STB’s Top Posts of 2012

With 2012 set to expire and a new year on tap, it’s always good to relive the blog’s top posts of the year, for whatever they’re worth. Below are the STB posts with the most reads and most comments of 2012.

Most read posts of 2012

  1. Bolt Bus Coming to the Northwest – by Andrew (5/1): Big news was big news when one of the Northeast’s premier intercity bus services announced plans for the Pacific Northwest.
  2. BREAKING: 4.2 Miles of Copper Wire Stolen from LINK – by Zach (5/11): Even transit isn’t immune to rampant copper thefts. Nearly a quarter million dollars worth was stripped from Link’s guideway.
  3. An Update on Seattle Subway – by Ben (8/10): Advocacy efforts to hasten the building of more inner-city rail continue to chug along.
  4. Tracking the Bus Tracker Problems – by Wayne Watanabe & Mark Hallenbeck (4/23): Metro’s real-time information was a real pain earlier in the year. Since then, things have been looking up.
  5. Bellevue Council Spins Tales, Seattle Times Repeats Them – by Ben (11/24): Plans for a rail maintenance base on the Eastside incited a storm of unwarranted controversy and questionable journalism.
  6. The Solution to 3rd Ave? Commerce. – by Sherwin (3/9): I opine about certain ways to deal with ongoing problems on Third Avenue, though not everyone agreed with me.
  7. The Awfulness of Mt. Baker Station – by Martin (4/18): Martin takes on the many design issues at Mount Baker, a vital multi-modal transit hub in Southeast Seattle.
  8. Service Change & RFA Elimination Open Thread – by Martin (10/1): STB readers had lots to say the day of Metro’s biggest service change ever.
  9. Don’t Plan With Anecdotes – The Data Says We Need Eastlake. – by Ben (10/31): Competing arguments about the utility of rail along Eastlake set up one of the bigger debates we’ve seen within transit advocacy circles.
  10. Super Simple Stuff – by Andrew (5/5): Public service announcements borrowed from Australia boils transit etiquette down to one thing: common sense.

More commented posts of 2012 below the jump.

Most commented on posts of 2012 (open threads omitted)

  1. Improving Route 2 in the Central District and First Hill – by Bruce (1/18): One of the gems of Metro’s initial Fall 2012 restructure proposal would have improved Route 2. The proposal, unfortunately, never lived to see the light of day.
  2. How Far Should We Extend Rail? – by Sherwin (7/30): A big discussion about the geographic expansion of our regional rail network incited many opinions far and wide.
  3. (Im)personal, Rapid Transit – by Zach (8/18): Can transit be both rapid and personal?
  4. ST Board to Consider Facility and Link System Naming Policy – by Oran ( 2/21): Station naming and branding was one of 2012’s big discussion topics.
  5. Jump Starting Sound Transit 3 – by Ben (12/19): Nearly $10 million for preliminary ST3 planning work is worked into the 2013 ST budget, accelerating efforts for more rail.
  6. Don’t Sign the Monorail Petition – by Martin (3/28): A frivolous proposal to build another monorail line earned the ire of many STB readers.
  7. Northgate Strongly Opposes Garage at Public Meeting – by Ben (6/5): The parking proposal for future Northgate Station received a lot of pushback.
  8. Metro Waters Down Fall Changes – by Bruce (2/2): Metro’s terrific proposed restructure for Fall 2012 became far less terrific.
  9. Who Wants Affordable Housing? – by Frank (12/21): Frank ponders how we can accommodate the droves of young people flocking to our city.
  10. Improving Link Ridership – by Martin (4/10): A familiar old debate resurfaces: how to improve ridership.


  1. Stephen F says

    334 comments!? Whoa. That far and away won. Some of these posts seem so much more recent than they really are. Time flies.

  2. aw says

    This is interesting, but I’m not sure that “most commented” is a particularly useful measure. These are just those posts that contain some of the worst examples of fuzzy thinking, counterfactual arguments, rants and flame wars.

    How about a list of the most insightful, well-researched posts? Or good guest author posts? Or well-written posts with surprising conclusions?

    Some of the posts I most enjoyed over the year were Bruce’s series of posts analyzing ridership patterns and suggesting restructuring.

    • Matt the Engineer says

      I’m not sure how you’d objectively choose those posts. This blog has to produce something on the order of 800 posts a year – even having one person review them all would be a large task.

      I suppose if there was a “like” button, or even “insightful” “well-researched” “well-written” and “surprising conclusion!” buttons on each post, there could be a democratic vote count on those categories.

      • aw says

        I wasn’t suggesting the staff create such a list. There are plenty of commenters here who could opine on their favorite (or least favorite) posts and comment threads.

      • Jason Mitchell says

        A year-end list of each blogger’s favorite personally-authored post would make a nice read without requiring research time.

      • Bruce Nourish says

        Thanks :-)

        There should be more coming in the new year. I haven’t written much of them lately, as I’ve been starting a new job, and Metro was transitioning between APC systems, so some of the stop-level data I normally use hasn’t been available. But I currently have a whole bunch of trip-level data I’m working on presenting.

    • Zach Shaner says

      I’d agree. My “Impersonal Rapid Transit” post was meant as an innocent Saturday post based on an anecdote, and its status as one of the “most commented” is the result of a silly flame war between just two commenters. I think most comment threads here degrade rapidly after 100 comments, give or take a few.

      My favorite personal post, or at least the the one I researched the best, was Downtown’s Inequality Problem. I second others in thanking Bruce for having a data-first instinct that nicely balances out much of the straight advocacy of others on the blog. I like the diversity of authorship here.

    • Zed says

      Highest number of individuals commenting might be more interesting, since d.p. can be responsible for more than 50% of the comments on some posts.

  3. Mark Dublin says

    Attention to quality of thinking and reasoning is as commendable as its absence is regrettable in a Republic founded during the Age of Reason. Whose own communications in manuscripts in beautiful penmanship featuring the letter “S” written as an “F” included 18th century “flame wars” that could have leveled cities.

    Staff of Seattle Transit Blog has always earned high marks for its efforts to keep the virtual parchment from becoming online equivalent of bus station restroom walls, whose counterparts were doubtless also worse in Jefferson’s time. Especially when you consider how few stage-coach passengers or operating personnel could write.

    But let’s look at the past year’s content with a view to the new one avoid journalism’s aggravating focus on itself, and instead look to subject matter. I think most hopeful recent subject matter has to do with possibilities favoring Seattle Subway.

    Thanks, Ben.


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