Lazy KUOW Hit Piece

This morning, KUOW has a piece on Broadway construction, but with bad data and huge omissions, it reads like a hit piece against transit. The opening sets the tone:

For most of us, years of light rail construction on Broadway has been a traffic headache.

There’s nothing provided to support this assertion but the basic point that there are now fewer lanes where there were previously more. In most rechannelizations, traffic flow is improved. The article goes on to imply that there’s some question about whether the Capitol Hill station will be a “people magnet”:

Once finished, the idea is for the light rail station to be a people magnet for businesses along Broadway.

This is ridiculous on its face; the station will have several thousand daily users, who will walk by the surrounding businesses on their way to the station. Of course, it’s in question whether those thousands of people will drive business, but it’s assumed that a handful of parking places are more valuable:

But the waves of construction – the station, a streetcar and a bike lane – will have disrupted parking on the street for about three years.

Yes, because a few parking places is worth more than a streetcar, a bike lane, and a subway. Combined. The rest of the article is a list of complaints from businesses, including one that could have used some fact-checking:

“No need to drive when the station is open, but it’s still three years from now? I have to find out the way to survive that long.”

First, University Link opens in two years, not three. Second, the streetcar, which will bring thousands of people per day, opens in a matter of months. Not mentioning either of these things is lazy reporting. KUOW can, and usually does, do better.

Edit: I noted U-Link would open in two years, but construction on Broadway for U-Link will probably be done in 12-18 months, as a lot of the last year is systems testing. The title of the KUOW piece, claiming “three more years” of construction, is completely false.

Comments

  1. Justin Elder says

    Good job on the fact checking. The Cap Hill station can’t open fast enough. I would like it five years ago and waiting and waiting for it to get finished, even ahead of schedule and under budget, frustrates me to no end.

    However, as someone who has to get from the Rainier Valley to Broadway 2-3 times a week in the evenings (read: after the 9x stops) I can say that Broadway really doesn’t function very well as a road for cars. If all one considers is the ease of use of Broadway as a road for cars, it sucks, and as of yet, there is no good alternative for cars after 7:15 pm or so.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I agree, but it’s always been that way – the construction didn’t really change Broadway’s utility.

    • Aleks says

      and as of yet, there is no good alternative for cars after 7:15 pm or so.

      12th Ave is a pretty good alternative for cars at all times of day, no? Or did you mean that there’s no good alternative *to* cars after that time?

      • Charles B says

        Bicycles are certainly an option. I have gone up Broadway many times from the north at least at that time of day or later.

      • Justin Elder says

        I meant there is no good alternative to driving, as in, the buses just stop going south after that point without a detour through downtown or a transfer or two that makes the journey take as long as walking.

      • Justin Elder says

        Ben, I’m very much looking forward to the streetcar, but in the meantime I’m still driving.

      • asdf says

        On Broadway, bikes are definitely faster than the bus. I have confirmed this by experience riding the 49 up the hill to Broadway and Roy, with by bike on the rack, then getting off and pedaling to Broadway and Pine. Each time I do this, I always leave the bus I just got off in the dust.

  2. Rob says

    I lived on Capitol Hill for 10 years – and did not own a car. Everything I needed was in walking or public transportation distance. I would argue that a high percentage of people who frequent businesses on Broadway are from the neighborhood or get there via public transportation.

    There are people who drive to the neighborhood to do their business, but I would suspect their numbers to be small in comparison to the locals who are there everyday.

    • Zach Shaner says

      For those folks I would argue for better marketing of the off-street options available. Both the Joule and Lyric buildings have plenty of cheap parking, the Broadway Market QFC will validate for free parking, and the Pike QFC is free parking no questions asked both above and below grade. But Broadway itself should be made for people, and the same folks who will complain about auto-throughput are the same ones who argued for parking to be retained, giving us a 5-lane street that is parking/auto-streetcar/auto-streetcar/parking/cycle track.

      • says

        The QFC also has free parking if you are charging your electric car at the BLINK station. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you happen to drag your 2.5 ton battery toting machine to work early in the morning before bus service is frequent. That said, when East Link is done, I’ll likely be leaving that beast at home more often – If I even still live on the Eastside.

      • says

        Not when you’re charging. You’re paying to charge by the hour, but it’s only $1 on the Blink network. I looked all over for restrictions on those parking spots but couldn’t find them. All the other parking spots are clearly marked with parking fees.

        I don’t expect this freebee to last forever, but it’s a nice deal for EV owners.

  3. says

    It’s undeniable that construction is a disruption, whether businesses perceive it the same way transit advocates do or not. Aside from parking, the construction has unquestionably disrupted biking, walking, driving, and transit at various times on Broadway, and the construction site at the end of Cal Anderson is a construction site, not something that activates the street.

    I think most of the businesses on Broadway rent, too, so many of them may face higher rents or be kicked out for redevelopment in the future. Again, we probably think it’s worth it on balance (and think the solution lies in creating more space for businesses and residents by increasing urban depth and, in some places, height), but it doesn’t invalidate their experience.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I’m sure that businesses will face higher rents – but they’ll also get more customers. Higher rents are demand driven.

      • says

        Of course. That doesn’t mean that everyone that claims some negative impact from change is totally wrong. If transit advocates and urbanists are honest we acknowledge the pain of change but remember that the potential benefit is greater.

      • butch says

        Or new construction driven – look at the plethora of new, empty retail near light rail in the Rainier Valley.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        No one argued that there wasn’t pain of change! But it’s nothing like the media reports it. We have to push back.

      • Justin Elder says

        I’ve heard rumors that the new ArtSpace building at Mt. Baker Station already has retail lined up. Has anybody else heard that? Is it true? I sure hope it doesn’t turn out like the Claremont just up the street. I’m not sure a business has made it more than 6 months there for the two or three (out of five or six spots) that have tried.

  4. Stephen F says

    Honestly, aside from weekend and night closures/reroutes at specific locations, I haven’t noticed a significant impact that would warrant alarm. It’s an urban neighbourhood undergoing significant investment and development. Considering how much activity is taking place in addition to the basic functions of the neighbourhood, it’s rather surprising that basically, there isn’t any great impact at all. I chop that up to good planning, especially street use, by SDOT coordinating and enforcing good practices with all parties. I have no idea why KUOW would drop a piece like this.

  5. Andrew Smith says

    Doesn’t Sound Transit also give construction mitigation money? I would like to know how much money has been given to the annapurna.

  6. Sam says

    I don’t think it’s lazy or a hit piece. It’s simply getting the perspective of businesses around the construction. It’s a rather common type of article. “But where are the facts and figures to back up the assertions that these people are making? They can’t just say things without backing up it up without data.” Um, yes, they can. It’s called the First Amendment. They aren’t writing a doctoral thesis, they are answering a reporter’s questions.

    • djw says

      Just to be clear, part of your working definition of “hit piece” is “must contain some speech not protected by the first amendment”?

    • K says

      First Amendment, yes, but KUOW is licensed by the FCC and as a public radio station is required to serve the public interest. Factless assertions don’t do that. Fine if they want to quote kvetchers, but then do the factchecking and reporting to support, refute, or — likely in this case — conclude that there’s not enough data and information to make a decisive statement.

  7. Sam says

    I know STB often feels the need to come to the defense of ST over even the smallest perceived criticism, but circling the wagons around ST to protect it from an unread article on an almost unknown local website makes you look silly.

    Two words: Pick your battles.

    • Matt the Engineer says

      I really should heed Sam’s 3 words, but that idea that nobody in Seattle listens to public radio seems to show part of Sam’s political hand.

    • Mike B says

      The problem is this perpetuates the notion that removing some parking for improved infrastructure for everything else without providing any support. And since this comes from a very reputable source like KUOW, it gives more serious ammunition to those who oppose non-car related improvements. It’s a very reasonable place to pick a battle.

      Annapurna Café’s owner is concerned taking away Broadway parking will impact business. But there aren’t that many parking spots on Broadway being removed. Maybe 10 to 20. This sounds like the Geary BRT problem in San Francisco: business owners greatly overestimate how people arrive at their businesses. Once can almost be certain customers arriving at Annapurna Café (which is quite good, BTW) are arriving by foot or transit, not car.

      Source: http://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/08/01/geary-brt-plan-watered-down-to-appease-parking-obsessed-merchants/

      • Scott Stidell says

        I drive up there fairly frequently from Mad Park for one thing or another (restauraunts, bars, shops) and I have not actually parked ON Broadway for over 15 years. Finding it relatively nearby or in one of the mentioned parking areas is rarely difficult or time consuming.

        This is a complaint in search of an actual problem.

        (I walk up the hill too, and if the never-dependable 11 were replaced by actual BRT I wouldn’t even think of driving up there…but until then….)

      • William C. says

        Perhaps one of us should talk to the owner of Annapurna Café or write them a letter? I’d do it, but I wouldn’t be the best spokesman as I’ve never been there.

      • mic says

        Surely there has to be several well documented studies about the effects of trading on-street parking for a curb lane of rail transit. Any one want to cough one or two up.
        When I toured Sacramento’s LRT system with their GM a number of years ago, the business owners were very vocal about how the downtown was transformed for the better after construction. Several parked cars, churning every hour or so doesn’t come close to LRV’s passing your storefront window every 10 minutes.
        This should be the message to local business. Embrace the future, and enjoy the rewards for being smart enough to be on a rail line, near a station.

      • z7 says

        I love Annapurna Cafe, and have never ever driven there. Have they been particularly vocal against the Broadway improvements, or were they just available when reporters called? [It may seem that respondents are singling them out for being particularly anti-multimodalBroadway.]

        That said, reaching out to small business owners, especially ones that offer good food and good value, always seems like a good idea.

        Also, next time road changes (what is the precise term?) are about to occur in front of an established restaurant, we should remember to go out and survey folks on how they arrived, and then again, once the changes are effected.

    • Matt B. says

      In these days it seems like you don’t get to choose your battles at all. You have to show up to every single battle, and do well, if you want to even have a chance to get anywhere. Mike B is correct–you have to help educate and encourage better urban and transportation policy at every chance you get, and even more so when it comes to the media, because people implicitly trust the media. Much more so in Seattle with regard to NPR.

      • Josiah says

        I agree that we should seize opportunities like these to better educate the public and the press.

        Would it be beneficial to provide a rapidly updated list of local media stories about transit / land use? It could support efforts by local transit and density advocates to shape the debate by rapidly hitting comment threads attached to these articles or performing fact checking against journalists.

        STB already aggregates a list of some of these articles each week, and that’s a good start, but I think timing is important. If we arrive at a discussion even an hour or two late then it can be more difficult to shape it in our favor. Additionally, rapid response may increase the probability of getting a journalist to issue corrections in a story. More ambitiously, there may even be opportunity to better shift the stance of local press on transit / density, even a little bit, through more systematic engagement of them.

        If others are seriously interested in such a system and though it would meaningfully help, I’d take steps to get it built.

  8. East Coast Cynic says

    KUOW’s hit piece is no surprise. Their reportage is very much about reinforcing the city’s status quo, including the lack of rapid transit. I recall Ben’s appearance on KUOW when Marcie Sillman questioned the need for light rail in Ballard. She’s been on the air in this city for years and presumably witness to our growing transportation problems, she doesn’t realize the need for rail in Ballard, much less the rest of the city????

    • Matt B. says

      Anyone who questions the need for light rail to Ballard needs to take a bus from Downtown to Ballard, or alternatively if that is too far a trip, U-district to Ballard around 5:30 PM on a weekday. Even doing those trips via car isn’t much faster.

      When biking is your fastest mode of transportation during several hours each day on a major transportation corridor, it would seem crystal clear that it could benefit from light rail.

      • Mike B says

        You mean that terrible, slow, meandering ride? If only RapidRide skipped going through Lower Queen Anne…

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Then it would lose half its ridership, and quite a bit of usefulness. When all routes only go from neighborhoods to downtown as a one-seat ride with few stops, you have a commute-only system, and an expensive one at that.

      • Aleks says

        Let’s say that RapidRide D didn’t deviate to Lower Queen Anne. Let’s consider which neighborhoods it would serve:

        - Belltown
        - The bottom of uptown (1st/QA and Denny)
        - The office district along Elliott Way
        - Interbay
        - Ballard
        - Crown Hill
        - North Greenwood

        I wouldn’t exactly call that a point-to-point express.

        What I really don’t understand is that this deviation is at least twice as expensive as sending the 5 through Fremont instead of using Aurora. Of the four possibilities, I can understand sending both the 5 and the D on the fast route; I can understand sending both of them on the urban-center route; and I can understanding sending both of them on the straight route (which means no LQA for the D, and yes Fremont for the 5). The current configuration is the only one that I can’t come up with a consistent explanation for.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        @Kyle I certainly don’t have numbers (and I would love ridership numbers), but it sure seems like there’s a lot of boardings at Uptown. Though I was being a bit facetious with the claim of “half”. In the survey (P. 8), 22% of D riders used to take the 15 local compared to only 8% that used to take the 18X. I think that means there are quite a few Uptown riders, but of course that’s not enough data for real conclusions. Maybe all of the 18X riders still take the 18X but would have changed if it skipped Uptown – but if that’s the best option for Ballardites then why are there so many people on the D?

      • Aleks says

        Matt,

        I used to live at 15th and Market. In my experience, whichever bus got there first would get most of the riders. I think this is the biggest reason that the D has ridership when the 15X is running. Many people have learned the hard way that, when a bus comes, you take it. I imagine that all of us have had the experience of watching the “wrong” bus go by, while we wait for the correct bus… then fifteen minutes later, when our bus still hasn’t shown up, another one of the “wrong” ones come, and we finally get on. This doesn’t have to happen very often before you learn that you should always get on the first bus that goes anywhere near where you need it to go.

        In the event that both buses arrived at exactly the same time, the vast majority of people would take the 15X. In that situation, I think most people who chose to ride the D did so because it was less crowded, and the line to board wasn’t as long.

        I think some other people choose the D because of the Wi-Fi, or because they’re used to it (i.e. they know where the D takes them, and they’re unfamiliar with the 15X). I think some people are making a trip for which either or both ends are close to stops that are served by the D, but that are not served by the express buses (e.g. NW 60th St, or anywhere in Interbay north of Mercer Place, or 3rd/Vine). Of course, all of these problems would be solved if the D took Elliott to Denny and the 15X disappeared.

        Yes, some people choose the D because they’re riding from Ballard to LQA. But in my experience riding the D, the number of people making that trip is pretty small at all times of day. It’s important to distinguish between people using the D to get between Ballard and LQA, and people using the D to get between LQA and downtown. There’s definitely a non-trivial number of inbound boardings and outbound alightings in LQA. But if the D didn’t serve those trips, then those riders would just take the 1/2/13, or even a rerouted 24. That’s not a corridor that’s hurting for transportation options. And just to be clear, I would fully support taking the service hours saved from deleting the 15X and from rerouting the D, and using them to increase the frequency of the 13, and/or to merge the 24/61 into a route that goes between downtown and 31st Ave via LQA and Magnolia.

      • Mike Orr says

        The 18X and 15X run only peak hours! And one direction! There’s so many people on the D because there is no express midday, evenings, or weekends, so they have no choice. And even peak hours, the expresses are useless if you work in Ballard.

      • Aleks says

        I just read that study, and I’m not quite sure what conclusion you’re drawing from it. The D is fundamentally a replacement for the 15 local. I’m guessing that most of the “Something Else” riders are folks in Central Ballard who used to take the 17, or folks in between Ballard and Greenwood who used to take the 28, or folks who used to take the 1/2/13 to get to and from Uptown. But the survey didn’t really ask the right questions. What you really want to know is:

        1. What trip(s) do you use this bus for?
        2. Before the start of service on the D, what was your “algorithm” for making this trip?
        3. After the start of service on the D, how has your algorithm changed?

        This would capture the difference between riders who completely switched from an alternative service to the D, and riders who simply kept going with their original strategy, except that the D replaces the 15 local.

        Either way, I don’t think this survey question gives us any insight into whether folks are using the connection between Ballard and LQA. Even before the D started service, there are plenty of reasons that folks would choose to ride the 15/18 locals rather than the 15X/18X. As I mentioned above, one or both ends of their trip might not be close to an express stop. Or they might have taken an express bus once before, and accidentally missed their stop by a mile, and vowed to never take it again. Or they might just take whichever bus comes first. Without stop-level boarding data, we don’t really have any hard evidence.

      • Aleks says

        Mike is absolutely right, and I totally forgot about that. If you work at Swedish in Ballard, and you’re not taking the graveyard shift, you’re not taking the 15X or 18X. :)

      • d.p. says

        In my experience, Ballard↔downtown and Ballard↔beyond-downtown ridership on the D is depressed by the time-consuming detour + the failure to reach central Ballard destinations directly.

        Much of the former defaults instead to the 40, even when the 40 is running less often — RapidRide’s refusal to be any faster than the alternative removes the incentive to walk further to reach it, or to take “the first bus heading in the general direction of Ballard” in the northbound direction, thoroughly negating its stated purpose as an intracity trunk line.

        Most of the latter, meanwhile, throws up its hands and continues driving.

        In addition to exposing RapidRide D as a fraud and a failure, this has the perverse effect of artificially inflating downtown-LQA and LQA-Ballard trips as a percentage of the ridership that remains after those needing Ballard↔elsewhere have jumped ship for other options.

      • Aleks says

        I maintain that RapidRide and the associated restructure is not a failure; it’s just being judged on the wrong measures.

        Here’s what the RapidRide restructure accomplished:

        - Dramatically improved mid-day frequency along both 15th Ave NW and 24th Ave NW (from 20 to 15 minutes).

        - Dramatically improved two-way peak frequency along 15th Ave NW (a bus comes every 10 minutes or less, *in both directions*).

        - Improved effective headways to Old Ballard; instead of 5 badly-spaced buses per hour, there are now 4 evenly-spaced buses per hour.

        - Most importantly, *dramatically improved system legibility*. Instead of 3 routes running at poor frequencies (20-30 min), there are now 2 routes running at acceptable frequencies (15 minutes). And RapidRide D meets Metro’s highest standard of frequency: a bus comes every 15 minutes or less, from the start of service until 9:30 PM, 7 days a week, along the entire route.

        IMHO, the legibility is RapidRide’s real success. Imagine a network where every single route (aside from local circulators) ran at high frequency for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, and where that frequency wasn’t diluted by complicated branching and multiple terminals. RapidRide is a small step, but it’s in the right direction.

        The choice to send RapidRide D through Lower Queen Anne is just a mistake, and it’s one that we could imagine eventually correcting. There are plenty of similar mistakes throughout Metro’s network (Route 5 has a few), and Metro is trying to make progress on fixing them. I don’t think it’s a condemnation of RapidRide as a whole; I think it’s an unfortunate side effect of institutional inertia.

      • d.p. says

        Okay, all of that demonstrates the validity of the concept of restructuring, in general.

        But RapidRide was supposed to be the kind of highest-frequency trunk line that would induce you to walk further — that would take over most of the heavy lifting to your quadrant of the city, and would convert to transit many trips previously only imaginable in a car — by virtue of its unmatched speed, reliability, and simplicity.

        In that, RapidRide D has been an unequivocal failure. The 40 is as fast to downtown, and often easier. Trips beyond downtown continue to induce driving, with good reason.

        That overall ridership is only slightly better than the 15 local it replaced, and that an artificially high percentage of that ridership is on the non-exclusive stops of the LQA detour, is evidence of the D’s failed promise.

      • Mike Orr says

        ‘“the first bus heading in the general direction of Ballard” in the northbound direction’

        One problem is that the D and 40 stop at different stops, at least at 3rd & Pine. The D stops at McDonald’s with the Queen Anne routes, while the 40 stops at Macy’s with the Fremont routes. This means you have to choose one or the other before the bus comes. They should have put the D with the Fremont routes. People going to Uptown have so many buses they don’t need a D alternative.

      • Mike Orr says

        “RapidRide D has been an unequivocal failure.”

        Did you miss the part about 15-minute evening and Sunday service? That’s not a “failure”, it’s an improvement, which most parts of the city don’t have. It’s not as much as RapidRide should have been, but it addresses one of the biggest issues in the bus network.

      • d.p. says

        At yet aggregate ridership is still weak at those times of frequency improvement — roughly equivalent to patronage of the 40 buses that runs half as often — thanks to the line’s other overriding deficiencies.

        That is what is known, in the objective world, as a “failure”.

      • Aleks says

        I’m veering off-topic again, but something I’ve wondered: there are a lot of buses that stop at 3rd and Virginia. Could it make sense for Metro to maintain that stop pattern throughout 3rd Ave? For example:

        Northbound Set A: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26, 28, 29, 33, 40, 62, 358, D
        Northbound Set B: 25, (41), 49, 66, 70, (71), (72), (73)
        Southbound Set A: 2, 3, 4, 7X, 14, 16, 21, 27, 55, 56, 57, 82, 116, 118, 119, 120, 124, 131, 132, C
        Southbound Set B: 7, 36, 66, 84, 125, 304, 355

        There’s no question that this would mean higher passenger loads at the A stops. But if it’s okay to have that many buses stopping at 3rd/Virginia, isn’t it okay to have that many buses at 3rd/Pike, too? Or is the issue that the number of people boarding south of Stewart is much higher than the number of people boarding at 3rd/Virginia, and so it’s important to better distribute the waiting passengers?

        (In the meantime, whenever I’m at 3rd and Pike and I need to catch a bus, it’s pretty common for me to walk the few blocks to 3rd/Virginia, specifically so that I have more options about which bus to catch.)

      • d.p. says

        I’m skilled enough with both OBA and jaywalking that I’ve rarely encountered any problems dealing with the Pike/Pine stop split, even when re-calibrating my trip options in real time. Nevertheless, it still tends to be advantageous to wait longer for an equally fast and more direct 40.

        The relative loads these two routes carry on their Ballard segments, and the almost total nonexistence of 40↔D transfers at 15th and Leary, back me up on this. The D is not carrying especially heavy Ballard-trunk loads, contrary to its intent and to Mike’s strange definition of “success”.

        This does relate (tangentially) to the original point of this sub-thread, which is that RapidRide is not serving Ballard well. At some times, that’s because of traffic. At all times, it’s because of terrible routing and grossly uncompetitive speed.

        It’s absurd that Mike thinks slightly better frequency equates to “success”, when those evening buses carry about 6-10 people each across the bridge. How many cars cross the bridge in 15 minutes, on even the slowest nights? RR’s modeshare is pathetic!

        That RR is awful for going anywhere further than LQA — and that Matt abuses the resultant usage-skew to tout the “usefulness” of the LQA detour — is too absurd to let slide.

    • Mike Orr says

      Marcie seemed to be off her game in that interview. Maybe she didn’t have as much time to prepare as usual, or maybe it was other things happening that day. In any case, I didn’t think she was anti-rail. She was just starting her questions from zero, which is a common interviewer’s approach, to make the guest explain the basics in his own words before getting to the larger issues. If KUOW were anti-rail, one they wouldn’t have aired the piece at all, and two, she wouldn’t have let Ben say much of what he did unchallenged.

      • DJ says

        Oh please, Marcie wasn’t off her game. Her bias was showing more strongly than usual, that’s all.

  9. Kyle S. says

    Allow me to expand:

    Have you ever ridden RapidRide D in peak? The VAST majority of riders are headed from Ballard to downtown. Meanwhile, Lower Queen Anne is absolutely awash in service, with the 1, 2, 8, 13, 24, and 32.

    RapidRide riders destined for Lower Queen Anne can already transfer to a Seattle Center-bound 32 anywhere along 15th Ave W. If RapidRide stop placement followed anything resembling actual demand, it bypass Lower Queen Anne and the 24 would take its place.

    • Aleks says

      +1. I would love to see the 24 merged with the 61 and rerouted through Lower Queen Anne (roughly what David’s plan proposes). You would have a single route that hits all the “hard-to-reach” places, and you’d still have a one-seat ride between Ballard and LQA.

  10. aw says

    I finally got around to reading the article and listening to the report after reading all these comments, and I think the criticism is over the top.

    Small business owners worry about things like restricted parking and reduced foot traffic affecting their business. If they see other businesses going bust, they worry about their own future. If they see competitors coming into the neighborhood, they worry. They will see disruption in the area for at least 18 months for Capitol Hill Station construction, and then when the station is done, there will be the construction of TOD on-site to disrupt things some more.

    And for all of you criticizing Marcie Sillman, she only did the intro. Have a look at the byline on the article for the reporter.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      The problem here is that it’s a reporter’s job to not just parrot what people say and play up the fears they have. It’s to ask questions, to look at the other side, and to be balanced.

      When people read a news story like this, they are led to believe that there *isn’t* another side, that parking is more important than transit or TOD, and that they should oppose these awful trains killing their businesses.

  11. Jeff Pittman says

    You need to look at it from the standpoint of a business owner on Broadway who has had construction on his street for a number of years and will continue to see that for some time to come. They have seen lane closures, parking spaces removed and other disruptions and they don’t look at what the future may bring with the streetcar and light rail. They look at what has been happening with all of the construction and from their viewpoint it has been a giant pain that in their opinion has done harm to their business and they probable don’t see a see bright future regardless of what many of you think is a great improvement to Broadway.

    • Elbar says

      Bus riders also are incinvenienced by the construction, with the northbound stop across Seattle Central discontinued permanently. The next stop is quite a distance away. Why was this very heavily used stop discontinued? Makes no sense.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      We just did look at it from the standpoint of a business owner. And no one else. That’s the issue.

  12. Blowfishies says

    If you say that traffic hasn’t been impacted by the construction I don’t think you are being honest with yourself. Am I the only one who remembers the days before the construction when Denny connected between Broadway and 10th? It seems that alone is enough to support the statement that traffic has been impacted.

    In the end, when the construction is done, I believe it will probably worth the disruption, and I think the article brings that idea forward. That doesn’t mean there are no impacts though.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      I didn’t argue that there were no impacts. That’s an easy straw man to fall into.

      • Blowfishies says

        Here is the quote from above:
        There’s nothing provided to support this assertion but the basic point that there are now fewer lanes where there were previously more. In most rechannelizations, traffic flow is improved.

        I said the street is completely closed. I don’t think that is an improved traffic flow.

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