Pepsi ads in University Street station
Pepsi adds in University Street station. By Oran, via the STB flickr group

These don’t deserve posts of their own, but I want to keep you informed:

  • Obama is now planning to make 40% of the stimulus tax rebates. This means some combination of two things: 1) that there were not enough good “shovel-ready” projects available and 2) that Obama is trying please conservatives.
  • Vancouver Washington is thinking about light rail alignments. When a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia is built, Vancouver will likely get connected to Portland’s Max system.
  • Phoenix’s Light Rail trains have had four accidentswith cars since opening last month. That system is basically entirely at-grade, so there are more crossings and more spots to have accidents than with Link. Still, we need to be careful when Link opens, the potential for accidents is still there, and while some accidents are certainly inevitable, right sorts of lights and bells can keep the number to a minimum.
  • Apparently Seattle is getting WAY better.
  • Are we trying to resuscitate a dinosaur by fighting for transit? I don’t think so, in fact, I believe we’ve got a dinosaur on life-support with the way we plan transportation currently.
  • Ted Van Dyk, who used to infuriate me, has become hilarious (self-inflicted “atrocity”). Who would have ever thought that? Universe, you have a sense of humor.
  • If Sound Transit should be called “Seattle Transit”, East Link should be called “Bellevue Link“.

8 Replies to “News Round Up”

    1. I was just kidding. I don’t agree with the “seattle transit” characterisation. Sounder, ST express, and Tacoma Link are not seattle projects.

  1. Cool ads.

    RE: The Obama comment. The earliest rumblings I heard had the sizable middle class tax cut. The business tax cuts are relatively newly announced, but could have been there from the beginning.

    1. It’s a part of trying to get republicans to vote for the stimulus, it’s also a part of Obama not wanting to spend the thing on relatively bad investments.

      If he could come up with $755 bn of awesome stimulus spending now, there would be no tax cuts.

      I still imagine Obama is going to spend heavily on infrastructure over his term, it just may not all be part of the stimulus.

  2. what good is a $500 tax cut when you dont have a job? i can however see some sort of tax cut for businesses that add new jobs where they could really add up for the hiring company to some serious money.

    i’m not saying this because i’m a railfan but seriously something like building a national railroad system is of a gigantic national scope that would reach all corners and create new industries while providing an abundance of jobs. it need not necessarily be rail but effective economic stimulus has to be far reaching and ambitious that will completely alter the american landscape and way of life. i just dont think merely expansion or repair is the answer, it has to start literally from scratch.

    1. I’m going to talk about this in my next full-blown post on the stimulus, but Eliot Spitzer, and a number of others, are recommending a “smart grid” as a way to create jobs, lower the number of power outages, and encourage people and business’s energy usage:

    2. Unfortunately a lot of projects like rail, and probably even the smart grid, require years of environmental analysis and planning — which don’t employ near the same amount of folks as real construction and don’t get the money into the economy at nearly the same rate.

      However, what’s $500m in research money to do environmental review, planning, and design for a smart grid and national rail and local transit projections and other things — that way for future spending we have the plans ready to go.

      1. A Smart Grid isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and has been studied repeatedly. The last major study was in 2006, and included engineering specs.

        It’s just crazy expensive (>$200bn), which is why it has never been done.

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