Ravenna Blog Photo
Roosevelt Station Box (Ravenna Blog)

This is an open thread.

36 Replies to “News Roundup: 90%”

  1. “Save our suburbs” lol. 200 new parking spaces is a tremendous number, I wish sound transit wouldn’t spend so much building those.

    1. Vulcan’s building hundreds right next to the woonerf mentioned in the article, right in the heart of South Lake Union. Hard to criticize ST.

    2. Its basically impossible for suburbanites to use transit in and out of downtown without parking. It is an excellent use of money.

  2. “Smurf turds” is a good description for those ugly dividers, and the white plastic poles on Roosevelt are only marginally better. Does the city plan to install good-looking dividers? Or are they on the perpetual back burner for funding? Are we stuck with the smurf turds because they’re “art”? Can we paint them a more constrasting color like forest green?

    1. I’d much rather they extend the 2nd avenue bike lane all the way to bell & blanchard. Right now, a northbound trip on the 2nd ave. bike lane drops you off at 2nd and Pike, with nowhere to go (on a bike lane). You go from the security of riding in your own protected bike lane to merging with traffic on Pike (no bike lane) on your way to 4th ave. (sharrows only, for some of it…) to take you the rest of the distance to Blanchard (sharrows), then on to 7th / Elliott and another bike lane.

      There is a really nice route from the end of Dexter to Pioneer Square, thanks to Bell and the 2nd ave. bike lane (which continues north of Pike, but changes to southbound-only). Seems like there should be some sort of a dedicated bike route in the other direction, especially given that north is uphill for the most part and is slower going on a bike.

      The bollards are probably permanent. They provide a psychological barrier to most drivers while still allowing access for emergency vehicles. Now, I do think it’s worth debating whether emergency vehicles should need access to the bike lane, but, IMO, let’s get all the bike lanes where they need to be before worrying too much about their appearance.

      1. I don’t mean to imply that you’re opposed to continuing bike lanes. =) Sorry for the tone…

        I’m just more interested in getting all the bike lanes connected together and less interested in making them pretty.

  3. Does anyone know anything about Wednesday morning’s detour of the I-90 express routes? Where was the blockage, and where was the detour? Does it have anything to do with the upcoming closures?

    And was the issue where the outside shoulder (near the I-90 Trail) was much narrower than the inside shoulder ever resolved?

  4. No mention of the Bell Street ticket trap? I’m all of you are against the one-block-only rule, as it will increase the danger to pedestrians, since it will force cars to make more turns than they otherwise would have. And as all you transit experts know, more turns equals more danger.

    1. Bell Street is a fucking disaster. I wish more self-proclaimed urbanists would publicly admit it and shame SDOT into never doing something to half-assed ever again.

      1. Specifically on the question of whether through traffic is allowed or not, Bell Street is so poorly conceived that both answers are wrong.

      2. The thing about Bell Street’s poor conception is that it might not cause it to be a categorical disaster. Bell Street cannot possibly meet all of its goals for all of its users, but that doesn’t mean it can’t achieve some measure of success, especially if in the future we officially admit the conflicts inherent in the original goals and give up on some stuff. Some possibilities:

        – We might give up on it carrying 15 mile-long bus routes and move them to other streets, then restore through-access for private cars, possibly at Pike Place-like speeds.

        – We might give up on it providing meaningful amounts of parking, ban non-delivery parking most of the day, and remove left-side parking wherever it conflicts with allowing two-way biking.

        The second might only be palatable to business owners if the street has clearly become enough of a destination that they don’t get anxious worrying about people not being able to see their awning out their car windows — it might be something that could happen later but not now. Fortunately Bell Street’s ridiculous transportation properties won’t alone spell its commercial doom.

      1. The conspiratorial thinking that the city would build Bell Street to be a ticket trap doesn’t pass the basic sniff test: how many tickets would the city have to write to break even? Tens, hundreds of thousands?

        Not that I should expect anyone in this town to do the basic arithmetic. The “Mayberry” references are more sinister. Any public space that isn’t run through with fast-moving traffic is Mayberry? Far bigger and more consequential cities than Seattle prove that just ain’t so. Now NYC’s Broadway closure fixed the street network instead of breaking it…

      2. Westneat said in a 15 minute period he saw the police write 14 tickets at $124 a pop. At that rate, they’re writing $55,552 worth of tickets in an 8 hour shift. At that rate, I don’t think it would take long to break even.

      3. … with the added benefit of being able to automate the whole process with photo enforcement.
        RoboCameraCop strikes again. Now they should automate the judicial process.
        RoboJudge to the rescue.

    2. Thanks for the professional credit, Sam. But a week transit driving is generally enough time to learn that ridiculous number of cars in any neighborhood is as dangerous to human life as resulting blockages are predatory to taxpayers who pay for operating hours.

      Also: Now that you’ve read this, it’s stuck in your cerebral neurons, where it will progressively eat your present wrong ideas. You are a transit expert! You have been assimilated! Resistance is futile! Meantime:

      Live Long And Prosper Enough to Pay for Time and Fuel wasted Stuck In Traffic!

      Mark

    3. The article says the Bell Street Park is supposed to allow peds/bikes/cars to coexist and give pedestrians priority, but another article said the police are threatening to ticket people who don’t wait for the walk signal and cross at the intersection. That’s a contradiction. It waters down the woonerf into nothing. All that’s left is wide sidewalks and bioswales and art. Is that all the city wants? Where’s the park? Where’s the woonerf?

    1. Good news, Glenn. Anyone seriously interested in BRT needs a visit to Eugene to see what kind of right of way and signalling BT really needs to be R.

      But- compared to Seattle Eugene is wide and flat. Same as rest of the world.

      Also, from the University on out, Lane Transit District seems to have inherited a long, divided boulevard for the busway lanes. Did streetcars used to run there?

      Mark

  5. Re: “Save Our Suburbs”. 270 people isn’t exactly Tian Min Square. Tempting ST reaction is to tell them “message received” and announce that Mercer Island won’t have a station.

    However, it is fair to have citizens with experience in architecture and landscape architecture, and the local design commission, sit in on a permanent basis with the project team.

    For the same- or less-money, there’s a right way and a wrong way to build the same thing.

    Mark Dublin

    1. ISPs generally set the low priority bit in packet headers when carrying troll comments. Did this comment take longer to load? ;)

    2. Nope, just charging Comcast cars less than regular cars. Oh, and GM cars, because Comcast has a partnership with GM.

    3. No, but I AM against charging people more for natural gas if they aren’t using it to cook Foster Farms brand chicken.

      I’m also against slowing down the flow of a person’s water when they water their lawns if they didn’t use Scotts brand lawn fertilizer.

      I really don’t like the idea of Washington State Patrol being privatized and deciding the best way to make a profit is to lower the speed limit in Washington by 10 MPH, and then implement a “premium driver” fee, which allows a driver to drive 15 mph over the new limit with impunity. That’s basically what Comcast wanted to do, and i’m glad they were rejected.

    1. That station design is a prime example of urban desolation. Apart from the well known land use issues, the station itself is like a bland, oversized factory from the seventies that is just waiting to be tagged and vandalized. Which should give it some color because the permanent graffitiesque art (to be joined by the real graffiti) doesn’t cover the ugly surfaces.

      The ‘urban design elements’ and the juvenile art program fail to put lipstick on the pig. Pages 38-40 purportedly ‘show’ how the empty construction wall is a “gallery for the neighborhood”.Oblivious to the cars streaming by, the nonexistant sidewalks or people. Postmodern: put up a fence and you can call it “temporary art”!

      Finally, a few square feet are given away to a micro plaza. See! Open Space! Can’t have a shortage of that. Under the shadow of a toy blocks sculpture people from … somewhere are supposed to congregate to watch their childrens’ pickup basketball game, hear talented bards strum out world-class indie music, or relax and enjoy their resplendent surroundings (trees!). Maybe they can even stage a farmers market there! And why wouldn’t they? Roosevelt is on the cusp of reaching its manifest destiny as a busy 24/7 district known the world over, with thousands of people streaming in and out of its iconic subway station every hour.

  6. I’d wondered how the new bike cages were going to be accessed (key? flashcard?), but I see now from the notes on the Roosevelt Station meeting that is will be your ORCA card that gives you access to them. That’s great to see the utility of ORCA being used for ancillary purposes. This sets the stage for using them for paid, or at least monitored parking at Park & Rides.

  7. So Sawant makes it seem like the City is giving the 8th Ave N ROW to Vulcan. The way I originally read it is that the City will own it, but Vulcan will develop it. There’s nothing to suggest the City is giving away ROW, but can anyone corroborate?

    1. The concern is that it will look so much like a company passageway that the public will be discouraged from using it. Either they’ll think it’s off-limits or feel uncomfortable on it, or they’ll find it boring because it’s only “company stuff” on both sides.

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