This morning, the Seattle City Council’s transportation committee, led by Councilmember Rasmussen, lifted the proviso on rail funding for Ballard I posted about a month ago.

This means that the City and Sound Transit can now develop an agreement to jointly fund an alternatives analysis of the corridor from downtown to Ballard – where the city studies buses and streetcars, and Sound Transit studies higher capacity transit modes, with their powers combined meeting the federal government’s requirements for transit corridor planning. Whether this means a streetcar is built, a subway, or both, it’s the necessary next step in getting reliable transit to Ballard.

I want to thank the folks who came out to the meeting last month – eight people showed up to support this, which I think outnumbered everyone else in the audience combined. That’s the kind of direct action that seems small, but it goes a long way in showing community support for the improvements we most need.

It’s worth taking a moment to send a quick thank you email to Councilmember Rasmussen and even the rest of the transportation committee – let them know they did the right thing! They’re helping us keep the pipeline full for great transit that can eventually connect every neighborhood in the city.

113 Replies to “City Council Transpo Committee Approves Rail Planning for Ballard”

    1. It will be easier for us to make it happen sooner if you shoot a thank you to Rasmussen. :)

      1. Just sent Tom the link to this posting. Tell me, Ben, what’s your personal time-frame for the work under discussion here?

        Mark Dublin

      2. Mark, the work they’re planning will be something in the range of 18 months to complete. So if we get something in the pipe next summer for after that, we’re set. :)

    1. The contents of the alternatives analysis won’t be too different based on anything we do. But calling out that you want grade separated transit in the corridor in a quick thank you email to Rasmussen will help. :)

  1. Excellent! Lets keep on them that we want grade separated.

    No more Mt. Dew trucks being cut in half!

    1. Although, as accidents go, that’s the best you can hope for. No injuries, and some hilarity.

    2. Grade separated? So cutting champagne trucks in half would be okay, but not dew trucks?

      1. Grade separated means not “at grade”, where the word “grade” refers to the level of the ground. It just means that trains are either elevated above traffic or underneath it, so that they can never be caught at stoplights or run into other vehicles. The economic impact of delaying thousands of people for a wreck like that is often worth building this way!

  2. Here is what I sent out. Please, feel free to copy part of it or even all of it. Letting our elected officials know that a large community of voters/donors/activists cares about these issues is one of the best ways to show your support for mass transit.

    Council-member Rasmussen,
    Getting quality transit to all of our neighborhoods is very
    important to me. I was at the Transportation meeting earlier this
    month where the Ballard budget proviso was discussed and I will be
    honest, I was pretty disappointed that the committee did not vote to
    lift it. With that said I was very happy to get word that today the
    council has decided to move the project forward. Thank you for your
    commitment to mass transit in this city,
    Matt Johnson, Board of Directors, Seattle Subway

  3. A big thank you to Councilmember Rasmussen and the rest of the committee for making this happen. This is a step in the right direction and I too look forward to seeing what comes from it. And Schiendelman, your passion and energy on this issue is key.

  4. what would this blog ideally like to see serve balard? Elevated light rail from downtown though interbay over the canal and on to crown hill? A street car from downtown through freemont and on to ballard? It seems like we have a lot of possibilities from mild to wild. Does this blog have a specific stance?

    1. I think it really depends on the budget.

      Now I am not on the Editorial Board, but from the posts I have seen the ranking from most favorable(expensive) to least favorable(expensive:

      Tethers attached to cars so you could get around Marty McFly style

      1. I’m totally okay with gondolas. The Queen Anne – SLU – Capitol Hill idea is pretty awesome.

    2. Personally? I like underground though downtown to Lower Queen Anne, then elevated or surface grade separated until Dexter, then under the Freemont Cut and then elevated up to crown hill.

      Not as if I thought about it or anything for years.

      1. dj, for sure. Where we cross the cut is the question – Ballard or Fremont? Or both? :)

      2. Underground through S Queen Anne, at grade through Interbay, under the bay to Ballard, then turn east to Wallingford, U District, and possibly to Children’s Hospital, a large regional employer. I see that as a stronger regional connection than Crown Hill. City streetcars could run up 15th or 24th, though, and connect Ballard to Fremont.

      3. Jon, we need to build a cross-town line as well. But we can’t ignore the northern part of the city, and we don’t want to preclude a cross-town line having another stop or two west of 15th, either. Turning there would severely limit future investments.

    3. Personally, I think for the first line, politically you have to go underground through downtown (and it’s the best choice from an urbanist perspective, too). You’d probably elevate through Interbay and then if you can go under the water to Ballard, you do – but if you can’t, you go elevated. That’s the big question in my mind.

      But the professionals will be the ones who really figure that out. I’m happy with nearly anything.

      1. Adding a second tunnel to downtown is important for future transit expansion. Ballard is first, but if we want lines to West Seattle, Aurora north, Georgetown, etc. they’re going to need to go somewhere when they reach downtown. As we know, Link will be filling up the current DSTT on its own.

      2. I think the notion of building a second tunnel through downtown before thoroughly reviewing the potential of the existing tunnel to add more trains is kinda jumping the gun.
        I won’t bore you with the numbers, but my analysis of capacity says there is plenty of room for a Ballard to W.Seattle line, even after ST3 full build out.
        You might want to keep you powder dry before asking politicians to accept another 2-3 bil investment under downtown, when the one we have is the optimal solution, IMHO.

      3. d.p., the benefit of the ‘Georgetown Link’ as you call it is that it serves as a S. King/Pierce Express. This allows for infill stations in the Rainier Valley and beyond without raising the ire of suburban board members for slowing down ‘their’ trains. Now it won’t happen tomorrow, or even the next day, but we should be thinking long term here. Even just by committing to building the express Link we might can get the S. King and Pierce members to let some infill stations slide in the near term.

      4. Right, of course. An express for the estimated almost nobody who will use all-day rapid transit from Federal Way.

        All such a thing does is encourage sprawl, parkin’-and-ridin’, and using the thing as a commuter rail on an extremely occasional basis. It’s waste.

        We shouldn’t “commit” to it for any reason.

      5. d.p., why is it you only comment on Seattle Subway stuff to attack it? It’s not helpful to be public about criticisms like this – why don’t we sit down for coffee and chat about message and framing to successfully build more transit? It’s – and you can even call me. 206-683-7810.

      6. I don’t actually come here intending to fight, Ben.

        And I appreciate your work-with-city-and-ST approach, which I’ve always believed was correct.

        But you can’t jump down my throat every time I suggest that studying only the most expensive option (plus the sub-par streetcar that we’ll likely get instead) is a recipe for failure.

        I’m happy to get together and chat, but I really want to know that it will feel productive.

      7. d.p., if you didn’t come here to fight, then why did I come into this thread seeing you making *only negative comments* about routing? That is a damaging way for you to be engaging about transit. If you want us to be able to build ANYTHING in this city, you should carry positive messages about connectivity and leave specific engineering questions to the engineers.

      8. It’s not just ‘Georgetown Link’ and we’re not just talking about rail to Northgate and Bellevue. Rail to Lynnwood and Redmond WILL fill up the tunnel as far as ST is concerned, and that’s what is important, regardless of if you could physically cram another train in between, it wouldn’t be practicable.
        IRT Georgetown. It wouldn’t stop there. It would be a S. King/Airport express. Imagine 20 minutes to the airport instead of 35. It’s all pieces of a puzzle. Eventually Federal Way and Tacoma will be connected. That kind of trip can’t route through the RV. Also, we can then add stations to MLK way to support more development on the whole corridor.

      9. “I think the notion of building a second tunnel through downtown before thoroughly reviewing the potential of the existing tunnel to add more trains is kinda jumping the gun.”

        We don’t have to worry about this. The two will probably be studied simultaneously. We’d like them to study a second tunnel now because it puts us in a better position for the future. Having two tunnels that have plenty of expansion capacity is better than having one tunnel that may or may not have expansion capacity. We’re extremely lucky the DSTT was built in the 1990s; otherwise it would have had to bee included in Link’s 2000s budget and it might not have passed. A subway in the hand is better than two in the bush, as they say.

      10. The two will probably be studied simultaneously.

        Gosh, I hope so.

        Of course, we also hoped so about the east-west alignment (which from a networked perspective remains one “Ballard-downtown” option).

        As I (optimistically) posited elsewhere on the thread (before the inevitable fightin’ began), I wonder if the public could be sold a “Phase One” from Ballard-Pine, with a “Phase Two” second DSTT a presumed extension, but not part of the initial funding allocation.

      11. The fighting need not be inevitable. If you could restrain from constantly attacking anything that isn’t exactly as you would like it there would be no fighting.

        Two phrases come to mind.

        Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
        Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.

      12. Sorry, Matthew, but now that we’re only studying the most expensive subway and the most mediocre streetcar, the perfect has already been made the good’s nemesis (with no assist from me).

        Here’s what y’all need to ask yourself: If Ben’s vision is so infallible, why worry that it could be felled by a single dissent on a blog?

        This thread is now packed with delusion. We don’t need two rapid transit lines to Everett. We don’t need 10-minute service to Issaquah. We’re not going to turn into a region of 6 million, and we’re never going to have the tax base for 1/10 of what has now been promised. This is me, as a lifelong non-car-owning transit advocate who *hates* Seattle’s bus status quo, telling you this. What do you think a transit agnostic would say?

        Get real, people, and maybe we can get some real options.

      13. Okay first, you need to chill out.

        Please point out where agreeing to study one line means you can’t study another? The city doesn’t want to study crosstown at this time, so Sound Transit is taking what they can get. This saves them money so they have more to study others, like a crosstown line.

        As usual you are freaking out over nothing. And you are trying to turn others off the project b/c it doesn’t do everything you want exactly as you want it.

        As Ben said, just stop.

      14. “This thread is now packed with delusion. We don’t need two rapid transit lines to Everett…. we’re never going to have the tax base for 1/10 of what has now been promised”

        I did some research to see if this was an official Seattle Subway proposal or just Ben’s working idea. The Everett-to-Tacoma map appears nowhere on SS’s Facebook page or I talked with the SS folks at the Broadway farmers’ market, and the map they’re passing out is the earlier Seattle map. I asked if they’d discussed or agreed on the Everett-to-Tacoma map, and they said they’ve discussed suburban extensions in general but this map is just one person’s idea. So, Ben’s personal map is no more significant than DP’s personal map or my personal map. Seattle Subway’s map is more significant because it’s the agreement of the most active activists, with input from people in “the transit industry” and in the various governments. Nobody else has produced a map with that much agreement, so it’s a big step forward. I’ve said elsewhere that we can only build what the activists/ST/governments/public all agree on, so we have to keep that in mind.

        I myself have some reservations about the Everett-to-Tacoma map. It appears to overserve Everett and Tacoma, with more frequency in Fife than in Rainier Valley and Aurora. That can’t be possible! But those issues will all be addressed in the alternatives analyses, as will the cost issue when we get actual estimates and BRT-vs-rail alternatives. It’s really up to the suburban subareas what lines they want and are willing to pay for. We just need to make sure they include urban villages, not just P&Rs.

        I like how the map puts the Sand Point – Kirkland bridge into perspective. It solves the issue of putting Kirkland on Link, and the two lines nicely connect in Redmond. Kirkland is getting ever-stronger relations to UW and Ballard due to the computer tekkies, so this may appeal to Kirkland residents. It avoids the awkward sharp turn in Ballard that a downtown – Ballard – UDist line would have. It also makes the 45th line would be a full-sized line rather than just a Ballard-Children’s shuttle. I never liked the Sand Point – Kirkland bridge until now because of the cost, but this shows how it could fit into an overall scheme. And it does make sense to bypass 520 which is not near any pedestrian destination.

      15. Mike, must have missed you at the market today, left just before 1. Hope you had a good chat with the other volunteers!

        You are correct that this map is not officially part of Seattle Subway’s plan. We are pushing for raising money in the city to study the lines in our original vision. However as we have gone out and talked to people, worked events, farmers markets, etc a common question is how what we would build would interact with the rest of the region. Turns out a lot of people live, work and play throughout the area and want fast reliable transit to get there. That’s all the regional map is about, to put the work we want done in Seattle into a regional context. It will be for people in those areas to push for funding from their cities or for more ST votes, etc.

      1. Georgetown is an enclave, lovely and “hip”, but tiny. Should Ellensburg have a subway? They’re not that different.

        The only reason it would ever see rail would be as a stop on some express line to the suburbs. We’re building too many of those already.

      2. You know, that wasn’t fair of me.

        Ellensburg is 50 times more urban than Georgetown.

      3. and i quote

        “They’re helping us keep the pipeline full for great transit that can eventually connect every neighborhood in the city.”

        check out the use of the word every.

      4. You’re kidding, right?

        A billion dollars should be spent on a train to nowhere because Ben hyperbolically used the word “every” in a sentence?

        Anyway, a multi-line urban subway network would connect Georgetown to the outside world better than it currently is, inasmuch as you could rearrange bus service to and from rail lines better when we’re not wasting bus money on parts of the city that should have rail.

      5. d.p.: +1

        We could buy a lot of hours on a bus directly from Georgetown to SODO station for a fraction of the cost of the proposed bypass. Particularly once the Airport Way bridge over the railroad tracks reopens.

      6. If Lake City (let alone Ballard and West Seattle) doesn’t get a subway/rail link before Georgetown, something is terribly, terribly wrong.

      7. Guys, getting cranky about me talking about a particular neighborhood, when it’s going to be the professionals who figure out what’s most cost effective and the voters who decide which lines they want to fund, is utterly unnecessary, and even damaging, to building more transit. We need to consider transit to every neighborhood, and then if one isn’t cost effective, let a professional decide that, not throw it out. It does us no good to throw it out – it just loses us votes.

      8. Georgetown is on the way to SeaTac, geniuses. Also there are a lot of jobs in the Duwamish area. Also South Seattle Community College, Museum of Flight, and Boeing Field.

      9. None of those are walkable uses, Cheese, and would therefore require busing to the train (i.e. not that much different from today).

        That’s not exactly a sales pitch for an expensive train line.

  5. Let’s not forget a 45th line from Ballard to the U-district, which would still be faster to downtown than RR C even with the transfer. Hopefully ST will include it in the study as a viable downtown alternative that would simultaneously address crosstown transit and the abominable 45th corridor.

    1. Okay, Mike brought it up!

      Is this a part of the study syllabus? If we’re already delegating research responsibilities to city and agency, shouldn’t we know buy now?

      Ben’s wording implies not. Is this just a failure of Ben’s wording?

      My primary fear remains: if Sound Transit studies only a single, very expensive option (new downtown tunnel), then we’re going to end up with a crappy streetcar.

      As I’ve been saying in each of these (invariably) knock-down-drag-out threads: study every routing!

      1. d.p., what the hell? Why are you on the warpath to raise fake questions you already know the answers to? Of course we advocate for studying every corridor in the transit master plan, which includes all of these we’re talking about.

      2. Ben, I have no idea how the very-specific text that Zed cites below got into the resolution, but you know as well as I do that it completely contradicts the study-all-possibilities mantra that you have claimed on this very blog to abide by.

        I’m not trying to be a spoilsport. I’m just a realist. I realist who very badly wants excellent transit to happen.

        And as I’ve told you fifty times before, going to the voters with a $6 billion plan for a single line segment is going to leave us with crappy BRT or a crappier streetcar forever.

      3. This is what I’m reading:

        “As I’ve told you before, this straw man I’m pretending you’re going to do sucks.”

        Stop. It.

      4. I don’t know what to tell you, Ben.

        Except that I want real transit to happen as badly as you do.

        And that I don’t come here to be hostile, but to be realistic.

        And that $6 billion for a brand-new north-south line with a brand-new downtown tunnel is no strawman.

        And that the risk of presenting a $6-billion plan with only a streetcar fallback plan is no strawman.

        And that if you can pull this off, I’ll be thrilled.

        But that I’m really worried.

        And that I live in Ballard, and I don’t have a monorail, and that its cost was its undoing.

        And that Seattle Subway won’t magically appear because you achieve consensus on a blog.

      5. Every time you say “$6 billion plan” you’re attacking transit. You sound like John Niles. Stop.

      6. Then tell me, Ben: How much do you think a new DSTT would cost? Less than $1 billion? $1.5 billion?

        Add that to a grade-separated Ballard line, which would presumably be similar in cost to U-Link, and at what estimated dollar figure do you arrive?

      7. And how does reminding transit advocates/transit fans of Seattle’s history of choosing the sub-par (hypothetically, a $500-million streetcar plan) when presented with that the only cheaper alternative to a very expensive plan (which a north-south starter line is likely to become), hurting transit.

        My agreeing with you will not sell the taxpayers on a cost they would balk at anyway.

      8. As a back of the napkin calculation I get 6.15 miles between the King Street hub and 22nd NW & Market with a detour to serve the Seattle Center and Uptown/Lower Queen Anne.

        Given recent LINK construction costs I get a rough number of somewhere between $3 and $4.5 billion depending on how much ends up being elevated or at-grade vs. tunneled.

        I get a hair under 4 miles for a U-District to Ballard line. Providing O&M space means either crossing the ship canal to Interbay or building an underground flying junction near the U-District station. Going to Interbay gets you the same mileage as Downtown to Ballard.

        There is no huge cost savings by going E/W first. I’m willing to bet the ridership for Downtown to Ballard is much higher than U-District to Ballard, particularly if there are stations in Belltown, Lower Queen Anne and at Dravus.

      9. In all seriousness, Chris, the cost of building a new tunnel end-to-end across CBD can’t be compared in the slightest to deep-boring beneath Capital Hill. You can’t simply pro-rate the mileage.

        You’d be looking at building three or four entirely new stations, requiring total utility relocations, not having access to off-site staging grounds, retrofitting entrances into existing towers, etc., etc., etc. Just like the first DSTT, but with 25 years’ worth of inflated costs.

        None of which to say it shouldn’t be explored, or planned for in a later stage.

        But it’s highly disingenuous to presume an E/W line would “need” a new canal crossing (which it seems you did simply to nudge toward hypothetical cost parity, ignoring the difference in tunneling environments). It’s also disingenuous to claim that an E/W line would fail to serve riders between NW Seattle and downtown, seeing as it would still be twice as fast as RapidRide.

    2. This is the text from the ST resolution okaying the study;

      “Amend the Proposed 2012 Budget and other related text and tables to reflect a partnership with the City of Seattle to co-fund and co-manage a study of the Ballard-to-Downtown (e.g., Westlake area or International District) HCT corridor — a segment of the ST2-funded U-District-to-Ballard-to-Downtown HCT planning study and to reflect a Sound Transit contribution of $2,000,000. This work will coordinate with the City’s Transit Master Plan and their recently received FTA AA grant for the City Center Transit Connector. Study will narrow the range of alternatives and modes, evaluate routes and station locations, include a preliminary environmental assessment, and position the Sound Transit Board to update the Long-Range Plan and establish priorities for the next phase of HCT system development. Sound Transit and City of Seattle will enter into a term sheet and an interlocal agreement to establish a minimum scope of work for the study, and to further define agency roles.”

      1. Well, that is pretty darn specific. No Ballard Spur in the study.

        That’s a mistake.

        Here’s the silver lining: “(e.g., Westlake area or International District) ”

        So they can hypothetically study:
        1) A cross-SLU line that takes advantage of the existing junction at Convention Place, and;
        2) An initial Ballard-downtown segment that terminates at Pine Street, for a transfer without a junction, such that a new tunnel across downtown can be built in a later phase.

        Either of which would be much cheaper to present to the voters than an entire new downtown tunnel.

      2. d.p., it’s not a “mistake”, it’s just all we have the money to do right now. Want more? Let’s get more money!

      3. It’s not a mistake to save a few thousand dollars by not studying all options, even if that prevents you from being able to go the voters with an effective plan that might costs billions less?

        That’s not a mistake?

        I don’t even know what to say to that!

      4. d.p., studying downtown to Ballard is a $2 million proposition. Studying UW to Ballard on top of that sounds like it would be another $2 million.

        You’re hurting us. Right now. You are hurting transit through your mischaracterization, right there. Stop it.

      5. Oh my god. No, it hasn’t. We said to Oran “what do you think a whole regional system might look like?” and this is what he produced. I love it – sure, some of it isn’t going to happen, maybe it won’t look like this, but this isn’t much different than ST’s stated long range plan.

    3. +1000. This line could later be extended to the NE toward Lake City and Bothell and through Interbay and Belltown should it be necessary, with a cross-transfer station at Brooklyn. Heck, someday if there were capacity for two lines on the 45th segment, an Aurora-45th-U District-520 line could also intersect North Link at Brooklyn.

      1. I would think it’s the most never-gonna-happen thing in the history of things that are never gonna happen.

      2. d.p., that’s no different than the rail systems of larger cities as they’ve grown. I think the only reason this wouldn’t happen is if people like you decide to attack it on technicalities and prevent people like me from getting voters excited about it.

      3. At best, your map resembles those “regional systems” that have utterly failed to draw people from their cars in Dallas and Denver and Portland and the Bay Area. Overpriced, underperforming, glorified commuter shuttles all. Is that your intent?

        At worst, your map resembles a “fantasy subway map” on the pipe-dreamiest of pipe-dream websites, an deeply nerdy exercise in never-gonna-happen absurdity, a triumph of connecting dots on maps with no sense of how transit actually works at ground level. That’s probably not your intent either.

        That’s no different than the rail systems of larger cities as they’ve grown.

        Can you name a <4-million metro area, defined primarily by sprawl, with a system that looks like that, and is actually used?

      4. Not to hammer home the absurdity, but can you name any system that looks like that, in anything smaller than a Tokyo-sized megalopolis, anywhere in the world!?

        You do realize that you’ve drawn multiple 40-60 mile lines, don’t you?

        Rapid transit just doesn’t work like that.

        I know you don’t wish to sell snake oil. So don’t sell snake oil!

      5. Ben, I signed up/”liked”/whatever Seattle Subway on one of the first days you guys were up. I support it and hope it leads to something better than what we have (I published a paper on a potential subway system in high school in the early 80’s, and was invited to sit on the Citizen’s Transit Advisory Board at the time–a fine excuse to miss school for an afternoon every few weeks!)

        While realizing that route alignments are not really what should be worrying about right now, I do like the idea of an expandable early segment that would serve Ballard with less capital expenditure than a line downtown. With more money–i.e. the 90% the Feds were doling out 40 years ago, I’d say go directly downtown, build a 2nd Avenue tunnel and keep going–but we don’t have that. What we do have is an opportunity to say “Ballard to the UW in 6 minutes (or whatever it is), downtown in 15 or less.” Of course, if it’s actually more $ to go to the UW, then downtown directly is better.

        That being said, I wholeheartedly support any grade-separated HCT system that serves the City of Seattle and am happy to pay more for it–better that than the commuter-type lines we’re seeing now as expansions. And Georgetown should be served–someday–it’s just that there are too many other potential destinations that should be served first.

      6. Scott – so do I. It’s just important to realize that we have no impact on that choice right now – Sound Transit would come up with that as an alternative, study it, and figure out whether it makes sense, long before we vote on the funding to construct a line.

      7. Barcelona has 4.4 million in the statistical “Urban Zone”, and more in the metro area. Those 4.4 million are densely congregated.

        Your entire map exists within a 7.5-mile radius of central Barcelona. There are no sprawling, BART-esque, underutilized “regional lines” on your map to compare to Ben’s brain fart. (Barcelona does have regional trains as well, though they don’t erroneously function beyond their demand.)

        Thanks for playing, though.

        My “faith in [Seattle’s] future” ebbs and flows, but revelations like this, which risk a future full of sub-par streetcars, do not help.

        Having faith should not be conflated with expecting Seattle to double in population to become the U.S.’s 5th largest metro area by 2050. That is not going to happen. If a plan is predicated on that happening, then it is not a viable plan.

      8. And I hadn’t noticed the new map until Doug mentioned it.


        It fits my impression that we’ll need three lines going north from downtown Seattle and three lines going south, as other cities like St Petersburg and Chicago have more or less done.

        A couple things missing: Renton-Bellevue, and something through southest King County. Perhaps FW – Auburn – Kent – Renton – Bellevue – Kirkland – Bothell.

        Two lines into Tacoma and Everett look like a lot. I’d truncate the green (Rainier Valley) at TIB, and the blue (Aurora) in south Everett. It would depend on the frequency. Every Seattle line should be 10 minutes minimum. So combined 5 minutes into Everett and Tacoma may be overkill, but one-line 20 minutes on Aurora would be underserving.

      9. Mike Orr: “A couple things missing: Renton-Bellevue, and something through southest King County. Perhaps FW – Auburn – Kent – Renton – Bellevue – Kirkland – Bothell.”

        BRT on SR-18, SR-167, I-405. Might as well continue up 405 to intersect North Link. Kemper Freeman would be happy, that’s what he wanted all along!

      10. And Seattle’s last hope for rapid transit has officially devolved into a Fantasy Map convention.

        [shrugs, walks away]

    4. I didn’t really expect that the 45th line would make it through the political hurdles, either to get into the alternatives analysis or to be chosen if it did. Too many people have a downtown bias and wouldn’t be satisfied if the second line doesn’t go directly to downtown. There are legitimate reasons for it, since downtown has the largest number of transfers. Either Ballard-south or Ballard-east would make a good second line, and would cut down that 30 minute handicap of living in Ballard or going to Ballard.

  6. you act as if Georgetown is not going to grow or develop in the next 15-20 years which unfortunately is the time line we are looking at. If we are talking about investing in infrastructure for the future, it only makes since that yes actually every neighborhood as access to reliable and efficient transit.

      1. Georgetown has a population of 1300 people. 1300 people! It has a single, tiny commercial strip, and is surrounded on all sides by sprawling light industry or highway/waterway/railway/airport infrastructure.

        Ballard is home to 60,000 (and rising). Wallingford 30,000. Lower Queen Anne roughly 10,000 (depending on your boundaries, and rising). And people go to those places from other places, because they’re part of the city-continuum.

        I don’t care how much the hipsters have fallen in love with Georgetown. It’s isolated and it isn’t getting developed in our lifetimes.

      2. d.p., you’ve gone down a pretty serious rabbit hole here. You’re creating fights with other people, ostensibly in my name. I think in the long run, we’re going to want a bypass of the Rainier Valley for the airport and even for Federal Way. I don’t know what that will look like. I know it would be nice to stop in Georgetown, given that neighborhood activists in Georgetown are working toward getting higher, mixed use zoning, to do things like develop the old brewery into hundreds more housing units. Sure, it doesn’t rate today compared to Ballard, but that’s why we’ll probably build to Ballard and West Seattle and across the north end first. In the long run, we’ll build everywhere. That’s an issue for five years from now, not for you to hang on today in order to pummel transit supporters. Like I said – don’t be that guy.

      3. Then you’re not paying attention to what you’re writing. I’m showing an inclusive vision – the way to get freedom from traffic and fuel prices, in any neighborhood. And you’re going after parts of that vision, stifling the excitement of other people here. I want you to stop being negative at everyone about everything – it seems like all you’re doing here is telling people things are wrong and impossible. Please stop.

  7. Your definition of city continuum is completely subjective. Columbia City only has 10,00 residence. People live and work in the area, and it is a destination in it’s self. In fact in the original sound move, there was talk of making a sounder station there but it turned out to be a logistical nightmare to put a platform in amongst all of those tracks. Just because you were once snubbed by someone who you considered to be a “hipster” and happened to live in Georgetown doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get a link station. As far as new development goes its already happening!

    1. I don’t even know where to start.

      Dude, that’s in SoDo.
      The current Link line passes 100 feet from it.
      And that’s repurposed development.
      Of which Georgetown has some too.
      That is likely to be the extent of its growth.
      Because it’s otherwise isolated.

      Columbia City is not isolated.
      And already has 8 times the population.

      And hipsters only live in Georgetown because they can get a bungalow with 4 roommates and pay almost nothing in rent.
      Which is not exactly a model for redirected growth.

      And this whole debate is ridiculous.
      Because Georgetown is never getting a subway stop.

      1. It’s called getting people excited, starting a movement, getting shit done.

        You DON’T know the future. Maybe we will grow more than planned. Maybe rising fuel costs will shift more from the suburbs to the city. Eventually Georgetown WILL be served. Maybe not in 20, but in 50, who knows?

        Now, I’ve answered your question even though you didn’t have the courtesy to answer mine. What do you accomplish by telling the people that want this, or that ‘Hey you want ever get it, so no need to try and help us make it a reality’?

        So, what is your objective here? How does tearing down any proposal not to your exact liking going to get you anything? What is your plan for making this happen? B/c I’m not really understanding your thought process here. Or do you just have no understanding how people work, how movements are built or how political change takes place?

    2. Honestly, the logistical difficulty of putting a Sounder station in Columbia City is severely overstated. Yes, it wouldn’t be a cheap station (like most of the initial Sounder stations) but it wouldn’t be super-expensive either.

  8. Also what you call isolated I call an ideal station area. The location of Georgetown sandwiched in-between I-5 the King County Airport and light industrial area as made it an area already centered on it self highly walkable with multiple commercial strips. a Link station is all this place needs to push it further down the path towards an excellent and unique place to live within the city.

    1. Yes, but the question is what the next line should be, not whether there should ever be a Georgetown line. Ballard-Wallingford-Fremont has the biggest concentration of density and pro-transit voters of all the areas not served by the first line, so it’s the most urgent need. Building anything requires agreement between transit fans, ST, politicians, and the public. The public and politicians have called repeatedly for Ballard to be next, both in the monorail votes and in ST2 which includes planning for a Ballard line.

      Seattle Subway’s long-term vision is a Georgetown line which takes over the regional burden (south of Seattle), and the Rainier Valley loop would probably become a shuttle between downtown and TIB. But we can argue about that when it’s time to build the third or fourth line, several years from now. In my mind, Ballard, 45th, Lake City, Aurora, and maybe West Seattle need to get connected to Link before Georgetown does. That’s because of their larger residential populations and commercial destinations.

      1. Nobody here thinks Georgetown should be the next line. This is the problem with d.p.’s approach – he’s created that as a strawman.

      2. I was not the one to bring Georgetown up.

        It was Eliot, and his literal interpretation of the word “every”, and his fantasy-subway-map mentality.

        For the last time, realism is not strawmanship.

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