Northeast Seattle Link Connections open house (LIVE COVERAGE)

The University of Washington and Capitol Hill Light Rail Stations are now just one year a way from opening to trains and passengers. How is transit going to get you to those stations?

Ahead of the University Link light rail extension opening in the spring of next year, King County Metro is proposing a slew of changes to Northeast Seattle Metro routes to better integrate service with the next link in the light rail chain: the University Link.

Tonight, Thursday, March 26, from 6-8PM at University Heights Center, Room 209 (5031 University Way NE), King County Metro holds their last open house meeting about these proposed changes (previous open houses were held on Capitol Hill on March 19 and the Eastside on March 25).
 
You can see the changes proposed (and the two alternative route change plans) here on King County Metro Online. Additionally, the Seattle Transit Blog has an overlapping, interactive map illustrating the differences (more on this below).
 
We will be at the open house, and plan to provide live coverage below this post.
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The question for Northeast Seattle transit users regarding proposed route changes appears to be (generalizing here): Are we willing to trade in under-performing routes and stops for increased frequency?

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We asked around, and this Metro stop sign, with the daisy logo in the lower left corner, dates to at least the mid-1990s. (Stop #38000, west-bound on NE 65 Street and Ravenna Ave NE).

 

For example: Could you imagine life without the good ol’ 71 Express? It’s tough, especially for residents in Wedgwood and View Ridge where service would be reduced. But what if it were replaced by a heavily revamped Route 16 that arrived every 15 minutes (instead of the 71’s 30 minutes) and created an enhanced east-west transit corridor from Green Lake all the way to Sand Point Way? Are residents willing to walk a little further for changes like these?

More on the map I mentioned above: For a visual, flipbook-style look at present service and proposed changes, we recommend checking out the map found in this Seattle Transit Blog post. Hover your cursor over the map image found there, then click and hold the vertical white line. Move the line left and right to see the changes.

The Seattle Transit Blog posted their take on the changes proposed for Northeast Seattle routes earlier this month. If one is looking for more detail about the proposed changes (and what the differences between Alternate 1 and 2 mean), their post is a good read. Included in the post is a list of route-by-route changes for riders wondering what their new alternatives would be.

UPDATE (6:39 PM): Alternative 1 Montlake Triangle Vicinity Routes map:



Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20157:58 PM

Okay. Nearly 8 PM. Going to take pictures of the posters now and will post later. Thanks for following along.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:56 PM

Seven potential bus stop locations on the Montlake Triangle, three of which are drop-off only. One is pick-up only. The other three stops (both pick-up and drop-off) are on the UW Station side of Montlake Blvd.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:50 PM

There is another, smaller map below this one on the same sheet showing Alternative 1 Peak Routes (311, 373X, ST 540X, ST 556X). Very similar to the above map, but nothing traveling on Montlake north of the UW Station, and routes 373X and 540X servicing the north part of campus.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:47 PM

Uploading the Montlake Triangle map now. If you’d like to see it, refresh this page and it should pop up just above the topmost live blog comment.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:38 PM

For feedback from attendees, there are large sheets of paper posted on the walls in three different areas of the room: One for Alternative 1 in north Seattle, one for Alternative 2 in north Seattle, and one for Alternative 1 on Eastlake and South Lake Union. Folks are handed red stickers as they walk in and are asked to put them next to statements on the posters they agree with.

For instance, on the”What concerns you most about Alternative 2 in north Seattle” poster paper, there are currently 10 red stickers next to the phrase, “In general, the lack of frequent service in this network.”

I’ll take pictures of these posters at the end of the open house so you can see what consensus (or not) there has been tonight.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:32 PM

There are also posterboard-sized versions of these maps (the Alternates, not the Montlake Triangle) around the room, with Metro staff nearby to chat with attendees about concerns and such.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:30 PM

There are large paper versions of Alternative 1 and 2, each in three different forms: Peak-only, mid-day frequency, and all-day routes.

There is another large take-home map keying in on how the Alternative 1 All-Day Routes will travel through the Montlake Triangle vicinity (on campus, NE Pacific Street, and Montlake Blvd NE).

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:26 PM

But I can tell you what Metro, SDOT, and Sound Transit have set up around the room,, with pictures to follow.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:25 PM

Yes, I am at the Link Connections open house at University Heights. Not to much to report, live blog wise, as this is going to be a pure open house: No presentations.

Rebecca Nelson March 26, 20156:24 PM

Hello!

Comments

  1. How would a revamped 16 help us (Wedgwood folks) get downtown? Let’s say I want to travel from 35th and 85th (QFC) – what would be route be?

    • Matt again says:

      My*

    • Hi Matt- Under the proposed Alternative 1, I believe the quickest way (outside of rush hour) would be to take the 65 to UW Station and transfer to Link.

    • Yeah, I think Kristen’s right: My understanding is that routes will be changed to funnel us downtown travelers to University of Washington Station to catch light rail. And from looking at the slider map on the Seattle Transit Blog, your route would be the 65, headed straight down 35th and stopping at the UW Station. Routing for the 65 would be the same as now, but it would have an every-15-minutes frequency.

      Does that help? I’m sure I’ll hear more about how this all will work tonight, so check back!

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