Comments

1
Well. Finally. That’s good news.
2
It's sad all around. Streetcars aren't great transit, but when you have two ends already it makes sense to join them (for a reasonable cost). And if we continue to improve the line's rights-of-way, it actually can become good transit. And now we'll lose lots of federal dollars. I will feel better about this if the money goes towards finishing Seattle ST3 projects more quickly. Or improving and speeding up Madison Street BRT. Or increasing frequency on buses like the 2.
3
I'm still baffled by a city that refuses build effective transit off the streets. The street cars blow. We had bus lines that did exactly the same thing.
4
Obviously she didn't desire it.
5
such a stupid idea to begin with. eliminate yet more downtown lanes for a lil choo-choo that would go ONE mile, all for the low price of $200 million....
6
@2 it makes sense to join [the two streetcar lines] (for a reasonable cost).

No, it makes sense to sell off the streetcars and just run buses. By all means, try and get the right of way for the buses on First, so buses can use it. But the First Hill route is terrible, and flawed from the beginning. It isn't a great idea to take a sudden turn (it makes more sense to have crossing bus lines) but the button hook is ridiculous, and causes huge delays. If you are going to run a single line like that, send it up Yesler, then take a left on Broadway. You can do that with a bus, but you can't with a streetcar.

Making any sort of route modification for a streetcar is extremely expensive. The city is in the process of improving several corridors (including Madison). One of those is the 7, which is shared by the streetcar. As part of the process, they will “evaluate tradeoffs of converting First Hill Streetcar running way on Jackson Street to center-running transit-only lanes to allow for shared RapidRide/streetcar operations and Japantown, Chinatown, and Little Saigon center-platform stations.” The result would be an impressive 33% travel time savings through the corridor. If both were buses, then making that change would be a lot cheaper.

Even if you connect these streetcars, you still have all the problems with streetcars that make them slower, more expensive, less flexible and more dangerous, without any of the advantages. The obvious answer is to replace the streetcar with better bus se….
8
The First Hill Streetcar was compensation for not having a Link Station on Madison Street, atop First Hill. (The bend from the downtown transit tunnel would have had too small a radius to engineer affordably.) Therefore, the First Hill Streetcar provides a surface connection to link First Hill with the Capitol Hill Link Station, and from International District Station.

The button hook is a paradigmatic example of scope creep, expanding the mission of the streetcar while increasing the cost and diluting the original benefit, which again was a transit connection to First Hill from the Capitol Hill Link Station, and from International District Station to First Hill. (There was never any intent for a rider to make the entire trip between the two Link stations.)

I'm glad to see Mayor Durkan halting the downtown trolley project for a re-assessment.
9
Just to give credit where it's due, the elected city official who got up and spoke out on this problem was Council Member Lisa Herbold.
10
Maybe we could vote on a monorail.
Third time's a charm, i hear.
11
@spunkbutter, you mean fourth or fifth time?

Also, somehow my life is complete now that I've said "@spunkbutter."
14
For some reason, I thought the fiscal problem with the streetcar was a vast underestimation of operating costs, rather than construction cost overruns.

Did I just hallucinate a bunch of articles about that?
15
Hallelujah
17
@6 I don't know, I have been to many cities in Europe where street cars work rather well. This likely has to do with the fact that more often than not they are separated from the regular lanes on streets but also they control traffic lights and there isn't the hysteria about safety that we have here (so they go faster). Our street cars are a joke. It is often possible to get where you are going faster by walking, and definitely by riding a bus. At the very least they should control the traffic lights. But of course people would scream about that.
18
Seattle DOT has all the financial discipline of a coked out gambler. Bike lanes to the moon are next.
19
@13: the reason for a streetcar to replace Link on First Hill was so elderly and other potentially mobility-impaired persons could have an easy ride to medical facilities there. (I can easily walk from downtown to First Hill, up Madison Street, faster than the #12 bus, especially at rush hour. That does not make the #12 bus a “boondoggle”; rather, it supports the upcoming rapid transit corridor on Madison Street.)

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