12 Replies to “Podcast #12: Expansions”

  1. Martin, buses will not have the same separation from cars because their frequency will make signal pre-emotion at cross streets impossible. The buses will, as they are in LA’s Orange Line, subject to normally scheduled traffic signals. They will be considerably less reliable.

    1. “pre-emption”. Auto-correct: boo!

      As to building 130th as Lynnwood Link is being built. They’ve done at least some engineering on the station; if it’s included in ST3 it could be a separate contract which could be worked on both before and after the trackway and replacement bridge are actively under construction.

      It may not be possible to build the road-level parts of the station, but the platform coule be ready when the line goes into service, making the impacts on operations much less. Planning for the future. It’s a good idea, though not yet well-known at SoundTransit.

      As to Harrison, it is north of the tunnel portal, so the tunnel will be under running SR99 which is on the surface there. It makes excavating the station cavern a bit more complex, but Link does not have to “get under” the DBT.

    2. Anandakos, I think there may be a way to handle signal pe-emption so buses don’t have to stop. Have system control signal the buses to leave stops, and also smoothly adjust and-readjust their speeds so that the signal will be green when they reach it.

      Also, at busy times, dispatch buses in platoons, so, say, three buses will pull into, and leave zones at the same time. Just suggestions. Personally, when I was driving, pre-emotion pretty common approaching a signal.

      Annoyance at having to stop, especially with my zone right across the street, or relief that didn’t happen. Maybe soon also, automatic cars will be given emotions like road rage, tailgating, and going slowly in the left lane, just so drivers won’t notice any difference.


    3. Part-time signal pre-emption is better than none. It could pre-empt except when it has done so in the past ten minutes for instance. I assume ten or fifteen minutes is a reasonable compromise between not blocking cars and not causing wide swings in bus service (e.g., if the quota is four exemptions in 30 minutes but they’re all used up in the first ten minutes then you’d have 10/20/10/20 minute periods of good and bad bus service).

  2. 1. One of Hitler’s early tactics long before he got to power was like this. His “storm troopers”- nothing to do with the army or the police, but creepy thugs in brown uniforms- would stage parades.

    If anybody was not paying attention, one Nazi would break ranks, walk over, and hit the culprit in the face, and then get back in line. Top Nazis said a joke got carried away.

    And their superiors said they themselves were just kidding, and couldn’t help it if kids got carried away. You know kids when somebody insults them.

    “In the Garden of Beasts,” by local author Jay Larson.

    Trump’s opponents’ campaign commercials need maybe one or two TV videos to make their point, which is a lot more important than building scales.

    2. Kirkland point I’m going to keep making until I get some answers, positive or negative. Like “screwdrivers”, “rail” has different sizes for different uses.



    Easy comparison. Here, green one is South Lake Union streetcars with a few mores sections. Another example is Tacoma LINK, except on a trail heading through Kirkland for the transit center, and looping back to the main line. Every third train, maybe. Tacoma is proof that ST can use these cars.

    The other ones, which “light rail” usually means- you see my point. So you see my point. The green ones (not bad color) might turn a lot of NIMBY’s to ILTT’ by’s (I Like These Trains-bys) and SNMH-by’s (Station Near My House Please-bys)

    But let’s talk about these choices instead of just saying “rail”. Wrenches go from clock-making to much bigger ones for machinery. In the Interurban and Steam locomotive days.


  3. I have to say that I love these podcast. I will wander over to iTunes after this and rate it there. I did want to add that a possible way to mix it up is to bring in a more ‘conservative’ transportation advocate. It would be nice to hear ‘a little’ more devil’s advocate as you two are mostly (I said mostly…) in agreement big picture. Just a thought…keep doing the great work you do – we enjoy it for sure!

    1. You know, dws, I remember reading in a book about railroads that lifelong railroad work turned out people who were extremely conservative. Which had nothing to do with either people’s use of their own bodies or officially sponsored prayer.

      Because in the days of steam engines and no electronic signalling or communicatios, and a lot of single track many, engineers’ last words were indeed a prayer when they rounded a curve and found themselves looking into a headlight.

      But were “conservative” in the sense that makes the word’s contemporary use an outrage. It used to mean “careful”, or taking a long time considering the merits, or problems with, the average change.

      And putting great value on experience.Believing that between the earliest steam locomotives to the last ones, many life and death facts took a longer time to live than a lot of people lived long enough to learn. As always, I think, people with about 30 years driving transit feel that younger workers consider themselves “temps.”

      If you want to use the word politically, normal approach would be the above. Not no changes, just very careful ones. And taking as long a view ahead as possible. For me, an honest definition of the “politically conservative” can only be judged in retrospect. A comparison of what condition you found something in, and what condition you left it in.

      It’s a good thing this happened before google, facebook, twitter, and “See Who’s Been Arrested,” but the only magazine article I ever co-wrote was an explanation of the DSTT in The New Electric Railway Journal, published by Paul N. Weyrich, who would have had a certain candidate hanged from a castle parapet.

      Which he would definitely have had on his house, for this exact purpose. Paul believed that streetcars in all varieties, including light rail were the best transportation we could have. He thought that for most places, the heavier urban rail was overkill. But his chief anti-Socialist fury went to the Federal highway system, and all it spawned.

      Personally, I’d call myself an Abolitionist (look it up under American Civil War). As at the movement’s founding, other side are “Slavers and Secessionists.” In the North they’re “Copperheads.” So wouldn’t mind having somebody on a podcast who drove the giant last class of steam history. But now they’re history too.

      Mark Dublin

  4. Martin, and Frank, considering the amount of time these podcasts take, I think they’d come across better, and be easier on you, if you brought more people onto them.

    Maybe you could invite some of your commenters- except it would have to be new ones, because everybody already knows what a few of us think about everything.

    And maybe you could let everybody here vote. When choice is being made, however, be sure we stay on-topic and not call anybody “little” like in the Republican debates except if we really are.

    You know, like Alexander the Great. Julius Caesar. Napoleon. Attila the Hun. Harry Truman. And a lot of worse guys, but they could always tell taller people what to do.

    Oh, yeah, topic. Was told that the cabs of the Melbourne cars were so small because many of the drivers came from nearby Asia. Because I don’t think many regular English deportees could fit in them. Wouldn’t that discussion be great on a podcast?


  5. Thanks for the podcast. Few comments doesn’t mean little interest. In my case I don’t have much to say except, “Yeah, there are tradeoffs.” The best part was getting a perspective on Link from a Columbia City resident, talking about Graham Station, how hard it is to get to Capitol Hill without Capitol Hill Station, the unreliability of the 8, how live-looping the 38 may perpetuate unreliability (Really?), and the potential of a Boeing Access Road – West Seattle bus route (I’d never heard of that before; I’m initially skeptical).

    The calls to bring guests into the show aren’t a bad idea. Although at the end of every podcast I wish you two would talk longer, so I don’t want to lose that perspective, but it might help to bring in different voices, either occasionally or regularly, for say fifteen minutes on a topic they’re focused on, or as an alternating third speaker.

    1. Thanks for the very good feedback!

      Personally, I much prefer podcasts with two friends with pretty good chemistry over interviews with different people. I certainly won’t do any interviewing, and I don’t want to sign up Frank for anything, but if Frank is up to do interviews I think it would give some people what they want.

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