About a hundred people showed up last Tuesday evening, June 17, for an open house on the Broadway Streetcar project, the first major public event since design work began in February. The open house, held at the Lowell Elementary School between 6 p.m. and p.m., had staff and consultants arrayed throughout the room by display boards to answer questions – as well as by the obligatory coffee and cookies table.
The first display board provided a map showing Seattle’s four streetcar lines: South Lake Union (completed in 2007), First Hill (starting operation later this year), Broadway (now in design, possibly opening late in 2016) and the City Center Connector (now in planning).
Other display boards focused on the timeline, the basic elements of the streetcar and the distinguishing features of the Broadway line. However, the main focus of public’s attention was the large plot showing the planned location of the streetcar track and the protected bicycle lane on Broadway north of Denny. The plot showed that parking had been preserved on both sides of the street except where left turn lanes were needed. It also showed where the station platforms are being planned and what the cross-section of the street at the platforms would look like (as well as between platforms).
Public reaction was generally favorable, with some concerns about the loss of even a limited number of parking spaces and others about the expense. Many attendees were excited about the extension of the protected bicycle lane along Broadway, but the most enthusiasm was for having a streetcar that would connect Broadway directly with First Hill, Pioneer Square and the Stadium District. Some folks even urged a future connection directly uphill from South Lake Union to Capitol Hill to complete a loop route!
Materials presented at the open house are available on the project website http://www.seattlestreetcar.org/broadway.htm . If you would like to comment, or if you have questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org .