Before I left my Belltown apartment, I checked the Metro Trip Planner to find out exactly which route to take and where to catch it. It told me to catch the 26 at 4th and Blanchard. The 26 never showed up. I had taken the 16 to the same Wallingford address, so I rounded the block to the 16’s stop. The 16 was there in less than a minute.
After the fireworks ended, I walked down to Stoneway Ave to put myself in the path of either the 16 or the 26 (or any bus headed for downtown). I lucked out, and the 16 arrived within a few minutes. Thankfully, it wasn’t jammed full of people. But when my bus neared the Seattle Center, the whole operation came to a halt. The bus was jammed, stuck in the same traffic as folks driving their SOVs. The bus driver had trouble getting from the right lane to the left lane to merge onto 5th Ave (under the monorail). It was a good 15 minute slog to go about 10 blocks.
All in all, taking public transportation to and from the event was okay. The biggest hassle was the Seattle Center area. When folks I respect, like Joel Connelly, talk about eschewing light rail in favor of more buses, I wish he’s riding the bus with me so he can see what I see. When Ted Van Dyk and Richard Morrill (two old guys who haven’t relied on public transport since the Eisenhower administration) talk about how light rail is a waste of money, I just smile. They’ll be eating dirt while the next generation rides the rails.