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Moving routes out of Downtown

There are a lot of bus routes that go to Downtown. However, since Downtown is so overcrowded, many Downtown routes get major delays. I think Metro should move some routes of Downtown. People have mentioned the future Link and RapidRide systems, but here I only talk about what Metro can do at this moment to reduce Downtown congestion. I will talk about some specific routes in this post.

SR-520 Routes

Instead of traveling south to Downtown, SR-520 routes will run north to University of Washington, serving the station at Husky Stadium. These routes can layover elsewhere on the UW Campus. Maybe a couple peak-only routes can continue serving Downtown, but there should only be 1 or 2 of them.

Routes 21 and 125

West Seattle already has the RapidRide C Line and Route 120 providing frequent connections to Downtown. Routes 21 and 125 will be modified to serve Alaska Junction instead of Downtown.

Routes 7, 48, and 106

There is a plan for Route 48 to take over Route 7 between Mt Baker TC and Rainier Beach. I think Metro should proceed with this plan. Trolley wire for Route 48 is currently being placed, so the combined route will still be able to operate using trolleybuses. Route 106 will be moved off of Jackson and onto Boren and Fairview to serve First Hill and South Lake Union.

New through-routes for Downtown?

In the first place, I absolutely dislike the through-route system, though I understand Metro uses it to save money. There are three places I see that use the through-route system: Downtown, University of Washington, and Northgate. Here are some of my opinions on the Downtown through-routes.

I think some of the through-routes are a bit mismatched. For example, Route 124 is through-routed with routes 24 and 33 Monday through Saturday, but since Route 124 runs at a lower Sunday frequency than the combined 24 and 33, Route 33 has to be through-routed with a different route on Sundays only. I think it would be simpler if a route would through-route with the same route all 7 days a week.

Sometimes, two routes are coordinated to provide frequent service along a shared corridor. Sometimes it makes sense, as in the case of routes 3 and 4, but I think it does not make sense with routes 26 and 28, now that they run express along the shared corridor (Aurora Ave). Plus, that corridor already has frequent service from Route 5 and RapidRide E Line.

I also think through-routing does not make sense for long routes. Examples include routes 5, 124, 131, 132. These routes should just terminate in Downtown.

Here is my list of revised through routes. The format is: North Route–South Route. I split some routes that already go straight through Downtown, so I have to renumber some of the portions of these routes. For example, Route 2N will become Route 23, and Route 3N/4N will become Route 34.

1–14
13–3
23–4
34–2
24/33–21
26–27
28–125
70–36*

*Currently, routes 70 and 36 operate at different frequencies. However, due to the increasing popularity of Route 70, a frequency boost would be nice.

Ballard Restructure after Ballard Link

I know I have posted too many restructure suggestions, but I just want to see what you guys think of them. Plus, this could help Metro plan out the actual restructure. In addition to writing about Ballard Link, I will also briefly mention the 40 RapidRide plan.

Proposal

RapidRide D Line will be extended to run to Northgate like the current Route 40. Route 40 will terminate at the current D Line terminus at Carkeek Park. Also, routes 40 and 62 will swap routings between Fremont and Downtown. Route 40 will run via Dexter, and Route 62 will run via Westlake.

Route 61 will be restored, but will run to the South Ballard station instead of serving the old loop.

A new route will run via NW 65th St between Aurora and 36th Ave NW, then run to Golden Gardens via Seaview Ave NW. This route will be numbered 68.

If I remember correctly, the South Ballard station will be at 15th/Market. If this is the case, all buses running via Leary between Market and 15th will instead travel via Market and 15th to serve the station.

Maps

Route 68 Map: http://bit.ly/2qQfqKk

Magnolia Restructure (Route 61)?

Unlike some of my other proposal ideas, this is not directly related to an opening of a new Link or RapidRide line. This is just a proposal to improve bus service in Magnolia.

Background

For a long time, Route 17 provided service on 32nd Ave NW. When the 17 was made peak-only in 2012, Route 61 was created to replace the 17 during off-peak periods. Route 61 was cut in 2014 without replacement, and now 32nd Ave NW only has peak service. Sunset Hill residents were upset about losing their off-peak bus service, but many people claimed that the bus was always empty, and they did not find the bus to serve any purpose.

The very original plan for Route 61 was to have it run all the way to Downtown via 34th Ave W to replace a portion of Route 24. The plan also included converting Route 33 into a loop. People were against the 33 loop plan, so Metro left Magnolia alone and truncated Route 61 in Downtown Ballard. I did not like the 33 loop plan, but I think the original 61 plan would be a nice way to make transit in Magnolia more efficient. That way, people living along the 34th Ave W corridor can have more efficient bus service to downtown, and Sunset Hill riders will get off-peak bus service.

Proposal

Put in service the Route 61 I mentioned above. This will provide a connection between Sunset Hill, Ballard, Interbay, Magnolia, and Downtown.

Route 24 will no longer run to West Magnolia. Instead, west of Government Way/34th Ave W, it will run to Discovery Park like Route 33.

Route 31 will be extended to replace Route 24 along Viewmont Way. It will also travel via Dravus instead of Emerson to provide a connection with RapidRide D Line.

Maps

Route 61 Map: http://bit.ly/2qDVcq2

Eastside Restructure after East Link

Each time a new Link or BRT line opens, there is often a restructure in the area that it serves. I think something similar will happen when East Link opens. I also think there are too many routes serving Downtown Seattle, so some of these routes can be removed when East Link opens.

Eastside

Route 550 will be discontinued, having been replaced by Link.

Route 542 will be extended to Bear Creek P&R, following the routing of Route 545. It will also have a minor deviation to serve South Kirkland P&R. It will also be boosted to 10-minute frequency during midday, and 15-minute frequency on weekends. Route 545 will be reduced to peak-only.

Route 255 will no longer serve SR 520 or Downtown, but instead terminate at Bellevue TC. Between South Kirkland and Bellevue it will take 112th Ave.

A new frequent Sound Transit route will start in Downtown Seattle, use SR 520 and I-405 to get to Kirkland TC (with a quick stop at South Kirkland), then continue on I-405, stopping at Totem Lake, Brickyard, and Bothell before reaching Woodinville.

Judkins Park/South Seattle

Route 4 will be reduced to peak-only, only going between Downtown and Judkins Park. Route 3 will be boosted to the same level of service as the combined 3/4.

Instead of running via Jackson, Route 106 will run via Boren and Fairview to South Lake Union.

Route 60 will run via 12th Ave instead of serving the hospital campus.

A combined 49/36 will run via 12th between Jackson and Yesler, on 14th between Yesler and Madison, and on 15th between Madison and John.

Route 8 will run straight on MLK instead of diverting to 23rd between Yesler and Jackson.

Route 62 Restructure

Route 62 was introduced in March 2016. Many people like it, but there are two things about Route 62 that are constantly criticized. One is the eastern terminus during nights and weekends, the other is the articulated buses used on the route. Another criticism not directly related to Route 62 is that Route 71 duplicates Route 62 along NE 65th St.

Eastern Terminus

In an earlier post I suggested possibly having Route 62 use Route 71’s Wedgwood loop as an eastern terminus. However, people objected that because it broke the “crosstown grid”. I am not sure what they mean by that, but I think it means they want Route 62 to at least run to Sand Point Way. In this post I have came up with a few more solutions for a new Route 62 night/weekend eastern terminus.

One possibility is to loop around NE 65th, Radford, NE 64th, and Sand Point Way. At one point Route 30 used this loop, so I don’t understand why Metro couldn’t use it for Route 62.

Another possibility is to go south on Sand Point Way and then loop around Sand Point Way, NE 62nd St, 60th Ave NE, and NE 64th St.

Another possibility is to go south on Sand Point Way and 47th Ave NE to Children’s Hospital. However, I think it would be unfair to give the NE 65th corridor a one-seat ride to Children’s Hospital on weekends only, and having it run to Children’s Hospital during the full week will break the direct connection between NOAA and Roosevelt Station.

Another possibility is to go to Northgate via Sand Point Way, NE 95th St, Lake City Way, and Northgate Way. This extension would run all 7 days a week. However, this would create a ridiculously long route.

Routing between Fremont and Downtown

I don’t know what ridership is like on Westlake, but if it is lower than Dexter, maybe Route 40 and Route 62 could switch routings between Fremont and Downtown. Then Route 40 would run via Dexter, and Route 62 would run via Westlake. However, this might cause overcrowding on Route 40.

NE 65th Corridor

I really like having Route 62 along NE 65th St. However, Route 71 also runs along a large portion of this corridor, so I feel like NE 65th is a bit overserved. Though the one-seat ride to UW is nice, I would still prefer to have Route 62 run along this corridor rather than Route 71. I remember the original plan for Route 78 was to have it run all the way to View Ridge to replace the Route 71 tail. I wonder why they did not do this.

One possibility is to extend Route 78 to View Ridge like the original plan and delete Route 71 altogether.

Another possibility is to move Route 71 to the NE 75th St corridor and have Route 78 serve the old Route 25 loop in Laurelhurst. This would add new crosstown service along the NE 75th St corridor and restore lost service for Laurelhurst riders.

Summary

Comment below what you guys think of these ideas. Also, if you guys have your own ideas, feel free to put them down in the comments section of this post.

West Seattle Restructure (after Delridge BRT)

The bus system in West Seattle was heavily modified in September 2012 when RapidRide C came into service. This included the elimination of certain routes that went directly to Downtown. However, I think more of these Downtown routes can be eliminated. When RapidRide H (Delridge BRT) comes into service, cutting more Downtown routes will be easier.

There has long been a rumor about an infill station on Central Link at MLK/Graham. However, only one bus route serves that location (Route 106), so I don’t think there is quite enough purpose for the station at this point. There has been another rumor of a West Seattle-Georgetown route, similar to the current Route 128.

I propose a West Seattle-Seward Park crosstown route, which will both provide the West Seattle-Georgetown connection AND serve the Graham Station. It will start at Alaska Junction, run like Route 128 to 16th Ave SW, then take SW Holden St and Highland Park Way SW to the bridge, then cross the bridge to get to Georgetown. East of Georgetown, it will go via S Albro Pl, Swift Ave S, and S Graham St until Rainier. It will then go via Rainier and Orcas to Seward Park. I would number this route 52 because many West Seattle routes are in the 50s.

Some parts of West Seattle do not have off-peak bus service. Examples include Beach Dr SW (Route 37) and Genesee Hill (Route 57). I think since there isn’t enough demand for a full-time bus route there, an hourly DART route could fulfill that service. I think this DART route could start at Alaska Junction, travel through Genesee Hill and Admiral District, then go along the shore to Westwood Village. It would run 7 days a week at hourly frequency. I have attached a map of the main route below. I would number this route 774.

Since Route 52 would replace Route 128 on Sylvan Way, Route 128 should get a new routing between Westwood Village and Alaska Junction. In fact, I feel like Route 128 needs a complete restructure. There are way too many deviations which could be easily removed. I have made the following proposal:

Route 22 will be extended to North Admiral like Route 55. It will also be boosted to 30-minute frequency during weekdays and Saturday. Routes 22 and 50 will be coordinated to provide 15-minute service on California Ave between Alaska Junction and California/Admiral during weekdays and Saturday, similar to how routes 50 and 128 currently provide that service. On Sundays they will be coordinated to provide 30-minute service along that corridor.

Instead of going west on Sylvan Way, Route 128 will travel on 16th Ave SW like Route 125 until Genesee, then travel to Alaska Junction like Route 50. Route 125 will become a peak-only express.

Route 21 will no longer run north of Alaska, but instead use Alaska to travel to Alaska Junction. The peak-only 21X will maintain its current routing. If there is enough demand to keep a frequent West Seattle-SODO one-seat ride, RapidRide C can be moved to SODO.

Maps

Route 52: http://bit.ly/2odjINS

Route 128: http://bit.ly/2pQIMtQ

Route 774: http://bit.ly/2pPslLo

Capitol Hill/First Hill Bus System after Madison BRT (RapidRide G)?

In 2016, the bus system in Capitol Hill was changed due to the opening of the Link station. Though many people found the new network convenient, some people did not like it. In this post I will talk about my suggestions for a Capitol Hill bus system after Madison BRT (RapidRide G) opens. I decided to divide this post by different bus routes.

Route 11/RapidRide G

Many people seem to want the Madison BRT to extend all the way to Madison Park, and I completely agree with them. However, it does not seem like Metro has the money for that at this moment. When Metro does get the money, they should do it. In the meantime, Route 11 can stay the way it is now. When the extension comes into service, Route 11 can be discontinued.

Route 49/36

Currently, Metro has a plan to combine routes 49 and 36, but going through First Hill instead of Downtown. It plans to use 12th Ave, but I think it would be better for the corridor to be on 14th/15th because 12th is a bit too close to Broadway, which already has frequent service with the First Hill Streetcar. Plus, a bus along 14th/15th will provide new north-south service through Squire Park.

Route 49/36 routing between CHS and 12th/Jackson: http://bit.ly/2pvKtJz

Route 8 (new Route 38)

The main portion of Route 8’s ridership is along Denny Way, not MLK. When RapidRide G gets extended to Madison Park, the East-West portion of Route 8 will terminate at the former RapidRide G terminus at Madison/MLK. The north-south portion will be renumbered Route 38, and west of Madison/MLK, it will run like the current Route 11 via Pine. Route 38 will also run straight on MLK instead of deviating to 23rd between Yesler and Jackson. Route 38 will run at 20-minute midday/weekend frequency. Route 38 and revised Route 12 (see below) will together provide frequent service along Pine.

Route 12

Route 12 will be moved from Madison to Pine to replace routes 11 and 49 and provide frequent service together with Route 38 (see above). It will also operate at 20 minute midday/weekend frequency.

I also heard that there was a plan to extend Route 12 to U-District via Boyer. I feel like this would duplicate existing service, since the area served by Boyer is also within walking distance to other frequent bus corridors, such as routes 48, 49, and 70. However, many Montlake residents miss the one-seat ride to Downtown, which was provided by Route 43 before it was cut to peak-only. Adding such a route could increase demand along the Boyer corridor.

Route 2

I heard somewhere that there is a plan to move Route 2 to the Pike/Pine corridor. I think that if Metro plans to keep Route 2 running to Queen Anne, the current routing via Seneca would be better. Plus, it would keep the connection to Virginia Mason Hospital.

Route 10

The routing will stay the same, but the northern terminus will be moved to Olin Pl.

Route 47

The routing will stay the same, but frequency will be increased to every 30 minutes during midday and weekends, and 15 during peak.

I heard somewhere that there is a plan to extend Route 47 to U-District via Lakeview Ave. I like the fact that it would restore service lost from Route 25, but I don’t think there is enough ridership along the Lakeview Ave corridor.

Summary

My main goal of this restructure was to reduce duplication and make buses run more efficiently. If you guys have any ideas, feel free to put them in the comments section!

Notes on Queen Anne

I am posting this density map as an adjust to my previous post “Notes from a Vancouverite” as an explanation of my stop on Queen Anne.

Seattle Population Densityre

Taking into account the caveat that not all the darker area is in fact up the hill and also that the density variation within one colour is large, I still note that Queen Anne isn’t nothing.

Route 106 Routing north of Mt Baker

In September 2016, Route 106 was revised to run like the old Route 42 between Rainier Beach and Downtown. Some people like this new routing, but many people think it is redundant to Route 7 between Mt Baker and Downtown. During that time, Route 9 was cut to run only during peak hours. Many people depended on Route 9 to get from South Seattle to First Hill. I have also seen throughout comments sections on STB that some people want Route 106 to serve SLU by using Boren Ave.

I have made several proposals for a new Route 106 routing:

First Hill

Between Mt Baker Station and Capitol Hill, Route 106 will run like Route 9 during weekdays only. On weekends, Route 106 will terminate at Mt Baker Station. One disadvantage of this plan is that it is duplicates Route 7 and the First Hill Streetcar.

South Lake Union

North of Mt Baker Station, Route 106 will run via Rainier Ave, Boren Ave, and Fairview Ave to South Lake Union.

Mt Baker

Between Mt Baker and Downtown, Route 106 will run like Route 14 (without serving the tail). The main disadvantage of this plan is that Route 14 is a trolley route, and it would not make too much sense to run a full-time diesel route on streets with trolley wire.

Summary

Comment below which one of these proposals you like the most. Also feel free to add your own proposals in the comments section too!

Leschi/Mt Baker DART?

There has been much discussion over the Route 14 Tail east of 31st. Many people want the tail deleted, but some people depend on it. Metro has also wanted to delete Route 27 for a long time, but Leschi residents always vote against it. Route 27 is rather redundant to Route 14, but its Leschi tail serves Leschi residents who do not want to walk up the hill to Route 14.

In this post I propose a DART route to replace Route 27 and the Route 14 tail. This route will start at Columbia City station. It will take Alaska, Rainier, and Genesee to Genesee/38th, then travel on 38th and Hunter Blvd to McClellan. It will then take Lake Park Dr and Lakeside Ave to E Alder St. Then it will take Alder, Lake Dell, Yesler, and 23rd to the 3/4 Loop near Garfield High School. There could possibly be a quick deviation to Jackson in order to provide connectivity to Route 14. This DART route should run 7 days a week. Here is a map of it: http://bit.ly/2nmoJTW

To replace the lost service along Yesler Ave with Route 27, Route 14 can be increased to 15-minute frequency. It can then be through-routed with Route 70, and Route 1 can layover at the current Route 70 layover on Main St, or be through-routed with some other route.

This should be put into service when the Yesler wire for routes 3 and 4 is completed. When this first comes into service, Route 27 should be reduced to peak-only rather than be deleted completely so that commuters can make a smoother transition to the restructure.

Improving Street Parking in Columbia City

Post originally appeared at NapkinMath.io.

The Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle has seen rapid growth and development into a walkable urban center for the residents of the south side. With the popularity of its shops, restaurants, arts venues, and bars growing, it has faced increased traffic and parking congestion. The addition of the Columbia City light rail station just blocks away has had a compounding effect as commuters taking the train to work look to drop off their cars in the surrounding neighborhoods for the day. So, the neighborhood and its residents are facing two kinds of pressure on street parking – one from commerce, and the other from out-of-area commuters.

Current Parking Zones in Columbia City

Currently, much of Columbia City’s business core is made up of time-limited parking zones (shown in blue in the above map) that restrict cars to 2 hours or less. To the west of Rainier Ave. is an existing RPZ for the neighborhood (shown in orange), and to the west is largely unrestricted parking (shown in purple). Because of the draw of commuters to the light rail station just blocks away on MLK Jr. Way, much of the parking is congested to the east of Rainier Ave.

SDOT performed a parking study in 2015 which revealed that parking occupancy was over 90% from 10AM until well into the evening after 8PM. Further, while most cars stayed for only an hour or less, over 1/3rd of spaces were blocked all day by cars parked for 6+ hours. (Source, slide 12 has details)

SDOT’s Proposed Parking Changes

In order to address these changes, Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) has proposed changes to street parking near the Rainier Avenue Business District that houses the majority of commerce in the Columbia City neighborhood. Among several smaller changes and improvements, the city intends to address parking congestion with two measures:

  1. Extending the Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) to the east side of Rainier Ave., providing permit-restricted street parking access to residents and business while limiting remaining parking to 2 hours or less. (SDOT FAQ)
  2. Adding Paid Parking (shown in green) to the streets immediately surrounding the businesses in the Rainier corridor of Columbia City. (SDOT Mailer)

This is a good plan. It balances the needs of residents to have access to the streets outside their homes against the need for access to parking for the people who drive to Columbia City to take advantage of its commercial amenities. It could be better.

How to Improve the City’s Parking Plan

In short, I believe the new paid parking zones in the city’s plan should be extended to include all unrestricted (purple) and time-limited (blue) zones in the Rainier Avenue Business District. The reasons why are simplicity and longevity of the re-zone’s effectiveness.

Simplicity

Credit: Sara Welch/KTLA

$1/hour Paid Parking is not by itself a large burden for the patrons who frequent Columbia City’s shops and restaurants. It’s some of the cheapest paid parking in the city (compared to as high as $4.50/hr in the crowded areas like First Hill or Pioneer Square, see the full rate sheet here). At a 2-hour limit, it doesn’t represent a reduction in parking time over the existing time-limited free parking zones in the neighborhood. The largest problem with adding paid parking to the existing patchwork of parking rules is the confusion it adds to the search for street parking in the area. In the 2-block area around Rainier Ave. between S. Edmunds St. to the north and S. Hudson St. to the south, drivers will be faced with:

  • Unrestricted Parking Zones
  • Time-Limited Parking Zones
  • Paid Parking Zones
  • Restricted Parking Zones
  • No Parking Zones
  • Passenger Load Only Zones

This proliferation of zones adds to confusion and encourages more idling, circling, and searching for the ideal curb-side parking space. By adding the additional RPZ to the east of Rainier Ave. with this proposal, SDOT is removing Unrestricted Parking Zones almost completely. This is a great opportunity to further simplify the parking grid by limiting drivers to just two options: RPZ and Paid Parking. If the area is RPZ, you can park for 2-hours during the daytime. Otherwise, the parking is available and free to use with a small fee. No circling, no idling to read parking signs, and no further confusion about parking options in Columbia City.

Longevity

If parking conditions in neighborhoods like Columbia City were continually monitored and updated to reflect changing usage, the incremental approach of SDOT’s proposed plan might make more sense. After a few months of the initial paid parking rollout, the effect of the changes could be evaluated and optimized. Unfortunately, this is likely the last time parking zones will be addressed in Columbia City for at least 3-4 years. The city has other areas which also need attention, and SDOT doesn’t have the luxury of placing a Transportation Planner on permanent Columbia City duty. Meanwhile, the city does adjust rates based on demand every year, meaning the paid rate could drop as low as $0.50/hr or as high as $4.50/hr should changes be necessary.

Because of this, it makes sense to plan for the longer term when considering this proposal. We have the ear of the city now to improve parking zoning, and we should take advantage of it. Columbia City is booming and with continued growth over the next few years, it will face more and more parking pressure from commuters and shoppers alike. It seems reasonable to anticipate that growth in demand by expanding the footprint of the paid parking area.

Get Involved!

If you live, work, or shop in Columbia City, add your voice to the conversation! More information is available in the most recent parking Annual Report here. You can also reach out by e-mail to ColumbiaCityParking@seattle.gov and by phone to 206-733-9026. Let them know you support the new RPZ and want to see more paid street parking in Columbia City!

Notes from a Vancouverite

My purpose here is to put a few ideas in front of Seattleites that I think might be useful in the debate about transit expansion. Obviously I live in Vancouver, but, as folks here have noted, Vancouver does have useful transit lessons to other cities in the region.

1. West Seattle

The current plan is Option 1:

image001 West Seattle Options

Instead of running parallel to the current Link line, my proposal is for a line that crosses the current line and continues into the central district:

image002 West Seattle Proposal

Double dots indicate stations and single dots are just to show the route. The line needs to curve against the harbour headland to stay within shallow water. The stations would probably need to be deep, so it would go under the existing Link line and the existing train line. Because the station under Broadway would be the deepest, there would be a possibility of a level entrance at Boren that would access the platform more or less horizontally with a moving walkway. Expensive, yes, but far cheaper than a whole separate Boren station.

This line is cuts the distance from Alaska Junction to downtown from 9.5km to around 8km, and obviously the distance from North Admiral is shorter still.

Length of current plan:

image003 ST3 West Seattle Route Distance

Length of proposal:

image004 West Seattle Proposal Route Distance

Obviously the actual station locations could be adjusted to meet the connection requirements to the current Link line:

image005 West Seattle Route Station Options

I’m also not sure whether continuing the line down Madison is the right thing to do or rather have it continue due east on Union might make better sense for bus connections.

The stations south of Admiral could be built later, but in any case, a BRT or BRT lite system would have to be implemented on California to get the maximum benefit of such a line.

The line could also be extended further south to serve more areas and improve bus connections. This diagram is penciled out to White Center, but Burien might also be a logical termination point:

image006 West Seattle Extension Options South

The principal improvements over the current proposal are:

  • The line serves the central district.
  • The line makes for a very fast trip from the north part of West Seattle to downtown and the central district. Quick trips make for good ridership.
  • The line requires no interlining, so it could run at full two minute frequency which is beneficial for a bus transfer system. And it also would not burden the existing Link line.
  • The line is separate from the rest of the system so it could be automated. The natural location for the operation centre would be under the Hiawatha playing field at the park in North Admiral. Playing fields don’t need deep soil like trees, so they could easily be accommodated over the deck of an underground op centre which also does not need to be that big as there would not be very many trains and they would be short two or three car units.
  • The line would eliminate the need for the Madison BRT and finally serve First Hill properly.
  • The line need not be heinously expensive. What I have penciled out matches the Canada Line in Vancouver which was $120m CAD per km. Double it for Seattle prices, and that is $180m USD per km or $1.85b from Alaska Junction to Madison and 23rd.

Principal drawbacks are:

  • Requires transfer to other parts of Link.
  • Possible worse bus transfer from buses on Delridge. Might mean needing to build further south than Alaska Junction even on initial segment.

A possible extension, but very fanciful at this point, would be to extend such a line to Bellevue with a tunnel under Lake Washington or a new floating bridge for trains and bikes:

image007 West Seattle Extension Options East

Built as a buried fully grade-separated metro, such a line would offer very fast service between Bellevue and Seattle downtowns which would be as transformative as the UW Capitol Hill Link extension. And a frequent automatic line would enhance the operation of bus transfers off Bellevue Way and I-405. An absolutely vast improvement over the current East Link plan.

To serve the central district Seattle Subway and commenters on this blog have pushed for a metro 8 subway as in yellow below:

image008 Seattle Subway Plan

I am skeptical about this line. Such a line would be perfectly useful, but it also would be basically the same distance as my Junction to Madison line and thus the same cost. And while serving SLU is laudable, there is still more employment in the traditional downtown and thus more demand there than to SLU.

There are also other solutions to ease connections to SLU. I think that a bike and moving walkway tunnel from Capitol Hill to SLU might be just the ticket. The tunnel would have a level entrance down the hill and elevator access up the hill:

image009 Capitol Hill SLU Connector

Other commenters on this blog have pushed for another DSTT to serve a network of West Seattle buses to avoid transfers and to better serve the more diffuse population in West Seattle.

New WSTT:

image010 WSTT Plan

Or, more efficiently, a new DSTT and turn current DSTT into a bus tunnel again:

image011 Second DSTT Plan

I am also skeptical about this idea. First, because bus stations need to be so much larger to allow for long platforms and passing, building a bus tunnel is more expensive than building a rail tunnel. If you were to do such a thing, it really would make more sense to build another train tunnel through downtown, move the current link line to the new tunnel and then use the existing DSTT for buses again. Second, by having so many buses continue to go downtown, the bus service within West Seattle is not necessarily optimized, eg the natural bus corridor up and down the entire length of California. And third and most importantly, having bus to rail transfers before heading downtown is so much more operationally efficient than continuing with so many buses heading downtown.

2. Ballard

My proposal is not a new idea, but a critique and revision of the current plan based on optimizing the bus connections of a new line. This is the current plan:

image012 Ballard Route

image013 Ballard Route Option 2

image014 Ballard Route Option 1

This plan has some serious weaknesses:

  • Huge cost
  • Misses Queen Anne and Belltown
  • Only one bus connection point north of the canal.
  • Moveable bridge
  • Peak headway of 6 minutes
  • So-So ridership with 60,000 to 74,000 riders using the system north of Westlake

My proposal is to reconfigure this line as a bus collector with four stops north of the canal such that any sensible person going to Belltown or Downtown would transfer to the rail line. As a bonus, these four stations also have decent walksheds:

image015 Ballard Route Proposal

Such a line would naturally be fully grade separated and automated with two minute headways.

The connection off Aurora will have to be somewhat trippy with bus stops on the bridge deck and elevator or escalator access down to the Fremont station underground, probably involving rebuilding some of the buildings adjacent to the bridge deck, but such a connection would be a good one.

Some route options like this proposal was investigated by Sound Transit, but those options were not optimized to encourage bus connections. Even with the lack of optimization, the ridership estimates were unreasonably low. This table from the Ballard Options Study of May 2014 have very low ridership estimates for all of the options studied:

image016 Ballard Route Options

The low ridership estimates for Corridor D were ammunition for criticism of this option on the STB, but the low estimates of all the options shows that bus connections were not optimized or even really considered for any of the corridors. The Ballard Line Comparison Chart of December 2015 had greatly increased estimates for all the options that survived the first round:

image017 Ballard Route Option etc

I could not find a reason why these estimates went up so much, but they do imply that an all tunnelled option a la Corridor D would have the highest ridership of all.

The current plan skips Belltown in favour of SLU, and it is possible that such a route might have higher ridership, but I haven’t chosen this because it isn’t obvious to me that, fully built out, SLU will have higher employment+residential+commercial density than Belltown. Additionally, SLU does have a streetcar connection to Westlake that can be improved.

The principal improvements over the current proposal are:

  • Line and stations location is optimized to serve connecting bus passengers on all of the north south avenues west of Green Lake. The current plan does nothing for people in Fremont, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge or the Aurora corridor. And a bus optimized metro system will also mutually reinforce the bus service justifying increased frequency and full BRT on Aurora and BRT lite on some of 24th, 15th, 8th and/or Greenwood.
  • In addition to being an effective bus collector system, the line has useful urban stations that allow it to act like a traditional metro. The current proposal just does not have as many of these. Clubbers in Belltown, cyclists to Fremont and the Burke-Gilman, walkers to Woodland Park and weekend brunchers to Old Ballard all get something useful.
  • The line serves Queen Anne which really ought to have quick service considering its central location.
  • Avoids any moveable bridges and has much better frequency. With trains every two minutes, the system could be split and extended up one of the north south avenues at some point while still maintaining four minute service in each branch.
  • Likely far better ridership.

Principal drawbacks are:

  • Skips Interbay and SLU. I’ve explained Belltown over SLU, and for similar reasons Queen Anne and Freemont are more suitable destinations than Interbay.

On this blog there is big support for a Ballard to UW connection over Ballard to Downtown connection as shown here in comparison with my proposal:

image018 Ballard Route Comparison

I would not support a UW connection before a downtown connection. First, there is more demand to downtown from both Ballard and Fremont than to UW so it makes sense to serve that demand directly:

image019 Ballard Transit Demand

Second, if the UW line is interlined with Northgate, the frequency suffers which harms the desirability of bus transfers to the UW line, but if the UW line is not interlined with Northgate, it adds a transfer which also harms the desirability of bus transfers to the UW line. In short, such a line would not be an optimized bus transfer system.

One thing that I have left out is the second downtown tunnel and connection to the maintenance area. Ideally when the DSTT was converted to rail, the possibility of fast interlining ought to have been built in, but it wasn’t, and such ST is committed to a second parallel downtown transit tunnel. If combined with my West Seattle proposal, stations at Westlake, 5th and Madison and Yesler would make sense. Through SODO to the maintenance centre, whether that was located at the current facility, the line would have to be elevated.

One fanciful thought experiment, as if blog-posted transit fantasies were not fanciful enough, would be to use this line as the Rainier Valley bypass line and extend this to link to Link at Seatac at full two minute frequency:

image020 Ballard Route Extension Options

Since there does not seem to be any streetrunning planned for Link from Angle Lake to Tacoma, this could use the automated, short train, high frequency model that is better for transfers.

The Rainier Valley link could then be redirected toward Renton at which is an odd lacuna in ST1 to 3.

I welcome your suggestions.

yvrlutyens

March 29, 2017

Queen Anne Restructure?

Recently, routes 3 and 4 were extended to SPU. This now means that routes 3 and 4 are the same north of Downtown. However, Route 2 splits into routes 2 and 13 in downtown. These route numbers may be a bit confusing for Queen Anne riders.

Route 32 was introduced in 2012 to provide a connection between U District, Wallingford, Fremont, SPU, Interbay, and Uptown. Overall, I like Route 32, but I feel like the 15th Ave W segment is redundant to the already-frequent D-Line. In an earlier post I suggested modifying Route 32 to serve the 6th Ave W corridor, but people were against that because the counterbalance is too steep for diesel buses. However, the newer buses using the BAE HybriDrive system are now powered by an electric motor instead of a diesel engine, so they perform better on hills than the older diesel buses. I think it might be nice to move Route 32 to Queen Anne, or have it run somewhere else where it would not duplicate already-frequent corridors. Maybe if one corridor is currently infrequent, and ridership suggests a frequency boost, Route 32 could serve that corridor.

Currently the only ways to go from Queen Anne to Ballard is a 3 seat ride with one ride to SPU, another ride to Fremont or Interbay, and the last ride to Ballard; or a 2 seat ride with one ride to downtown and the other to Ballard. Before 2012 it was possible to ride to SPU and transfer to Route 17, but now there are no buses that run between Nickerson and Ballard. I was thinking maybe Route 32 could run to Ballard, but I also think it does not make sense for a bus route to cross two bridges.

If you guys have any ideas for a new Route 32 routing or a more efficient connection between Queen Anne and Ballard, feel free to put them in the comments section of this article.

I have come up with some solutions to solve some issues with the Queen Anne system:

  • The portion of routes 3 and 4 north of Downtown will be renumbered Route 6.
  • The portion of Route 2 north of Downtown will be renumbered Route 23.
  • Route 31 will run via Dravus instead of Emerson to provide better transfers with D Line.

Convention Place is Still Needed

(Disclaimer: The items expressed here are not an exact science, I have tried to figure out what the current capacity for downtown buses are and have not come up with a decent method to determine that. I have based the over capacity currently on frequent observations on a Friday night when I visit downtown Seattle when I see 522s, 590s, and other buses that should be more spread out jammed together. If I ever figure out how to come to a capacity I will update later.)

Convention Place Station at night
Image from SounderBruce

Starting in 2018

1) The Alaskan Way Viaduct will begin to be torn down, meaning the waterfront is going to be under construction.
2) Work on the City Center Connector will begin, bringing construction to First Avenue and eventually to Stewart Street.
3) Convention Place Station will close and buses will be surfaced from the tunnel, adding more pressure to an overcrowded surface
4) Madison BRT, Rapid Ride G will begin construction.
5) Colman Dock will begin construction for it’s brand new terminal building along with the Alaskan Way Waterfront.

Sequencing large projects is already a challenge, having them all occur at once is bound to create some serious constraints that paint and light re-timing won’t solve. By that time, buses coming from I-90 will be rerouted off the D-2 roadway. Downtown Seattle already has almost 200 buses per hour during the peak of peak and bunching still happens throughout. Once on a Friday evening, I saw 4 590s within 3 blocks of each other on 2nd Avenue. Bus bunching and reliability is already an issue  and with a lack of redundancy, something needs to give way. Out of the decisions to be made, the easiest from the surface view would be to delay the Convention Place station until Northgate Link is ready to run. This would accomplish the following.

1) 41 and 550 continue to run in a reliable right-of-way.
2) Downtown throughput would be maintained given Link is nearing capacity southbound during pm peak at current headways.
3) Layover space for Metro that is becoming a premium in downtown would be maintained.

Right now the surface is constrained having almost 400 buses during the peak hour travelling to and from. While truncating to one end of downtown or the other sounds great, if travelers are suddenly having to transfer to reach their destinations, transit ridership could decrease from adding inconveniences to transit riders.

Here is the current bus numbers for downtown.

Some bus priorities should be implemented regardless

1) 3rd Avenue’s bus only restriction should extend into Belltown at least to Wall Street to keep the E line and other routes moving.
2) 3rd Avenue should be bus only from 6 am-8 pm 7 days per week at a bare minimum.
3) Extend the 2nd Ave and Stewart Ave bus only lane restrictions to 10 am during the morning rush.

Just to measure drawbacks if the 3rd Avenue bus restriction is extended into Belltown, you would lose around 80 on street parking spaces and potential loading or unloading zones if it is an outright restriction.

What do we have now and why do we still need the bus tunnel until at least 2019 if not 2021?

Currently, Link has 2 and 3 car trains running. If we look at 1/3 of trains being 2 car and 2/3 of trains being 3 car at 200 crush load, you come to 5,400 passengers per hour in the tunnel.

The current buses in the tunnel are typically 60 foot artics that can carry 104 people. (source) With as many as 39 buses per hour, that adds up to 4,056 passengers per hour.

If you cut to Link only before you have new cars and more headways, you cut underground throughput by more than 1/3rd let alone deliver unpredictability to current tunnel routes. Based on this, new Link cars would be needed to maintain current through capacity in downtown that will already be curtailed from construction elsewhere from Alaskan Way and 1st Avenue. When the new cars are ready you would be able to increase the capacity in the tunnel to about 6,000 people per hour at current headways crush loaded. If we look at the 2017 SIP for Sound Transit the PM peak shows a bit of an issue getting close to capacity during PM peak. While it sound great to have more filled trains, any breakdown in the system will cause ripple effects. AM peak has more room for more people but PM puts an already delicate system one incident away from disaster.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pPOTVLoYzjipBSwVCtOFJJx-Mm_ys_nuCm7J8NX80S4/edit?usp=sharing

For Routes 101,102,160, 150 and 255 the inconvenience is put off until later, 550’s misery will be delayed for two years and hopefully East Link will be ready sooner rather than later. 41 would then naturally truncate or simply end. 255 takes up to 23 minutes from Montlake to Downtown during PM peak but most other times it is around 15 minutes or so. By the time you add in the current slogging through to Husky Stadium, transfer penalty, and vertical circulation you could potentially add travel time to many people’s commutes. The Montlake Phase of the SR 520 project will be under construction as well until 2023. Given construction restrictions there, SR 520 truncation is not a good idea at this point in time until bus priority and better transfers can be guaranteed at UW station. In most cases, travel times would increase given the poor transfer environment at UW.

Conjecture and Hypothesis on Layovers
If there is one feature I notice during rush hour in downtown, many buses deadhead during rush hour. If the buses do not layover in downtown, they likely have to travel to somewhere else through traffic choked areas. Truncating might help in this but truncation may end up backfiring from reduced downtown through capacity in the bus tunnel and on the surface. The reduction in one seat rides for peak hour buses may simply lead people to choose driving themselves into downtown to reduce the inconvenience.

I have not seen a decent answer yet as to where will all the buses go that do not layover in IDS and Convention Place? Where do you send buses laying over and do you add to the traffic that is already present in downtown or do we keep the buses closer to their origins?

Forcing the truncation of routes has to come with benefits which the UW truncation requires time for vertical circulation. With the Montlake situation and lack of desirable transfers at Husky Stadium and no prioritization for improvements, this truncation I would strongly advise against. Without dedicated bus lanes or signal priority and quick access to the station, I believe many will simply give up on transit.

Conclusions

  1. We can play a gamble of truncation but my personal bet says it would produce unintended consequences of people simply giving up on transit.
  2. 3rd Avenue should be a transit mall during the main portions of the day from at least 6 am to 8 pm daily. The bus only zone should extend into Belltown specifically Wall Street for all the Aurora Buses coming in and out.

Northeast Seattle Bus Service after Northgate Link

Here is my proposed bus system for Northeast Seattle after Northgate Link opens.

Routes to be discontinued: 41, 76, 77

Route Changes

The eastern terminus of Route 62 will be the same as that of current Route 71/76. Route 71 will instead run weekdays only to NOAA.

East of 15th Ave NE, Route 44 will run via NE 45th St to Children’s Hospital. The level of service will remain the same.

Route 78 will serve Brooklyn Station instead of Husky Stadium. It will also be extended east to serve more of Laurelhurst.

Route 74 will no longer run between U District and Downtown. Instead it will serve Brooklyn station. It will also go inside the NOAA campus, running in both-directions during peak.

Route 75 will run like Route 41 between Northgate and Lake City. The level of service will remain the same. Alternate service along Northgate Way will be provided by the new Route 72.

Routes 73 and 373 will be combined into a single Route 373. This new Route 373 will run like current Route 373 during peak, and current Route 73 during off-peak. It will have a minor deviation to serve Roosevelt Station.

Route 522 will have a minor deviation to serve Roosevelt Station.

Route 372 will operate to Northgate TC instead of UW. Alternate service along 25th Ave NE will be provided by the new Route 72.

Routes 31 and 32 will be separated from Route 75, and instead terminate at UW Station (Husky Stadium).

Route 67 will be separated from Route 65, and instead terminate at UW Station (Husky Stadium).

West of NE 45th St/25th Ave NE, Routes 65, 75, and 372 will run through the UW campus via Stevens Way, then take 15th Ave NE and NE 45th St to Brooklyn Station.

Routes 49 and 70 will terminate at Brooklyn Station. Routes that cross the Montlake Bridge will stop elsewhere on the UW Campus.

New Routes

A new route will run like Route 372 between UW and Northgate Way/Lake City Way, and like Route 75 between Northgate Way/Lake City Way and Northgate TC. This route will be numbered 72. This route will run at 15-minute frequency.

Maps

Route 72 map: http://bit.ly/2m8ZrVv

Route 78 map: http://bit.ly/2ltHJip

Routing of routes 65, 75, and 372 through the UW campus: http://bit.ly/2mtwF4x

Route 7 tail to Prentice St

There has been much discussion over the portion of Route 7 to Prentice St. Metro itself has planned on terminating Route 7 at Rainier Beach station, but never got the funding for the trolley wire.

When Metro finally gets the funding for this wire, I think Route 7 should always terminate at Rainier Beach station. I propose a short trolleybus route that runs between RBS and Prentice St to replace the Route 7 tail. This trolleybus could run at 30-minute frequency 7 days a week, possibly using 40-foot buses. The riders of the old Route 7 tail would then have a much faster ride to downtown with a transfer to Link. Late-night and early-morning trips can change to/from Route 7 at RBS for a connection to Atlantic Base.

North Seattle Bus Routes After Northgate Link

Northgate Link is about four years away from opening. The light rail extension will have a major impact on transit in the region, especially in Northeast Seattle. By then the Roosevelt HCT will also be operating. Here is a proposal for a bus restructure to take advantage of both projects.

Design Goals

I’ve tried to design a system that enables fast, frequent service to the UW and Link stations. As always, a balance is made between the desire for coverage (minimal walking) versus speed and frequency. I’ve focused my efforts on the clusters of apartments that exist in the area, while still retaining a reasonable walking distance for everyone. As part of this restructure, I’ve tried to remove turns, which slow down buses. Effort has been made to consolidate routes and provide more of a grid, but given the geography of the area, it remains a challenge.

Specific Routes

I haven’t drawn every bus route (obviously) but have focused only on those north of the ship canal, east of I-5, and south of 145th NE. Many of the routes are unchanged (26, 347, 348 and 372). Here is a description of the rest, in numerical order:

Roosevelt HCT — I assume this ends at 65th NE.

41 — This bus starts in Lake City at the old location, and ends in Northgate. It has been moved from 125th to Northgate Way, following the old route of the 75. I believe this is the fastest way to get to Link from Lake City, although going to Roosevelt is close.

44 — This is the tentative routing for the RapidRide+ route that will replace the 44.

45 — This has been modified to provide an east-west connection in the area. The western part is the same, while the eastern part replaces the eastern part of the 62.

48 — Essentially the same, but moved to serve The Ave (University Way). This is a minor change, but it consolidates service on the Ave. Since there are far fewer buses running in the U-District, this provides a nice way to move people through the main commercial corridor in the area (and a block closer to Link).

61 — This is a new route from Lake City to the Roosevelt Link Station. It avoids the congestion close to the freeway by using 20th NE. I consider the route optional (discussed in more detail below). It would end at the Green Lake Park and Ride or tie into the 62.

62 — This is the western part of the old 62, and it remains unchanged. It would tie into the 61 or 65.

63 — Another bus route that I consider optional, this provides coverage along 5th NE and Banner Way NE.

65 — This connects Wedgewood to Roosevelt Link Station. The northern section remains the same, but instead of serving the UW, it travels on 65th towards Roosevelt. It would tie into the 62 or end at the Green Lake Park and Ride.

66 — This provides direct service between Wedgewood and the UW.

67 — This replaces the 67 and 73. I essentially straighten out the 67, and have it continue on the main corridor of the area: Roosevelt/Pinehurst/15th.

74 — This is a combination of the 74 and 78, designed primarily to provide coverage.

75 — The southern section of the 75 is unchanged, but at Lake City the bus would go straight on 125th, following the old route of the 41. This eliminates turns for both buses.

Options

I created layers containing a couple of the bus routes as well as a variation on 65. This should make it easier to see how the system would look without the bus routes (or variation) that I don’t consider essential.

61 — The 61 provides a fast connection between Lake City Way and the Roosevelt Link Station. With other service to Link from Lake City, this route is debatable. It is only when you look at the specifics that this starts to make sense. There is a cluster of apartments on Lake City Way, south of where the 372 splits off. For the people in those apartments, the 372 is a surprisingly long walk. For example, from 89th and Lake City Way, it is about a ten minute walk to a southbound stop. Theoretically the city could make crossing Lake City Way easier (and legal) at 89th, but it would still take about five minutes. For a lot of places to the south, it would be an extra five minute walk to a bus stop. Worse yet, the bus would not quickly connect to Link, but follow the existing route, which goes to the UW. This adds another five minutes of walking (to the station).

63 — The 63 plugs a similar hole. This would provide a one seat ride to various parts of the corridor (NE 5th and 85th NE to 55th and the Ave.). There are a couple clusters of apartments along the way; on Banner and on 5th NE. In both cases it is about a five minute walk to another bus. For folks on Banner, the walk would be to the new 45 and you can make a strong case for very frequent service on the 45. It also isn’t that far to simply walk to Link or the very frequent Roosevelt HCT.

65 Variation — If the 65 took a zigzag route from 35th over to 15th, it would add coverage. Unfortunately it would also slow down the bus, as it would require a couple extra turns (that lack turn signals). The people who would benefit the most from this change would be people who live close to this variation, and there aren’t many that do.

Bus Frequency

I don’t have access to sophisticated tools, so when it comes to estimating the new headways, everything here is a rough approximation. I start with the idea of simply trading service, then go from there. With that in mind, here are some areas where I think things would be approximately the same:

The 372, 347, 348 are unchanged, while the tail of the 75 and 41 just get swapped.

The 67 just gets moved a bit (straightened out), but travel time should be about the same. All those twists and turns add up.

The 65 is shortened, but not dramatically. The 66 replaces the 71 and the 61 replaces the 73. These are half hour buses.

The 45 and 62 can be thought as four pieces, all meeting at 65th and Roosevelt. Three of the four pieces remain unchanged in terms of frequency, while the southern tail of the old 45 (service from 65th and Roosevelt to the UW) goes away. This is a net savings (mentioned below).

The new 74 replaces the old 74 and the 78. That should yield enough for half hour service all day long on the new 74.

Replacing the 76, 77 and the old 63 with the new 63 should yield half hour service.

Thus the starting point — before service is shifted from truncated runs — is for every bus in the region to run every 15 minutes, with the exception of the 61, 66, 74 and 63 (which run every half hour).

Shifting the Service

There are significant savings that will occur as part of these changes. I focus on all day service, just because it is simpler.

As mentioned, the tail of the old 45 (from 65th and Roosevelt to the U-District) is gone with my proposal. This has 15 minute headways, or four trips per hour. I would put that service into the new 41 (from Lake City to Northgate via Northgate Way). It is roughly the same distance, so theoretically that would be 8 runs an hour. That is probably a stretch (and probably not required), but 6 trips an hour (or 10 minute frequency) seems quite likely. Since this is the fastest way to a Link station for folks in Lake City, I think it is worth it.

The 41 from Northgate to downtown is gone. That is a huge savings, as it is a 15 minute all day run from Lake City to downtown. The old run takes about as long as the new 45 will take. The new 45 is very important (as a major east-west connector) so I would give it an extra two runs each hour, for ten minute headways.

So that leaves a couple of the old 41 runs (if not more) to spread around to the half hour buses (63, 74 and 66) or bump up the frequency on other buses in the system. I think better service on the 61 is justified, and that wouldn’t cost much (bringing it up from 30 minutes to 15). The 74 would be my second choice, as extra service on The Ave is always welcome.

While it would be great to have extra service on a lot of the other runs in this region, I don’t see it as being essential. As long as you have 15 minute service on all the runs, and much better service on the key routes (the new 41 and 45) I think it is fine. I would put the extra service into bus routes in other parts of town. Of course if some of the half hour bus routes were eliminated, it could mean better than 15 minute service on several runs. For example, the 63 service could be shifted to the 67, yielding 10 minute all day frequency, making the change more palatable.

Items not Covered

To simplify things, I didn’t mention the 522. It is likely that the 522 would follow the new 41 routing to Northgate Link. I don’t think it makes sense to follow the 372 routing (for reasons mentioned) but I could see running towards the Roosevelt Station. Either way you have the possibility of some service savings (that could be put anywhere) if you timed it right. Otherwise, you simply add service along that corridor (which is not a bad thing, as Lake City has enough density to justify it).

I also didn’t mention the 145th station, nor the 522 BRT (which ends there). Surprisingly enough, I don’t see any major changes as a result. Some of the buses (the 65 and 67) simply get extended a few blocks to 145th.

The bigger change would occur with the NE 130th station, but I leave that topic for another day. It would be great to have a nice east-west bus route on 125th/130th before then, but I think it would be hard to justify. Such a bus route needs high frequency to work well (since transfers provide a big part of the added value) but that costs a bunch. I just don’t see adding a route that goes from Bitter Lake to Lake City until that station is built.

A solution for Route 14’s tail

There has been much discussion over the portion of Route 14 east of 31st Ave S. Many people think that discontinuing the tail is a good idea, but some people depend on that service.

I came up with a solution for this. I would extend Route 14 to Columbia City station. This would keep the old service in place, in addition to new service for people living along the Hunter Blvd/38th Ave S corridor. The Mt. Baker link connection will be replaced by a Columbia City connection during most hours of service. Considering some night trips do not serve the tail, those night trips can continue to serve Mt. Baker.

Here is a map of my proposal: http://bit.ly/2mN1ZuB

Route 101 to Rainier Beach?

Metro is currently wasting a lot of money on downtown express routes. Some of them make sense, but Route 101 is a bit duplicative of Link.

One possibility is to have Route 101 go to Rainier Beach Station instead of taking I-5 to Downtown. It would go via MLK, and then take the Henderson loop. Route 102 can keep its current routing so that commuters still have the one-seat ride during peak periods. This Route 101 would provide a nice connection to Rainier Valley with a transfer in the Rainier Beach area.

Here is a map of my proposed 101: http://bit.ly/2m8Po2s