Google Analytics says these have the highest number of unique page views this year, for whatever that’s worth. I’m excluding some 2009 articles that people continue to access.

10. “Who’s to Blame for the Tunnel Attack?,” by Sherwin Lee (2/11). Video of a beatdown. Everyone has an opinion.

9. “Bus vs. Rail, Again,” by Martin H. Duke (1/9). Only in a city so far behind the rest of North America could this still be a question on the main corridors. This is one of Norman’s early appearances, and he’s usually good to roughly double the comment thread.

8. “New Data: Two East Link Options Look Good,” by Ben Schiendelman (2/8). Ben breaks down the two Downtown Bellevue options to make it to the end. Still a useful reference post, although I can’t see where the money for C9T is going to come from at this point.

7. “Metro Service Change Retires Route 194,” by John Jensen (2/6). This wasn’t a new report, so much as a way to observe its passing. Pageviews were clearly driven by the comment thread.

6. “Bikeability Analysis: Portland and Seattle“, by Adam B. Parast (4/20). One of our finest pieces of scholarship, linked to by everybody and making an impression in some corridors of power.

5. “On Bicyclist Safety“, by Adam B. Parast (10/19). The bicycle hordes on the internet strike again.

4. “Ride Link Without Pants This Sunday,” by Sherwin Lee (1/5). There is hard-hitting reporting on STB, and then there is this.

3. “Bellevue City Council in Chaos,” by Sherwin Lee (9/29). Everyone loves video of politicians losing their cool.

2. “Build the Waterfront Up, Not Down“, by Steve Thornton (Fnarf, 9/14). Linked to by Slog. I was proud to host such a good piece of writing, that also advanced a totally under-appreciated part of the debate. Not that we’re going to win this one.

1. “The Damaging Effects of Cul-de-Sacs on Walkability“, by John Jensen (6/22). This got some links from the national media.

So, message received: next year, nothing but comment cesspools, video of sex and violence, and bike stuff.

Thanks to all our readers. Without you, we’re just shouting into an empty room.

19 Replies to “Top 10 STB Posts of 2010”

  1. I would like to know what topics everyone would like us to report on more. We typically focus on what interests us (easier to write, more motivation) or what we think is important. I personally think that we need to write about all of the issues around late night service more. We haven’t really talked about that much.

    1. Agreed on the late night service issues.

      Apropos, tonight I was killing time inside waiting to catch an 81 at 2:15. OBA said 8 more minutes, but I looked out the window to see a bus coming down the road. I freaked out a bit, but then I realized it was a 15. Still intending to catch the 81, I went out a few minutes later, only to catch another 15 that came less than 5 minutes after the first. No apparent schedule, and none of them were listed on OBA.

      Did I miss something? Last I checked, the only media coverage about Metro’s NYE service was to tell people it was going to be on reduced weekday service, not increased service. What the hell is the point of running extra buses extra late if you’re not going to tell people you’re running them?

      Tangentially related: Do you know if Metro’s ever surveyed nightowl ridership? My impression is that it’s overwhelmingly folks heading to or from work, which makes me suspect they’re not doing a whole lot to keep drunks off the road. Though maybe Metro doesn’t even see that as a role for the nightowls?

      1. I’ve heard of “overflow” trippers for special events, such as a Seahawks game on the 255 and 550, but don’t have any experience driving them.

        It’s possible that the coach you were on broke down and was only just then getting through the route. Metro really doesn’t like to cancel a trip, even if the bus breaks down. This is especially true for the last trip. I’ve had a coach break down on the last tripper of a commuter route before – getting me a replacement coach was obviously a higher priority than when I am driving “just another” 550 in the middle of the day.

        All that said, I’m putting my money on the overflow tripper. I’d sure like to see these publicized more although maybe there is a fear of having that last trip oversubscribed.

      2. As long as you’re part-time, you never will drive them. Those “overflow trippers” go out to FTO’s at the overtime rate – by contract.

      3. Yeah, given that this was about 45 minutes after the posted last 15 run, and that I saw more than one run, overflow trippers seems more likely than multiple breakdowns playing really late catch-up.

        There was actually relatively good ridership on the bus I caught—maybe 20 people, all revelers; much higher than normal 81 ridership—but it was nothing near SRO and I wonder how much higher it could have been if Metro had actually advertised these runs.

  2. Happy New Year, Adam, and to Martin and the rest of the STB Board.

    From my perspective, I’d like to see more articles on Amtrak rail projects in our State and more space given to ST/Metro projects completed or near completion across the Puget Sound. I write having recently completed a very nice Coast Starlight trip to Los Angeles – no major stops anywhere and in fact, I arrived in Simi Valley 10 miutes early. We were so early arriving in Sacramento that we waited there for 1 1/4 hours due to the padding in the schedule! Great full train and excellent crew and friendly staff. Please be aware, though, that if you are caught smoking, they will throw you off the train even if its between Eugene and Chemult in a snowy wilderness. This apparently happened to one traveler and he may still be there for all anyone knows. Someone else got thrown off near Salinas as they couldn’t wait another 10 minutes to get there for their smoke.

    As we look forward to 2011, some of us will be looking forward to the beginning of the tunnel project as a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct – well me and Joni Balter from the Seattle Times, 8/9 Seattle City Council Members, Olympia and King County top officials! Perhaps we could have a guest article by Councilmember Richard Conlin?

    Less controversially, another Rapid Ride comes on tap next year and Sound Transit will begin work on Tukwila Sounder/Amtrak station. Design looks great. Edmonds Station should progress, Mountlake Freeway Station will open in February, and Kirkland Transit Center should open. Maybe, but don’t hold your breath, some agreement will happen on Light Rail in Bellevue, and less optimistically, perhaps Tim Eyman could do us all a favor and move to a Red State somewhere – anywhere really but not stay here in Washington – and maybe Mayor McGinn and the City Council could come up with a joint statement on something, anything really, that doesn’t show how far apart they are on everything. If Joni Balter is right in her wonderfully bitter, sad and incisive recent Seattle Times editorial, Governor Gregoire doesn’t bother to call the mayor’s office anymore but goes straight to Richard Conlin when she wants to talk about Seattle. Doesn’t bother me, but I guess it is not how it should be in a well-led city?

    Go Sounders in 2011 and Go Sound Transit will all of its projects and go getting the 520 and tunnel projects underway….!

    Happy new year!


    1. I too would be interested in an interview with or guest post from Conlin. Seems to be running the show up in City Hall. First question being if or when we’re going to see a “rail” proposal from the city; One was planned for 2010 but it seems unlikely to happen in the next 10 hours.

  3. Fine work STB writers/editors – we appreciate your shouting, and the room is definitely not empty!

    From my perspective, please continue to focus on LINK planning, Rabid Ride planning, Major Metro service changes and public forum reporting. It would be nice to see more posts about potential service changes to improve and optimize our transit system and leverage our burgeoning rail infrastructure. I know it isn’t necessarily constructive, but I love drawing lines on a map. STB (Oran & Adam in particular) do up some nice maps/gaphics. The meetups are great – keep them coming! The video and picture contributions are well done.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    1. I’m hoping we can start the New Year off right with a “Let’s Help Link” post, which includes consensus and forwarding to ST and MT.
      A couple of ground rules would help:
      Constructive, positive discussions,
      Realistic ideas(can’t chain prisoners inside Link all day)
      Any ideas that build ridership, increase revenue, or reduce costs are fair game.
      We kinda got started a few days ago on the RBS post, which was really productive.

      1. I wish we could have polls or thumbs-up-or-down wars on the blog, just to see which ideas are quietly appreciated, and which ideas are real stinkers that people don’t bother to open their mouths to say they stink.

        For the moment, I’ll reiterate my list of revenue-positive ideas for increasing Link ridership, and beg people to tear it to shreds:

        1. Mothball SODO Station.
        2. Mothball Stadium Station, except during periods around games and for transit employees.
        3. Truncate the 101 (and maybe others) at Rainier Beach Station. S. Renton P&R commuters wanting a one-seat ride downtown already have the 102.
        4. Remove the tunnel from the ride-free area, but have fare enforcement performed only randomly by Metro security.
        5. End Metro paper transfers (which encourage 2-bus trips over bus+train trips, failing to make use of the sunk-cost investment and raising marginal operating costs for the system).

        The first four suggestions are offered with an eye toward whittling two-three minutes off of Link’s travel time, and reducing the number of trains in service by one for nearly all service hours.

        Metro and ST need to grab the low-hanging fruit, at least, and work together to collectively save money for the taxpayers, before expecting people to lobby for a revenue increase on their behalf.

      2. Quick thoughts:

        1. You lose ridership and connectivity at SODO for a gain of 2-3 minutes and ridership increase from elsewhere, by how much? Needs more firm numbers to weigh the options. To me, starting and stopping right before that 20 mph curve doesn’t seem to incur much time penalty. Also unlike MLK, this section has real signal preemption. Anecdotally, more people seem to take Link to the airport than the 194, despite its longer travel time.
        2. Maybe for games only but how to you except it for transit employees? Bus drivers, security use the station at all times of the day. How does the train operator know? I can see confused passengers. The train may have to stop there anyway to wait to enter the tunnel. That said, Stadium was a originally a deferred station that later got built.
        3. Other than building a new station at Boeing Access or S 133rd, Rainier Beach is the closest location but it is far from the freeway for truncating other routes. You have to ensure buses have a quick and reliable path to the station (that I-5 interchange area is congested during rush hour). There must be a comfortable and safe transfer area.
        4. Are you keeping pay-as-you-leave or instituting pre-payment? After 7 pm, buses sit at stations for minutes waiting for people to pay. Don’t make it like that.
        5. This should’ve been done when ORCA was launched, in a staged and coordinated fashion.

      3. 1 & 2. No. Gain: 1 min travel time (Link is already faster than the buses in that corridor). Lose: schedule simplicity, Link’s reputation (opponents will call SODO a “failed” station), and walking connections to the Stadium area, Sears, Office Depot, Costco, Grocery Outlet, and industrial jobs.

        3. OK if 102 is kept. Increase truncated 101 frequency. Keep 150 peak-only; add all-day route from Kent to TIBS (and in future extend to Highline CC).

        4. Eliminate the ride free area, put the money into better bus routes.

        5. Yes, eliminate paper transfers. Have another “free ORCA card” period with drivers distributing cards.

  4. I can’t think of any editorial aspect that I’d change, although there are technical improvements that would be greatly appreciated like previewing and/or editing. I’m just thrilled to have found a community of people who care about public transit and debate it intelligently. Thanks :-)

  5. I’d like to second what.the other comments have been saying. This blog is great.

    I have two suggestions for improvement. First, i would like to see more news stories on smaller projects. I think the dexter buffered bike lanes, or the new lynden ave cycletrack could have easily had their own blog posts. Streetsblog’s stories are an example of what I mean.

    Also, more regional stories about projects in Vancouver and Portland, as well as pointing out factual inaccuracies in the Seattle times transportation articles would be great.

    On the whole, great job.

  6. I want to thank all the STB board and us bloggers as well. This may sound a bit corny, but what we are doing here will have impact long after we’re all gone. The ideas, comments, banter, opinions and challenges are being heard by everyone transit-minded in the Seattle metro region. This blog is not just here for our enjoyment, it is doing some good. People are listening and even transit lovers in our more transit friendly sister cities of Portland and Vancouver are jealous of this blog and read it every day.

    What’s more, we see that those cities and others are doing and we’re trying to do what they do well and change what they don’t do as well. Now other cities are looking to us and trying to emulate our successes.

    We have a nice foundation to build from here in the Puget Sound and thanks to all the bloggers, STB board and the contributors, we are changing Seattle for the better and building what may be one of the better transit systems in the country. Granted, that may be 2030 and beyond, but isn’t that the ideal here? Build something great for the future for all generations to benefit? It’s rather nice being in on the ground floor.

    Happy New Year everyone! :-)

  7. Thanks to each of the bloggers and all the commenting blogettes! For 40 years I thought I was one of only a few people outside of transport professional circles in the area who thought about and cared about these issues. Thanks for being here these last few years!
    Like chetan, I’d love to see more about Vancouver, BC and the Portland-Vancouver, WA metro area, and even Spokane. I’d also love to see better coverage of WSF issues, especially as the Legislature convenes next week. I know they carry cars, but they also carry millions of walk-ons each year who connect to/from surface transport on one side of the water or the other, and the system’s long range future is worthy of analysis.
    More meet-ups where politicians and professionals listen to us would be appreciated, though I know they will always wish to share their points and positions as well – we need more than just a short Q&A at the end of a presentation, but an hour(s) long dialog with some of these folks.
    Otherwise, Brett’s comments above from 12:55 today well summarize my feelings.

    Again, many thanks for being out there.

  8. I miss the heavy rail news updates. I guess the author of those posts is no longer here though.

    1. I am here, just extremely busy with work and sadly don’t have any free time to devote to the blog.

      One of these days I’ll get back into it but that isn’t looking like until at least March/April.

      Also another thing to note, there is a No Pants! Light Rail ride this coming weekend =D I will be there with camera on hand >=D

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