Pan Shot
Link in Action, photo by Stephen De Vight
  • Olympia’s devil transportation budget, the one that imposes a huge delay on East Link, seems to have passed out of the House Committee, with a full house vote Friday. The Senate version is bouncing around committees still. There is still time to email your legislators and tell them you want R8A and Eastlink back in the budget.
  • Newcastle 411 is reporting that the Sound Transit-funded Newcastle Transit Center project’s lowest bid was $2.1 million, 22.2% under the $2.7 million estimate. A number of projects have come under estimate recently, including the longer of the two U-Link tunnels. The bad recession is causing a huge shortage in construction projects, and engineering and construction firms are competing very strongly for the projects that are available.
  • The FAA foresees a 9% drop in air travel in the US this year due to the bad economy.
  • The rotten economy seems to be slowing transit-oriented-development in the Rainier Valley, according to the South Seattle Beacon. The nice thing about train lines is that even though they only open once, they stick around a long, long time. The TOD will show up eventually.

10 Replies to “News Round Up: Recession, Recession, Recession”

  1. Important to mention the boatloads of money for 405 and maybe the Alaskan Way Viaduct/520, or else they’ll just say “budget crunch, we can’t afford it”.

    1. Whoops, I corrected it. I think I instinctively write “photo by Oran” and do so absentmindly.

      It’s an amazing photo!

  2. The rotten economy seems to be slowing transit-oriented-development in the Rainier Valley

    On the other hand I was poking around downtown Redmond this morning. First time I’d been past the fringes in several months. Whoa! six story apartments have sprung up like mushrooms in the rain. All this despite Link scheduled to make it to downtown Redmond sometime around never. I sure wish we could form a posse to stop the outlaw developers that are robbing the train to steer future development and get tracks to where people are ready to board today.

    1. The train isn’t being robbed to “steer future development”, a preferred alignment hasn’t been selected by the ST board yet. Even if the absolutely cheapest option was selected for the entire line to Overtake Transit Center there wouldn’t be enough to make it to downtown Redmond. Furthermore the loss in ridership on the rest of the system would exceed the ridership gained from downtown Redmond.

      The real train robbers at the moment are those who are trying to either block Sound Transit from using I-90 or who are attempting to extort billions of dollars for use of the center roadway in a deluded attempt to raid Sound Transit funds for building roads.

      Even if someone is a BRT or Express bus fan the R8A project is absolutely essential for reliable bus service between Seattle and the Eastside.

  3. The nice thing about train lines is that even though they only open once, they stick around a long, long time. The TOD will show up eventually.

    They do cost money to maintain in a reasonable shape, especially to maintain at worth of high-speed travel. Rail lines that fall into disrepair can take a lot of money to restore, though not as much as to construct in the first place.

    If they completely fall into disrepair and disuse, like the S line that’s planned for part of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) Corridor, then it requires a whole new EIS to approve restoring the line. I don’t think that will be a problem here.

    TOD won’t necessarily show up eventually if the zoning doesn’t allow it, though. In Roosevelt, residents are strenuously fighting all transit-oriented development, saying that it would change the nature of the neighborhood to have even 4 story buildings.

    1. I don’t get the sense that “In Roosevelt, residents are strenuously fighting all transit-oriented development, saying that it would change the nature of the neighborhood to have even 4 story buildings.”

      Now many are opposed to the huge upzones requested for the Sisely properties but that is a different animal than say redeveloping the QFC site after North Link construction finishes.

      Now like any neighborhood there are those will complain vocally about any change. But there are those willing to embrace a new vision for the neighborhood as well. After all it was those who wanted more development in the neighborhood core who fought for locating the rail station at 65th & 12th rather than along I-5.

      1. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the vast majority of the opposition to the Sisley property upzone found its genesis in the Sisleys being the very definition of slumlords.

      2. Well that and the fact that he was pushing for a crazy out-of-character upzone to allow 15-20 story buildings.

        Surprisingly the development company who is working with him is known for doing a fairly good job.

    2. What’s with the Roosevelt bashing? I already replied about this the other day. Here’s a quote from City Council member Tim Bugress’ blog: “a Sound Transit light rail station will be constructed in this neighborhood in several years providing an opportunity for a neighborhood transformation. The residents I walked with can’t wait!”.

      Here’s another fun remark on the Roosevelt Neighborhood Assocation website: “the Big Western Red Cedar can be preserved and project density in excess of 42 residential units can still be achieved”.

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