Generally it’s a good idea to focus transit service on trunk lines, to put the service where the most riders are. So, generally, King County Metro should be congratulated for its proposed route changes.
But that’s not the only priority. While nobody expects Metro to go everywhere, it shouldn’t cut entire neighborhoods off, particularly job centers where workers have grown to rely upon transit, which benefits all of us as well as the riders. Outside the major nodes it’s ok to ask people to walk, in excess of a half-mile in some cases, but how much beyond that is ok?
Harbor Island is about to lose its service entirely outside of the SW Spokane Street corridor at the south end. It’s more than a mile from there to the northern-most employers such as Vigor Marine and Crowley, much of it not particularly safe or comfortable, particularly in the dark. Today Route 35 runs two buses each rush hour (none the rest of the time), a bit
The current riders don’t want much, or so says the one who inspired this post — just a couple trips up the island at rush hour, ideally including one a little later than the current 4:09. Something a few blocks from work rather than the solid mile.
Solutions might be a special looping version of Route 50 a couple times per rush hour (either in addition to or instead of the main 50), or a separate rush hour shuttle connecting from the 50 to the north end of the island. Neither would be free, but either would be cheap vs. deleting a whole district from service.
Transit should help the the city function well, and parallel our regional strategy. Harbor Island packs a lot of economic punch, cramming in a lot of seaport and industry uses. It’s done this for generations. We’re not talking about leapfrogging new development and expecting new public services to cover it. This is about serving what’s existed for generations, and an existing community of riders.
Please don’t cut off this community.