23rd Ave work includes electrifying bus route but no timeline for RapidRide

(Image: SDOT)

The City of Seattle says the second phase of the $43 million 23rd/24th Ave corridor improvement project is going well with the biggest risk being sorting out how to reduce the number of utility pole required to electrify the route for Metro coaches.

The update in SDOT’s latest report on major capital projects keeps the timeline for the work on the stretch south of Jackson on pace for completion before next summer. Continue reading

Federal funding ‘major risk’ for Madison Bus Rapid Transit

$60 million in federal funding is the biggest risk for the $120 million project planned to bring Bus Rapid Transit to Madison between 1st Ave and MLK via downtown, First Hill, Capitol Hill, and Madison Valley.

The project was one of a handful examined recently as part of City Hall’s new quarterly report on Seattle’s largest capital projects. The Seattle Department of Transportation says the much needed Federal Transit Authority grant “is a major risk.” Continue reading

Sound Transit’s solution for Capitol Hill Station escalator problems: stairs

(Image: Sound Transit)

Sound Transit announced Thursday a plan to convert an existing emergency staircase inside Capitol Hill Station to provide a permanent alternative to the facility’s frequently out of service escalators and elevators.

The announcement comes as part of a much more significant by the agency to add new staircases at UW Station where the escalators problems have been even an more frequent — and expensive — problem.

“Our escalator plan is proactive: Escalators haven’t been a problem at our Capitol Hill station, but we’ll now make stairs available at all times there too,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said about the plan. “We’ve also changed future U District station design to include stairs on opening day in 2021.” Continue reading

MASS transit: Move All Seattle Sustainably coalition forms to push for faster, smarter street investments

A bike rider resorts to the sidewalk to navigate busy Boren (Images: CHS)

The community has taken the lead in shaping protected bike lanes on Pike and Pine — and a coalition of community groups is taking the lead in calling on Mayor Jenny Durkan to “transform” Seattle’s transportation system. Meet MASS — Move All Seattle Sustainably:

Seattle needs to dramatically transform its transportation system for multiple reasons— many of which are already reflected in Seattle’s adopted goals. Our Climate Action Plan calls for carbon neutrality by 2050, and transportation is 60% of our current emissions; the recent IPCC report reminds us of the catastrophe awaiting us if we do not act immediately to reduce carbon emissions. Vision Zero calls for zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2030. In addition, our streets in the urban core are already failing to move people and goods adequately, equity and access to jobs require lower-cost options for people to get around, and our city’s overall economic health depends on a safe, green, and equitable transportation system.

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Video shows ‘use of force’ arrest for fare enforcement issue aboard train in Capitol Hill Station — UPDATE

Video showing a violent tussle as four security officers attempt to subdue a man aboard a Sound Transit train Tuesday night inside Capitol Hill Station has many calling for the transit agency and King County Sheriff to explain the use of force and the policies around fare enforcement on the area’s light rail and bus systems.

A representative for King County Sheriff which provides police service along with Sound Transit police on the light rail system said a statement on the arrest is forthcoming and that he expects video showing the full incident to be released. Continue reading

Speaking of Seattle transit bumps, officials sorting Madison Bus Rapid Transit trolley problem

While we’re taking a spin as the Capitol Hill Transit Blog, the area’s next big transit investment is facing a major barrier to acquiring its much needed $60 million federal grant. It’s not Donald Trump. And it’s not this E Madison gay bar.

The Seattle Transit Blog broke the news last week — the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro have been sideswiped by a collision of international trade barriers, the unique design of Madison “Bus Rapid Transit,” and the corridor’s challenging grade and are scrambling to find a bus design capable of meeting the $120 million project’s needs and plans for electric trolley coaches:

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Changes on Denny Way and Capitol Hill hoped to make the 8 less late

Delayed work — including new parking restrictions and expanded bus stops on Capitol Hill — to make the heavily-used but notoriously behind schedule Metro Route 8 line more dependable is expected to be wrapped up this week.

SDOT announced the construction update Monday on the most significant piece of the street puzzle — lane changes on Denny Way: Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Pony bar negotiating small change to make a little room for big bus project on Madison

When it comes to Capitol Hill gay bar Pony, inches matter.

“It’s been a tough road,” owner Mark Stoner tells CHS. But he insists the Seattle Department of Transportation has been friendly to deal with even in a situation involving a multi-million project, the whims of the Trump administration’s approach to federal transportation funding, and a major Seattle artery in line for massive change.

Stoners tells CHS that a permit recently issued for removing 242 square feet of Pony’s famed patio along the E Madison side of the structure is related to a unique situation for the bar that has stood on the triangular parcel along the busy street since 2009 — its tiny chunk of patio is the only property along the route that the city needs when it finally digs in on the $120 million+, 11-stop Madison Bus Rapid Transit project that will connect First Hill through to Madison Valley via Capitol Hill with speedy, regular Metro bus service in the busy corridor.  Continue reading

Proposal to boost transit includes plan for privately operated bus routes in Seattle

Stutter Bus

With reporting from SCC Insight

Along with Mayor Jenny Durkan’s push to put ORCA cards in the pockets of more Seattle students, legislation to change Seattle’s flush with cash Transportation Benefits District in front of the City Council Monday afternoon will also set the city up for a counter-punchline to those “Uber just invented the bus” jokes — privately operated bus routes in the city. UPDATE: Delayed! Committee chair Mike O’Brien has pushed a vote on the legislation back two weeks to pound out issues around the private operator plan.

CB 119256 will set up funding to power the Mayor’s ORCA Opportunity program to provide the passes to Seattle Public School students at no charge at a cost of about $4 million per year. But, if approved Monday afternoon, another part of the $11.5 million annual boost in transportation spending from new sales tax and vehicle license fees implemented in 2014 would go to a limited private bus system.

UPDATE 6/25/2018: As the Council prepares to approved the rest of the bill, the plan for the private bus system funding is being cut:

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CHS Pics | A new trailhead on Broadway

The start of a pleasant Saturday hike

Every hour or so Saturday and Sunday morning starting this weekend, hikers could set out from Broadway on their start of a climb up the most popular trail in the region.

The Trailhead Direct service Saturday celebrated its expansion to Capitol Hill Station with a bus breaking through a ceremonial banner and a collection of urban hikers ready for a day on the mountain. You can now take the bus from Capitol Hill to Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe on weekends through October, weather permitting. Continue reading