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Streetcar 2013: The Movie

The Seattle Department of Transportation is out with a video simulation of what the Broadway streetcar route will look like when service begins in 2013 — if, as Seattle Transit Blog notes, the Capitol Hill Community Council’s Complete Streetcar Campaign’s vision for the segment is realized.

We’ve embedded the Slog’s generously uploaded version of the video here so as not to clog up teh Internets with the download from the city and then another upload of the same file. Note to SDOT: Put it on YouTube on your own next time.

In the simulation, you can see the pedestrian and bike features championed by the campaign — the “cycle track” is the double-lane green path that follows the streetcar route across Capitol Hill. However, you won’t see another campaign plank in the simulation — not surprisingly given how much study is still needed, but there’s no sign of a north extension to Aloha in the movie.

SDOT has also posted station ‘visualization’ PDFs to their streetcar site. We’ve included the Broadway at Pike station visualization on this post.

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7 thoughts on “Streetcar 2013: The Movie

  1. Not for nothing, but looking at the special cycle track, how exactly is traffic for that special track going to be managed? I see a bigger accident waiting to happen than the cyclists who aren’t smart enough to stay out of the lane with the rails. Can’t wait to see a cyclist trying to make a left turn from that bike lane across traffic or better yet, blow through a light because now they feel special and unique because they have their own lane. Just wait, it’ll happen.

  2. We have to keep pushing for the Aloha extension! It makes NO sense at all for the streetcar to stop at John (one of the busiest interesections on the Hill) and to leave a third or the Broadway business district unserved. Keep up the chorus of voices for this project!

    My only criticism–and one suggestion to SDOT: I wish there were a few more stops along the route. They’re pretty far apart for some people, but I understand the desire to keep the route time short.

    My suggestion…can we see the rest of the route like this? I’m really curious how it’s going to play out when it turns on Yesler, the strange extra block on 14th (?) and the run down Jackson through the International District and into Pioneer Square.

  3. There is a cycle-track like this in Vancouver, and they did a big public education campaign on proper cycling rules. As long as SDOT does their job and teaches people the rules of this new road, it will be ok. Cyclists in many cities are already familiar with the “Copenhagen Left,” which addresses the problem you mention with left turns. Seattle will learn it, too. Eventually, yes, there will be an accident, but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t improve overall safety.

  4. First off, I definitely think we need the line to run to Aloha at the very least. It’d be nuts not to cover all of Broadway.

    Secondly, while I did like watching the cartoon, isn’t there anything better we can be spending money on? It was kind of cool, but I don’t know that we couldn’t have lived without it, and I’m certain it wasn’t put together for free.

    Super excited about the whole project though!

  5. My biggest hope is that somebody out there is smart enough to make these run frequently enough and with enough cars- I’m not talking about 15 minutes between each car. The worst mistake possible could be to go through all these hurdles and have nobody ride because it’s looked at as a hassle. Streetcars are neighborhood circulators, they should circulate constantly and frequently. It would also be smart of them to add real-time arrival information to the stations i.e. “next train in 5 minutes”. People are fine with waiting as long as they know a time.

    If Seattle wants to encourage public transit use (an already uphill battle from the start), it must show without a doubt that hopping on and off the streetcar is a million times more convenient than driving and parking a car, rather than just 5 or 10 times more convenient.

    Good luck streetcar!!