George V. Reilly

First Hill Streetcar

The new streetcar line that runs from Pioneer Square to First Hill and Capitol Hill opened on Saturday. I rode it this evening to get from First & Jackson to Broadway & Pine, a three-mile ride that took a full half-hour in the early evening. The streetcar is clean and pleasant and tem­porar­i­ly free to ride, but it has no dedicated lane. Car drivers are still un­ac­cus­tomed to it and the streetcar driver had to blow his horn several times at cars that were blocking our progress.

The new light rail extension line will open in March, connecting Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium. It’s several months early and more than $100 million under budget. And the new 520 bridge is set to open in April. It was obvious when I moved here in 1992 that the 520 bridge didn’t have enough capacity. It’s a shame that it took another quarter-century to rectify that.

Still, it’s a great few months for trans­porta­tion in the Seattle area. If only Bertha weren’t such a disaster.

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