From Metro’s service advisory email:

From Wednesday, August 21, through Friday, August 30, at all times, Metro routes 31, 32, 65, 67, 75, 78 and 372 will continue to be rerouted off the University of Washington campus, but will be revised to serve the south campus and UW Link Station.

During this time, these routes will travel instead via Montlake Blvd NE, NE Pacific St and 15th Av NE in both directions between NE 45th St and NE Campus Parkway.

Buses will no longer be rerouted via NE 45th St

All regular and temporary stops along the revised routings will be served.

The Route 277 reroute has not been revised. This route will continue to be rerouted off the campus, but is making its regular stops on NE Pacific St and 15th Av NE.

The previous reroute via 45th was the source of some complaints, including some of you in our comment section. Another good sign of Metro being nimble enough to realize that a reroute is not working and might need adjustments.

That this reroute was unacceptable to so many riders shows in part how successful the 2016 U-Link restructure was. Perhaps 5 or 10 years ago it might have been okay to reroute buses off Stevens Way when school was out of session but these days all of NE Seattle is funneling to Husky Stadium (as bad as it is for transfers).

Long term, getting the buses out of campus and on to an exclusive lane on Montlake Blvd NE seems like a better bet, especially if UW moves ahead with 16 story buildings on that street.

27 Replies to “Metro re-jiggers the Stevens Way construction detour”

  1. That is not Metro being nimble, it’s ridiculous that it took them three weeks to change the reroute that was unacceptable to begin with.

    1. Yay, I guess. A better change the third week of a four week reroute. Hardly nimble, more like “we can tolerate the cars uber alles crowd for a slow week”.

    2. It may be the start of Metro being nimber. It comes just a few days after the 4th Ave S experiment for the West Seattle buses and a rerouting of several ex-tunnel routes. Maybe our suggestions have finally gotten through Metro’s approval process. If this reroute is praised, it may make Metro more willing to do it quickly later.

  2. As is often the case, Metro’s communication about a major change is half-assed.

    Why are there no signs at any of the 15th Ave stops warning riders that the 75/372/67 etc. will no longer be stopping there?

    1. Perhaps this is true internally as well; I’ve already seen two lost and confused buses this week on campus driving through the Stevens Way-Okanogan Lane detour loop, where they certainly did not belong!

      1. My fiance was on a bus on Friday that accidentally drove up Montlake all the way past Seattle Children’s Hospital before turning around.

  3. There will never be bus lanes on Montlake north of Pacific Place. An elevated or tunneled busway is necessary.

    The roadway is already grossly over-subscribed on its capacity, and its catchment region will continue to grow in population

    1. Why can’t they add a southbound bus lane as was suggested in the link article?

      If they develop the Montlake lot it seems only natural that some sort of traffic mitigation will need to take place, and a bus lane could be part of that.

    2. The best way to make sure car traffic continues growing forever is to accommodate nothing but cars in the most valuable location, the surface.

      I’d rather flip the script. Put bus lanes on the surface, where making stops is easy, now. If drivers need more capacity let them fight for it.

  4. I wonder if Metro could work with the UW to create a southbound transit pathway through the E1/E18 parking lots? They’re right next to Montlake and have a surplus of space. Seems like the path of least resistance for a new bus lane.

    1. UW hasn’t been very amenable to giving up space for transit historically. They got more than a few pounds of flesh out of Sound Transit for Husky Stadium.

  5. I have a suspicion that the logic behind the previous detour route went something like this. Metro probably had some pre-existing plan spec’s out for Stevens Way closures, since this has happened before. The plan was probably written before the U-Link restructure and nobody thought to update it. When the time came they just blindly followed the old plan, without thinking. It looks like now, they’ve finally decided to think.

    1. Except that the snow reroutes for all of the routes have them using Pacific and Montlake Blvd so it isn’t like it was something that Metro didn’t know about.

  6. Metro and nimble do not belong in the same sentence. They have proven it time and time again.

  7. Campus is so much better with the car traffic on Steven’s Way out of the picture. This should be a permanent, not a temporary, change! Then more space could be turned over to pedestrians crossing from NE 40TH ST–most of which are students walking over from the housing on west campus. Those walkways once you get on campus get very crowded and way too much space is given to cars at precisely the place where there is a large volume of students walking on to campus. Just allow space for deliveries/service vehicles and garage access–and otherwise make Steven’s Way be a busway.

  8. Metro’s communication system seems to get worse as time progresses: Little or no communication with other entities involved such as UW, SDOT, ST. And least of all–communicating with the public, throwing bus riders under the bus by moving or removing stops and transfer points with little or no notice.

  9. As I have posted before I wrote Metro complaining about the original NB reroute of the #372 and the response was that they were concerned about the traffic on Montlake Blvd which is ironic since the SB reroute for the #372 was on Montlake Blvd where traffic in that direction is worse then NB.

    So I wrote them again pointing this out and never got a response. Gee what a surprise.

    Then after the announcement of the change in the reroutes this week I wrote again and saying it was nice that they finally got it right and that I must not have been the only one complaining.

    They answered that one but it was what you would call the corporate response. You know the one where they tell that they are always happy to hear from their customers but not really responding your note. In other words a nothing response.

    Basically Metro doesn’t care what their riders have to say or complain about and the responses I got or in one case no response proves that point.

    1. It’s a tradeoff. The buses are closer to UW Station but now they’re caught in the entire Montlake Blvd traffic rather than just one block of it, and that throws them off-schedule. Converting one southbound lane to a transit lane would help but that would have one GP lane for the entire northeast Seattle’s access to 520, and I can see why SDOT wouldn’t want to do that even without its SOV bias. Metro doesn’t have the authority to convert lanes so it can’t do it on its own.

      1. Not quite. If you make the western most lane a southbound bus lane I would make the two middle lanes general-purpose-southbound, and the eastern most lane would be a single northbound GP lane.

        Or… make the middle lane reversible from U-Village to the triangle if you want.

      2. A single northbound lane could work; I hadn’t thought of that. If the bus is not in its right lane it would need an island stop or left-side doors, and how would it turn around at the Triangle? All the routes go back up Pacific Street.

    2. Meaning, you can’t expect Metro to acknowledge it as a definite improvement when it puts buses in the worst traffic jam in north Seattle after I-5. We don’t even know why Metro did it, all our assumptions are just speculation. But giving Metro feedback about the new experience is the best way to persuade Metro to always use it if that’s what you want. Its reply may have been noncommital now to avoid getting Metro into unresolvable controversies and bad publicity (it doesn’t know who you are, and every time it changes a route it generates controversy), but certainly Metro will notice if 75% of the feedback is positive, and that may influence how it responds to these situations in the future. You think this change is an absolute positive. Bur do you take it southbound in the PM peak?

  10. If Metro decides to route buses down Montlake permanently more stops are needed. The distance between 45th/47th and Pacific is too far.

  11. Why would there be a need for more stops as there is nothing between the U-Village and the Light Rail station/Husky Stadium. On the east side of Montlake Blvd there is a parking lot and on the west side there is a hill that is not accessible other then a sky bridge that runs just north of the Alaska Airlines Arena to the campus. The stop at Pacific would be sufficient enough.

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