55 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: City Limits with Jane Jacobs”

  1. Since this is an open thread…

    Since the restructure with University Link opening, I’ve often been taking route 64 or another bus that uses Fairview Ave to/from the I-5 Mercer ramps, and I also sometimes drive this route. I think we can do better for transit, and even make things (in some ways) better for cars as well at the same time.

    Southbound, buses stop in the very first block, between Mercer and Republican. This is a stop that, before the 2-way Mercer project began, was north of Mercer. It moved south of Mercer to (presumably) get out of the way of that project’s construction, and has been bounced back and forth between just north of Republican and just south of Republican due to other construction.

    With it south of Mercer, a stopped bus manages to create enough congestion that it interferes with traffic from I-5. Now that a bunch of buses are following this path from I-5, it’s happening more often, and another bus is more likely to be affected. It’d be great to get that stop shifted either a block north (and only serving route 70, so perhaps the placement of all of the stops on Fairview between Roy & Boren should be reassessed) or 1-2 blocks south. It’s not clear to me whether it will automatically shift one block south once all of the construction is done.

    It’s then smooth sailing until Denny, except for competition with right-turn traffic. I wonder whether making southbound Fairview at Denny have a right-turn-except-transit lane at Denny would make things better or worse. I do think having the right lane be “straight only except transit can turn left” at Boren (ending up on Virginia) would help in the morning commute, but it might cause problems in the evening commute.

    Northbound (based on the evening commute) is a bit more of a challenge; I imagine everyone here realizes there isn’t enough capacity on I-5 or its on ramps to accomodate the cars/drivers who want it.

    The problem starts at (or before) Virginia. Someone has suggested making it transit only. I’ll admit I have a vested self interest in that I sometimes drive. So I have an in between suggestion.

    Virginia’s NE-bound right lane should alternate between right-turn-except-transit and transit only; right turn at 9th, transit only to Terry, right turn at Boren, right turn again at Denny, and then on Fairview, some mix of the two at least to the stop near Harrison, perhaps with TSP when transit mixes with others headed to I-5. On Virginia I think this would be a modest improvement for transit with a barely noticeable impact for cars, as the cars have not yet reached the choke points that matter for getting on I-5, so it’ll merely shift where some of the queueing happens. On Fairview I think this would significantly help transit travel times, and I think it would make things significantly safer for cars…

    Today, Fairview northbound in that stretch has two lanes. The right lane has buses and drivers queueing for I-5. The left lane has traffic going straight past the I-5 ramp, or turning left before then, or traffic that wants I-5 but doesn’t want to wait in the right lane. So cars either are frustrated queueing in the right lane or have to merge somewhat aggressively closer to the I-5 ramps. I think it would be safer (and also, from a queueing perspective, fairer) to not give drivers that choice, and just make them stay in the left lane (out of the way of buses) until a designated point.

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese

    A respected newspaper, long since vilified as part of the “Liberal Media”, plain got it wrong. All of it. As, at the time this video was made, it was giving similarly accurate coverage of the Vietnam War.

    First mistake did long-lasting damage to our people’s view of each other. Second did same to the millionth power to the United States of America. Whose persisting damage we’ll be lucky to survive. Incidentally, I know Toronto had more than two Black people in 1971. Film must have had same editor as “Seinfeld.”

    If STB is still here forty years from now, last two years’ urban alterations in Sound Transit service area will make a great documentary. But one mistake in this morning’s film already proven: South Lake Union and Capitol Hill have a lot of really classy brick buildings. And streetcars.

    Why is everybody fleeing to brick-deprived lands out past Kent?


    1. They’re fleeing for their lives from a) falling bricks from urban buildings poised to fall in an earthquake, b) flying bricks from disgruntled urban dwellers getting the short end once too often, or c) a shitpile of bricks laden with fees and taxes from living in urbanvillle unless your work in a highrise.
      The worst you can get smacked with in Orting is cowpie.

      1. Mic, just responding to statement by Jane Jacobs in the video. Because in 1971, there actually were structurally sound brick buildings with very low rent.

        Now, fact that building is made out of brick means it will inevitably become tenanted by a restaurant with one name whose prices make the homes people have just gotten priced out of look affordable.

        Was also noting that now that rising rents are to ordinary American people what barrel-bombs are to Syrians, wheel-less residence will soon be a thing of the past. With the engine running 24-7-365.

        And re: BRT: remember that buses generally take a heavier, wider structure than light-rail cars, and tires are harder to quiet than streetcar wheels. But most important, can’t be coupled. So at 60 mph, following-distance between coaches could hold several loaded rail cars each.

        Best to take a leaf from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and grade and curve every busway for easy conversion to rail, including period of joint use. Mode choice here not either-or.

        But unless you are a (prefers) Republican whose only campaign plank is he’s not Jay Inslee, you have to understand your technical facts. And if you are Jay Inslee, you and every elected official in Olympia including Bill Bryant need to listen to the Highway Patrol and not use road shoulders for bus lanes.

        Though maybe these guys aren’t impartial, because where are they going to pull people over and give them tickets? Though they’ll never have to give speeding tickets to buses, because safe speed on average shoulder makes getting clipped when cut off by a passing snail the only possible collision. These creatures never check their mirrors, and the whole world is a blind spot.


  3. Your friend here just wants to make a brief announcement I am no longer a Republican, but an Independent for mostly non-transit reasons. I’m just voting my conscience… and I gotta say, I gotta say I would like to see a Republican plan for this BRT they want instead of light rail.

    1. Congrats on your epiphany, but if you really intend on waiting for the R’s to come forward with their substitute BRT plan, then you will be waiting a very long time. (At least if you expect a serious proposal that they can’t gut at the first opportunity).

      Witness the R’s choice for governor. He can’t even directly address the question of where he stands on ST3, and when he does talk transportation it is only a mismash of anti-LR myths and comments regarding freight mobility in support of E.Wa shipping.

      There is no “BRT” in freight mobility, and not even any “T” for that matter.

      What do you expect from a guy who can’t even be transparent enough to put the word “GOP” or “Republican” on his campaign signs. Not to mention his use of the color blue.

      Na, if you care about transit you aren’t going to find it on the (far) right.

      1. I am willing to roll the dice on Bill Bryant. I think he can be trusted to respect the will of the voters on this…

        Now if ST3 authority was going to require his signature, I wouldn’t make that argument.

      2. @Joe,

        You are willing to “roll the dice” on bill because you think he can be “trusted” not to try to interfere with the will of the voters if they approve ST3? That has got to be the faintest praise I have ever heard for a candidate.

      3. I have other reasons why I’m (stuck with) supporting Bill. Most of which are anti-Inslee. I still think the highway expansion gas tax shoulda gone to voters… and my plan, which I think is truly conservative, would have spent gas tax money only on maintenance & bridge replacement.

        I just think we also need to put a strong, strident pro-transit spine in the Democratic Party. Only by purging this assumption of Democrats are entitled to head & staff the administrative arm of the Washington State Government will we get Democrats to frickin stiffen up on some issues near & dear to STB commentators.

      4. You aren’t going to get any of the things you want by voting for Bryant.

        Voting for a retro transportation view of he world sends exact the wrong message. You aren’t going to get transit by voting for freight corridors from E.WA and general highway expansion.

        If your goal is to get a more aggressive Democratic Party focused on transit, then either vote for the dens or vote socialist. Voting for a 1950’s view of the world ain’t going to cut it

    2. I am not a Republican (never have been). My guess is the Republican BRT plan would basically start with this:

      1) The WSTT
      2) Improvements in West Seattle which would eliminate all congestion on the freeway and connect to the WSTT. I came up with an idea and Troy came up with one as well.
      3) The same sort of surface improvements from the Ballard bridge to the WSTT as would have to be made by surface rail (which was the original plan). This means making the lanes bus-only 24 hours a day, and adding signal priority (which is way easier along that corridor than along Rainier Valley).
      4) A new Ballard bridge, just for buses, bikes and pedestrians.
      5) Surface improvements along various areas in the city, likely focused on the same corridors that RapidRide+ does. You would want to add Lake City into the mix, since we can now assume that NE 130th will be built (as part of Lynnwood Link). Since you would have a lot more money, you might be able to do some bigger things (e. g. manage to build a corridor that works well for both buses and bikes along Eastlake).
      6) Service improvements in the city. For the amount of money we are talking about, we could run a lot of buses quite often.

      That’s all for Seattle, of course. For the suburbs, I’m sure there are various improvements that could be made that would be a better value than what has been proposed. For the east side, this means something like BRISK. For Snohomish and Pierce County, I have no idea. A while back someone suggested a very nice set of improvements for Snohomish County that I’m sure would fit well within the budget, and make more sense than ST3. I wish I had kept the link.

      One key point: Generally speaking, the more urban the area, the more light rail make sense. Huge, expensive investments in rail can be a great value if the area is urban enough (e. g. UW to downtown). But in the suburbs, lack of density and proximity along with good existing road infrastructure all make bus improvements in those areas a better value.

      Yet the proposal I outlined for Seattle would be better for Seattle than the all rail ST3. It doesn’t have the first thing I would build (Ballard to UW light rail) yet it would still be better. It would save more people more time than ST3. If we can come up with a plan that is better for Seattle, then it is obvious we can come up with a plan that is better for Snohomish and Pierce County. Maybe it means running express buses constantly, or maybe it means investing in busways. Either way, I have no doubt that officials could come up with a better plan if effort was made to do so.

      Perhaps the worst part of the deterioration of the Republican Party (losing people like you, along with many, many moderate, sensible voters) is that opposition often consists of demagoguery as opposed to rational argument. It would be great if there were Republicans out there arguing for a sensible approach to spending this money. Stop focusing on the spine — focus on what is the most cost effective way to improve transit. Build rail where it makes sense, and busways (or just more bus service) where it doesn’t. That argument is occurring, but only within this blog, which means it isn’t heard. Democratic officials and environmentalists are afraid to oppose their own kind. This all means the worst of all worlds. Democrats who build projects without adequate vetting, Republicans who seek only to build nothing.

      1. There is no GOP BRT plan. Anything proposed is just a straw man to get people to vote against transit.

        As best as I can tell what the GOP really wants is for Seattle transit taxes to pay for roads in eastern Washington.

      2. If you and Troy are the only ones buying an alternative project list, what makes you think the list is viable?

        Also, there is BRT, or at least what is being called BRT, in ST3. There is also continued funding of ST Express, and operating and maintenance money. Yes, there would be continued revenue collection to cover O&M even if ST3 lost, but that cost is being included in the ST3 figures so transit antagonists (the people Troy is hanging out with) can’t claim ST is hiding costs.

      3. Well I don’t expect.Bill Bryant to come up with a ST3 alternative that is anything more than vague platitudes. A few exceptions aside most of the GOP members of the legislature hate Seattle and King county with a passion and want nothing more than to screw them over any way they can.

      4. @Brent — Why wouldn’t BRT on the exact same route be viable? Either way you have to build the tunnel. There is no way it is more expensive to connect to West Seattle via a busway (which leverages an existing freeway) than a completely new light rail line (which can’t). Chances are it is millions cheaper.

        But ST never studied a bus only tunnel. They never studied a bus tunnel that could someday be converted to rail. They studied Ballard to UW light rail, and then rejected it, but never gave a reason (even though it moved more people per dollar spent and obviously would save a lot more people more time per dollar spent).

        It is no different in the suburbs. They never studied running buses on the CKC. They never studied projects that could improve bus service instead of completing the spine. In fact, one of the very criteria used to evaluate the projects was whether it helped complete the spine. That is nuts. What difference should that make, If your first priority it cost effective transit? The simple fact is it isn’t — building more rail is (whether it achieves the bigger goal or not).

      5. I would be very surprised if Bill Bryant does anything positive for transit. Dan Evans he isn’t.

        Like I said, this is sad. There was a time, not that long ago, when lots of Republicans were moderate — guys like Evans, Joel Pritchard and John Miller. These were moderates who cared about the environment, but wanted to spend the money wisely. I just don’t think the Republicans that share that sentiment have any power anymore. They are an endangered species, and can’t be found, even in this state, where they once flourished. Rumors are they can be found in very limited number in the Northeast (Maine)

      6. RossB;

        As the GOP goes further and further right, it will eventually die from lack of numbers. I also am fed up with the anti-transit views of the right as if somehow reducing congestion for single occupancy vehicles are justifiably worth spending the outlandish sums we do.

      7. My guess is the Republican BRT plan would basically start with this:

        The problem is, what you list spends money, and it could result in people using transit.

        I would expect to see something more along the lines of what the Republicans allowed C-Tran to do in Clark County to do with The Vine BRT service: several traffic lights with queue jumps and some specially decorated articulated buses.

        Then, conduct a few interviews with the talk radio hosts and complain about the money they gave the transit agency didn’t really accomplish anything.

    3. Reading this solidifies my voting of my conscience: http://www.planetizen.com/node/87530/republicans-reveal-anti-urban-anti-public-transit-platform

      Like the Mass Transit Account that traces back to President Reagan, the 55 mph speed limit dates back to another Republican president, Richard Nixon, who signed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act. Of course, it was a different “energy era” then, with the onset of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Oil Embargo after the Arab-Israeli War that year.

      Motorists have been enjoying the fruits of an oil glut since the summer of 2014, and gas prices are projected to remain low until the EIA expects global oil inventory draws to begin in the third quarter of 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration.

      The lowest gas prices in 11 years would appear to be an ideal time to raise the federal gas tax, unchanged since 1993, but the Republican platform opposes increasing it. APTA is on record as supporting an increase in the tax as its “purchasing power has gone down by more than 37 percent,” states White.

      The Washington Post also reports on the anti-transit position of the Republican platform, noting the irony that Donald Trump “loves trains” and that “transit was key in bringing the RNC to Cleveland.”

      Then there is this:

      Statement on GOP Platform on Public Transportation by APTA Acting President & CEO Richard A. White
      “On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) I strongly oppose the Republican platform that would phase out the federal transit program. I am extremely disappointed that the platform fails to continue the important federal role in supporting public transportation. Since 1983, under President Ronald Reagan, fuels tax revenues have been dedicated to public transit through the Mass Transit Account of the surface transportation legislation. This proposal would undo more than 30 years of overwhelming support for dedicated federal investment in public transit.

      Transportation is the backbone of an economy. Mayors of cities across the country know that public transportation is crucial to helping make their cities competitive. Additionally, public transportation helps people commute to work. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all trips taken are for work commutes. Last year, 10.6 billion trips were taken on public transportation, no small figure.

      The public transportation industry is currently underfunded. Having no federal funds would be devastating, not only to the millions of Americans who use public transportation and to the employers who depend on it for their employees, but also for communities of all sizes that need it for a thriving economy and quality of life.

      Also, the platform position against any increase in the federal gas tax is not supported by APTA. The federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and consequently, its purchasing power has gone down by more than 37 percent.

      We need a well-funded transportation system that includes public transportation. In 2013, the annual capital spending on public transit – from all levels of government – was $17.7 billion. Of that figure, $7.4 billion came from the federal government. According to a report by APTA and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), an annual investment of $43 billion for public transportation is necessary to improve system performance and condition. And let’s not forget that the Federal Transit Administration has said that there is a one-time $86 billion backlog in deferred maintenance and replacement needs.”

      Perhaps worthy of it’s own STB or STB Page Two blog post… I’m done. I’m out. I’m voting my conscience so you Trumpers can boo my a** and self-stimulate to the sounds of your boos.

    4. I always thought you were transitioning from R-dom and it was just a matter of time. I transitioned from R to L in the early 1990s, and to D in 2001. As a friend at the time said, “George W Bush can make anyone a liberal.”

      The politicians’ positions on transit, BRT, rail, roads and tolls reflect larger societal transitions that go beyond the current D and R platforms. The public is gradually waking up from its highway and low-density sleep, and realizing these aren’t practical solutions for the future or the rising population. People are gradually becoming more pro-transit and realizing we have to make transit investments, but there’s a lot of confusion over what that means and which goals are worthwhile, and some factions are reactionary and resisting it. It’s not surprising the legislators and politicians reflect this confusion. Since D’s are more willing to move forward, it’s important to have them in the majority even when they’re wishy-washy or unenlightened, because the R’s would make decisive steps backwards.

      RossB’s “Robust BRT” plan is conservative in a small transit-wonk circle, but that’s different from being “the conservative plan”. Neither party has adopted or considered it, and it has not been subjected to wider vetting of its adequateness. So while we can imagine that “a conservative party” might adopt it, that has not been proven in the real world among actual parties. In the real world it’s “Maximum Spine”, “Maximum Highways”, or “Minimum Taxes (but actually highways)”.

    5. It’s worth emphasizing that neither the (federal) gas tax nor the minimum wage have kept up with inflation. So when people complain that raising them would be an intolerable burden and economy-buster, you have to ask why raising them from near zero to the historical norm would destroy the economy now when it never did before.

  4. “I hate nature. Nature prevents buildings from being built. Nature belong up in the mountains, not where people live. If I want to see nature, I can youtube it. Some of it can be grandfathered in, I suppose, like the Mercer Slough Nature Park, but even that, one day, should be paved-over and turned into a large multi-family housing project, because of its prime location next to a future Link Station.”

    A conversation I overheard yesterday while eating a Pig Trough at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour.

    1. Actually, ecologically that makes sense- it’s better to have mostly unbroken vast lands for nature and dense urban areas that don’t have much traditional nature in them to free up more space for the undivided natural areas then to suburbanize everything with nature being trapped in many fragmented areas, since many species prefer their land and ecosystems to be large and unbroken.

    2. “I didn’t know Farrell’s was still around.”

      The fact that one part of the story is obviously false is an indication that the whole thing is a fantasy.

      You can also look at the plausability that either a pro-nature or a pro-housing person would actually believe this.

  5. I am hereby coining the phrase “chronic lift abuser.” CLA is when a non-disabled person requests the lift/ramp more than six times per day, seven days per week, in non-essential travel.

    – Sam. 2016 “I made a pig of myself at Farrell’s!”

    1. You need to define your terms, Sam. Who’s disabled and who’s not? What travel is essential and what is non-essential? Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. I’ve been out of town and away from the Internet for a week now and missed the data drop from ST – congrats on their Link ridership data!

    I take issue with some of Westneat’s comments regarding why Seattle has been so far behind in real public transportation compared to our peer cities, but the data is clear that Link is doing great.

    I expect Link to exceed the 70k threshold for weekday ridership sometime around the opening of Angle Lake, if not before. That will be a huge achievement and will really move Link up on the list of most successful LR systems nationally.

    Darn good news.

  7. Looking at today’s traffic messes on Googlre maps:

    Nice traffic jam they’ve got going today in the Columbia Gorge.

    Another one in the pass over the mountains on I-90 too.

    Proof positive, I guess, that people are willing to spend hours a day watching nature from their car on the freeway.

    Or maybe evidence that we could be doing better at transportation through and to these places?

      1. Maybe. Today’s mess was shown on the map as being between Cascade Locks and Hood River. The bus doesn’t run that far east.

      2. The simple answer is “no” – even if every bus trip were completely full, the vehicles simply do not have the capacity to carry more than a very tiny percentage of the people who drive and park to the Columbia River Gorge on a summer weekend.

        Scaling up the model by running more buses is difficult because, in a world of mass car ownership, the marginal cost of driving (once you’ve already paid for the car and the insurance) is so low that it is impossible to charge a fare that is competitive with the cost of gas without a large subsidy – especially since most people that hike do so in groups, where the cost of gas to drive is split between 2-4 people, and only one person in the group even needs to own the car to begin with. The Columbia River Gorge will bus will definitely save a few people a lot of money on their Zipcar bill, but the practical effect is mostly that.

    1. From the article:
      “One fifth of its funds are spent on mass transit, an inherently local affair that serves only a small portion of the population, concentrated in six big cities.”

      Does anyone know which are the six big cities? New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and ?

      1. The sixth city is likely Boston. But there are plenty of other cities that benefit from FTA funding.

      2. Nah. New York is where Trump made his fortune, so they can’t point fingers there.

        Definitely Chicago, since that is where Obama is from.

        Definitely not any city in Texas, since anything in Texas is well run by Republicans. Since Ted Cruz was heavily involved in the platform committee it can’t be anywhere down there.

        Definitely Washington DC since it’s the most evil of all cities.

        San Francisco? Who needs votes from a bunch of people with flowers in their hair? So, definitely San Francisco.

        LA? Not sure how the current Republican people view LA.

        Boston is definitely on the hit list. No way they’ll get a majority Republican vote in Massachusetts this year.

        They’ll probably just mention those four by name and adjust implications about the other two depending on what cities the particular audience at the time wants to hate most. Say, imply Los Angeles is one when in Arizona and imply New Orleans is one when in Alabama.

      3. If I had to guess, NY and SF; Boston, Philadelphia, DC, and Chicago : they’re the ones that score highly for wide access to frequent all day transport: and form two groups. LA and Seattle are the next group, and pretty much everywhere else is pretty bad (although there’s an eclectic a group [Cleveland, Miami, Denver and Houston (and perhaps Charlotte)] which is a little less terrible than the rest).

      4. The majority of the population live in cities. Singling out the six most transit-rich cities is cherry-picking: a lot of their backbone is pre-WWII heavy rail, and the fact that the next ten cities don’t have that level of transit doesn’t mean they don’t need it or wouldn’t function better with it. Beware of assuming the status quo is best because it exists.

  8. Are Metro layover spots sacred or something? Whenever I have taken the 44 and 45 to the Link UW Station, the drivers have always stopped to let off Link-bound passengers at the layover spot. Today, when I had luggage and was taking Link all the way to the airport the driver insisted that everyone get off at the UWMC stop. She was very rude about it and told me I should have taken the 65 if I wanted to be closer to Link.
    I was very annoyed at her snotty attitude and told her she should be ashamed of herself,
    Anyone had this type of experience?

    1. The layover stop for the 45 shows up as a valid stop in one bus away and the trip planner.

    2. Haven’t had this experience myself, but I travel through there on the bus and have often wondered about it. From the several layover spaces marked with faux- bus stop yellow and white placards to the uneven drop-off rules interpreted differently by each operator, it’s a wonder anyone unfamiliar with the UW triangle layout can even find the station.

      Don’t ask me how anyone from out of town or toting cumbersome luggage, or unable to locate and interpret the teeny-tiny area maps, does it.

      1. In relation to the UW Triangle area: buses lay over right near the exit lanes from the UWMC Triangle parking garage, and I feel it is really dangerous because there is blocked line of sight for people exiting the Triangle garage. Leaving the parking garage, I nudge forward and just hope that I won’t get hit by a vehicle I cannot see. I know this whole configuration is new and could be open to adjustments. It may take repeated collisions before anything is done about it, though.

      2. As someone who works there and is allowed to use the garage, you probably have more to say about adjustments that the relevant powers will listen to than anyone else here.

    3. I’ve had the same experience with the 541. Some drivers insist everyone get off at 45th & 15th, even though 50th & University shows up as a stop in OBA.

    4. Don’t bother with Metro customer service. Just note date, time, route, bus number, and location and hand-write a brief note to your King County Council member, the County Executive, and the Recording Secretary of ATU Local 587 relating your experience and your desire it not happen again.

      In this ink-free and paperless age, should attract some attention. As well it should in a period when anybody’s public misbehavior on transit anywhere in the world can be viewed real-time by transit riders from Tierra del Fuego to that 50 mile long trolley bus run over the mountains in Crimea.

      YouTube has more of this kind of footage than cat videos. Bad policy to irritate a passenger who is also a cat. Will make great video, though.

      As a driver myself, and a decent human being, I honestly would never do this to anyone over a matter like this, or even threaten to do it. But since this kind of surveillance- that message beside the bus camera isn’t the half of it anymore- is a fact of life, it’s now literally a life and death matter that passenger relations be trained, communicated, monitored, enforced and cooperated with.

      If Metro gets short enough on drivers, now that they’ve got the new electric 60 footers on the Route 7, I don’t want to get Fat- or Slut-or Recently-Killed-Shamed my first night out over a co-worker’s bad manners. Tell my former and possibly future colleagues I said to pass this along.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Thanks. I have given up on Customer Service. Bad experience over the years. They will send a very nice acknowledgment letter saying they will look i tnto the problem I address but I don’t recall ever hearing back from them.

  9. hello—

    a request for help, references, links, what-not.

    as a north king resident, I’m looking at the SR522-BRT project included as part of ST3 — especially it’s plan to build three 300-stall parking structures (in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, & Bothell) by 2024.


    I’m trying to wrap my head around the probable/potential size/shape of a “300-stall parking structure”…..

    Anyone have any good links to share? I’ve been searching online with little luck so far….

    extra points for any articles and/or visuals that show how to make the most (or at least best mitigate the negatives) of parking garages.


    1. This is one I’m personally familiar with in Greenville, SC – it’s integral to a housing and retail project so it’s difficult to actually see much of the garage (a best-case scenario IMHO): http://greenvillesc.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/River-Street-Garage-34

      Greenville has several thousand parking stalls in various structures downtown; almost all are integrated with other uses and/or face away from Main Street, which is an active, pedestrian-scaled shopping/dining street.

      Here’s a much worse-case scenario 300-stall garage in Connecticut, more dated than you’d likely see built today: http://electronicvalley.org/derby/govern/Parking/Parking.htm

      Bigger than you’re looking for, but perhaps representative, is this 540-stall transit station structure in San Diego: http://www.ipd-global.com/portfolio/sabre-springspenasquitos-transit-station/ (it cost about $23,000/stall and opened 2 years ago, for those wondering about parking structure construction costs)

      This one’s 442 spaces: http://www.ipd-global.com/portfolio/monterey-street-parking-structure/

      For an idea of a potential “shape” fits on a station site as ST sees it (just a garage), there is a very preliminary site plan showing the 500-stall 145th station garage on page 12 of this document: http://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/project-documents/20150901_lle_rod.pdf

      300-stall structures are difficult to find photos of; it’s likely more cost-effective in most cases to build structures in the 500-stall range and larger. The station at 130th in Bellevue will have 300 spaces but it’s a surface lot. I hope this was at least somewhat helpful.

  10. Will there be an article on the multimodal transportation meeting Saturday? It was around thirty people from all the transit/bike/ped advocacy groups, along with three SDOT representatives including the director of the RapidRide+ program. The meeting focused on articulating the general transit, bike, and ped concerns side by side. The motivation is a belief that the various groups and the city plans have mostly worked in single-mode silos. This leads to single-mode projects being built at random, often contradicting or harming the other modes’ goals; e.g., when different factions want transit lanes, a cycletrack, or wide sidewalks in the same narrow right of way. A belief has arisen that the advocates of the non-car modes need to get together more, integrate their plans and goals, and speak with a common voice when possible. In the end people expressed support for more multimodal transportation meetings, a Google group to discuss common issues, and a meeting before major open houses to compare our expected feedback and look for commonalities in it

    There was a statistic on how Seattlites get to work downtown. It was 56% driving in 2000, 49.2% driving in 2012, and 25% driving in 2025 if SDOT’s Move Seattle goal succeeds. There are also statistics that non-driving already moves moves more people than driving in several corridors, so it’s time for the investments to match the actual non-driving modes rather than the lingering belief that 80% drive.

    Two potential approaches emerged. One is SDOT’s transition from looking at corridor modes to looking at corridor functions: what are people using the corridor for, where are they going, and which modes could support these. Another approach is the “inverted pyramid” paradigm; i.e., giving pedestrians top priority, bikes second, transit third, commercial vehicles fourth, and other cars fifth. I like that pyramid in some ways but I have reservations about it: I’m afraid it would lead to no transit lanes anywhere because you’d run out of right of way before you get to the third priority.

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