52 Replies to “Saturday Open Thread: Highway Map”

  1. Has anyone else had their ORCA just completely stop working? Everything worked great, but suddenly yesterday my card does nothing. No “try again” or any other message whatsoever. I had several drivers try to figure out what was wrong, but to no avail.

      1. Mine was defective, swapped it out for free today. Funny that it was fine right until I added value to it.

    1. My head is exploding even thinking about that!!

      Doing this version took long enough (this is my diagram – thanks for featuring it!). I think something with all the highways on it would just end up looking like a normal map, no matter how much I tried to make it look neater!

  2. My dad and siblings took Link yesterday downtown and they were packed! Each way it was standing only after the first few stops. The parking at Tukwila was going into the overflow lot too.

      1. I’m very pleased to see Link is being used for special events. At least it helps with events which people would usually take a vehicle to.

      2. When I watch one of your vides, it usually only plays a few seconds at a time, then pauses, while it “loads” some more (I guess). Any way I can avoid this? I have Comcast cable internet connection which gives me about 7 to 25 Mb/sec (depending on which test I use to check the speed), which I consider fairly fast .

        What can I do to watch these streaming videos without them constantly pausing? Takes me about 5 minutes or longer to watch a 1.5-minute video.

        The dwell time for the train in this video at this station was at least 40 seconds. Hard to tell if the doors had shut by the end of the video, or not. Did you get on this train after taking the video? If so, then the dwell time was over 40 seconds.

      3. I’m on Comcast and have that problem with YouTube occasionally. When the video starts up, pause it, and let a large part of it to load, then start playing. You can tell how much has been loaded from the light red part that fills up.

        I did get on that train but I edited that part out. So it was about a minute dwell. Since all the seats were filled with crowded aisles, at least 150 people boarded the train in a minute. Compare that to the 194 to Seattle at the airport, which took 7 minutes to load 18 persons with luggage and a person in a wheelchair.

      4. I’m a Comcast user and have this problem as well. What browser do you use? Sometimes when I have youtube lag on Firefox I find I have better luck on Safari.

      5. I have comcast too, and youtube is by far the worst for that lag time you described, I have no idea why. Using vimeo there is no lag, and the video looks way better, so I much prefer using vimeo now. Part of me thinks it’s comcasts fault, they have the power to slow down connections to certain sites (and they’ve done it before) but I don’t really see why they’d want to do it to youtube, it’s not like they have a competing service.

      6. Seriously … what’s up with this amateur hour bell ringing at every station? Have not seen this on any other system in the world. Also, why don’t buses honk their horns as they enter every station if it’s something that needs to be done?

      7. When I catch the train at Westlake it usually doesn’t ring more than a couple of times. I think this time they were trying to make sure that unusually large crowd of folks would stay back from the edge of the curb.

      8. This video shows why Westlake’s dwell time will determine the minimum headway of through the DSTT.

  3. What is the fare for this “Interstate System”? Does it remotely cover the full cost of operations??

    1. In the Northwest and the middle, you can pretty much get on and off for free, but in the SouthWest and all through the east, there are ticket inspectors *everywhere*!

      1. In 1986 nearly 25 percent of urban highways were already at capacity while another 20 percent were nearing capacity. Rural highways on the other hand, were way overbuilt. You probably didn’t need 100% grade separation and so many lanes out in the middle of nowhere, but hey, that’s what we were told we wanted.

    2. Almost, about 80% if you “put back” the money diverted to transit and, of course, you don’t count negative externalities :)

  4. Great Video Oran! Why was it so busy? We (transportation Choices) will be at the SWIFT opening celebration from 2-4 on Sunday tomorrow. Come by and say hello to your friends at TCC and get a commemorative SWIFT Sticket for opening day. Congrats Community Transit!

    1. Thanks Andrew! I believe it was the Macy’s Holiday Parade in the morning and Star Lighting in the evening that drew the crowds to downtown. I’ll be there along with other STBers covering opening day. See you there.

      1. “…it was the Macy’s Bon Marche Holiday Parade…”

        There, fixed it. Macy’s is a store in New York and has no need for presence in the Pacific Northwest.

  5. Just an idea of how Metro might find a new source of revenue. I am carless (by choice) on Capital Hill. I would like to go shopping at Walmart, the Outlet Malls, SouthCenter, etc. Seems like Metro’s marketing folks could work with these organization for “shoppers specials” on Saturday and Sunday that would leave downtown and go to places like this express. Metro could obtain a fee from the Sponsor and sell tickets to riders, too.

    1. I don’t think this would fall under the special events clause. This would be regularly scheduled service. I don’t know about merchants directly paying for extra service but cities most certainly can. If they get the revenue through some sort of LID or retail fee that’s fine.

    2. What is wrong with MT 150 to Southcenter or MT 101 to Walmart in Renton? Northgate, Aurora Village, and Bellevue Square are all easily accessible on regular Metro or Sound Transit Service, and stores along Aurora Ave are accessible on MT 358. No special service is needed.

    3. What’s wrong with shopping downtown and in the neighborhoods? Or at Northgate – let’s keep the sales tax $ IN Seattle, please!

      1. The 41 can easily be a shopping express given that it doesn’t make any stops between the bus tunnel and Northgate. Plus, it already stops on all sides of the mall!

      2. This sounds like a job for Metro’s marketing dept… With perhaps a marketing effort, combined with a few possible small shuttles to patch the gaps, you could advertise a weekend network of shopping busses… I’m thinking perhaps a mini-bus Bellevue TC to Bellevue Square, there is a walkway I know, but we are talking about Eastside people there… Bellevue Sq, to Redmond Town Center… and if more agencies were involved perhaps a well marked connection to Alderwood from Lynnwood TC. And, of course include the 41, 550, 150, and 511. Perhaps a shuttle from Northgate TC direct to the 145th freeway stop, to connect to the 511.

  6. Does anyone know why I still get a Puget Pass from my school?

    I’m a student in the Bellevue School District, and they didn’t give me an Orca card for my bus pass. I have to deal with the Puget Pass until March, at least.

    Also, does anyone know if I can go to KC Metro and ask for a youth Orca card with my school $.75 pass on it? If I can’t get the pass on it, it doesn’t make sense for me to get an Orca card.

    1. My assumption is that the Bellevue School District has a contract with Metro to provide bus service. Until that contract runs out they can’t change pass media. Possibility #2: Sound Transit is rotating the rollouts of the various employer/student passes contracts so that their database systems aren’t completely overwhelmed because of the increased demand.

      1. Isn’t it King County that is rotating the rollouts? Aren’t they the ones that coordinate the employer accounts?

      2. I might also guess, that since I noticed some eastside 1200 series bus-vans don’t have ORCA readers, they may have students unable to use ORCA yet.

    2. I asked an Orca rep about trading my PugetPass for an Orca PugetPass of the same value, and they said no can do. But I recently found out that (at least the Seattle School District) Student $.75 passes are also good for full fare on Link, so I really have no reason to want Orca (besides the cool-factor).

  7. Chicago Transit Authority now has system-wide real-time bus tracking, in the form of both estimated arrival time at a particular stop or current location of all buses on a given route.

    1. Gah, I wish Portland, OR had that!

      The new Green/Yellow Line part of the transit mall downtown has sexy new flat screens with arrival information, but it just spews out the scheduled timetable… even when the light rail isn’t running. They can’t push real-time information to it at all.

      As a result, a few weeks ago, everyone stood at the downtown stops waiting for trains that were never going to come, and the screen would just flip over to the next “due” train… and the next… and the next.

      Eventually, I walked over to the TriMet office in Pioneer Courthouse Square and asked them if the trains were running (this was after a good 3/4 of an hour). They sheepishly told me that they weren’t and I politely suggested that it would be nice if they told the 100 or so people who were patiently waiting at the stop, because they had no idea. Then I went and caught a bus home instead; they were running fine!

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