Liveblog: Webcast of Board Meeting

It doesn’t look like I can embed it here, but the link is here.

First Federal Way checked in with their support. Burien was next. Washington State Transit Association spoke in favor of expansion. Snohomish County Councilmember Mike Cooper just spoke in favor, talking about Ruth Fisher (the room they’re in is named after her), about improving the economy with public works projects – as Magnuson and FDR spearheaded locally and nationally.

Jim Horn (and a friend placed there to make him look even more ancient by comparison), both looking really angry (these guys always look like goblins), just pushed the ETA agenda. All he’s doing is spewing numbers… haha, the suburbs are a “market share already well served by buses”. Yeah, RIGHT. Oh, and it “doesn’t make sense” to build light rail to the eastside, either! What’s funny is that Horn, as a state senator, endorsed I-745 in 2000, which would have moved 90% of transportation funding (even ST funding) to roads. And they claim not to be anti-transit! Basically every one of the things they’ve just said are flat out lies – claims that light rail will increase congestion on I-90? Not by doubling I-90’s capacity, it won’t.

1:45: Enough with the crazies. Up next another real human being, Lisa Utter, Lynnwood City Council member, speaking out in support. Mayor Jerry Smith and councilmember Matsumoto of Mountlake Terrace, speaking in support. “If the eastside doesn’t want their money, we’ll be happy to take it on our side!” from Mayor Smith. Nice jab at ETA!

1:47: Sara Nikolic of Futurewise speaking in favor of ST2! She’s pointing out that Sound Transit was *created* to build rail, not buses. Express buses are here to build ridership for long term transit solutions that allow better land use planning, mixed use, walkable communities.

1:50: Marty Evons of Everett, who has basically no clue what’s happening on I-90. Oh, yeah, a “savings of billions” – to move fifty people instead of fifty thousand. The same crap we’ve gotten from the ETA.

1:52: Ian Terry of Issaquah, speaking out in favor – about how people’s commutes are changing, and we need to build public transportation.

1:56: Wiiiiiill Knedlik! Local anti-transit nut speaking next. “Supports putting the measure on the ballot so it can be defeated a second time.” Claims to be a rail supporter – but appears to be a conspiracy theorist, claiming Sound Transit has censored old board minutes, taking our money. He has a “handout” – oh, man, how many hundred billion does he claim ST2 is this time? Last year he claimed Sound Transit was spending a TRILLION DOLLARS. Nut.

2:00: Former Mayor of Mercer Island Aubrey Davis in support of building ST2, especially East Link. “We’ve been talking about this for forty years. Let’s get going.” He was followed with applause from the room!

2:03: John Worthington, of Renton, speaking next. He’s a PRT nut! Claims we could connect every urban center in the region with super transit pods that go everywhere and do everything. Apparently we could run these pods over the 520 bridge, too! No friction? Oh, it’s MAGLEV PODS. I love how the crazies come out for these meetings.

Tally is 9 for the system, 5 against – all either crazy or underinformed. Looks like public comment is over, I’ll update with more of interest as it comes in.

2:12: The current speaker is writing about coordination and cost estimate methodology. The Independent Review Team’s panel report essentially says “Sound Transit, you’re doing a good job planning, your methodology is good, keep it up, we’ve still got some more work to do, but keep it up.”

2:18: Consent agenda! The Board just signed the ST staff’s paychecks. My boss only wishes he got to do that at a public meeting.

2:19: Here we go, items 7A and 7B, it’s time to vote on ST2.

Comments

  1. Phillip Duggan says

    It’s cool that they have the video though I’d actually prefer a pure audio feed while at work. Not only can it not keep up with the bandwidth but I don’t end up really watching it anyways, just listening.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I just minimize it, myself (although it’s hilarious to see what people like Jim Horn actually look like). I guess I’m using their bandwidth, though.

    • AJ says

      I think he explains his assessment on the matter very well.

      Crass, yes, but appropriate.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      Dude, Pod transit? ETA? They’re crazy. They’re running around the room yelling “wooooo-hah”, not adding anything remotely useful. The pod transit people think real estate is free! ETA says they support buses, and then their leaders support taking transit money and putting it into general purpose lanes.

      They are nutjobs.

      Now, folks who speak out because they feel this will congest I-90? They’re just uninformed. That’s okay. They’re not crazy. That’s why I made the distinction.

      • Jeremy says

        Ben, it is intereating how MagLev Man (‘light rail broke my leg’) made comments about social engineering. Here was “pro-transit” Jim Horn/ETA last year:

        ——
        “We believe there are clear transportation choices that will allow us to go where we want to go, how we want to go, and when we want to go,” said Jim Horn, association board chairman and former state Senate Transportation Committee chairman. “We also believe there’s enough tax money proposed to do the job if we simply spend it on the right projects.”

        According to Horn, the group’s goal is to bring objectivity to the decision-making process that selects, funds and implements
        transportation projects.

        “We do not believe we should be spending transportation mega-dollars in an attempt to change human behavior,” Horn said. “We want to spend funds on those parts of a transportation system that support increased efficiency, productivity and our quality of life.”
        ———

        Indeed, Kemper Freeman, Jim Horn, Richard Harkness, Emory Bundy, Don Padelford and several other members of ETA have all been supportive of Personal Rapid Transit over the years. Several of them actually worked on Morgantown’s PRT project for Boeing. A system which was built, had a bunch of technical and budget problems…and has never been expanded in 35 years.

      • says

        If Kemper Freeman really believed in PRT to be the next transit wonder, he would have funded it himself by building a demonstration system in Downtown Bellevue connecting all his properties.

      • Jeremy says

        Doug MacDonald officially joined the Mixed Discovery Institute Nuts jar with this one:

        Tomorrow’s systems will exploit fast, frequent buses operating on an affordable network of free-flow lanes crisscrossing the region. And also vans, private custom transit now coming to Microsoft, even modern-age jitneys. And probably yet-to-be-seen Web-matched ride sharing. We need to embrace new technology in our transportation vision. Why would we have a plan to spend billions for projects stretching two decades into the future without taking into account that today’s cars, buses and trucks would look like rotary dial phones next to cell phones — figuratively speaking — in comparison to tomorrow’s transportation vehicles?

    • John Jensen (rizzuhjj) says

      You know very well that he was calling specific people nutty, not all ST2 opposition. Can you drop being such a jerk to bloggers here? Or is it just your shtick now?

      • brad says

        The passive-aggressive nature of the bloggers here is hilariously droll.

        I don’t see how the discourse is advanced with name-calling.

        From Martin the other day: “Although this principle is typically honored in the breach, I ask that commenters refrain from personal attacks and impugning motives of others. Our comment thread is, at best, a very educational exchange of facts, and I hope that we can expand that professional tone.”

        Calling people ‘nutjobs’ fits where?
        “Jerk” would fit into that line of thinking too.

        If you want to be taken seriously, you might consider what I’m pointing out. Just an idea.

      • Martin H. Duke says

        For what it’s worth, I actually agree with Brad here.

        That’s not the choice of words I would have used.

      • John Jensen says

        Brad, I agree that we shouldn’t call anyone crazy if we expect to be taken seriously. However, you didn’t say that in your original post. What you did is misconstrue what Ben said to create tension.

        The fact that you come to this blog to start heated arguments while providing personal insinuations toward Martin, Ben, and myself significantly colors my judgment of, I’ll accept that. However, you’re smart enough to realize that your actions have consequences. So, yes, I’ve noticed how you’ve treated people here like a belligerent bully would and you’ve received a deserving label from me.

        However, the fact that I can recognize that you come here to bully people and create heated arguments has nothing to do with your views on transit. In fact, you’re more pro-transit than not so I hardly view you as on the other side of the spectrum.

        I just think that for over a month now you’ve had an extended temper tantrum over something Martin wrote. You’ve expressed yourself in pretty nonconstructive ways at times.

        But you have also opened the discussion here toward unique avenues at others. I think you are very self-aware that half the time you post here it’s as a troll and the other half as a concerned suburbanite interested in getting better/any transit to his community. I don’t need to explain this to you.

        I just wish you’d drop the trolling/bullying/acting like a jerk part and just realize that though Martin, Ben, me, and nearly every commenter here is flawed at times. All of us are concerned about the future of this region, though, and none of us are passing the buck to someone else to solve its problems.

        Because, seriously, I am tired of writing these long comments to respond to throw-away posts that you probably don’t care about the response to as long as it is angry enough.

        Correct me if I’m completely misinterpreting your actions. I think you’re honest enough to admit that some pretty heavy trolling has been occurring recently…

    • Jeremy says

      “If you have a diverging opinion, you are a ‘nut’ or ‘crazy’.”

      You’re obviously not watching the streaming video, Brad.

      Ben called him crazy because….his idea is crazy.

      Unless, of course, you deny the existence of crazy people.

    • Jeremy says

      Brad, you at least have to admit Will Knedlik is a nutty crazy nut.

      Jim Horn is just a plain ‘ole right wing nut.

  2. AJ says

    I can’t listen to the webcast!

    Oh man!

    I am getting nervous! Antsy, even!

    Executive Sims’ testimony today could set the tone for this election.

  3. Alexjonlin says

    you gotta admit, prt actually is pretty awesome. they’re building it at london heathrow. its definitely not a regional transit option, but i think it might actually be feasible for connecting small urban villages to regional light rail stations (e.g. green lake, ravenna, and wedgwood to roosevelt lrt, or going from uw station to brooklyn station via campus)

  4. Publicbulldog says

    My name is John Worthington. I did not support BRT. However I did support levx instead of Light rail.

    The real nut job is Ben Schiendelman who wants to build utopian socialized mass transit systems and then social engineer people into them.

    He tried to go toe to toe with me on the issues but took his ball and went home.
    we we we all the way home

    • Chris Stefan says

      It is difficult to take anyone pushing either maglev or PRT technology seriously. There have been few systems using either technology built in the world and every single one has proven to be far more expensive than its backers promised to a much larger extent than any standard rail-based system has been.

      As to your second point all transportation systems are “socialized” and are a form of “social engineering”. Every transport mode receives massive public subsidies far in excess of any user fees. Every transport mode influences where people live, work, and shop. As for social engineering, I can think of none greater than the personal automobile.

  5. Publicbulldog says

    Levx does not need a power source every 20 feet.Levx is not mag lev.The social engineers want to throw whatever negative down your nose argument they can at my suggestions.They are liars.They claim to want a linkable system,then push for these 30 stop 35 mph milk runs.Their idea is too slow stops, too much, is far more expensive than Levx,and does not have near enough cheap available parking.

    Sound transit was sold as a linkable regional link system,then hijacked into a social engineering system that will only serve the socially engineered residents of the utopian socialized mass transit corridor.

    Sounder suffers from the same linkability problems beacsue the fact is there will never be cheap affordable parking on these grand boulevards.How many developers are going to capitalize on higher square footage rates with cheap parking investments.

    Then you have residential encroachment of 24 7 districts which push out 24 7 activities.Which means you have not centralized a community.Most of these greeny groups that attack me are affiliated with a developer like Greg Smith,that reap the benefits of this misguided social engineering ploy.

    My civic spectacle plan would strategically locate the residential housing around civic spectacles and 24 7 districts not loot rail.My plan will centralize a community by making things so good people relocate rather than make things so bad that people relocate.Plus when they relocate they will relocate to centralized comunities.

    Loot rail is about setting up a developer to make a fortune and not about anything else.Be real..Where is the 24 7 activity going to be?,where is any significant civic spectacle space going to be?Where is the cheap parking going to be.You wont have it.You wont have a linkable system.You wont have a centralized community.

    No developer will do anything except build residential housing on top of limited retail shops that will only stay open until 12 because the socially engineered Ms Cravitz will call the mayors office to complain about the noise.

    These are the weaknesses of the grand boulevard theory.You will not have utopia, you will have sophism for developers,and social engineers that have to over look glaring weaknessnes and resort to snobby down your nose attacks.

  6. Publicbulldog says

    Stefan you are a registered pro density guy.Why dont you admit that the vote was about a linkable system and not about acquiring density.You will never admit that you are representing a lie.You talk up sound transit from the density side,because that is what you want..density.It is hard to take a density guy serious about a linkability argument.

    Lets post the initiative and show me where this was a vote about density.The sad part is you lose the density argument too.You will have a isolated community bereft of significant civic spectacle space and no 24 7 activities.

    I represent the honest argument because I am not engaged in sophism to sell gentrification and density while the vote was for regional link.I truly represent linkability,you represent..Greg Smith



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