#18 – Departed at 5:46pm from 3rd and Vine. I’m not sure when exactly the bus arrived, but it pulled up on the beautiful sunny day that it is and I jumped aboard.
Pulling into the Queen Anne area around the southern cool area of Queen Anne, the bus got snagged a number of times from the cluster of confusion. Other buses, cars, and people traversing the streets caused the bus to be slowed and go knocked clean off of its schedule. Once we got thru that cluster of sluggishness the bus rolled on and made decent time getting out and onto Elliott Avenue.
Bus Right of Way?
Elliott doesn’t really have a bus right of way, not in the sense of Bus Rapid Transit, but it does have a “Bus Only” Lane that offers a quick way for the #15, #18, and other routes to traverse this corridor quickly. Eventually Elliott turns into 15th and the 15th Street Bridge into Ballard. This is where another issue comes up for timely routing. The 15th Street Bridge is two lanes each way, which breaks the continuity of the bus way and merges it back into regular auto based travel lanes.
The Funnel and the Draw Bridge
The 15th Street Bridge not only acts as a funnel, but also acts as a complete stoppage point. Considering that high boats generally have right of way over all modes of transport, a boat coming along requires the 15th Street Drawbridge to lift. When this happens everyone is stopped cold.
Amazingly Smooth Flow
Even with the road block that the 15th Street Bridge is and the funnel effect that it causes, buses and cars generally flow easily into and out of Ballard. The delays are usually no more than 10-15 minutes when the bridge lifts, and during rush hour those delays only account for 5-10 minutes also. Of course, that turns a 25-30 minute trip into a 35-60 minute trip. However on the bus, that’s no big issue at all for those of us living the transit friendly lifestyle. Until another observation or two, cheers!