News Roundup: No New Service

Photo by Atomic Taco

This is an open thread.




Comments

  1. Andrew Smith says

    I think “Brooklyn” is way better than the “U District”, even if the University Street station were named something better, it would still be too confusing, is Husky Stadium not in the “U District”?

    If they don’t like Brooklyn, how about “45th street”?

    • lazarus says

      “Brooklyn” is fine. It refers to the street where the station is located and to the original (way back) placename of location. It’s fine, and it’s a very common way to name stations.

      You can’t have two stations on the same line with the same name (ditto for “Stadium” BTW), and renaming the current University Station after all these years is just plain silly, wasteful, and not in the cards.

      • Bernie says

        University Street Station. That’s what it is. Right name and changing it now would be stupid. I like Brooklyn. It’s unique, accurately describes where the station is, has a nice ring to it and compliments the eclectic nature of the University District. University District Station is accurate, somewhat confusing since many/most people visiting the “University” will want to get off at Montlake and has no pizazz. There’s no changing the DSTT names. I like Montlake for the lower campus station and Brooklyn for the station near “the Ave“. If you want to avoid getting lost in King County it’s essential that you comprehend the fundamental difference between an address that ends in “Street” and one that ends in “Avenue”. Sorry, it’s like ignoring the NE and SE part of an address.

      • lazarus says

        Ya, but these people who are suggesting calling it “The Ave Station” or “University Ave Station” are way off base – because there is no such thing as “University Avenue” in Seattle.

        There is University Street in downtown Seattle, and there is University “Way” near the UW campus. What people commonly refer to as the “Ave” or “University Ave” really doesn’t exist – it’s University “Way”. So I’d drop “The Ave” as a potential name since naming stations after things that don’t exist is a bit of a stretch.

        But “Brooklyn Station?” Ya, Brooklyn Ave actually exists, the original name of the area was “Brooklyn”, and it is just a short walk to “Brooklyn Square.” And “Brooklyn” is actually where the station is located….

      • Kevin says

        I think it’s that Brooklyn Ave isn’t particularly well known and although it’s the historic name for the neighborhood no one has likely called it Brooklyn in 80 years. University District or University District/NE 45th would be better. Anytime you have to say where the station is “Brooklyn Station in the U District” it’s probably not a great name.

      • lazarus says

        UDPA seems to think that by naming it “University Station” it will somehow help the “University shopping district”. That somehow by naming it “University Station” it will be better for local business. Seriously.

        Someone should point out to them that with Link it will only be 2 stops north to Northgate Mall or 3 stops south to the Seattle retail core.

      • zefwagner says

        The thing is, neighborhood names often come from prominent places like transit stations, not the other way around. I wouldn’t be surprised if this station causes people to start calling the neighborhood Brooklyn, which would be great! University District is a totally generic name for the neighborhood, and is too similar to University Village. Besides, Brooklyn is the best borough in New York, so it is a good model.

      • Andrew Smith says

        Yes zefwagner is right about the name coming from the station, eventually the name will revert to the neighborhood, which is fine, because the U-District is large, and includes much more than just the station area.

        (Zef is wrong about Brooklyn being the best borough though)

      • Kevin says

        It seems in any event appending “NE 45th” to the station name would do a lot to clarify where it is. I actually like the Brooklyn name but I’d agree with the U District folks that “University District” would be clearer.

      • Mike Orr says

        The maps should say 45th in gray to give people an idea of how far north the station is. Likewise, the signs and verbal announcements can say, “Brooklyn Station, University District”. That should clear up any confusion and also honor the historic Brooklyn name, and avoid three stations with the name “University” in them. “Brooklyn” also connotes the more transit-oriented city the founders anticipated. If it hadn’t been for the university, the area would still be called Brooklyn, and its relationship to central Seattle is similar to Brooklyn NY and Manhattan, which gives it a borough-like feel.

    • Eric says

      Wait, so they think it will be a good idea to have “University District Station” be the stop after “University of Washington Station,” which is three stops after “University Street Station?” That wouldn’t be confusing at all, guys.

      • Chris Stefan says

        To maximize confusion the Montlake station should be “University of Washington Rainier Vista/Hospital/Stadium station”.

        To further confuse things East Link needs to have an “Overlake Hospital Station”, “Overlake Village Station”, and “Overlake Transit Center Station”.

    • Brent says

      I think “Husky Station” would work better for the one right by the oh-so-used (six times a year) Husky Stadium.

      If we want to be more specific, how about “Rainier Vista Station”? Sure, it will confuse the tourists, but for some of those tourists from Oregon we want to make it harder to find the stadium.

      • poseur says

        Sigh. I see what you did there – a little editorializing about Husky Stadium. But I digress.

        Unfortunately, Husky Stadium will most likely be “officially” renamed when construction is complete – with them selling naming rights and all to help finance the renovation.

        For that reason, and its proximity to Montlake Boulevard and the neighborhood of the same name, Montlake Station seems to make the most sense.

    • says

      This is funny…riding LINK last night I was staring at the car map above the door and thinking exactly the same thing about Univerity Station. I used to get off there every day and I hated that name. It’s really the Financial District of Seattle and it should be named appropriately. Of the station names I thought some are terrible and a few are self-explanatory.

      Westlake. Good name, accurate. Might want to say Westlake Mall or Westlake Shopping Center.

      University. Terrible. No one thinks of it that way.

      Pioneer Square. Ok, but some of the exits don’t put you anywhere near Pioneer Square…it’s more like City Hall/Government District, but I realize the tourist value.

      International District/Chinatown. Please, make you your mind! Are you politically correct or retro-cool. I would go with the latter. One reason is the word “International”. When I think “International” I think Airport. Yet there are two stations (see Tukwila) with the word International and neither are SeaTac. Drop the Internatiols.

      Stadium and SODO. Another case of confusion. When I think SODO I think SODO Mojo and I think Mariners which says Stadium. Having another station called Sodo because someone’s failed real estate dreams never happened is too confusing!

      Beacon Hill. Speaks for itself.

      Mount Baker. Columbia City. Othello. Rainer Beach. It’s funny, but the crummiest neighborhoods always have the most elegant subway stops…like in New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Hoyt-Schmerhorn….go figure!

      Tukwila/International Blvd. Bzzztt….wrong! What exactly is “international” about it except for strip malls of pizza parlors and pho noodle places? And Tukwila is not a name you would want gracing a station…ever….this station should have been named “Southcenter” that is if they built this thing to the right place!

      SeaTac/Airport. Really? Slash airport? Who are we kidding…so people ride this thing to go to SeaTac, the City? (Is it a city…or just an abbreviation….someone tell me). It should be SeaTac International Aiport. That is the place to use Internation. No where else.

      • Mike Orr says

        Symphony Station. Not just because of the symphony (which isn’t important enough on its own), but because it gives a general feel of originality and artistic-ness which would bring a smile to travellers every time they enter the station, and would also be memorable to visitors.

      • says

        Well hidden is right!

        Even though I have used that station hundreds of times, I still get confused. Last night coming out of Benaroya I walked all the way to the wrong end of the block thinking there was the corner station across the street…but it was one block south at the other end. Why didn’t they just build a station directly down from Benaroya or on the street side as Benaroya instead of having to walk all the way around it down past Starbucks on 2nd and then back towards third where the tracks seem to be?

      • Mojave Azure says

        Well isn’t there an entrance to University Street inside Benaroya? Litterally, it’s right there…

      • Zed says

        The station was there before Benaroya Hall was built. There’s an elevator inside Benaroya that will take you to the mezzanine of the station, no need to even go outside. Really, it’s not that hard to find the entrances, especially if you’ve been there before.

      • says

        Yes, true…I guess I always avoid the elevator after a concert because there’s a big pile up as people are also trying to get to their cars in the garage.

        Still…it does seem to me that many LINK stations downtown should have more…uh, monumental, entrances…

    • Cheesewheels says

      Why not Husky Station and UW Station?

      University Street can probably find a namesake somewhere around downtown too.

  2. Gordon Werner says

    just tweeted by Sound Transit …

    One down, one to go. “Brenda” the tunnel boring machine has passed under I-5 and will soon surface next door to the Paramount Theater!

  3. lazarus says

    Big news. WSDOT and ST have signed the agreement for transfer of the center roadway of I-90. Additionally the FTA has signed off on the ROD for the same. ST now as right of access to the center lanes. I think I can hear Kemper Freeman howling form here….

    Of course KF went judge shopping in Kittitas County for a more favorable opinion, but his case is still weak.

  4. Erik G. says

    Contrast the pessimistic Crosscut “More trains for NW may mean no more service” article with this:

    Date: 11/12/11 13:35
    Re: new equipment for Pacific NW does not mean more tra
    Author: sactobob

    I don’t think the article was very well researched or written. The December 2008 Middle Range Plan by the Washington State Department of Transportation discusses how the two additional trainsets will be used. The new trainsets will be 14 cars, whereas the existing trainsets are 12 cars. The plan is to replace one of the existing trainsets with one of the new ones. Then the older set can be taken apart to add two additional cars to each of the other older sets, thereby increasing seating capacity without adding trips to the schedule. The other set will not be “sitting in the weeds,” since it will be needed as each of the older sets goes through major overhaul. By the time that is completed, hopefully the Point Defiance bypass in Tacoma will be completed, eliminating a major bottleneck. It is my understanding that BNSF will not allow additional round trips until that is done.

    http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,2611016

  5. aw says

    Regarding the Crosscut article about the new Oregon trainsets, I had thoght there was a plan to take the cars from one of the older trainsets and distribute them among the other four existing trainsets. This would lengthen the trains and provide more service, even if they didn’t provide more frequencies.

    • Dan Carey says

      That’s what I thought, and it would certainly help. I’ve been on the train on a Friday or Sunday and the train is often full. Making longer trains would increase passenger capacity.

      • Erik G. says

        You could also avoid having to borrow an Amfleet/Horizon consist from Los Angeles during holidays (if maintenance is properly managed) and maintain product consistency, run times and ADA accessibility.

  6. Jack Hope says

    I don’t expect to see the Georgia or Dunsmuir Viaducts here in Vancouver coming down anytime soon. Contrary to all the fuss being made about them the odds that anything will radically adjust them or that method of traffic entering downtown Vancouver are quite slim.

    1. Unlike the Alaskan Way Viaduct or the Embarcadero the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts haven’t been damaged by earthquakes and they are only half way through their expected life span.

    2. These particular viaducts are both under a kilometre long and are not built to the same sort of freeway spec found in the United States, so the structures are not nearly as obtrusive.

    3. They connect to two main streets (Georgia and Dunsmuir) in downtown Vancouver that are both up a hill and a structure would almost certainly be needed to connect them to surface routes anyhow. So at best, your talking about shortening the viaducts, not removing them completely. No one is going to accept dead ending Georgia Street at the east end of downtown. There also really isn’t a street grid that was broken and that these streets can be easily reconnected to.

    4. These viaducts were built as the very first phase of a proposed freeway system for Vancouver, however, they also replaced pre-existing viaducts that were used as overpasses for the rail yards that were located in that area. Fun fact: the Skytrain tunnel downtown was originally built for steam pulled trains and was repurposed for rapid transit use in the early 80s. In their current form, they really are little more than longish overpasses.

    5. Any removal of the viaducts would disrupt the single busiest artery into downtown Vancouver for months, potentially years while it is re-configured: Skytrain’s Expo Line. The Expo Line cuts under both viaducts between Main Street Station and Stadium Station. Any removal (even without reconfiguring the Skytrain’s guideway) would probably require months of work and without leveling out the Skytrain guideway you’d basically leave an odd, pointless dip that consumes this valuable land.

    On a personal note, I find this entire debate pointless and stupid. It’s basically tearing down useful infrastructure for no other reason than to hand more land over to developers who already make obscene amounts of money in this city. All the whinging about “improving Strathcona” and “undoing historic wrongs” are completely ignorant of history. While all of this “debate” is going on no one even batted an eye while the last Church from Hogan’s Alley (the neighbourhood destroyed by the construction of the current viaducts) was sold off to condo developers.

    What would really help revitalize this segment of downtown would be the Vancouver Streetcar. Guess where the plan calls for the Operations and Maintenance Centre to be? Right under the viaducts. Good paying, blue collar jobs right in the heart of downtown providing a public service that will improve livability and even help the almighty developers.

    Personally, if traffic volumes continue to drop (and that seems likely) I would like to see the viaducts repurposed for more public transit such as BRT lanes or even better Rapid Streetcars. As the area continues to get built up, it will make more sense to have a pre-built bypass to speed public transit into the CBD.

    • EvergreenRailfan says

      From what I saw in my 2 days in Vancouver last week, looked very good. I was surprised with how fast the SkyTrain was. The work with the Dunsmuir Tunnel was pretty good, never seen a double-decked subway tunnel like that one before, but it was easy getting used to. I understand it may soon be the only rail system in Canada with that technology, as it looks like Toronto might be converting the Scarborough Rapid Transit to conventional Light Rapid Transit technology as part of the Metrolinx and the only part of the previous mayor’s Transit City plan to survive the new Mayor.

      • Gordon Werner says

        the 63rd street tunnel under the east river in NYC is double decker too subway on top … commuter rail underneath

      • Gordon Werner says

        the only problem with Automated rail lines like YVR, JFK AirTrain, Docklands Light Railway … is that the route has to be 100% separated from everything else

      • EvergreenRailfan says

        What I meant about the Vancouver SkyTrain becoming the only one of it’s kind, was that when the Scarborough Rapid Transit is converted, it could become the only one of it’s kind within Canada. I was familiar with the Detroit People Mover, and the AirTrain in NYC. Sorry about the confusion.

        As for NY, nice to see the lower part of the Tunnel to Nowhere soon going somewhere, with the East Side Access. I saw one of the early promotional drawings of it, and they had the Subway train in the upper tunnel looking a lot like BART trains, and the EMUs for the Long Island RR being the M-1 type just entering service. By the time the ESA is complete, the M-9 may be in service.

        Also, I remember seeing an interesting contrast in a drawing in a book on the SF MUNI of the Market Street Subway. The BART stock was the futuristic one, and on the MUNIMetro, with the rolling stock not designed yet, they put in the PCC cars. Well, they got the PCCs on the surface today, MuniMetro on the upper deck of the Market Street Subway, and BART on the lower.

      • Mike Orr says

        “the only problem with Automated rail lines like YVR, JFK AirTrain, Docklands Light Railway … is that the route has to be 100% separated from everything else”

        That’s a feature, not a bug. It prevents compromises like MLK and SODO, which lower the speed from 55 mph to 35, requires a driver, and prevents ultra-frequency (both to avoid causing traffic congestion and because of the cost of the driver).

      • Aleks says

        SkyTrain has lots of features which make it feel like a “horizontal elevator”, including super-high frequency, seamless entry/exit, and near-perfect reliability. All of those are possible only in the context of grade-separated service.

        In Atlanta, MARTA has about 260,000 daily rail riders. In contrast, the Plane Train (one line) had 175,000 daily riders in 2002. Chances are, most people in the US who have ever flown Delta have ridden the Plane Train; it’s undoubtedly true that a far smaller percentage of Atlanta visitors have ridden MARTA.

        When trains work like horizontal elevators, they get the kind of ridership you can only dream about. I’m with Mike; the grade-separation is a feature, not a bug.

  7. DJ says

    Why not call it “U-District” ?
    The area is known by that, it avoids confusion with University Street and is nice and easy to remember.

    • Kyle S. says

      Because that would be easily-confused with the University of Washington station.

      Besides, Brooklyn is a better name.

      • Bernie says

        Brooklyn is a better name. And Montlake is a much better name than University of Washington Station. I’m left waiting for the … “presented by Vulcan Real Estate”. I’m a UW alum. I don’t usually say University of Washington alum (unless I’m talking to someone from Wischeeskin ;-). I often say U-Dub but U-Dub station station isn’t going to fly. Husky Station would work but then why not Sundodger Station? Multiple choice, if I want to get off of a 520 bus and walk over to UW I will use the: A) Montlake Flyer Stop B)University of Washington Flyer Stop C) Husky Flyer Stop D) University Street stop in the DSTT.

      • lazarus says

        “Brooklyn Station” is by far the better name, and avoids confusion with both the existing “University Station” and with “University Village.” And if I am going to “Brooklyn Square” I would get off at “Brooklyn Station.” That’s pretty much perfect.

        As for the other UW station, call it “Husky Station”, assign the color Purple to East Link and the color Gold to Central Link, and be done with it.

        (Note: I wouldn’t use the word “Stadium” in the name “Husky Station” because we already have a “Stadium Station.”)

      • Kyle S. says

        I’m of the opinion that if the University of Washington would like to advertise its athletic program, it can pay Sound Transit for the privilege.

        In the meantime, the station should be named Montlake until the check clears.

      • lazarus says

        Na, everyone who goes to the UW is a Husky, not just the sports fans. I’d name it “Husky Station” in honor of all the great Huskies that work at the adjacent UW Med Center. They do some really good work there.

      • Kyle S. says

        In that case, the check can be drawn against the university’s general advertising budget, instead of against its athletic department.

      • lazarus says

        And renaming the Brooklyn Station as the “University Station” somehow isn’t supporting the U also?

        And if you require a state agency like the U to write a check to ST for naming rights to University Station or Husky Station, those UW funds effectively come from the entire State. You’re effectively having Cougar fans in Eastern Wa underwrite ST, and I don’t think that would be fair to Cougars.

      • Kyle S. says

        But it’s fair for Sound Transit taxpayers to support the University of Washington’s advertising efforts?

        And I’m in favor of the Brooklyn name. We do not need more than one “University” station on the same line.

      • Chris Stefan says

        Another vote for Montlake and Brooklyn.

        I suppose we could go with the intersection method of naming stations: Broadway/John Station, Montlake/Pacific Station, Brooklyn/45th, Roosevelt/65th

    • dj says

      I still think U- District Station is a better name, everyone knows where the U-District is, and what it is, I dont think there will confusion vs. University St. ( although Benaroya Hall would be a better name). Montlake for the one under Husky Stadium.

    • Bernie says

      This is this not bad news. If CA, the 8th largest economy in the world if it were a separate country, doesn’t see this as a good investment without federal pork then why pour money down a rat hole. Getting federal spending under control is good news. Ending the distortion of local priorities because of federal “free” money is really good news!

      • Kyle S. says

        Obviously CA does see it as a worthwhile investment because the governor intends to go on building with the money the state has been able to raise so far, regardless of Congress’s decision.

      • Bernie says

        I would say “more power to them” except CA doesn’t have any money available to them; the State is on the brink of default.

      • alexjonlin says

        The federal government’s job is to deal with things of national importance, and a high speed rail line connecting two of the largest metropolitan areas in the county in 2.5 hours is definitely a matter of national importance. State borders are arbitrary. CAHSR is a really good project and should be built, with a combination of local money, federal money, and private investor money.

      • EvergreenRailfan says

        alexjonlin, the History Channel has a good show on lately about how arbitrary the state borders can be, at least when they were drawn. Railroads helped draw them in the west, the primary transportation mode in the east for moving freight, the riverboat, helped draw the ones in Ohio, and the Southeast.(The odd notches in Mississippi and Alabama, they were originally part of Florida).

  8. Bernie says

    If the Seattle Transit Riders Union can stay focused on that, they, like the Cascade Bicycle Club, could quickly grow into a megaphone that the city, SDOT, and King County Metro would have no choice but to respond to.

    Great, co-opt an activity (cycling/transit) and turn it into a political agenda way outside the scope of the original intent. Seattle may be sympathetic to the Cascade “bicycle” Club agenda but it’s no longer an organization with the promotion of cycling as it’s primary agenda.

  9. Rodney Rutherford says

    @Bernie, if promoting cycling isn’t Cascade’s primary agenda, what would you suggest it is? Their stated mission is to “create more livable communities by promoting health & recreation through bicycle activities, advocacy, & education,” and I think they’re doing a better job of that (particularly the last two parts of that mission) in recent years than any other time in their history.

    • Bernie says

      Ousting David Hiller was a good start in returning Cascade to being a bicycle club instead of a left wing PAC. That he walked straight into a $95k/yr job in Mayor McGinn’s office tells you where the agenda had drifted. It’s great to promote issues; not a single party slate of candidates every election. Voting for state office shouldn’t be a single issue decision.

      • Chris Stefan says

        The question is where do you draw the line?

        I mean I suppose you could have a group that just organizes rides, does some safety training, and is entirely mum on anything even remotely political. You still are going to need someone to advocate for things like the BG missing link, or for police to charge motorists appropriately in car/bike accidents.

        Is it wrong for someone like CBC to endorse people for office that are pro-bike and more importantly work to defeat elected officials who are hostile to bikes?

  10. RobertSeattle says

    Just curious, but have the folks who operate U Village made any plans to have a shuttle to run from either of the future stations for shoppers?

    • Mike Orr says

      If Metro does a good route reorganization, shuttles won’t be needed. There’s all-day demand from UW station and the U-district to NE 45th for a lot of reasons beyond the mall. Metro and Seattle have already recognized the corridor as underserved by transit. But Metro hasn’t announced what it will do, and probably won’t until 2014 or 2018, depending on how much it wants to reorganize for the 6-year gap between when UW stn opens and Brooklyn stn opens.

      One possibility is to send all the routes that terminate at Campus Pkwy (75, 65, 68) to Montlake Blvd and UW stn. That would speed up the routes by avoiding campus congestion, but it would run into opposition by “one-seat ride” students/staff. So it depends on whether Metro is willing to emphasize the regional network over UW commuters. Of course, the station is a short walk to the HUB, and a typical campus walk to the other buildings. It also suggests HOV lanes on Montlake and more bus bays at UW stn, which have not been approved yet.

      Another possibility is to keep the campus routing but terminate at Brooklyn stn. Link riders would have to walk to the HUB or take the 43/44/48 to Campus Pkwy.

      The 30 is the most difficult because it continues west, and it has responsibilities on NE 50th, so it can’t be rerouted to UW stn. It will probably have to remain as-is until Brooklyn stn opens.

      • says

        “That would speed up the routes by avoiding campus congestion.”

        If and only if there were bus lanes on Montlake (and Pacific). Otherwise, you’re dooming them to the Montlake parking lot in the evenings.

      • says

        “you’re dooming them to the Montlake parking lot in the evenings”

        As well as most afternoons as well. I bike to my Dentist’s office over in Sand point from a 271 or 556 to avoid that road. It’s rare that I drive and don’t get stuck in that mess.

    • EvergreenRailfan says

      If the have not, they should. It would benefit everybody, traffic wise. If the existing bus routes were the shuttle, from Brooklyn Station, the 25 would be the best bet. Not sure about what bus service there is currently from the Husky Stadium area to U-Viliage without going through the campus first.

  11. says

    Took LINK in from Tukwila to downtown yesterday. Love this car advertising for Neuro

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LkyLaJhSK16Ntov-IU-cXI_22Z_yuI-4RWvzZNey9k4?feat=directlink

    On the platform…it’s a busy design, but somehow feels quite serene

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mB0XTdPM8xRiHu8rH_7I44_22Z_yuI-4RWvzZNey9k4?feat=directlink

    Switch track

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yEpcwrVT2893aw9zeXtYiI_22Z_yuI-4RWvzZNey9k4?feat=directlink

    Question. Standing on the station, it struck me just how much of a grade there is between Tukwila and Rainier. It seems rise at least a few stories off the ground and do so mostly at the end quite rapidly.

    Anyone know the maximum grade being used? Do they use any special “grippers” for making the incline especially during ice and snow (I did not see any).

    Seemed to me that if they can make it do that type of hill climbing here, they should be able to do it anywhere.

    Another question is — Mount Baker is elevated. Tukwila is elevated. Why didn’t they just elevate the whole thing to prevent having to deal with traffic? It seems like the lowest cost solution over all.

    To sum up — LINK seems capable of navigating grades using elevated track in Tukwila. Shouldn’t then be able to hill climb around Seattle?

    • Mike Orr says

      I supported tunnel or elevated in Rainier Valley. It came down to money. The valley floor is flat so a surface line was possible. South of Rainier Beach, it has to cross so many highways that a surface line wasn’t feasable.

      • says

        No, I’m not criticizing it.

        I’m just asking…if its capable of making these high grades, then why can’t it get up Seattle’s hills as an elevated?

      • Mike Orr says

        It can’t make high grades; you must be thinking of trolleybuses. It makes a gradual ascent to Mt Baker and then remains level through Beacon Hill and Forest Street, then descends to SODO stn. I think the maximum grade is 7% or so but I’m not sure. Grades came into play at TIB and Convention Place stns. When I asked at a meeting why TIB is so large and 3-story, he said it’s partly because of the height the station had to be to clear the freeways without a steep grade. And I think the grade was also a factor in why Convention Place stn was abandoned, that the grade from that position to Capitol Hill stn would be too steep.

      • Chris Stefan says

        The grade from Rainier Beach to TIBS isn’t as steep as you think. While it is long and gains quite a bit of elevation no section is over 6% or so. This wouldn’t be enough to climb Beacon Hill or Capitol Hill.

        A tunnel is needed between the Ship Canal and Northgate for two reasons. One a surface/elevated alignment would require a high bridge over the canal. Such a bridge would need to be 200′ over the surface of the canal to clear ship traffic. Such a bridge would require long approach structures on both sides. Second the alignment cuts cross-country through a built up urban area. Making turns with an elevated or surface alignment would be difficult in the existing street grid.

      • says

        I wonder if it would be enough to climb Benson up to Kent East Hill.

        I’d love to see a LINK line running from Renton up Benson and south on 108th/104th up to Kent-Kangley and then continuing to Covington.

    • says

      Some of the neighborhoods here along transit already have density in excess of much of Seattle.

      Transit is well used…the corridors I mean also have many walkers and bikers.

      The route would benefit from a road diet especially if you could bring an all rail transit system Covington/Kent/Renton/Seattle

  12. Cinesea says

    Transit Geek! Yesterday, I had another day off from the world so I thought I would spend the day on Transit. From Northgate, took 41 to downtown–probably the fastest trip ever since it was late morning and the express lanes were still open southbound. From there, ST 550 to Bellevue Square, to check out what’s new over there. Then, I decided to try out RapidRide B to Redmond. I don’t know the geography of that area very well, but my first impression of RR B was…what’s the point? So much traffic, so many stoplights, some bus stops just three-to-five blocks apart. It seems that a regular Metro bus route could do the same thing and that money could have been spent on upcoming RapidRide routes. A return trip actually took longer heading back to Bellevue TC. From there, I waited for a 25-minutes late ST 555 to head back to Northgate. Aaahhh, the Eastside. Whenever I go over there, I always remember why I love being in the North Seattle area.

  13. says

    From the article on the high cost of rail.

    Singapore’s new Circle Line runs 22 miles with 28 stations and cost $4.8 billion, or $130 million per kilometer. Upon completion next year, it will become the world’s longest fully automatic underground transit line, and among its most advanced.

    So, they build a complete subway system when we’ve spent more than $20 billion and have one half of a light rail line?

    And their cost per mile of $130M per km or around $200 per mile is the same as our $179M per mile for a “light” rail system?!!

      • says

        Counting from 1996 onward including the rights of way, and the dissolution, reconstitution of Sound Transit.

        That was the number I heard ( $25 billion actually ).

        If you have other calculations, I’d like to see them.

    • Cinesea says

      I’ve been to Singapore a few times over the past few years and love riding the MRT rail system. Good spacing between stops(closer within main city and farther apart in residential areas) and lots of frequent feeder buses that go from the transit centers into the residential areas. But, what surprised me most was the last time I was there(January), it had been about 15 months since my previous visit and they had gone from no construction on the Circle Line to about 65% complete. In that time, here in Seattle, we had done…nothing much.

      • says

        I was reading up on the Circle…it had been planned to begin construction in 2006 but there was some sort of highway collapse.

        So it started in 2009 and was finished in 2011.

        2 years for a fully automated, real subway system, 22 miles long!!

        And it was estimated at $10B but came in more like $4.5B.

  14. Bernie says

    State heads into toll-setting process for Tacoma Narrows bridge

    Those toll hikes are almost certainly on their way. In recent years they have been kicked down the road as the state Transportation Commission chose to heed local drivers, hold the line on tolls and live off of its reserves. But the reserves will soon run out. At current toll rates, the bridge is about to drop below what’s considered a sufficient cushion, and by next year it will go into a deficit.

    That can’t be allowed to happen, commission Chairman Richard Ford said at a workshop today kicking off the toll setting process: ”I’m afraid that would impact the state’s credit rating in a severe way.”

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