Rapid Ride from West Seattle to Downtown. Can you spot the bottleneck?

What makes the Rapid Ride C from West Seattle to Downtown so terrible in the mornings? Look at this time lapse showing the bottleneck on Avalon Way, with no dedicated or separate bus lanes, and how fast it speeds up the moment we reach bus lanes, only to have another, smaller slowdown on the Spokane Street Viaduct/SR-99 Viaduct interchange. We need dedicated bus lanes somewhere all the way from West Seattle to SODO or Downtown.

This was done on an iPhone 6 with the time lapse feature, and the recording time was longer than 20 minutes but less than 40, so what you’re looking at is a 60x faster than reality playback of the ride from the middle of Avalon Way SW to 3rd & University on the Rapid Ride bus. Click here for details of how their time lapse feature works.

So, the first 9 seconds of the video takes us from Avalon Way SW & SW Genessee St, Seattle, WA to Avalon WAY SW & SW Spokane, which is about here, 0.5 miles away.

That means it took approximately 540 seconds to go 0.5 miles, which plays back as about the first 9 seconds of the video. Nine minutes to go half a mile on the bus.

That’s an average speed on the bus of 5.025/feet per second or 3.33 miles per hour. Human walking speed is around 2.50 mph for the elderly to 4.00 mph for a brisk pace. Avalon Way SW’s transit design is a failure and dedicated, separate lanes are needed for buses all the way up to and on to the bridge. We need that to bridge our literal gap until we have grade separated Light Rail in West Seattle, and beyond.

Updated: October 22, 2014 — 10:44 am
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