70 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Look Alive”

  1. I instantly recognized the ad’s song. It’s “Escapee” by Architecture in Helsinki, from the FIFA 12 soundtrack.

    Anyway, congrats to the other Washington on their heavy rail extension! Hopefully the U-Link opening gets good media coverage in 2 year’s time.

    1. In what sense is this heavy rail?

      Is all of metro-DC considered “heavy”?

      1. Yes, it all is. “Heavy rail” refers to the construction of the cars, not anything else. It’s also fully-grade-separated because of the third rail that powers the trains.

      2. Originally light rail referred to something that wasn’t a full metro type of operation (grade separated, high level platforms, stations build to handle vast numbers of passengers, etc).

        Metros then got to be called heavy rail transit.

        Except now people are using the term to also apply to passenger service on freight lines.

      3. “Heavy” rail is defined in contrast to “light” rail. Light rail has various features allowing a single line to transition between elevated, subway, and in-street or even mixed-traffic operation: overhead power instead of third-rail, often smaller vehicles (especially in older systems), and in newer systems often low-floor vehicles. Heavy rail systems typically have none of these, and thus typically don’t run down street medians. Where a heavy-rail metro runs at-grade (this happens often in the outer reaches of a heavy-rail metro network) it uses railroad gates to control traffic.

      4. Those Metro cars look a lot like LIRR ones.

        Are these the class of what we will be able to convert the Sounder to, once the new regulations for passenger on freight tracks take effect?

        Seems like what we could use for that Seattle Subway Eastside Rail plan.

      5. Doubtful.

        LIRR has some freight on it still, so they have to use true battleship weight passenger cars as mandated by current FRA. Washington Metro has no mixed traffic, and has much less severe restrictions.

        Ironically, they don’t even need to meet light rail standards, as they have no crossings or street running. So, sometimes heavy rail can be lighter (equipment wise) than light rail.

        At the same time, they may be using heavier stock now. There was a collision a few years ago that caused a bit of a firestorm about their equipment being too lightly built.

  2. Silver Line did have some hitches (usual for WMATA) on opening day: I was on the first train and we had a door jammed open. Also, one of the trains overshot the platform by 4 car lengths (the longest Metro trains are 8 cars).

    My door report, which also shows how stuffed the first train was – we were packed like sardines as expected

    1. That’s great! (The crowds and the smiling faces, not the stuck door part). WMATA might have its glitches, but the Metro is one of the things I like best about visiting DC. I wish Seattle had invested in a true grade-separated metro when the Forward Thrust measures failed in the late ’60’s / early ’70’s.

      Looking forward to when WMATA is able to build the proposed Blue Line realignment and Georgetown finally gets a station.

  3. Monorail vote on the same ballot as Save Metro in Seattle. Thoughts? Impacts the Metro vote at all?

    1. I expect there will be an article on it. I’m leaning toward voting no on the monoral because I think it would be a distraction. Although it shows the convoluted shape of our tax laws: namely, that it may be the only way for Seattle to do something big on its own, and before ST can do it, and perhaps with more chance of passing. But I’m really leery of splitting our high-capacity transit support between two such different approaches. The monorail team has yet to prove it can get the trains above 35 MPH or successfully finance it.

      There’s a second line too, something gondola-like, which might be good for Denny Way but it mentions a “waterfront stop”, which I assume means the Union Street line from the Ferris Wheel to the Convention Center. No, no, no. I wouldn’t object to a privately-funded venture, but we have way too many other critical transit needs before spending tax money on a Union Street line.

      As to how the monorail measure will affect the November Metro vote… We’re in a different situation than we were in the Monorail 2.0 era. Link is now running and people can concretely see what it would be like. ST’s route drafts are published for Ballard and West Seattle. And Seattle Subway has generated a lot of support for light rail there, which pointedly did not exist in the Monorail 2 era. I supported the Monorail then because I was afraid Link would be watered down to mostly-surface routing like MAX, VTA, San Diego or the other light rails of the era. But now that ST has gone for more grade separation, I can’t support an incompatible mode alongside it. Perhaps the dual vote will siphon a few die-hard monorailistas away from the Metro measure, but I don’t think it will be much.

      1. Oh, great, they’ve put PRT on there, too.

        I haven’t been around long enough to have seen the original monorail fiasco, but… it seems like a real shame that there’s one group of people that has a grasp of some of our greatest transit needs, of the appropriate scope, grade separation, and stop spacing for urban rapid transit, of the notion that Seattle reasonably may wish to fund transit projects at a higher overall rate than the rest of the region and without waiting for the priorities of exurbia to align with its priorities… and there’s one group of people that is competent to fund, plan, build, and operate transit systems… and never the twain shall meet.

      2. Al D,

        You are exactly right – there are two groups of people and never the twain shall meet. Just like fantasy and reality shall never meet.

        You have one group that understands how to design, finance, build and operate transit, and another group that just knows what they want from transit and how to make promises about how they (supposedly) can do better than the other group. But only one of these groups has a track record of success. The other group has a track record of abject failure. Care about transit? You make the choice.

        The really disappointing thing is that apparently Cleve has signed back on to this effort. I would have thought he would be a bit wiser after his involvement in the SMP.

      3. What would be perfect is if the Monorail Project would hand Sound Transit a list of station locations and say “Build something serving within two blocks of these places.”

      4. I don’t think “the monorail”, whether it comes in the form of the former SMP or in the form of Elizabeth Campbell, is qualified to tell ST where or what to build.

        Follow the track record.

      5. @Lazarus: I mean, sure, the monorail people have no business having any authority over anything. Fortunately for us all they put PRT in their latest proposal so even people that don’t follow this sort of thing will know not to vote for it.

        Still, I think there’s actually a thing the monorail people have always had right, and something Sound Transit has a real problem with. The agency never has an electoral mandate to do anything specific. It puts vague corridors before the voters, then gathers feedback and tries to reach a consensus about what to do in them. What do the studies and feedback say about Ballard? Riders don’t want a line that goes at-grade and sits at stoplights in Belltown; some very loud neighbors won’t tolerate an elevated line that casts shadows on the sidewalk; underground mostly pleases people but it’s expensive to build and extend (ST, being competent at funding things and getting stuff done, deals with the expense by cutting length and building really slowly, so this means an underground line is limited in what it connects and won’t be done for a generation).

        Any train that runs at-grade through Belltown, any part of Queen Anne, the Denny Triangle, or SLU is largely useless and would lose a build-no build vote as a result… but ST could build it, because it studied it, and some people will prefer the cheapest option on the menu every time. If ST starts seriously considering this option people that want something better may merely check out, leaving people that don’t care about transit reliability to make a bad consensus. The advantages of going underground don’t outweigh the costs and challenges, but ST could spend a load of money and our children could one day ride a train between some nominal “Westlake” station with an inconvenient transfer to the existing one and 17th Ave in Ballard, and maybe farther after expensive extensions (read: never) — opponents of the spending would have already been outvoted by the time the option was chosen, and people that want a longer line would just hold out hope for extensions that they’ll never see. An elevated train really is a practical idea, and an electoral mandate to build one specifically would remind us all how few people are represented by protests against it. But its vocal opponents can never be swayed, thus there can be no consensus for it, and therefore ST won’t even bother studying it.

        The monorail people are cranks, but they make the news in this town because hidden in the crankery is a nugget of truth: that we should be able to build out real rapid transit to the Seattle destinations that need it quicker and cheaper than we’re doing.

      6. Al D,

        Do you really believe Elizabeth Campbell and the monorail “cranks” ( as you call them) can build rapid transit faster and cheaper than ST is doing? Because they had their chance once and as near as I can tell we are still waiting. Their Green Line was supposed to open in 2007, and it sure didn’t happen. ST is going to beat them by a mile, Rapid Ride already has..

        Want to get more transit and get if faster? Provide more funding to the agencies that have actually shown that they can build something. That is not the monorail “cranks.”

        Wishful thinking and desire does not equal success or even plausibility. Hopefully Seattle gets it this time around and we don’t waste any more time /$’s on this.

      7. “The agency never has an electoral mandate to do anything specific. It puts vague corridors before the voters,”

        That was the “monorail trap” that ST specifically avoided in ST2. Locking down specific streets and stations means there’s no flexibility to deal with changing situations. The monorail vote mandated stations on 15th, but ST has the flexibility to choose 24th or 17th (“real Ballard”). That’s a case where voters chose the arguably worse route, and you can be sure they would have also chosen a “Lynnwood Link on I-5” proposal too — so don’t think it’s a guraranteed way to get Lynnwood Link on Aurora.

        Or what about First Hill Station and the original Ship Canal crossing? Later engineering showed they had heavy construction risks. If ST had locked down those alignments in a vote, then it would have to have another election to change it? That would have meant a six month delay and uncertainty waiting for the election result, and perhaps other bad things in the ballot measure like larger changes or cancelling the whole project.

        The surface Belltown option was really about three things. (A) The evolving expectations of the public. (B) Route for Seattle’s streetcar, which Seattle specifically paid ST extra for. (C) The low-price lobby and federal grant requirements. If ST could put only one alternative in a ballot measure. it would surely not choose the surface one. That one may even be a throwaway to show people, “See! This is how bad it would be if you go cheap.” Federal grants also require an EIS with a mode-neutral consideration of all feasable alternatives. The monorail didn’t have to do that because it wasn’t seeking federal grants — that was another difference between the monorail and Link.

        So there’s a lot of time and expense to draw up a final map equivalent to ST’s final “locally-preferred alternative”. And it’s unclear voters will accept those up-front costs when it’s not even clear whether the construction-measure would pass.

      8. @lazarus: You misunderstand me completely. I don’t think the monorail people can build transit better or faster than ST. I think ST could build transit better, faster, and cheaper than ST is likely to do, and I think the reason is that ST’s decision-making process, its interface with public politics, is bananas. The Bellevue alignment disaster is clear evidence of this.

        I don’t say this because I want ST dismantled or even fixed. It would be good if we had a way to make decisions about transit projects that produced better results than the ST process, but I’m not sure there’s a practical way to get there that doesn’t derail current efforts that, flawed as they are, are currently our best hope to get a bunch of important stuff built. I say it to try to understand the phenomenon: that we look at what we’re getting from ST, and, like in the Louis CK bit, we say, “but maaaaybe…” when it comes to the monorail cranks.

        Here’s the thing. Many cities, maybe all major cities, have transit cranks — basically every field of human endeavor has cranks. In most cities transit cranks never even get the time of day, but in Seattle they make the front page of the Times. Granted, our mainstream media is farther behind the populace on transit than many cities’, but… you won’t get any farther blaming a crank for being a crank any more than you can blame a cloud for raining on you. Instead we should probably ask ourselves why our cranks won elections and got public money in the first place. And we should ask ourselves why, after taking the money, failing miserably, and setting back the cause of transit by years (especially in the places they proposed building it), they think they can return like Napoleon from Elba and have their hundred days — shouts of “Vive L’Empereur”, no matter how numerous, could not vindicate his disasterous overreach, but they remind us that there’s a reason he got as far as he did. The monorail stuff may seem more like Quixote than Napoleon, but it’s happening for no reason.

        I think the reason is that Sound Transit is doing as good a job building meaningful mass transit infrastructure as any US city right now — because that’s the faintest praise they can be damned with. I also think it’s not entirely about Sound Transit — the city of Seattle keeps answering the question nobody asked by laying streetcar tracks while the only answer to the question on all our lips is, “Maybe in 30 years, if the eastside can think of a corresponding project”.

      9. “The evolving expectations of the public.”

        By this I mean, the public’s expectations are gradually changing. Now that Link is on the ground (with three alignments for comparision: surface, elevated, tunnel), and the First Hill streetcar is almost open, people can compare that to what they want. That makes people gradually see that a surface alignment doesn’t cut it, and it’s not worth building a cheap system if it’s going to be inadequate. Seattle Subway has also raised awareness of the possibility of grade-separated light rail with stations right at neighborhod centers, and how dramatically it would improve things, and how willing your neighbors are to vote for it. That is unfolding over several years and we’re in the middle of it. We’d still be in the middle of it even if ST adopted your alternative planning process. But just like the Lynnwood Extension showed, when you’re in the middle it’s unclear which alignment would win out, because either the pro-transit or pro-cheap factions could prevail momentarily. At the end we could assume the pro-transit forces would decisively win out: as in Vancouver’s Skytrain network. But the public is not decisively there yet.

      10. “ST’s decision-making process, its interface with public politics, is bananas. The Bellevue alignment disaster is clear evidence of this.”

        What could ST have done better? It was the Bellevue city council that kept putting in roadblocks trying to keep the train away from where its riders are, and Kemper Freeman who filed lawsuits to block it.

      11. @Mike: I’ll gladly grant you that ST board members and planners did as well as they could have done without the ability to see into the future, under the planning and decision making structure that we had. Because then it’s clear that the planning and decision making structure is questionable.

        What else can we attribute the bad result to? Anti-transit interests? Blaming politicians for opposing the costs of major transit projects and certain businesses and residents from opposing impacts is about as useful as blaming cranks for being cranks. It might be true in a way but it doesn’t actually get us anywhere. The pressures and interests involved were 100% predictable, and our process took those pressures and spit out a line that looks like the marble-coasters my brothers would build if I’d already used all the straight pipes in mine and refused to share.

        And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a cranky idea that comes up regarding downtown Bellevue transit: the “Vision Line”, which might be even more delusional than the monorail. If the ST process had spit out any one of the reasonable tradeoffs between the interests involved there would be no reason to utter that name again. To say, “We might as well have built the Vision Line,” would be both dishonest and trollish (I try to be only dishonest or trollish within a single post), but how about… “Say what you will about the tenets of the Vision Line, Dude, at least it’s a vision!”

    2. I won’t be able to vote on the measure, but I’ll be encouraging everybody I know in Seattle to vote no. Monorail was a bad idea 10 years ago, and it’s a bad idea now.

      1. There’s no difference between monorail and an elevated LINK line as far as I can see.

      2. Monorail uses very unique cars only made by a few companies. Light rail is made by dozens.

        Monorail structures are a little simpler to build, except when it comes to track switches.

      3. Here’s an easy one: You can’t put the monorail underground downtown, which makes transfers between lines difficult for passengers.

      4. The only place so far that has serious monorail transit is Japan. Even there, the systems are fairly few. In all of Europe there is one line that is actual transit.

        I’m not saying it would be impossible, but most places just don’t seem to be able to get it to be cost effective.

      5. The Yurikamome (monorail in Tokyo to Odaiba) is terrible — slow loop de loop routing and pretty slow driving between stations too. I avoid it whenever I can.

      6. “Monorail uses very unique cars only made by a few companies.”

        Each company’s car is unique. So you’re locked into one vendor.

      7. I’ve also heard terrible things about the Airtrain airport line back east, and that it spends a lot of time closed for maintenance. I don’t know as I have never kept good track of its performance.

        I’ve also heard the same about the one is Las Vegas too, but again I have never kept track of its performance.

        Those types of issues have to do with the specifics of car design and how easy things are set up to maintain than the basics of the technology.

        There are places in Seattle where an additional monorail could be very useful. Rubber tires on concrete have better adhesion than steel wheel on rail, so you get better hill climbing, acceleration, and braking. Those aspects could be pretty useful with Seattle’s hills.

      8. Glen in P,

        It is a myth that rubber tired monorails operating on concrete have better traction than light rail. Yeah, under dry conditions maybe, but transit systems aren,t designed only to operate under optimum conditions.. Put a little frost or snow on that concrete guideway and monorail’s grade climbing capability pretty much goes to zero.

        Steel on steel is generally accepted to have better (and certainly more than adequate) grade climbing capability.

      9. I don’t see why monorail could not be put in a tunnel. Just put it in a tunnel. The monorail cars don’t wrap entirely around the beam, so there is no limitation there. There was a time when rubber on concrete was superior to steel on steel, but now there isn’t much difference. The steel on steel systems have sophisticated traction control to reduce power when the wheels start to slip. This also helps with braking. I also don’t understand the comment about the difficulty in making it cost effective. There isn’t much difference between monorails and all sorts of other metro systems. If the London Underground were built with monorails, I’m sure it would be cost effective. The only real trouble that monorails have had is that they are a solution in search of a problem. At low speeds, steel wheels on steel wheels work well, are cost efficient and have simple switches. Monorails aren’t any better. They are quieter, but the switches are more complicated. Maybe at higher speeds there might be a case for monorails or some system that would actually lock the trains on the rails so that they didn’t derail.

      10. Traction control works well in places, but you still have a material based limitation. Even with the best traction control out there, you will never get a light rail car to perform on hills like a trolley bus can because of the better adhesion of rubber on the concrete beam. Wet rails are particularly a problem, especially with a bit of leaf debris. Add sanders to the rubber tired vehicle like you would on any rail vehicle, operated automatically by the same traction control system, and you have far better adhesion due to the materials involved.

        However, there is also no point in having multiple orphan systems, and there is a huge advantage in being able to interchange equipment among various lines. It would have to be done very carefully with a good plan on how to use the technology best, and it would need to be planned in such a way that major interchanges are minimized (because track switches are so hard to build with a monorail).

      11. To clarify I was referring to rubber and concrete metro systems, not trolley buses which are definitely superior to steel on steel systems.

    3. I just rememebered the monorail wasn’t going to accept transferes or PugetPass. That would undermine ridership as budget-conscious people stayed on the buses. Sound Transit includes the discount for transfers and passes in its operating costs, but the monorail couldn’t cover its costs with it. We need to make sure that any future system accepts transfers and passes so that it’s focesed on people’s trips rather than treating the line as a tourist attraction.

  4. I want to thank King County for the stellar regrading work they did on the Lake Youngs Trail in Kent.

    I hadn’t been to the trail for a couple of years but rode it yesterday. While fun and a challenging cyclocross track, it had some deadly parts like potholes at the end of a steep downhill. Definitely a rim bender and spoke buster.

    I took my new Cannondale — toughened with DT Swiss spokes and Continental Cyclocross+urban tires — there yesterday. But now the trail is smooth, many of the ruts are gone and they’ve added some benches along the way. It’s still a challenging ride because of the hills, and turns on the gravel.

    Here’s a quick — if somewhat cockeyed — video I shot going down the trail yesterday:


    I emailed King County Parks and Trails and suggested — why not cyclocross events there?

    Odd thought — commuting to work cross style instead of vehicular style?

    1. I’ve wanted to go to the Lake Youngs trail but it’s such a long walk from any bus stop I haven’t.

      I hiked the Soos Creek trail last summer. Its south end is pretty close to Lake Meridian park. Its north end though is quite a way from a bus stop (192nd & 108th SE). That’s where I saw the extreme wide roadway and isolated cul-de-sac neighborhoods worse than anything I’ve seen in Pugetopolis (although not as bad as some of the pictures from Atlanta and Florida). But I like the north half of the trail better than the south, because it has a long causeway over a marsh. One thing I didn’t understand, Google Maps seemed to show that you could go further through Boulevard Lane Park to 176th or 168th and thus the Fairwood bus, but I found a hard end to the trail and impassable blackberry bushes and a “No Tresspassing” sign at 192nd. Is that ever going to be opened up?

      1. Looks like the DART 906 from Tukwila will get you to Fairwood center, and then it’s not too far south to Soos from there. Again, more of a bike trip rather than a walk. Doesn’t run on Sundays.


        I think there is a long term plan to continue pushing the Soos Creek Northward, but when I ride it, typically from 256th, travelling north and then back down again, I never go further than 192nd. The Lake Youngs Way to 192nd section is a fairly recent addition, as you can tell by the concrete. I have often tried to find a sensible route up to the Cedar River Trail but at least from the maps, it doesn’t seem possible to do that without a lot of car interaction, which I avoid.

        The way I get to Lake Youngs from Soos is by taking 216th east. There’s an obscure cut at the end of the straightaway that goes into a steep zigzagging trail where I have to push my bike up (part of the “cyclocross” aspect :D) and then a city owned grass corridor, then a street, and finally the trail head entrance.

    2. When I work in Kirkland I find trails on the way pretty often. Sometimes it’s just bumping along the unfinished Cross-Kirkland Corridor or exploring trails adjacent to it; other times I head up to St. Edwards.

      Given what I hear from other people about what they’re willing to do on their commutes, I’m pretty convinced the key transportation corridors ought to be paved. So we’ve got to maintain a balance — parks where people can have fun, widely accessible paths where there are favorable grades and important places to connect, and some natural areas that go undisturbed. Off-road bike commuting will always be a fringe activity, but if there are parks with good trails that are more or less on the way, and the general paved bike network is strong, people like you and me will find plenty of places to do it.

      1. (I think this is generally true of fun road riding, too — we have a bunch of roads around here that are really fun to ride on… and while it’s probably not possible to make a whole connected network of them across the whole metro area, if there’s a solid network of safe routes for transportation cycling that connect them then it’s easy to stitch together fun road rides that don’t require a ferry trip.)

  5. I took a look around Bellevue College last Friday (while on my way to bike the Issaquah-Preston Trail.) Now that I’ve actually seen Snoqualmie River Road, I have somewhat more sympathy for Bellevue College’s opposition to routing buses down it. It’s visibly the back of the college, with parking surrounding it and the rear of the buildings a little ways away. On the other side of the street, a thick hedge separates it from the residential 42nd Place. Meanwhile, the existing bus stop at Tyee River Road and Kelsey Creek is visibly near the center of campus.

    The ideal answer, geographically speaking, would be for the college to punch a new roadway through from the existing bus stop either west to Snoqualmie River Road or south to Perimeter Road. Unfortunately, I looked, and there’s no way to do it without destroying buildings. So, either the diversion must continue or the college must accommodate buses on the back of campus instead of through its center.

    Or, I can think of some compromises. From least to most possible:
    * Destroy the buildings anyway. (Expensive, not to mention disruptive.)
    * Build a traffic circle at Tyee River Road and Kelsey Creek large enough for the buses to turn around after serving the existing stop and head one block back north to Snoqualmie River Road. (How big would it need to be to accommodate every size of bus?)
    * Instead of Snoqualmie River Road, take Perimeter Road. It’s slightly less direct and would similarly need rebuilding, but it would allow buses to continue serving the heart of campus.

    As a last possibility: The college could just give in, let the buses rumble down the back of campus, and let students and professors take the one-block walk. The buses aren’t just serving the college but Eastgate. It’s a major transfer point already, and it will only grow if light rail or a people-mover is built. A one-block walk and a worse view of campus, I think, is a small price to pay for direct service to Eastgate.

    1. The problem is the college has no interest in people going to or from Eastgate P&R – it only cares about people going to Bellevue college itself. So, of course, it is going to argue for deviations that benefit itself at the expense of people not affiliated with the college who simply want to travel through the area.

      Truth of the matter is college students are generally able-bodied and are more than capable of walking to class from Snoqualmie River Road, 148th Ave., or Eastgate P&R. If the Snoqualmie River Road route is not going to be built, the 245 and 271 should just head up 148th and not go through the college at all.

  6. I’ve still been working on the Transitmix map:


    While I haven’t been especially active in adding lines (I think I’m past the halfway mark here), I have updated the frequency chart so people can see what lines run at right.

    1. I took another look at your map. Again, I can focus on only a part of it at a time, but this time I looked at east Seattle and northeast Seattle. I like the number of east-west routes. The NW 65th – NE 55th route is interesting, and seems to be a balanced coverage route both west and east. It’s interesting that you didn’t try for a NW 65th – NE 65th route but instead kept NW 85th – NE 65th together.

      I’m not sure about the Madrona – 31st S route. It does bring new north-south service and connects to Mt Baker station. But I can see Madrona saying, “We want an east-west route, not a north-south. We’ll never go to the residential area in Mt Baker because there’s nothing there, and we’ll never go to Mt Baker station because it’s too far away. Everywhere we’re going is on Broadway or 15th or downtown or Seattle Center, and this route doesn’t go near any of them. If we do have to transfer, the buses had better come every 5-10 minutes.” On the other hand, Madrona is such a wealthy tail that perhaps it’s really just an add-on, to avoid withdwrawing all bus service from it, in which case it’ll have to take whatever it gets. But the general principle remains, that routes that don’t go through significant commercial centers are weak routes. San Francisco and Vancouver have very successful crosstown routes, but that also may be partly because they have more crosstown commercial centers to support those routes. Seattle, having lower-density residential areas with fewer commercial centers, may have to bend the routes more because the majority of people are going to those commercial centers.

      In north Seattle, the full east-west routes would certainly help people get around to an extent that’s not very feasable now. At first glance people wonder who somebody in Sand Point would want to go to Greenwood, or Laurelhurst to north Ballard, but in real life these situations come up. “Oh, I’ve got a friend in Greenwood, or there’s a unique shop there, or I want to transfer to the E….”

      1. Haha, weekend traffic on all the north end’s east-west streets proves people are making various permutations of these trips.

        Sadly, traffic conditions on all the north end’s east-west streets could make it pretty hard to run bus routes that actually move…

      2. Just to let you know, I’m still going to explain this map in detail, but I’m going to wait until I’m finished with it to do so. It’s going to take about 2 weeks or so at my current rate (I’m usually aiming for 16 lines per day, and there’s about another 90-120 routes to put up, but I don’t always have time to put up lines every day).

        Now, the reason why I routed my 29 and 71 the way they are is because I felt that NE 65th and NW 85th had more similar levels of demand than NE 65th and NW 65th would’ve had. I guess we were of similar minds in regards to this.

        As for my 27 route, it’s meant to serve a similar purpose to San Francisco MUNI’s 18-46th Ave: connecting the edges of more frequent routes terminating along it

        And I should point that Seattle went out of it’s to implement a well-designed grid network in the mid-2020’s after it got an injection of service hours from a successful ST4 that enabled it service to grow to current levels. The Inner Eastside and Olympia tried something similar on a smaller scale at the same time, and got similar results, while Pierce County probably watered things down too much for the sake of coverage.

      3. Today, I hiked the beach walk from Carkeek Park to Richmond Beach, and north Seattle’s lack of crosstown routes was definitely an issue. With the current network, getting from Ravenna to Carkeek Park (about 4 miles) takes almost an hour. I eventually ended up walking the more pleasant half (Ravenna Park and Green Lake Park), while using Car2Go to get through Greenwood quickly. Coming back, the connection from the 348 to the E-line went smoothly, but when the bus reached 85th St., I was again confronted by north Seattle’s lack of crosstown service. The 48 would have been my route, but it is slow and unreliable and, on Sundays, runs only every 30 minutes. Instead of waiting for it, I instead just walked through Green Lake and Ravenna Parks a second time. If you’re going to spend 45 minutes to go 2.5 miles, walking through parks is a much more pleasant way to do it than standing at bus stops. If I didn’t have the time to walk, I probably would ended up taking Car2Go a second time.

    2. An all-day route to Eatonville? That would make it possible to get to Northwest Trek on transit. 120-minute headways would be a good place to start for rural routes, and better than peak-only or weekday-only.

      1. My 502 most likely has most trips turning back at Graham, but Transitmix doesn’t have support for Turnback service yet. And many of my Rural routes do have 120 minute frequencies. The one’s with higher frequency are usually those that already had 120 minute frequencies that I wanted to build on so I could say that everyone living in this expanded Sound Transit district would have improved service in some form.

      2. Now, if we could only supplement the all-day route to Eatonville with a bike trail to Mt. Ranier that doesn’t involving riding along the shoulder of a busy highway…

    3. What on earth is this and why? The ridership potential for a lot of these routes is nil…

      1. It’s meant to be a potential portrayal of the Transit system in Puget Sound at one moment in time in 2031, after a considerable injection of cash into the bus service, along with a similar enhancement of Rail service that I’ve mostly haven’t gotten around to showing on the map yet (routes 9, 13, 70, 329, 401, 441, and a few others I haven’t put up yet are Streetcars, and I’ve said before that Link, Sounder and the Ferries will have 9xx numbers). It’s NOT meant to be perfect in any way shape or form. (Though many of the rural routes on this map actually already exist)

  7. Congratulations are also in order for Tucson, AZ who just opened their new streetcar line to the public this weekend

      1. Looks like they did a bit better job than certain other cities for giving it a bit of grade separation in some locations.

  8. Why does Murray get a pass from Seattle times when McGinn never did? It’s the tip of the iceberg, but huge parking removal for bike share and taking a travel lane on 2nd for bikes with no process……

    Imagine the headlines. War on cars lives.

    1. The Seattle Times is the instrument of the elite. McGinn was an outsider and failed to properly defer to the elites. Murray is their lapdog. Comprende?

    1. If you are looking for a way to turn Seattle into San Francisco (with the same insane housing costs), that link is one sure way to bring it about.

      Though the supporters of this site may be well intentioned, the kind of laws the want to bring to Seattle will turn it into a city only for the super rich and the few lucky folks who already own property here. Everyone else will eventually be forced out by sheer market forces.

      1. Which is the exact thing they’re trying to stop. Though how they think limiting the housing supply is going to bring down prices, I have no idea.

      2. What I was trying to say is, you are exactly right, and I wish these people would realize what they’re doing. I certainly understand their concern and I do wish something could be done for people who are forced to move because their building was torn down. But if there isn’t enough housing, that isn’t going to help future people who find themselves in that position when rents have skyrocketed so that only the 1% can afford them.

  9. Notice the [prominent sign in the video that says “To Largo Town Center” and pointing to one of the platforms? Now go to a Link station platform and look for a prominent sign that tells you what direction the platform train is going. Outside of a few words discretely posted on a sign board, you likely won’t find it.

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