To the shock of approximately zero people, Mayor Mike McGinn announced that he wants the First Hill streetcar to run down Broadway. Earlier today I mentioned he was leaning that way and a couple weeks ago I wrote that the Broadway route seemed inevitable. This afternoon, in a letter to City Council President Richard Conlin, McGinn noted that this alignment, at $125 million, comes in under the $132 million budget mark.

But McGinn also made concessions to the losing routes and developing a Transit Master Plan. He said the city's transportation department would work on "developing plans" for extending the streetcar north on Broadway to East Aloha Street (it is slated to terminate at East John Street), improving transit access though Boren Avenue and Madison Street, and developing north-south transit along 12th Avenue. (Letter to Conlin in this .pdf.)

The ball is now tossed to the court of City Council Member Tom Rasmussen, chair of the council's Transportation Committee. Expect more meetings, hearings, kvetching, etc. With the grace of god, we'll break ground next year and be riding a streetcar from the International District light-rail station to the future light-rail station on Broadway and East John Street by 2013.