Close-Up Aerial of Othello Station & Vicinity

This is an open thread.

79 Replies to “News Roundup: Not Ready for Launch”

    1. It’s a great and rare perspective. There is so much scope for further development here, with implications for future Link ridership.

    2. It’s a stunning photo, especially when juxtaposed with my transit-starved Ballard. There is so much wasted space, which presents a great opportunity for TOD.

  1. I would be OK with neighborhood conservation districts as long as they allowed for conversions (to apartments) and ADUs. Doing so would make a lot of sense, and be much better than the current system. Right now, for a lot of neighborhoods, you can tear down an old house and put up a new one, but you can’t add a small house, or convert your house to a duplex. Changing the rules like this would be a really nice and effective change. Of course, it means more people in the neighborhood (gasp!) and parking might be a bit harder (Oh no!)..

    1. Not sure if “neighborhood conservation districts” are similar to what they have in Portland, but in Portland, new buildings look a LOT better than the garbage we get here in Seattle.

  2. I was surprised by the CRC article — kill the project and we got to pay back $200M to the Feds? Hilarius!

    1. It is dead now. But some officials are hoping it will be revived in the next several years as people change their mind and legislature terms expire.

    2. Well, yeah, the CRC office frittered away $200 million in federal money with nothing to show for it. Believe it or not, the feds are pretty strict with how their money gets used.

      As to this being dead or not, there is a proposal to build a bridge from Wood Village to Camas:
      It turns out, it is much cheaper to build a bridge from nowhere to nowhere than to put the bridge in a populated area. So, the new low-budget bridge does that, which will require a bunch of road investments later to make it actually do something.

      1. Ya, the concept is far from dead. The new proposal is a bit of a joke, but because it doesn’t have LR to downtown Van it at least has the temporary support of the conservative anti LR crowd. But I suspect in the end the new bridge will not get built either.

        It’s sort of funny to watch….

      2. This whole thing with the CRC sounds remarkably similar to the ARC project that was canceled by Chris Christie in 2012.

      3. Christie wanted the funds for use elsewhere so that gas taxes would not have to be raised. Canceling ARC freed those up. At least there, severe capacity issues exist on the railroad lines that will one day have to be fixed.

        The CRC had a bad case of consultants gone wild, with one of the responsible parties getting paid by both a CRC consultant and being employed at the governor’s office of Oregon. Had it been under the table it would have been considered a bribe. As it was official simultaneous employment it was merely unethical, and probably illegal in other states.

      4. I would point out that when I-205 was being proposed in Portland back in the day, the opposition was adamant that it would be a useless road. “Who would drive on a highway so far away from Portland,” they asked. Well, it’s not so far away now.

        Now, about that new bridge proposal?

      5. I-205 is a through road. To make this new bridge work like I-205 it would have to have major highways connecting to it.

        It doesn’t, so that it looks cheaper than the old Columbia River crossing.

        This thing is a bit like building the Aurora Avenue bridge instead of the I-5 bridge over the ship canal, and calling it a cheaper solution because someone forgot to build Aurora Avenue on either side and instead just dump everything onto local roads.

        Without the higher capacity roads, it isn’t a solution to anything.

      6. Not only did the Brooklyn Bridge take many years to build, but the whole time the newspapers were full of woeful prophesies that the project would leave city, state, and country bankrupt and in ruins.

        With same level of early acceptance, first drawings for the Golden Gate bridge looked suspiciously like that drawbridge like the Blues Brothers jumped across in that great old Dodge.

        Only reason the first New York subway got built in four years was that Broadway was so packed that people, let alone vehicles, could literally not even walk up or down the avenue.

        So if and when the Columbia River Bridge becomes life and death necessary, as it eventually will, the project will benefit from the technical advancements of the future.

        And Nature has its own proven techniques for clearing the future of obstacles- however much seniority they have.


      7. So if and when the Columbia River Bridge becomes life and death necessary, as it eventually will,.

        As we prepare to enter the second decade of declining VMT, which is occurring more rapidly in the PNW than the rest of the country, this assertion looks overconfident in the extreme.

      8. Also, Multnomah County residents are already paying $145 each time they renew their auto registrations due to the Sellwood Bridge replacement fees.

        A new I-5 bridge will one day happen. As Mark alludes to above, if nothing else eventually the thing will collapse in an earthquake since little effort has been made to harden it against such an event (unlike all our other bridges have been – apparently the hope is that when it collapses it doesn’t take too many people with it).

        However, the people who use it will have to be ready to pay for it. Right now, those who use it prefer to sit in traffic rather than pay a toll.

        Also, getting back on topic for this blog: the transit options aren’t great. Vancouver may not want MAX and it probably isn’t the best solution anyway, but if the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for a bridge big enough for unlimited auto traffic. Building a new bridge further east only encourages yet more unsustainable sprawl further away from the trouble spot without actually solving the problem spot and makes it harder for transit to be part of the transportation solution.

      9. The I-5 crossing of the Columbia will eventually require substantial investment of one form or another. As has been pointed out retrofit or replacement is needed for earthquake safety. As I understand there is a severe scour problem with the existing bridge supports which needs to be addressed as well. Finally ongoing maintenance will need to stay on top of corrosion and fatigue issues.

      1. The ballot measure calls for the new transportation authority to be governed by an interim board of nine members, six of whom are listed in the petition and three of whom would be appointed by the listed six. The listed six are people pushing the proposal, including Campbell.

        Her team was late submitting its voters-guide statement, so there will be a blank space on the guide under the heading “statement for.”

        The proposal hasn’t been voted on yet, and it’s already mismanaged.

      1. It’s a monorail, simply because it is a monorail. And, 50 years ago, we were promised that monorails would be everywhere. That’s why. Not because a monorail is a better solution than Link. It isn’t.

        Besides, I’m still waiting for my flying car that I was promised we would have before the year 2000.

      2. The Bombardier Innovia 300 with 7 cars like the one being built in Sao Paulo carries more people than Link with 4 cars, is 100 ft shorter, weighs half as much and is driverless. The only spec that Link beats it on paper is top speed and anyone who’s ridden Link between Rainier Valley and Tukwila will attest that at anything over 50 mph it’s a very rough ride. Let’s not forget that top speed in the Ballard to West Seattle Corridor wouldn’t be dictated by train design but rather stop spacing and route.

      3. and footprint.

        Higher capacity monorail systems aren’t the “light and airy” structures supporters tout as advantages over LRT.

      4. “Why a monorail?” is that Elizabeth Campbell wants it. You’d have to ask her whether elevated LR would meet her vision. It seems to be less about the single guideway than about guaranteeing it’s not on the surface. Also, it’s probably under the state-given tax authority that specifically excludes light rail. The early monorail supporters got that provision in to ensure that LR wouldn’t be among the alternatives.(As I’ve said before, it was a different era then with different concerns. The only existing light rail then was watered-down slow surface (Portland, San Diego, San Jose), and they didn’t want that to happen here. Now that ST has proven it’s willing to build grade-separated segments, that argument goes away.)

    1. One thing: Thanks, Martin, for “taking the point” on this one. However, lesson from the last one is not to count on its own faults to kill it before it does similar damage.

      It always seemed to me that the energy behind the original monorail effort came from fully justified frustration with the existing transit agencies’ almost total refusal to seriously consider significant transit along the whole west corridor of Seattle.

      Recalling the number of light rail vehicles featured in anti-monorail publicity, succeeding nine years of inaction doesn’t help the pro-light-rail cause this year. Well, not exactly inaction. In 2005, the Waterfront Streetcar was put to ruin years before viaduct removal even started.

      Would suggest a campaign centering on the very real and highly persuasive technical problems with anything like current project: starting with the fact that all the real estate south of Jackson Street is basically water with a small amount of dirt in it.

      And as boring machine’s present location indicates, the ground under the Waterfront has a lot of stray scrap in it- possibly including a boring machine. Idiocy of this whole “monorail is cheap and easy” business shouldn’t be that hard to explain to the taxpayers.

      But main thrust from the get-go needs to be a serious plan of action from KC Metro and Sound Transit to prove that this time, those Kinki-Sharyo trains aren’t just logos.

      Mark Dublin

  3. From the Seattle Met article on prop 1:

    Republican state representative and house transportation lead Ed Orcutt from Kalama, in southeast Washington, says, “I think the first blush from [my caucus] will be, ‘Well, good, Seattle is going to pay for more of their transit,’ but then go, ‘Wait a minute, they’re going to expect us to pick it up in the next tax package.'” Translation: Republicans won’t be keen on picking up a Seattle tab once they know city slickers are able and willing to pay for it themselves.

    Is this really the mentality in Olympia? Also, is it accurate? I seem to recall that none of the recent pushes for “transportation funding” in Olympia have asked state of Washington taxpayers to pay anything for regional transit (in contrast, of course, to roads which are funded by a statewide gas tax, among other statewide taxes). The only request has been to let us tax ourselves, preferably in a manner that isn’t completely reliant on sales or vehicle registration taxes (cue up John B. and his property tax reply).

    1. This paragraph is pretty convoluted so it’s hard to tell what exactly Orcutt meant and whether he’s as muddle-headed as the writer.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if many legislators misunderstand the limited scope of what ST and Seattle are asking for, or believe that allowing any tax anywhere to rise is unacceptable.

      1. In the modern world of campaign sound bites, a vote to allow Seattle to tax itself to fund its own bus service would be twisted by campaign opponents into a general vote to raise taxes. The fact that nobody in the particular district in the question would actually pay such taxes would be too sophisticated for the average voter to understand.

    2. Seattle and King County are looking rather fishy after the first Prop 1. One minute it was “must have” the next its … well, we can keep all the service.

      Now you’ve got people going tax-crazy with more car fees for a resurrected monorail?

      And yes, when Plan C was even mentioned, Ed Murray and Kshama Sawant rushed to squelch it with yet another fee and sales “solution”.

      Seattle is not by any means willing to “pay for it”. These taxes will affect people merely using Seattle’s venues. But it will not fairly assess the property owners. Murray and Sawant will never ever do this.

      Prop One was a attempt by the city bureaucracies to tax the suburbs. And for one shining moment, and hopefully not the last, we finally united to slap down the Sheriff of Seattleham and will continue to do so as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

      1. John, I expect better from you and made the assumption that you were smarter than that even though we disagree on a lot of things. Please don’t continue to write stuff like the above that challenges my beliefs about you.

        As I’m sure you’re aware, projections are only as good as the day they are made. What would you have had King County and Seattle do? Not make any efforts to go to the voters and say “these numbers, prepared by people who supposedly know what they are doing, call for cuts so would you like to vote to forestall these cuts?” If they hadn’t and the cuts HAD happened, based on what you wrote just now, you’d be right here, saying that King County is a bunch of incompetent shills who can’t do anything right. Oh, and had they done this right AFTER the election, I can only imagine the caterwauling.

        The point behind Seattle Prop 1 still stands: We want more bus service, not cuts. People seem to forget that King County ALREADY cut 159,000 hours of service AND the February cuts are not dead, just postponed, AND the 2016 cuts (80,000 hours) are still looming in the future. If we (Seattle) want more bus service, it has to be paid for. King County voters said they didn’t want that, so they’re not going to pay for it. Seattle voters said once (April) and are now being asked the same question again.

        You and I are in complete agreement over the method of payment. I was all revved up to actually campaign for a measure to impose a property tax. I firmly believe that property taxes are WAY too low. (As an aside, no, I will not simply mail in the extra amount I feel I should be taxed; that’s a specious argument and immediately discredits anyone who makes it.)

        The property tax measure got squashed under the wheels of politics, so I suck it up and move on. I will not hold my bus service hostage, any longer, to state politics or because vehicle registration and sales taxes aren’t “perfect.” They’re good enough because cutting service and having the class of service we have now is far more “regressive.”

      2. Wow, coming out swinging are you? Maybe you shouldn’t begin your counter argument with two paragraphs of personal attacks and misrepresentations of what I said.

        But let’s delve down into what it is you are attempting to say.

        The property tax measure got squashed under the wheels of politics..

        That assumption implies that it ever made it out the door, and onto the crosswalk to get squashed by any wheeled transport whatsoever. Or perhaps you’re referring to the wheels of a file cart outside Sawant’s office.

        The property tax was never taken up by any politician and certainly no Seattle one and certainly no Mayor or Council Person! To try and re-write the history like this is they ultimate lie, the ultimate storytelling.

      3. I’m attempting to ask how Seattle and King County are being fishy. No one, from any of the commenters on STB to folks on Reddit to columnists in the Seattle Times has answered the basic question of What Were The People In Charge Supposed To Do? Seriously, what should they have done differently? The projections were off (actually, the NEW projections are showing an increase in available funds but they’re still projections) in the face of tight ballot deadlines. Did they lie? No. Did they hide the truth? No (otherwise we wouldn’t be having this debate because the number crunching would have begun after the election).

        As for the property tax initiative–the one in Seattle, the only one I am aware of–not being picked up by anyone or even having gone anywhere, does filing the initiative not count (because it was filed)? Does not getting signatures not count (because they were gathered; I help gather some)? What about receiving endorsements (which it did, after which Mayor Murray decided to pressure people to withdraw them[1])? When the Mayor campaigns against your small, limited-funding campaign, it’s time to throw in the towel before you get too far.

        1 –

      4. More to the point the Mayor and the Council agreed to a Seattle-only solution.

        Would a property tax have been better? Yes. Was it worth having a huge fight with the mayor and city council over? No.

      5. Oh, and John, the initiative had the support of current and former elected officials.

        If the initiative campaign hadn’t happened would Murray have actedand what form would it have taken? That is unknown.

        It is clear from $15/hr and Prop. 1 that a serious initiative campaign is an effective way to spur this mayor and this city council to action.

      6. The monorail initiative is supported by Elizabeth Campbell and exactly nobody else. Even the leadership of past monorail campaigns wants nothing to do with this.

        There has been discussion of using the latent tax authority created for the monorail to fund other transit. It is mentioned by the city as a possible funding source for streetcar projects and transit activists have discussed using it to supplement Central Link funding for in-city projects.

        I still don’t get why you give a damn about car fees that only apply if you live in the City of Seattle. This is true of both the monorail tax authority and Prop. 1.

        Even with the sales tax the bulk of the taxes are paid by Seattle residents and businesses. You have the option of spending your money elsewhere if you don’t like paying Seattle sales taxes.

        I don’t see you up in arms about hotel taxes, rental car taxes, or the additional tax on restaurant meals designed to pay for various sportball facilities and the convention center. These taxes are in fact designed to fall primarily on those visiting from out of town.

        You remind me of the occasional Oregonian I run into who is complaining loudly about having to pay sales taxes when buying things in Washington. I’m tempted to tell them “if you don’t like it so much why don’t you go back to Oregon?”

  4. Bertha’s Last Stand was an amusing (and well-executed!) entry in the Soapbox Derby a few weeks back: wsdot | facebook

    Their skit told the saga of our dearly be-stalled boring machine, complete with pipe and changing of the head.

  5. California Fuel Cell Summit
    Oct 15-16
    Sacramento, CA

    Some highlights…

    Keynotes: California Leadership in Energy and Climate Change
    Governor Jerry Brown (invited)

    Spotlight on Public Transportation
    Moderator: Larry Stapleton, Vice President of Sales at Ballard Power Systems
    Lauren Skiver, General Manager at Sunline Transit
    David Armijo, General Manager at AC Transit

    Affordable, and a quick plane ride, for budget conscious bureaucrats looking for information.

    1. Ballard Power Systems is in Burnaby, BC. It would be far cheaper to get to a similar seminar there.

  6. Transit Can Cut Car Traffic

    Now that they opened a Trader Joe’s on Kent East Hill (132nd Street) I am almost at the point where I could reasonably say that I could take care of nearly all of my daily requirements, simply by using transit, specifically the 168 that would take me there (or my bicycle, as it’s a short trip with very little grades) and also to Kent Station. They also seemed to have made a recent improvement in water quality. Laugh if you want, but I had to periodically buy 10 gallon bottles of Crystal Springs for drinking and cooking it was so bad. Not having to do that means that almost anything I normally use would fit in a knapsack.

    I’m still feeling Joe’s out for things like fresh meats…and I would miss some excellent venues. So, this is more of a “could” statement then would necessarily “want to”.

    1. The lack of enough drivers to go around is one part of the problem, which Uber will solve, the moment it starts operating. But, there is another part of the problem, which is inefficiencies in the pricing schemes for both taxis and Uber.

      Ideally, anybody anywhere (within reason) should be able to summon a car and driver for some price and have somebody show up as quickly as reasonably possible given the driver’s current location and the need to drive legally and safely. The current system, where fares are simply a function of the distance you travel while you’re in the car, does not provide an incentive for a driver to come get to you at all, unless you’re either very close by, or somewhere like the airport, where you are heuristically likely to make a longer, and hence, more profitable trip.

      As an alternative, let’s suppose the taxi-hailing app had a feature where, if there were no takers, you could retry the request, offering an extra incentive payment of $5/$10/$15/etc. until you eventually find a driver willing to accept the request. Yes, the trip might be more expensive than originally planned. Yes, you might have to wait 20-30 minutes for the driver to show up. But at least you would get a driver for some price, while the current system would just say “too bad” and leave you stranded.

      Of course, the “incentive” could take other forms besides a flat dollar amount added to the fare. One option could be a minimum fare guarantee. For example, let’s suppose you missed the last 554 and needed a ride from Issaquah home to Seattle, but the nearest Uber driver was in downtown Bellevue. Under the current system, the driver, without the knowledge that Seattle is you destination, would simply decline your trip, and you’d be left at the mercy of unreliable cab companies. However, if the option existed to retry the request with an offer of a $30-minimum fare to the driver, now, all of a sudden, the trip doesn’t doesn’t look so unattractive anymore. Meanwhile, since the trip would have cost more than $30 anyway, had a driver been nearby, you get home without being overcharged, the driver gets an extra $30 in his pocket, everyone wins.

      Uber surge pricing solves a similar problem for the core downtown area, but the surge formula (simply multiplying the fare by a “surge” amount) doesn’t work well for the suburban scenario – it provides no way make the trip profitable for the driver if it is short without grossly overcharging the customer if the trip is long (especially if the trip ends up in the core city, leaving the driver well-positioned for a future fare). Having the incentive take the form of a minimum fare guarantee, rather than a multiplier, would be much more fair.

      1. Presented with a situation with no car in this area, those of us that live in this area would have either grabbed a #19 headed to downtown Portland at 11:00pm, or walked 1/2 mile east to the MAX green line station, or grabbed a #72 to connect to something else (#72, the bus that stops 10 feet from where they were, connects to a lot of other stuff). Spending an hour and a half or more trying to get a taxi?

      2. Not to defend crazy-racist-scaredy-woman in the slightest, but a quick search reveals that the last MAX train on a Saturday night would have been at about 10:55 pm.

        Presuming you could walk to the nearest train stop at a perfectly reasonable hour of the evening would have been a fantastic way to get even more stuck, in an even more abandoned location.

        I bet quite a lot of casual transit users get burned by presuming the Green and Red lines will run reasonable frequencies for reasonable spans, which these two lines (and to only a slightly lesser extent, MAX in general) simply do not.

  7. Would it be safe to say that many of the wealthy Chinese who are moving from China to the Seattle suburbs like south Bellevue are doing so partially to escape crowded city life?

    1. Or, would it be safer to say they’re just trying to escape the corrupt Chinese government?

    2. Look where they are choosing to live. Places like Somerset. Density? Nope. Public transit? Nope. Multi-family housing? Nope. High Walkscore? Nope. “Just what are you getting at, Sam?” Simple. Everything you people say is necessary to make a neighborhood desirable doesn’t exist in one of the most desirable neighborhoods known to people have way across the world.

      1. Indeed. The lifestyle proclivities of the tiny subset of China’s business-elite 0.005% who would make real estate decisions on the basis of a Chinese rom-com inspired by ’90s Hollywood treacle itself inspired by ’50s Hollywood treacle are perfectly representative of global spatial and cultural desires among the upwardly mobile.

        You’ve certainly got your finger on the pulse, Sam.

      2. Try conspicuous consumption.

        Have you actually counted the number of wealthy Chinese who’ve moved to outer Bellevue vs the number who’ve moved to Seattle or downtown Bellevue?

        Who built (dense) Chinatown anyway?

      3. “It’s almost like there might be different people with different goals! I know that’s a revelation for you.” No, I think you should tell your fellow bloggers that different people want different things. I already knew that. Not everyone wants to live in an urban micro-apartment in a skyscraper next to a train station. These Chinese people are escaping that lifestyle!

      4. They could have found a large house in many parts of the world, including probably in China. Not in the center of Shanghai perhaps, but you said they wanted to get away from large cities in the first place. It’s hard to believe they’d choose the US and specifically Bellevue, just to get away from dense Chinese cities. They could have moved to Alberta and found even more space.

      5. Yes. “These Chinese people” — people who make real estate decisions on the basis of a rom-com inspired by ’90s Hollywood treacle itself inspired by ’50s Hollywood treacle — are “escapists”.

        Very good point, Sam. Never has your genius been more vindicated.

    3. No, mostly they are moving there to get their kids into the US educational system. They are moving to south Bellevue in particular because Newport High School has quite the reputation among wealthy Chinese.

      1. Exactly. So high-quality transit isn’t even a factor for them. Great schools in low-crime neighborhoods tops the list. Some claim that transit and density are what most people demand, which simply isn’t true in this example.

      2. It’s almost like there might be different people with different goals! I know that’s a revelation for you.

        Fortunately, there’s an easy way to actually measure what is in the shortest supply: look at how much people are paying per square foot. Somerset’s expensive, but downtown Bellevue is more expensive.

    1. Of a sort.

      Given the affordable housing and disability support policies of the project and the fact that South Kirkland P&R has fairly comprehensive local transit service, plus pretty fast access to downtown Seattle and the U District that will be more reliable in a few years, plus a variety of plans for biking connections over the next decade or so… it’s far from the most empty use of the TOD descriptor going on today.

    2. A planner in Bellevue recently admitted to me that S Kirkland P&R didn’t work out like anyone hoped. The preferred option was to swap it with WSDOT’s land right next to SR-520, where a real freeway station and transfer point could have been built. But WSDOT wouldn’t do it. The next best option was to rezone the area around the P&R to make it more urban, but local pressure scotched that idea too. So what we’re left with is an isolated transfer point that takes a long time for buses to get to, and that has a bit of housing from which people will commute on the bus and drive everywhere else.

      1. That’s simply unacceptable.

        The correct answer was to hold off on any shovels in the ground until the efficient, primary transfer point that needs to exist could be built where it actually needed to be.

        Until then, on-street stops (only for routes passing by anyway) should have sufficed.

      2. “The correct answer was to hold off on any shovels in the ground until the efficient, primary transfer point that needs to exist could be built”

        So we should just build nothing and let housing prices rise as high as San Francisco? Everything is a compromise in a democracy.

      3. I was talking about the transit center itself.

        South Kirkland Park & Ride is the definition of a transit project that is literally worse than nothing.

    3. Better to have some housing near a major transit stop than no housing near a major transit stop. Yes, I’d call it TOD (although I haven’t seen the buildings), but some others wouldn’t. The fact that some of it is targeted to low-income and disabled means that some of the residents maybe can’t afford cars or can’t drive, so they will be taking the bus to the grocery store. Should they have not built any housing here? Only if they put the same amount of housing in a better location. But if the population is rising, which it is, all locations will eventually be needed, so why not build this one now?

      1. Sure, there’s no problem with building housing there (or anywhere other than at the edges of the exurbs). But it’s not really advancing the cause of transit much.

        That seems to me like a very bad place to put housing for people with disabilities. Yes, the bus service is good, but *nothing* except the bus stop is accessible without a bus (or car) ride.

      2. I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been built. I’m just questioning calling it TOD. I always thought density and walkability were big components of TOD.

      3. My understanding is it’s denser than garden apartments. That would be a fine level of density if we had a lot more of it. It’s the sea of single-family houses on large lots that’s bringing density down and making walking so difficult.

  8. Oh, and thanks for the reminder about the Waterfront sanity diet. Maybe the money saved by removing the floating swimming pool with accompanying beach can be used to put the streetcar back- which should have been part of the plans from the beginning.

    Would be easy for a Waterfront line to share communications, maintenance, and substations with the First Avenue/First Hill lines.

    Also, at more or less First Avenue level along the edge of Downtown, could be possible to build terminal for future West Seattle LINK Line, about same construction as west wall of Pike Place Market. Giving the line the Downtown connection that monorail plans lack.

    Loss of the floating pool and beach will unfortunately impact a pathetically vulnerable population. I’d promised to build a sanctuary for homeless cats on a barge attached to the one with the beach. Hope Medina needs some beachfront.


  9. I sure hope that SDOT is taking into account next year’s EMV (chip and PIN credit card) switch when they purchase their new parking pay stations. That would be horribly short sighted to miss that one and have to retrofit them shortly after installation. The article makes no mention of the technology other than “they won’t suck in and then spit out debit and credit cards.”

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