Meeting Season

That aint right, by litlnemo
"That ain't right", by litlnemo

This week begins a long series of meetings and open houses in the Puget Sound:

  • The STB/NorthwestHub meet-up on Thursday night, October 8.
  • As an appetizer for our meetup you can attend the Capitol Hill Station open house at 6pm the same night.
  • The first “PT Tomorrow” (Pierce Transit’s overhaul campaign) open house is in Lakewood on October 6.
  • East Link public workshops start Monday the 12th in Redmond and finish Thursday October 15th in Bel-Red.  The pitchforks will be out on October 14th, when South Bellevue residents attempt to avoid the blight of rail service and get the train shoved out to the BNSF tracks along I-405.

Aside from the first, I’m not expecting anyone from staff to attend any of these, so if anything interesting happens a report would be appreciated.

Rapid Ride: F Line

View Larger Map

[UPDATE: More info on the revenue source at the bottom.]

Earlier this week, while reporting on the 2010 King County Transportation Budget proposal, Martin reported that Metro is in the early stages of planning a sixth Rapid Ride route, the F Line. Information on the five other lines can be found here. We followed up and got some basic details, discussed after the jump.

Continue reading “Rapid Ride: F Line”

The Race We Have


I don’t think the pro-Nickels bona fides of me or any other authors of this blog can seriously be in doubt.  We endorsed him in the Primary, gave him a platform to write about light rail, and reminded voters of his contributions just before election day.  By my count at least 5 of the 8 bloggers on staff donated some money to his campaign, and I volunteered a small amount of hours for him.  We remain enormously grateful for all he has done for this city and this region, and will mourn his departure from the scene in January.  All that said, there’s a distressing theme in the comments of Nickels supporters continuing to rip McGinn, accusing him of being inexperienced and his rail plan as being a “pipe dream” at best or disingenuous at worst.   More below the jump. Continue reading “The Race We Have”

Commute Patterns Nationwide

This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Speaking of work trips, Bike Pittsburgh compiled the U.S. Census data on work trips, broken out by city and by mode. Seattle ranks #3 in bike commuting and #9 in public transit commuting nationwide.

On a related note, Seattle Bubble says we rank #8th in density, but that’s just the city proper, not the metro area. Does that seem right?

The Trips That Matter

This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Last week, John Niles, oft-quoted rail critic, tweeted:

With more rail & TOD, higher fuel prices, & more climate awareness, why can’t PSRC write 2040 Plan to double transit market share?

Good question! Fortunately, the plan Niles is talking about does exactly that… where it counts.

Niles is referring to this chart (PDF):

Picture 29.png

The transit share of “all trips” increases from 2.9% to 5.2% under Alternative 5 . But the share of “work trips” shoots from 10.4% to 19%. That’s pretty close to doubling, and significantly more than the baseline scenario.

As I commented on the Cascadia Prospectus site (where they’re equally confounded by the plan), the reason that this is important is that it’s the work trips that cost us all the money. If someone needs to run out for milk in Issaquah at 10pm, sure, that counts as a “trip,” but it’s not really an expensive trip from a peak capacity perspective, because the roads of Issaquah aren’t clogged at 10pm.

The trips that are expensive to add capacity are the peak, “work” trips. And for those trips, additional transit service and right-of-way is the only realistic way to add enough capacity.

Meet-up Details

Our next meetup will be at the offices of GGLO Architects, 1301 First Ave., Suite 301, downtown Seattle.  It starts Thursday, October 8 at 7:30 pm, with our guest speakers starting 8 and running till about 10.

As we’re doing this in conjunction with our friends at, the speakers will have a bit more of a land-use orientation than usual.

Thanks to the generosity of Northwest Hub and their sponsors, there will be wine, beer, and light snacks.  They’re requesting donations of about $5 a head to cover the costs of these refreshments.

Getting to Light Rail

Mt. Baker (Metro)
Mt. Baker (Metro)

[Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at the Rainier Valley Post.]

[UPDATE: Parking lot cost fixed. Ah, the free market.]

If you don’t live within walking distance of a light rail station and would like to try to use it to get around, you’re faced with the decision of how to get there.  I’ll venture that most people who would access it downtown know how to get there, but here’s a quick guide to your options in the Rainier Valley and points south.

With the September 19, 2009 service change, the bus routes have changed substantially.  Since our last update, we’ve also uncovered a number of parking lots.  Details on how to get to the station below the jump. Continue reading “Getting to Light Rail”