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Recently, routes 3 and 4 were extended to SPU. This now means that routes 3 and 4 are the same north of Downtown. However, Route 2 splits into routes 2 and 13 in downtown. These route numbers may be a bit confusing for Queen Anne riders.

Route 32 was introduced in 2012 to provide a connection between U District, Wallingford, Fremont, SPU, Interbay, and Uptown. Overall, I like Route 32, but I feel like the 15th Ave W segment is redundant to the already-frequent D-Line. In an earlier post I suggested modifying Route 32 to serve the 6th Ave W corridor, but people were against that because the counterbalance is too steep for diesel buses. However, the newer buses using the BAE HybriDrive system are now powered by an electric motor instead of a diesel engine, so they perform better on hills than the older diesel buses. I think it might be nice to move Route 32 to Queen Anne, or have it run somewhere else where it would not duplicate already-frequent corridors. Maybe if one corridor is currently infrequent, and ridership suggests a frequency boost, Route 32 could serve that corridor.

Currently the only ways to go from Queen Anne to Ballard is a 3 seat ride with one ride to SPU, another ride to Fremont or Interbay, and the last ride to Ballard; or a 2 seat ride with one ride to downtown and the other to Ballard. Before 2012 it was possible to ride to SPU and transfer to Route 17, but now there are no buses that run between Nickerson and Ballard. I was thinking maybe Route 32 could run to Ballard, but I also think it does not make sense for a bus route to cross two bridges.

If you guys have any ideas for a new Route 32 routing or a more efficient connection between Queen Anne and Ballard, feel free to put them in the comments section of this article.

I have come up with some solutions to solve some issues with the Queen Anne system:

  • The portion of routes 3 and 4 north of Downtown will be renumbered Route 6.
  • The portion of Route 2 north of Downtown will be renumbered Route 23.
  • Route 31 will run via Dravus instead of Emerson to provide better transfers with D Line.

10 Replies to “Queen Anne Restructure?”

  1. I think the thing to do would be to merge the 2 and 13 and run the 32 on Queen Anne ave. QA routes would then look like this:

    Route 1: unchanged, still running on 10th
    Route 2: same Capitol Hill and downtown routing, but merged with the 13’s routing on QA ave and 3rd down to SPU. The tail on 6th would be removed.
    Route 3/4: unchanged, still running down 3rd to SPU
    Route 13: merged with route 2, so the route number would be deleted
    Route 32: moved from 15th to Queen Anne ave, so it would go up 3rd, onto QA ave, down the hill on QA ave, and then end at Seattle center (same layover space as it currently uses)

    As someone who rides these buses daily, I know that this sort of restructure would be a big improvement. The 2’s tail on 6th hardly picks up more than a couple riders per trip, and most of those are during peak when the 29 runs on 6th, so those riders could take the 29 instead or walk down to 10th and catch the 1. Routing the 32 on upper Queen Anne would make QA-Fremont/Ballard a viable trip on public transit and increase frequency between upper Queen Anne and uptown/lower Queen Anne.

    The only concern I have with this is 3rd Ave’s capacity. This proposal would have all the Queen Anne buses running down 3rd to SPU, except the 1. While more service is always great, having the 2, 3/4, 32, and 29 serving that corridor might be overkill and a waste of service hours. 3rd ave also might not be able to handle that many buses. If SDOT/metro came to the same conclusion, I would be fine with them deleting the 13 and keeping the 2 on 6th, ending at McGraw as it currently does.

  2. Again it would be nice to compare these proposals with Metro’s LRP, which is now the default plan.

    Metro 2025 has the 3/4 replaced with a single Frequent route to Intl Dist. The 13 is replaced with a Frequent 13+3S route to Madrona with the Yesler between 3rd and 9th. The 2 is replaced with a Local 2+Aloha route (6th W – Galer – QA – Mercer – 9th – Harrison – Eastlake – Belmont – Aloha – 23rd to John). The 1+14 remains the same but is Frequent and loses the east Mt Baker tail. Nickerson keeps the 31/32.

    In 2040 the 31/32 is replaced with a Frequent 31+30 route (Magnolia – Nickerson St – Gasworks Park – 40th – Univ Way – 50th – 55th to Sand Point Way).

    I don’t have a strong opinion on these alternatives since I don’t spend much time on Queen Anne and don’t know what it needs. Except I feel strongly that the 13 should become frequent to have a straight corridor through the urban village; the 13/2 spaghetti is nonsense. Metro tried to do that in the 2012 restructure (RapidRide C/D) but there was so much opposition to removing buses from 6th Ave W and Seneca Street (both sides of the 2) or splitting the route that Metro withdrew it. It also proposed the 3/4 reroute in 2012, and now it’s actually doing it. I think it’s keeping two route numbers temporarily pending the disposition of the 4S. Metro tried to delete the 4S in 2012 but again ran into opposition. If the 2025 network goes through as-is, the overlapping 3/4 will remain for a maximum of eight years.

    The 32 has gotten several negative reviews in STB’s commentariat because of its overlap with the D. However, somebody said recently it gets most of the ridership compared to the 31, so that shows there’s a substantial transit market between the U-District and Uptown. And I know one person on top of Queen Anne who was frustrated when the QA – U-District route was deleted in the cuts. However, QARider’s idea idea of rerouting the 32 to Queen Anne Ave would solve both of those problems. I would be less satisfied with the 32 on 6th Ave W because it’s more out of the way and skirts of the urban village.

    I wouldn’t worry about overservice on 3rd Ave W. It’s a short distance, and it’s on the way to several transit markets. The engineers will tell us if we’re oversubscribing the street’s capacity or displacing cars.

    1. Some of the ridership difference between the 32 and 31 could simply arise from the fact that the 32 operates for more hours per day and days per week than the 31 does, so, of course, the total ridership is going to be higher. In order to make a meaningful comparison between the two, you would need to look at only the hours in which the 31 is running, and only people traveling on the segments where the 31 and 32 are different.

      That said, I do like the idea of having the 32 connect Fremont to Uptown by going up Queen Anne Hill and back down again, rather than around via Interbay. The annoying obstacle, of course, is legacy trolley wire patterns. Metro would prefer not to run diesel buses all day on a route that already has trolley wire, and the existing trolley wire ends at SPU, with a trolley wire extension over the Fremont bridge and beyond very expensive. This is what I dislike about trolley wire the most – it allows legacy service patterns from over 50 years ago to effectively dictate our bus routes today and into the future. Maybe someday, battery bus technology will improve to the point where trolley wire can become obsolete.

      1. Grant that diesels are much more tolerable now, and the hybrids can make the run up the Counterbalance much more effectively than the old 700’s (that’s what they used when they tore down the original overhead; nothing else could climb the hill).

        But there is something almost sacred about the trolley neighborhoods. A public transportation vehicle that hums instead of rumbles is a pretty nice amenity.

  3. from last summer: https://www.seattletransitblog.com/2016/07/02/a-queen-anne-plan/

    The 3S/4S thru-route with the 13 and 3N/4N providing service every 15 minutes on the counter-balance and on Taylor,
    2S thru-routes with the 1 and 2 N providing 30 minute headways on routes 1 and 2N,
    The 14 terminates downtown with 20 minute headways.

    If Metro is willing to run the 14 every 15 minutes the 14 could thru-route with the 1/2N instead of terminating downtown and the 2 would live-loop downtown (but new wire would have to be installed).

    1. The reason why the 1&14 are thru-routed, is to maintain a lower Quenn Anne-Int’l Dist connection. Previously the 1 & 36 did this, but with the mismatched frequencies between the two routes, the 36 was totally separated from the 1 and the 14 substituted (also the 14 was separated from the 14 Summit end, now the 47).

      1. A Lower QA to ID connection is important and thru-routing the 14 to the 1 and 2 would be the best the best choice, but in my plan from last summer I constrained myself by not using additional service hours and not requiring any additional wire. So, the 2S had to thru-route and the 14 terminated in downtown.

        If the D Line terminal could be moved a few blocks south it would provide better connections to King Street Station/ID Station for Ballard/LQA passengers.

  4. I renumber the 3N and 4N routes as the 34 instead. Get it. Apparently the 6 remains off limits as a number (it was the original choice for the 49, but someone nixed it. too close of a relation to the 359 and the Aurora Bridge incident I heard). Also, heard that 3rd Ave W really needs a rebuild. Quite a bumpy ride down that street.

    1. 3rd ave isnt bad at all. It might need a rebuild after we run a ton of buses on it for a few years but right know it’s fine.

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