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35 Replies to “News Roundup: Proud of His Role”

  1. I just called Metro to try and retrieve a bike I stupidly left on a bus rack last night (in accordance with http://metro.kingcounty.gov/cs/lostnfound.html .) But I am repeatedly told “all lines are busy” and am redirected back to the same automatic menu, instead of being put on hold in a queue to wait for the next representative. This is really frustrating… is this normal?? I don’t call this line very often…

    -Jack (Seattle)

    1. Also, if this continues and I can’t reach them, where should I go to try to retrieve it anyway? The bike was left on a northbound #5 at the end of the night last night, so I assume Atlantic Base?

    2. Never mind, their phone system started working normally again and I got through to them. Sorry to clutter the top of the comment area! Moderators/admins can remove this little thread if they’d like.

    1. Those are the current boundaries, which yes, do make sense. The issue is that SPS is redrawing the boundaries yet again and in a way that moves many families out of the (district designated!) walk zones. In addition to distance there are other issues, such as some families on north Beacon having to cross Rainier when Beacon International is an easy, safe walk.

      1. They’ve released revised maps (http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/101613agenda/20131016_GrowthBoundaries_AttachmentA.pdf though there is no link on their website to this yet?) , I haven’t looked closely at all of it. In one case they have addressed the concerns of families that would have had to walk 0.6 miles to school instead of 0.4 and restored that part of the old boundaries. But then in the case of those families living on north Beacon Hill that would have to either cross Rainier or make a mile extra detour to the I-90 trail to get to Thurgood Marshall- they shifted the boundary a bit to include even more students further away from TM and less of those who were closer to it.

  2. Sally Bagshaw’s comments on the 1st ave connector sound kind of bizarre to me. It sounds like she thinks the streetcar should have a single lane on first dedicated to it.

    A single lane (even dedicated) connecting the First Hill line to SLU would be useless. Cars would have to wait at either end for clearance to run down the line. The old Benson car had a single lane but it at least had two lane sections where the cars could pass each other.

    If there are going to be dedicated lanes on 1st ave connecting the two lines, there need to be two of them and the street parking in Pioneer Square along first is what will need to go.

      1. That doesn’t work on the browser I use here at my office. (Older version of IE). I’ll try that at home.

  3. Does anyone have a link to the 3rd Ave improvement plans, besides the DJC article. I can’t find anything on the city or county sites. Thanks!

      1. Cool presentation. I see it’s all loaded up with some overly optimistic renderings of the area on 3rd between Union and Stewart.

  4. What transit-related books should I read? The only one I’ve read is Labyrinths of Iron by Benson Bobrick. What books do you like, and which of them should be first on my list?

    1. My favorite is Moving Minds. Walkable City and Human Transit are both good reads as well. Just finished reading Rise Above it All and not too impressed.

    2. There are not many transit-specific books; most of them are about urban design with a section on transit. The ones I reread the most are The Option of Urbanism, Human Transit, and Walkable City. Don’t forget Jane Jacobs: she wrote several books besides the famous TDALOGAC. Her “The Economy of Cities” has some innovative ideas about cities’ role in economies, and argues that agriculture originated in cities. S Kostof’s “The City Shaped: Urban Patterns” has some interesting ideas. For an extreme urban/anti-car rant see James Howard Kunstler. For a suburban/pro-car defense see “Sprawl: a Compact History” by R Bruegemann.

      1. Another interesting text that takes the “exurbia is fine” line is Joel Garreau’s Edge City. There are parts of its defense of sprawl that are flatly silly, but some of its descriptions of the regulations, geometry, and math behind real-world American sprawl development (and similar examples around the world) are really eye-opening, and do a great job of explaining how we got where we are, and why it’s so hard to change.

        I haven’t read Transport for Suburbia, but I’d be interested to do so — I’d be curious to what degree Mees and Garreau agree on suburban transit possibilities and to what degree they totally contradict eachother.

    3. I would also highly recommend Paul Mees’ “Transport for Suburbia”. It makes a clear argument that “density is not destiny”: successful transit can be implemented in places of very low density and density should stop being used as an excuse not to improve transit, which is a crucial task for environmental and social reasons. He then examines examples such as Vancouver, Toronto, Perth, Zurich, and rural Switzerland to illustrate principles of successful transit networks in suburban and even rural settings. Overall it’s a pleasant and accessible read for anyone who is interested in making transit networks better.

  5. Alright transit fleet aficionados, I have a question for you. It appears that Pierce Transit is operating a ST branded bus (Gillig Phantom high-floor) but with the number 8029…seems odd. Was this a ST retired bus picked up by PT and then reassigned to ST routes when PT was awarded more ST routes? Thanks.

    1. Yes. PT acquired a few retired ST Gilligs when they were retired and were used on PT local routes while the CNG fueling station was rebuilt. They were renumbered and initially retained their ST livery (sans ST logos), but most were repainted white. Some were recently wrapped in ST colors and placed on the PT operated ST routed just before PT took over route 560. I don’t know if this is only temporary while the Gilligs that were moved from KCM to PT get their radio and OBS systems replaced.

  6. Last weekend, I noticed drivers were rampantly disregarding the bus lanes along Aurora through Queen Anne – all three lanes, including the bus lane, were bumper to bumper in solid traffic.

    Are bus lanes actually enforced? Is there a sign I missed saying they are not in effect on Saturday afternoons?

    1. While the bus lanes are 24hrs/7 days for the SB lanes between Dexter and Seattle Center, the rest of Aurora has signs saying 6-9AM & 3-7PM excluding Sat-Sun-Holidays, so maybe its a factor of people seeing the signs further up north and thinking they apply everywhere ‘Bus Only’ is painted on the pavement. I can see how it would be confusing to have so many differing policies on the same road, although I imagine the hours restrictions were a compromise vs. banning parking at all times along all of Aurora up to 145th.

    2. Was last weekend the one where the Alaskan Way Viaduct was closed and 99 was closed off at Denny? Yup, I was taking a couple Downtown about 7PM, and there were only two lanes available instead of the usual three because one lane was now the bus lane.

      But at some point, a few cheaters started zipping down the bus lane. Then a few more people saw those cars going and nothing happening to them, so they moved over to that lane. About five minutes later, that lane was full too, back to about the midpoint of QA Hill where I was.

      Yes, people are just going to do that when the lane is right there. (And I didn’t use that lane, but saved my reputation through a VERY creative path over QA Hill…)

  7. Is it true that there usually isn’t much good news about transit centers? Someone posted this on a blog comment section as a reason why there has been more crime at Westeood Village (there was a stabbing there tonight.). This person said that one of the reasons for the increase in crime there is that it has become a “transit center”. I hadn’t realized this, but I’m probably naive. At first I thought it was someone who dislikes public transportation .

    1. A little from column A, a little from column B.

      It definitely sounds like whoever wrote that is an anachronistic transit-hater who considers any and all transit a shuttle for “undesirables”.

      On the other hand, both Metro and the city of Seattle are notoriously nonchalant about low-level criminal activity, to the extent that parts of the public realm have been virtually handed over to congregations of proactively-sketchy people who unfortunately serve to reinforce the bigoted generalization made by your blog-opiner above. This is particularly true at major transfer points, where Metro’s long wait times provide cover for up-to-no-gooders to claim they’re “just waiting for the bus”.

      I have no idea if Westwood Village has gotten sketchier lately, but based on the experience of 3rd & Pine, it wouldn’t surprise me.

      1. d.p., since that person posted there have been other posts. Not sure what that poster’s motive was, but apparently the transit hub there is isolated from the rest of the mall area, so criminal activity can happen there without being noticed. It is becoming a more sketchy area than it used to be, but there are probably multiple reasons.

  8. Wow, another “Help the poor developers out!” article. It stinks very much of Reagan’s trickle down economics, and look where that got us.

    All I see is some shill paid by some developer lobby to write this garbage.

  9. The readerboards and ORCA readers at the 3rd & Bell stops are now active (the readerboards only display the wait times for the RapidRide routes though).

  10. Railroad Unplugged? Fuel Cells Floated To Power Metro-North

    Using fuel-cells to power the rail line would make Metro-North a microgrid, an electric network that can run separate from the power grid. Such systems have gained attention — particularly in Connecticut — since large, powerful storms in the Northeast have left hundreds of thousands of people without power for days.

    http://articles.courant.com/2013-10-11/business/hc-metro-north-fuel-cell-microgrid-20131001_1_power-metro-north-rail-line-power-grid

  11. Pedestrian Hazards Highlighted in Data

    A man walking out of a bar in New York City late at night fails to look both ways before stepping into the street — and into an oncoming cab. A young couple running for a bus in Chicago are hit by a truck. On a cloudy day in Houston, an elderly man doesn’t make it to the other side of the street before a car mows him down.

    These horrifying kinds of accidents are all too frequent in US cities, and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) is trying to find some commonalities among them that could aid prevention. Some of these elements are depicted in our latest Future Cities infographic, US Cities Pose Risk to Pedestrian, which is based on federal survey data, particularly from the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    http://www.ubmfuturecities.com/author.asp?section_id=234&doc_id=525921&&goback=%2Egde_4624736_member_5794086694441476097#%21

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