This is an open thread.

79 Replies to “News Roundup: Ballard Bridge”

  1. I’ve been riding Pronto between UW and center city several times a week. I wonder how many of us there actually are? On that topic, does anyone know if Pronto is planning to make their ride data public?

    1. I tried once, but reached the unfortunate conclusion that the Pronto bikes are not really designed for distances that large and that the ride is quite a bit quicker and easier on my own bike. It also cuts the 30-minute time limit awfully close. I’d use it more for trips within the U-district, but the stations are spread thinly enough that by the time you walk to a station, then walk from the station at the other end to the destination, I find I don’t actually save any time over just walking all the way.

      I’m guessing it would be most useful for quick, downhill trips such as capitol hill to downtown or south lake union.

  2. I hate to beat a dead horse on the downtown parking issue, but there remains a fundamental misunderstanding of how parking dynamics work and the pricing that goes along with it.

    1) The 20.5% (soon to be 20.6%) sales tax on parking is distorting supply & demand. City meters don’t have that tax, so they appear relatively cheap compared to private garages.

    2) There MUST be empty parking spaces for the system to function. Are sidewalks wasteful because they only have 10 people walking on them? What about buses that are only 50% full? Slack capacity is a requirement of EVERY transportation system, including parking. We don’t want that criticism to slam transit.

    3) Seattle is a very rich city, and getting much richer. As the lower-income car-owners are driven out by real estate prices, the remaining drivers will be relatively rich, and they will keep on driving and parking. Even an income tax won’t work – it doesn’t change the economics of driving itself. Only a massive gas tax (say $5/gallon) or punitive citywide congestion charges (~$40/day) would push $125k/year workers out of their cars. And gas taxes would only push people to EVs so that is really only a temporary solution.

    1. Sure, some slack capacity is needed, but it shouldn’t be too much to say that 40% vacancy is excessive. At the very least, such off-street capacity shows that on-street parking isn’t really needed except for business delivery/loading. Why waste 1/4-1/3 of your ROW to provide just 5% of total parking capacity, when within a block or two there are always few hundred spots always available? Far better to let Downtown eventually revert to 2-way streets, fewer lanes, lower speed limits, with bike paths and streetcars alongside car lanes. You know, a city for people.

      1. (The politics of road widening by destroying people’s gardens became toxic very early in London.)

      1. The Seahawks parade so completely crashed the transit system that many who tried to reach downtown ultimately failed, and those who succeeded to took six hours to get home afterward. The open secret was that it was better to stash a car in SoDo and walk. And those downtown garage spaces might have actually filled if authorities had developed a rational plan to expedite out-of-town visitors between highways and garage entrances, rather than telling them all that our broken transit could handle their surge.

        That said, your primary point is correct: Considering that our main automotive constraint is clearly access into and out of downtown itself, rather than available parking capacity, discussions of minor rearrangements of availability or pricing are a bit beside the point.

    2. People don’t drive to a Seahawks parade because they expect it to be gridlocked and it’ll take hours to get home. There are certain things people are more likely to take transit to, and those are going to work downtown, going to college, going to ballgames, going to the airport, and going to big parades.

      1. Even so there is a huge oversupply of private parking downtown. The city should remove parking requirements and tax the hell out of any private spaces downtown.

        To keep on street parking availible raise the rates until turnover and availability goals are met.

      2. And they already tax the hell out of private parking.

        As an occasional car driver in downtown [although my strong preference is to use transit when venturing downtown], the problem isn’t so much lack of parking as it is knowing where to look.

      3. Try, or just buy $20 worth of stuff at Target (2nd/Union) to get free parking there.

      4. I’d forgotten the city had removed most parking requirements. There still is more off-street parking than we really need. Making parking even more expensive via taxes and development fees will hopefully discourage suburban based property investors from building huge amounts of parking at in-city projects.

        So yes even with the high parking taxes they should be even higher.

      5. Even when parking isn’t required developers want to build it because they think it can be profitable, or a competitive advantage. When an old building is torn down and a new building is built in its place with garage parking and a big elevator lobby, the city gains little parking availability (because it already had garage parking availability) and loses useful street-level spaces in chunks. We pay for what we gain above street level (offices and homes) with what we lose at street level.

        Portland talks about planning for “20-minute neighborhoods”, where routine needs can be met within a 20-minute walk; in Seattle we’re planning big buildings in downtown, SLU, and Pioneer Square without making any progress in this direction, because we’re planning retail spaces suitable only for tiny cafes or maybe high-end restaurants. I bike up and down Dexter every day; I see lots of driveways and almost no street activity. And what’s under construction at street level? More garage entrances, office lobbies, weird condos where you can see the kitchen from the street. Little that will generate street activity or allow all the people living and working there to fulfill their routine needs locally. Buildings taking an entire city block, providing a piddling 2,000 square feet of retail space, maybe 5% of building footprint, enough space for maybe a 7-11, touting themselves as “mixed-use”. But to aim any higher we have to realize the toll underground parking takes on our streets: half of a large-footprint building’s ground floor (this one or many other examples in SLU and Ballard) and more than that for a small building. A terrible toll on use mixture beyond tokenism. A toll on the heart of neighborhoods.

        With this in mind I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest actually capping parking.

    3. 1) The 20.5% (soon to be 20.6%) sales tax on parking is distorting supply & demand. City meters don’t have that tax, so they appear relatively cheap compared to private garages.

      That statement demonstrates a near complete failure to grasp the concept of ‘supply and demand’.

      1. The overwhelmingly primary reason people use street parking is it costs a fraction of garage rates. People think parking should be free or 25c or $1, so they use the spaces closer to that rate, and search for blocks rather than going to a garage that seems like a huge ripoff. That and they don’t have to spend time going into and out of the garage, which matters more if they’re staying a short time. I thought the price of garage parking was due to the cost of the building and outrageous price-gouging, but if there’s a 20% tax that street meters don’t charge, that amounts to a dollar or two of the price which is a significant difference, the difference between a full price and a sale price in a store. And people wait for four-times-a-year sales, so why wouldn’t they do the same with parking?

      2. Garages are inconvenient. As a result, people will use street parking preferentially… unless the street parking is more expensive. So it damn well should be more expensive.

      3. I appreciate the insulting comment, but I respectfully disagree.

        I take it you don’t believe that taxes affect supply and demand? This is what I learned in economics classes:

        1. Taxes generally increase the price of goods.
        2. Higher prices generally decrease the quantity of goods demanded.
        3. Demand for higher-priced goods is replaced with lower-priced substitutes.

        I don’t want to get into an economics lecture but these are all fairly well-established principles of capitalist economics. I’m not familiar with a single economist who believes otherwise.

      4. We don’t have to guess why people use street parking, we just have to listen to what they say and do. And 90% of what they say is, “Because it’s cheaper.” And what they do is spend ten minutes looking for a street space instead of using the garages and paid lots which are often conveniently nearby.

      5. One of the issues is the city is underpricing street parking relative to garages. Street parking should be more expensive, not less.

        Additionally developers should be discouraged from building parking in areas where it is not required. Particularly when they build extremely large garages for the size and use of the building.

        The use of parking caps and taxes for providing excessive parking should be explored.

      6. Developers already have a really strong incentive to not build parking garages: garages are really expensive and much less profitable than offices or apartments. They also take a long time to build. The new garages that are built are often in higher-end residential developments whose high-income residents can afford cars as luxury items. There simply aren’t enough high-income people in Seattle who don’t want to own cars to make no-parking high-end residential projects viable.

        I can’t think of a single example of a developer voluntarily (i.e. not required by parking minimums) building parking greatly in excess of what the building’s users demanded. I can say that my Capitol Hill building’s garage is 100% full with a waiting list even though it costs more than $2000/year.

      7. Alex,

        Supposedly some developers have put in more parking than they would have liked to because those financing the project have demanded it.

        A parking cap or a tax/fee on excessive parking tends to discourage that.

      8. The facts on the ground are clear: there is no supply shortage for downtown parking, as vacancy rates; there’s more than enough to meet demand. Unsurprisingly, there’s a supply shortage for extremely cheap and extremely convenient parking, such as on-street parking. Providing lots of that has tremendous opportunity costs (congestion from cruising, lost space that could be used for bike or transit lanes, etc), while encouraging the false belief that car storage isn’t something drivers should have to treat as a significant cost (this well-fostered sense of entitlement may contribute to an ideological position amongst drivers that leads to reduced demand for garage parking).

        Perhaps current tax rates push the cost of garage parking just above a particularly steep part of the demand curve, and a modest cut in taxes would lead to a modest decrease in prices across the board which would induce considerably more drivers to pay for car storage downtown. But given that (especially at peak) there is a much greater shortage of access via roads than there is of places to put your car once you get through the chokepoints. Insofar as we use public policy to entice people to flood the chokepoints with cheap car storage, we make transit, much of which fights for access with those cars, slower and worse. People driving downtown slows down transit and slows down everyone else, all while cooking the planet just a little bit more and making downtown less pleasant and less safe for pedestrians and bikers. The notion that public policies like parking tax rates should be set to maximize the number of people who do this is indefensible and morally repugnant, and hiding behind the language of supply and demand doesn’t change that.

        I can’t think of a single example of a developer voluntarily (i.e. not required by parking minimums) building parking greatly in excess of what the building’s users demanded.

        You must be new here. Check out this study:

        Key finding: “An analysis of 23 recently completed Seattle-area multifamily housing developments reveals that the practice of providing abundant “cheap” parking actually makes rental housing more expensive—particularly for tenants with modest incomes and who don’t own cars. This analysis shows that:
        Seattle-area apartment developers build far more parking than their tenants need. Across all developments in our sample, 37 percent of parking spots remained empty during the night, the time of peak demand for residential parking. Every development had nighttime parking vacancies, and four developments had more than twice as many parking spots as parked cars.

      9. Interesting study, I hadn’t seen that before. However, it is missing some data that would be helpful to get a more complete picture.

        1) The minimum parking requirements set by zoning codes for each building. This is essential to determine whether developers are building parking above and beyond the minimum requirements.

        2) The total number of apartments in each building. This makes it impossible to calculate the number of parking spaces per apartment built, only parking spaces per occupied apartment.

        3) Any location data. We have no idea where these buildings are, except that 18 are in Seattle and 5 are in the suburbs.

        The data is also heavily influenced by outliers. 2 of the 23 buildings account for more than 31% of the parking spaces counted in the study.

        And whether I’m new here or not, I’m not sure why that’s relevant to this discussion.

    1. Maybe when the renters outnumber the car drivers we can finally get that War on Renters special report.

      But the mainstream media just doesn’t seem to notice when the City Council is partaking of a War on Renters, through such policies as a microhousing moratorium, and allowing un-elected individuals to block rezones that will allow a lot more housing to be built, for years. Some say tall buildings, and a lot more renters, in the U-District, destroys the character of that neighborhood. Seriously.

      At least with the War on Pedestrians and the War on Cyclists, we’re fighting over public right-of-way, (and in some cases siding with using some right-of-way for storing cars). The War on Renters is all about telling landowners they can’t build more housing for people, even next to a major public university full of tall buildings, and containing almost no single-family houses.

    2. ‘Free parking is a human right!’ ‘There should be a free parking space in front of everywhere I want to go’

    3. The KING5 piece ends with asking if there are 8000 available parking spaces why are there waiting lists 8-months long to get garage parking. That’s because garages only allow a certain percentage of spaces to go to monthly parking, and for good reason: they charge a LOT more to hourly and daily parkers. In my SLU office building, monthly parking costs $160/month, or an average of around $8/day (based on 20ish work days/month). The daily rate is more than double that at $18/day. Most office parking garages have waiting lists. That doesn’t mean that they don’t also have spot available for you to park in.

  3. Clarification requested on the “way too many unstriped, hazardous intersections”. My understanding is that adding pedestrian zebra striping tends to (slightly) increase accidents, as the pedestrians (falsely) feel more safe. But the “hazardous” part I strongly agree with. We need more road diets, curb bulbs, better pavement, more pedestrian-friendly signals, and probably better lighting.

    1. There are places where the zebra stripes don’t seem to get traffic to stop for someone signaling they are going to cross, probably because the traffic is moving too fast. And then there are places like Beacon Hill Station, where pedestrians are pretty much able to stop oncoming traffic at will, without the assistance of traffic signals.

      Slowing down the neighborhood traffic to a safe level is the key. That’s not a War on Cars, by any definition I can come up with.

  4. Protesters against The War on Cars have some just historic grievances. Around 1900, when horses were universal motive power in the advanced municipal world, there was great fear of frightening them, due to the number of people killed when these over-sensitive animals got scared.

    Because millions of years of experiences had taught horses that if they didn’t want to become food for sabre tooth tigers, or for pet dogs when the owner opened the can, their best move was preemptively to kick everything in sight to death upon surprise.

    Especially when they were secured by reins and wagon-tongues to a ton of junk.

    So very early in automobile history, there were municipal ordinances stipulating measures such as mandating that upon sighting a horse ahead, the motorist was to pull his car off the road and out of sight, and then dismantle and bury it.

    Thereby unjustly blaming a break-down-prone creature just invented last week by a guy in a derby hat wearing a “duster”- for ten million years of persecution. Which in turn were soon to be ended when pith-helmet-wearing humans who put whole populations of things with claws and stripes on Explorer Club walls.

    In every war, all sides commit atrocities. And now there’s a terrible danger that history will suddenly retrench- and the things that gave their highways will return to dominate. (Fay Wray scream!!!!) Bicycles!


  5. Anyone riding their bike against the flow of traffic, especially on the Ballard Bridge, should be ticketed. Yes the sidewalks are narrow – but those issues they show with bikers are easily preventable by staying on the proper side of the road.

      1. Fine – they are allowed to do it. Don’t ticket them. But they should be shamed for not conducting themselves in a fashion that reduces unnecessary risk. Everyone knows those sidewalks are small.

      2. @P.I.: Before getting angry, we should try thinking through the routes people would take.

        On the Fremont Bridge, which has wider sidewalks but much more foot and bike traffic, I think we’re close to the point where limiting bikes to one-way on each sidewalk would be a good idea. But in the absence of even an official suggestion of this it’s hard to fault today’s southbound cyclists heading toward the Westlake Parking Lot Aisle of Death for taking the east sidewalk (as you may surmise, “Don’t blame me, I ride Dexter (and always use the ‘right’ sidewalk as a consequence)”). Do I expect them to read my mind?!?

        The same thing is true at Ballard. If you’re coming from Magnolia on the South Ship Canal Trail and heading north to Ballard do you really want to loop around to the east side via 13th? It’s bit of a detour with some hectic traffic interactions. If you’re crossing southbound and going to your apartment on 14th Ave W do you really want to take the west side? The last-block connection from the east side isn’t great but all the routes from the west side are clearly worse.

        Back before the Mercer East construction started, when I was pretty new to biking in Seattle, I once rode home from Seattle Center to upper Fremont at night. I was riding slow and Mercer was uncongested so traffic was flying, so I took the sidewalk instead of the crappy bike lane, then realized it was taking me up to Aurora instead of underneath it. I sort of wanted to get across, maybe down to Dexter, but I didn’t see how to do it (aside from some stair routes — I figured I’d see a non-stair opportunity but didn’t see one that was obvious to navigate by sight) so I ended up stuck on the west side of Aurora. Literally the first other person I saw on the sidewalk was on the Aurora Bridge biking south. I stopped to let him by and he snarked at me for being on the wrong side. I can’t say I was real broken up about it — maybe if there had at least been an indication how to get across…

      3. The Fremont Bridge is a much different situation. The sidewalks are plenty wide and the bridge itself is wide enough for two cyclists to pass at speed.

        I ride the Westlake Parking Lot Trail, and going southbound on the eastside of the bridge allows me to avoid the 5-way Intersection of Death®, south of the bridge. I avoid Dexter, because sitting in an endless conga line of cyclists, trudging up the steep hill, only to be spit into the hellish nightmare that is Dexter and Mercer, is not my idea of a pleasant morning bicycle commute.

      4. @RapidRider: Clearly some people prefer Westlake over Dexter (FWIW I mostly go counter-peak and live north of Mercer, so I miss the worst parts of Dexter)… and more will after the cycletrack opens. I’ve thought about whether it would be better to have the east sidewalk flooded with riders going to and from Westlake in both directions, or for southbound riders to use the west sidewalk and either wait at the “5-way” (actually not a 5-way), where there’s not much room to wait, or take the goofy Florentia cloverleaf, where large numbers of people making those sharp turns would be a horrorshow. And I actually think congestion on the east sidewalk might be the lesser of the two evils. It does kind of suck for pedestrians, though.

    1. As one of the top three bicycle safety experts in North America, I believe both cyclists pictured should be ticketed for not wearing bright (safe) clothing.

      1. As one if the top two bicycle safety experts in North America, I believe the city should be ticketed for creating a built environment in which people believe people should be ticketed for their choice in dress when trying to get from A to B.

    2. A couple of points, Possibly:

      1. For either a bicyclist or a pedestrian, it’s extremely dangerous to turn one’s back on oncoming traffic- especially at quarters that close. So it would be safer to mandate that correct and possibly mandated bike flow should be facing traffic- meaning one direction each side of the bridge.

      2. But the most serious problem is that pedestrians must deal with two traffic streams at very close quarters: cars and bikes. It would not help to send pedstrians and bikes in the same direction on the sidewalk.

      3. If we’re discussing mandates, a highly enforceable one would be to send bikes and pedestrians over the bridge facing car traffic on each side.

      4. But in addition, and most critical of all: everybody with a bike walks it.

      As a former Ballard resident, but a long time one who enjoyed walks across the Locks southbound, and had to use the bridge northbound, I think that anybody demanding to ride a bike in a situation that dangerous belongs in the National Rifle Association.

      Mark Dublin

      1. The biggest problem is that the sidewalk is far, far too narrow. It would be interesting to research what the bridge looked like when it was first built. I’m suspicious that it might have had one lane for auto traffic each way and a big sidewalk.

      2. From a quick search in the Seattle Municipal Archives, it appears that the bridge was originally built with the approached on wooden cribbing. In this configuration, the sidewalks were wooden boardwalks that looked to be about twice as wide as the current sidewalks. 1924 photo

        In 1939 the approaches were rebuilt with the current concrete ones 1939 photo

        We’ve had the present configuration since its completion 1941 photo

  6. I’m sorry that I moved out of town, because I would love to do everything in my power to prevent a West Seattle rail tunnel from being built before Ballard–UW.

    1. Look at it this way, Kyle. Advantage of living elsewhere is that you can advocate either tunnel. And also not have anything to lose if wrong one gets built, or if you realize you’re wrong about which one needs building.

      And best of all- see from a dispassionate distance is that whichever one gets built first, it will add more power to effort to do the other one. Especially on two projects on the same alignment, where passengers on either line will demand the other.

      Maybe it’ll be like the Transcontinental Railroad, with two projects starting one from each coast, and meeting at wherever Seattle’s Promontory Point is.

      Probably hard to find a gold spike now- maybe that curio place down by Colman Dock has one clutched in the claws of a stuffed owl. Are they still there? Or maybe relevant dignitary will throw the blasting switch to finally clear off the Viaduct- 2012, 2112- who cares, they both have a 12 in them.

      Meantime, Kyle, would be good if you’ve moved someplace where distance convinces your opponents you’re gone, but you’re still clos enough to show up times when you’re least expected.

      Olympia not bad. You’ll be close enough to the Capitol that both constituents and legislators will sense you as a threat- but also close enough that your enemies here will think you’ll be deterred by fact that 592 Express takes two hours each way.

      Like the German line in the first chapter of Dracula: “For the Dead Travel Swiftly…poem called “Lenore”, spooky as all get-out.


  7. I have several theories, but again I have to ask: Why does the Times suck so bad on this issue? I like Mike Lindblom; does he not have any pull at his own paper?

    1. Maybe experience has taught Mike that whatever The Seattle Times says or does- like any remaining print newspaper- only result # transit is something else to drop into a sticky puddle on a bus floor.

      Is that a LOL, an OMG, or like the President would say: YOLO? Though for Mike’s current employers, obituary could note that their editorial policy didn’t even manage that life expectancy.


    2. The Times appears to slavishly pursue the quixotic goals of its corporate-bureaucrat owners. But then, I’m a little surprised anyone reads it any more.

      You do know that “Seattle’s Only Newspaper” is not the Times, don’t you? :-)

  8. With respect to the Ballard Bridge, I wholeheartedly agree. It can be terrifying. Now that I *ahem, are getting older and have kids, I have much more regard for my personal safety. Southbound is a complete joke, especially as you “exit” the bike lane. By exit I mean veer into a unrestricted traffic lane and hope you don’t get killed.

  9. Bertha is a bit more than 6 ft through — it is actually broken out into the pit.

    Bertha beat Brenda. Shucks.

    1. When when one TBM artificially moves the goalpost 8200ft closer, it’s not really a fair race anymore ;)

      1. I was hoping Brenda would break through before Bertha because it would generate a lot of discussion about what ST is doing right and WSDOT is doing wrong. I think that conversation would be fruitful for both agencies.

    2. The race is not over until Bertha breaks through at north portal.

      Brenda still is likely to get to Roosevelt… and maybe even UDistrict before that happens.

      1. Brenda is under Lake City Way, so yeah, I think she’ll get into Roosevelt before Bertha’s cutter head gets fixed.

  10. $189 million in BNSF projects in Washington planned:

    • Completing construction of double-track from Ferndale to Custer totaling nearly seven miles.

    • Constructing a staging track west of Custer to provide additional train capacity, and a siding between Burlington and Fidalgo.

    • Reconfiguring the Bayside and Delta rail yards located in Everett.

    • Continuing to work through permitting and right-of-way issues involving the replacement of the Washougal River bridge in Camas. Construction should start this year and continue into 2016.

    Directly it won’t impact passenger train operations much, but indirectly moving waiting freight trains off the main line will help passenger operations.

  11. Sooner and sooner, exactly like drinking water, automobile related rationing problems will be ended by inevitable results of endless motoring. Like price of the last glass of drinking water. Who can afford to care? Though contemplative buzzard might think about it for a minute.

    No matter how rich any driver is, there’ll come a time when absolutely nothing can move because every piece of space tor driving and parking is just plain gone?

    Even in the very near term- isn’t the time in sight when the commuting public loses patience over hour-long delays every single day on I-5 and the freeways around and across Lake Washington? And won’t pay the taxes, or the construction time to build more car lanes?

    I really think that as drivers get younger, old attachment to cars as a mementos of a bygone lifestyle will give way to recognition cars no longer promise, but eliminate freedom.

    In approaching times, I think that major part of creating constituency for change is a real life demonstration of transit possibilities- hard to do when so little wide-spread transit exists.

    But suppose Metro, Community Transit, Sound Transit, the State of Washington and the Federal Government do a series of experimental demonstrations when traffic is light, like late at night.

    Would make these exercises as open to the public as possible, including rides on buses. First exercises would naturally attract young people, whose schedules include night-time recreation.

    Easiest venue and best youth response could come over a winter event when express lanes are shut down by snow- a practice I always thought unbelievably stupid.

    I’ve always thought that if regular traffic is not in the way- as closure already guarantees- the I-5 express lanes between CPS and Northgate can run buses both ways- with supervisors controlling operations with radios and flashlights.

    I think that snow, lights, speed, and defiance of former-generation ideas and sleep habits would head us toward the spirit of those Scandinavian transit advertisements.

    Modeling agencies can give us some really cute kids with curly blonde hair if necessary- if an all night winter party won’t attract at least one locally. And Victoria’s Secret might at least lend us a big box of lingerie, to outdo the recent Danish video featuring the old guy firebombing a car.

    Maybe we can use social media to call it a Flashway! TV will definiely be there- is Debra Horne still on the air? Could be a break from picking up a quarter inch of snow at Snoqualmie pass to prove there’s a blizzard.

    But best thing of all is that The Seattle Times will have to send somebody to denounce it. Sometimes bad publicity is the best publicity of all.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Correction: According to the article you linked, 22% of passengers experienced “unwanted sexual behavior including, but not limited to, touching, exposure, or inappropriate comments.” So, if someone at the back of the bus screamed out “F*** YOU,” everyone on the bus could answer “yes” to this question. (It was inappropriate; it was unwanted.) This is still bad, but not as bad as sexual abuse.

      1. If anyone that had ever heard someone drop an f-bomb on the bus answered, “Yes,” the rate would have to be higher than 22%. This sounds about right for people that have experienced directed, intentional harassment. If the numbers were broken down more, some groups would almost certainly report much higher rates, and similar rates would apply on some public streets.

        While it’s true that most verbal comments aren’t at the level of exposure or touching, none of that is something to downplay. Neither is it something to downplay on public streets, where harassment is also common. It’s something we (the public) ought to work on.

      2. Good point, Al. But who knows; there might’ve been some who took the question as literally as I did. And targeted verbal harassment is still different from the initial summary “sexual abuse.”

  12. As far as the Ballard Bridge Bike thing goes, We should build a new bridge at 3rd ave (4 lanes plus bike and ped) and turn one of the existing Ballard bridge lanes into a bike lane and make one of the remaining 3 lanes reversible.

    We would get a net of three more road lanes, and two dedicated bike lanes. This would improve Transit, Freight, SOV, bike and ped, access for Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford , Queen Anne and Interbay.

    1. A bridge around 3rd would allow a lot of today’s Fremont Bridge traffic to bypass it, so in this scenario one lane of that bridge in each direction (plus approaches) should be turned over to local buses, which will need access to lower Fremont as long as there are local buses.

    2. It’s not what is needed, but Multnomah County is selling the Sellwood Bridge. The concrete pillars had to be demolished so a new bridge is being built. The steel beams are in good shape (the concrete under them was not) and the paved surface could make a nice ped/bike bridge, but it’s only two lanes wide so not good for road traffic.

  13. The bikeshare division video is oversimplified enough to be disingenuous. That model holds true if the twenty stations listed cover the whole city area, but falls down quickly if they don’t. Spreading 20 stations out to maintain one contiguous area isn’t helpful if the in-fill stations don’t draw any users.

  14. Along with Clark, Licata and Rasmussen, someone should recommend Jean Godden retire. She’s been in office for 12 years- which is plenty long – been involved in politics since at least the 1960s, and she’s well into her 80s at this point.

  15. During off-peak hours, parking is permitted along the 2nd Ave. protected bike lanes. When a motorist gets out of her car to cross to the adjacent sidewalk, who has the right-of-way? Say one of those downhill cyclists doing 20mph hits the pedestrian and both are injured; where does legal responsibility lie? Yes, both people should exercise caution, but stuff happens.

  16. William C, I’ve noticed you’ve been yappin’ at me in the comment section for some time now. Congratulation. You’ve finally got the attention of the top dog at STB. You’re good at sarcasm and back sass, but let’s see if you’re good at writing a post. I’m giving you guest post writing assignment. This can either be submitted as a guest post on the main page, or a Page 2 post. Your call. Subject: The rumored Apple Car. Word count range: 1500 to 3000. Deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 25th. Now get to work.

  17. I have an idea regarding the decision to the route the 3N and 4N to SPU–since they will be sharing a terminal at SPU, as well as the same routing, there would technically no longer to give the north halves of both routes separate numbers. My idea:

    1. Consolidate the 3N and 4N (SPU-Downtown) into a single route number, let’s say, for the purposes of this example, Route 6 (“6 to Sea Pac Univ via Sea Ctr E”).

    2. The 3S (Downtown-Madrona) and 4S (Downtown-Judkins Park) remain numbered routes 3 (becoming technically “Route 3 PROPER”) and 4 (“4 PROPER”).

    3. Route 6 would be interlined with routes 3 and 4 (and vice versa). When coming into Downtown from SPU, the 6 would change to a 3 or 4 depending on the specific trip, while the 3 and 4 coming from First Hill would change to route 6 after arriving in Downtown–similar to how the 2S is occasionally inter lines with the 13.

    4. Incidentally, with routes “6” and 13 sharing the same terminal on Nickerson near SPU, then (assuming the “6” will also be a trolley route) there will need to be a way for 6’s to overtake 13’s, should a following coach need to depart the terminal before the one that preceded it. Does Metro intend to put a passing wire of some sort at the 13 layover for this purpose? (I looked at the 13 loop on Google Maps’ street view–no passing wire currently exists.)

    1. We really need to add some more trolley wire to allow the #13 to extend at least to Fremont or, better yet, the Woodland Park Zoo. Terminating a bus route half a mile shy of a major activity center never made much sense.

      Under the current system, Upper Queen Anne has no access to the north without walking all the way down the hill to either 15th, Aurora, or Fremont (except for those willing to wait until 2:30 in the morning for a trip on the 82).

    2. Metro is moving toward calling the whole SPU to 34th/Madrona route route 3. The north tails will be gone when the SPU layover facility is finished. The 4’s south tail Metro has twice tried to delete, and it’s temporarily going away with the 23rd Avenue construction, which may lead to it permanently going away. So long term you’ll either have two routes differing only in the south tail, or one route on the 3. It will be hard to justify the 4’s south tail when it’s the only difference.

Comments are closed.