News Roundup: Sending it Back

Photo by EBoperator

This is an open thread.


  1. Beavis McGee says

    This idea may seem overly simplistic, but an alarming number of folks that I’ve seen of the “sketchy” variety (including people openly exchanging little zip bags of what appear to be crystal meth) have McDonald’s food bags with them. I understand that the electronics shop there is also a frequent flyer for fenced goods, and there’s a Money Tree right there as well.

    Get rid of the businesses (through incentive, enforcement focus, or other encouragement) and that stop may become less sketchy.

    • Kyle S. says

      That McDonald’s was closed for a good portion of time last year because of the activity on that corner.

    • says

      McDonald’s bags and trash seem to be the most common litter I see in many places. Is that a reflection of the kind of people who frequent these establishments?

      • Lack Thereof says

        No, it’s a reflection of the volume of business they do. In terms of sheer customer count, that McDonald’s is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, along with a couple other McDonalds’ locations.

        And, coming from someone who worked in restaurants for a decade, customers are MESSY. About 1 in 5 customers at every take-out place I’ve ever worked has had no regard for things like garbage cans. Any restaurant that turns over as many customers as a McDonald’s is going to have a trail of litter out the front door.

        Most take-out restaurants spend a lot of labor time every day sweeping up litter around the property and on the adjacent sidewalks. I assume the downtown McD’s, like most downtown businesses, has MID handle that instead of sending their own crew members out.

    • says

      Yeah, if we get rid of all businesses that we don’t like to look at, the people we don’t like to look at doing the things we don’t like to look at will go away.

      If the idea is to gentrify 3rd and Pike, that doesn’t solve its real problems, just pushes them to some other corner, maybe some other neighborhood.

      • Beavis McGee says

        The combination of cheap food, predatory lending, and a place to fence stolen electronics hardly helps. What’s YOUR explanation as to why that corner is such a magnet for trouble?

      • Cheesewheels says

        Well, while it’s always better to SOLVE problems, we still need to gentrify the CBD and retail core. Like people have said: this is what people see first in Seattle. It’s vital to our tourism market and therefor the region’s economy.

        There are big projects underway, like the SHA’s Yesler Terrace makeover, which will have huge positive impacts on the city. Piece by piece, it will come together.

      • says

        If the electronics store really traffics in stolen goods, then it’s due for some enforcement. But if predatory lending is wrong in one location it’s wrong in any location. The same is true of Mickey D’s — I’m hardly the biggest fan of cheap food with vast environmental, social, and ethical costs — kicking it out of downtown because it’s not expensive enough (and replacing it with a restaurant with similar per-serving externalized costs but lower volumes and higher profit margins?) is nothing but elitism.

        Kicking urban problems to places that rich people, business leaders, and tourists never visit is the worst thing we can do, because it makes them invisible. Gentrifying inner-city neighborhoods forces the high, hidden, and increasingly volatile costs of transportation onto the poor. There’s more than enough gentrification driven by market forces — using the coercive power of the state to enforce it is a really awful idea.

        We bus riders need safe places to wait for buses, and I’d welcome enforcement against the activities that are dangerous and illegal.

    • says

      As much as I see “exchanges” going on there it seems like it would be an easy corner to crack down on. I’d say that if you just sit at the coffee bar on the corner (Taste?) for half an hour you will see something illegal going on. It seems like this is a secret to the police department though.

  2. Matt the Engineer says

    “Is Third & Pike the sketchiest bus stop in Seattle?” Probably. There’s a tough group that hangs out there (at least at commute times, when I’m there) that seems to know every other sketchy looking person that walks by. They never seem to get on or off buses, just hang out, and are probably drug dealers. I’ve seen them sell CD’s to their “friends”, but assume that’s just a cover. That said, I’ve never seen them really bothering anyone outside their circle of acquaintences (except in the sense of making them feel uncomfortable). They tend to go away when the cops hang out there.

    • says

      I’d upgrade that “probably” to a “definitely”. That stop is the closest 3rd Ave stop to my apartment, and I spend quite a bit of time there. I actually happened to walk by it to visit the IGA right after the shooting mentioned in this post. I’ve complained to SPD about that area multiple times, it needs 18-hour-a-day police presence.

      • barman says

        I agree. This place is something else. I’ve lived in a lot of places and I have no idea why SPD can’t get 3rd and Pike/Pine under control.

  3. Kevin says

    My buses moved from 3rd & Pike to 3rd & Pine with the last realignment. It’s a huge difference – the drug activity and general loitering at 3rd & Pike makes it completely unpleasant and potentially unsafe. I think they should get rid of the built in benches and increase regular police presence.

  4. says

    I would encourage anyone who wants to know more about the Roosevelt upzone to read my dissent in the comments of that Publicola article (and Zef’s counterpoint to mine). I don’t think McGinn’s decision is good here.

    I am, however, very pleased to see reality impinging on the East Link debate.

    Also pleased to see motion from ST about the S 200th St extension. Is STB going to run a post on this? If so I will hold off talking about it.

  5. Jessica Clark says

    Well it’s about time my city council (using that term loosely, since the Freeman bought-and-paid-for members don’t get any of my support) listens to Sound Transit on B2M

    I was one of those residents gladly supporting a tax increase to pay for our own downtown tunnel, but after spending a week on MAX a while back: I’m convinced that surface along with a direct bus-to-rail connection at Bellevue Transit Center is what we really need.

    At the end of next month, I’m going to my birth-home (Norfolk, Virginia) to check out their new light rail line (The Tide) on its opening weekend. All the boo-birds out there make Surrey Downs look like they welcome East Link with open arms :(

    • Bellevue Resident says

      Downtown businesses want a tunnel; we will get a tunnel I’ve given up arguing the merits of C11A. Even though it is the better alignment in terms of walkshed and connectivity, the–bipartisan–business community gets what it wants.

      • Jack says

        Ballard would welcome either one of your alignments, Bellevue Resident. Be thankful.

  6. East Coast Cynic says

    I wonder if Freeman called off the dogs on the B2M Alignment because he’s confident the Eyeman initiative will kill it or if the private backers of a new eastside arena have a real estate deal involving Link that will benefit him.

  7. Anthony says

    The closure of the Jackson St. entrance to the Sounder platform w/o setting up another way for people to get in or out is bullshit. I can’t believe the incredible amount of reluctance and unwillingness of any party to take some type of action. Or has something been done today finally? I wouldn’t know since I’m headed to Stevens for the weekend and had to drive in today, which sucks btw. From my count its been a week w/o any action, yet they pay staff money to stand at the entrance and tell people its closed.

    We just talked about having a street level platform to access the Sounders, this used to be possible for many years. Now in its infinite wisdom, the clowns across the street in Union Station can’t seem to fathom that their puny little stairways they overpaid for aren’t up to the job. What the heck is wrong with those knuckleheads?

    I even called ST customer service yesterday and vented my frustration. After eight minutes on the phone I had had enough. I thanked the guy on the other end, he really did a superb job like almost all the ST employees I see on the ground, but man I’m not sure about the upper crust…

    • Michael H. says

      What did they do? I haven’t been by recently, and have never ridden Sounder so I don’t understand. How can you have a street level platform when the Sounder tracks are well below grade?

      • Paul says

        There are stairs and an elevator on Jackson that take people directly to the Sounder platform.

      • says

        It sounds like they’re forcing people that used to have direct access from Jackson to go around to the other side. This would add a few blocks to the walk for some people.

    • Z says

      Does anyone know the reason why its closed? Not a cheap proposition to build it, than equip it with ORCA equipment ontop of it all.

  8. Anthony says

    I heard through ST’s customer rep. that something had fallen on a passenger, and that’s the reason why they closed it.

    I understand the safety issue, so closing it is imperative; but not setting up other options is plain ridiculous. The chaos of seeing people trying to simultaneously scurry up and have people try to make their way down is almsot equally unsafe. What I have seen about the stairs at the Weller St. entrance is that they’re barely wide enough for two people to, add someone with a lot of crap that they carry and all of a sudden things start to get crowded.

    Plus, the platform at the top of the Jackson St. entrance has had crappy cement work from the start. I don’t know which knucklehead contractor made this piece of garbage, but ST way overpaid them and looks like they never checked their work. I’m beginning to wonder if ST is the same as the Seattle Public Schools, friends get a job at ST then hire their friends to either build crappy infrastructure or worse yet maybe they take the money and just call it a day.

    Whatever the course may be, I’m disappointed.

  9. the358 says

    Just got this news from a travel agent friend:

    Rocky Mountaineer luxury rail will take their Canadian Rockies trains, which usually run from Vancouver to Calgary and up to Whistler in various loops of that area, to a new location in 2012. For the first time ever, they’ll bring their train cars down to Seattle to pick up passengers, giving them an opportunity to do a 3-night Canadian Rockies rail package from the USA city rather than just Canadian ones. The service starts late August next year. Rocky Mountaineer is not an overnight sleeping train. Their trains are daylight moving only and you stay overnight in hotels along the way. They have two classes of service now, but are expanding to a third in 2012.

  10. Brent says

    Given that we have to deal with subarea equity, sub-subarea equity, and agency equity (i.e. don’t do anything that profits one agency at the expense of another), I thought I’d propose a little inter-agency service trade.

    First, have Metro extend the 120 to the airport, while ST truncates the 560 at the airport. Second, have ST put the 554 in the DSTT, assuming more of the debt payment on the DSTT, while Metro moves the 255 out.

    Metro could then terminate the 180 at the airport, and reroute the 140/F to serve Riverton Heights on the way to TIBS, and have the 132 relinquish that portion of its path.

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