64/372 Frequent Service
A map of potential frequent service along 25th Ave NE in Ravenna. The thick red line represents the combined, frequent service on routes 68 and 372. The thinner green and blue lines represent the infrequent portions of routes 68 and 372, respectively. Get the full map here.

25th Ave NE is a minor North-South arterial in North Seattle that links University Village with Lake City Way. The street is being used by Metro routes 372 and 68. Route 372 links UW with Lake City, Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville along a direct route along 25th Ave NE and SR 522. Route 68 links UW with Northgate via 25th Ave NE, NE 75th St, Roosevelt Way NE, NE Northgate Way and 5th Ave NE. Frequency on each route is 30 minutes on weekdays, with additional runs during peak hours. Route 372 combines with Sound Transit route 522 between Lake City and Woodinville to provide 15-minute headways while route 68 does not combine with any other route.

Both routes are high-performing, with route 68 having a ridership of 2,300 riders daily and route 372 5,300 riders a day (in 2013).

The Vision

Today, the combination of both routes gives very uneven 10-20-10-20 minute headways. In order to provide frequent 15-minute service, route 68 trips would need to be modified to depart each terminal about 5 minutes later. Route 372 would also need to be modified in order to serve two additional stops each way on 25th, at NE 65th St and NE 70th St. Adding these two stops to route 372 would only add seconds to each trip, but serve more riders (especially those heading to or from Lake City, which cannot use the 68).

The result would be service at least every 15 minutes between UW and NE 75th St from 6am to 6pm on weekdays, adding 2.8 miles of bus lines to the Seattle frequent transit network.

68/372 Combined 68 372
Off peak
15
30
30
Peak
7.5 or better
15
9-15
Evenings
30-60
30-60
Saturday
30
30
Sunday

 

Benefits

Not only would this provide frequent service between the Ravenna Neighborhood and UW, but it would also make for a relatively easy transfer to University Link at UW with a new bus stop at Rainier Vista and Stevens Way. This would connect Ravenna with Downtown, Capitol Hill or anything along Link with easy to understand, frequent transit. For those that are not able to walk the .2 miles to UW Station, a same stop transfer to routes 71/72/73 would still be available on Campus Parkway.

Potential Enhancements

Adding Sunday service on the 68 would go a long ways towards making the corridor usable every day, since there currently is no Sunday service. Half-hourly evening service on both the 68 (starting from scratch) and the 372 (adding a couple trips) would also increase the span of frequent service on weekdays. Adding evening service on the 68 on weekends would also improve the utility of the corridor. And all of the improvements could be done using money from extra service hours from Prop 1.

Ridership does not yet indicate the need for frequent service on weekends, however if it grows (as is expected on a direct, frequent corridor), service could be improved to 20 or even 15 minute frequencies.

Road Diet

Separately from the frequent service project, a road diet should be considered for 25th Ave NE. The streets  currently has two lanes in each direction with one being a parking lane except during rush in the peak direction (southbound in the morning, northbound in the afternoon). However, the street only carries about 12,000 vehicles per day, which is below Seattle’s threshold for a Road Diet.

A good fit for the road would be narrower lanes (10 ft instead of 11-12), one per direction, a center turn lane, a parking lane on one side of the road (possibly alternating) and wider sidewalks. The parking lane would be replaced with a bus bulb (a curb extension for buses to stop in-lane) at bus stops. Bicycling infrastructure is not included because the bike master plan identifies 27th Ave NE as a better street for bike travel through the corridor, and plans to upgrade the street to a neighborhood greenway.

The road diet would be applied from Blakeley Street (Burke Gilman Trail) to NE 75th St. The street sees higher traffic and lower parking demand south of Blakeley and is already a complete street north of NE 75th.

25th-ave-ne-current

25th-ave-ne-vision
The above images depicting the current and envisioned road configurations for 25th Ave NE were created using streetmix.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Outstanding post. Really outstanding. I agree with both ideas. I attended the transit discussions recently at the UW, where we talked about ideas for improved transit options to consider with the new light rail. Nothing came close to this idea. I know other areas of the city better, or I would have suggested it (if I thought of it).

    I agree very much with the road diet idea as well. Basically, even numbered streets are bad, odd numbered streets are good. You really don’t get much better throughput with four lanes versus three. People spend too much time weaving, avoiding the cars that are turning. This leads to accidents, and is especially bad for pedestrians (i. e. people think a car is turning, but it is actually waiting for a pedestrian to cross, so the car behind goes around him and …). I would add that the parking lane should be “bulbed” at each intersection (regardless of bus stop bulbs). Otherwise, it gets treated as just another lane. Meanwhile, it makes crossing the street that much better (a shorter distance to cross).

    • Yes, I envisioned the parking lane to be bulbed at every cross street. Since there would be a turn lane for the cross street, there would not be a center refuge island for pedestrians, but three lanes to cross is still better than four.

      • Yeah, exactly. The center refuge only makes sense in the middle of the street, maybe next to a bus stop. I don’t know the area well enough to know if that even makes sense for that street (those things make the most sense on very long streets that don’t have many stop lights).

  2. One thing I don’t seem mentioned here (or taken into consideration) is that during UW football games, the 25th Ave corridor serves as a major entryway to the university from I-5, with people arriving via either 65th or 75th. I avoid the area during those times so I don’t recall exactly how they arrange the traffic flow, but I know that no parking is allowed on either side of the street during the home games each year.

  3. I don’t go to University Village much but I went a week ago on a Sunday evening and there were 20 people waiting for the bus at U Village southbound when I was there which seemed like a lot for the infrequent, non-major route service with a terrible Kemper-esque anti-transit environment for the bus stop serving the Village. Sounds like there is definitely the demand in this corridor.

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