Poll: Where should the streetcar run? – UPDATE: Live coverage from meeting

UPDATE: Technology willing, I’ll be broadcasting segments from tonight’s streetcar meeting at SCCC live here on the site. Tune in.
UPDATE 2: All wrapped up. One of the archived clips below and more available here. This clip features a chat with Casey Hildreth, a senior planner for SDOT.


Original post:
You’ve seen the maps and read the arguments. CHS community, what’s your preferred streetcar route?

Maps, etc. below. We’ll ask again after the city’s meeting series.

Here’s a collection of CHS coverage on the streetcar:

Tuesday night’s meeting info:

Tuesday, December 15   6:00 PM-8:00PM
Seattle Central Community College (1701 Broadway)

The “Two-way Broadway” option (4.38 miles long):

“Broadway/12th Couplet” includes southbound service on 12th Avenue (4.26 miles long):

First Hill Boren route (4.89 miles long)

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9 thoughts on “Poll: Where should the streetcar run? – UPDATE: Live coverage from meeting

  1. I’m always shocked when towards the end of an election there’s still “undecided voters”, but somehow after observing this debate for months and months I’m still undecided on this. At this point, I’m leaning towards Broadway or Boren because I really think that since this project was created to serve First Hill, it should stay in First Hill.

    Someone on STB brought up the idea of keeping the streetcar in First Hill, and moving some bus service to 12th… that seems pretty fair to me.

  2. For anyone questioning the “right” of 12th Ave to have a streetcar, please see the original Station Aea Map:

    http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~ordpics/113748b.gif

    You will notice that much of 12th is included in that area. You will also notice that Harborview is not included.

    Unfortunately it was labeled the “First Hill” Streetcar, but it was actually at the very NE edge of the neighborhood. The original intent was to serve Pike/Pine, the Western Central Area (12th Ave) and North First Hill.

  3. Great info, Josh. Nice to see where that station was centered, and what was being considered pre-streetcar debate. I rather like that Union and Madison are right in the heart of it all.
    Also relieved to see on that map that the Single Family Homes on 12th were not intended to be served by a streetcar. Phew.
    Bummed to see Harborview outside the overlay, but I suppose it makes sense considering the it’s the de facto federal/gov hospital.

    Please also see the Interlocal Agreement:
    http://seattlestreetcar.org/about/docs/FirstHillStreetcarint

    Page 23 includes some specific directions that the city and ST agreed upon, including schedule of service, and the requirement to provide service to “significant” centers of employment on First Hill. Now remains the question: are we trying to re-define First Hill? (ST, City of Seattle, neighborhood activists and the federal census have done such a nice job already, I’m loathe to waste resources doing their good work over).

    While 12th and some of the business strips in the 12thAve hood can logically be within the new ‘overlay District Boundary’, it certainly would be questionable to move the entire line to be centered on the 12 Avenue urban village (aka the 12th route), making, say, Swedish the best and perhaps only candidate fulfilling the Interlocal Agreement terms.
    To be clear:
    I love the 12th plan -just not for this link to light rail. From a big-picture transit POV, it’s missing the mark. I just would rather see the city (alone) make that 12th / pike&pine streetcar line happen, and not mess with ST’s important & regional First Hill plan.

  4. From 12th & Jackson up to Broadway & Denny, the Boren Ave route looks very similar to the 60 bus, which I ride almost daily. The 60 runs into severe rush hour traffic near the I-5 entrance at James St, and that traffic was so horrible during Harborview construction that I took a different bus route to get home. The Yesler Terrace area has streets that are so narrow that buses can barely get by other vehicles so I shudder to think what would happen if streetcars came into the equation too.

    I like the Broadway and 12th options much better. Going north to south, Broadway is served only by the route 9 bus which is very infrequent (once an hour) and 12th Ave has no bus service I’m aware of, which is strange considering how wide and low-traffic the latter avenue is. Maybe a streetcar can spur development in the blighted blocks south of Presse and north of the I.D.

    All in all I was very pleased with the level of detail that the city put on display, and I was blown away by how crowded the room was. (Also, I hope I didn’t get into too many bloggers’ iPhone photos and videos.)

  5. ST has laid down some rules in writing, so I expect they follow them to keep from getting sued.
    Must link First Hill to light rail stations at King Street and also at Cap Hill station (devil’s advocate note here: this directive COULD be served by two unconnected lines)
    Must be affordable (ST has the right to scrap the entire project if it gets too far out of budget) and built by the City (because apparently, the SLUT is a nifty resume item in that regard).
    ‘Stations’ should be no further than 2000′ apart.
    Should avoid steep grades and more-than-90 turns.
    and
    Must link major Employment Centers of First Hill must be linked to regional transit /light rail / rail.

    What major employment centers of First Hill are found East of its border? Doesn’t matter. This is a local link to regional transit, it’s not a supplement to Metro buses. The travel time up & down the streetcar shouldn’t be a serious concern: travel time from First Hill to either Light Rail station should be. At some point a bunch of Cap Hill folks got in their heads there was a free streetcar for them, and they get to steer it. That’s fine, so long as you link First Hill (as in, Terry and Seneca or Minor and Cherry) first and figure out a way to keep it in budget.
    I know a way, but a) it doesn’t hit 12th near the bars and b) I won’t share it here right now.
    Seattletransitblog.org though has excellent analysis.

  6. It’s good to finally see a map of where the original station was supposed to be. This, however, still does not provide a compelling argument for putting the streetcar on 12th. If you make it 12th 2-way you are running it way on the edge of that overlay district, and if you do the couplet the 2 directions are too far apart and separated by SU campus, which is a major barrier. Anybody who is not a student is not going to want to walk through the campus, since it was not designed as a public thoroughfare. To me, this map is an argument for the broadway or boylston alignments as they are the ones with a stop closest to the original station.