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City Moves Towards a Wider Third Avenue

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If the Seattle City Council gives its OK, you might not have to fight through the crowds on Third Avenue by Macy's. A $700,000 proposal by Mayor Mike McGinn would widen the sidewalks on the west side of the street by six to eight feet between Pine and Stewart streets. "It will dramatically increase the space for pedestrians and people waiting for the bus," Bill Bryant, the Seattle transportation department's Transit Programs Manager, told Curbed. Nearly doubling the amount of sidewalk there would make for a more pleasant wait for the bus, he said. In addition to passengers having more breathing room, they'll be able to wonder where their bus is under additional lights and near more street furniture.

To be sure, it's a busy stop that averages about 2,000 boardings every weekday. It's served by a dozen heavily-used bus routes, including the 5, 16, 26, 28, 40, and 358. While all that's pretty straightforward, here's a couple of things about the project: Bryant said the western-most northbound lane is unusually wide, and widening the sidewalk won't mean losing a lane. It's unclear if all the lanes might have to be narrowed, though, he said. And without people having to fight through a crowd on the sidewalk to get on and off the bus, Bryant said buses won't have to have to stop as long. They'd be able to get back on the streets faster. Bryant said the city may later widen the sidewalk around other busy bus stops on Third Avenue.
Kery Murakami