CT DE60LFA 29700, by wings777
"CT DE60LFA 29700", by wings777
  • Dan Bertolet at HugeAssCity offers an articulate defense of embattled Seattle DOT head Grace Crunican.
  • The SunBreak interviews Metro GM Kevin Desmond about ORCA, Twitter, and unions.
  • A bunch of local newspapers worked together to create a very extensive “Navigate King County” transportation special report.  We’ll try to digest it and discuss further later.
  • SOV market share down in DT Bellevue and Factoria, slightly up at Crossroads and Bel-Red.
  • Kemper Freeman-backed Bellevue City Council Candidate Kevin Wallace has commissioned the engineering study to get Link pushed out to I-405 through Bellevue.
  • Two more Central Link vs. car collisions, the usual illegal left turn.
  • Not to be outdone, Tacoma Link takes out a BMW.  The TNT has a great photo.
  • Link noise declared a public health emergency, apparently a technical move to allow expedited procurement to solve the problem.   Stupidest quote in the Times article:  “We can’t have the light rail be more of a pollutant — with the noise, you’ve canceled out the carbon reduction.”
  • Dave Ross loves his Orca (skip to 31:30).
  • Jesse! helps out a homeowner waiting for Sound Transit to fix his yard.
  • City of Snohomish looks at a tourist train.

24 Replies to “Weekend News Roundup”

    1. It’s interesting that during the Dave Ross show mp3 listed above he makes reference to the fact that waaay back when in Seattle, the papers reported all sorts of issues with people ignoring the traffic lights because they weren’t used to them. Kind of seems similar to the Link vs. Car accidents now.

  1. Kemper Freeman is on the Dave Ross show bashing rail right now. 97.3 fm. Paula Hammond isn’t helping much.

  2. As usual Bellevue, like Mercer Island, really “wants” the Link. We should use the East Link money to build a concrete wall around Bellevue so they won’t be disturbed by ANYTHING from the outside. Especially those damn buses and the “people” they bring (Kemper Freeman quote) to their beloved city.

    Don’t hear much from the TLink these days. And that is a nice pick of the carnage!

    1. Haha, there could be border checks on the train. Show both your ORCA card and some other documentation that you’re a person of means.

    2. Kemper Freeman is not Bellevue and his views are a minority in Bellevue. If anyone builds a wall, Kemper Freeman should have to build it on his property with his money.

      1. He seems to not want to make too much, if he is going out of the way to keep potential customers away. I was on an empty SOUNDER train this morning, 1502, the second AM train to Tacoma, a train that has to run anyway so ST can better utilize their push-pull equipment, the trains that run with the backhaul services get two peak-hour runs into Seattle, vs. the one-way runs they used to make. Actually the coach I was in was empty, it was a 7 car train, and about 20 people waiting for the train to Tacoma in Kent, and about a 50-100 waiting for the next train into Seattle.

        While I have this temp job in Kent right now, I prefer the SOUNDER backhaul over the 150, although I do take either the 150 or 153 to get to Kent Station, though I want to avoid I-5. The LINK Trains I take to get to King Street Station in the morning, seem to be near full, I catch either the first or second run of the morning. This is about 5:30ish(when the first train of the morning is scheduled to pass through the Ranier Valley). By the way, the job I got last week, and part of this week, includes loading trucks, some of which may or may not be heading to the railyard to be put on either a BNSF or UP Z-Train. If Freeman don’t like Light Rail, I wonder if they had built a new bridge on the Eastside Line. Instead of a 2-4 car LINK Train, imagine if BNSF ran Z-Trains on the Eastside to Snohomish, where they would head for Cascade Tunnel. The Z-Trains are the big container and trailer trains, with expedited speed and usually are ROW(Right over the World) when it comes to who gets put in the siding on a single-track line. The main line is getting congested lately too, might need a bypass.

      2. Can someone explain why so many people capitalize the nouns “Sounder” and “Link”? This is a legitimate question, because Sound Transit certainly doesn’t do this.

      3. You mean entirely capitalized, like “LINK” or “SOUNDER”, yes? Yeah, that looks weird.

        It’s like when people call my computer a “MAC”. It’s not a MAC, it’s a Mac! And it’s Link and Sounder, too.

      4. For something like the name on the side of the car it’s okay to capitalize it but it’s never capitalized in text by ST.

      5. “For something like the name on the side of the car it’s okay to capitalize it but it’s never capitalized in text by ST.”

        Yeah, that’s just a typographical design choice. The signs at Safeco Field all say SAFECO FIELD but that doesn’t mean we always have to write the name with all-caps, or that it was ever intended that we do so.

  3. Unrelated, but how long has IntercityTransit been sporting the GPS assisted stop announcements? I took the Olympia Express on Friday and the bus was announcing the stops and displaying them in the front. Volume was a bit low, but I was still pleasantly surprised to see it. Now if only Metro would hurry up.

    Also, what’s taking the Next Train signage so long on Link? And what about Next Train info at Sounder Stations?

    1. I was making occasional visits to Olympia in 2007 and they had ASAs, so I think they’ve had it up and running for about two years now. Metro’s been promising ASAs for damn near a decade now. Supposedly with the radio upgrade we’ll get them, but with budget cuts I’m not really expecting that to happen anytime soon.

  4. From yesterday’s open thread, I wrote to the Seattle Center Monorail’s general manager regarding ORCA inclusion, and he responded to me just now:

    Thank you very much for you letter and interest in the monorail. The ORCA card is something we have discussed here, too.

    Let’s start with your question: “what would it take to get the Seattle Center Monorail to accept the ORCA transit pass?” The short answer is, the Seattle City Council would need to initiate and approve it.

    No tax money goes to the monorail to subsidize operations. Other regional transportation agencies do not use that business model.

    Your logic and advantages you state are certainly valid ones. We will continue to discuss the ORCA card at this end.

    Best regards,

    Thom Ditty
    General Manager
    Seattle Monorail Services


    I’m glad to see that it is something that is not new on their radar, and hopefully we can build some momentum for this.

      1. I suppose the next step is to contact the person in charge of the ORCA program, and find out what it would cost to add the Monorail to the system (administrative charges, any software changes, etc.) and what capital expenses might be necessary. I’m assuming they’d only need a couple of readers to put on the platform at either end of the line, especially if we can just do an e-purse charge as was suggested in the open thread.

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