SDOT’s Madison BRT questions include center or side lane, 23rd Ave or Madison Valley endpoint, bike route alternatives

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 11.23.24 AMimage02-600x449Speaking of public transit improvements poised to make living in Seattle’s Inner City even more enjoyable, CHS has reported on the proposed $87 million Madison Bus Rapid Transit project that is planned to create a corridor of speedy bus service from the waterfront all the way up to the Central District through the heart of First Hill and along the southern edges of Capitol Hill.

“The 2.1-mile corridor runs from Colman Dock east to 23rd Avenue and will improve access to ferries, Third Avenue transit, First Hill medical facilities and housing, Seattle University, the Central district, Link Light Rail, and the First Hill Streetcar,” SDOT promises.

The department also wants your feedback:

SDOT is seeking input on key elements before this analysis begins, including transit connections, routing options, station locations, and an alternate bike facility.  After the analysis is complete, SDOT will launch a round of outreach to share the results and discuss community preferences about the design options. The last question of the survey is a map exercise; don’t forget to share your map. #MadisonBRT

You can take the BRT survey here through Thursday, February 5th.


SDOT is considering two possible eastern endpoints for Madison BRT — you can tell them what you think in the survey

54b8d717-91c8-497f-9d1a-6b2c7514d1a8The survey centers on some key questions planners are trying to answer for the BRT corridor. One major question is whether the BRT lane should run along the side of Madison or down the center: “The two primary alternatives will represent a ‘side-running’ alternative and a ‘center-running’ alternative,” the survey reads. SDOT is also evaluating respondent preference for the western and easter endpoints for the corridor and new bicycle routes to complement the project.

SDOT planners are also proposing two bicycle routes around the BRT corridor

SDOT planners are also proposing two bicycle routes around the BRT corridor

The survey results will be used to “provide input on Bus Rapid Transit alternatives to be analyzed in early 2015,” the online survey notes.

And don’t forget to share your #MadisonBRT map :)

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22 thoughts on “SDOT’s Madison BRT questions include center or side lane, 23rd Ave or Madison Valley endpoint, bike route alternatives

  1. Nice if you can still afford to live on the Hill by the time this becomes reality. Anyone else think the low-floor buses look like the Kalakala? Hope they “fare” better.

  2. Why do we insist on having 20 different separate modes of transit in this city?!?! Can’t we just extend the street car? Or the light rail? Why make it be a DIFFERENT thing??

    • Madison is too steep in certain areas for light rail.

      It takes some strange engineering feets for streetcars to work there, as well: There used to be a streetcar running along Madison, but it required a counterweight apparatus to pull it up the hill. (the engine alone wasn’t strong enough to get the car uphill). Surely streetcars have improved since then, but there may very well be some engineering problems with the streetcar.

    • I wish rail could be extended to the hill too. Sound Transit’s original light rail extension to the UW included First Hill. But they were forced to scrap the idea because of unstable soil conditions in that area.

  3. Is this solving a transit problem that a conventional Metro bus cannot? Metro has “kneeling” busses and we have the ability to provide more robust bus stop shelters. Perhaps we use an existing kit of parts and if we must, create a bus only lane for use during peak periods?

    Sounds like someone in the City of Seattle is just trying to create work for themselves when we have other transit issues to address.

      • “specialized, low floor BRT vehicles” doesn’t sound like a conventional Metro bus. If they are indeed using Metro busses already in stock then great, it needs to be more clear that a new specialized fleet of busses are not being sourced.

      • All the talk I’ve heard at the meetings/open houses is to use the new regular fleet trolley buses with normal right side doors, the BRT part is the dedicated red lanes either in the center or side with stations.

      • If center lanes/stations are going to be used, then Metro would need a fleet of specialized buses – different from the new trolley ones they’ve about to receive and the RapidRide coaches they currently have. Center stations require doors on both sides of the bus.

    • Theoretically, yes, this is a problem that a conventional bus can solve. All it takes is less stops, ORCA readers and bus lanes. Unfortunately, in order to attract new riders, people need something catchy and new to be attracted to. They need something that looks and feels different from what Metro already offers. A conventional bus and bus lanes would work just fine for normal rides, but isn’t enough for new ridership. This is how RapidRide attracted new riders, despite it’s less than rapid service. It’s all about the marketing.

  4. Madison is too steep for a street car. This is a good alternative that will link up well with other transit options. If it is in a separate lane, it will be much better than a conventional bus. Please fill out the survey to push for the center-of-the-road option, which will make it much more effective.

      • It had a _cable_ car, which can handle steeper inclines than other forms of rail because they’re dragged along by the moving cable and don’t rely on maintaining friction between wheels and rails. But moving all that cable is both maintenance-heavy and power-heavy, and speed options mostly… aren’t.

    • And across the lake to Bellevue. So many SOV on 520 and 90. A high capacity, high express shuttle to efficiently ferry people across the water from downtown to downtown would be a huge win for everyone.

  5. Thanks for reporting on this @jseattle! I’m frustrated by several things to do with this project: for one, do we actually need it? who is going to fund it, and over what priorities? why are they forcing people who bike off Madison? Who are they kidding to think that people who bike will take an alternative route, that doesn’t actually give them easy access to Madison? If they are forcing “alternative bike routes” down our throats, I want a significant investment in local safe streets for walking, and biking infrastructure. And, by that I mean more than alternative 1 OR 2. I want both, and more. This system won’t truly serve everyone if we don’t.

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