From the way things are shaping up, it’s not a question of the City Council supporting a First Hill streetcar route on Broadway — only a question of how far north it will go and how radically it will transform Capitol Hill and surrounding neighborhoods into a more transit, pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment. In a meeting of the Capitol Hill Community Council last Thursday night, Seattle Department of Transportation planner Ethan Melone revealed that the resolution the City Council will soon vote on for approving the streetcar project contains language enabling his department to begin planning an extension of the route to north Broadway, perhaps as far as Aloha. Here’s the passage from the just released proposed resolution 31207 :
Section 4. SDOT shall seek funds to extend the First Hill streetcar
route north on Broadway, beyond Denny Street and Broadway. In addition,
per Section 1 of the Funding and Cooperative Agreement between Sound
Transit and the City, SDOT should request the Sound Transit Board allow
the City to use any excess capital funds provided by ST2 for the First
Hill Streetcar Project for the purpose of extending the Project’s route
north on Broadway.
In addition to the section enabling the start of planning for a northern extension of the route beyond a terminus at the location of the future light rail station at Broadway and John, the resolution includes a section calling for plans to improve transit on First Hill and along 12th Ave as part of SDOT’s overhaul of Seattle’s Transit Plan. It also gives the City Council oversight and opportunity “to provide feedback on design issues and options, including station locations, cross-section alternatives, possible traffic and pedestrian issues, plans for bicycle integration, and the location of a maintenance base.”
At Thursday’s meeting, Melone said SDOT would request $750,000 from the existing Sound Transit budget for the streetcar project to start the north Broadway planning process. For more — and deeper — analysis of the resolution, check out Seattle Transit Blog’s write-up on the north Broadway extension.
The mere presence of the section in the resolution is a major victory for the citizens and business owners behind the Capitol Hill Complete Streetcar Campaign who have been advocating for a plan to extend the route and improve the streetscape for pedestrians and bicyclists. The group is urging people to come out and support the campaign at this week’s City Council Transportation Committee public hearing on the streetcar:
When: Thursday, April 22, 2010 05:30 PM – 08:30 PM
Where: Seattle First Baptist Church 1111 Harvard Avenue Seattle, 98122
What: City Council Transportation Committee to hold public forum on the future First Hill Streetcar Seattle – The Seattle City Council’s Transportation Committee will hold a public forum to take comments from the community on the Mayor’s recently selected alignment of the future First Hill Streetcar. The community is encouraged to attend and give input on the “Two-Way Broadway” route before the Council makes a final determination on the alignment in early May.
The hearing will be one of the last public meetings on the streetcar before the committee votes on the resolution and takes it to the full Council for final approval. We covered the committee’s previous briefing on the streetcar here.
CHS will consider endorsing the Complete Streetcar Campaign — watch for a vote on the site prior to Thursday’s hearing. The group is also planning a rally/party on May 4th at Sole Repair. In the meantime, you can learn more on the Complete Streetcar Campaign Facebook page.