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Broadway getting new markings in preparation for streetcar, stations and bikeway

Paint job to come (Image: SDOT)

Paint job to come (Image: SDOT)

8445802251_8cb2b330fe (1)With the Broadway bikeway slated for an opening this fall and the opening of the First Hill streetcar line not far behind it, the traffic artery will get a busy new set of lane markings starting this week. According to a bulletin from the Seattle Department of Transportation, a contractor is starting the new paint job this week:

Beginning this week, a contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will paint new lane markings on Broadway between Yesler Way and Denny Way in the First Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The pavement markings will delineate Broadway’s new travel lane configuration which was designed to accommodate the First Hill Streetcar, streetcar stations and the two-way cycle track along the east side of the roadway.

Pavement painting will occur in the evenings after peak travel times and is being done now to prepare for upcoming cycle track construction. Other on-street legends, such as directional arrows, will be installed at a later date.

We’ve asked for clarification about what the new markings will look like but haven’t yet heard back from SDOT.

The initial streetcar line from Pioneer Square terminating at E Denny Way is scheduled to begin operations early in 2014. The total 2.5 mile line is expected to cost around $134 million. A planned extension of the streetcar line and the bikeway to north Broadway is in the planning stages.


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27 thoughts on “Broadway getting new markings in preparation for streetcar, stations and bikeway

  1. Can someone explain why the streetcar tracks seem to wander all over the street? Is that to accommodate the stations?

    • They shift back and forth to accommodate left turn lanes. When all is said and done Broadway will be 1 lane each direction where you see the track.

  2. It’s confusing to tell what goes where in this configuration, but hopefully it will all work. My main concern is that vehicles will be driving in the same lane as the streetcar….that would be ok, except when the streetcar stops to load/unload passengers. Will it then pull over somehow to allow vehicles to pass as it’s stopped? I sure hope so, as otherwise there will be significant backups and frustrated drivers.

    • My belief is that the street car WILL stop in traffic to drop off/pick up. This is the same process as on Dexter when bike lanes were added and parking removed. It sounds worse than it is as the busses don’t stop that long. And in this case, with at grade boardings (no steps), it should go even faster with handicapped.

      I think in the long run that this may ‘drive’ some traffic off Broadway that used it as a commuter arterial and some may shift to 12th or to Summit or Bellevue.

      My real concern is the cycle track. WIll the cyclists use it, stay, in it, and obey the traffic lights specifically for them? My observation has been that cyclists often have a will of their own and go with the flow as they see it.

      • As a cyclist, I plan to use the heck out of that cycle track. I don’t want streetcar tracks catching my tires. But there’s no city regulation that says that cyclists HAVE to use a cycle track, same as there is no regulation that says that cyclists HAVE to use a bike lane, so no fair hating on cyclists that choose not to use the cycle track. All the same, cyclists are under the same obligation to obey traffic lights as drivers, whom I find don’t really follow the rules/signs as much as people give them credit for.

        My observation has been that many drivers often have a will of their own and don’t pay any attention to the rules or what’s going on around them. As I was walking thru the neighborhood yesterday evening, I was nearly hit crossing the street at a marked crosswalk in a major intersection, with the green walk light, in a group of pedestrians, by some distracted jackass who was too busy talking to his friend to bring his car to a full stop and look before turning right. This is sadly not an uncommon occurance.

        Everyone needs to follow the rules and be aware.

      • You’ll wanna stay in the cycle track, and beware of any motorcycle/scooter traffic.

        This design is the worst possible for motorized 2 wheels. There is no way to avoid riding on the metal at some point. It’s not possible to do an emergency stop on dry metal. (Wet metal, they may not be able to stop for the lights.)

        A 25-30 mph accident with a scooter hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist is a fatal event.

      • There may not be a law which mandates using a bike lane or cycle track…but it’s just common courtesy towards drivers to do so when they are available….especially since the City (and Sound Transit) has spent millions of dollars to install these amenities for cyclists.

        Your experience at the marked crosswalk is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one. Pedestrians crossing should keep one eye out for a turning car, to be sure the driver is yielding…and also should avoid crossing when the “red hand” appears, because that is when the car can legally turn. Both drivers and pedestrians could be a lot more responsible and obey laws which make our streets safer.

      • Courtesy and gratitude for money spent on amenities both take a back seat to safety. When there are hazards in the bike lane, bikers aren’t obligated to put themselves at risk.

  3. regarding the lane re-striping:

    1. no more left turns from Broadway onto Pine St.
    2. new traffic light at Broadway & Terrace St.
    3. where you see the tracks is essentially where all vehicles will travel.

    complete plan is here (shows where the turn lanes will be and why the track seems to shift around on the roadway):

  4. I assume they aren’t finished the paving job on Broadway are they? Why do the painting over the crappy asphalt?

  5. How long do you think it will be before some joker spray paints a crime scene style chalk outline at each intersection in the path of the streetcar?

  6. I really don’t get it. We really needed to build this street car that doesn’t really go anywhere? Is this so that more people will go to sports games in Pioneer Square to help pay off the damn stadiums? The city seriously couldn’t wait until the light rail was finished? I am so frustrated with the transportation department in Seattle. Awesome! Lets make parking MORE of an issue on Cap Hill where parking is probably some of the hardest to come by in the city.

    On the bright side…at least the bums can easily hop on the streetcar to get from stabbing people in Cal Anderson down to the other drug park in Pioneer Square at night.

    • If parking is so much of a concern, you must not live in the neighborhood. This will help people who do live in the neighborhood get around and eventually will help people on first hill connect to the light rail system.

      It’ll even help eastside people get to the pike/pine bars they love so much (550 from bellevue to international district, transfer to the streetcar)

    • NT, you haven’t been paying attention to this issue. The streetcar route is being built by Sound Transit (not by SDOT) as mitigation for their engineering decision not to include a stop on First Hill for the light rail. Therefore, its main purpose is as a connection between the light rail station in the International District and the many businesses/hospitals etc on First Hill. It’s a bonus that the streetcar line extends to Denny, and later further north.

      Ridership projections show a significant number of people using this streetcar route. It’s a good thing!

    • The street car is bone thrown to first hill when the decision was made to not give them a stop on the light rail. So really you should think of it as street car from first hill to pioneer square, and first hill to capitol hill. I’m not defending it. two bus loops would have been far more effective, and much cheaper than 19th century steel wheel on steel rail street cars. Bus loops could have gotten closer to the hospitals on boren and further west.

  7. Why does the street car terminate south of Denny on the west side of the street when the transit center is north of denny on the east side of the street? Seems rather silly: passengers looking to make the transfer to the light rail will have to disembark the street car, walk a block and cross the street? Brilliant transfer point, just like the SLUT stopping a block short of the transit tunnel entrance.

    • There will be an entry to the Light Rail station on the west side of broadway next to the streetcar stop. A tunnel under broadway will connect it to the station.

    • The cycle track will be on the east side of Broadway … would force the station platform to be in the middle of the street. Placing it on the west side serves SCCC + the west side entrance to the link station

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  9. I for one am excited. I think the bike track will be great, and maybe with the streetcar I’ll make it down to pioneer square more often.

  10. Pingback: Along with lane markings and infrastructure, streetcar ‘art poles’ rise along Broadway | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle