Two transit and transportation activities continuing over the summer are likely to have impacts on Madrona residents.
The Madison BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project has progressed to 30% design. A couple of key points of concern are the impact on the Route 2 bus and on vehicular access to/from the Central Area where the BRT will cross Madison.
As anyone who has walked, driven, or been on a bus at the intersection of Union St., 12th Ave. and Madison knows, this junction is very complex. The current proposed design for that junction:
- does not provide good access between the BRT stops and the Route 2 stops for transfers,
- creates a bottleneck for vehicles (including the Route 2 bus) which will have to share just a single lane,
- does not address bicycle and pedestrian crossings satisfactorily.
Another intersection of concern is Pike St. between Madison and 14th Ave. which is proposed to be restricted to west bound traffic only. This will require east bound traffic on Pike to “jog” south on 14th and then turn east on Madison instead of going directly to Madison or continuing east on Pike. Since 14th Ave. is an important northbound connection from Union St. to Pine St., the turning movements will be difficult for east bound traffic on Pike that wants to continue east.
ACTION NEEDED: Although comments were due by August 16, 2016, it is always helpful to send in your concerns about the BRT project. The website is at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/madisonbrt.htm and email goes to MadisonBRT@seattle.gov. Project manager is Jeff Lundstrom, firstname.lastname@example.org and public information officer is Emily Reardon.
On a positive note, it appears final resolution has been reached for a Bus-Only Lane to be installed on the south side of Spring St. between Third and Sixth with a queue jump for the BRT and Route 2 at Sixth. This would alleviate considerable delays on the eastbound Route 2 bus, especially during rush hours when many are queing on Spring to join up with the I-5. The plan is to install the bus-only lane early if funds can be found. The promise has been to install this bus-only lane for four years so inasmuch as we voted for a $.93 billion Transportation Levy last fall, maybe this is the year it will actually happen.
ACTION NEEDED: Send letters/emails/phone calls to SDOT, Scott Kubly, the Mayor and, City Council members to make sure this Bus-Only Lane on Spring between 3rd and 6th finally gets painted before the rainy season starts this Fall. It will substantially improve the on-time performance of Route 2. Contact information is:
Another threat to the Route 2 has occurred in the proposed Metro Long-Range Plan for 2025 and 2040. It has been submitted to King County Council and referred to the Regional Transit Committee (Attachment A. to Proposed Ordinance 2016-0404). Public Hearings are anticipated to be held in Sept. Although Metro promises that the mapping is only conceptual, Figures 19 (for 2025) and 20 (for 2040) on pages 76 and 77 no longer show Route 2 on Seneca and Spring and instead it has been rerouted to Pike and Pine Streets and terminates at First Avenue. Since the Long-Range Plan will be used to make planning decisions, it will make it much harder to retain Route 2 service through downtown to Queen Anne.
ACTION NEEDED: Check the King County Council Regional Transit Committee for legislation and hearings on 2016-0404 and send your concerns.