The Dilemma of Urban Road Space Reallocation: An Outreach and Engagement Strategy for Bus Rapid Transit on Seattle's Madison Street
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The 2012 Seattle Transit Master Plan recommends bus rapid transit (BRT) for a new high capacity transit line on Madison Street. In the most recent budget, the City approved $1 million to study and develop a BRT concept for the corridor. In order to build full-fledged BRT, as opposed to enhanced bus service or "BRT Lite," the City must reallocate road space to create a dedicated right of way, high quality stations and transit priority treatments. While there is an extensive body of literature covering the technical challenges to implementing BRT in a dense, urban environment, the political challenges have received far less attention. This thesis examines key American BRT implementation cases, stakeholder engagement research, and a careful analysis of Madison Street's unique opportunities and constraints in order to craft a strategy that will lead to successful implementation of true BRT. The resulting strategy, dubbed "BRT+," builds on the success of Cleveland's Healthline BRT and other cases, bringing diverse stakeholders together to develop a vision for the corridor that includes non-transit investments such as station area plans, pedestrian improvements, and other stakeholder generated priorities. In order to craft a BRT plan and complimentary non-transit improvements, the strategy relies on a multi-layered outreach and engagement effort that combines civic leadership, robust stakeholder involvement and effective broad based communications.
- Urban planning