Daily news blog for Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood

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Might light rail/bus rapid transit come to N. 45th?

Posted by Kate Bergman on May 11th, 2011

Anyone who uses N. 45th St. through Wallingford to get crosstown knows how congested the street and how crowded its bus routes get. It appears that Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is paying attention: N. 45th St. ranked high among the top 15 corridors where SDOT recommends the city should focus its future light rail and rapid bus service investments.

On its Slog blog, The Stranger sums up the recommendations:

Instead of focusing on corridors that could link up isolated areas—light rail to West Seattle or Ballard, as Mayor Mike McGinn has famously lobbied for, or beefing up services to other south end neighborhoods like South Park and Georgetown—the plan prioritizes highly trafficked corridors like Capitol Hill’s Broadway, Dexter Avenue (from Denny Avenue to Fremont), and Denny Avenue itself for future transit development.

On this map, which was part of the presentation (.pdf), the darker lines are higher priority corridors. Notice the dark line along N. 45th Street from the University District to Aurora Ave. Remember that there will be a light rail station at N. 45th St. and Brooklyn Ave.

SDOT’s site describes the goals of the Transit Master Plan (TMP):

The TMP will be a comprehensive and 20-year look ahead to the type of transit system that will be required to meet Seattle’s transit needs through 2030. Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, nationally acclaimed experts in transit planning, will assist SDOT in developing the TMP. The Transit Master Plan will be an extensive update to the 2005 Seattle Transit Plan, which identified key corridors linking urban villages and established performance standards for transit service. The TMP will expand on that work and include evaluation of rail modes, rapid bus services, station design, and capital infrastructure.

This is stage 1 of a lengthy process. SDOT and Nelson/Nygaard will make recommendations in June to the transportation committee on which corridors could benefit from light rail or bus rapid transit development. A series of public workshops and meetings will likely follow; we’ll keep you posted.

Here’s video of yesterday’s transportation committee meeting. The Transit Master Plan discussion begins around the 56:00 mark:

Seattle Channel Video can be played in Flash Player 9 and up


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  • http://profiles.google.com/crazydrew Shibby Drew

    Great idea, I just hope that the solution won't make the problem worse like the Streetcar did to SLU….

  • Boeing babe

    Rapid anything on 45th is impossible as long as it is one lane in each direction with curb bulbs forcing buses to load and unload IN THAT LANE. No one can get around the stopped buses. Unless the street is widened or those blasted bulbs are removed, allowing the buses to pull out of the driving lanes to load and unload – nothing can be done. I never ever use 45th anymore.

  • http://www.globaltowncar.com/ Seattle Airport Transportation

    Fast anything on 45th is difficult provided that it is one isle in each route with restrain lamps pushing vehicles to fill and get rid of in that isle. No one can get around the ceased vehicles.

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