74 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Inaugural Trip From Angle Lake to SeaTac Airport Station”

  1. Please tell me they’re running the train at half-speed specially for the event, for the first minute of the trip. That was like Cap Hill trolley slow!

    1. It was faster when I rode it later. The first trip they ran with double trains (a three car train from each plarform) and I would guess they had to slow down to meet a window where they would not collide with normal service.

      Once they joined normal service after that, higher speeds returned.

    2. Bruce’s video from the press ride Thursday clocked at 2:45 for the northbound trip. I think southbound is a little bit slower, ca. 3:20.

    3. Also, this train had to switch sides of the track (and hence had to run more slowly), since it was departing from the west side of the platform (which is southbound for traffic on the right side).

      1. This also happens a bit at UW station. Terminal stations on our line have slower stops from the need to switch lines. This will go away from Angle once there is even one more station to the South.

  2. Great video! It perfectly illustrates how obsurd this extension is. There is nowhere near the density aprropriate for this. Think of how much BRT and HOV infrastructure could have been built instead. ST has been corrupted by politians and does not focus enough on documented transit best practices. ST3 needs to fail and ST needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up.

    1. BRT, of sorts, was built: the A Line.

      We can’t turn the airport tarmac into TOD. Nor can we build right under the flight path, for some distance.

      There are people living east of the track, and lots of multi-story buildings going up.

      It is better to have transportation infrastructure in place where growth is expected than to wake up and realize we should have built it when retrofitting costs a fortune.

      1. As opposed to where growth already is? ST needs to be focused on improving transit where density has already occured. Sub area equity is a failure if it is used to over spend on grade sepatated transit where it wont be warranted for decades. We all need to be critical of STs funding decisions given our finite transit dollars.

      2. As fil says, building ahead is a wonderful luxury for a city that isn’t decades behind in its transit needs. Since we’re in the US, we are and building south right now is not the best investment of money.

    2. NO, actually this was a bargain segment for 1.6 miles of track, a garage and station for only $383m.
      Cheap at today’s cost at 142,000 per person to build.
      ST3 comes in at ten times that per person, so quit whining – this IS the low lying fruit.

      1. Mic, 383 million dollars for 1.6 miles of track in an area surrounded by parking lots, trailer parks and single family housing is obscene.

        Also, criticizing STs funding priorities is not whining. Think of all of the BRT improvements and expansion that could have been made for all of south king county. We all need to be critical of STs choices.

      2. The decision to send Link to S 200th/Angle Lake was made in 1996 and reaffirmed in 2008. That’s a lot of time since to get ST to change its mind and cancel a voter approved project. Too little, too late.

    3. Fil, the archives on 10th floor of the Downtown Seattle Library should verify extent to which Bellevue’s population density justified I-5 and I-405 on their respective Opening Days. Also, anybody remember when voting day was for ST-( 5+405?)

      Also pertinent that Seattle quickly got named “New York Alki, meaning “Pretty Soon!” to keep a whole ship-load of hysterically wailing passengers, and the Captain, from throwing themselves overboard at their first sight of the waterlogged Hell (well it is in some cultures!) they’d rounded Cape Horn for.

      In itself not exactly a day trip out of a marina. Also- in those days wasn’t every Square a Pioneer One?: “Goldurn it, this place ain’t got the population for one wagon rut, let alone two of ’em!” So Waterfront rebuild could use your presence, now that the guy in the suit and formaldehyde is gone.

      Mark

    4. The track is a block west of 99 and the camera was facing west, so it didn’t see the higher density s block away. For instance, the unfinished senior building, two hotels, two garden apartments, and Horizon Air offices within walking distance of the station.

    5. Don’t forget that this isn’t a terminus, but a stop on the way south to at least Des Moines. It’s needed for the line to go south

    6. For comparison, the entire bus corridor work (RapidRide+) that is part of Move Seattle cost less than 150 million dollars. That includes Madison. Even though that by no means is enough to do a great job on all those corridors, It should be obvious that those changes will make a bigger difference than this extension. My guess is there will be individual lines (Madison, 7, 44) that by itself will make a bigger difference than this.

      But, as mentioned, this was planned a long time ago. Also, as Bob said, the line is going even farther. I have no problem with extending it farther than the airport. The airport just isn’t a good terminus (so if you are going to out that far, you need to go farther). You want a huge transit center, so that buses that go along I-5 can connect with it. Lynnwood is a great example. So I would find the nearest available land for a suburban terminus and end it. 188th probably would have worked fine, and cost as much as this extension. Buses would continue to go back on forth on 99 (providing a connection to Link as well as directly to the airport) while suburban riders would have good feeder bus service to Link.

  3. The launch went pretty well, but the lack of food for the celebration was pretty disappointing. If the city of Seatac had been able to bring a few the local restaurants in to sell some food, more folks would have stayed around for lunch and might have had the opportunity to know the community better.

    Live and learn?

    1. I bet ST was overly frugal because of the BS over the U-Link opening. That being said, food trucks would have made sense (just let them in and let them charge what they feel like charging). Of course, that might have meant more security (and that costs more money).

    1. @Steve L,

      Wouldn’t it be great if Seattle could go it alone and leave the suburbs to stew in their own exhaust fumed car hell? Seattle would leave the rest of the region in the economic dust.

      But the powers that be at the state level won’t give Seattle the freedom to go forward on our own, because they know we would, and that idea scares them to death.

      1. Seattle and the ‘burbs are very closely economically interdependent. The ‘burbs are a large majority of the urbanized population and land area and essentially none of the urban land is going back to agriculture any time soon.

        A region bifurcated by transportation mode wouldn’t serve anyone. Here’s where I’m from: people that live in Chicago neighborhoods with excellent transit service and expensive/inconvenient residential parking may choose not to own cars, but if they do, significant parts of the region might as well be Indianapolis for how long it would take to get there; this can take a bite out of economic opportunity for people that can’t afford cars (or families that can’t afford another car). Seattle manages to do a little better on this, if only because it’s physically smaller…

        And there’s this other thing about the sustainability of interdependent places: if we’re not sustainable together we’re not sustainable alone. Could a city be called sustainable based on its environmental impact alone if an enormous number of people commuted across its borders every day, and if the city’s zoning and planning made such flows inevitable? Or would we have to consider the impact of these neighboring towns? Could a region be called sustainable based in its impact alone if it imported an enormous quantity of goods from other places, and if it did not have a large or complete enough industrial capacity to produce the goods it needed? Or would we have to consider the impact of its trading partners?

      2. Yes, sarcastic. But only partially so. There definitely is a fear of letting Seattle go it alone. And that fear exists for a variety of reason.

    2. Come see a station in the middle of south King County, where 800,000 people live, or more than Seattle. TIB is at the edge of south King, the way UW station is barely at the edge of north Seattle. Angle Lake Station makes Link significantly more accessible, which is why people down there have been clamoring for it.

      1. The station is also in Washington State, which means it actually serves 7 million people! Wait, it is also on the West Coast — holy cow — about 50 million people might benefit from this station!

        Sorry, but few from Auburn will ever use this station, just as few from Yakima will use the Capitol Hill station, even though it is within the same area. Density matters. Proximity matters. This is not close to anything resembling the population density to make it worthwhile. Oh, it will be used, as it makes for a great airport park and ride if you are flying to Portland or California for the day. But to imply that it will make a significant difference in the transit mobility of 800,000 people (or even a significant subset) is ridiculous.

  4. Unlike U-link, it will probably take several months if not a few years to grow ridership. I think that park-and-ride users change commuting habits much slower than students or pedestrians.

    Observers will need to be patient. After all, Lunk was considered a failure in 2010, and by 2015 demand doubled. Then U-link opened and it’s overflowing!

    Parking garage space counters displayed on northbound I-5 and SR 99 before the station exit would probably speed up use faster.

    1. It will take two days for riders to fill up the P&R. There has been pent-up demand for years. People actually drive from Federal Way and Auburn to TIB, or at least they did until yesterday.

      1. I have no doubt that people will use Angle Lake Station in the short term, as people attending events in downtown Seattle who don’t want to pay for parking will drive to it from as far away as Olympia, even Portland. The question is will anyone continue to use Angle Lake after the next station further south gets built.

    2. >> Then U-link opened and it’s overflowing!

      Uh, yeah. Everyone said it would. Once Metro eliminated transit alternatives (by killing the 71/72/73 to downtown) it was easy to guess the numbers. But even before then, it was bound to do fairly well. Density, proximity, all day demand, all day speed advantage over alternatives — it has it all.

      This doesn’t. It is a low density area. In the middle of the day it is faster to drive. The only close destination is SeaTac. Oh, to be clear, I expect the park and ride to be full most days. It makes for a great option if you fly to Portland or California every day (and lots of people do). Workers in SeaTac proper will also take advantage. There will be some who make the trip all the way to downtown of course, which will fill up that lot in no time.

      It is hard to imagine the area transforming into a huge residential area, either. Rainier Beach still isn’t booming, despite a trip to downtown being half the time (and having much better transit overall). I don’t think being right next to an airport really increases your property values. The only growth that is likely to happen is the type that typically happens next to airports. Motels, hotels and meeting space.

      I’m with asdf2. As a suburban terminus, the park and ride will be full, and that will drive ridership. But without anything else, it will fade once Link goes farther south.

  5. Today in JoeWorld is “Official Sound Transit Seahawks Beat Anti Transit Forty Whiners Day” (unless Martin H. Duke says otherwise and he’s the Skipper). It’s like “Go NAVY, Beat ARMY” Day and of course GO NAVY, BEAT COER.

    Ex plainer given, I think we should tease the heck out of the trolls and call them Forty Whiners. The contempt I have for the NoSoundTransit3 carnival of a campaign knows few bounds.

    I mean Todd E Herman should be equated to Blaine Gabbert… Ric Illgenfritz to Michael Bennett… and yes, Sound Transit already has an honorary Richard Sherman mouth and you can hear him talk and designate the Russell Wilson of Sound Transit here: https://youtu.be/JubD32eHqbs?t=1m33s .

    Yeah, I’m angry at the dirty play and flopping of our opposition. So angry I have to strive to be funny for the good of the order.

    1. Flopping? I see it all the time in soccer. Now it’s found its way into college football. (OMG that was terrible acting.) But the ST3 debate? I’ve seen forced outrage, Goldilocks position-changing, fake support for transit alternatives, but, um, flopping? Where?

  6. OK, on to more serious matters than a football game. Thanks to the archives of this blog ( https://seattletransitblog.com/2016/07/07/amtrak-cascades-looks-toward-2017/ ) – the world’s best transit blog, I’m right now reading the Amtrak Cascades Station Stop Policy.

    Apparently any new stop will add on average five minutes. So let me ask all of you a serious question: If it was only another five minutes for Amtrak Cascades to stop in Mukilteo to serve Paine Field’s museums, Whidbey Island and Mukilteo that going to be a huge problem?

    1. Amtrak should be intercity passenger rail, not local transit. It should be up to the local transit providers to connect places like Whidbey Island to the passenger rail. It’s not Amtrak’s role to provide that service.

      1. True that all of you. But I think this stop at Mukilteo should be Amtrak Cascades-only to serve the ferry terminal to the north and Mukilteo-Paine Field tourism to the south. Not the national routes, just the WSDOT & ODOT funded Amtrak route.

        After all, there are Amtrak Cascades stops in Edmonds & Stanwood. I’m like… what the??? The ridership for Stanwood – a ho-hum community – is amongst the lowest in Amtrak Cascades for a 2-5 minute delay. After all Stanwood has a little market unlike Mukilteo. Oh and Mukilteo already has a train station all built out.

        Problem is, as regular STB readers know, the Stanwood stop was perceptively an earmark by the former Chair of the State Senate Transportation Committee and when the State Senate flipped four years ago this blog endorsed her challenger. A fact I’ve reminded folks of from time to time comes with shared responsibilities to & from the North by Northwest part of our state.

        That said, I am making initial contact with WSDOT and Mukilteo leaders about this new effort. It looks to be a long-haul kind of thing that is going to require somebody NOT named Joe take this and run with it. I think I know just the soul… and 2017 is a Mukilteo election year!

        Oh and part of the problem too is this GuyOnBeaconHill – as to “local transit providers”, there’s a circuitous weekend transit link from Mukilteo back to Everett Station. Try an hour on two buses. Everett Transit runs a direct 22 minute Route 18 ( http://everetttransit.org/195/Route-18 ) only Monday-Friday, but according to a staffer I consider a close friend Everett Transit won’t be expanding bus service hours much until after their new Maintenance & Operating bay is built (which is a necessity).

        Let me put it this way: The big airshows at Paine Field (e.g. Vintage Aircraft Weekend, Skyfair, Paine Field Aviation Day) they go until 5, 5:30. I have to catch a 7:45 PM train at Everett Station. I won’t have dinner in Mukilteo and risk missing my one ride back to Skagit, I’d rather have a bite to eat along the way and much closer to Everett Station (just-in-case I fall off schedule sufficiently to require a Lyft). Now if I could just wait in Mukilteo for the train home, I’d just eat in Mukilteo – quite a few good restaurants. Why should Everett get almost $2 of my $20 dinner when all Everett did was have a decent restaurant within walking distance the only transit node I’ve got on the weekends to get back to Skagit?

        Furthermore, when Island Transit gets some Saturday service back the demand for a Whidbey link to Amtrak Cascades will only expand not contract. Already Whidbey is demanding the 144-car MV Suquamish be assigned to Mukilteo-Clinton, so there. There’s quite the potential new market versus… Stanwood.

      2. Stanwood and Tukwila are reasons we should not have a Mukilteo station: we’re getting station creep. Edmonds has been part of Cascades since it started so I won’t question that decision, although I do wonder why Edmonds. We should delete the Stanwood station and move Tukwila to Auburn or Kent where the station is actually at a city center and halfway between Seattle and Tacoma.

    2. I’m amazed at how no Western states try to forge stronger relationships between ferries and intercity rail – as both operate at 90-minute to 4-hour headways, both are more accommodating of luggage and periodic travel, and both usually serve distances of over 15-20 miles.

      I’ve met Kitsap ferry riders on Link going to or from SeaTac. They comment how it’s not hard to do but that there isn’t much effort to integrate the two modes.

      1. For the once a day when their schedules happen to coincide? But if one is late, blammo, you’ve missed the other one.

  7. Thanks, David. Would be good, though, if the SR70’s could be specked out with a wide front window ahead of the passenger compartment. And meantime, standing orders in The Book that drivers leave that shade up. Tempted to vote no on ST3 if we’re denied world-class view we’re paying for.

    But first frame caught the reason that longest I ever again spend at Angle Lake station will be dwell time on the way to Highline Community college.

    Unless that white building in the scenery either becomes a hospital, gets converted to a Transit-Oriented Morgue (TOM) like Mumbai has, or contains only every single bank CEO that caused the crash of 2008.

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/christmas-in-prison/Content?oid=15565849

    My first week here in Olympia, met a lady in camo and desert boots in my apartment complex. I asked her if she was stationed here for the defense of Olympia? Answer: “Frankly, I don’t think Olympia would want to be defended!”

    As story here accurately shows, there’s no lack of courage in the sweetest of them. First month: Was kidding my barista about how he’d kill me with his porta-filter (average lead pipe less deadly) for bugging him about getting my coffee short enough (no jury in Olympia will convict), I got called aside by his lady cohort.

    “Don’t you ever say that again in here! Even for a joke, violence makes me sick!” When I told the young man next day, He blew up. “She can’t interfere with your freedom of speech!” People who’ll fight for contradictory rights deserve to have somebody to claim emergency powers to defend them like it or not.

    Wish my parents had let me stay in Texas longer than the six months after I was born, because these young people need somebody on their side of the type who’ll tell you not to mess with their home territory while you dig yourself off the corral floor.

    Yeah, my taxes paid for those Court-house windows too, and whoever broke them- whose identity the marshals knew-should’ve had to sweep up the glass so no custodian would get cut. No need to fine any banker. Just sneak up and grab one percent of his tip off the satin tablecloth, and you can glass in the new World Trade Center.

    Ok. Can’t endure not to having something edible five minutes from the Airport, especially Mediterranean. But better appetite if LINK gets renamed “The Midnight Special”, because a lot of legendary escapes on it. Also, since Jimmy Dean’s got TM on “LINK”, 200th Street should be “Makanek.” And next station, “Chorizo.”

    Mark

    BTW, Mic, thanks for the Shout Out on this one this last May. Though more likely the drones that break most of our train windshields will be the ones that get away from the camera-store kids demonstrating them at closest mall.

    1. Not to worry mi amigo. Drones hitting an airliner have happened and it’s not pretty what happens. I feel sorry for the drone that strikes a bus or rail windshield where speeds can get up to Mach .04. I had a truck carrying a load of pipe sticking off the backend decide he couldn’t make the right turn corner, so decided to back up 20 feet and take another shot at it. Unfortunately for me, my windshield was only 15 feet behind the pipe. Now that’s more scary than a drone and it happens in slow motion. I departed the cab and took an isle seat.
      That shouldn’t be a problem on the elevated sections.

      1. The truck driver’s accident report would’ve made some great reading. Seriously, good you didn’t get hurt. Worst traumatic stress with close calls for me, and I never had one that dangerous, was realizing a week or so later how bad that one could have been. But even worse, all the other things that could happen.

        After awhile, if I really thought about these possibilities, I’d never take a coach out of the yard. But after awhile, and then for the rest of my driving days, every worry and problem just dropped away when I clicked the switch into “Forward”, pushed the e-brake button off, and started rolling down the lane.

        Only real periods of debilitating distress had to do with any motion toward the supervisors’ window. Glad I never went to supervision, or wanted to. Driving was what I did. Also, from experience elsewhere, hated having to enforce somebody else’s rules.

        Hate drones, and idea of automatic cars, because like Social Media and Twitter, something persistently for-profit now infests my world, and I can’t find an exterminator.

        Every time I go online to find one, one more crime story starting with what the criminal already admitted on Twitter before he killed the guy. And another jetliner crash- remember all those airliners a half-second dive from LINK because the pilot was chasing Pokemons. Or are they “Pokemon Go’s?”

        Ok, percentage of the world’s population, and its every single head of state. Somehow the Day of Infamy would have been lot more dreadful if Franklin Roosevelt had taken the podium, pulled his iPhone (would have been the size of a cupboard with vacuum tubes) and declared:
        OMG!

        So I’ll put up with the spying and the stampeding cattle- just so their owner invariably shoots the damn thing down- on one condition. Don’t do it ’til we get a Constitutional Amendment making the Bill of Rights jump from amendments 3 straight to six. Should keep right wing state legislators busy enough they don’t declare a convention to get all ten of them.

        Great video showing a girl monkey demolishing a drone with a stick. Fact they only screech and not talk might actually indicate that evolution reversed when an unstable breed of monkey lost its tail and most of its fur.

        Mark

      2. I was safe, but the farebox took a beating. I wonder if a self driving bus could have done any better.
        Program: If speed = 0, plus pipe moving negative velocity, then gear = reverse, If distance keeps getting closer, then apply power, then … Oh, shit, RUN.

  8. Last time I used the 594 to Tacoma it was so bogged down in congestion just trying to get off the highway. I really can’t understand those fighting to save the 59x buses and kill ST3; buses have absolutely no respect or priority from WSDOT and I doubt their schedule matches reality 80% of the time. I was a skeptic on Link to Tacoma but my limited experience on the 590s really makes it seem a very high priority.

    1. I will never get the reasoning of keeping the buses here in the South End, as there’s no real benefit I see compared to light rail. I ride the 574 and 590/594 expresses occasionally and I find them to really unreliable in terms of arriving on time for pickup. Even midway I’ve seen them arrive 15-20 minutes laters than scheduled time at TDS. What I think people tend to forget in the conversation about the Tacoma/Fife Link Extension is that it does not only serve Seattle. It also serves Fife, Federal Way, Des Moines, and SeaTac. Which can be a literal pain to commute to during rush and even during non-rush times.

      1. Wonder if there are stats anywhere as to how fast we could get LINK to Tacoma if we had enough money. Which is probably about a tenth of a justified and well-run war, let the alone kind we’ve been permanently in since last I watched Lyndon Johnson go on TV get us into the Viet Nam one.

        Or also, if the President and Congress finally declare a disabled Federal highway to be the national emergency it is, and have the Army, which will have to go airborne out of JBLM, go public and Twitter the driving public to put one lane to buses, or they’ll pave the necessary transit lane with bulldozed cars. Which reserve it more effectively than a diamond-studded paint stripe.l

        Whichever is faster. Though maybe we could do the second one ’til we get LINK finished. Also, have been thinking about attaching Tacoma LINK to south end of the Spine Line. The interurbans, being very large powerful streetcars, often had same train do General Traffic street to fast cross country running.

        But it’d be a waste of operating time to have the SR70’s stuck in traffic out 6th, no matter how may great caffe’s there are out there.

        Mark

  9. The Northgate Link extension brochure has the following travel times:
    Northgate to downtown: 14 minutes
    Northgate to UW: 7 minutes
    U-District to downtown Bellevue: 32 minutes
    Roosevelt to SeaTac: 44 minutes
    Northgate to Stadium: 20 minutes

  10. Hypothetical: ST is given $100 billion dollars worth of money by a multibillionaire’s will tax free. ST then promptly cancels ST3 and asks you to design a transit plan with that money. The only limitation you have is the money must be divided according to the subareas’ population. ST has no additional powers beyond what they have now.

    1. Given the subarea equity, I would keep all the proposed projects but improve the alignments and maybe move a few stations around. These are the corridors politicians, staff, and the public have advocated.

      With extra money, I’d add Ballard to Bellevue over 520, Burien to Renton, and extend the spine to Tacoma Mall and Everett CC, unless Tacoma is interested in big boy Link going into downtown rather than the Tacoma streetcar. Build out all day Sounder Service. Any money left over would go to improving bus corridors, especially getting more true BRT within seattle. Something like a center running E-Line could be a nice marquee project.

      Zero interest in the Metro 8 Line – the Ballard line’s stations + Madison BRT fully cover the relevant walksheds.
      I’m open to truncating the Ballard line at smith Cove if D line can be full BRT north of there… with $100B we can replace Ballard and Montlake bridges with a bridge with bus lanes

      1. Oh, and execute Zach’s compromise plan to give Kirkland downtown a station, perhaps underground, and ditch the 85th st station. Improve 405 brt stations to maximize time in the HOT lanes, hopefully 100%

      2. And South King really must move Link back to 99. With its low income and high population, it really needs more housing within walking distance of Link. And Des Moines’ insistence on saving the land for strip mallls and car dealerships isn’t going to fly.

    2. Note that this is a different kind of subaraa equity: by population rather than tax contributions. This would shift the emphasis outward a bit, away from the high-paying Seattle and Bellevue jobs and their preferred residences, and toward the poorer but still high-population areas like South King County (800,000). North King is slightly below South King (750,000). Pierce and Snohomish counties have about the same population as South King but I don’t know how much of that is in the ST district. The biggest loser would be East King, which has a lot of money due to its tax wealth but by my estimate has only 450,000 people. Snohomish would also lose out somewhat because Marysville, Highway 9, and Monroe are outside the ST district but inside the county; while the corresponding parts of Pierce are in.

      Then there’s the ST board, They wouldn’t ask me to design it because they’re the ones that chose the current plan, and it wasn’t because of tax money vs philanthropy, it was because those city mayors and county councils think it’s the best. So they might stipulate that the ST3 corridors must keep the same level of service at minimum.

      So if I were designing it, I’d assume North King gets 80% more money. I’d keep the second tunnel, and keep it light rail or similar (e.g., driverless trains). Driverless requires putting MLK in a trench, done; speed raised to 55 mph. Add likes 45th (Ballard-Children’s), Metro 8 (Uptown-CD), Lake City (from Roosevelt, Northgate or 130th to Lake Forest Park. Bothell extension dependent on East King. Overlay ST’s 522 BRT in the meantime.) I’m too exhausted from the ST3 debates to outline exact alignments, so let’s just say there may be minor variations from ST’s. Ballard is OK; I don’t feel strongly about moving it from SLU to Belltown. West Seattle should be straightened out: south from Alaska Junction to Westwood Village, none of this ferry terminal nonsense. (A 10-minute train for an hourly boat? Give them a timed shuttle bus.)

      South King gets a 110% increase. Pursue that railroad ownership swap: get the state to convince BNSF to sell its track to the state for passenger rail and use the UP track for freight. Then we can have half-hourly Sounder and Kent and Auburn will be taken care of. If that doesn’t work, try to get half-hourly Sounder anyway. But it may not be enough money for BNSF’s shareholders so we’ll just have to improve Sounder as much as we can. Secondarily keep the Link extension, and thirdly look at a rail line from Raineir Bach to Renton and Kent. Burien-Renton can wait a little longer.

      East King would not get much of an increase. Increase 405 BRT to the multi-line alternative in the study and give it good stations. Oh, but those toll lanes have SOVs in them. We don’t have the state’s authority to kick them out so let’s leave that. That Issaquh line could go either way: I’m not enamored of it but it would be a huge fight to delete it. Why not extend it to the Issaquah Higlands, which we’d do eventually.

      Snohomish would only get a modest increase, maybe 40%. Since I’m czar I decree Sounder North will be canceled. Put the money into the Link line and feeders from Edmonds and Mukilteo. The Paine Field detour bothers me but not a huge amount. Build all the remaining Swift lines and extend Swift II to Bothell. Study local rail corridors in Lynnwood and Everett, on condition Everett run it through the most developable areas (Broadway or Evergreen Way) and upzone them.

      Pierce would get a larger increase than Snohomish. Put some into Sounder. Put more into the Tacoma Link lines, on condition that Tacoma allow them to have minimum 90% exclusive lanes and signal priority. If that means taking out parking lanes, Tacoma can worry about replacing them with off-street parking.

    3. I wouldn’t spend billions more without first doing a systems study. A big problem with ST3 is that it was based on corridors stated in ST2.

      We need to now plan our upcoming rail investments looking at systems issues, overcrowding, load and frequency balancing, travel markets, land use policies, BRT integration, local operator needs and driverless technology influences. Just declaring what corridors should be next is the wrong way to plan at this point.

  11. Opinions on the new mock ups for Sound Transit’s new trains released a couple days ago.. As they do look roomier and spacious and do seem to address a good amount of the criticisms our current set has.

    1. I do like the overall graphics design and certainly having next-stop announcements the way we were promised is nice. It’s nice to know 2-3 stops ahead and what & where they are – as the light rail spreads out, navigation of the system will be a challenge.

      I do though hope that a group of registered ORCA Card holders – especially now that we know Sound Transit has our e-mails – will be invited to come down to Sound Transit HQ and give input to the agency. Some of us are concerned about bikes, I’m concerned about good seating and with Spine Destiny I want seats that one feels comfortable riding in for 60+ minutes. Oh and a lavatory would be nice! I really think the riders who pay a fare and the hard-core fans who have supported this agency need to be more… embraced by Sound Transit HQ.

  12. The TIBS to Angle Lake segment is the most visually fun segment of Link. I’m not sure any other rapid transit line in North America has such a close up and clear view of airside operations. It’s a really cool (fast and without narration) tour of Sea-Tac. Plus, does ALS have the most epic view of any metro station anywhere in the world? Volcanoes, fjords, craggy mountains are all within easy eyeshot.

    1. Our resident aviation photographer will have to take a look the next time he visits the Museum of Flight (now a frequent bus away weekdays and Saturdays on the 124). It may have the most active view of flight operations if the SFO, JFK, and London Gatwick shuttle trains don’t. But VTA light rail in San Jose goes through Lockheed Martin and NASA, and while it was an empty Saturday when I went through there may be something happening during the week.

  13. To address earlier criticisms that the Angle lake Station is suburban hell on a cracker… I have 2 friends, one who lives in Ballard, works at Alaska air and started commuting with Link and a bike when UW opened, he is super stoked as now his commute doesn’t including riding his bike out of the airport area. My other buddy is the head entomologist for a meal worm farm in one of the light industrial areas down there, he lives on Beacon Hill and is not going to drive anymore now.
    Me? I’m thinking of moving my woodshop down there now cause light industrial rents are cheaper than in North Seattle where I am now., so there are three possible reverse commutes

    1. A few hotels are likely to be built near the station as well, cutting down on the cost of staying in Seattle. Not the most ideal TOD, but better than parking lots and storage units.

    2. The hotels near the airport host a lot of minor conventions. I’ve been to a few sci-fi/horror conventions down there. People were definitely riding light rail down from Capitol Hill for the conventions I attended this summer. The SeaTac stop itself is most convenient for those.

      For the new station it’s also adjacent to the immigration detention center. It’s a 500-person prison which must generate some traffic in employees, lawyers, and visitors. It’s a shame the Homeland Security building is so far north of the TIB station.

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