This past month Metro asked the community to give us feedback on reducing the number of closely spaced bus stops along Route 44 between Ballard and the University District.  Thanks to all of you that took the time to share your thoughts and ideas–we heard from more than 350 people during our three-week comment period. This feedback helped us refine the bus stop changes being implemented on Sept. 29.

Plan moving forward
Route 44 currently makes about 30 stops each direction between Ballard and the University District. Metro originally planned to remove 5 bus stops in each direction in late September 2012, increasing the average spacing between stops from about 900 feet to 1,050 feet. Following our outreach, Metro has decided to retain the pair of stops located at NW Market Street and 5th/6th Ave NW and move forward with closing stop pairs at:

– NW Market Street and 26th Ave NW
– NW Market Street and 17th Ave NW
– NW Market Street and 14th Ave NW
– 15thAve NE/NE Pacific Street

These stop closures will help buses move faster, keep to a more reliable schedule and reduce Metro’s operating and maintenance costs.

What we heard
The overwhelming majority of comments we received–nearly 70%–concerned the pair of stops located at NW Market Street and 5th/6th Ave NW. Most of these comments were related to access for nearby elementary and daycare field trips as well as trips by students to and from Hamilton International Middle School. We also heard from mobility impaired users who were concerned about getting to and from their intended destination due to the lack of curb cuts to the east.

Given this feedback from the community, Metro has decided not to close this pair of stops for the time being.

We also received a few comments from people concerned about the closure of the westbound stops at 14th and 17th Aves NW amidst all the construction on Market Street in the vicinity of 15th Ave NW.

We understand these concerns and apologize for the confusion – the ever shifting world of construction staging can be hard to keep up with. The westbound bus stop at 15th Ave NW has been temporarily relocated for long-term work on the adjacent property. The bus stop is located approximately 200 feet west, just past the first driveway to Hjarta. This relocation occurred Saturday, Sept. 15th. The stop will return to its original location when construction is complete.