It’s been another great year for us here at STB, and we’d like to thank you all both for reading our work and continuing to make our comment threads some of the most substantive and informative that you’ll read anywhere. As would be expected with something as specialized and nerdy as transit blogging, interest can sometimes be an inch wide and a mile deep, with posts occasionally striking a nerve and generating huge pageviews and comment threads. Our top 10 posts alone generated nearly 10% of our pageviews for 2014, almost exclusively on content related to improving or expanding transit capacity and performance. Seattle Subway, for instance, took 4 of the top 10 most read and 2 of the most commented. Without further ado, here they are:
10. 9 Ways to Make Seattle Public Transit Better (September 27): Frank’s post entering STB into the brave new world of listicles strikes a nerve with riders frustrated by all the little things that degrade the everyday experience of riding transit.
9. Let’s Build Rail to West Seattle (Option A6)! (July 22): Seattle Subway’s guest post arguing for quality over quantity when it comes to West Seattle Link.
8. U-Link Walking Tour Photos (June 9): I had a blast walking from Montlake to Westlake underground back in June. ULink is now <500 days from opening!
7. Sound Transit Listens to Public, Will Study Sand Point Crossing (September 29): Seattle Subway’s victory lap guest post announcing the inclusion of a Sand Point rail crossing in the Sound Transit Long Range Plan.
6. Let’s Build the Ballard Spur! (June 23): Guest author and Seattle Subway veteran Keith Kyle taps into an endless well of desire for rail between Ballard and UW.
5. Metro Cuts: When and Where (April 25): After the failure of Prop 1, my post lays out in detail the then-proposed-but-since-mostly-canceled cuts and their timing.
3. (tie) Visualizing Cuts to Metro’s Frequent Transit Network (March 31): By far the shortest post in the Top 10, but also one of the most effective. Oran creates a slider that uses his wildly popular Frequent Transit Map to visualize Metro’s proposed cuts.
3 .(tie) What Could $800 Million Do? (February 13): Ben kicks off what would be a year full of Bertha-related speculation, hand-wringing, schadenfraude, official confidence, and general turbulence, arguing that even with all the sunk costs already committed, the remaining $800m available (were the project to be cancelled) could buy the Center City Connector, a reconnected SLU/LQA street grid, make RapidRide truly rapid, and make up the difference between an elevated Ballard line and a Queen Anne tunnel.
2. Explainer: Why We Need to Save Metro (April 7): Frank’s post does an overdue and obvious thing, eschewing acronym-speak and insider language to distill and simplify the stakes of April’s Prop 1 for the general reader.
1. Let’s Build a Sand Point Crossing (Option SP1)! (July 8): Want to get people talking and reading? Propose visionary, highly controversial new projects. Seattle Subway’s guest post argues for the inclusion of a 3rd Lake Washington crossing in Sound Transit’s Long Range Plan, earning nearly double the pageviews of the other posts in the top 10, with just this one post getting 1.5% of our annual pageviews.
10 (tie). “Better Eastside Rail” (184 comments, July 23rd) by Seattle Subway. Sound Transit’s studied Eastside rail options leave much be desired, spawning an alternate proposal. There’s pushback from people that think there’s no further rail solution for the Eastside.
10 (tie). “Informed Speculation: What $15 Billion Might Buy” (184 comments, November 29th) by Martin. Despite Martin burying it on Thanksgiving weekend, it turns out that even a crude attempt to figure out what can fit in Sound Transit 3 is irresistible to commenters, presenting an opportunity to critique each segment, complain about taxes, and propose many other concepts.
9. “Ballard-UW Should Be The Next Light Rail Line in Seattle” (190 comments, June 30th) by Ross Bleakney. The Ballard/UW line has long been the darling of a particular kind of transit activist. This is the first of three appearances of the subject on this list.
7 (tie). “Financially Sustainable Transit” (197 comments, January 24) by Aleksandra Culver. Aleksandra proposes distance-based Metro fares, which has clear winners and losers. Both sound off in the comment thread.
7 (tie). “Metro Cuts: When and Where” (197 comments, April 25) by Zach. I review the implications of the Proposition 1 failure, opening the door to many comments about route restructures. It now appears that only Phase I of cuts will ever come to pass.
6. “Sound Transit Reviews Ballard-UW Options” (204 comments, June 14) by Martin. The first official word on this corridor, and our readership has the local knowledge for micro-level critiques.
5. “Let’s Build The Ballard Spur!” (210 comments, June 23) by Keith Kyle. The earliest public proponent of Ballard/UW rail keeps the conversation going by proposing tweaks to Sound Transit’s initial concept.
4. “A Seattle Initiative to Save Service” (211 comments, April 24) by Martin. In the ashes of King County Proposition 1, Ben Schiendelman and former Mayor McGinn (to much controversy) announce an initiative meant to kickstart the city into creating what would become Prop 1.
3. “Seattle Council Delays Streetcar Vote” (216 comments, July 2) by Martin. Something as miniscule as a procedural motion in the City Council is a pretext for an all-out debate on streetcars.
2. “Action Alert: Sand Point Crossing” (222 comments, December 22) by Seattle Subway. The absence of any data (which is what Seattle Subway is asking for) allows people’s intuition and prejudices to run wild.
1. “Proposition 1 Failing” (282 comments, April 22) by Martin. Recriminations, mourning, and I-told-you-sos.