Bus Stop | Madison BRT details — Plus, the Metro restructure that wasn’t

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 1.37.32 PMPresentation (7)For those that couldn’t make it to the downtown library for November 16th’s SDOT open house on the latest Madison Bus Rapid Transit plan, we have the department’s briefing on the project from last week’s City Council meeting, below — plus some non-BRT news from the open house about a rollback on one of the most significant changes that had been planned for Metro routes to better align service around the opening of Capitol Hill Station and the U-Link light rail expansion in early 2016.

BRT presentation
SDOT officials presented details on the latest plans for Madison’s overhauled bus route in a session with the City Council’s transportation committee last week before the Thanksgiving holiday. The information presents an opportunity to see the plans shared at the public open house earlier in November.

Presenting the material, SDOT officials described the future Madison bus lane as part of a citywide “network of BRT” and said they were pleased to find “the biggest complaints” at the open house had been that planned “transit lanes don’t extend far enough.” “There’d be relatively limited benefits” but “significant capital costs” to extend the dedicated BRT lane all the way to MLK, one planner said.

Instead of a BRT route running in a dedicated lane all the way up and down Madison, SDOT’s plan has buses running in mixed-traffic east of 18th Ave with “signal priority” helping speed the trip to the MLK terminus. A dedicated center lane with island stops would only run from 9th Ave to 13th Ave in the current proposal. The rest of the route would run curbside with right-turning traffic until 18th Ave.

The SDOT presentation is below.

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit

Route 11 staying putRt11
Meanwhile, according to an update at the BRT open house, King County Metro planners are backing off the only major change the agency is planning to implement in March to coincide with light rail service in Capitol Hill. Route 11 had been planned for a move from Pine to Olive Way to make up for the loss of the 43 during off-peak hours and to provide direct access to Madison Valley and Madison Park residents to Capitol Hill Station.

The reason for the reversal of a change that had already been voted on by the King County Council? The inability for Metro and SDOT to find a solution to a deviation via 19th Ave and E Madison Street that was seen as essential by some for making the restructure work by ensuring that Madison lost no service — no matter what the impact was on the network as a whole. Rather than route the 11 straight down Thomas to E Madison as the 8 does now, the 11 will stay as it is leaving the E Olive Way/E John Street corridor to be served by route 8 and the 43 during weekday peak hours.

The restoration of the 43 was a last-minute change when the restructure went to council, but the public comment that prompted its restoration was made with the assumption that the 11 would be providing service when the 43 is not. Now the number of Capitol Hill bus routes that do not directly serve Capitol Hill station has been increased to 4 (the 10, 11, 12, and 47) as many that do serve the station (9X, 43, 49, 60), further watering down the planned restructuring and optimization of area routes.

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13 thoughts on “Bus Stop | Madison BRT details — Plus, the Metro restructure that wasn’t

  1. The BRT is starting to remind me of the Hwy 99 tunnel project. Needlessly complex and overkill to solve the issue at hand.

  2. I took #12 every day. The bus is always LATE and packed even before it reaches 13th. I even saw THREE buses came back to back! How can the planning department guarantee the mix-traffic, curb side BRT (which is exactly same as the current bus, little bit fancier) will arrive on time? so it is only a luxury project only from 9th to 13th and Seattleites are so generous to
    allow the city play their money to run a half done project again. traffic sucks? you deserve it.

  3. This project still needs to identify and secure $105 of $120 MILLION?? And 2 of the 4 “potential” sources are Sound Transit 3 (seriously?) and the State Legislature (uh, yeah– good luck, like THAT’s gonna happen). Unbelievable. Silliness like this is why that nearly-$1billion Move Seattle levy was like flushing money down the toilet. Congrats, Seattle– this is what happens when you hand SDOT a blank check.

  4. I notice that one of the pics shows yet another kind of special lane markings…..pavement painted red, presumably for the dedicated bus lane. With all the various graphics and colors denoting bike lanes, share the lane, green boxes at intersections, arrows pointing here and there….it’s getting so a motorist needs to keep an instruction manual in the car in order to decipher all this. I suppose Seattleites will learn all this soon enough, but what about those who don’t live here?

    • Also what is depicted in that illustration is also impossible due to the bottleneck created by the buildings. You cannot add a 5th center lane without having to remove sidewalks or make them significantly narrow. Then you lose the trees on the North side of Madison.

    • A driving test should cover that but those a complete joke, god forbid motorists have to know the rules of the road before getting behind the wheel.

  5. It’s just going to make traffic on Madison worse. There’s plenty of bus routes already running EW – maybe a better one would be up/down Boren instead of the 309 which only runs one way for limited hours of the day? Considering the amount of people that work in SLU, wouldn’t that make more sense?

    As someone who lives off Madison, the BRT will be just as annoying as having to take the 2 or the 12 downtown to transfer to get to work at the north end of Downtown. It’s just I’ll get downtown faster to wait on my transfer? Eish. Bus ride = 45 minutes. Walking = 20.

  6. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but…
    …if the bus stop is in the CENTER of the street, as shown in the Madison/12th drawing, then the buses need doors that open on the LEFT SIDE of the bus as well as the RIGHT (for regular stops) – correct?

    Do we have these buses already ?
    Are they in the project budget ?
    And wouldn’t that reduce the number of seats that are available, compared to a regular bus ?

    • Yes, we need buses with doors on both sides. No we don’t have them already. Yes, they are in the project budget. Yes, they would reduce the number of seats on a regular metro coach, producing a layout similar to a streetcar.