A Streetcar Named Desire

I just happened upon the greatest tool ever for transit geeks: Wayfaring.com. Point and click routes over a Google Maps base. I spent an hour whipping up a vision of THE FUTURE!!!

Green Line Redux

-Leverages existing infrastructure (only 4 new blocks of track between South Lake Union and SODO)

-Adds transit capacity to Ballard & West Seattle, mitigates Viaduct closures.

-Reasonably rapid. Has own right-of-way along Westlake, operates on Link tracks from Convention Place to SODO, runs in median on Spokane.

-Would use dual voltage trams, which can operate on the 1600v Link system and the 700v streetcar/trolley system. These are already in use in Europe.

And yes, this is largely a rehash of earlier posts. The only real brainstorm is in building a short track to connect the Ballard line with the West Seattle line. But that creates the ‘X’ of transit Seattle has been dreaming about since Dick Falkenbury put sharpie to napkin. Let’s try to get something like this done soon whatever happens with the Viaduct. Whether construction mitigation or mitigation for permanent lower capacity, it’s long overdue.


3 responses to “A Streetcar Named Desire

  1. WAYFARING.COM, not “wayfarer.com”,
    typo in your article.

  2. My bad. It was late…

  3. The swing bridge crossing over the Duwamish, the railroad track crossings on Spokane St, and the Fremont Bridge crossing all make BRT in a dedicated lane on the WS Bridge and Spokane St. Viaduct and the Aurora Bridge more attractive, especially if that BRT uses the Busway near the new 4th Ave exit.

    Even if the dedicated lane becomes a merge lane at exits, it seems more predictable than the erratic openings of the drawbridges and the freight traffic on those rail lines.

    I spent six months commuting to a job on Harbor Island from West Seattle, which I thought would be a dream commute. I was quite mistaken. After trying bus, bike and car commutes and getting stuck at an extremely long bridge opening or an extremely slow-moving freight train crossing, I quit the job and found a new one in downtown Seattle that actually did have a dream commute – the 54 bus, via bus lane on the WS high bridge. For the first time in 12 years of living and working in Seattle, I found myself rather happy with transit options.

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