Construction will begin next March to limit transit service along the First Avenue corridor linking Pioneer Square to the Belltown neighborhood north of Downtown. However, Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles today made sure the rapidly growing Northwest Belltown neighborhood will continue to have some bus service through the heart of the community.
“My goal is to ensure that this growing corridor, which includes seniors, persons with disabilities, people working in the area, and visitors, do not lose service,” said Kohl-Welles, whose district includes Belltown. “If we had not taken these steps today, a densely populated area with steep hills that runs from the waterfront up to Third Avenue, would see its transit service disappear in March 2018.”
One of the adopted Metro Transit service changes approved today by the Council is the March 2018 elimination of Route 99, which travels from Pioneer Square into Belltown along First Avenue and down the hill to Elliot and Broad Streets. Construction along the waterfront, combined with the City of Seattle’s Center City Connector Streetcar utility relocation and construction project in Pioneer Square, prompted Metro to end the bus route.
Kohl-Welles’ amendment adopted today ensures that residents living in the northwest Belltown corridor will not be without transit service during the construction taking place in their neighborhood. She worked with Metro to add stops to Route 29 along First Avenue at Wall Street in the northbound and southbound directions and is working on having a stop added at First and Broad.
Kohl-Welles said that Metro will continue to work to ensure that transit is part of the future of a waterfront that will be revamped with the opening of the tunnel and the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The Council also adopted today a motion introduced by Kohl-Welles calling for Metro to develop a long-term waterfront transit strategy so residents, workers, and visitors will have viable access to and from Seattle’s newly renovated waterfront corridor as well as to northwest Belltown.