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Get In The Know: Approved Changes Improving Route 120

Route 120 is one of Metro’s 10 busiest routes, serving more than 7,000 riders each day. Metro has received a state regional mobility grant to improve the speed and reliability of this route. These improvements will be made between summer 2012 and spring 2013.

What improvements are being made?

  • Reduce the number of closely spaced bus stops to help buses move faster and operate on a more reliable schedule Learn more »
  • Improve features at bus stops
  • Add a northbound bus lane and bike lanes on Delridge Way SW (View diagram)
  • Install a bus bulb* at 26th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street
  • Install transit signal priority at key signals between the Burien Transit Center and the West Seattle Bridge

*Bus bulbs are places where the sidewalk extends outward at a bus stop, so the bus doesn’t have to pull out of the traffic lane to let passengers board and exit.

How will these changes improve the speed and reliability of Route 120?

Reducing the number of stops that Route 120 makes will help reduce overall transit travel times along the corridor. The signal priority, bus bulb, and bus lane will help reduce transit delays at traffic signals, at bus stops, and approaching the West Seattle Bridge, where traffic congestion spills back on to Delridge Way.

How will these changes affect me?

Bus riders—If you ride Route 120, you’ll have a faster trip and your bus will probably spend less time waiting at busy traffic signals. If your bus stop is planned for closure, you may have to travel farther to get to or from it. Many of the remaining stops will get new amenities such as bus shelters, landing pads, and/or benches.

Drivers—If you drive, you may experience more delays in your evening commute southbound on Delridge Way SW due to the added southbound bike lane and the elimination of on-street parking.

Bike riders—If you bike, you will benefit from the addition of southbound bike lane along Delridge Way SW between SW Oregon Street and SW Andover Street and a northbound shared bus, bike, and off-peak parking lane. You may need to be more alert as you negotiate the shared bus lane with buses, right-turning vehicles, and parked cars.

Neighbors—If you live or own a business along Delridge Way SW between SW Andover Street and SW Oregon Street, you or your customers will have fewer parking options due to the added bike and bus lanes. Parking will be allowed in the bus lane during non-commute hours. See a diagram showing how parking on Delridge will change.

When will these changes be made?

The project timeline is as follows:

  • Stop spacing consolidation—three phases: May 2012, September 2012, and mid-2013
  • Bus stop improvements—to be determined in conjunction with three phases of stop consolidation
  • Rechannelization on Delridge Way SW to create a transit priority lane—September-October 2012
  • Transit signal priority—by June 2013

Why was Route 120 chosen for these improvements?

Route 120 is one of Metro’s top 10 routes in terms of ridership and productivity. Metro considered converting it to a RapidRide (bus rapid transit) route, and although it was not chosen, many of the transit improvements identified at that time are still worthwhile to improve the route’s operations.

Route 120 could still become a RapidRide line at some point in the future, and these improvements would lay the groundwork for that conversion.

How did public involvement shape these changes?

Metro solicited comments on these changes in April of 2012 via an online survey, a presentation to the Delridge District Council, and an open house. This feedback resulted in changes to the bus stop closure plan as well as the rechannelization design for Delridge Way SW (see details below). We’d like to thank everyone who participated; your feedback is much appreciated.

Stop closures: As a result of public input, the northbound stops at Delridge Way SW and SW Oregon Street and Delridge Way SW and SW Edmunds Street will remain open. The northbound stop at Ambaum Boulevard S and SW 122nd Street will also remain open, and the southbound stop at Ambaum Boulevard S and SW 124th Street will be moved farther south instead of being closed.

Rechannelization: Metro modified its rechannelization plan for Delridge Way SW after meeting with several community members who expressed safety concerns about where the bus lane and bike lanes ended at the north end of the project area. In the revised design, the bus and bike lanes extend farther north past Andover Street. Some community members expressed concern about drivers trying to get around stopped southbound buses on Delridge Way SW at SW Andover Street. To address this concern, the right lane will be restriped to indicate that it is a right-turn-only lane for all vehicles except buses.

Updated: March 18, 2013