My Reactions to the August 25 2015 Changes for the 8, 11 and 43

I’ve have reviewed the August 25, 2015 Metro proposal and I am sorry to say it fails since:

1. It lengthens the runs of the 8/11 which are already among the most unreliable routes.

2. It does not allow for seamless transfers between the 11 and 12 going east and west.

3. It removes the 8 from John/Thomas.

4. It does not allow seamless access to the Community College on Broadway and other places on East Pine.

5. It duplicates service on East Madison from 19th to 24th which does solve any problems, but eliminates access to bus service on East John between 19th and 23rd Ave East.

6. It will require changes in the 19th Ave East and East Madison intersection for 60 foot buses to turn west or north.

I know that Metro has spent the last two months trying to work this out and I believe that plan could be made palatable by moving the 8 back to East John/Thomas and by having the 11 continue west to 12th Ave East where it would turn north to John and light rail. These are easy fixes and would leave the rest of the plan intact!

Amazingly this plan has united the users of the 8, 11 and 43 in opposition to the Metro 2016 Capitol Hill restructure! I look forward to talking to you about these issues. If this plan can’t be modified then I would suggest like others are, that the Capitol Hill changes be postponed until after the implantation of Light Rail so that the impact of it and the Prop One changes can be reviewed!

If you would like to provide public testimony to the King County Council on this proposed March 2016 Metro Transit service changes please go to:

www.kingcounty.gov/council/testimony/testimony-backup2.aspx

We get faster service on the 11, and then it goes away

The good news is that we will be getting 15-minute service on the 11 E Madison bus this September due to Prop One funding. The bad news is that there is currently a proposal floating around that would remove the 11 from Madison between 24th Ave East and Broadway and move it over to East John Street, then down Olive to Bellevue and then the Pine/Pike area downtown. Basically this combines the 43 and 11 buses, but the 11 user will be inconvenienced with transfers or longer walks.

11-bus-route

Hopefully, the following will answer the questions of why the central area needs a bus on Madison Street despite the desire to move the 11 over to East John so it can go to the Light Rail Station on Broadway (CHS):

1) John/Thomas already has access via the 8 and adding the 11 is duplicating existing service. Yes, this requires a transfer, but the users for the 8 transfer to the 11 today!

2) The 8 already goes to CHS and can be accessed at MLK or 23rd—and it’s seamless.

3) Light Rail access is already available for 11 users via the Nordstrom station that gives access to all light rail stations today and in the future, including CHS.

4) Moving the 11 off Madison, yes, helps replace the 43, but at what cost to the users of the current 11?

5) Replacing the 43 with the 11 puts a diesel bus in place of an electric bus and we are getting new electric trolleys. Is this really the direction we want to go?

6) The Proposed 11 on East John would be a longer run and more likely to be less reliable than our current unreliable 11. It will be faster to transfer to Light at CHS then to take the bus to Pike/Pine.

7) The tradeoffs don’t justify the transferring and walking that having no bus on Madison will cause.

8) Telling 11 users who go to Safeway that they can use the one on 15th is fine, but Group Health is not an alternative for the Medical facilities on Pill Hill! BTW, Group Health uses Swedish for its hospital.

9) Madison Street east of 23rd is growing with new businesses and housing being added. Taking the bus off Madison will retard that growth.

10) Madison Street has been chosen for a BRT route and redevelopment by its implementation.

11) Taking the 11 off Madison promotes the use of private vehicles.

The following is a partial list of places that people frequent on the Madison corridor today and this includes a transfer from the 8 at MLK from the 8 and at 23rd from the 43 and 48. This 11 is NOT just a Madison Park bus, it is a bus used by residents all along the Madison Corridor!

  • Gyms and Health Clubs on or near Madison
  • Seattle Arts Academy that meets at TDHS School Facility
  • The Bullitt Center
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Central Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Seattle Hearing & Balance Center
  • Three black Churches including Madison Temple Church of God, Mount Zion Baptist and A.M.E. Church plus a Catholic Church
  • Jewish Family Child Service at 16th Ave East & East Pine
  • Retirement homes such as Aegis Living and The Council House
  • Countless residential buildings along East Madison above Safeway, The Co-op, Trader Joe’s, and numerous other older facilities
  • The Community College on Broadway
  • Bailey Boushay House at MLK
  • Deaf-Blind Services Center at 1620 18th Ave, #200
  • League of Women Voters at 18th

The area on John/Thomas does not provide alternatives to most of these places and in some cases none. Transferring and waiting for buses at all hours of the day and weekends for employees is not good. Seniors and disabled are hampered by this move and Access (a Metro run on-call door-to-door service for the disabled) is not always an alternative.

Bottom line, to be given the 11 Madison bus 15-minute service in September and then to tell riders sorry, but you going to have to transfer or to walk to get your destinations is very mean spirited. This is why I say Metro needs to slow this process down and give its latest proposal the light of day by giving it to the community before giving it to the County Council.

The following unscientific poll was run on Nextdoor:

Which of the following routes would you prefer for the 11 E Madison?

  • A bus that would service Madison shore to shore with a seamless transfer to Pike/Pine buses: 31% in favor.
  • Keep the bus as-is on its current routing: 27%
  • Have the bus turn on to E John at 24th Ave E to Light Rail then to Pike/Pine: 19%
  • A two-bus solution with a Madison to Madison run with one running up John to Light Rail then to Pike/Pine: 13%
  • A bus that would service Madison from shore to shore: 10%

Why Metro March 2016 Changes Should Be Postponed

The Metro Link Connections changes proposed in March 2015, modified in May 2015, and not finalized yet, have provoked significant discussion and disagreements. While the goal of adjusting Metro routes to better connect with new light rail stations and to reduce duplication is laudable and necessary, the changes proposed for March 2016 are premature and deserve more data and more discussion.

Some of the proposals ask people to give up one seat rides in favor of two or more seat rides and service gaps which will result in more people using their cars. These are the same transit users who are getting improved service from Prop One funding only to be lost in March 2016.

Next year our decision-making will be informed with more data:

  • The Prop One changes in June and September 2015 changes and the impact on the Metro System.
  • The Move Seattle ballot initiative vote in November 2015.
  • Light rail expansion and its impact on the Metro System.

Let’s postpone the Metro link connection modifications until the second half of 2016.

One way to solve the 11 E Madison Problem

I have a new proposal for the 11 E Madison bus based on the BRT idea of running every other bus to past 23rd Ave East. How about running the 11 as is alternating with the 12? The 11 would run from Madison Park to the Pike/Pine corridor downtown and the 12 would do a coast to coast run on Madison.

I would even go further suggesting that the 12 if not both 11 and 12 become trolley buses. The current 12 uses trolley buses on the downtown hills. I realize that some man not like trolley buses on east end of Madison and this may not be possible without additional funding!

Given the frequency that Metro is talking about with Prop One funding the 11 and 12 would at least run every 30 minutes and possibly more during peak hours which is being funded by Seattle’s Bridge the Gap.

This proposal gives access to the downtown business area and to Light Rail with a two plus block walk on Broadway. This would also give us the 10 and 11 to handle traffic to the Community College.

This idea does not preclude the BRT replacing the new 12 in the future. So what do you think of this idea and do you have any ideas on how to solve the Denny problem on the 8.