108 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: New York State of Mind”

      1. I heard quite a bit of grousing from the locals about the colossal waste of money that was the Millennium Dome. Yeah, it’s cool, but surely they could have spent half a billion pounds on something better.

      2. Not only was a monumental waste of funds, but it is ugly as hell. Looks like a rotting porcupine.

      3. “I’ll take New York over London any day.”

        Hmmm… I’ll take both, thank you very much. Was in London a couple of weeks ago and even though I didn’t particularly enjoy living there, it always has something new to offer when I return. Been to New York 3 times in the last 15 years and will likely return soon. Amazing what has been happening in NY with pedestrian & bike improvements – London is just starting to do the same. Seeing bankers riding around on “Boris Bikes” was a real trip.

        If you go to London, get a Chip & Pin Cash Passport from Travelex so you can use the Boris Bikes – I wasn’t able to because of our backwards banking system :(

    1. FWIW, most dictionaries do define “greatest” primarily to mean “largest”, and the statement is undeniably true in that sense.

  1. Somehow I missed Metro giving a good reason for not running trolley buses on trolley routes on weekend days. What is the reason?

    1. Lines are dieselized on a case-by-case basis. The 43/44 has been running diesel on weekends lately because of the work being done on 15th.

      1. I’d imagine there’s a degree of “vehicle conservation” going on as well as the fleet ages and we seemingly have little money for replacement of, let alone additions to, the fleet.

      2. I think Lloyd is right on the button. Let me add a further political reason: The recent rollout of new hybrids, with help from the feds, is for buses that can serve everywhere, especially the suburbs.

        The number of county council members with interest in trolley replacement is limited to the four in Seattle. You’ve got to convince the whole council to move forward with trolley replacement.

      3. The full trolley replacement study results were released Friday. I haven’t read through it all yet, but the summary says they’re recommending new trolleys and not hybrids. More cost-effective (with reasonable assumptions about continued federal funding) and better for the environment too.

      4. These speculations about back-door attempts to kill trolleys are idiotic. Metro has decided to keep them. They are cheaper.

        Dieselizing on weekends costs Metro lots of money; they do it only when they have to.

    2. Keeping the line crew on duty, rather than call out basis for far fewer trips is an expense that can be saved by using diesels. Every little bit helps.
      The supes can take care of most tangles.

  2. Anyone know why there is a very short escalator at Westlake station? Then just up the way there a more normal-length one?

    Just a random question/observation I had the other day while walking through it…

      1. I’m not sure, and now that I think about it I’m not 100% sure it was Westlake…certainly one of the near downtown stations though.

        Just struck me as weird, it’s gotta be the shortest escalator I’ve ever come across…

      2. Yes, it’s the Westlake entrance under Nordstrom’s from Pine east of 5th. It’s a weird little 6 foot(ish) escalator.

    1. They must be the shortest escalators in the world. They have always looked silly, especially two in a line. I don’t know what you mean by “one” short escalator; there are six or eight of them at the Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Century Square entrances. I’m sure Westlake could have been designed to eliminate those intermediate landings.

      1. Simple poor wording on my part, should have written “set of escalators” or somesuch…

      2. Probably not without affecting the entrances of the buildings those landings provide. If the stations were designed to eliminate those landings, how many buildings would have needed modification to have an entrance into the station? The old Frederick & Nelson’s building is one example where one would have needed to either create that short escalator (along with an elevator for ADA) or lower the entire floor within the building.

    2. Speaking of escalators, the direction of them always baffles me. Convention place station always has directions coming UP from the southbound bay, despite the fact that those routes have few people getting off there.

      1. When the DSTT was opened it was planed that the escalators would be reversible, however when reversed they would break down so they were set to operate in one direction only. What should have happened was that two sets should have been installed one up and one down but to save money that wasn’t done. BTW, even though they are not reversed they still break down all the time and seem to be constantly being rebuilt. When the DSTT was closed for a year or so ST refused to fund rebuilding the escalators so we live with the shortsightedness or our elected and unelected officials.

      2. I agree that either Bay C or D at Convention Place should have the escalator going down. One of those escaltors might need to still operate in the up direction depending on the number of passengers who get off the bus at Bay E.

      3. So it’s not my imagination that escalators in the DSTT break down more often than those inside the department stores.

    1. This is just one of the reasons why telecommuting is becoming more and more popular, and is going to really take off in the next few years.

      1. Telecommuting is the worker organization of the future…

        ….and it always will be.

      2. It’ll be awesome when I can drive a bus at home via a computer. Hell, think of the money they can save by allowing me to control two buses at once.

      3. Sorry, Velo. Buses are going to become an anacronysm. Just like trains are now.

        You won’t be needed.

        Are you preparing for your next career?

      4. Norman, this is my “next” career. I was doing the telecommuting thing almost 2 decades ago (Do you remember ISDN? I had a 2 channel line at home paid for by my employer back in the day). If buses disappear then maybe I’ll get back into database management, network design, or program management. That’ll be a disappointing day though as driving a bus is *far* more interesting and fulfilling work.

      5. I’m confused. Working in a design+development agency, my job is right in the center of the “knowledge worker” “creative class” stereotypes that were supposed to make telecommuting possible. After all, I spend about 100% of my time using software and communicating, 0% using any specialized equipment. We’ve even been responsible for designing and building countless examples of infrastructure for it, from large-scale executive videoconference rooms to specialized little smartphone apps.

        And yet, it’s been our experience that face-to-face, in-person collaboration is so much more effective that we fly employees and clients all over the planet, every day, just to share rooms with each other. And our little Seattle office has grown to 50 people reporting to the studio every day (mostly by bus) not only for those key project moments where a collaborative worksession is called for, but because the serendipitous moments of accidental communication that working together create are too important to the creativity that keeps us competitive.

        Of course, that serendipity is why we live in cities, isn’t it? The dream of telecommuting is for those who prefer drive-thru to walking into a coffee shop.

      6. Hans, I’d say you nailed it. British Airways has a whole ad campaign designed around this very idea. I’d argue telecommuting is just one more tool in the box to be used in balance with all the other tools out there.

      7. Telecommuting is already being done in the IT industry. Has been for years. Except “home” is India, or China.

      8. As usual, some people in here are in denial, or are just Luddites, afraid of change.

        Telecommuting is just in the very early stages. Many technological advances have just been made, and continue to be made, that enable telecommuting to be more and more effective. And the cost advantages of telecommuting are enormous. Companies that don’t take advantage of the savings realized by not having to provide office space, parking and/or transit subsidies to their employees will be left behind.

        Already, in Atlanta, a larger percentage of workers telecommute than use transit. And, to repeat, we are just in the early stages of telecommuting.

        The federal government is in the early statges of instituting their telecommuting policy. Sometime this summer, federal government agencies have to come out with lists of the employees who are eligible to telecommute, and then they will start the process of converting those jobs to telecommuting.

        The idea that “face-to-face” meetings are necessary, or even preferable, is becoming passe, particularaly among the younger generations, who are growing up with “facebook”, texting, et. al., and are very comfortable communicating over the internet. At the same time, video conferencing, etc., is getting better and better and less and less expensive.

        You can cling to your quaint notion that people are not going to start telecommuting in extremely large numbers in the very near future, if you like. You might also consider moving to Pennsylvania and joining the Amish. They still get around by horse and buggy. You would probably fit right in.

      9. No link, sorry, cutting and pasting from my Kindle.

        Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier (Edward Glaeser)
        – Highlight Loc. 628-51 | Added on Monday, May 30, 2011, 10:32 AM

        A wealth of research confirms the importance of face-to-face contact. One experiment performed by two researchers at the University of Michigan challenged groups of six students to play a game in which everyone could earn money by cooperating. One set of groups met for ten minutes face-to-face to discuss strategy before playing. Another set of groups had thirty minutes for electronic interaction. The groups that met in person cooperated well and earned more money. The groups that had only connected electronically fell apart, as members put their personal gains ahead of the group’s needs. This finding resonates well with many other experiments, which have shown that face-to-face contact leads to more trust, generosity, and cooperation than any other sort of interaction.

        The very first experiment in social psychology was conducted by a University of Indiana psychologist who was also an avid bicyclist. He noted that “racing men” believe that “the value of a pace,” or competitor, shaves twenty to thirty seconds off the time of a mile. To rigorously test the value of human proximity, he got forty children to compete at spinning fishing reels to pull a cable. In all cases, the kids were supposed to go as fast as they could, but most of them, especially the slower ones, were much quicker when they were paired with another child. Modern statistical evidence finds that young professionals today work longer hours if they live in a metropolitan area with plenty of competitors in their own occupational niche.

        Supermarket checkouts provide a particularly striking example of the power of proximity. As anyone who has been to a grocery store knows, checkout clerks differ wildly in their speed and competence. In one major chain, clerks with differing abilities are more or less randomly shuffled across shifts, which enabled two economists to look at the impact of productive peers. It turns out that the productivity of average clerks rises substantially when there is a star clerk working on their shift, and those same average clerks get worse when their shift is filled with below-average clerks.

        Statistical evidence also suggests that electronic interactions and face-to-face interactions support one another; in the language of economics, they’re complements rather than substitutes. Telephone calls are disproportionately made among people who are geographically close, presumably because face-to-face relationships increase the demand for talking over the phone. And when countries become more urban, they engage in more electronic communications.

        Certainly some people still work alone, handling customer complaints or airline reservations, perhaps, over the phone in some spot far from any city. However, most of those jobs require less skill and accordingly pay less. In the average U.S. county with less than one person per acre, 15.8 percent of adults have college degrees. In the average county with more than two people per acre, 30.6 percent of adults have college degrees. The Internet and long-distance calling make it possible to perform basic tasks at home, but working alone makes it hard to actually accumulate the most valuable forms of human capital.

      10. http://www.working.com/work+without+leaving+house/4734264/story.html

        “The report describes the economic and environmental aspects of telecommuting and suggests companies, communities and employees could collectively save $53 billion in Canada.

        “There are various calculations in the report, but one of the most important is that if commuters could work from home or community offices two days per week, a mass of benefit could be realized that touches on many of the pressing issues we discuss on a daily basis.

        “One of those issues is traffic. Transportation is one of the major causes of CO2 emissions.

        “Telework has been an option for a while now but the major obstacle to its success, and an ease to our woes, has always been employer mistrust.

        “Technology is affording new opportunity and it is time for employees and employers to negotiate employment contracts that save money for both, save infrastructure and health costs, and save peace of mind and quality of life for employees who want to spend more time at home with family and still be productive workers.

        “Telework in Europe has been well ahead of the curve. Wireless networks there have supported diverse workplace options for years.

        “The spiralling upward reality of software development, network connectivity, innovative hardware production and user uptake will ensure telework will be a mainstream practice soon and we should all be hopeful and eventually thankful for that.”

        You Luddites can whine and protest all you want, but you will just be left behind. Telework is fast becoming the new reality. It saves so much money that employers will not be able to avoid letting their workers telecommute, even if the employers don’t like it.

      11. LOL!

        I post research from:
        University of Michigan
        University of Indiana
        Duke University
        George Mason University
        and the University of Illinois

        Showing how electronic communications are no substitute for face to face and counter with a report by the TELEWORK RESEARCH NETWORK, which states that not having people come in can save money.

        NO SHIT. No one here is arguing that some jobs can’t be done remotely, hell the last 15 years have seen millions of jobs move from corporate offices to remote locations. Try calling tech support some time and you’ll likely get one of them. However most of the low hanging fruit has already been picked and shipped to India. The kind of high paying, heavily human capital intensive jobs that fuel our post-industrial economy require the kind of intensive collaboration and competition that only proximity can grant you.

        Try actually reading the studies and articles next time.

      12. This is pathetic. You are in total denial. Telecommuting is increasing at an accelerating pace.

        “The kind of high paying, heavily human capital intensive jobs that fuel our post-industrial economy require the kind of intensive collaboration and competition that only proximity can grant you.”

        Congratulations on a wonderful combination of ignorance and stupidity.

        Within the past year two people I know who have “high-paying” jobs have both just started telecommuting. One works at Boeing, and they are allowing him to telework only one day per week as of now. The other works at an office building in downtown Seattle and has recently started working 3 or 4 days per week from home.

        Look at those big office towers downtown. Many of the jobs in those building can — and will be — done over the internet. Renting office space is very expensive. Why do that when you don’t have to?

        Like I said, there are a lot of Luddites on this blog who are afraid of change. It is going to happen. So, you had better get used to that idea. Or you are going to be left behind wondering where everyone went.

      13. I would respond, but I’m having a hard time reaching my keyboard over the piles of paper in my “paperless” office.

      14. Norman, when you can explain how somebody will give me a massage, a profession that is part of the ever growing service sector mind you, via a DSL line, I’m on board. Until then, you’re full of it.

      15. Velo – I dunno about the main massage, but there are tons of web sites out there that enable the “happy ending” piece. :-)

  3. I have questions about transfers from Central Link to U-Link to (eventually) North Link. Will ST run three separate lines connecting Seatac with downtown with University with Northlake? It seems like there will be a lot of transfers to take what appears to be a single line. Can someone who’s in the know shed some light on this? Also, how many stops will overlap? I’m assuming U-Link will run from Husky Stadium all the way to ID.

    1. Aren’t these just names for the construction segments? I’m pretty sure trains will run from Northgate all the way to Seatac, and I think other trains will run from Northgate via Seattle – Mercer Island – Bellevue – Overlake.

      So there will be direct service, and twice the frequency between ID and Northgate as on the two branches.

    2. There was a tentative schedule published last year. I don’t remember exactly but it had three sets of runs. Something like Lynnwood-SeaTac and Northgate-Redmond.
      The trains can’t stop or turn around in the tunnel between Intl Dist and Nortgate, so any train that goes into the DSTT will be continuing to Northgate.

      The Chicago El also has named construction segments, although they’re only used in technical discussions.

      1. “The trains can’t stop or turn around in the tunnel between Intl Dist and Nortgate,”

        That is interesting. What do you think they do now?

      2. The stub tunnel of today will be the through tunnel of tomorrow.

        And you already knew that, couch potato.

      3. However, the switch can remain. Therefore, trains could still stop and change direction inside the tunnel, just as they can several other places on the Central Link route.

        And you already knew that, rocket scientist.

      4. Won’t trains be stopping and switching tracks at UW Station until Northgate Station opens?

      5. Yeah, Norman, because nothing says “efficient operations” like frequent mid-station switching along the main tracks (and the default-red signal lights that would come with such operations).

        On the other hand, trains can comfortably switch directions at Stadium and Rainier Beach stations without interrupting the flow of operations, because those there are stub tracks at those stations.

        But you have never used public transit in your life, and you never intend to, so neither know nor care what speed and efficiency look like.

        (And everyone here already knows that, Professional Regressive.)

      6. d.p., [ad hom]

        I said trains still COULD stop and turn around in the downtown tunnel, as they do now. I never said or implied that they WOULD do that on a regualar basis.

        I expect it to be just like the Tukwila Station. Before the SeaTac station opened, trains stopped at Tukwila and turned around on every trip, using the switch to change tracks. They no longer do that since SeaTac station opened, but they still COULD, because that switch at Tukwila is still there.

        Get it? Or do you need a picture?

      7. Jack, the schedule was mentioned on STB a couple times. I’ve never been able to find anything searching the STB archives.

      8. Yeesus.

        Norman, Mike was clearly not saying that trains cannot literally turn around along that segment. He was very clearly explaining that can’t implement a service plan that would require such turnarounds.

        [Ad Hominem]

    3. So it’s just great this thread turned into a bitch fest between DP and Norman. Glad I could help.

      Seriously, does anyone know the answer to this question?

      1. I think the plan was for East Link trains to go between Redmond/Overlake and Northgate, while Central Link trains will run Northgate to Sea-Tac. Once North Link and South Link are finished, there may be some trains that travel only part way between Lynwood and the southern terminal.

        Also, I believe that there will be crossovers at Brooklyn Station and Roosevelt Station. So North Link could potentially be opened incrementally as each tunnel segment and station is finished. Once the line is completed, the crossovers would add operational flexibility. Not for normal operation, but in case of tunnel blockages and such.

      2. Ben wrote this up a while ago, it is linked on the right side. Also see Appendix L of the North Link FSEIS. Although that draft operating plan is old, it still gives some insight into possible operating plans. Short version: When U-Link opens there will be one continuous line from Seatac to UW, no transfers required. When North Link (and East Link) opens, nobody is really sure what service will look like because there are two possibilities:
        1) Line A from Northgate to Seatac, Line B from Northgate to Stadium (or Rainier Beach), Line B from Northgate to Overlake.
        2) Line A from Northgate to Seatac, Line B from Northgate to Overlake.
        Note that the only places to short-turn trains will be Northgate, Stadium, and Rainier Beach, because those three stations have or will have pocket tracks.

      3. So, theoretically a train could go from Overlake to Seatac by “turning around” at Rainier Beach? Not that there is an overwhelming number of People from Redmond/Bellevue that would be flying out of Seatac at any given time but during peak commute hours there is tremendous demand put on I-405 from I-5 to SR520. ST 560, 566, 574 would all be possible transfers to Link and avoid being stuck in traffic. It would allow for higher peak demand otherwise limited by tunnel access.

      4. Oh wait, never mind, I was getting Rainier Station confused with Rainier Beach and since East Link will interline north of Stadium that won’t work either.

  4. http://blog.seattlepi.com/transportation/2011/05/26/bellevue-debate-delays-eastlink-light-rail-by-another-year/

    The PI blog is reporting that East Link is now delayed by at least a year due to bickering on the Bellevue City Council around the alignment. This irks me because one municipality can effectively delay a project that affects several hundred thousand people who never elected those responsible for the delay. My question is when does this end? Court case? Recall election? What’s the shortest path to get this done and get the project back on schedule?

    1. I wish I were a billionaire so I could just give ST money to finish ST2 as fast as possible. It sounds like the year is already lost, and nothing but more money to accelerate the construction would make a difference. The city council can’t prevent ST from implementing its chosen alignment. The real showstopper is the I-90 lawsuit; it just depends on how a judge interprets the agreements and statutes. I imagine the judge would issue an injunction to prevent the lanes form being modified until the case is decided.

      1. I’m not too worried about the lawsuits over I-90. I suspect the courts are going to be very reluctant to insert themselves into what they see as primarily administrative matters. Sure the courts could order delays but I suspect they’ll continue to punt as much as they possibly can.

      2. I too am not worried because the law is on our side, and one court has already ruled. I think the suit that just went to Kittitas (sp) County will eventually be thrown out or go our way.

        What I want to know is who besides me in Bellevue is ready to recall our council?

      3. I wish Sound Transit could just say to Hell with the east side and finish the north segment up to Lynnwood. During that time, they can go through the court system or re-try to go across a new 520 bridge.

  5. Panasonic reaps benefits of mass transit tax credit

    Panasonic is moving its headquarters down the road from Secaucus, N.J. to Newark. When the company announced the move last month, it said it was attracted to Newark’s public transit system. But there’s also a $100 million package of tax credits involved.

    Taylor is the CEO of Panasonic. He says his company is leaving its headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., because there, too many of its employees have to drive to work.

    They were also considering a move to downtown Brooklyn.

  6. After last week’s pity party by the Federal Way City Council, I finally sent the suggestion off to ST to add Federal Way as a stop on the 594.

    A brace of slickness points:

    1. Using the 578’s routing through downtown Seattle eliminates the travel-time penalty of the Federal Way stop, so nobody’s commute is lengthened.

    2. Interlining the 578 and the new 594 cuts the off-peak headway between Federal Way and downtown Seattle in half, to fifteen minutes. Interlining the 574 and the 594 does likewise on the segment between Federal Way and Tacoma.

    I suggested that some of those saved hours be used to run the 578 half-hourly on weekends. Note that a potential timed transfer point is created for northbound 578 riders to transfer immediately to the 574 to the airport, and vice versa.

    Of course, timing the breaks and pick packets to make this all work out is the biggest devil in the details. But if this works out, Federal Way could end up with better minimum, average, and maximum wait+travel time to downtown Seattle than they’d ever get with Link (sans the SODO bypass).

    1. I’ve always said the 594 makes too many stops downtown, but just making up the time with a stop in Federal Way is just as annoying. Seattle. Tacoma. That’s all the 594 should be. I’d like two stops in each city and that’s it.

    2. Having the 594 stop in Federal Way would be fine, as it serves as a major transfer point as well as a destination. But having it stop at 272nd and Kent-Des Moines Road would be too much. Seattle-Tacoma is long enough that it deserves both intermediate expresses and full expresses.

      The same thing could apply to Lynnwood by having all buses stop there. That would solve any inefficiencies between the 510 and 511 both going between Everett and Lynnwood but the 510 not stopping at Lynnwood. But consolidating them all into a single route stopping at 45th, 145th, 205th, and Lynnwood would be too much.

      1. That’s what ST’s doing with the Sunday only Route 512 serving Seattle-45th-145th-MLT-Lynnwood-Ash Way-S Everett-Everett. Starting this June.

  7. I finally noticed the new Sound Transit schedule book for June. Thank, Oran!


    The 512 is a necessity for Snohomish County riders, who have no local service at all on Sundays.

    The 540, as we feared, is getting cut back at mid-day and in evenings. This is why I don’t buy the analysis that skipping UW Station is better for 540 and 542 riders.

    Losing the 535 on Sundays is really bad, given that the 532 already wasn’t operating on weekends. I wish they had given the 535 one more pick, with the 512 in place, before canning Sundays.

    The 554 is increasing midday headway from 15 to 20 minutes, but adding service through Sammamish up to Redmond on five evening trips and from Redmond on a couple early morning trips.

    The 560 is losing most of its service to West Seattle, just in time for it to finally connect with Airport Station. Grrrr. The idea of having peak-hour service to West Seattle is going to be a dud, as there really is no peak time for starting and ending shifts at the airport, or for catching a flight. I think the 560, as a whole, is running on borrowed time.

    The handful of people who were taking the 599 minivan will now have to walk down the steps to the transfer center to catch a big bus.

    1. If I recall, the 554 has been going to Sammamish for years now. That’s not new.

    2. Central Link
      Minor schedule adjustments

      But ST is not going to tell us what the adjustments are, since they won’t publish a schedule. Argh.

      The 540, as we feared, is getting cut back at mid-day and in evenings.

      This is why the Montlake Flyer station is so important to cost-effective operation and transit access – it provides UW access for Kirkland riders via MT 255

      1. The only changes on Central Link that were apparent on our pick sheets last week was the extension of the last three in service trains from SeaTac to Beacon Hill Station from Mt Baker Station. This is supposed to coincide with Metro route 36 timed for transfers for service to downtown (posted on STB a while back).

  8. New York is a great place to live as long as you have money and lots of it. Otherwise it isn’t so great. Being poor in the city is hard. High rents are difficult to meet. When you live in an apartment with the bathtub under the kitchen sink and put up with the noise and cooking smells of your neighbors you can feel walled in and under pressure.

    Really I don’t believe that people were meant to live so close together. They need space and greenery. That’s my opinion and I was raised in an apartment building and lived in them most of my life but I’m very happy in my little house in the ‘burbs. Yeah, I’d like to have a more vital and walkable area around me but I also like the fact that it is quiet and I don’t have to deal with all the crazies in the city. That’s my opinion and experience. YMMV.

    1. A lot of people agree with you, to the point that it became a national mantra and we decided to artificially lower the cost of sustaining such a lifestyle.

      1. Thanks for the succinct reply, Kyle. We’ll be paying for that mantral (as will our kids and grandchildren) for another half century, minimum.

    2. I think Bubba’s argument can be restated thus:

      1. NYC is great if you have money. You need money to live in NYC because it’s expensive. If you don’t have money, it’s bad because being poor in NYC is much worse than being poor elsewhere.

      2. NYC is terribly crowded and expensive because so few people want to live there.

      (Actually, I needn’t bother. Yogi Berra summed up his argument even better. “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”)


    3. No, *you* need space and greenery. I need tall buildings and cafes and lots of shops and lots of people. I’ve spent a lot of time living in suburbs (under my parents’ roof), and they bore me to tears.

      Were people “meant” to live close together or far apart? Who cares? What’s important is that people have a choice. Right now, the deck is massively stacked in favor of people who want to live far apart. I just want to even the playing field.

      1. Urban living does not mean living in a city. Suburban and exurban fit into ‘urban.’ Even my town of 6k in S. Alabama is considered ‘urban.’

    4. In New York, you can pick any two of convenient location, affordable housing and good schools. But you can’t have all three.

    5. Vancouver offers a contrasting model of density without crowding. 10-story towers in the West End, duplexes on Broadway, and highrise islands at the outer Skytrain stations.

      Jane Jacobs said it’s not the number of people per square mile that causes overcrowding, it’s the number of people per room. When the number of people exceeds the number of rooms (including living rooms and dens and such), people start to feel hemmed in. It a lot of buildings in the neighborhood are like that, it increases stress and therefore violence.

  9. Anybody know when the UW is going to switch to ORCA? I’m betting that cash payment is going slow down the 71, 72, and 73 routes after that happens – enough to be noticeable to the planners – anybody know if this issue is on anybody’s radar?

    1. Husky Cards are in the process of being replaced with Orca chips in them. However old style U-Passes must be used until Fall 2011.

      1. Students won’t be paying cash, but others do. Right now passengers with a U Pass can bypass passengers fumbling with cash. Once the switch occurs, it’s much more difficult as cash fumblers typically stand in front of the ORCA reader. I try to suggest they get away from the reader so ORCA users can bypass them but it’s difficult to get them to understand that they are slowing down the 20-40 people standing behind them as they fish around in their wallet for that extra $.25.

      2. Velo,

        Where would you suggest the coin box and front-door ORCA reader be mounted so that passengers using ORCA can bypass passengers fumbling change? I realize that, realistically, most buses are going to continue to operate like one-door buses for a long time to come, at least until we can convince Metro/ST to implement some POP zones.

      3. Depends on the bus but for the Low Floor hybrids, I’d move the ORCA reader over 6″ – 12″ towards the door. That should give enough room for a cash fumbler to fumble and ORCA users to sneak their pass in for a quick read.

  10. I’m curious what the status of King County employee flash passes is, and if a plan is in motion for conversion to ORCAs.

  11. With candidate filing week approaching, I read with sadness a veritable dearth of candidates for both the Seattle City Council and the Port of Seattle Board.

    Only one challenger has filed for the Port: Richard Pope. Does he really count as a candidate?

    Jean Godden has drawn a couple somewhat serious challengers: Maurice Classen and Michael Taylor-Judd. Classen appears to be a recruit of powerful consultant Christian Sinderman (who is on the payroll of the other four incumbents). Jean, as some may recall, was a recruit of once-powerful consultant Cathy Allen. Michael, for his part, appears to be a recruit of John Fox, with his ridiculous physics-challenged call to keep people housed on-site during construction of any new housing. It’s right on Michael’s website. Join us on Planet Earth, Michael, and I might vote for you.

    Sally Clark has drawn opposition form former Seattle School Board member Dian Ferguson. I like Dian a lot. However, she basically started her campaign by saying the tunnel is a done deal. And what she has to say on land use doesn’t elicit much enthusiasm that she will in any way buck Seattle’s NIMBY ways.

    Bruce Harrell, whom I consider one of the better of a bad bunch, has draw Brad Meacham, who is pretty much down with everything this blog stands for. (Great job, Ben!) I kinda wish he had gone after one of the councilmembers I really dislike for their general lack of public conscience, rather then someone like Bruce, who stood up to the Downtown Seattle Association when it had to be done.

    With such a lack of moral clarity to bring excitement to these races, and candidate filing week upon us next week, all the campaign energy may end up going to Protect Seattle Now.

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