Thank goodness, they’ve (finally) made it official that they’ll keep 3rd Ave bus-only — even after (some of) the buses go back into the transit tunnel in September: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/325422_bus28.html.
This has worked great for the last few years, and it’s the closest thing we can get to a “BRT right of way” in downtown Seattle; in particular since the buses going below the surface to the tunnel is such a short-term thing. If you really think about it, does anyone really think the bus+train combination is going to last more than a few years before those buses get bumped back out in favor of more trains?
Now, if they can just move bus stops to every 4th block in this corridor instead of every other block, we’ll really be getting somewhere. On a trip from 23rd+Jackson to Pike Street, easily 75% of the time is spent stopping every other block on 3rd Ave to let 20% of the bus on and off at each stop. Traveling through downtown Seattle on a bus is arduous and awful for a number of reasons (no AC, poor behavior of riders, etc) — moving the stops out a bit to get buses through faster would be a great way to get things moving faster in this corridor.