OFF THE RAILS – Official Trailer from Adam Irving on Vimeo.
I wonder if he would be happy just sitting in the ‘bull pen’ 24/7?
I guess I should clarify that seemingly flippant remark. Society is willing to park Mr. McCollum in jail for long stints, but unable to find a useful niche for him. Part-time, uniformed, bull pen duties might be a good fit to do minor chores, help drivers with routes, and feel a sense of worth and belonging. Institutions are not the answer.
Institutions are the answer for someone who has stolen buses and trains filled with passengers. He says he wants to steal a plane next.
He’s not violent, through. Putting him in an institution costs taxpayers a lot of money. Better to find something for him and track him using GPS.
I agree, mic. It seems crazy to lock this guy up. He should be assigned professional counseling, along with the opportunity to feel like he is chipping in. But this America. Doing that would require spending money on mental health services, instead of just throwing people in jail. We don’t do that, even though it is cheaper. We have money for new cars, but not for oil changes.
The US Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment, Mic. Which is what average legitimately-uniformed high seniority bull-pen occupant considers the Route 7. And would rather be sitting in the Electric Chair than driving under all electric wires.
The American Psychiatric Association now says “Asperger’s” is just autism. Subject has no physical disability, usually does nothing criminal, and often has exceptional powers of concentration. Problem being usually on other things than he’s supposed to.
Not mentioning any names,but half an hour with Seattle Subway, or the Historic Vehicle Association, or the MUNI F-line, would get the condition correctly renamed “Francis J. Sprague’s syndrome.
Who in 1885 invented the modern streetcar motor, pertinent to case at hand because it also powers every train the young man in the video loves to drive. Asperger probably invented the Queen Anne Counterbalance.
But video isn’t friggin’ funny. Nationwide, our largest mental health facilities are jails and prisons. Which the modern world shut down mental hospitals because that’s what they had become.
Same as current practice of keeping poor people permanently re-jailed for being unable to pay fines and “court costs”. Including a “Public Defender!” I think the State of Washington is second to Texas on this score. Though we’re still Number One for putting kids in jail for skipping school.
Last several weeks, a judge in Tacoma has been threatening to jail the CEO of Western State Hospital because she insists that treatment priority should be decided by doctors and nurses- who are generally not court commissioners in Tacoma.
Seldom mentioned example, Fergusson Missouri, until Feds made practice stop. For awhile. Possibly explaining average resident’s feelings about armed extortionists in uniforms besides hoodies. And always same excuse from elected local officials:
“The legislature isn’t giving us any money.” 100% agreement from every accurate lie detector there. Unsaid: “because rich people and corporations won’t pay any taxes, and can pay a lot of lobbyists, and bribe legislators to assure they don’t!”
Who really belong in the above cells. And meanwhile, need to read Declaration of Independence on justified Regime Change before next meeting with the NRA on open-carry.
Meantime, after this kid gets immediately released to become chief of New York subways’ machine shop- where he really should have been assigned after first incident- BART and DC Metro should both be just fine after one quick consulting visit each.
Full disclosure: I’m an Aspergian. I’d like to see the movie. But I do NOT condone stealing buses and impersonating transit employees in love of transit.
A more appropriate way of saying I Love Transit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wawvdqtk290
That said, give this poor soul a J-O-B.
First it was The War on Christmas. Then it was The War on Cars. Now it’s The War on Nature.
Pavement parks and parklets aren’t nature, you … to quote Roman Maroni in the movie Johnny Dangerously … bunch of fargin iceholes.
How about residents of a singls-family block agree to replace their houses with row houses and turn the rest of the land into a park?
And let’s not pit parks against parklets because they’re different things. Parklets aren’t a substitute for parks; they’re sidewalk amenities.
City parks mostly aren’t nature, either.
Woo-hoo! The fangs come out from Sam The Scam. Where did the Pharoes go, Scam?
And why do downtown parks need to be paved exactly? Rip out the pavement at Westlake and build a damn playground, turn the space we already have into a real park.
ST3 hasn’t even passed yet and the homeowners around the proposed 130 St Station are already fighting the zoning change. Without a major change in zoning this station will be a major failure – delivering zero net new riders to the system for approx $70m in spending.
Now is the time to say, “No up-zone no station”.
No. The station will help a lot of people in Lake City if the bus transfer situation is organized well.
Besides, keeping the station away might be their incentive to protest.
I am very confused by this story. It doesn’t sound as though the people featured are worried about upzoning. It sounds like they are afraid of their property becoming eminent domain.
They make it sound as though the plans for 130th Station somehow involve leveling half of Pinehurst in the process. Have they looked at the plans? This thing is being constructed solely upon the landscaping strip on the side of the freeway. Maybe there’s a chance ST would need to temporarily commandeer a lot or two out of thousands. I wouldn’t call it a “very good chance [her] house will be knocked down.” Unless of course she chooses to sell to developers for a big profit after the station opens.
The woman featured in the story testified at last week’s board meeting. From what I could gather her home (that she recently moved to) would potentially be effected by the 130th station. She was not aware of this until recently Not sure if she’d get bought out in some form (either completely or partially) or what.
The article is explicit in saying that her lot will not be affected directly by 130th Street Station construction or operation. Private developers do not have right of eminent domain so if someone badly wants to turn her block into a clone of The Station at Othello Park and she’s the last holdout, she’ll be making big bank.
No, that is perhaps not “full compensation” for the change in the neighborhood, but it will get sidewalks around all those The Station clones, that’s for sure. So maybe it will be easier for her and her husband to walk to Link after the station is completed.
Yeah, the article is confusing. It is possible that the actual construction will take out a couple homes. But that might have happened anyway (with or without a station). There is work that will need to be done to get the rail up to Lynnwood, as well as work being done on the freeway ramp (which is related, but not dependent on the new line).
But the article mentions a change in zoning, and then suggests people will lose their home as a result. This is absurd, but common. People somehow think that this is urban renewal, or something. You don’t have to sell your house. You can live in it for as long as you want. You can pass it on to your kids, and they can live in it. Just don’t expect all your neighbors to do that — many of them will cash out.
I can understand why someone would be bothered by that. But as a resident of Pinehurst, I can tell you that the most common change in the neighborhood is the construction of huge houses worth around a million dollars. That seems crazy for a neighborhood that is really nothing special (below average for Seattle in my book) but it can be explained when you think of the lots. There are a lot of small houses on really big lots. The lots can be split up, but lot size in the north end is much bigger. So, on a really big lot, they can’t put a half dozen Wallingford size houses, or a dozen row houses, the most they can add are three houses, and they make them huge. So, basically a small house on a big lot is replaced by three big houses all with a decent size yard. That is hardly the neighborhood I moved into. A dozen row houses or small apartment would actually be more in keeping with the middle class roots of the area, but that can’t be done.
Anyway, as far as being “blind sided”, I guess it is tough. If you bought the house and the seller didn’t tell you that the house could have been replaced because of the construction, then it sucks. But the light rail project has been in the news quite a bit. As far as the station is concerned, there were several community meetings, and it has been mentioned in the Pinehurst blog several times. The city council member — our regional representative — has been pushing for it. It has been in the newspaper as well. I’m not sure what else could have been done.
The purpose of the station is not X new riders; it’s so that people in Lake City don’t have to go to Northgate to get to Link. That’s a value in itself. ST didn’t add the station because its models forecasted X new riders, it did it because councilmember Juarez insisted on it, the entire city council and mayor for two administrations insisted on it, t received hundreds and hundreds of public requests for it, and it’s self-evident that the largest urban village north of 100th Street should have better access to Link. The upzone around 130th is a welcome addition, but we need to improve transit for existing concentrations of riders before we worry about new riders.
North of 110th Street
Urban villages not village. Don’t forget Bitter Lake. They stand to gain just as much (if not more) from this than Lake City. Buses will likely go all the way down to 92nd, then back up to Northgate Transit Center (many do) which means an even longer detour than what Lake City folks will encounter.
Aach — I thought I closed that bold element. I meant to emphasize villages by having the ‘s’ in bold. So much for that.
A station that enables much faster service for a large number of users will somehow end up “delivering zero net new riders”. Yet extending rail to Everett will end up increasing ridership by the tens of thousands. You must work for ST.
If so, let me explain it to you. Right now a significant number of riders take a bus from Lake City to the U-District. What will happen to those riders when Link gets to Northgate? Nothing, really. It doesn’t make sense to schlep all the way to Northgate, then make the transfer. It takes too long to get to Northgate.
What happens when Link adds a station at 130th? The dynamic changes. Getting there is much faster than getting to Northgate, and much faster than going directly south. There will be demand coming from both ends (Bitter Lake and Lake City) to that station, so such a bus can reasonably be expected to be frequent. This means that taking that bus, versus a bus directly to the U-District, will be faster. Thus ridership of Link will increase.
Here is another crazy idea. People who save a considerable amount of time will prefer to take transit. So someone from Bitter Lake who drove (to say, Roosevelt) once the Northgate station was added, will instead take the bus (and the train) because it is actually reasonably fast.
But what about Everett? Same thing, right? No, not really. None of the stops that will be added offer significant speed advantages over express (or other) bus service. Someone will swap a bus ride to Lynnwood for a bus ride to Ash Way (or similar places). There might be a slight uptick in ridership, as the folks who regularly ride from Evergreen to Ash Way avoid a transfer in Lynnwood, but the number of riders who do that will be hard to track because there will be so few.
I watched a lot of LA Law back in the day, so I know quite a bit about the law and stuff, and the word Bellevue is french for beautiful view, therefore, city hall workers should be legally guaranteed a view of Mt. Rainier from their offices without the fear of another building blocking it.
Bellevue wasn’t named for that view. City Hall used to be around 116th and Main Street, and that’s down in a hole and you likely can’t see Mt Rainier from there.
Don’t run for Mayor of Bellevue on that platform, Scam.
Has anybody asked or answered question of how anybody unauthorized, let alone not even employed by the system, can get hold of a train and drive it into service unnoticed?
Maybe whoever’s in charge of that should be locked in the bull-pen 24-7-365 with driver voted by his own co-workers for duty deterring trouble by threat of being confined in his company!
Nominations? (I’m not driving anymore!)
Have you ever questioned the credentials of a road relief driver after sitting there for 10 hours running behind schedule.
Any warm body will do.
Not sure if New York subway drivers do road relief anyplace but terminal. Can anybody from LINK tell me if drivers have to report in when they take the controls? If not, might be a good idea.
But you know, background for this particular case points up dangerously-overlooked problem transit-world-wide. For all the yelling, threatening, and security contract blizzard these last fifteen years, 9-11’s own precedent still constantly repeated:
Time and again, somebody isn’t checking who gets into places like planes and control cabs. Or what kind of condition they’re in. In this country, largely because neither “the legislature,” and nobody else either, is giving security money to anybody but billion-dollar contractors for whatever they say is security.
And worse, since investigators (meaning somebody can do it if anybody apportioning money cares) were able to find the single broken bolt that just turned an oil-train into a large fire. How many bolts are there along average oil train route, including bolt-count through towns and cities?
Good chance one or two more haven’t been found yet, largely because safety budget was being spent for lobbying. Can’t figure out why terrorists waste a dime on bullets, or need a cherry bomb.
Easier just send request for oil revenue, drug profits, and stolen antiquities money to investigate blasphemous moral doings in Las Vegas. And every now and then check the news, and take credit for every broken bolt and the blazing city on top of it.
ISIS has yet to poison even one US water supply, let alone both Flint, and Charleston The West Virginia capital. Lack of Federal interference let Freedom Industries have a tank of coal cleaner rust out. Demand for “Freedom” in the USA needs first to answer “From, and To, What?”
Poison chemical leak at Bhopal cost 9-11 the title. Also, since when Timothy McVeigh set record for killing 169 people, including children, when he blew up a Federal Building, the Obama Administration needs to quit being “politically correct” and admit he was a Catholic- who-believed-in-God-but-hadn’t- thought-too-much-about-it-terrorist.
Ethnic Scots, Irishmen, and other Celts were basically red-haired freckled Comanches, savagery, torture, tattoos and all. Especially the girls. Good luck that they’re grateful to you Frenchmen for helping them fight the Brits. Just before they helped us do same. Really think we could get even for our own colonial bondage by joining the European Union too.
Years ago a guy took a Seattle Transit bus that was parked at the Jefferson Street garage on a Saturday and drove it for a while before he was stopped. He actually picked several passengers along the way. He was charged for theft among other charges but I don’t remember what sentence he received.
Cause this guy strictly adheres to route and schedule. That means passengers don’t notice, and the transit agency doesn’t know until the real driver says the train is gone.
That’s what I didn’t understand, where were all the scheduled drivers? Then Mark said he drove the vehicles out of the depot, so I thought they must be extra runs between the scheduled ones.
I wanted to answer Mike Orr, but there’s no reply button there so I’m having to answer Donde Groovily. Mike, i’ve read a couple other articles about Darius McCollum. From what I’ve read, it seems that some of the drivers knew him, and would call him up to do their shifts, unpaid, so that they wouldn’t have to call out sick and lose a day sick leave! In other words, they’d get paid and Darius would do their shifts. Other times they’d arrange to have him meet them partway through their shifts, and he’d drive the rest of their shifts while they’d take the rest of the day off. Again, they’d get paid; Darius would drive for free. He was apparently happy just driving; he didn’t care about the money.
For his first arrest at age 15, apparently the driver of the train handed over the train to him willingly, because he wanted to take the rest of their shift off. The driver was just suspended for a time, not fired for handing over his train to an unauthorized, underage driver.
There’s an interesting interview here with the man who did the movie.
Isn’t this a Frank W. Abagnale story, ‘cept for buses and trains?
Metro LA has a series of PSA’s about safety around trains that are graphic as they can be with stick figures. Boing Boing has a post with all of them together titled Enjoy the stick figure horror of Metro Los Angeles’s grisly new transit safety videos!
I remember some really grizzly third rail PSAs from my youth. Mid-century Britain tended not to pull any punches in the name of protecting the children.
Anyone else appreciate today’s Over the Hedge?
I’m sure I’d know the answer to this if I was following transit issues in Seattle 10+ years ago, but can someone tell me why SLUT runs northbound on Terry rather than taking Westlake all the way. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m sure they had a reason.
Maybe the designers’ sense was that intersection of Westlake and Valley might be a tight squeeze for the northbound-to eastbound curve, and prone to blockage there. Also that they knew northbound traffic would jam re: turn eastbound onto Valley.
Also, while couplets usually bad idea, in a place that small, I think designers also thought that South Lake Unionists would like to have streetcars go by there. Big difference with buses, including trolley. Many people truly enjoy their presence close up.
Word to the Waterfront project. Would probably out-poll pedicabs, minivans, and golf carts- let alone the Route 9 40′ diesel risen from the dead on rubber tires.
LOL. You say “Off the Rails” and an Amtrak locomotive derails in Tukwila. Glad nobody was injured.
Just found derailment notice in my e-mail, Zach. Like everything else similar, raised questions: “What country are we living in, and which of the three Worlds?
I know why the Republicans won’t, about which I could not care less. Since only solution is to vote them out of control of the country. But nobody, starting with the Democrats, should ever say “stimulus” again absent a high school bio lab, a battery, and a dead frog.
1. The country is falling apart. Morally or politically, Government can’t presently fix.
2. We have millions of the workers already trained to fix rails and bridges either out of work or underpaid and worked to death.
3. Until we can get people who can afford necessary axes to pay them, then borrow the money. Just like somebody with a machine shop will do for repair or update on equipment. His banker doesn’t think temporary red number higher than temporary black number is irresponsible.
A chipped reinforced concrete column orange with rust counts less as collateral than a sound column competently repaired with the help of a loan. Therefore, at this point, the USA needs Republicans who don’t lie about accounting. Like the ones who founded Metro Transit.
This will also benefit the Democrats, because we’ll be able to take a breather from defeat and exhaustion and be able to regroup without panic. And next win, hand us back a country with the greasy fingermarks off our books.
And best of all, we’ll never again be forced to accept any candidate of ours whose only platform plank is the Republican candidate.
Damn, we need our own track! Any water-cooler bets as to how many bolts fossil fuel trains have broken? Just our luck if a coal one head-ons an oil one. Only hope is terrorists have been so brutally defeated by sin that they’re too drunk to ask their new sweethearts to excuse them while they get up and Tweet: “We did it, Infidel Dogs!”
Which will then force BN to go on National News and thunder: “You’re lying! Only Americans can screw up on that scale! That’s what made our country great! I mean will make it GREAT AGAIN!” That one was only PRACTICE!”
Can we make that new track an ST-3 “Provisional?”
I wrote a post on my blog this week revisiting TransLink’s Burnaby Mountain Gondola study, since the president of SFU seems to be doing the same. https://liftblog.com/2016/06/23/revisiting-a-burnaby-mountain-gondola/
Certainly an old and well-tried technology, Peter. Which might be able to get passengers from, say, Harborview Hospital to Pioneer Square. Or maybe pick up the Route 8 with hydraulic jaws and set it down either end of its bridge.
But really do wonder what technical considerations are. For instance, what kind of rocks and dirt to pillars need to be footed in? And what force of an earthquake can they withstand? I’d be curious about the shortest system running a transit-size gondola. Because the Portland one is much longer, and a steeper slope, than anyplace one could be used in Seattle.
I have a feeling that this technology is so expensive that it’s reserved only for places where steep enough elevation and high enough ridership leave it as the only mode. Fact that Routes 3, 4, and 12 can climb across I-5 means give them signal pre-empt and reserved lanes. Am I close?
A 3S gondola was just completed to the tallest mountain in Vietnam with extremely remote and challenging tower locations. I cannot imagine any terrain/geology in Seattle that the lift companies couldn’t manage, including building towers in water. I have never heard of a ropeway system being inoperable for any significant amount of time due to an earthquake.
Seattle probably wouldn’t be building a 3S gondola but rather a monocable gondola like the one at Crystal Mountain. Monocable gondolas are plenty capable, moving up to 4,500 passengers per hour, per direction at 16 mph. And they cost much less than higher tension, multi-cable systems. Ski resorts in the U.S. Routinely build them for less than $20 million in a 6 month construction window.
Remember Portland’s lift is a jigback aerial tramway, not a gondola. That technology is really quite inferior to continuous movement gondolas that deliver higher capacity with no waiting. You only need more expensive tri-cable tramways/gondolas when you cannot place towers at regular intervals. In the Peak 2 Peak case at Whistler, that’s 2 miles between support towers.
Seilban Koblenz in Germany is the shortest urban large 3S gondola. It is about 2,600 feet and crosses a river with two towers on either shore. It can move 3,800 passengers per hour per direction with 18 35-passenger cabins. It cost €12 million in 2010.
Oh and let me add something else too: I highly recommend the Portland Transit Lane Podcast.
Apparently Portland is getting into the “me two” keeping up with the Martins while the Sound Transit leapfrogs the TriMet ;-).
Except, Portland Transit Lane blog is a parody of an actual blog
I don’t think he’s actually done anything since 2011 or so.
It didn’t end well for him.
So, we still don’t have a real transit blog. Just a parody site.
There is a catch-all everything but the car blog. Don’t think they have a podcast yet. There is a Portland bike podcast, which came from a bike radio program.
Well I hope Mr. Jensen can behave himself now that he’s got a new podcast: http://trimetpodcast.podomatic.com/
I’m visiting my wife’s uncle and aunt in Roseville, MN, a St. Paul suburb. I want to ride the Blue and Green Line LRT’s but let me tell you, “Metro Transit” is a joke! The website looks like it was built in 1997; you HAVE to know the number of the stops at which you will board and alight. The screen shows the “next” eight buses with no option to scroll down. There is no PDF of the entire system. Pathetic; it’s obvious they don’t give a rip about visitors or occasional travelers.
Outside a scrawny 10 route “frequent service” core, most buses run every half hour and some hourly even on weekdays. Seniors muist have an official ID issued by the State of Minnesota — none other seems to count — AND a Medicare card with them at all times.
All in all this conurbation of three and a half million people has a transit system of which Tacoma would be somewhat embarrassed, Not recommended.
Public transit in Minneapolis-St. Paul is about average by American standards, which is to say it’s terrible.
This article mentions, in passing, that Seattle spends 4 times more on transit than Cleveland and Atlanta.
I was wrong that non-Minnesota seniors may not receive the reduced fare; we are. The website is confusing because it fails to say any “state-issued ID”. The way the sentence is structured it implies a Minnesota-issued one, but four drivers all agreed yesterday that a Medicare card and a Washington State Drivers License were just dandy. So I apologize for that part of the rant.
Also, the route finder does allow intersections as well as exact addresses and stop numbers. So I overstated its difficulty of use.
I still think the website is klunky but after having ridden the Blue and Green Lines I am very impressed with their rail operation. They smoke, even down the middle of University Avenue and the Blue Line has gated crossings a la Westside MAX right through Minneapolis between Lake Street and the airport. Trains typically reach full speed (you can hear the motor whine flatten out) between the widely spaced stations along Hiawatha Avenue. When the line leaves the Hiawatha ROW there is a two-block stretch of median street-running for which they barely slow down, probably to 40.
In other words, Hennipin and Ramsey Counties and the two cities are willing to let gates control traffic and pedestrian access to the trackway and let the trains run. King County and Seattle could take a page from their book.
And finally, though I’ve often argued with he-who-shall-not-be-named about level junctions, Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro has come up a design for theirs which might very well do the job at even lower headways than they reach (6 minutes per line or 3 minutes overall), the same as planned for ST3.
Instead of the normal design that requires the outbound “diverging” track simply crosses the inbound “through” track, potentially delaying trains, the Minneapolis junction adds a long center-siding to the junction with a full scissors cross-over just inbound from the primary crossing and a trailing cross-over just downsteam in the “through” route. At the inbound end of the center siding there is another trailing cross-over between the outbound primary track and the center siding before it merges with the inbound primary.
I’d add a facing cross-over between the outbound primary and the center-siding in order to allow outbound diverging trains to be “stored” in the center siding when there’s a conflicting inbound through train for which it must wait, freeing the outbound primary for a trailing outbound train to overtake the diverging outbound while it waits. That would allow the directionally “junior” train always to be the “waiter” without fouling operations for a follower in the primary direction taking the other path. That is, in the morning outbound diverging trains would wait while in the afternoon inbound through trains would wait.
But in most scenarios, two trains can move through the junction simultaneously regardless of the direction.
Of course it would not be possible to “retro-fit” such a junction either just north or south of U-District Station because it’s a lot of trackage to put in a tunnel. But it might be usable for a diverging line north of Northgate using the pocket track to be included there if it’s designed properly when first built.
Recent events have made me consider a bold proposal. Get rid of the streetcars and remove the tracks. That is obviously a radical idea, but I think it is the right time to do it. I have never been a big fan of streetcars, but I also see the value of connecting our two (obviously flawed) lines, thus leveraging our investment (maybe we can get something out of the deal). However, two things happened that made me change my mind:
1) The Roosevelt BRT plan involves spending 7 million dollars to move just one stop for the streetcar.
2) Current plans for the downtown streetcar don’t adequately consider bike safety (http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2016/06/23/downtown-streetcar-plans-would-make-1st-ave-stewart-more-dangerous-for-biking/). I am no lawyer, but that seems like a major omission. Someone could sue, and any improvement to downtown streets (i. e. transit lanes) could be dragged out for years. There is competition for space between bikes and buses (as there was with Roosevelt BRT) but tracks greatly complicate things. Downtown streets contain a lot of twists and turns, so making a surface rail line safe for bikes is extremely difficult. Either you sacrifice safety, or you sacrifice the transit lane. Who wants another watered down line, or another ghost bike?
Then there are the long term disadvantages to our streetcar system:
3) Our streetcars don’t have enormous capacity. They can’t hold significantly more people than our buses because they aren’t bigger. Capacity is largely based on seat configuration (and the buses can be configured to have fewer seats and more people standing).
4) Seattle is in the process of purchasing a fleet of special buses for projects like Madison BRT. The buses have level boarding and multiple doors on both sides (just like streetcars).
Thus we will have a fleet of buses with every advantage of streetcars. Yet they won’t have the disadvantages:
5) Streetcar routes are not flexible. As mentioned, the Roosevelt HCT project involves spending 7 million dollars just to move a streetcar stop a couple blocks, from the right side of the road to the left. That is insanely expensive, but the nature of streetcars. The First Hill streetcar route is a mess. Everyone knows it is a failure. But moving it (e. g. avoiding the silly button hook or using 12th instead of Broadway) would be extremely expensive, since it is a streetcar line.
6) Streetcars can’t go up hills. This makes them a horrible choice for Seattle. The First Hill streetcar can’t go up Yesler because it is too steep, for example.
7) Streetcars can’t avoid obstacles. This means that an accident, a parked or stalled car can bring a streetcar to a complete stop. Construction is also a problem. It is common in this booming city to have one lane blocked off, and a flagger move traffic (or in the case of a two lane road, just have the lanes converge). But a streetcar can’t do that. So either the streetcar is shut down for a while, or special work has to be done to accommodate it (which screws up regular traffic worse or adds to the expense).
8) They are costly to maintain. Managing a second set of vehicles is expensive. Worse yet, prime real estate is used to store them. Buses are stored in cheap locations, because they can travel on any road. But the streetcars use expensive barns in the heart of the city.
9) They kill and injure people. That might seem like hyperbole, but Ms. McCloud would be alive if a bus was running on that road, not a streetcar.
I figure there are reasons why people support the current plans, and I would like to hear them. I figure we would lose some money (from the feds) but that doesn’t seem like a great loss. Why build a very bad system (and we have built two already) just because tax payers nationwide are picking up most of the bill? That seems like a bad idea. I think we should scrap the thing, sell it all off, and apply for grants for the improvements we want to make along those corridors.
I have long wanted to get rid of the streetcars because they’re the worst of both worlds: slower than light rail but more expensive than buses. It will be an uphill battle though because the city is strongly in favor of the City Center Connector, and the First Hill Streetcar just opened. Still, it’s possible for one person to spearhead a movement that eventually gets general support; that’s how the monorail movement and Seattle Subway more or less started.
Plus the ones we have now don’t even have dedicated lanes. Buses with dedicated lanes would be much more useful.
If you have an actual streetcar network like Toronto you can reroute streetcars to use parallel streets when there is construction.
Too bad we don’t have the money to move the streetcars to the waterfront…
Blah-blah-“streetcars too small”-blah-blah-“rail kills”-blah-blah-“rail expensive”-blah-blah-“I hate trains”.
But also blah-blah-“five section trams carrying 300 people”-blah-blah-“buses run people over regularly”-blah-blah-“BRT never really gets built”-blah-blah-“choice riders prefer trains”.
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