73 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: The Opportunity of a Generation”

  1. I wonder how many transit supporters hate this format as much as I do. The tone of the whole thing is elevator music on prozac, and not just the background melody. Which makes people rip the ceilings out of stalled elevators, though this has been covered up by whoever does PR for LINK’s elevator contractors.

    And representing a giant civil engineering project as colored lines and dots begs like a dog for a powerfully accurate response from an opponent who is also a civil engineer. Within Seattle transit history, Jackson Street used to be the north shore of a lagoon.

    It’s also misleading to imply that previous efforts suffered only from lack of vision. More likely that for the cost and difficulty, the place has never been either rich or unbearably crowded enough for people to demand what’s asked.

    A PBS documentary on the New York subways noted that by 1900, nobody could walk up Broadway at rush hour. Starting about five years ago, our whole freeway and arterial system is rapidly creating the same condition as pre-subway Broadway.

    So finally, History is with us. People endure danger and death easier than Force 10 aggravation. One motivation we’re missing, though. If we still had horse-drawn freight, people would already be demanding shovels to dig the whole system for free.

    So, in return for horse-stable-cars on LINK, a lot of stylish young women of good posture will be glad to get Seattle Subways a historically winning campaign. Paid for by their parents, who will be unaware of their daughters’ complicity in the real future of their Trail.

    The Mircobrewing community can also find Historic Preservation mandates for their ages old motive power. Whose ORGANtm byproducts can also generate methane for traction power.

    Mark Dublin

      1. You’re right, Brent. Overkill. Was really trying to bait the opposition into making this one the background for all their commercials.


        Theme being that only thing worse than ST-3 is when it rises from the dead to drain the highway funding from the even deader.

        Great plan for Theater District Station in Tacoma, though. Wonder if Moscow Metro is still being kept up, or if Vladimir’s now got special lanes for limousines with endangered-fox-fur seats.

        Some things Mankind was never meant to know, right?


    1. Two mistakes in the video. ST3 would postpone Kent Link by a year to open simultaneously with Federal Way in 2024. And in the year-shrinking hammer timeline, Issaquah is spelled -qauh.

      1. As the maker of the video, oops. I tried to be as accurate as possible but apparently made an error or two. I also forgot to put in Pacific BRT in Tacoma.

        You’re the first and only person to mention that typo. Enjoy your train to Issaqauh.

      2. Adam, great video. Love the animations – they are simple and informative, yet don’t get in the way of the message by making you focus on lots of text.

  2. Incidentally, trademark I meant is the understood l one on my food co-op’s groceries, not a notorious and shamefully under- mentioned industry of the country that hosted Richard Nixon its first visiting US President.


  3. I mailed my ballot and i voted NO. Light rail to Everett is wrong. Light rail to Issaquah is wrong. A second downtown transit tunnel is wrong. Almost 20 years for rail to ballard and w seattle is wrong. Vote NO. ST can and will do better next time.

      1. Well said Brent. I have NEVER opposed Ballard & West Seattle light rail and I never will.

        Why some who support those projects oppose light rail to Everett is dirtbag ignorance of subarea equity. Ditto those who pit Everett against Seattle. We are ONE state and we need to come together.

      2. I disagree. Not persuing light rail to the exurbs would free up money to build what is appropriate sooner.

      3. I am so glad that ignorance like yours is allowed to gleefully walk among those who did the hard work and grasped what this prop is about.

        You just voted against trail to Ballard. Good job, buddy!

      4. Sub area equity has run its course. Time for seattle to go it alone. A second downtown tunnel is the most technically risky part of ST3 and is not needed. Funding the tunnel holds up the completion date for ballard and west seattle by a decade.

      5. If Fil wants to ruin subarea equity, OK then Seattle can with its businesses write much bigger checks to WSDOT Transit Grants to fund regional mobility to/from jobs. I am very critical of that approach instead of the Sound Transit Seahawks approach!

        #GoHawks #GoST3

      6. Fil wising away subarea equity doesn’t make it go away. The suburbs are 2/3 to 3/4 of the voters., and they want something they can use. Seattle going it alone requires sufficient tax authority from the legislature: are you going to lobby Olympia? How will you convince legislators from Snohomish County and Clark County to allow Seattle to fund its own rail network? Do you think they’re urbanist-enlightened?

      7. Maybe after ST3 buildout I’d support going away from subarea equity and letting subareas set their own tax rates. Maybe.

        But ST3 is key towards getting to a point for Seattle to have great commuter connections, then be allowed to break away and build out the Seattle Subway dream.

    1. The second downtown transit tunnel being wrong is a little bit silly (no offense)- all the alternative plans that have been discussed (like the peanut butter plan) involve building a second bus or rail tunnel in downtown Seattle. We need it, if only to serve buses or trains from West Seattle and Ballard.

      1. I disagree. What we should be voting on is driverless elevated light rail from ballard and ending at westlake, replacing the monorail , and with a maintanance base in interbay. West seattle should get a light rail spur from the junction to sodo. Thats all the light rail we need right now. The rest should be BRT and more HOV lanes.

      2. That doesn’t make sense in response to the posts about the tunnel above, because the second tunnel is still needed for all the buses that go downtown, as all the alternatives to ST3 state. And BRT can’t handle as many people as light rail can.

      3. So you would vote down a system that has a chance for a system that is not on anybody’s ballot and may never see the light of day? We tried the monrail. The 2nd Avenue businesses didn’t want it running by their windows and the stanchions taking their car lanes and they tried to kill it four times and the last time they succeded.

      1. Sorry Joe. I dissagree. Sno Co needs BRT and more HOV lanes, not light rail. By the way, i would be for real commuter rail in the i-5 ROW from marysville to downtown seattle (with stops in everett and lynwood).

      2. We already have the HOV lanes, which move a whopping minute faster than the general purpose lanes in typical AM rush traffic. Unless you kick out the carpools and make it bus-only (a political impossibility), there is no improvement to be found there.

        Snohomish County does need more BRT, in the form of Swift lines that feed into a light rail trunk. That light rail trunk cannot end at Lynnwood TC, nor can it end halfway at Ash Way or Mariner. It must go all the way to Downtown Everett, either via Paine Field or SR 99 or I-5. Downtown Everett still remains the center of the county, and requiring more than 2 transfers to reach it is a non-starter.

        Real commuter rail on I-5 like you’re dreaming of simply cannot be done without massive amounts of capital…equaling the entire ST3 plan rather than just the Snohomish County contribution of $9 billion overall. The I-5 right-of-way is not good for half-assed rail, given that it bypasses Downtown Everett and takes some major grade differences (especially between Everett Mall and Downtown Everett, where a steep cliff is pretty much the median), requiring a lot of costly engineering in the form of tunnels and elevated structures (also a non-starter) that would be better used on light rail.

      3. Thank you Bruce. FIL needs to quit saying anything he can think of to help Todd E Herman, Dori Monson, the Arizona Cardinals, that Goldman Sachs guy on the Pierce ST3 debate and Alex Tsimerman defeat the Sound Transit Seahawks. Light rail IS cool, relevant and sexy.

      4. Personally, I think LRT to Everett is silly. High speed rail? Yes. But not light rail. Though as Bruce pointed out, it’s not going to happen.

        That being said, Joe’s right. This is what the people of Snohomish want. Unless you live there or would take this train, I think you should vote based on the parts of ST3 that you’ll actually be using. I’m voting no based on the projects where I live – East King (namely, Issaquah Link). But I’m not voting no based on what is or is not being done in Snohomish since I expect to use it very rarely, if ever, and I won’t be paying for it anyway.

      5. Thanks Joe. I was at that meeting. A handful of opponents tried to accost supporters but they were out numbered.

    2. Fil, I think that by the time LINK gets to Everett and Tacoma, the regional line you’re proposing will likely be in design engineering, if not under construction or carrying passengers.

      You could look at ST-3’s LINK like the SR99 of decades past. The main north-south corridor of the region. Which like other roads of its type and kind became still necessary arteries to assist a larger and much faster system.

      Worse than the certainty and intensity of complete blockage of our freeways is its extending length. Everett and Tacoma today, the northern suburbs of Vancouver BC and the southern suburbs of Portland tomorrow.

      Meantime, though, you really need to go ride, look, and think about would be physically involved in terminals at Westlake and SODO. Longer distance, HOV means SUDDENLY BLOCKED BY ANYTHING.

      And as to substituting fastest buses possible for trains, draw a line of six rectangles representing buses, and also your guess as to safe following distance at 60 mph.
      And then think how many passengers a train could carry in the empty spaces safety necessitates for fast moving buses.

      I’m being dead serious about what I’m going to say next. If it’s at all possible, if you’re as serious about transit planning and politics as you seem to be, Metro needs everybody it can get. And critical for you:

      This region’s transit next system is at the exact same phase of development as the present one was in 1982, when I started driving.

      Within two years, some fellow union members and I were seated on an advisory committee whose presence made the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel work at all, let alone so easily transition into the rapid transit system it became when UW Station opened.

      Or- put in every mile you can riding the transit we have, every mode. Also, every other system you can get to. Portland and Vancouver BC are day trips. San Francisco isn’t that far. Containing everything hard about transit anywhere, except less chance of getting killed than driving some harder-working systems overseas.

      But thing you’ll like best: All the grief you presently have to take from other commenters. When self-identified drivers start telling you when you’re wrong, you’ll know you’re finally in your chosen league.

      Good luck.

      Mark Dublin

    3. I think sub-area equity should be increased.

      Expand it to include state highway funds state-wide.

      Hey, if it is a good idea for Puget Sound transit then it must certainly be a good idea for highways.

      1. Yeah, I think it’s time for some serious pushback on subarea equity. Silly ideas like this aren’t applied to many tax schemes. Here’s an idea, let’s apply subarea equity to all tax programs – period! I don’t think most readers of this blog disagree that poor states should receive more in assistance from their fellow tax payers than rich ones. That is where the need is. Well, Seattle is where the greatest transit need is. And it’s the job of our elected officials to redistribute resources according to need. Issaquah, population 35,000, does not need rail, just as Seattle does not need as many Medicaid dollars per capita as Marysville.

        Can we end the suburban tyranny already?


      2. huskytbone;

        Subarea equity means money stays where its collected.

        It’s how Rep. Farel justified taking Sound Transit money to pay for public education.

        It’s what is only fair in keeping Sound Transit together.

        Now once we in the North by Northwest & South get our shared spine, OK… if Seattle wants to keep the tax rates to build out Seattle Subway, great. If some outside of Seattle want to quit building rail, ok. But we were promised this spine for 20 years and told, “If you trust and back Sound Transit we will be able to deliver quality transit.” Worked great for Seattle. Why not the rest of us FIL? huskytbone?

    4. How is it wrong to build what is effectively a light-rail-as-commuter-rail along the corridors where the heaviest and most unreliable highway traffic is???

      Commuters won’t use it if they have to drive far on the congested highway to get to it or take a bus NON-rapid transit to get to it. To attract riders and decrease the number of cars commuting in to Town (e.g., most traffic on the road IN SEATTLE during peak hours), you do kind of need transit to be an actual viable time effective alternative option.

      1. But, but, but, those seeing gridlock [Pick from the following] north of Lynnwood, south of Des Moines, east of Microsoft, east of Bellevue, on the West Seattle Bridge, and in Interbay are only imagining. It would be silly to build something that rides right over free-moving freeways!

        The only real congestion is [pick a random napkin alternative that you drive on]. What should be on the ballot is [napkin map I made up].

      2. Brent – I’m looking at southbound traffic between Everett and Lynnwood right now on Google and WSDOT. It’s free-flowing even in the general-purpose lanes; Google says it’s taking 19 minutes. And that’s at the tail end of AM rush hour.

        Where is this congestion? When is it? I’ve heard about it from multiple sources, but I’ve never seen it myself except during severe weather.

      3. I’ve been checking periodically, and the backup near Northgate (which will be fixed by ST2) is already starting, but Lynnwood-Everett is still totally fine at 20 minutes in the GP lanes… Where’s that traffic?

    5. Connecting Tacoma and Everett to Seattle has been Pierce’s and Snohomish’s #1 goal since Sound Transit was created in the 1990s, and is why they supported Sound Transit’s creation in the first place. Pierce has been saving up money since ST1 for the Link extension, which couldn’t be built until Federal Way was. South King’s #1 goal was Link to SeaTac and Federal Way. South King is more muted this round because it’s closer to completion. After Tacoma and Everett are approved, it’s unclear how well the subarea coalition will hold; whether they will want the same proportion of investments at the same time enough to support a joint vote a common tax rate (as a single tax district requires).

  4. Found these system plans for alternate versions of Sound Transit if history had gone differently (they are NOT mine, just something I found on another website). What do people think of them?

    Plan 1:


    Seattle, 2015

    Light Rail: Seattle’s Central Link is currently the only Light Rail line the Seattle Metro Area, but it’s a monster of a line, carrying over 175,000 passengers daily and having a ridership per mile second only to Boston’s Green Line. The line is unusual among Light Rail systems for several reasons, among them it’s use of 1500 V DC (As opposed to the more common 600 and 750 V DC), and it’s rather extensive grade separation (The segment north of the downtown has no grade crossings and the segment south of the downtown is completely separate from traffic crossings for about 2/3rds of it’s length). The starter line between Westlake and S/154th st opened in June 2008 with the segment to Sea Tac Intl Airport opened in December 2008. Following this the Segment to South 200th st opened in September 2010, the segment to the University of Washington opened in November 2012 and the most recent opened in May 2014. Stations are as follows (North to South):

    -Northgate Mall (opened May 2014)
    -Ravenna (opened May 2014)
    -Roosevelt (opened May 2014)
    -Brooklyn (opened May 2014)
    -University of Washington (opened November 2012)
    -Volunteer Park (opened November 2012)
    -Capitol Hill (opened November 2012)
    -First Hill (opened November 2012)
    -Westlake (opened September 1990, Light Rail started operating June 2008)
    -University St (opened September 1990, Light Rail started operating June 2008)
    -Pioneer Square (opened September 1990, Light Rail started operating June 2008)
    -International District (opened September 1990, Light Rail started operating June 2008)
    -Stadium (opened June 2008)
    -SoDo (opened June 2008)
    -Beacon Hill (opened June 2008)
    -Mt Baker (opened June 2008)
    -Columbia City (opened June 2008)
    -Graham (opened June 2008)
    -Othello (opened June 2008)
    -Rainier Beach (opened June 2008)
    -Boeing Acess Rd (opened June 2008)
    -Tukwila/S 154th St (opened June 2008)
    -SeaTac International Airport (opened December 2008)
    -S 200th st (opened September 2010)

    Currently there are several extension under construction, among them extensions east over I-90 to Bellevue and Redmond, North up I-5 to Lynwood, and South down I-5 to Tacoma. Currently service operates with 4-car train sets, but all stations have been designed to allow for future expansion to 6-car trains.

    Commuter Rail: Seattle Currently has three commuter rail lines, known as Sounder North, Sounder South, and Sounder East. The three lines combine for about 65,000 riders daily, with Sounder South being the most heavily patronized of the three lines. Sounder South and Sounder North use Bombardier Bi-Level coaches of the same design used on toronto’s suburban GO train services, while Sounder East uses lighter DMU’s similar to the Bombardier Talent.

    Stations are as follows:

    Sounder South (Stations North to South):
    -Seattle King Street
    -Boeing Acess Rd
    -Tacoma Dome
    -S. Tacoma
    -American Lake
    -Marvin Rd
    -Lacey/St. Martins College
    -Boulevard Rd
    -D.T. Olympia
    Sounder South operates 34 round trips split as follows: 12 peak direction round trips, 8 reverse peak direction round trips (Peak hours are defined as 5:30-9:30 am and 3:30-7:30 pm here, Peak direction is North in the Mornings, South in the Afternoons), 9 Midday round trips, and 5 evening round trips. Sounder South operates 24 round trips on Saturdays and 16 on sundays.

    Sounder North (stations South to North):
    -Seattle King street
    -Broad St
    -Richmond Beach
    -D.T. Everett
    -N. Everett
    -N. Marysville/Smokey Point
    Sounder North has 20 round trips split as follows 8 peak direction, 4 reverse peak (here Peak direction is South in the mornings, North in the Afternoons), 6 Midday, and 2 evening. Sounder North operates 14 round trips on Saturdays and 10 on Sundays.

    Sounder East (Stations South to North):
    -S Renton
    -D.T. Renton
    -Overlake Hospital
    -S Kirkland
    -D.T. Kirkland
    -Totem Lake
    -S. Woodinville
    -D.T. Woodinville
    -N. Woodinville
    -D.T. Snohomish
    Sounder East offers 34 round trips daily, with trains every 30 min from 5:30am to 7:30 pm, every 60 min from 7:30 pm to 12:30 am, and one addition round trip at 4:30 am. On weekends service is every 45 min from 6:30 am to 12:30 am.

    Streetcars: Currently Seattle has several streetcar Lines, built out over the past several years, the lines are as follows:

    -Ballard streetcar: Goes from King street station to Ballard commons via 1st Ave, South Lake Union, Fremont bridge, and Leary Way.

    -Phinney streetcar: Goes from King st station to Northgate LINK via 1st ave, South Lake Union, Fremont Bridge, Woodland Zoo, Greenwood Ave,N 85th st, N Wallingford Av, College Wy, NE Northgate Wy,NE 5th Ave.

    -Wedgewood streetcar: Goes from King st station to NE 85th St and NE 35th Ave via 1st Ave, South Lake Union, Eastlake, University Way, NE 65th st, NE 50th Ave, NE 75th st, and NE 40th Ave.

    -Broadway/Rainer streetcar: Goes from University Wy and 50th st to Mt Baker KINK via Eastlake, E 10th Ave, Broadway, and Rainer Ave.

    -Magnolia/ Mt Baker streetcar: Goes from Discovery Park to MT Baker LINK via Vermont Wy W, Magnolia Bridge, Elliot av W, Mercer St, 1st Ave, Jackson st, S 31st Ave, and S McClellan st.

    -Waterfront streetcar: Goes from 1st Ave/Mercer to International District LINK via 1st Ave, Broad st, Alaskan wy, Jackson st.

    -D.T. Tacoma Streetcar: Goes from Emerald queen Casino to Tacoma community college via E Portland Ave, Puyallup Ave, Pacific Ave, Stadium Wy, Division Ave, N I St, N 21st St, Union Ave, and S 19th st.
    The streetcar lines combine for about 50,000 riders daily, and there are several plans for new lines to Madison Park, Northgate, West Seattle, Queen Anne, and along 3rd ave in D.T. Seattle.

    Electric Trolley Buses: Seattle is currently electrifying bus line that runs within it’s borders that isn’t an express or Rapid route, several other King County municipalities are co-operating with Seattle in expanding the Trolley bus network (Among them Renton, Tukwila, Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, Shorline, Kenmore, Bothell,and Woodinville, plus several unincororated areas) The Eastside cities of Bellevue, Houghton, Redmond, and Issquah, The Snohomish County cities of Edmonds, Lynwood, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, and The Pierce County cities of Tacoma and Lakewood, in addition to several other unincorporated areas neighboring these cities are also developing trolley bus networks of their own, though they are nowhere near as far along as the Seattle network is.

    Bus Rapid Transit: Seattle has developed a frequent and fast network of routes known as Rapid Ride that provide service at frequencies better than 10 minutes most of the day, and also have 24-hour service on their corridors the Lines are as follows:

    A-International: From S154th St LINK to D.T. Tacoma/11th St via International Blvd, Pacific Hwy,Eells St, Puyallup Ave Pacific Ave.

    B-NE 8th/NE 148th: From Bellevue TC to Renton TC via NE8th St, NE 156th Ave, NE 24th St, NE 148th Ave, and Redmond Wy.

    C-Delridge/NW 24th: From Blue Ridge to Renton TC via NW 24th Ave, Elliot Ave W, Mercer St, 1st Ave, Broad St, 3rd Ave, S 4th Ave, S Royal Brougham Wy, S 1st Ave, West Seattle Bridge, SW Delridge Wy, SW 16th Ave, Ambaum Blvd, SW 148th St, 4th Ave S, SW 156th St, Southcenter Blvd, SW Grady Wy Rainer Ave S, and D.T. Renton.

    D-Aurora/Evergreen: From D.T. Everett to Northgate LINK via Pacific Ave, Evergreen Wy, Pacific Hwy, Aurora Ave, and Northgate Wy.

    E-Sounder East Shadow: Provides service parallel to Sounder East between Tukwila and Woodinville.

    F-Lake City: Provides Service From the University of Washington to Woodinville TC via 25th Ave NE, Lake City wy, Bothell wy, and NE Woodinville Dr.

    G-NW 85th/E 23rd: Provides service from Golden Gardens Park to Mt Baker LINK via NW 85th St, Roosevelt Wy NE, NE Pacific St, E 23rd Ave and Rainer Ave.

    H-Issaquah: Provides service between D.T. Seattle and Issaquah via I-90

    I-Greenwood/Edmonds: Provides service between D.T. Seattle and Edmonds via I-5 Greenwood Ave, Richmond Beach Rd and Woodway Park Rd.

    J-Sounder South Shadow: Provides service between Tukwila Sounder and Puyallup Sounder.

    K-Mill Creek: Provides service from D.T. Edmonds to McCollum Park and Ride via Edmonds Community College, D.T. Lynwood, Lynwood TC, Alderwood Mall, Ash Way Park and Ride, Mill Creek, Silver Firs, and Hwy 96.

    L-Tacoma: Provides service from Puyallup sounder to Gig Harbor Via Hwy 167, D.T. Tacoma, N 21st St, S Union Ave, S 19th St, S Jackson St and Hwy 16.

    M-Olympia: Provides service from D.T. Federal Wy to D.T. Olympia via I-5.
    These BRT lines are BRT lines in the style of Los Angeles’s BRT lines, in other words, no lane of it’s own, but there’s signal pre-emption, off-vehicle ticket machines to purchase fares, large bi-articulated low-floor vehicles with all door boarding, real-time info on when the next bus will arrive (though that’s on non-BRT lines as well by now, but they got it first), and larger more station like stops than regular bus stops.

    Monorail: I decided to save the best for last here, the Green doesn’t end up falling apart like it did OTL because the Federal Transit Administration was literally giving free money away to any half-decent project. This line carries about 45,000 passengers a day. Stations on this line are as follows (north to south):

    -NW 85th St
    -NW 65th St
    -NW Market St
    -W Dravus St
    -W Galer St
    -N Warren Ave
    -Harrison St
    -Denny Wy
    -Lenora St
    -Pike St
    -Madison St
    -Yesler Wy
    -S King St
    -S Royal Brougham Way
    -S Lander St
    -SW Delridge
    -SW Avalon
    -Alaska Junction
    -Morgan Junction
    The Monorail was approved for construction in 2006, with the whole line opening in April 2011.

    Roads: So far tolls have been implemented on the Hwy 520 and I-90 bridges, the Alaska Way Viaduct has been torn down, congestion pricing has been implemented in D.T. Seattle, and a cap on I-5 is being expanded.

    That is all for now. I might do Los Angeles next, but not for a few days as it took me 6 hours to write this post.

    Plan 2:


    NAME OF COMPANY: Sound Transit

    GAUGE: Indian Gauge (1676 mm)

    PERIOD OPERATIONAL: 1957-Present

    MOTTO: Ride The Wave

    HISTORY/ DESCRIPTION: A Mass Transit authority serving the Puget Sound region, it operates all of the regions Bus and Rail service. Of note is the gigantic metro system consisting of 13 lines at the present. They are:

    -Line 1 (Overlake Line, Blue, Opened 1957): Operates from Northgate station to Allen Lake via Ballard, Queen Anne, Seattle Center, Downtown Seattle, Mercer Island Downtown Bellevue, Crossroads, and Sammamish.

    -Line 2 (Flaunteroy Line, Red, Opened 1958): Operates from Northgate station to Hazen Sr. High School via the Universoty of Washington, Montlake, Capitol Hill, Pike Place Market, Downtown Seattle, Harbor Island, North Admiral, Morgan Junction, Flaunteroy Ferry Terminal, White Center, Burien, Tukwila, and Downtown Renton.

    -Line 3 (Rainer Line, Green, Opened 1960): Operates from Discovery Park to Tacoma Union Station via Magnolia, Seattle Center, South Lake Union, First Hill, Rainer ave, MLK wy S, Tukwila, SeaTac International Airport, Highway 99, and Federal Way.

    -Line 4 (Duvall Line, Yellow, Opened 1968): Operates from Colman Dock to Duvall via First Hill, Captiol Hill, University of Washington, Maple Leaf, Lake City, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, Woodinville, and Cottage Lake.

    -Line 5 (Kirkland Line, Purple, Opened 1973): Operates form South Hill to Mukilteo via Puyallup, sumner, Auburn , Kent, Renton, Factoria, Downtown Bellevue, Houghton, Kirkland, Kingsgate, Woodinville, Canyon Park, Alderwood Manor, and Paine Field.

    -Line 6 (Issaquah Line, Orange, Opened 1979): Operates from Issaquah to Sunset Hill via Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, University of Washington, Clyde Hill, Downtown Bellevue, Lake Hills, Eastgate and Newport.

    -Line 7 (Beacon Line, Cyan, Opened 1985): Operates from Alderwood Manor to Petrovitsky Road via Lynwood, Aurora Village, Shoreline, Greenwood, Fremont, Seattle Center, Downtown Seattle, Beacon Hill, Rainer Valley, Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Renton and Cascade-Fairwood.

    -Line 8 (Aurora Line, Pink, Opened 1986): Operates from Everett to Lakewood via Highway 99, Downtown Seattle, The SODO district, Marginal way, Highway 99, and South Tacoma Way.

    -Line 9 (Tacoma Line, Lime, Opened 1989): Operates from Gig Harbor to Maple Valley via Tacoma Narrows, N 6th, N11th, Downtown Tacoma, Tacoma Harbor, North Tacoma, Federal Way, Auburn, and Covington.

    -Line 10 (Pacific Line, Brown, Opened 1994): Operates from Ruston to Spanaway via North End, Downtown Tacoma, Tacoma Union Station, and Pacific Ave S.

    -Line 11 (Eastgate Line, Gold, Opened 2000): Operates from Eastgate to Monroe via Lake Hills, Crossroads, Overlake, Redmond, Bear Creek, Cottage Lake and Echo Lake.

    -Line 12 (Northern Line, Gray, Opened 2003): Operates from Edmonds to Echo Lake via Esperance, Mountlake Terrace, Canyon Park and Maltby.

    -Line 13 (Sammamish Line, Lavender, Opened 2011): Operates from Shoreline Community College to Issaquah via Northgate, Lake City, Wedgewood, Sand Point, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, Pine Lake and North Issaquah.

    There are plans for two more lines, The Delridge Line and Kent Line, which both revolve more around revisions of existing services than completely all-new construction.

    1. Oh wow, you found some of my old work. It’s a little embarrassing seeing some of these things dug up again after so long. But that’s the internet for you. If you want, I can explain and clarify some of the above.

      1. @Bob and @Barman, I got banned over the whole Gamergate controversy. And though I’ve asked Ian before, he hasn’t responded. I might try again in the future though.

        Now, about the First proposal, that was early on, before I started trying to craft what I saw as an “ideal” Metro system for Seattle. The second one was could be considered a bare-bones version of the second draft of “Thrusting Forward, Onward”, a story that would’ve covered the gradual development of Metro system in Puget Sound. I’ll go over the drafts here:

        First draft: System opened in 1977, Overtake line first. Order is the same as above, but without Lines 10-13.

        Second Draft: More or less what’s there.

        Third Draft: Opening pulled back another five years. Major changes in Line opening, starting with flipping around the Flaunteroy Line and the Overtake Line’s openings, but also the Beacon and Aurora Lines moving ahead of the Issaquah and Kirkland lines. Lines 11-13 are different: Line 11 is a “Madison-Delridge” Line. Line 12 is a franenstain “University Line”, constructed from the northern part of the Flaunteroy Line, and the southern part of the Beacon Line. Line 13, along with Line 14 would’ve covered the outer ends of the Rainer Line, and Beacon Line, as a local overlay to the Express Aurora Line (Stop spacing for this system is pretty consistently under a mile), and been extended beyond to Lakewood for Line 13 and Marysville for Line 14. The Samammish Line would’ve been Line 15, and it would’ve just opened in the present. Lines 16 and 17 would’ve been the Kent Line and Eastgate Line respectively. There would’ve been even more stuff in the works, Like the Northern Line, but also a 3rd Rail Crossing of Lake Washington, and Rail Crossing over to Kitsap County. And it would’ve envisioned serving a region about 60-70% more populous than the Puget Sound we know.

        Fourth Draft: Largely a reaction to the sheer insanity of the 3rd draft, and an attempt to make things somewhat more realistic overall, while still being ambitious. Thus, most stuff outside of North King got thrown out. I also made my peace with branching too, and shifted the opening back one last year to 1951. Changes are as follows:

        -Flaunteroy Line: Cut back to Mountlake Terrace (Draft 3 had this line going to, and past Downtown Lynwoood.) in the North. Cut back to Tukwila Station in the south, and serving the Airport on a different (more Southernly) alignment. Other minor changes like serving Union/23rd (something that I chose to skip at first in previous drafts), and being elevated in Downtown Seattle and over the Harbor going to West Seattle (previous drafts had a deep subway, but looking at actual street elevations in the area made me rethink that part).

        -Overlake Line: Least changed of the bunch. Basically the same in Seattle, with an almost identical history to the 3rd Draft. But gains a part of the Kirkland Line as a branch, and interlines with the Issaquah Line in Central Bellevue.

        -Rainer Line: Starts out as a branch of The Overtake Line (something that was also the case in the 3rd draft), then gets it’s own alignment through Downtown Seattle (along the same route as previous drafts). Picks the outer portion of The Beacon Line (serving Renton) as a branch. In the South, It’s cut back to about Star Lake.

        -Duvall Line: Not changed much, but outer end cut back from Cottage Lake to Woodinville. Starts out as a branch of the Flaunteroy Line.

        -Beacon Line: Name no longer really Appropriate, since it no longer serves Beacon Hill at all. Basically operates from James/34th to Shoreline P&R.

        -Aurora Line: Instead of being an Express Metro, it’s an Intercity Rail corridor, with some local Commuter Service making more frequent stops. And It only uses the Aurora Line Corridor between the King/Snohomish County Line and Seattle Union Station. South of there it uses the (grade separated, passenger only, electrified) Sounder Alignment to, and beyond Tacoma. North of there it uses the I-5 alignment (though theres a slight diversion in Everett that takes the line closer to Downtown).

        -Issaquah Line: Started out as branch of the Flaunteroy Line (Like the Duvall Line), but later split into it’s own line, and extended over to the Eastside. Difference here is that it shares the tracks through Downtown Bellevue with The Overtake Line.

        Most of the rest is certainly not Heavy Rail, though the Pacific Line and part of the Tacoma Line might be Light Rail here. Weirdly enough, a 3rd Rail Crossing of Lake Washington would’ve been on the table here too, but for different reasons. Also, The University Line would be under construction in the present day of this version, and would serve Beacon Hill, but serve a different alignment south of there.

        Also of note is that Drafts Three and Four saw the shift to Standard Gauge Trains with 160m platforms (8-car 20m trains). In both Drafts 3 and 4, demand on the system was supposed to be large enough to talk about expanding to 10-car trains (which was designed into the system). The difference between Drafts 3 and 4 was progress on this: Draft 3 saw the Flaunteroy Line and Rainer get extended by the present day, with the new Samammish Line getting them to start, and gradual expansions on other lines. Draft 4 on the other hand, being more realistic, had this be still just talk.

        Now let’s talk about routing for the lines.

        Overtake Line: In Seattle, it’s basically the 13+40+D+75in terms of route. On the Eastside, it’s basically the 550+B route.

        Flaunteroy Line: In West Seattle, it’s basically the 54/55+120/560 in terms of route. In Central Seattle, it’s basically the 43. In north Seattle, it’s basically the 67+347.

        Rainer Line: In Seattle, the closest analogue would the 8W+9, but the uses Boren and Mercer rather than Broadway and Denny. South of there it closely follows the 124/A and Link (though it doesn’t make the eastward jog Link does, instead following the original proposed alignment.). In draft 4, the Renton branch is 106+105 in terms of alignment.

        Duvall Line: This one’s interesting, because I don’t think anyone’s though of a line like this: In downtown Seattle, it basically uses an alignment under James St connect Colman Dock to First Hill (Colman Dock station being under Alaskan Way, with tracks and the alignment continuing NW, then East in later drafts). From there, it’s basically under Broadway for a while, so 49+65/372, with jogs west to Eastlake, and East to Childrens Hospital.

        Beacon Line: In the crazier Drafts, this is complicated mix of: CTSWIFT+E+3 / 4+48+36+106+105. The variant with Line 14 is CTSWIFT+CT201/202. In simpler versions, like Draft 4, it’s just the E+3.

        Aurora Line: In the drafts where it’s a Metro Line, the North End is basically CTSWIFT+E. The South End is a little more complicated, being 131/132+128+124, rather than just 124 (more or less, it swings west of the Duwamish on it’s way to The Airport to serve South Park and Riverton). South of the Airport, the line is basically A+PT500. The Line 13 local service can best be thought of as a slower version of the 574. In the drafts where this is an intercity line, the Central part stays the same, but the South end uses the Sounder alignment, and the North end the I-5 alignment.

        Issaquah Line: This is basically the 44+271/555/556 subway. It uses a slightly different alignments in Bellevue depending on the draft, but the idea is there.

        University Line: Basically combines the 43+67 part of The Flaunteroy Line with 48+36 part of the Beacon Line, but does different things from there.

        Pacific Line: This is pretty Obvious, PT 1 in a subway.

        Tacoma Line: This not so much. It’s PT100/PT102/PT 595+PT28+PT63+181. Probably the stupidest route I came up with.

        Eastgate Line: Also kind of stupid, 931/221+245

        Sammamish Line: 45W+62E+248S+216/219/269/554. Again, not very viable.

        Northern Line: CT196+CT120. Again, I was grasping at straws there.

        Madison-Delridge Line: Basically 11+120+166. Northern portion would reached Laurelhurst and terminated at Childrens hospital.

        Kent Line: This would’ve used a new subway downtown, but South of Downtown would’ve used the Aurora Line alignment (so the Aurora Line would’ve had no stops. Once it reached Tukwila, it would’ve paralleled the 150.

        Kirkland Line: This line differs the most from draft to draft. In Draft 3, the line would’ve basically been a combination of CT113+532/535+255+234/235+240/560+F/560 to Burien. In draft 4, only the 234/235/255 portion would’ve been built (as far Juanita), and plans would’ve been coalescing to take it south to Renton (like draft 3), but North to Kenmore instead of Woodinville.

        Now for Downtown Seattle Alignments:

        Flaunteroy Line: In all drafts, this line would be on Stewart (shifting south to Pine around 9th Ave) and 1st Ave, cutting West to West Seattle at a point considerably farther North Around Royal Brougham) than most transit plans have called for OTL. This was done to serve Admiral and Aiki without backtracking (though it also disadvantages Delridge), some of the drafts even have a ghost station on Elliot Island.

        Overiake Line: Also pretty much the same from draft to draft. In downtown Seattle, the Subway would be under 3rd Ave it’s entire length, shifting over to 5th Ave S and S Atlantic St South of Downtown, and Shifting over to Queen Anne Ave N to the North.

        Rainer Line: Very Simple in terms of alignment. Enters downtown on Rainier Ave, continues under Boren Ave, continues onto Fairview Ave, continues onto Mercer Ave, continues onto Elliot Ave and exits downtown.

        Duvall Line: In addition to the James/Broadway alignment, some drafts would’ve seen the eventual extension of Line north from Colman Dock on the “ABAJ” or “Alaska-BroAd-John alignment that would’ve taken it all the way to 34th/James. In Draft 3 (though probably not draft 4), a considerable portion of this extension would’ve been ghost infrastructure originally started in the 80’s, but suspended until recently due to a shift in politics. Interestingly enough, the line also would’ve featured some ghost infrastructure around the UW too.

        Beacon Line/Aurora Line: Coming from the North, would’ve 5th Ave N and 5th Ave to access Downtown, then exited downtown along James St. Aurora Line uses same alignment north of James, but south of there instead continues to 5th Ave S, where it exits downtown.

        Madison-Delridge Line: Right down Madison, then turning onto Alaskan Way and 1st Ave S, crossing over to West Seattle around the West Seattle Bridge. Much of this line would’ve been ghost infrastructure from 1990-2005 in draft 3, for much the same reason as the “ABAJ” extension of the Duvall Line.

        Kent Line: Probably would’ve used a new subway corridor along 2nd Ave, shifting to 1st Ave north of Stewart.

        And one last thing, in all of the drafts after the first, I assume NO Interstate 5 in Seattle. Though, more precisely, No Interstate 5 from where Interstate 405 is to the King/Snohomish county line. North and South of there a version of Interstate 5 still exists. Hwy 509 into Seattle does exist, but it terminates at the edge of the city. Interstate 90 also doesn’t exist, but there Hwy 10 across Lake Washington there. In Drafts 2, 3, and 4, The Alaskan way Viaduct does exist, but was eventually torn down. The only significant change is with Hwy 520, which in drafts 3 and 4, extend farther west to Magnolia, via the Gas Works Park, Nickerson, Queen Anne Hill, and Interbay.

        That’s everything off the top of my head. Any other questions?

        And there’s also the alignments in Downtown Seattle:

        Flaunter Line:

      2. Thanks, FDW! :)

        Also, Ian is very busy these days- he sometimes takes up to a month to do name changes. So try again later. ;)

      1. May I ask what for?

        And though I forgot to mention this, Seattle’s streetcar system has a very different history in drafts 3 and 4. (Rather than abrupt and wholesale replacement, there’s a gradual series of closures as the Metro system comes online (Sort of like Toronto OTL). And Like Toronto, the process doesn’t quite finish up completely, with a few straggling lines hanging on to the Present.

  5. Bob, I think any Metro bus driver will confirm that this system will have to be either elevated or tunneled its entire route.

    Reason being that the combined output of every tree nursery in the State of Washington will not be able to meet Metro’s compliance standard of one tree fully branched at the exact level where it makes the sign invisible to a coach operator.

    This results from a consultant’s finding that a square grey metal pole from ground to foliage meets the Maximum Allowed Visibility standards their firm is presently drafting.

    After which they’ll make sure their report will, per the client’s orders, show that LINK fare collection should be fareboxes at the front door of the lead car only. With a red button to push for fare discussions with the Samsung driver in its fireproof case.

    Which will be programmed to keep the train stopped until forty children between three and seventeen, some of their grandparents, a St. Bernard, a parrot, and a ferret come back with change.

    Unfortunately, this is also going to happen if ST-3 doesn’t pass. Meantime: “Don’t you dare let that weasel eat my skunk!”


    1. @Mark Dublin

      No, this system is entirely grade-separated, and it’s most certainly a full-blown Metro in every sense of the term. Well, in Drafts 1-4, the system uses Pantographs rather than 3rd Rail, because of weather concerns. (The much more minimalistic 5th draft’s, with it’s much later POD does use 3rd Rail)

      And something I forgot to clarify, the Streetcar system in Draft 3 would’ve been only a few line, but Draft 4, with it’s smaller Metro system would’ve seen a Streetcar system that would’ve been substantial.

      And another thing I forgot to mention would be how much this system would be a Rail-fans paradise. Seattle’s glacial topography would made for a system with a ton of scenic views. A taste of what I’m imagining:

      -The West Seattle Metro Viaduct, with Ellitot Bay to the North, and Downtown Seattle to the Northeast.

      -Flaunteroy Dock, with a view Central Puget sound.

      -Pike Place, a view of Elliot Bay and Puget Sound to the West.

      -Boren/Stewart (probably just 9th Ave) and the view of Downtown Seattle to the West.

      -Seattle Union Station, with Chinatown surrounding, and the HSR trains to Vancouver and Portland below.)

      -The Overlake line crossing Lake Washington, though that isn’t too much different from East Link. (Well, there’s five Stations between what we know as the Judkins Park and South Bellevue Station sites. And three of them are on Mercer Island, and those three are all underground.)

      -The Aiki Streetcar is a surviving line (And Seattle’s version of the F Market), and it’s nothing but scenic, the White Center Streetcar (Seattle’s J Church) and Renton Streetcar (Seattle Ashmont-Mattapan line) are also scenic, but less well known.

      -All Three Cable Car lines survive, but have survived in a different fashion from San Francisco’s Cable cars. (Being more integrated into the remaining Streetcar network.)

      -And lastly, Ship Canal Station. Just Ship Canal Station on the Overlake Line between Queen Anne and Ballard.

  6. Unless I missed something previously, it looks like Sound Transit has added some later northbound Link trips to Beacon Hill. Last trip weekdays now leaves the airport at 1:34 am. Should help with those late flights!

    1. Really? That’s good news. Have been far too close to missing the last train after midnight a few times.

  7. Gotta love Bryant’s ads blaming the Inslee for causing traffic congestion and then with a Trump-ian claim “I’ll fix it” with zero specifics. I want to throw up every time I hear these.

  8. Seems like it’s been a year now that ST has routed 550 off of NE 4th St and Bellevue Way. Sometimes in both directions. Sometimes in one direction only.

    Every time I walk along Bellevue Way, I see people waiting in the shelter just south of NE 4th St, waiting for the bus. The signage is poor. There are no traffic delays whatsoever. I have to tell they need to walk down past Main St. if they want the 550. I’m not sure the distance, it may be a half mile.

    I don’t see the reason to keep operating this reroute, at least most of the time. But if they are going to do it, they need to sign it better. It is the closest, really only stop near Bell Square.

    Seems like ST planners are a bit asleep at the switch here, and they ought to put the 550 back on its normal route. And only if there is intersection closing construction, do this reroute.

    1. NE 4th has been a mess for the better part of a year (since late 2015) due to construction on the two new buildings between Bellevue Way and 106th (which is ongoing), but also due to construction on Bellevue Way between NE 2nd and Main (which is finished). It can be more or less okay middle of the day, but during peak it is really bad. The right turn from SB 108th to WB 4th in the PM peak has been bad for quite a while too; lots of pedestrians using the crossing. The reroute via 108th and Main is really a better pathway for the 550 because it is more reliable, but I agree that the length of the reroute makes the signage situation really poor.

      We’re almost to the point where the annual downtown Bellevue holiday reroutes would be in effect anyway, so no real reason to get rid of the reroute now.

      1. Then do a permanent route change. Printing schedule books twice a year which show a different route than what is being operated seems silly. Stop signs showing 550 stops that aren’t served us a disservice. Put a sticker over them. Serve the same streets both directions. Etc

      2. Sunday I helped some poor soul waiting on SB Bellevue Way at NE 4th. He showed me his Google transit app that directed him to this stop. I think it’s a been a year that it hasn’t been served. At some point it’s not a temporary reroute.

        But generally, the 550 could return to its normal route without too much delay. They should either change the route or operate the route that is advertised barring any short-term intersection closures.

      3. ST/KCM did put the 550 back on regular route very briefly in January, then quickly put the reroute back in place. Then the outbound 550 returned to regular route, then they put it back on reroute. As I said, construction in downtown Bellevue is what’s screwing things up, and ST doesn’t know when that will end because the construction impacts are between the city and contractor, with ST out of the loop.

      4. ST needs to be more assertive and not play the victim and hold Bellevue accountable. It’s a crappy situation for transit riders. Bellevue city policy is to encourage transit use. Make ’em do it.

        Or change the route and put the info into apps and on the bus stop signs.

  9. I prefer the Seattle Subway light rail line graphics to those produced by ST. It does begs the question about where turnbacks should be though — as it seems silly to run a train every six minutes to Tacoma or every three minutes to Everett, as the current maps suggest.

    1. That’s only peak hours. It’s 10-12 minutes off-peak, and I’m hoping 10 will be the ceiling as the existing Link is. The double-frequency of 3-5 minutes is not all the way to Everett Station, it’s only to 128th (Mariner). And ST can make changes to that as actual ridership evolves. The initial plan was to send East Link trains to Lynnwood peak only and Northgate off-peak, but it later sent all trains to Lynnwood believing the capacity would be needed. The same with 128th; it’s an estimate. 128th happens to be where the Paine Field deviation begins, so it may become a transfer point for buses bypassing the deviation. At least that’s my guess.

  10. Looks like it’s a good thing that ST didn’t place the new order for Light Rail cars from Bombardier, as it was announced on Friday that they are laying off another 7500 employees, mostly in its rail division. Hope they can turn themselves around.

  11. What is the estimated percentage of people who will be taxed for ST3 and who will actually be able to use it? I keep seeing 5% and even 1% as reasons not to vote “Yes”. (People saying they voted No because 95% of the people paying for it won’t be able to use it. I don’t think that can be correct.

      1. You know what it might be? It might be that only X% of trips will be on the system. Those numbers are very low *without context*. These arent exactly facts, in that it is hard to pin them down, but even I-5 has trip percentages in the mid-single digits. So from that angle you could say, “well a subway will only help 4% of people!” without mentioning that I-5 only helps like 5% or something.

Comments are closed.