11 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Tactical Urbanism”

  1. Random operational comment: are some Metro drivers (including ones who drive for Sound Transit) allergic to stopping at the route sign pole? On 85% of the routes I take, drivers align the front door of the bus within a few inches of the sign. On that last 15%, drivers seem to enjoy stopping in the middle of the zone or when there’s a passenger they want to pick up first, even when there’s no other bus at the stop. Am I just a curmudgeon?

    Oh, and while I’m here: it’s getting really frustrating that “linked” (yes, I know they’re not linked in the sense of being through-routed but hear me out) routes, specifically the 48 northbound meeting the 45 northbound, don’t have many drivers who wait for the incoming bus before beginning the outgoing route. I’ve been in the scenario many times, especially late in the evening, where the 45 will pull up to the Montlake Triangle stop and seem to wait just long enough for the light at which my 48 is waiting before pulling away right as we arrive. Why?! Is it too much to ask to wait another 45 seconds? It’s bad enough that Metro chopped the 48 in half before light rail opened to Roosevelt; having to wait another 15 minutes for the next bus to get there just adds insult…

    Done ranting, thanks folks. :)

    1. If every 45 waits for an incoming 48, you may as well just join the routes together and run them with one bus. The whole point of the split is the 45 can leave on time when delays happen to the 48.

      1. …you may as well just join the routes together and run them with one bus.

        Well, frankly, I’m down. I vehemently protested splitting the route before Northgate Link opened. But that ship has sailed (or, well, bus has left). However, I’m pretty sure that Metro drivers have eyes and can reason. Why not wait 30 seconds for what is clearly the inbound route before beginning the outbound one?

        To be honest, this is systemwide and it’s frustrating as hell. Considering light rail isn’t going to serve everywhere, the buses gotta be more coordinated.

      2. What are the head-ways on 45 and 48? Especially, how long a wait after a missed connection? And are drivers trained,or at least encouraged to care whether they make the connection or not? And will Control help?

        Planned connections take some effort to maintain. But one assist long overdue, and not just for connections: traffic signal control holding a light long enough that a bus doesn’t ever have to stop at a light with a zone on the other side.

        Anybody who’s got a copy, what does The Book say about zones and route signs? Only reason I can think of for choosing to stop midway into an empty zone is to get an easier departure. Especially if trees or other obstacles block views critical for merging out into traffic.

        Really interested in the general subject of driver training right now. Especially creating the habit of working as a team- probably worse persistent DSTT deficiency than lack of dispatch control.

        Anybody know?


      3. That helps a few people who are going from 23rd to Greenlake or Greenwood, at the expense of many times more people who want their route to be on time regardless of how late the other route is. However, I have always believed the 48 and 45 should overlap to to 65th because of the density and cross-trips extending through the northern U-District.

        The 48 is 10 minutes; the 45 is 15 minutes. The 45 was intended to be 10 minutes along with the 67, but the hours were pulled to reestablish the all-day 71 and 73. Seattle’s September plan will raise the 67 to 10 minutes daytime, along with the long-awaited night owl reorg. Enjoy it while the MVET lasts.

  2. Tactical Urbanism: Get it on the ground before the NIMBYs can oppose it. It’s anti-democratic, opposed to best practices of public engagement. It’s usually slapped in without analysis, done with paint stripes, poorly engineered. It’s a fine way for guerrilla activists to make a statement, but a terrible way for a government to do business.

    1. That doing it without the consent of the city or the public bothers me, because what one person thinks is great isn’t necessarily great, and others shouldn’t have their rights infringed by guerrilla installations. But short-term experiments in themselves are certainly a good idea, and could lead to acceptance of creative solutions that would otherwise be dismissed. Perhaps SDOT should have a small dedicated budget for short-term experiments and solicit ideas from the public, and perhaps have a public poll in which ones to try. That would be the most democratic way to do it. Seattle has done a few things like closing a street for a few days in the summer; I’ve never been to those but it’s a good idea. Then there are those pocket parks and the delightful Pac-Man corner (please keep it!) which are kind of like tactical urbanism although they’re city programs.

    2. The flip side is that NIMBYs could engage in tactical nimbyism. I don’t what they could do but they might find something. The closest things I’ve heard of is that some people in Boston put signs on the parking space in front of their house saying it’s a private space, and Seattle has had the problem with public street-end shorelines being encroached by adjacent landowners.

  3. A shuttle to I-90 trailheads starts this Saturday from Issaquah TC and Issaquah Highlands P&R, running half-hourly 7am-6pm weekends and holidays. The first weekend is free. There does not seem to be a route map or fare quote online yet. The KC Parks Dept has a blog post and it was announced on KUOW Monday morning but I can’t find a web link to it.

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