The literal start of the Broadway Cycle Track,
Broadway & Yesler, originally uploaded by Gordon Werner.
The Seattle City Council transportation committee will hear Tuesday morning that Capitol Hill wants its streetcar to extend all the way to E Prospect — and that the Seattle Department of Transportation estimates the most northernly possible destination could tack on an addition $5 to $10 million to the projected $25 million cost of the Broadway extension.
[mappress mapid=”12″]The scheduled Council update will include the results of a community survey process that took place this winter asking respondents for feedback on three proposed terminus locations and layout preferences that could mix traffic lanes, turn lanes, parking and a separated bikeway the length of Broadway along with the extended streetcar line.
The initial line from Pioneer Square terminating at E Denny Way is scheduled to begin operations early in 2014.
According to the survey results — dominated by some 600 online respondents — E Prospect was the preferred terminus for 64% of people who participated.
SDOT’s survey team also elected to proffer the survey to dozens of business owners along Broadway — the result set from the question “What are the most important features to preserve or add in the Broadway Corridor?” was especially illustrative of the split between the greater Capitol Hill community and the small group of people with skin in the game along Broadway.
The business and community responses also differed in the preferences around street layout — both groups showed the strongest preference for a layout that eliminates left turn lanes in favor of parking on both sides of the street but the community was much more open to the second option proposed by SDOT that would reduce parking to only one side of Broadway.
SDOT says, that while the survey results are not statistically valid, the numbers provide direction to the planning process. Meanwhile, SDOT also plans to tell the City Council that officials from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum prefer an E Prospect terminus.
Following the start of construction in spring 2012, the First Hill streetcar is expected to be operational in 2014 and will eventually serve around 3,500 riders per day, according to transit planners. The initial $133 million, 2.5 mile route was paid for via Sound Transit as mitigation for its decision to not build a light rail station on First Hill. Trolleys will leave every 15 minutes and vehicle traffic and streetcars will share a lane as the separated bikeway is added along Broadway. The streetcar will also provide an additional connection to Capitol Hill Station and light rail when that facility begins operations in late 2016. In late 2012, the city announced it had secured $3 million to planan extension of the streetcar route a half-mile north on Broadway.
Here’s more from the survey results. We’ve embedded the entire results document, below.
Summary of Survey Results
The majority of respondents use transit in the Capitol Hill area on a daily-to-weekly basis. Over 38% of respondents noted that they use transit every day.
Majority of respondents live or work near First Hill or Broadway Streetcar Extension line. Over 46% of respondents reported that they worked or lived in the Capitol Hill area.
Strong support for extending the streetcar to Prospect Street. 64% of respondents preferred Prospect Street as the terminus option.
Alignment Option #1 (maintaining parking along Broadway) and Alignment Option #2 (maintaining left hand turns along Broadway) received almost identical support in the community survey. Businesses interviewed during door-to-door overwhelmingly supported Option #1 (89%) because it preserved more parking and passenger/commercial loading areas.
Community survey respondents noted that bicycle safety, traffic flow and pedestrian safety were the most important features to preserve or enhance along the Broadway corridor. When mentioned, an extension of the bikeway was generally well received. Broadway businesses wanted to preserve parking and commercial loading. There was significant support for preserving as much parking on Broadway as possible.
The Chinatown/International District, the future Link Light Rail station on Broadway, and Pioneer Square were all highly ranked by community survey respondents as places to which they’d travel on the First Hill Streetcar. Retail/dining establishments along the future streetcar line were the single most frequently cited destination (83%).
Meanwhile, the Council briefing will likely make citywide headlines with details on 2012 ridership of the streetcar’s South Lake Union line where there were 30% more riders than forecast but farebox revenue came in 14% under predictions thanks to a list of factors SDOT planners are sure to explain in Tuesday’s session.