45 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: De Pijp, Amsterdam 1972”

  1. I thought there was going to be fisticuffs with that guy in the VW bus. Glad that didn’t happen.

  2. I am organizing a bike path cleanup party for next Sunday, the 19th at 11 AM. Meet up at I-90 trail where it meets Factoria Blvd. We’ll be cleaning up the stretch from Factoria to the East Channel Bridge. Bring brooms, garbage bags, and pruning shears. Water bottles, too. We should get done before 2 PM. PS, I won’t be able to make it as I have a sore back.

    1. No RSVP’s. That’s what I thought. It’s easy to type about how pro-bike you people are, but when it comes time to put your words into action, you are missing in action. I guess I’m the only one here willing to take real action. The only one who believes in the saying, be the change you want to see in the world.

      Sad. Very sad.

      1. How often do you see groups of motorists banding together to clean up the garbage people grow out of their cars and trucks? Well, I guess I’ve seen a few groups doing it, but they always seem to be wearing bright orange outfits…

      2. Sorry, but I wasn’t online in the five hours you were waiting for responses. Also, I’m busy next Sunday morning.

        (Oh, and I was cleaning a bike lane by my apartment earlier today.)

    2. When people with standing and connections in the bike community call cleanup events people come; see Evergreen MTB alliance for a great example.

    3. I was j/k, people. I thought it would be funny to organize a cleanup party that I said I couldn’t attend. I knew no one would actually go to the pretend event. But in all seriousness, that stretch of bike path does need to have someone prune the blackberry vines coming through the fence.

  3. When you Bing the densest cities on earth, then Bing the best cities on earth, how come the two lists never match-up?

    1. The term “best” is extremely subjective and any list of “best” cities will inherently reflect bias in the opinions of the person compiling the list.

      1. Density activists say density makes a city great. So how come very dense cities like Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mumbai, India, and Surat, India don’t make the list of top ten best big cities, but non-dense cities like Vienna and Melbourne, do?

      2. non-dense cities like Vienna

        I think I finally understand the problem. It’s not that Seattle types enjoy being misinformed on all subjects at all times. It’s that they’ve haplessly placed their faith in “Bing”.

      3. Nicely done, d. p. Note to self: visit Vienna before I die — wait, that is already on there. What a gorgeous city, and I’ve never been there.

      1. Mike, on this topic, I just have questions, no answers. I am told by people who claim to know best, that Seattle must work toward greater and greater density. “It will make Seattle a much better city,” they confidently assure me. Me, being the trusting sort, believe them. So I looked up biggest dense cities to see what kind of Shangri-La Seattle might become one day, if density proponents get their way. Instead, I see a list of a third world crapholes. So basically I’m confused. Why, when I Bing best cities in the world, do mostly non-dense cities make the top ten, and the densest cities on earth, don’t make the list? Are density activists not being completely honest about the benefits of density?

    1. They got that play area and changed the culture. 40 years later, the entire country is an almost unbelievable utopia of multimodal transportation, where today’s issues are providing enough bike parking, keeping motored scooters off the cycletracks, and cost overruns on the new subway lines.

      1. Yes, the children got what they wanted and because their actions supported your beliefs you applaud. But is not their action just another form of Nimbyism? The people of a neighborhood know what is best for the neighborhood in this case and every other. Others just have an agenda to promote their own narrow beliefs.

      2. Glenn,

        So I assume your blanket support of self-appointed neighborhood leaders extends to the explicitly racial covenants that were common within living memory? Or are the neighborhoods right except when they’re not?

    2. “I assume your blanket support of self-appointed neighborhood leaders extends to the explicitly racial covenants”

      See, if you disagree with self-appointed urbanists and density advocates, you’re obviously a racist.

      1. Nice straw man and out-of-context cut-and-paste job! But I’m just following the logic of his assertion, which I imagine he would retract considering the history of zoning as a way of keeping minorities out of certain neighborhoods.

        Do you think the neighborhood always knows best, or not? Because if you do, you’re embracing some incredibly noxious stuff.

  4. http://www.mi-reporter.com/news/238002651.html

    Also this year, Sound Transit is expected to begin construction of R8A, a new HOV lane in I-90’s outer roadway, compensation for the center HOV lanes that will eventually be occupied by the train. But because East Link’s completion date is almost a decade out, Bassett says MI hopes to partner with others cities in the region to ask “fairly forcibly” if the existing HOV lane can’t be occupied in the time between when construction wraps and East Link begins service.

    I seem to be missing something. ST is adding one HOV lane to each direction on the outer roadways. This is their payback for taking the entire center roadway. As far as I knew, this project would be completed prior to the closure of the center roadway
    What it sounds like to me is that they want the outside HOV and the center roadway open for as long as possible; only briefly closing for a few years for track construction.

    1. According to the WSDOT page on the project, stage 3 (HOV lanes between MI and Rainier Ave) is set to be completed in September 2016. The page for the project on the ST website mentions no timeline, but it indicates that East Link construction will start in 2015. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Express Lanes will close in 2015, but it might be the case.
      Like you, I always had assumed that whenever the HOV lanes would open the Express Lanes would close for construction. However, as the article puts it, it seems like they want the Express Lanes open for as long as possible, even when they have the HOV lanes open.
      Of course the reason behind that is of course that the car-oriented Mercer Islanders that use the Express Lanes from MI to Rainier Ave (which is allowed) don’t want to share the congestion with other car-oriented people coming from the rest of the Eastside in the GP lanes.

      1. The express lanes won’t close until R8A stage 3 is done. According to the Link Progress Report for November, real estate acquisitions are supposed to start this year, construction on S. Bellevue to Overlake is supposed to start in 2015, and construction on Seattle to S. Bellevue is supposed to start at the beginning of 2016.

  5. I’ve been milling around the area where the First Hill Streetcar will go and noticed something odd. There are two sets of tracks but only one wire. Do they just use gravity and hope for the best, can they use the trolleybus wire as well, or do I just lack sufficient vision?

    1. The downhill track has a gap in the wire where there are several trolleybus intersections close together. The reason is that ST/Metro didn’t want to make an already complex wiring network even more so. So the streetcar will use its off-wire battery through the gap. It’s supposed to work as long as the gap is less than 1 1/2 miles or so. By the way, the next generation of trolleybuses coming will also have this capability, which means that non-fully-wired routes could be created.

      1. That’s really clever, thanks. Since you seem well-versed in the ways of electrified public transit, I’d like to ask more questions:

        How would a partially-wired route work? I’ve seen drivers having to put the poles back on the wires and it seems like a very involved process. I can envision a setup where the driver drives into “funnels” that guide the poles back onto the wires but is there another way? (While I’m at it, does this mean that Metro could run ETBs more on weekends since they can go around wired detours?)

        Are the new trolleybuses going to be around any time soon? I found a web page on Metro’s site from 2011 that says they’re to be ordered in 2014 but that likely doesn’t take into account Buspocalypse if it happens.

      2. Vehicle procurement funds are apportioned separately from operating costs.

        As to the rewire and dewire process, I don’t know if that’s certain yet. The Bredas could rewire and dewire with buttons on the dashboard, so every time a bus entered or left the tunnel the operator could (usually) go between diesel and electric with just a few seconds delay.
        In San Francisco, they run trolleys on battery around construction areas. Often they’ll have a supervisor at each end to de and re wire the coach.

      3. @lakecityrider: the streetcars don’t have two poles that need to be attached to two separate wires like the buses. They have a wider pantograph that makes contact with a single wire and are grounded through the rails. Breaking and re-establishing contact with the wires is therefore simpler.

  6. This will be my last comment of the day, and this is a more sincere comment/concern.

    The Eastgate Freeway Stations Bays 3 and 4. Dark, windy, noisy, virtually unprotected and uncovered. One of the most unwelcoming and uninviting bus stops I have ever waited at. “But lot’s of bus stops are uncovered and windy, Sam!” True, but this is a high volume stop for a premium express service. If you want to get people to switch to public transit, start by not making the wait at the bus stop a miserable experience.

    1. It’s better than a lot of other bus stops with similar volume. And it’s not like you’re waiting there for huge amounts of time either.

      1. There’s no real point arguing about this. The middle of a freeway is a lousy place to be outside of a car (even if you’re waiting for a train, as at several of Chicago’s outlying L stations). Freeway shoulders (Montlake Flyer Stop, NB Canyon Park P&R) and offramps (I-5/45th, 51st in Redmond, SB Canyon Park P&R) aren’t especially nice, either. This is what happens when you design a freeway with transit as an afterthought; news at 10. This can be mitigated somewhat (Mountlake Terrace) but it takes money and effort.

        Sam, if you put your considerable talents and prestigious reputation toward meaningful advocacy to improve this situation I’ll make a real effort to come to your meeting, even if I end up waiting at Eastgate for an hour on the way home.

      2. Clarification:
        – Eastgate Freeway Station at least has enough of a vertical grade difference from the freeway to block out some of the noise. Not the case for freeway stations like 145th St., Yarrow Point, Evergreen Point, Montlake, etc.
        – Yes, the 554 is half-hourly on weekends, but you don’t just show up at a random time and wait for the bus to come – you plan when to leave home according to a schedule. And, even a connecting bus forces you to get to Eastgate half an hour early, you don’t have to actually walk over to the freeway station until the bus is getting close.

        Finally, in a world of limited resources, what do you propose that we do differently? I don’t see any way to make Eastgate freeway station significantly better than it is without a huge expense and it’s certainly not worth 10+ minute delays for everyone going to or from Issaquah, plus increased operating costs, to divert the 554 into the bus bays, just because it’s a slightly more pleasant place to wait.

    2. asdf, I don’t think bays 3 and 4 need massive overhauls. All I think they need is more effective shelters with better lighting.

  7. Does anyone on this forum have credible/legitimate proof that density leads to affordability? Please post it if you do. TIA.

    1. The basic laws of supply and demand have been known for centuries.

      Of course, the law of supply and demand only says an increase in supply implies a decrease in price if all other factors are equal. In the messy world of housing, of course, all other factors are never equal, making dense and less-dense areas with different prices notoriously difficult to compare. For instance, developers are more motivated to build more housing to begin with if they believe housing prices are likely to rise in the future, due to the area becoming a more desirable place to live.

    2. Indeed, all other factors are never equal. Many US cities have no practical limit on sprawl, while almost all have severe limits on density. Those cities where sprawl is limited (either by law or geography) often limit density severely as well (or in some cases have limited themselves through auto-centric building patterns). This is one of those experiments without a control. Still, if your city’s economy is strong, without supplying housing somehow it doesn’t take a genius to intuit that prices will rise. Same for commercial, retail, and industrial space (though industry in particular has location requirements and constraints). The question becomes how to supply it? Density and sprawl are two ways. Both have impacts, for better or worse, on every existing and new neighborhood, on every current and future resident. Not growing isn’t an option, and ignoring the impacts of sprawl, both locally and globally, isn’t an honest option.

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