19 responses

  1. Dennis
    February 10, 2013

    I’m a fan of the bus bulbs and the overall changes. I’ve noticed the 44 is noticeably faster these days (the dedicated lane by Green Lake Way in particular has been a great addition) and the 16 also benefits when it is on 45th. I also feel safer as a pedestrian. I think a left-turn accommodation from westbound 45th to Wallingford makes a lot of sense as well – hope they’ll look at that.

  2. Michael H.
    February 10, 2013

    Agreed! Looking forward to the transit signal priority. That should be a big help.

  3. Breadbaker
    February 10, 2013

    +Differences between Australia and the US: When I was in Melbourne in December, I biked past a tram that was stopped to let off passengers. At the next light, the tram driver got off and gave me a rather polite but firm lecture that all vehicles, bikes included, are obligated to stop behind trams, no exceptions, and that she had the authority (but was not exercising it) to fine me right then and there for failing to do so.

    Here, we have to put concrete down just to stop drivers from using the left turn lane as a passing lane when people are boarding and disembarking from buses, and individual drivers who think they are more important than the 60+ people on a bus and won’t yield to them, as they are clearly required to do.

  4. yani
    February 10, 2013

    I think what they don’t take into account though is the increased traffic through residential streets, as impatient drivers get off 45th and speed down the other streets. I constantly am dealing with people practically mowing me down while trying to cross the street to my house.

  5. Dennis
    February 10, 2013

    Where is that Yani? I find most of the side streets already have traffic calming measures in place.

  6. Marjorie
    February 10, 2013

    My biggest concern is the delay these bulbs (and islands like on 45th & Corliss) cause for emergency vehicles. I’ve seen a police car a month ago pop a tire going over this particular island, as also an ambulance had to pause and wait for the bus to leave the other week before continuing it’s emergency call (w/lights & siren)

  7. Junipero
    February 10, 2013

    Are there actually people living in Wallingford complaining about this? Wow. Our neighborhood is in the middle of a city. Nobody living here or moving here should ever assume they will be able to have the same kind of mobility in a car that they would in, say, Redmond or any other suburb. If they want that, then Wallingford is not for them. As a neighborhood in the middle of a city we are dependent on transit, and anything that improves bus service – especially on the 44 route – is to be welcomed.

  8. connie Campbell
    February 10, 2013

    I am just very glad that safety issues are being addressed. I try not to go on 45th unless very necessary. I am concentrating on N40 th and the speed issue there. clc

  9. CL
    February 10, 2013

    Well said, Junipero.

    Kimberly — thanks for the great article!

  10. agala
    February 11, 2013

    the thing is junipero and CL.. many people mad ethi stheir home long ago.. and the density grows.. as do wquestionable moves by the city.. have you seen the extended no park zones now painted with red? Or been ticketed for being 2 inches over some mysterious new boundary? Or dislike those blue tower pay for parkign when it was free? Or called the Mayors office for info and had some one tell you to look it up on google? People didnt realize hwo dense things would become and how beaucratic the govt arms would become.
    Its a blog. we have a right to talk, and to question.
    Tho I see many full buses, I also some goby almost empty. I would reduce 44 service in middle of days if it were up to me and reinstate free parking in many places. I’d also reduce bus rates.. then I might take it.

  11. yani
    February 11, 2013

    Dennis, I’m a pet sitter, so I’m all over the neighborhood, and I see cars speeding through all the time. I see people trying to drive down 45th who get impatient and make a quick hard unexpected turn to get off 45th all the time. Oh and yes, the islands they have to go around in the residential areas don’t make a difference to the impatient. I watched a huge pick up truck with an extended cab barely slow down for the island just last week.

    I was here way before the bus bulbs, and have definitely noticed the difference.

  12. yani
    February 11, 2013

    I never made the connection before, but around the same time the bulbs went in, I have noticed a lot more people driving down Woodlawn’s one-way section going the wrong way, and always fast! The parked cars are at an angle, and I’m always worried someone’s going to pull out of a parking space and hit someone cruising down fast the wrong way.

  13. CL
    February 11, 2013

    Agala,

    If the people support future tax increases, then bus fare may indeed go down again. I do agree with you on that point, at least — fares should be lower! I’m not sure if you can propose an alternate mechanism for Metro to be able to lower fares…

    Also, are you willing to pay more taxes so that parking can be free? I would, in addition to providing us better parks, schools, health care, etc. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing you would stand against tax increases. So, please tell me — if parking is free, who is going to pay for improvements and maintenance of the streets that you park on? In the past, we gave our government more money and so free parking was a viable option. If you choose to shrink government, there will be consequences.

    I also agree with you when you write, “It’s a blog. We have the right to talk, and to question.”

  14. Eric
    February 11, 2013

    Kimberly- Thanks for this follow up article on the bus bulbs.

    In several recent posts people are complaining about neighborhood cut throughs, which seem to be getting worse even in areas with traffic circles. Could you write an article on getting additional traffic calming put in, like road bumps or forced swerves? For instance stuff like this:
    http://goo.gl/maps/9c2Ki

    Thanks again!

  15. yani
    February 11, 2013

    Forced swerves are as easy to maneuver as traffic circles, but you do have to slow down much more for bumps.

    However, if we (the city) are putting in bulbs to save money (via time), then it doesn’t seem to be working if we have to spend additional money for the consequences of the bulbs. No money saved, and a bunch of cranky people. Not much of a solution.

    I might have missed it, but have the various bus improvements through out the city increased ridership?

  16. Eric
    February 11, 2013

    I don’t know that bus bulbs significantly contribute to cut throughs. I think it’s mostly due to density going into places like Ballard. Anyhow, here’s a good place to look for neighborhood traffic calming:
    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/ntcp_calming.htm

  17. M.J.
    February 11, 2013

    I love 45th Street. It’s a much calmer and more pleasant environment than (ugh) 50th, which has really become an ugly, dirty, blight of a speeding roadway to me.

    My wish is to add a protected pedestrian island on 45th at Burke. My kids and I have almost been hit several times in that crosswalk due to people using the turn lane as a travel lane to get to the left turn at Wallingford Ave. That’s not what it’s for! One was such a close call I thought I would throw up from fear. So many kids and parents cross in that location for the Tae Kwon Do studio. I would love to see a safety buffer added.

  18. agala
    February 11, 2013

    i am a substitute teacher. I make less than 15,000.00 . It is hard for me to support higher taxes. I have no medical insurance.

    I haven’t the income to support nicer parks, bus bulbs.. fancy patrol cars.. etc.. some day you may see me in front of QFC.. my landlord raised my rent 40.00 per month when I was told in December it would not be raised. I have deeply considered standing there with my “please help me” sign.

  19. Anandakos
    February 16, 2013

    The circles in the middle of the intersection that Seattle favors are less effective than mandatory turn crosses. If alternating mandatory right and mandatory left turn crosses were put along 47th except at the crossing arterials, you would not see the cut-throughs. True, this would make it a bit inconvenient for people in the blocks between 45th and 47th to go to 50th and vice-versa for those between 47th and 50th, but if the pattern were set up to be right turn west of left turn for each pair, people could always turn right onto 45th (for westbound) or 50th for eastbound.

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