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Care about Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

image004August 5, 2016

Here’s what to look for when you provide comments at the final Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Open House on Tuesday August 9 (or on-line before August 16).

Madison BRT is intended as a Complete Street. Complete Streets provide fair access to the street for all people, whatever their transit mode. That is one reason the City is poised to apply for grant funding to invest upwards of $120 Million along this 2.4-mile corridor. Another reason the Madison BRT project is at the top of stack for funding and redevelopment is that thousands of new places for people to work and live along the Madison corridor are under construction or in permitting now.

When you are evaluating the Madison BRT plans, ask first if people of all ages and all abilities will easily be able to cross the street, walk or bike to transit, and enjoy the experience of walking, shopping, and socializing along East Madison Street. Madison is filled with young people starting families, retirees, people using major hospitals, amid a wealth of residential and commercial property.

Several street safety advocacy groups, including local groups along the corridor – Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Park Greenways, and the transportation leaders of First Hill Improvement Association – have been closely following the Madison BRT project for several years. They shared their top five concerns about the current Madison BRT proposal.

Five ideas to consider when commenting on the Madison BRT project:

  1. Crossing the street is a necessary part of taking the bus. People walking and biking need to be able to cross Madison directly and safely. The 30% designs for 24th Ave & Madison, 12th & Union & Madison don’t resolve the difficult street crossing challenges, in fact current designs may make crossing more dangerous. At center-island stations, crosswalks need to be positioned at the desire lines for people exiting the bus.

  2. Plan for people who bike. Design and fund access for people who want to bike in the Madison corridor. Community groups worked closely with the City for several years to identify the optimal “parallel” bicycle infrastructure that was intended to be funded as part of the project: this includes protected bike lanes on Union from 12th to 27th and greenways on 27th, 24th, Thomas, Denny, and University. Creating safe and convenient bikeways to help people access residences and businesses on Madison isn’t just a nice idea, it’s necessary and promised Complete Streets mitigation given that SDOT is removing access to a street people depend on now.

  3. Work hard to keep the trees! Removing 23 trees on Madison between Broadway & 12th may ease the congestion on the sidewalk a little bit, but will make the pedestrian experience even bleaker.

  4. Plan for growth. The City needs to plan for long term sidewalk improvements as part of this project. This dense neighborhood will need wide, well-maintained sidewalks with excellent street furnishings. Make sure that intent is communicated in design plans written by the City for developers as they build along the Madison Corridor.

  5. Study traffic along the Madison Corridor including left turn elimination, commercial loading, parking, peak I-5 access, and in particular ambulance & emergency vehicle access.

 

SDOT Public Open House  Tuesday August 9   5 – 7 PM Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA   1700 23rd Ave

Give feedback online before August 16: MadisonBRT.participate.online

 

Brie Gyncild and Merlin Rainwater, Central Seattle Greenways Co-chairs

Bob Edmiston, Madison Park Greenways Chair

Cathy Tuttle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Director

Gordon Werner, First Hill Improvement Association Transportation Chair