News of Madison Valley

Madison BRT and 8/11 Metro Update Meeting

MAY 21, 2015 | JIM STEARNS

On May 20th about 15 Madison Valley/Madison Park residents attended an update meeting on two public  transportation projects affecting east Madison neighborhoods:

* Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) — Update by SDOT
* Proposed 8 and 11 Changes — Update by Metro KC

Thierry Rautureau of Luc kindly hosted the meeting. Lindy Wishard called the meeting to order and gave an quick overview of the two projects. She introduced Reg Newbeck, a neighborhood public transportation advocate, and then introduced the SDOT and Metro speakers.

Maria Koengeter of SDOT on Madison BRT

Madison BRT would provide fast, reliable bus service on Madison Street from the waterfront to 23rd Ave or possibly Martin Luther King (MLK).

Residents present expressed support of the BRT extending to MLK. There was some concern about loss of parking on Madison in the Valley, but Maria said there would be no dedicated bus lane east of 20th Avenue. Residents also advocated for an intermediate stop between 23rd and MLK so as to reduce the need to walk a steep hill.

Maria mentioned that an extension to MLK would require creating a layover location on Arthur Place, with the loss of some parking.

The buses will be electric trolley buses — regular tires, not rail. Overhead wires would be used, although they are exploring the possibility of using electric battery buses.

The BRT will improve speed and reliability by using dedicated lanes and priority traffic signaling. Studies and simulation indicate a local bus takes about 16 minutes to travel from First Ave to 23rd, as little as 8 minutes and as much as 23 minutes. Maria projects that a BRT with dedicated lanes and signal prioritization will reduce average travel time to 9 minutes, plus or minus a minute.

Implementation of the BRT to 23rd is estimated to cost between $98 Million and $120M. Extension to MLK would cost another $13M for more wiring and a new electrical substation.

$15M of the funding would come from the $930M Move Seattle initiative on the ballot this fall. The balance ($83M+) would be sought from federal matching grants.

The possibility of extending the run of a subset of the trolley buses to Madison Park is being discussed, but no budget estimates have been made.

The project is in the planning stage. Service is proposed to begin in 2019.

More information and a survey can be found at The survey closes May 24th.

DeAnna Martin and Jeremy Fichter of Metro on Proposed 8 and 11 Bus Routes

DeAnna gave an overview of the Link Connections project to improve connectivity to the light rail system that will be expanded next March with Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium stops.

As publicized in earlier posts, Metro proposes the following changes to the two routes most used by east Madison residents:

* Move the western portion of 11 off of the Pike/Pine corridor and convert it to a water-to-water Madison route, with increased frequency — at least every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday.

* Split 8 into two routes at Jackson/Yesler. The northern/western half retains the 8 designation while the southern half becomes 38.

Jeremy Fichter of Metro gave more details:

When asked how riders will get to Pine/Pike commercial district, Jeremy suggested a transfer to 10 at 15th Avenue. He said it was a short walk, less than 600 feet. He did acknowledge the the transfer on return involved crossing both Pine and Madison. He also suggested taking 11 to 3rd, then taking one of the buses running north on the 3rd Avenue “transit spine” for the six blocks to Pine.

A Madison Park resident expressed concern over reduced access to light rail. For the ambulatory, the current 11 would have provided, with a 2+ block walk, access to the Capitol Hill Station. For the less ambulatory or more burdened, the current 11 provides direct access to the Convention Center light rail station. The proposed 11 doesn’t provide direct access to any of these stations. Jeremy said that Madison Valley residents will use 8 to get to the Capitol Hill Station. Madison Park residents can transfer from 11 to 8, or take 11 to 3rd Avenue and walk 3 blocks to the University Station. No Madison Park resident present expressed happiness with these alternatives.

Reg asked Jeremy why Metro didn’t incorporate the “notch” he proposed with his Alternative 3: that 11 would go off Madison at Pine and return on Broadway, providing an easier transfer to Pine/Pike via 10, and the 2 block walk access to Capitol Hill Station. Jeremy said route design calls for straight lines wherever possible and avoiding turns in congested areas.

Multiple concerns were expressed about the performance of the 8 on Denny. During rush hour, Denny is a parking lot. Jeremy agreed that this is a problem and that Metro is looking at mitigations. No details were provided.

Concerns were also expressed about the best split point between 8 and 38. I’m afraid I missed that part of the discussion.

More details can be found at This Metro site asks for comments through email or web through the end of May.

The King County Council (not the Seattle City Council) will review the proposal late this summer.

This was a 90 minute meeting; these notes are not complete. Lindy, Reg, and other meeting participants, please supplement and correct as needed. All, please use the links above to find out more about these two proposals, and to register your comments.


Topics: Transportation