Plan to push ‘bus rapid transit’ on Madison moves forward

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One of the exercises from this week’s SDOT meeting

MadisonStreetCorridorOverviewvr3Officials of the Seattle Department of Transportation hosted the Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit  house Tuesday night at the Silver Cloud Hotel on Broadway.

“The Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project is an opportunity to construct capital improvements that will allow a faster, more reliable, more comfortable transit ride,” said Maria Koengeter, project manager for the Madison BRT initiative.

“Bus rapid transit” refers to the use of corridors and service characteristics that would enable buses to provide its customers the same level of service as a fixed-rail streetcar.

SDOT’s  study and project is focused on developing and evaluating at least two corridor design concepts, planners said.

Madison OH1 Presentation-FINAL

The area that the SDOT meeting focused on ran from the Colman Dock to the 23rd Ave E. SDOT has proposed to add more stations to these areas to make traveling easier across the city.

Madison has been identified by the SDOT as a high capacity transit area.

The Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project will focus on how to ensure faster transit facilities for riders, better pedestrian and bike connections and improved public spaces. SDOT planners have predicted that transit riders will increase by at least 6,000 along the Madison route.

Koengeter said that some of the suggestions to improve overall riding experience include running more frequent bus service, creating facilities such as bus only lanes and adding transit stations. She also pointed out that that in 2012, the SDOT commenced a Transit Master Plan which looked into high traffic areas in Seattle and identified areas that need work. Madison is one such area. The other area that was looked into ran from Roosevelt to downtown Seattle and the project work for that will begin in the fall this year.

Koengeter said that the project is in an early phase which means that efforts are being carried out to develop design options which will be shared with the public at forums like Tuesday’s meeting. The goal is to generate support from the community as well as elected officials who will need to stand behind funding for the plans.

“By studying this corridor, we hope to develop a transit design concept that has community support, is backed by a viable phasing and implementation plan, and positions the city for future funding opportunities to help design and build the project,” Koengeter said.

For more information, check out the Madison Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit website.

This entry was posted in News, etc. and tagged , by Sumedha Majumdar. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sumedha Majumdar

I am an aspiring journalist. I am currently a Journalism major attending school in Seattle University. I am graduating in the Spring. Writing and photography is a hobby and I want to turn them into a lifestyle. I am originally from India and I moved to Seattle back in 2004. My full-time job is in Safeway and I have been there for over ten years. I have always wanted to go into Journalism and have worked in a couple of school newspapers in the past. I have always wanted to cover serious issues and arts and entertainment. I am so looking forward to my internship in CHS and I know that I will be able to learn a lot.
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7 thoughts on “Plan to push ‘bus rapid transit’ on Madison moves forward

  1. The buses will, I believe, be articulated and electric (different officials were divided about the articulated part). Officials were, however, united in their lack of a plan for how the bus will turn around in the vicinity of 23rd and Madison. The angle of Madison to the street grid creates problems.

    One idea was to loop around north via John and 22nd, which would send it past the Aegis Living senior housing, with its existing street parking problems. Another idea was to loop around to the south via Olive Street, and layover behind Planned Parenthood. This would have it crossing the soon to be installed Greenway. Both options involved some very awkward turns.

    Officials _seemed_ receptive to the notion, from several of us, to continue the route to the Madison Valley and turn around in the vicinity of ML King. No better turnaround options, but it would then serve the remainder of the denser housing on Madison, and have a layover in an existing commercial hub.

    Another neighbor opined that the Madison BRT, with its overhead wires, would never be welcomed in Madison Park, with its underground utilities.

    • Union St. has overhead wires as far as 34th Ave and down to Lake WA, with easy turnaround. Is that corridor not considered dense enough (yet)? or was it not discussed at all?

    • Yeah, running it from downtown, up Madison, then making the kink to go out Union makes a lot more sense, engineering and growth-wise.

  2. So I really don’t get this, SDOT truly believes it can reduce the congestion on Madison by increasing a rapid transit solution? Frankly they haven’t had much successes with other projects at hand, i.e. First Hill Street Car. What seem to be ignored is the potential to actually link what is currently in place with other transit option (LinkLightRail) with surface street improvements that will truly make a different in how riders want and need transportation access. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting solutions for getting folks around in our city but honestly one has to questions who is actually thinking up these solutions and when the dollar is actually being place to supper that. I challenge SDOT to really reach out to local groups to get various options/opinions prior to placing wild stages at something that realistically won’t work. I travel the Madison corridor daily and I’m just not seeing it unless you plan to close the Southbound on-ramp to I-5 at Seneca.

    Good luck and hope I have a way to avoid my wasted dollars on this blind sided effort. :-)

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