Downtown Seattle City Lights Panorama  + Ferry in Motion

This is an open thread.

153 Replies to “News Roundup: Breaking Its Promises”

    1. Just skimming through the beginning of the draft plan now…I notice Metro plans to have a total of 26 RapidRide lines. That’s the same as the number of letters in the alphabet. Coincidence? I think not!

    2. There’s an interesting express #2021 on Kent Station – Meeker St – KDM Road (KDM Station) – I-5 – S 188th St – Intl Blvd (SeaTac Station) – Air Cargo Road – S 156/150/148th St (Burien TC) – Ambaum Blvd (White Center. Westwood Village) – 35th Ave SW – Alaska Jct.

      The LRP generally defines express as 10-15 min peak, 15-30 min other times, for 15 hours a day. However, when I talked with a Metro consultant at the open house, he said it wasn’t yet certain whether all the express routs might have that level of service; some might still be peak only. That could apply to the Federal Way-downtown route and far eastern routes. (I have a hard time believing Maple Valley-Snoqualmie would get even a vanful of riders every half hour, although Auburn-Covington-Maple Valley might.)

      However, even with that express connecting to Link at KDM Station, I’m afraid it would still be an hour from Kent to downtown, so not a solution to the 150 slowness.

      1. The only real fix to the slow 150 is all-day sounder service. Then the 150 could be treated as a local service (which it is AMAZING at judging by my experience on it, in which it has like a full turnover twice on its route) and the sounder could cover the part that gets people from Kent or Tukwila quickly to Seattle. 150 basically just picks up interurban ave. and W. Valley Highway then, which is great, because there’s a lot of stuff on both of those streets. Maybe at that point extend it up Kent Kangley to Covington. I think busses that ran every 15 minutes from covington to Kent Station would do great. Perhaps get rid of the part that takes it to Seattle if sounder service got really good, and have the 150 go from like interurban along 599 to covington.

        Also, in general, I think Metro should do some branding of the routes it has that climb east hill. Like the whatcom county go-lines, it should brand James Street as a frequent service corridor (because it is, even more so at rush hour). Right now, you just have to be a transit geek to know that busses come like every 8 minutes at rush hour and 15 minutes most of the day (30 at night) Some kind of branding in that corridor would probably drastically increase ridership (especially if combined with better sounder service!!)

  1. Here’s an idea: ST3 pays for a new crosstown rapid ride line roughly were Ballard-UW would go. This would provide a much needed crosstown route in north Seattle and (somewhat) appease those that really wanted the Ballard-UW line in ST3. Plus a line like this is already in metro’s long range plan anyway. If they really needed to, they could cut the funding for D line improvements or reduce the parking dollars. They could even classify it as an “early win”

    1. I’ve thought this would be a good idea too. I think it’s pretty clear we’re not going to get Ballard – UW any time soon, but there are a ton of benefits we could get short of digging a tunnel. Dedicated lanes and signal priority would go a long way for the 44 that’s already there.

      1. We’re not going to get Ballard–UW soon if the current process is followed.

        The solution is to blow up the process that obviously isn’t working, and is resulting in absurdities such as Link to Paine Field.

      2. If you think “the process” needs to be blown up, then you’re not talking about ST3 anymore. ST3 is the process we’ve got right now, and any new process is going to take years of political consensus-building to achieve. And if you do pull that off, then there’s no guarantee the new process would prioritize Ballard-UW anyway.

      3. Seattle Subway thinks Ballard to downtown could be built in 15 yeara (based on their Facebook comment). Does the horde think that’s likely?

      4. It will be 22 years before we even get Ballard to downtown (via Interbay), largely because of funding issues. Now you are worried that a Ballard to UW subway would take too long if ST3 passes? Nonsense. Blow it up and get an agency that knows what they are doing to analyze the area and build what makes sense. Maybe it won’t be any more rail — maybe they will start with dozens of expensive bus improvements. If we do build rail, then it will certainly be Ballard to UW or the Metro 8. It sure as hell won’t be anything like ST3.

      5. The Seattle Subway article Tuesday postulates that Seattle city and stakeholders could shave 3 years off the timeline with expedited permitting and zoning and fewer EIS alternatives, and ST could shave unspecified years with financing policies and federal [and state] support. In that scenario, it would take 4 years of funding shaving to reach a 15-year project timeline. Is that doable? I’m not an expert in those, but the city and the stateholders should do their parts anyway.

      6. @RossB – All I was saying is that getting rid of the current consensus in an effort to change priorities is no guarantee of anything. You can’t know the political tradeoffs required to achieve it and there is no guarantee a future consensus would prioritize Ballard-UW. It could, for example, decide that a Lake City line should be the priority, or that the Metro 8 is the priority, etc. Or it could be even more regionally-focused on concentrate on Everett/Tacoma more than ST currently does. Or the state legislature could give us all the middle finger.

      7. Kll ST3 with fire. Blow up the current broken process.

        The fact that U-Link is now *open and operating* changes everything. The voting patterns are, *as a result of voters getting used to U-Link*, going to be very different in 2018. Even suburban voters will see the value in urban routes — (thought pattern: park once, and visit downtown and the University in the same trip… what if I could also visit Ballard…)

        The next package can be way more pro-urban and will pass far more easily than the garbage ST3 proposal. As well as being much better value for money.

        Remember, Roads and Transit went down in flames. The replacement Transit-Only proposition was a great success, and it was much better.

      8. Nathanael;

        In my Josh Lyman of “The West Wing” tone: Name for me please the roads in ST3 and why you feel they need to be stopped alongside high capacity transit for generations to come?

        Oh you can’t, can you? You don’t have a clue.

        You know I’m so sick of STB comment threads some days I could vomit.

        I realize that as an adult not everyone shares my view of the world, and with an issue as hot as public transit I’m prepared to accept a lot of different points of view as being perfectly valid, but we transit advocates can all get together on supporting Sound Transit, right?

        Sound Transit worked damn good and well in ST1 & ST2. What changed in ST3??? WHAT?

        We need transit to all of Paine Field somehow, thanks. The Snohomish County Economic Alliance is rightly beating the drum on this.

        We need better transit for Pierce County, thanks.

        We need a lot more light rail for Seattle, which ST3 delivers and rightfully so, thank you.

        You’re a fellow transit advocate, you gotta make it real dude. Show up at a Sound Transit meeting, join a Sound Transit committee, get involved. Oh and with respect, you do not want to have this conversation with people who are disabled who would like just some transit some day…

        Enjoy my Josh Lyman impersonation…. I can’t wait to make out with Donnatella Moss on the light rail.

      9. @Nathanael – 2016 is a presidential election year, which typically drives turnout of younger, more liberal voters who are more likely to support a measure such as ST3. The 2018 electorate is likely to be older and more conservative, as midterm elections are generally. These are obviously gross generalizations, but a potential transit ballot measure stands a worse chance in 2018 than it would in 2016 or 2020. Recall that Roads and Transit went to the ballot in 2007, while ST2 was in 2008. Turnout in 2008 in King County was almost 84% in 2008, versus about 47% in 2007. This means very nearly more people voted for ST2 in 2008 than voted on Roads and Transit, for or against, in 2007!

        I don’t think we have any evidence that suburban voters are more likely to vote for a hypothetical future ballot measure which is heavy on urban rail projects versus ST3. Remember that subarea equity was originally put in place to protect the suburbs from Seattle taking all their money. So far in the ST3 conversation, the only people that want to nuke or otherwise adjust subarea equity are Snohomish County people who want Link to Paine Field and want it built faster, and Seattle urbanists/transit wonks who favor Ballard uber alles and/or the Metro 8 due to ridership, land use, and social justice reasons (again, gross generalizations).

        What I said above holds true: any future political consensus has no guarantee of prioritizing urban rail lines.

      10. Thank you Jason.

        Earlier today I put the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County on notice Seattle Transit Blog is blogging up a storm.

        Hopefully calmer minds and regionalism will prevail.

        ST1 worked great.
        ST2 is well underway.

        So what’s wrong with ST3 that’s so bad to prompt tantrums against it at this point? We torpedo ST3, but then what? Shred regionalism and everybody loses? Or try again with a few tweaks that can only be tweaks due to the Sound Transit governing structure? Or set up future candidate AND ballot measure elections where it’s 38.5 or 38.75 counties versus Seattle in retaliation for Seattle tantrums after Seattle got its light rail spine – and rightfully so?

        Time some people got real. Granted, I’d like to speed up light rail to Everett.

        But first we have to get voter approval for light rail to Everett… and more light rail for Seattle – including West Seattle which somehow is escaping appropriate scrutiny… and light rail to Tacoma – escaping the same scrutiny Everett is… and more Sounder South. Thanks.

      11. @AvgeekJoe

        The view that “Sound Transit worked damn good and well in ST1 & ST2” really depends on your perspective. Many of the commentators on this site would point out that that bus rail integration is weak, Sounder North is weak, the Spine is weak, and the First Hill Streetcar patch is really weak. I actually think that a spine a la BART would have some merit, but that would require good bus rail integration and performance that was incontrovertibly superior to the buses it was replacing. That doesn’t seem to be happening.

        And from the Vancouver perspective, the costs are astonishing. Central Link cost around $2.5b and University Link around $1.9b for a total of $4.4b. In 2010 dollars, the total Vancouver Skytrain system cost $5.3b, and it now has nearly 400,000 boardings per day plus a 100% farebox recovery ratio.

        Build-out of ST2 will be north of $10b. The ST2 system will certainly have useful parts, but it will have weaknesses as well. Frequency limitations, low farebox recovery ratio, and capacity limitations in the DSTT. The fact that 12 years after the installation of light rail through downtown there is serious discussion of the need for a second parallel light rail tunnel is emblematic of a failure of planning. So, depending on your point of view, it is fair to say that ST1 and ST2 will cost a ton of money to deliver a less than robust transit system will poor expansion capabilities.

      12. yvrlutyens;

        Thank you for your Vancouver, BC perspective. It’s a welcome one especially on STB open threads because I wish we had Skytrain. But I’m sure you wish you had Skytrain to the International Airport long ago…

        I think bus-rail integration is rather good from my Skagit perch with occasional trips on Sound Transit. The performance seems to me quite superior to buses… heck, schedule reliability is better, frequency is better, also are we talking the same 2010 US dollars to 2010 US dollars?

        Finally, I wish and I will bring this up Monday but I wonder why ST3 hasn’t in it elevating the Rainier Valley stretch so we can have automated trains to save a boatload of cash and get 100% farebox recovery?

      13. “Sound Transit worked damn good and well in ST1 & ST2. What changed in ST3??? WHAT?”

        That’s a really good question, isn’t it? It’s like they did everything as badly as they possibly could.

        Or maybe it’s just that the best ST1 and ST2 routes were so obvious that even a fairly, ahem, *transit-challenged* board was able to identify them. Now that it’s getting a little less obvious they’re making awful choices.

        I gave my alternative north end proposal in another thread and you liked it. My question is, *why wasn’t this ST’s proposal*? What precisely has gone wrong there?

        Why are they fighting tooth and nail to avoid building 130th St. Station (on North Link), for goodness sake?

        What’s with all the free parking garages? The proposal is better referred to as “Parking And Transit”.

      14. Nathanael;

        I’m of the view a ST3 written by us would be a lot different than the current Board. I do question why all the parking spaces… are they going to be “free” or are they at the least going to require having a monthly ORCA membership to be free.

        I’m also of the view ST1 & ST2 are pretty damn good. But fighting light rail to Everett – even the sane BRT to Paine + light rail up I-5 – is going to mean no more Sound Transit.

        Unless you think somehow the State Legislature is going to step aside and allow Seattle to tax itself without limit, there’s no other option.

        We need light rail to Everett. We need to get cars off of I-5. SOON.

    2. Isn’t the city already paying for “Rapidride plus” for the 44 as part of Prop 1?

      1. Yes, the corridor is designated (Ballard to Children’s) and design started I think last year. SDOT is considering center transit lanes in part of it; I’ve heard contradictorally Wallingford to 15th and 15th on east so I’m not sure which is more official. ST funding could speed up the delivery. We could argue it as mitigation for postponing the Ballard-UW line, the way the First Hill Streetcar was mitigation for deleting First Hill Station.

      2. My understanding is that the package only allocated around $10-20 million per line, abs estimates show the actual costs are significantly higher, which means that for them to be built metro would have to secure additional funding. My point was that ST3 could be that additional funding

  2. I’m skeptical that this Everett plan would shave all that much time off the Everett connection. It’s a relatively minor routing change that doesn’t affect the distance required.

    1. Isn’t skipping SR99 entirely but still going to the industrial area basically the worst alignment possible?

      Wouldn’t this skip all of the high development potential areas to focus on low density areas almost no one is going to live or work close to?

      At this point I think its safe to assume that nearly every rail line built by Sound Transit will avoid populated places almost all of the time, especially outside of Seattle.

      1. The headline is misleading. This doesn’t entirely skip 99. I think a map would be helpful, but from what I can figure out, the only difference is that the new plan doesn’t have the provisional station at Northern Evergreen. So, basically, it saves money by skipping a station that would probably not be built anyway, North of 526, Highway 99 (Evergreen Way) is remarkably low density, even by Snohomish County standards. It is similar to west Magnolia. Meanwhile, this adds back the provisional station that is probably the best station on the entire line north of Seattle: Highway 99 at Airport Road. The move is sensible, and should be seriously considered, if they want to shine up this turd.

        I do think it is funny, though, that they are even considering running rail out here. The argument for this sensible change is that you can save a huge amount of money if you leverage the highways that exist. Yep. You can save even more money (as the other Herald article points out) by simply improving the Swift program on those very corridors. Given the fact that what passes for density in the area happens to align with the existing highways, ST is right to consider running right next to them — but they should run buses not trains.

        Census Map of the area:

        [This version is nice because it has the names of the cities. Otherwise it is really hard to pick out Everett (seriously, density is that low).]

    2. Everett is refusing to allow high development potential on Evergreen Way. It says it’s fine as is. It doesn’t want light rail trains or high-density housing mucking it up. Compare Des Moines.

  3. Has anyone done a study as to where Boeing employees live? I’m willing to bet the majority of them live in Marysville and even further north in Skagit county. How is Link to Paine field supposed to help them?

    Everyone is so hellbent on serving Paine field just because it’s there. Doesn’t seem to matter if it makes sense at all. BRT from a Link station on I-5 would serve Boeing/Paine field better for the few who will need it while not slowing down the trains to where people actually want to go (Seattle).

    1. Plus Paine field is so big that it can’t really be served with one light rail station. We could either build light rail to Paine field and then set up a local bus, or build BRT that would have multiple stops around the area. Plus it could adapt to new buildings; in all likelihood Paine will change in the next two decades and a fixed light rail line wouldn’t be able to adapt to that.

      1. That’s exactly my point. BRT could serve the airport, future of flight and circle around the sprawling Boeing campus. If Boeing cared at all, they’d provide their own employee shuttles like Microsoft does.

        Any Boeing employee taking Link to Paine field would have to transfer to some kind of a bus anyway. Very few would be within an acceptable walking distance of the station. And again, what are the odds that those few would be commuting from south of Everett?

      2. Yes but remember how this sausage gets made: ST is deferring to the cities when it comes to priorities. Paine Field is just one example of many projects that aren’t meritorious of LRT.

      3. huskytbone;

        I have a real fear that public input only matters so much… when the top 5% elite class of local governments aren’t stuffed with transit advocates this is what you get.

        Pro-tip: Sitting behind a monitor & keyboard isn’t going to get the same results as joining transit agencies’ community advisory groups.

      4. Yes but remember how this sausage gets made: ST is deferring to the cities when it comes to priorities.

        Unless they have the audacity to suggest that BRT is the right tool for the job. Kirkland came up with a fine plan for BRT using the CRC. It would have served the most densely populated area in Kirkland (Juanita) and more importantly improved the transit options for a huge portion of their population. But ST basically said no, and decided to go with Issaquah light rail.

        Paine Field is just one example of many projects that aren’t meritorious of LRT.

        That’s for sure.

      5. That’s been my opinion. Currently there are three ET routes and four CT routes that serve that area. I should add the Swift II is also coming.

        All four of the current CT routes are commuter busses.

        Of the three ET routes the 70 is a commuter route. Per the other two the 3 runs about every half hour while the 12 is hourly.

        You’d definitely need more frequent service than what’s currently available.

    2. I think part of the motivation is that it’s meant to become a commercial airport soonish. Frank or somebody mentioned on the podcast recently the fairly obvious contradiction between our region’s commitment to environmentalism along with expanding airport traffic, though.

      I think reality is going to force a dramatic rethinking of our air travel habits if no giant leaps are made in handling it in a more environmentally-friendly manner. This probably means cutting way back on air travel in the next few decades. Either way, I think the Paine Field deviation is a mistake.

      1. There is zero evidence that Paine field will be a commercial airport anytime soon. There are a few advocates pushing for it but that’s it. SeaTac is in the process of designing an expansion that will provide adequate capacity for decades to come.

      2. 25 years is not soon though. A commercial airport may look more viable then and may have more public support. On the other hand, Lynnwoodites are excited about a 1-hour Link trip to SeaTac without traffic delays. Everettites may feel the same even if Link doesn’t get all the way to Everett. So that could change attitudes too.

      3. Even so, they could live with a frequent bus connection to Link until an AirTrain gets built. There are plenty of much larger airports in this country that don’t have trains to their front door. This is all hypothetical – Paine field is unlikely to get commercial traffic any time soon.

      4. If you build light rail to the current airport terminal area though, it can’t serve Boeing as well unless you tunnel under the entire facility.

        And one of the primary motivations of this is trying to serve Boeing as well.

      5. THE primary motivation is to serve Boeing and its tens of thousands of workers.

        (Whether they can realistically use Link is another question. Whether the surrounding suppliers’ and future industrial companies’ employees can realistically use Link is an even bigger question, since the station will be sited for Boeing, and secondarily for Paine Field and the Seaview Transit Center, while the other companies are outside walking distance of those and each other.)

      6. This discussion is silly. You are guys are basically discussing the best way to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic (obviously stacking them to the side is a mistake, we should stack them up and down, and we earlier discussed). Look, even if there is an airport there, even if Boeing has tens of thousands of jobs there, even if we build a line that skips both — it doesn’t make sense. It reminds me of the Federal Way discussion. Of course it should include the college, but even if it did — even it was better — it still wouldn’t be worth it.

        Look, imagine you spent tons of money on gold plated BRT. Basically BRT with all the grade separation of rail. Brand new tunnels, bridges, the works. Now pick a route (any route) to Everett, and tell me how often those buses run. Every minute? Every thirty seconds? Every ten seconds? Of course not. A closed line won’t possibly have that kind of ridership. Once a minute would be more than enough. So why the hell would trains make sense? Because they don’t. This is Everett we are talking about. It is too far, too small and contains way too little in between Seattle.

      7. My guess is that the airport is a small motivating factor. There are also likely backroom discussions with Boeing to the effect of “new highway, lightrail or we leave in 15 years” either that or its been an issue listed by other industries they’ve tried to unsuccessfully attract to the area in the past.

        Nothing else makes sense as to why so many Snohomish County representatives are going along with this. If it were really about the airport, Mukilteo would be clearly opposed.

        The one thing nearly every suburban city is looking to lightrail to do is create jobs somehow, not actually reduce traffic.

      8. “The one thing nearly every suburban city is looking to lightrail to do is create jobs somehow, not actually reduce traffic.”

        Well, that’s a step in the right direction. At least the officials understand that Link won’t reduce traffic, even if many of the residents don’t.

      9. This discussion is silly. You are guys are basically discussing the best way to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic (obviously stacking them to the side is a mistake, we should stack them up and down, and we earlier discussed).

        We know where the ship winds up going. We can’t patch the holes as the fate has ben assured by much more powerful forces. Might as well get the deck chairs out of everyone’s way as running around screaming doesn’t accomplish anything.

    3. I work at the Boeing factory and have commuted from both Mountlake Terrace and downtown Everett. There is definitely a large population that lives in North Snohomish and Skagit County, but there are quite a few employees commuting up from the south (Seattle, Lynnwood) or from nearby (Everett). Some portion of them may switch to light rail.

      That being said, I 100% agree that running light rail to Paine Field is a mistake. Almost anywhere you put the station will require riders to transfer to another form of transportation. You might as well go with a 99 or I-5 alignment and have Boeing riders transfer to Swift II or a local route from there. If we’re looking to shave time/money off an Everett alignment, we should be removing the Paine Field station and routing from the plan, not the downtown Everett station.

    4. Everyone is so hellbent on serving Paine field just because it’s there. Doesn’t seem to matter if it makes sense at all.

      Correct. That is the problem for the entire system. Of course BRT makes more sense there. Hell, just regular bus service — better bus service — probably makes more sense there. Snohomish County is a county with sprawling employment and housing. It make Seattle look like Manhattan. Think I’m joking, consider this: Seattle is not an especially dense city (nothing like Brooklyn or Chicago) but it doesn’t look like Phoenix, either. There are plenty of blocks over 25,000 people per square mile (ppsm) Most of them are clustered around downtown, the Central Area and the U-District. There are none in Snohomish County. Zero. Meanwhile, much of the area struggles to even get to 10,000 people per square mile. It is very difficult to count all the areas over 10,000 ppsm in the Central Area, there are so many. My guess it that there are over 50 blocks, all connected — several square miles worth of density east of downtown without a sizeable gap. In Snohomish County — the entire county — there are twenty. They are scattered like rose pedals to the wind. There really is no central urban core to Everett or the county.

      What is true of housing is true of employment. If you have ever met anyone who works in manufacturing, you know that people have a lot of room to spread out. The parking lots are huge. There aren’t floors and floors of people, packed together like in an office or hospital. There are small groups of people in one area, huddled around million dollar machines. Trucks or trains interact with the raw or finished goods. This is the antithesis of density because space is one of the most valuable commodities. That is why they locate there. If you are labor intensive, then you locate close to the big city — if not, you locate in Everett or Mukilteo,

      If you look at the census map again, you will notice that just about every “high” density block in Snohomish County is located close to a major road. This makes sense. Unlike Seattle, the area grew up after the freeways and highways. So what passes for density (an apartment here or there, with lots of parking, naturally) will usually be close, or right next to a busy street. Side Note: I used to live in one of those in Lynnwood. What this means from a public policy standpoint is that the answer is obvious: buses. If almost all of your density is right along the major roads, then you simply need to improve your bus system. In some cases this means BRT. In other cases it just means added bus lanes (or BAT lanes). It may simply mean added service. Hell, even the pride and joy of Snohomish County — the famous Swift bus, travels only every 12 minutes. Imagine it running every six minutes. Oh, and someone want to explain to me why a train that will obviously be less useful for riders and more expensive to run will operate more often than that? Of course it won’t. Because it is obviously the wrong tool for the job. When the train runs every twenty minutes, remember what you paid for.

      Which is why this really pisses me off. I remember living in Lynnwood, and I remember why I lived in Lynnwood. I couldn’t afford to live in a nice part of Seattle (and my wife was afraid to live an area she didn’t consider nice). We couldn’t afford a car. I’m sure there are a lot more people in that boat. They will get screwed with this system. If you spend billions on a light rail line, you can’t expect them to beef up the bus system.

      What is true of Snohomish County is true of Issaquah, West Seattle and Pierce County. This is an absurd set of choices for light rail. It is obvious the folks in charge have no idea (or don’t care) what light rail is good for, and what it isn’t. It like buying a Hummer to go to the mall. It makes no sense at all.

      1. “If you have ever met anyone who works in manufacturing, you know that people have a lot of room to spread out. The parking lots are huge. There aren’t floors and floors of people, packed together like in an office or hospital. There are small groups of people in one area, huddled around million dollar machines. Trucks or trains interact with the raw or finished goods.”

        They do in Brooklyn. Multistory warehouses on regular streets within walking distance of subway and bus stops, sometimes with several companies in the same building (which is great for business-to-business coordination and greater local commerce). Of course industrial facilities need more space than offices, and roads wide enough for trucks, and certain jobs like airplane assembly have extreme needs for a room several football fields large. But it doesn’t require the amount of space used in Everett or Kent or Issaquah. A lot of that is unnecessary sprawl, built by companies and cities that were 100% car-minded and didn’t give a hoot about transit or walkability because that’s so 19th century.

      2. I agree. But it would take a coalition of pro-bus transit advocates and anti-rail/NIMBYs to potentially sink ST3. I’m not sure that’s going to materialize.

      3. ….and the non-adjustment of property taxes to fit current property values means those companies have no incentive to do anything other than continue wasting space.

      4. @Mike — Fair enough. Perhaps I should have been more explicit. “If you have ever met anyone who works in modern, automobile based manufacturing, like the type found in Everett …”.

        These places — Everett included — are not getting more dense, any more than farms are getting more dense. It takes fewer people to build things than it used to, and there is a distinct advantage, if not a requirement in many cases, for lots of land to build those things.

        So other than correcting my paragraph, what is your point? You readily admit that Everett, Kent or Issaquah manufacturing uses huge amounts of land, and very few people. So doesn’t that make those areas a really poor choice for light rail? Of course it does.

      5. I never said Paine needs light rail. Workers need to get to their jobs, and expanding Swift could take care of that. My point is a long-term one: there’s a better way to have industrial facilities, just like there’s a better way to have housing and shopping facilities. We can only get there if people start thinking it’s a possibility, then twenty years later they may be willing to do it.

      6. Well twenty years is about how long it’d take for light rail so Give. Me. A. Break.


        So what if light rail goes to Paine Field? I would like to know Mike since you are smarter than me about transit why this perception by some it’s time to panic or such a threat?

      1. Best of luck. Everyone wants their projects sooner and since there’s only one project in ST3 that is clearly worthwhile (Ballard)… seems that it would be the best candidate for speeding up.

    5. Think about where the current commuter routes to the factory come from. Stanwood, Arlington, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Monroe, Sultan, Mukilteo. Nothing from the south end that would be served by Link, except for the very odd Metro 952 and a few Everett Transit circulators.

      I think CT could expand its Boeing express offerings after 2023, using Double Talls that might not be needed on some of the truncated Link feeders.

  4. Does the First Hill streetcar have any signal priority at all? I took it Tuesday to connect from the 150 to get to Seattle U. The trip from 5th and Jackson to Broadway and Marion took 18 minutes (plus two mins of walking to my building), and I am sure it hit every single light red. This is appalling. This is worse than bus and the same as walking. I would have thought that with a mixed-traffic mode, inefficient routing, slow acceleration and high capital (compared to a bus route), that some sort of signal priority would just kind of be obviously a reality. I guess not? Seriously, this thing is worse than RapidRide (which does have signal priority, although a lot of times it seems like it doesn’t). A bus route would have been faster than this streetcar I’m sure. Maybe we should have done that, and used the cost savings to build half of the Graham street station?

    1. The First Hill Streetcar “Because sometimes life isn’t about getting from point A to point B in the fastest way possible”.

      Look for our Central City Connector, coming soon! Enjoy breathtaking views of beautiful downtown, as your streetcar sits, unable to move despite streetcar only lanes.

    2. You were lucky. I took it fro Occidental to Broadway/Marion last night and it was 24 minutes.

    3. Yes, we should have built bus service. Remember, we got this because ST couldn’t bother with adding a station on First Hill. Those who think that rail is the answer to all your problems (especially anyone in West Seattle, Issaquah, Pierce or Snohomish County) should ride the streetcar sometimes.

      1. Honestly, you could have built a decent First Hill streetcar. It’s kind of impressive how many terrible decisions were made in the First Hill Streetcar, from putting the stations in the wrong places (nearly all of them are in the wrong places) to the detour on 14th Avenue to the curbside running to the substandard manufacturer of trams to the fact that half the overhead wiring is missing…

      2. I respectfully disagree. Some great stations there like one very close to not just a Dick’s but also two by a light rail station and another a five-minute walk to an IHOP. Please……….

      3. Marion Street is not well placed to connect to a future Madison BRT station. There’s a bit of a walk. The streetcar station by the light rail station is a nice placement, although it would have been a bit better if the northern terminal of the streetcar had been on the east side of Broadway, which is the side that the (underground) link trains run (so it would shave a little bit of walking underground).

  5. If the Issaquah Link proposal passes as part of ST3, will the East Main station be re-designed to include a center platform instead of side platforms to facilitate transfers from Issaquah Link to Seattle via East Link at that station. Without a center platform transfer, even the small percent of people who would want to make that transfer would be discouraged from doing it.

    1. You mean, will Sound Transit think proactively and redesign a station they’ve yet to break ground on? You must not know Sound Transit very well.

      1. We should just accept that East Main is a terrible place to do the transfer and that it should be at S Bellevue (which BTW, is already a center platform).

      2. Not to mention, ST now has the ability to build stub tracks at South Bellevue without requiring closures/expensive construction later on.

    2. Why the heck is there not a center platform?? Doesn’t that only make sense if the platform also serves buses?

    3. That’s an excellent point – unfortunately design and engineering may have progressed to the point where that is no longer feasible (I hope not, but as construction on the line has started it may be so, and we won’t know until November if it’s needed). Once again, ST does not look ahead at probable future needs and expansion when designing facilities, instead preferring to plan based on the world being frozen in amber.

      Any place that is even remotely possible as an in-line, same grade transfer point should be planned with a center platform. Even stations that may someday be at crossing lines should have their stations designed as such, as it means a direct single vertical transfer platform-to-platform.

    4. You ask “will” as if ST has decided this much less announced it. The concepts are high-level at this point, they don’t get into details like whether it would be center platform or how the junction would work. ST has some general preferences about junctions — they don’t like some kinds — that’s all we know.

      1. Mike, we’re in construction now. It’s quite probable that the track geometry has already been engineered and the station designed, at least to “design development” stage and probably into construction documents. The track location, curvatures, drainage, and probably signaling and utilities would have to change for a center platform station, so it is a reasonable assumption that, yes, ST has already decided this for the particular station Kedar is referencing. Could it be changed at this point with little or no cost/schedule impact? Possibly, but without access to the actual design documents there isn’t any way for even those of us in the profession to know.

  6. “In January, 4,500 new jobs were added to the employment rolls at a pace of about 145 new jobs per day.”

    Every day ask yourself: Where will today’s 145 new workers live? If you’re trying to stop any housing project or upzone for any reason (it’s too ugly – I’ll lose sunlight – what about the trees?!), think through the answer to that question.

      1. Which is why Link to Issaquah will do nothing but encourage more SFH development in that area.

      2. I’d guess at around 400 homes surrounding that golf course, and around 345 acres of trees lost not including the golf course itself. So that’s a good part of this week’s new employees. Or we could have built one tower and let the would-be golf course homeowners buy existing homes instead…

      3. Ride the 554 and 208 through central Issaquah and you’ll see that there’s a lot of 1990s/2000s houses very close together and multifamily housing, almost as dense as New Holly or Rainier Vista. The Issaquah Highlands is even more so. So that’s what the future of Issaquah housing is. There aren’t enough empty lots for low-density houses, and the city boundary and urban growth boundary limit how far out they can go. There’s also Issaquah’s designated urban center, which will surely be at least 4-story or higher.

      4. I may be misremembering, but I think the golf course (or most of it) is atop an old landfill (mainly if not entirely, construction debris).

        The houses are not.

        Not that this materially affects your main point, which I take to be that we have a stark choice between density and sprawl. And that sprawl destroys most of what makes this a great place to live (close-in natural areas, environmental quality – by forcing polluting and unsustainable transportation options, etc, etc.).

      5. … and these houses are in some sense infill.

        While these particular houses are probably pretty pricey, so are many apartments and condos in new towers in Seattle. For the last couple generations or so our middle-class housing strategy in the US has involved a lot of sprawl and “sprawly” infill (with inconvenient or inefficient transportation characteristics). We don’t yet have a new strategy, one that agrees with our environmental (and sometimes urbanist) values, that actually delivers the goods.

        I don’t really have a point, just wanted to provoke that reaction here: there’s housing development that we might protest, too, in this tough market. Maybe we’re not so different from those people we’re calling irresponsible! We should be sure to know why we should protest one and support the other.

      6. Ah. I get your point now. I really should have qualified my statement that if you’re trying to block any housing project in the city you should give it some thought. The thought implied was that if we block housing in urban areas they end up bulldozing trees or farms or fields. I thought you were showing an example of that, not challenging my premise.

        Saving a couple of urban trees could push people out where they cut down hundreds.

      7. But if we don’t save the urban trees where will the kitty cats like Prince Tugboat play?

        Clearly it is time for a building and demolition permit moratorium in Seattle. We must have more time to consider how to integrate new construction while preserving neighborhood character as well as preserving urban tree cover. We must let schools, parks, transit, and utilities catch up with our breakneck construction pace.

        With any luck it will end up just as “temporary” as the longstanding “temporary” moratorium on permitting new strip clubs was.

      8. A moratorium that becomes de facto permanent would lead to $4000 rents and million-dollar houses in Seattle, and the entire working class trying to survive and commute from Woodinville and Everett.

      1. he bought it so he could dismantle it along with toontown to build 8 lanes of shimmering concrete freeways, a string of gas stations, tire salons, restaurants serving rapidly prepared food, inexpensive motels, automobile dealerships and billboards as far as the eye can see…

      1. Yep, and the usual clap-trap is being peddles by Ley and Carolyn Crane. I’ve given up trying to educate the jerks. Let ’em sit in congestion on the I-5 bridge.

    1. Isn’t that the point? As far as I’m concerned, the city isn’t doing it’s job very well if it isn’t getting maximum revenue from a valuable (and renewable) resource.

      It’s only a bad idea if there’s no market for these spots, but the city would/will find that out soon enough.

      The more the city can make from these ventures, the better.

      1. That reminds me, speaking of a “valuable and renewable resource’. An open question for the group.

        What entity owns a light rail station or the stations in the DSTT?

        If you have 10K+ people going through it in a minute or two, using pretty tight paths, while you have boodles of mezzanine and street space, why isn’t there at least a simple coffee cart in many of the stations or on the sidewalk nearby. I can imagine that said simple coffee cart will make a killing in the morning selling to the morning commuter. And if you can make a killing, you can charge premium rent.

      2. Felsen, you are correct, the exclusive purpose of red light cameras, speed zone cameras, parking meters, etc., is to collect money. But there’s an unwritten rule among politicians that you never say that. You lie, and say they are for safety or to ensure there is always enough parking.

      3. “The more the city can make from these ventures, the better.”

        Yet ironically the same crowd that professes to be big fans of capitalism and markets and which says government should be run more like business will get all upset and anxious at the mere mention of such a plan.

      4. Hi Baselle – I commented on this exact thing back in the bus tunnel EIS (so many years ago, when I was still in high school and got to attend Citizens’ Transit Advisory Committee meetings). The answer given, if I recall correctly, was that they did not want to deal with the associated litter and loitering that would go with it. I still feel that was specious, and always enjoyed the little coffee stand at Northgate.

        When I was in Rio last fall my local Metro station (Cantagalo) had quite lengthy subterranean passageways to access it, and there were many little kiosks like you’d see in a mall here that could be completely closed up and secured, selling everything from women’s clothing to kids’ toys to chocolates. There was also a coffee and snack stand right next to the security station. I do think the stations here in the DSTT would be a bit less sterile if they could be activated like that at least a little.

      5. @Scott Siddell – exactly how I remember the Buenos Aires subway and train stations. Practically a mall inside the ones i picked through. There was even a car rental inside the Constitution station. In Paris you could pick up any number of items. New York – lunch counters.

        Plus the Pioneer Square University St stations mezzanines are already a bit, um, unpristine anyway.

  7. That Kemper Freeman article is really short on specifics. How does that organization get $187 billion (while ST3 only gets $50 billion) and what is the time frame for that money.

    Though, as always, I am impressed by his disdain for democracy.

    1. Not to mention how he persists in his belief that freeways and personal vehicles can be made to scale in capacity to match the demand of large urban areas, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    2. Kemper Freeman must clearly love Dick’s and the era of Dick’s…. I’m sure it gives Kemper heartburn a Dick’s is across the street from Capitol Hill Light Rail Station & a Seattle Streetcar station.

  8. Why has the 48 become so unreliable post restructure? It seems like a route that shouldn’t have major (any?) traffic difficulties, but my mid-morning experiences from E. John (NB to the UW) has been that it’s a crapshoot whether a bus is within 5 minutes of the schedule. It’s a weird contrast to the generally reliable 48 of pre-restructure times.

    1. I always got screwed by the old 40-late above Montlake, and it didn’t matter the day or time. Am suspending judgment on the 45.

  9. New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, including bus operations, subway operations and both commuter railroads, have unanimously decided that membership in the American Public Transit Association is not worth the price.

    Among other complaints mentioned in “blistering seven page April 8, 2016 letter” (Railway Age article):

    No legacy transit systems or commuter rail systems are represented on the APTA leadership. “APTA’s governance structure is way out of whack with legacy systems and commuter rail operations, which represent 60% of public transportation ridership.”

    Technical assistance and knowledge transfer has been poor, leading the MTA to turn to other organizations such as the AAR, AREMA, TRB, UITP and Network Rail Consulting for this support.

    Railway Age has obtained a copy of the letter and posted it here:

    1. Why do I think this is important?

      People in general, and people here in particular, ask a lot of questions about why these projects in the USA go so slowly and are so expensive.

      Some of this is just basic out of touch with what the rest of the world is doing. Mass Transit Magazine does a decent enough job with their agency profiles and articles, but present them with any sort of actual transit issues and they get quite befuddled. It so happens that some years ago their publishing house moved to a tiny town in Wisconsin where there isn’t even a trace of public transit, even if any of them wanted to use transit once in a while.

      I’ve run into situations where APTA specifications for various things are pretty bad too. There is a particular set of specifications that APTA uses as recommendations that I can use as an example: electrical rating of wire. Apparently, some time back APTA decided it would adopt some SAE standard for electrical wiring insulation in railroad cars. If I remember right, the formula is something along the lines of 1.5 x voltage applied + 1,000 volts or something along those lines. Unfortunately, for anyone following this to the letter, in many circumstances this leads to relays and other devices that are far too conservatively rated. Amtrak and other commuter railroads use 480 volt 3 phase power for their main power supply to the passenger cars. Typically relays and circuit breakers used in these systems are rated at 600 volts, and so far this has proven to be conservative enough. Following this specification to the letter means using much larger and more expensive 2,000 volt rated equipment. If this language is adopted into a specification (and I have seen it in specifications for rolling stock) it means whoever is doing the buying is no longer able to buy almost off the shelf equipment. Instead, the electrical equipment must be made in small batches specifically for this unnecessary higher voltage.

      This is only an example of one item that I happen to have a little familiarity. There are an awful lot of cases where what the rest of the world is doing right now and standard practice in the USA differ severely.

      Perhaps the worst case I have run into with transit professionals in the USA being out of touch with actual transit practice was a self-proclaimed transit consultant (or so his business card said) that called me and asked me some questions about interior colors on TriMet’s buses. I work at an electrical equipment shop for railroad passenger cars, mind you. Interior colors and design isn’t our thing most of the time. In order to keep lines of business open I had to reply in a polite fashion, but I was sorely tempted to tell him that if he had questions about transit equipment used in TriMet bus service, then why didn’t he just ride the bus route located 10 feet from his office front door?

      The thing with New York’s MTA is, I think, that such a huge portion of the population uses transit, including MTA’s own employees, that they probably recognize nonsense when they see it. I doubt very much that consultants working there survive long if they can’t even tell you what color was used on the RedBird subway cars.

      Maybe, with the MTA departing APTA, there will be some reckoning within the transit industry in the USA about how distant those who serve the transit industry are from the results produced by the industry.

      1. The other serious agencies are pretty irritated too. MBTA, SEPTA, and NJT are not examples of best practices, but they’re fed up with obsolete non-functional US “standards” too.

    1. I am guessing they have not looked at why industrial areas do not have rail connections do they.

      1. Istanbul’s subway – the first line (M2), stops in two entirely industrial areas, Sanayi mahallesi (Industrial neighborhood) and Ataturk Oto Sanayi (ataturk auto-industrial area) Both stations get plenty of use, I’ve used both to get to meetings with people myself actually. This is a subway line that has full 1100+person trains every 1.5-3 minutes at rush hour and every 5mins most of the day get pretty full. Those stations are on the lower end of the line for ridership, but they add significant ridership for sure. They’re also like the two stations with minimal bus connections, so I’d assume most people getting off at them is actually going to the industrial areas. I think there’s value in having stations in large manufacturing/industrial areas.

      2. Stations which stop at the “factory gate” for a factory with lots and lots of workers are useful.

        Paine Field has its facotries spread out all over the place, unfortunately.

        I have said before that any West Seattle rail line should have a stop for the high concentrations of industry in further-south SODO (at Spokane and Second St.) and probably also a stop on the bridge across the west channel to serve Harbor Island and west shore of the Duwamish. Workers would use the stops by the hundreds. That’s very different from the diffuse situation at Paine Field, where the industry is *far* more spread out.

        Aircraft is a particularly spread-out industry.

      3. On this, I find some agreement.

        “I have said before that any West Seattle rail line should have a stop for the high concentrations of industry in further-south SODO (at Spokane and Second St.) and probably also a stop on the bridge across the west channel to serve Harbor Island and west shore of the Duwamish. Workers would use the stops by the hundreds. That’s very different from the diffuse situation at Paine Field, where the industry is *far* more spread out.”

        Indeed. The question should be a demand – if the Snohomish County Economic Alliance wants light rail to Paine Field… OK, then how about the buses to all of Paine Field? All.

      4. I always get Everett and Instanbul confused. They look so similar. No peaking, see if you can figure out which is which:

        Sorry for the snark, but Istanbul is a thriving, enormous city. Everett is not. Istanbul, because it is European (and old), has industry right inside the core of its city — consisting of multi-story buildings designed to be served by people walking to work. Everett does not. Hell, Everett doesn’t even have a “core of the city”. The areas in Istanbul that are on the “lower end of the line for ridership” are still way more urban than any area in Everett.

        Again, I don’t mean to pick on your statement. It is quite reasonable if you make a few assumptions. If light rail to Everett was reasonable, then a detour to SR 99, along with another detour to the industrial zone might be justified. The problem is that light rail to Everett isn’t reasonable. It makes no sense. Whether the line deviates to go through an industrial area on its way to an industrial area (i. e. Everett Station) makes little difference. Either way, it is nothing like a line in Istanbul. The population density it nothing like it, nor is the employment density like it. This is true for any type of work, but especially industrial work.

        The only thing on our entire line that is even remotely close to that area — the Northwest equivalent, if you will — is already served. We have a station at SoDo, and it is one of our worst performing stations, despite the fact that industrial employment around there is way more dense than any found in Everett, and that the area actually has at least one decent size office tower nearby (Starbucks headquarters). But serving this poorly performing station didn’t cost a fortune, it simply required adding a stop on the surface.

        I honestly have no skin in the game, or care what ST3 proposes for Everett Link (or whatever they end up calling it). No matter the route, it is ridiculous, and not at all what the area needs. They need better bus service, not to spend billions on a light rail line that will serve only a handful every day.

      5. Well, I was just responding to the idea that industrial areas don’t have rail connections. But the two areas in Istanbul with rail (That I brought up) are a lot more like Sodo, a little more employment dense, but not too much. Anyways, I also think Light rail shouldn’t go all the way to everett, I think it takes longer to take the train there than the bus, so what’s the point, without some sort of express service. IT’s stupid. They should focus more on things like Seattle-Ballard-UW, etc. Also, Boeing Everett does have 32,000 employees, I realize its a big place, but from the tour I took two days ago, they seem to have an internal shuttle system that I imagine they’d reorganize around a rail station if one got built in their campus, so that would be pretty effective.

  10. About that MAX article: the version in the print edition of the Oregonian is much better, and has some nice charts of the frequency decreases. I’ve not found it on their web site.

    When you think about that second tunnel through downtown Seattle, consider how useful it will be when the current tunnel needs new rails.

    Which may be about the time the Ballard to Downtown line is finished. This section of MAX lasted 30 years before needing new rails.

  11. The Crimes is roiling with its usual set of emetic azzoles.

    Oh, and the C-Tran link is bad; it points to the Bellevue story.

  12. Ok, what the hell is up with South Sounder not being all-day in the ST3 plan? I have a lot of problems with it, but this one, now that I’ve realized it, is like my second biggest gripe. South sounder is extremely successful. It’s carrying nearly 100 people per railcar when its running. Imagine how much better it would do if people could use it all day long. It’s 20 minutes from downtown Kent to King Street, that’s amazing. I ride it every now and then when I’m home, (I rode it in and out of town today, but I got up much earlier than I wanted to to catch the train) and it’s amazing. It is so fast, I cannot drive to downtown Seattle in clear traffic as fast as that train can get me there. They need to just pony up, and buy the tracks from BNSF kick most of the freight trains out to the UP tracks on the other side of the valley, and just run amtrak and Sounder service all day long every 45-70 minutes off-peak and every 3-15 on-peak. They’re talking about extending platforms for 8 car trains. Why? Why waste the money, just send 8 car trains and tell people to walk between cars if the car doesn’t stop at their station, that’s what metra does, and it works great. Stop wasting money on stupid shit, and make the sounder actually useful!

    1. There was a project for hourly Sounder South including some evenings and weekends in the project menu that led to the system plan. And the system plan includes vague improvements to Sounder, including more runs. It may be that ST intends to do it all but is being coy about it because it’s in negotiations with BNSF over a total price for the time slots and finishing the third track project. and making specific promises and costs would give BNSF leverage to charge the maximum in the budget. That’s the optimistic case. The pessimistic case is that ST is planning just a few more runs and longer trains because of the other expensive projects in South King and Pierce. We don’t know at this point. But you can tell ST in your feedback this month that you want the entire Sounder kaboodle with hourly service into the evening and some weekend service. Ideally it would increase to half-hourly eventually, but ST hasn’t indicated it’s ready to go that far yet.

    2. Buying the track has been talked about unoficially but it depends on BNSF being willing to sell the track. It may prefer to make lots of money on oil trains and coal trains rather than pay UP to use its tracks. Ideally the state would buy the track because it would benefit Cascades and the Coast Starlight and future high-speed rail as well as Sounder, but that requires a legislature that’s not like Kemper Freeman.

      1. It is looking more likely and especially if they are given some incentives such as grade separation which would benefit local communities too and exclusive freight operations while being able to maintain access to customers, I am not sure what there is to lose especially if it would make sense operationally and add to profitability.

      2. In a perfect world the state would buy both BNSF and UP lines, upgrade and grade separate the hell out of UP for freight–ending any fights over what railroad had control–and schedule far more passenger service on the (former) BNSF lines. Local freight along the old BNSF line could still be accommodated, and slots sold for through trains where they do not interfere with passenger service–the third track should still allow for a decent amount of freight to run. Oh yes, and electrify the whole thing (at least on the passenger line).

        What a game changer that would be for the valley.

      3. Funny how a railroad has such statewide significance as a state highway, but the state only gives it bottom-of-the-list priority.

      4. Coal trains and oil trains are dead. Coal traffic is collpasing. Oil traffic is way down too. Neither will ever recover. The future traffic is all intermodal containers. (And aircraft parts, I guess.)

      5. News to me coal trains and oil trains are dead. More coming to Whatfor and Stagnant Counties bro. Sometimes my bus to Whidbey has to wait for them passing Mount Vernon.

        I hate to come off as a bully, but there is a big Puget Sound region outside of Seattle. It might behoove some of you commentators to experience say Mukilteo, Mount Vernon and Everett for starters.

      6. If they’re dead it means it won’t be so hard to get more passenger trains again that they were crowding out.

      7. “The future traffic is all intermodal containers. (And aircraft parts, I guess.)”

        Around here, there will be some grain trains and trash trains as well.

      8. Oh yeah, grain’s been booming. Global warming means more bumper crops in Canada and the northern states, though probably less grain in the South.

    3. This was one of my big comments on ST3 was to do more with Sounder service and to make the most of this system and also rather than complete the light rail spine. Be careful though for what you see in ST3 literature about Sounder improvements, I don’t see really anything about more frequent service or weekend/night service but I do see lots about longer platforms, more parking and bike/ped access.

  13. The city has just opened the comment period for the supplementary EIS for the waterfront project. The new alternative removes separated transit lanes from the new Alaska Way south of Coleman Dock and adds parking instead. This is a response to earlier feedback that the road was too wide for an acceptable pedestrian experience. I encourage you all to submit feedback or attend the public meeting in May.

  14. The Oregonian has published a column entitled “How to bike to work: A guide for beginners. Among other things there is a web site / app out there that allows people to comment on the instructions they get for their bike route. Over time, the hope is this would lead to improved bike route instructions.

    Maybe such a crowd sourced set of route instructions should be available for the various transit trip planners?

  15. A while back, there was a post on here around a regional bike trail network:

    Among other things, this article talked about the missing links of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and the Preston-Snoqualmie trail.

    The City of Snoqualmie has been working on, and recently approved, a Riverwalk Master Plan. It is an ambitious, long term plan to be developed in 6 phases over the next few decades. If implemented, it would provide connections between the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Preston-Snoqualmie trail, Snoqualmie Falls, downtown Snoqualmie, and Borst Lake (the mill pond) as well as providing ped/bike upgrades to the SR202 and Meadowbrook bridges, and building an entirely new ped/bike bridge across the river near the end of River St.

    The document is located here:

  16. Renton officials are grumpy about the lack of projects serving their city. While I will agree they are undeserved, the city hasn’t really seemed to engage with the ST board in terms of requesting projects or being a squeaky wheel in the same way Redmond, Issaquah, Federal Way, Everett, or even Orting have. So far the only things I’m aware Renton has requested is financial help in moving their transit center to a highway interchange in the middle of a sea of parking lots, and HOV direct access ramps that serve the Landing. No requests for direct express service to either Link, Sounde, or downtown Seattle; no requests for link extensions.

      1. Yeah, it’s bizarre. Their only request was to move the transit center and build the parking garage. They got exactly what they asked for. I’m sure the Board was delighted to see a city that set its expectations so low.

        And now they’re complaining to high heavens. But it’s very late in the day to reconsider what they should have asked for.

  17. ShiftWa is up to their antics…

    Just got their e-mail:

    If you plan on attending any of these meetings, we have you covered with a list of potential questions you could ask that may help Sound Transit with its “feedback efforts.”
    1. Why don’t the taxes in ST3 ever end, shouldn’t they sunset when the projects are paid for?
    2. What percentage of the $50 billion in ST3 is being spent on Seattle projects?
    3. If Sound Transit starts getting property taxes, could that eventually take money away from other taxing districts like parks?
    4. How much will be spent directly on ST3 projects vs. the amount spent on bond interest?
    5. In the interest of accountability, shouldn’t districts directly elect the Sound Transit board?

    Oh well…………………..

Comments are closed.