SDOT taking comments on Madison BRT environmental review

SDOT taking comments on Madison BRT environmental review

SDOT taking comments on Madison BRT environmental review

The Seattle Department of Transportation will be taking public comment on a Determination of Non-Significance for the Madison Bus Rapid Transit project through March 1.

The city has been planning a dedicated bus line from First Avenue to the Madison Valley for years, and construction along the corridor to add transit-only lanes and platforms is slated to begin in 2019.

SDOT’s DNS serves as the environmental review document needed to satisfy the State Environmental Policy Act. A 129-page Documented Categorical Exclusion (DCE) document has also been published for review, to satisfy the National Environmental Policy Act.

The 2.3-mile Rapid Ride G corridor will be served by nine 60-foot electric trolley buses that operate 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. 

Between First and Eighth avenues, and again between 15th and 17th avenues, the buses on the line would use shared business access/transit lanes. Between Sixth and 15th avenues, the route would split off into transit-only lanes. From 17th Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr Way, the buses would merge into general-purpose lanes.

The project will require 1.2 miles of overhead contact system (OCS) wires — 174 new and 86 replacement OCS poles — a traction-powered system substation, 10 BRT station areas with 20 directional platforms (there will be a shared station on First Avenue) and transit signal priority and adaptive traffic signal control upgrades at 23 intersections along the line, according to the DCE.

The Madison BRT project will also require the repair or replacement of 17,000 square yards of sidewalk, and putting in just 0.67 miles of bicycle lanes, which includes 0.23 miles of existing lanes on Spring Street that will need to be replaced after new pavement is installed.

The DCE states 50 existing trees will be removed, and replaced with 81 new trees. Nineteen more trees will either be planted within the corridor or somewhere else in the city in order to meet its two-to-one tree replacement requirements.

The DCE states there are 153 sites with known contamination within a half-mile of the Madison BRT project corridor, and 34 sites adjacent to the project alignment — 16 have been mitigated.

“Although these sites may still have low levels of contamination, the levels are below the threshold for requiring clean up and the risk of encountering hazardous materials is minimal,” according to the DCE. “Ten of these sites have started cleanup and eight are awaiting cleanup. No US EPA Superfund sites were identified within the study area.”

One Madison BRT station would be sited adjacent to Pony Bar, 1221 E. Madison St., which has been in the Voluntary Cleanup Program since 2009. Contamination levels are below the exposure limit, according to the DCE.

Data show two peregrine falcon breeding areas 200 meters outside the western extent of the BRT project, according to the DCE, but no sightings since May 2015. Neither the raptor nor the western pond turtle are expected to be found in the project area.

The full Documented Categorical Exclusion document can be viewed below.

Comments can be submitted to by 5 p.m. March 1. Written comments can be sent to Sandra Gurkewitz, 700 Fifth Ave., Suite 3800, PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA 98124-4996.

Nepadce Madison Brt by branax2000 on Scribd