33 Replies to “News Roundup: Election Day”

  1. I like those Westlake Hub plans. The streetcar ends in a pretty unceremonious spot right now. I was worried at first they would rip out the McGraw statue, but I’m glad they won’t.

    This city has far too few statues.

    1. There was a Charles Addams cartoon from decades ago about a father showing his son all of these statues of groups of people and saying “There are no great mean, my boy – only great committees”

      A fitting panel for the “Seattle Way”

    2. I still think the Streetcar should be extended another block to end on Pine St between 4th and 5th Ave. Imagine how higher the SLUT’s ridership would be if they did that! Visitors would have a much better idea where it terminates. But that is part of the larger plan probably a decade away…

      But man, anything to improve that little grungy area would be great.

      1. Extend it south a block. Or extend it south to the ID station. Or extend it north the heart of Eastlake. Or extend it across the bridge to the U-District. Just extend it.

      2. I think they should make a little pedestrian tunnel from the bottom floor of Westlake Center to the new plaza, offering a direct connection from Link to the SLUT. Eventually it will get extended, don’t worry…

      3. Given that bashing the streetcar has been a political necessity for all city candidates this election, I think there is reason to worry about it ever getting extended.

  2. The pedestrian signs by Beacon Hill are much needed. I saw some push-button solar-powered ones down in Portland awhile back. Those would be cool.

    1. Man, that sure is ugly compared to the Link’s elevated guideway. Though, the elevation though the WTC is rather interesting.

      1. The 1 viaduct by 125th street is beautiful. a truly grand structure that is instantly recognizable.
        As a former NYC resident who worked in the WTC and on the subway at various point its wild to see what they are doing with the 1 at the WTC site. Still the greatest subway system in the world, 105 years later. the 4 track local/express system stands the test of time.

  3. Alternate analysis of the BNSF buy: could Buffett believe peak oil will hit us soon? If so, we’ll see a sharp jump in the use of rail in the transportation of goods. With BNSF in hard times in this economy, Buffett might have just bought a golden goose for the price of a diseased chicken.

    1. Buffett likes to buy good bets cheap. He indicated in statements today that he expects the price of oil to go up. I suspect this also may be a bit of a bet on the future of coal which is BNSF’s largest cargo by tonnage and 2nd largest by revenue.

      1. Cheap? Didn’t he buy BNSF for a 30% premium over the stock price? I haven’t followed their stock price at all…so maybe it’s been in the tank. But it doesn’t seem anything like the fire-sale purchases we saw last year.

        Any word on what the extra capital investment might mean as far as improvements/upgrades/priorities?

      2. Its been really rocky. From $120 to $51 then to 75 in the last few months. Today, I became a very, very happy BNSF Railway investor.

        Warren Buffet is a very smart man. He understands, unlike most holding companies, that railroad capital investments are not cheap, but they pay off in the long run with large returns. Buffet might take advantage of the crappy market and do some serious investing in his new railroad.

        Edmonds double tracking, and thus the new Edmonds Station, was delayed until next year because BNSF did not want to invest in the new capacity now (sort of dumb considering traffic on the line is down).

      3. It makes me wonder if Buffet will invest in electrifying the BNSF, since he owns both coal mines and power plants he’d have a cheap and reliable supply of power.

        Mike B, are you going to take the cash or swap for Berkshire stock? Unrelated, I liked you series of photos on Flickr of the new Sounder yard location. Where is the new Amtrak maintenance yard going to be?

      4. links to the photos of the new sounder yard pics please.
        as far as i know the new amtrak yard will be where our yard is now, just expanded and improved.

      5. When Buffett buys something “cheap” he means relative to what he thinks a company is really worth. I’m sure he thinks the $100/share he paid for it is a bargain.

      6. Well, BNSF CEO Matt Rose was saying not long ago that the company was considering electrification (of the *entire freaking BNSF system*) because it would save substantial money on operating costs, but that he couldn’t justify the capital expenditure just yet….

        I have to wonder if having a much more solid capital position and a cheaper source of capital will cause re-evaluation of that!

    2. It’s a strong bet for coal, too. Buffett knows what the fuck he’s doing. BNSF is the largest coal shipper in the country, and it uses a lot less oil/diesel than trucks.

  4. Hooray for backyard cottages! I used to live in one, and loved it; it was a cheap way to live in a great neighborhood, with my own tiny little yard too.

    1. I’ve known a lot of people who’ve lived in them in Seattle, where they’re technically illegal. That’s the funny thing about approving them, the first fewer years many people will become “legal” all the sudden.

      1. I think there are lots of older ones that are “grandfathered” in. And the neighborhood where I grew up wasn’t part of Seattle until the 1950s, so there were a bunch of ’em there that were just a bit older than that.

  5. Turns out Bus Chick wrote about the greedy banks v transit issue over a week ago, and notes, with relief, that Metro is not among the 30 agencies involved.

    The motion to approve the “lease-to-service contract” is posted on Sound Transit’s website. The motion notes that the risks are extensively detailed in a separate document, which I wasn’t able to locate.

    Google Sound Transit Defeased Lease/Leaseback Transaction Risk for several interesting Sound Transit documents detailing the current situation. Sound Transit, as it happens, has been dealing with this since the beginning of June (if not earlier).

  6. That TNR story on the Viaduct is over before it begins. More of an intellectual aside than a story, and certainly no analysis at all. I guess I’m not sure what I was expecting.

Comments are closed.