Bus Route change update; Metro to attend February MCC meeting

King County Metro is proposing service adjustments for June 2012 that will have a significant impact on routes serving the Madrona neighborhood.

In response to a MCC resolution sent to Metro in January (see below), Metro will attend the February 7th 2012 MCC meeting, (7:15, Madrona Playfield Shelterhouse)  In addition, Metro has confirmed a community meeting in the Central Area Feb. 27 from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Washington Middle School Lunchroom, at 2101 S Jackson St.

Metro also hopes to get on the Feb. 9 Central Area District Council meeting agenda. For this and other public meetings on proposed bus route changes, see:
metro.kingcounty.gov/have-a-say/calendar.html.

Metro Response to MCC Resolution:
Metro Representative Ashley DeForest responded to the MCC resolution below on Jan 17 as follows:

  • We are confirmed to attend the next MCC meeting on Feb. 7
  • The comment period for the next round of outreach will not end until March 2.
  • In regards to postings on the bus, we will be including a notice about upcoming changes to the transit system in our February Rider Alert. Because we rotate buses for the numerous routes in our transit system, we can’t target special alerts for a particular route.
  • We will also be posting notices on busshelters where there are a high number of boardings—we’d love to get to every stop, but with 65 routes being affected, we don’t have the resources.
  • Anything your community can do to help get the word out is greatly appreciated!

MCC Resolution sent to Metro on Jan 11, 2012: 
The Madrona Community Council (MCC) has significant concerns that proposed changes for Route 2 bus service will negatively affect direct service to and from Madrona and related services to the Central Area and 1st Hill and to north downtown, Belltown, Seattle Center, and Queen Anne. These concerns result in the following requests:

· We ask Metro representatives to attend the Feb. 7 meeting of the MCC at 7:15 at the Madrona Playfield Shelterhouse to explain the purpose of proposed changes and collect feedback from Madrona citizens

· We request proposed changes be posted on the Route 2 bus that shows existing and proposed routes/times and provides contact information for citizen input

· We request that the comment period be extended to inform and accommodate the broad base of Route 2 bus riders

Jan. 2012 Madrona News coverage:
ALERT! Proposed Metro Changes to the #2 Bus Route
By Harriett Cody, 35th Avenue

Metro Transit plans radical changes to the #2 Madrona bus route. Without citizen input, these changes are scheduled to take effect in Sept. Proposed changes and their effects are as follows:· First Hill rerouting off central residential Seneca Street would eliminate current stops that service Harvard Market, Seattle Community College, Virginia Mason, Horizon House, and Town Hall. Instead of traveling on Seneca, the rerouted #2 would travel west on Madison Street to the waterfront.· Proposed termination of the revised #2 at the Washington State Ferry Terminal will eliminate #2 north-bound stops on Third Avenue including current service to Benaroya, the University Light Rail Station, Westlake, Belltown, Seattle Center, and Queen Anne Hill. This means people would have to transfer downtown to get to these locations.

The #2 Madrona bus route is one of the oldest, most-used routes in central Seattle. This route will be effectively decimated by proposed changes. Notice and information about these significant route changes has been poor. For example, no information about proposed changes is available on board #2 buses, and the only public meeting in Central Seattle was hastily scheduled for November 10 with little local publicity. Further, the “Have A Say” link on the Metro website (metro.kingcounty.gov/have-a-say/get-in-the-know/projects/route-information.html) is not user friendly. While the first phase of outreach to gather public feedback ended December 2, there is still time to act to oppose the dramatic #2 route changes.

Metro is still accepting public comments and feedback before proposals for route changes are finalized and presented at a series of community open houses in February, one of which will be held in Central Seattle. Open house dates will be on the website in January, so get these on your calendar (metro.kingcounty.gov/have-a-say/calendar.html). Ridership and productivity on the #2 bus route is very high, and proposed changes will affect a large number of current and future #2 riders. These demographics provide an excellent opportunity to shape Metro decisions as they are weighed and made.

Time is of the essence for spreading the word and getting citizen comments to Metro. Below are my suggestions for doing both:

1. Take the online survey on the website at metro.kingcounty.gov/have-a-say/get-in-the-know/projects/route-information.html. It’s lengthy, but it matters and provides valuable demographic information to Metro about your family’s use of transit. Fill in as many of the blank comment spaces as you can. Provide your e-mail address at the end to receive notification about every step in the process going forward. If possible, have every member of your household fill in the survey, including regular as well as occasional riders, students, teens, seniors. If you are not a regular rider, but have relied on #2 to go to Seattle Center events, say so. If you plan to be a more frequent rider after upcoming retirement, say so. Use the Madrona or downtown library to connect if you do not have an internet connection at home.

2. Sign up for Transit Alerts at metro.kingcounty.gov/ which will provide information about route changes.

3. Watch for information alerts on Madrona Moms.

4. Calendar and plan to attend the February meeting in Central Seattle.

5. Tell other riders and Madrona residents about how these changes will affect the #2 route. Many riders have no idea that proposed changes mean the #2 will not travel on Seneca at all nor go north on 3rd Avenue to the Seattle Center.

6. Tell others how to get involved.

7. Call or e-mail Ashley Deforest, Community Relations Planner, who is responsible for all public input on the #2 route changes. (684-1154 phone, e-mail Ashley.deforest@kingcounty.gov)

7. Communications with King County Council members will come later, but don’t hesitate to talk to Larry Gossett, Larry Phillips, and others about proposed #2 bus route changes.

Editor’s Note: Metro proposals also would eliminate off peak bus service to Leschi neighbors served by the #27 route along Lakeside Avenue South. According to a Dec. Leschi News article by Diane Snell, proposed changes would eliminate off peak services in lower Leschi and to Douglas Truth Library, Odessa Brown Clinic, and Langston Hughes. It would also complicate bus travel for university and community college students as well as the many who live in multi-family units along Yesler. As is true for the #2 route, proposed changes would have greatest effect on the elderly, people with disabilities, and those who have few or no alternatives to bus travel.

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