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Chapter 4
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Design Criteria
4.25 Transit Zones

Transit Zones include passenger waiting, queuing and boarding uses in the sidewalk area as well as bus layover and staging uses along curb spaces in the street.

  • It is important to design transit facilities and amenities that will attract transit patrons, accommodate pedestrian movements between destinations and transit services, and to maintain and improve the speed and reliability of bus operations
  • Transit zones should be easily identifiable, safe, accessible, secure, and provide a comfortable waiting area for transit passengers while providing for pedestrian sidewalk circulation and through block connections for pedestrian travel.
New development projects must coordinate directly with SDOT prior to assuming any changes in the right of way, including curb space designations.
4.25.1 Links to Standard Plans and Specifications

Standard Plan 423: Bus Shelter Footing
Standard Plan 630: Metro Bus Zone Sign Installation

4.25.2 Design Considerations

Design guidelines are to be used for the design of transit facilities, the placement of transit passenger amenities, and to describe the process for developing transit facilities:

  • Transit zones should be accessible. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) considerations will be given top priority in the siting and design of new and existing transit zones. Transit zones should consist of an accessible pathway and a wheelchair lift landing pad that are free from obstructions.
  • Transit signage placement, equipment, service and schedule information will be provided for by King County Metro Transit and authorized by SDOT.
  • Transit zones are common places for street furnishings and street lighting. Bus stop improvements should include transit shelters and other amenities including bicycle racks, pedestrian scaled lighting, signage, benches, litter receptacles, etc.  Electronic real-time schedule information and other premium elements should be added where demand and funding exist as determined by SDOT.  Elements must be consistent with SDOT and transit agency priorities, standards and criteria.   
  • Utilize and/or design adjacent overhangs, canopies, and building arcades to provide weather protection for transit patrons, including leaning rails, benches and pedestrian scaled lighting. The design of overhead weather protection should be coordinated with the lead transit agency.
  • Bus stop design must include careful consideration of transit speed and reliability and overall traffic operations. Installation of bus stops which require buses to pull into and out of traffic should occur only where an in-lane stop configuration is not feasible.  Improvements to any bus stop on that requires buses to pull into and out of traffic should include conversion to an in-lane stop configuration whenever feasible.
  • For safety and other reasons, generally give preference to locating transit stops at the far side of intersections.
  • Locate transit stops to assure comfort, convenience and safety for all transit users, including pedestrians, cyclists and people with mobility impairments. Consider well placed, well lit locations with good site distance in close proximity to crosswalks.
  • Transit zones will be spaced to maximize the speed, reliability, rider comfort, and efficiency of transit service while providing adequate service coverage. The City of Seattle Transit Plan and current industry best practices call for approximately 1/4 mile stop spacing between bus stops in most cases.
  • King County/Metro Transit requests pre-design coordination and requires plan review for projects adjacent to transit corridors, zones and facilities. Contact Metro Transit’s Transit Route Facilities Supervisor.
continue to section 4.26 »   
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Detailed Table of Contents
Chapter 4
Design Criteria
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Street Classifications and Street Types
4.3 Design Criteria General Notes
4.4 Grading
4.5 Design Cross Section
4.6 Roadway Width

Roadway Pavement

4.8 Intersections
4.9 Driveways
4.10 Curbs
4.11 Sidewalks
4.12 Crosswalks
4.13 Bicycle Facilities
4.14 Street Trees and Landscape Architectural Standards
4.15 Introduction to Utilities Design Criteria
4.16 Street Lighting
4.17 Street Drainage, Storm Drains and Sewers
4.18 Water Mains
4.19 Fire Protection
4.20 Seattle City Light
4.21 Clearances
4.22 Structures in the Right-of-Way
4.23 Culdesacs and Turnarounds
4.24 Traffic Operations
4.25 Transit Zones
4.26 Street Furniture, Public Art and Unique Objects in the Public Right-of-Way
4.27 Access Easements
4.28 Contact Information
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