Sunday, July 6, 2008

Transpo Event on Saturday, Possible Changes to the 36 Next Year

This Saturday, Sustainable South Seattle is hosting a "hands-on event where you and your neighbors work with transportation experts for a climate-friendly future." Register for free attendance at

Here's the deal:

More walkable neighborhoods. Better Bus Service. Dedicated Bike Lanes. Regional Rapid Transit.

Build support for transportation improvements underway in your neighborhood. Imagine and plan for an economical and environmentally-friendly transportation future. Learn about key climate actions regionally and nationally. Learn how to make your voice heard by elected officials and policy makers.

"This is a great opportunity for Southeast Seattle to take a leadership role." -- Senator Adam Kline

When: July 12, 2008, 10 am - 2 pm (doors open 9:30 am)
Where: New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave S. (4 blocks south of S. Alaska)

Food and drink provided (bring your own mug!)
Free admission – Donations accepted.

Space is limited. Please RSVP online at to reserve your spot.

Climate Action Labs are a project of the Seattle Climate Dialogues and Northwest Environmental Education Council, with help from WSU Extension and TGreen Consulting.

Participants to include:

Bikes: Virginia Coffman of SDOT/Bike Master Plan
Ped: Lisa Quinn (ED of Feet First)
Transit: Jack Whisner (senior transp planner at KC Metro and also Sierra Club/TCC activist)
Funding/Tolling: Michael McGinn (ED of Seattle Great City Initiative)
Land Use: Sara Nikolic (Urban Strategies Director at Futurewise)
Climate: Phil Mitchell

In other transpo news, Roger Pence, a community outreach coordinator for Link light rail, recently wrote to the Beacon Hill Slumberland mailing list about some Route 36 changes that Metro is contemplating to go along with the opening of light rail next year. Here's the bulk of his comments:

Metro is contemplating moving the south terminus from Rainier Beach to the Link station at MLK & Othello. Southbound Route 36 buses would turn east on Myrtle to a new turnaround loop at the Othello Station. The trolleybus wires would be extended for this connection.

Given that travel time to downtown on the rail will be half or better than that of the 36 bus, it is reasonable to expect that many riders will voluntarily transfer, whether at the Beacon Hill station (at Lander St.) or at Othello Station at MLK & Othello. But for those who don't mind the leisurely ride, a direct bus ride will still be there. Riders transferring at Lander St. should also provide more empty seats on the 36 for those riders on the north end of the hill. The elevator ride down to the trains will take about 20 seconds, and the trains will arrive every 6 minutes during rush hours (10 minutes midday). Riders will voluntarily decide whether the transfer is worth it to them. Travel time on the rail from Beacon Hill Station to the Pioneer Square Station, estimated 8 minutes. To Westlake Station, estimated 12 minutes.

If the south terminus of the 36 is moved to Othello Station, the south end of the 36 (south of Myrtle) would be covered by another route, most likely the 106. Every Beacon Hill bus rider would still have available a direct, no transfer ride, to downtown. And the contemplated changes in the 38 would lengthen and strengthen that route (but it won't be extended to First Ave. until we get an overpass over the railroad tracks at Lander St.; otherwise the buses are hostage to BNSF train traffic).

And no, Route 36 ridership does not exceed what is expected on the rail line. The most recent data I've seen show about 9,000 daily riders on the 36. Sound Transit is projecting 42,000 daily riders on the initial segment of Link light rail, a projection made, btw, when gasoline was running below $2/gallon.

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