This is an open thread.

75 Replies to “News Roundup: Opening”

  1. Why does the Northgate TC have 24 hour passenger restroom, but the Bellevue TC locks theirs up at night? Hmmm.

    Sam. Transit restroom truther.

      1. Yeah, I’ve never seen any transit center with public restrooms. The restrooms are there for operators on their layovers, so I always assumed they were locked for everyone except operators who had a key.

      2. TIB and SeaTac have restrooms. I don’t know if they close at night but they’ve always been open when I’ve been there, which is more than I can say about Bellevue TC’s which close at 5 or 5:30pm and all weekend. ST’s policy is restrooms only at major transit centers, because of the expense of maintaining them in the face of messy people, vandals, and drug addicts.

    1. Federal Way has a public restroom that closes at 9 PM. But they changed it so that you need to get a token from security to use it, which is inconvenient and kind of stupid.

      I highly doubt that any transit center has 24 hour restrooms.

    2. The only restroom at Northgate TC is locked. Only bus drivers with a key can get into it.

    1. Gee, that will make ST bigger than Metro, except they aren’t. Where did you get your number?

    2. in addition Sound Transit is on track to have 130,000,000 boardings in 2016

      What? April boardings was 3.6 million. I expect they’re on pace to clear 40 million, but 130 seems implausible.

    3. mic is right, Sound Transit is not as big as Metro (even when you combine the buses and trains).

      But thank you for the link. We really need a Dan Evans style Republican viewpoint more than ever. I will read more, in hopes that that organization is actually that (I’ve been burned many times before). Just to be clear, I am more of a Shirley Chisholm Democrat, but I really like to read about a rational conservative view (they are pretty rare these days).

      1. The kind of Republicans you’re talking about built the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle.

        http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=7833

        Prominent Republicans also numbered Abraham Lincoln. Whose enemies, after being repulsed by Union troops during his Administration, took over a hundred years to finally take Washington DC.

        I think the word “conservative” truthfully applies to people like this as a description of approach to work, politics and life. I means “careful”, and is not the opposite of “liberal”, which means tolerant and generous. Notice the small “C” and the absence of the “A” in front of the word.

        The people who’ve got the Republican Party now, I think are what Lincoln would have called them: Slavers and Secessionists. And proud of both.

        Thing I think would be best about once again giving Republicans control of that party is that finally Democrats would need a stronger platform than the just name of their Republican opponent.

        Elizabeth Warren’s bio says she was a Republican for awhile. Her best recommendation for President is something else she shares with Lincoln:

        She doesn’t want the job.

        Mark Dublin

      2. I am more of a Shirley Chisholm Democrat, but I really like to read about a rational conservative view (they are pretty rare these days).

        They’re still around, they’re just not Republicans any more. As part of the most recent political realignment, reasonable sensible pragmatists have all left the party, for obvious reasons.

    4. Even better than that, ronp.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Electric_Railway_Journal

      Probably the best US transit magazine ever. Founded by Paul N. Weyrich, who would have cut off the King Louis XVI’s head for being a Communist before the French Revolution got him, if he there was such a thing as a time machine with grooved rail and catenary.

      Maybe Paul is still back in 1993 or so working on it. Somebody check French history again.

      Paul was hard on the BART, DC Metro, and their breed because he thought that in most instances, they were unnecessary overkill. But he saved his fury for the biggest and most wasteful socialist enterprise in world history, namely the Federal highway system.

      He thought that, by the rules of economics, passenger transportation would balance out about 50-50 between private cars and transit, preferably either streetcars and interurbans.

      Which he’d class LINK as if it had baggage cars. Spring 1993 issue had a couple of articles on the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, which he gave favorable reviews.

      One of his editors, George Krambles, came out to look at our traction power overhead design, and showed me a scratch-paper design for pole-securing mechanism for our Tunnel fleet.

      So I would say that even though its publisher probably considered modern Conservatives a branch of the KKhmer Rouge, the approach the magazine favored counts as my idea of the term. Careful in both cost and proven design.

      And flexible enough to be modified throughout its entire working life if need be. Perfect description for the general approach of the Downtown Seattle Transit Project, which contained the DSTT. Reason I don’t really mind Spring 1993 edition turning me into an identified Conservative transit journalist.

      Damn! Now Google’s got it!

      Mark Dublin

  2. There have been comments about what it might take to add stations to Link after the line is built and operating.

    Last year Cleveland opened its Little Italy / University Circle Station. The interesting thing about that is that it replaced the old Euclid Station, which was down to only about 70 passengers a day.

    The history is that the original station proposal was essentially where the new Little Italy / University Circle station is now, but in those days things were privately owned and the busy bus traffic through there was on buses owned by a competing private company. So, the station got put in a worse location and opened in 1955.

    60 years later, they replaced it with a station where it probably should have been to begin with.

    So, while it is possible to change initial station locations that prove to be a mistake, it can take a very long time to get it done, even on surface lines. It’s better to just build stuff in the right locations to begin with.

    1. Very interesting. I think it is really great that in this new information age you can quickly see how much better this station is. Google maps show it quite clearly. The old station was hemmed in by a couple parks and railroad tracks. It only served one very small neighborhood. The new station is completely different. It sits in a much more open area, drawing on a much bigger clientele that can walk to the station. Perhaps the biggest difference is the complementary bus service — the old stop didn’t have it, the new stop does.

      Your point is well taken — we really should measure twice and cut once. But kudos to Cleveland for getting it right now. Better late than never.

  3. Not to beat a dead horse, but… It is the case that Seattle-Everett is forever destined to have double the service and frequency of Seattle-Tacoma simply because I-90 happens to enter downtown from the south?

    1. Yes, and ST has said since the beginning that’s a good thing, because it also has about twice the projected passenger demand.

      1. …projections which are based on the possibly faulty assumption that Everett will grow at a much faster clip over the next few decades than it has in the recent past.

      2. So is that double demand well distributed throughout the line, or is it mainly Northgate to UW to downtown? I don’t see what exactly is the drawback to having the blue line terminate at Northgate (keeping the turn back track there), and distributing the service hours to Ballard, which is projected to have absolutely enormous ridership. Also, given that Tacoma-Ballard is the longest haul to Seattle in the system, if riding from distant points on the line to Seattle is very common (which would be the expectation since they are cancelling express service to Seattle), one would think that it would make sense to have more trains along the entire portion of that line if only because it is such a crazy long distance and large number of stops that each train has to accumulate Seattle-bound passengers.

        I mean, unless the Northgate-Lynnwood-Everett portion really will have a lot more passengers to downtown than Tacoma-Federal Way-SeaTac-Rainer Valley…. and Ballard!!

      3. High demand largely because Everett needs Seattle way more than Tacoma does. Tacoma isn’t the bedroom community that Everett is. That said, turnbacks at Lynnwood or Northgate make sense

      4. I’m not too worried about this right now. ST is designing/building pocket tracks at Northgate, SeaTac Airport, and Judkins Park, and has them at Stadium and Rainier Beach. They can/will be able to short-turn trains at those locations, and indeed ST has given serious thought to operating additional trains from UW-Stadium after buses leave the DSTT. ST clearly isn’t totally opposed to using turnbacks to provide increased service where warranted.

        Except for Angle Lake, future Link extensions are so far away it is difficult to speculate about the service pattern that would be appropriate. Maybe demand from Lynnwood ends up justifying running all trains out there all-day, or maybe one line gets truncated to Northgate off-peak. We just don’t know, although the current situation suggests an off-peak truncation of Blue Line (East Link) trains at Northgate is likely justified.

    2. Think of Snohomish growth rates, not simply Everett proper. Overall, Peirce might growth similarly but a lot of the transit growth can be captured by South Sounder from East Pierce, whereas North Sounder isn’t projected to grow much & the growth regions in Snohomish are generally along Link (Lynwood, Everett, etc.)

      And it’s also a function of East Link turning north, rather that anything to do with just the Everett to Seattle corridor. There are a whole set of trip pairs that are Snohomish to East King via East Link. South King/Pierce to East King is served by either bus or transferring in downtown Seattle.

      If demand isn’t there in Snohomish, I would imagine East Link will turn back around Northgate, assuming SoDo to U-district will definitely have the demand to merit the double frequency. So no, it’s not “destined” to have extra service given the ability to run turn-back trains [not sure it’s that’s the right technical term but you get the idea?]

    3. AlexKven, at no point is service projected to be greater than six minutes peak into Everett Station. Three minute service is only through Mariner at the Lynnwood/Everett border. Otherwise 10/6 like most every other segment.

    4. Seattle-Lynnwood will be two lines full time, because of the crowds at UW and Capitol Hill and bus transfers at Northgate and Lynnwood. But it’s unclear whether both lines will be extended to Everett full time. ST’s original plan had East Link going to Lynnwood peak-only and Northgate other times, but it later extended all runs to Lynnwood believing the capacity would be needed. I find it hard to believe Everett will need two lines full-time, but it will be decided based on either demand or Everett’s luckiness on being in-line with Lynnwood.

      Tacoma will be limited to 6-minute minimum because of the surface segment in MLK: more frequent trains would interfere with traffic signal timings. Support underpasses in Rainier Valley.

      1. So does going to the airport become Bellevue to Paine Field for Eastsiders? At least they’ll save an awkward transfer at IDS and the TSA lines are really short according to Joe.

      2. Paine Field if it ever gets passenger service will have two or three gates for small regional flights. It won’t be a universal airport like SeaTac, and its prices may be higher. It willl probably mostly be for business travelers in the north end.

    5. There are also a lot of trips between Snohomish County and north Seattle, which don’t have any equivalent in the south end.

    6. The demand volume is higher from Snohomish into Downtown Seattle than it is from the south or east. Mathematically it is because the total number of forecasted workers at home is much higher than job forecasts in Snohomish. East and Soith of Downtown Seattle doesn’t have this I great of an imbalance in the future. Finally, freeways coming from Snohomish are supposed to be much slower in the future – which makes transit more attractive.

      Whether this happens remains to be seen. Already, trains north of Westlake are just as crowded as south of Westlake – with only two stations! With 7 opening further north in the next 6-8 years, it’s sure to be more crowded. In fact, U-Dist riders south may be complaining that there is no room on the train by 2025.

      The curious operations question: where could the double line be branched into two? Attempts to branch for 130th St and 522 haven’t been encouraged and the Paine Firld branch option idea did not resonate with the ST Board.

    7. Well, the best thing would be to form the line and have one of them go someplace:

      Lake City?
      Along highway 99 and terminate at Everett as well? (Picks up businesses along highway 99)
      Along I-5 and terminate at Everett? (Picks up a couple of transit centers, most notably the Everett Transit center at a shopping mall near South Everett P&R, but lacking a connection to CT and ST long distance routes.)

      But, it’s not being planned that way.

    8. They can’t branch south of Lynnwood given ST’s estimate of demand to there. The long-term plan has a Northgate-Lake City-Bothell line. That would not be a branch but a line terminating at Northgate, at least according to the planning scenario. Some have suggested having it continue southwest to Greenwood and Ballard. From there it could be part of the Ballard-Tacoma line, although that may be too long.

      1. Metro’s or ST’s planning scenario? I don’t remember seeing a line terminating at Northgate.

        I’d imagine the Ballard-Greenwood-Northgate-Lake City-Bothell corridor will be served by buses for the foreseeable future. We’re getting LinkBothell BRT with ST3, and I think Ballard to Northgate and Northgate to Lake City can be served just fine by Metro.

      2. Right now they can’t branch at all because the ST3 plan doesn’t include it.

        If the trains are full already from Lynnwood, then where do the passengers st Northgate, 130th or UW fit?

        If the trains are empty enough north of 130th to be able to take all those passengers, then there is also enough capacity to branch at 130th. Of course, then there is the issue of where to put the line…

        However, a Snohomish Split where some trains go along a major corridor and the others make a Boeing Loop with both terminating in Everett could have some interesting advantages.

      3. “We’re getting LinkBothell BRT with ST3, and I think Ballard to Northgate and Northgate to Lake City can be served just fine by Metro.”

        Will need SDOT participation for bus-only lanes. Major delays, currently.

      4. Mike, Glenn is exactly right. If there will be insufficient capacity to branch north of Northgate to serve Lake City and the North Lake cities, then there will be insufficient capacity to transfer the passengers riding buses from them. How hard is that to understand? It’s the same people!

      5. @SeaStrap – yes, definitely will need SDOT support, between bus only / BAT lanes along 15th & Holman, and a way to get over I5 to Northgate quickly (transit only bridge closer to the Transit Center?). I’m not as familiar with issues between Lake City and Northgate, but I’d assume similar issues but with narrower ROWs?

        I was simply suggesting targeted bus investment would make more sense than a full on LRT, given the ability of people to transfer to Link at Ballard & Northgate for longer trips, and local trips are better served with the closer stop spacing of buses.

      6. “If the trains are full already from Lynnwood, then where do the passengers st Northgate, 130th or UW fit?”

        Lynnwood Station would not be full. If a single line is even half full, that’s a reasonable justification for a second line to Lynnwood (making each train a quarter full at Lynnwood), to accommodate spikes and long-term increases and so that people aren’t standing.

    9. From a demand perspective, there are several places that make sense as turn backs:

      1) U-District. UW to downtown represents the core of our system (always has, always will). Demand between both areas (and areas that connect to each) is already huge, and will increase as growth continues in both areas. But the UW is especially poised to grow — the new zoning changes will allow lots of buildings similar to the old Safeco Tower.

      2) 145th. There is a dramatic drop in density as you leave the city. So much so that you can see the city border just by looking at unlabeled census maps. Unfortunately, Link doesn’t serve the high density areas. By choosing a freeway alignment, it runs half way between Lake City and Bitter Lake. It serves areas that more resemble Shoreline, and aren’t likely to change much because of the freeway and assorted parks. Really good bus service (BRT or otherwise) will definitely help, but that amplifies the proximity problem, thus putting a dent in all day demand. This is especially true of the areas on the north side of Lake Washington. I see people using this primarily for commuting (since those areas are more suburban in nature). Areas that are more urban (like Lake City) may use Link a lot, or they may rely on local bus service. If it is noon on a Tuesday and you want to get from Lake City to the U-District, do you take a bus, then a train, or just take a bus? I would say a lot depends on how Metro restructures.

      3) Lynnwood — Lynnwood is about as dense as you can get in Snohomish County (and that includes Everett). It is also much closer than Everett. Lynnwood is also a major transit hub. If you look at the bus maps or the census maps, you can be forgiven if you assume that Lynnwood is the biggest city in Snohomish County, not Everett.

      For efficient all day running, we would probably have a turn back at 45th. But we don’t. Northgate is the first turn back, and it is only five minutes away. There will be decent ridership between there, so while it will cost more per rider to run that train, it is not a huge loss. It is a perfectly good terminus. It is close enough and urban enough to have all day demand (Northgate to UW, Roosevelt to Capitol Hill, etc.).

      The biggest drawback is that it is terrible from a bus standpoint (which is ironic considering it is a transit center). Its biggest strength (a fast connection to downtown) will be meaningless once Link gets there. There is no good connection from buses coming from the north — either from the freeway or surface streets. It is especially bad from the northwest, as buses zig-zag their way to get to the transit center.

      A turn back station at 145th, along with connecting bus ramps would solve that problem nicely, but it doesn’t exist. This means that Link will struggle with an efficient solution for midday service.

      I could see it going two ways. One possibility is that they bite the bullet and just run this to Lynnwood often. This could get pretty expensive. It takes about the same amount of time (costs about the same amount) to run the train from Northgate to Lynnwood as it does Northgate to Westlake. But Northgate to Westlake will carry way more riders.

      The other alternative is to run a lot less frequently to Lynnwood, terminating at Northgate most of the day (e. g. at noon you might have 10 minute service to Lynnwood and 5 minute service to Northgate). This makes it a lot tougher on feeder buses. They would more than likely have to try and time the connection and wait for the train when departing the way that buses connecting to commuter rail do.

      Either way, I don’t see high frequency service to Everett making any sense (if it is ever built). It will function as a commuter rail line connecting to a light rail system. Midday service will be very infrequent. I could even see Snohomish County running express buses to Lynnwood in the middle of the day, instead of relying on the Everett station. Buses like those would be faster than a train for almost any trip people are talking (very few will be riding from Everett to Ash Way park and ride).

      1. I agree with Ross’s analysis of the current system design, but would add that the crippled development opportunities of the freeway ROW means that a branch to Lake City and onward to Bothell using the Northgate tail track will probably be the headline project for ST4, should ST3 pass. Ross will certainly get Ballard-UW as a “Red Line” extension.

        To serve the Aurora/SR 99 corridor an extension of the Ballard line north along Holman and the old Interurnan ROW to Lynnwood TC will be the second project. For operational sanity it would run as an “overlay” line through the new tunnel, giving Midtown Station three minute headways. It could also have stations every half to 2/3 of a mile through North King remedying the dearth of stations along The Spine.

        By following the Interurban Corridor (Linden), this route would serve the core of Bitter Lake pretty well.

        Where it might go to the south depends on the development trajectory of South King County. By that time the need for a Duwamish Bypass might become clearer. The Red Line could take it and the new line from Lynnwood via Ballard go to the airport via MLK.

        This is a better plan than the Seattle Subway proposal for Bothell via Ballard crossing at Northgate, because Downtown Seattle and UW will forever be the primary commuting destinations of folks from the North Lake, so Bothell via Ballard would force too many transfers at Northgate while providing no new capacity for Shoreline and Southwest Snohomish County. Together they will have far more growth than the North Lake cities.

        There will never be a line through North Seattle along Aurora as SS advocates because of the high cost of a Lake Union crossing and the proximity of Green Lake.

        I grant that the two north lines won’t “weave” until Lynnwood. Lines which cross each other do multiply the number of possible destinations. However, this plan allows greater development along Aurora/SR 99 in North King County to take place. People headed for UW could take the new line to Ballard and change to the Red Line which would probably be faster than taking one of the shuttle buses to 145th or 185th and riding The Spine, at least for trips not beginning right at 145th or 185th and Aurora.

  4. I think Burien has great development plans & good leadership on that front, and I was delighted to see that the ST3 405 BRT station in Burien is classified as “Urban” and has zero parking. However, this Seattle Times article is super misleading, as the majority of the growth of Kirkland & Burien in the measured time period is due to annexation, not organic growth.

  5. WTA’s service changes include a new every-15-minute GO Line on Lakeview Dr, referred to as the Plum Line. I can’t think of any other transit agencies that have a Plum Line – I guess they’re trying to keep all the line names at a single syllable (Red, Blue, Green, Gold, Plum).

    Four different routes make up the Plum Line, but the Blue Line is getting simplified so that it is only made of three routes rather than six.

    1. Don’t give them too much credit.

      There are still structural route issues from the development of the GO Lines in the mid-2000s and the refusals to provide WWU with the service it should have because the demand was *only* there for 9 months a year.

  6. I think that Jay Inslee’s every statement to or about Bill Bryant needs to start with: “Bill, how exactly do you think we should de-congest I-5?”

    Answer, starting with length of time Bill will evade it, should take ’til start of Jay’s next term next inauguration day.

    Mark

  7. Probably the most “amazing” editorial yet from the Seattle Times.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/buy-the-type-of-large-powerful-vehicle-that-fits-your-needs/

    “IN pursuit of his misguided climate obsession, President Barack Obama has opened yet another front in his continuing war against America’s 260 million car owners.

    Starting in the 2025 model year, less than a decade away, new vehicles will have to achieve a whopping average 54.5 miles per gallon in fuel efficiency.

    This phase of Obama’s climate crusade will force motorists into smaller vehicles that are less safe and more expensive. It constitutes a deadly assault that will result in thousands of unnecessary deaths each year.”

    …and it only gets worse.

    1. For clarification I’m not quite sure if this is an editorial or Opinion piece. It’s in the Opinion section but “Special to the Times”

      The Times is quickly becoming a written version of FOX News.

      1. And the author, H. Sterling Burnett, a “researcher” for the Heartland Institute. The Heartland institute is a conservative and libertarian public policy think tank. You might know them as the institute hired by Big Tobacco in the 90s to argue that secondhand smoke isn’t dangerous and to lobby against smoking bans. They’ve also argued against global warming and public healthcare and for fracking.

        Basically, they are the firm to hire if you make your money doing things that are detrimental to society and want to try to convince the public to support the things that are detrimental to themselves. I can’t say much more without doing some ad hom attacks, but it’s one of those companies where you wonder how the execs sleep at night.

    2. It’s not an editorial; those are in the “Editorials” column. “Special to The Tiles” usually means an Important Person wrote it, but in this case it looks like the paper solicited two authors for a pro/con debate.

      Some other sources have said that the 50 mph standard means a shift from petrol-cars to electric cars.

      The “anti” argument that larger is safer echoes the passenger rail situation in the US. Federal regulations require passenger trains to be as big and heavy as freight trains, which makes them much slower and less efficient than their European counterparts. The argument is that’s the only way passengers will survive a collision with a freight train. While in Europe they put their energy into preventing collisions. So, does Europe have more casualties per year because their cars are smaller and lighter? Would an America with more small light cars mean there are fewer large heavy cars to collide with?

      1. And do they even care about collisions with pedestrians and cyclists? Or just other people in metal boxes

    3. It is an opinion piece, which is part of a “Pro-Con” debate. It was paired with this one: http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/better-fuel-economy-leads-to-important-gains-in-public-health/

      I think this is one of the drawbacks of reading the paper online. The printed paper made this all obvious (one editorial praising CAFE standards, one attacking them). But it is tougher to see this online (there is a little block to the right of each article which states “Pro/Con” and has a link to the other piece).

      Which is not to say they don’t remind me of Fox News. Although that isn’t fair. The news division of the Seattle Times is just fine and there is (or appears to be) a solid wall between it and the editorial staff. (I’ve read news stories that run counter to an editorial). But their editorials remind me a lot of Bill O’Reily. Most of them are right of center and quite reasonable (sometimes endorsing Democrats). But every so often, they just go nuts, and either endorse someone like George W. Bush (twice) or spout out some nonsense, like the opposition to Move Seattle, which is precisely the type of thing most right of center people support (nothing too crazy or expensive, just solid investments in much needed infrastructure).

  8. King County Elections has added 19 new ballot drop boxes: http://kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/ballots/returning-my-ballot/ballot-dropoff-locations.aspx

    A lot of libraries and community centers, but not anything that is directly transit oriented. Elections Dept. is planning to add another dozen or so boxes before the November election. If you would like to see ballot drop boxes at transit facilities contact the King County Department of Elections and suggest a location.

    1. Thanks! I noted this problem a few months ago on an open thread.

      Let’s all speak up! Let’s see if the ST Board will have enough gumption to also speak up – given that ST3 is on the ballot.

    2. I don’t know that other countries have ballot drop-offs at subway stations, but they do have supermarkets and shopping centers there.

  9. As someone who just moved to Bellingham from Auburn I am shocked at how well run the buses are in town compared to So. King Metro. Bellingham isn’t that big of a city and yet there are frequent (every 10-30mins) busses to most corners of town. It handily beats Anchorage and Spokane on usefulness and reach.

    The question is, why? Why does it work so well here? I assume it’s the 15,000 students like myself.

    1. The students are a big portion of it. They provide a ton of ridership on what are considered non-WWU routes, which the WTA has a hard time acknowledging when they turn around and deny headway increases on WWU serving routes because the demand is only there 9-months a year.

      Additionally, WTA is continuing to refuse to get rid of their ridiculous pulse at the downtown transit center and increase the frequency between Downtown and WWU to greater than every 15 minutes because of the pulse.

      I was there for a lot of the drama over WWU’s place in the GO Lines while they were being designed in the mid-2000s. A decade later, not much has changed.

      Also, when school starts and you get your universal bus pass, be sure to be thankful for the student leaders who came before you that fought hard for that (myself included).

    2. One thing about Bellingham is that I-5 doesn’t run right through the middle of everything, cutting the city into pieces and creating a fragmented downtown.

    3. I think Bellingham has certain advantages. It is relatively left leaning, being driven by the school and retirees who like the atmosphere that the school and the natural environment provide. This means folks are willing to pay a little more for bus service. It is relatively compact (although it sprawls more than it used to). It is also at that “sweet spot” for bus service — it is a city big enough to attract decent transit ridership, but not so big that buses are constantly stuck in traffic. Seattle used to be that way, back in the day. Folks used to heap the same praises on Metro (good service for a city its size).

      In contrast, Auburn is a suburban area. This makes things a lot tougher. Do you run express buses to downtown or focus on getting around town? The former is really expensive to operate, but it is where people ask for the most service (commuters complain a lot if they don’t get good service). This means that the transit agency is stretched. The demographics aren’t working in Auburn’s favor, either. As places like Auburn become the low income areas of the future, the demands on the city’s budget tend to escalate. Not that Bellingham is immune to those sorts of problems, but it is much easier to deal with a bunch of retirees and students (who are relatively well to do). As I see it, Bellingham residents are more likely to support transit because it is “green”, even if they don’t ride it much themselves, while Auburn residents usually can’t afford such generosity.

  10. “We love development and we are attracting a lot of new people,” ($) says Burien. If only officials in Seattle could be so unambiguous.

    Maybe dig a little more into suburban development patterns and you will find them much like Seattle’s. They are not upzoning SF neighborhoods to MF, but rather supporting MF development in or near their commercial areas — what pass for urban villages in the ‘burbs.

    1. The large developments are in decaying industrial and commercial land, not “multifamily” in the sense that they have a lot of apartments now. They are staying away from single-family areas to avoid the wrath of nimby voters, so that’s like Seattle. But it’s a bit different in that they’re not even considering ADUs and duplexes like HALA, and people don’t really expect them to because they’re suburbs.

    2. Aye, but consider that in the burbs, most downtowns are currently low rise development, so there is plenty of room for growth via midrise development. In Seattle, many of the lots available for midrise development are already developed to zoned maximum. SLU is an exception, hence crazy growth there, and U District may be next if it gets upzoned as proposed.
      At the very least, it’s an expansion of MF housing somewhere. And often expanding MF in commercial zones rather than SF zones results in better transportation environments, as our road & transit grids are already built to get people in & out of commercial centers.

    3. It would be great if Seattle officials would say “we love development in our urban villages,” instead of a bunch of hand-wringing. But we can’t even get that.

  11. I hope the DOT doesn’t ruin a great little Montlake Market. DOT needs to get it together.

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