103 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Yes on Prop 1”

  1. IF Prop 1 passes, what are the odds of getting large amounts of additional federal money to speed up its implementation? Could we see projects completed 5 to 10 years earlier?

    1. a LOT of ink has been used to talk about ho the timelines and cost estimates are very conservative, because ST needs the marketing that comes with delivering projects “ahead of schedule and under budget” … rather than the other way around.

      1. Yes, ST does need some margin. Anytime you’re talking tunneling, it’s a roll of the dice. OF course, the enemy is going to try to litigate and obstruct – I mean Kemper Freeman really did a bad obstructionist deal on ST2.

    2. ST has been amazingly good at getting federal grants, even with Republicans holding the balance of power in Congress. That said, I don’t see any project moving up by 10 years. I haven’t heard anyone make such a bold prediction.

      That said, nobody has predicted the state legislature will throw ST a large chunk of money.

      Step one to getting projects delivered faster, of course, is to get the process started on them now, creating a political mandate behind them to take to Congress and the state lege.

      1. Exactly Brent. Let’s also note the state legislature just can’t be trusted to come through for Sound Transit. I mean they did what to us in ST3? Oh demanded we face the voters and not the highway money?

        Then there’s the $500 mil trust fund for education out of ST3 dollars… and the architect of that stunt got a free pass from her district when she could have sent to voters the highway expansion gas tax increase. Sigh.

        I think with Peter Rogoff in charge of ST, the federal bucks will keep coming. After all the CEO (and General Manager) of Sound Transit (Hawks) has a Russell Wilson who just has no time to sleep.

    3. Pretty likely! 2020 redistricting will reflect ever increasing urbanization and a new congress with it. ST estimates around 11% of the cost will be borne by the Feds, and if we get Brady & patty murray in congress, we’ll have great advocates for our city.

    4. I don’t see activism Stopping after the election. After Prop 1 passes, activists will immediately be working on trying to accelerate projects.

    5. More federal grants are unpredictable. We’re competing with the rest of the country, the total amount of federal grants changes from year to year, and the formula for allocating it changes depending on the administration’s priorities. However, ST was conservative throughout its budget because its #1 priority is to not go over budget (not have to ask taxpayers for more money, and to maintain its high credit rating). So there’s a large possibility things will cost less and take less time, and a tiny possibility they will cost more and take more time. Also, localities can do things to speed up the process. Redmond streamlined its permitting and made light rail a general permitted use so ST doesn’t have to ask for a variance. Murray has promised to do the same in Seattle. The EIS process can be faster and cheaper if stakeholders agree on just one alternative to study alongside ST’s preferred one and a no-build scenario.

      Both Clinton and Trump have promised to increase infrastructure spending, although what that means for Link is unclear. The composition of the Senate and House will also affect how much that is and what part of it will be allocated to transit. So maybe by February it will be clearer when they have time to actually decide on a bill.

      1. Exactly Mike. We’re competing with the rest of the country, and on every conceivable measure, this fails. It is one thing to convince folks that “the whole Puget Sound region deserves to have light rail” or that it “connects the whole region” or “serves the important destinations in the north and south end”. Those who are in charge of grants don’t buy that B. S. They will look at how many people will actually use light rail to Fife or Issaquah and basically say no. This isn’t cost effective — not by a long shot. This isn’t ST1 or ST2. This is a ridiculous proposal. As much as we want the feds to bail us out — it won’t happen. If we pass this mess, we are on our own.

      2. RossB, thank you for being the loyal opposition to the most majestic, the most awesome, the most beautiful light rail in the world.

      3. The feds think RapidRide is performing great and a model to the country. They think similar about Westlake to SeaTac minus the “model” part, and they’re bullish on the Lynnwood extension. They don’t evaluate things the way RossB does. The fact that the ST3 extensions connect the largest cities in the region and are parallel to federally-funded freeways (thus important corridors) are also factors.

      4. >> They don’t evaluate things the way RossB does.

        Sounds like they do. The money they have given has been for things that make financial sense (i. e. save a lot of people a lot of time for the money spent). There is very little of that in ST3. Ballard to downtown is about it in terms of rail lines. The bus service is different. RapidRide and Madison BRT are likely to get money, but that would happen with or without ST3 (just as Swift got money).

      5. You’re assuming the feds will say no to most of ST3. Is there any evidence of that yet? ST has a history of preferring corridors that will be eligible for federal funding, so that contradicts your assumption. Some segments absolutely won’t, but those are side projects/connectors/pork as part of the whole. Also ST’s current CEO came from the FTA and knows what gets grants, and would have told the board if they’re deluded about certain corridors.

    6. MAX yellow line was 70% federal funding. Orange Line was closer to 50%, after TriMet added modifications to the line (FTA approved the changes).

      Just mention on the paperwork that the line serves a Boeing plant, and the Everett line will probably get something like 90% federal funding. Nobody at the federal level argues with defense contractors.

      1. I don’t know if I would use the term “worth it” because the route along highway 99 could have done some really interesting stuff that could probably be vastly better – but of course that is the one option that nobody up there in Snohomish County actually wanted to do.

        The reality is that at the federal level there are political games that are played. Federal funding for the Westside MAX line was delayed for a few months because the bill that contained its federal funds also contained a clause about forcing a change to local land use planning to benefit a certain church in some rural area that couldn’t otherwise build an extension to one of its rooms. If I remember right the church in question was in the district of the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee that year or some such and so just getting the bill up for a vote meant getting stuff like that added.

        Triangle Research Park back east had this terrible rail transit plan that would be hugely expensive to build and not cheap to operate and yet before it got cancelled it was in line to receive significant federal funding because of the political connections Triangle Research Park has.

        It’s the reality of how this stuff gets funded. If you think just for a moment that somehow the sub-area equity methods that produced the ST3 bill produce strange results, just wait until funding it comes up for a federal vote.

        If the bill allocating the funds has the Boeing name on it anywhere, then SoundTransit’s biggest worry is going to be how to deal with anonymous armored trucks filled with cash shipped to its offices from congressional districts its staff has never heard of before. It’s the type of thing that could really cause quite a stir in congress.

      2. Those esoteric funding priorities were earmarks, and they went away when Congress abolished earmarks a few years ago. That’s what led to this gridlock where nothing passes, because there are no more dog biscuits to spread around to get people to compromise. (That and voting in people who don’t care about their district but only about their ideology.)

    7. “Could we see projects completed 5 to 10 years earlier?”

      Probably not that much. The 2024 and 2028 projects are just 7-11 years away so there’s not much time to slash. Each project has a year’s construction float for confingencies, and streamlining the EIS process and permitting can shave another year. Beyond that, it depends on whether additional money can allow things to start earlier or be simultaneous. That depends on how the specific tasks relate to each other. For instance, you can’t start construction until an EIS is complete, and some projects depend on others (Tacoma depends on Federal Way, and Federal Way depends on KDM, building tunnel stations depends on the tunnel, etc). So it depends on where money is the bottleneck. Certainly ST could hire more teams simultaneously if it had more cash up front. The unfinished ST2 projects and ST’s self-imposed bonding ratio (stricter than the state’s limit) are throttling the first seven years quite a bit.

  2. Reason I keep talking about getting Sounder to Olympia isn’t just because I need a ride. It’s one example of one instance where we could seriously open freeway-free line to the south end of the Sound Transit district.

    Because I think that long before a single ST-3 corridor is anywhere near finished, we’re going to have traffic in a condition where literally nothing can move for whole rush hours. If not longer. Term “Emergency” ought to be used, accurately, a lot more often.

    So I think that one priority should be finding things we can do fast. Small scale? Major push for reserved lanes and pre-empted signals on arterials region-wide.

    Very large scale? Start imitating the developers of the past by designing transit systems with towns attached, Or other way round. Exactly as present suburbs are designed connected to the road grid.

    And no, that’s not contributing to sprawl. It’s the orderly dispersion resulting from the number of people who are going to move into this region no matter what. With a great many fields and forests between towns.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Right and I like the idea of good transit advocate access to Olympia as well. Big time.

      I’m so frustrated at how hard it is for me to meet state legislators that I’m all for sticking a state legislature made of glass in Seattle. No seriously, keep the (too big) executive branch of state government in Olympia. But have the legislative branch meet up in Seattle at Discovery Park in a new glass building. Don’t throw stones in glass houses or something like that.

      1. You’re in a red or swing district where your vote can influence the state’s policies more. I’m in an 80% Democratic district. Long term I’d like to move to a swing district to make more of a difference, but the flip side is that Democratic districts have the most full-time frequent transit and I don’t want to give that up. But maybe an opportunity will arise, as when Mr Bailo found the part of Kent that has the most transit and walkable businesses.

    2. Since Sounder goes north-south in eastern Tacoma, that suggests it should have frequent feeders from south-central Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, and Spanaway. Something to think about.

    3. Mark, South Sounder to DuPont and an eastbound bus shoulder lane from the Nisqually Bridge to the weigh station would be a great intro to Sounder to Olympia. But don’t expect even that for a few years.

  3. Re ST3’s outcome, I as always refuse to predict, or to believe that anybody can. It depends on who votes and who doesn’t, and what they’re thinking about at the moment. People sometimes change their minds the day they vote. What I can say is that the fundamental factors are favorable: the increasing demand for an alternative to driving in congestion and buses getting stuck in traffic, and the precedent of ST2 (which passed in a lot of precincts including borderline ones). The strongest negative factor is the number of No signs and the opposition by some transit supporters who vote for other transit measures. But it’s hard to quantify those: how much more it is than previously, and whether it’s a tempest in a teapot compared to the fundamentals. So the factors look favorable for a 55% win, but if the negative factors are stronger than they appear it could lead to a 45% loss.

    1. I predict a 54% win. Expect a bit more support from Snohomish County in ST3 than ST2, and a bit less in Pierce County.

      Here’s why? Real lucky the Sound Transit taxing district in Snohomish County is smaller than Community Transit’s and the general alignment of new services is clearly laid out – CT Prop 1 was too close for comfort last year plus didn’t have new routes to sell people, just new service. Plus this time the Snohomish County Economic Alliance was on deck plus some big Paine Field boosters to help this along.

    2. If they buy the fundamental B. S. that this video spews, then it probably wins easily. Traffic, traffic, traffic. That is the main message here. Traffic is bad, build a rail line. After all, a train carries way more people than a freeway lane. No mention, of course, of how many people a bus carries.

      Very few people will read the details of this plan and say “Oh, great, my commute will be much faster”. On the other hand, if they think traffic will be better, or if they didn’t bother to read the details, then it all sounds good. You live in Kent, and commute to Seattle — great, this will make things better. You live in Silver Lake (in Everett) and commute to Seattle — great, this will make things better. High Point, a working class neighborhood in West Seattle with the highest density on the peninsula — of course light rail to West Seattle will make things better. Sorry to break it to you folks — it won’t.

      The campaign as well as entire proposal is based on ignorance. Not a bad approach if you want to win an election. But a bad approach if you actually want to improve the lives of the taxpayers.

      1. RossB,

        There is this thing called buses that feed this thing called a spine.



        P.S. Sound Transit is gonna win!

    3. Ross, for the forty-seven million, four-hundred-and-thirty-seven thousand, eight-hundred-and-third time, WSDOT is not going to give you the lanes necessary for your Bogota del Norte “plan”. It doesn’t matter how “technically superior” it may be, it isn’t going to happen.

      ST3 may well fail tomorrow, but if so there will be no crying in Olympia — no scramble to “reform” sub-area equity, no rush to “give Seattle what it needs”. There will be widespread high-fiving throughout the State that “the libruls got what they had coming.”

      There will be no “Ballard-UW”, no “Metro 8 Subway”.

      And you, sir will have to take some share of the obloquy with your widespread Bloviation against RP1 in publications around the region.

    4. @Richard — Not once did I say that WSDOT was going to give us the lanes. Enough with the straw men.

      Look, ST2 goes to Lynnwood. That is far enough to get through the worst traffic as well as serve the biggest demand. An express bus, traveling in the existing HOV lanes would be able to get from Everett to Lynnwood faster than the train. There would be fewer stops and a more direct route.

      This is assuming no improvements whatsoever to the system. This assumes that an increasingly liberal state doesn’t bother with changing the HOV 2 to HOV 3 (or HOT). This also assumes that we don’t pass a different measure that improves bus service or runs very cheap additional bus lanes and ramps along the median of I-5 south of South Everett. Even without any of that, the bus would be faster.

      It isn’t just the Everett station. When Lynnwood Link opens, buses from places like South Everett and McCollum Park will go to Lynnwood. Community transit might even even add bus service to Silver Lake or similar areas. Lynnwood transit center is ideally set up as a terminus, because of the great bus ramps serving it from the north.

      Now assume that Link gets to Everett. You still need to run buses to South Everett. You could truncate those buses at Mariner or Ash Way, but the savings would be minimal. It is about six miles from Mariner to Lynnwood. But Mariner doesn’t have special ramps connecting it to the north, nor do any of the other stops (Lynnwood is rare in that regard). A bus has to leave the HOV lane and move over into the exit lane, then navigate the surface streets before it gets to the stop. There is no time savings for the rider, and the service hour savings would be minimal.

      Plus Lynnwood is a decent destination. It is a already a major transit hub, and that will likely improve once Link gets there. There is something there, and folks plan on adding to it (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/primed-for-major-growth-lynnwood-and-light-rail/). The other stops will never have that. So basically you would have a two seat ride to the biggest transfer center and destination in the area.

      Then there are the headways. Ridership will decrease substantially as rail leaves the city, and go way down after it goes north of Everett. It is quite reasonable, then, to cut frequency accordingly. So three minutes to Northgate, six minutes to Lynnwood, and twelve minutes to Everett. So now the bus trip to Mariner or Ash Way (instead of Lynnwood) involves a longer wait. Sorry, it just won’t happen. Even if Link doesn’t cut the headways and Lynnwood doesn’t grow, the buses will continue to go to Lynnwood.

      This means that a very large part of the area supposedly being served won’t get anything out of Link. It might not matter if there was going to be huge ridership for the other stops, but that simply won’t happen. Ash Way carries about 700 people to Seattle. None of the other stops are likely to be great either. Evergreen Way and 79th carries only 35 people. Yes, that’s right, thirty five. The one stop next to the airplanes in Boeing might carry some people, but the bus service to the area is poor for a reason — there simply isn’t that much demand there.

      Very few people outside Seattle will see a substantial improvement in transit if ST3 passes. For Seattle you have a good chunk of people in Ballard and Queen Anne, along with a handful of people in the West Seattle junction. But outside Seattle you have some in Redmond along with some in Eastgate, but that is about it. When you start measuring the number of people in dozens (e. g. SR 526 and Evergreen) it just doesn’t add up. The only way this passes is if lots of people vote for this despite the fact that it won’t make their life any better.

    5. @Joe — Yep, and the spine will be built in only a few years. Lynnwood makes a great terminus for the spine. Buses can feed it quite well from the north, because there is a bus lane connecting it to the station. From the Everett station, it would be faster to just take the shortcut (express) and go to Lynnwood. That is assuming that nothing is done on that section. It would be fairly cheap to add bus lanes in the median for a good chunk of that route (South Everett to Ash Way doesn’t go over or under any major bridges). Nor is it that crazy to think than an increasingly pro-transit state won’t request HOV 3 on that section. This is something that the opponents of ST3 are pushing for — go to this link (http://smartertransit.org/) and click on “What We Want” (HOV lane improvements is the second item).

      But even without all that, buses would be faster to Lynnwood for just about everyone. The one exception is for folks that are walking distance to the stations between Everett and Lynnwood. They avoid a transfer. But the number of people in that boat is very small. Evergreen carries only 35 people today, and just like Everett, they would be better off with an express to Lynnwood. Ash Way carries more, but still under a thousand (700 altogether to Seattle).

      When Link gets to Lynnwood, Community Transit can adjust all the bus routes. They can send more to Boeing — not just the one stop, but through the area. Don’t you think that will happen? Don’t you think that Community Transit will be able to justify a frequent bus route that goes from Lynnwood to Boeing to Everett Station? If not, why on earth is a light rail line justified?

      ST2 was the big win for Snohomish County. Now it has a great feeder light rail line into Seattle. You won the car, now you are freaking out because you might not win the fuzzy dice.

    6. In case anyone else doesn’t know where Silver Lake is, I looked it up on the map and it’s north of Mill Creek, east of I-5 between 128th and 112th St SE in Snoho. Not to be confused with Lake Stevens, which is east of Everett, significantly east of I-5, and around highway 9 between 2nd St SE and 35th St NE.

    7. Ross, I stipulated that your plan is technically superior. I’ve agreed with you on many posts as Anandakos in the past. (I decided to change to my “real name” for transparency.)

      But your plan is politically impossible in an environment in which Seattle gets grade separated LRT. The folks in the ‘burbs won’t vote to “Build trains for Seattle while we only get crappy buses!” And the Lrg isn’t going to let Seattle impose a truly useful employment tax based on compensation, like Tri-Met’s. So THERE WILL BE NO VIABLE PLAN “B”.

      Thanks a bunch, Ross.

  4. Thank you to STB staff for so quickly deleting the obnoxious comment from BigDonLives that appeared on the Key Arena posting.

      1. All Big Don’s comments are white racist stereotypes like l00t train and you’ll get shot in the valley, so there’s no need to see the specific one, just substitute something from this year’s election campaign. To his credit, one or twice he turned his attitude onto his own color.

      2. Thanks Mike, nice to know Seattle Transit Blog is attracting some trolls. Means we matter. Good.

      3. I’m not quite sure I got the intended meaning but it was a rather unintelligible bit of nonsense combining his usual L00T rail favorite phrase with some other stuff, using the word “thug” to make some implications about some people.

        The vague phrasing could be construed as meaning anyone living in Queen Anne is a thug, or anyone wanting to live in Queen Anne is a thug, or maybe anyone wanting to live on the west coast is a thug.

        I suppose you might consider it an ad hominem attack, but usually those are a targeted personal attack. This was more like a SCUD missile attack from the 1990s Gulf War: point it in the approximate direction a target might be and hope maybe it hits something.

        In any event, be warned he/it (it might be an atack computer program of some sort) is still around. If you see a post, don’t respond as the staff are apparently now deleting the more obnoxious things that appear.

      4. An ad hominem attack requires a hominem to ad. It’s more about an individual’s character than vaguely against a population.

      5. I can’t seem to find the comment policy. But this is not an “anything goes’ blog like The Stranger. If you can’t make an ad hominem statement, then you certainly can’t make racist statements. There are plenty of blogs that allow the former, but not the latter. Consider this exchange:

        Joe: I like toast.
        Jane: Toast is stupid.
        Joe: You are stupid.
        Jane: No, you are stupid.
        Joe: You are as stupid as a black guy on crack.
        Moderator: That’s it Joe, you are out of here. You crossed the line — you are banned. Get out of here and don’t forget your hood (it is the white pointy one).

        So if this guy started spewing racist crap, he is definitely in violation of the comment policy here. Good riddance. By the way it must be tough being a moderator. Another reason to donate to this blog as they try and keep things civil.

      6. It takes manual work to delete unacceptable comments. It cuts into the editors’ family time. When d.p. was banned Martin said it was because it was taking too much time policing his comments. (And for those who don’t know, he wasn’t a social stereotyper, just a very opinionated transit fan with a lot of four-letter words and some f* you’s.)

      7. Yeah, it was time for d.p. to go. D.P. was just too combative and degenerative of everybody else around here.

        There was a point last year when some, including me, thought I was about to get banned as well. Some… legislator who sold us out really made me mad. There were also times I admit I got too tough on the perceived & actual trolls.

        The time invested by STB staff in making STB work is really much appreciated. I donate what I can to STB now almost if not monthly. STB has become a salon for Puget Sound transit geeks to gather, congregate and make community.

      8. I felt like d.p. helped keep this place from being too much of an echo chamber. Interacting with him helped me apply a critical eye to projects, instead of just drinking the Kool-Aid.

        I believe it when I read that moderating his comments took too much time, and that’s the staff’s choice to make. This place has become more civil since his banning, but the expectations of intellectual honesty have fallen, so I look at that as a mixed blessing.

      9. In Ross’ example, the final comment would have been closer to something like: “Anyone who has ever eaten toast near Lower Queen Anne must be a thug” or some other such preposterous wide sweeping generalization.

        d.p. wasn’t necesssarily short on facts, but was a bit blind to the political realities that really control these things.

      10. Any of the issues I directly engaged d.p. in ..
        He was short on facts.

        For other issues, of which I didn’t have the data, I didn’t comment.

      11. I don’t think calling the NoST3 campaign on its arguments I don’t believe they are making in good faith is intellectual dishonesty. Trying to take their arguments (weak and largely self-contradictory though they are) at face value itself feels a little dishonest. The job of giving their ridiculous arguments the d.p. treatment, sans vulgarities, falls to someone. We’ll call it the “free press”.

  5. Anyone know when metro is gonna release the 2016 ridership numbers? Cuz it would be interesting to see all the data on the 2016 routes–even more so productivity and reliability data.

  6. What exactly would the process be for engaging any of those short-term measures I’ve been proposing?

    Because, after taking a half hour to get out of Tacoma in heavy traffic this last Thursday afternoon, I think withing the next couple of years will see some serious demands for ST- money to be shifted near-term.

    Whether it passes Tuesday or not. Am I right that ST-3’s work schedule was determined in recent years, before the expansion started? If so, might be good to be looking for measures that can be quickly implemented.

    Mark Dublin

  7. Joe, you might want to get into the habit of talking regularly with your State reps, however much or little you agree on any or all subjects.

    First object is not to try and make them agree with you, but to let them know there’s someone knowledgable paying attention.

    Very likely your reputation will survive more than one change of office occupants. Wouldn’t worry about being out of the action living outside Greater Seattle Area.

    Given present destruction of thirty years worth of land-use planning, pretty likely you’ll soon be getting a lot of fervently pro-transit neighbors, whom you can encourage into STB participation, and also pro-transit voting. Speaking if which, good possibility your precinct committee-person’s job is open.

    You’ll be a good one. Either party. Bet there are a solid local Republican business-people praying to be rescued, who are desperate not to have to become liberal Democrats.


  8. You have posted why all areas should vote for ST3 except the South End. That is because there is no reason for the South End to vote for ST3.

    1. RennDawgFourtyWhiner;

      SoundTransit3.org lays out for folks that light rail will extend to Tacoma, extend Tacoma Link to Tacoma Community College, Sounder South to DuPont and more bus service improvements. Yeah, there’s a lot for the south to vote for.

      1. You are talking about Pierce County. The South End is the area north of Pierce but south of Seattle in King county.

      2. Different people have different definitions. To me the south end is everything from Yesler Way down to oh the Pierce-Thurston border or wherever the suburbs end.

      3. Well what I am referring to is the area south of Seattle and north of Pierce. Which really should be its own county.

      4. Dawg, that’s an interesting proposition. There certainly is a different economic focus south of Seattle. And plenty of people live there. Maybe the new county offices could be the Weyerhaeuser complex. Shades of Marin.

    2. Well, not NO reason, but I think that most folks here largely agree that there’s not much “there” for South King unless the BNSF negotiations go well. Des Moines and Federal pretty seriously screwed the pooch on the Link alignment in order not to disturb the “massage” parlors and used car lots which so artfully decorate SR99.

      1. Kirkland didn’t exactly pander to SOT. It preferred BRT, probably before SOT was organized, while SOT preferred nothing.

      2. Joe, your second moderated comment was less bad than your first. At least you didn’t refer to elected officials as excrement this time. But ease up on the name-calling and the Tsimerman comparisons, please.

      3. Sorry Mike,
        Kirkland’s nod to BRT is just lip service to transit, they’re on board with SOT. Trust me.

        They didn’t have to really kill anything on the ERC because back when BRT on the freeway was chosen (2001), Renton killed the idea of any high capacity transit on the Woodinville Sub for them.

        The fix was in.

      4. “Kirkland’s nod to BRT is just lip service to transit, they’re on board with SOT. Trust me.

        .. Renton killed the idea of any high capacity transit on the Woodinville Sub for them.”

        You appear confused. Kirkland is not, and never has been, on board with saveourtrail. Simply bears no resemblance to history.

        As for Renton, transit of any sort on the southern end of the ERC is an entirely unrelated proposition from the Kirkland corridor.

      5. Sorry Dan,

        Not confused, just been involved with this for too long. Since my time on the I-405 Program.

        Nobody wants anything in their backyard.

        They all want it on the Freeway.

        Regardless of what the data.

        The best I can say about our eastside electeds is they are extremely weak transit supporters.

      6. -correction- should read ‘Regardless of what the data shows”

        When the I-405 Corridor program took studying HCT in the ERC off the table at Renton’s request (in 1999), that made the default HCT corridor I-405 only.

        What Renton did HAS EVERYTHING to do with what went on with the ERC.

        All the municipalities signed off on the I-405 Corridor Program FEIS – BEFORE the PSRC/Sound Transit study on Commuter Rail in the ERC was finished.
        (and it showed that segment for segment, ridership was the same (Freeway BRT vs. ERC Commuter Rail), and commuter rail was cheaper.)

        Answer me this – If Sound Transit thinks Light Rail on the ERC in Kirkland is good, why did Kirkland butt heads with them on BRT? Why not defer to their analysis?

        The one place on the ERC it could be argued that Light Rail has a better C/B ratio.

        I was on the Citizens Committee with future Kirkland City Council members, who were transit supporters, so that’s why I’m being generous in my description as to what their ulterior motive is.

      7. What Massage Parlors? Yes, there used to be a lot of them but they are almost all gone. Thank God. The fight for the freeway stop is a reflection of what our community wanted. Seattle tried to impose its will on us and failed for once.

      8. “The fight for the freeway stop is a reflection of what our community wanted. Seattle tried to impose its will on us and failed for once.”

        Freeway stops prevent people from having an easy walk from where they live to a station. They force people to go out-of-direction to get to the train. Both of these suppress ridership and give people less choices for mobility. The people who lose out are residents and would-be residents who would have used the stations on 99. Des Moines has some people without cars and some people who wanted the 99 stations. Kent the city wanted Link on 99 and was all ready to build TOD on its side of the road. The people who wanted Link on the freeway may have been the majority of Des Moinesians, but they threw their members who don’t live in houses and don’t want to drive under the bus.

      9. Dan is right. Kirkland hired a consulting firm to look at converting the CKC to transit. They came up with a BRT proposal. This made sense given the fact that the corridor itself is not a high density, high demand area. Using the CKC is mostly a pass through, allowing buses to get to the neighborhoods to the north, as well either Seattle (via 520) or Bellevue to the south. You get the area in the middle as a bonus (making it a better choice than 520). This is all in the letter: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/Assets/City+Council/Council+Packets/031516/10a_UnfinishedBusiness.pdf.

        There is other history that can be dug out as well. The ST3 board dug in their heals and wanted rail and there was a dramatic impasses, until the board punted, and just avoided the CKC altogether. This meant that they didn’t have to worry about the folks that didn’t want to see the CKC paved, let alone have transit on it.

        In any event, Renton had nothing to do with this.

      10. Jim has half a point that, historically, Kirkland has had a variety of opinions at different times. Saveourtrail includes several long-retired Kirkland Council members.

        But in the recent planning history, there was a rock-solid 6-1 majority on Council in favor of transit on the ERC in Kirkland. The only difference is that some preferred BRT because the potential rail connections to demand centers are so weak.

        Unfortunately, Kirkland’s plans got kiboshed between the rail absolutists, the preferences of some other Eastside cities, and local NIMBYs.

        Renton was in no way a player in any of that discussion because the idea of ERC rail to Renton died a long time ago for mostly good reasons (in short, when you get to the end of the line, it’s just Renton, and it’s not worth the effort). All of the potential outcomes in play were variations on a Kirkland-Issaquah connection.

      11. My point is if Kirkland was so adamant about having BRT on the ERC, then they could have made that known during the original analysis back in 2001.

        You’ll just have to color me cynical, then.

      12. I’m sure nobody in Kirkland was thinking BRT in 2001. Who was thinking BRT anywhere in 2001? Transmilenio has just opened and was unknown in the US. Anybody thinking buses was focused on throwing more money at traditional buses in mixed traffic (like Chuck Collins and his ride-free express).

        Kirkland was late to considering BRT. Probably the biggest single reason their plan failed to get traction was that they hadn’t done the years of homework (unlike Issaquah which had been pushing rail since, oh, forever).

        After the transportation planners and consultants were hired in 2015, it was obvious that Kirkland’s geography and demand distribution would be better served by a bus corridor. But it was too late to introduce new ideas to the political discussion. Lots of people had already decided they knew better what Kirkland should want. Or had agendas other than serving Kirkland transit users.

      13. Read the I-405 Corridor Program Final Environmental Impact Statement, Dan.

        We studied ALL the options. Except Commuter Rail on the ERC, which got tossed out when Renton said “Do NOT do any further study of HCT on the ERC”.

        That’s all it took to stop any particular option from being brought to the final cost/benefit analysis.

        Kirkland didn’t have to raise any objections, Renton did the dirty work for them.

        But everyone back then sure a hell knew what the options were, including the fact that there was no funding in place for anything to go forward.

        Sorry Dan, but I was there.
        Kirkland is playing politics, they suggested, and insisted on BRT, because they knew it was even more onerous than a rail line.

        NIMBY Politics are driving the transportation solutions around here. Why do you think Light Rail is following the freeway alignments?

        I wish you luck.

    3. Federal Way really wants Link, and Tacoma thinks it’s essential to have a line to the airport to attract businesses to Tacoma and workers to Tacoma, and the fact that it goes all the way to Seattle is secondary. You may consider these reasons nothing, but you should at least acknowledge that Tacoma’s mayor and the Pierce delegation and Federal Way think the opposite.

      The Sounder increase will benefit central south King and Pierce, and if ST can’t come to a deal with BNSF there will be a large chunk of money for an alternative in that corridor. ST hasn’t said what that alternative might be, but logically it would most likely mean increasing ST Express, BRT, or investing in Metro’s RapidRide and Express corridors. (On KDM Road, 320th, Benson Road, and 132nd. Also KK Road to Covington but that’s outside the ST district.)

      1. The only part of the South End you talked about is Federal Way. Tacoma is Pierce County. The South End is the area of King county south of Seattle and North of Pierce County. Kent, Des Moines, Sea-Tac, Auburn, Burien, Normandy Park and Federal Way. With the possible exception of Federal Way the South End will get very little of what we contribute. Also, I am hearing in advertising that ST3 is going to be used to build stops in Des Moines and Federal Way. Those were supposed to be funded by ST2. So we were promised one thing with ST2 and now we need to pass ST3 to get what we were promised? What a joke.

      2. The recession hit South King County’s sales-tax revenue. That means South King paid less taxes than ST predicted, and that;s why Link was truncated. The ST3 funds for the extension just replace the money South King would have spend on ST2 but didn’t. ST could have extended the ST2 timeline to get 272nd finished but it didn’t. You may or may not agree with that, or you may wish the extension were separate from the rest of ST3, but in any case it’s the same money going to that extension if ST3 passes, or not going to transit if it doesn’t. It’s not some mysterious double payment on top of ST2 funding.

      3. But that also means that Link will eventually get to Federal Way, even if ST3 fails, right?

        I can understand why they aren’t raising money fast enough — the recession hit the area hard. But they are still collecting money, and I would assume with the recovery that eventually there will be enough to finish what was originally promised. If not, why should anyone assume that ST3 will go to Tacoma? What if another recession hits (which is quite likely) and rail ends at Fife? Will we then be dependent on ST4 to get to the Tacoma Dome?

      4. No, because ST decreed that ST2 would end in the original 2023 and stations that couldn’t fit into that timeframe wouldn’t get built. Originally ST2 was going to go to 272nd (because the budget wasn’t high enough for 320th). Then the recession hit and hammered South King worst of all because it’s a poor subarea, with few tax-generating businesses (the airport and Kent industries only generate so much), and few employers moving into there. So ST truncated Link at 200th. Federal Way made a huge fuss (as I said it really wants Link), so the compromise was that construction would be truncated at 200th but planning would be completed to 320th to make it shovel-ready for any stimulus funding or other opportunity. Later in the recovery ST re-extended to 240th (Kent-Des Moines). But unless South King’s economy rises far beyond expectations before 2023 it won’t go further than that. And there’s only seven years between now and then, so only a short window remaining to change their mind before construction would have to start to make the 2023 deadline.

        In ST1’s case, the original plan was NE 45th to S 200th. (Or SeaTac?) It was truncated as Westlake-SeaTac and the timeline was extended, meaning the tax-collection period was extended. Later ST identified a different Ship Canal crossing and re-extended it to UW Station. That happened between ST1 and 2 as far as I’m concerned, funded by leftover ST1 money and accelerated by ST2. So the situation is partly comparable and partly different.

        But if ST were to extend ST2 to reach 272nd, it would extend the tax in all subareas even though only one subarea had something to spend it on (because it’s a single tax district so everybody has to be taxed the same rate by the equal taxation doctrine). That was probably politically unteneble, especially for a non-core subarea. (E.g., all subareas use Central Link, but only two subareas use South Link more than a little, at least south of the airport.)

      5. Mike, not to mention that 272nd is only “fringe Federal Way” anyway and pretty much Nowheresville. If today’s vote goes down, Sound Transit should cobble up the bucks to build a bus-only interchange with the SR 509 extension at 26th South and transfer buses from the south at Angle Lake, letting some continue into the airport.

        This would allow single-seat access to the airport from more South King and Pierce locations and keep buses out of the mess at Kent-Des Moines Road.

    4. As a de facto south ender (living in South Park) I most certainly have reasons to vote for ST3. I want to get to be able to get to Federal Way and Tacoma without spending half an hour backtracking downtown to do so. (Still, without some more help from Metro, I have to hike 20 minutes to a sketchy 124 stop by Boeing to head south, if I don’t want to take the slow boat through Burien, or wait some random amount of time, up to half an hour, waiting for a 128 transfer along Military Rd S.)

  9. Big Don, or maybe his name really is “BigDonLives gave me my first response to my first posting in what, 2010?. Fact I’ve only done one bothers me more than anything he says.

    Does he still use the icon with the little white dog? Who may really be Big Don. Wonder if he only comments to transit. Since icon always shows him in a car, maybe we can give him a link to the highway lobby. Or http://smartertransit.org/.

    But Alex Tsimerman is Seattle history personified. Read his statement and you’ll be channeling a whole vanished breed that flourished all along the West Coast when the bricks in Pioneer Square were new. And who outvoted the whole Washington State Legislatures’ constituents’ grandfathers in Spokane.

    Every time he praises Capitalism, just read “Communism”, or “The Heroic Workers’ State!” Shame on Kemper Freeman and Chris Vance for always calling the police to remove a loyal Capitalist Worker from all those Red Lion lobbies .

    The Pioneer Square Association should give him well-paid work and a historically correct actual soap-box in Occidental Square.

    Long overdue for coffee with Alex- or more Russian-culturally tea in a glass. Need first hand help with long overdue posting about world’s longest trolleybus line.
    Probably a relative. [Вы ничего не добьётесь]. [ah] in the Old Country. Do your duty to The Working Class, STB!


    1. Also sorry it started to get a word salad there. I just get worked up at the bullying, the blatant bullying the Sound Transit Board takes from Tsimerman.

      RossB could take HALF of all the time Tsimerman has gotten this year and in that presentation make Sound Transit 3 a much better product. Much better.

  10. There was a comment somewhere by someone who was urging people to vote No on ST3, to the effect that if any renters had voted for the proposal, their landlords should immediately raise their rent.

    Because I get intimidated by comments like this, being a renter, I get on the defensive, but I’ve finally thought of what I should have said.

    Why should anyone’s landlord know how they voted on anything? No one, renter, homeowner, homeless person or anyone else has any obligation to tell anyone else how they voted, wheter it be their landlord, boss, neighbor, friend, social media friend or acquaintance, exit pollers, or anyone.

      1. Not so, Joe. Renters should expect an increase in their rents as long as Seattle’s economy is strong. While there are a few kindly and presumably fixed-for-life landlords who don’t raise whenever they think they can, the majority get “all the traffic will bear.”

    1. I got a note from my landlord last year about rent going up to pay for tax increases, but it was only $40 more per month. I got no note this year, but the increase was $60. I think it has more to do with housing supply and demand, on which ST3 will help, not hurt.

  11. How appropriate this year.

    Election Day dawns (ok, not dawn yet) and the first advertisement I get on STB is…..
    equipment for cleaning out processing lagoons at sewage treatment facilities.

    1. Good grief, man, what have you been googling? I get an ad from Sound Transit advertising viewing station designs. I also get lots of ads for bollards because after reading a post here I googled to find out what precisely they are.

      1. That’s the ad I’ve usually been getting.

        The last couple of things into Google were how to deal with certain iPhone issues.

        Somehow I doubt a Super Sludge Blaster Jet Boat will assist too much with that.

        Though, the last time I wrote any programming it was in Fortran on a DataGeneral MV10000, So, I’m not up to date on the latest software development tools.

        Figures this new crowd of programmers would get all the fun stuff. I’d have loved to clean a hard drive array with a water jet sludge blaster.

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