SDOT presented the Seattle Transit Advisory Board with a set of design concepts for the Route 40 corridor, slated to get priority bus treatments as part of the Move Seattle Levy. One of the most popular routes in the system, Route 40 also intersects with several other popular routes on its way from Downtown through SLU and Fremont to Ballard.

The 40 is frequent, but chronically tardy – more than 20% of Northbound trips are delayed at almost all hours of the day. As is the custom with these sorts of corridors, attention is focused on the choke points. Here are some highlights. Remember that this is 30% design, so the usual Hunger Games rules apply: not every concept presented below will make it to the final project, may the odds be yadda yadda yadda

At Westlake and Valley, the outbound bus stop would be moved to the far side of the intersection and a center-running bus lane will be added inbound:

Heading north into Fremont, a bus-only slip lane may be added at the Fremont bridge, bike lanes continue across the intersection, and bus lanes may be added on Dexter (a bonus, since the 40 doesn’t run there, but it’s part of the corridor and probably necessary given the bike lane).

Heading across, the bridge, you’ll see a dedicated bike lane at 34th street and a 1-block bus-bike lane between 34th and 35th, along with a few new turn restrictions.

Crossing the Ballard bridge, the RapidRide D line stop has been moved across the street. The 40 would be able to stay straight in the right-turn lane on Leary to a new, wider bus stop for it and the 17, 18 and 29 in front of Peddler Brewing Co.

At Leary Way and Dock Pl, a new consolidated stop with a bulb attempts to make this wide street feel a little more human-scaled.

Heading onto Market St, notice the Market Street multimodal improvements that we covered as part of the Route 44 project. Bus-only lanes on Market and Leary are joined by new bike infrastructure on 22nd Ave NW.

44 Replies to “Route 40 improvements at 30% design”

  1. The 40 zigzags west to 24th Ave NE and east to Northgate. Is this justified? I have always been bothered by it. There’s no doubt that people are going from Fremont to 24th and 24th to Northgate. But when I take it from Northgate to central Ballard it seems like a long way, and if I were going from 15th & Leary or Fremont to Northgate I’d be more frustrated. Discuss.

      1. You and Ross excoriate me over and over when I sing the praises of a 14th Avenue. Station. “Trunk line transit should penetrate the core of activity centers.”, I’m told. The 40 is an exemplar of that philosophy. Northgate, NSCC, Central Ballard, Central Fremont, South Lake Union, Amazon and at last, Downtown Seattle!

        The D is a piker by comparison. True it gets Belltown (yay!), Lower Queen Anne and Smith Cove. That’s a great beginning, but then it wanders off into the wilderness of Lower Woodland and the 85th Street Dangerway, finally expiring behind a middling QFC. What an ignominious end to a career which showed so much youthful promise.

      2. You and Ross excoriate me over and over when I sing the praises of a 14th Avenue. Station. “Trunk line transit should penetrate the core of activity centers.”, I’m told. The 40 is an exemplar of that philosophy. Northgate, NSCC, Central Ballard, Central Fremont, South Lake Union, Amazon and at last, Downtown Seattle!

        The D is a piker by comparison. True it gets Belltown (yay!), Lower Queen Anne and Smith Cove. That’s a great beginning, but then it wanders off into the wilderness of [West Woodland] and the 85th Street Dangerway, finally expiring behind a middling QFC. What an ignominious end to a career which showed so much youthful promise.

        What is your point? I can’t find much fault with what you wrote. “Trunk line transit should penetrate the core of activity centers.”. Yes, absolutely. Without a doubt. This is just commonsense transit planning. Oh, and details matter. A few blocks (e. g. the difference between 14th and 15th) might not seem like much, but it is the difference between a station that is good, and one that is awful (https://seattletransitblog.com/2012/04/18/the-awfulness-of-mt-baker-station/).

        “The 40 is an exemplar of that philosophy. Northgate, NSCC, Central Ballard, Central Fremont, South Lake Union, Amazon and at last, Downtown Seattle!”

        Yes, absolutely. That is why the 40 has the third highest bus ridership in the state. It is within a few hundred of the D Line, despite an obvious lack of investment. It beats out most of the expensive RapidRide lines, with their off-board payment, and fancy bus lanes. It is stuck in traffic as part of the Mercer Mess, or the very low Fremont Bridge or the dozens of traffic lights it has to slog through. Yet despite it all, despite the extremely slow speeds, it carries a huge number of people. Is your point that it would carry lots of people if it was a grade separated train? If so, I agree, completely. Like the 550 — which carries about half the riders of the 40 (before the pandemic) — it would carry a lot more riders if it was converted to a fast train. Like the 550, if you are going to make that sort of investment, it makes sense to do it right. Or are you saying that it would be OK if the “Downtown Bellevue” station was east of the freeway, on 116th?

        “[The D] finally expires behind a middling QFC”. Yes, yes it does. This is an obvious weakness, and the ridership numbers show it. This is why I proposed that the D be extended to Northgate via the current 40 route, and the 40 go to Northgate via 85th and 92nd.

        One small quibble. The D line runs up 15th since it is the fastest route. Detouring over to the main part of Ballard would be good for some riders, but terrible for others, and very time consuming. It is a bus, and is thus limited in that way. But it serves the edge of Ballard while not serving the heart of it. I would not call it West Woodland — that is to the east of 15th (14th, 11th, 9th, 8th, etc.).

        But taking the same approach with a grade separated train is silly. If you are building a deep bore tunnel, then the surface streets are irrelevant. If you are elevated, they are a factor. That is why if you going to build a tunnel, it makes sense to go right to the heart of Ballard (roughly 20th). If you are going elevated, it makes sense to go as far west as possible — and the only practical stop is 15th.

      3. And to extend Ross’s point on grade separation, this is why it makes good sense to serve Ballard with an elevated line, because 15th is a strong, logical HCT corridor, whereas downtown to UW needed a tunnel, and a future Ballard to UW or Metro 8 will need a tunnel (or another technology that can ignore the street grid, like a gondola between SLU and Cap Hill; it’s less about tunneling per se and more about breaking free of the street grid)

      4. The D doesn’t terminate in the middle of nowhere. It terminates at a supermarket that a lot of people go to, and it’s near the entrance of Carkeek Park.

        The overlap between the D and 40 is twelve blocks. That’s not much in Metro’s overall service hours. Also, layover points don’t grow on trees. It can be more cost-effective to go a bit further to a good layover point than to create on elsewhere. And sometimes you can’t create one elsewhere because there’s no room or the city won’t allow the block to be used for that. And layover points need certain services like a comfort station, which is easier to contract for at a supermarket/strip mall. And forcing people to transfer just for a 12-block truncation (or anything up to two miles) is silly.

      5. Also, layover points don’t grow on trees.

        Exactly. That explains why they the bus terminates there, but it doesn’t make that ending any stronger. It is not horrible, just a lot weaker than most of the route. There is very little there, and it misses the significant connections that aren’t that far away (Greenwood and Aurora). If layover space could be found, then it would terminate somewhere else.

        But that is true of lots of routes. Layover space (and turnaround space) drive a lot of the routing decisions. One of the big ones that will occur fairly soon is at 145th and Lake City. If layover space can be found, then buses like the 372 and 312 would terminate there (and stay in Seattle) while the 522 Stride handles Bothell Way. But if not, then at least one bus has to go all the way to Kenmore, which means a lot of redundant service (on an area with relatively low density) and thus a lot less frequency on the core parts (in Seattle).

    1. Mike, when both Northgate’s Link station and the one at Brooklyn open, a westbound, signal prioritized lane for the Route 44 through Wallingford to Ballard will solve all your Route 40 problems.

      Meantime, though, fully remember habitually getting off the inbound 40 across from the Museum, and walking along the lake to the streetcar, while my bus sat parked behind the five parking places on inbound Ninth just north of Roy.

      Convert them back to an actual street, let alone a bus lane, and you’ll save a whole ST- in saved operating time.

      Mark Dublin

    2. There has to be some bus service on 24th, although it doesn’t have to be the same bus that goes to Northgate.

      I could imagine an alternative world where the 40 ended at Carkeek Park and the D-linr went to Northgate. This was probably not done because:
      1) RapidRide level frequency would put too much service on Northgate Way
      2) Metro didn’t want to buy more red buses to handle a longer RapidRide route
      3) Northgate Way impacts reliability on the Ballard to downtown segment, so better have the impact on the non-rapid-ride route
      4) inertia from the old route 75, which used to extend to Ballard and go down 24th, and Metro didn’t want any trips that used to be a one seat ride to require a transfer.

      Overall, I think route 40 is fine, as the types of trips that would involve jogs west and back east mostly have other, faster alternatives. Ideally, route 40 would be split to improve reliability, but to avoid introducing forced transfers, you’d have to have multiple overlapping routes down 24th, like the old bus network before the D line used to do. But, overlapping routes means more service hours per route, which means worse frequency/span on both routes, and IMHO, the tradeoffs just aren’t worth it. When all is said and done, I would lean toward leaving route 40 as is and make whatever spot improvements can be made to make it more reliable.

      1. #3 would go away after Ballard Link, when the D would be much less important for downtown trips and/or the D would be split in two, at which point serving Northgate would be more palatable?

    3. Nice thing about bus infrastructure is all these improvements are are interchangeable. We can launch this new rapid ride and switch the tails of the D and 40 at some point later, perhaps as a part of a Lynnwood link restructure?

      Rather than just end the 40 where the D ends, seems like KCM and/or SDOT would push for this change only if the 40 was to do something else, and therefore extending the D to Northgate unlocks some other improvement. What would that be? Ballard to Lake City via 130th station? 40 terminus at Shoreline college?

      Another way to frame it is: if you wanted to extend the D, where would you go? And then, would the 40 do that better, leaving the D to take over the 85th to Northgate segment of the 40?

    4. 24th is a key corridor on the 40. Any change would likely occur north of 40th, although if we find the funding, I would love to see an all-day 18, to go along with a frequent 40 (the 18 would essentially be an all-day express overlay, not just a peak-only express overlay). But the 24th NW/Leary/Fremont/Westlake is the heart of this route, and a big part of its high ridership.

      As I see it, the problems start around 85th. The D and 40 overlap on a section that doesn’t need overlapping (certainly not by two high-frequency routes). Making matters worse, the D ends pretty much in the middle of nowhere (failing to even make a connection with the 5, let along the E). This creates short, nasty, 3-seat rides (https://goo.gl/maps/e5JfgtotiTQq9WRF7). Here is how I would fix it:

      1) Extend the D to Northgate, via the current 40 route. I would even consider taking a faster route (via Northgate Way to 1st) as long as you can backfill service along College Way (with more 345/346 service, for example).

      2) Send the 40 to Northgate via 85th, replacing the eastern part of the proposed 61 (https://kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/metro/programs-projects/link-connections/north-link/route-info/en/route061.pdf).

      It is possible that the 40 could be extended all the way to Lake City, retaining the proposed one-seat connection from Greenwood to Lake City (as the 61). I don’t this is essential though. It isn’t as important as having a faster one-seat connection from Northgate to Lake City (or anything else this adds).

      At worst you live with a small frequent line from Northgate to Lake City (a truncated 61, if you will — https://goo.gl/maps/4dU49VmDxvh1QDAC7). But there are other alternatives for that section (between Northgate and Lake City via Northgate Way) especially when 130th station is built.

      1. Having the 40 go east along 85th, while the D-line extends down Northgate Way could be an option. Although, having one route go Lake City->Northgate->Ballard->downtown becomes a very long route, which could be heavily delayed by the time it hits Fremont. I suppose it might not be much worse than today’s 40, though, which uses Northgate Way.

        “I would even consider taking a faster route (via Northgate Way to 1st)”
        I like that idea too. It would even better if there some way the #40 could serve a bus stop at Northgate Way/1st Ave. so that people headed to places like Target don’t have to ride the bus south and walk back north again. Unfortunately, the way the streetscape over there caters to King Car, I don’t think it’s possible.

      2. 2) Does 85th back up much with the freeway traffic? Avoiding the freeway was the only reason 85th gave me pause, but serving the center of Greenwood seems very worthwhile.

        Or would the prospective 40 dogleg up Aurora to 92 and thereby avoid most of the freeway queuing? (The route 61 link isn’t working for me). An Aurora dogleg would create shared stops with the E for same-platform transfers?

      3. @AJ — The 61 Link is a PDF, so maybe that’s the problem. Anyway, to answer your question, the bus would dogleg up to Northgate, like so: https://goo.gl/maps/xYXphoJ8zsv2cBQMA. Traffic shouldn’t be a huge issue — it rarely backs up that far.

        @asdf2 — Yeah, extending the D-Line makes it long, but it would actually be shorter than the current 40. To get to 15th and 85th (where the buses cross) the D-Line is about 5 minutes faster without traffic (and a lot faster when there is traffic). In other words, to get to Crown Hill (which they both serve) the 40 is the one that is very long. If anything, it should be the one that is truncated soon thereafter. But this would still make it shorter, overall, since going 85th and 92nd to Northgate is faster. Thus both buses would be shorter than the current 40.

      4. Oh, and I should mention that I would also add a bus lane for 85th, from about 15th NW to Wallingford. Both the 45 and the new bus (headed to Northgate) would share that section. Both would turn at Wallingford (the 45 heading south, the other bus heading north). Drivers would gravitate towards 80th, which has no buses. The bus headed to Northgate would have to leave the bus lane (to turn left) but it would still be a lot faster through Greenwood.

        There would be two buses going on 45th between 15th NW and Aurora — a key section for folks in Greenwood. The E is about 15 minutes faster than the 40 to get downtown. If the connection is fast and frequent, it will save riders time. More importantly, it is just a different corridor, with folks who want to get from one place to another (https://goo.gl/maps/wEe2KZGuQJHXVu1k6). Almost all of the apartments are on 85th (not 80th) — it makes sense for the buses to double up there, leaving 80th for the cars.

      5. OK cool. As long as 85th doesn’t cause reliability issues during peak because of freeway queuing, I think that’s a excellent option. Giving larger swath of NW Seattle a direct connect to North Seattle community college, and a 1-seat connection between the Ballard job centers (mostly along Leary) and Link for commuters coming from the north both seems like big wins.

        I don’t see the D being “too long” … wasn’t it originally paired with the C? Back then, it probably made good sense to not reach for Northgate, but now that it is separate from the C, extending to Northgate is within a reasonable length for a RR route.

      6. I don’t see the D being “too long” … wasn’t it originally paired with the C?

        Yeah, good point. I don’t think it would be too long either. In fact, the longest route would be shorter. The pairing would be really nice. The biggest delay is with the bridges. If you are at Northgate heading into town, then it doesn’t matter. But if you are in Crown Hill trying to get to Northgate, then it would be really nice to have another bus in case one of them is delayed by the bridge. Likewise, in Greenwood you would have two buses to connect to Link — you just take the first one that arrives. I really think that is the best option for Northwest Seattle. On the other hand, Northeast Seattle is more complicated, with trickier trade-offs.

      7. Originally Metro was conceptually open to extending the D to Northgate but the budget couldn’t stretch for enough red buses. The 40 was created at the same time and it was extended to Northgate instead. I’ve always supported exchanging these tails or routing the 40 to 85th. However, I’d want to see some Metro willingness before expending energy to advocate for it.

        The 45 westbound backs up at Aurora midday. I haven’t seen it eastbound, but I’ve never lived in the area. I don’t support the 61 proposal to move the 45 to 80th. That has fewer destinations or residents to justify it. It would both annoy riders and make them less willing to choose transit. Different people have different thresholds for choosing transportation modes, and any alignment option will lose some people who were on the edge of going one way or another. The actual ridership loss in this case may be small, but that just means people are still riding your crappy system. We should aim higher, for satisfied riders and the most useful transit network. So we should look instead to transit priority on 85th, whatever that means. And if additional service is needed on 80th, it should be an extension of another route.

        I like the idea of extending the 40 somewhere else instead, possibly Shoreline CC.

        Metro’s 2040 plan (i.e., Ballard Link in 2036, probably postponed) keeps the 40 but replaces the D with a Ballard-Lake City route, which I call “the route between the Fred Meyers”. It’s on 15th. 85th, Wallingford, 92nd, 1st NE, Northgate Station, 5th, Northgate Way, Lake City Way. This implies RapidRide on 85th, a possible point of leverage for route 40 alternatives.

      8. “Oh, and I should mention that I would also add a bus lane for 85th, from about 15th NW to Wallingford.”

        Yeah, I think that would be a key element in such a proposal. In my experience, the bottleneck on 85th is at Aurora, not the hill going up to the freeway and the 80th ramps.

      9. It is highly likely the 61 gets built. It is way too late in the game to extend the D and swap out the tails. But there are a couple of big questions. One is whether the 45 moves to 85th. Lots of people don’t like the move (myself included). Another is whether the 45 or the new 61 terminates in Greenwood. Metro is proposing a big change to the 45, but I would keep it as is. This means that people on 85th west of Greenwood (e. g. Crown Hill) would retain their one-seat ride to Green Lake, Roosevelt and the U-District (which would be lost otherwise). The one-seat ride to Northgate and Lake City is less valuable. Not only is this less disruptive, but it sets things up for the future (when the 40 can take over the 61).

        Either way I would push for bus lanes on 85th, but having both buses run from Greenwood to Wallingford Avenue makes the case stronger. It would also make it easier to have the D take over that part of the 61, although I would make that change either way. It gives the D a very good terminus (something it lacks right now) while making a lot of good connections like:

        * A much faster one-seat ride from Northgate to Ballard.

        * One-seat ride from Greenwood to Ballard.

        * Two seat ride from Greenwood or Aurora corridor to either end of Ballard.

        It would also be a revenue neutral change compared to what is proposed (I can do the math if someone wants). The 40 avoids a turn on 15th (always good to avoid a turn). The overlapping section is relatively short, and very strong (85th, from 15th NW to Wallingford Ave.). In contrast, if you sent the bus up to Shoreline CC it would overlap the 5 for a really long ways, and not provide a connection to Link or Aurora.

        What I’m proposing is as much an east-west line as north-south, which means it won’t be obsolete as Link expands northward. When Link gets to Northgate (and 130th) I don’t see Link replacing these trips. My guess is the soonest this would happen is with Lynnwood Link (Metro doesn’t seem to do restructures on a regular basis, even though I wish they would).

  2. Is there a reason the curb bulb on the south side of Leary can’t be extended to the crosswalk, shortening the crossing for pedestrians along the greenway? This can’t be that much more expensive, compared to just the bus bulb, if done together.

    1. Here is my thought on the areas that are covered in detail:

      Westlake — Very clever and elegant way to handle a tough problem. This looks this will make a huge difference, while being easy for drivers to understand.

      Fremont (South of Bridge) — This looks like a step in the right direction. I think that it is quite possible though, that cars will back up into the bus lane. They will sit there, waiting for the light (when the bridge is up). Once the cars start moving, the bus will be able to pass them, but only after that last car (the one in front of the bus) starts moving. That probably won’t happen all the time — sometimes the cars will simply line up in that other lane. For that reason, I don’t mind starting slow — we can see how often the cars back up to the end. If it is a lot, then I would take that lane sooner. That means that all cars have to merge into the left lane before spreading out into three lanes. So be it. That would slow the cars down (generally a good thing).

      Fremont (north of the bridge) — Looks good. This should improve both bike and automobile flow, while keeping things safer for bikes and pedestrians. Good work, SDOT.

      Ballard Bridge — Small improvements that should help a lot.

      Ballard/Market — This looks great. Buses should move a lot faster, while Leary becomes a lot nicer. As Andrew suggested above, the curb bulb bus stop should extend to the intersection. It is a little more work, but not much more. Here is an example in Lake City: https://goo.gl/maps/XJJQLTkfZTXxMX8u7. This is a mid section crosswalk, but the idea is the same (the bus stop sticks out, and so does the area where you cross).

    2. [This is my reply to Andrew]

      The only reason I can think of why they wouldn’t do that is if the street would be too narrow for turning trucks.

  3. Route 40 was designed to complement the D Line, once its alignment had been fixed. Metro conducted a two-phased public process to pick the alignments for lines B, C, and D. But there was a budget and red coach constraint. For D, the riders chose 15th Avenue NW over 24th. Lines C and D were paired. both D and 40 are strong.

    If SDOT had more funds, could 24th Avenue NW be “Dexterized”, with the bike lanes shifted to the curb, bus stops at islands with in-lane stops, and stops optimized? Today, buses and bikes weave.

    In the first SDOT TMP under McGinn, they may have had a streetcar on 24th Avenue NW to NW 67th Street (steepness) and the route on 15th Avenue NW extended to Northgate.

    1. If SDOT had more funds, could 24th Avenue NW be “Dexterized”, with the bike lanes shifted to the curb, bus stops at islands with in-lane stops, and stops optimized?

      I like that idea. It looks just as wide as Dexter (for those who aren’t familiar: https://goo.gl/maps/dZNz8XpJCYSPDtf88). Roosevelt also has the same thing (https://goo.gl/maps/9Z1fxid1EyGtSJBT8) although it is a one-way street. This is the future plan for the Eastlake Corridor, as part of RapidRide J (see page 13 of this document: https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/SDOT/TransitProgram/RapidRide/Roosevelt/App%20I%20Concept%20Design%20Drawings.pdf. It takes up room, which means that the bus stops are often not across from each other. But the benefits are huge when you have a corridor that is big for both bikes and buses, as is the case here. I don’t think the cost is that high (we are talking about a little bit of additional curb — not like brand new sidewalks, which need a hydrological study). This would be a really good idea for the corridor — and really should be the standard for any similar corridor (Roosevelt over Maple Leaf, 35th NE assuming there is no mayor who wants to revisit that mess, etc.).

    2. Converting 24th to look like Dexter would be great, but probably beyond the budget of this project? That’s a complete street rebuild. This project could take some steps in that direction, though.

      But it’s a perfect street for it – major neighborhood street that deserves excellent bus and bike infrastructure, but minimal “through” traffic because it ends abruptly at 100th and Market means the lower vehicle throughput is far less problematic than most major streets.

      1. Converting 24th to look like Dexter would be great, but probably beyond the budget of this project? That’s a complete street rebuild.

        How so? All you need are a handful of bus stops in the middle of the street. The sidewalk would remain the same. Assuming stops every five blocks, that is about a dozen stops (six on each side). That doesn’t seem that expensive.

        That being said, I’m also not sure if this areas is high priority for that treatment. This doesn’t seem like a major bike corridor. There are other (albeit slower) options for biking. Unlike other parts of town (e. g. Wedgwood) the parallel streets all go through, and offer no topographic penalty. 17th is a Greenway, and while it could use some improvements, it is offers a fairly fast, safe north-south route (cross streets have stop signs, so bikers don’t have to stop at every intersection). There should be something similar on the other side of 24th (28th seems like the best choice). This would offer bikers a fast and safe alternative to using 24th.

      2. But it’s a perfect street for it – major neighborhood street that deserves excellent bus and bike infrastructure, but minimal “through” traffic because it ends abruptly at 100th and Market means the lower vehicle throughput is far less problematic than most major streets.

        I went to SDOT’s latest traffic report and was surprised that 24th, from 85th to Market, has higher traffic volumes than Dexter from Nickerson to Mercer/Denny. My guess is that wasn’t true before Dexter was “Dexterized” and it functioned as a bypass to Westlake.

      3. I went to SDOT’s latest traffic report and was surprised that 24th, from 85th to Market, has higher traffic volumes than Dexter from Nickerson to Mercer/Denny.

        That is surprising. Anyway, “Dexterizing” 24th wouldn’t effect traffic. You would lose a few parking spots, but have the same number of lanes going each way (one), along with the center turn lane. All it means is losing a handful of parking spaces.

      4. I think the bike lanes and all the bus bulbs is a bunch of work due to new drainage systems, etc. That’s if it gets the full “Dexter” treatment. Simply improving a half dozen stops on 24th is much more straightforward, but that’s not a full Dexter.

        RE: traffic, I think you would lose the center turn lane in a few spots, which decreases throughput. You wouldn’t get rid of all of the parking space b/c you’d still wants some spots for loading/unloading, etc., which means the center lane goes if we are adding PBLs. Not significant like a road diet removing an entire travel lane, but still a decrease in vehicle capacity. Dexter only has turn lanes at intersections, in which case the parking goes away for a short bit.

        So I suppose the traffic trade-off is mostly around PBLs competing for space with curb access and center turn lanes. The bus is stopping within the GP lane either way.

      5. Anyway, “Dexterizing” 24th wouldn’t effect traffic.

        Agreed. Whereas Dexter was a collector street that functioned as an unofficial bypass to the Westlake arterial, 24th IS the arterial, with 20th as the collector, functioning as its unofficial bypass.

        Dexterizing 24th won’t reduce traffic because there’s nowhere for it to go. 15th is too far away to divert large amounts of traffic down the east-west connections. Spot improvements would really only accomplish anything down near Market.

      6. Dexterizing 24th won’t reduce traffic because there’s nowhere for it to go.

        Yeah, but my point is that drivers wouldn’t even notice the change. I’m pretty sure that Dexter underwent a road diet at the same time they added the bike lanes and bus stops. With 24th, it already has a road diet. It already has bike lanes. All that you would add is a few bus stops in the middle of the street which requires only taking a few parking spots.

        I think the bike lanes and all the bus bulbs is a bunch of work due to new drainage systems, etc.

        Yeah, maybe. Basically all it consists of is a new bus stop between the existing bike lane and the middle of the street. This is essentially a small sidewalk island in the middle of the street (https://goo.gl/maps/hB7MjagJuaXwM8ZDA). The bus stop basically “takes a lane” that would otherwise go to parking. This can be seen quite clearly from the air (https://goo.gl/maps/or2588BfSyva3kLb6). Notice the car lanes stay exactly the same. The bike lane swerves a bit, from being outside the parking, to being in between the bus stop and the sidewalk. But the bike lane width is the same as well, as the bus stop island is the same width as the parking space.

        New sidewalks typically mess with the drainage. But that is because you are adding pavement. You are taking soil and replacing with something that doesn’t drain. In this case, you are essentially extending the sidewalk (or to be more precise, adding a new sidewalk over the existing paved street). I could be wrong, but that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal from a hydrological standpoint.

        You also don’t have to do that for the entire block. You only have to do that for each bus stop. In fact, you only have to do that for the bus stops you want. Dexter, for example, still have some old-fashioned bus stops, where bikes and buses have to share (https://goo.gl/maps/3V9iMEccS2KvRs9Q9). Thus this can added bit by bit. The same is true without our system.

        This is an important distinction, which goes back to my other point. Adding a bike lane takes space. It often involves a road diet, which can mean more traffic for cars. But once you’ve done that, adding these “Dexter” bus stops only means taking a parking spot (assuming there is a spot to take). The good news with 24th is that their are parking spots to take all along there. That means that 24th, for example, could replace all of the northbound (uphill) stops, which are probably a bigger issue than the southbound ones. Or it could only replace the stops that are closest to Market, which probably have more bike traffic.

        In general, we could add these in various places across the city. It would be handy to have a better name for them than “the Dexter type stops”. (I’m sure there is one — I just don’t know what it is).

      7. “New sidewalks typically mess with the drainage….”

        Up here in Snohomish County, they have been using perveous concrete for new sidewalks on county Public Works projects for a few years now. The newish sidewalks on my block utilize this technology. I was skeptical at first and it remains to be seen what the life is going to be on this stuff but so far they appear to be functioning as advertised. (I feel for sorry for any kid on a skateboard or bike who takes a tumble on it though as it is a very rough surface, and thus a fall is going to result in a pretty nasty abrasion.) Here is some background info on the technology and its utilization.

        https://www.sightline.org/2012/01/03/the-porous-road-less-traveled/

      8. Yeah, they use some of that same stuff in Seattle. It is definitely an improvement, but I think you still need to study the drainage, even with that.

  4. Well, no reason Metro can’t finally come to the same conclusion as Intercity Transit, and include fare collecting, inspecting, handling, and accounting in the category of hindrances that aren’t worth what they cost.

    And, like we do with cars and the vast majority of streets and roads we don’t toll, just cover the cost of service with a tax or two.

    And/or, re-institute the job description of “Conductor”, that’ll include not only fare inspection and passenger information but, by just being there in uniform, creating Order. Only thing lost: One more reason to not let somebody ride the bus.

    Mark Dublin

  5. The SDOT document is a bit confusing. On page 10 it lists several “areas under consideration”. Those areas are also listed on page 14, under “Bus lanes”. However, only a few of those areas are considered in detail. 36th, Ballard/Crown Hill, Greenwood and Aurora don’t have any supporting details. I don’t know if the other areas will get covered in later studies, or what. Anyway, I thought that was weird.

  6. Moving the bus stop to the far side of Valley is a mistake. The Valley stop is already away from where all the jobs in South Lake Union actually are (crossing Mercer St is a massive headache) and they want to move it across another crosswalk?

    Really there should be a in-median bus stop south of Mercer. There already is a center-lane queue jump there. So the new street pattern is, from west to east:

    – southbound bus/streetcar stop
    – southbound lane
    – northbound bus queue jump
    – northbound median bus stop
    – northbound car lane

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