Guide rail and wheels on the monorail, by Mike Bjork
"Guide rail and wheels on the monorail", by Mike Bjork

35 Replies to “Weekend News Roundup”

    1. Right. I grew up in Germany where young children with their backpacs riding the U-bahn and streetcars were a common sight. This comment just confirms my opinion that most Americans have an absolutely skewed view of risk.

      1. Heh, but who will protect us from the dangerous school backbacks filled with books! Someone almost whacked my baby in the head with one the other day.

    2. Not all people who are “mentally ill” or “ex-cons” are dangerous (and at that the two categories don’t belong in the same breath), Sam, which is a dilution to the point that violence against children is rare and that most upstanding folks are a better pair of eyes than on a school bus where often nothing happens when children are violent against each other. On the 64 in the morning, it’s mostly kids. Everyone proceeds in a nice orderly fashion, and it also cuts out the issue of “special transportation” for those of us who are disabled because, guess what, standard schoolbuses are still inaccessible. Metro buses that are inaccessible are few and far between.

      So, uh, personally, i think Metro to school is a great idea.

    3. Good thing kids aren’t going to church instead, since those are also apparently “filled” with pedophiles, ex-cons, the mentally ill, and predators.

      For the sarcastically impaired: hopefully it is obvious that neither buses nor churches are actually overly dangerous places, though like anywhere both do have dangers.

    4. I rode Community Transit for years to get to school and I turned out just fine. There are much more unsafe things in life. As a community, we never hear of any incidents where something bad happened on a bus to a kid who was going to school.

    5. I don’t know about other districts, but in Seattle it is only high school students who are given a bus pass rather than yellow school bus service. If high school kids shouldn’t be riding city buses then either something is really wrong with the kids or with the buses.

      1. Chris,

        False. Middle school students are being given monthly passes this year. I transport a lot of kids from as far out as Madrona to as far north as Queen Anne – they have sparkly new passes issued by the Seattle Public Schools.

        Middle School kids are as young as 11.

    6. I know your just trolling Sam, but I’ll take the bait.
      I’ve driven nearly every route Metro has, and have never been able to detect any of the people you’re afraid of. No badges, show of hands… nothing. And I trust you can’t point out any of them with accuracy either.
      As for kids on buses, they travel in groups (no Sam, I didn’t say gangs), are doing kid things that we did when we were their age, and generally behaving. AND they are the next generation of transit riders, so lighten up a tad.

    7. “It’s unsafe and unethical to make school kids to walk on city-owned sidewalks. They are being forced to walk on sidewalks filled with adult pedophiles, ex-cons, the mentally ill, and predators.”

    8. Sam, are you actually my dad, masking as an STB commenter? You sure sound the same. He won’t take the bus since it’s “beneath him”. He took the streetcars enough when he was a kid (back in the 40’s).

      I’m driving the 14 right now and pick up a whole busload of kids every day. Frankly, they are in more danger from all the crazy drivers in the area of the school than they are from anybody riding my bus.

      Seriously, Sam, get a life.

      1. I drove your piece of work tonight – there is a whole busload of kids on that run. Frankly if anyone is in jeopardy (out of volume, not because these are bad kids – actually they were great), it would be the 3 or 4 adults on board.

        And yeah – that’s quite a weave on Jackson when school lets out.

        Had fun doing your work tonite, Matt. You’ve got some fun folks on your run. A colorful old lady who called me a “dirty hippie” (I have a crew cut) was probably the gem of the night. The run in front of me was so late I was right behind him – and that driver didn’t want to run with his signs blank or transfer passengers to catch up on his schedule, so I tooled along right behind him, dead empty. Later on after his layover – that driver got sideswiped on his way down Jackson by the Girl’s School. On my way back to base (after picking up his passengers while he waited for SPD), dropped Color Lady off at 5th and Jackson – and a trolley tried to pass me on the left, losing her poles.

        Most fun I’ve had this shakeup!

        Oh yeah – ran dead empty on the “feeder” runs back and forth between Mt. Baker Station and Rainier/St. Helens. Downright lonely.

        But back to Sam’s silliness – the kids were great, and no I don’t agree that schoolkids riding Metro during peak times are in any danger. They can be witness to some colorful language and behavior (one place I pick up kids in the morning is at Summit and Seneca right across from a methadone clinic), but there’s always lots of responsible adults around.

    9. A new age has begun. Sam’s trolling has at least inspired some lively debate at times, but it is a bit tiring. Sam: your trolls are going to get moderated. In fact, the default assumption from me is that every post you make is a troll.

    10. What is meant by “trolling” (for the blogosphere terminology ignorant among us)? Since the original comment is gone, is it like the monster under the Aurora Bridge or more like something out of “Deadliest Catch”?

      1. Trolling on STB is going against group-think. It’s holding views that aren’t in line with John Jensen. If I start espousing views that are similar to John’s, or start agreeing with his views, my comments won’t be deleted.

  1. We can’t force a naughty nickname onto the First Hill Streetcar, it just has to come out by accident. The SLUT wasn’t intentional, it was accidentally referred to as the SLU Trolley and the name got out. Also, being partly Paul Allens pet project didn’t help.

    That aside, it does need a naughty nickname. Everyone knows what the SLUT is here and the bad connotation has sort of disappeared and the region is sort of embracing the name. I personally love the SLUT and take no shame in referring to it as so.

    My friend, who posts here occasionally, came up with a PSLUT for Portlands system while we were down there checking out the MAX: “The Portland Streetcar Line Under the Trees”.

    1. Although, my vote goes to the Twelfth Avenue Trolley (TWAT). Its no where near as bad as the others. Riding the SHIT just sounds tacky.

  2. While we’re on the subject of school service on Metro—it has always been my opinion that Metro should start a service similar to Kitsap Transit’s “Ferry Take-Home” service to get kids back home from school—once the buses depart from in front of the school, the buses only stop to drop off passengers—no additional pick-ups are made. These trips also strictly avoid wheelchair boardings and bike rack use to keep the buses (and students!) on time.

    1. Thats a terrible idea. Might as well ban wheelchairs and bikes from buses all together. Why is it such a big deal if the kids are a few minutes late getting home? Those people in wheelchairs and on bikes might actually need to get somewhere on time.

  3. I went to the HugeAss City link and I am appalled that one commenter there was thinking of abstaining on the County Executive election because Dow Constantine supports the tunnel – this is a recipe for getting Susan elected and I can’t think that any of us here would welcome that outcome!

    Speaking of Susan, though, I was both surprised and dismayed that Jim Ellis felt it incumbent upon himself to support her on the grounds that he had not endorsed a Republican for three decades. I am sad to go against anything that Jim Ellis has to say, but probably is not a good time to go with someone so untested and inexperienced. This report came out of an article in today’s Seattle Times:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2010045585_execenvironment12m.html

    Tim

  4. The Link train I was on both to and from the Seahawks game on Sunday was stopping at lights right and left on MLK, just like last weekend. Do *any* of the operators know how to drive this thing, am I just unlucky, or is there something else going on? I am 0-4 on my recent trips with being caught my multiple issues with signaling and starting/stopping between Rainier Beach and Othello…

  5. the ideal commuter bicycle depends upon many factors: terrain, weather, fitness, what carrying capacity one needs, price and income. this is similar to this site’s transit discussions. many bike (or transit modes) may be appropriate choices, depending upon the right of way and cost constraints.

  6. This is kind of off-topic, but I just saw a news report where King County is actually planning for traffic mitigation for when the Green River floods SR 167 (and traffic would be diverted to I-5. How would Sounder service be affected?

    1. If the more severe flood scenarios develop, Sounder service will be cancelled, with several feet of water over the tracks in Kent and Auburn.

      In addition to 167 closing in a worst-case flood, East Valley and West Valley would be flooded, as would most major routes across the valley that people would ordinarily use to get to I-5.

      The County, cities, and Corps of Engineers are looking at traffic mitigation, protecting specific traffic routes, etc., but if the worst-case flood hits, transportation in the valley will be very, very bad.

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