SDOT plans summer ‘Broadway Corridor Streetcar Improvement Project’

The Seattle Department of Transportation has a plan to optimize signals, eliminate turns, and add a “Business Access and Transit” lane to Broadway between Pine and Madison in an effort to make traffic flow more smoothly and to help speed the First Hill Streetcar through the area.

Here’s SDOT on the proposed “spot improvement” project being lined up for summer of 2018:

Broadway is among the most heavily used transportation corridors in Seattle. It connects neighborhoods and serves as a major thoroughfare for commuters traveling daily to and from work. As part of Seattle’s First Hill Streetcar project, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is recommending traffic signal timing improvements for all lanes and the implementation of a Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes between Pine Street and Madison Street.

SDOT began talking about possible work to change traffic through the area a year ago but the proposals for this key stretch of Broadway are finally moving forward now.

Included in the proposals are changes on Broadway that would “restrict vehicle turning movements on E Pine, E Pike, E Union and E Madison Streets.”

The proposed transit lane would be reserved for buses and right-turn vehicles only in the southbound direction on Broadway:

BAT lanes are established all through Seattle, where the outside lanes are reserved for buses and right-turning vehicles only. They improve access to businesses and residences and save time for transit riders. BAT lanes also enhance the capacity of the remaining travel lanes by removing buses from general traffic.

A ride from end to end on the 2.5-mile First Hill Streetcar route can take more than 20 minutes — add 15 minutes or more in the busiest traffic. Hobbling the line’s speed, the streetcar shares lanes with with vehicular traffic on a route that is also sometimes delayed by cars parked on the street near the tracks.

The proposals do not appear to require the removal of any street parking.

You can learn more about the plans and provide feedback here.

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