SLU Streetcar at McGraw Square
SounderBruce (Flickr)

This is an open thread.

68 Replies to “News Roundup: War of Cars”

    1. I would assume the bike trail is going to be open. The MI Reporter article says the work is being done in the I-90 tunnels and not on the bridge.

  1. There will always be a lack of redundancy in our transportation infrastructure. There’s really no reason to spend billions on excess capacity that is only needed if there is some anomalous event. Would anyone want a Viaduct AND a tunnel? I hope not.

    If Link has a pedestrian-train fatality, 3rd Avenue has a fire/police action, the DSTT’s control software goes bonkers, or the express lanes are messed up (all things that have happened in the not so distant past), we will have some nasty transit delays. These are all single point of failure areas – when something goes wrong, alternatives are very limited. A while ago I made a list of all the unusual reasons I’ve been badly delayed (by at least 30 minutes) on transit. Many delays were caused by vehicle crashes or construction, but I also had events including fires, protesters, rioting, a bank robbery, several power outages, sporting events, concerts, broken down buses, bad weather, and even a bus driver who drove right past my stop. I’m probably forgetting other root causes. Bottom line – as a regular transit rider, my trip “failure rate” is much higher than it is if I was driving.

    Besides, we’re totally ok with creating lots and lots of planned road/bridge/street closures that are super disruptive (construction, marathons, other runs, parades, etc.) to weekend transit and disproportionately affect people who work on the weekend. Yes, they are generally planned, but they are also much more frequent than the “fish truck on viaduct” type of events. Even though the 9-5ers aren’t going to work, the retail clerks, restaurant workers, and hospital staff certainly are.

    1. Having one mode that can be used to move people means you have a single point of failure. Having two modes, which are independent of each other, means you do not have a single point of failure.

    2. I agree. There are some very good transportation systems that can still be hammered by a “fish truck” type of event. That is quite different than a ballgame, or other common occurrence. In an ideal world we would have lots of redundancy, but spending too much money on that means less on other things. We could spend a huge amount of money on snow plows — as many plows as Buffalo has — but that would be silly. Once in a decade (if that) we get hit with a really bad snow storm — deal with it.

      Reading about the fish truck incident, I wonder how much of the city was not effected. As mentioned, Link and Sounder were fine (good thing the truck didn’t overturn on Rainier or somehow block the train tracks). What about buses that went on the HOV lanes and through the transit tunnel? I would imagine those were OK as well (but I could be wrong). I-5 in the “wrong direction” (opposite the express lanes) were probably in terrible shape, because the HOV lanes fade away. Of course anyone using 99 was hosed, as well as anyone who had a bus that was supposed to come from 99. In other words, my guess is that for the most part, the city was fine as long as you were in the HOV lanes (not great — but OK). Or was this not the case? How badly did this mess up transit?

      If anything, I think it continues to argue for doing the right thing, and not worrying too much about redundancy. Putting buses in a tunnel or their own lane is a good thing, even during moderate traffic. A side benefit is that it can, for the most part, handle extreme, “fish truck” traffic. Folks for that particular area will be out of luck, but at least people in other parts of the city aren’t screwed.

      1. The crux of the nightmare, in which I spent nearly 75 minutes on a single already-late bus, was this city’s total inability to strategically adapt.

        Declare an emergency extension to the bus-only hours on 3rd? “Why would you went to do that?”

        Declare a meritorious moratorium on 15-minute Fremont Bridge openings. “Well, I never!”

        Send a cop to major merger points to at least evenly distribute the directional pain? “Directing traffic? Never heard of such a thing?”

        The primary difference between a single-catalyst catastrophe in Seattle and a single-catalyst catastrophe in non-moronic city is that the non-moronic city responds with mitigation strategies at all. Seattle just throws up its hands.

      2. I am surprised that the individual that was the proximate cause of the problem, the truck driver, escapes all criticism in this incident. In the media, he had an “accident” and the blame is all shoveled on the city for not reacting quickly enough. Perhaps if this individual had taken a bit more care, his truck and its contents would not have been splayed across the viaduct.

        Almost all of these mega disruptions are caused by trucks of one sort or another. Instead of building more freeways, perhaps we should restrict the traveling hours or routes allowed to trucks, impose extremely painful fines on companies that employ drivers who cause these types of incidents, and seek monetary compensation for the delays that result.

      3. Just out of curiosity, if we have an earthquake or volcano eruption, how are folks supposed to get out of downtown, if say, there was an accident as well?

      4. But there wasn’t, yesterday. Another media pet peeve is this nonstop fear-mongering “but what if this desperate but rarely occurring event had also occurred at the same time! We had best spend billions on (fill in the blank) just in case!”

        What about if we go back to my original suggestion, deal with the actual cause of the delays, the accident prone truck drivers, instead of dreaming up expensive contingency plans for extremely remote possibilities?

      5. Declare an emergency extension to the bus-only hours on 3rd? “Why would you went to do that?”

        If there were an actual dedicated transit corridor on the surface on 3rd, you wouldn’t need an extension. I know the tunnel is supposed to be that dedicated corridor, but the tunnel only has a certain amount of capacity and nothing can pass anything else in there.

        I know, politically impossible and all that, but it sure seems like it would be nice to have something on the surface that didn’t require a time consuming descent to get to the transit corridor, especially for those only needing to go a few blocks to transfer to another route that doesn’t operate in one section of town or another.

      6. Nobody likes to consider what causes a crash. 90% of the time,I’d say, it is simply bad driving. But, I’d argue that 90% of drivers are bad drivers, just based on behaviors I see everyday. Most drivers do dangerous things, but most drivers also believe they are above average.

        One thing we can do is to actually call those 1-800 safety hotlines that are displayed on the backs of a lot of corporate truck trailers. I’ve done it once, after a truck driver cut off the car I was riding in (not driving, obviously), but I could’ve done it many more times. Not every firm has that service (& I suspect it is the more safety-conscious firms that do), but it is a useful tool. Of course, you also have people like the construction worker who followed me for a few blocks and threatened to kill me after I told him not to block the crosswalk. So I’d advise against actually contacting the drivers themselves.

      7. While truck drivers do cause some accidents on the whole they are better drivers than the average SOV driver.

        The problem for anyone driving a large heavy vehicle with limited visibility and manuverablity is there are some accidents you can’t avoid no matter how defensively you drive. Heavy vehicles can’t stop quickly and they can’t make quick evasive maneuvers.

        I can’t speak to the fish truck incident, but I’ve seen similar accidents caused by a SOV cutting off a truck. The truck driver swerves and brakes causing the truck to jackknife, overturn, or go off the road.

  2. Next elevator-ride, Alex, notice the message somewhere on the fixture reminding you of a specific case in which a nearby redundant travel mode might at least permit your remains to he removed by body-bag instead of sieve.

    Though second mode, come to think of it, when projected city wide, powdered residue might save the surviving taxpayers some serious money for the Medical Examiners’ office.

    After all, good accounting has to to differentiate money and disruption spent on preventing mass casualty incidents from electric bills for refrigerating the results of unprevented ones .

    Now maybe it’s because a certain historic set of terrorist attacks is already like Sooooo Totally Millenial, but still kind of a shocker that only mention of the WAR word here has to do with traffic capacity.

    For months now, every single rush hour has featured major regional arterials taken down for hours by incidents involving literally one object- vehicle or person! Without an iota of malevolent intent, foreign, domestic, or even just ticked off.

    What I can’t fathom is why, with all the media-savvy terror in the world, there’s not one malefactor even claiming credit for a whole region’s transportation paralyzed for hours, every day?

    No political intimidator of any stripe would even have to light a cherry bomb to punctuate the world’s most credible threat. One Twit- or is it Tweet. “Just a warning!” And they wouldn’t even have to say “Infidel Dogs!” with a bad accent.

    And if a serious multi-fatality crash did really did happen by real accident? “Now that we’ve got your attention, here’s what we would like you to do.” Not one actual threat- just objective observations of real time facts.

    So why don’t we make like Americans organizing to deal with an inevitable real-world clear and present danger however inflicted: start organizing our transportation as if we really are going into a war (and not one on Christmas or cars.) Not to mention tsunami evacuation or earthquake recovery.

    By now we have every piece of pertinent information as to where and how we’re going to get hit, probably down to the pillar and expansion joint. Which is absolute first step to figuring out how to prevent, react, and recover.

    I can’t believe that the Washington National Guard and our other Armed Forces haven’t been taking notice of these permanent regional blockages and their implications. The Governor? Our Congresspeople? Our Senators? Any readers with direct experience or details?

    Mark Dublin

  3. I have an honest question. With the scarcity of land in cities, why don’t we make use of below ground for housing? There’s ground level. Then there’s above ground. But nobody ever thinking about utilizing below the surface. We could build, for example, low-income housing below ground. This would be a win/win. I would imagine that parcels in the earth sells at a discount. It would take pressure away from increasing rents above ground. There are more benefits, but I have to go. Maybe someone else can tease-out this idea. Toodles.

    1. I would think it’d be far more expensive to do that. But given already sky-high rents, coupled with “height limits” but a total absence of “depth limits,” it might be worth investigating at least to get an idea how expensive it’d be.

    2. Basement apartments with underground windows in a trench usually rent for a discount. Apartments without windows are probably illegal.

      1. They are. Dwelling units generally need a rescue window, in case a fire blocks the primary exit from the room. My architect thought that ‘media rooms’ without a alternate exit were death traps. The fire marshall probably agrees.

    3. I don’t think we need to do underground housing, so long as there is so much wasted space with such things as vast windowless shopping malls (which could certainly be put underground), vast windowless supermarkets (the Fred Meyer in Fremont certainly could be put underground) and all the rest of the uses where those who enter never get to see the light of day.

      1. If you mean the Fred Meyer in Ballard, it’s pretty close to the Salmon Bay. I’d imagine there may be some significant dewatering infrastructure in place to keep a below ground building from constantly flooding.

    4. How about a deep multistory trench with fire escape stairs on the outside. If it mirrored the aboveground stairs it would be symmetrical, like a reflection in a moat. Not ADA compliant though.

      One thing to keep in mind though, the more stories you dig underground, the higher the cost.

      1. Moving earth is really expensive, this is why multi-story underground parking costs so much per space.

  4. You know, Sam, “The Night Stalker” had a great episode where the little reporter- nobody ever could figure out how he kept his job ’cause his editor would never admit the monsters existed- discovered an evil Civil War doctor ensconced in the Pioneer Square underground.

    The doctor had found out that if he slept all the time and only got up and injected somebody’s blood every so often- often had needle-exchanges at Cold Harbor and Gettysburgh, he could live forever down there. Maybe the tour people thought he was a mummy from the weird curio place on the Waterfront.

    I don’t remember what the reporter did to him, but the story didn’t get printed anyhow. Possibly this was all just an allegory about how The Stranger started. Or maybe just kept in the files for what would happen in, like, 1980 or so when staff got too old for sex.

    Unfortunately, since “Night Stalker” is no longer on the air, nature has still failed to take that part of its course, and Seattle is still doomed to live with the ongoing horror of Things Mankind Vas Never Meant To Know! Or “seek”.

    But real flaw in your residential plan is that nothing underground in Seattle that has old brick walls will ever be affordable. Have to check the old mining deeds above Lake Sammamish, though. Could be the Highlands still have a pit-head or two near a 218 stop.


  5. The Urban Land Institute surveyed Rainier Beach and was expected to recommend lots of midrise TOD, but instead it concluded Rainier Beach is not ready for it. Instead it recommends incremental improvements: listen to what the residents want, reroute the 7 to the station, add a park & ride, narrow Henderson Street, add art and wayfinding signs, consider a farmer’s market or a mini Pike Place Market (inexpensive stalls for immigrant vendors), consider recreational activities at the beach, and make the open space more active with events.

    It’s interesting that the neighborhood seems to be solidly for rerouting the 7. Does that mean they’re willing to give up the Prentice loop? Or are they expecting it to do a “14 tail” where it goes to the station and then back out to Prentice? The latter would of course cost more for few riders.

    The park n ride is more controversial to STBers of course. Some valley residents have been persistently asking for a P&R ever since Link opened, so this is a reflection of that. The argument is that the market is not ready for large-scale TOD at the station, and it’s difficult to get from where people do currently live to the station, therefore the station needs a P&R.

    1. I read that too — interesting article. I agreed with most of what it had to say. For example, to expect a lot of transit oriented development away from the heart of the community is unlikely. If you look around the city, it seems like development has little to do with Link. Roosevelt is booming, to be sure, but I wonder if it would have been the same without the new light rail station. I think it is driven more by the change in zoning, rather than the future light rail line. It is simply a desirable place — close to the UW, close to parks, and it has enough restaurants to build on that success. Meanwhile, Lake City, South Lake Union and Ballard have nothing in the way of transit improvements, but they are booming like crazy.

      But back to Rainier Beach, I don’t think that adding a parking lot would help much. The planners were surprised that was no park and ride. That is a lot different than saying that would help substantially. Basically, I get the feeling from the folks that they think things are fine, and that it is only a matter of time before things pick up. Do the little things, but don’t go overboard, because it isn’t necessary. I agree. I think Rainier Beach only needs a bit of momentum, and they are on the verge of it right now. In my opinion, it all starts from the high school. Rainier Beach is known for a really good basketball team, but not much else. I think that is changing, and changing very fast. Graduation rates are increasing quickly, and pretty soon people will realize that this is a good school. Then folks will realize that the neighborhood is really not that dangerous, either, and things start to snowball. If I was a real estate developer, I would certainly by land in Rainier Beach now (just as I would have bought land twenty years ago next to Franklin and a dozen years ago in South Lake Union). Eventually there will be plenty of infill, including some bigger buildings.

  6. Really relieved to see that overblown fear-mongering about implications of a self-sabotaging regional transit grid doesn’t have anybody panicked.

    Even though it might generate some kind of initiative to quit having this happen- ‘way too much work.

    Reason foreign enemies aren’t taking advantage of our self-inflicted debilities is that worldwide, Seattle is only hated by Dori Monson and some elected State employees two hours away by either buses or cars stuck in Fort Lewis traffic.

    Compared to the entire urban Rest of the World, at least we only had one salmon truck at issue, and nobody was even crowding into the vicinity to buy salmon off of it all day and set up grills to cook it.

    Besides, we never even continue these events into a Night Market, where you can get fresh squid grilled on license plates from Seattle to Everett, like you could in normal countries.

    Probably most reassuring model for fast emergency- remedy if anybody felt like doing it: Temporary eminent domain over parking lots, and lanes restricted to buses only.

    Hate to say it, but apps doubtless exist to get the whole thing up- and down- anytime we the people decide to do it. Think I already know the answer, but could use some numbers:

    What percentage of our workforce are actually being punished by employers for traffic related tardiness? Am I right that among the employees most likely to vote on transit matters….zero?


  7. Street food?

    Try Street fuel!

    First Mobile Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens in Tokyo

    The mobile station, located in Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward, is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It can carry enough fuel for about five vehicles, and takes approximately three minutes to fill up a tank. A kilogram of hydrogen sells for ¥1,200. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Mirai can carry 4.3 kilograms in its tank, enough to run 650 kilometers.

    Sounds perfect for Seattle…park these near skate parks and beaches…combine with souvlaki and burrito wagons…food for humans and (zero emissions) vehicles…

  8. Speaking of wars, let me hold up a mirror to you people. “Saying ‘you people’ is offensive, Sam. Stop saying that to us!” No. Make me. I’m going to keep on saying it.

    Ok, here goes: The war on cars. The war on parking spots. The war on parking garages. The war on higher speed limits. The war on culdesacs. The war on single family home only neighborhood. The war on single family homes. The war on property tax payers (Real property tax payers. People who receive property tax bills in the mail. No, renters do not pay property tax). The war on the suburbs. The war on streets wider than 2 lanes. The war on tunnels that aren’t built for trains. The war on Republicans. The war on eastern Washington. The war on parks near rail stations. The war on low density. The war on short buildings. The war on Kemper Freeman.

    I could go on, but my fingers are getting numb. “Wow, Sam, thank you. I didn’t realize we were such war-mongers.” You’re welcome.

    1. The war on property tax payers (Real property tax payers. People who receive property tax bills in the mail. No, renters do not pay property tax).

      Well, if we’re gonna split the hair that renters don’t pay property tax, then your parenthetical definition of “property tax payers” excludes anyone who has an FHA mortgage or escrow. FHA mortgages require an escrow account and if an escrow account is established, the servicer receives the property tax bill in the mail, not the property owner.

      Then again, maybe that’s exactly what you meant.

    2. War’s harsh, Sam. Ghenghis Khan and Charlemaigne and Attila wouldn’t touch it now.

      Guys like Kemper have a habit of getting bought out by foreign interests that won’t even click your file open if it doesn’t have a streetcar for an icon. Since their customers need a good ride to the bullet-train station.

      Also, what you gonna do if not a bank in the world will lend you a dime for anything less than an integrated planned cooperative transit oriented community, because nobody but a wino will put his dog in a plain single family house?

      If you’re gonna do war, best thing is to go on e-Bay and grab up all the old Phil Silvers’ “You’ll Never Get Rich” episodes. Maybe if you match them up with your list of wars, you can do like Sergeant Bilko and take your place with the scammers and wheeler-dealers who used to make war worth being in.

      Couple years back, I lost a wheel to a shell-hole over on Magnolia. But war crimes commission still can’t sort out if culprit was war on cars or justified fife and drum resistance to taxes for fixing roads.

      Tires, Sam. Ball joints. Wheel alignment. Da guys is countin’ on ya!


    3. If renters don’t pay property tax, then only shop keepers pay sales tax. Technically that is true, yet when I buy dinner, it sure seems like they are charging me sales tax (maybe because that is what they are calling it).

  9. And thanks for reminding me. Already have solution to the car tunnel with tracks in it that will also serve to keep a valuable piece of military aviation in our arsenal.

    Am writing to Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and my Congressman to keep the A10 Warthog close-air support plane from being scrapped for budgetary reasons.

    With a single pass through the Waterfront tube, the gatling gun in the nose will rip a perfect track-bed into the concrete like an old Singer sewing in a zipper.

    Let’s see a drone do that!


  10. Reposting from the last open thread in case nobody saw it.

    The final Lynnwood Link EIS is out. It doesn’t seem to be online yet but it should be on this page when it is. (I got another email saying it would be online March 31.)

    130th Station is listed as an option in the Preferred Alternative along with 220th SW, but: “It would slightly increase boardings in Segment A, but overall Link system ridership would be about the same because most ofthe added station riders would be shifting from either the Northgate Station or the NE 145th Street Station. (sec. 5.7.1, p. 5-33). Then, “Potential stations at NE 130th Street, NE 155th Street, and 220th Street SW were not evaluated in the ST2 planning process, and are not currently included in the ST2 Plan. Consistency with the ST2 Plan would need to be further evaluated before any of these stations could be added to the Lynnwood Link Extension.” (sec. S.9, p. 5-37).

    I wonder what “consistency with the ST2 Plan” means. Maybe it just means the station wasn’t in the ballot measure. I would think that serving the largest concentration of people in far north Seattle with a station closer to their centers was what Link was for. I suppose others might argue that travel time from Lynnwood is paramount. But ST has never raised that as a major issue for 130th Station like it did for the Aurora alignment.

    1. It means these fuckers don’t know what they’re doing, and/or that they have zero interest in providing best North King results for the billions in North King-paid express trackage toward the sprawl.

      1. Yep. The whole idea that it is OK to just go to another station misses the entire point of a light rail line. Why even bother extending it beyond the UW? After all, just send all the buses there. For that matter, why even bother with light rail. After all, “most of the added station riders would be shifting from [some other bus stop]”.

        This is really idiotic. People don’t ride light rail because it is cool (sorry streetcar fans). They don’t ride light rail because it is more comfortable. They ride it because it is faster than the alternatives. That’s the whole point! It is about speed. If it was just as fast to get to Northgate or 145th then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But it isn’t. It costs an extra five minutes to get from Lake City to Northgate versus 130th (if not more). It costs more than that to get to 145th (and that’s not counting traffic). Speaking of which, you are going to send all those buses and all those cars onto two stations? Northgate has a big park and ride lot, 145th has a big parking lot; there are hundreds of buses that serve 522 and they are all supposed to converge onto two areas that are crowded now??! With all of that you expect buses and cars to move quickly. Just insane.

        Without a station at 130th you screw over Lake City. You screw over Bitter Lake. You screw over folks that want to quickly connect to Aurora from Link. You destroy the possibility of good cross town buses on the fastest cross town street in north Seattle. You simultaneously screw up Metro, forcing them to spend hundreds of service hours on buses stuck in traffic. You screw over folks coming from Kenmore and Lake Forest Park who are stuck in those buses. Basically, you screw over every transit rider in the county because you can’t figure out what a good transit system is supposed to look like.

        Such profound ignorance is really incredible. They really don’t know what they are doing. I need to draw them a map. Wait, I did (

      2. What the numbers really say is 145th is a bad station, and having 130th makes it look worse. Since they are unwilling to move 145th to 155th where it ought to have been they don’t want to let 130th be built because it will steal ridership from 145th….. because no one in their right mind from Lake City or bitter lake would go to 145th when 130th exists.

        Also, lower ridership at Northgate station is just fine by me when Lynnwood Link opens. The whole mall complex needs to be rebuilt to a proper urban density anyway, and we don’t have a sufficient street grid to support all of the Lake City buses long term.

      3. Looking at traffic impacts it shows just how horrible 145th is in terms of transit access. The existing and future LOS at nearby intersections is much worse for 145th even with mitigation. The one bad intersection near 130th (the I-5 off-ramp) can easily be mitigated by adding a signal.

      4. “They don’t ride light rail because it is more comfortable. They ride it because it is faster than the alternatives.”

        Speak for yourself! If there’s a train that will take me where I am going, I won’t even look at the bus routes. Buses are a last resort precisely because everything else is less uncomfortable.

      5. Mars,

        70ish% (a very ish-y ish*…) of people traveling between Tacoma and downtown Seattle on ST services choose the “uncomfortable” bus (routes 574, 590, and 594) over the train (Sounder)—travel times aren’t even significantly different (less on the buses), at least as scheduled. Given Sounder is peak-only, but most of the boardings on the ST Express routes also appear to be during the peaks. It seems the general public doesn’t necessarily share your blind rail bias.

        Relevant numbers from the ST 2014 SIP—boarding figures from Tacoma:

        Sounder (~500)
        Rt 574 (~400)
        Rt 590 (~600)
        Rt 594 (~400)

        *Additionally, my napkin math assumes those boarding ST Express and Sounder in Tacoma travel all the way to Seattle.

      6. It’s not “rail bias”, it’s “anything but the goddamn bus” bias. If I had to go to Tacoma, I would drive my car.

      7. +infinity

        For once my chosen words would be far harsher than d.p.’s, but then again I lived in that area for 40 years and know with complete and absolute certainly that these planners and policy makers are complete and total wanking idiots.

        This shit will make a great many people (possibly including me, a huge supporter of HCT for many, many years now), throw up their hands and say “hell NO I am not interested in paying another dime for some more suburban rail lines.”

        Play with the urban demographic at your own risk, ST.

  11. Oh, and did anyone else catch the ridiculous hypocrisy in that statement? Just to paraphrase “most of the added station riders would be shifting from either [this or that] station”.

    Fair enough. Then why do you think we should extend Link past Mountlake Terrace? The vast majority of riders north of Mountlake Terrace will simply shift from Mountlake Terrace. Of course they will. The crazy part is, a lot of them would actually be saving time by going to Mountlake Terrace (by skipping stops). But that isn’t the case with Northgate or 145th, both of which are really hard to get to. In other words, if you believe in that idea, then you just destroyed the argument for extending Link beyond Mountlake Terrace. These guys are not only profoundly ignorant of what works in the transit world, but they lack the ability to judge and assess their own arguments. Your average high school debate student would defeat them the way that Kasparov would defeat an 8 year old in chess.

    1. That’s not the same thing though. 130th vs 145th is two stations in the same vicinity, or “two Lake City stations” as ST sees it. Mountlake Terrace Station is five miles away, as is U-District Station. ST has never claimed that those stations “serve” Lake City.

      1. Not a single rider will be served at Mountlake Terrace who could not hypothetically have caught the train elsewhere.

        Same. Exact. Thing.

      2. Not if you’re in Lake City wondering how far you’ll have to bus or walk to get to a station, which is the point.

      3. Um, exactly.

        If Mountlake Terrace didn’t have a stop, those same passengers might have to travel to somewhere observably less convenient in order to access the line. But since Mountlake Terrace has precisely zero walk-up passengers, the total ridership of the Link line is hardly affected by those passengers entering elsewhere.

        145th versus 130th is the same. exact. thing.

        So again, Sound Transit cares about suburban convenience, but city users can go fuck themselves.

      4. ST has never proposed putting Mountlake Terrace Station anywhere except at the transit center. Which, by the way, is a 7-minute walk from the Mountlake Terrace library if I remember right. 10-15 minutes covers most of MT’s center. So it will get some walk-ons.

      5. And don’t give me that “I would walk there”.

        That is not a place that normal people walk by choice on a regular basis (or frankly ever).

      6. William. For starters, I intend to do everything in my power to remind Seattle’s representing parties on the ST Board that adequate urban outcomes are more important than “consensus”, that ST intends to rely on a Seattle supermajority to pass ST3 over the objections of less enthusiastic subareas, and that the votes to achieve that supermajority should not be taken for granted. Offer substandard crap at great expense to us, and watch your next round lose!

      7. DP, did you consider walking through the park? That’s faster than going around. It’s not ADA accessible but it’s a pleasant way to commute.

      8. Not park. Woods.

        Not a reasonable option in wet weather, or on short winter days that have you leaving before daylight and returning long after the light is gone.

        And still doesn’t drop you anywhere that is remotely walking-oriented. No, an unremarkable participant in the library system does not count. No, the handful of houses don’t either (and their occupants will probably still drive to the train).

        This station’s location is as arbitrary and irrelevant as any other suburban stop. And yet it is sacrosanct on account of preexisting garages, platforms, and inertia.

        Suburban convenience always. Urban accessibility never.

      9. Bullshit. If ST “sees” it that way, they all need to be fired. Now.

        145th is there because Shoreline wanted it there, not Seattle. Why the hell would Seattle have wanted it there? It as good as DOES NOT SERVE Lake City. Nobody in their right mind will backtrack 20 blocks on LCW, then on a more congested 145th to get to that station. No 130th station will mean the horrible slog to, through and around Northgate for most LC residents…meaning anyone with any choice in the matter WILL NOT TAKE TRANSIT. It will add bupkis to today’s rider count save perhaps for people going to Cap Hill…it sure as hell won’t save time to the UW nor all that much over the 41.

  12. Graham Station gets publicity. “The Move Seattle package would provide money for a new Link light-rail station at Graham Street. The city would pay even though a new state transportation package is likely to give Sound Transit authority to go to the voters with an $11 billion (or $15 billion) new light rail package.”

    That doesn’t make it clear whether it’s full funding for the station or partial funding. Martin called it “some funding”, which implies partial.

  13. Public hydrogen gas station opens in Diamond Bar; more to open in Southern California

    The station is open 24/7 and is the first in the state to accept credit cards, said officials from the smog district and the California Energy Commission.

    Following a directive from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown to install hydrogen stations throughout the state, the energy commission will help build an additional 45 new stations by the end of this year en route to a goal of 100 stations, said Janea Scott, a commission board member.

  14. Interesting article and comments on Seattle Times. People are fleeing high priced King County, and seeking the American Dream of a standard priced home in the suburbs.

    What should this say about where transit dollars should be spent (like on fast regional rail)?

    Priced out? Growing numbers appear to be fleeing King County

    While this data shows that King County still gained more people than it lost last year, the balance of that flow seems to have shifted markedly toward those who are leaving. The net domestic migration declined by 39 percent between 2013 and 2014, dropping from 11,553 people to 7,040.

    1. King County is the suburbs for the most part. Seattle is 600,000 out of 2.3 million, or 26%. In particular there’s a huge swath from Tukwila to the Pierce County border that’s lower density than Bellevue, So people aren’t fleeing from the polluted highrise slums of Des Moines to the green, green yards of Pierce. The inference is that they can’t afford a house or apartment in King County suburbia, so they’re going to the other suburbia. Although the data is not precise enough to say definitively since it doesn’t count how many of those moving out of King are the same ones moving into Pierce, or why they’re moving. I would assume the influx is due to an incremental increase in South King/Pierce industrial jobs with the recovery, along with lower-income people driving until they qualify. Remember that most of them don’t work in downtown Seattle, but in south King County, Pierce County, JBLM, and Thurston County.

      I have heard that apartment rents in south King County have started to rise but I don’t know how much. All the more reason for lots more housing like Mayor Murray is proposing in Seattle. The suburbs have a lot of commercial/industrial land that can be converted to new urban villages, at a price comparable to Seattle’s mid-century apartments, without displacing South King’s mid-century apartments. The same issue of cutting into single-family areas near urban villages remains (they should but they probably won’t), but it’s those are an infinitesimally small percentage of suburban single-family housing.

      1. South King (and south Seattle) were left to rot through a policy of benign neglect. Gangs, drug rings, pimpdoms all have flourished, even to this day. So called law-and-order officials, up until recently were overwhelmed with the violent crime and let the more degrading stuff linger.

        That seems to be changing and perhaps moderate price increases will drive out the rif-raff and let a community of middle class types blossom.

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