70 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Montreal’s New Signage”

  1. The down or up arrow on an overhead sign as an indicator of forward has always been perplexing for me in a situation where those can also be literal directions.

    Thinking, especially, of the NYC subway where you might have a down arrow pointing at an staircase going up and meaning “go that way”.

    I like the floor level compass rose could help. Or maybe a new type of arrow, like a dot in a circle or four arrows pointing towards a center…something that clearly indicates forward travel at the same elevation.

  2. Interesting that this video was entirely in English and all the references were entirely in French. From all appearances it appears that Montréal is a mono language (French) city.

    1. There’s a sizeable English minority but the law requires signs to be in French. It has been pointed out that stop signs in France say “stop” but in Quebec they say “arrêt”. English Montrealers are used to reading French signs. I was looking at the signs to see how easy they’d be to decipher for visitors who know no French at all. It looks like they depend on the visual symbols for that; e.g., an orange dot with “Vous etes ici” in it. They could leverage the heavy overlap between French and English words, although from these signs it didn’t appear they did. Perhaps subway terminology doesn’t overlap as much as other fields; e.g., sortie/exit/way out.

      The French-only insistence is funny because in Finland the signs would be bilingual Finnish and Swedish. And in London the “Look left!’ signs at intersections are in English and French, although of course that’s an immediate safety issue. Still, it’s ironic that “Sortie” is all alone in Montreal, whereas in the US now even Greyhound and Target voluntarily have signs in English and Spanish. But the Quebec government believes the language will be crushed in a tidal wave of English if they don’t hold fast to French-only signs.

      1. Whereas I fully agree that anyone who lives in Quebec should be fluent in French (and this, of course, includes native English-speaking Quebeckers), the trenchant insistence on using French-language signage only is quite off-putting to tourists. It makes the francophones seems very insecure in their own homeland, in which they are an ever-growing super-majority. A little English signage especially in a place like the Metro wouldn’t hurt, law or no law.

      2. Canadian politics holds some lessons for our country- the first being how much of our own strength- and luck- owes to the fact that an unusual percentage of our population agree that “wedge-issues” or not, all 300 million of us are in the same country.

        The one category of dissident that neither the FBI or the NSA likely keep a single file on is secessionists. Though south of the old Mason Dixon line, this is probably a dangerous mistake. The novel “Ecotopia” postulated a Pacific Coast republic so obnoxiously weird that in reality nobody would even take home their flag for a refrigerator magnet.

        With a fraction of our population, in more than one democratic European country the matter has always been a serious question. Two peoples inside Spain’s present borders have long had a war about it. Yugoslavia lasted about a hundred years before its history made a miserable lie out of Europe’s “Never Again!” declaration 23 years ago.

        A fair number of Russians really thought they had created a giant continent-wide multi-ethnic United States, and blame us for the loss of it. And considering subsequent and completely predictable events, it’s a tragedy that so many non-Russians across Central Asia rightly considered them wrong.

        But one serious Canadian lesson from the very close 1995 election is that Canada’s existence was very likely saved by immigrants from French-speaking African and Middle-Eastern countries who preferred to belong to a country that less resembled the ones they left.

        It’s also my bet that within these next couple of decades, a great many new citizens from Syrian will do similar, in conjunction with the ones whose parents immigrated across southern and eastern borders.

        To bring about the union that is Europe’s only snowball’s chance in Hell. Not by the threat of their presence, but by their presence itself.

        Meantime, from my observation, people from many countries and cultures find their way around Swedish and Finnish subways just fine. And also staff Securitas transit security, which probably is the de facto peacekeeping force for the whole continent. And Iceland.

        Mark Dublin

      3. Why go as far afield as Finland? the signs are bilingual (at least) in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

      4. Because it’s been long enough since I’ve been in Vancouver that I couldn’t quite remember if everything is bilingual. But yes, I guess all the government stuff is.

        This reminds me of when I was talking with a Canadian who said that people get annoyed at the French on their cereal boxes when only a tiny fraction of western Canadians speak French, that the government forced food labels to be bilingual in the 1960s or 70s. He said it didn’t start in the 70s and it wasn’t forced by government. General Mills started putting French on its cereal boxes in the 1920s because it didn’t want to miss out on the French-speaking market.

    2. >>From all appearances it appears that Montréal is a mono language (French) city.<<

      Wow. I've read some ignorant comments in my day, but this one takes the cake.

      Get out and see the world. It would help you tremendously.

      1. So, either you agree or you are denying what I wrote. All I get from you is snark that “I don’t get out enough” even though it should be pretty obvious that I am familiar with signage in Québec. Some people cannot resist the urge to snark I guess.

      2. Damn, dude, that’s pretty rude. Not everyone can afford to see every place in the world.

        Don’t be a Dick, Chris.

    3. Montreal is largely bilingual. It is so bilingual that I found it a bit weird. Having been to France, I know it is generally considered rude to walk into a shop and say “Hello”, even if you are sure that the shop keeper speaks English. So you say “Bonjour”. The problem is, in Montreal, if you say that, they assume you speak French, and begin talking quickly to you in French. Then when you say something in English (e. g. “Je ne parle pas français” for I don’t speak French) they look at you confused, wondering why didn’t start with English (or annoyed for the same reason). I never felt the need to speak French while in Montreal, nor ever figured out how to say “I speak English but understand and respect your culture as a historically French speaking area”.

      Quebec City is very similar, although a bit more French. You can walk into a bar, for example, and they might assume you will be speaking French (although most folks speak English as well). Outside those two cities, though, you can’t expect anyone to speak or understand English (in our experience). We had a restaurant owner who knew no English and a motel manager that didn’t know any either. It’s worth taking a phrase book if you venture out of the two big cities.

      But back to signs on the Metro and all that — I would be very surprised if there wasn’t English there as well. Generally speaking, it is the law that anything the government has its hands on is in both languages (anywhere in Canada). There may be exceptions, and if there are, we didn’t notice it. Either it was in both languages, or it was obvious in any language (who cares if says “Rue de Blurgh” — if that’s your stop, that’s your stop) . In general, Montreal is one of the easiest “non-English” speaking places in the world to navigate (right up there with Amsterdam).

  3. I suspect that the hardest problem with signage is that different people can read the same symbol different ways. So it really is important that a symbol mean the same thing every time it appears.

    Also, whatever “different agencies” are involved in operating a transit system, every sign has to read in the same “language.”

    One memory I’ve always carried of the Montreal Metro is that while I don’t speak any French and can read very little, I saw my trip precisely the first time I looked at a route map.

    Precisely because the comparable parts of our system are still so small compared to any large-city subway system, it’s also harder to explain. Another reason, in the short run, to repurpose most of platform security to roving platform information.

    But am I wrong that a single phone call from any elected official of either Sound Transit or King County could get one single sign at the foot of the Nordstroms’-end escalator saying “SEA-TAC AIRPORT” in any type-face all the way to Gothic?

    Meantime, would somebody please just borrow some art supplies from the Lyndon LaRouche people upstairs and tape up their own sign on the wall- and via smart-phone send “viral” a video of Security’s reaction?

    And also to the 11:00 News. Better than the head of whatever official is responsible for the six year delay on a spike. OK, Francais Quebecois pronounced a little different, but same long-overdue message.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Maps of the immediate station area would be helpful sometimes. It seems like I always wind up exiting a Link station at the opposite location of where I intended.

      One thing the didn’t mention in the video but seems to be on their signs as shown is the direction to go to get to particular bus routes.

      1. Glenn, a lot of the DSTT’s comprehensibility problem owes to the space constraints that resulted in the design of the stations themselves. We literally had to set those platforms, escalators, and mezzanines into the structure of the city like precision dental work.

        Which makes it more necessary than average to give passengers extra information and guidance, including actual station agents. Duty which would provide a lot more real security than same people’s current assignment.

        The closest I’ve seen to our own design is the Downtown subway for light rail in Pittsburgh. The subway is rail-only, but on the surface, the trains share busway lanes with standard buses- again permitted and dictated by the Pittsburgh’s heritage of old industrial right of way.

        It’s worth a visit to see the system. Many of our design engineers came from there. As, I believe, did the late Francis Edward “Ed” Elliott, our brilliant chief architect.

        Mark Dublin

      2. One day I hope to see what they have. They have some interesting urban design visions for what to do around some of their stations.

        I keep hoping one of these days I might emerge from a Link tunnel station and find myself in Aukland or something, but I guess the urban fabric hasn’t been quite that disturbed.

      3. +1 to this. I find myself very disoriented when leaving a Link station because of how many turns the staircases make.

        I might want to head down to from Westlake to Pike Place Market which is just down Pine a few blocks. And even if I make my way to the right exit, by the time I’ve reached street level I have no idea which was is east or west and which way I should be heading. Eventually I just start thinking in terms of “uphill” or “downhill” from the station, but that doesn’t really work for people new to the area.

        I also got somewhat lost once trying to get from Westlake station to the PF Changs in Westlake Center (before I realized there was an indoor entrance to the mall). I made a wrong turn leaving the station and got totally disoriented. So maybe Westlake station could have better signs up for the mall.

      4. I agree Larry. This is a very common. Lot’s of people complain about this. Eventually, of course, if you go to the same place a lot (e. g. commuting) you figure it out. But this isn’t good for people who occasionally visit the area. It would be nice if they improved the signage in the stations, especially since the stations are so huge (and it is easy to end up a long ways from where you thought you were going to exit).

    2. Question of the day: how many times have you been on the Westlake platform when somebody has come up to you and asked, “Does the train to the airport stop here?” or “Where does the train to the airport stop?” For me, maybe five times. (And five more times at Convention Place.) If you think about it, that’s one of the most basic customer-service issues, to make it obvious which platform goes to the airport.

      1. Montreal is like the rest of the world. They make the train end-of-line station primary in their stations.

        ST prefers to confuse unfamiliar riders by making that info hard to find. I think they harbor sadistic delight in their signage. There is no other explanation that can be made given the volume of complaints about this.

      2. It’s not just Westlake. After reaching the platform level at TIBS, I wasn’t sure if I’d gotten on the right side, so I went looking for information.

        The info is here, but badly needs a font adjustment or some emphasis:

        There’s also a sign back at the top of the escalator:

        And that’s it. The real-time display only wants to tell you it’s Tukwila. And a train.

        I think they could do better.

      3. (OK, trying this again. Guess img tags aren’t supported.)

        It’s not just Westlake. After reaching the platform level at TIBS, I wasn’t sure if I’d gotten on the right side, so I went looking for information.

        The info is here, but badly needs a font adjustment or some emphasis:

        There’s also a sign back at the top of the escalator:

        And that’s it. The real-time display only wants to tell you it’s Tukwila. And a train.

        I think they could do better.

      4. “They make the train end-of-line station primary in their stations.”

        Well, that is an issue with Link because the end of the line keeps moving. TIB has these beautiful “Next Train” signs that were only used for a few months and are now forlornly dark. And Westlake’s concentration of airport riders will diminish somewhat when it’s no longer the northern end of the line.

      5. They have electronic signs that say. “Sound Transit Link Light Rail”, which is of course completely silly. They could easily change that to “Link Trains To …” Tomorrow if they wanted.

      6. Since a large percentage of Olympia’s downtown economy owes to the exact kind of second-hand stores that have old hand-held clicker-counters, I could have a PM-rush answer in a couple of weeks.

        I also have two July 2009 souvenir cutouts of Boeing airliners that are also LRV’s or vice versa. All I need is to figure out how to stick or tie the string to a girder or sign directly above where the last Sea-Tac train door stops.

        Problem (until Security gets there) solved. Though when above statistics hit the media, Local 587 members will get paid to install a real sign. With the International symbol for airport on it.

        However, though Dori Monson is a dreadful, if never credible, threat….our side does not commit war crimes.


  4. I think it’s time this blog created a Page 3. The only question is, what will it be about? I have a few ideas. It could be like the Sun’s Page 3, but instead of topless women, train or bus pics would be featured. Another idea is Page 3 would focus on in-depth investigations.

    What say you? What should STB’s next blog page focus on?

    1. I would like in-depth investigations.

      I would also like a directory/calendar of transit agency meetings from Bellingham to Olympia. Public participation/civic engagement in transit affairs is too far and few between.

      Finally again I would also like a recommended reading list.

      There you go.

      1. Every wrap that covers a bus window is obscene. Especially the ones from the Washington State Lottery.

        Telling poor people to gamble so the rich don’t have to pay taxes is a worse sin than looking at naked people.

        They’re the ones who even though they wear business suits ought to be Ashamed. Though it was Somebody else besides God who thought up wraps to cover unclad window glass.


      2. MD,

        With respect spending a $1 or a $2 on the lottery is no big deal.

        Having bus wraps is an alternative means of bringing in revenue to transit agencies other than taxes or fares – the latter of which is far more regressive than an opt-in lottery.

        That said, with it being decided that any transit tax increase will go to voters in this state – any reasonable alternative means of raising revenue for transit – such as wrapping buses in ads for fast food, local businesses and yes the dang State Lotto is preferable. We can neither spread the transit net nor have frequent, reliable transit service without reliable revenue.

  5. Or, based on actual protest history- I think it was against animal cruelty- we could have a page depicting Sam in both a cage and a bikini with a LINK to SEA-TAC sign in his mouth, at the foot of the escalator. Without harming a single animal in the filming.

    But remembering that in Seattle aggression has to be passive for anybody to even see it, let’s do signage protest like this:

    Everybody who thinks about it, just make your own sign saying LINK-To-SEA-TAC and either hold it up or tape it to your jacket or pack while you’re waiting for LINK or the 550 at Westlake. Just remember to take it off.

    Since I never ask anybody to get into a confrontation I’d avoid myself, better cross the street mid-block and get hit by a car than get anywhere near those card tables. Even if you think Vladimir Putin has a cute dog.

    Because Hitler mustache or not, impeaching Obama will immediately put Joe Biden’s finger on the Nuclear trigger. Anybody remember “The Day After” from 1983? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyXD9kq7iUs


  6. How wonderful it would be for Seattle area transit agencies to undertake a similarly thoughtful signage and wayfinding program. Instead, we have transit tunnel signage in downtown that fails even to include Link light rail. Six and a half years after it first opened! Buy a coffee at Westlake Starbucks, and then spend a few minutes looking around for an entrance to the Westlake tunnel station. Or even signage directing riders to a tunnel entrance. Doesn’t exist.

    1. Hey Roger, we have unique pictographs for each station. How much easier to you need it to find your way around.
      Without those, I think Montreal is doomed!

      1. Ahhh, I’m gobsmacked! Of course, just put pictograms over each station entrance, and all problems solved. Thanks for your wisdom on this….

  7. Well since this is an open thread… a Prop 1 Update – Senator Curtis King of all people has endorsed Community Transit Prop 1. YEAH!!!

    During the eight years I have served in the Washington state Senate, I have been on the Senate Transportation Committee, serving as co-chairman or chairman during the last four. I have traveled all around our state meeting with city and county officials and numerous agencies. I’ve looked at transportation projects all over Washington including tours of most of our transit agencies. In all of my encounters with Community Transit, I’ve always been impressed with the organization.
    When Community Transit comes to Olympia with a request, they are organized and provide pertinent and factual information explaining the need, how it will be addressed and what the expected outcomes will be.
    When the economy started to weaken in 2008, they saw a decrease in their income. Instead of wringing their hands and talking about how drastic all of the changes would be, they analyzed the services they were currently providing. After that analysis, they made changes that had the least impact to their customers but still allowed them to create the savings that would keep them viable. Several other transit agencies only wanted to stress all of the cuts that would have to be made and threats of unimaginable doom. Community Transit addressed the challenges of lower revenues the same way any business would have. That is impressive.
    Now that it appears our economy is picking up, Community Transit is looking ahead. They have developed plans to meet the needs from the expected growth in their service areas. Their plan calls for the addition of a second Swift Bus Rapid Transit line. It would help get working people to their jobs at a fraction of the cost of other alternatives. This plan is well thought out, efficient, and cost effective. The Swift line will help Community Transit keep up with the growing demand created by our growing economy.
    Community Transit is one of the best transit agencies in our state. They have impressed me by continually using public money efficiently and effectively, and achieving the greatest possible outcomes.

    Figure since we’re not getting the appropriate amount – tsk, tsk – of Prop 1 coverage from STB in my book, here you go. I’m sure the Future of Flight has something to say about this matter in an official capacity – HINT.

    1. It’s cool that CT has won Curtis King’s esteem, but… sheesh, King’s favorite thing about CT is how much service they cut. “Like a business” — at the end of the era of privately operated mass transit those businesses cut service, but only as part of their death spirals, so I’m not sure what he’s really trying to get at. It almost makes me like CT less.

      Of course, CT didn’t have many choices but to cut when the recession hit. But if King is going to diss other agencies… we shouldn’t forget that just across the county line we averted such deep cuts using reserves and campaigning for revenue. Like a business? Or like a public service that matters?

      Anyway, yeah. Go Prop 1! Here’s hoping CT can stay open 7 days a week from now on! And that it can be more steady through the next recession, and get some better street conditions out of some of the cities up there…

      1. Cutting back means cutting people off from transit. In this case, Sunday service. It also cut back on the frequency Swift was designed for, making it not really BRT. The fundamental issue is residents’ mobility, not the changing revenue from a particular tax source. The county should provide that mobility however it can, and the state should help it. The county benefits if people can get to their work, essential, and cultural destinations, and forcing them to keep a car because the transit service is cut is counterproductive and costs more in the long run.

      2. Folks, let’s remember that Senator Curtis King was trying to HELP us out here. A welcome 160-180 degree difference I would have expected.

        Senator King was using code phrases to the Republican base to get them to lighten up on CT from their usual full-attack-mode. That’s genuine help we can use folks.

        Let us remember that Senator King also wrote regarding CT, “they made changes that had the least impact to their customers but still allowed them to create the savings that would keep them viable”.

        Thanks in advance.

      3. Perhaps that makes sense compared to Island Transit which did the opposite, but the fundamental issue is that CT shouldn’t have had to do that in the first place. European cities responded to the 1970s oil shocks by heavily investing in transit infrastructure and walkable land use, and as a result their standard of living and mobility is more resilient in the face of whatever oil-price spikes or recessions occur. Of course they have cutbacks at various times, but I bet their biggest cutback still left them higher than King County’s level of transit, to say nothing of Snohomish’s.

  8. I noticed that your most recent News Roundup omitted a story that got significant attention elsewhere, namely the threats made by Triad against Jon Grant’s campaign, followed by the City’s dropping support for Triad’s project. I know land use, development and the City Council race are all things this blog has show interest in and covered, so I guess maybe you missed this when it happened.




    1. All those stories bury the lede. Jon Grant, supposedly for tenants, sued a project that would create like 1,000 new tenants and caused a valuable piece of real estate to be a giant hole in the ground for half a decade. That guy is pathological.

      Though we don’t know what kind of people would live there, and I do remember you once told me that you care what types of people ride your buses and trains. Maybe the wrong element ™ would live there.

      1. Ken and Zach, I’m afraid there’s no question about the justifiably unwanted element whose ridership we can’t prevent. We’re trapped by our own goals and imperatives!

        Because since we’ve so long demanded that passengers reside as close together and as close to work as possible, the Triad site will attract an enormous number of the elected and managerial officials whose policies are harder to remove than graffitti’d window glass.

        The only thing that saves us is these people’s blind age-old hatred of riding transit, for fear of contagiously close contact with the results of the policies they mandate.

        For instance being shoved over the yellow strip by wheeled-luggage-pushing passengers demanding to know where the train to Sea-Tac stops! So relax about the undesirables. We’re safe.


      2. While it’s hard to figure what kind of concrete victory Grant could hope to win with his lawsuit, it’s equally baffling that Zach would willingly link to a comment-thread argument where [ad hom].

      3. I feel obligated to point out that the heart of the ad hominem fallacy is dismissing an argument based by disparaging the person making it. That is, ironically, what Zach did above, mentioning Ken’s remark on a past thread to dismiss a different argument made on this one. I, on the other hand, disparaged Zach’s previous comments only for the purpose of disparaging those comments! That is, the bit that was moderated out was not a fallacious argument against Zach’s ideas, merely a straightforward inflammatory insult.

      4. @Al, I agree with your points and am sorry your excellent comment got clipped.

        I also feel obligated to point out that tI didn’t even express an opinion on the story itself, only that it seemed relevant and yet didn’t appear in the news roundup. I saw it more as a reader service than making a particular point.

        In fairness, there may have been an unspoken question which nobody chose to address, namely why wasn’t that story included in the roundup? Here are some possible answers I came up with:

        a) We meant to include it, but it didn’t happen for some reason
        b) We chose not to include it because we don’t think it’s relevant
        c) We chose not to include it for ideological reasons
        d) We didn’t see any of the coverage, and so were unaware
        e) Something else entirely

        It’s not really a big deal either way, I was mostly just honestly surprised because your roundups are usually good and I’ve never felt or noticed an ideology bias in what gets included or not. And I’m not saying there is one here. I have no way of knowing and don’t pretend to–it definitely was enough to get me wondering though.

      5. @Zach L, I haven’t really been following this myself, but it looks like the lawsuit in question was filed less than a year ago, which makes it a stretch to blame for half a decade of delay. It seems this project has been going nowhere for a long time.


        And @Al, whether you agree with the TU or not, the strategy and concrete goal seems pretty clear: run out the clock on this project, and get a better deal the next time around. I assume to the TU that would likely be a project that includes some affordable housing as part of the mix.

  9. After having spent a bit if time riding SkyTrain I notice that there are some pretty long distances between some of their stations.

    I also notice that they have done some spectacular upzones near their stations. Some of these have something like 20 floor towers next to the stations with the next layer of development surrounding that being single level structures of various types.

  10. Joe, depends on what you value. Does Skagit Transit wrap any of its windows? Having lived at Marblemount for a couple of years, Lord I hope not.

    There’s something skin-crawlingly grubby about riding inside wrapped windows. I feel deeply disrespected, as if I’m either on my way to jail or trapped inside a giant billboard, with content and message as if it’s being carried for pathetic wages by a very large unfortunate person.

    After dark in the winter, like right this minute, it’s usually impossible to see even neighborhood locations, let alone signs. And streetside businesses have a really legitimate case that their own businesses and their signage can’t be seen by transit passengers.

    And the real howler (and probably the secret reason night-howler monkeys are named that) is that public agencies give tax money to each other to ruin my tax-and-fare-paying view. Why can’t they just pay each other “window-wrapped” amount for metal-only ads?

    And why do transit agencies need to wrap windows at all?

    I personally consider the view out my bus window a major part of what I’m paying for, without a single chance to vote on the loss of it. Tell me how much higher fare I’d have to pay, and we’ll discuss it.

    Meantime, I’m going to start urging our police and fire agencies to justifiably declare wrapped windows a threat to first-responders- unless night-vision goggles can see a hand-gun through a wrap.

    When that happens, the public advertising world can swiftly go where the REAL outdoor money is: in addition to mini-blimp balloons and those wild floppy tube things with fans in them on top of the King County Office Building, the place can be wrapped from Parking Level Bottom to the roof utilities. Also the Council-office windows in the Courthouse.

    Though pathetically I can count the number of voting passengers whose most beloved scenery is on the screen of their iPhone. And modern head-phones might as well be ear-wraps. So at least while they’re on the bus, they can’t walk into the side of a moving LINK train with its horn screaming and its bell cracked like the Liberty one.


  11. For clarity, I’m talking about transit agencies wrapping the windows of their own buses. My fares and taxes are already being used for something besides service, a loss with an easy remedy.

    Besides: both the economy and transit revenue improving as many more businesses than the ad-buyers increase their sales by having their own advertising made visible.

    And a lot more passengers will start finding that this region’s breathtaking views brighten their outlook enough that they’ll pay more attention to their basic safety near the outsides of buses.

    Removing the need for a lot of public service wraps.


    1. Thank you Mark. One thing that is interesting is how much revenue is coming in by covering the bus windows with an ad versus not doing so……………………

      To me, no ad revenue on buses is going to cost us service hours. Service hours are so in demand, Community Transit is seeking a tax increase to buy more.

  12. As hundreds of bus routes in a 20 mile radius are set to be detoured to UW Station, some people may wonder why buses aren’t rerouted and truncated at Sounder stations to flood the ST & KC management-filled Sounder train with bus transfers?

    Something to think about.

    1. Because they already have been? The exceptions – the non-truncated peak-hour expresses – are by and large opposed here on the blog.

      Which other bus routes would you want to reroute?

    2. I suppose the new transit centers at Lakewood, Tacoma Dome, Puyallup, and Kent stations were just a figment of my imagination then. Oh, and Everett… and I’m pretty sure Auburn too…

    3. Some may or may not speculate that the those executives who run ST and KC, who take Sounder into work, not only may under-advertise Sounder for selfish reasons, but they may even under-truncate bus routes to Sounder stations so they they have less crowded and less unpleasant trips into downtown.

      1. Joe,

        You’re a generous soul. Sam is worlds away from being one of “us transit advocates”.

  13. Martin, Frank,

    Is it your policy to allow authors who post on Page 2 to wipe out the entire comments section? I assume that WordPress allows the author of a post moderation privileges, but deleting the entire discussion seems not moderation but rather revenge.

    In particular the post about high speed commuter rail between Olympia and Seattle had a pretty long and detailed comment section which is now completely gone. I expect that it wasn’t STB moderators who deleted it, because you either declare a specific reply “[ot]” or remove some portion of one for being “[ot]” or “[ah]”.

    In this case the original author was apparently miffed that the readership wasn’t spread-eagle on the floor in grateful awe at the magisterial excellence of his superlative plan and in a snit just wiped out the comments after a bout of comments whining failed to “correct” the rest of us.

    1. As a Page 2 poster, I don’t think we can moderate the comments. If we wait too long, even we can’t comment. This means for example, if you write a post, don’t see any comments for a long while and then go back to the post only to find a critique of the post, you can’t write a rebuttal. Or at least I can’t.

      In short, someone in charge probably deemed the comments off topic, but it wasn’t the author.

    2. That’s surprising; I have no idea what happened there. I’ll have to look into it and get back to you. Thanks for flagging.

      1. Nor do I. The guy has a technically excellent idea except for going right down the center of the Nisqually Valley south of the freeway, but excellent for 2035, not any time soon. First things first; get Seattle moving again and then figure out how to accommodate sprawl a little less damagingly.

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