Sound Transit 923

This is an open thread.

86 Replies to “News Roundup: Fair Share”

    1. Thanks for sharing the Bridge Lights. I was in Portland on opening day, riding the Orange line across the bridge one way, then walking back. Surprised to see that there were not more people walking across, even though it was a very warm day. The A/B loop streetcars made it very easy to get to/from the bridge from where I was staying in the Lloyd district.

  1. Funny how a KeyArena renovation is suddenly possible after all those years we were told it wasn’t. Turns out it’s cheaper too. And in a much better location. For me it’s always been a no brainier.

    1. And it is already accessible by high-capacity transit, with a short walk: Just fare-integrate the monorail. (I’m agnostic on where, exactly, ST3 stations should be, but sportsball fans’ commute are not more important than the daily commutes of people who actually work or live in Lower Queen Anne, Belltown, and South Lake Union, especially when we are talking about a smaller sports palace than the two in the SODO.)

      1. Just for context, the Pacific Science Center gets more than 800,000 visitors a year. If that many people came to watch NBA basketball at Seattle Center, the team would be in the top 10 for attendance.

      2. Yeah I don’t understand why it “only works if ST3 puts a stop there”

        Its not like we have a monorail or anything…

      3. If it means one more entity lobbying for a lower Queen Anne Station on the way to Ballard, that sounds fine with me.

      4. The capability of that outdated beacon of transit—The Westlake Center Monorail—to quickly and efficiently transport thousands of sports fans to and from NHL/NBA games is highly questionable.

    2. It’s extremely difficult to stage for major events and concerts there precisely because of its location – that’s a major reason that none of the people planning on spending money on an arena are interested in it. ST3 having a station there would certainly help patrons come and go, but wouldn’t be much help for the various trucks etc. that are needed behind the scenes. It’s why over the years so many major acts have either gone to the Tacoma Dome, Portland or just haven’t come to the area.

      I love the Key (Coliseum for those of us who are a bit older) and thought it was a great place to watch a basketball game; I’m sure that it could be renovated to seat enough and have the amenities a modern arena has–and if the City were doing so on their own dime there would certainly be some interest from at least some of the potential NBA and NHL ownership groups. When people are putting up their own money, however, they are going to want to maximize the dates and events that it will be used.

      1. Are you basing this on fact or conjecture? Seattle Center hosts major events all summer long – with much larger attendance than any NBA/NHL game could ever be. If major concerts are going to Tacoma Dome instead, it’s because Tacoma Dome seats more people (But seriously, Portland?).

        I think your second paragraph is key. That’s always been the story. Key Arena is starting to make money as a concert venue:

        http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/keyarena-turns-a-bigger-profit-than-it-ever-did-with-the-sonics/

      2. Fair point; I’ve heard from the new arena sides that promoters have been avoiding the Key due to logistics (that said, there are undeniable logistical issues with the current loading and street situation at the Key), but I have no spreadsheet or the like “proving” as much. I’ve personally had to travel to Tacoma and, yes, Portland over many years for shows that one would have assumed would be booked in Seattle. Portland’s Moda Center seats about 3,000 more, which may also be a factor there.

        I would think that one of the factors towards the Key’s recent success is the fact that the City partnered with major promotions group AEG in the running of the Key once the Sonics left, and AEG obviously has a vested interest in bringing shows to their own facilities. Win-win. However, if the arena is renovated for NBA/NHL, many of those available dates do disappear, and unless the City will front the entire bill, those owners will want some control and a cut. That in turn will diminish the profits that the Key is currently returning.

  2. DJC: “Reserved parking permits could be available to those who carpool to transit lots as early as fall of 2016, and to solo drivers by late 2016 or early 2017. The locations are: Angle Lake Station, Auburn Station, Federal Way Transit Center, Issaquah Transit Center, Kent Station, Mercer Island Park-and-Ride, Overlake Transit Center, Puyallup Station, Sumner Station and Tukwila International Boulevard Station.”

    Benefit: carpoolers will get priority parking, as they should.
    Drawback: south Sound occasional transit users will be left out. I currently know that I can snatch a spot at Auburn or FW if I leave early to catch an early train or bus. Reserving all or part of the garage for permit holders will squeeze out occasional users entirely.

    1. Predictable access is at the heart of changing transportation choices. Pricing ALL parking is the best policy, but paid commuter-oriented permits would help.

    2. So let’s break this out by station type to address the occasional user concern, in order of most peak-rider focused to least.

      1. Sounder stations in Auburn, Kent, Puyallup, and Sumner. Occasional users aren’t really a valid consideration, since the entire nature of Sounder service is designed for and around commuters, who are exactly the people this permit scheme is supposed to work for. Granted, there are bus connections at these places too (particularly and Kent and Puyallup), so people driving to these stations in the middle of the day may have a tough time but that’s no different from how it is now.

      2. Link stations at Angle Lake and Tukwila-Int’l. (Federal Way’s Link plans are too far into the future for this subject.) Parking at Tukwila is already impossible; as a result, use of the bus network (and particularly the A and F lines) has already created the conditions to allow riders to use Link without having to drive there. Commuters who absolutely must drive to the station will see their odds of finding a spot improve; maybe a late arrival or two sees better luck as well. The same situation will probably come to pass at the new Angle Lake station and its associated parking garage.

      3. Bus stations: Federal Way, Issaquah, Overlake, and the problem child du jour, Mercer Island. First: I won’t discuss MI here; the thread from earlier this week is a better place for that. All of these places will have Link service in the future, but that’s still a number of years off. This is really where occasional riders are a concern, since these stations are expected to work for riders all day. The obvious solution is “improve local connections!” but because of the existing built environment, that’s not practical. I would mix it up: allocate percentages of the existing parking to carpool permits, but the rest should be daily paid parking — no free parking whatsoever (with exceptions for low-income riders where necessary). While it does constitute an additional barrier to originating trips at these stations, that’s exactly the point: if you choose not to use local connections, you’ll have to pony up for the use of parking at the station.

      Daily permits can have a pricing scheme at different times of the day as well, to discourage non-permitted commuter use: Fees before 10am are (amounts arbitrary for explanation) $7, fees after 10am are $4.50.

    3. I think only a minority of spaces will be available for permit. Commuter transit can only succeed if frequent commuters can reliably get to the station. Occasional riders may be left out, but as the word implies they’re occasional and unpredictable. What if we leave a space open for them but they don’t show up, or don’t show up most of the time? Then the capital investment in the parking space goes down the drain. But if we step back and look at the bigger picture, the reason people are driving to the station is they don’t have a good bus route to it, so we should work on that part. (Some people won’t rider any local bus, but others would if the routes came closer to them and were more frequent, reliable, and higher quality. Since these areas are low-density, this is a case where lower-cost “alternative service” or subsidized neighborhood taxis would help.)

      Disclaimer: I’m just talking general principles; I don’t know the specifics of each lot: what hours it’s full, how much unmet demand is in the surrounding area, or how much the P&R “should” address this demand. That’s probably different for each lot.

      1. In the case of Sounder, the low relative frequency of the train makes the connecting bus an even more difficult sell. Just by virtue of having bus stops that pick up passengers, there is always the possibility that any trip will contain one too many wheelchairs or change fumblers, forcing everyone on the bus to miss the train, and wait half an hour for the next one. So, the incentive is still to drive, unless the parking is completely full.

        The Sumner-Bonney Lake is a rare exception to this. First, the bus is point-to-point between Bonney Lake P&R and Sumner Station, so assuming it leaves on time, you know it’s going to arrive on time. By arriving at the bus stop and opening its doors a few minutes before the scheduled departure time, the “leave on time” part is also pretty reliable.

        Second, Bonney Lake->Sumner is actually a far enough trip that driving the round trip every day actually involves a non-trivial amount of gas money. So the financial incentive of the free transfer offered by the bus becomes significant too.

  3. Interesting ploy by Bagshaw: For Hansen/Sodo stadiums haters.Sonics return possible only if SDOT option chosen. and ST3 passes. Well played Ms. Bagshaw

    1. Yes, very interesting, especially when the SoDo location is nowhere near any current or future transit. Sometimes all this politicking makes my head spin. Even without ST3 a Seattle Center location would be better than South-SoDo.

      1. Now you are making my head spin. The “SoDo location is nowhere near any current or future transit?” Funny one.

      2. It’s awkwardly placed between the Stadium and Sodo stations, but yeah…. saying it’s “nowhere near” transit is exaggerating things just a tad.

      3. Lazarus, 1st and Holgate is a 15 minute walk to Stadium station. Over railroad tracks and under highway overpasses. With little of interest in the area to make the walk interesting.

        Yeah it could be worse, but taking Link to the proposed location is not convenient.

      4. You must not be following the stadium proposals very closely. The latest design for the SoDo stadium includes a pedestrian overpass that leaves directly from the stadium and crosses all the railroad tracks.

        From a transportation POV the SoDo site will always have better transportation connections than a LQA site. The Key will never have one Hwy, two Freeways, Amtrak, Sounder, LR and the Ferries all in roughly the same area. In fact, the Key is probably the worst possible site from a transportation POV.

        But I think Bagshaw knows all that. Her proposal really isn’t serious. Nobody on the Seattle City Council will ever forgo private funding for a 100% publically funded sports stadium. It just won’t happen, an nor should it.

      5. Key Arena is only a bad site, transportation-wise, if you’re arriving by car. If you’re coming by bike, it’s pretty good, and with the monorail, transit becomes pretty good also, especially if they run extra trains on gamedays to handle the crowds. If ST 3 passes, Ballard becomes a straight shot on a train that bypasses all traffic.

        And, then, of course, there’s walking. Put the arena in SODO, almost nobody will be walking from home to a game. Renovate Key Arena and people would live in Queen Anne and Belltown would walk to games – not insignificant population centers. I would also expect to see at least some people walking in from as far away as central Fremont or the western edge of Capitol Hill.

      6. @asdf2,

        If ST3 passes than the SoDo site would get a 2nd LR line to support the new stadium. Two LR lines are better than one.

      7. Spoken like someone who’s been huffing ST’s expansionist glue.

        One well-designed light rail line is worth 100 shittily-designed ones.

      8. Walksheds for sporting events are dramatically larger than normal walksheds. People expect to walk farther; even if you’re at one of the big suburban dinosaur stadia surrounded by acres of parking you’re still likely to end up walking some distance. The north end of lot E1 (the main lot) is nearly a mile from Husky Stadium; Padelford garage is about the same.

        I’ve never once heard a sports fan (or concert-goer, etc.) say “Well, I was thinking about going, but that 15 minute walk was too far.” The walk from Stadium station to Safeco is a convoluted one with an elevation gain over a bridge, yet many fans walk it from Link to M’s games as well as to the south end of the cLink (ID station is better for the cLink, IMHO, but many people use Stadium).

      9. @Scott S,

        You are absolutely correct about the size of walksheds for sporting events. Sports fans just expect to walk further for the occasional game as opposed to the distance they would be willing to walk for daily commuting.

        I’ve attended my share of events in the SoDo area. For awhile I was parking north of downtown with the intent of taking a bus in the RFZ to get down to the stadium district. What I found was that the buses were so slow that I could walk from north of DT to the stadiums faster than the bus could get me there.

        What did I do? I kept parking north of DT and just walked the distance instead. It has both parking, cost, and traffic advantages that you don’t get if you try to park right next to the stadium

      10. “If ST3 passes than the SoDo site would get a 2nd LR line to support the new stadium.”

        I suppose so. But it only matters if you’re coming from West Seattle. If you live in Belltown, Queen Anne, or Capitol Hill, you would probably much prefer Key Arena, since you can just walk all the way and not bother messing with crowded trains. Scott is right that for sporting events, people are willing to walk further than they are for most other things.

    2. Agreed about expanded walksheds for sporting events, beating a deadhorse but one more reason why the ULink station should have been at Montlake\520 not Husky Stadium, fans can and will walk the extra blocks for the handful of games a year at Husky Stadium. Especially when they are walking faster than the bumper to bumper traffic on Montlake\520 game days.

  4. Interesting that Expedia is only now providing free bus passes to employees. Even Amazon, which is both frugal and not particularly community-minded, has been doing that for years. Maybe it has something to do with being on the Eastside with fewer transit options and so much low density housing.

    I’m always amazed that companies and their workers don’t try to maximize the value of tax-free benefits. They try so hard to avoid paying corporate taxes. $1200 in free transit passes in lieu of $1200 in salary saves an ordinary worker $300 in income taxes and $92 in FICA. The company saves $92 in FICA and reduces parking expenses.

    1. I’ve never understood this either. $400/year in tax savings amounted to a decent vacation every third year for me for a decade and a half.

  5. One LMS critic repeatedly claimed SDOT does not have a plan to move people in and out of West Seattle during the Seattle Speaks debate on the Let’s Move Seattle ballot proposition. It appears SDOT heard her, and wanted to display that they do have a plan. (It’s a shame nobody brought up ST3.)

    Thanksfully, the silent majority all over town don’t seem to be buying the FUD that SDOT should stop building pedestrian, bike, and transit infrastructure, and focus on filling potholes. All the District Democrat groups have already endorsed LMS, including the 34th representing West Seattle.

    One of the speakers against LMS described LMS as a hodge-podge of disjointed ideas because it is multi-modal. This, after same speaker spent years calling for a unified city transportation master plan, and now doesn’t want it to include transit, pedestrians, and bikes (Oh, my!). He also said multiple times that there is no project list for LMS, and then bragged toward the end of the debate that his group is suing to have that (supposedly nonexistent list) taken down from SDOT’s website.

    The opposition appears to be a disjointed hodge-podge of long-time biking and transit opponents, and I hope we don’t take them lightly.

    1. The biggest opposition seems to be those who say let’s address freeway congestion first because that affects the most people. Well, that’s what Link is about to do: it will take hundreds of buses off the freeway which will make room for more cars. Not that that will solve congestion because it’s only a couple hundred cars, but it allows many times more people to bypass the congestion, which is “doing something”. Unfortunately not for West Seattle, but yes for the north end and Eastside and partially for the south end.

      1. We can’t expect LMS to contain a down payment on light rail to West Seattle, when ST3 will hopefully cover the whole cost (not counting federal grants). But speaking of federal grants, Maud from the Chamber claimed SDOT is likely to get a 2-1 match from outside sources. Has anyone fact-checked that?

    2. I’m amazed at those who think buses, trains, density, bike lanes, car share, bike share, other motorists, etc make traffic and parking worse but somehow cant make the connection\ realization that their SOV occupies physical space and would possibly be contributing to parking and traffic situation they whine so much about. Yes, that 40′ bus that takes up the space of two SOV but carries 80 people, is somehow the reason for traffic!?!? 80 SOVs takes up 1600′ of lane, or over a quarter mile bumper to bumper.

    1. What makes you blame this on “densitiests”? The article mentions that developers are interested in buying the building, but that doesn’t have any relationship to this, “emergency order to secure a vacant building.”

      1. “Developers are looking at building high-rises on the property.” They want to make the parcel more dense, so I call them densitiests.

        And I used the word disabled because one of them has an emotional support dog.

    2. Yeah, if not for the higher density building going in, all these people would be living in The Seattle Times building, just as they have for years. I think Danny Westneat complained about it in one his columns a few years ago (Larry has been living under my desk for months now, unable to afford a place to live).

      Nice try, Sam.

    1. And there’s a large amount of protectionism in New York. Look at Greenwich Village and neighborhoods around it. And guess what! NY has rent control too. So your example goes both ways in any case.

      What’s your policy proposal, Sam? Be specific.

      1. However, it is my understanding that new construction in NYC doesn’t have the same rent control rules that older buildings do. That allows new construction to charge market rates and would not discourage new development.

      2. That’s the problem though, in New York and San Francisco. Only buildings before a certain year, or leases before a certain year, get a significant benefit. There may be two or more tiers, with each later tier giving less benefit. All the new buildings are unaffordable, so people without an existing unit have nowhere to go. As the years go by, the percentage of rent-controlled units gets smaller and smaller until it serves only a small percentage of residents.

        A good rent-control system needs to cover all buildings including new ones, and not privilege a few residents at the expense of the many. And if that halts construction, then find some other way to get construction going again, such as nonprofit agreements of various kinds. Germany has statewide rent controls, so residents can always find a reasonably affordable unit and know they’ll be able to do so in the future, and landlords have certainty on a small profit but they can’t make a windfall with price gouging. That hasn’t stopped private developers from building, because there’s always somebody willing to make a small profit. And because it’s citywide or statewide, that dilutes the impacts so they’re not as strong on each owner or resident. Of course there are short-term housing shortages at various times and places, but those can be addressed without going to a New York-style system or Seattle-style non-system.

      3. @ Zach L

        I can’t figure out what that table means. Seems to be referring to new leases, not new construction.

        Based on what I’m reading once rent goes above $2700/month (which basically any new construction in Manhattan would exceed) there are no rent stabilization rules unless the developer voluntarily participated in a tax exemption program.

      4. Yep, there is a lot of protectionism in New York, which is why Yglesias, who wrote the book “The Rent Is Too Damn High: What To Do About It, And Why It Matters More Than You Think” used it as an example in both his book and the Atlantic Monthly article.

    2. And the fact that it’s Manhattan has nothing to do with it, not at all. Rich people aren’t coming from all over the world to get a piece of the Apple, the financial capital of the world, the prestige of a Manhattan address, close access to policymakers in DC, no not at all. The “average price” masks a lot of disparate submarkets. And note that this is condos, not rental apartments. I bet there are still a lot of Manhattan apartments in the $3000 range, and apartments in Brooklyn and Queens and Jersey City for less than that.

      1. But this isn’t the average price, this is the median. If you remember back to basic statistics, you’ll remember that averages, or means, are easily swayed by outliers while medians are not. If the average price was $1,000,000 then you could have several apartments in the $3,000 range with a few apartments way up high in the multi-millions. However, being the median, the situation is actually half of all apartments in Manhattan are below $1,000,000 and half are above, with an equal distance between the minimum and maximum prices. Medains are very robust when it comes to outliers, and that’s something you should keep in mind when commenting about basic spread statistics.

  6. I watched part of the Move Seattle “debate” on the sponsored post and realized we as transit and good land use activists have so many lies to untangle to get any policy proposal to consensus. The opposition was fact free at best, similar to the anti-HALA activists running for Council.

    1. I didn’t expect anything more with Suzie Burke and and that other nimby comprising half the panel. The good news is that this is not the only testimony of public opinion. At the county hearing a few weeks ago, at least 2/3 of the speakers supported HALA.

    2. Sorry, I mixed together Move Seattle and HALA. But given that it’s mostly the same people who are against both, my conclusions stand.

  7. I have a question. I often see on this blog people decrying this or that area being a “car sewer.” But if off-islanders and ST get their way, won’t they be turning the area around the future MI Station into a car sewer?

    1. More of a bus sewer, according to those same critics. The total number of cars won’t rise unless the P&R is expanded substantially, and I don’t think that’s in the plan, or that those critics would support it. The issue revolves more about reserving some spaces for Islanders. That would not reduce the number of cars on local streets (the “car sewer” issue), but it would reduce them on the freeway (because Eastsiders wouldn’t be coming to MI to park). But the freeway is already a car sewer no matter what happens to the station.

      In fact, we can even rank car sewers. I’d say freeways and their interchanges (like NE 8th, NE 45th, NE 145th) are the worst car sewers. Second-worst is sprawly areas like Southcenter and Eastgate and Issaquah. Third-worst is car-dependent residential areas and their shopping centers and strip malls. Fourth-worst is places like downtown Bellevue.

    2. Do you ever ask questions with the intention of learning anything? You ask the same questions over and over but never seem to recall the information you’re given.

      1. Maybe Sam is a particularly subtle transit activist who makes the anti transit arguments in precisely the place they’ll be made look incomplete and ill thought out. That way anti transit people who happen to accidentally end up reading stb comment threads can feel like their opinion has been heard and so they can here the counter argument.

  8. I was perusing the Metro twitter account (@kcmetrobus). And it seems that in the afternoon commute this week, the buses that were just kicked out of the tunnel (77, 216, 316, etc.) have been disproportionately been getting cancelled.

    Were these buses being cancelled back when they were still in the tunnel? And if not, is it due to traffic congestion from adding them to the street? And does that bode very poorly for when all the buses are kicked out of the tunnel? It seems to be that if downtown Seattle has trouble coping with peak 76/77/etc., they’ll never be able to handle the 41.

    1. It probably means not enough drivers are available. Before schedule changes, Metro saves money by not encurring extraordinary expenses to find drivers. After schedule changes, the job openings may not be filled yet.

      1. That doesn’t quite answer my question. Why do these routes seem to be disproportionately affected? I did some counting (hopefully accurate).

        Metro announced 23 afternoon cancellations so far this week. 12 of them were the 6 routes that just got kicked out of the tunnel. 11 were every other route that Metro operates. That seems to be a very non-random way of dealing with driver shortages.

        So when drivers weren’t available, why did Metro seem to favor cancelling these particular bus routes?

      2. Because it judged them to be the least impactful compared to canceling other routes. Perhaps because they’re peak only, and that’s especially hard to staff because it’s a split shift or two part-time shifts.

        But again, I don’t know whether this was the reason in this case. I’m just saying it’s something Metro has been doing the past couple schedule changes.

    1. I spotted one on route 413 arriving at Swamp Creek P&R a few days ago. The differences from the older fleet (mainly, the additional curviness of the front) are pretty easy to spot.

  9. That Blaine station article says that the new station advisory board will be having meetings in Vancouver, WA. Want to take a guess how many of them will actually take the train to get there? Especially considering the location of the closest bus route to the station?

    I think having a few more local stops could be a popular addition. After all, that is how an awful lot of those cities came into being where they are.

    I could see this getting to the point where you would want a two section train: the first section operates as a busiest stops only train. As an example: Portland – Vancouver WA – Tacoma – Seattle. Immediately behind that train comes a local doing Potland – Vancouver – Kalama – Kelso – Winlock – Napavine – Chehalis – Centralia – Tenino – Olympia/Lacy – DuPont – Tacoma – Auburn – Tukwila – Seattle.

    Splitting the train into two sections operating essentially on the same timetable means that the BNSF would see less interference with its freight as it is easier to plan around two trains close together than two trains separated by several hours.

  10. I’m not a huge fan of Amtrak stopping in every small community with a powerful state-level constituency (*cough* Standwood *cough*), but Blaine is kind of a no-brainer since (at least) Southbound trains stop for a border inspection anyway.

    1. Which they’re getting rid of thanks to better preclearance at Pacific Central Station in Vancouver, if I recall correctly

      The real good reason to put a station at Blaine is to serve the hundreds of thousands of south-of-Fraser suburban Vancouverites who find Pacific Central Station to be inaccessible, to help squelch that ridiculous WSDOT proposal to terminate the Cascades in junkyard in Surrey.

      1. I’d love a White Rock stop … could probably stop for some fish and chips and still beat the Cascades to downtown VAC on local transit

    2. Blaine is about 25 miles or so from Bellingham, which keeps the stops spread out. Would I want a stop every 5-10 miles? No.

      1. That’s what the local trains would be for.

        With local trains, the speed is a bit lower, so they are closer to the freight train speed that dominates the corridor and thus there is a bit more capacity to run them than capacity available for the higher speed trains.

        If a few local stations will help get funding faster for more corridor improvements then so be it. There is enough demand for a few local trains, especially if enough corridor improvements can be made to get the speeds up a bit.

  11. I hope that the process to review the new 101-story tower, there are some officials that will ask for a commitment to transit capitol investment. This building is in line to directly benefit from a second Downtown Transit Tunnel and it would obviously be a station stop on such a tunnel near this spot. With a 750-space garage and yet thousands of employees for this location, it’s clear that transit is how most workers will access this building.

    It points to a rather obvious gap in the logic of second downtown tunnel funding. The residents will be asked to pay for most of it, but the downtown building owners will reap the most benefits of it. At the very least, there needs to be a fee system to specifically assess adjacent Downtown development to help pay for the tunnel at a level higher than the rest of us.

    1. Why should they? It’s the people who benefit from a subway network, so the people should pay for it. The fact that they work at one place or another is not really relevant, or the fact that some office buildings are close to downtown stations. Great, more employers should do that, it’s good for the city to have employers centralized where transit can most easily serve them. Our tax system is mainly based on where people live, not where they work, so I don’t see why we should make an exception for this. A lot of Link trips are not work related, and a lot of people going downtown are just passing through on their way to somewhere else. Why should downtown businesses be singled out to pay for those?

    2. This building is 1200 apartments, a hotel and a small amount of office. Not lots of workers, but rather lots of reverse commuters on the train and off-peak riders. This balances ridership, not adding extra crowding in peak direction.

  12. It’s time for the founding Pronto Bike Share members to renew. As much as I love the idea of bike-share, I am thinking of not renewing. Well, I’m thinking of waiting until spring and then possibly renewing. I used Pronto 42 times in the last year. It doesn’t seem like a good deal (even though the price stayed the same) until they expand their network. Any other thoughts?

    1. I just looked at my usage stats for last year. 19 trips totaling 45 miles for $93, after tax, or about $2.08/mile. I’m hoping that the expanded network will be more useful to me, allowing me to get better use of the system. If nothing else, a single station at either Montlake/520 or the UW Link Station would make a huge difference to me.

    2. Same boat here too. Can we focus on making this system work, put the stations objectively where they will be used (like Burke Gilman and right on other high quality bike infrastructure) instead of locating for political reasons and hilly areas? Even some stations should be moved a block or so to make them much more convenient. And a decent route uphill from Downtown to Capitol Hill is essential.

    3. Another thing to consider is better bikes. I couldn’t raise the seat high enough to be able to ride the thing properly. And the helmet didn’t fit as I had to demonstrate to a cop scolding me for having it hanging the the handlebars. And for a city with some serious hills, those are some dodgy brakes.

  13. Hey is there a way to check on-time performance of a Sound Transit route – say the 510? I know there were some schedule adjustments inbound.

    Need to know for PIX 2015 Tuesday. Trying to decide between the 510 and getting up early to intercept a Sounder North.

  14. For all the Amazon and Starbucks haters in Seattle with their offices located in the core of Seattle in urban buildings and very urban minded, we could have your typical American corporations that take advantage of their hometown, seek every tax break and subsidy and locate in suburban campuses. There’s this awful example in Omaha where ConAgra strong armed the city to have a historic district of great old multistory brick warehouses leveled to build a suburban style campus in the late 1980s. Now they are moving away to Chicago, ironically in the Merchandise Mart, not too dissimilar to the buildings leveled 25-30 years ago.
    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=219061

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