City officials Tuesday announced funds to extend the First Hill Streetcar north from its terminus at Denny Way to Roy St or even all the way to Volunteer Park. Though the design process will work out the details, it’s pretty likely this also means an extension for the cycle track.
The extension project still needs $25 million for construction after the design is complete, so it will very likely note be ready when the First Hill Streetcar launches in early 2014. The cycle track will likely be ready for use sometime in 2013 ahead of the streetcar.
This might be getting too far ahead of things, but the big question on my mind is: If the streetcar and cycle track extend to Volunteer Park via 10th Ave, that would bring it rather close to meeting the (still being planned) 520 Trail.
“Stopping half way up street just didn’t make sense,” Mayor Mike McGinn said Tuesday of the community push for the extension. Poppy owner Jerry Traunfeld and Josh Mahar, who helped spearhead the community council push for the extension, were on hand and applauded by McGinn for their efforts to bring the plan to fruition. “Community involvement could have been obstructionist,” Mahar said. “We put together a set of solutions.” Mahar called progress on the extension an example of how community groups can work with the city to get things done.
McGinn said, given the amount of time it will require to arrange $25million in funding, it’s unlikely there will be wiggle room to move up the schedule for the extension so that it could be completed along with the main First Hill route.
One thing just might come early, however. Director Hahn said the mayor wouldn’t like him saying it, but the separated Broadway bikeway will likely be ready for use before the start of streetcar service.