stealth streetcar

Did you hear about the new First Hill Streetcar? Didn’t think so. Sound Transit is making real plans, but not many seem to have noticed. It will run from the International District up Jackson to 12th, north to Boren, then all the way to John on Broadway. Apparently an extension north on Broadway to Aloha is also being considered.

The rationale is that it will make up for the First Hill light rail station that got the ax because we’re to cheap to do it right. So if you’re bound for First Hill, one day you’ll be able to get off light rail at Broadway and Denny, come up and finish your journey on a street car instead of a bus.

I like streetcars but can’t help feeling some ambivalence over this one. It would be great for business on Broadway, no doubt. But it doesn’t seem like money very well spent in terms of the numbers of people it will serve. And the argument that it will be a catalyst for focussed new development doesn’t really apply since most of the route is already densely developed.

It will be interesting to see how the community reacts when this project gets closer to being real. The perceived success of the SLUT (South Lake Union Trolley) will likely have an influence on the public’s appetite for more streetcars.

6 Responses to “stealth streetcar”

  1. neil gitkind

    I just want to say that I was the 14 carrot in Eastlake and there were TWO guys who had huge S.L.U.T. tee-shirts. One was for the S. Lake Union Trolley, but the other, i swear, was for Salt Lake Utah: SLUT… go figger.

  2. kkurmudgeon

    Any thoughts on why Seattle is not considering Bus Rapid Transit — meanwhile Everett has approved it? Seems like a good idea that is cheap-ish. That area already has lots and lots of bus routes, no?

  3. Phil McCrackin

    “The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are.”

  4. Dave

    Blah, I mostly hate the SLUT and am not excited about tracks along broadway making my bike ride up to hill ever so much more dangerous. Where are they going to lay the tracks? are they going to take out all the parking along broadway or are they going to put them in the existing traffic lane, thus ensuring that the train will get caught behind me or other cyclists. Either option would kind of suck. The SLUT basically forces bicyclist on westlake to ride in the left lane. Anyway point 83 is doing a taming of the SLUT ride 5pm on december 12th. I’m going to try to make it out to it.

    Why can’t we have subways like all the other real cities?


  5. kkurmudgeon

    Because we live in The Emerald City. Who’s the dude behind the curtain?

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