Some of the final political pieces of the plan to create a streetcar line between the International District, First Hill and Capitol Hill are moving into place. Seattle Department of Transportation planners Tuesday morning presented their recommended plan for the streetcar that has been approved by the Mayor’s office and is now in the hands of the City Council’s transportation committee. The presentation is embedded below.
SDOT planner Ethan Melone said the full resolution will be available this week. submitted at the next Council transportation committee meeting on April 27 A special session of the transportation committee will be held on First Hill at Seattle First Baptist Church at 1111 Harvard Ave on Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 PM. This will be one of the final opportunities for public comment in front of the transportation committee members before the resolution is voted on.
When it passes out of committee, the plan will go to the full Council for a vote with construction projected to begin in 2011. The first service would start, SDOT says in 2013. Committee chairman Tom Rasmussen said his goal is for the full Council vote on the streetcar resolution by early May.
SDOT planners have said that the full resolution will include language requiring ongoing City Council oversight of the streetcar project.
The recommended plan is referred to as at the 2-Way Broadway alignment, referring to the route’s usage of Broadway for both north and southbound travel. Melone said that a $20 million extension of the route to north Broadway with a turnaround at Aloha is also being planned for as are cycling and pedestrian improvements being championed by the Capitol Hill Community Council. Here is SDOT’s presentation from the Council committee session:
In the public comment portion of the meeting, real estate developer Allan Jones and Seattle Gay News publisher George Bakan spoke in support of the Capitol Hill Community Council’s drive to extend the streetcar plan to include north Broadway and improvements to the streetscape including cycling and pedestrian improvements for the area in conjunction with the streetcar construction. Meanwhile, representatives from First Hill hospitals and assisted living facilities voiced their need for what one speaker called ‘compromise’ transportation solutions now that the Boren/Seneca streetcar route has all but been eliminated from consideration.