Photo by the Author
Photo by the Author

At a Tuesday morning press conference from the last timber-supported bridge in Seattle – a 500′ long structure that carries Fairview Ave E into South Lake Union – Mayor Murray formally kicked off the Move Seattle campaign effort. Flanked by a diverse coalition of interests including Transportation Choices Coalition, Puget Sound Sage, the Downtown Seattle Association, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber, Mayor Murray repeatedly hit themes of access, equity, Vision Zero, and investment to sell the $930m levy that would supplant the expiring Bridging the Gap Levy.

Later that evening at Spitfire Grill for the campaign kickoff, Mayor Murray, SDOT Director Scott Kubly, DSA President Jon Scholes, and TCC’s Shefali Ranganathan energized a surprisingly raucous crowd while appealing for donations of time and funds. Proving that Seattle’s penchant for lovable nerdiness knows no bounds, Peddler Brewing Company’s Haley Woods took the mic and said that reading the project list filled her with literal tears of joy, prompting Mayor Murray to quip (paraphrased), “If only I’d known when I was back in the legislature that transportation project lists could bring people to tears. That makes me want to hang out with you.”

Opposition to the levy is scattered but also relatively well funded, with names such as Eugene Wasserman and Faye Garneau leading the Keep Seattle Affordable opposition campaign, for which Garneau alone has contributed $50,000 (90% of total contributions). Prior to last night’s kickoff, the Move Seattle campaign had raised $32,750, with the Downtown Seattle Association, Urban Visions, and Urban Renaissance Group kicking in 75% of that. It’s clear that the general public has not engaged much with the proposal yet, on either side.  As with any campaign, they are seeking donations and volunteers for phonebanking and doorbelling.

So what’s in the levy and what does it mean for you? The levy is substantially the same as when we last reported on the proposal, with some tinkering around the margins. The project list is visionary and expansive, strongly investing across all modes and in all council districts. City leaders have spoken of a ‘growth dividend’ made possible by higher home values and a growing population, permitting a funding level that is nearly triple Bridging the Gap while still keeping the median additional tax burden to $12 per month. The $930m levy will be leveraged by $285m in current appropriations and an estimated $564m in external funding such as grants, leading to a $1.8B project list.

Project highlights after the jump.

Move Seattle: 7 New"RapidRide+" Corridors and So Much More
Move Seattle: 7 New”RapidRide+” Corridors and So Much More

“Congestion Relief”/Transportation Choices ($799m)

  • “Rapid Ride Plus” Corridors: Move Seattle would identify, design, and construct BRT-style improvements on 7 corridors:
    • Madison BRT (new dedicated route)
    • Fairview/Eastlake/Roosevelt/Northgate (new dedicated route)
    • Rainier Ave S (Route 7)
    • Westlake/Leary/24th/85th/Holman (Route 40)
    • Market/45th (Route 44)
    • 23rd Avenue/Pacific/15th (Route 48)
    • Delridge (Route 120)
  • Complete the Burke-Gilman Missing Link
  • Plan pedestrian connections between East Wallingford and the future UDistrict Link Station
  • Optimize traffic signal timing on 5 corridors per year
  • $10m contribution towards a Graham Street Link Station
  • $15m contribution towards the Northgate Pedestrian Bridge
  • $2m for the Accessible Mount Baker project
  • 150 blocks of new sidewalks, again with an emphasis on transit corridors
  • 1,500 new bike parking spots
  • $20m contribution toward the $130m Lander Street Overpass

Safe Routes ($369m):

  • 50 miles of protected bikeways
  • 60 miles of neighborhood greenways
  • $2m set aside specifically for bike improvements near Mount Baker Station
  • 9-12 Safe Routes to School projects each year
  • 12-15 Corridor Safety Projects
  • Increase crosswalk marking repainting to every 4 years
  • 225 blocks of sidewalk repair, with a focus on connecting neighborhoods to frequent transit
  • 750 curb ramp improvements
  • $26m set aside for neighborhood priority projects

Maintenance and Repair ($611m)

  • 180 lane-miles of arterial repaving
  • 70 lane-miles per year of spot paving
  • Seismic reinforcement for 16 bridges
  • Replacement of the Fairview Avenue timber bridge
  • $34m to design bridge replacements, with a $10m set aside for near term bike/ped improvements, likely for the Ballard Bridge.

There is much more in the full project list, as Attachment A of the original legislation. Read it here.

71 Replies to “Move Seattle Kicks Off: Get Involved for Better Transit”

  1. An exclusive lane BRT style 40 sounds too good to be true. Sign me up if its real.

    I am concerned about the 44 though. Not sure its possible to give it exclusive lanes… especially between 3rd and Greenwood.

      1. Perhaps signals at the wide parts of the street, at both the top and bottom of the hill, could hold auto traffic while the bus proceeds. Sounds possible to me.

    1. We need to pin down what “RapidRide+” means. What’s the minimum quality? Does it include exclusive transit lanes? (I would even be happy with 90% exclusive lanes, because some intersections may just be too narrow, like the Market Street hill between Phinney Ridge and Ballard. If you take two transit lanes, that leaves one car lane, and where does the other car direction go? There’s no other street nearby.)

      1. I tweeted that question to the levy campaign last night, and here is what they said: “Better transit priority, better buses, better bike/ped access. Not just +, ‘to the ^nth power'”. Gather from that what you will.

      2. Creative idea:

        Direction switching center bus only lane.

        Buses are held in bus only lanes with bus only stop lights on either side of the three lane zone. The signal only allows one direction through the narrow segment at a time. Since fewer buses move through here than cars, a direction switching lane might just work.

      3. “Not just +, ‘to the ^nth power’”

        Mike, and Seattle S. at least commentor was fighting back, but this illustrates why Confucius said that language reform was key to saving the Kingdom.

        If China had listened to him instead shaming him bythat answer would be in racist imitation Chinese forever, overhead handholds would have existed thousands of years ago.

        Though PCC streetcars, straps and their hangers and all, may very well have actually been constantly running that long.

        Real bummer is that the consultant’s reports approving fare-boxes in the DSTT probably did say things like: “+, ‘to the ^nth power’” Execute them, O Emperor, execute them! (Possibly-racist) sound effect goes: “Bong!”


      4. Stop spacing will be the big battle, I would assume. Hopefully we’ve learned some lessons from RapidRide on that score.

      5. Just out of curiosity, how long would it take for the Rapidride 44 be able to go from the U link light rail to 15th and Market? (as opposed to the normal 44)

        Could it serve as a consolation prize for not getting the Ballard Spur built (especially if they have an express version)?

      6. Driving with zero traffic, zero intermediate stops is 13 minutes from U-District light rail to 15th and Market – that’s still longer than the Ballard Latitudinal.

      7. Regarding the narrow intersections: Eugene has them too. EmX drops to a single two direction dedicated lane there. It works quite well. The transit agency has control of what bus has priority. It can’t do that in a mixed traffic lane.

        Really, someone from STB and KCM should go down there and see how well the whole thing works. There’s stuff that could have been done better, but they got a lot of bang for the buck.

    2. Improving the 44 on Market would be nice, but the major slowdowns I think are from 46th & Aurora to 45th & 15th. I seriously doubt Wallingford will allow parking to give way for dedicated bus lanes or even BAT, even if the city did something like building a parking garage on one of the many vacant lots along 45th.

      In the U-District, my dream would be for 45th between I-5 and 15th to be transit only at least during peak times but I also seriously doubt that would happen.

      1. No one thought we could get transit only lanes anywhere in the city just a few years ago.

        I think the congestion is creating momentum for change.

      2. I agree. More and more voters are sitting on buses in jammed general purpose lanes, which helps nobody.

  2. How much flexibility is there with the proposals? I like them, but I can think of various things that would dramatically alter the importance of some corridors versus others. I am specifically thinking of Sound Transit, and what could happen in a few years. For example:

    1) Sound Transit makes a solid commitment to the NE 130th station. That suggests that the Lake City Way to Bitter Lake corridor is ripe for BRT (or least corridor improvements).

    2) UW to Ballard light rail is passed. This would make the work being done there nice, but of temporary benefit.

    3) There is no Ballard to downtown light rail (either because ST3 fails or because it isn’t proposed). The 15th/Leary corridor then becomes more of a city responsibility.

    Are there legal obligations to build the things on this list, or can the city move things around as they see fit?

    1. RossB

      How long would it take to build Ballard to UW? I’m assuming at least 10 years (and that is assuming ST picks it).

      1. Yeah, good point. A lot depends on the nature of the changes. If we are talking about tearing out sidewalks (for an expanded roadway) then I don’t think it will fly if folks feel like “light rail is coming”. But if we are talking about replacing parking and giving a bit of signal priority to he buses, I think it is quite possible.

        I’m more asking in general. If you ignore Sound Transit, then it seems odd to me that nothing is being considered for the west side (15th/Elliot) — by the way, I spaced and wrote 15th/Leary earlier. But if you know what Sound Transit is considering, then it makes sense. Likewise for Lake City. My guess is that Seattle doesn’t want to get into the Sound Transit debate too heavily, and prefers to avoid it for now when it comes to these projects. But in general, I prefer projects like this to have flexibility, since so much could change in the next few years. Thus my question.

  3. “$15m contribution towards the Northgate Pedestrian Bridge”

    How much is this thing going to cost? They just received $15 M in the state revenue package, according to the TIGER grant application ST is contributing $15 M, and they are asking for just as much from TIGER.

    This is a $60 Million bridge?

    1. It’s a $26m bridge. Like with Lander St Overpass, which has been funded before but rescinded when partner funds didn’t come through, it seems like this is trying to pool resources to get enough funding commitments. If state/federal grants paid enough for it, I imagine that $15m would be reprogrammed elsewhere?

    2. The strategy was to make sure the bridge got funded by applying for multiple sources at once since losing funding would mean the bridge would not get built (not just delayed). If they manage to win all three potential sources, money will likely get moved around a bit.

    3. The cost of this bridge is out of control. I periodically bring it up. I can see the TV ads against prop 1 already: “They are building a $26 million bridge, do they really need more money?”

      To put this in perspective, if you’ve ever been to my neck of the woods (Federal Way), you may have been to the Federal Way Community Center. From what I remember, I think the cost to build that was $20 million, compared to the $26 million for a freaking pedestrian bridge.

      I have in the past speculated about bridge materials being pure gold and even iPads. I think they are opting to use the new iPad Pro that Apple just announced. $26m will buy 32,500 of them. That’s enough to make a bridge 8 iPads wide and 4062 iPads long.

    4. The Tiger Grant is very unlikely to yield any money. The TIGER system is spread too thin across all 50 states and everybody is busy applying at once, since, with a Republican Senate, this is likely the last year that TIGER exists at all for the foreseeable future. The only reason the city is even applying for it is because they already have an application ready to go from last year, so the marginal cost of submitting it again is almost nothing.

  4. Wow. No Center City Connector or Aloha Extension.

    I’m OK with that — there lots of other worthy projects, and I’m not sure that streetcars are net vote-winner — but I’m mildly surprised.

    1. ugh, good catch. that’s a terrible omission IMO. I was so excited for the Center City Connector. And now that it’ll probably never get built, there’s going to be an even greater capacity problem in the two downtown tunnels.

      1. All the more reason why I wonder how much flexibility there is with these projects. I’m alright with the idea of spelling out the areas you want to study *right now*. But when it comes to actually funding them, I think the city should be able to change its mind. There is so much gong on from a transportation standpoint, both by the state (SR 99) and Sound Transit (ST3) that I think it would make a lot of sense to be flexible. If Bertha gets fixed and the grid north of Denny (over Aurora) gets connected, then a fast, frequent bus along that corridor makes more sense than half the projects on there.

      2. Ross,

        Flexibility is great, but “the City Council can do whatever they want with the money” has been a talking point against Seattle measures in the past.

      3. Single strongest argument for CCC (and winner of best infographic-related-to-Seattle-transit of current decade award:

        Go to page 71.

        Add in that the Feds will pay for most of it, and o&m are projected to be 1.85/rider (ie, below ticket prices), and you’re looking at ridership of 80% of central link, for what amounts to a rounding error in most of these projects.

    2. Good point, Martin. Is the Center City Connector necessarily a streetcar? I could see it being a streetcar if it went through the Seattle Center, but if it skirts the outside, then it could be just a BRT (like Madison as well as Eastlake/Roosevelt). I’m wondering if the Bertha failures has them a bit gun shy about suggesting a major improvement to an area that is dependent on her being able to finish the job.

      Eventually a bus route like that makes a huge amount of sense. it also makes sense to strike when the iron is hot. Right now, the road doesn’t connect. Very few cars go east-west (since you can’t go very far). So it would make sense for the city to get “first dibs” on the road and just say right off that it will have bus lanes, bike lanes and not much more. It isn’t like you are “taking” anything, since there is nothing there now.

      1. The reason I really like the CCC as a streetcar is because of how much more useful it makes the SLUS and the FHSC. Without it, those two really only brush the edges of the CBD.

      2. Ross, the problem with having the CCC be a bus is that its “reserved” right-of-way will be intruded upon with complete abandon by private vehicles. With a streetcar the lane can be covered with rough pavers making usage at a minimum unpleasant. It can have unpaved sections which simply can’t be negotiated with a normal car. MAX does that on the Yellow Line every couple of blocks along Burnside and Interstate Avenue. It can even be chained off between stations to discourage jaywalkers, which of course would likely work for buses, too.

    3. Have a feeling Broadway merchants will show more interest in the Aloha extension if the First Hill line is at all successful. But I’m wondering why the Pioneer Square to Pike Place Market economy has let the Connector be left out of the plan.

      On top, incidentally, of why any commercial interest on Downtown First Avenue has let KC Metro get away with so little through service at all down First. For so many years. With, to be repetitive, a mine-full of aerial copper running above nothing but base routes.

      I really doubt that current business generation still thinks that trapped non-transit traffic is essential to profits. And world-wide, many compacted areas consider streetcars excellent customer-attractors. Especially tourists.

      My own guess is that the neighborhood thinks that the line will be paid for in some other plan. Maybe to do with the Waterfront project, whose streetcars may really be wanted relocated rather than removed. Anybody else- like especially the head of the Market Association- want to give me reality-check?

      Mark Dublin

    4. Dang, I hadn’t thought about that. I’m disappointed – reading the research they did, the CCC has pretty incredible ridership/dollar, and would make the existing streetcar segments a lot more worthwhile, too (pretty much doubling ridership on the SLUT, because it would actually go somewhere now).

      RossB – the CCC is, unless changed substantially, a streetcar. The idea would be to overlap and boost frequency of the two existing streetcars, so that in downtown, you’d get (IIRC) 5 min headways, and ten min headway son either tail.

    5. Streetcars are more expensive than buses but don’t have Link’s speed. The streetcar corridors are not where the biggest transit needs are. Move Seattle needs to focus on the biggest short-term transit needs while we build out Link and debate how to serve what Link doesn’t. The city has already chosen Transit Master Plan corridors, so let’s improve as many of them as possible, minus streetcar-specific projects like the CCC. We can do the CCC afterwards if we must.

      1. Mike, every tool has its use. Portland is closest example of a system using large, faster trains for what used to be called “Interurban” service-like LINK- and also smaller local cars along streets through business districts.

        Nobody expects, or needs, a corridor like First Avenue between Jackson and Pike Place Market to deliver any speed much faster than walking. Though much smoother and more capacious and comfortable than rubber tired buses. Especially for standing loads.
        Streetcars are basically long horizontal elevators with windows.

        Fact that streetcars travel without any side-to-side variance give them at least two other advantages over buses in pedestrian-friendly commercial centers: one, pedestrians can calculate their safety margin withing a few inches, and two, visual window-shopping is easier.

        Especially, bus or rail, if trackside business community gives school-kids paint scrapers to remove the advertising “wraps” across vehicle window glass, to assure that the State Lottery doesn’t block passengers’ access to messages from productive enterprises.

        Truth to tell, the above lateral-space considerations on Madison make streetcars a more believable transit way than buses.

        As for expense, results could depend on time-frame. Larger construction expense can be recouped by much lower operating and maintenance costs. Buses are very hard on pavement. So in addition to personnel to passenger ratio, it might cost less to keep tracks in shape than asphalt and concrete.

        Construction priority is a fair question. But once again, nobody is demanding a whole street rail system at once. Pioneer Square to Pike Place Market isn’t EastLINK. With an immediate pay-off in service and benefit.

        Mark Dublin

      2. “every tool has its use.”

        Modern European streetcars have their own right of way in large stretches, fewer level crossings, exclusive lanes, robust signal priority, and larger vehicles, so they can truly be called “transit”. They’re like Link on MLK or SODO, or the MUNI J line where it has its own ROW for a few blocks on the side of a hill. What Seattle defines as a “streetcar” is like the ancient streetcars in the middle of the street that face a traffic intersection every block. Trackless trolleys do just as well there, at lower cost. We don’t need to expand the existing streetcar lines, we need to acknowledge that they’re badly designed and in the wrong places, and not throw good money after bad. If the city builds the CCC anyway with money it finds somewhere I won’t object, but that will address a transit non-need and divert money from other corridors that have more critical transit needs.

    6. The CCC is absolutely going forward and the city fully intends to build it soon. It’s just not mentioned in the Move Seattle marketing materials. It’s going to travel down First and Stewart to connect the two existing lines, and there are plans in the works to expand lane exclusivity and priority for those lines as well. There are even two open houses on 9/29 and 9/30.

      1. Jason, it’s missing from the ordinance, not just the marketing materials. Do you have any evidence that there is a funding stream?

      2. If you paid attention to Kubly’s testimony to Licata earlier this year, and if you read Sections 6 and 8 of the levy ordinance in concert, it’s fairly clear to me that the City intends to use some of the levy proceeds for the CCC, probably along with grant money. The levy proposal isn’t binding when it comes to specific projects and it provides plenty of wiggle room for this sort of maneuver. The levy ordinance even includes language that says that the transportation improvements listed are subject to “modifications as the City may from time to time authorize by ordinance” as well as saying that “the Spending Breakdown is illustrative only and shall not be mandatory.” It’s possible that the city has an alternative funding source in mind, but they are clearly leaving open the option of at least partially funding the CCC with Move Seattle money. And again, there are two open houses for the CCC later this month. Why would the city be conducting an environmental assessment right now and holding open houses if they had decided to scrap the CCC?

    7. A transportation levy failed a couple years ago partly because it included “too much streetcar” rather than sidewalks and potholes. The streetcar component divided the pro-transit voters in half, which is probably what pushed it over the edge to defeat. The council may be trying to avoid that mistake again. Either by not including streetcars, or by making them inconspicuous in the marketing.

  5. Wow, now that the Center City Connector is gone, there’s literally no significant projects from Move Seattle for Belltown and Downtown. We get… some greenways and nothing else! Pretty terrible if you ask me.

    1. i would disagree – unless you don’t leave Belltown-downtown, your connections to the rest of the city are majorly improved. And, I’d argue that that’s a fairly narrow way to define “we”.

      But yes, clearly the rest of the city is getting more love in this one. But the rest of the city is getting some seriously good, cost-effective transit improvements.

      1. I agree, I’m going to vote for it because i’m not selfish, but it’s disappointing to see no investment in the place with the highest needs.

    2. Zach,

      I suspect the city is going to find another way, not requiring a city wide vote to fund the CCC. Or at least that is the impression I get.

      Maybe they will go for a local LID? Maybe they will go through the couch cushions again? The feds will probably give them a big chunk of what they need, so funding the rest might not need a levy.

      Remember, last time streetcars were in a levy, it went down in flames.

    3. Not necessarily a conflict, Zach. Streetcars have no problem on tracks with whole lawns planted between the rails. For same use, bus wheels need wider pads. And often, guided steering.

      Though for a mile or so, I think I remember Eugene’s BRT on concrete pads through linear lawns, steered only by the driver.

      Your serious point is right, though. In an argument, though, put it this way: Streetcars are an absolutely necessary PART of pedestrian travel.

      Mark Dublin

    4. The CCC is and always has been DOA. Such, if it gets built, it’ll be nothing more than a zombie train, but slower than typical zombies. Even Martin lamented above that there are more worthy projects than this.

      And even so, what’s wrong with the multitudes of buses that run down 2nd, 3rd or 4th that can all run circles around a toy streetcar stuck in traffic? I’d say Belltown already has a lot of significant projects that serve it well.

      1. CCC is center boarding and traffic separated via protected lanes, and as I learned has a positive fare box recovery.

      2. Exclusive lanes means that it can travel between intersections unimpeded. At those intersections, it is at the mercy of the intersection (or it’s “exclusive” ROW) being clear. Ask the SLUT how it’s “exclusive ROW” works for it approaching and crossing Mercer.

        Also, positive farebox recovery? On a streetcar on 1st Ave that moves slower than walking?!?! I would LOVE to read the study that claims that. Check out this link:

        There are 6 systems in the world that are at or above 100%, all in extremely densely populated Asian countries. There are a few North American systems that clock in around 75%, with extremely high fares. King County Metro hovers around 29%. Looking at the 2014 budget, it appears that the SLUT is less than 20%. And that’s for a 1.3 mile system that is slightly faster than walking.

  6. This referendum is a classic example of choosing projects without strategic public discussion. This attitude is defective of the political culture problem in Seattle.

    There was little effort to put out to the public different alternatives (at least four or five) to allocate the money, take feedback, and refine a plan. It’s dictated as one alternative — take it or leave it! It polarizes decision-making and it’s politically counter-productive in building consensus on how to move forward. The apparent reason? Public involvement in Seattle has an ugly history of only a few stakeholders demanding to get their way, leaving agencies afraid of advancing public involvement beyond token public meetings and written comment feedback. Agencies end up pitching only one alternative (or maybe two) to begin with, and adjusting/refining that alternative to ameliorate these few stakeholders. It’s terribly polarizing and politically unhealthy.

    I’m also bothered by this shopping list in that it allocates a range of projects for popular projects around Seattle, but doesn’t allocate nearly enough funds to make many of them actually happen. It’s kind of the worst of both worlds; locking us into doing some projects with seed money but still not providing enough revenue to make those projects happen. Everything becomes an undefined “someday” and everything becomes “decided” all in one vote.

    1. The city has a transit master plan, which it put together around 2012 with public input. This implements parts of it. There are also pedestrian, bicycle, road, and freight mobility plans, which Murray has been working on integrating into one. The city is also working on a long-term comprehensive plan, again with public input. Move Seattle reflects the plans that exist, and for those that don’t exist yet, what they’d most likely contain.

    2. Always a problem with public projects, Al. Starting with a large and quarrelsome constituency of contractors with something to sell.

      And historically- as transit constantly sees- public demand may completely miss things that now seem like no one could ever question. A huge number of contemporary people could not imagine any need whatever for either the Brooklyn Bridge or the Golden Gate one.

      Until after the Second World War, nobody but the US Army and bicyclists thought that a linear canal of pig wallows was not perfectly sufficient for interstate passenger and freight travel. Considering all the results of the Interstates, there’s a legit argument that massively improved railroads would have left us a much better country.

      I’ve always wondered, however, if Seattle wouldn’t have an easier time with public transit if its industrial history had involved building more trains than planes. And machinery with more steel than silicon. Video presentation of future transit has improved enormously since Forward Thrust. People can get closer to seeing what the machinery would look like, in backgrounds they recognize.

      But I think it would be even better to build moving electric trains on real-world-correct rights of way to give people the sense of machinery. ‘Way better than the line and dot schematics that make public evaluation both impossible and repulsive.

      Above all, we’ve already had a seriously persuasive model railway in service since July 2009. Hate wasting money on surveys, so will stick with personal observation: a huge percentage of child-fare passengers, including a hundred percent of boys, will vote pro-transit for life.

      So we’ve already got massive, increasing, precise, and valuable data for future elections. Subtract passengers’ ages on their first train ride from voting age. Possibly take finger and nose-prints from train windows for tighter calculations.

      Three years old in 2009 equals positive lifetime voting- and average age is getting longer- in 2024. Which will be ST…? Sooner or later- unless we really screw up, or Transporter technology finally doesn’t require passenger exit via mop, our electorate will feed exponentially on itself.

      Which I clearly remember columnist Ted Van Dyk bewailing as an inevitable and disastrous consequence of light rail.

      Mark Dublin

    3. This is already looking much better than Prop 1 in 2011, where mayor McGinn was intentionally very vague about which specific projects would get funded, so everyone assumed, pessimistically, that their money would be re-directed to other parts of the city. The fact that we now have a very detailed list means we know exactly what we’re getting for our money if we vote “yes”. Which makes voting “yes” a lot easier for a lot of people.

  7. Leveraging “existing appropriations” is kind of disingenuous. The money is already there. We don’t lose it if this doesn’t pass, unlike maybe some of the grants.

    Is there any serious fear that this won’t pass? I can’t think of the last Seattle levy that failed. Many new arrivals can’t vote here (not US citizens or haven’t re-registered from their old states), so even though the city has added lots of residents, I doubt the electorate has changed a lot.

  8. I’m usually all for measures like this – as a homeowner I’m happy to pay a little more in taxes to keep the city flowing and let me keep my car in the garage. I’m ok with most of the proposed projects – lots of small ones that might really help.
    BUT and this is a big but, I’m not at all happy with SDOT’s track record of doing what it says it will do – specifically the First Hill Street Car and the total lack of communication as to why it isn’t running currently. Frankly it was over-engineered in a typical Seattle fashion — rather than relying on off the shelf solutions (idea — instead of a battery / ocs power system with complex interface with the ETB wire why not old fashioned poles and use one leg of the ETB wire where lines overlap — before you say it can’t be done go to San Francisco and stand on Market Street and watch the F line streetcar use the trolley bus wire.) Until some transparency and believable communication comes out of SDOT I’m probably voting no — I just don’t trust them.

    1. There are a lot of good objections to the First Hill Streetcrawler, starting with its crazy route and continuing through its specialized power system. But, you can’t blame SDOT for its not being open yet: that’s a simple function of the manufacturer not building the cars to spec.

    2. We know why the FHSC is delayed: the manufacturing had problems, and the city is getting some amount of monies a week in return. There’s been so much reporting on that fact.

  9. So, I’d like to know how I can be pro-transit and anti HALA SF zone changes (as proposed – I’m open to a revised view) without feeling like I’m subject to some sort of Maoist cultural revolution struggle session, please let me know.

    I’d really like to help get better transit in Seattle. But if the best you can do is shriek at me because I’m supposedly a racist, what the hell am I supposed to do? I think Mayor Murray is dishonest, and the biggest 99 tunnel supporte, you could ever hope to find. Be careful about your so-called allies.

    Last time I mentioned HALA here, I was told it wasn’t in STB’s wheelhouse. I guess STB is all about HALA now.

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