Improving traffic flow along the C Line

After construction of bus bulbs along the C Line route began in March 2012, motorists noticed increased traffic congestion in the area—particularly at the intersection of Fauntleroy Way SW and California Avenue SW in the Morgan Junction.

This congestion increases as ferry traffic leaves the Fauntleroy dock. The construction work itself, which continued through June, contributed to this delay. In July and August, Seattle Public Utilities was doing a separate construction project at this same intersection, further disrupting traffic flow.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation and Metro have been monitoring traffic conditions at this intersection, and have responded to the concerns we’ve heard in several ways.

To reduce backups caused when two or more buses are at the westbound bus stop on Fauntleroy Way SW, we’re establishing a second bus stop a few feet to the west of the intersection to serve routes 116, 118, and 119, which provide express service to the Fauntleroy ferry dock.

Metro bus drivers have received special instructions and additional training to help keep multiple buses from using the bus stop at the same time. Lane markings at the intersection have been refreshed to increase visibility and clarity for motorists.

We’re asking for continued patience as we complete our preparations to launch the C Line. Several elements of this new RapidRide service will help with traffic flow. These include all-door boarding at stops and off-board fare payment at stations, which will shorten the time buses spend at each stop. Also, the C Line will have transit signal priority at certain traffic lights along the corridor, which will keep buses moving through the intersections. (This technology is currently being tested and activated along the C Line route.)

We also remind drivers to obey traffic laws by not crossing the center line to pass a bus. Remember that buses now stop in the travel lane at these bus bulbs—so don’t enter the intersection behind a bus until there’s enough room.

In particular, drivers heading south on California Avenue SW and turning right toward the Fauntleroy ferry dock should keep in mind that a bus may be at the stop on Fauntleroy Way SW when they make the westbound turn.

Metro and the City of Seattle will continue to monitor traffic flow at this intersection and all along the new RapidRide routes. The city is prepared to make more traffic control or operational changes if needed after all of the RapidRide service features are up and running.

2 thoughts on “Improving traffic flow along the C Line

  1. The Rapid Ride (C line) is unfortunately FAR less ‘rapid’ than the eliminated 54/54X routes. Though C line busses technically come more frequently, they make more frequent stops on the route into downtown, are more crowded and do not stop as near to my destinations as the 54. I’m a big supporter of public transit but this change has made my commute choices fewer and so far, trips both into and out of downtown longer.

  2. The Rapid Ride C Line is HORRIBLE!!!!! Buses are nowhere near frequent enough and are incredibly packed! My commute takes longer and is uncomfortable now. If these issues are not corrected by the end of the month, I will have my work switch me from a bus pass to a parking pass so I can drive to work.

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