Now that SDOT has recommended the Broadway streetcar route, Mayor Mike McGinn has until Tuesday, April 6 to make his proposal recommendation to the City Council, which members will then have to approve.
Assuming the Broadway streetcar route is a go, the next major decision to be made concerns street design. Seattle Transit Blog has a look at the three proposed Broadway configurations (here's a .pdf of the images):
* 4-Lane: two travel lanes in each direction, shared outside lanes with bicyclist, 1 parking lane
* 3-Lane: one travel lane in each direction, center turn lane, bike lanes in each direction, 1 parking lane
* 2-Lane: one travel lane in each direction, bi-directional cycle track, 2 parking lanes
The most exciting option, the last one, (posted at right—click to enlarge) was proposed by the Capitol Hill Community Council and reconfigures the street in a way that promotes both streetcar and bicycle commuting, instead of just tacking them on as alternatives to driving. It also separates cyclists from traffic with a barrier of parked cars, and keeps them off sidewalks. Obviously, this option is the most safe and commuter-friendly for cyclists, and fits nicely into Seattle's master plan of becoming the "most bike-friendly city in the nation."
If the Broadway streetcar route is approved, construction is slated to begin in fall 2011, with operations beginning in fall 2013.