News Roundup: Senseless Regulations

Sound Transit

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  1. groan says

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18456714

    Did you get the above article?

    GOP tries to shift rail money to Midwest flood relief

    By Michael Doyle

    McClatchy Newspapers
    Posted: 07/11/2011 03:29:01 PM PDT
    Updated: 07/11/2011 03:30:02 PM PDT

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans this week are side-tracking $1.5 billion in high-speed rail funds already awarded to several states.

    In an adroit maneuver, GOP lawmakers propose shifting the high-speed rail dollars to pay for Midwestern disaster relief. The move would help ease the federal deficit while it underscores Republican resistance toward the Obama administration’s rail plans.

    “The flooding in the Midwest has been devastating,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., adding that “we must be serious about controlling the deficit.”

  2. joshuadf says

    Hmm, let me fix that for you, Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee: “Such tolls amount to making drivers pay” to maintain infrastructure that they use, whether or not they paid to build it decades ago.

    • Patrick N says

      For those that didn’t read the article he says they shouldn’t have to pay for something that already been built and paid for. It’s one of those comments where I can’t tell if the politician is skillfully choosing his words/lying to gain maximum political advantage or if he’s just not that bright.

  3. 2Tall says

    Loved the bio of Ted Day. I completely relate and feel utterly blessed working in a field that I love!

    • Mike Skehan says

      I’ve know Ted for going on 2 decades, and can say he is one of the hardest working, smartest public employees I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
      Metro, King Co. and transit riders alike are blessed to have people like Ted working to make our system the best it can be.
      Way to go Ted.

  4. Jason Barbour says

    Since the U-PASS is mentioned, it reminded me that a while back I mentioned the similar program out at EWU in Spokane County on another thread here, when its renewal was in question. It was renewed. Figured some might want to know since Eastern has quite a few students that come from the Seattle/Puget Sound Area, many of whom ride public transit for the first time out there.

  5. says

    Just goes to show Tim Lieyman is just a hired gun for billionaires & corporations. I thought he was going to take the year off… apparently a new sugar daddy has arrived on the scene to end his/our vacation. Sigh.

    Enuf already. It’s bad enough King County sElections nullified 2004 with their malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance – and possibly other elections until Marummy and Lane’s Legions showed up to take Dean Logan out. Let’s not have 38 counties – including quite a few who need King County taxdollar$ to survive – pick on King County as well.

    • Andreas says

      And kcmetrobus got back to me with this: “Metro old-timers believe the daisy was adopted about 1979.”

      • Z says

        I think the daisy was in use by the time the MAN’s and Flyers were delivered which was 78-79.

    • Mike Orr says

      There was a sign like this at Northup Way and NE 8th Street in Bellevue. I never understood the point of them because they weren’t comprehensive: just a very few of them scattered randomly throughout the county, and they would often remain for several years after the routes had been renumbered and reorganized. They didn’t do much for passengers so I wondered if they were to remind drivers where to turn.

      • Andreas says

        Yeah, an operator commented on my flickr that “It was used on routes where it would be easy for a bus to miss a turn and be difficult to get back on route.” He goes on to say that there’s still one for “the old Rt 123 at Macadam Rd S at S 130th St.”

      • Andreas says

        Ahh, nice find Oran. The Seattle & UW archives seem to have plenty of shots of Seattle Transit buses, and daisy-era Metro buses, but none that I could find of that logo.

        And @kcmetrobus later tweeted that said that the old-timers got into a bit of a debate and some were starting to think the daisy came about in ’77 instead of ’79.

      • GuyOnBeaconHill says

        The daisy logo may go back to the days when Metro was established to handle the waste water disposal problems in King County. Because they were so successful at cleaning up Lake Washington, their mission was expanded to handle the local public transportation problems. The daisy symbol may have been a hold-over from the sewage treatment era, or it may have been a new symbol–chosen to represent an environmentally friendly form of transportation.

        The original Metro timetables from 1973 carried the daisy logo.

      • GuyOnBeaconHill says

        Look closely at the Rider Report photo, you’ll see that the bus in the picture has the original logo, but the pamphlet has the newer logo. Metro unveiled a “New Look” initiative beginning January 1, 1978 with new route numbers and consistent graphics on all buses and stops. The newer logo seems to have been part of that package.

  6. Matthew 'Anc' Johnson says

    Nothing at all to do with the news or transit, but as this is the last Open Thread before I head out: deuces all y’all!

  7. Anthony says

    Word among the Amtrak faithful is that John Mica is a dead-fish, so to speak. Hopefully we’ll get a better director of Amtrak who can fight for the organization.

    Thanks for posting the article to King Street’s stair issue. Its a joke to them is all I can figure. Takes how long to come up with a solution???? Ridiculous.

    ST wasted a heck of a lot of money on the new Edmonds shelter in the north lot, if you can call it that. I guess who ever designed it with such an open facing style and decided it should face into the wind really should’ve visited or taken the train more often.

    As for Eyeman, I’m conservative and that guy isn’t. His method of waking the govt. up may have been OK at times with me, but that’s about all I used to admire. Here we have someone who is clearly bent on their own spoiled self interests, which happen to coincide with some big money…can someone please put him on either the Kittitas or Cathlamet, then maybe he’ll get lost on his own.

    • Please.... says

      “Word among the Amtrak faithful is that John Mica is a dead-fish, so to speak. Hopefully we’ll get a better director of Amtrak who can fight for the organization”

      Huh? What? Mica isn’t a “Director” of Amtrak. He’s a GOP Congressman from Florida, and chair of the house transportation committee. [ad homs]

    • says

      As for Eyeman, I’m conservative and that guy isn’t. His method of waking the govt. up may have been OK at times with me, but that’s about all I used to admire. Here we have someone who is clearly bent on their own spoiled self interests, which happen to coincide with some big money…can someone please put him on either the Kittitas or Cathlamet, then maybe he’ll get lost on his own.

      Well, well said. Lieyman is just all about himself and will keep on lying to friends, family, fans and HIMSELF to further his personal greed & agenda. You never hear Lieyman get into the weeds or the “quiet act” of governing.

    • cuyahoga says

      Larry Gossett was there and he’s not on that committee. Although PVR and Jane Hague weren’t there either and they’re members of the committee.

  8. Sagebrush Annie says

    Yeah. Someone earlier (several months ago) on Seattle Transit Blog suggested that Kemper Freeman was drifting into the sunset; that a new, progressive Bellevue leadership was going to fill the pathetic void. I commented, something to the effect: Good luck on that.

    ROFL.

    You STBloggers are naive to think that Beautiful Bellevue is in the same league as much of King County. I grew up in Kirkland in the 60s and 70s. You are dealing with a different breed of people in Beautiful Bellevue. Bellevue still sucks. Bigtime.

    The late Bill Petter (a total class act)of Kirkland (Bel-Kirk Motors),years ago, would announce in his tiny advertisement, in the Eastside Journal, the weekly car sales he made. So and so from Friendly Kirkland bought a new Datsun Pick up. So and so from Beautiful Bellevue bought a new Datsun 240Z.

    I still use those references to this day! Incidently, the Eastside Journal was run by Mr. Morgan, aka Mr. Kirkland. He recently passed away. Shortly before his death he supposedly stated, that “most people get more conservative with age, I get more liberal.”

    Kemper Freeman getting more liberal with age just ain’t going to happen. He gets tighter and tighter, more right wing, and more right wing (if that is possible), as he ages.

    Drifting into the sunset? ROFL.

    In my humble opinion, Bellevue still has a huge progressive leadership void. I fear that I will be dead and cremated before that changes. ROFL

    • Miles Bader says

      In my humble opinion, Bellevue still has a huge progressive leadership void. I fear that I will be dead and cremated before that changes. ROFL

      A zombie army might come in handy tho…

  9. ryan says

    Re big box stores, that’s more of a problem specific to Best Buy rather than the whole concept. Their media sales–DVDs, CDs, computer games, etc–have hemorrhaged as spending has shifted towards digital, while they face ever increasing competition from online retailers in other product catagories.

    • phil says

      They definitely relied too much on selling media in the past.

      I didn’t realize that Best Buy was considered a big box store, their average store is only 45,000 sq ft. Compare that to Fry’s Electronics stores which range in size from 50,000 to 180,000. When I looked up the term in Wikipedia (for what it’s worth) it says 50,000 to 200,000 is the range for Big Box stores.

  10. Jason says

    Question for the historians: why, oh why is there a 1:48 PM Route 118 trip from Downtown Seattle to Vashon Island? I’ve seen it a couple times this month passing Jackson Street, usually with 1 passenger. This trip should have been axed a decade ago.

    • LB says

      That seems a bit odd. I go on the trip every so often (once every few months on average) and it was never that empty when I was on it.

      I recall hearing somewhere that when Metro took over the Vashon Island service, there was a stipulation that the afternoon trip couldn’t be axed.

      • Jason says

        This makes a lot of sense and is something I strongly support. Thanks for the insight.

        Presumably this bus would deadhead to the ferry from a base near downtown. For a negligible increase in platform hours, the bus goes through downtown and serves anyone who happens to need it. Good example of careful, efficient planning. Other examples are the #600 GHC Express and the Sammamish extension of some ST554 trips – all use deadhead trips.

  11. Charles says

    Well well, so it seems Council member Patterson says she was not a member of the committee that met this week where hundreds showed up. But she says she’s a member of the Budget Committee meeting that will meet on the 19th at 1:30pm. Sounds like the community needs to mobilize to show up en masse for that meeting and let her and other members know how truly important their yes vote on CRC is.

    • Michael H says

      But is that a public hearing? And like many of the people who depend on the bus, I have a job that prevents me from going to a 1:30 p.m. meeting.

    • Mike Orr says

      I went to it as a kid in the 70s. It was exciting then but that could have just been my kid’s perspective. There are similar festivals all around the state. The best way to negotiate Vashon is to take a bicycle. There’s a steep hill at the ferry terminal but after it’s mostly flat on the main roads. The town is some five miles inland. On a bicycle you can also visit the scattered beaches, and commerical farms and artists’ studios. There’s a beautiful sandbar isthmus between Vashon and Maury islands that’s a must-see, although I’m not 100% sure the road is safe for bicycles. You can also bicycle to the south end of the island and take the other ferry to Tacoma (Pt Defiance park).

  12. Brent says

    I’ll make an argument for keeping the 42, and how to do it while wasting the fewest resources on it.

    Cutting the 42 would be sensible transit planning, but bad politics.

    Metro has a powerful ally, with a multi-ethnic constituency, in ACRS. They want their employees and constituents to have a one-seat ride from downtown to their building.

    If they lose the 42, Metro may turn an ally into an enemy, and one with a multi-ethnic constituency. Don’t underestimate the power of cutting someone’s route to cause that someone to go off the d.eep. end.

    Reducing the 42 down to hourly has managed to keep ACRS satisfied. Consider if the 42 were converted into a counter-peak-only route, giving ACRS consituents and employees rides down to the building in the morning, and back downtown in the afternoon/evening. Use a route (e.g. a 7) that is currently running peak-hour service and deadheading back to Rainier Valley, and make it do 42 runs instead of deadheading.

    Fewer ACRS constituents would get one-seat rides on the 42, but the people/person who matter(s) most would still get their/her ride to work and home on their/her preferred one-seat bus. And those/that employee(s) is what matters most in keeping ACRS as an ally of transit rather than an enemy.

    Meanwhile, if the 34, 38, 46, 134, etc, go away in favor or redeploying resources, I can certainly live with keeping minimal service on this one political route. Think of it as the one stop that gets saved when Metro does a route consolidation. Transit isn’t just about maps and numbers, but about people, and their needs.

    • Bruce says

      Just kill it. It’s a five minute walk to the 7 down Walden Street — I’ve done it. Also, ACRS at the hearing wanted to restore it to it’s previous levels of service. They’re obviously idiots, no-one should want them on “our” side.

    • Oran says

      Please no. It’d be far more productive to convince them that the new approach makes more sense and is better for everyone. Once they get it, they’ll be a better ally for Metro than they are now.

      Unlike that one stop saved, keeping the 42 costs thousands of service hours better used elsewhere, like more buses on the 8 or better Rainier Valley E-W service.

  13. says

    CO2-Free Electricity to Produce Hydrogen for German Vehicle Transport

    …a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, today announced an award to supply a HySTAT(TM)-60 electrolyzer for a hydrogen fueling station to be based in southern Germany.

    The electrolyzer is anticipated to be delivered this year and will be capable of producing up to 130 kilograms per day of green hydrogen fuel from wind power to be used in electric fuel cell vehicles.

    The use of clean wind power further demonstrates that a carbon free chain using electrolysis has its place in the future energy mix for transport applications.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hydrogenics-awarded-hydrogen-fueling-station-in-germany-2011-06-30?reflink=MW_news_stmp

  14. says

    The effect of the Boeing 787 on transportation. Imagine a Washington State with frequent, cheap flights all over to regional airports…Kent to Yakima…Ellensburg to Spokane!

    How the 787 will change the way we fly

    The biggest impact from the Boeing 787 should come from its range. The first mid-size, long range airplane, it will allow airlines to open up routes where they don’t have the passengers numbers to justify a larger plane like a Boeing 747 or an Airbus A380.

    “An A380 is only viable with 400-500 people,” says Myles Goeller of aviation consulting group Seabury. “The Dreamliner is fantastic in that it offers very good seat economics in very small aircraft.”

    Goeller says in theory that means airlines will be able to provide more flexibility, either by bypassing hubs to offer more direct flights, or adding flights to provide more schedule options. ANA has said the first route will be Haneda-Okayama or Haneda-Hiroshima, though it plans to deploy the plane “across its route network.”

    http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/04/how-the-787-will-change-the-way-we-fly/

    • Dan Carey says

      John, there are not enough people flying short distances from places like you mention. In Japan, maybe, but not here. Otherwise Alaska Airlines/Horizon Airlines would already be using larger aircraft than regional jets and some single aisle 737’s to serve those markets. The overwhelming (90%?) majority of flights inside the US are single aisle 737/A320 and regional jets, not wide body airplanes like the 787.

      • Chris Stefan says

        Agreed. The 787 makes long thin routes practical not short haul. Think Portland to Osaka.

  15. Z says

    In regards to airline travel; i have to wonder if greyhound and amtrak and the like partnered up with expedia and other similar websites along with adding a stop or connector service at seatac could actually encourage use of their modes for short haul traffic, say from seattle to portland. Raising the landing and takeoff fees for such flights would help as well, but the train and even a bus are probally a lot more enviromentally friendly than flying inbetween those two destinations. The way it would work is the bus or tain would basecally appear like a flight in when someone booked a trip, so it would be all handled in one spot and aside from a diffrent mode it would be seamless to the traveller

    • says

      I don’t see how you can add on a 3 to 4 hour trip on a train going 40-69 mph…one that could be made nearly as cheaply by plane at 500 mph.

      When I travelled to New York, I landed 10 minutes from my sister…at the West Islip airport on Long Island…costs the same as the other major hubs but I avoided all the wait times getting off, baggage and travel.

      Low cost regional air is becoming more common place. My sister and boyfriend fount $25 airfares from LaGuardia to Miami. It cost more to park than for a round trip ticket!!

      It’s going to be hard for HSR to make an argument if you have a new generation of direct, or near direct, regional air routes, with high efficiency planes going 450 mph.

    • Dan Carey says

      Actually, what would be more interesting is if expedia/travelocity etc., showed people train trips that competed with airplane flight. So if someone wanted to go from Portland to Seattle, it would show what airplane flights as well as the Amtrak Cascades trains. Of course, to really make that work, travel times and on time percentages would need to improve. It also would not work for long distance trains like the Empire Builder.

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