Olive Way Bus Only Lane by Author

This is an open thread.

47 Replies to “News Roundup: Bus Book”

  1. Re: A4T, I would love a transit riders advocacy group that is not affiliated with a driver’s union, a economic justice group, or any other interest group. Those other interests have their deserved place in public discourse, but those groups tend to conflate the issues and undermine a large, politically diverse constituency for transit service.

    1. FC, I think you’re posting on it.

      I believe this blog has been a much more potent tool for transit improvement than any riders union will ever be.

  2. People will die in that rain suit if it doesn’t come in other colors besides black.

    1. Good point, I hadn’t thought of that. Going through the video, I wasn’t impressed, though maybe if I tried one I might be convinced otherwise. It looks somewhat trying to put it on, if you notice they don’t show the rider fully zipping up, those parts were edited out.

      In a belated reply to others comments regarding the not scalable portion of bikes on buses; I agree that it isn’t possible for a large percentage of riders to utilize the service. The counter-argument to mine of the system crashing if a sizable portion of riders show up is true, and I acknowledged that yesterday by saying not all routes are sufficient for this type of service. But in the other vein, my point was that so many routes are under-utilized, there is a lot of excess capacity. I don’t understand the concerns of posters here who don’t support a positive, healthy approach to bringing one’s bike aboard the bus. I hate to say it, but the cries of Seattle being a bike unfriendly town resonate with a lot of long time riders like myself.

      1. I don’t really like the idea of allowing bikes inside buses. I would guess that in most cases where all three spots on the front bike rack are full, the bus itself is probably pretty full too. Where would you put the bike? It would have to go in the aisle. This would probably reduce the standing capacity of the bus by three or four if the bus is full, and slow down movement in the aisle when the bus isn’t full.

        I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to bikes on buses if Metro decided to purchase some vehicles that had places designed for bike storage similar to on Link trains, but I think it would just not work well on current vehicles.

      2. “I would guess that in most cases where all three spots on the front bike rack are full, the bus itself is probably pretty full too.”

        Not always the case. I’ve been turned away from empty buses multiple times because each of the only two passengers on the bus had both put their bike on the rack.

  3. As for the book club idea, I think that it should be held on the 358. This could be a great success or a great tragedy.

  4. Regarding the Montlake plans…

    The “park-like lids”, as planned for 520, are a gold-plated waste of money at Montlake as much as they are on the eastside. They aren’t just expensive to build, they require extra maintenance compared to simple bridges and probably make transit operations less efficient. Unless you’re going to build a proper lid like the I-90 one, it’s just a super-wide bridge with landscaping. Connect the bike path and HOV lanes and be done with it. Save money now and going forward.

    1. Eh? The I-90 lid in Seattle is basically a park, as is much of the I-5 lid (Freeway Park and the Convention Center).

      I’m generally a pretty big fan of lids, to reduce the freeway noise. Trenched, unlidded freeways are only a little better than elevated. I’d give my right arm to lid I-5 from Pine St to Denny, and on the south near Yesler.

      1. “I’d give my right arm to lid I-5 from Pine St to Denny, and on the south near Yesler.”

        Oh, hell yes.

        I’d settle for something like this along Pike and/or Pine for starters, though.

      2. Amen! The Columbus shopfronts would be perfect for connecting Capitol Hill and Downtown.

        I’d settle for some green screening, though. Anything to make my commute more like walking through neighborhoods and less like wandering into an industrial port.

      3. Do have an example of green screening, Hans? Having difficulty visualizing.

      4. I also like the fact that the lid will increase the cost to widen the freeway in the future (you’d basically have to demolish the entire lid and rebuild it from scratch). Maybe this would help contribute to the 6-land bridge staying a 6-lane bridge and not morphing into an 8-10 lane bridge.

      5. “I’d give my right arm to lid I-5 from Pine St to Denny, and on the south near Yesler”

        Some day real estate in Seattle may be costly enough that developers may *pay* WSDOT for the opportunity to build here, but probably not soon.

    2. The state has a legal obligation to mitigate the effects of the highway on the neighborhood. That came out of the freeway revolts of the 1970s that cancelled the nearby Thompson Expressway. Before the developers could just put a freeway anywhere without mitigation and nobody could do anything about it. There may be less expensive forms of mitigation that are adequate, but we’d have to talk about whether they’d dampen less noise, increase local traffic, or leave an open-air cavern you’d have to walk across and look at every day.

      1. So, does that open grounds for a lawsuit to prevent the state from building an unlidded freeway and “waiting for more money”?

      2. Note that in Massachusetts, the state government has done everything it could to avoid fulfilling its legal obligations under the Big Dig mitigation settlement.

        So it’s important to sue for an *injunction now* to prevent WSDOT from building anything until it has funds for the mitigation.

  5. There must be some way that Metro and Community Transit can put their heads together an merge the Aurora RapidRide with Swift. Pretty dumb to make people transfer.

      1. I know what they could do! They could form an inter-county agency that is tasked with providing reliable service over longer distances. That agency could investigate alternative modes of service, like light rail. They could then build a train down Aurora, servicing the existing and even future demand for through service from Shoreline to Seattle along this populous corridor!

        Too bad we decided to waste that money parading half-empty trains in front of the SOVs on I-5.

      2. Kyle, [ad-hominem] .(just kidding). Central Link is right on target for the revised, revised ridership projections. I’m not sure what it is these days, because ST doesn’t make that info available anymore, except on Qtrly Reports. The latest data is from Jan-Mar ’12. Next report will be 2nd Qtr, out about Aug ’12.
        Yesterday, the Tide Light Rail line in Norfold had 5,413 boardings. Buses carried 52,003. (http://www.gohrt.com/). Now that’s transparency!
        But, you know, it’s flat out there, so things are less complicated than in Seattle.

      3. chh, the 358/RR E is already too long as it is. You can’t make it longer. At some point you need to break up a corridor that long or the buses will be so unreliable as to be useless.

        Kyle, this #%@$ again? I commute on Central Link. My morning trains are full and my evening trains are standing-room-only. Any other time of day when a bus would be full, Link is full.

    1. The fact that southbound RapidRide will slow down significantly at 145th will give people in Shoreline and Snohomish an incentive to go eastward to Link if they’re going all the way to downtown, once Link is built and east-west buses are added. If they’re just going to 105th or 85th it won’t be that bad. That’s more the purpose of RapidRide, for intermediate trips. Of course, people going downtown are SOL until the Lynnwood extension opens, but it won’t be worse than the status quo, and there’s still the option to take the 510/511/512 if they don’t mind the long walk to it.

  6. “Monorail inspired SIFF documentary”? It’s neither a documentary nor inspired by the monorail…

    1. PR nightmare. Who gets tagged with giving away our streetcars for a song. I think Metro owns them, but City of Seattle may have bought them.
      If I were Metro, I’d give them back, so the blame goes to those most responsible for tearing up the system, and doing squat to save them. Maybe Greg could be Mayor for a day when the cars leave town.

    2. In this day and age any proposal using the old streetcars is just silly because they are not ADA-compliant and exclude a lot of transit-dependent people. Time to sell or scrap them.

  7. Just curious, I am not sure if anyone noticed, but most Metro buses have American-Flag stickers near their front fenders? What is this all about? I don’t see CT’s, PT’s, ST’s or any other agency’s buses doing the same.

    1. It’s done a lot in NY and Illinois, can’t speak to other states, and I don’t know why they do it.

  8. Apple and Google getting into a pissing match and the public ends up losing. I’m guessing that many people will choose _not_ to upgrade to the latest and greatest from Apple unless they get their act together and deliver a finished product.

    1. Well I was just going to say this exact same thing:

      Apple and Google getting into a pissing match and the public ends up losing.

      However I’m going to have to disagree with

      I’m guessing that many people will choose _not_ to upgrade to the latest and greatest from Apple unless they get their act together and deliver a finished product.

      You have a much more favorable impression on the general public than I. I feel that too many people will upgrade “just cuz”.

    2. Apple’s data will only get better with time. I have a Windows Phone and the built in Maps app doesn’t have transit directions either. I was pissed at first, but then I downloaded HopStop. I don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal…

      Apple will wait to roll out transit directions as a major new feature of iOS 7.

    1. They might pull it off, but in the meantime Renault has already deployed electric cars and electric car charging across the whole of France, there’s charging points all over Belgium and the Netherlands, and there are certainly more than 50 charging points in Germany already.

      And all those charging points are 220 volt, of course, because it’s Europe. Most of them are pretty good amperage too.

      Electric cars, John, electric cars. Forget hydrogen.

  9. RE: 520 – I grew up on Mercer Island and remember I-90 being under construction for a large chunk of my childhood. This kind of wrangling for 520 is probably somewhat normal. Hopefully WSDOT doesn’t sink the old bridge, cutting the anchor cables like they did with I90.

    Glad to hear the bike path is included in this temporary solution – I had assumed the bike path on the bridge would just end in the middle of the lake.

  10. “[AASHTO’s bikeway design guide is] more explicit about the fact that widening the travel lane to 13 or 14 feet isn’t the best way to accommodate bikes”

    “A wide outside lane is okay but in the scheme of things, it’s not preferred”

    Bike lanes for Bellevue Way, perhaps? Most of the route from 108th to main street has enough room. The key words there are “Bellevue” and “most”, unfortunately.

  11. A pedestrian bridge is scheduled to open next to Lakewood Station in December. Cost: $3.8 million, with small contributions from ST and City of Lakewood, and nearly all from grants.

    Just so you don’t get your hopes up, it is a bridge to the other side of the tracks from Lakewood Station, not across Pacific Hwy SW or I-5 (which would only lead to a corner of Joint Base Lewis-McCord).

    1. Leading to a corner of JBLM might actually be really valuable. JBLM has internal transportation, right? So military folks could commute in by train if they did that.
      I’m sorry they’re not doing that. Perhaps in the future.

      Anyway the bridge being built will help Lakewood station get pedestrian traffic, and should also enable a second platform if that is needed later.

  12. The Walla Walla was moved today from the edmonds Kingston run to the Seattle bremerton line, replacing the kitsap. the spokane is now serving edmonds Kingston. The big loser is the kittitas, who was replaced by the kitsap. I love musical ferries!

  13. Did anyone else have the displeasure of experiencing Monday Link disruptions? Southbound service from Pioneer Square Station was nonexistent for about 40 minutes between about 1:38 and 2:10. Northbound during that period there was one train. No announcements of any kind from ST. Kinda makes you wonder what the LED signs and speaker systems are intended to be used for…

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