Meet at SODO, by Atomic Taco
"Meet at SODO", by Atomic Taco

Less than 48 hours!

Come here for all your opening day coverage!  Saturday, we’ll be massively ramping up our post frequency.  Follow us here; better yet, try twitter, where it’ll be even more excessive.    The whole staff will be roaming around, posting and tweeting; we welcome your photos in the Flickr pool.

And oh, so much news:

91 Replies to “1 Day”

  1. Watching that KOMO piece was so funny! Full of errors and car-loving fits of rage….

    At least according to Mr. Johnson we can go to Southcenter! And can’t you stand bikes if the hooks are full? That’s the case in Phoenix…

    1. OTOH, Q13 just had a great story about Link opening, encouraging people to use transit this weekend for the Sounders match / all of the festivals! They even talked about ST2 extensions, and how this weekend is just a “preview of what’s to come”.

      1. I hope people don’t actually think this weekend is a preview of things to come. 2-4 hour waits for a train, and completely full cars is not going to be the case once regular service starts up.

        I’m excited because we’re going to the Sounders game on the 25th, so we’ll get to actually use the train in regular service very soon (i don’t work downtown, nor do I live in the RV).

    1. Our hosting had a problem. Interestingly, we weren’t hacked or hijacked, the domain name server simply pointed to the wrong IP address. That spam site was just something in another of their hosting accounts.

  2. “Joni Earl signed the certificate of occupancy at 5pm, so we’re good to go fof Saturday.”

    “fof”?

  3. I went and took some pictures of the power lines (they’re on my flickr stream, http://www.flickr.com/photos/litlnemo/ — currently on page 2). They are big but I think they are not as bad as the folks there make them out to be. City Light probably should have given them a little warning, though. I don’t see the lines as that big a deal.

    1. Wow … some people. Of course the people complaining about this don’t seem to realize City Light does this sort of thing all of the time. However because it is connected to the Link substation Sound Transit gets blamed this time.

      1. Higher rates to bury lines? YES

        Why spoil one of the greatest things about living here, the views. My views already include utility lines and that cable strand just keeps on getting fatter (they wrap new cables around the old).

      2. Of course, property owners in many areas of Seattle form Local Improvement Districts to pay for burying their utilities or other improvements (like the streetcar).

      3. Power still goes out during a storm with underground lines. I went 6 days without power in 2007. That was not fun.

      4. Er, no, that was 2006. I ended up working a lot of hours because school was out for the winter and there was nothing to do at home.

    2. Yeah I’ve never heard of anyone being warned that power lines were going up. They really don’t look that bad, the view is still great`

  4. Bet you were. I was watching the Twitter feed and saw the screen capture in the Pool and had the case of the giggles :)

    “A transit blog hijacked my debt consolidation site”. LOL :D

  5. I’m planning on taking link (yeah!) from our home in Columbia City to the Sounders game at Qwest. Question is – when should I expect the first train to arrive northbound? They say that Link will open “at 10:00am” but does that mean they will start flooding the rails from the SODO service station at 10 – or they will have trains scattered throughout the system begin rolling at 10?

    1. I’m not sure about that. I assume they’ll start loading the first cars to leave Tukwila and Westlake at 10, so the first train by CC will be shortly thereafter. A warning though, the crowds tomorrow and Sunday will be extraordinary. Check with the volunteers about the wait time when you arrive (anyone wearing the bright green or bright orange shirts can probably help you). There is a chance it’ll be 2 hours or more.

      There will also be a free bus that’s shadowing the Link line, stopping at all the stations. No telling what the wait would be for that, but it would be a viable alternative if your time runs short. I’m volunteering on Sunday, but i’m not planning to try to ride the Link this weekend. I think Monday or Tuesday evening i’ll pay my $5 roundtrip and ride the full loop, just so I can avoid the crowds from the weekend.

    2. The two inagural trains will leave Mount Baker sometime after 8:20. One will head north, and one south. They will both reach their terminuses and then make the full trip to the opposite terminus. It takes 54 minutes to complete this trip. After that, those two trains, along with every other train ST owns, will go in service, at 10am.
      It’s impossible to say how early people will line up. As Colin pointed out, your best bet might be the shuttle bus.

      1. And, I just convinced my brother and sister (who came all the way from Virginia) that driving from Bellevue is a bad idea (now to try and convince my mother – in the running for the Worlds Biggest Transit Hater). They’re spending the night with me @ Mayflower then we’re all going to meet outside the Westlake Station entrance bright and early to meet up with some fellow Microsofties

      2. Wait, the inaugural trains are *leaving* at 8:30?? I thought there was a ceremony, etc. that was to begin at 8:20.

  6. ID has a full supermarket in walking distance ;).

    And I guess you could consider IGA part of University’s reach, too.

  7. In 24 hours, I will be standing and waiting for the ribbon cutting!!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

  8. I’ll be there tomorrooowwwww before 10 AM at Westlake to start the journey to Tukwila International station then take the other train back if the lines aren’t too long.

  9. so if i dont have a ticket, is it still worth going to mt. baker other than to see the ribboncutting?

    1. There will be the ribbon cutting ceremony, you’ll be able to watch the two inaugural trains leave, and get in line for the next train that won’t show up until 10am. “Worth it” is up to you.

      1. As much as I would love to see the ribbon cutting I’m not sure I want to get up that early on a Saturday. I’ll probably not attempt to ride until the crowds die down some, though I may try to travel to the station areas for whatever special events are going on.

  10. I’m completely sick of hearing (in the mainstream news) about the “lack of parking”. KIRO radio had a short little piece on the light rail opening today. It started off positive enough (although they did toss out that 100K opening weekend figure, which some thing will scare off potential riders). But then the piece had to bring up the “But where will you park?!” angle. Is it really completely mind-blowing that there aren’t huge parking lots next to these stations?

    1. I was at Mount Baker Station today and was surprised to see a 73-stall parking lot there right next to the station. Of course, it’s $4.00 to park there for 10 hours. But there is parking at a light rail station!!!!!

      1. The side of the sign I saw said 0-4 hours ___ 4-10 hours ___ … ____. I guess I should have looked at the other side–I thought it was odd for it to not have prices.

  11. is there not parking at tukwila? if so that is kind of odd, but i can definitely understand with the other stations.

    1. Yes, there is parking at Tukwila (although capacity will be less than normal during opening weekend due to the events at the station). There are not dedicated lots at the other stations. This, according to some media, is Completely Terrible as it’s Completely Baffling to them how people will get to these light rail stations without the use of their cars.

      1. Where are you going to put a parking garage? Take a look at the areas around the station. There’s nowhere for a garage. Not to mention the NIMBYs will come out and yell that they don’t want anything really tall in their backyards.

      2. They are not building parking garages inside the city because they want the area around the stations to become dense and vibrant. Having a big structure that people just leave there cars in is definitely not good for a neighborhood.

      3. Not only is it not conducive to a neighborhood, but it would likely take up space right by the station which could be better used for condos.

  12. I noticed that ST is only running 2 car light rail trains tomorrow, although a spokesman said they can add more if they need to. Does anybody know why ST isn’t running the full 4 car trains, given that they themselves are predicting massive waits? Or is ST simply running all the cars it has at the current time, and hasn’t yet purchased enough cars to run 4 car trains?

    1. 4 car trains can’t turn around in the Pine Street Stub Tunnel. Only a 3 car train can. Once U-Link is open they won’t have to turn around, so they can use full 4 car trains then.

      Sound Transit has 35 vehicles right now. If you used a 3 car train right now, you would get 12 trains (one of which is only 2 cars). If you do 2 car trains, you get 18 trains (one of which is a single car). More trains means they arrive more often. And to answer your next question, no, they will not do 35 single car trains because that would clutter up the line too much to the point where it would be unsafe.

      1. Trivia question: If you did have a 35-car train and one end was parked in the Pine Street Stub Tunnel, roughly where would the other end reach to?

      2. I believe that they DO have enough cars to do 3-car trains though. 12 trains running over a 68 minute round trip (make it 10 trains to account for the wait at each end to turn around) = 6:48 headways. 18 trains would give 4:15 headways, but I don’t know if MLK can handle trains running that close to each other. Seems like maybe the sweet spot would be somewhere in between, say every other train 2 then 3 cars for 14 trains running at 5:40 headways.

      3. All I know is that ST has been saying for quite some time that they will have 2 car trains for opening weekend. Watching the testing late this week, I’ve only seen 2 car trains, and one 1 car train.

  13. Seattle Times:
    Over the next 3.5 years, Sound Transit will spend $16.8 million on police services through its contract with the sheriff’s office, Qaasim said.
    During that same time, $14 million will be spent on additional security measures, including 65 unarmed security guards and 12 fare-enforcement officers, he said.

    I wonder who will be complaining about how that’s too much money. I’m not going to read the comments on the Times article, I just get frustrated every time I do.

    Assuming all 12 fare enforcers work 40 hours a week, and there are 138 service hours a week, and that they spend 100% of the time on a revenue (non-deadheading) train, and assuming that all service hours will be staffed equally, there will be 3.5 fare inspectors on the line at any given time.

    I also like this one:

    To enforce laws and heighten riders’ sense of security, uniformed officers and plainclothes detectives will regularly hop on and off trains and patrol the streets between light-rail stations

    And even if you don’t want to read this Times article all the way through, click it just for the pictures.

    1. I’m already in Downtown Seattle having a nice time at the Aquarium then checking in at the Mayflower. See the 10 AM riders at Westlake :)

      I’m easy to spot: dark sunglasses (my eyes are bad with light) girl sitting in a big power chair with a table attached

  14. Will there by any “live” TV of the grand opening?

    20-20 hindsight, but why didn’t they start the Grand Opening at like 6AM or 7AM on Saturday? All the people who want to be “firsters” would have be willing to get up early anyway.

    1. They still have stuff to set up, and they’re still setting stuff up on Friday. I think some of them want a few hours of sleep.

  15. so how many are planning to do the 8:30 ribboncutting at mt baker then make a b-line for westlake? or are all of you either on the first train out of mt. baker or waiting at westlake real early? i realize all the stations have events and stuff going on but will there be some stations with more going on? obviously it will be hard to go to all stations with the long lines as predicted. im just wondering where is best to spend my time.

    1. Only people who tickets can ride the inaugural trains from Mt. Baker. If you want to stay there, you’ll have to wait until the next train comes back around, which might take up to an hour. So if you don’t give a damn about the ribbon-cutting and are willing to get up early, then you probably want to hit Westlake.

      I won’t be there until 2 or 3. Will probably either take Westlake or ID to as far as Beacon Hill or so.

      1. Not exactly true Sherwin. Once the inaugural trains leave Mount Baker Station, there should be nothing preventing Sound Transit from putting the other trains right behind it so that Tukwila International Blvd Station would have trains starting at 10:00. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a train heading south within 10 minutes of the inaugural train departure.

  16. As we get down to these last few hours, we should probably remember a couple of folks who won’t be with us Saturday morning.
    Former Capitol Hill pharmacist and City Council Member George Benson would have loved being with us – I’ll never for get his ear-to ear grin the day the Waterfront Streetcar opened lo these decades ago.
    Less well known, but equally important would be former postman, historian and photographer Warren Wing who, in about a half dozen books published in the 1980s and 1990s, reminded us in text and photographs of the trains, streetcars and rights of way we lost from the 1930s through the 1970s. I last saw him at the opening of the Kent Sounder station in 2001 – he looked as proud as could be that local passenger trains were again serving the route of his beloved Seattle to Tacoma Interurban, albeit on a slightly different route and reduced timetable.
    Enjoy the ride, George and Warren!

    1. Another person to note would be Walter Shannon, the last surviving motorman on the Everett-Seattle Interurban. It was a shame that he recently passed and couldn’t be here. I remember meeting him at Sounder’s first day on the North Line.

      I think he would have been one of the happiest people on earth this weekend.

    2. I wish George was still with us to help with the fight to get the Waterfront Streetcar restored. Of course if he was still around there is a good chance construction of the Sculpture Park would never have caused a service “suspension” in the first place.

  17. On a general note – kudos for Soundtransit for it’s excellent communications and marketing of this event. They really seem to be running at the best of their game. I love the entire “travel light” campaign.

  18. Will the inagural trains carry passengers back from each end, or will they be stuck out at the ends untill 10AM? Also, what determines who is going NB or SB on the 8:30 train?

    1. From what I understand, the trains will not go round-trip at each terminus, so all passengers have the disembark at either Westlake or Tukwila, and must either join the throngs to get back on another train, or take the shuttle.

    2. I’m responding a bit late, but hopefully you see this. There will be one northbound and one southbound train. Each will go to its respective terminus and then turn around to go to the other terminus. So the inagural riders will get a ride and a half.

  19. On Senator Patty Murray getting federal money for our ferries.

    I first want to begin by saying that I love our ferries. When I was a kid I saw our ferries and the ferries of other states and felt pride. The ferries we used look so much cooler than all the others. I still love them.

    That being said, What Senator Patty Murray did was wrong. The 49 other states should not be paying for our ferry system. We basically stole the money from the taxpayers in other states. Yes, they steal from us for there own projects. That in no way makes it right. If we cannot pay for our own projects then we do not deserve them. Let each state fund state project with state money.

    This is also a violation of our Constitution’s 10Th Amendment. Remember that one. Most people want to ignore it. In layman’s terms it means that unless the Constitution specifically states that the Federal Government has the power to do something it cannot do it. The power belongs to the states or the people. For 8 years we have been told over and over again that President George W. Bush was shredding the Constitution, no one seems to mind when Senator Patty Murray is doing it. But to the mind set of the her supporters if its an area we do not like then it is okay.

    1. Sure, whatever … the Federal Government has been involved with transportation projects from nearly day 1: post roads, navigational aids, canals, railroads, military roads, interstate highway system, etc.

      For Sen. Murray to not “bring home the Bacon” sort of misses the point of having a Senator on the Appropriations Committee and chairing the Transportation Subcommittee. Sure you may not like it an wish for someone like Ron Paul or Inhoff as our Senator, but most people in Washington were looking for someone like Maggie or Scoop to get Washington its “fair share” of Federal spending.

      Even with the “pork” Washington is a net tax-paying state so we still send more to DC than we get back.

  20. Also I just realised that rather than debate be on the issue poncho you just tried to insult me. When really you did not. I likr Congressman Ron Paul. Like I said we disagree too much on foreign policy for me to be a big supporter of him in 08 or in 2012(I am hoping Senator James Inhoff of Oklahoma runs for President). He and I agree more than disagree on domestic policy.

    1. While it is too early to tell for sure I don’t think any potential GOP nominee for 2012 has much of a chance.

      Strictly on transit, transportation, land-use, and energy issues, President Obama is likely to be much more in line with those of us who support mass-transit and smart growth than any Republican likely to get their party’s nomination.

      While there are some conservatives who “get it” on transit like the late Paul Weyrich, they are few and far between.

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