72 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Fixing Rainier”

    1. It does have TSP in some areas (Downtown Everett, for one), but it needs it along the entire route. Still a faster ride than the alternatives, though.

    2. Desperate: “feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with”

      Main wartime objective is to instill exactly the above perception in the mind of your enemy.

      But if any transit agency thinks that some street reconstruction, paint stripes, and use of signals already long since installed for fire engines are that far “beyond hope” it means that some official’s hope of a work-free job is a fading memory.

      My own feeling is that one way or another, what SWIFT and RapidRide need is something same length and quality as Eugene’s “Emerald Express” line. (Just found out online it’s called that.) Will leave usual arguments in Eugene.

      Point is that length and quality of service are ‘way beyond anything here, and therefore excellent working demonstration.Anywhere in ST service area accessible by other transit, though more passengers the better. And best if the project is designed so at least some new development will naturally go up around it.

      Main idea is to show for real how buses can haul passengers and their own tail-lights on a road anywhere near designed for them.

      I hate the term “branding” almost as bad as “stimulus” At least, unlike RapidRide, Oscar Meyer gets the brand off before the hot-dog hits the griddle. Same with buses designed to look fast standing still, as if nobody will notice that they really are.

      So would be best if my show-case uses regular buses, though new trolleybus fleet is fine too. Core idea is to show how buses get rapid, not streamlined. Because right now, SWIFT and RapidRide as operated now leave to much to the unassisted imagination.

      Picture worth a thousand. Window seat on something fast worth a lot more at the polls fifteen years after many first time rider’s mothers tell them to sit down and get their fingers off the glass. Works with LINK, Glenn. Probably Orange Line too.

      Mark

      1. At least on the Aurora part of 99, RapidRide seems yo move somewhat OK. I was astounded at how slow the A was when I tried it.

      2. I’m not sure the A Line on International Boulevard is any slower than the E Line north of Green Lake, though Aurora is a bit denser so you probably cross more destinations per minute. South of Green Lake Aurora is the old proto-freeway; the E Line moves well through there, as it should. With all the housing right up against 99 these days there are just enough riders between the bridge and Denny Way to significantly slow down the 5 and 16 without really amounting to much ridership relative to the amount of service. These local routes often make every stop just to pick up or drop off a single passenger; the E Line does better since it skips half the stops.

        I was going to say I’d never taken the A Line, but I did ride it once from 200th to TIBS after getting an unrepairable flat mountain biking at South SeaTac (usually I ride to and from STAS; I’m one of the few Seattleites that’s really looking forward to Angle Lake opening). I wasn’t surprised by the lack of speed, but I wasn’t in a hurry, and having been on every RR line I wasn’t expecting much.

      3. The A has too many stations. It’s 30-40 minutes from SeaTac to Federal Way. Where is the speed that the transit lanes and highway speed limit is supposed to give you?

    3. The Swift is eons ahead of Rapidride though and they keep tuning it. They’re slowly moving some intersection posts out so the Swift doesn’t have to pull into traffic for the intersection and then back out. They’re also extending the Transit/turn lanes further south.

      The Swift is a reasonably well oiled machine that works. It could be improved with signal priority but overall works really well. Rapidride is new paint on old routes with very very little difference. As much as I want money for transit someone should be fired over passing Rapidride off as BRT to get funding.

    4. I was told RR-B has signal priority in Bellevue. Can someone that uses it regularly comment on how well it works? Also on the real time arrival signs. My experience which is limited to driving down 148th is that the times are some sort of alternate reality.

      1. It has signal priority? Not that I’ve noticed. It’s a bit more streamlined than the previous routes but not that much different. The big advantage is it being full-time frequent and even headways. The real-time signs when it initially launched were really bad: they’d say 35 minutes or 60 minutes but then a bus came 10 minutes later, and they’d often say “Refer to Schedule” without even trying to predict a time. They got immensely better a few months later, but I’ve noticed the past two months they’ve started getting worse again. They’re still prone to often saying “15 minutes” during the 10-minute peak period, or “29 minutes” during the 15-minute off-peak period. That makes you wonder if the route is really so screwed up or there are inexplicably accidents during a low-traffic time, or if the sign is just lying.

      2. It [RR-B] has signal priority? Not that I’ve noticed.

        From what I was told by a driver is the light is supposed to hold green if a bus is approaching. He also said it didn’t seem to work very well so maybe there is no signal priority of any type. It there is then it would most likely only be on the section of the route that is within Bellevue city limits. Possibly only on NE 8th?

  1. With more runs on the 7 under my belt than I care to count from the drivers seat, I can say the biggest problem were with parked cars in close proximity to the right hand lane. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t mention it once, so I have to assume neither did SDOT when interviewed.
    Parking and shoulder improvements have been improved steadily over the years, but the basic problem lies with people tying up traffic trying to parallel park, swinging doors open into traffic, limited sightlines for pedestrians darting out to cross the street (J-walkers), among other things.
    Eliminating the 2nd through lane, and keeping parking is the wrong approach. Plenty of opportunities exist to relocate what parking is left to off-street, or create a few more mini-lots where needed so business doesn’t kneejerk oppose it. Removal of 2 lanes cuts the roadways throughput capacity in half. That’s great if all those trips never get taken, but they do. The trips shift mostly to MLK, which has it’s own problems.
    Keep it 4 lanes, and take the ROW back from the vehicles sitting there for hours on end, day after day after day.

    1. So you’re advocating for building parking lots? Is KCM channeling ST? Didn’t the Rainier Ave change making parking area wider?

      1. I’m saying that using the ROW for the movement of vehicles and people is a better use of real estate than parking a car there when other places exist to park in a much calmer environment.

      2. There are enough existing surface lots along and near Rainier that are underused most of the time that simply getting a few turned into shared lots instead of single-business lots would probably cover it. Street parking just doesn’t amount to many spaces per block.

        The question is whether, in commercial areas, you really want to increase traffic speeds and remove barriers between fast-moving traffic and the sidewalks.

      3. Fifty years ago when my school’s faculty and students were at each others’ throats about where to park their mammoths, an author named Goodman suggested that to resolve a parks-vs-parking argument, someone needed to design a car-washing fountain.

        It’s likely that parking structures on Rainier could get same quality design. But beyond aesthetics, design the structures to be converted to other use as transit made parking less necessary.

        But wouldn’t bet against a Federal 1% For the Arts project where a bus or rail-washing fountain left such a spectacular impression that nobody notices when it stops working and gets filled up with garbage.

        Though maybe this definitely organic transition was carefully designed into the operating-for-couple-months waterfall at CPS. Also, dirty stopped clocks clearly symbolize the actual process of transit-developing time.

        Mark

    2. What about barrier separated parking? That way people only enter and exit the parking at the ends?

      1. Barrier-separated parking? Is this a thing? Wouldn’t that require a space two lanes wide, one for parking and an aisle for circulation?

        About the closest I’ve heard of to that is some stuff being built along Bothell Way (eventually they’re going to shift the main roadway and have separated parking aisles on both sides, essentially sidewalks for cars). In their case they’re pretending a parking aisle is a good bike route, i.e. they’re building the Westlake Parking Lot of Death on purpose. The whole thing is shockingly awful in its own right, but as it applies to Rainier… Rainier just isn’t that wide!

      2. I’m not sure what else to call it. I’ve seen it in a few areas. I’ll see if I can find some examples when I am in a location that allows that easier.

      3. I used to live by one of these. Truly frightening tbh. Cars turning from the main road reach cross walks at ridiculous speeds. Crossing cross streets with the light meant looking and dashing. In 4 years I saw wreckage from 8 crashes. One time I popped over to the window after hearing a small crash. Someone had turned right from the service lane and got hit from a car on the cross street. The cross street guy got so mad he kicked in the other guys windshield and knocked out the lights with a crowbar. Another time, a friend get hit by a right turner while crossing the main road with the light. It is supposed to be a parkway. As a park, it is well used because it is highly visible, adjacent to dense residential, and there’s no other nearby options, but I wouldn’t say it’s good as a park. Way too much exhaust and noise. If there is any road design I dislike, it’s this.

    3. You’re missing the point.

      This is a safety project, not a speed improvement project.

      Reducing the number of lanes from two to one in each direction is how the road diet works. Keeping two general purpose lanes in each direction does nothing to address the speeding problem which is the cause of these accidents.

      If we want to have a discussion of removing parking for bus lanes, that’s a worthwhile discussion to have later.

      1. That’s fine for bus riders, but does nothing for all the SOV’s that currently go from A to B.
        A bus every 10 minutes takes one time slot (BNSF official unit of measure), leaving 9,999 empty slots available for something else. 2+ would help fill some of that, but that’s still a whole lot of wasted ROW.
        Where do you propose those trips go to (MLK, through side streets) and is that a good think to do?

      2. When traffic diverts to narrow parallel neighborhood streets because of delays on Rainier, it’s no longer a practical safety project. There are lots more drivers rushing on neighborhood streets since the lane reduction happened. I’m really afraid that a kid at the 38th and Oregon playground is going to get creamed by a driver this summer!

      3. It’s not about “all the SOV’s that currently go from A to B”, it’s about the dozens of people who are MURDERED every year by cars careening off the road and ramming into pedestrians and bicyclists.

      4. Just stop Zach L.

        That’s a ridiculous overreaction and you know it.

        Rainier need help … but I’m with Mic… given the geography of the area, a road diet that substantially reduces the throughput of the corridor may not be the right move.

        How about some long-term speeding enforcement?

      5. So, safety doesn’t matter because you need to drive faster… got it.

        As far as side streets go, they also need safety improvements: speed humps, stop signs, reduced width.

        If we have solutions on hand to improve the lives and safety of folks who live along the most dangerous road in the state, we shouldn’t hesitate to use them. Their lives matter a lot more than how fast you can drive through their neighborhood.

      6. There is a big difference between slower travel speeds and having vehicles wait several signal cycles to get through a light. The first improves safety, while the second forces traffic to neighborhood streets and that decreases safety on side streets. That is what is happening on Rainier.

      7. Rainier is no longer a state highway. It is not a car sewer for people from Renton to speed to downtown. It’s rapidly becoming what is known as a “high street” — a residential/commercial street with many pedestrians.

        If you’re going anywhere other than a destination right on or along Rainier between MLK and Henderson, take another route.

      8. +1000 with what Anandakos said.

        Rainier is going through bustling, growing communities. It’s not going through ghost towns.

        Please, please let’s not revert back to the Rainier Raceway with cars going 40, 45+ in Hillman City and Columbia City, swerving in and out of lanes, cutting in front of buses, etc.

        MLK is *right over there* with two lanes each direction! Exactly what people complain about losing on Rainier!

        Boggles my mind (although it shouldn’t) that it’s so hard for drivers to understand that things change and Rainier isn’t their personal highway any more.

    4. My guess is that a lot of the parking will go away when BRT is added to the corridor. Until then it is safer.

      Generally speaking, road diets change 4 lanes to 3. If this was 5 lanes to 3, then I’m sure it screwed up traffic quite a bit. But 4 lanes to 3 usually has about the same amount of throughput, just with a lot less swerving. All it takes is one guy clogging the left lane to screw it up for everyone. People get stuck behind the guy, then try and change lanes. Some anticipate and do it well, while others don’t (or they get stuck behind someone who signaled at the last minute). The end result is a much higher risk of an accident and basically higher peaks and valleys. Sometimes everyone moves along really well, other times it is a complete mess (especially if there is an accident).

      It will be interesting to see what happens when BRT is added. Center running will be tricky, since they just added the center turn lane. They can be aggressive, and ban left turns, but that would be very difficult in places. There are spots where eliminating a left turn would mean a huge detour. Which is not to say that those don’t exist in other parts of the city (there are parts of Denny which ban left turns and it is a really big pain) but there seem to be quite a few sections that are problematic. You can have center running with left turn lanes, but they require a left turn signal and lane (so the car can cut in front of the bus). That may be what they do here. Getting rid of parking might make the one general purpose lane move better either way (as you said). I agree with you — I really don’t see why people assume that you can park on a busy street like that (you haven’t been able to park on parts of Denny for at least fifty years). So maybe general purpose traffic, even at one lane, will move fairly well.

      Or it may just be slow. Join the club. Aurora is very slow. Lake City Way is very slow. The thing is, if the city does the right thing, then you have another choice. If the 7 moves without having to worry about congestion (and has signal priority) then it will carry way more people than the cars. As it is, the bus carries about a third of what Link carries, so with a little bit of love it could really be the preferred alternative. Safety first, and greater good second.

    5. I’m with you on this one, Mic. The Route 7 was my favorite route. Busy (at night worst danger in transit driving is falling asleep on duty), end to end a neighborhood route (like MLK is, but that, say, Highway 99 will never be).

      But above all, at night, especially with the 4000-series trolley-buses, the road was a pleasure to drive. Never knew until this morning that the road was designed as a highway.

      Meaning graded and curved to be safe and comfortable at a lot higher speed than the average arterial. Interesting measurement: from Rainier and Othello, I could beat the 106 downtown- in spite of its time , which in those days, ran I-5 to the E-3 and Spokane.

      So the picture comes clear. The designers had no idea how much of the roadside would be commercially developed a sidewalk from the running lanes.
      Or, above all, the amount of street parking at ripped-off-left-front-door distance.

      Meaning that however much street parking the road could tolerate before, especially through already-narrowed places like Columbia City, residents and merchants can’t have conditions two ways.

      They can either have the kind of safe, smooth-running main street that business needs. Or they can have street parking, that causes crashes the way a suddenly-blocked stream smashes boats.

      For the intensive neighborhoods that Columbia City and other centers, obviously want to be, the Route 7’s fast electric transit is extremely important for success. For the clear length, 35 mph is safe and efficient.

      But through the Columbia City commercial blocks, with street parking removed 20 would lose no time, on one condition. That the bus absolutely never has to stop between zones, for either parking cars or traffic lights.

      On the second, I have a question. Can our buses hold lights green at every approach? Or does the system still have to calculate whether the bus is late or not? And if it’s on time, make it wait at a red light?

      An accurate account of operating money wasted by every stop between bus zones will have the whole business community demanding that their public officials quit blocking the buses. I believe the fire department already has preemption equipment.

      If so, another easily-proven and corrected can be out of the way by sunset. And years’ past time.

      But another nteresting piece of DSTT history: Early on with the Tunnel, Metro had working drawings for wiring the ramp between IDS and the intersection of Rainier and Dearborn. And putting the Route 7 in the Tunnel, creating a route with potentially enormous ridership.

      $12 million. But I think more important, as with many DSTT problems left unsolved, Metro really did not expect that it would take 20 years to get any trains at all

      Meaning that temporary means unnecessary. So it’s dangerous to neglect immediate improvement in the name of future goals. Remember that things like the Pleistocene era were also temporary.

      Mark Dublin

      1. >> Early on with the Tunnel, Metro had working drawings for wiring the ramp between IDS and the intersection of Rainier and Dearborn. And putting the Route 7 in the Tunnel, creating a route with potentially enormous ridership.

        Wow! It is quite remarkable to think how that could have changed things. First of all, Rainier Valley would have had their fast trip to downtown twenty years earlier, and it would have been faster for most people than it is now (because it would have served both corridors). But it would have skipped Jackson. The Rainier Valley to I. D. connection is a natural one, and a tunnel — assuming it ran due west at Dearborn — would skip much of the I. D.. You would still have your one station in the I. D. (as you do now with Link). But like Link, it would only have one. Still, by sending both buses (the one along Rainier and the one along MLK) into the tunnel, that probably exceeds Link in both number of people served and time saved.

        It gets tricky for the surface. You could still run everything as you do now, but what about the 36? Does it cut over, or does it do like it does now (and use Jackson)? Something like the 9 and 60 make a lot of sense, but only when you have fast routes to downtown. The entrance would do that for Rainier Valley, but it isn’t clear it would do that for Beacon Hill.

        Still, overall, it would have something quite grand. I doubt we will ever get anything that good for Rainier Valley, given the transfer problems with the Mount Baker Station and the inherit limitations of surface transit (to downtown).

  2. Collisions or congestion? The road diet certainly has brought congestion and slower transit trips to Rainier Avenue, but has it actually reduced the total number of collisions in all of Rainier Valley? It’s clear that much of the auto traffic has diverted to MLK, Seward Park Ave S and the local side streets. Has the road diet decreased the total number of collisions in Rainier Valley or has it just dispersed them to other locations? That’s the question that needs to be answered. SPAS was a great bike route through the valley but it’s now just as congested as Columbia City at rush hour. MLK had available capacity before the diet but now it’s just as slow as Rainier. I haven’t noticed a recent spike in car vs Link accidents, but more traffic on MLK might lead to more motorists running into the trains.

    1. I ride the 7 about 3 out of 5 mornings during the weekday rush hour and haven’t noticed a dip in travel time. I feel that it’s quicker given the “dedicated” bus lanes at some parts of Columbia City. I’ve also noticed way, way fewer amateur drag racing while driving down Rainier.

      As for Seward Park Ave, I have little to no experience. It does seem busier when I do make a trip to Vita or Flying Squirrel.

      MLK I don’t really mind if it’s busier since, well, it’s better than Rainier being a parking lot slash drag strip slash demolition derby.

      Not everyone will be happy with whatever happens with any three of those roadways. I feel that making Rainier safer is the most important, and others will definitely disagree, which is totally fine.

      I want to see the data and early results from the road diet as well. I hope they’re collecting data all over the Rainier Valley like you said, to see the wider impact.

  3. The problem is and will continue to be *speed*. People think that going 40 or 45 MPH will gain them significant amount of time to their destination when the reality is that unless you are going *hundreds* of miles it makes very little difference since you *will* have to stop for a traffic signal and wait. Speed is the problem.

    1. Yep. Removing the extra lanes takes away space for speeding. That is how road diets make roads safer.

      They also keep traffic flow more consistant, with fewer lane changes.

      1. Except, of course, for the few drivers who decide to speed through several blocks using the two-way-turn lane to get around the slow cars in the single drive lane. That has really added safety to Hillman City, for sure.

      2. The second paragraph is often what is missed about road diets. Most of the time, they are four lanes to three. Odd numbered lanes are much better, unless you ban left turns. Usually you don’t (Denny is an exception). Left turns really screw things up.

        The other thing people miss is that while traffic does sometimes get more congested, speeding goes way down. It is just harder. Someone gets stuck behind me. I’ve had enough tickets in my life (thank you Aurora bridge cop) so I check my speed constantly now. If I’m on a four lane road, the guy will swerve around me (while I travel the speed limit) but if I am on a three lane road, he is stuck cursing me, believing I am making him late (don’t worry dude, I am trying to time the lights, keep riding my ass and you will get there as fast as you would if you sped).

      3. @Sotosoroto, I’ve seen that happen a couple times early on in the road diet. Usually they end up getting stuck behind an actual turner and then have to wait even longer. Many drivers are not very smart.

        Still safer than before in Hillman City, though.

  4. Yet, when I suggest the Burke-Gilman be put on a bike path diet, or that speed cameras be installed on the Link line to ticket trains that go too fast, I’m called a troll.

      1. There’s a free car, too. Aurora Avenue has a lot of places to rent a jackhammer. But work fast. Because average troll (those things really do live under bridges) gets really ticked bout his cousin stealing his dinner.

        Mark

    1. What are your objective metrics that the trail should be put on a “bike path diet”? How many die from accidents each year?

      1. Good thing bikes don’t have left front doors! But much like car driving, safe and efficient city bike travel depends on operating skill, good manners, and best possible roadway design.

        Through Columbia City, for instance, I don’t see any reason for a center lane at all, except where left turns are necessary. Which on a major arterial, as few as possible. A median with a line of trees also cleans up the air

        Mark

    2. There actually are some dangerous awkward places where peds and bikes interface that I’d totally like to see traffic calming for bikes to reduce speed.

  5. How is it that there is no access to UW station from Kirkland on the weekend? I thought the proposed Eastside restructure for U-Link would be really great and was disappointed when it was cancelled. I figured it wasn’t too big of a deal because we have the 540 from Kirkland to UW and we can just take that to the train, but I didn’t realize that it doesn’t run on weekends. I am completely baffled by this.

    1. Metro withdrew the 520 changes saying it didn’t get enough feedback from Eastsiders to feel confident about the changes. It said there may be an Eastside restructure this year where 520 changes will be considered again.

      1. Meanwhile, according to OneBusAway, there’s going to be a huge, horrible change to 520 routes: the westbound Montlake freeway station is going to close on the 26th.

        No announcement from Metro or ST, though, which makes me pretty sure it’s a computer glitch. I hope. Anyone care to ask them?

      2. I’ve been wondering about the same thing. I did some math and calculated just how much the time penalty would be getting from Kirkland or Redmond to the UW if one were forced to backtrack all the way downtown. Even with Link running from Westlake to Husky Stadium in 8 minutes, it’s still pretty awful, even in light traffic:

        + 15 minutes (ride 545 from Montlake to 5th/Pine)
        + 5 minutes (walk from bus stop to tunnel platform)
        + 5 minutes (average wait for train that runs every 10 minutes)
        + 8 minutes (travel time to the UW)
        + 2 minutes (ascend escalators to the surface
        = 35 minutes (total)

        Fortunately, peak-hour riders would still have the 540 and 542, but the blow to off-peak riders would be very significant.

        I can only hope that this stop closure is just a computer glitch, since there have been no formal announcements of it. I was guessing that the reason was construction-related, but there have been no announcements about an impending long-term closure of Montlake Freeway Station from the WSDOT website either. However, the destination signs on route 545 now say “Yale Ave.”, as soon as the bus clears Evergreen Point, which suggests that it might be real. (Currently, the buses still stop at Montlake, regardless of what the destination sign says).

      3. Given the lack of any notice, and the new high-quality ramp, I’m thinking that the destination signs and the OBA errors come from the same incorrect datasource.

        Have you emailed Metro or Sound Transit yet? If not, I’ll probably do so tomorrow.

      4. It looks like there are errors in OneBusAway’s schedules. For example, it claims that the 271 will be reduced to every 30 minutes mid-day and weekend service will be removed in the westbound direction, but the eastbound direction will remain the same. I highly doubt that Metro would make such a major frequency cut without any announcement whatsoever, and in only one direction (!).

    2. Could be somebody thinks SR520 is a short enough walk. Or that a 48 will always be along, meaning waiting minimum fifteen minutes for a two minute ride.

      Doubt that Kirkland ridership will put up with being deprived of the system’s fastest ride Downtown.So have a feeling like, with the 43, passenger demand, and threats, will soon get service usable again.

      Mark

      1. The 540 has had pretty abysmal ridership for years, and when the 255 was upgraded to run every 10 minutes peak, 15 minutes midday on weekdays, lots of riders of the 540 were poached.

        For the time being, having a frequent 255, in lieu of a 540 is good enough. But if Montlake Freeway Station were to close, that would no longer be the case.

        Ultimately, the most sensible long-term plan is to have the 540 become the 520 core route (with a transfer to Link to reach downtown), and the 255 be truncated to a local feeder route, or eliminated entirely. There are several carrots and sticks that will be nudging the calculations in that direction that haven’t happened yet. U-link opening is one. But there are others. For instance:
        – In 2023, all-day Link frequency between the UW and downtown will improve from 10 minutes to 5 minutes
        – In 2017, buses will be kicked out of the downtown tunnel, increasing congestion on surface streets
        – Eventually, Montlake Freeway Station will permanently close. Meanwhile, the Montlake lid will have HOV ramps to/from 520, bypassing the usual congestion associated with the exit.
        – Traffic on I-5 between 520 and downtown will continue to get worse at all times of day.

        Considering all of these things, the eventual replacement of the 255 with the 540 is not a matter of “if” but “when”. If not in 2017, 2023 at the latest.

  6. Hey, BenP, and also Mic, who’ll really like this one, There’s a movie called “Wild”-or “Savage Tales” tales that prove how pathetically trailing the US is in corruption, including parking police. But also defense of our personal parking lot rights.

    Note- the Argentine Constitution stipulates the right and duty to carry everything rusty, sharp, or much worse. Or, if you’re a bride whose husband cheats on her at their own wedding, the weapon of legal divorce knowledge that makes him throw up off the balcony in terror.

    Don’t take along impressionable children if you want to live. But could be valuable information if you want to put, right beside your neighbor’s business, a parking lot that will swiftly produce a vacancy.

    Mark

  7. I’m often amazed at how the proximity of trees to the roadway is never blamed for making the road unsafe. A driver sees me a row of trunks unless someone is at the curb line. The streetlights are up in the tree canopies so light doesn’t hit the street several months a year. I tire of the City always blaming errant drivers but never facing their own contribution to the problem.

    1. Lots of them, in fact. Growing limbs account for most of the de-wires on straight sections when the line crew doesn’t trim them in the spring.

    2. Good point. Especially planting trees near intersections.

      The same problem occurs with rows of tall vehicles (trucks and SUVs) parked at the curb. A pedestrian can step out between or behind them and drivers (especially in cars that are lower to the ground) have limited sightlines until they are very close.

      1. The trees are beautiful, so I would not suggest taking them all. Still, SDOT should determine how much reaction time it takes to stop for a crosswalk, and selectively remove some trees too close to pedestrian crossings. Then, SDOT should push a pedestrian-level lighting system rather than have one hidden in the canopy.

        I would have no issue with parking removal. Perhaps a peak-period transit lane with parking at other times could work. Some of the bulb-outs also seem out of place, and a planted center low shrub (lavender?) median every few blocks may also set a slower mood for drivers.

        In short, a good traffic calming plan on a busy street needs a thorough and coordinated streerscsping plan to make that street work better.

      1. Is that type of information really poster-worthy outside the train itself?? The poster I saw was in my apt bldg.

      2. I may have guessed the meaning wrong, but if I got it right, it does seem an odd place for the information.

  8. For those that visit Portland on occasion and have an iPhone, please be aware that PDXbus went through a significant revision that is now available for download.

  9. As someone who walks along this stretch every day with a 3 year old*, I give a hearty F-U to all those complaining about not being to speed through my neighborhood. Before the safety improvements we had 3 cars bulldoze into buildings within a year (one actually pinned a family against the wall). There have been none since the improvements.

    As to traffic diverting to MLK, that is a good thing. MLK was recently rebuilt to higher safety standards and since it has a median, crossing distance is much shorter for pedestrians.

    *my son goes to Seed of Life daycare, on Rainier right across from the Library.

    1. +1

      Walking around Hillman City and Columbia City is so much more pleasant now. I could care less about a driver who can’t go 45 MPH now down Rainier.

  10. I agree with everyone who rightly describes this as a safety project. Outside of the W.Seattle Fwy, Aurora, W/E. Marginal Way, and parts of Airport Way, I don’t really see how anyone could believe 30+ is acceptable. Even parts of Madison (especially East) are infected with unsafe speeds. I say road diets PLUS speed bumps and traffic circles in the problem areas. As a society we apparently either have to physically restrain drivers through infrastructure or make getting a driver’s license as hard as it is in Sweden et al…and I doubt the latter will every happen.

  11. SCRAP SOUNDER NORTH….

    In my e-mail today:

    A high wide warning is in effect on both the North and Southlines this evening. All Sounder trains are required to reduce their speeds. This will cause approximately 20 – 30 minute delays to all south trains this afternoon between Seattle and Lakewood. And approximately 15 minute delays on the north trains between Seattle and Everett.

    The speed reductions will cause delays in transit and are approximate. Riders should still arrive to the Station platform prior to the scheduled departure times.

    Yup, you’re still paying for this… and about to pay for Paine Field light rail with limited guarantee of good buses feeding the terminal(s). Let’s say Sounder OR Light Rail.

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