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Yesterday’s Sound Transit Board meeting included two staff presentations important to the future of Sound Transit 3. Most important was the first revision to the draft list of projects to study for potential inclusion in ST3. Less significantly, the staff also presented the results of a conceptual study that caused much activist angst when it started, but seems to have spawned relatively benign conclusions.

Based on input from the ST Board in previous meetings, there were three changes to the draft project list from May 7th: ST added Madison BRT and a Tacoma Link Extension to TCC. They also clarified an ST Express item to explicitly include capital improvements to the HOV system.

The next step is public outreach, beginning June 4th and continuing through July 8th, using internet resources and public meetings. The staff will present these comments to the board to make final additions and deletions to the project list on August 27th. The project study will improve estimates for everything on the project list, providing better information for the Board to (potentially) form a package in the middle of next year.


State law requires ST to conduct a conceptual study to gauge the impact of various investment levels. The takeaway that ST executive Ric Ilgenfritz highlighted from the conceptual study is, anticlimactically, that the benefits of ST3 expansion are roughly proportional to the size of the revenue package. In his words, “the more you spend, the more you get.” Best case, the maximum system attracts 566,000 daily boardings, or about 200,000 boardings above the ST2 best case.

There’s really not much more to say about the results, depicted in the figure above, and I’m not sure how productive further digging is. But Mr. Ilgenfritz did clarify a few points in response to my questions. Keep in mind that the more spine/less spine variations at spending level 3 are somewhat haphazard; as a quick reminder,the additional corridors in 3a are Ballard/West Seattle. 3b is Ballard plus Totem Lake/Issaquah, 3c is Ballard/West Seattle with no downtown segment, and 3d is just Ballard/Downtown. Option 4 is Ballard/West Seattle plus I-405 BRT. Full scenarios are here.

  • The population and employment figures include everyone within one mile of a station, which is not quite the same thing as people and jobs actually accessible to the system. This leads option 3b, which includes Totem-Lake-Issaquah light rail, to have very high population and jobs numbers with relatively low ridership, as the line just misses a lot of the key activity nodes. Other options serve areas around Lake Union, West Seattle, and Tacoma, where access is more straightforward. As Mr. Ilgenfritz says, “Scenario 4 does a better job of serving the employment that’s there than Scenario 3b does.”
  • As for the very highest-ridership options, “In 3a and 4 you get a big boost from Ballard and West Seattle.”
  • The count of low-income and minority populations, high in 3c and 4, “depends on the extent you’re going to the South End.”
  • “Transit integration” addresses, somewhat subjectively at this level, the opportunities to redeploy existing service made redundant by these projects, not the existence of cross-service that could act as a feeder to High Capacity Transit (HCT).
  • The population estimates, which also drive ridership estimates, come from PSRC. Previous reporting pointed out some problems with these estimates, but there are no apparent alternatives to draw from.

61 Replies to “ST Staff Presents Refined Project List, Conceptual Study Results”

  1. Previous reporting pointed out some problems with these estimates, but there are no apparent alternatives to draw from.

    How about drawing from reality?

    1. Census only does projections at a national level. They stopped doing state-level population projections after the 2000 Census, and they’ve never done projections at a scale smaller than that.

      OFM also does population projections, but only down to the county level. They do not do employment reporting or forecasting.

      PSRC does both population and employment forecasting and provides estimates ranging from in scale from regional down to the parcel level, and any geography in between, and covers the time period out to 2040.

      PSRC estimates have their issues, but as Mr. Ilgenfritz points out there are no other suitable estimates in existence.

      1. To be clear, that’s not a point that Ric made, it’s one that I added.

      2. My point is that PSRC “estimates” derived from a Fantasyland Bingo approach to regional planning bear so little resemblance to any reality — past, present, future, or alternate — that virtually any other prediction algorithm you might derive from the U.S. Census’s tract-level data on present population-density distributions and recent trends in non-hypothetical growth and mobility demands would be more useful than any figures the PSRC spews.

        Does Washington have any equivalent of the federal Data Quality Act? Does said act apply to FTA-screened funding that we might receive? The PSRC objectively violates such oversight statues with such nonchalance that I could see anti-transit forces challenging in court projects sold on the basis of such asinine predictions.

      3. If you look at PSRC’s Tacoma 2010 population estimates they failed to meet the census’s numbers, while Seattle beat their PSRC estimates handily. Even just using Census estimates for 2012, 2013, 2014 population give you much much better numbers then the ones the PSRC throws around, and according to those numbers Seattle almost hit their 2020 PSRC estimate in July 2014.

    2. The population estimates are used to drive ridership estimates? Isn’t that bassackwards?

      I’m pretty sure nobody projected that Redmond’s population would increase by a factor of 10 from 1960-1970 and therefore OMG we need to build a bridge. It’s the other way around: they built a bridge, so everyone decided to live there.

      In other words, design the transportation for the city you want, not the city you have.

      1. In other words, design the transportation for the city you want, not the city you have.

        That’s kind of what’s happening here. As many people have pointed out, PSRC’s population estimates are pretty aspirational, focusing growth where officials and NIMBYs have decided it should be (Totem Lake, Paine Field) rather than where the market continues to place new units.

  2. I wonder how the Everett meeting(s) will go, especially now that the Everett Mayor has demanded in writing light rail to Paine Field and Everett Community College. Versus an Everett Transit planner who is having difficulty filling up Everett Transit runs to the Boeing factory and uses that as one reason why no Future of Flight service from them…

    Apparently the left hand Mayor is not listening to the right hand transit planner. I fear the right hand will be lopped off.

    1. P.S. I have a public records request and some dialogue going w/ Community Transit so expect a July update. I know, I know, new data on the Paine Field detour after the ST3 meetings.

    2. The mayor should be asking for light rail to Seattle–so many worker bees commute there for work. They’ve got Sounder, but the mudsides knock it out on occasion. Maybe a little farther to Tukwila (NHL arena):).

    3. Will the Boeing shift times make any rail service to Paine Field useless? A pal who works on a second shift in Renton gets off too late to use transit unless he wants to endure really long wait times to get home — so although he prefers transit, he drives to and from work.

      1. Depending on demand transit could be adjusted accordingly. Van pool always an option if all else fails.

  3. Thanks Martin, for another interesting report. I’m afraid this does nothing to encourage me.

    There is an emphasis on ridership, without any regard to whether you are just poaching bus riders. There are various ways of measuring the success of a system, but total ridership is not a good one. You could measure the time saved for each trip (based on the assumption that everyone rode transit). You would have to include the number of times that trip is taken, of course. That means if you save a minute for ten thousand riders, it is the same as saving ten minutes for a thousand riders. You would guess that the latter would be more successful in drawing in new riders, though. Which leads me to a simpler suggestion — that we use the total number of new transit riders as the metric. Not total number of new Link riders, but total number of new transit riders.

    Which gets me to my main point:

    “Transit integration” addresses, somewhat subjectively at this level, the opportunities to redeploy existing service made redundant by these projects, not the existence of cross-service that could act as a feeder to High Capacity Transit (HCT).

    There is no way you can get decent value out of ST2 without considering bus integration. With the exception of Belltown, all the significant employment or housing centers will be covered by the time Link gets to Bellevue. Ballard has tons of people, but they aren’t all clustered around 15th and Market. They spread out for blocks in every direction. The census information may be a bit out of date, but nothing substantial has changed in the neighborhoods north of the ship canal and west of I-5. If anything, the growth is simply spreading out (e. g. the new buildings next to Gasworks Park). There are literally dozens of contiguous moderately high density (10-25,000 people per square mile) census blocks there. But there is nothing like the UW or downtown (over 50,000 people per square mile). Nor is the area the destination that the UW or downtown is. This means that unlike the UW, a bus traveling on a typical street (say 8th) will go by way more people than a single spot (say, 15th and Market). Which is not to say that a stop there (or anywhere in Ballard) would not be very popular, but to ignore what could be the largest set of new transit riders (those who use buses along with light rail) is really bad policy.

    My confidence in the Sound Transit continues to slip.

    1. You’re welcome!

      After seeing things in action for the past month, I’m convinced this study is basically a political document to make the case for large revenue authority. I agree a lot of the details have been pretty shoddy.

      But the real action is going to be the detailed project studies this fall and winter. That’s the raw material for the horse trading that will go on next year. This is essentially a political process* and there is no substitute for organizing and advocating with the Sound Transit board for the projects you think are important.

      * No value judgment implied

      1. Award for ‘Best Concise Statement of What’s Going On’ goes to Mr. Duke.
        It’s no accident ST2 went before voters before ST1 started, and no accident that ST3 will go before ST2 ever runs a train to UW. All ridership projections continue to be pie in the sky wishful thinking, then as service approaches are ratcheted down to reality levels in each successive years SIP reveals. PSRC estimates are goofy, when some areas are already past their 2040 projections and others will reach those targets when you see pigs flying.
        Maybe we need a ‘Truth in Spending’ law on the books to hold some feet to the fire.

      2. Fair enough. Whatever works, with regards to getting money (or allowing us to tax ourselves) from the state. Throw together a map with a bunch of lines and dots on it and maybe that will convince the ignorant law makers to give us funding authority.

        What bothers me is that the planners seem to be hiding behind data they know is flawed. PSRC numbers are flawed. The ridership numbers are flawed if they ignore bus service. Fair enough, you go to work with the information you have, not the information you want.

        But absent good data, you focus on other sources of data and lean on other organizations for help. Ask Metro or other bus agencies what will get more riders in the bus, or save them the most headaches, and you won’t focus on completing the spine or West Seattle light rail. Metro has bent over backwards trying to make a decent grid despite the fact that they have had no help or cooperation from Sound Transit. Why doesn’t Sound Transit sit down with them and ask them what they think would provide the greatest improvement in service for the money. My guess is they would be thrilled with UW to Ballard light rail — retire the 44 and have buses cruising along the main north/south arterials. Really, I can just imagine some transit wonk getting really excited over the prospect of stations along there (“15th and 8th and wait, we can have a station that has entrances so it can serve both Phinney and Aurora? Fantastic! Every north-south bus in the entire northwest sector can integrate with it! Wow.”). Build the WSTT and I’m sure some number cruncher at Metro could tell you the service hours saved (and the policy implications) without any major changes to routes (they would be big). On the other hand, build light rail to West Seattle, and you would get a much less encouraging response. It would be an improvement in service hours, certainly, but not a huge one. Even if you aggressively restructured, and asked every rider in West Seattle to catch this train if they are headed downtown you would still come out behind the WSTT — a cheaper project. So, basically, it would save fewer service hours, require a time consuming transfer (with no speed benefit), not add any more stops and cost more money. What’s not to like?

        Sigh. OK, so the fight over projects really begins this fall. But it shouldn’t be that hard. We should (at some point) be arguing whether it makes sense to add the WSTT or Ballard to UW light rail first. We should be arguing whether replacing the Metro 8 with light rail should be higher priority than either of those two projects. But to have to argue for those projects in the first place, compared to projects that are so obviously inferior is rather frustrating. It would be like having to argue for the inclusion of a station at NE 130th when it obviously improves mobility for the region — wait, we had to do that, too.

      3. mic, this is false: “ST3 will go before ST2 ever runs a train to UW.”

        The vote would be in November 2016. Both U Link and S 200th Street will be open before then.

      4. mic, trains will be running to UW in Q1 2016 (about 9 months from now). We will vote on ST3 at the earliest in November of 2016 (about 6 months after that). So, we will actually get to see some ridership bump before voting.

      5. @kptease,

        I think mic is trying to make a statement that is technically true, but to the causal observer would seem to disparage ST and all they say and claim.

        Technically he is right — No ST2 trains will arrive at UW before the ST3 vote. This is because U-Link, which will be delivering trains to UW before the ST3 vote, was paid for under ST1. The only ST2 trains that will arrive at UW are the ones coming from Lynnwood, and they won’t arrive until well after the vote.

        Does it matter? No. Is thee some sort of grand conspiracy regarding ST ridership estimates? No.

      6. Thanks for the lifeline Laz, but I’m not that clever. Moving U-link forward 9 months makes my statement false, but the talking point of ginormous ridership claims will have served it’s purpose by the time any meaningful ridership trends have been established.
        That’s the game here. Get the next big tax bump before realistic cost/benefit numbers are in the can.
        So far, the strategy has been successful. I’m just sorry the political game will yield a system that can’t be expanded upon (branched), debt ratios skyhigh, and gridlock far outpacing anything the road gangers have up their sleeves to meet our demands, while transit remains stuck at 5% of all trips completed in the region.
        40 years of building for the status quo of 1990 transit ridership is tragic.

      7. Since this document is based on political goals and not sound mobility principles, I think transit advocates can muster all the evidence we want; it’s not going to have an effect on what the ST board finally selects. A politically-derived ST3 can only be constrained by a counter political force. Namely, North King board members must insist that subarea equity be adhered to as strictly as it’s been for Sound Move and ST2. The mayor of Everett can demand trains be built wherever he likes, but if his subarea can’t afford to connect all the dots he wants, his demands are moot.

      8. I don’t think ST is playing any sort of game. I think they are just bumbling along. It makes sense to have a vote in a general election year, because you get higher turnout amongst left wing voters (at least you have in the past). So that, more than anything, is what they are pushing for.

        In general I don’t think anyone (but us transit nerds) cares about ridership projections. It makes for a good political talking point (opponents use it all the time) but I don’t think anyone is swayed by it. Ultimately, the folks who are going to vote one way or another will judge it on its merits, or at least its perceived merits. A “So what if they didn’t get as many riders as they thought — it sure looks handy to me” type of attitude..

        In that regard, the timing is actually pretty bad. UW to downtown light rail will have huge numbers of riders, but folks from the other side of the lake might wonder what I’m wondering — how is this supposed to work for them? There is no Montlake 520 stop, which means the buses just keep chugging along, like they always did. I’m sure a lot of people will say “Huh, I didn’t know that, that seems kinda stupid”. It is possible that a remedy will come from the city and state, and that buses will manage to serve the Husky Stadium station well. But that will probably be well after the election (if it happens at all) which is really bad timing. Even then, a savvy rider might wonder why the buses, instead of dead-ending at Husky Stadium, couldn’t just drop off riders headed to Link, while continuing on to serve an area like South Lake Union. Why indeed.

        ST3 will be a tough sell. On the one hand, you have such pent up transit demand, and such a robust economy, that the region as a whole might just vote for anything. On the other hand, you have diminishing returns for the suburbs (as far as light rail goes), out of order projects for Seattle and a history of minor and major screw ups. It is a challenging proposition, and so far, there is little to give me a lot of hope.

      9. @Under The Clouds — I really think that is a given. I can’t imagine that subarea equity will be thrown out to favor the suburbs — I just don’t see it.

        What scares me a lot more is simply building crappy things in each subarea. Blow all of Seattle’s money on Light Rail from West Seattle to SoDo and a streetcar to Ballard. Everett gets a few feet closer to completing the spine and so does Tacoma. East King gets some BRT and finishes up East Link. Except for East King, I don’t see many people thinking that is a good value for their area (or the system as a whole). Since we are still building other pieces, it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of voters just said “maybe we should wait and see what happens next”.

      10. @mic,

        Sorry, but I just can’t buy into the conspiracy theory that somehow ST is only delivering U-Link under budget and ahead of schedule as some sort of ploy to gain passage of ST3 so they can continue to force bloated and wasteful government spending on the citizenry. That seems like a pretty large stretch to me…..

        But hey, that is just me, believe whatever theories you want.

        You are correct however that ST will see a ridership boost when U-Link opens, and in all likelihood it will be a huge one, particularly after the Metro restructure.

    2. While I think you’re too hostile to total-ridership metrics — focusing excessively on “new riders” is how Central Districters get stuck with the same old crap for all eternity; counting “poached” riders is only an inherent problem when you are forcing a modal switch to a service that is objectively worse for them, like Federal Way Link — you have set me up for my other objection to Martin’s reported estimates…

      Best case, the maximum system attracts 566,000 daily boardings…


      Per the best available data, this would be more than every current weekday boarding on King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit combined.

      This figure is also 35% higher than today’s weekday ridership on BART — Sound Transit’s precise spacing-and-service-distribution template, which operates in a metro area with more than twice our population and derives the vast majority of its ridership from service between three core cities infinitely more intermodally transit-amenable than ours.

      566,000. Yikes. Credulous, credulous, credulous.

      1. BART also has trains that can carry up to 1,500 riders. Today, their peak loads are at crush levels and they still only attract 430k as a weekday average.

      2. Potential ridership time saved is probably the best metric, because it would probably be used to come up with the total ridership number (even though that isn’t always the case). Here is my thinking on that:

        Basically, you plot out the trips that are taken within the city. Then figure out how much time it takes (via transit) for those trips. Plug in how many of those trips are improved to give you the time savings.

        To figure out new ridership, you can look at the number of people who had a significant increase. These are people who switch to using transit.

        Of course, here are areas where people will ride transit because they have to (the Central Area being one of those areas). So shave off five minutes from 23rd and Yesler to downtown (or to the UW or Lower Queen Anne or Ballard …) and you may not get that many new riders. But at that point you are basically quibbling with the second metric and saying that poor people deserve less improvement in transit because they will accept anything. Good luck with that argument.

        Anyway, using that metric (time saved per rider, assuming everyone took transit) is probably the best we can come up with. It does mean a more holistic view of things. You have to sit down with the bus people and ask them to plot out new routes based on the changes, and then try and figure out how much overall time the overall system would save. In some cases, poaching* bus riders is not a bad thing. Extend light rail further north and you free up a lot of buses, even though you haven’t made the ride any faster. But that will, in turn, mean more service, which will in turn lead to more overall time savings. Of course, for the money you could simply run more ST buses. In this case the math is pretty easy, because you don’t have significant time savings by switching to light rail (or at least you don’t have time savings for very many riders**) so you can simply figure out how much in service hours you save versus the cost of the system. In many cases (and this is probably one) it is cheaper to just buy the extra bus service.

        * I should have been more clear — by “poaching” I mean taking a route and not adding any speed or connectivity improvements. A streetcar replacing a bus route is a good example of this. This is my irritation with the “ridership for the money” argument.

        ** You do have some, because areas along the way become more convenient. But unlike Seattle, the northern suburbs don’t have huge numbers of people going from one suburban neighborhood to another.

    3. Ross,

      Sound Transit has no responsibility for riders on Seattle’s arterials. Their mandate is to link regional centers, so you can’t blame them for the fact that nowhere is North King County north of the Ship Canal except UW, Northgate and maybe Lake City will ever be a “regional center”.

      In all honesty I wonder why Seattle persists in trying to shoehorn its local HCT system into the “Sound Transit” box, in which it really doesn’t fit. We both agree that the three most useful projects for Seattle are Ballard-UW, the WSTT and the “Metro 8” (thank you for the moniker). None of those projects can in any way be considered “regional” in nature.

      Oh sure, the Metro 8 would connect with Link at CHS and Jimi (and if I had my way at Mt. Baker, too), providing folks from the far north end and East King with access to the hospital district. But most of the workers there live in Seattle, and the patients come by car. So the value to suburbia will be vanishingly small.

      Obviously, the problem Seattle faces is the egregious hostility of the f#&tards in the state legislature who won’t give the City the right to tax itself as it sees fit. Sound Transit seems like the only option, and it may be. But if so, expect the crap sandwich of far too few stations and infrequent headways “because we run four-car trains!!!!!”

  4. Low income populations within a full mile? Isn’t that a bit far? Even then, the proportion of low income riders served by rail in these alternatives appears quite low – yet the likely funding elements will contain regressive taxes. ST3 appears to be on the fast track to an economic justice lawsuit!

    1. Does that really give a cause of action, though? Even if Sound Transit was building nothing but a loop around Medina, that might be bad policy, but I don’t see any cause for a lawsuit.

      (Okay, subarea equity would mean only East King funds could be wasted in Medina. But you know what I mean.)

      1. Fascinating. I could see opponents using two lines of argument against this system:

        1) Attack subarea equity itself. This is similar to the court case against the state and public education. It isn’t enough to just have each jurisdiction pay for its own service. That itself, especially when the funding is based on the potential revenue raised, will tend to favor wealthier districts. In Sound Transit’s defense, the districts are not drawn up that precisely. East King (a wealthy area) includes Renton (an area not as wealthy). Seattle includes Rainier Valley. The South King area might be screwed (and forced to live with less transit that the number of people would suggest) but I think the difference is slight.

        2) Attach the projects within the subareas. I don’t really see a strong case here. We started with the Rainier Valley, which is probably the best thing you could say about Sound Transit so far (they started with the lowest income people in the city). That decision itself makes for a very strong counter argument. Certain specific projects (such as serving the West Seattle Junction rather than Delridge) might make for a decent case, but I doubt you will be able to convince any jury that Sound Transit is favoring one class over another.

        So I think the first argument might stand a chance, but no one has tried it, or talked about it. Overall, though, it is case where most critics would contend that we are favoring one neighborhood over another (e. g. West Seattle) or making stupid decisions (e. g. West Seattle light rail) as opposed to favoring a particular demographic over another.

      2. Wow, a lot of typos — sorry about that:

        1) …. forced to live with less transit than the number of people would suggest (not “forced to live with less transit that“).

        2) Attack the projects within the subareas (not “Attach”).

      3. I think that even within a subarea, the most encouraged ST3 corridors could have valid lawsuit issues. Rail to Issaquah before rail to Renton? Rail to Federal Way before rail to Burien? Rail to Alaska Junction before rail to White Center? These are areas with small cities — or in Seattle’s case council districts — whose leaders would not suffer much fallout highlighting the system inequality that is implicit in ST3.

        Keep in mind that LA planners were busy trying to keep the power base happy and didn’t think something like the BRU lawsuit would happen. It did. Now here, several Seattle City Council incumbents are being challenged from those who speak passionately about income inequality issues. The forces are sitting there like kindling and a motivated elected official or community leader could easily turn this into a hot button issue quite quickly.

      4. Yeah, I mentioned the third case (serving one area of West Seattle versus another). That could happen. I don’t think Issaquah light rail is in the cards though — mainly because it can’t go downtown (and the slough is a big problem). Federal Way before Burien? That most certainly could happen, but I don’t think Federal Way is that wealthy. Which is one factor — part of the reason that a case like this is less likely is because there is no obvious intent (although that might not matter) and we aren’t nearly as stratified as L. A. Meanwhile, the wealthiest areas are not getting much (nothing for Medina or Laurelhurst). Unless Sound Transit changes their tune very quickly, they don’t seem to be focused on just wealthy areas (BRT along 405 is not exactly favoring the wealthy).

        There are a lot of things to criticize Sound Transit for, but I don’t think this is one of them.

      5. @RossB. But McCleary depends pretty critically on Article 9 of the State Constitution. There is nothing similar for transit.

      6. @William — I agree. I felt like explaining why it was similar and why it wasn’t, but you have already done so. I think it is only similar in spirit — overall intent, if you will. The clause is in the state constitution for a reason — this very reason (they want schools in all areas to be decent).

        But you are right, there is nothing in state law (that I know of) that would suggest that ST has committed any violation. They would have to do as they did in the other case and suggest a civil rights law (federal) violation. I don’t think such a case is strong, but it is plausible (and my guess is wouldn’t be tossed out as frivolous). But I’m not a lawyer, so what do I know.

  5. Biggest news: The Ballard-UW conceptual study will only study the tunnel option! Yeah!

      1. If they’re aiming for an effective transit system, the result will be that a Ballard-UW tunnel will save thousands of people lots of time every single day it’s in operation, compared to current bus service.

        I have serious doubts that the Sound Transit board considers operation of an effective transit system to be the highest priority, so I really can’t predict what the study will show.

      2. That if we can successfully lobby ST to build the best line of all, then they won’t build whatever “rapid streetcar” at grade bullshit they’ve been pushing.

      3. The cynic in me says that they’ll come up with a budget too large to also allow rail to West Seattle, and declare that building an acceptable interchange at Brooklyn is technically impossible [they won’t even consider treating it as a spur, but I suspect that they’ll find it impossible to build an interchange that doesn’t require a great deal of vertical travel.

        With these results I fear that it’ll be shelved until ST 4, at the earliest.

      4. @William A,

        It will only make it into ST4 if it makes sense, and that will be a very hard case to make.

      5. Nice try, Lazarus. It makes perfect sense now, and it will make even more sense then. The only question is how many more decades we’re willing to keep strangling the economy of the city north of the ship canal with crappy cross town mobility.

      6. Hopefully they delay West Seattle til ST4 :) West Seattle is only ~80k ppl and not dense at all. The numbers don’t make sense for the peninsula yet.

      7. My guess is that if UW to Ballard light rail or the WSTT is not in ST3, then there won’t be an ST4. ST3 will die a horrible death (in a presidential election year, no less) and folks will reconsider the entire operation, leading to new management and a new approach. The low hanging fruit has been picked — ST has to be careful what they do from here on in or a lot of people will be embarrassed (if not out of a job).

    1. Yeah, that is good news. No reason to waste time studying other (half-ass) measures. Let’s hope they study the effect on buses as well and consider decent stop spacing (e. g. 15th, 8th, Aurora, Meridian).

      1. Some slight tweaks to your station list, Ross. 17th-15th, 8th and 51st (not Market), Fremont/Aurora at 45th with an east side entrance, not under 46th and Wallingford, not Meridian.

        Reasons: entrances at 17th put people within the Ballard entertainment district and a block closer to Swedish; do have an entrance on the southeast side of 15th and Market, though. The blocks to the southeast are ripe for re-purposing. Eighth and 51st is close enough to the blocks around Fred Meyer to trigger their re-development and the housing there has no views and so is much lower quality. That is, it’s replaceable with mid-rises. Forty-fifth puts the Upper Fremont station closer to the apartments lining both sides of Aurora to the south AND the cluster along Linden to the south. Finally, central Wallingford primarily lies to the west of Wallingford Avenue, including the largish buildings going up at Stone Way.

  6. So if I’m reading this right… there’s no Ballard-UW included at all? (Nor WSTT, but I was under the impression that ST wasn’t even looking at it)

    1. Both those projects are in the project list (the WSTT is a roundabout way i think)

  7. You all seem to have no idea how influential this blog is, and how much more it could be if organised for political action. A coherent, well articulated and depicted case for ridership- based investment would be eaten up by the media and the business community, not to mention influence policy makers. an example, how does John fox and his displacement “coalition” weild such disproportionate power?(note- I disagree with almost every one of his positions). By making himself known, being a squeaky wheel. Now imagine what he could do with actually good ideas, 21st century visual tools and some foot soldiers. This blog needs to move into advocacy.

    1. It does advocacy by “highest thought” discussion. Things are refined by well-informed non-professionals with (mostly) no axes to grind. Well, there is the ax of “You really need to believe that transit is a good thing to be respected here.”

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