The Seattle City Council passed bill 117387 Monday afternoon putting construction of the streetcar line connecting Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill via First Hill on track for an April start. A Wednesday open house will detail the $134 million project and provide area residents with an opportunity to talk with Seattle Department of Transportation planners about the project — including the unresolved issues related to a possible $30 million northern extension of the route on Broadway all the way to Roy or Aloha.
CHS reported last week that a community effort including the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce continues to push for the extension and that a proviso attached to some $700,000 in funding requires that a “feasible” plan be forged for the longer route. Council staff told CHS that discussion around the plan for the north Broadway extension and the proviso is expected to be taken up no sooner than late March.
The Seattle Times reports that the city is seeking a $2 million federal grant to study the extended route:
Seattle is seeking a $2 million federal grant to plan an extension beyond Capitol Hill Station, continuing north to Roy Street, said city Councilman Tom Rasmussen, transportation committee chairman. “I do think if the streetcar doesn’t go through the main part of the commercial district on Broadway, people are going to scratch there heads and wonder, why did it stop there?” Rasmussen said.
In addition to providing a new mode of public transit in the area, the streetcar is set to reshape Broadway for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
Details of a groundbreaking ceremony being planned for the start of construction of the new streetcar line have not yet been released.
Seattle Transit Blog posted a detailed schedule for the line’s construction here. Broadway’s first “trackwork” is slated to begin this June.
Meanwhile, KING 5 has apparently just learned of the First Hill project and reacted with some dire warnings:
If you’ve ever driven in the South Lake Union neighborhood, you know what it’s like to drive behind a streetcar. Now, picture the same drive along Broadway on Capitol Hill.