Jim Ellis and protege
Jim Ellis and protege

If you haven’t checked recently, our Twitter feed has been relaunched, so that it’s no longer just an announcement of each post on the blog.  Today, especially, it’ll be hopping.

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Today is for Jim Ellis, who’s been fighting for this day longer than anyone else.

It’s for all the tourists who have shown up at the airport and wondered where the train was.

It’s for baseball fans who found the bus schedule useless in post-game congestion.

It’s for anyone who’s sat on the 7, 36, or 42, slogging up the Rainier Valley.

It’s for ST CEO Joni Earl, who saved this train from oblivion.

It’s for Patty Murray, Greg Nickels, Ron Sims, and all the other politicians that made it happen.

It’s for anyone with a stroller or wheelchair that had to struggle with the bus lift.

It’s for revelers who’ve had to leave something early because that’s when the last bus left.

It’s for millions of Puget Sound voters who finally did the right thing.

It’s for my son and Andrew’s daughter, who will always have a fast, safe, and reliable way to get around.

Commenter Lloyd has a few others who deserve recognition:

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!

and Kaleci:

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.

RIP, guys.

Add your dedications in the comments.

10 Replies to “3 Hours”

  1. “It’s for anyone with a stroller or wheelchair that had to struggle with the bus lift.”

    Thank-you for adding wheelchair

  2. It is also a day to remember those who fought this tooth and nail.

    I’m talking to you Emory Bundy and Kemper Freeman Jr.!

    And I will remember Nick Licata and Maggie Fimmia’s hard fought attempt to kill rather than just reform ST.

    “And remember, if Rob McKenna had his way, when he was on the Sound Transit board of directors, we would not be opening light rail transit next weekend.

    McKenna worked very hard, in concert with East Side highway interests, to destroy the light rail project and leave the entire region with only bus transit.

    Thankfully, he failed.”

    -comment from http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2009/07/10/ag-rob-mckenna-gabs-with-bloggersf

    P.S. I ride “BRT” every day in L.A. and I can assure you it sucks a Tijuana Donkey compared to either the Purple Line or Metrolink commuter rail. Wilshire is a travesty of asphalt right now.

  3. Just back from “The Ride” – what a morning.
    Thanks Erik for the necessary reminder of those whose negativity almost succeeded in killing rail transport here. They’ll keep trying; we cannot rest on our laurels after today. Eternal Vigilance!
    Onward to Husky Stadium and beyond!

  4. While I didn’t bump into you today, Ben, it was certainly great to be on the inaugural ride!

    Today lines have been non-existant in Westlake and I’ve ridden just to University and if it weren’t more practical to take (ick) #2 home, I’d ride back to Mt. Baker station.

    I’m still in disbelief that this finally happened. I could see the actual trains running, see the signs saying “coming in 2009,” see ORCA cards, and still think “is it really here?” As of now, yes, yes it is and to stay. :)

    Finally! Thank you Puget Sound!!! Now we just need to run Sounder more regularly, like UTA runs FrontRunner.

    1. And we get more Sounder runs thanks to Mass Transit Now. :) It opens to Lakewood in 2012, and I hope to someday see it run on weekends and to Olympia.

  5. And MNAY thanks also to Andrew, Martin, Ben, Brian, Adam, Oran, John, and Eric for this Blog – I think I can speak for all contributors and readers in saying you kept us informed and enlightened, and sometimes entertained through it all.

  6. Thanks Martin – I just want to add my own tribute to Jim Ellis who I know through the Mountains to Sound Greenway, but I often think to myself – what a contrast between the legacy and memories that Mr. Ellis will leave Seattle with in the decades to come and those that Tim Eyman will leave us with – the difference between these two activists couldn’t be sharper or more distinct and no prizes for guessing which of the two I would like to honor today? No contest really between a community builder and a community destroyer.

    I’d also like to honor Mayor Nickels and Senator Patty Murray – both of whom have been tireless in their efforts to work for Seattle on transportation. I don’t care if other Senators take Senator Murray to task for Pork – they can get their bridges to nowhere so long as we get our rail to somewhere and Senator Murray has helped to achieve just that.

    Thanks for of course to everyone at the Blog and for the platform we had to sound off about everything.

    What shall we talk about now!

    Tim

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