"Link LRV Under Construction", posted by Gordon Werner

This is an open thread.

18 Replies to “News Roundup: Neighborhoods”

  1. FYI …

    The photo heading this thread was sent to me by the nice folks at Kinkisharyo’s PR department.

    The LRV they are working on is LRV #101 (the first) and they are prepping the car body for primer.

  2. “If this level of noise sensitivity was present sixty years ago, we would never have built freeways, and we would have been better off for it. But now, it’s simply serving to entrench freeway dominance.”

    — Entrenched, indeed. The biggest noise mitigation project in world history would be tunneling Highway 99 for $2 billion, instead of an elevated replacement. In the case of Sound Transit, even if Tukwila noise retrofits cost $5m, that’s the (relatively) small price to build credibility in other neighborhoods as the $23b Link network expands. Sound Transit is just having to confront its noise effects sooner in its history than the DOT did.

    1. I don’t want to deny that the people who have to put up with the flange screeching are suffering, but have you ever watched and listened to a train cross the bascule bridge at the Ballard Locks? It’s a pretty loud noise with the squealing of the flanges and the groaning of the bridge every time a train passes, but somehow a pair of eagles have built a nest on top of the bridge and they seem to be raising a family up there. Are they deaf?

    2. Although it is a certainty that the deep bore tunnel will be quieter than an elevated structure, it is a misrepresentation of fact to imply that the tunnel was selected because of “noise mitigation”.

      And there is NO elevated replacement option – that simply won’t happen and is no longer being considered.

  3. I am curious if this blog also addresses taxis and the recent ruling on the airport concession. I would consider taxis as part of the transit system, albeit private. I, for one, abhor the monopoly that is allowed on airport service. What is the rationale behind it? Why can’t any taxi service SeaTac?

  4. re: Capitol Hill Station

    “The new station project will remove 113 off-street parking stalls from a neighborhood where parking is hard to find but where some survive without cars…”

    It should say “THRIVE without cars.” Going car-free isn’t ascetic martyrdom, it’s liberation. 5 years on, it’s improved my life in innumerable ways and I’ve never looked back!

    1. I’m glad to see someone else caught that, too! “survive without cars,” they say… what decade are these people living in?

  5. From the Central District News piece about trying to bargain to keep trolleybuses:

    The county currently doesn’t get a break on those power costs, paying the standard commercial rate of about six cents per kilowatt hour.

    Ah, I’d been guessing 10 cents per kilowatt hour to be conservative. That makes the savings differential for the electric buses even more compelling. A commenter on the article stated that in Sofia, Bulgaria the ratio of maintenance (overhead lines, etc.) to energy cost was 60/40. However, if our energy costs are cheaper (which I’m pretty sure they are) our ratio would be skewed more toward maintenance. Recalculating for 6 cents per kilowatt hour the cost advantage of electricity over diesel is $2.31/hr vs $7.07 (diesel @ $2.30/gal). That would leave $4.76 per hour to cover maintenance of the overhead system or a ratio of 66/33. So it’s a very close call as to whether total operational costs are more or less than a diesel hybrid. But then I’ve suspected all along that it’s the additional up front capital cost that has been the reason to try and ax the ETBs. Without any distortion from federal subsides the amortized cost of the bus is pretty much a wash; $800,000 for a hybrid with a 12 year life expectancy vs $1,200,000 for an ETB with an 18 year life expectancy. After raiding the capital equipment piggy bank to maintain operational hours I can understand why Metro wants to minimize up front costs now and let the next cycle of politicians and bureaucrats worry about clean air mandates and spikes in the cost of fossil fuel.

    1. I really like their idea of separating out the wire maintenance (to City Light) and having Seattle pay for new ETBs to neutralize that issue.

      1. I’m with you on the wire maintenance (2010-05-24 09:29:57 but I don’t think the City would want to buy the trolley buses. City Light can discount the electricity which would effectively finance the extra cost incurred by Metro to by the ETBs. If the contract is written such that the discount is pegged to the differential cost of vs diesel the City could come out smelling like a rose should the cost of crude skyrocket. Metro would still be money ahead haven’t not sunk all their resources into buses that rely on oil.

  6. Sen. Patty Murray continues to sing the praises of Bel-Red redevelopment plans:

    The Bel-Red Corridor’s Spring District hits all the buzzwords…The city is hoping for federal money … to build or extend some of the roadways…That includes an extension of 120th Avenue, and an extension of Northeast 4th Street to connect to 120th Avenue… The city will also have to build a new arterial, Northeast 15th/16th Street, to run east and west… Wright-Runstad wants the station to be built in a “retained cut,”… that separates the trains from surface traffic and would allow the city to build [more] roadways… most of the cost can be financed creatively…

    And they didn’t mention the new Bel-Red P&R. Nice to see Senator Murry is back there working with the highway lobby for us. Oh, and thanks btw for that $6,500 in sales tax rebate and Ca$h for clunkers to buy that new Subaru.

    the company hopes the economic climate will improve by 2013 to allow for the first apartments to be built in the Spring District. Light rail won’t be built through the area until 2020, but in the meantime, he noted, the grocery store Whole Foods is within easy walking distance.

    I’m sure all the high end condo owners are are going to leave the BMW in the parking garage and walk that 5/8th of a mile each way to Whole Foods. If it’s “within easy walking distance” why to they need a Spring District Station at all since the hospital station is going to be closer to them than the store?

  7. On the cost of oil.

    My Maternal Grandparents had a house on Perdido Key back before there was a paved road or running water. My father met her when he came to stay with his college roommate, my mother’s brother. We grew up spending our summers down there, first in a condo in Perdido Key on Old River and then a house in Orange Beach.

    From my Mother:

    “The beaches in Gulf Shores were closed to swimming this week. Old River is closed to boat traffic – boons are up I hear. Last night at the party there was so much depressing talk about ‘our beach.’ People are putting away boats and wondering if ever the coast will recover in our lifetime. It’s not so much as what has hit the beach and waterways so far but anticipation of what is to come. JR Jones said on some days he has already smelt the oil in the gulf breezes. We didn’t smell anything last weekend but I think it’s just on certain days. How depressing. All this un-certainty is so disconcerting! Andy and Nannette have already put up boon on along their property, as have Jimmy and Carol’s neighbors. Carol said it cost him about $9000. We may try to get some but I just don’t know how much it will work for just an isolated spot. I bet those people will try to recover their costs too. But I don’t even know if any is still available. Over the years you learn how to prepare for hurricanes but how do you prepare for this!!”

    My brother is taking off to volunteer with cleanup. If he gets some pics, I’ll post them next open thread.

  8. Why is the DSTT not center-platform?

    The northgate transit center is center-platform and it’s used by buses. Wouldn’t that make life better for everyone?

    1. They need that center area to push buses out of the way if they stall. I just saw that happen in Pioneer Square Station today. I think it would be good to reconfigure International District/Chinatown Station to be center platform, though, after East Link opens, so that it would be a cross-platform transfer to get from East Link to southbound Central Link.

  9. Feds using general fund to top off highway trust fund:

    States already have the ability to shift most of the “highway” revenues they get from Washington to other projects, like transit or pedestrian facilities

    That’s news to me.

  10. Does someone have a link to that youtube video of a Metro official explaining the features of the new style sign at 5th and Jackson?

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