Metro Transit has laid out a new proposal to streamline service in September 2012 to coincide with the launch of its new C and D “RapidRide” lines. The proposal includes replacing Route 26 with service on Route 16 and Route 31 (moving the 31 from Stone Way N. at 35th to Wallingford Avenue N.), and adding new Route 32 (serving Interbay to the U-District via Wallingford Avenue N. and N. 40th) and Route 63 (replacing the 26 between N. 40th and East Green Lake via Latona and Thackeray). The 26 Express would still remain in service. You can find all of the suggested route changes on the Metro Transit site by clicking here.
Metro is inviting the public to provide feedback and they’ve scheduled citywide public meetings throughout November, beginning with one on November 2 at the Central Library, from 12:00pm-2:00pm. A complete calendar listing all of the scheduled public meetings can be found here. If you can’t make it to the meetings, you can also take the online survey here.
I HEART the 26. Please don’t take it away! I just rode it last night at 7:30 pm from Iriwn’s to Greenlake. And it was nearly half full even as it neared the end of its route.
Man, first the viaduct and now this…..
I think the proposal stinks. They’re proposing to take the north end of the 26 local and turn it into a new route (63) that goes down into the U District then to Sand Point. There’s also additional service (32) on N 40th that goes to Fremont and then essentially around the west side of Queen Anne to Seattle Center. There’s some additional peak hour service on the 16 but it still goes by Seattle Center which is typically where it gets delayed.
So if you’re a current 26 local rider headed to Downtown you’ll need to transfer at least once – from the new 63 to one of the buses in the U District or from the 32 to one of the buses serving Fremont. Sure they’re proposing to keep the 26X but that’s only southbound am and northbound pm.
I think an all-day one seat ride from all parts of Wallingford to Downtown is a completely reasonable expectation.
If they’re going to reduce the 26 to just an express bus, I’d like to see more than 13 trips a day (seven in the AM and six in the PM). Those are currently filled to capacity even with the local 26 running at the same time. It should run at least from 6:00am to 9:00am and then from 4:00pm to 7:00pm to complement the 510/511 which do not stop at 45th during those times.
The 32 and 63 are hardly viable replacement routes. Neither goes downtown. The 32 is mostly just a replacement of the disappearing 30. I’m not sure who the 63 is expected to serve.
Nooooo! I need the 26!!!! : (
More in-depth discussions here:
Now THIS is something to get upset about. I pledge allegiance to the 26!
While I shed a small tear for my current one-seat ride to downtown that disappears with these changes, I’m overall very pleased with how those service hours would be re-invested to connect more neighborhoods. I second C.’s recommendation of visiting seattletransitblog for more in-depth and informed discussions.
I can’t concur with Kevin.
I don’t see the value of trading in the local to downtown for a direct connection to Sandpoint (63 to Sandpoint replaces the 26 local to downtown).
On the rare occasions that I take a bus to Sandpoint, I’m fine with a transfer to the 30.
Push me over to the 16 for my commute and you add a whopping 30 minutes of walking to my commute, 30 minutes walking in the rain, yuck.
I could take the new 63 over to the U district and then transfer at a bus stop that invariably has both drug dealers and drunks loitering nearby, along with some measure of threat of strong arm cell phone theft. Of course, I gave up commuting from the U district not for those reasons but because I was being left behind by over crowded buses. Not acceptable when you are trying to get to work on time.
Finally what’s the connection between Wallingford and Fremont now? My husband commutes to Fremont for work and I take the 26 between Fremont and Wallingford when delivering and picking up kis from playdates with their school friends.
This change has a high potential of pushing us from being a car free family to a car owning family.
How many people are going to give up their car because of the “improvements”?
I think Metro’s efforts to connect neighborhoods are fine but I think that goal should be secondary to connecting primary destinations with single seat rides. A (if not the) primary destination from Wallingford is Downtown. I also think the biggest barrier to encouraging folks to take the bus is requiring transfers.
Pow – the new 32 would serve Fremont from N 40th but if you’re on the north end of the current 26 you’d need to take the 63 and transfer.
Re getting to downtown from eastern Wallingford mid-day: Check out Sound Transit routes 510, 511 & 512 (http://www.soundtransit.org/). They stop at the I-5 stations at 45th Street. The buses come very often while UW is in session and more frequently than the 26 all year, the ride is direct to downtown via the freeway and the vehicles are nicer.
Rush hours? The 26X is critical, use it every day, we need more of them if anything!
I’m sure the buses running down I-5 are sweet, if you live close to 45th.
For those of us in “upper” Wallingford the gains in the ride are washed out by the walk and/or transfer costs.
The freeway buses are no subsititute for the 26 local.
Yes! Finally. The 26 doesn’t make sense just blocks from the 16. I am so glad that they are getting smarter about reducing buses in areas that are inappropriate. Saves money and saves residential streets from speeding buses.
There will still be a bus rolling down your street. It’ll just be called a 63 and it will turn and go to Sandpoint at 40th instead of downtown.
This doesn’t even help folks, like you, who hate the 26.
@chuck I pledge allegiance to the 26, too! I can see my office from home, but under the new plan, it’ll take a transfer to get me there. GAH
Well, for those of us in commuting to downtown from the south part of Wallingford, the #26 is not only sensible but essential.
I need to study the route map more, but from an initial look, it appears that the proposed alternatives have stops several blocks away, require transfers, or go to Queen Anne.
If particular types of day have low ridership, I’d wholly understand reducing service, but we rely on the #26 at peak times for getting to and from work, so I hope this is retained in the new plan.
We don’t need the 63 either if that is the case. The 26 express seems to be a good compromise as it is fast and serves. I just don’t see the need to pay for empty buses all day long with our tax dollars.
I concur about eliminating routes with low ridership. Hard choices, but they make transit-sensible and economic sense.
But again, the #26 Local, that serves the south end of Wallingford, is a real workhorse, a solid performing commuter bus with substantial ridership during peak hours.
Maybe the low ridership services on this route need to be reduced or dropped, but I would hope that high-ridership service could be maintained along 35th, as otherwise, the closest #26 Express stop is at least five (long) blocks farther north.
Yes, I’d like to clarify that from Wallingford & 35th — and choosing to live carless so far in Seattle — the #26 local is essential to me as well. For commuting, groceries, dentist, doctors, etc. We use it all the time. Daily.
Strictly speaking, clea, I don’t think you can say we don’t need that route.
You may not need the 63/26, but I and my family do.
I use it to get back and forth to John Stanford elementary on a regular basis.
Take away that route and I’m left with a 2 mile walk and no bus transportation alternative. None!
My kids’ school gets put into a transportation dead zone, which is, I think, completely unacceptable.
I don’t own a car. I’d have to buy one.
If there is anything Wallingford doesn’t need it’s more cars clogging up the streets. Parking’s limited; traffic is atrocious.
Sorry, you have a beef with the bus. In my book, it’s better to have transit than yet more cars.
Oh and just to clarify cause it sounds like you may have not read the proposal.
The proposal is also to limit the 26 express to the commuter hours.
No local means no bus running most of the time, without the 26 local or its, less usefule, alternative the 63.
I just don’t see the need to pay for empty buses all day long with our tax dollars.
And I’ll also note, since I’m guessing you don’t ride the local very often, that it may be relatively empty when it passes by your house, but that is merely because you live fairly close to the end of the line. Such is the nature of buses.
By the time the local ends up in downtown it is, in my experience, invariably full.
Just yesterday the 26 local I squeezed on left riders behind because it was over full.
The #26 calms traffic (by design) on Thackeray from 50th to 40th by driving 20mph on an arterial with an unmarked speed limit of 30mph. Before traffic calming (chicanes, alternating side of the street parking, better signage: 1998) this was a speedway. The Metro busses slow car traffic twice an hour (the Seattle School District busses participate erratically, the former John Stanford principal was terrific but busses go to other schools and who to contact at headquarters is anyone’s guess). Our micro community has evolved like Chris W (17.) and relies on it, has less vehicles because of it (or uses them less), makes longterm decisions assuming it will remain. . . the big flap a decade ago to get rid of the bus to enhance property values simply didn’t fly and Thackeray remains an arterial. Without the bus it would be back to being a racetrack. There may be better ways to get downtown (9.) but this links east Wallingford to middle and south Wallingford and Fremont dependably.
I’ve done the math on switching from the 26 to the 16. I commute from upper Wallingford/Green Lake to SLU.
My 26 commute is a 46 minute ride with 6 minutes of walking per day = 52 min/day with .3 miles of walking total.
My 16 commute would be a 40 minute ride with 36 minutes of walking per day = 76 min/day with 2 miles of walking total!
This is an awful change for me.
I’m not taking a position on the 26 generally right now (I think there are definite pros and cons to the reroute). But surely we shouldn’t be running a bus down a particular route explicitly for traffic calming purposes. That’s not Metro’s job, and a bus is a very expensive way to do it. Metro spends $3.2 million a year running the 26 local and express.
23. Way to cherry pick my post. The traffic calming is a bonus, and a worked agreement between SDOT, KKMetro, SPD and residents. Any bus on this route would still be under the 20mph speed guideline. Metro did not pay for the chicanes or the signage. They worked cooperatively with all involved.
Sorry, I don’t understand how your post was cherry picked. Perhaps you could explain?
I don’t care about the cost of chicanes and signage. Those are cheap compared to spending literally millions of dollars every year to run a bus. Traffic calming for a small portion of a neighborhood is not a winning argument for that kind of expenditure.
how will this effect the 16 route?
Under these plans, the 16 will take a more direct route from N 92nd St to Northgate Transit Center, and it will come more frequently.
Regarding “empty buses,” the 26 local carried an average of 41 passengers per trip during the peak and 33 off-peak according to Metro’s 2009 figures. If you’re at the tail of the trip, of course you aren’t going to see this.
Seattle wears me out sometimes, and this is one of those times. IF there is to be a bus on Thackeray, the good thing is that it will, by KCMetro mandate, calm traffic, a bonus.
considering the fact that I have seen drug addicts shooting up heroin, drug deals, drunks passed out cold from malt-liquor (resulting in many 911 calls-our tax $’s at work), various articles of debris from said drunks, all at my neighborhood 26 bus stop (shelter), I would be thrilled to see it go. There are way too many kids living on this block for all of the shenanigans that go on at this bus stop. I’m sick of it.
@30. Sounds like a bus shelter (and a vacant adjacent storefront’s) problem. Comtact KCMetro and ask what the process is for requesting removal of the shelter?
No storefront nearby-only houses with many kids. I spent a year of my life, pleading with Metro to remove the shelter/bench from the bus stop. After 12 months, they removed only the bench,making it somewhat less hospitable (but not much). I know that my rant is somewhat off subject, as this is a forum for bus routes. That said, I do know that our ONLY hope of getting this shelter removed from our street is a changed bus line. Trust me, I have talked to Metro more times than I care to count.
Is this the shelter on Thackeray just off of 50th?
Back when the alcohol impact area was set up in the U-district, our family started having drunks hang out in our open garage. It was impressive. The day the ban went into effect, bam, we had folks drinking our property. They would walk out to the 50th st Market (which is just outside the impact area) and then plop themselves under the nearest shelter (our garage).
We bought a garage door to end that, but predictably, that only drove them to the bus shelter nearby. (Sorry!)
The main problem is the alcohol impact area which pushes folks right into the neighborhood because of where the border and the closest liquor is.
The best solution might be to push on the alcohol impact area, either having the boundaries pushed out or pushed in. If you are on the edge of the boundary you are going to get a concentration of heavy drinkers partaking nearby.
I suspect taking out the shelter would just be like our putting in a garage door. They’d move to the next closest cover, which might be better for you, but won’t really be better for the neighborhood. The 26 isn’t attracting the drunks. The liquor at the markets is.
I get everything you are saying. Yes, the AIA has created a problem, which is a whole other subject. I just don’t appreciate people cooking drugs and shooting them up 15 feet away from my kids at a bus shelter. These shelters provide “safe havens” for this type of activity. At least if they are on private property there is some recourse. They feel much more entitled to a bus shelter than they do to a garage. But I digress…
@32. If there weren’t busses on this route (doesn’t sound like the working plan) it is likely that there would be no busses but the shelter would remain! The ultimate irony. Seems like getting energy to have that shelter removed (or policed) needs more noise. I understand the “the year of my life” deal. A good place to start would be the Wallingford Community Council, and it meets nearby. How traffic calming got its first baby steps in 1998.
I’m sorry about the bus shelter. It’s a little weird to have shelter there.
Most of the stops on the line don’t have a shelter, and if they do, it’s where there are businesses and not homes. Does Metro have an explanation for why they need a shelter on a residential street?
We’re one stop up, and our unsheltered bus stop is no problem at all.
It doesn’t really help bus riders to have a shelter if it’s continually occupied with unsavory characters who are just using it as a hangout.
Sounds like you probably have done everything possible, but have you tried enlisting the community council in this? Or petitioning 26 riders to get them to say the stop would be better without the shelter?
Respond to the Metro questionaire site that is posted at the end of the article and let them hear from you. I just did. I live on tne northern end of Latona and use the #26 occasionally for trips DT for various reasons. It is tremendously convenient and fills up rapidly as it progresses down Thackeray. It is ALWAYS full leaving DT and thins out as we get to the north end of Latona. The powers that be want us to use public transportation but if the local #26 is stopped I WILL NOT walk that far to a new stop and then transfer ! I will simply go elsewhere for my needs, ie Northgate etc. where there’s free parking. YES I have a vehicle that’s parked in my garage, not on the street and rarely driven to DT!
I beg those of you who want to keep the local 26 to either fill out Metro’s on-line survey or attend the noon Nov. 2 meeting at the Downtown library (using the 26, of course) or both.
Does the bench-less bus shelter serve Metro ridership? And would an unadorned bus stop be sufficient? Would removing it be seen by residents and bus riders as an improvement? It falls into the traffic calming/safety arena of Thackeray which began in 1998. It is located just south of 47th on Thackeray on the west side of the street, correct?
Also, I took the KCMetro online survey and want to go on Wallyhood record as well as being one of the people who relies on the local #26. For decades. It could run hourly as far as I am concerned.
There are 2 bus shelters on Thackeray, one just south of 45th and the other just south of 50th, both on the west side of the street. The one below 50th has no bench. Is this the shelter in question?
Question: There are 2 bus shelters on Thackeray, one just south of 45th and the other just south of 50th, both on the west side of the street. The one below 50th has no bench. Is this the shelter in question?
We live in the Freemont Wallingford u district area we depend on the #26 route allmost every day either to the 65th st Roosevelt area or to connect to the #44 to Ballard or udistrict and to Freemont and downtown where I get the #36 to the va medical center I’m 62 years old like I said we DEPEND on these metro routes ,thank you
I work on Dexter and Galer and need the 26 to get there with the minimum of fuss and transfers. I have arthritis in my knees and back and can’t go up and down hills or stairs which would be required if I lost the use of the 26.
When is the county going to take into consideration the “little people” we are getting stepped on by the Federal and State Congress and Senate and now the county is trying to make it difficult for us too. I just work for a living so apparently I don’t have any right to consideration. Would you change your minds if I had a million dollars and power but still used public transit, probably.