Early work on the streetcar that will connect Broadway to Pioneer Square by way of First Hill could begin as early as August depending on how the final sign-off on costs go with the Seattle City Council. Here’s an update on the streetcar line based on a presentation shared with the Capitol Hill Community Council late last month.
The full presentation is embedded below. We’ve pulled out some highlights and have included a few notes from city planners.
Here’s the final route map for the line that, for now, will not connect to the city’s existing streetcar line downtown.
SDOT says that while the work will move relatively quickly once it begins, we can expect some pretty major construction areas while it is underway. It’s intensive enough that it might make sense to do some of the major utility work we reported on here during the streetcar installation.
The early construction schedule shows work won’t start on the final section of Broadway track until midway 2012. Planners also note that any intersection with four pedestrian crossings has to maintain three of those segments during any work so walking flow in the neighborhood shouldn’t be too adversely impacted.
The documents also provides schematics of some of the major intersections so you can get a sense of how the track and bikeway will change the street. There have also been some platform location changes since earlier in the planning process including a decision to move the current northernmost platform on the line a bit further south to better mesh with the coming Broadway light rail station when it becomes operational in 2016. In the original set-up, the streetcar’s final segment would have had to been delayed until the light rail work was completed.
Also, remember that there is still information being gathered on the feasibility of extending the streetcar to north Broadway.
Auto and bus traffic in sections of Broadway will share the street with the streetcar. This will mean, yes, cars will sometimes be “stuck” behind the streetcar at a platform when riders are getting on or off. With coordination of signals and the effect of allowing intersections to “clear” when the streetcar is present, planners expect the flow of the street to work about the same as it does now. One big change for drivers — left turns off Broadway will have be eliminated in the area of the streetcar.
Note that the corners of Pine (across Pine from Broadway Building) and Pike (in front of Tully’s) will both have combined bus/streetcar platforms
The next steps for the streetcar include authorization of the construction contract by the City Council later this summer. Though Sound Transit is footing the bill for the project, the Council is in charge of administrating the work and making sure the project adheres to the agreement.
Here’s the presentation in full: