“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.” - William Blake
Included in a budget proposal the mayor is expected to make to the Seattle City Council Sept. 24, is a $2 million item for analysis of a high-capacity transit line from downtown to the University District via Eastlake Avenue. This would be a good idea except for two things; one being that Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail will do exactly that when it is completed in 2014.
The other is that it might be a scheme for another streetcar line. Streetcar lines are the least cost effective mode of public transportation there is. Better than incurring the delay, expense, and disruption in laying the track, would be purchasing more buses and hiring more drivers. This would be under the jurisdiction of King County Metro Transit, which was the successor in 1974 to Seattle Transit.
The fitting role for the City of Seattle in transportation is to facilitate the movement of Metro buses through the city by revising the traffic signal system to give them priority, for instance, and by eliminating parking where it restricts their travel.
The mess we have endured the past several months at Broadway and Pine is the opposite of this. Buses are delayed and bus stops are closed from time to time. Instead of tearing up streets, the city should fix the ones in serious disrepair that buses use, such as 24th Avenue East between Capitol Hill and Montlake.