Photo by AVGeek Joe

As Sound Transit has done several times before, it is shutting down the 1 Line between SODO Station and Capitol Hill Station this weekend, for maintenance work.

A free bus bridge will run from SODO Station To Capitol Hill Station, serving temporary stops at the stations in between. However, this time, the bus bridge will run only every 15 minutes.

70 Replies to “1 Line bus bridge downtown this weekend”

  1. I wonder if it makes since for the bus bridge to just go directly between SODO and Capitol Hill Station, without intermediate stops.

    The idea is that, to go downtown, you’re probably better off riding a regular King County Metro route. The people who do benefit from the bus bridge are the thru-riders, as having to transfer downtown to get between the two stations would be quite a pain. Looking at the map, there may be time-saving opportunities by taking I-5 through downtown, rather than stopping at all the lights.

    1. No because the train is the only 1-seat ride between Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square, Chinatown, or Stadium. The downtown buses at Capitol Hill (49 and 10) both live loop on Pike-Pine. So telling, say, a U District-Pioneer Square rider to transfer twice is worse than providing a direct shuttle serving all closed stations.

      I’ve noticed trains going a little slow between University St and Pioneer Sq lately…slow order?…hopefully this maintenance work is to fix that?

      1. There is actually a one-seat ride from Capitol Hill Station to International District Station (the first hill streetcar). But, I forgot about Pioneer Square. Maybe, the idea doesn’t work.

      2. There Is a Slow Order Of 10MPH due to a Track Defect and the Closing is part of fixing the Problem. should be fixed for the Monday morning Opening.

      1. Yes Michael! The exact thing needs to happen here too. From experience, I’ve observed two major destinations for many Link riders: 1) airport 2) downtown. (the north end is becoming popular too but that can be supplemented by local bus service)

        In the case of this closure, there should be two types of shuttles. One that travels from Cap Hill > airport. The other travelling from Cap Hill > downtown > SODO.

      2. WMATA also singles track portions of the line in both directions share a portion of the track– the headways are much longer to avoid collisions.

      3. Radical thought. Express Link trains. Prolly not comparable with current infrastructure in terms of bypassing current stations, but could be employed when constructing infill stations. (Also, electrified all day sounder service for a quick Tacoma-Seattle connection (again infrastructure and owner constraints but wouldn’t that just be lovely.).)

  2. Does anyone else dread the occasional bus bridge if ST opens future Link stations deep underground? While a second DSTT line would be helpful to complete downtown trips, the vertical distances and elevator crowding seem awful.

    1. Nope. Not at all. The need for an occasional bus bridge is completely independent of site specific issues affecting station depth.

      And besides, the passenger handling systems (escalators, stairs, elevators, and associated corridors, mezzanines, and platforms) are all sized for crush loads, and ST schedules maintenance around those times. There should be more than enough capacity.

      1. ST adequately designing for high volumes? Is that why platforms expected to carry 41K weekday riders leaving the station in 2040 at Westlake have no up escalators and only two narrow down escalators for the original DSTT and another 29K going deep under 5th Avenue in either very long escalators or more likely in elevators.

        I’ve yet to see a single document on WSBLE defining station capacity needs.

      2. @Al.s,

        Well, if your complaint is with the configuration of the old DSTT (now DSLRT), then you would be best to direct your complaints to Metro.

        They designed the tunnel and the buck stops with them. ST didn’t even exist back then, so I’m pretty sure ST isn’t to blame for the crappy design! Not in this reality.

        And of course it doesn’t help that Metro ran the tunnel into the ground by neglecting basic maintenance. Metro could have, and should have, done better.

      3. Come on Al, the stations are enormous. They can carry way more people than the trains will ever carry, just like they were never close to capacity with the buses.

        I really don’t see what this has to do with a closure. When things close, you don’t go into the tunnel — you stay on the surface, and take buses. Unexpected closures might empty a train, but unless it happens with a major event (like the Apple Cup) is unlikely to cause crowding (and even when that *did* happen, the station handled the crowds just fine).

        There are a lot of reasons to not like the enormously deep stations they are proposing (especially since a lot of them are unnecessary) but that isn’t one of them.

      4. I’m glad ST redesigned Capitol Hill Station for crushloads. They don’t happen often, but when they did happen for the occasional mega-march, the elevators were not able to keep up with arrivals.

        As it happens, I tried using the north stairwell yesterday to avoid the elevator crowd. When I got to the mezzanine level, I found the door locked. Continuing up the stairwell came with a warning that the exterior exit was for emergency exit only, and that an alarm would sound. Great job, ST, locking an emergency exit door!

  3. A bus bridge is extra Metro bus service. Their drivers numbers are already lower. Even if it is only weekend service, some route or run might have to be canceled to run this service. Who gets the cut. Just curious.

      1. Hmm… Is it that ST can’t reverse trains at Westlake? That’s a much easier bus “bridge” that could just be handing out coupons at the platforms for a frequent Metro bus.

      2. Trains can physically reverse at Westlake, but this type of bus bridge (I’m told) has to do with the way power is set up. They have to shut down the electrical to the former DSTT to do this kind of work, which precludes getting trains into Westlake. Hopefully they can update this in the future so that CBD train service can exist even during disruptions. As is, asking Lynnwood 512 riders to newly transfer twice is a pain, or three times if going to the Rainier Valley or airport! That type of pain will only grow as forced transfers and truncations rightfully take over as Link expands. Given that, it would behoove ST to update the systems to allow for more flexible operations.

      3. Interesting problem, Arthur.

        Does ST have any sort of proposed or adopted program for completing minor projects to prevent future massive disruptions that require bus bridges? Such events will be much more disruptive when there are two lines and more riders scheduled to operate in just 18 months.

        In the corporate world, these are called contingency plans.

        Doesn’t East Link have a surplus? It seems like a good use of those funds since East Link and double frequency will surely complicate this situation.

      4. @Al.S,

        Yes, ST does have a contingency plan for events like this – it’s called a “bus bridge”. You will be able to witness it in operation this weekend.

        And, no, having higher ridership or more lines in operation doesn’t “complicate” things, it just means you need more buses in your bus bridge. And remember that ST usually schedules these events for times with low ridership demand, so that certainly helps.

        Or are you saying that you doubt that buses can ever substitute, even temporarily, for Light Rail? I’m not sure I would issue such a blanket statement. Yes, there is a definite degradation in service and a real pain factor to substituting buses for Link, and the economics of buses aren’t as good, but for a short duration event it should be survivable.

        And I’m sure some people will just stay home rather than transfer to the bus.

      5. Yeah right … having two bus bridges rather than one doesn’t complicate things.

        That means two different additional bus loading areas at Capitol Hill Station after 2023 as 2 Line would have to reverse trains at Judkins Park. That alone adds complexity.

        Yeah I stand by my complexity statement.

      6. @Al.s,

        Between IDS and CHS 1-Line and 2-Line will be interlined. So only one bus bridge is needed.

        Draw it out on a piece of paper. It’s pretty straightforward in concept, just requires sizing.

      7. You are simply wrong, Lazarus. This bus bridge is from SODO and not ID. Scott explained that the cracked rail was in Chinatown already.

        Thus an East Link bus bridge would have to be from Judkins Park.

      8. @Al.s,

        Still no big deal. You just have some buses that say “1-Line SoDo”, and some buses that say “2-Line Judkins Park”.

        It’s no big deal. You just get the sizing right, and make sure the stops are clearly marked and have curb space. It’s hardly rocket science.

        And what happened to the pro-bus, anti-rail advocates on this blog? You’d think that people here would be chomping at the bit to prove that buses can replace rail. Instead we get this “the sky is falling, it will never work, too complicated, blah blah blah” train of though?

        Come on. It’s a bus bridge, and it’s for one weekend. The sky isn’t going to fall. It’s not that hard.

      9. @Al.s,

        Oh, and the cracked rail is apparently between PSS and IDS, so they could run trains into IDS if they didn’t need to depower the OCS.

        But when 2-Line gets hooked up that might, or at least could be different. So again, a bus bridge even then might be real, real simple.

        Not that it isn’t simple anyhow.

  4. Yet again, ST is failing in the area of customer experience in three ways:

    1) the website has ZERO details of boarding locations for the shuttle at each station.

    2) The shuttle is running every 15 min. Trains run every 10. So that means people from each train, which is 3-4 cars, are all going to cram into a single articulated bus. What a disaster.

    3) The Kraken are playing Saturday, which means game day crowds. Not the best time to schedule a weekend closure.

    I’m starting to loathe ST.

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to say all riders who would have taken the train would have taken a bus. For example, let’s say you’re going downtown from Roosevelt. You could do the bus bridge thing. Or, maybe take Link to CHS and ride the 10. Or, take Link to CHS and walk. Or, just ride the 62 all the way, etc. Or, if the trip isn’t that important, just postpone it a week altogether.

      (Even under the bus bridge scenario, I would still never ride the CCC all the way around the U, if it existed; that would be the slowest option of all).

      There’s enough alternatives our there that the temporary shuttle really doesn’t need anywhere near the capacity of a Link train. The alternatives will naturally spread people out, depending on where they are ultimately going to and coming from.

      1. People who are aware of these alternatives are regular transit users, or I would dare say transit nerds like us. The majority of Link riders only care about their own trip and aren’t aware of other transit options of reaching their destination. Due to ST’s poor ability to communicate to customers, many will get on the train without realizing there’s going to be a disruption. So they’ll arrive at CHS and be totally surprised and follow only the signs for the shuttle without having the foreknowledge of route 10 & 49 (which they’ll have to pay for).

        Then there’s the Kraken crowd who only take transit during game days. I bet they’ll take the shuttle to downtown and then the Monorail….. and then Uber back home because they don’t want to deal with the clunky shuttle set-up.

        Customer experience for 21st century culture is vital in attracting and KEEPING riders. And that means sacrificing a certain amount of operational efficiency. Now if we could just hire enough drivers…

    2. The advantage of a bus bridge over regular Metro routes is the ability to have timed transfers, which means the bus sits there and fills up until everyone has had adequate time to get there from the train, or it is full and transferers start filling up the next bus.

      Also, when ridership comes back, I expect most of the routes that also serve SODO Station to already be close to full, with nowhere near enough space to handle four traincars of transferers.

      There is no timed transfer advantage for departing trains, whether from bridge or regular buses, but I hope the bus at least drops off at the station, not two blocks away like it did on a previous iteration of the bridge.

      As a temporary bonus, ST support personnel can offer masks and remind passengers how to wear their masks properly when they board the bridge bus. Make it a day to give out souvenir N95s.

    3. Does the Kraken still allow a packed arena, in the midst of the largest explosion of positive tests (not even including the home tests) since the pandemic began? Does KC Public Health even allow that?

      1. They do but you have to be fully vaccinated or have a negative covid-19 test and that is true for all events at Climate Pledge Arena. You also have to wear a mask inside the arena unless you are eating or drinking.

        There were also full crowds at Seahawks games and the same rules were applied as at Climate Pledge Arena.

      2. I was at a couple Sounders matches with those rules. The crowd spread out where there was space, voting with their feet against being packed in.

        About half the crowd took liberties with the you-get-to-keep-your-mask-down rule by being in possession of a cup of beer or some food throughout the match. Ushers tried to enforce masking, but it was a joke. A scary joke.

        If sportsball teams want to pack the fans in, they will simply have to cease food and drink service for the time being, so that masking can be enforced. But in practice, they won’t do any more than the state requires. The state needs to step in and require the clubs to do better.

    4. The last downtown bus bridge I was on had two articulated buses running together every 10 minutes while the train was 15 (during its covid reduction), so the bus bridge was actually better than the train. I think that means the contingency plan was predesigned and wasn’t reduced when Link was. All the other Link bus bridges I’ve seen have also been 10 minutes, so are you sure it’s 15? The bus bridge was fine and didn’t go over-capacity, you just had to wait a few minutes for it. And sometimes it had over a dozen people lined up at SODO or University Street, so it needed those extra buses in addition to the regular downtown buses. Plus the bridge buses are easier to understand for new or occasional riders. Nobody except transit fans and some regular riders know that the 7/14/36 follow Link downtown, the 101/124/131/132/150 follow it to SODO, the 49 follows it to Capitol Hill and U-District (but not UW), the First Hill Streetcar goes between Capitol Hill and Intl Dist, etc.

      And ST has repeatedly had better customer service during the bus bridges than Metro has during reroutes. There was a sign a week ago at Capitol Hill Station saying a bus bridge would be in place this week, with a graph of the route and transfer points. I may have seen one at SODO too. And there were information agents at at least the DSTT stations all day telling people about the bus bridge. Maybe there won’t be this weekend, but there were during all the past work.

  5. After the 2 Line opens, there are already multiple bridge routes already in place between Jimi Hendrix Park Station and Mt Baker Station, including Metro routes 7 and 8.

    Having a 2-Line express bus bridge between Rainier/I-90 and Capitol Hill makes a lot of sense.

    I’m torn whether the best 1-Line express bus bridge should use Beacon Hill or Mt Baker as its southern terminus. But there might be savings and better frequency if the express bus bridges get combined into Mt Baker to I-90/Rainer to Capitol Hill.

    Having ridership and staffing back should make the express bus bridge concept very feasible.

      1. … Or a bus bridge bus at Judkins Park. There is no bus turn around at the station.

        Judkins Park would need to be a temporary end station with a bus bridge in both directions — for bus bridges into Downtown as well as across the floating bridge.

      2. Yes, because if the winds on the I-90 bridge have a sustained speed of 35mph, then the bridge will be closed and trains will have to be turned around at Judkins Park Station. I think there is a pocket/storage track west of the station. (yes, ST is already planning for this contingency, when there is a wind storm in the area and I-90 floating bridge has be closed for that).

      3. This is for trains from the Eastside terminating at Judkins Park when the downtown section is closed.

      4. “ yes, ST is already planning for the contingency…”

        So I wish ST would tell us how they will route buses when Judkins Park has to be a bus bridge end station. The street grid around the station is narrow except for Rainier and 23rd and there is no room to turn a bus around there.

      5. Worst case, you run your shuttle bus down Rainier and turn it around at Mt. Baker Transit Center. It’s ugly (there’s a lot of traffic for the bus to sit through between (I-90 and Mt. Baker Transit Center). But, at least it provides an obvious spot for a bus to turn around and layover.

        It’s tempting to just let the 7 be the shuttle bus (at least from Judkins Park to downtown, along with the 8 to Capitol Hill and the 48 to UW), but given how full the 7 already is, I don’t think it would work without running extra route 7 trips, at which point, you may as well just run a shuttle bus.

      6. Wouldn’t it just stop at all the stations, like the other bus? I’m just thinking of what people want and expect for East Link. Folks in Bellevue want to go to downtown Seattle. Folks in Rainier Valley want to go to the East Side. It seems to me like it should basically just be like the old 550. It gets tricky because I think the freeway stop is gone (permanently). That means the bus navigates the neighborhood a bit before going over the water. This might work: https://goo.gl/maps/ruH3UossFoYjgCwx7. You would have a stop right at the main entrance. You might even be able to add a temporary bus stop on Rainier there (minimizing the walk for some riders). Going the other direction you definitely have both stops (https://goo.gl/maps/RHPdG3ffKLDJgSSg9).

        It is a bit redundant, but no more so that than this bus (which makes all the downtown stops). This is a backup situation that happens rarely (for now anyway). What matters most is clarity. You want to serve all the stops, in the same order, to avoid confusion. It is not a time to worry about efficiency.

      7. @Als,

        Huh? Now you are saying that a bus bridge is too complicated for the 2-Line because ST can’t figure out how to turn a bus around?

        Come on. That is crazy talk. Even Metro can turn a bus around, do it safely, and has been doing so for decades! ST will certainly be able to do the same.

      8. You really need to read my posts clearly rather than trying to pop off insults on words I haven’t used, Lazarus. I never said it was “too complicated”.

      9. I often see the WSDOT tow truck exit onto Rainier NB only to see it a short time later getting on I-90 EB. I don’t know where/how it turns around and of course it’s a lot more maneuverable than a bus, especially an artic.

        Why wouldn’t they just up the frequency of the 554 between MI and DT? If they did that they wouldn’t even have to take the train all the way to Judkins Park. They could(should?) to serve the 23rd entrance and make life a easier for people transferring at Rainier.

    1. This is true!

      I wonder if ST should have battery powered portable information screens to use during periodic shutdowns. If the highway system can have changeable message signs , shouldn’t a transit agency have some similar equipment?

      1. “If the highway system can have changeable message signs , shouldn’t a transit agency have some similar equipment?”

        They do, but they use outdated sign software, which is only capable of displaying a message once every 5-10 minutes, and only when an obnoxious voice is saying the message while it displays.

        There are, of course, low-tech options to consider. Like a portable whiteboard in a storage closet that a security guard could haul out to write a message on, when needed.

      2. WSDOT spent millions of dollars on displays whose primary purpose is to implement “managed traffic lanes”, which is what those variable-speed signs are. ST doesn’t have money to spend on portable displays when it’s got so many other things to do, and it can’t even get a person to a dozen stations to update the wall schedule until nine months after the schedule has changed.

      3. Mike, I was merely suggesting portable and less expensive changeable message signs. I’m not suggesting the giant permanent signs on gantries above freeway lanes. WSDOT also has battery powered signs on wheels that they can park on the side of the road. In any case, highway sign lettering has to be huge because drivers need to read it. Transit riders don’t need letters 30 inches tall.

  6. I take like light rail between Northgate and downtown Seattle quite often now because it’s much easier for me to do what needs to be done. But when you cut off that link between Capitol Hill and Soto basically you prevent people from basically doing what they’re doing. And much more scary is it is this if you put buses to basically alleviate the train due to this maintenance work guess what that means people will get robbed people will get mugged and people will be murdered by a bunch of people it shouldn’t be out on the street. And what this idea of having to close off you know the area between Capitol Hill and Soto it’s going to really do some damage. That’s why people like me will not take the bus in the downtown Seattle like that. That’s why I take Link light rail for. It’s too alleviate the bus. But until things are addressed and all this? We need to do something about this matter. I’m telling people it’s going to close off one part of that Link light rail chain is really going to devastate the entire community like that. And what’s going to happen is it’s going to lead to people like me being robbed stabbed or shot in downtown seattle. That is really bad. Especially when you’re getting on and off a bus. That is why something definitely needs to be done about it. Because of this is not done the next time they do their maintenance work. Somebody is going to get hurt and possibly killed! That’s what I think about this whole thing with these shutdowns of Link light rail for a weekend can you imagine it being shut down for a whole month go to construction work and maintenance work? That’s going to have a negative effect on the city and a negative effect on people wanting to get to where they need to go as fast as they can. Because that’s exactly what’s going to end up happening. You’re going to start seeing people getting on the Metro buses and basically end up being assaulted stabbed rubbed beating up or in some cases murder. So let’s see how this goes!

    1. Your likelyhood of getting mugged, stabbed, beaten, or murdered downtown while waiting for a bus is very low. The media reports the one or two people a month that happens to, not the tens of thousands it doesn’t happen to.

      The transfer points are not downtown but at Capitol Hill and SODO stations. If you’re not getting on/off downtown, the people on the street won’t affect you. There will be a crowd of transferees around you at the stations and on the bus. Even at downtown stops there’s sometimes a crowd for the shuttle bus. Street crazies are unlikely to board a crowded shuttle bus. Even if they do, they’ll probably be several people away from you.

      If you’re taking the 131 or 132 southbound at 3rd & Pike every day you have more to be concerned about than taking a Link shuttle surrounded by transferrees.

      1. Mike,
        The media reports on the “one or two people a month” that are extra ordinary, like old ladies or Asians getting robbed. The SPD Crime Dashboard reports 2,276 violent crimes in the DT commercial district. That’s almost half of the total 4,910 violent crimes for the whole city; or six a day and they don’t even have all of the data in for 2021 yet. Your chance of being a victim may be low on a percentage basis (the school or herd method of protection against lions or sharks) but DT remains one of the most dangerous places in the City. Also, since the pandemic violent crimes have increased and the number of people DT has dropped significantly so your protection from the herd isn’t what it used to be.

      2. I have been going downtown on and off for forty years. I’ve lived next to downtown the past eighteen years, and since the pandemic started I’ve gone every two or three days to Pike Place Market or a bus or train or other downtown errand or a walk. Only twice did I have to content with a possible assault, once forty years ago and once twenty years ago. The first one was a guy at a bus stop waving a bottle at 2nd & Union in front of a building that’s no longer there. The second one was two black guys who were probably just talking tough to a white guy. When I see altercations sometimes since then, the people usually know each other.

      3. Before I lived near downtown, I lived in the northern U-District for fourteen years. The police blotter published in The Stranger said there was crime on that block almost every day. But again, it didn’t affect me.

      4. That’s great that you’ve been lucky or know how to avoid situations. But last year over two thousand people weren’t so lucky. And yes, a fair number of the crimes are altercations between people that know each other like the shooting on Capitol Hill during CHOP. But there have been several stories in the news lately of people getting shot by stray bullets from such incidents and if you’re a witness you might also become a victim. The statistics show DT is getting less safe. It’s people’s perception that determines response and the safety issue isn’t something the media just fabricated.

        It will be interesting to see what changes occur now that King County has taken over City Hall Park which was recognition that there is a bad situation and something needs to change. I still think it strange that the County took over a park in the core of DT. It’s not like KC doesn’t have it’s own set of problems policing unincorporated parts of the county.

      5. Two thousand people, divided by 365 days in the year, divided by 24 hours (assuming you spend one hour downtown), divided by the hundreds of blocks downtown (although heavily weighted toward certain blocks).

        The original issue wasn’t even about general hanging out downtown or taking an everyday bus, it was about taking the Link shuttle on the two days Link is closed. The shuttle termini are outside downtown, it has only a few downtown stops, you can avoid the stops closest to the hotspots, and there will probably be at least a few shuttle riders with you at the stop, maybe even ten or more, or even fifty if you’re at the termini.

      6. Bernie, the neighborhood has been much better since the park next to the courthouse was closed although a few tents have migrated to the sidewalk on Yesler (and I was surprised to see a Community Transit bus on Yesler the other night).

        I think it will be difficult for the county to keep the park free from homeless if the park is reopened. My suggestion would be for the county to develop the park, maybe an addition to the courthouse. Until then best to leave the chain-link fences up because having no one use the park is better for the neighborhood.

        No one ever goes there to enjoy a “park” anymore (and few come to this area of the city anyway), it is very small, and when open it is too dangerous, too dirty, and too filled with tents. It does have some nice mature trees that offer some greenery in a pretty bleak area, but the park will never be usable for ordinary people if it is open to the public, so just develop it.

    2. If one Bings Leonard Brinkman Seattle, a story about a blind busker who was attacked by a nutter pops up. Leonard, if you are the bloke in the story, I want to apologize that some tossers in the comment section are slagging you off. Them are right knob heads.

  7. I went into Seattle with my wife and daughter last weekend. Was waiting for the 545, but the 542 came first. We took the 542, because transferring to Link at UW takes about the same amount of time as the 545 direct to Downtown.

    Except I forgot there was a bus bridge… anyway, our first destination was Little Saigon, so we just took the streetcar from Capitol Hill. It was my first time on that thing. Why does it have to wait for all the lights? It is very slow. Signal priority should be possible on that route.

    Anyway, I hear people are freaking out about Little Saigon these days. There was a big gathering of meth addicts, maybe 30 or 40 of them, on the southeast corner of 12th and Jackson. And there were two tents completely blocking the sidewalk on the south side of Jackson, between 12th and Rainier. Lots of graffiti all over the place; I guess the local businesses have given up removing it.

    My daughter was hungry, so we stopped in at a Chinese restaurant on northwest corner. The sign just says “Sichuanese Cuisine” (and what I think is “Old Sichuan” in Chinese). Really good food. They had a lot of customers, so I guess people weren’t too deterred by the unruly addicts on the opposite corner. By the time we were done eating, the police had come and dispersed the crowd.

    Then we went downtown for some (more) shopping. Every store we went into there had both a security guard and Seattle Police inside the entrance. The security guards were not new, but the police were. Is that a Bruce Harrell thing?

    1. What is striking about the I. D., and the area in general is that it looks unlike anything else in the past. I did a walk around that area, as well as the C. D., and was struck by the contrast. On the one hand, everything is booming. It seems around every block — blocks that used to be considered the slums — there is some sort of development occurring. A new apartment, townhouse or maybe just a remodel. And yet, there are boarded up shops, and lots of people sleeping on the streets. It is more than Dickensian, it is surreal.

      If you were a Rip Van Winkle, it would all be very confusing. Oh sure, you’ve seen run-down old cities, far worse off. You’ve seen boom times. You’ve even seen the Reagan style mix. But this, this just doesn’t make any sense. Until, of course, someone tells you about the pandemic. The economy overall is strong — retail isn’t. That’s a weird combination that has never occurred in my lifetime, and may never again.

      1. Brick and mortar retail is suffering. Overall Americans are spending (buying stuff) at a record pace. That’s part of the supply chain issue. Parts of the service and entertainment sectors are also hurting; cruise ships, restaurants, live venues. Money not spent there is driving record sales of “stuff”; especially all things electronic. One brick and mortar business that’s also crushing it is home improvement like Lowes and Home Depot.

    2. @Christopher Cramer

      How do you know everyone in that gathering was a meth addict? Did you personally watch them all pass around a frebasing pipe, or are you making assumptions and casting aspersions here? Statistically, only a minority of the local homeless are drug users. So what set these specific people apart from other homeless people in your mind?

      RossB is right, or at least closer. It is not Dickensian, but neither is it surreal. It is future dystopian, cyberpunk without the advanced technology. And with people like Durkan and Harrell running things, lacking the political will to actually address with the problem with housing first, housing always solutions it is only going to get worse. It’ll never stop the profit machine, they’ll just keep pushing the undesirables around to pretend like something is being done.

      At any rate, what does your anti-homeless screed have to do with the 1 Line bus bridge?

      1. When I took the bus to 12th and Jackson everyone was either smoking meth or passing the pipe around. The Seattle Times had a front-page article before I went there in which the local merchants had complained about an infestation of meth addicts. They certainly looked like meth addicts. I figured mostly meth addicts huddle around someone smoking meth on the street and passing around a pipe.

        But I didn’t see where Christopher used the term “homeless” in his post. His post was about public safety and crime, whether housed or not. For example, I also disapprove of the low-income tenants on Yesler hanging out on the stoop and street and in front of the light rail station passing around hard liquor and getting drunk, smoking pot, and sometimes smoking meth. I don’t think that creates a safe street scene or is good for retail vibrancy. Of course neither are tents.

        Yes, not every homeless person is a drug addict, but at the same time low-income subsidized housing attracts a higher percentage of drug addicts, at least from what I see, which dispels the myth about housing before treatment. How about Harrell begins with arresting and prosecuting those who break the laws re: drinking in public, and do drugs in public, whether housed or not.

        If there is anything I got from Christopher’s post — having seen firsthand the scene at 12th and Jackson — it was the fact every retail store had armed guards and police inside. Who in the hell is going to shop in that environment (no offense to Christopher who actually took his family in shopping in Seattle)?

      2. @DT:

        “When I took the bus to 12th and Jackson everyone was either smoking meth or passing the pipe around.”

        This is unprecedented hyperbole, even from you. Especially since , presuming you got off the bus at 12th and Jackson as that is where you were taking the bus to, you yourself would be one of the people either smoking meth or passing the pipe around. Except I think we all know this quote is over the top, and quite frankly unbelievable.

        “The Seattle Times had a front-page article before I went there in which the local merchants had complained about an infestation of meth addicts. They certainly looked like meth addicts.”

        I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but the Blethen family mouthpiece has a rather conservative agenda. It certainly fits their MO to say such a thing, regardless of whether or not it is reality. And the plural of anecdote is not data. We have this thing called statistics, and it suggests something very different from what the Times reports. It’s a form of science/mathematics too, something we have spent centuries testing and perfecting. Certainly longer than Seattle has existed, much less had a homelessness crisis.

        “But I didn’t see where Christopher used the term “homeless” in his post.”

        Technically, correct, but only disingenuously. There is this line, after all:

        “And there were two tents completely blocking the sidewalk on the south side of Jackson, between 12th and Rainier.”

        Are you suggesting the housed are pitching tents on the streets?

        “Yes, not every homeless person is a drug addict, but at the same time low-income subsidized housing attracts a higher percentage of drug addicts, at least from what I see, which dispels the myth about housing before treatment.”

        First, the plural of anecdote is not data. What you see, or what any single person sees, is not the whole story. Second, nobody argues that there isn’t a greater percentage of substance users among the low income and homeless, those who require subsidized housing. Not even me. The argument is that they are not the majority, and that the primary driver behind that drug use is their living conditions, whereas many who tend to take views similar to yours would argue that the drug use is the primary motivator for them being low income or homeless. Which is why it does not dispel the concept of housing before treatment. Because the housing *is* a big part of the treatment. It’s the first step towards that better end. Social services, which are also part of that concept of better quality of life leading the charge towards stable mental health, are easier to deliver and get with a stable address. While it is admittedly anecdotal, I have seen this work with friends and with the homelessness NPOs I have worked with. It’s also well established as a best practice within the field.

        “If there is anything I got from Christopher’s post — having seen firsthand the scene at 12th and Jackson — it was the fact every retail store had armed guards and police inside. Who in the hell is going to shop in that environment (no offense to Christopher who actually took his family in shopping in Seattle)?”

        Actually, tons of people. Dick’s Drive In has been hiring off duty police to guard their Wallingford and Broadway locations on Friday and Saturday nights since the late 1990s. Mainly to herd drunk frat boys. It hasn’t stopped them from making money hand over fist, so I don’t think other places needing to the same will experience any kind of chilling effect on their sales. Malls have had security guards for decades and nobody batted an eye. They’re retail outlets. Grocery stores have them, even grocery stores on the east side. I think you’ll be surprised how many people will simply ignore their presence and go on with their daily lives.

    3. “Why does it have to wait for all the lights? It is very slow. Signal priority should be possible on that route.”

      That’s what I’ve been saying all along. Trams should have transit-priority lanes, otherwise what’s the point of building them? If the 14th dogleg was necessary because streetcar couldn’t go straight up the incline on 12th, that should have been a sign that a trolleybus would have been better. I ride the streetcar occasionally from Uwajimaya to Pine Street for variety, but it is slow, and waits at turns.

      1. The slow streetcar speed is a byproduct of using a narrow urban street for to many functions — streetcar, bicycles, through traffic, turning traffic, parking. The priority is also limited by having frequent (and more ridden) routes that cross the tracks too.

        I don’t think there is an easy solution. Streetcar tracks are expensive and time-consuming to move. Bicycle tracks are effectively permanently installed. Removing a parking lane or turn lane could help a little bit — but the overall streetcar operation has so many delay causes that it’s hard to save much time. Because the streetcar is mixed with traffic there can’t be something like a queue jump installed for streetcars leaving a stop.

        The ways to get any streetcar to move like Link on MLK is to have its own dedicated set of tracks in a median; to have a traffic lane or good barrier between the tracks and sidewalk; to restrict pedestrian and traffic crossings; and to reduce the number of streetcar stops.

        My long-range suggestions to assess (and these may not do much to help) would be to:

        1. Sever the line. Send the Jackson St segment out to the CD. Send the Broadway segment to Judkins Park. Both lines can then be used as routes as replacements for bus routes (with restructuring past their new end points).

        2. Connect Harborview better with Link. Funicular, gondola, diagonal elevator, escalator towers are all way to turn this connection into a three minute nonstop trip like it should be (and would fulfill the original Sound Moves promise) as opposed to the much longer time it takes to use the streetcar.

        3. Reduce the waiting at red lights . Eliminating turning phases (even prohibiting some turns) would speed the streetcar route up at signals. Reducing the early 5 seconds for pedestrians/ bicyclists would give slightly more green time for streetcars (and since the turns mostly have their own phases the early walk time isn’t actually needed). Rethinking the split phasing at some intersections could also help with streetcar travel time. It could be possible to make all the pedestrian crossings work from push buttons to reduce the red light waiting but it seems counter productive in an urban setting that dense.

        There is a misconception that the signals can just be set to make the lights just turn green for the streetcar. If it was the only movement to address it would be much more possible. In this setting, there are just too many other movements going on the conflict with the streetcar paths. In particular, making sure the light stays green long enough for pedestrians crossing the street means longer red lights for the streetcar.

    4. There’s always a hustle down on the southeast corner of 12th and Jackson but they aren’t all “meth addicts.”

      1. Check out Dow Constantine’s tweet after visiting 12th and Jackson five days ago with his family. The best part is the angry replies. KOMO news had a piece on the tweet and 12th and Jackson tonight.

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