81 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Vancouver Bike Nazis”

  1. UW research shows new road tolls might not unfairly burden low-income drivers

    http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/uw-research-shows-new-road-tolls-might-not-unfairly-burden-low-income-drivers

    Article is very confusing, but I think what they’re saying is that tolling would disproportionally effect low-income users of SR-520, but that funding via sales tax
    would disproportionally effect all low-income households in the region. Seems a bit obvious. Hopefully the policy to come out of this would be to give some sort of toll discounts to low-income users of SR-520.

    1. Someone on here told me it used to be the Aurora local bus, before it was replaced by the 358.

      1. The old 6 Stone Way started on Union Street between 3rd and 4th, went to the Seattle Center (east side), then on Aurora to Stone Way to Green Lake and back onto Aurora to 145th Street. There also was a peak hour version that turned back at 85th Street. I have a 1976 schedule that shows 30 minute headways during the day, but during the evenings every other bus turned back at 85th Street.

      2. @Chetan-

        The 6, 359 and 360 all existed at the same time and then were kind of rolled into the 358 in one form or another.

      3. The 6 was the local version of Aurora, while the 359 was the limited. The 360 was to the 6 like the 355 to the 5 (IIRC). In 1999 Metro decided to roll them all into the 358, and leave local service on the southern part of Aurora to the 5 and 16. This all happened in 1999, and I believe they decided to not reuse the number 359 because of the driver shooting.

      1. It shared common routing with the 16 MERIDIAN to 40th/Stone Way. It and the 16 used to be through-routed with the 21. The 21 ran every 15 minutes at one time.

  2. Great Nazis! Am I right that the characters portrayed are supposed to be actual historic Nazis? The guy with the weird dark eyes in the tan sport jacket looks like Josef Goebbels. Is the blonde in the embroidered dress supposed to be Eva Braun or Leni Riefenstahl? Whoever filmed this is good.

    These people could almost make up for losing Almost Live.

    Mark Dublin

      1. I should watch it one day. I’ve only seen the scene in the video, but I’ve seen that several times, always with different subtitles. Sometimes it’s funny.

    1. The video and audio from this were originally from a big-budget historical-fiction film called “Downfall” about Hitler’s last days. So yes, all those guys (and girls) represent historical characters. All the person who “made” this has done is added new subtitles to change the meaning of it.

      This video belongs to a broad class of internet joke called the “Hitler rant” where people do this with all sorts of subjects, including Aggies football, the Fifa world cup, Usain bolt, Australian football, the Oscars and all sorts of stuff. They’re mostly pretty hysterical, although frequently very rude…

      1. Thanks. Boy, am I ever behind on movies! Really is a shame the memory of these awful people lives on at all, except as a caution to future generations to keep same thing from happening again.

        But maybe one deterrent could be if Hitler-types had to fear being used for all time for purposes like this clip. Unfortunately, for people like these, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

        Still think the guy who played Goebbels was great.

        Mark Dublin

    2. The video is a remix from a scene from the movie “The Downfall” (a 2004 movie about Hitler’s last days). A couple of years ago there were several of these remixes, but YouTube blocked the videos due to copyright claims. It seems like some new ones have popped up recently.

  3. Has anyone used a new Good2Go pass on the Tacoma Narrows? I used ours Easter weekend and checking our account this morning there’s no transaction shown. I heard two stories from WSDOT employees. One, the transponders aren’t compatible and they have to cross check the license info and manually bill the account if you have registered the car. Two, the system has been made compatible and should work automatically. So, I’m wondering if it’s just slow to post or if I’m going to get a ticket in the mail and have to take time off from work to fight it.

    1. The first story is the correct one.

      The old G2G equipment at Tacoma Narrows isn’t powerful enough to trigger/read the new, smaller transponders. They’re cross-referencing OCR’d license plates with the G2G database and billing accounts that way.

      Rumor has it the equipment at the Narrows will get an upgrade to read the new transponders, eventually.

      1. That’s the story I got from a WSDOT representative that came and spoke to our community group. She didn’t mention that it was a power issue but that makes sense. She did say the equipment is slated to be replaced. I guess a couple of weeks for them to cross reference and get around to debiting my account sounds reasonable. That or they just realize that it’s going to cost them more to cross reference every plate that doesn’t trip the transponder and are just letting it slide.

    1. Interesting that this is posted 66 years to the day that Jodl’s surrender at Reims, France, signed the day before, took effect.

      Actually, this scene IS funny, because it shows the very last moment the Germans/Prussians ever did and hopefully ever will consider themselves a military power, after nearly 100 years of pissing on their neighbors (1933? 1939? Try 1848, if not earlier), and a later scene in the film involves the failed water-color-artist from Austria ending up “in a ditch, covered in petrol, on fire”:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpcxfsjIIbM&feature=player_detailpage#t=59s

      “Der Untergang(Downfall)” is a brilliant film and Bruno Ganz did a marvelous job preparing for his lead role.

      Bringing things back on topic, it should be observed what a country that does not waste all of its national treasure on war (post WW2-Germany, even while they were under two systems)can do with its transport systems.

  4. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014985971_younggrad07m.html

    “16-year-old earns WSU degree without stepping on campus

    “Not only will 16-year-old Kayla Heard be the youngest Washington State University graduate on record at Saturday’s commencement, but she earned her bachelor’s degree without ever visiting campus.”

    “That’s rare,” said Randy Spaulding, remarking on both details. Spaulding, academic-affairs director for the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, said, “I think the fact that she never had to step foot on campus is a little unusual, but we will see more and more of that.”

    “Earning a degree without being on a university campus is becoming more common, making a college education attainable to a wider population, higher-education officials say.”

    “”If you think about the way communication has evolved … it’s not as much face-to-face. It’s a mirror of the way our society is moving.””

    “Nearly 5 million students were enrolled nationally in online colleges courses in 2008, according to a study published in 2010.”

    “”You interact with the instructors online,” Cillay said. “You interact with the class online. There’s a discussion board where students are required to participate, and the nice thing is they have to; they can’t just sit in the back of a class.””

    This is the way of the future: telecommuting to school; telecommuting to work; telecommuting to shop (shopping online instead of traveling to stores); even a lot of medical “visits” can be done online.

    People will be traveling less and doing more things online.

    Therefore, fixed-route transit systems are going to become a thing of the past. The stupidly expensive light rail system that Sound Transit is building will be obsolete before it is even completed. Even as things are today, Link light rail is utterly unnecessary, but as telecommuting starts to really expand over the next several years, it will be seen by virtually everyone as a tragic waste of enormous amounts of tax dollars.

    Telecommuting is the future — not 20th-century technology rail lines.

    1. I’m sure there will be much more telecommuting in the future, but there already is evidence that telecommuting may not be the great energy saver that its advocates hope it will be. There’s evidence that in some situations the energy spent heating, lighting and powering a person’s home for teleworking exceeds the energy spent commuting to work. Imagine an individual who walks, rides or takes public transportation to a LEED certified workplace that is highly energy efficient. Then tell that person that they should stay at home to work with the thermostat up, lights on, computers and numerous peripherals running. Which scenario uses more energy?

      And besides, if you work for a major company and you are allowed to telecommute, it’s likely because your company has to comply with government mandated commute reduction legislation. And isn’t that just the epitome of pinko, socialist government gone overboard?

      1. I really wouldn’t try and debate this savant if I were you. I’ve had better conversations with my cat.

      2. “There’s evidence that in some situations the energy spent heating, lighting and powering a person’s home for teleworking exceeds the energy spent commuting to work. ”

        That’s a joke, right? You work from home, then there is no need to heat, light or power an office for you, is there? Money saved from reduced office space. Money and time saved by not commuting.

        I find it really sad that there are luddites who are afrain of change, and won’t embrace the future, which includes far more telecommuting, which is a win-win-win for everyone.

        http://www.thestar.com/business/companies/rim/article/986013–billions-could-be-saved-by-allowing-telework

        Canada sees the value of telecommuting:

        “Already, more than a million Canadians work at home, a number that could be much higher June 1.

        ““Working from home is already embedded into our modern corporate DNA,” said Workopolis president Gabriel Bouchard. “With secure technology, trust and clear policies in place, it has never been easier for Canadians to work remotely.”

        “The company believes that working from home offers increased productivity, decreased environmental strain and strengthened quality of life. These findings are based on the research report WORKshift Canada: the bottom line on telework, compiled using census data and analysis of documents related to telework.

        “For example, twice-weekly telecommuting could save firms, employees and the community more than $53 billion a year, the research shows, as well as reducing greenhouse gases to the equivalent of taking 385,000 cars off the roads, a savings of about 390 million litres of gas.

        “Four out of 10 Canadians hold jobs that could be done at home at least part of the time, and eight in 10 would work from home if they could. “Yet, only about three in 100 do,” said Kate Lister, principal researcher at the Telework Research Network, an independent research and advisory firm.

        “There’s simply no quicker, easier, and more popular way to solve labour shortages, reduce energy consumption and pollution, save money, and so much more.”

        “Based on the research, they believe employers could save $10,000 per two-day-a-week telecommuter annually; employees who telework can save between $600 and $3,500 per year through reduced commuting and work-related expenses.

        “This could mean reduced turnover and an annual average savings of more than $1.8 billion. “They will likely see an increase of 20 per cent in productivity, a 7 per cent reduction in attrition and increased employee empowerment and morale,” the report says.”

      3. Hey, Bruce. Do you really think you are impressing anyone with your childish little remarks?

        Or, are you just impressing yourself? lol

      4. Telecommuters use significantly more energy heating/cooling their homes during the day than is saved by not heating/cooling an on-site office. There’s a huge economy of scale that comes into play when maintaining the communal space of an office building, so the addition or subtraction of a few employees doesn’t really make a dent in the facility costs.

        However, the energy saved by eliminating an SOV commute is 50-100x the energy used at the office. That’s the real benefit.

    2. Be sure to take your vitamins and exercise regularly, Norm. Eager to check in with you in 20 years. We can stroll together along the weed-filled HOV lanes of I-5, and take a bike ride on the old Central Link line, long ago converted from rail to trail with all the coin we saved on infrastructure costs.

      LOL, indeed.

      1. Uh, sorry Jason. Roads will always be needed for shipping, and for those who can not telecommute.

        But, you know that, don’t you? You just enjoy making foolish comments.

        But, there are a lot of abandoned rail lines around our area, aren’t there? So, your rails to trails comment does make sense. Building new rails makes no sense at all, obviously.

      2. But we surely won’t need all that vehicle capacity just for shipping and firefighters. Looking forward to our stroll. Of course we’ll get to our date via personal jet packs.

      3. Leaving existing road capacity will eliminate traffic congestion, which is another win for everyone, right? Or, do you like congestion?

      4. Nah, thanks to telecommuting, personal rapid transit, and personal jet packs (not to mention the hovercraft commuters shooting down the ship canal!), commuter traffic will be so sparse that we’ll easily be able to cut I-5 down to two lanes in each direction while enjoying both free-flowing vehicular travel and a wide multiuse greenbelt teeming with pedestrians and cyclists and evergreens and spotted owls. Also marmots. Our beloved express lanes will be lousy with marmots and the occasional Roosevelt Elk.

      1. We wouldn’t want him to starve.

        Trolling is an art form, and should be respected as such.

      2. If we keep him busy here he’s got less time to cause trouble elsewhere. In a way it’s a public service that we’re doing.

    3. Telecommuting is also a 20th century technology. Perhaps you meant 19th?

      PS most trips, whether by transit or car or bike or whatever–are not commuting to work or school.

    4. @Norman

      You’re arguing for the status quo, and I don’t buy it. Telecommuting is fine for some professions and job roles, but there is a strong need for face-to-face communication, problem solving, and knowledge spill over that happens in the social setting of an office place.

      Telecommuting as a rule is also not necessarily desirable in the big picture. We already have a good section of US jobs that telecommute in -from India. Businesses will go where labor is cheapest, and India is a massive source of English speaking labor often with some very high qualifications. If you enable telecommuting on everything, don’t be surprised when your company offers you a choice between a pay cut and transfer to New Delhi or a pink slip. On a milder scale, if can do all your work at home, why shouldn’t they hire someone in California? Or Oregon? Or Ohio? You’re using the technology to sell your solutions (more roads and only roads), but don’t see the disruption it would cause.

      There’s also the loss of economic activity surrounding a worker’s presence at the office. Stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and the entire economic ecosystem in a place like downtown Seattle relies on office workers to continue providing jobs. Take them away (and again, my position is that it would have happened by now if it was actually desirable) and we’ve got an even larger issue with unemployment.

      In the other fields you mention:

      1. Telecommuting to school defeats a very important function of schools, which is socialization. In my opinion, learning how to be friends (I’m serious) and interact with people in a healthy way is as important as anything actually in the official curriculum. For university level, there are situations where being able to telecommute could make sense, but it really ought to be seen as an exceptional measure.

      2. The effects of eCommerce are similar to that of a Walmart moving in to a small town. You might get lower prices, but there are ramifications. I’m not 100% convinced that eCommerce is the best solution from a local (even regional) perspective. I want people to go to their city center (or even better local neighborhood main street and by transit or better still with their own two feet!) and to shop, be seen, and have access to the ability to discover new things inside their community. If you crunched the numbers on a spreadsheet, this probably isn’t the most efficient way to do things but it’s far more human to me and that has value far beyond the marginal cost.

      3. Some medical visits, sure, especially if it’s a matter of records or data entry. Anything involving something actually wrong with you is probably best done in person. How are you going to send in labs from home? There is also benefit from being there, since medical professionals can (and often do) find something far more amiss when someone comes in for a “simple” this or that. This is lost in the a virtual visit.

      Basically, telecommuting as a rule has some major problems. It’s not the future and it’s certainly not a strong enough to ignore transit issues on the promise that a magical elixir of technology will solve traffic problems for us. Also, given how long people have yearned for telecommuting, you’d think that it would be more widespread if it was a true replacement for an office. They’ve been talking about this for nearly 20 years now. We went from having virtually no knowledge of rockets to putting a man on the moon in less time than that.

      1. Where’s Norman with a link to some random “Internet” article debunking this. lol

    5. How do you telecommute to the grocery store or barber shop? Will people stay in their houses 24 hours and have food delivered by pneumatic tubes (or grow all their own food)? Will people stop going to parks and instead experience “virtual reality parks”?

      1. Ah, my wife cuts my hair at home.

        I get my milk & eggs delivered via Smith Brothers… (yeah needs a road).

        I could get my groceries delivered via Amazon Fresh but I’d rather pick stuff out myself.

        I go to parks, but then my neighborhood has them, so I can walk or ride my bicycle there.

        The number reason I don’t telecommute is that I need the social interaction. I go stir crazy being home alone all day. The number one reason that I have telecommuted is to take care of sick kids. Someone has to do this work and no daycare I know of does it. The other reason is that some work I do has to be done in the hours not between 8am and 6pm. So rather than stay at the office until the clocks ticks to right hour, I do the work from home. On the other side its ripe with Employer abuse which now feels that they can call me 27/7 and I have to respond.

        Welcome to the 21st century.

  5. Idea for a service change:

    Next year, when the RapidRide C Line replaces routes 54 and 55 between Downtown and West Seattle, route 5, which was formerly interlined with them, should be interlined with route 120. The 120 seems like a likely candidate since it would reduce the number of buses laying over in downtown.

    1. Unlikely. The 120 and 5 are both very long, very busy routes. I think they like to keep trunk lines like the 120 and 358 uncoupled so they stay on schedule better. Besides, they’ll need something to through-route with the 21/22/56 which are currently through-routed with the 15-18.

      1. Please don’t interline the 120! Right now it leaves downtown like clockwork. Most 54/55’s are unreliable as they depend on the 5 arriving first.

        RapidRide C does not replace the 55. What happens to it is an open question. I propose combining the 55 with the 128, to provide frequent local service up and down California Av, and connect it to High Point and South Seattle CC. But that would force a transfer for those on California north of the junction heading downtown, so it will be a fight to make any changes.

      2. @Chad

        What’s there to connect? The 128 and 55 already share a terminal in Admiral. If you mean using the 55’s hours to make the 128 run more often, I don’t think the demand is enough to warrant that.

      3. I guess I was wrong. I thought they already did share that terminal in Admiral. My mistake.

    2. Interlined routes are selected by computer these days. Not sure what criteria the system uses.

      1. One minor point: this is through-routing, not interlining. Two totally different things.

        I’m still pretty sure Metro sets aside some very high ridership trunk routes as non-through-routed; they’re willing to pay the price in extra service hours for better reliability. Through routed buses have MUCH worse on-time performance.

    1. German cities have bicycle tracks.

      West Berlin started installing them in the late 1980’s, East Berlin, obviously, didn’t start until 1990 and was in place by 2000. Go there and tell me you would like to see that level of bicycle infrastructure in Seattle (or any other US city) by 2021.

      Since the division of Berlin was due to the actions of the German government of 1933 to 1945…

      1. “Godwin’s law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form. The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.”

  6. Sen. Schumer proposes ‘no-ride list’ for Amtrak trains

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42949742/ns/us_news-security/?gt1=43001

    Proving once again that common sense is not required to be a politician. One has to wonder whether Schumer has any understanding of trains or ever rides them. Is he afraid someone will hijack a train and crash it into a building? If a terrorist wants to cause maximum damage they’d be more effective creating terror at a station or blowing up a bridge than carrying something onto a train.

    So let’s make taking trains and transit more burdensome and less convenient, and fulfill the wish to get more auto drivers.

    1. Also shows how out of touch Schumer is with reality.

      How will this work with unreserved trains?

      How do you control boarding at an open station (see Edmonds for an example)

      How do you check every one boarding a multi-door commuter train like Sounder?

      What is a “commuter train” exactly? Does this apply to Sounder since it is not operated by Amtrak, but by BNSF? What about Caltrain in the Bay Area which is operated by Amtrak. Since PATH is under FRA jurisdiction, does it count?

      1. Eric: That’s why we have agencies and departments.
        Lawmakers make the laws.
        Departments make the rules to follow the laws.
        Never mind that one phrase in a law ends up being being volumes after a rule making process.
        It’s called full employment.

      2. Yeah, and one of the brilliant laws the lawmakers gave us is a law that requires Amtrak to accept guns in checked baggage. Amtrak had to waste millions of dollars to build secure storage and develop policies for guns in baggage. Stupid politicians forced increased costs. The sure result will be less stations accepting checked baggage because it is too expensive. And whining by transit haters about how fares don’t cover costs and how much money Amtrak loses per passenger.

  7. I was just reading that the US government is awarding $2 billion in HSR grants to 3 states.

    I contrast that with the $3.5 billion that Sound Transit is whining about saying that it will cause them to not be able to build the 1.5 mile extension of LINK from the airport to Federal Way….a project that will take “years”.

    Is something out of whack when it comes to rail building in the PNW?

      1. My question remains.

        How expensive per mile is the Seatac to Federal Way track?

        If there’s no grade or tunnels then it shouldn’t be the $179 million a mile price.

        And if so, it should be a very small part of the total funding…

      2. SeaTac to S 200th St, the entire project from soup to nuts is $300 million for 1.6 miles of elevated track and an elevated station. But that’s elevated. No-one can build elevated for the $35 million/mile number that you seem to love quoting, plus that number doesn’t include extra vehicles, ROW purchase or the environmental work that has to be done before you break ground.

        If you want to compare apples to apples, consider the First Hill Streetcar, which is 2.2 miles purely at grade and mostly on public rights of way:

        http://www.soundtransit.org/documents/pdf/st2/potential_projects_05_06/N07a_North_King_LRT_First_Hill_Connector_IDS-CapHill_v2.pdf

        The construction is about $32 million/mile. NOT out of whack.

    1. Why does it have to be elevated? I thought 99 was relatively flat.

      I’m thinking of the old Interurban line. Wasn’t it just a simple street car that went all the way from Fremont to Olympia?

      I bet it didn’t cost no $300 million a mile…

      1. The interurban was probably built though a rural area at a time when land was cheap and other vehicle traffic was negligible. If we built at-grade now, we’d either have to spend tens of millions buying out property owners and millions more to build expensive grade crossings across four and six lane roads. And everyone in South King would hate it because it would mess up traffic all the time.

  8. I was doing some joyriding, getting a little lost and happened to drive around the area near Othello station.

    I thought it was a great little park of town…a nice mix of townhomes, single family homes, institutional buildings, small restaurants and stores like Safeway.

    The roads were spacious and well marked. The Light rail in a great location. The construction was new, clean, modern.

    The only sad thing was that around lunch time it seemed devoid of people! This place should be swarming.

    I don’t know what other factors are in play, but maybe some Transit-advocates might want to take a ride there, do lunch, and offer a second opinion…

      1. OK, ‘youze talkin’ about my hood now.’ Before I moved here, I did some crime stats studies and yes, while the area is not devoid of crime, compared to where I came from and from many American cities, the area is rather bucolic. It was interesting that of these 4 incidents some of them happened years ago. This amount of crime happened within 1 mile of my address in Chicago within 6 months time. And compared to some other neighborhoods in Chicago, mine was “quiet.”

        Since John B was talking about the area around Othello station, he may be referring to the developments at New Holly which was before all the new housing, formerly a notorious low income housing development. Now, I’m not sure what it is. If that is supposed to be low income housing, I’m insanely jealous.

        Also, MLK is a wide, street with up to 3 lanes each way and a big at grade high speed train running down the middle. Makes walking along this street not that pleasant. Now, if they would have real upzones adjacent to the LRT stations, like up to 15 stories, then I feel that might shift the balance of the street back and it becomes a little more pedestrian friendly because there would be more density and people partaking of services on foot.

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