Buses waiting to turn onto South Dearborn Street (SounderBruce)

At 5 p.m. two Fridays ago I made the grave mistake a getting on a West Seattle bus at the 3rd & Pike Street stop.  See, I had to retrieve a child from summer camp by 6 p.m.  As the bus crawled along the Columbia Street and 1st Avenue South “temporary 2019” routing, the minutes ticked away rapidly, and at 5:52 p.m. the bus was reaching the 1st & Dearborn stop, still in downtown Seattle. 

To routinely spend one hour traversing downtown Seattle is not functional bus service, full stop; especially in a City where more downtown workers arrive by bus than any other mode.  The Seattle DOT needs to significantly improve the transit pathway, or King County Metro needs to change the routing for Burien and West Seattle Metro bus routes that use Highway 99.

Twitter abounds with anecdotes, including my own, of trips of one hour or more during the PM peak, and of significant delays inbound during the AM peak.  The comment thread on this West Seattle Blog post has dozens more reports of hour long delays.

Riders of these routes, including Rapid Ride C, 120, 55 and 122, have been through a lot of reroutes over the past few years of viaduct and tunnel construction.  But the current routing, expected to remain into 2020 when the permanent Alaskan Way routing opens, has the slowest travel times and worst reliability of them all. 

Metro has scheduled the routes for about 10 minutes travel between Virginia Street at the north end of downtown and 1st & Dearborn, the final stop near the stadiums before joining southbound Highway 99.  Every weekday in the afternoon, 1st Avenue South, south of Columbia Street, is a slowly crawling mess of Metro buses and private cars, moving like frequently-stopped molasses towards the southbound 99 onramp.

This situation has been occurring since spring 2019 when the Highway 99 tunnel and the Dearborn ramps opened.  But the congestion has steadily worsened, particularly on Mariner’s game days and in July, when viaduct demolition has narrowed Alaskan Way to one lane per direction in the blocks parallel to the clogged section of 1st Avenue South.  Per Ethan Bergerson of SDOT, “We recognize that traffic conditions are constrained on 1st Ave, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate the Seattle Squeeze, Seattle’s period of tough traffic as construction projects change how we get around downtown.”

King County Metro announced yesterday via a blog post that the City will be:

  • “Revising signal timing at 1st Ave S. & S. Dearborn St. and Alaskan Way S. & S. Dearborn St. to further aid transit operation.
  • Further optimizing the signal timing plan for the 1st Ave corridor through Pioneer Square while emphasizing the north and south movements.
  • Implementing pre-game event signal timing to support the last two mid-day baseball game for the season.
  • Working to ensure high priority for incident management during the morning and afternoon commute time.”

However, more significant changes would be needed for transit to once-again be an efficient and preferred mode to West Seattle and Burien.

  1. Remove a concrete curb bulb to add a bus right turn lane on southbound 1st Ave at Dearborn.  A previous, well intentioned improvement project added a concrete curb bulb to the NW corner of 1st and Dearborn, limiting southbound 1st Avenue to two lanes approaching Dearborn.  Outbound buses currently pull out of the right traffic lane to the bus stop, and then must merge back into same traffic lane in order to turn right onto Dearborn.  About 10 feet of concrete curb are responsible for minutes of delay on every bus trip. 
  2. Bus and heavy truck lanes on 1st Avenue, between Columbia and Dearborn.  This is the biggie, and it is complicated by the narrow right-of-way and weight restrictions for the curb lanes due to “Underground Seattle” areaways.  On blocks without bus stops, the center lane should be a bus/heavy truck lane, and the curb lane for general traffic.  On the blocks with bus stops (southbound: King to Dearborn; northbound: King to Jackson), the lanes should switch: bus lane on the curb lane (bus stop), trucks/general traffic in the center lane.  Leading bus intervals at the 1st/King Street traffic signal (in both directions) would facilitate the lane swap.  To simply matters and improve compliance, this lane arrangement should be in force 24 hours/day, requiring on-street parking to be removed during the remaining duration of this detour.  There are approximately 100 parking spots along this section, 68 of them restricted to midday and overnight parking only.  According to recent advertising, Pioneer Square off-street parking is plentiful and reasonably priced.

In leiu of SDOT making significant improvements to this current bus routing, Metro needs to get serious and develop a new routing, such as some variant of 4th Avenue, or short-turn the current bus service.  There is no point continuing to burn diesel fuel idling and wasting customer’s time and patience on a route that can take 10 to 60 minutes to traverse downtown. 

The temporary route used during #Viadoom cannot be easily replicated, but these routes could follow a variant of the Route 21 or 50 pathways using the 1st Avenue interchange from the Spokane Street Viaduct and Holgate or Edgar Martinez to switch to 4th Avenue for the path into downtown.

Another option to be short-turn the current bus service. Inbound routes could stop at 1st & King as they currently do, head to a nearby layover spot, and head back out to West Seattle or Burien, picking up passengers at the 1st & Dearborn stop.  This might sound cruel, but the First Hill streetcar has a stop on Jackson right around the corner, which connects with the plethora a transit service at 4th & Jackson, including Link light rail. 

54 Replies to “West Seattle and Burien Metro routes need improved reliability, or a new routing”

  1. I was thinking about this as I was watching cars and buses exit 99 to downtown in the morning from an office. Is it practical to throw everyone onto light rail trains and have the C or whatever West Seattle bus meet them at sodo station? Yes, it is a two seat ride, but you could improve reliability and frequency alot by skipping downtown altogether.

    1. That sounds good but there isn’t much room on light rail between 3 and 6pm. We need 4 car trains.

    2. You can try this today with the 50. It’s every 20 minutes, so you’ll definitely want to plan your trip with the schedule, but that seems better than the alternative. SODO busway routes can be used instead of Link if it’s overcrowded.

      It would be interesting to see if everyone is thinking about this and way overcrowding (and delayin) the 50 as a result. If the 50 is your ticket to West Seattle in under an hour, better use it now before everyone else figures it out.

      1. Nope, it’s 20. I don’t think it’s ever been 15. I remember a while ago it got its peak frequency improved from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking about.

    3. It’s a reasonable option to explore. I wonder about Link car capacity, although since the new train cars are arriving, ST has or shortly will have the capability of removing all two-car trains and may be able to add a fourth car to an occasional train set.

      Since the problem is in the afternoon, branding a new option would be needed. My suggestion is to remove several of those RapidRide C buses from the whole route and have them rebranded as an overlay peak-period Route C-Link (or Route CL) that terminates at SODO Link, so riders Downtown can become aware of the option.

      1. I talked to a few West Seattle riders about it. The 50 routing is quite different than the C, so maybe Ai’s solution is the way to go. Kind of confusing though, the CL truncates at a place that the C doesn’t go to at all. It probably worth looking at.

        Peak train use at afternoon rush is almost at crush, and it will be really bad during the Chinatown station construction early next year.

      2. One thing to note is that while this may work for folks in West Seattle near the Junction, Admiral, or Alki, it doesn’t work for the folks on Delridge. Both the 120 and 125 have to go on 1st Ave. For someone wanting to get further south on Delridge, it would require either another transfer to the same lines backlogged in downtown.

      3. Route 120 has just three stops Downtown, all within two blocks of a Link station. That’s unlike RapidRide C, which has a bigger role in serving Downtown and SLU trips. It would appear that Route 120 could be easily moved to Stadium or SODO Station as a northern terminus.

    4. The 50 is different than the C, the 21 and 120. They all cover different areas of West Seattle. It is possible that a 50 rider (close to say, West Seattle High School) is no longer jealous of someone in Morgan Junction. Yes, they have a two seat ride to downtown, but it is a faster trip.

      Meanwhile, someone in Alki may switch from the 37 (a straight shot to downtown) to the 50. Has this happened? If so, then it suggests that moving routes towards SoDo might make sense. One (of the many) problems with that is that it means a lot of service churn. It is one thing to move your stop a few blocks — it is another to eliminate downtown stops altogether.

      I think it would make more sense to just send the buses to downtown via the busway (like the 101, etc.) or 4th (like the 131, 132). If traffic on the bridge is a problem, they could extend the bus lane a bit farther. If that won’t work, then have the bus use Spokane Street (and if Spokane Street is a problem, a bus lane would help).

      Another alternative would be to run the ferry more often, and/or improve the buses connecting to it.

  2. More people will choose cars as this keeps up. I’m normally a bus rider, but my last week before maternity leave started I drove. On days when the bus was taking 1.5 hours to go the 6 miles to Admiral, driving took me 20 minutes because I wasn’t forced down first. I’m on maternity leave as of this week and so thankful I don’t have to deal with that commute for a bit! Metro needs a reroute, one that doesn’t involve 3 seats plus walking. The current route is making a mockery of mass transit.

    1. Oof, that’s a depressing experience. That is a stunningly long commute time for a commute to a close-in neighborhood. I have a three seat commute to rainier beach (or one seat and 40 minutes of walking) and it has never taken that long.

  3. Is signal timing the problem here? Sounds like the problem here is that buses shouldn’t be on 1st. Even worse, that suggests that they didn’t do signal timing when they moved buses to 1st Ave in the first place.

    But in this case, the flippant use of signal timing seems to suggest that they want to offer it as a way to get people to stop complaining without actually doing anything that will help. 3 out of the 4 improvements they said they will make *is* signal timing, and the fourth is only applicable when there’s an accident. Sounds like a positive spin on “it’s not worth making improvements since we’re more than half way to Alaskan Way reopening by now.”

  4. “Signal timing improvements” feels like code for making it harder for pedestrians to cross the street. That doesn’t sound like a particularly good idea idea.

    I think a better idea is to just get buses off 1st Ave. entirely, move them over to 4th, paint a bus lane on 4th if necessary, and add a bus lane to the ramp from the West Seattle bridge, like they did for a few days.

    Another question worth asking is how bad the traffic is leading from the north portal of the highway 99 tunnel in the morning and to it in the afternoon. If it’s anything short of “awful”, maybe it’s worth having some of the West Seattle buses take the tunnel straight to SLU, then take 3rd Ave. through Belltown back into downtown.

    1. ^^^ Yes yes yes! I’ve noted in the past that at 4 minute headways, the C-Line has enough to pull a peak-only frequent C-Line express that takes the tunnel to SLU. But having all buses take the tunnel and then head south seems sensible at this point. Seems silly to have spent billions on a tunnel only for Metro to not use it, and leave it for cars.

    2. Re: West Sea to SLU transit. Rest assured; KCM is taking this “seriously” and has a plan to consider doing this maybe by 2040 per Metro Connects (see corridor 2003). I wish I was being sarcastic here, so more from their SR99 planning page:

      Will Metro consider adding a route that goes from West Seattle directly to South Lake Union using the SR 99 tunnel without having to pass through central downtown?

      Not at this time, however it is a possibility in coming years. We will continue to monitor operations through the closure and the SR 99 tunnel opening and will make service adjustments as needs and resources allow.


    3. They should definitely switch to the tunnel now if half-hour backups are occurring several times a week. None of the alternatives (4th, busway, or I-5) is as fast or or so under capacity. A problem might be ongoing construction at the north portal. Metro’s 2040 plan has just one tunnel route: a Fauntleroy-WSJ-SLU express. But if we can’t use our highways as mitigation for construction bottlenecks, there’s something wrong.

      1. No way, induced demand has taken its tool and the NB tunnel is NOT fast at peak. Usually 5 mph at best. In my experience it takes a solid 20-30 minutes to get from the West Seattle Bridge to Queen Anne.

        There are surprisingly few cars getting off 99N at Dearborn in the morning (because not many people drive to work downtown)…the overwhelming majority of NB 99 traffic goes through the tunnel.

      2. 20-30 minutes is better than 60.

        And presumably things will get much better once tolls begin.

      3. The worst backups including 60m ones described here are southbound in the afternoon. NB into pioneer square in the morning is not terrible.

        I don’t think running up 3rd to SLU to get on 99SB would make much sense. Taking 4th south, over to 1st at Holgate, could be ok. But the best would be to make the center lane bus only, remove the curb bulb, and get the traffic cop to prioritize bus movements at the intersection. The only light cycle improvement that would matter is to greatly lengthen the green left turn time from Dearborn onto 99SB.

      4. 20-30 minutes is better than 60.

        Yeah, but that may be just for that one section. It is quite possible that it takes a very long time to exit, take a right, and somehow navigate over to where it can start heading south. Also keep in mind that all of these time estimates are anecdotal. The point is, the tunnel isn’t that fast, and it is quite possible they could move the route and find that it isn’t that much better for riders (or Metro).

        I think the simplest, cheapest thing to do is run the bus via the busway or Fourth Avenue South. There are existing buses that run that way, so we know how bad (or good) it is.

  5. Could I-5 to the West Seattle bridge be a viable option off peak? It would at least get the buses out of stadium event traffic. I’ve already been on a few C-line trips that used this route during temporary viaduct closures, and it was fine.

    1. I have wondered this exact thing and asked Herbold, Metro, and SDOT. None of them have commented on that.

      I’m considering sending a bill to them for my spent time over the time the commute should take. They’ve all failed us with this project.

  6. I contacted Councilmember Herbold’s office about this (not a resident of her district, I was trying to visit to spend $ but gave up due to my bus sitting on 1st Ave S for 30 minutes–won’t be visiting West Seattle while this goes on and can’t imagine dealing with this on a daily basis). SDOT’s follow-up response to me remains car-centric and proposed improvements, as outlined in the article, will be bad for pedestrians:

    “Thank you for reaching out to Councilmember Herbold regarding issues along 1st Ave in Pioneer Square that are impacting travel through the corridor.

    We recognize that traffic conditions are constrained on 1st Ave, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate the Seattle Squeeze, Seattle’s period of tough traffic as construction projects change how we get around downtown. 1st Ave is not a long-term plan for buses; this was a temporary relocation due to Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition work. Buses will move off 1st Ave onto Alaskan Way entirely once the two-way Columbia St transit corridor is built. In the meantime, we know there have been impacts to bus riders.

    1st Ave is operating at capacity, meaning that an unforeseen event such as a disabled vehicle or a planned mid-day event in the stadium, can quickly tip the system to failure. Additionally, it takes quite a while for the system to resume normal operation once the problem is resolved. Construction activity along Alaskan Way to demolish the Viaduct at the south end of the corridor is causing additional trips to detour to 1st Ave causing further delay. SDOT and Metro have also been working to make sure buses use the center lane due to the weight restrictions along the curb lanes in Pioneer Square, which causes some additional friction as buses try to access the southbound stop at Railroad Way. Last week, the confluence of these new traffic patterns and evening events at T-Mobile Park resulted in some very long travel times along 1st Ave.

    In response, SDOT will implement the following changes in an effort to provide a more reliable experience for all modes, with a special focus for transit and pedestrian users. These changes include:

    -Revising signal timing at 1st Ave S & S Dearborn St and Alaskan Way S & S Dearborn St to further aid transit operation
    -Further optimizing the signal timing plan for the 1st Ave corridor through Pioneer Square while emphasizing the north and south movements
    -Implementing pre-game event timing to support the last two mid-day baseball games for the season
    -Working to ensure high priority for incident management during the morning and afternoon commute time

    In the meantime, we’re working closely with WSDOT and Metro to monitor traffic conditions and consider what can be done to keep people and goods moving.

    If you have any additional comments or concerns, please feel free to contact SDOT at (206) 684-ROAD (7623) or 684-ROAD@seattle.gov. ”

    Folks should continue contacting SDOT at the e-mail and phone number provided to demand significant changes to how they do business and to demand prioritization of public transit, walking, and biking in this corridor.

  7. The extra traffic coming from the S. Viaduct demolition should be coming to an end soon. They’ve reached the intersection with Jackson St. which is the actual source of the backups on Alaskan Way as anyone turning left to get to the ferry locks up the whole street. Once they clear that intersection the road from 99 to Jackson could go back to two lanes and clear up alot. Assuming they do the logical thing of course, so yeah ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  8. Cheers to number 1! I wait at that bus stop M-F and I’m about to start knocking on car windows to get them out of the curb lane. And, I hear the idea of the center lane but I am also aware of the areaways issue in Pioneer Square so that is a tough one. As a regular commuter though, I am lucky enough to be a 10 minute walk from the 1st and King stop so I usually get out of town pretty quickly on the 121/122/123 route and don’t feel inconvenienced too badly. Once in a while it’s a 10-15 minute wait but that is unusual. I think if they removed the curb bulb, as a first step, then watched the impact closely, it might be enough. Also, calling the areaways “Underground Seattle” areaways is a good idea. I work in communications and we recently struggled with how to get that point across quickly (areaways are a pretty funky concept for folks who are not infrastructure experts!) and I am going to borrow your terminology! Good call.

    1. I just thought of another commute option to bypass the mess. Ride Link to International District station (or Stadium station if it’s closer, not sure). Then walk to the last C-line stop before the freeway. Assuming you don’t get left behind by full buses, this seems like a way to avoid the traffic mess, while still enjoying the frequency of the C line.

      Has anyone tried this?

      1. It’s been a few years since I regularly rode the C, but even back then the afternoon peak buses were crushloaded to capacity nearly every time. This method is going to get you left behind a lot.

  9. I live in W Seattle. I reached out to Lisa Herbold’s office and she put me in touch with someone at Metro (which I appreciated). Their answer didn’t impress me much, but they were nice about it at least.

    I work in Belltown and take the 21 local home when I can. It takes about 35 minutes to get to 35th/Avalon. I’ve been re-routed more than once in SODO; of course, it’s easier to pull off a re-route on Fourth than it is in Pioneer Square. The one problem with this plan is that the service for the 21 as it route throughs from the 5 can be unreliable. There are afternoons when the next 21 is more than half an hour away and I get on one of the “express” buses figuring it will take just as long.

    tl;dr: try taking the 21 local if it’s available to you; it’s about as fast as the “express” buses used to be.

  10. They’ve been warning commuters for months traffic was going to get worse during the Seattle Squeeze. Now commuters are all … hey, traffic is bad!

    Sam. Let me leave you with this … it might help while you’re stuck in congestion … There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

    1. Traffic is bad is one thing. But given that driving an SOV will get you home in 20 minutes while the bus takes over an hour to go the same distance means the problem is not just traffic, it’s the routing. The Seattle Squeeze should affect the cars too, no? I doubt Seattle wants to believe they are driving people away from transit as a viable option, but that’s exactly what they are doing. When you have to leave work earlier and earlier to utilize transit and still get to daycare by 6, there’s a point at which the paycut from the missed work hours starts to exceed the cost of parking… if you even have the flexibility to leave work early, which many workers don’t.
      I hope they improve thing by the time I go back to work.
      By the way, my AM commute is fine; as an RN I start at 7 so traffic isn’t bad. It’s the trip home that is the issue.

      1. There are so many buses using this route that the buses will create congestion on whatever route they take (as long as they share lanes with SOVs).

      2. There are so many buses using this route that the buses will create congestion on whatever route they take (as long as they share lanes with SOVs).

        Of course they create some congestion, but only a tiny amount. There simply aren’t that many buses. The most frequent bus (by far) is the C. It runs every four minutes. If there are 8 different routes headed downtown all on say, Fourth Avenue South, then that would be one bus every 30 seconds. I doubt the riders of the 131/132 would even notice.

        The main problem is the one that Naomi mentioned. The routing is poor. Put it this way, if all the buses move over to some other street, then First won’t suddenly be a great route for drivers. It will still be really bad.

  11. If you think this is bad, think of how the CCC streetcar construction would affect things! It’s good that the CCC project doesn’t have First Ave a mess this year.

    1. True, but the upcoming CCC construction and operations will permanently remove the 100 parking spots along the current 1st Avenue bus path, which are adding to hour long bus and car traffic delays. The spots will disappear eventually, so we can live without them during this critical portion of the “Seattle squeeze.”

      1. First Avenue has no parking from 6-9 am and 3-7 pm on weekdays today. That wouldn’t help this situation.

  12. Any chance of running an extra water taxi to the marina at Pier 66 and have synchronized bus routes at the Seacrest Park end of things?

  13. Non-specialist speculator.

    The combined #5 and #21 routes are about as bad as can be imagined, and they have only got worse in the last 4 years (actually the 5 was OK back then). The routes have almost 20 miles for things to go wrong. One Bus Away often is not accurate. Buses will get delayed, then suddenly 4 buses in a row (often 3 in a row). The routes need to be split. And if downtown is packed some of those buses need to turn around before they hit that traffic jam. Actually Jackson to West Seattle, and Denny to Shoreline with only some (other) routes connecting Denny/Aurora and the Pioneer Square areas.

    Is there any model for a circulator covering down town, and most lines avoiding the center of town? It could speed up bus traffic from Jackson along 3rd Ave. Will the !st Ave street car help here?

    1. Denver’s transit mall has one line, a frequent shuttle, that goes back and forth like a circulator. Riders transfer at the endpoints. DSA cited it as an example in their Third Ave report. Downsides are that it requires an extra transfer and also significant layover space adjacent to downtown.

  14. This isn’t a new issue, it started the day the tunnel opened when afternoon commute times (3rd Ave->West Seattle) started frequently hitting 45 minutes (historical average is 20-25 minutes peak, 15 minutes off-peak). I can’t imagine anyone will bother trying to take the bus home later this week with Mariners/Seahawks+the usual Friday mess AND no water taxi this week.

    I’ll simply say that the city did excellent work mitigating the “Seattle Squeeze” in January and it is completely baffling that they are unwilling to make similar changes now. I believe it goes straight to the top–a mayor who simply refuses to do anything that might give transit priority at the expensive of SOVs.

    Unlike many transit fans I have maintained tepid support for the mayor, but needless to say the current failure of leadership has ended that. Given the political importance of West Seattle I find it amazing that this transit disaster has been allowed to continue unmitigated for months…perhaps the mayor thinks all of her supporters drive cars to work. I certainly drive my car to work now but it isn’t by choice!!!

  15. I’m glad that folks here can see through the SDOT BS on signal timing. While it may sound good, simply put, the amount of time the green light is on doesn’t matter if no one can move.

    The reason no one is moving is all contained in the short block of Dearborn between 1st Ave S and Alaskan Way. If the City wanted to really make a difference during this rough time, I would propose the following:
    – Remove parking on 1st from Dearborn to King. At a minimum, do this from 3 to 7pm.
    -Make both lanes on westbound Dearborn able to turn left. The opposing direction doesn’t go at the same time so it won’t be problem there. Plus, there are 2 lanes on the on-ramp to 99.
    -Don’t allow left turns from King St onto southbound 1st Ave. That would prevent the filling of the intersection when there is a gap.
    -The addition of cops really has screwed things up more. They don’t do anything to override the signal mostly and people get hesitant about driving around them. This is just an appearance issue to make it look like the City is doing something.

    The Mayor really needs to do some executive action here. People who are doing the right thing are being punished. People who can’t afford to drive are being punished.

    Thank you STB for publishing this! I hope it gets something moving with the City.

  16. Spending an hour or more traversing downtown to head south or west is extremely common for any route that doesn’t use Link light rail. The issue existed long before spring 2019. The issue even transcends downtown routing. A bicyclist can go from Sodo to Alki faster than the bus can when the bus is on time.

    The issue transcends downtown Seattle. The ST 560, a Burien-Renton-Bellevue bus, is frequently 20+ minutes delayed, even on weekends with no traffic. This has gone on for far longer than the recent reroute. Metro didn’t care then. Metro doesn’t care now.

    Welcome to life south and west of downtown. The “West Edge” and everyone north of the Ship Canal don’t care about our transportation needs. Outside of an occasional regional vote, they’d just as soon ignore us.

    1. You picked a rather bad example, since what exactly is Metro supposed to do about the traffic at the airport the 560 has to slog through? Its fine on the initial sections (I’ve never had it not arrive at Renton TC from Bellevue close enough to on time, and the eastbound routing similarly shows up at Burien TC regularly enough) so clearly the problem is in between – which is exactly where the airport is.

      And frankly you’re being hyperbolic. They haven’t remotely shown that they don’t care about areas outside of Seattle’s cores, just that those are where the largest increases in demand have been, plus with Seattle buying extra hours which every other area could do (or the County could appropriate more funding). The countywide measure failed in 2014, that is a major part of why there has been significantly less investment in South King.

      1. I take the 560 pretty regularly between Burien and Renton, and the airport has almost never been a delay or issue in either direction. The 560 eastbound is often late by the time it gets to Burien. The problem might exist west of Burien, that part of the route I am unfamiliar with.

  17. “Riders of these routes, including Rapid Ride C, 120, 55 and 122, have been through a lot of reroutes over the past few years of viaduct and tunnel construction.”
    Just like Metro, SDOT, and D1 politicians, even transit advocates ignore the 21. The 21X is on the same re-route, and it has a much, much greater impact for riders of the 21 because it runs less often and has fewer runs per day than any of the other routes using 1st Ave.

  18. “Busses are flexible and can adapt to changing travel patterns,” right?
    Unless it’s permanently installed full BRT, any bus priority is unfortunately the first thing to go.

  19. The water taxi seems like another potential mitigation. I don’t know if the peak hour runs are filled to capacity, but if I were making the trip, that’s what I would be doing. Even if it means walking two miles to get home from Seacrest Park.

    Is there any reason the 50 can’t be extended a couple of miles to connect with the water taxi?

    1. The current water taxi dock is pretty far south, so from what I have seen getting to anywhere around it is pretty bad too. That’s why I was thinking of Pier 66 or maybe the Agrossy Pier in a pinch.

      1. The water taxi is fun but not fast. It is also extremely expensive…double the price of the bus. So it’s not a viable option for me except on an occasional nice day where I feel like burning an extra half hour. And there is no water taxi this week.

        Also, yes, the evening peak hour runs have been over capacity at times.

        The best alternative is biking but the city didn’t bother to make a bike route either so you are kind of on your own wandering through traffic/pedestrians to connect to 2nd Ave…not something novice cyclists are going to be interested in doing.

  20. 1st Avenue is not fixable for transit use. metro won’t pull its head out of its a$$ and realize they can’t fix something that is not fixable and meanwhile punish tax paying voters who believe in transit over single car drivers. Thanks a lot metro. So nice to know we are valued over subsidized single car driving.

  21. Any chance of dumping a few tons of concrete around Alaskan & Wall or Broad and making a temporary Sounder platform? Sounder already occupies the main line when it’s operating so it isn’t as if running the trains an extra 3/4 mile north is going to block that much freight traffic. This at least gives an extra route around the bottleneck. Not sure how you go about connecting it with buses at Union Station. Maybe loop around from the south on 4th -> Jackson -> 5th?

  22. another day and another crappy snail crawl down 1st Avenue. I want to give special thanks to all the single car drivers, and especially to the person of utmost intelligence who chose the 1st Avenue routing. Thank you for your selfishness and stupidity in that order.

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