Capitol Hill wins a Lyftie, a dubious distinction for a ‘walkable neighborhood’

(Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill, perhaps Seattle’s most walkable neighborhood(TM), is the recipient of a dubious 2018 distinction.

Take it away, global transportation network company Lyft:

Lyft is celebrating the fourth iteration of the annual Lyftie Awards, a program that recognizes the most popular destinations in cities across the country. This year, Lyft has expanded the Lyfties to celebrate bars, concerts, gyms, neighborhoods, and more in 45 markets, including Seattle.

The company announced Tuesday that Capitol Hill took Seattle’s top position as the “Most Visited Late Night Neighborhood” in the city.


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Capitol HIll’s 2015-founded Optimism Brewing, meanwhile, was tallied as Seattle’s “most visited bar” for the city’s Lyft riders.

It’s good news for Optimism and the neighborhood’s cafes, restaurants, and bars. But it’s probably not the best distinction for neighborhood traffic. An independent study released this year fingered ride share companies like Lyft and Uber for actually increasing traffic in densely populated cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Meanwhile, there is probably a “percentage” of all travel component to consider but, unfortunately, Sound Transit doesn’t also hand out similar awards.

Last year at this time, Capitol Hill Station ridership was sniffing around 7,000 boardings a day at the Broadway facility. The numbers are likely to have climbed. The agency just reported its third quarter numbers for light rail ridership rose nearly 7% over the same period in 2017.

The Lyftie awards also point to another transit opportunity. Sound Transit currently operates the light rail system with a four-hour downtime overnight. Capitol Hill Station and the rest of the line operates 5 AM to 1 AM on weekdays and Saturdays. There has been talk about finding ways to boost late night service but, so far, no action.

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10 thoughts on “Capitol Hill wins a Lyftie, a dubious distinction for a ‘walkable neighborhood’

  1. Capitol Hill is walkable for people that actually live here.

    I’d say this award is more driven by the bros and woo girls from other parts of the region coming here to get wasted and trash the place every Friday and Saturday night. Basically, the clientele of the Rhino Room.

    • Dude. While the “Bros” and “woo girls” aren’t great, I didn’t realize they’re the cause behind the piss in the streets, needles everywhere, legit trash collected everywhere. If they’re here on Friday and Saturday, why is there trash Sunday through Thursday?

      I think it’s easy to call out the “Bros” and “woo girls” because they are a subset of our society that’s an easy target. But direct your annoyance to the actual issues.

      • @Marge

        I was responding to the comment pertaining to “bros and woo girls from other parts of the region coming here to get wasted and trash the place every Friday and Saturday night.”

        I was trying to point out that I don’t think the “trash the place” is directly correlated to the “bros and woo girls” previously mentioned.

      • Let me guess Dave: it’s the homeless you’re alluding to. You’re trying to bring up the homeless problem on an article that has NOTHING to do with the homeless problem. Did I get that right?

        You may think that irrelevantly posting about the homeless problem on a neighborhood blog comment section is doing God’s work, but you just look like a fool.

  2. Nobody who even occasionally goes out on C.H. would be surprised or push back on the idea that Uber and Lyft are making traffic worse. There are times when it seems half the cars on the road in the evening are Lyfts. My (unscientific) anecdotal experience is that I know people who now bar hop taking Lyft or Uber who in the past would’ve walked the 10 blocks from one end of C.H. to the other. Now they take a Lyft. It’s ridiculous.

    If Sound Transit and Metro really want to increase late-night ridership, it’s not rocket science– just run light rail all night (what’s 4 more hours?). And run Metro at least past closing time. And ditch their circuitous “night bus” routes that are so meandering they’re not worth the bother. Pick a few of the most heavily traveled routes, and just run them till later on their regular SAME ROUTE. Wasted people don’t need to be saddled with figuring out weird routes like the night buses have now. Your best target customers late night will be the same ones who often ride the regular routes in the day, and already know them.

      • And yet they left about a 1.0-1.5mile gap through a big piece of the Central District between the #11 on Madison and the #3 eventually ending up in Madrona via Cherry. And the #3 never gets closer to the core entertainment areas of CH than Jefferson St. The #2 would’ve been an obvious candidate that would attract big ridership. Or the #8? Another great candidate. Both would have lots of late riders. Not sure why they passed on them.

      • Man, it’s amazing that you know more about bus routes than Metro. I mean, you must have access to rider data, surveys, budgets, and everything else that goes into scheduling!

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