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Community group convinces Metro to keep route connecting First Hill to QA — UPDATE

Power to the people. A community group that bridged the Central District, Capitol Hill and First Hill happily tells CHS this afternoon that Metro has decided against lopping off the portion of Route 2 the transit agency was proposing to do away with in a fleet of coming service changes. We’ve yet to confirm the details with Metro officials but, according to a community member who attended a meeting to discuss the situation, Metro has agreed to maintain the route’s connect to Queen Anne. Here’s the update we received:

Metro just announced at a meeting at the Tate-Mason house that they are (1) taking the proposed changes to the Route 2 off the recommendation, and will maintain it at least as far north as the Seattle Center (Mercer) at its current frequently; (2) the #27 till remain the same route, although it may be less frequent; and (3) the trolley bus changes and deletions are all being re-examined as it the service to Queen Anne now on the trollies (and also to the Seattle Center).  An official announcement will be made within 24 hours or so.


Ashley DeForest, who made the announcement, said that the reason they have reconsidered changing Route 2 is that they heard from so many different constituencies and so many neighborhoods — all with the same message:  it’s a great bus route so why change it?

We noted the Bus2 group’s effort to sway Metro earlier this month which included a thorough flyering effort to raise awareness of the cut.

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33 thoughts on “Community group convinces Metro to keep route connecting First Hill to QA — UPDATE

  1. I use the #2 often, and in the summer I take it from Cap Hill to QA quite a lot. Thanks for posting info about this a few weeks ago – I was able to submit my input, nice to see that Metro is listening.

  2. This was not a “cut”, it was a restructure, contrary to the misinformation the “Save Bus 2” people were spreading. In the initial proposal, the frequency on the 2 would have stayed the same or improved in all time periods. In the revised proposal, Saturday service was reduced from 15 to 20 minutes to help pay for restoration of some service on Seneca.

    Uncritically regurgitating what such groups say on these subjects is not journalism.

  3. I use the 2, despite the molasses comment above being painfully true. Actually that’s true about all Seattle buses. Mostly because all the goddamn cars are in the way. I hope the new novelty trains and insufficient-but-a-good-start light rail projects mark the beginning of an irreversible trend.

  4. Justin, I love your site, but why didn’t you ever share what was positive about the changes that Metro was proposing for the 2? More like power to a vocal minority resistant to change.

  5. Opposition to the 2 revision was always about three things:

    – Fear of walking two blocks (ever, for any reason)
    – Fear of transferring (ever, for any reason)
    – Fear of big, bad, scary downtown Seattle

    There were never going to be “cuts” to the 2, and any suggestions to the contrary constitute an intentional campaign of misinformation. On all segments of the route, revised service was designed to dramatically increase efficiency, speed, and reliability.

    So if you are someone who, in the course of your normal daily life, EVER walks two blocks or transfers between routes, and if you don’t think of Seattle as a horrible, dangerous, terrifying city in which to live and move around, then these changes would have made transit better and easier for you!

    But yet again, the liars and the fearmongers win the day!

  6. All of you whining can now STFU. Metro attended the Madrona Community Council meeting last week, and spoke to a VERY FULL house. Almost everyone there was against any and all changes to the #2. I was about the only person there who spoke up in favor of at least some of the changes being proposed, and let me tell you– I did so at risk of being clubbed to death with canes and walkers (OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much).

    I do think Metro caved to a very vocal but very well-organized minority. Though I also think some of their points were valid.

    If all of you felt so strongly about it, some of you should’ve shown up for the meeting. And if you were there, you should’ve spoken up. Nobody did.

  7. Yup, metro finally takes some steps to make the buses more reliable, and clueless people screw it up. Again.

    Why should traffic on Queen Anne be able to mess up bus service on Capitol Hill? When buses are more reliable, it saves time for everyone, regardless of transfers. This was a restructure, not a cut. Metro DID do the math, it would’ve worked better if they had pushed the plan through.

    “I don’t want to lose my one-seat ride, regardless of how inefficient and unreliable it makes things for everybody else. I got mine.”

    Instead of having twice as much frequency on Maidison/Marion, and a smoother connection between downtown and Queen Anne, we’re going to keep being stuck behind a line of cars trying to get on the freeway.

    Nice job breaking it, heroes.

    –Daniel

  8. “Why do you keep taking the 2 if you hate it so much?”

    Because it goes many places that I need to go, on the southern fringe of Capitol Hill and in the Central District.

    I totally see why I should be punished for that!

  9. Jim, I hear you, and I’m sorry the odds were so stacked against you at the Madrona community meeting.

    I have attended multiple Metro open houses to express my support for the strongest components of their system restructuring. I have written in support of the changes. And I have spent more time than any reasonable person should have to replying to Community News postings that unquestioningly regurgitate the lies and misapprehensions of the “No To All Changes” group.

    Unfortunately, the tiny minority that constitute the “No To All Progress” group is shrill, tenacious, and impervious to both facts and logic. I’ve had flashbacks of the “Death Panel” Tea Party types.



  10. The communities that have been working to save the #2 have a sense that Metro is listening and hope that this will lead to no proposed changes to the route. Each connection is discretely related to another. As a group we fully support the goals of our amazing group to keep the pressure on Metro to get the QA connections right.
    As it is, the #2 is a productive route. It would be great if at the Seattle City Council on Tuesday, Feb 21 Metro can tell all concerned that the Route #2 (and #13) changes are off the table. Metro should look into efficiency improvements for the existing Route #2. It truly is a great route and an important crosstown bus.

    Reasons to look at how to improve and not cut the #2 bus route:
    1. Recent Seattle DOT traffic counts on Madison vs. Seneca show that Madison has three times the number of vehicles every day, as compared to Seneca — and these numbers are before the addition of more buses to Madison as proposed.
    2. Madison is a designated already corridor for all emergency vehicle access, and many patient are dropped-off at clinics along the street, making it diffcult for a bus only lane.
    3. Metro has heard from many bus #2 riders about how moving the route off Seneca, stopping at 1st Avenue, and cutting Route #2 through downtown bus service to Seattle Center and Queen Anne — without transfers — will disrupt and negatively impact their lives. What will it take for Metro to take changes to the #2 (& #13 which it connects with to reach the Queen Anne Community Center and Seattle Pacific University) off the table?
    4. If it’s not broken, why ‘fix’ it?

  11. No fear involved here, just practicality. Walking is my main mode of transportation. When I’m heading downtown, I often walk there instead of taking the bus at all (I’ll grant you that it’s often faster than any of the bus routes that head downtown). No fear of downtown either, I grew up in Philadelphia, Seattle is like a box of kittens. But the transfer is the dealbreaker. Not out of any “fear” (wtf), but adding in a transfer – especially one in the middle of downtown – generally adds at least 20 minutes to a commute. That’s ridiculous. And for people who are considering transit over driving (not my scenario since I don’t have a car), it’s the kind of thing that will deter someone from taking transit at all. I felt the same way about splitting the 7 route into the south end and the cap hill/u-district routes.

    But yeah, feel free to keep freaking out about all these non-existant fears that the shadowy 2 riders have.

  12. “…adding in a transfer – especially one in the middle of downtown – generally adds at least 20 minutes to a commute.”

    But where are the bulk of people really going? If you’re talking about a transfer on 3rd just to accomplish the rest of the way to the Westlake Center area, there’s no way– there are so many buses on 3rd you’ll NEVER wait 20 minutes. Not now, and especially not if these changes implement.

    If you’re talking about a transfer on to Seattle Center, or on up Queen Anne or beyond– maybe a few minutes for a Seattle Center connection, longer for a Queen Anne/beyond connection. They’re trying to provision commensurate for the most traffic and demand, and obviously they don’t think demand for the “Queen Anne and beyond” warrants the continued routes as currently configured.

  13. “But the transfer is the dealbreaker…adding in a transfer – especially one in the middle of downtown – generally adds at least 20 minutes to a commute.”

    Um, hmm. So you opposed making any efficiency improvements because you FEAR the TRANSFER.

    Yes, I totally see how inaccurate my statement was.

    Tranfers are historically lousy and unreliable in Seattle because we have a dysfunctional system built of 1000 infrequent, slow, perpetually late “one-seat rides.”

    But apparently, we should keep our dysfunctional system of 1000 infrequent, slow, perpetually late “one-seat rides” because we fear transfers, thus ensuring that transfers can NEVER, EVER be made reliable and easy.

    Remind me, how did “Catch-22” turn out?

  14. Many of those who have been working to save the #2 have long been transit advocates and continue to be advocates for transit. They have embraced mass transit for years to decades and also advocated for projects and policies to make their communities more livable and walkable. Bus2riders not only contacted Metro, they worked to make a good case and find solutions. There is work to be done on many different levels, and it would feel a little better if we could be a little less divided and as a community find real solutions that work for all. Congestion on Madison is much worse than on Seneca with at least 3 times the number of automobiles. Some ideas to make the existing Route #2 more efficient are 1. Clear the 3rd Avenue bottleneck at Spring by moving the bus stop north one block to Seneca (or have two half-block stops on the north half of each block) to allow other buses to continue past the #2. 2. Spring Street Improvements would include: a. provide a bus only left lane between 3rd and 6th. b. build a bus stop island east of 5th for left lane to end weaving left-right-left through I-5 bound cars.

  15. So let me get this straight: You won’t accept ANY changes for your route, but 15 other routes should move to accommodate you? That sounds fair and you sound like a reasonable citizen!

    “Build a bus stop island…”

    In all of that extra available lane space Spring Street has downtown? Gee, why didn’t I think of that? You’re a genius!

  16. Thanks for getting my previous reply deleted. What a triumph of “listening”!

    Now YOU listen, for once.

    Ever since the day the restructure proposal was announced, you have done nothing but propagate misinformation and stoke fear. Every calm, rational explanation of the reasoning behind a proposal has been met with mischaracterization, distortions of intent, screams of victimization, and denials that any problems existed to begin with.

    You claimed that the route would have its service cut, which wasn’t true.

    You claimed that the proposal was about “service ferry users,” which wasn’t true.

    After being shown that the 2 is one of the slowest and least efficient bus routes in the world, you continued to abuse the meaningless-but-misleading word “productive.”

    You even claimed the 2 was “profitable” and a revenue-generator for Metro. When you were proven 100% incorrect, I don’t recall reading any apologies.

    You have accused ANYONE who disagrees with you of not even being a 2 rider. Even as it becomes increasingly clear that many of your anti-change “advocates” are only occasional bus users, while most daily riders supported the plan.

    Only yesterday — after you had already “won” — did you admit, for the first time, that the 2 bus might be slower than it should be. Up until that moment, your rigid line was that “the 2 is perfect, and should be left completely as-is.”

    Your listening skills are sharp like pancake.

  17. Thanks for getting my previous reply deleted. What a triumph of “listening”!

    Now YOU listen, for once.

    Ever since the day the restructure proposal was announced, you have done nothing but propagate misinformation and stoke fear. Every calm, rational explanation of the reasoning behind a proposal has been met with mischaracterization, distortions of intent, screams of victimization, and denials that any problems existed to begin with.

    You claimed that the route would have its service cut, which wasn’t true.

    You claimed that the proposal was about “service ferry users,” which wasn’t true.

    After being shown that the 2 is one of the slowest and least efficient bus routes in the world, you continued to abuse the meaningless-but-misleading word “productive.”

    You even claimed the 2 was “profitable” and a revenue-generator for Metro. When you were proven 100% incorrect, I don’t recall reading any apologies.

    You have accused ANYONE who disagrees with you of not even being a 2 rider. Even as it becomes increasingly clear that many of your anti-change “advocates” are only occasional bus users, while most daily riders supported the plan.

    Only yesterday — after you had already “won” — did you admit, for the first time, that the 2 bus might be slower than it should be. Up until that moment, your rigid line was that “the 2 is perfect, and should be left completely as-is.”

    Your listening skills are sharp like pancake.

  18. Your comment was removed because you went (further) over the line on the personal attacks. If you have more to say on the topic, rein yourself in. If you can’t, there’s no need for more of your commentary on the site. You can continue your conversation elsewhere.

  19. I don’t recall saying anything in the other comment that wasn’t simply pointing out the hypocrisy of one who NEVER listens entreating others to “actually listen.”

    If I stepped over any additional lines, I apologize.

    I will limit my comments to the content of the debate. Much to my dismay, the habitual use of misinformation by the anti-restructure crowd is a part of that content.

  20. I lived on Queen Anne Hill (just north of McGraw) for several years before moving to Pine and 15th area. The 2 was the closest bus to my apartment. Morning commute was fine, but I dreaded the evening commute. It was slow, always late, and worst of all, I have never encountered so many instances where a bus was delayed until the arrival the bus scheduled behind it. Compared to the 2, my current mainstay bus (the 10) is a breeze. Yes, during the evening commute there is bunching, but it’s not nearly as bad as the 2. And even if the 10 is delayed, I have so many other options (11, 43, 49) that I rarely have to wait longer than 5-7 minute for a bus. Best of all, I’ll have Link in 2016. I don’t miss the 2, the 13, or Queen Anne Hill at all. If you don’t have a car, living on upper QA is like living on an island.

    I’m looking forward to the changes for the 10 and 11. I’m think that splitting the 10 and 12 will provide the sort of reliability that 2 riders will never know, or even seem to want.

  21. Wait, SousDesNuages, your recollections confuse me.

    For you see, I have been assured repeatedly that the 2 is perfect, the 2 is magical, the 2 creates ice cream from nothing but paper transfers and love.

    How can you think sub-par thoughts about the 2? You are clearly mistaken.

  22. I share your frustration. I don’t think people realize how inefficient Metro’s routing is. There’s a reason the 7 and 49 were split-up. Having long routes like the original 7 only ensured bunching and delays. Having a direct connection from neighborhood X to neighborhood Y via downtown is a terrible idea. Like I wrote, I’m really looking forward to the 10/12 split, where both routes will turn around downtown to continue their respective loops.

    Other cites have milk runs, of course. But they also have terrific metro systems that allow people who actually want to get where they’re going. In DC you can take the Metro and get there quickly, with maybe a transfer to another line at or near one of their well-designed stations. Or you can take a milk run bus with 30 minute frequencies and read a book. In Seattle, with our dearth of rail and reliance on buses, we can’t afford the luxury of a leisurely direct, all day (including rush hour) connection between upper Queen Anne and Madrona via downtown.

    The City’s (not Metro) long-range transit corridor study seeks to run BRT along Madison, from shore to shore. SDOT sees what you see. It would be great if our electeds could engage the public about why these routing proposals are a good idea. The mayor and the council took a principled stand recently in the Roosevelt up zone vote. I think the same sort effort is needed with regard to routing. It may take years, but I don’t think we have a choice. The status quo isn’t sustainable.