Any of you who saw the Seattle Times ST3 precinct map saw a very similar map to 2008, with North/Central Seattle and Downtown Tacoma doing the heavy lifting for passage. Seattle carried King County, and King County carried the region. More people voted Yes on ST3 in King County than voted at all in Snohomish and Pierce combined, easily outnumbering the 56% ‘Reject’ majority in Pierce County.
So I thought it’d be fun to offer nearly meaningless trivia for comment fodder, drilling down to the micro level and see which precincts voted most strongly for or against the measure. (These are election night results, but the final totals would be similar).
Top 5 ‘Approve’ Precincts in Seattle:
- 37-3694 (Pioneer Square – north of King Street Station) – 98% Approve
- 43-2543 (Capitol Hill – Summit) – 95%
- 43-2853 (Capitol Hill – Pike/Pine) – 93%
- 43-1858 (Capitol Hill – Hilltop) – 93%
- 43-1867 (Capitol Hill – Pike/Pine) – 92%
Top 5 ‘Reject’ Precincts in Seattle:
- 34-1543 (West Seattle – Arbor Heights) – 61% Reject
- 43-1992 (Broadmoor) – 60%
- 34-1443 (West Seattle – Genesee Hill) – 60%
- 37-1574 (Rainier View) – 59%
- 37-1631 (Seward Park) – 59%
Top 5 ‘Reject’ Precincts in King County (some of these are tiny):
- Squak Mountain (Issaquah) – 100% Reject
- McDivitt (Unincorporated King County – near VMAC) – 93%
- Tanner (Renton Highlands) – 80%
- Auburn 31-0063 – 75%
- Jovita (Edgewood) – 73%
Votes by Legislative District within Seattle:
- District 11 – 67% Approve
- District 32 – 61% Approve
- District 34 – 62% Approve
- District 36 – 69% Approve
- District 37 – 71% Approve
- District 43 – 78% Approve
- District 46 – 66% Approve
66 Replies to “Tidbits from the ST3 Results”
Somewhat ironically, I have used Sound Transit’s route 554 to hike Squak Mountain (100% reject) many times, and many eventually use Issaquah Link for it, if I’m still around when it’s finally built.
I don’t think the links on the images are right. The link is to https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2016/11/16/tidbits-from-the-st3-results/ST, but it redirects to https://seattletransitblog.wpcomstaging.com/2008/04/22/st-109-in-testing/.
Fixed. Thanks for the catch.
Hmm, seems like the troops really like transit. Pretty hefty yes vote around JBLM. I wasn’t quite expecting to see that.
That surprises me too. I would expect military people to have a strong cultural bias against transit – if anything, I’d expect them to be driving Hummers around everywhere to show the world how macho they are.
Even though the JBLM would be served by proposed ST3 Sounder stations, the lack of last-mile travel options to the base, combined with the limited train schedule means the only way they’ve be able to use it is for a touristy visit to downtown Seattle on a day off, not for commutes to the base itself.
(Because of the security gate, I don’t think even Uber from a train station to a point on the base is possible; if you’re not driving onto the base in your own car, you effectively can’t get through the gate).
JBLM does run a network of buses thru the base, that are free to all soldiers. However, if doesn’t really go to anywhere off-base, aside from those that cross I-5 near main Lewis gate. Even soldiers in Lakewood’s Springbrook, Tillicum or Woodbrook areas have long hikes to anywhere on-base. JBLM should add some stops at the Sounder stations and Lakewood transit center to connect their soldiers to the outside world.
JBLM would surely add shuttles to Sounder. Owning a vehicle when in the military is probably a pain (most have to move every ~3 years, sometimes to other countries). But those without a vehicle are really stuck there.
One possible constituency you might not be thinking of is military spouses that live off-base, and commute to jobs across the region. I’m not sure if that’s the source of the voting patterns, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
The military is also tending more liberal in recent years (polls show that they voted for Bernie in large numbers).
Easy explanation, asdf2. Higher admission standards for JBLM than Broadmoor. So I think that the largest spot of dark blue ink south of Capitol Hill (the one with the LINK station) deserves more gratitude than Broadmoor would get for similar vote. And more eagerness to give those voters every shuttle seat and parking space they need to ride ST service.
It also shows me that on the map’s next page south, the blue likley stays dark all the way down I-5 to site of another pending Capitol Hill Station. Which while many of its passengers hold the law in contempt and will require extra policing, they’ll pass more transit legislation if they get to ride.
Meantime a fair percentage of the neighbors I need to convince to stretch ST across the Nisqually really don’t get to choose the make, model, and paint scheme of company vehicles. Or in their work areas, permission to go off route due to pavement conditions.
A sentence or two welcoming them aboard, and thanking them for their votes and their service, might make it equally likely to both expand and spread the benefits of last week’s transit vote, and limit the damage, and term length of same night’s other one.
Troops are younger, which tend to be more transit friendly. But basically, don’t assume the military is filled with meatheads
Yeah, asdf2’s generalization was grossly unfair and not at all in line with people I’ve met.
JBLM, while you might assume they would fall in line to other conservative thinking. I think they get that the people who work or serve on JBLM want better transit options overall. And the top people at JBLM I think get that, they invested in a free public transportation service for the base called Go Transit. Which connects the rest of the base both with each other, but also with Pierce Transit routes 206 and 300 at Madigan and the McChord Exchange/Commissary respectively. They likely see Sounder Service to Tilicum/JBLM as a wise investment.
JBLM has the people who are serving in the army or air force, but they have one of the largest military medical centers on the west coast here with Madigan. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover is what I’ll finish with.
Any thoughts as to why that precinct in north east Capitol Hill voted strongly against?
That’s the Broadmoor Golf Club – a gated community in Madison Valley. Similar to the JBLM comments above – not much point living there unless you drive through the gate to your home. Also, I’d guess one is less inclined to favor public transportation when one – ahem – intentionally gates oneself off from the public.
Back in the day, Almost Live ran a sketch where John Keister climbed the fence and broke in to Broadmoor. Inside, he found crumbling buildings, broken cars on the lawn, and helpless old men telling him that now that he entered, he can never leave.
Funny thing is, the stop for Broadmoor on the 11 (36th/Madison) is not unused. Most mornings on the 11 I take there is often a couple of people there, and in the evenings the bus usually stops there and a couple of people walk through the gates.
Of course there are probably 200 homes in there, and most of them are not a particularly short walk from the main gate…and there is absolutely no transit service anywhere near the north gate.
Interesting that the 37th has two of the lowest 5 princts, but overall had the highest yes percentage of any district.
Which neighborhoods were the closest to overall city breakdown?
D’oh, misread. 37th is second highest. 43rd was highest.
Of course Broadmoor is (by far) the most central place to roundly reject ST3. Those taxes would just break their budgets.
In general I don’t see much correlation between those who will actually benefit from the bulk of the expenditures, and those who strongly favored the measure. For example, there is a huge amount of support in Seattle north of the ship canal between the UW and Ballard and these folks won’t get much out of ST3. I’m thinking of areas like Wallingford, Fremont, Phinney Ridge and Greenwood. Similarly, support in Lynnwood is much stronger than support in Everett. It isn’t especially popular (from what I can tell) around many of the stations in Snohomish County, while other areas (that will have service in ST2) strongly favored the measure. I can think of several reasons why this might have happened:
1) Folks didn’t vote their self interest.
2) People like the idea of light rail, and paid no attention to the details.
3) Geographic preference is seen as fair or more effective. Everett and Tacoma should have light rail, since Seattle got it. West Seattle sits very far away from the current system, so it makes more sense to add service there. At the other end of this spectrum, consider what people would think of replacing the 7 with light rail. While doing so would most likely be a much better value, people would no doubt consider this unfair because “Rainier Valley already has its rail”. When I mentioned the Metro 8 subway, a friend of mine said “the Central Area already has rail”. True, but missing the point.
4) People didn’t understand that ST2 would still be built, even if ST3 failed. Supporters, of course, encouraged this misconception, emphasizing travel times from Everett to Seattle, not Everett to Lynnwood.
5) Folks think this will reduce traffic.
My guess is it was the first three that was the key to victory. I think you could suggest just about any rail system in this city and people would support it. But something that looks great on a map, that looks balanced, was bound to get the support of liberals in this town. I think people are willing to spend big bucks because of the booming economy, unless it is for something like a police station or jail. I think a lot of people bought off on the TOD/social justice theory, despite no evidence to support it. As nice as it is to think that tens of thousands of people will be able to rent a cheap apartment in Fife and commute quickly to Seattle, it won’t happen.
Oh well, worse things have happened. I didn’t shed a tear over this passing. A much worse thing happened that night (Trump getting elected) and I shed a bunch of tears over that.
I view ST3 as being very similar to the viaduct replacement tunnel. That project has its good points, but it is simply a terrible value. It does a couple things — removes the ugly freeway from downtown, and provides for automobile mobility. In both cases it is a terrible value. Capping I-5 and building another viaduct would have been much cheaper. It also could have had ramps to Western, which is a forgotten piece of that mess. Car traffic from Ballard to SeaTac or West Seattle, for example, will now flow through Fremont and onto Aurora, and that really isn’t good for anyone.
Likewise this will, eventually add some value. Some of the little stuff is great. More money for Madison BRT means more money for other city specific projects (like RapidRide+). The Ballard to downtown line is valuable, and better than average (at least it makes the top five in terms of what I would build next). Capital projects keep people employed, and since this will take a long time to build, that might be a very good thing in the coming years. Sure beats building more prisons.
I see this as another example of a shift in the way things are done in Seattle. We used to be cheap, but effective. The bus tunnel and viaduct certainly epitomized this, but the best example — a shining example — was the King Dome. It served professional baseball, football, soccer and for a while, basketball. It didn’t do any of that really well, but it did it cheaply and effectively. It was certainly ugly, and the acoustics for concerts were terrible. But Ken Griffey Junior didn’t mind, nor did Mike England or Kenny Easley. Now, of course, we have a stadium for football and another one for baseball, but we lost the Sonics. More extravagant, less effective.
We’ll muddle along, I suppose. I seriously doubt we will ever have a really effective transit system — something equal to Washington DC or Vancouver, BC. But we’ll keep chipping away at small improvements (like RapidRide+ and the additional service hours mentioned yesterday). The nice thing is that those improvements will likely be felt long before Ballard rail (the only major project of substantial benefit) is built.
Living in Lynnwood and based on my own limited experience talking to people, I don’t think I met a single person educated enough on the subject to realize what ST2 is and that it comes to Lynnwood.
I think that voters don’t really distinguish between ST2 and ST3 in terms of benefit. I even got an email telling me to vote yes on ST3 because there would be a transit travel time savings from Lynnwood to Downtown Seattle (ST2 project). The blurring of the referenda appears to be both a passage strategy and a public perception.
I would add that ST2 listed the corridors in ST3 for study. Really, it’s not ST3 but ST2.1. I think that’s how many voters interpreted it too.
Definitely 1-3. People who support transit were generally voting for ST3. The protransit anti-ST3 vote was always going to be tiny.
But also people may see utility in the lines where you don’t. Someone who lives in Lynwood might be really excited about getting to their job in Paine Field?
Most people won’t use the system. Transit mode share won’t be that high in 2041. They’ll be dead or they’ll be driving. Some of those who use transit won’t benefit because they live in the wrong place (too far from a line, or on an ST1/ST2 line which serves them fine).
So the large majority of voters are making a calculation of their personal pocketbook vs what makes the world a better place (which may include “solving” traffic). Pro- or con-, that generally doesn’t hang on a specific alignment.
Voters do take cues from the political/business leaders. If the Snoco establishment had lined up against the plan, we’d have seen a very different vote in Snohomish County. But if they had lined up in favor of an SR 99 alignment that skipped Paine Field, or a BRT system converging into Lynnwood, that would have changed hardly any votes at all. Very few people have independently developed views about specific plan elements.
People use MAX quite a lot. By some estimates, MAX accounts for 1/3 of all rush hour trips on the Banfield freeway corridor (I-84). Ride MAX for the same amount of time and you get half the distance as you would on Link.
It’s not the most ideal proposal, but it’ll be reasonably popular.
Just wondering, but what are the 5 or so projects that you would have built next? Ballard-UW, Metro 8, Ballard-Downtown, West Seattle Transit Tunnel, 130th station?
There is also:
+ The BRISK series of concepts that was kicked around on this blog for a while. It could have been good if it had made it past the electronic napkin stage.
+ The West Seattle BRT that could have been good.
Neither of these were projects that ever seemed to go anywhere with the powers that be.
RossB, you have to be patient. Both DC Metro and BART took a half century’s hard work to achieve their present condition, and frankly, I just don’t think Seattle has the persistence, creativity, and foresight to compete.
Vancouver BC, could be some hope. Because three hundred years before this very minute, Elon Musk is putting finishing touches on the mechanism our system demands if the South Lake Union line is ever going to bring him any customers. Before Kakao cafe steals all his parking.
Seattle has now already become wide and flat, and laced with existing railroad right-of-way wide enough for both surface track like Amtrak uses, and large pillars for small driverless railcars. Blue, blue green, and white, except where wrapped to look like a Subway sandwich.
But most important of all, the eastern third of the United States is populated by angry people yelling in 300 year old French and threatening (they almost did it in 1995!) to break up the country because the British didn’t fight fair on The Plains of Abraham, which are now a light rail stop in Buffalo NY.
So by the time I finish this comment, President Steven Harper (well, could he be any worse?) will hand ST the envelope with a multi-billion dollar check paying for the whole rail system for an Expo-sition.
Where exhibitors include the Prevost (Prhhhheeeevoh!) bus company, whose sales material is all in French. (Still have some from 1986.) Proves how slack cities get when everything gets done for them!
Even if you don’t live or work somewhere today that wouldn’t directly benefit from ST3, most people have little idea where they’re going to live or work 20-40 years in the future. Even those who think they won’t benefit may actually benefit. Of course, this logic is nuanced enough that most voters were probably not thinking this way.
I agree with almost everything you said, except for this:
“When I mentioned the Metro 8 subway, a friend of mine said ‘the Central Area already has rail’. True, but missing the point. ”
Speaking as a resident of the Central District – what on earth are you and your friend talking about? We have no rail. There are no plans for us to get rail, ever. This makes little sense to me, given that the CD is the most obvious candidate for densification within the city limits.
Perhaps there is a disagreement on where exactly the Central District is. According to the map I got from Google, the future Judkins Park station is in it, and Beacon Hill and Capital Hill are kinda close.
As far as Metro 8 subway, it’s key destinations would be Capitol Hill, Seattle Center and South Lake Union, all places that either already have rail or are already planned to get it. Such a line would probably only have two stations that are genuinely new.
Why does the Times use the same color for approve and reject? The map is impossible to read.
That is, indeed, a very colorblind un-friendly map.
Are you RG colorblind? Because in my book, red is a completely different color from green.
Hate to break it to you but I think you might be RG colorblind.
I’m seeing red for reject, and green for accept. Are you perchance red-green colorblind? Or has something gone weird in your monitor?
I often have exactly that problem with maps like this. Some shades of red/green/orange are indistinguishable to me. I would prefer a gray scale.
What’s with the dark green area around Carnation?
Check your map – I think Carnation is well outside Sound Transit?
It might not be Carnation, but what is the very dark green area fairly far to the southeast of Redmond? Maybe the very far northeast corner of Sammamish?
It sure doesn’t seem like it would be a place that would be severely in support of ST3 and be so very dark green.
What is the story there?
People wanting their parking place at Microsoft freed up?
Better commutes to the Google facility at Kirkland?
The precinct may include (some or all of) the Redmond Hill development — lots of apartments not too far from downtown Redmond and right on the edge of the dark green area. At least…that’s where the voters would be for that precinct: the extension of the dark green to the east doesn’t appear to have more than a handful of actual residences in it, as it seems to contain just the highway and the Evans Creek Preserve. If the precinct does not include the Redmond Hill development, then it includes very few voters; it truly could just be that a handful of people voted yes, and a smaller handful voted no (i.e. a statistical quirk from a low n-value).
That’s not Carnation. That’s a precinct between Sammamish and Redmond called “Happy Valley”. The result there was 72.2% approve with 18 Y/N votes cast. Only a quarter of it is in the Sound Transit district but the Times didn’t clip the precinct areas lying outside the district. (neither did I in the map from 2008 but I outlined it in black)
With only 18 votes cast, it sounds more like an accident that it happens to show as a huge dark green area.
They will get a Link station 2 miles up the road near Marymoor Park. I checked the zoning and it is considered rural but somehow was included in the ST district. Maybe they’re hoping that one day they can develop the property and tout proximity to rail.
Question: whey do we make people 70% against ST, who are miles away from the nearest ST service, be part of the taxation area? It seems to me that it would be logical to reduce the boundaries of the ST tax area to the portions that could realistically use transit. People far out in Pierce county voted 70%against ST3 probably justifiably insofar as they get minimal benefit. Sure they could drive to a park and ride and take Sounder that has comically bad span of service and frequency, but that really isn’t much of an option for many. For the portions of Pierce county who won’t be served with frequent all-day service it only seems fair that we don’t make them pay, we would likely forgo only a small amount of money but in exchange of ST4 comes along we don’t have to convince them to vote yes.
Pierce County has, for reasons I don’t know, a fairly expansively defined Urban Growth Boundary. Big enough to accommodate lots of sprawly development. The inevitable consequence is miles of low-density neighborhoods too sprawly for transit to work well (or at all, now that Pierce Transit has retrenched into a smaller service area). Since the RTA corresponds fairly closely to the UGA, the Sound Transit taxing area covers these neighborhoods too.
Politically, it balances two competing imperatives for Pierce County. They need an area large enough to produce the tax revenue to pay for their desired subarea investments. But not so large that the local anti-transit majority overwhelms the Seattle super-majorities in a regional vote.
They use expensive park and ride lots, usually free of charge, to get to a service that they only use during peak periods. So, like it or not, they are the most expensive people to serve.
On the other hand, Glenn, doesn’t it save us a fortune in ST Express bus operating time, and even more Emergency Response and Medical Examiners’ hours, to l re-locate these voters to seats where they can twitter their little tweets off at seventy?
But if they are using transit, don’t you think they should help pay for it by being in the taxing district?
And who says they don’t use Sound Transit service? People boarding trains at Puyallup and Sumner have to come from somewhere.
I think it makes sense to drop Bonney Lake and Buckley from the ST district. Those communities aren’t even ex-urban, they’re flat out rural, and including them is a ridiculous as including Enumclaw. Gives those communities a swap between ST and PT, and add Marysville to ST, which clearly belongs there.
Route 596 that serves the Bonney Lake P&R is the 12th ranked route that ST operates (2017 SIP).
I don’t think Buckley is in the ST district.
I think it is just a matter of time before Marysville joins.
I was going to suggest when the precinct results came out that maybe we should let southeast Pierce leave the district if it wants to. But both ST3 and Sounder are predicated on their revenue, and they’re Sounder’s cachement area. If we let southeast Pierce leave, they’ll be riding Sounder without paying taxes to support it.
The ST district is not the same as the urban growth boundary. Covington and Maple Valley are inside the urban growth boundary but outside the ST district, as is Marysville. Pierce just got more of its exurban area in the ST district for unknown reasons. Maybe it was a sly move on the part of the Pierce delegation, or maybe it’s for JBLM’s residential shadow.
It seems pretty obvious to me, given the voting distribution on this map, that the regional compromise is, was, and will continue to be a mistake. Seattle wants transit and is willing to pay for it; the suburbs don’t want transit, and don’t want to pay for it. Seattle is getting less than it wants, to appease the suburbs, while the suburbs are getting more than they need or are willing to pay for. The whole system is misguided. Seattle should go it alone; we’d all be happier.
Seattle wants transit, yes, and NEEDS transit. The whole region needs Seattle to have transit. But Seattle doesn’t have enough money to both pay for its own transit AND roads for the suburbs and rural regions. The better solution would be for WSDOT to pay for trains when an area is suited to trains, and roads where roads are better suited. Unfortunately, urban regions end up both subsidizing suburban and rural areas’ roads AND being asked to pay for their own transit. The compromise that Sound Transit makes is to have the greater metro area pitch in since the whole metro area needs access to the city…and without transit, freeways would be so clogged there would be no access to the city.
Seattle shouldn’t have to pay for its own subway system unless all areas pay for their own transportation system (including roads). If the rest of the state was being honest, they would be happy to pay for a complete subway system in Seattle because it’s a screaming deal per capita compared to rural highways.
Thank you for posting the LD results. That will be useful in my discussions with fellow West Seattleites who still like to claim we voted against ST2, even though it had very similar results. Actually, it doesn’t matter. The car heads will keep on claiming “we” voted against it despite the facts. But I still like the breakdown.
Doesn’t this map track the population density map pretty closely? And, as we’ve been pretty sharply reminded, population density tracks overall voting patterns.
Oran’s map appears to show West Seattle only tepidly supported ST3.
I thought the whole reason we sent a line into that ultra low density urban area was for votes. I suppose I should be considering how they would have voted without their own line.
I believe Oran’s map is the ST2 vote from 2008. The Seattle Times map is showing ST3 results.
Yes, it was above 50%. Aren’t you glad West Seattle helped ST3 pass?
ST3 won, the line is being built and West Seattle voted for it. I’ve had enough of us attacking neighbors who are on our side because you don’t think they delivered sufficiently high percentages.
We’re one city, let’s start acting like it.
This map proves that gifting the train to West Seattle (a route which didn’t rank as high as many other routes in Seattle would have) was unnecessary: West Seattle votes had among the lowest ‘yes’ rates in the city (including 2 of the 5 lowest precincts). Compare on the map the West Seattle rates to the Wallingford rates — Wallingford doesn’t have a link train today and they don’t get a link train in ST3, but they still recognize the need. I’m 100% in support of ST3 as-is, but that doesn’t mean I’m not annoyed at West Seattleites for screaming their heads off that they need a train and then not bothering to get out the ‘yes’ vote when they got it. (Oh, and Wallingford is JUST as an example…Greenlake, Leschi, Madrona or Queen Anne are more examples of places that don’t get a train…yet West Seattle voted closer with Mercer Island rates than with these neighborhoods).
I mistakenly looked at both maps as ST3 (the Times’ map is much harder to read). All my statements above are still valid — though slightly less egregiously — other than the comparison to Mercer Island.
It seems to me that this result (ST3 passing with the minimum comfortable margin, 54%) proves that the ST board knows how to read the region’s politics. They thought that West Seattle light rail was an important part of a successful package and they were right.
Here’s another way to look at it: I know that my family tends to look at the whole system when evaluating its value. Just because they don’t live in West Seattle doesn’t mean that they don’t envision themselves taking the train there and thus taking that into account for their yes vote. While I agree with you that a Ballard-UW line would’ve been better, from a political perspective those neighborhoods are already voting yes in huge numbers whereas West Seattle needs a big carrot to get on board. I think the margin of victory is pretty good evidence that this was the right political calculus.
I was not a supporter of this measure not only due to the plan, but due to the tactics used (just one example: my ST-provided ORCA card email was getting emails through election day, despite supposedly being told to “cease and desist,” one of many reasons why these agencies need oversight). As one fellow put it, passage of ST-3 represents $54 billion of (traffic) frustration; voters like what sound like simple solutions to complex problems. I’ve lived in Seattle and King County, and I can understand the exuberance of getting more transit there. However, in Snohomish County, most notably in Everett, all of the marbles are in the light rail diversion via Paine Field that makes us wait 5-7 more years than the direct (I-5) route, will permanently cost riders north of Everett in higher fares and the equivalent of 2 weeks/year on a train, and, unlike previous lines, doesn’t displace any local service, so all we get is light rail: if we’re still able to afford to live here and haven’t expired. Here’s what I expect to see in the upcoming years:
1. Starting the day the fresh taxes become effective next year, the hue and cry of people receiving their car tab bills, shocked that they’re triple, many not knowing why. Further surprise in 10%+ sales taxes will sink in more gradually, while property taxes regularly go up and down, so those may not be noticed by most. People will get creative with what they pay. Roughly $400/year/person more will be taken out of the economy – and their retirement – to fund the measure, not $169. Landlords will raise rates, this being yet another excuse. Urban sprawl will move people to the suburbs, where assessments and rents will follow suit with what’s happened in Seattle.
2. I-5 between Everett and 164th will continue to get more clogged, as for the second consecutive ballot measure, ST passed on completing the north half of the 164th direct access ramps. This simple, inexpensive measure (the design was probably already done, and there’s no freeway to cross) would have eliminated buses having to cross regular lanes to serve Ash Way. Another, even more inexpensive measure is that ST continues to deadhead their #513 bus from their base in southwest Everett to downtown past thousands of residents of the multi-family, low-income area on the other side of SR-526 from Boeing/Everett, forcing them to take a local bus 25 minutes north to downtown Everett to take one of the other ST routes south (to Seattle or Bellevue).
3. Seaway Transit Center will open in late 2018, and Snohomish County’s second high-capacity transit line, the Green BRT line, in 2019 (yes, Joe K, BRT is considered “high capacity”), and a third BRT line will open in concert with Lynnwood Link’s opening in 2024. Another line or two will open before Link reaches Everett, for BRT is quicker to put together, less expensive, and more flexible. Speaking of which, ST passed on the incredibly low-cost option to pay to have the Green BRT line loop north from Boeing to downtown Everett, which could have been done by 2020/1 due to that segment being able to share the routing and stations of the Blue BRT line, i.e. no right-of-way acquisition. Word had it that the executive has passed on riding it/giving it a try.
4. Northgate Link will have a splashy opening, for agency leaders don’t consider themselves a public agency, and besides, voters weren’t concerned that almost $1 million of their money was spent to promote U-Link despite there being plenty of free promotion. ORCA cardholders’ personal email info will be kept at the ready by “Mass Transit Now,” for in the early 2020s, ST-4 will be announced and will be on the 2024 ballot. Let’s hope that the future ST Board realizes that I-405 and University-Ballard deserved light rail lines.
5. In 2024, most Snohomish County riders will have their 1-seat rides become 2- or 3-seat rides to/from downtown Seattle and the U District, will have to walk through the incredibly-congested Lynnwood Transit Center parking lot, some even probably having to navigate Mountlake Terrace Transit Center (stairs, elevator, open-air overpass), to/from the trains, but this sure beats what the northeast Seattle folks get to do, but most won’t know this; more hue and cry. On the positive side, most/all commuter service to/from the county should be freed up to add more service in Snohomish County.
6. Also in 2024, ST 532 riders may be forced to transfer to “the new BRT” at Lynnwood Transit Center in order to continue to Bellevue. TBD is whether the ST BRT lines will mostly represent consolidation of existing routes (Metro’s 372 and ST’s 522, which are at least close to BRT frequency on SR-522, a variety of routes on I-405) vs. new service hours.
7. By 2036, Link’s to reach Everett, finally. For those who haven’t retired or expired by then, and don’t mind the crowds of the city (some of us do, even today, and we avoid Seattle like the plague), or have to, as they work there, ST may eliminate the transit competition, as they have done so elsewhere. This time, the candidates are ST express bus routes 511, 512, 513, and 532, which-if eliminated-would make the 112th freeway station an orphan. There’s also a possibility that Sounder-North may not keep operating, saving big bucks. As Everett Transit gets nothing from ST-3, i.e. no overlap, residents there will have to continue to get by with 9 all-day routes, many on hourly frequencies, the sidewalks rolling up on all but one route by early evening, with sparser service on weekends. In other words, Link probably won’t run 21 hours past Lynnwood, as the connections from it in later hours won’t exist under current conditions.
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