King Tut Street Station, photo by Gorden Werner
This is an open thread.

64 Replies to “News Roundup: The Walking Undead”

  1. That’s not King Tut. That’s Anubis, the god of embalming. Which is appropriate for a location between Pioneer Square and the International District.

    1. I just think it’s neat that the King Tut Exhibit is at King Street Station. Very convenient for those of us working down here in the ID and Pioneer Sq. Great thinking, everyone!

      1. Actually I think the exhibit is up at Pacific Science Center. Not sure why King Street Station is being used for advertising it. Still the statue is kind of cool.

  2. Why is the fact that condo prices are rising (effectively making it more expensive to live in Seattle) almost universally presented as a good thing?

    1. I’m not sure that’s true, but there are several positive aspects of rising prices:

      1. Indicates rising demand, which hopefully translates into new construction, new jobs, more density, etc.
      2. Might indicate the beginning of the end of the housing crash, which might further indicate the beginning of the end of the economic crash.
      3. It’s good news for those that own condos, especially those that are underwater and therefore can’t sell or move.

      Rising prices might not even mean decreased affordability, if the median income is rising faster.

      1. Indeed, I think most of the stories indicated that condo building is dead in Seattle, and has been dead since the crash. We may then get more construction if the current inventory sells out.

    2. We’re only talking about a small rise in price, compared to a period of continuously dropping prices.
      – Should encourage others, who have been putting it off, to sell their old place and move to a new.
      – Encourage lenders and developers to invest in new condos. I drove to Northgate from QA the other day, they’re building apartments everywhere in this city. Couldn’t believe the number of building sites I went by. No wonder my landlord is worried.

    3. The only thing that’s happening is the excess inventory from the crash is being exhausted, which naturally means an end to discount sales. Whether there will be another condo boom with significantly rising prices is a different question. There’s a shadow inventory of buildings that were built as condos but are now rentals; these would presumably be converted back before new-condo construction begins in earnest. But the rental market is booming right now, and I doubt the condo market will become more than a trickle for the next several years. There is a stream of people who are “ready to buy” and have been waiting for the right time. But there’s no stampede into condos beyond that.

      Newly-rising prices on long-empty codo prices aren’t “making it more expensive to live in Seattle” because the prices were already out of reach of most people, especially downtown with its $700K and $1+ million-dollar units. What does make a difference is what kind of unit they’re moving out of, or whether they’re coming from out-of-state. Has there been any research on that?

    4. Daniel: People who own media usually own a few houses and/or condos too.

      More generally, houseowners generally love to see the values of their houses rise, and promoting higher property values has been pretty much de facto public policy for the last coupla decades.

      And, as you may have noticed, getting property values to go up while still figuring out where to put the most recent 50 million people who want a place to live in this country has required some, um, interesting political and financial contortions.

  3. Good to see some positive developments with building a new terminal at Mukilteo. From my perspective it is a reasonable compromise to have it located right next to the hotel and tank farm. My preference was the far east end, but of course we have to look at cost when doing something with limited funds.

    Hopefully this will spur Amtrak into getting a Cascade or two to stop there. We’re long overdue for weekend service on the platform and in general since the Northline Sounders only use the stop for a small portion of the day.

      1. It looks like the plan for the ferry terminal includes a 6-bay transit center right next to the ferry.

    1. Bad news for those who want to eliminate Sounder North. It will be even harder to eliminate with shiny new ferry terminals next to the stations.

      1. As atrocious the costs may be with the Sounder Northline, my past two years of riding the train have shown me that this is THE way to get to Mukilteo in the most efficient manner time wise. Plus if all the Edmonds riders lost the service, I think they would howl and scream to no end.

        I don’t anticipate it going away anytime soon, fortunately.

      2. I’d howl too if the only alternative is the current two seat ride. CT113 that hits about 40 zones and take a couple of mile sojourn around and through the Harbour Pointe Golf Club to get to Ash Way P&R. Crappy timing to catch the ST511 to Seattle doesn’t help either.
        Saving $9 mil/yr on N.Sounder ops cost would certainly warrant an express bus to Seattle the met the ferries without the grand tour of beautiful downtown Mukelteo.

      3. Fast forward ten years and suppose that instead of the north Sounder, Edmonds and Mulkilteo had a separate non-stop shuttle bus connecting the station to Lynnwood transit center, and instead of operating just 4 trips a day, it ran every 10 minutes peak, every 30 minutes off-peak all-day. Including wait time, travel time to downtown would be almost the same, probably even faster if you work in the north part of downtown or South Lake Union. And from a cost perspective, the marginal cost of those shuttle routes given that you’re already running Link should be small compared with the cost of operating the Sounder. Seems to me like a win-win.

      4. That would be an optimal solution. So why wait 10 years and $100 million later? JUST DO IT.
        I hope ST was smart enough to include some escape clauses in their 1/4 bil to BNSF for track rights on 4 RT’s a day. It should be worth what they paid for it, or they paid too much.

      5. It’s always worthwhile to “extend” Link with express buses from stations to the surrounding cities. That’s the most effective way to leverage the investment.

      6. Because ST paid upfront for slots outright, for eternity, I would expect that the slots are *subleaseable* and probably transferrable.

        So if ST ever decides that it can’t use the slots, they can sell ’em to Amtrak, which definitely needs to increase the number of trips to Vancouver….

  4. There seems to be a lot of momentum behind turning Terry Ave N into a great pedestrian arterial. But this is never going to happen without a crosswalk at Denny, which SDOT refuses to put in.

  5. The show is called “The Walking Dead” because they’re walking because they’re zombies. “Walking Undead” is redundant. /nerdalert

    1. Besides, if they’re on Link, wouldn’t they be the Train-Riding Undead?

    1. It’s part of the next extension. After S 200th street, the line will be extended to Portland via Tacoma and Olympia. :-)

      That last slide even has Sound Transit logos on the train!

      1. At which point we’ll all wish we invested in something faster than light rail.

      2. Sshh, don’t tell Bailo. It’s his birthday present. A hydrogen-powered high-speed train with stations at Kelso, North Kelso, and South Kelso.

  6. That King Street Station pic looks as if it could have/should have been the cover for the latest Blue Oyster Cult album. Vinyl, of course.

    1. On another forum, someone assumed we were installing a Stargate. It would be convenient to hop off the train, right to space/time travel.

      1. If you can travel in time why does it matter how long it takes to get there? Bad idea anyway, it would attract, well… you know; those kind of people coming here :=

      2. Oooh. Just reminded me of a Stephen King story I read when I was young, where people are put into suspended animation for a long time/space journey through a wormhole. You’re given drugs to knock you out so that you don’t experience the centuries that pass. For some reason (I belive it was what they do to criminals?), the main character isn’t given the drug…

      3. But the big issue is illegal aliens. And of course infiltration of colored folk; red, green, orange John Boehner. The attraction is financing. While it would of course be stupid expensive you could go back in time and sell 20 year bonds in 1992 so that today it’s completely paid for with no tax increase required. Government loves things they can promise without having to actually be around to pay for. Pushing it backward instead of forward would revolutionize politics.

      4. The Stargate being built behind Anubis is for the non-stop service to Dubai. And y’all thought they’d just have a plane fly the whole way!

        It costed out better than boring a pair of tunnels.

  7. Count me in as a big NO on a state transportation package unless we implement a carbon tax, tolls, and barrel tax and fund environmental remediation and transit, peds, and bikes fairly in addition to modest road projects.

    1. I “evangelized” the SeattleSubway.org vision and website to a receptive soul on the 49 bus to Capitol Hill Wednesday night.

      1. Why do you need STB and how does it improve transit? I dislike Facebook, but like any social medium it’s as useful as people make it.

  8. Don’t forget that it was KOMO-TV that broke the story about the 520 drinkers. Newspapers do a lot of things right, but every now and then, a TV station will shake off the doldrums and do something right.

  9. Question. STB seems has a lot of armchair transit planners who have a lot of grand ideas about how things should be. It’s like they’re playing SimCity, but on a blog. Yet I never hear real transit and city planners credit or even mention STB, leading me to believe nobody who works for the County or ST pays too much attention to this blog, if any.

    I guess my question is, is a lot of the pontificating and analysis that happens on this blog just a lot of hot air that never gets read or used by the people who matter most?

  10. I’m not sure if prescient is the correct word to describe me, but I am very proud of myself, because back when Metro proposed the cancelation of the route 99, it was I, and only I, who said that would never happen, because it serves the powerful Port of Seattle headquarters, and many Port employees rely on it to get to and from the Sounder and IDS station. I knew, that in public transit, politics trumps everything, and the Port would see to it didn’t go away. And that’s exactly what happened. They “for some reason” changed their mind on deleting it, and switched instead to peak-only service three seasons a year, and full-service during the summer.

  11. Since this is an open thread: does someone who has access to email addresses known if the justinf who sometimes posts around here is/was Justin Ferrari, the 43-year-old killed by a stray bullet in the CD on Thursday?

    1. I’m told that Justin was in fact a member of our community, with about 60 comments over the years.

      The whole thing makes me feel very low.

  12. I am very proud of myself. The controversial Kirkland apartment project that I wrote about here a few days ago is now on the front page of the online of the Seattle Times. So basically, I broke the story. Can Pulitzers be given for outstanding writing in a comment section?

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