Auburn Station (Sound Transit photo)
Auburn Station (Sound Transit photo)

100 Replies to “News Roundup: Parking Down South”

  1. Great for Puyallup, now all Pierce Transit needs to do is tweak their bus schedules to better line up with the train so we’re not left standing around for 20 minutes for that bus which is 15 minutes late, because the one before it leaves (probably mostly empty) 5 minutes before the train arrives.

  2. So, if I understand the construction plans from the city and the state, the Battery street tunnel will be altered a bit, which will allow John, Thomas and Harrison to cross Aurora ( Does anyone know when that work will be done? Is that contingent on the other tunnel (Bertha) or not? That could be a huge change for transit in the area (allowing buses to go between South Lake Union and Lower Queen Anne).

    1. Plans call for the Battery St Tunnel to be filled in, with Aurora (possibly renamed ‘7th Ave N’) continuing at-grade north of Denny to the SR99 off-ramp at Republican. The grid would then be reconnected across Aurora/7th, with woonerf style treatments on Thomas (and possibly John), possible SLU-LQA bus service on Harrison, and giving Republican over to cars. And yes, construction won’t start until Bertha surfaces at the North Portal.

      1. I didn’t realize Bertha needed to finish before that street work could go forward – I guess that is obvious, but it is disappointing.

        The LQA-SLU street grid connections are IMO the best part of the whole via-tunnel project. Biggest growth area in the city, poor pedestrian/cyclist environment, and the awfulness that is the 8 stuck in traffic.

  3. Re: Animals on transit

    Its irritating that I can’t take my dog on LINK light rail. I find it odd that King County Metro has no issue but Sound Transit only allows service animals. Is it a liability issue (dogs biting people)? Do they enforce it?

    1. I thought dogs were allowed on ST. (This explains the odd look I got on the 594 with my lab.) It might have to do with the fact that ST doesn’t really operate their own buses, and at least one of the member agencies (Pierce Transit) doesn’t allow dogs, so they probably don’t want it on PT-operated ST buses, either. It’ll become more of a problem as Link subsumes more of Metro’s service with U- and North Link.

      1. The ST Rider Guide says service animals and pets in small containers are allowed. I think Metro is pretty unique in letting non service dogs ride, I wish other agencies would loosen up on that.

      2. I would like to see that too. But having ridden a bus with a lot of dogs on it for the last decade I see two issues here that really need to be addressed. Even for metro.

        1) Situations of animals with behavior problems needs to be consistently dealt with and documented and drivers need training. I love dogs, was born and raised with them and all that and I have had several bad occurrences on the bus and was almost bit a few years ago trying to squeeze by a dog to get off.

        2) Referring to #1, there probably should be a policy of no uncrated animals other than service animals on the bus when it is standing room only. I’ve seen both a dog get stepped on and a person fall trying to get around a dog/avoid it during this time. The increased room on Link as compared to a bus might allow for a different policy there.

      3. I think Metro is pretty unique in letting non service dogs ride, I wish other agencies would loosen up on that.”

        I don’t. Why do you need to bring a non-service animal on the bus? Do you want to go to the park so the animal can play? While I agree that’s important and great for both the dog and you, I can’t think of anywhere in Seattle that doesn’t have a park within eight or ten blocks.

        No all the parks aren’t Golden Gardens or Woodland. But there’s exercise for you and the dog getting to and from the park too.

      4. Because Mr. Biscuits needs to go to the vet, or my friends house while I’m on vaca, or whatever.

      1. I hope they don’t. I couldn’t own a dog in the city if he weren’t allowed on the bus. I would have to get a car, because believe me I am a more devoted dog owner than I am a transit rider.

    2. There are lots of people with severe allergies to dogs and lots of people with a strong fear of dogs. For the first reason alone I think it’s ridiculous to allow dogs in such a setting.

      1. “severe allergies” to dogs (unlike cats) are extremely rare. People have all manner of irrational fears that don’t govern the rules of public space ( should we ban clowns too?). Allowing dogs on buses allows for more access and wider use of transit and normalizes it for more everyday trips to be made on transit. A win-win.

      2. How is it any different for a bus rider having allergies to people who smell like crap? We all have to deal with it. I suspect the reason they put up with it is because dogs are probably the least of the problems on the bus.

      3. Uh, because the person who “smells like crap” is a person. The whole point of the public transportation system is to provide public transportation for people. Everything else is a bonus. If I want to take a couch on the bus, then I think the bus driver has the right to tell me that I can’t. Likewise with a dog.

      4. The whole point of the public transportation system is to provide public transportation for people.

        Allowing well-behaved dogs on buses increases the number of people who can make use of them.

      5. Sorry, but with the explicit exception of service animals, that is a b.s. answer.

        The percentage of transit trips that “must” to be taken with the best friend in question — vet visits, bringing it to a friend’s before going out of town* — is vanishingly tiny next to the number of riders who simply can’t bear to part with their (more often than not) dirty and ill-behaved companion.

        From this transplant pet owner to all the selfish Seattle pet owners: not everyone loves your creature as much as you. Meanwhile, there’s a reason 99.9% of the world’s genuine “mass” transit systems aren’t filled with fleabags all the time.

        *(and frankly, it wouldn’t kill anyone to take a cab, with a crate, on such rare occasions)

      6. What’s with all the hostility about traveling with dogs? Do we ask normal transit riders if their trip is mandatory or discretionary? If I travel to go shopping, see a friend, go to a movie, those are all legitimate trips. Why not a trip taking a well-behaved dog somewhere?

      7. For the most part I’ve found canine passengers to be well behaved compared to some of the human passengers.

      8. Perfectly normal canine behavior — shaking the water out of one’s fur when stepping in from the rain, curiously exploring space and approaching strangers — becomes inappropriate in the confines of a space-constricted public vehicle. Especially when the vehicle is crowded, an uninterested passenger has few places to retreat from the dog’s physical and olfactory space invasions.

        Again, none of this is the dog’s fault. It’s just being a dog.

        But the dog owner’s attitude is more evidence of the pervasive entitlement that makes Seattle people so insufferable. This is very much the same entitlement that has people pestering a driver with two minutes of questions before getting on, or yelling at the driver to wait while sauntering toward the bus just slowly enough to make forty people miss the light.

        Urban mass transit is there for the citizen masses to traverse the urban sphere, as quickly and easily and painlessly as possible. Catering to the inflexibility of the “my dog joins me everywhere” minority is just as much an outlier (and worst) practice as refusing to use the back door once was, or as “paper transfers for social justice” still is. More small-town buffoonery. More catering to entitlement.

        I got as much of a chuckle from that enterprising RapidRide dog as anyone. But it wouldn’t be so amusing if the dog brought a pack of friends. And I was yet again reminded why I prefer to stand on Metro.

    3. The question I have about the dog on the bus is, how does she pay her fare when she rides alone?

      1. Easy, the driver asks the dog for the fare, the dog ignores the driver, and that’s the end of the story.

    4. Only time I’ve seen an uncrated/non-service dog on Link (I am an infrequent rider until 2016), it was a large dog, under full control of its person. Fare inspectors boarded at SoDo and didn’t even blink at the existence of the dog. I love the idea–even would think having a fare for them would be good. Not everyone lives near a beach or an off-leash park. Seattle has more dogs than children… ;-)

      1. Seattle is the only place in the world where people will tie their dogs up for hours in the pouring rain outside of a restaurant or bar, rather than suffer the injustice of having to walk to or from said restaurant or bar without a “best friend”/appendage in tow.

        For a city that “loves its dogs”, there’s an awful lot of bordering-on-abuse in the expression of that love.

        No, Seattle. Your dog doesn’t have to fucking go everywhere you go.

      2. I personally would never take a dog out in a situation like that. The dog can come when it’s a dog-oriented thing. If the dog can’t be with us, why not just leave it at home where it’s comfortable and happy? (My dog’s in South Carolina, in a city where people also do exactly what you bemoan…and it freaking pisses me off, especially in the summertime.) That said, if the dog’s allowed to come, I’ll bring it if I choose.

  4. “Parking oversupply” is a very misleading concept. It is kind of like accusing transit of “oversupply” because the bus isn’t 100% full at the end of the route, or excessive capacity on sidewalks when pedestrians aren’t shoulder-to-shoulder. Allowing for 15% slack is nice, but that’s not even close to the time of day and day of week variances that retailers and business experience (e.g. Home Depot sizes parking lots for a Saturday, not a Wednesday night).

    Even worse, the article’s headline “65% oversupply” across the US is based on just 27 samples taken mostly from New England and California, including middle of nowhere towns like Soledad, CA, Yreka, CA, and Orange, MA. Not exactly Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston… There’s also no mention of how the 65% statistic was calculated. Was it weighted by population or number of parking spaces, or just the average the 27 samples?

    I also have my doubts about the quality of the study, given that the one graph mentions “Venture, CA” which isn’t a real place (Ventura, maybe?). Using Google Earth to check parking spaces fails badly in places where parking is in garages, which is true in most downtowns. There’s no discussion in the article of how the towns were chosen, but they are clearly non-representative of the US, yet the author of the article spins it that way.

    I’m not defending parking minimums – parking decisions should be left to the market, but poorly conducted studies and misleading articles are not helpful.

    1. I concur. I see reference to “tracts” in the spreadsheet but the data obviously covers multiple blocks. Perhaps the discussion should not be if we have enough parking but do we have parking where people actually want it?

      Case in point on my block downtown one high rises garage is overflowing and the adjacent garage of three midrise buildings that have more total spots are all half empty. The mid-rise buildings have far more parking sports per employee too.

      So I’d love to see that data by garage rather than tract, that would be really informative. I know that it’s crazy tight for example in north downtown and SLU (a friends apartment building is renting spots during the day now even).

      1. Downtown has a lot of parking, probably as much as it will ever need. If anything, I expect downtown parking supply to go down. Above-ground garages will be demolished at some point and replaced with higher-value land uses. Street parking will be replaced with bus lanes, bike lanes, and parklets.

        Part of the reason that downtown parking is not being used is that Seattle’s taxes drive a large wedge between the price the buyer pays and the price the seller recieves. The tax is 22% (12.5% parking tax and 9.5% sales tax, soon to be 9.6%). Economics tells us that when the wedge is large, demand drops substantially (see cigarettes). Along with cigarettes, liquor, airline tickets, and rental cars, Seattle commercial parking is one of the most heavily taxed products in the USA.

      2. Yeah it’s interesting data, one major concern for me is that it takes very broad definition of “downtown”.

        I’ll get back to my original comment of whether the parking is where people need to park, not how much of it there is (excluding special events). There are garages in downtown that are always packed due to the tenancy or type of business in the building in question (think PP), others are mostly empty. This can also be as simple as the major employer in the building offering or not offering commute incentives/alternatives (as is the case in my building) which has a tiny garage that isn’t fully used, but well over 1,000 employees in the building. End story is like any transportation system it needs to be where the people are going to/from.

      3. As someone who worked in Pacific Place for 14 years prior to retirement last summer, I can report (anecdotally, admittedly) that there were fewer than about 50 days a year when some parking was not available in that garage. People would complain endlessly about having to park deep, or about the two hour spots and EV spots on level two, and worse, would ask if they c/should drive to Macy’s or the Convention Center. Many are weather wimps and walking wimps in our “fayre citie”

      4. ” Many are weather wimps and walking wimps in our “fayre citie””

        Give that man a cigar !

        LA’s excuse is their LOVE of the Automobile,(with the proper weather to go topless, to boot)

        Our excuse is FEAR.

  5. SB 5128 (haven’t read HB) looks like it would let King County raise the metro sales tax and do an MVET.

    1. That’s not really a “Senate bill”, laddie. Notice who sponsored it: the “Minority Caucus”. As below, “It’s good it’s in PDF format so no trees had to die in vain.”

      1. Andrew, I suspect that Anandakos is having the same reaction as myself, in that if that bill passes in anything like its current form, I’ll eat a tennis ball.

        The “Senate” is doing nothing of the sort since the “Majority Caucus” is the one running the show and that caucus is vehemently opposed to taxes for transit.

      2. Oh yeah it probably doesn’t have a chance. What I was mentioning is that any increase to ST sources would be a possible increase to Metro sources as well.

        “That’s not a senate bill” is a incredibly stupid way to say “This has no chance to pass”, especially when my comment was on the nature of the law in question.

  6. I know this is not an open thread, but I wanted to broadcast the warning that starting tomorrow (Friday) and continuing for the next 30 days or so, the 44 will turn at Campus Parkway. Pacific Place between Pacific St. and Montlake Blvd. will be under construction.

    Last stop dropping off toward UW will be 15th Av at Campus Parkway.

    First stop picking up toward Ballard will be 15th Av at 42nd St. Should be a nice big crowd waiting there!

    There are signs up at *some* stops. No signs on the buses. Nice one.

    –An alert 44 rider

    1. Huh, that’s wild. I assume this doesn’t apply to through-routed trips with the 43? I guess everyone will have to just take the 48 if they’re going to UWMC or just trying to get a few blocks closer to the 520 bus stops…

      1. I assume the through-routed trips will simply continue as 43s.

        For everyone headed down to the medical center, getting there requires transferring to the 48 or 271 or any of the many other routes that head down there. But as we all know, there is never a bus coming when you really, really need one, so this is likely to cause some slight delays for everyone.

      2. Pacific Street will be closed. There’s a sign at Campus Parkway & University Way telling drivers to use the 45th Street viaduct. I guess the 271 will go through campus to Montake Boulevard.

    2. It is an open thread I think. All the past news roundups have been, and there’s usually two open threads per week: a news roundup midweek, and a movie Sunday.

    3. It’ll be a good practice run for transfers to Link at Husky Stadium from the 70-series next year.

  7. Why we spend almost $100M to build parking garages for a train that comes only a few times a day is pretty amazing! It’s also amazing that ST hasn’t figured out that the market for Sounder service is clearly for those headed to Downtown Seattle, so it would be much cheaper and logical to build stations away from the town cores and build them on the fringes where land costs are cheaper. Sounder stations are not economic development catalysts like a high-frequency light rail station would be.

    1. Some of these towns with Sounder service are seeing their business districts choked by riders who park their cars all day near the station and don’t visit the local businesses. Given local land use, most everybody will drive to the station, so there’s not really an inexpensive fix. Let them drive to Seattle, or build them a parking spot in Sumner.

      Building another station out of the downtown was considered too, but that was apparently even more expensive.

      There are no cheap ways to buy transit ridership in sprawling places.

      1. So charge for parking in the local business district. Geez, the parking meter was introduced in 1935…

      2. How does that help exactly? You either displace the business customers, or you price out the Sounder riders. This is a capacity problem, not an allocation issue.

        Running Sounder to the exurbs requires a lot of parking because most Sounder riders don’t have another way of getting to the station.

        If your position is that we shouldn’t have Sounder South, or that we shouldn’t care about destroying the already weak business districts, you need to be explicit about that.

      3. Suburban commuters would do well to locate their houses of worship close to Sounder.

        They would also have the advantage of keeping tabs on which members of the congregation played hooky for a sporting event.

    2. I’d mention that it works differently in towns near Boston. It’s up to the towns to come up with parking solutions, not the rail transit service provider (MBTA). Some towns have their own parking programs, and some of them can sell stickers to residents who don’t live in the town. Anyway, I bet the local governments could come up with better strategies if the cost was up to them and not ST.

    3. Do the math. It costs comes to $113,400+ per parking stall! It was bad enough when free park-and-ride spaces cost $20K-30K to build, but $113.4K is over-the-top insane.

      Can this project be stopped? It sure needs to be. Why give the anti-transit crowd such obvious fodder for their next Vote No campaign?

      1. It doesn’t cost $113,400+ per parking stall.

        For Puyallup Station, it’s $55M for a 420 stall parking garage, 180 spaces in a surface lot, and an additional 100 leased spaces at the fairgrounds. That would work out to 700 spaces at $78.6k per space, but that doesn’t even include

        • Strategic pedestrian access improvements within 1/4 mile of the station
        • Strategic bicycle access improvements within 1/2 mile of the station
        • Potentially two pedestrian bridges, one across the railroad tracks, and the other across 5th Street SW
        • Traffic improvements in the station area
        • Car, bike and pedestrian access improvements to the SR 410/Traffic Avenue interchange, funded by a partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation and cities of Puyallup and Sumner.

        At Sumner Station, it’s a $39m budget that includes

        • Onsite parking garage at Sumner Station (400 stalls or more)
        • Strategic pedestrian access improvements within 1/4 mile of the station
        • Strategic bicycle access improvements within 1/2 mile of the station
        • Traffic improvements in the station area
        • Car, bike and pedestrian access improvements to the SR 410/Traffic Avenue interchange,
        funded by a partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation and cities of Puyallup and Sumner

        The summaries I quoted in the fact sheets don’t even mention the bike parking or the ped/bike bridge at Sumner.

      2. I still find it mind-boggling that any of this parking is free.

        Here in the Northeast, there is very little free parking. Some is present in the most sprawly emptyvilles. There is certainly no free *garage* parking, *anywhere*.

    1. I think in fairness, though $100k/space is a round number as a rhetorical device, the budgets include the other items listed too, namely two pedestrian bridges, other surface lots and sidewalk/street improvements.

    2. $113k per parking amortizes out to just under $12 per day (365 days a year over 30 years at 1% interest). Those parking spots aren’t full every day which drives the subsidy per car parked up but there is also money in there for other improvements. Without breaking those numbers out one has to guess how much that parking subsidy per day truly is.

  8. Anything new on the Broadway/FH streetcar vehicle delivery/testing? I figured that I’d have started seeing them testing along the line by now.

    1. Last I heard, one of the cars is already being shipped. Some are also being assembeled here.

      You might see some testing by mid February…

  9. There is a bad link for the second story about the DBT. From the $, I’ll assume it should refer to the Times.

  10. And just like that, the northbound 43,48,25 stop on Montlake Blvd will be closed. I guess to show how important transit is and because it’s better to have all the passengers walk through the construction staging and cross the freeway offramp and because Shelby St is such a good bus stop and it will be so easy for 43’s and 48’s to get over to the left lane without delay.

    Why do Metro and SDOT let WS-DOT do this?

    The bike lockers are being removed, too removal of bus stop

    1. 43 and 48 riders can also use the stop at Roanoke, which is often quicker for transfers anyway than the old 520 stop. It’s certainly better than Shelby.

      The 43 and 48 drivers won’t have it any worse than the 271, 542, etc. drivers who have to do the left merge from the Shelby stop all the time. I’m fairly sure the light there gives a queue job if there’s a bus waiting.

      It’s not ideal, but it’s probably unavoidable during construction.

      1. The queue-jump like at Shelbey is perfectly timed so that any bus that uses it will just barely miss the light for the left turn onto Pacific.

      2. The light does give a queue jump. I triggered it once biking. The signal cycle is so long, though, that usually when I’m on the bus we enter and leave on the same green light. I don’t think that’s really such a big deal… losing the 520 stop temporarily isn’t as bad as losing the Montlake Flyer Station permanently because WSDOT needed room for a massive expansion of SOV capacity.

      3. To David – why should someone transferring from an inbound 520 route have to walk several blocks south, including a long-light-cycle intersection, to get a northbound bus?

        I had forgotten that the 43 and 48 haven’t even been serving Shelby due to the need to be in the left lane for the turn at Pacific.

        I’m not sure closure of the stop is truly required or just a convenient place for WS-DOT or their contractor to stage stuff. If transit service were a higher priority they wouldn’t close the stop.

      4. Carl, I’m not saying that this closure is good, and you’re right that a transfer from a WB 520 bus to a NB Montlake bus is much worse now. I guess riders in that scenario will have to choose between the unpleasant walk or making an extra transfer at Evergreen Point to a bus that exits 520 at Montlake and continues into the U District. It’s far from ideal, but I don’t know where they could have put a temporary stop while the whole area is ripped up for construction.

        As Al points out, that extra transfer will be the only way to make that connection once construction is finished and buses continuing on 520 no longer stop at Montlake during peak. By then U Link will be open so service patterns may have changed considerably, but asking for the flyer stops to be retained (I put it on every comment form I filled out) seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

      5. The transfer at Evergreen Point is less good now that the 271 bypasses the Evergreen Point station. So it can only be done during the peak periods when the 540 and 542 are running.

        I have been championing retention of the Montlake Flyer station for years and no one seems to care. I don’t get it as it will really penalize U-District traffic on weekends and off-peak hours. It’s not unusual to see quite a few people boarding the 255 or 545 at Montlake in the evenings. It’s also an alternative route to Capitol Hill and the CD via the 43 and 48. Some say terminate all Eastside service in the U-District but I don’t see that happening. Bridge openings, lack of layover space, poor transfers to Link… not only won’t it provide meaningful operating savings vs. current service that terminates downtown, it will likely drive away the bulk of off-peak ridership. The current service patterns which serve downtown with a short stop at Montlake transfers is by far the optimum. And sending that traffic via the lid adds 3 traffic lights. It’s really a travesty when they market it as a transit project, and are increasing the Right of Way by a meaningful amount, that it wasn’t a requirement to retain a high volume existing facility which has worked well for almost 50 years. The bridge opened in 1963, I presume the existing stop was built then but I wasn’t around yet.

  11. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more comment about the implications of an old structure, already damaged in a previous quake, footed on unstable soil, and two years’ past a Governor’s announced deadline for demolition.

    Coupled with events underground of unknown danger and duration. It seems to me that very large numbers of citizens, and especially those of us involved with transit, should stage an intensely focused campaign to Governor Inslee to rightly declare the structure dangerous and demolish it. Before gravity does the job for him at rush hour on game day.

    One of the main advantages of the swift safe end of a dying structure will be to give the projected Central Waterfront project a realistic idea of the amount of car traffic permanently diverted to Alaskan Way itself. Completely canceling every attempt to create anything nicer than another clogged street.

    Once this reality becomes clear, it might be a lot easier to get some serious transit planning into the Project- which has pointedly ignored it up to now. At last Monday’s meeting of the Central Waterfront Committee of the city council, SDOT staff told us that public transportation would be handled by “smaller vehicles”. Only question being whether on sidewalks and plazas or stuck behind cars.

    Based on personal experience both transit driving and visiting places with much urban pedestrianism and bicycling, I think streetcars are far and away the best mode for our Waterfront. Benson cars, new Skoda’s, or both not really important. And no, First Avenue won’t serve the Waterfront- though two lines could share substations, communications, and maintenance.

    But steel or rubber, transit will need the one really good thing about the former carline: its own right of way the length of the project area. North of Columbia Street, I don’t think Transit Lane 1 is in the plan any farther north.

    I’m not accepting usual argument that present mixed traffic boulevard is just what’s gonna happen. Not an inch of concrete has been poured yet- though planning has now left the phase of “Vision” and into serious civil engineering. So the sooner the Viaduct comes down, the better the chance to give that whole part of the city the transit really needs.

    Governor Inslee: just do it. 1955 was over on New Years’ Day14 years ago. We don’t need another half century moaning and whining over the chance we missed.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Problem is demolishing it now would force a lot more traffic onto Alaskan without a replacement route for all the north-south traffic on the viaduct.

      1. Wouldn’t it also disrupt traffic if the structure collapsed, either from a not-very-large ‘quake, or its own decrepitude? If memory serves, after a similar viaduct pancaked in California, removing about fifty dead bodies took awhile too.

        If what’s left of the Viaduct is taken down in good order, the situation can be handled exactly the way it would be handled if tectonics and gravity did the job: find other routes or use transit.

        And to minimize disruption, start providing the transit that’s long-overdue through that part of town- on its own lanes, for speed and efficiency.

        While it’s far less important than disaster-prevention,I also wouldn’t mind making the Central Waterfront Project admit the priority that their expensive renderings are leaving out in their plans for the rebuilt Waterfront: a Viaduct without the pillars.

        Which I’m really starting to think was behind the slow, wasteful trashing out of the Waterfront Streetcar Line, and the idea of limiting public transit to vans, golf carts, and pedicabs.

        I really would like somebody from SDOT to tell me in person where I’m wrong. And to prove it, give us some honest visual representation of exactly the level of motor traffic the new Waterfront will carry.

        And also exactly the caliber small vehicles they’ll be offering the public- and where exactly they’ll run.

        I’m not talking about causing sudden disruption out of spite. Though nature will doubtless have a lot worse manners. “All deliberate speed” is usual term for starting concentrated purposeful effort like saving lives and litigation.

        But it definitely doesn’t hurt that city and state will have to deal directly in the present with matters doubtless intended to be argued, regretted and whined about for same amount of future time as years back to 1955 in the past.

        Pretty much like the transit system in Forward Thrust.

        Mark Dublin

      2. It’s been declared unsafe repeately. Demolish it now.

        Most of the traffic will switch to I-5 or vanish entirely.

  12. The Senate bill is from the Minority Caucus. It’s good it’s in PDF format because no trees died in vain.

  13. Can anyone elaborate or share a map/photo of the plan for Pine Street back in 1990 where the buses would have run two-way on Pine so as to have a much better tie in with the DSTT? I believe it was derailed by the Roosevelt Hotel at the time. How would the buses have turned around? Sounds like there are plans to look at Pike/Pine again for transit and knowing about this earlier plan could really help.

    1. Originally, It was proposed that a transit only contra-flow lane east bound on Pine Street be installed from Third Avenue all the way to Bellevue where current trolley service turns east on Pine. I may not remember correctly but it also got rid of the island stop west bound on Pine stopping between fourth and fifth avenues instead then proceeding west and turning south on third. No big deal when Pine between third and fifth was to be left transit only after DSTT construction was finished – that got nixed after the contra flow plan was abandoned.

      1. My memory is that the Roosevelt, The Rouse Co (The Westlake Center owners then) and other “downtown Interests” opposed the contraflow because they were earnestly working to reopen Pine from 5th to 4th to ALL traffic. I once asked the General Manager of The Westlake Center to show me which garages opened onto/off Pine between 4th and 5th. He spluttered and blubbered, and then turned away. They got their way in a vote a bit later in the 1990s.

      2. Thanks. So it was based on them running on Third Ave to/from the south and not terminating by looping around by the market as is mostly the case now?

  14. You know, transit opponents cite inefficiencies and overspending as a reason voters should not vote for transit. It’s because they’re right.

    $100,000 per parking space? A $25 million – wait for it – pedestrian bridge across I-5 in Northgate?

    This is just adding fuel to the fire. I can already see a “No on ST3” campaign sign with some form of “$100,000 per parking space and Sound Transit says they want MORE money?” kind of remark.

    I want to see something like “Sound Transit converted an abandoned shop located 6 blocks from Puyallup Station into extra commuter parking for $900 per parking spot,” and not “struggling Puget Sound public transportation agencies add towering parking garage to downtown Puyallup skyline.”

    This also reflects poorly on Metro, which is more fiscally responsible.

    $100,000 per space? There are houses in the south Sound that are selling for under $200,000.
    Whatever. These better be good parking spaces.

    1. Why don’t you ask ST why they’re not doing that. Or look around and see if there’s an abandoned building in the vicinity, and get a builder to estimate if it would really cost $900 per stall.

      As for the pedestrian bridge, infrastructure costs money. But it’s still worth it. You might want to direct your wrath at the Galer & Westlake bridge, which probably has a small fraction of the users and has a crosswalk one block away, The nearest crosswalk to this bridge is eight blocks in either direction, and that’s sixteen blocks total if you’re going to the college. A college, which has thousands of pedestrians, right across from the largest urban center between the U-District and Lynnwood. I can’t think of a better place for a pedestrian bridge.

      1. I’d also direct my wrath at the Broadway underpass from the Cap Hill station, which cost who-knows-how-much for a pedestrian tunnel under TWO whole lanes of traffic…immediately adjacent to a signaled intersection in a neighborhood that a) has a great deal of pedestrian traffic already, and b) has, in part, a demographic that will almost assuredly result in an underground urinal that will remain largely unused.

        The bridge is expensive in no small part because it is a minimum 600 feet long over 13 lanes of traffic, a median and an on/off ramp. It also serves a destination that will mean a large number people are using it constantly from 7am to 7pm or later, as Mike states. Colleges, like sporting events, have a much larger walkshed than other uses, and I’m reasonably certain that the speed and frequency of Link will draw a large number of students that would find no issue with walking to and across the bridge. Using Link would also make splitting classes between North and Central at least possible, with a quick train between the two.

        and yes, personal experience tells me that $100k/spot is exorbitant; back not all that long ago when I occasionally had to deal with structured parking, rule of thumb for structured urban parking was closer to $30k.

      2. Good transit stations have an entrance on as many corners as possible. It gets people where they’re going faster to not have to wait for a traffic light, and it brings a few more riders onto transit, and in this case it more directly serves the college. A second entrance is one of those good investments like a pedestrian bridge.

      3. It is totally absurd that the UW Husky station doesn’t have an exit on the west side of Montlake Blvd – at least for those folks who want to go to the UW Med Center or to the buses along Pacific St. They are being asked to go up an extra level to a bridge that heads in the wrong direction and then back down again. Any subway system in the world would have had an underground crossing of Montlake Blvd with an entrance on the west side.

      4. Yeah, I can’t figure out why they aren’t building a direct underpass to the triangle. It would seem *really really simple* unless there’s something under that road we don’t know about (a giant crude oil pipeline, a 7 foot sewer line, or something).

  15. For those who are interested, there is a public outreach office for the Seawall Projection on Western just down slope from the market. They have samples of all the structures that are being built along with various models of the waterfront. It’s worth a stop.

    They are also running free tours of the project, but I don’t know the schedule.

    Apparently they are already seeing salmon using the part that just recently got completed.

    It’s sort of interesting how Seattle’s part of the viaduct project is gong so well, and how ST’s tunneling for both U-Link and NG-Link is going so well, but WSDOT’s major projects have all turned into problems….. Humm…..maybe it isn’t the project, maybe it is WSDOT??

    1. … or the projects WSDOT chooses. Or the fact that freeway construction is at WSDOT’s scale and not the other agencies’.

      1. No government org/firm/company should take on a construction project unless they know they are capable of completing it and have a reasonable chance of success. If these projects are too big or complicated for WSDOT to undertake, then they need to get out of the way and assign the project to someone who is more capable.

        And remember, the first bit of news that came out about the SR-520 had nothing to do with construction per say, it had to do with all the drinking that was occurring in the construction offices during business hours. It was only later that the news of cracked pontoons and mis-poured columns started coming out.

  16. Metro trip planner report. Mid Bellevue to near Convention Place, Sunday at noon. First suggestion: B+249+255 (transfer at Bellevue TC and S Kirkland P&R). Second suggestion: B+550 (33 minute transfer). Third suggestion: B+4550+43 (transfer at Univ Street station, same 33 minute transfer at Bellevue TC).

    There is an earlier 550 leaving 3 or 5 minutes after the B arrives (3 according to the trip planner, 5 according to ST’s website), but apparently the trip planner thinks that’s too close to suggest. The planner also doesn’t consider the other thing I would do: start my trip 15 minutes later on the following B, to shorten the transfer time.

    (This is also why I wish the 550 ran every 15 minutes on Sundays, like it does on other days.)

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