I’ve decided, provisionally, to stop whining about the perceived editorial slant of the Times. Every editorial desk has its own biases, including STB’s, and there’s no reason to get particularly worked up about the fact that theirs is substantially different from mine.
However, there are two really major facts missing in Sonia Krishnan’s really weak piece about the lack of park-and-rides around light rail, facts that could have been included with a little more research, or, just reading this blog:
First, for all the poor souls who have no choice but to drive to light rail, there are scattered pay lots in the Valley. In my part-time effort I’ve identified two: one near Beacon Hill (with very restricted hours), and one 3 or 4 blocks from Columbia City. At $3/day, along with fares it would cost you 7 bucks a day to go downtown, which beats driving there. Through the magic of the market, this is provided at no cost to the taxpayer. Of course, light rail opponents aren’t interested in the system’s cost when they’re bashing it for not including their pet feature or routing.
Secondly, this has to be about the weakest unchallenged complaint of the year:
With her Metro bus stop in flux, she said, she’ll probably end up driving to work.
Hunter said she’d be happy to take the Metro bus to the station, but it’s still unclear how her route might change because of light rail.
Her Metro bus stop is in flux! Why, every morning, it randomly moves about as if by magic!
It is factually incorrect to state that the route change is “unclear”; King County has decided on the change and publicized it. If Ms. Hunter is “unclear” how her route might change, she might have paid a little bit of attention to the three mailers that Metro sent to everyone in the Valley, or come to an open house, or seen any of the local ads, or occasionally checked the Metro website, or even now gone here. And it isn’t as if the September 19 service change won’t get more publicity in the Southeast than usual.
I’m being a little harsh on Ms. Hunter here: people are remarkably ignorant of developments that affect them greatly, and should have the right to be. But for a local reporter who ostensibly “covers” transportation to not be aware of this — or not bother to point it out — is pretty contemptible. It would be trivial to check if bus changes would affect Ms. Hunter’s commute, but Ms. Krishnan declined to do so.