No corner of Capitol Hill is detached from the rest, and no street is safe from the slow and sure winds of change.
The most pastoral of all of the hill’s bus routes, the 12 serves the 19th Ave neighborhood, once a part of the hill that time seemed to forget but which seems to be receiving its well-earned revival today. New hotspots Tallulah’s, Cone & Steiner General Store, Hello Robin Cookies, and an expanded Monsoon joining the small cluster of long-standing small businesses like Fuel Coffee and the much-lauded Kingfish Cafe on the street remind that 19th remains an eastern destination for all Capitol Hill residents.
The 12 sneaks up Capitol Hill’s side via Madison on First Hill, serving the hospitals and Seattle University along the way. Like most of Capitol Hill’s legacy trolley bus routes, the 12 started as a streetcar with a beautiful destination at its end. Interlaken Park, 52 acres of wilderness nestled in between Capitol Hill and Lake Washington, is the jewel in the route 12’s crown, the reward for riders who dare to take the trip with the driver all the way to the terminus. Interlaken Park, Seattle’s original bike trail, was created in the early 1900s as the Volunteer Hill Parkway connecting the hill to Lake Washington. The park gained its name Interlaken after the resort in Switzerland, such was the fondness that the residents felt toward this little band of green hugging the side of the hill.
But dark clouds loom in the distance. King County Metro plans to discontinue service entirely on 19th Ave, stopping the 12 at 15th and Madison and only running it during peak hours in one direction. This will be a dramatic change for a neighborhood that has had front door bus service to downtown for close to a hundred years. Time will tell if Metro will need to follow through on this plan. It is currently scheduled to take effect in February of next year.
Previously on Bus Stop