Just noticed a new service coming to Seattle: Rapid Ride bus service.
Metro has just opened its first route (the A line running from Tukwila to Federal Way) with 4 more on the way, including routes for Ballard and West Seattle (http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/metrotransit/rapidride.aspx). The idea is to generate light-rail like bus service in high traffic corridors through a combination of 1) more frequent buses (every 10 minutes during rush hour), 2) giving buses some control of the traffic lights and priority lanes like HOV lanes, and 3) Great bus stops that are well lit and sheltered to encourage ridership.
So are any of the 5 lines coming to the central district? Well No.
But metro is advertising the Rapid Ride as a solution for high traffic corridors and the CD has the number one route, the #48 bus running the length of 23rd Ave (http://www.centraldistrictnews.com/2010/08/10/lots-of-popular-frequent-buses-in-the-cd-upgrade-plz). There has been some rumbling about putting 23rd on a road diet (http://www.centraldistrictnews.com/2010/05/25/city-says-stone-way-road-diet-worked-model-for-23rd). Perhaps a complementary idea would be getting Rapid Ride service on 23rd. As a resident of the Central District, I think some good arguments could be made including: 1) The #48 is the most frequently used route in town, 2) Rapid Ride on the #48 route could connect CD residents to the light rail at three points: Mt. Baker Station; The University Station (in a few years); and the I-90/23rd station for the East Side light rail link even further down the road.
So, maybe this is an idea to bounce around- Maybe someone out there is already advocating for it?