Endorsing the Capitol Hill Complete Streetcar Campaign — ENDORSED!

Way back in January, we first reported on the Community Council committee forming a plan to influence the political process that is shaping the First Hill streetcar project . One of the Capitol Hill Complete Streetcar Campaign’s tenets already appears to be a done deal  — the 2-way Broadway alignment is a clear winner — but the other two have long, um, roads ahead. While the City Council has endorsed the study of extending the streetcar to north Broadway and the Seattle Department of Transportation already has gear in the field studying the pedestrian and bicycle elements of the streetcar plan, both Complete Streetcar Campaign initiatives will require long-term effort and community drive.

With the 2009 fall Seattle election process as our precedent, CHS is asking the community to weigh in on supporting the campaign with an official endorsement. Vote below.


UPDATE: POLL CLOSED! Complete Streetcar Campaign endorsed! Kittens are cute!

Registered CHS users may vote in the poll. We’re keeping the window on this one short so we can be wrapped up in time for Thursday night’s hearing at First Baptist Church.

Here is how the poll works:

  • Registered CHS account holders may vote in each poll once
  • Polls closes Thursday at 2 PM CHS Standard Time
  • If you do not have an account, you may create one here
  • Log in here

Capitol Hill Complete Streetcar Campaign Initiatives – View Full Memo – View Facebook Group

  1. Plan to extend to Aloha St. The Aloha extension has been a consistent priority for Capitol Hill ever since the streetcar was first proposed. Even though funding for Aloha St is not yet secured, the extension should be fully designed and brought to a point of being “shovel ready” as part of this project, and the rest of the line should be designed in such a way as to maximize the feasibility of extending to Aloha.
  2. Keep the streetcar on Broadway north of Union St. This keeps the energy and focus on the retail corridor and makes the system simpler and easier to understand, a key factor in attracting new riders. The Cal Anderson Park loop raises safety and running time concerns and interferes with the community’s plans for the redevelopment of Sound Transit’s light rail station properties, particularly the plan to move the Farmer’s Market to Denny Way and Nagle Place.
  3. Reclaim the Street. Make the streetcar a catalyst for reclaiming the use of the right of way on Broadway. Specifically, consider eliminating the center turning lane on Broadway except at the major intersections and repurposing this space for bicycle and pedestrian use.

What will the endorsement mean? For one, the group working on the campaign (could be you, btw, if you’d like to help) will be able to list CHS among its community support in its documents and when presenting at public meetings and speaking with city officials. Our coverage of the streetcar and the community groups and organizations working on the project will not change. We’ll continue to report the issues and make sure the story gets told in an accurate and complete fashion. But the campaign will have — or not have — another concrete expression of community support for its work.

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5 thoughts on “Endorsing the Capitol Hill Complete Streetcar Campaign — ENDORSED!

  1. The poll could have just as well asked “Do you like adorable kittens and puppies?” We’ll see about the same response either way :)

  2. Well of course, puppies and kittens are wonderful. BUT , baby goats, piglets and new born lambs are even sweeter. Really.

    Farm boy Mike

    (and I like the streetcar plan a lot)

  3. Straight from the Complete Streetcar Campaign Website:

    Streetcars are expensive; why not consider trolley buses instead?

    One of the key differences between streetcars and buses is the unique ability of streetcars to attract tourists and retail customers as riders.

    They are able to do this because:

    1. They are simple to understand; the tracks in the street present a powerful visual clue as to where the streetcar is going.
    2. They are smooth, comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
    3. They are different, fun and cool.

    Commuters have a higher tolerance for more complicated routes because their trips are not discretionary and because they make the trip regularly; they have many opportunities to learn the route. Retail customers, on the other hand, do not have to make the trip at all and do not make it regularly, especially new customers who are just discovering the Broadway retail corridor.

    Retail customers in general and tourists in particular are much more sensitive to subtle differences in comfort, simplicity, ease of use and overall ‘cool’ factor. Only 20% of trips are commute trips; the vast majority of trips are retail and recreational. If the city is going to be successful in achieving its sustainability goals, we must focus more on attracting that other 80%. This means focusing on the unique needs of casual riders making discretionary trips, i.e. retail customers.
    http://caphillcouncil.org/campaigns/streetcar/faq/

  4. It will be interesting on this route to monitor the rider stats… maybe pre build research could answer some of the questions.

    There is a giant number of jobs along this route, tens of thousands, from Seattle U, Sound Transit, SCC, Swedish Hospital, QFC, Harborview (couple of blocks) – and on the Bwy. strip of smaller retail and bars and eating places – the retail,food, small shops of the international Dist…. and so forth. (this list is very incomplete)

    I suspect people will rent/buy and work along this line – because of the real ease of movement. Also the rides of resident to shop, dine, go to parks, bars, just all forms of leisure/chill – those rides will be higher than generic estimates.

    The Capitol Hill Community needs to back this project 100 per cent – see you on opening day – 3 years??? hence.

    (waiting to buy my monthly pass)