Metro Proposes Eliminating Only Route Serving Vets Linking VA to downtown

Comments

1
proposing a new route 50 that would—finally, hallelujah!—.

Finally, what? I'm on the edge of my seat!!
2
Bus fare vouchers + subsidy to transit agencies + making more busses = shovel ready. Helps working folks get to a job, check; helps employers, check; creates no new bureaucracy, check; can implement immediately, check.
Helps reduce carbon emissions, check. Can make busses in USA, maybe even in De-troit, check.

Oh wait, we have to have lots of tax cuts. Never mind!
3
The # 60 does directly serve the VA.

The twice a day I ride it, it detours directly into the parking lot and up to the main entrance.

4
It will cost Metro a helluva lot more if the disabled vets start calling for the Access van which has a much higher cost per use ratio.
5
ECB really mangled the syntax, but I think she's trying to say that no route is going to go from downtown Seattle to the VA hospital's main interest.

Of course, the big deal about going downtown is that people can get there on another bus and then transfer to the 39, so I'm not sure why adding another transfer is a dealbreaker.
6
And of course, in criticizing ECB I mangle my own comment.
Should read:

... from Downtown Seattle to the VA hospital's main entrance.
7
The 36 and the 60 both go into the hospital's entrance loop along with the 39, and the 36 also goes downtown. The 60 only goes to First Hill and Capitol Hill.
8
The 39 may be the only bus route that connects downtown Seattle with the VA Hospital/Medical Center on Beacon Hill, but it is NOT the only route that serves that facility. Rt. 60, the crosstown route from Capitol Hill to White Center also goes directly to the front door of the VA, just like the 39 does.

I won't disagree with the observations about problems that disabled people have with transferring on public transit, but let's not assume that all vets come from downtown Seattle. The reality is they come from all over the place. It's not clear that more vets will have to transfer onto the new Rt. 50 than now have to transfer onto the old Rt. 39.

And we should also note, it is unfortunate the VA chose to design their facility in the suburban model, with the front door set far back from the city street. How much more convenient it would have been to have the front door open onto a public sidewalk or narrow plaza fronting the street.
9
5+6, that's not true both the 60 and the 36 go to that loop stop:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s…
10
@8, I agree with all your comments.

@9, the 60 doesn't go downtown. The 36's deviation to the loop stop only occurs late night and on weekends, and that deviation is planned to stop as part of the service change. Usually it just runs down Beacon Ave.

Which is why there'll be, as I said, no direct connection between the front door and downtown Seattle.
11
This is bad news - now noone on Capitol Hill can buy cheap veggies and fruit at the markets next to the VA.

(caveat - except people like me who drive there)
12
I see a number of people have already pointed it out. But the premise of this post is completely false, so it's worth repeating: the 60 does not "skirt" the VA. It drives directly to its entrance.
13
The entrance is pretty far if you're disabled.
14
Thanks for bringing this to wider attention. I work at the VA and frequently choose between the 36 and the 39 for my commute home via downtown. I am young and able-bodied, and this is no problem for me. Many people who come to the VA are old or disabled or both. Getting to the 36 stop by the VA heading south towards downtown involves crossing S. Beacon Ave on an open stretch of road where despite numerous pedestrian crosswalks, cars pick can and do pick up a lot of speed. I would say about 90% of cars in this area do not stop for pedestrians waiting to cross at marked cross walks. This worries me.

At the same time, compared to the 36, the 39 is barely ever even 1/4 full (except at rush hour when there are non-articulated buses!) so I can see Metro's point, especially in these financial times. I also agree that the construction of the VA is completely car-centric and directly contributes to this problem (see the massive parking lot!). The 39 used to go right up to the main entrance of the VA but had to move down further from the entrance due to homeland security problems. I think a better solution would be for the VA to make a bus stop in their parking lot on the back side of the building. Most veterans know this area of the hospital well because both the canteen and the PX are located here. The bus could loop here and head back out onto S. Beacon Ave. heading either north or south. I'm not sure if the stop could be located here due to homeland security regulations, but I think its time for the VA to weigh the true reality of veteran being hit crossing the road with the theoretical risk of security problem on a public bus.

In the VA's defense, we have great bike commuting facilities and the government subsidizes public transportation for people who work at the facility.
15
Sorry-I meant heading north to downtown.
16
Who really gives a flying fuck about disabled veterans anyway? If they weren't dumb as a post, they wouldn't have volunteered to be in the military anyway, and therefore wouldn't have ended up as crips. Fuck 'em.
17
Sorry-I meant the 36 stop heading north to downtown, not south.
18
Funny -- King Co Metro sent a survey a month ago and asked me if I preferred a connecting route from Beacon to West Seattle. My able-bodied bias lead me to say "heck yeah", but I didn't see where they were going with this question - but they did ask me to rank it over other routes - hmmm. Sorry, Vets - guess you'll need to take an endless series of buses (*and possibly get that 10 minutes of Light Rail time to make up for it).

(*Oh - and in filling out said questionnaire - I ranked on the fact that the 36 suuhhhhhcks big time in terms of frequency and meeting ETA's and that the 60's run ends way too early...)
19
@14,

Good post, but most 36s are trolleys and therefore can't deviate from their path along Beacon Ave to come right up to the hospital.

20
@19 Not all 36s are trolleys- only the ones to Jefferson Park. They alternate with the 36s scheduled to Rainier Beach. The 36 trolley never used to operate on Sundays. When transit now was added last fall, the 1/36 began operating on Sundays. On Sundays the 36RB deviate into the VA emergency entrance, while the 36JPs stay on Beacon. Why not expand this to all seven days of the week. The big problem isn't just the VA. They have already planned to eliminate the 34- formerly the 39X. the 39 is the only bus that accesses Seward Park. Does this mean everyone will have to hike way up to Rainier to catch the 7?
21
@16,

Plenty of Vietnam vets are still alive, and many of them hardly had a choice.
22
@20

Read the plan ECB links to!

1) Metro is planning to extend trolley wire from Beacon to Myrtle & Othello and terminate all 36s there. The last stretch to RB will be covered by a rerouted 106. So there's nothing preventing the 36 from going all-trolley

2) The 50 exactly matches the 39 between Seward Park Ave/Othello St and the SODO link station. So, in fact, Seward park will have more service with the 50 (30 min headways nights and weekends, 15 min. in the peak) than they ever did with the 39.

3) A limited number of 34 runs have been restored in the latest batch of Metro plans, as you would have known had you checked the plan.
23
Aren't you the same person who bitched about disabled people riding express buses, ecb? This post doesn't make up for what some of us never forget and will always hate about you.
24
By the way, the bus stop at the VA inside is not actually at the entrance - you still have to walk in the cold, uncovered, to get to the actual main entrance.

Uphill.

Or, if in a wheelchair ...
25
This headline is very deceiving.
26
LeBlond, not LaBlond
27
#19,

This is just my ignorance, but by trolley, do you mean the buses that use the electric lines overhead or do you mean the articulated buses? The articulated 39 and 60 already use the front VA parking lot to turn around. I don't remember the 36 running all the way on electricity, but admit I've never paid close attention.

#24,

The bus stop used to be at the entrance, but was moved down the sidewalk to meet homeland security regulations in 2005.
28
VA bus commuter, "trolleys" are the electric buses that use the wires.
29
i ride the 39 during non-peak hours, usually late morning. as an example of what cutting the 39 means -- last Friday, at approximately 11:30 a.m., the 39 picked up 24 passengers at the VA. (yes, i counted). of those 24 passengers, 21 disembarked downtown. no, the 39 is not always jam-packed like a lot of other buses (such as the 7). and yes, Metro is planning alternative routes to get Columbia City and Beacon Hill dwellers downtown. but it's my understanding that NONE of those current proposals offer a non-transfer trip from the front of the VA to downtown. the 39 is a critical bus for the disabled community, and it seems pretty cold-hearted to make it more difficult for folks in wheelchairs, on crutches, leaving a medical appointment, etc., to get to their ultimate destination. boo, Metro.