Transit Opponents Sue To Stop East Link

East Link, c/o Sound Transit

East Link, c/o Sound Transit

A laundry list of transit opponents have come together in a last-ditch attempt to stop East Link from being built on I-90. We’ve recently gotten word that a suit has been filed against the State over the use of the I-90 express lanes.

The petitioner list is almost entirely expected: Kemper Freeman, Jim Horn, Steve Stivala, Ken Collins, Michael Dunmire, Sarah Rinlaub, Al Deatley, Jim Coles, Brian Boehm, and the Eastside Transportation Association. Some of these people are also involved in the conservative Washington Policy Center, another transit opponent.

Their argument is simple: They claim that if the I-90 express lanes were paid for with gas tax money, they can’t be used for transit.

Unfortunately for them, there’s plenty of precedent for state highway right of way being used for transit (consider Link as it follows 599, 5, and 518). The independent analysis we discussed yesterday demonstrates that the discussion has moved far past opponents’ claims – I-90 was built for transit, and if the state used gas tax funds to pay for a transit facility, the analysis framed that as more likely their problem than Sound Transit’s. Some money may change hands, but the process for doing this is already in place.

What concerns me about this suit is that it could be used by certain state legislators as a reason to delay. “Let’s see how the lawsuit plays out” seems like an easy way to avoid doing their jobs. Fortunately, the valuation is on track, and I don’t think any particular legislators want to be called out for blocking progress when there’s a hard deadline in state law for the agreement being complete.

We’ll update soon with the text of the suit.

Comments

  1. Mike B says

    They’re grabbing for any last straws they can get Not many left for them these days.

    Personal favorite despriate anti transit is people calling transit a socialist plot to get people to stop driving, eventually leading to socalism. And Ive heard this many times, including a regular rider on my Sounder. Followed by ST and ST2 bashing, how he’ll never support them, and complaining they don’t have enough commuter train service.

  2. Nathan says

    Wow, what a bunch of bull.

    If we had lost ST2 election and TCC or somebody tried to go to court to reverse it somehow, can you imagine the “sore loser” complaints from this crowd? Just unbelievable.

  3. Jessica says

    My brother told me about this guy on the East Coast, goes by the name Reid Greenmun who makes John Niles look like nothing.

    He public called for the abolishment of my brother’s area transit agency on three separate occasions and he keeps on ranting on how it’s a TOD conspiracy. I could go on, but I think everyone gets the idea.

    Head to http://avengingarchangel.blogspot.com/ and search “Reid Greenmun”, “VBTA”, and “Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance”. Enjoy the bashing :D

  4. Chris Stefan says

    Hopefully the judge quickly throws the suit out, I’d hate to see this drag through the courts forever. Especially if the Legislature takes a “wait and see” attitude and uses the suit as an excuse to delay action.

  5. MarkS says

    What is this, “let’s sue and lose” #9 for Kemper Freeman? I thought right wing dinosaurs were against frivolous lawsuits?

    Even Michael Dunmire – Tim Eyman’s sugardaddy – is on there!

    My, how far Phil Talmadge has fallen….I heard he is their lawyer.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I used to go to elementary school with Talmadge’s daughter, I think I was even at his house once as a kid. It’s a little strange.

  6. AnthonyA says

    Fine. So if they manage to stop East Link, does that mean we could get a West Seattle to Ballard line instead?

    • says

      The sub-area equity policy won’t allow the East Link funds to be diverted to a Seattle line – unless they change the policy, which will never happen in my lifetime.

      Seems like Kemper Freeman and all his buddies have a self destructing bent. It’s likely East Link would bring even more people to Bellevue Square. Perhaps he doesn’t want more customers. And that’s not to mention the reduction of greenhouse gases East Link will foster, which helps us all, even it just a little.

      So much money is wasted on lawsuits like this. It’s so sad and hypocritical.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        It’s that he doesn’t want people who use transit at his mall. “Those people”. He’s pretty blatantly racist, he likes to use Southcenter as his example of the “kind of people” he doesn’t want.

      • Jessica says

        It’s very tempting to head to Westlake, Southcenter, Northgate (never been there), or even Tacoma Mall

        Even though I’m a hop, skip, and a 230 away from Belllevue Square.

        And I’m willing to bet that, if not for my wheelchair and that I take a bus or train everywhere, I would look exactly like the kind of customer Kemper would want (yes I’m being harsh, I know and yes I know: if he said that it would be a huge ADA lawsuit)

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        I’ve never quite understood why you don’t live in the city, actually. Do you have a house or something?

      • Jessica says

        Yes, I own a house: just me, myself, and I. I had it modified for accessibility when I first moved from an apartment in Renton a couple years ago

      • Steve says

        I never really noticed before, but Westlake, Southcenter and Northgate all have compass points in their names. Bellevue Square should really change its name to Easthaven.

      • says

        I don’t think that means he’s blatantly racist, or even subtly racist. He probably just wants to keep his mall upscale. That doesn’t make one a racist.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        No, he’s talking about black people and Latinos. He gives specific dress style examples as well.

      • Chris Stefan says

        Lets just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kemper Freeman Sr. was one of the people advocating very loudly for “doing something” about the local Japanese population after Pearl Harbor. He and his cohorts up and down the West Coast whipped up quite a panic. That’s how he got all of those strawberry fields that are now downtown Bellevue so cheap.

        Both Sr. and Jr. made a number of racist statements over the years since then and both have taken a number of actions to keep minorities out of the Eastside, particularly Bellevue. Now to be fair it would seem Kemper Freeman Jr. has moderated his views on Jews and Asians compared to his father. I think it has more to do with those groups having money and some power compared to the past combined with not being as scary to Protestant European-Americans as was the case 50 years ago.

      • heinousbitca says

        i point you to the classic comment Kemper made about “not wanting (racial perjorative for onekind of us brown folk) in Bellevue.”

      • Erik G. says

        “When you walk through the [Southcenter] mall, the way the customer dresses just to shop there — the light blue and pink hair curlers, the shoes that flop, flop, flop along — it’s a completely different customer.”

        -Kemper Freeman Jr., April 2005

      • Another Andrew says

        Though there may be underlying racism, one can merely infer from such a statement that Freeman is speaking of class differences. As a big league capitalist, I don’t think Freeman would have any reservations about Oprah or Cameron Diaz (to pick a wealthy black and hispanic at random) shopping at his establishments. The color he sees is green.

      • says

        Funny… Last time I went to Bellevue Square, I remember seeing a black “puffy” jacket on sale, as well as flip flops. The clerk was probably wondering why I was smiling and snickering…

        I don’t recall seeing pink or blue hair curlers, but maybe I was just in the wrong spot?

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      They can’t, and no, the money would still be reserved for the East King subarea.

    • lazarus says

      No. The sub-area equity policy would prohibit spending East King ST funds in the North King sub-area. East King funds must be spent in East King.

      Worst case? The lawsuit “might” potentially delay the start of East Link construction (however that is far from certain at this point). If so, I’d be in favor of at least starting construction of the non-bridge parts of East Link while costs are still small.

      The absolute worst thing that could happen then is that you end up with a functioning section of East Link on one side of the lake and a much larger part of the Link system on the west side. If that worst case situation was to develop, I’d say connect the two segments with BRT and put up a big sign calling it the Kemper/Niles BRT Connector – then wait for public pressure to force the issue. Things would change really fast.

      But I wouldn’t expect that to happen. This last ditch effort by the opponents of rail transit will fail, and fail relatively quickly. There’s not much to this lawsuit, and they are opening up a dangerous can of worms in regard to all the other funding and transpo issues. If the Feds get involved there could be real pressure by the State to make this problem go away, and go away fast.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        There’s no base in ST2 – we can’t run trains without the connection.

      • Pete Lorimer says

        Unless they took the money from the I-90 portion and used it to completed Segment E (Redmond), which has a maintenance facility (MF5)near Marymoor Park.

      • lazarus says

        Exactly. And I thought there was a study option for a base in D too (TBV, I don’t have time to look it up now).

        Bottom line: If they delay the bridge segment via lawsuits, we still should start E Link construction to force the issue — one way or another.

        And starting E Link construction now would save money even if the eventual start of opps gets delayed a year or two by “stuff” like this.

      • Pete Lorimer says

        Ah yes, I missed the ones in Segment D. There are 3 options there (depending on the routing taken): West of the BNFS tracks at NE 16th St, East of BNFS at the same location, and North of Northup Way at 132nd NE.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        Honestly? Without A, there’s no point in building the rest. The ridership would be absolutely abysmal.

      • Pete Lorimer says

        While I don’t think it would be a good idea to have a disconnected system, the point was that technically is could work. such being that if I-90 gets held up in court for any length of time it shouldn’t stop construction on the rest of the alignment. Those who would like to stop Light Rail all together would argue that as long as I-90 is being contested there should be no progress made on the East Link. Since the consensus seems fairly certain that this suit is going nowhere, the argument for not stopping planning, ROW acquisition or construction, is that the system could stand on it’s own if need be until connected at a later date – not that it should.

      • Chris Stefan says

        The eventual plan for when and if the Homer Hadley needs replacement is indeed to have East Link become an isolated line serving the Eastside. It is expected that by that time East Link will have a maintenance and train storage yard somewhere in Bellevue or Redmond (MF5 seems the most likely site as that is where most of the cities and residents want it and it also happens to be the cheapest site.)

        I don’t think we should be planning to run East Link as a separate system in the near term (though it is useful to have that capability in case of a disruption of the Lake Washington crossing). However it is a useful gambit in order to prevent using the lawsuit as an excuse to further stall any work on the line.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        What? The plan for when Homer Hadley needs replacement is to build a new rail bridge and float it into place with minimal downtime. :) Like, a few weeks at most.

      • Chris Stefan says

        That may be true but it was something I remember being called out in the documents studying the feasibility of running rail across I-90. I suspect eventually an Eastside O&M base for Link will be needed. Once one is built it means East Link can run shortened service if for any reason the segment over the I-90 bridge needs to be closed for any reason (windstorm, maintenance, bridge replacement).

    • Mike Orr says

      At worst we’ll get more RapidRide buses on the eastside. In the middle, we might get a disconnected Eastside train with buses over the bridge. There’s a physical issue too, in that everybody is assuming the trains will work on a floating bridge, but it’s never been tried before. At best, we’ll get the fully connected Link system we voted for.

      • lazarus says

        The trains will work just fine on the bridge — ST has the test data in hand. The bridge is a non-issue.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        Yeah, please cut it out with the “no one knows!” stuff. There are plenty of other bridges that flex much more than I-90 does and have trains running on them. The study work hasn’t identified any blocking issues.

      • Kenneth Parker says

        At this point, you need to fund a research study and find flaws with Civil engineering standards. Go get out of your check book find a sympathetic professor of transportation engineering. If they find a blocking issue, everyone will thank you. Until then no one should take you seriously.

        FYI, your chance of being correct is close to

      • Gary says

        And trains fall off of bridges all the time too. I’m not saying that it won’t work, just that there are NO floating bridges with trains on them. And that floating bridges have a finite lifespan and part of the wear of a bridge is the flexing from heavy traffic. And that in order to keep this one floating they have to remove 3″ of surface concrete from the rail section.

      • Pete Lorimer says

        I’m not saying that it won’t work, just that there are NO floating bridges with trains on them.

        Seeing as the State of Washington has a near monopoly on floating bridges in the world the fact that the application of rail to this specific type of bridge hasn’t happened yet shouldn’t be a surprise, but that also shouldn’t make it a concern. All bridges have expansion joints. All bridges have lateral and vertical movement. All bridges are designed to handle dynamic loading (that is, moving vs. stationary weight).

        Nearly every large structure built (skyscrapers, bridges, towers) is a one-of-a-kind design, often employing some design innovations or new approach that had never been used before. If you truly are afraid of the “never been done before” and don’t have faith in our engineers abilities to raise to the occasion, then I suggest you stay out of any building over 30 stories in height.

      • Gary says

        I’m just noticing that this state has a “great” record when it comes to bridges.

        Tacoma Narrows…
        Hood Canal
        I-90
        …. Yeah, the best civil engineering there is.

  7. Jeff says

    Their legal argument is bogus. Article II Sec. 40 of the state constitution merely directs gas tax money into a highway fund, and directs the highway fund to only be used for highway purposes. It does not say “once money is spent on a highway, none of that highway shall ever be converted to mass transit.”

    The state was probably even acting constitutionally back in the 70s. Even if those lanes of I-90 were originally intended to be used for mass transit eventually, the state spent its funds for highway purposes initially. Again, the constitution does not limit “highway purposes” to permanent highway. There’s nothing unconstitutional about spending highway money on a temporary highway.

    Imagine if the state spent gas tax money in 1950 to buy right of way for a new county road in a rural area. Over the years the rural area evolves from farmland to suburbia. In 2009, the county decides the road should be rerouted to accommodate development. Would anyone argue that the road cannot be moved from its present location because gas tax money was spent for that particular right of way?

    The argument that any land purchased with gas tax money is limited to highway use in perpetuity is patently absurd.

      • Jeff says

        It doesn’t define “highway,” but it does lay out specifically what “highway purposes” means, i.e. what the money can be spent on. It includes county and city roads.

        Art. II, Sec. 40:

        Such highway purposes shall be construed to include the following:
        (a) The necessary operating, engineering and legal expenses connected with the administration of public highways, county roads and city streets;
        (b) The construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, county roads, bridges and city streets; including the cost and expense of (1) acquisition of rights-of-way, (2) installing, maintaining and operating traffic signs and signal lights, (3) policing by the state of public highways, (4) operation of movable span bridges, (5) operation of ferries which are a part of any public highway, county road, or city street;
        (c) The payment or refunding of any obligation of the State of Washington, or any political subdivision thereof, for which any of the revenues described in section 1 may have been legally pledged prior to the effective date of this act;
        (d) Refunds authorized by law for taxes paid on motor vehicle fuels;
        (e) The cost of collection of any revenues described in this section

      • Zed says

        Sounds like ST is in the clear.

        “(b) The construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, county roads, bridges and city streets”

        The law lists bridges separately and it doesn’t stipulate that bridges constructed with the funds have to be used solely for automobiles.

      • Pete Lorimer says

        If a Washington State Ferry is considered part of the State Highway System, is it possible that a train could be so construed as well? Granted all the ferries used to carry cars, but that is no longer the case, and there are passenger only ferries that are part of the system.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        I think the passenger only ferries aren’t allowed to be paid for with gas taxes.

  8. Zed says

    It’s amazing how much of their own money these old rich farts are willing to part with to fight the public will. I couldn’t imagine ever having an ego as big as theirs. Kemper Freeman is a real piece of work.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I really enjoy that they waste all this money and time on things that can’t go anywhere. They can only be in so many places at once, and it makes our job easier when they waste their time.

  9. An Observer says

    Simple. The state paid for less than 10% of the Bridge. 8 lanes. So they built less than one lane. The (partial) lane they paid for was dedicated to automobile use. The feds paid for the rest, including the 2 lanes that were dedicated to transit. Where’s the problem?

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I don’t know if you can really split it that way – that argument didn’t seem to come up in any of the previous discussions, and it’s so obvious I’m sure they have a reason.

  10. Daniel says

    This should be thrown out, federal dollars put it towards transit. Federal authority is above state authority in certain cases but since the feds paid for it, then they have a say in it. Can they really even value the lanes to sell to ST because if it is owned by the feds, why should ST pay the state?

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      This was in my earlier post – the state can charge ST for part of it, probably, representative of their share.

  11. Galen says

    I hope those anti-transit people lose and get lost. Kemper Freeman really needs to shut up and focus on his own projects. I can’t wait until many old generation anti transit people die off and we won’t have to deal with them anymore.

    • Patrick says

      What Freeman doesn’t understand is that much of the younger generation that may someday may use at his stores/development are also pro-transit. He obviously only cares about right now (and about people only using cars.)

      I would love to see the look on his face when people leave his stores/development (although he may try to bar people that use light rail from entering his stores/development) or the higher end stores at Northgate on Link.

      • poncho says

        i’d love to see some numbers and polling about transit support by age. it seems just about everyone under 35 loves it and just about everyone over 55 hates it. clearly this has something to do with when people were growing up. all the geezers were in the height of car worshipping autopia when bobby and peggy sue would go to the drive in theater then to the drive in diner and talk about the fuel injectors then motor out to the new mall on the outskirts of town. most of us younger people grew up in isolated auto-centric areas where you were shit out of luck without a car and couldnt walk or bike anywhere, so yeah the once hourly bus was freedom.

      • says

        That sort of ties in to a theory I’ve had for a while.

        My mom started driving in the 1960s, when I-5 was about to open. I started driving in the mid-late 80s, when our traffic on I-5 had started to get really, really bad.

        Wherever she goes in town, her first impulse is always “Get on the freeway.” When I lived in the U-District, she would get on the freeway at Lake City Way, then back off again at the next exit — 50th, if she wanted to visit me. (At the time I lived at roughly 8th and 50th.) Once we were very, very late going somewhere because she did this, and the one mile or so drive took about 20 minutes because of a big traffic jam! I asked her why she would bother getting on the freeway at all for that short distance, and she had no answer.

        I, on the other hand, tend to avoid I-5 for most drives, unless I know it’s going to be wide-open.

        I have always thought that our different habits have to do with when we first started driving. When she started, I-5 was new and empty, and the “solution” to the existing traffic on 99 and city streets. So her habit became to take I-5 anywhere.

        By the time I started driving, I-5 had gotten ugly (and it’s worse now), and I learned that getting on I-5 would often lead to getting stuck, unable to easily take an alternate route because of the limited access. So my habit is to avoid that possibility in any way possible.

        So, I think you are on the right track for why younger people are often more supportive of transit. It has a lot to do with early experiences.

      • poncho says

        i assume you take the bus, but would your parents also use the bus to get around? most likely not, would be my guess. (and by ‘you’ i’m mostly thinking of the STB reader at large)

        i think our parents generation looks much less favorably on transit especially buses as a way to get around. and many of them wouldnt even think of riding the bus.

        and certainly seattle has a transit system where there is much less stigma about riding the bus than most cities. a lot, i truely but unfortunately think has to do with race considering the seattle region is on the whole quite white (and tolerant esp. within the city) compared to, say, a major southern city like atlanta or houston. this racial thing also ties into downtown ‘street oriented’ shopping districts, i.e. they still exist where you have for the most part either a homogenious or tolerant population. afterall downtown ‘non-mall focused’ shopping is mostly about traveling by transit and walking in true public space, both of which are shared with other people including a varying number of people not like “me”. most cities in the US have lost their downtown shopping to ultra-privated malls with owners exerting hyper control over tenants and the appearance of the mall and have anal security guards that closely watch and follow on CCTV anyone who doesnt fit their target demographic and whom enforce overreaching rules. trying taking a couple photos inside the main corridor of a mall or even that of an outdoor mall, youll have some douchebag security guard screaming at you from the other side of the mall. as you might guess, i avoid malls especially suburban ones more than deadly diseases.

      • Lloyd says

        Careful with the generalizations about those of us with hair starting to turn grey. The clever among us know that at most we’ll be driving another 10-15 years, and as reactions slow and traffic worsens, despite Link, we’ll be spending less and less time in autos. At 61 I’m down to about 3000 miles/year in my (1991) car. We KNOW that if we wish to continue to live in the vibrant surroundings of a city as opposed to some exurban “rest home” we’ll be using transit. We already do use it and will continue to vote for it and for those politicians who support it. And we vote in most or all elections, a habit I’d encourage among those 40 years my junior.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      Sorry, but at this point, if you’re against Sound Transit, you either have a crazy bone to pick, or you’re anti-transit. Generally the first one makes you pretty useless as a transit advocate anyway.

      • Tim Whittome says

        I agree with Ben – as far as I am concerned, if you are against Sound Transit, you are against transit period the end and have no interest in seeing mass transit succeed.

        John, I was down at the bus tunnel tonight and it was a sheer delight to see trains rumbling through and dozens of people waiting at the platforms. People seem to like Link and they are adapting well to it. The tunnel has a new energy to it that it lacked before and the slick trains are a major part of this. Folks enjoy being in the tunnel and seem to enjoy taking the train. The buses occasionally stack up behind the trains but it is like queuing up for take off on a runway as I said to my bus driver and he agreed.

        These trains will work for Seattle and this lawsuit of Kemper and co. is a sheer waste of time and just money for lawyers. The State will presumably have to defend itself and that just wastes public money. As I have said in posts before, it is inefficient to use demoracy as a stick with which to campaign against a decision. If you are gainst East Link period, then fine, admit it but you lost that argument last November. Don’t then try and win your case by then campaigning against the decision piecemeal and trying to win piecemeal, because the end result of that, will be that we end up sabotaging the whole of the East Link line which would be counter to the will of the voters as defined last November.

      • Gary says

        That argument is as nutty as saying “if you are against going to war in Afghanistan, you are against the USA.” the policies of a government agency, ST, do not represent the whole of the transportation problems and solutions. Reasonable people may come to differing conclusions about the trade offs between spending money on one system vs another.

    • says

      Some of us opposing Sound Transit’s on-going, voter-approved, and taxpayer-funded light rail construction are expanding upon a point first made by serious academic analysts at Harvard University like the late Professor John Kain, recognized as a founder of transportation economics.

      An appreciation of Professor Kain’s work is hot-linked in the new NY Times critique of high speed rail from Harvard professor Edward Glaeser.

      The coverage of John “bus good, train bad” Kain is here on the Harvard web.

      I quoted Kain in my 2003 critique of the FTA-approved but deceptive New Starts evaluation of the Link Initial Segment, an essay available at http://www.bettertransport.info/pitf/newstarts.htm .

      • Chris Stefan says

        You call Sound Transit’s application for FTA grants for Central Link “deceptive”. How so? I’ve read your accusations, but if they were true how come every transit agency applying for FTA grants doesn’t “cook the books” to make their projects look better? Surely if the FTA process is so easily gamed Sound Transit wouldn’t be the only agency doing it? Yet all one has to do is look through the FTA records of decision to find plenty of projects that received a “Not Recommended” rating.

        Even if we are to assume Sound Transit and every other project submitted to the FTA had doctored numbers it would still indicate the merit of Central Link, U-Link, and Airport Link compared to those other projects. Since one has to assume the “cooked books” would not be a factor in comparing one project to another if everyone is doing it.

      • Erik G. says

        Since he hired Henry Louis Gates Jr. he must be right on all his beliefs and theories.

        Trust me, bozos from Harvard often have no clue about the real world, despite what their slide-rules tell them.

        And I challenge anyone to tell me that the MBTA Red Line extension to Alewife, which Kain fought, has been a failure. In fact the Red Line should have been extended out to Route 128 or even I-495.

      • Erik G. says

        I will also add that a book written in 1961 about transport, pre-OPEC, pre-Yom Kippur War, pre-fall of Detroit, pre-fall of the Shah, pre-melting of Glaciers, pre-collapse of the Penn Central, pre-fall of Berlin Wall, and only five years after the signing of the Interstate and Defense Highway Act…

        …is in serious need of an update.

      • Mark says

        Huh, Erik? Update? Why, that would change the outcome of this important “work,” wouldn’t it?

        All of John Niles’ heroes and their “research” come from the Interstate Era. Aside from all the loony Libertarians he collaborates with now…and all they crank out is simple junk science, paid for by right wing think tanks which are funded by, noneother than, Kemper Freeman!

        The perfect circle.

  12. Patrick says

    Tim that might not be the case sound transit is basically a paper organization and to say that if your against sound transit your against transit altogether is ignorant. To be quiet honest I am somewhat against sound transit because of that fact on the other hand I strongly support Metro, Community transit and pierce transit and the work they are doing.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      The problem is, the three agencies you support aren’t doing the right work. This whole mess we’re in is because we’re trying to support a city with only buses. There’s a reason other cities have built rail!

      What exactly makes you ‘against’ sound transit?

      • Patrick says

        I’m not saying that I am completely against sound transit. I just feel that especially with the ST express buses routes that they can be run be Metro, Community transit or Pierce transit which they were from what I understand prior to the creation of ST. They are still operated by Metro, Community transit (although they contract out there routes to First transit) or Pierce transit though a contracted by Sound transit to run those routes which is where the issue is: more government. The government is spending money on contracts. That wasn’t spending on prior to the creation of Sound Transit on these bus routes. Its the same with Link/Metro, and Sounder/Amtrak. Now I am not say dismantle sound transit because that could be vary dangerous since they collect 0.9% sales tax.

    • Tim Whittome says

      I would hardly describe Sound Transit as a ‘paper organization’!! It has an office (Union Station), lots of employees (and many more trying to get in) and regional committments (buses, Sounder trains and Link).

      Now I understand that ST took over some popular buses from Metro and Pierce Transit and Community Transit, but the act of doing that made thousands of additional bus hours available for the other agencies to use elsewhere.

      ST is a regional agency and its purpose and mandate is to look at regional solutions to regional problems. Its agenda was approved by the voters in 1996 and reapproved last November. It has a multi-year mission to explore brave new solutions to decades old problems and issues. To complain as some do that they don’t add enough buses into their mix of solutions is to ignore the fact that buses are often local solutions to local problems whereas Sound Transit is regional. As an agency it isn’t especially interested in whether it can move someone quicker from Queen Anne Hill to say, the University District, but it is interested in moving people over longer distances such as from Redmond or Bellevue or Seattle and over these distances, rail rules hands down.

      These are real non paper solutions to real non paper problems!

      • Gary says

        You are confusing a dedicated right of way with modes of transportation. It’s a mistake that’s made on this BLOG often.

        Rail in a dedicated right of way will be faster than buses in general traffic. Buses in a dedicated right of way will be faster than rail in the street.

      • Erik G. says

        I challenge you to ride the Orange Line in San Fernando Valley and still agree with your thesis.

      • Chris Stefan says

        I think it is valuable to look at what ST Express service offers compared to what it replaced.

        For example CT had been running weekday peak service to Seattle from Snohomish County for years, with a very small amount of all-day and weekend service. The ST Express buses between Snohomish County and King County serve more than just Downtown Seattle and offer frequent all-day service as well as service on the weekends.

        Another example would be the “Tacoma Express” buses to/from Pierce County. These had been discussed for years before Pierce Transit was finally able to start the service. While the Tacoma Express routes were all-day from early on the service frequency was still greatly improved when ST took over the service. Sound Transit also served more locations in both Pierce and King Counties than the old PT service had.

        Metro has never been terribly interested in running buses outside of King County nor were they terribly interested in cost sharing of inter-county routes with CT or PT. I believe this is in part why the Tacoma Express service took so long to get started.

        I seriously doubt there would be the level of regional bus service we see today without Sound Transit. That said I would still like to see better co-operation between the various local transit agencies. There are a number of places where running a bus route in partnership with an adjoining agency would provide better service for riders and quite likely save both agencies money. For example while Everett Transit and CT have co-operated on SWIFT it really should be combined with the Aurora RapidRide and run as a seamless BRT line all the way from Everett to Seattle.

      • Elbar says

        YES! With SWIFT scheduled to start service between Everett and the Aurora Transit Center, something more ‘Express’ than the 358 to downtown Seattle is needed NOW!

      • Patrick says

        Isn’t it true that most (key word here “most” I understand that does have physical facilities and personal) of the work that Sound transit does is contracted to other agencies. Contracts = Paper. Metro, Pierce Transit and Community transit are being contracted to operate the ST express routes these route. Why are we wasting money on these contracts. Why can’t the said transit agencies take over the taxes that ST collects and avoid contracts that I feel are pointless and a waste of money.

        I want to make it clear that the work that is being done on Link and sounder is critical and nothing not should stand in its way of being completed on time or early. If reorganization were to take place it should NOT interfere or delay the completion of these projects in any way. We could save money though if some of the parts of these agencies were merged.

  13. Marge says

    This lawsuit is nothing but a delay mechanism that will drive up costs. The cast includes the last remnants of the state’s highway blinder crowd.

    The cast from the Washington Policy Center (funded by Freeman) is especially obnoxious. Most all they do is complain about the high cost of transportation projects parrot spinning performances of their ultra conservative DC counterparts.

    The fact that one of the state’s biggest asphalt suppliers – from Yakima – has signed up is another clue about where this gang is coming from. Oh, and Tim Eyman’s major benefactor is on the list too. The Eastside Transportation Association is mis-named. It is a Highway association.

    This crowd has already wasted millions of our tax dollars and seems determined to waste millions more. Hopefully the court will see the light and throw this frivolous piece of costly politics out the door tomorrow.

  14. Chris Stefan says

    One other possible reason for a lawsuit is turning the I-90 center lanes over to East Link will be precedent setting. I believe it is the first time lanes on a limited access highway have been converted to rail in the US. The fact that this is a major Federally funded interstate makes it even more symbolic.

    Expect every anti-rail and pro-road group nationwide to get involved somehow if the judge doesn’t just toss the lawsuit out of court (which might very well happen even with former State Supreme Court Justice Talmadge as Kemper’s attorney).

  15. says

    Boy, there are some blithering idiot readers on the Seattle Times, saying “I-90 wasn’t meant for light rail! Bus rapid transit is much cheaper and more efficient!” Well, as you all know, funding for I-90 conversion to fixed guideway was an easy one to debunk. And I pulled up an old posting from Horse’s Ass about this matter. Will states: “People who like Bus Rapid Transit are people who never ride the bus. BRT is cheaper because, almost all of the time, it sucks.” The title is great too: “Phil Talmadge doesn’t ride the bus”

  16. says

    Ben S earlier on this Blog has already nailed down the reasons why cross-Lake light rail has been planned for over a decade to be on I-90 instead of SR 520.

    The new SR 520 bridge is going to be traversed by express buses in an HOV lane, just like HOV Center Roadway of the I-90 bridge is used now.

    On the topic of this thread, I’ve posted a PDF image copy of the recent 17 page petition to the State Supreme Court about I-90 light rail filed by ETA and nine individuals. It’s a half meg scan pdf in the PITF Resource Links at http://www.bettertransport.info/pitf/resourcelinks.htm .

    • Zed says

      There’s a typo in the petition. The Homer M. Hadley bridge is referred to as the Hadley M. Hadley bridge.

      I don’t see anything in Amendment 18 that prohibits the sale or lease of ROW built or acquired with Motor Vehicle Fund dollars. The amendment does not specify that bridges built with Motor Vehicle Fund dollars are for the soul use of motor vehicles.

      • Erik G. says

        Then that’s grounds for a dismissal!

        And I suggest a contempt of court charge for them all with jail time.

        Don’t you go dissing the Hadleys!

      • Zed says

        I’m sure Mr. Hadley, a brilliant engineer, would be rolling in his grave if he knew that people thought it was too big of an engineering challenge to build light rail on the I-90 bridge.

  17. Jennifer says

    Until this is resolved in Sound Transit’s favor, I’ve spent my last dime at Bellevue/Lincoln Square.

      • Mad Park says

        And Pacific Place, and the Downtown Nordstrom and Macys’ too, and all the hundreds of other good stores in Downtown Seattle! Plus the museums and galleries, Benaroya, the Pike Place Market and on and on. Not a Disneyland/Las Vegas artificial city – Downtown Seattle – the real deal.

    • heinousbitca says

      given KF’s statements on people who look like me, i’ve been on that bandwagon for *years*.

    • Erik G. says

      “When you walk through the [Southcenter] mall, the way the customer dresses just to shop there — the light blue and pink hair curlers, the shoes that flop, flop, flop along — it’s a completely different customer.”

      -Kemper Freeman Jr., April 2005

      I know I already posted this, but it needs to be put on every bus and train in the Puget Sound Region

    • Scott Stidell says

      I decided that back in the early ’80’s when I started becoming a transit nerd…one of the first things I learned was what an obstructionist piece of work Freeman was. Finding out more about him and his father just confirmed my decision not to bother leaving any of my money there.

      Since that was about the time I got my first driver’s license, I’ve never actually shopped there–nor am I ever likely to.

  18. heinousbitca says

    it worked like a charm on the Hood Canal bridge! they finished well under budget and ahead of schedule, too. they did a great, great job.

  19. Patrick says

    Isn’t it true that most (key word “most” I understand that ST does have physical facilities and Personal) of the work that Sound transit does is contracted out to other agencies. Contracts = Paper. What I am saying is that If Metro Pierce Transit and Community transit are are running ST routes why can’t said agencies run those routes without being contracted to. Those contracts are costing all the agencies money with Lawyers, accounts etc which could be spent else where.

    Now I not saying what sound transit is doing is not important. In fact it is critical and nothing should get in the way of work that is being done on Link and Sounder. I feel that is some parts of are Transit aganies were merged and tax dollars were redistributed to other Transit agencies only we could save money.

    • Zed says

      Sound Transit was directed by the public in 1996 to take over the responsibility of long-distance express buses. This freed up money for the other agencies to focus on local transit. For the time being it is more economical for ST to contract the other agencies to operate the routes and maintain the buses. ST simply doesn’t have the capital to build bus bases all over the region, and it would be a waste anyways since Metro, CT and PT already have the facilities.

      And I wouldn’t say that most of what ST does is contracted out to other transit agencies, because the vast majority of their budget is spent on capital projects like Link, Sounder, new park and rides, and HOV access projects.

      • Patrick says

        Does ST have engineers and designers on staff or is most of there work contracted out to private Engineering/design firms? (That is actually a question I have wondered some time now) But when the projects are completed who maintains them?

        By the way comment was suppose to be a reply to an earlier comment. But there was an error with the page when I posted it and this is where it ended up. I thought that it did go though so I re posted without checking if it went though earlier sorry. It would be nice if that second post could be deleted.

    • Matt says

      It does seem true that pretty much all of the express bus routes could be done by Metro, CT, and PT. Such bus routes used to exist; i.e., one used to be able to see Pierce Transit buses in downtown Seattle. However, in 1996, the voters decided that it would be better to have a new agency take over all of that.

    • Chris Stefan says

      The tax money collected by the various area agencies (Sound Transit, King County Metro, Pierce Transit, Community Transit, and Everett Transit) is not fungible, meaning it can’t just be arbitrarily moved around for services wherever. Each tax has a particular authority and mandate attached to it. Sound Transit may contract out operation of their services it makes them no more of a “paper agency” than Community Transit is by contracting with First Transit.

      While Sound Transit does not currently own any bus bases, it does own park and ride lots, the DSTT, buses, the Link ROW and track, Link stations, Link O&M base, Sounder locomotives and cars, and Sounder Stations. I believe Sound Transit also owns some Sounder storage tracks/yard but I’m not sure.

      I believe the bulk of the Sound Transit staff are involved with managing the capital building program which accounts for the majority of Sound Transit’s expenses (this is mostly for building link though some facilities for Sounder, P&R lots, and HOV lanes and ramps are included as well).

      I suspect the cost of administering the contracts for operating ST Express services both on the Sound Transit side and the local agency side is dwarfed by the operating costs. Without Sound Transit these regional bus routes would cease to exist. In fact Sound Transit is helping the local agencies by covering some of their overhead and even by paying for some of the parallel service that operates in the same corridors as ST Express services.

      • Jessica says

        ST does directly own/operate the Tacoma Link (as opposed to it being contracted to say Pierce Transit)

  20. Erik G. says

    On point 2.9 of the lawsuit…

    …remind me, are full length 18-wheelers allowed in the I-90 express lanes?

    Can they get off/on at Mercer Island using the Express Lane ramps?

    If not, then those lanes which will be converted to Light Rail (notice my optomism) are not transporting any freight today.

  21. Erik G. says

    Royer wanted to send I-90 back to the drawing board. He said it was too expensive yet too limited in scope – particularly in planning for rapid transit.

    He persuaded Brock Adams, who had represented Seattle in Congress and was then President Carter’s secretary of transportation, to delay federal approval of the environmental-impact statement.

    In August 1978, Royer presented an alternative that was basically what all governments had rejected in 1975: some safety improvements to the existing road and the old floating bridge, plus two separate lanes across the lake for transit. Royer’s plan also assumed that the $900 million in federal funds saved could then be spread around the Puget Sound region to improve transportation in other ways.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930909&slug=1720198

  22. Erik G. says

    Completion of the new floating bridge is expected later this year. When that’s done, another six months of work will be needed to complete work on the HOV lanes across the lake. The whole project – new highways, new floating bridges and exit ramps – should be finished by the fall of 1994, said project engineer Ron Erikson.

    Erikson said a light-rail system could be built into the middle lane if voters approve a new transportation system. He said the roadway was designed so the rail could be placed next to traffic lanes.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930211&slug=1684979

  23. Erik G. says

    Before Evergreen Point traffic just stops dead and mummifies, the state either must divert many more people into high-capacity vehicles, preferably on another cross-lake corridor or build more lanes across the lake. Eventually, officials acknowledge, it will have to do both.

    But for this decade, only the first alternative is in the works. Leon Skiles, Metro’s capital projects coordinator, says the Metro Council has directed that “something” – either light rail or a transitway – be constructed by 2000 across I-90, with routes leading from Redmond and Kirkland. (A transitway differs from today’s diamond lanes in that it’s physically separated from general traffic.)

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19900725&slug=1084144

  24. Erik G. says

    The lawsuit is depending on Case Law which is mostly from before 1969. I wish them well with that tactic.

    Also, “sound transit” is usually capitalized.

  25. eddiew says

    note the ST graphic. it has buses with the ST wave livery in the westbound HOV lane. in the integration plans, the two ST routes that cross I-90 today would be restructued and would not use the bridge. Route 550 would be replaced by East Link; Route 554 would terminate on Mercer Island. the bus routes remaining on the I-90 bridge would be Metro peak-only routes serving Eastgate, Issaquah, Issaquah Highland, Sammamish, and North Bend.

    • Martin H. Duke says

      It would certainly make sense to get rid of the 554, but we’ll see if that plan survives contact with irate people in Issaquah who want to keep their one-seat ride.

      • Zed says

        Once East Link is built it would make sense to terminate the 554 at Mercer Island or South Bellevue P&R, not eliminate it. The 554 is the only bus that provides non-peak service on the I-90 corridor.

  26. says

    I’m trying to put myself in Kemper Freeman’s shoes. I want to see things from his side, but I’m not really getting a good idea from this blog as to why he takes the position he’s talking. I’m just reading a lot of ridiculous comments saying he doesn’t want minorities in his mall.

    Can someone please play devil’s advocate, and give a thoughtful presentation of his side of the story?

      • Jessica says

        What a load of rubbish! Bye-bye Bellevue Square! Hello anything else!

        (Rhetorical Question) Regulars on here who know me: when’s the next time I’m going to drive anywhere?

      • says

        He’s egregiously distorting facts. That 40k figure (actually closer to 50k) projection is for the East Link corridor only, and he’s comparing it to the 14 million daily person trips projected for the entire region.

      • Chris Stefan says

        IIRC the projected number for the entire Link system in 2030 with all ST2 extensions built is at least 200k and again that is only for 3 corridors, to compare apples to apples you have to compare Link to driving trips in the same corridors.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        I suspect it’ll be closer to 300k, depending on development in the corridors in the meantime.

      • says

        Chris Stefan, you miss a key point.

        A number of the Sound Transit critics I know think it’s important to compare what ST is achieving with light rail in three corridors with what the same tens of billions of dollars could do to improve mobility with different transit investments all over the region.

        This is a key point in the criticism — the shame of how much money is being spent by Sound Transit for so little result on the ground. People are cheering over a stinking 12,000 boardings per day on light rail after 13 years, maybe getting to 45,000 after another ten years.

        For the money spent on Link Initial Segment, hundreds of additional buses could have been deployed all over the region.

        Instead we now have minutes of empty space in the DSTT while a few buses and a few trains wait to stay out of the way of each other.

        What a waste.

      • says

        Why invest in buses that we know are unreliable, depreciate faster than rail transit, and are susceptible to automobile congestion? The suggested investment is a short-term one compared to rail.

      • Regular Rider says

        Yes, John, we could’ve deployed “hundreds of additional buses all over the region” for the cost of the initial Link segment, but where would the money have come from?

        There is no way, except perhaps in CETA/ETA fantasy land, that the region’s voters would have taxed themselves so highly and still have only buses for public transit! More buses stuck in traffic. Oh, yes, we could commandeer some lanes here and there for buses or HOVs, but no way could such a system match the speed, convenience, and reliability of rail transit.

        What you’re really saying is scatter tiny transit improvements all over the region. Maybe make my 30-minute trip downtown on Rt. 36, get that down to 27 minutes. Yeah, and cut the headways from 10 minutes to 8 — a platoon of buses really gets you…well, I don’t know what. Sorry, John, but I prefer peddling my bike for a mile or so to the Beacon Hill Link station and getting my 12 minute ride to work on Link.

        Yeah, belittle those 12,000 daily boardings during the first week of Link light rail service on the first 14 miles of line. I wonder what the daily use was on the first 14 miles of I-5 when it opened 45 years ago. Possibly there were critics like you who laughed at the low usage (and most of it merely trips displaced from Aurora and Roosevelt Way!) but I expect they kept quiet for fear of appearing silly.

      • Chris Stefan says

        Wow, I looked up the “End Gridlock Now” PowerPoint. What a freeway heavy load of hogwash. There is no way in hell all of those projects can be done for only $22 billion. To give you an idea of how out in fantasy land Kemper and his “pave the earth” pals are: they estimate widening I-5 by 4 lanes between S. 200th and Northgate will cost only $3.1 billion! Hell just adding 4 lanes across the ship canal would likely cost at least half that.

        By the way I keep hearing nonsense about widening I-5 through Seattle by various people. Where does anyone get the idea this is either practical or affordable?

      • says

        Not to mention the fatally flawed modeling approach that has NO feedback loops that regenerates the projected 2020 trip counts based on those improvements. They say it’s a good thing to have more people driving but ignoring that important step of the modeling process calls their integrity and numbers into question.

      • Jim Cusick says

        I might just have to print out the End Gridlock Now brochure!

        Just from looking at the figures used for I-405, I’d say the numbers are based on, in this presentation, close to the same numbers we looked at on the I-405 Corridor Program.

        The $4bil is the ‘Budget’ dollar amount for just the GP lane improvements. (CEVP put the overall YOE cost at $7bil)

        The only thing missing is the C/B analysis.

        Lets say for sake of argument, the End Gridlock Plan does exactly what it says, that by the time construction is completed (and if we pretend we applied the CEVP to the overall $22bil figure, at the same percentages, saying it cost roughly $35bil in YOE dollars), and that congestion is eliminated…

        HOW LONG DOES THAT LAST?

        Once the lanes start filling up, when do we have to build more?

        This plan needs to be run through a C/B analysis, at the very least.

        Jim

      • Mark says

        Wow. That was certainly “thoughtful.”

        Only commies and terrorists like public transit.

        One person per car = mom, apple pie, God and freedom.

        Sounds reasonable. I can see why John Niles would want to take Kemper’s money. He is “pro-transit” afterall.

        I like Kemper’s example of getting diapers at 11pm. As if public transit would ever want to compete for these trips!

        “Free mobility?” When was the last time Kemper or any of his retiree cronies hit the roads at rush hour? Or, lunch hour in Bellevue??? What’s Kemper gonna do, widen downtown Bellevue streets? Put another lane on those commie guvmint-mandated sidewalks he fought back in the 80’s?

        Anybody who tries to defend this garbage has some real guts!

    • says

      Kemper Development Corporation filed comments in response to the East Link Draft Environmental Impact Statement last February. These comments provide insight into the stance of this firm vis a vis the proposed cross-Lake light rail line.

      The KDC comments (a pdf of 7 megs) are hot linked a few paragraphs down one of the pages of the Public Interest Transportation Forum at http://www.bettertransport.info/pitf/eastlinkEISalternatives.htm. (Capitalization matters in this URL.)

      Comments from Eastside Transportation Association – another of the initiators of the subject legal action — are also available on the same PITF page, as well as a selected few of the other comments filed. For example, the comments of King County Metro and the Federal Highway Administration are provided.

      All the comments filed are available on a CD from Sound Transit.

      • Zed says

        Do you have any concrete examples of projects that PITF, CETA or ETA have implemented that have improved transportation in the Puget Sound area? You guys seem to have all the answers, why haven’t you formulated a plan and submitted it to the voters? How come there has been no initiative to plan and fund a BRT demonstration line? At least Dick Flakenbury got out of his cab long enough to do something more substantive than write endless opinion pieces.

      • says

        Associations like CETA, ETA, and TCC participate in transportation planning by discussing, writing, and occasionally making oral presentations at meetings or on TV/radio.

        Web sites like PITF, effectivetransportation.org, and Seattle Transit Blog disseminate information.

        None of these associations and web sites “have all the answers.”

        When a government organization like Sound Transit collects one and now two million dollars per day to plan, promote, and build a passenger railroad network, it’s not reasonable for citizen volunteers to “plan and fund a BRT demonstration line.”

        Besides, there are already two tax-funded transit agencies in the region planning, funding, and setting up BRT operations. Even ST’s Regional Express and Metro’s frequent service routes are very near to what PITF and CETA would like to see more of.

        The U.S. Government has published an interesting guide to citizen participation in transportation planning, at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning//ppasgpi.htm. Some of us follow the precepts in that guide.

      • Zed says

        I know what the organizations do, they’re the transit equivalent of movie critics, what I wanted was some concrete examples of your work that has led to improvements in transportation in the area.

        Citizen volunteers created the SMP, why can’t the collective brain trust of ETA, CETA and the Dinosaur Institute create a plan to bring to the voters to implement your ideas? Or is it just easier to be a critic because you know your ideas will never be put to the test?

      • Jeffrey CapHill says

        So in other words, John, those organizations simply exist to oppose and naysay, instead of providing real solutions to the area’s transportation network.

      • Jeremy says

        It’s not surprising Niles (representing all those shell organizations you list) avoids any specific proposals. Because, if they actually put all the components of a BRT plan out there, the theoretical “benefit-cost” ratio for Niles’ conceptual ideas would be destroyed in the real world of crowded roadways and high operating costs.

        Check out this Niles doozy from above: “it’s not reasonable for citizen volunteers to “plan and fund a BRT demonstration line.””

        Really? Well, there sure is lots of planning that goes on in BRT circles. Never gets off the drawing board…how strange… Witness Niles bragging about it back in 2005. Wonder whatever happened to this brilliant study?

        ——
        David Sucher writes: “I’m intrigued (and a bit mystified, in truth) by the notion that BRT could connect Fremont and Capitol Hill. Could someone describe how such a segment would work? What it might look like? Its configuration? Thanks.”

        John Niles: Challenge accepted. I’m actually funded to work on this!

        Such a BRT line would be an all-day express bus with ten minute headways minimum, and shorter if demand warranted in peak periods. The size of the vehicle would depend on passenger demand, and would be increased over time. The stops between Fremont and Capitol Hill would be no less than 1/2 mile apart.

        Transit signal priority (TSP) would be in effect, which is NOT like an ambulance or a Tacoma Link light rail trolley turning traffic lights red in all directions as it goes through intersections.

        In the future world of Seattle BRT, every stop on a BRT line would have its own telephone number, and dialing that number on your cell phone would display the minutes until the next bus arrives. (See http://www.busmonster.com for a hint of the future.)

        Let’s see, what else — off-bus fare payment, like on the BRT lines in Paris, probably SmartCard based in Seattle futureworld.

        Now, I need some help from you on routing. In what other places (neighborhoods) would you like your BRT to stop between downtown Fremont and (say) Seattle Community College on Broadway? Then I’ll go away and study a map with traffic densities to find a route.

        I’m going to need a strong, green mayor and SeaDOT boss to get this done (Nickels and Crunican will do) and some money (what will be left over when the Seattle Big Dig — five mile light rail tunnel from Pine Street to NE 75th — finally goes toes up will be enough to do arterial BRT all over town!)

        I may need to kick some curb parking off the street in peak, like is already done in world class cities like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.

        So give me some help on intermediate stops you’d like to see. This is not going to be a helicopter ride or flying magic carpet! Provide me with a target travel time while you are at it, but let’s not try to change arterial speed limits.

        Posted by: John Niles | Dec 5, 2005 11:37:41 PM

        http://cascadiascorecard.typepad.com/blog/2005/11/bashing_bus_rap.html

    • says

      Other insight into the thinking from the Eastside on alternative approaches to transit never considered by the Sound Transit light rail construction agency are posted on the Eastside Transportation Association web at http://www.EastsideTA.com.

      In particular, look at the September 2008 document, “A Better Transit Plan for East King County” by Jim MacIsaac, P.E., a 6 page download at http://www.eastsideta.com/docs/A%20Better%20Transit%20Plan%20-%209-15-08.pdf

      • Erik G. says

        More jibberish here:

        http://www.effectivetransportation.org/

        I like how these studies include the trafic that is passing trough Seattle and would not and could not ever be served by transit.

        Thus a Husband and Wife trucker from Ontario, Canada who are using I-5/I-405 and I-90 as a cheaper and easier alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway on a journey from Vancouver to Sarnia are counted as two “boardings” on I-5.

  27. Patrick says

    I always get a kick out of this video. I don’t think that Freeman realizes how much 6% new lane miles is per year in the region and how much it would cost build his 6% system.

    • Jeremy says

      He has brilliant MIT-trained thinkers advising him. Like John Niles.

      Strangely enough, the freeway mega project price tags are always minimized (double deck I-5 through Seattle is Kemper project #1) and the transit projects always go “over budget.”

      Remember, folks. These are the clowns who want to build another freeway through the Snoqualmie River valley. You’ll never see John Niles criticize an insane freeway project, or bankrupt bus system – but he will nitpick the rail projects to death.

  28. Tom R says

    No more movies at Lincoln Square, which is owned by Kemper Freeman. No more shopping at B Square. Nor B Place. Not until the lawsuit is dropped.

    Never had much reason to shop at Neiman Marcus, but Kemper just gave me one. You know, he owns about twenty cars and two motorcycles. Lives in sight of the East Channel Bridge, and must use ear plugs to go to sleep because of I-90. This guy is so Old Bellevue; the whole Eastside will take a hundred steps forward when he dies.

  29. Reid Greenmun says

    Jessica, your brother is not exactly correct. What I have been advocating is that the private sector should be used to offer transit services and not quisi-government agencies governer by all-appointed, non-elected regional bodies using substantial taxpayer subsidies taken from citizens that are not using the transit services to cover the costs of operation, maintenance, and infrastructure.

    In our region we merged two transit agencies, TRT and PennTran. What emerged is called “HRT” and HRT now offers less transit services at more than a 30% increase in adminstrative costs. Instead of a regional merger yielding an economy of scale and cost savings, we end up with less service at greater costs. This includes adjustments due to inflation.

    Now HRT is hard at work lobbying to build low capacity Light Rail that fails to offer any meaningful return on investment to the taxpayers targeted to pay for its construction, operation, maintenance, and system upgrade expenses.

    We have much higher priority needs in our region then diverting needed transportation funds to support speculative TOD projects. In light of the recent crash of the global economy and the inavailability of credit to be used to pay for the promised TOD, the rational for the public’s “investment” in the proposed Light Rail line no longer exists.

  30. Cindy Duncan says

    If all you mass transit wonks dislike Kemper Development and Bellevue so darn much, why are you so hell-bent on bringing light rail to the Eastside?

    Obviously, you don’t think any sane person would live here-so why not leave us to wallow in our misery?

    BTW all light rail is sucky. Build a subway, like a real city.

    • Martin H. Duke says

      We like Bellevue, not Kemper Development. And three of us work on the Eastside.

      And if you know of a (much more expensive) heavy rail plan that supports the same corridors with serious political support, let us know and we’re likely to support it.

      Until then, we’ll support a project that’s already approved, thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Mr. Hirt wonders why WSDOT could not “spare us the cost” of the center lanes, but the 1976 Memorandum of Agreement signed by the State to allow for construction of the bridge specifically stipulates that conversion of the center roadway to fixed guideway (rail transit) must be possible in the future (this is partly why Kemper Freeman’s suit against East Link holds no water). [...]



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