News Roundup: Superlative Seattle

— HEWITT (@HewittSeattle) June 2, 2014

This is an open thread.

Comments

    • William C. says

      Well, if I lived there, I’d spend much of my time outside but be glad I had a place to cook and sleep – without the stroke-inducing commutes you pointed out just downthread.

    • Brent says

      That is not the New York Times. Nor was the viral outrage about anyone’s mental health.

      You have to wonder about the mental health of anyone who has gone from diligently reading the French-language version of the New York Times to reading the Boston-dialect version of the New York Post.

      • Mark Dublin says

        Important question: Do people in Boston still say “caaaah” like the Maliacci Brothers? And does anybody in post-Bloomberg NYC ever greet a dubious statement with: “Oh YEEEEEAAAAH?”

        These two additions to Seattle speech patterns would do wonders for both reducing the number of automobiles to pronounce like that, and completely cure endemic passive aggression.

        Active aggression is good cure for a lot of civic evil.

        Mark

    • David B. says

      There’s people who can’t stand sharing a space with others and really, really want their own space. And some of them cannot afford anything larger. Such options make their lives less, not more, stressful.

  1. John Bailo says

    I’m going to Yakima this weekend to look at homes. I’m pretty much convinced I want to be in Inland (Eastern) Washington from now on.

    • Mark Dublin says

      You know, don’t you, John, that the more people you convince to follow you over there, the likelier it is that if your new neighbors don’t fill the place so full that noting will move without grooved rail underneath- your kids will demand it if only to tick you off.

      Or, conversely, like the landlord who motivated me to move out of Seattle, your new address will convince thousands of local young people to move here and become pro-transit voters.

      Really win-win outcome for all of us, though. If you stayed around here, like for a lot of the rest of us, fighting for and against transit will get pretty stale. Over there, you’ll have a whole new wave of pro-transit people to bother.

      Mark

    • Brent says

      John,

      Did you get some hate mail from both supporters of the 159? I wouldn’t take it too personally.

    • David B. says

      Be my guest. It doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit that you prefer to live in Yakima. Not everyone shares my preferences — and this is nothing new or shocking. Enjoy your new home.

      • Chris Stefan says

        Walla Walla is very nice. I might consider living there if I was retired or could tele-commute.

    • Possibly ignorant says

      My commute is about 45 minutes in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to and from the suburbs. That time frame is the same if I am carpooling or taking the bus (Give or take a few minutes.)

      When I lived in Pinehurst, Ballard below 65th, and Fremont, my bus commute was easily 45 minutes door to door.

      So it really isn’t that much different.

      • Possibly ignorant says

        Though admittedly, the Rapid Ride line to Ballard has improved the time frame on that commute. So in fairness, that time would likely be vastly improved if I still live there.

  2. Bellinghammer says

    That ‘race’ from Ballard to Cap Hill so nicely encapsulates our current reality. The bus is the worst and can’t get better without new ROW, cab service is horrible, Lyft, UberX, and Car2Go do the job well but quite expensively, and biking is really the best, simplest, cheapest, most elegant option. I don’t see those dynamics changing without a Ballard Link.

  3. Brent says

    No city or state has gone this far … except the State of Washington. Yes, it is a lower amount, but having minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage is not new, and not new in Seattle. Indeed, it may be one additional reason why people so want to move here. No, people don’t move here because of the beautiful views, the awesome hiking, the cool-but-not-too-cold climate, or the abundance of tech-related jobs. THEY MOVE HERE FOR THE ABUNDANCE OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING, WITH PERFECT GREEN LAWNS, SINCE NO OTHER CITY IN THE NATION HAS SUCH AN ABUNDANCE OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING WITH PERFECT GREEN LAWNS.

    We must stop them. They’ll all be bringing cars. Every one of them. And kids filling up our schools, especially all the Montesorris. And they won’t have been around the neighorhood for at least 20 years, so they will be less committed to keeping our neighborhoods pristine and at just the right ethnic balance that has existed ever since they were 100% Salish, and were that way back to the Pleistocence, when a man believed to be of European descent, with a forked tongue, prowled the land. Archeologists refer to this specimen as Mukilteo Man.

    Nobody comes here just to get an education, so we must protect the U-District from being filled up with high-rise apartments. And low-rise apartments. The culture of the neighborhood must be preserved from having too many people bringing too much activity. All the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise! … is drowning out the symphony from I-5.

    The rent is too darn high! So, we must stop all new housing construction in order to correct that problem. Eliminate the demand. Proclaim to the world that only people born in Seattle can gain Seattle citizenship, and put an ineffective net of pseudo-cops along the border of the city, charging tolls for everyone coming in, whether in their cars, on bike, on skateboard, on scooter, on motorized wheelchair, or on foot, every time they cross the border. We’ll set up shop in Delaware, and hire an army of unsalaried from Kent to do the work no Seattleites want to do.

    But we, the lucky few who are already here, proclaim ourselves rightful citizens of Seattle by right of conquest, and hereby fill the moat with wastewater from the Boeing plants and raise the drawbridge. This weekend, we are shutting down SR 520, and nobody is getting across. Don’t even try. (traffic spoiler alert)

    • Justin Elder says

      Do you, good sir, by any chance work on the editorial board at the Seattle Times? he he

      • Andrew Smith says

        Does anyone on the Seattle Times Editorial Board actually do work?

        Depends on your definition of “work” and “do”.

  4. Sam says

    Our region is blessed with an abundance of great thinkers. The first is Tim Eyman. Second, Kemper Freeman. And third is Dori Monson. I was listening to Dori yesterday, and he was talking about the Northgate bicycle bridge. I wanted to fact-check with you comment section transit experts Dori’s assertion that the bike overpass, (which will be just two blocks, or a 20 second bike ride away from the 92nd street overpass) will cost $25 million dollars. Is that amount correct?

    • William C. says

      No, the bike bridge is about half a mile away from the 92nd street overpass. Perhaps you ride your bike at 180 miles an hour, but for me, going south and then back north that half-mile would take about five minutes to bike, or about twenty minutes on foot.

    • Wes says

      I hope you were being sarcastic about being blessed to have the minds of Tim eyeman and freeman here. I’m thankful for the development brought on by Freeman’s pocket book, but him and Tim eyeman are probably two of the people here I despise the most. I don’t know much about dori.

    • Brent says

      This is the problem with joint bike/pedestrian infrastructure: If it contains a bike component, people jump all over it as being wasteful, and do so in inverse proportion to the cost of the infrastructure. Nobody notices that the infrastructure is primarily for pedestrians, so the bike-hating dominates the debate.

      Would it please Dori if we simply banned bikes from the future Northgate pedestrian bridge?

      • David Lawson says

        No, because (to Dori) the pedestrians are all shiftless lazy moochers, and supporting them is just giving in to mooching. If they were upstanding citizens, they’d drive cars to work.

      • Sam says

        Dori calls Seattle bike riders the wimpiest, laziest human beings in the world, and talked about it yesterday. Says they are too lazy to bike two blocks up to the 92nd street overpass, and need their own $25 million dollar bridge. Go to 2:50 on the link.

        http://kiroradio.com/listen/9972634/

      • David Lawson says

        I have better things to do with my time than listen to Dori’s voice, such as cleaning my cat’s litter box or waiting on hold with the IRS.

      • William C. says

        Then Dori is either so negligent she hasn’t looked at a map, or intentionally misleading: there might just be two megablocks in-between, but it’s still half a mile from the bridge at 100th to 92nd.

      • Ints says

        Wimpy and lazy sounds like the job description of someone who sits at a microphone to tell the people who listen to them what to do.
        That bridge is for PEOPLE, yes on foot or on bicycles but it is for people who will be using light rail instead of a car to get around this city.
        When Dori Monson gets out of his four-wheeled exhaust spewing La-z-boy and walks, or heaven forbid cycles anywhere in this town, then he can call me whatever he wants and maybe, just maybe I might actually pay attention.

      • Brent says

        “… SHE hasn’t looked at a map…” I know for sure you’ve never listed to Dori.

    • David Lawson says

      Yes, over half a mile (it’s about .6 of a mile between the planned bridge location and 92nd). And there is a substantial change in elevation on both sides in that .6 mile, as well as a street on the Northgate side that’s unsafe for biking.

      Only as brilliant a thinker as Dori Monson could figure out math that equates .6 of a mile to “two blocks.” That’s about as brilliant as Kemper Freeman, who loves walking to work but works as hard as possible to prevent anyone else working in Bellevue from getting there in any way except driving.

      • Brent says

        I was on First Hill yesterday, experiencing the poor condition of the sidewalks. It struck me: “This is the decisive factor in why a First Hill Station wasn’t built for Link.”

      • d.p. says

        Don’t worry, it will only take 23 minutes longer on the streetcar.

        #urbanismforidiots

      • Anandakos says

        Brent,

        Supposedly it was soil conditions. I don’t remember the exact problem but just west of 9th Avenue there’s some formation that would have been unstable.

      • Mike Orr says

        Are you an engineer? There’s no reason ST would have abandoned First Hill station and encurred the wrath of First Hill, the reputation of breaking a (station) promise, and substituted an obviously inferior streetcar unless something stark convinced them that light rail was to risky. It was not a pro-streetcar bandwagon or cost-cutting or travel-time decreasing measure, because First Hill would obviously have been one of the most productive stations, and it would have solved one of the most difficult transit problems in Seattle (another being upper Queen Anne).

      • d.p. says

        The claim was #costuncertainty and the #fedalgorithm. But the ST board threw the baby out with the bathwater, never even attempting to make the grant-case for doing what was right.

        So the real reason was #fuckingcowardice.

      • d.p. says

        Streetcar is costing well over half of what the subway would have, and achieving almost nothing.

        #fuckingcowardice #fuckingidiocy

        (And you don’t have to be an engineer to realize that similar problems have been solved the world over.)

      • aw says

        D.p., If the First Hill Station had been built you would be complaining about the convoluted path between Westlake and UW Station. Or maybe between ID Station and U District Station.

      • William C. says

        I think what First Hill really needs is another line, maybe up Seneca or Madison and then continuing east to serve the Central District, probably on Jefferson or Cherry like the 3.

      • aw says

        My prescription for First Hill is sometime far in the future, long after there is a line to Ballard and West Seattle, there should be a junction somewhere around CHS that goes south to serve First Hill, then continues south to have a transfer station at Rainier Station, then continues to join the LRT on MLK. Around Rainier Beach Station, it could diverge and head toward Renton.

        This would be around the same timeframe that an express bypass of the Rainier Valley would make sense.

      • Bernie says

        That’s about as brilliant as Kemper Freeman, who loves walking to work but works as hard as possible to prevent anyone else working in Bellevue from getting there in any way except driving.

        And the more driving is hell the more people will want to move to DT Bellevue driving up property values. Maybe not brilliant but sly like a fox?

      • Bernie says

        Don’t worry, it will only take 23 minutes longer on the streetcar.

        Your cost comparison is unfair. You’re looking only at a station cost of a line that’s being built. If you built from scratch a subway from DT to Pill Hill it would be billions of dollars and have pathetic ridership. A streetcar isn’t about end to end performance. It should be about serving short hops along the entire length of the line. That said, I’m not sure the density along the route justifies the cost and not connecting with the Lake Union moving sidewalk is just plain stupid… Double the maintenance facilities, double the spare rolling stock, and get less than half of the functionality.

      • d.p. says

        Bernie,

        The streetcar is running only every 15 minutes, getting caught at stop islands right before traffic lights in the sole remaining traffic lane on Broadway, running only every 15 minutes, zig-zagging all over the place, and running only ever 15 minutes. Did I mention that it’s running only every 15 minutes.

        It isn’t for short fucking hops. It isn’t for ANYTHING.

        AW,

        No, I wouldn’t be complaining. I would be taking it anytime I was headed within a mile of any part of Capitol Hill, First Hill, or the C.D., to all of which it would enable genuinely quick and connective access.

        Your 5th-line plan is never going to happen. That’s why it was so freaking important to get it right the first time!

      • d.p. says

        And AW, if you honestly can’t tell the difference between…

        A) a grade-separated subway serving as many important places as possible along a smoothly-arced path, and

        B) a red-painted bus waiting 5 minutes at a left turn signal in order to squeeze through an extra mile of traffic-choked two-lane streets with adverse signals in order to reach an already well-served area that is decidedly not on the way

        …then you have absolutely no business offering your input on a transit blog.

    • Arthur Allen says

      Dori used to bicycle for exercise, and even biked to work from home once to compare various commute options. I stopped listening when the fun topics started being outweighed by the tinfoil hat topics, around 2001. Too bad, because I would have liked to hear how apoplectic some topics might have made him. He hates alcohol, public art and Sound Transit. I can only imagine how he felt about a version of the Rainier “R” being placed on the Link operations center as public art.

  5. M says

    “Decades old I-5 expansion joint fails, snarling traffic through Seattle.”

    It didn’t fail, it was pulled up by a chain dragged by a truck.

    • Mark Dublin says

      Wow, thanks for the word, M! With roadbuilding standards like “ability to resist destruction by (example of but not limited to) a truck dragging a chain, I can bid for the repair contract with all the kids I can find, equipped with shovels and sand.

      Good thing you helped me find out about this while all the competition was preoccupied with concrete, steel, technical skill, and needless crap like that. Race to the swift. Also something about the quick and the dead- like those high-speed zombies in World War Z.

      Mark

      • M says

        “Skagit Bridge fails, snarls traffic”

        “Highway 530 fails, cuts off community”

        You’re right, Mark. Truck damages freeway joint would have been too hard to write and would have clouded what actually happened.

      • Kacie says

        The irony in your answer is that by your logic the Skagit River bridge also did not fail, as it was damaged by a truck.

  6. Mark Dublin says

    In Norse legend, nature’s own cure for trolls: daylight turns them into huge rocks. Works for their counterparts in public discussions too. Resulting quarries could create thousands of jobs in Seattle.

    But local troll problem mild compared to language problem: artificial sweeteners masking true flavor of subject under discussion. Two worst are “issues” and “concerns.” Thanks for naming two really ripe subjects above.

    Pros and cons of apartment measurements are open to discussion. Around the world, people are happy, comfortable, and healthy with many different sizes and arrangements of living space. That’s not what we’re really talking about here:

    The people of Seattle are being priced out of places they can afford to live by a system which treats decent living space exactly as it treats health, education, and government, namely a traded commodity. I doubt that the business people who created capitalism- and its necessary regulation- thought this way.

    Short term, better cure than regulation. And it’s not a one-time present of fifteen dollars an hour, which is about half of a survival wage, let alone a living one.

    What’s necessary is a clean, democratic, effective labor movement- along with the understanding that workers will have a powerful amount of responsibility for managing the productive machinery they also operate.
    Underpinned by a concerted political movement of equivalent spirit and fighting bent of its opponents. How’s that for an issue?

    Another strong flavored concern no amount of corn syrup can sweeten: no terrorist needs an ounce of C4 explosive to wreck this country. All Al Qaeda needs to do is claim credit forevery pubic structure collapses due to money deliberately and needlessly withheld by our politicians.
    The necessary money is not “not there.”

    The continuing absence of an organized political effort to fight back is more nauseating than the word “issue.” And the polite handkerchief-to-nose aversion to its discussion is a concern inducing more vomiting than ipecac.

    Mark Dublin

  7. David B. says

    Wonder how many millions of dollars in lost productivity that failed expansion joint caused? But hey, we got our cheap car tabs! Thanks Mr. Eyman!

  8. baselle says

    They’ve gotten the noise variance, drawn the bore circles, and Brenda’s near the Maple Leaf Portal wall. ST is about to bore! WOO HOO.

  9. RapidRider says

    How again does the Columbia St. option for the Southend Pathway “seem best for riders”? Last I checked, it was the residents of Pioneer Square that decided for the rest of Seattle that the RapidRide C/D should continue to only serve half of downtown.

    • Norah says

      I thought people from Pioneer Square wanted farther south so it could serve all of Pioneer Square, not just the northernmost part?

  10. Anandakos says

    Republicans from Clark County met with rural Republicans from Oregon today in a “discussion” to try and get a rubber-tired only bridge replacement for the Interstate Bridge.

    Please email, call or write your state representative and senator urging them to resist this foolish sprawlathon.

    • Glenn in Portland says

      I didn’t get too far with that.

      I’ve attempted to contact one of the said Clark County Republicans, but apparently because of some other Tim Eyeman “reform” the legislators are not allowed to use their state e-mail addresses unless the legislature is in session, or some such thing.

      • Anandakos says

        Glenn,

        It won’t do any good to contact any of the “said Clark County Republicans”. Contact your state representative there in Portland and have her or him put the kibosh on this thing ¡promptamente!.

    • Chris I says

      I think an 8-lane (6 general purpose, 2 HOV) bridge should be in the long-term plan. It would be located just upstream of the current bridges, allowing them to be seismically retrofitted and reused as local access bridges. This would also allow the closure of the Hayden Island interchange.

      Of course, this should be paid for primarily with tolls and federal funding.

      • Anandakos says

        Chris,

        Exactly, though “seismically refitting” the 1918 bridge is pretty much wasted money; for local access between Clark County and Hayden Island one bridge with two sufficiently wide lanes that a broken down car can be passed is enough.

  11. phil says

    “Part of Broad Street closes permanently. I for one will not miss its horrible 4ft sidewalks.”

    It took time off traveling NE to SW and back. It was always possible to avoid by taking other streets which took longer, exactly like you will have to now.

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