After a 20-day safety check, following a mechanical failure on one of the cars, the First Hill Streetcar returned to service today. I am thrilled.
I decided to celebrate by riding a 12 bus up the hill, and riding the streetcar home.
I got to the stop in front of the Seattle University parking garage. The sign said the streetcar was due in 2 minutes. Just for completeness, I checked OneBusAway. It agreed with the sign, and also told me I’d have a 24-minute wait for a 9 bus.
The streetcar showed up on time, but then got stuck just before the stop by a stupidly-parked SUV. It looked like maybe the streetcar could squeeze by if only the SUV’s mirror were folded in. The design of the streetcar is such that only the top half of the driver’s window opens, so the driver couldn’t reach the mirror. I could see her radioing for assistance.
I was thinking that I should walk over and fold the SUV’s mirror in myself. But every time I’d start to take a step into the street, another car would come whipping around the streetcar at high speed, making up for precious seconds lost, as if there couldn’t possibly be anything (anybody) in front.
I woman braver than I did walk out into the street, folded the SUV window in, and dashed back to the stop platform. The streetcar proceeded forward, with just an inch or two between it and the SUV.
We boarded the streetcar, and we were on our way.
I imagine that the owner of the SUV found a parking ticket on their windshield when they returned.