Photo by Atomic Taco

This is an open thread.

38 Replies to “News Roundup: Scaling Back”

      1. It’s not the council’s decision. Metro owns the tunnel until ST takes it over in 2016. AFAIK the DSTT has no state or federal restrictions on what can be done with it in this respect. For other ST stations it is purely ST’s decision, although I doubt having vendors makes sense anywhere else.

  1. In DC, there are wayfinding signs at intersections pointing you towards the nearest Metro station and telling you how many blocks

    Maybe ST could do this for Brooklyn and other stations?

      1. At first glance, I thought the shaded sign read “Bitterness Despair” but it said “Business District”.

  2. Rideshare Online, Zebigo, Avego and now Zimride? We need ONE of these websites, not FOUR. To better my chances on finding a match, I either have to post on all four or hope my potential match is using the website that I am.

    At least three of those don’t shoot themselves in the foot by limiting their audience to ONLY users of the Jesus phone.

  3. While I know that there are major restrictions on private business at park and rides – does anybody know how the Northgate P&R got their small coffee/snack shop approved?

      1. If I recall, that’s the third vendor at Lynnwood. I think the building needs to be reversed so the vendor is facing west.

        Renton Transit Center has a vendor also.

  4. Pioneer Square station now has orca readers on the platform level. Not yet operational. Yaay!

  5. Clearly, the Economist has been reading STB:

    There are any number of good reasons to raise the petrol tax rate. The current rate no longer brings in enough money to cover current highway spending. Petrol taxes are an efficient way to raise revenue, and the government needs revenue; President Obama’s deficit commission recommended an increase in the federal petrol tax rate. Burning oil produces carbon emissions, and dearer fuel would reduce America’s sky-high per capita carbon footprint. But a higher tax rate would also diminish the possibility that a sudden rise in oil prices would throw the economy into recession. That would be a nice risk to minimise! And yes, higher tax rates would hit consumers just like rising oil prices. But those prices are rising anyway; better to capture the revenue and use it, all while improving behaviour.

    1. I don’t think most of us would call it a petrol tax or spell economize that way. In any case, I agree with the sentiment.

    2. I’d support raising the gas tax but I’m not following how “a higher tax rate would also diminish the possibility that a sudden rise in oil prices would throw the economy into recession.” Anyone?

      1. Demand for many products including gas is not a straightforward function of price. A small sting now may prod many people into more efficient cars over the next few years, or onto transit/carpooling even if only a couple of days a week. If (when) a big, uncontrollable spike comes, they’ll be better able to adapt and curtail consumption.

  6. Since this is an open thread, I thought I’d share an email I received this morning from Thrillist. Tomorrow evening they are organizing a SLUT bar-crawl. They’ve identified several bars on the SLU Streetcar line that will have drink and appetizer specials for mentioning that you’re on the SLUT bar-crawl.

    Details available here

  7. Total maintenance funding for the [Olympia Amtrak] station each year is about $70,000. Amtrak contributes $8,619. Passenger boardings were up 9 percent in 2010 to 60,600.

    Raise the ticket price by a $1 and let Intercity Transit repurpose what they currently spend on better transit connections to/from the station.

    1. I’ve never understood why, especially in light of the cutbacks to Greyhound Service from Olympia, the Grey’s Harbor Transit bus from Aberdeen couldn’t be tempted to also provide service to Olympia-Lacey Centennial Station.

      Maybe also Mason Transit coming from Shelton.

      And to make things even more seamless, allow rider to pre-purchase their fare for the bus as a “Thruway”, although this would mean that the buses would have to hold for trains, so…never mind.

      Still. if I was in Greys Harbor or Shelton and needed to connect to the rest of the world, I’d rather be able to get to Amtrak Cascades than Greyhound.

      1. It could be the amount of tax money raised in Grays Harbor County spent outside the county to duplicate what Intercity Transit already does. It probably becomes more expensive since they would have to add another bus to the route. In addition, they probably don’t receive a lot of requests for it.

  8. Recently I decided to look for a quicker trip to my 10 AM class (which is in an adjunct building next to 14th), and Trip Planner indicated that by taking the 48 to the 3/4, I could get to my class half an hour earlier leaving at the same time.

    I missed the bus several times and eventually found that I took TEN MINUTES walking from Roosevelt to 15th. As far as I was concerned, the 48 I finally took that day was equivalent to the PREVIOUS 66/67, saving me 15 minutes at most.

    Something to think about next time you think about cutting the 66/67 for being “too close” to the 70-series and 48. It and the otherwise-pointless 26 make up for 5th being sliced out of the grid by I-5.

    1. How did it take you 10 minutes to walk the 1/4 mile from Roosevelt to 15th?

      What intersection in the U District are you starting from? U District to Seattle U seems like it should be a pretty easy commute, and certainly not one that should take an hour. There’s the 48 to the 2/3/4, the 71/72/73X to the 2/3/4/12. Even the 49 to Broadway/Pine then walking less than a mile to SU (15 mins for most people).

      Also: 5th is still around; I-5 sliced out 6th.

      1. I live at 57th and Roosevelt (so I have to walk a block south to the very hilly 56th – admittedly 10 minutes seems slow even then). My normal commute is 66/67 to Campus Parkway or Eastlake/Harvard (scheduled for 6-7 minutes), wait a couple minutes for a 49, go to Broadway/Pine (scheduled for about 15 minutes), walk to campus. In my experience it seems like the bus rides take significantly longer than scheduled – the 49 in particular seems like it takes closer to half an hour; while it’s scheduled that long during rush hours I usually find I have to bank that much time until pretty late in the day – and the connections aren’t always well timed. (Notably, Trip Planner, when I can get it to recreate my route, says the 66 arrives at Eastlake/Harvard at 9:06, but has me wait for a 9:22 49 instead of the 9:07 one on the timetable.)

        I-5 still made 5th useless for bus service, especially south of 55th or so where it becomes one-way. 65th/Ravenna is the point where it becomes useless because that’s the furthest south you can cross the freeway before it happens. (Technically, north of 55th, I-5 sliced out 7th, not 6th!)

        Also, apropos of nothing, I found out today the 2 has stops eastbound at Broadway, 11th, 12th, and 14th. These are short blocks. Stop consolidation anyone? (Personally I think the 2 and 12 should have a shared stop westbound, not eastbound; that way people going to the same destination can choose between the two.)

  9. SeaTac/Airport Station to Edmonds Station travel time today: 1 hour, 13 minutes with 15 minutes to walk from International District Station to King Street Station.

      1. The 15 minutes was the time the train arrived at International District Station and the departing train left King Street Station. I suppose I could have taken the next Link train – but there was one already at the station getting ready to leave. One train at the station is worth three in the schedule…oh wait.

  10. Yet another heritage streetcar system will be shut down for a long time:

    Understandable given the tragedy that has happened in Christchurch.

    I forget, what was Seattle’s excuse again?

  11. Despite all the concrete flying high in the sky there in the photo, the blue colour and upper structure of the station is actually rather dazzling and beautiful.

    1. Very nice photo of SeaTac Link Station. I too like the blue lighting of the station superstructure – but missing are the revolving colors that change periodically. Probably a malfunction of the lighting units on the station roof. I am not certain, but similar lighting units also illuminate the art work near the escalators, one of which has stopped working entirely and the other which is stuck on one color like the units on the roof.

      Some spring cleaning maintenance to look forward to when the snow melts!

      1. Or me over-adjusting the white balance. I tend to make things cooler than warmer.

        The parking garage lights are pretty cool, though I’m not sure if they are as cool as they look. Maybe 32K.

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