.

      Have read, for instance, that if passengers just board the escalator and ride, rather than Stairmaster mode, everybody has a faster trip.

      Mark

  9. This is yet another reason why it would be better to maintain the Montlake Flyer stations on the mainline of SR-520. Prior to Husky games most people coming from the Eastside shuttles (I believe Eastgate, S. Renton, S. Kirkland and Houghton all come via 520) as well as routes 255/545 drop off their passengers here. There is really no reason for those shuttles to go any closer to the stadium pre-game. In the new lid configuration all those buses will have to exit on the lid and get drawn into even more congestion on Montlake Blvd.

  10. Zach: please consider the blockage of University Way NE for the farmer’s market. Similar issue of less magnitude.

    1. Not really, the buses move over one block. Its not ideal but its not as if they’ve moved it multiple blocks and a huge hike away from a major transit connection point.

  11. “Too much Transit at the UW”, I can’t believe people on this blog are complaining

    1. We could have solved all this if someone had had the foresight to run a third-world-style bus rapid transit route through campus before all the buildings were constructed.

  12. UW should take some responsibility of getting people in and out of their stadium — because they collect all that ticket gate revenue in the first place! Hire more traffic people! Hire more people to direct transit riders! ST and Metro should help, but frankly UW should have it’s feet held to the fire. This is a UW-created problem, and UW needs to correct it on their dime!

    As far as the U-Link restructure goes, it’s in UW’s best interest to both provide a fast way in and out for non-game-goers to the UW Station during game days, especially because some of those are UW students or staff! Whether that’s to change the way that Stevens Way operates, to set up a transfer facility away from stadium traffic back-up or something else, UW is the one that has to take the primary role.

  13. Brainstorming here: Tiny gondola line from the flyover stops to the station, then either up the hill to campus or to the medical center – and maybe up to 45th near I-5. Gives you <1 minute wait, 3 minute total trip time transfer from Link to 520 trips. And perhaps could connect I-5 trips to the station without dealing with traffic.

    Honestly I don't know much about transit routes and patterns at this hub*, so I'm just throwing this out there.

    * though I've sat in a car seemingly forever on Montlake after choosing the wrong route on game day.

  14. I was pondering this again since I got an email about this weekend’s reroutes..

    I still prefer that the buses stay right where they are, and that Montlake should get game day bus lanes. (I’d also consider moving the routes upto Stevens Way as an acceptable alternative to the buses staying on Montlake.)

    That being said, if Metro can’t get the bus lanes, instead of running this silly shuttle to UW Station, they should run two shuttle bus routes to where people want to go: Capital Hill Station and Downtown. It’d still be an extra seat for those who are going south of IDS, but at least it avoids the crowd at UW station, and gets more people going where they’d want to.

    Put the Downtown shuttle in the DSTT and run some signage on the tunnel advising people who want to transfer to use the shuttle instead.

    For people who would be connecting to other busses at UW station, all of those busses are rerouted into the same area around the U District, so they could (and should!) connect there.

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