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When the current Route 62 was first put in service, it made a loop around 50th Ave, 70th St, Sand Point Way, and 65th St. In June 2016 the loop was changed to 65th St, Sand Point Way, 55th St, and 35th Ave. Many people were disappointed with the change, but didn’t like the original loop either.

One possible solution is to have Route 62 take the routing of Route 71 north of 65th to Wedgwood. Route 62 would serve Wedgwood all 7 days of the week, while Route 71 runs on weekdays only to NOAA instead of Wedgwood. Residents of Wedgwood will lose the one-seat ride to University District, but they could transfer between Route 62 and one of the north-south routes, such as Route 67. They also have the option to take Route 65 if they live close enough.

6 Replies to “Route 62 Eastern Terminus”

  1. The idea was that the 62 was supposed to go to Sand Point and connect Wedgwood with Magnessun Park. The problem is that after the park people blocked Metro from using the bus’s turnaround loop, it fulfills that goal very poorly, by doing so only in the westbound direction.

    I originally thought the 62 was a great idea, but considering what happened to its turnaround loop (one-way loop, layover in the middle of Sand Point Way, at a spot with absolutely nothing around), using giant, noisy, diesel-belching articulated buses through residential neighborhoods, on a tail, carrying about 5 people per trip (they say they need the capacity for the much-more-popular Fremont-downtown segment), I’m not so sure.

    Perhaps one option would be for the 62 to continue east to Sand Point Way, along 65, then turn left on Sand Point Way, followed by another left to 70th, and another left on 55th. The bus could layover on 70th St., just west of And Point Way. This would get some of the extra coverage of the 71, while still going all the way down the hill to Sand Point Way. (The section along 55th St. is already part of route 71).

    It would also be nice if the 65th St. portion of the 62 could be separated from the Fremont->downtown segment, allowing it to operated with smaller buses. For instance, perhaps this route could go around the south side of Green Lake, and continue down 65th St. to Ballard, filling in another missing corridor, leaving the Ravenna->downtown segment of today’s 62 as a separate route, that would go just from Ravenna to downtown.

    1. Maybe they could bring back the old Route 16, but instead run it on Dexter instead of Aurora? I think there is a good amount of demand for a frequent route between Roosevelt/Green Lake and NSCC.

      I definitely agree with the idea of a bus on NW 65th St. Earlier I posted an article about it. This route would make a nice connection between Ballard, the Phinney Ridge shopping district, Green Lake, and Wedgwood.

    2. If the 62 is split in half and the outer segment is connected to a new NW 65th segment… that’s adding a segment, and a bunch of extra hours! Unless you’re not running the crosstown route frequently — Goodbye, frequent Link connector!

      Anthony’s proposal to put the 62 on the Wedgwood tail might make it useful to more people as a Link connector. Some people on that Wedgwood tail are a bit of a hike from the 65, and the transfer is a hike, too. Until Northgate Link opens, though, taking the 71 off the Wedgwood tail just makes it harder for them to get to UW.

      1. The two-seat ride to Link (and 3-seat ride to downtown) is unacceptable, especially since the promise of U-Link was that it would force transfers, but you would get a faster two-seat ride to downtown. However, once Northgate opens, that means the 62 as we know it goes to a Link station, and that would work fine. In fact, the whole northeast network, instead of trying to be a weird hybrid of a grid network and a hub-and-spoke network (for U-Link transfers) can be more or less a pure grid, and every major east-west corridor from Northgate south is an automatic frequent and fast Link transfer to downtown and the U-district.

    3. I wonder if the number of people going from Fremont/Wallingford to Green Lake is much different than the number of people going from Sand Point/View Ridge to Green Lake. My guess is it roughly the same. I don’t think there are huge numbers for that part of the trip — yet. Part of the problem is that our transit system has been designed in large part to get people to major employment centers (mainly downtown). The new 62 is different, and it will take people a while to figure out that they don’t need to drive to get there. I’m sure there are people who drive around in circles trying to park in the Roosevelt neighborhood, complaining about all the new people taking their parking space, not realizing that a bus would have gotten them there just as fast. I’ve heard the same story in Ballard.

      So yeah, there is a service disconnect, but I would guess it is between downtown and Meridian versus the rest of the line. For folks on Stone Way/45th/Meridian, the 62 looks like the best way to get downtown. If you are close to Stone Way and 45th, then walking over to the E might save you some time. Likewise, if you can time the infrequent 62 just right, that might be a better choice. But for a lot of people, the 62 is a great choice for getting downtown. (But not, of course if you are east of Green Lake).

      My point being, just let this one ride (at least in general). I wouldn’t make any significant change to this route until Northgate Link comes on board, and I have ideas for that (I would simply create the east-west, frequent workhorse David calls the 71 on this map —

      As for the tail, I have no idea, really. The 74 simply ends at 77th, which sounds fine to me. I would guess that one of the complaints with the current routing is that it is so inconsistent. It makes a dramatic difference whether you catch the 5:05 bus or the 5:15 bus (from downtown). That is nuts. It means a lot of extra walking for your core demographic. Say you work in Fremont, but work up at 75th and Sand Point Way (where there are plenty of condos and apartments). Catch the wrong bus, and you have an extra ten minute walk to your home — assuming you know which version of the bus you are on. If you space out (too busy reading your magazine) you notice the turn too late, and spend much of your evening walking up noisy Sand Point Way (cursing Metro the whole time). Personally, I would be tempted to just abandon the NOAA tail, or if you really need to serve it, then layover where the 74 lays over. I see no value at all with sending that bus south during “off hours” (as if 6:00 PM is an off hour).

    4. The great achievment of the 62 was a frequent crosstown route on NE 65th connecting Magnuson Park, Roosevelt Station, and Greenlake. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the same route as Fremont and Dexter. Metro’s long-range plan promotes the 62 to RapidRide with only a small change: straightening out the Tangletown tangle and backtrack. So Metro is bullish on the entire route, and if we want anything different we’ll have to push hard for it.

      I have often thought of a NE 65th-NW 85th route, or NE 65th-NW 65th, or NE 65th-Ballard (getting to Market Street somehow). Any of these would be as logical as connecting to Fremont, and all of them would have tradeoffs advantaging some people and disadvantaging others. The weakest argument is NE 65th-NW 65th because it has the lowest potential: NW 65th should have some service but not necessarily at the expense of higher-volume corridors to NE 65th.

      However, now that the current 62 exists, people do ride it from Fremont toNE 65th, Magnuson Park and NOAA, and they would lose out if it were rerouted.

      The problem with the NE 65th-NW 85th option is it contradicts travel patterns: more people from both sides are going to the U-District than are going to each other. The U-District has a 50,000 person campus, the most other businesses outside downtown, and the highest density housing, so people are constantly going between there and northwest Seattle and northeast Seattle. Going from northwest Seattle to 65th Street and having to transfer to the U-District is kind of a bummer, especially if in return you get a one-seat ride to the no-man’s land on NE 65th. If NE 65th had more businesses and apartments that draw people from other areas, that could change, but it resists upzoning like all residential areas do.

      Chicago, San Francisco, and Vancouver have straight grid routes that take you to other parts of Fillmore Street or Castro/Divisadero Street or Diversey Ave when you want to go downtown, but those streets have more density and storefronts and corner shops that generate ridership in a grid direction in spite of people transferring to the major destinations. But NE 65th and NW 85th have… low-density houses, a small handful of storefronts (blink or you’ll miss them), and a few token apartment buildings. That’s what hinders a productive grid in Seattle. People don’t want to go straight on 65th/85th, or 15th, or 23rd: they want to go to the neighborhood commercial centers and job centers, and they want to transfer in those places, not in the middle of nowhere. So we do need more of a grid, but we don’t want to take a hatchet job to the majority trip patterns and make transit less useful just for ideological grid purity. So it must be a balance, and we must consider the tradeoffs: how many people want to go from where to where, and what’s the realistic possibility that expected growth will change those patterns. Possibly even to the point that people will be clamoring to go from NE 65th to NE 85th or 655th, or at least won’t mind if their bus does so. How realistic is it? It’s not realistic for the 45 or 71 before 2021 when Roosevelt Station opens. After 2021, maybe.

      I don’t understand the “Wedgwood loop” alternatives involving 35t and 45th or which alternative is better than another, so I have no comment on those. It does make sense that since NOAA is weekdays only, it should be on a coverage route. But that route should go to Roosevelt Station at least half-hourly, however you want the frequent routes to go.

      The problem with Magnuson Park is it periodically has large evening events that cause traffic jams and throw off the buses, and Metro didn’t realize this until after the restructure. So some kind of frequent route to Magnuson Park that’s truncated during events may be necessary.

      But don’t put the main route on 50th Ave NE! Ridership there is empty! It’s even lower density than 65th, and narrow for a bus to negotiate. Wedgwood can have service on 35th with the 65.

      “The 74 simply ends at 77th, which sounds fine to me….. Personally, I would be tempted to just abandon the NOAA tail, or if you really need to serve it, then layover where the 74 lays over.”

      I don’t understand this. The 74 lays over at NOAA, at least I think it still does. The schedule shows it terminating at 77th because nobody ever leaves NOAA at 7am and returns at 6pm — they’re going the other way. There’s no room at 77th for buses to lay over. I think the 74 is silly because it’s so indirect: go way down to small 55th street and zigzag around Ravenna Blvd. But Metro says it’s very popular and bursting from the seams, and I think it may be the highest-volume northeast Seattle peak express. So somehow the 74 works as is.

      However, it’s not long for this world. Metro’s 2025 plan has no expresses at all in northeast Seattle east of the 372 RapidRide. There’s no service on 55th. The 2040 plan adds a Frequent route on 55th from Magnolia along the former 30 to Princeton & SPW (the City People’s plaza).

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