If the list version of the Southeast Seattle and Southwest King County Link-related service changes wasn’t helping you visualize what was happening, I’ve obtained .pdf route maps of both SE Seattle and SW KC.
Tuesday is the deadline for your last chance to comment on these changes before Metro starts making timetables. You can comment in person, or by email or phone.
Thanks to Rochelle Ogershock and Jack Latteman from Metro.
In related news, Dick Burkhart, transit activist and representative of the Rainier Chamber of Commerce, criticizes the plan for reducing connectivity of Seward Park to light rail, and generally doing a pretty poor job of connecting people to the train instead of downtown.
I’m actually sympathetic to Burkhart’s points; longtime readers might recall my August proposal to nuke the whole system and replace it with circulator routes. However, Metro resources are far from infinite, and as I predicted then, such a radical change to the status quo would create a torrent of negative comments. Even cuts to express bus service to downtown — the most obviously replaced by rail — provoked a firestorm of protest.
Part of this is due to an instinctive and well-earned distrust of authority in the Rainier Valley. To make matters worse, Sound Transit took so long to even announce options for their fare structure that the early rounds of comment were polluted by a fear that the train would cost radically more than the bus, although that turned out to generally not be the case.
Furthermore, after to talking to some of the Metro planning staff, it’s an article of faith in some quarters there that “circulators don’t work.”
The text of Burkhardt’s letter is after the jump. I’ve posted a specific reaction to some of the points afterwards. Again, I agree with him in spirit but don’t think the service hours are there to fit his vision. Taking those hours from elsewhere in the Southeast is, for now, politically impossible.