CHS Pics | A new trailhead on Broadway

The start of a pleasant Saturday hike

Every hour or so Saturday and Sunday morning starting this weekend, hikers could set out from Broadway on their start of a climb up the most popular trail in the region.

The Trailhead Direct service Saturday celebrated its expansion to Capitol Hill Station with a bus breaking through a ceremonial banner and a collection of urban hikers ready for a day on the mountain. You can now take the bus from Capitol Hill to Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe on weekends through October, weather permitting. Continue reading

Hope of revived plan for a First Hill light rail station is buried… again

From Sound Transit’s “Background Information for Section 4.10, Geology and Soils” appendix before First Hill Station was cut from U-Link planning

Any hope of a First Hill light rail station being part of Sound Transit 3 appears to have been left in the dust after deliberation by the transportation agency’s Elected Leadership Group Thursday afternoon.

CHS reported here on hopes from the First Hill Improvement Association and neighborhood and transit advocates that the rapidly growing, incredibly dense neighborhood would be included in planning for the coming third wave of Seattle-are light rail that will span a total of 11.8 miles and add 10 new and four expanded stations. West Seattle Alaska-Junction and Ballard routes will converge downtown by 2035.

But Thursday’s discussion of the planned Midtown Station seemed to lock in the idea that the facility should reside in the shadow of the Seattle Central Library on 5th Ave and basically takes further talk of a potentially expensive, probably engineering-challenged First Hill location off the planning board completely. Continue reading

Thirteen years after painful cut, First Hill still wants a light rail station

Capitol Hill Station celebrates its two-year anniversary this week. First Hill is still waiting.

The First Hill Improvement Association remains determined to get a light rail station built in the heart of its neighborhood — though Sound Transit cancelled a site there in 2005 citing geological instability.

“There’s a difference between hard and impossible,” FHIA director Alex Hudson said. Continue reading

Top 20 new District 3 businesses: Rideshare driver tops the list by a mile… again


Even with growing evidence that driving for companies like Uber and Lyft can be a real grind, the greatest bulk of entrepreneurial energy around Capitol Hill and the Central District continues to be professional drivers.

According to tax information from the City of Seattle, the “transit and ground transportation” category was, again, the single largest category of new businesses started in District 3 ZIP codes last year, topping its nearest rival with nearly six times more companies started in the area in 2017. Continue reading

Latest Metro boosts and changes mostly leave Capitol Hill routes unaltered

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After a busy few years of upgrades, optimizations, cuts, and eliminations, the next wave of Metro bus route changes scheduled to roll out starting Saturday mostly leave Capitol Hill’s routes out of the equation.

“Riders will receive more King County Metro bus service starting March 10 on dozens of routes, including more frequent daytime service, more commute trips to ease crowding, and expanded evening and weekend service,” Metro crows in its announcement of the new changes.

Routes like the 8, 11, 12 are lined up to receive “additional resources to improve the reliability of service” but most of the big changes are off Hill and, in some cases, out of the city. Continue reading

Metro seeks companies for ‘shared employer shuttle’ pilot

A Microsoft bus (Image: CHS)

If you can’t beat them, join them. King County Metro is looking to form a consortium of “two to five employers” to form a “shared employer shuttle” pilot.

“Metro is exploring these partnerships to find new ways to connect people to transit service and provide customers with mobility options,” Metro GM Rob Gannon said.

The one-year pilot seeks to band together a group of employers somewhere in the county for a Metro shuttle program to transport employees to their jobs and homes. “Only workers at those companies would be eligible to ride shared shuttles,” the Metro notice on the call for proposals reads. Continue reading

Seattle effort to return historic Benson Trolleys to service has Capitol Hill connection

(Image: Friends of the Benson Trolleys)

With less than a week to go, backers of a community effort to raise funds to plan restoring Seattle’s historic Benson Trolleys for use on the city’s modern streetcar system are about halfway to their $28,000 goal. Though you’re unlikely to see Seattle’s two remaining 100-year-old trolleys on Capitol Hill’s tracks, the project has its roots in the neighborhood’s history.

George and Evelyn Benson owned and operated Capitol Hill’s Mission Pharmacy at 19th and Aloha for 40 years,” Don Blakeney of Friends of the Benson Trolleys tells CHS. “Also, apparently they used to drive around the Hill delivering prescriptions to families in a van painted to look like a transit bus.” Continue reading

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: Continue reading

What’s next for Seattle’s new era floating bike shares

It’s a bit of a chaotic test. They get dropped almost everywhere — some literally dropped, for real — and by the end of January, the first electric-assist versions will be on the streets of Seattle. With the city allowing the multi-colored “floating” companies to operate during a Wild West trial period, It’s not a question of whether Seattle will continue to have a bike share program, it’s just a question of what the final rules will be.

“I cannot see a world where Seattle does not have a bike share system,” said Mafara Hobson of the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Jasmine Marwaha from City Council member Mike O’Brien’s office agreed. O’Brien chairs the council’s transportation committee, and be turning the cranks on what the final program looks like. Marwaha said that while there have been some concerns about parking the bikes, there has not been anything severe enough to merit ending the program.

Seattle had first tried owning its own bike share system using docking stations similar to those found in some other cities. But the system ended up failing to attract enough riders to make it viable. In July, the city embarked on a new system of dockless bikes. Three different companies — LimeBike, Spin, and Ofo — began scattering brightly colored bikes around town to be rented by the minute. Continue reading

With hope for 2018 construction start, time to finalize design tweaks on $1.6B convention center expansion

After three years of design review, the final touches on plans for the $1.6 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center are down to the nitty gritty. The refined massing, the updated glazing pattern, the landmark lighting plan — each will be broken down as the project takes what could be its final bow in front of the review board Tuesday night at City Hall. Continue reading