Martin and I chat briefly about big ST parties, and then go through the reader mailbag. Topics include alternatives for ST3, the Seattle Process, zoning, improvements to STB, and much much more.

As always, you can subscribe in iTunes.  Also, if you like the show, leave us a review.

14 Replies to “Podcast #17: Playing God, or at Least Robert Moses”

  1. 1. How does the legislation define “Monorail” and “Light Rail?”

    2. “Process” is not a force of nature, like weather or plate tectonics. It’s a set of agreements among people as to how to proceed with a project. Always subject to change by events, experience, and persuasion.

    People with most complaints about “process” in the abstract are usually those who haven’t learned how to use the process at hand to their own advantage.

    3. Any chance another decade’s permanent traffic blockage of I-5 might finally save us from an eternity of mourning over a lost express line to Tacoma by persuading people we need it?

    Compared to Ballard-West Seattle, this line could be pretty straightforward, since none of its length will need to leave the I-5 right-of-way. And very few stations necessary.

    Argument against it up to now has been that we don’t need it. For instance, right now, how many people besides me think ST-3 should include at least express track south from IDS (or south end of second DSTT) down Airport way past Boeing Field, rejoining Central LINK at Boeing Access?

    Nobody who isn’t with we on this one can save their tears over “The Line We Didn’t Build.” Have to blues instead of folk, because if it’s never built, nobody will be able to miss one of its trains. Regardless of range of it whistle, because unfortunately horns and bells aren’t sad enough.

    Mark

  2. @6:00: It’s not just a matter of “here is a new service that you can use” but doing things like the street fairs and concerts and all that bring out people that wouldn’t normally ride transit. They get to ride something they normally wouldn’t.

    It probably doesn’t show up much in Seattle because you have good transit use already. It was really interesting with the MAX orange line because it was very obvious many of the people there for the event had never been on MAX before.

    As to the fold up Link trains: I don’t have kids, but Incan tell you that a huge number of parents that show up for this type of thing want to get something for their kids. It’s cheaper than a coloring book and all-ages friendly compared to some small thing that might be swallowed. It’s really cheap to make those because the printer has a single pattern that has been around for 15 or 20 years, and all they do is change the color for the agency in question.

  3. @48:00: Also, I would suggest promoting zoning changes that allow home owners to convert older homes to multiple units, so long as it doesn’t significantly alter the character of the house. This increases density without necessarily changing the appearance of the neighborhood that much.

    1. In so many cities, this is an important source of “natural,” unsubsidized affordable housing. In much of Seattle, it’s illegal, because homeowners don’t want to live close to icky-scary renters, who might be in a different tax bracket than they are..

      1. In the case of Portland, the now hugely desirable southeast neighborhood north of Division, south of Stark, west of 40th and east of 12th has been able to add a fair amount of housing with this method.

        Sadly, far too much of the rest of the city has now been frozen into single family amber, but that little area shows that it doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a place becoming less desirable.

        In fact, this is probably one situation where the market works pretty well: if it’s desirable, the rents will be high and lower income people will be less likely to move in.

  4. If someone listens to the podcast but doesn’t have time to read the blog, tell them to look at the pictures. Not because STB is a children’s book, but because a good route or subway map is literally worth a thousand words. On the last provisional lines post, even if you only read the title and looked at the map, you basically got the blog post, minus a few specific details.

  5. Please, no disqust. I think the comments are great the way they are. I can never figure out why sites use barely functional external comment services which load after ten minutes on a good day and pull in more 3rd party scripts than I can count on my fingers and toes. I really like how STB simply loads good content and nothing else.

    1. +1

      We don’t need a Like button.

      At most, we need a Seattle Times Headline / Editorial is Batshit button. I don’t think TwitFace will ever provide that.

    2. Really, it would be nice to be able to get the most recent comments since last viewed or something. In a lot of ways the comments section here has such good topical discussion it’s more of a replacement for a sea.transport Usenet newsgroup. Newsgroup readers don’t show stuff you’ve read by default.

      Not that we should go back to 1980s Internet technology, but it’s just that system was designed to allow the type of complex multi-thread discussion that happens here. The typical blog isn’t like this blog.

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