Bellevue Transit Center in the Blue Hour...

This is an open thread.

87 Replies to “News Roundup: Lucky”

  1. SDOT appears uninterested in restriping crosswalks with badly deteriorated or downright missing markings. I inquired about restriping some of the crosswalks at 24th/Market in Ballard because the markings are breaking down. In fact, there is a large asphalt patch in one of the crosswalks but somehow that didn’t trigger restriping.

    The SDOT response was basically “sorry, no.” SDOT says they do not have the budget and can only restripe a small % of crosswalks. It considers collisions, social equity, traffic volumes, and land use along with the Pedestrian Master Plan to determine which crosswalks to restripe.

    Why do we have factors to determine which crosswalks are worthy of restriping? I would have thought bad condition would be the primary factor, but it appears not to be. I was hoping the substantial property tax levies would get us to a basic maintenance level, but that doesn’t seem to be true. This makes a mockery of Vision Zero, especially when collisions are a factor – basically that’s saying until more people get hurt or die here we don’t think it matters.

    Anyone else have success in getting crosswalks repaired?

    1. Your argument isn’t self-consistent.

      The first factor you claim SDOT listed is “collisions”. That doesn’t “make a mockery of Vision Zero”; it is evidence of Vision Zero at work. In a world of scarcity, SDOT is choosing to uphold Vision Zero at the cost of other factors such as “social equity, traffic volumes, and land use”.

      In an ideal world, SDOT would have enough money to implement Pothole Zero, Crosswalk Bald Spot Zero, and Vision Zero all at the same time. (Along with Sidewalk One Hundred.) But that’s not the world we live in, so SDOT has apparently chosen a crosswalk re-striping policy that attempts to maximize the reduction in traffic fatalities in crosswalks.

      1. Whoa!

        If I read this correctly, the comment was in regards to an “existing” crosswalk, correct? If so, it should be maintained to a minimum standard. That is required. For example, if a stop sign was unreadable due to graffiti or because it had faded so much that the sign was illegible, SDOT could not say they consider sign replacement due to other factors.

        Part of the reason why agencies are so resistant to installing new items, such as new crosswalks, is the fact that they are on the hook to maintain them to minimum standards. It is completely understandable.

      2. And yet they have the time and money to paint rainbow and other ‘specialty’ crosswalks at politically selected intersections, so you’ll excuse me for being a little skeptical that there’s any sort of rational decision-making going on in this area.

      3. The Capitol Hill crosswalks were paid for by fees paid by Capitol Hill developers. They did not come from SDOT’s general maintenance funds. (Sources: Curbed, Seattle Times.)

        But I would expect no less than disinformation from someone whose pseudonym refers to the paradoxically government-hating Director of the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department.

        In other words: shut up.

      4. I’m aware of where the funds came from. Doesn’t change my position it’s a misallocation of resources. Developer funds aren’t an infinite magical resource: they could have paid for traditional, boring, crosswalk painting on several times more intersections in the neighborhood, many of which are in sore need of repainting, or other pedestrian improvements to move vision zero forward.

        Keep it classy with the personal attacks, though!

      5. Would they have been willing to? I don’t remember what exactly precipitated the rainbow sidewalks, but if you combine developers with rainbows you get marketers trying to improve their image with the LGBT community, and regular crosswalks wouldn’t have had half that effect,

      6. Generally it’s a city that has the upper hand in these sorts of negotiations: impact fees for variances, etc. That said, demanding incremental improvements in pedestrian safety doesn’t provide the mayor a photo op like a splashy bit of identity politics does, so I can see why it went down the way it did.

    2. Since every intersection has crosswalks (by state law), whether marked or not, SDOT is not obligated to paint them. As Kyle said, they paint the ones they can afford, which are the problem spots.

      1. After Move Seattle, you think the City would be able to maintain the existing marked crosswalks, regardless of whether they are a problem spot or not. Sure SDOT’s not obligated, but then why was one installed in the first place?

        In the case of 24th/Market, it’s a signalized intersection with heavy turning movements and a fair volume of trucks and buses. Seems like a spot where safety would actually be a concern.

      2. DrewJ, if you have numbers that show 24th and Market suffers injury rates greater than those other crosswalks where SDOT has chosen to invest its limited budget, then you have an argument that SDOT is failing to uphold their own Vision Zero promises.

        Otherwise you’re just making assumptions without data.

      3. Kyle S., I’m primarily making that point that there is data available that would identify locations with greater risk… that would be a proactive approach to safety, not just reacting to a history of collisions and injuries. And with the Move Seattle levy funding, there should be a way to simply maintain existing paint on the roads… if SDOT can’t, they should make a better effort to prioritize basic maintenance instead of shiny new projects.

    3. I requested SDOT restripe the crosswalks at 4th Ave. S. & Seattle Blvd. This is an odd-angle intersection heavily trafficked by stadium-goers. No response.

    4. Everything always comes with a trade off. Would you rather have pristine crosswalk markings or new sidewalks? Personally, I don’t think the quality of the crosswalk paint is a big issue, and I’d certainly rather SDOT spends its limited resources on new sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus lanes.

      1. I wish that SDOT would spend money on maintaining the streets as there some that are nothing more then pot holes and it is like trying to drive an obstacle course to ovoid them.

  2. Wow. Looking at another article from MI,

    “There are some common themes in the first and last incidents, which involved five injured persons. In both cases, it was early evening (4:30-5 p.m.) and the pedestrians were wearing dark-ish clothing.

    Burns wrote that Islanders out and about walking, jogging or running in the early evening and late night hours should do everything they can to help motorists see them, including wearing light and bright clothing along with reflectorized items such as vests, attaching flashing lights to the front and backside of their clothing and thinking about carrying a powerful flashlight as well. If you are crossing a street, please keep your head up and eyes trained in both directions, she said.

    “Drivers are often contending with heavy traffic, low visibility, rain, glare, windshield wipers and foggy windows,” the post noted. “Although you may think a driver sees you, they very well might not be able to see you.”

    Wow so three drivers plow into pedestrians in crosswalks in a week and the response is typical victim-blaming. Clearly these pedestrians were basically asking for it dressed like that. Shame on them. How about even a single tip for drivers? Like slowing down when it is dark out at 5pm. You shouldn’t be surprised to encounter a pedestrian in a crosswalk at 5pm. Adjust your driving for the conditions. Low visibility means slow down.

  3. the promise of tax cuts didn’t do squat in conservative areas of the state. It’s hard to see a reason to pursue revenue-neutrality the next time around.

    My primary concern is global warming. I’d vote for carbon disincentives, revenue neutral or not. If a carbon tax which raises revenue and gives it out to a bunch of odd causes of arguable merit manages to pull in a section of voters which are otherwise on the fence about global warming, then by all means we should put such a strategic bill on the ballot. That being said, separating income and expenditure goes a long way to transparency in government. Without this separation, we never compare different expenditures to prioritize the most important ones. Instead we have a complex muddle were only someone who studies the budget intensively can really know what money is going where. In the long run, combating global warming requires government cooperation on an unprecedented level. Without broad trust in government, government will not be able to implement the changes necessary. Without transparency, trust is baseless. My point is, even if the best chance of us passing an anti carbon bill is to pass the sort of thing Sierra club has been discussing, that doesn’t mean there is no merit to revenue-nutrality.

    1. In the runup to the election, progressive/environmental groups lined up against I-732. Yet I-732 fared best in the most liberal and racially diverse portions of the state. Apparently the opposition by Sierra Club or SAGE didn’t shift the voting patterns.

      I-732 failed because it didn’t attract a majority in the 37 counties not named King or San Juan.

      A follow-up bill needs to track right, not further left, to succeed. It isn’t obvious that a more progressive-friendly revenue-positive initiative would do better than I-732.

      Perhaps a smaller carbon tax would succeed. Perhaps a carbon tax that invested proceeds into a clean energy fund that made the state money would succeed.

      The tricky part politically is that most CO2 emissions in the state are from cars, most voters in the state rely on cars for transportation, and they don’t want the cost of driving to increase. A successful initiative would have to dangle attractive carrots that outweigh the carbon gas tax. Like use the proceeds to give everyone in the state with natural gas heat a free electrical heat pump system.

      1. This isn’t the electoral college, you don’t need to win any of those 37 counties. That it made concessions and still did poorly isn’t necessarily evidence that further concessions will make a dent. It doesn’t matter that it won the liberal areas because the only way it can win is by completely dominating in the liberal areas. So I think this indicates the next proposal should tack hard to the left.

      2. The surprise was that it did best in majority-minority areas and the most liberal areas. Those are the areas that the progressive opposition claimed to speak for. It shows that the leftist identity-politics and Sawant/anti-capitalist factions don’t have as strong hold on those areas as one might believe looking at the demonstrations. I supported a revenue-neutral carbon tax before I-732, so naturally I supported the initiative, and I support generally progressive causes, but the leftist hysteria turns me off, as does tying a carbon tax to certain limited social programs. Others may have felt similarly: generally progressive but not like the leftist activists.

        It’s now the leftists’ turn to propose another initiative, and maybe I’ll vote for it depending on the details since I still feel strongly about a carbon tax.(It compensates the public for the externalities of carbon use, and it makes carbon-nonintensive things relatively chraper than carbon-intensive things.)

        The article says a measure can pass statewide if it has greater than 60% support in the ASeattle metro. Whether a tax+social program one could do so depends on what it says. 60% is just a little more than what ST3 got in King and Snohomish Counites, so if something has widespread support it could reach it.

        The fact that the conservative areas weren’t interested in a tax swap at all is also interesting, but it’s something we know for sure only because of the election; polling isn’t necessarily reliable.

        The low vote turnout also plays a part. Generally conservatives vote every election while liberals vote only in presidential elections and they’re especially excited about something. This explains the significant shift in presidential elections, and it’s also why the low turnout is worrisome.
        This happens nationwide: low turnout leads to more conservative victories, high turnout to more liberal victories. It’s why some states are pursuing voter-supression laws because it’s liberals who give up first (and the policies are targeted to their precincts). I don’t know what it will take to convince liberals to vote consistently, or that their non-vote is why we got Trump and so many Republican statehouses and congressmen (gerrymandering plays a major role, but if all liberals voted it would be less decisive).

      3. @Chad – I732 was about as rightward as an effective carbon tax could be – reducing other taxes to the extent of carbon tax revenues, and containing no spending programs. Going further right would be – what? Not actually having a carbon tax? Reducing it so it would have little impact on carbon emission?

        @Martin and others – not sure the numbers actually say that conservative opposition was a bigger issue than lack of progressive support. For example, King County had much larger difference between Clinton and I732 support than other counties.

        In any event, let’s all hope and work for success in the coming legislative session. The landslide defeat (60/40 IS a landslide) has probably made it more difficult for any carbon tax proposal, including a more Progressive one. Contrary to I732’s positive spin (and I was and am a strong supporter), this was not good news for any carbon reduction effort.

      4. Any carbon fee faces an uphill battle because people don’t want to pay more for gas and electricity or products that incorporate them. It’s a milder version of the tax-haters, who no matter what you spend it on would still hate it because nothing is worth a tax increase. In this case, no environmental benefit thing is worth increased energy taxes, even if other taxes are reduced, because it might raise my bill or or pressure a lifestyle change.

      5. Speaking of which:

        Did that thing where natural gas is subject to state sales tax but coal isn’t ever get corrected?

      6. I disagree with the statement that “Progressive infighting didn’t exactly decimate support in liberal districts”. King County only approved it by a 51% margin. ST3, in comparison (which had no organized progressive opposition) won by 58%. That is a significant difference, and could be entirely due to the (national) Sierra Club’s bizarre opposition.

        Probably the most likely proposal to win would be something that funded education. You know, for the children (there is a relevant Simpsons episode, but I can’t find it).

        Seriously, though, people will vote for education. So a carbon tax as a means to pay for basic K-12 education has a decent chance of winning. Of course just about any proposal that isn’t revenue neutral will likely receive major opposition from well funded companies that are dependent on fossil fuels.

      7. And ST3 is paying for education! [1] No wonder it passed.

        [1] An obscure provision of the 2015 transportation bill diverts a small percent of SR3’s tax revenue to the education fund to plug a hole that another provision created, something about how sales tax is applied on ST’s purchases that I can’t explain properly.

      8. Agree with Ross.

        Mike Orr – my understanding is previously ST didn’t have to pay Sales Tax on construction contracts. As a part of the ST3 authorization, the legislature applied sales tax to ST spending and assigned that sales tax revenue to education. The route is circuitous, but it effectively means some of the ST3 tax revenue is funding state-wide education.

  4. So CT can’t add a stop to he 109 until mid-2017? Is this a Swift route or something? A bus stop just needs to be a pole with a sign (and not even a particularly good one). It doesn’t even have to be that either. They could have a temporary bus stop like seen in King County. It’s really not that hard. They do this on Swift lines too, when they begrudgingly finally opened the Swift stop at Edmonds Community College last year, like 6 years after the line opened. Who really takes the bus to school anyway?

      1. But routes like the A-line on Pacific Highway (speed limit 45) has non-pullout stops on the highway.

    1. Apparently the county and the school district have some say over bus stops. I don’t know that road or whetherr a minimal stop is feaiable.

      Swift is a limited-stop service, so too many stops can degrade it. The Edmonds CC stop was in the original plan but it was held up due to construction or something.

      1. 6 years is quite a hold up. If Federal Way Link can open 8 years after being voted on, they should be able to figure out to put a bus stop at the freaking community college along their flagship BRT route within 6 years of opening.

      2. The Edmonds CC station was delayed because CT preferred to wait for the City of Lynnwood to finish building an extension of S 204th Street (the cross-street for the station) and add a signal on Highway 99.

      1. Given some events this last election, might be good to watch Mobile Fare Payment readouts for Russian Cyrillic letters, for instance if you get a lot of backwards “N’s”, which is really a “Y” pronounced like in “Burnaby” Or a reversed “R”, lie last syllable of “Gloria.”

        And references to stops on the Moscow subway, for which only the fact that the project was headed by Stalin minimized complaints about all that money wasted for Art. Too bad Edward Snowden wasn’t on scene yet in 1983 to give us classified info about the Tunnel fleet.

        Since nobody on our project had either the income or the personality to have a mistress, fact that mode-change mechanism weighed as much as a Volkswagen would never be considered scandalous by anybody who didn’t have to drive or fix one.

        But if your screen shows a thousand rubles after you got off at Timiryazevskaya which is really Тимирязевская, you’ve been scammed. Because that station’s been closed since the Wall came down.


      2. “references to stops on the Moscow subway”

        Like Marksistskaya for instance? Aviamotornaya? (aripllne propeller factory. good for Boeing Access Road station or Paine Field). Kitay-gorod (China-town, for the International District). Shosse Entuziastov. (Freeway of the Enthusiasts, for Issaquah or south King County). Fili. (A neighborhood, and a very unusual Russian word.) Lokomotiv. (Possibly a railway union’s football club) Komsomol’skaya. (A kind of Soviet boy/girl scouts.) And oh, there’s a second ring line, outside the previous ring. And the lines are numbered now as well as colored, fourteen of them.

        And in St Petersbug, it of the modernisdt map, Sportivnaya. (Good for Stadium styation. Sportivnaya is a traditional name that every city would have at its stadiums.) Ploschad’ Lenina (Lenin Square, not to be confused with Leninsky Prospekt, Lenin Avenue). Electrosila. (Electric power. I’m not sure if it’s named for the turbine factory or a general honor to electricity.)

      3. It’s also worth pointing out that Russia has subway stations at several industrial plants, with midrise apartments around them, all designed for access without driving. Brooklyn has something similar, industrial buildiings right on city block. There’s no need to have non-polluting plants sprawled way out in the suburbs with acres of open space and parking lots around each one.

    1. Which is an interesting change in service, as the Millennium Line and Expo line are no longer intermixed in the downtown core at all. The Millennium Line no longer does that full loop around Burnaby.

      1. And Sapperton and Braid, which were previously on the Millennium line are now on a spur of the Expo line. I wonder how this affects frequency of service to all of the stations from Lougheed, through New Westminster on in to Broadway.

      2. I’m guessing the UBC extension is to come offf the stub at the community college.

      3. The silly looking loop through Sapperton and Braid is really there to connect the Millennium Line to the depot on the Expo Line. Means easier sharing of rolling stock and a single depot. And the Millennium Line has always been intended to be extended further west under Broadway from its terminus at VCC Clark. That said, even in its truncated form, the Millennium Line has good ridership including at those loop stations.

        Frequency at Braid and Sapperton ought to remain the same as essentially the same interlining will occur except those interlined trains will only go to Production Way and not the whole way along the Millennium Line to VCC Clark. In the future, I could see adjustments to this scheme because Surrey needs more service. Really it ought to get full frequency or at least two thirds of the Expo Line trains. During the morning rush, the trains fill at King George, the terminus station in Surrey.

      4. At first glance the loop seems really silly. What yvrlutyens said makes sense, though, and is undoubtedly the main reason it was built (temporary part of a future extension). Looking at a map, though, I can imagine how the curve was actually used. Looking at a schematic suggests that taking a bus would be faster, but if you look at a real map, that is fairly tricky from what I can tell. Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake and the freeway cut off the grid, and my guess is the remaining cross streets are pretty congested. Thus “rounding the horn” was probably fairly popular.

        I find it interesting that the northern Expo spur doesn’t end at Lougheed, but keeps going to University. I assume the connection to Simon Frasier is reasonably popular, and it probably takes just as long to go on either spur, so they figured “why not?”. But it reduces the frequency of the Millennium Line. Since they aren’t that concerned about that (that line isn’t as busy) it wouldn’t surprise me if eventually the split occurs off of the Millennium Line and that there wouldn’t be any overlap. That would mean that a train would wait a while at Columbia, before turning around (because that spur is so much shorter than the one headed to Coquitlam) but it would mean that the Expo line wouldn’t have a spur. This would enable the kind of frequency that yvrlutyens believes is necessary from Surrey.

        It is possible, of course, that the Coquitlam part of the Millennium will prove to be extremely popular, and splitting service off of it will be hard as well. I kind of doubt it. Folks there have a commuter rail line, which should handle the rush hour loads just fine.

        I also find it interesting that the Millennium line ends at VCC, instead of downtown. The next step is to build the UBC extension, which will thus replace one of the most popular bus routes in North America (the 99 B-Line). That will serve a densely populated area while connecting all the rail lines instead of making a redundant line to downtown. Weird.

      5. The other factor is that much of this is pretty dense. There’s no point in sending everything to downtown Vancouver when there is demand for east-west service further south.

    1. I’m sure there are some who think the light rail is a terrible thing, and more who are upset they are losing their privileged access to the Express lanes. But as long as they keep paying ST2 and ST3 taxes, I’m happy for them to have a station.

      Station design looks good. Very spare, easy access from street to platform, keeps it simple.

      1. I haven’t seen anything on buses on MI recently. Contextual Plan page has some potential bus routes as dotted lines, but no bus stops on the zoomed in photos which may be concerning for Metro?

    2. Good things: Mercer Island appears to be getting a canopy for the entire length of the platform from one side to the other (unlike several other stations currently in design). Entrances on both sides of the platform are also good. Finally, the east entrance has both up and down escalators (although the west entrance does not) as well as one elevator on each side so that if one goes out of service, there is a back-up. It seems that when locals are loud enough, they get the escalators in both directions. To show the magnitude of the power of Mercer Island privilege, consider that the next station west at Judkins Park appears to have more steps to get to a street and bus stop — yet has NO down escalators.

      Bad things: There still seems to be this denial that drop off and pick up won’t keep increasing to and from Link. At least in Mercer Island, there is a retail and coffee shop district where people can park and wait one or two blocks away, and some established nearby curbside areas that could be used. That’s in stark contrast to several other suburban station sites.

      The video doesn’t talk about how Metro buses will use the station at all, by the way. It’s mostly about how the station LOOKS and not how the station OPERATES. I also wonder if there will ever be an illustration prepared for dark evenings to show how lighting will look when people get off the train at 6 PM!

      1. The P&R lot is across the street. Similar to the Issaquah TC, you can take 5 or 10 spots closest to the station and designation them “15 minutes max” parking or something like that for pick up and drop off.

        I haven’t seen anything on buses on MI recently. Contextual Plan pages has some potential bus routes, but no bus stops on the zoomed in photos which may be concerning.

      2. The most important thing about the Mercer Island stations is bus integration. It isn’t a good sign that this hasn’t been the focus. With the Lynnwood station, in contrast, transit is a huge priority. It’s not perfect in my opinion — I would put the station closer to the crossing streets — but it is great if you assume that all buses will use the transit center. It will be easier than ever for a bus to get into the depot and back on the road.

    3. Peoplw who think three or five stories is too much don’t care about how the station operates, they care about how it looks.

    4. 6.83 miles, fully grade separated, 7 new stations, and only 1.06 billion USD? I wish we could do that. Plus it was under budget!

  5. Not sure the numbers bear out that conservative opposition was more important than weak progressive support. Comparing Clinton support and I-732 by county for several counties, it looks like weak Democratic support in King County was more important.

    County I-732 Clinton Shortfall
    King 51% 72% 21%
    Spokane 32% 41% 9%
    San Juan 56% 67% 11%
    Pierce 37% 50% 13%
    Whatcom 44% 55% 11%
    Yakima 32% 40% 8%
    Kitsap 40% 51% 11%

    I don’t think this necessarily means the next attempt should be revenue-neutral. But progressive organization opposition probably DID have a significant impact.

    Let’s hope that the Alliance’s legislative proposals actually result in a carbon tax. Opposition to I-732 was a gamble, and now the question is how long will we wait for a successful alternative.

    1. I agree. The left wing, progressive areas of the state didn’t support this at nearly the levels one would expect.

  6. Many developers are choosing not to build parking spots that would sit empty because the housing market is not a perfect elastic market and they realize they can sell parking spot-less units for very similar prices to parking spot units.

    Developers are not benevolent in any way. When they do or do not something, it is purely because of money. I would know, I work with developers as my job. I’m not hating on developers, I’m just telling the truth.

    1. Put another way, the premium a property owner can charge for parking doesn’t cover the cost of parking.

    2. >they realize they can sell parking spot-less units for very similar prices to parking spot units

      Most newer units charge a parking fee for use of a spot, so the advertised rates for units with and without spots are the same.

    3. More space means more units, which keeps vacancy rates up so landlords can’t gouge as much. The reason rents went up so fast is the vacancy rate went down to a critical level and the city did little to increase supply enough to bring it back up to normal. A working-class kitten dies for every parking space or zoning limit that displaces a housing unit.

      Lack of parking also allows more retail spaces and deeper storefronts. The narrow deep storefronts on University Way, 1st & Virginia, and so forth are very pedestrian-friendly, allow more choices within a 5-minute walk, make the landscape more interesting, and are disfavored by chain stores which gives room for local businesses. Most contemporary buildings have wide shallow storefronts, partly to attract chain stores (their marketing plans target building-wide storefronts to increase visibility and limit competition), but also because the space behind the shallow storefront is taken by the parking garage.

      1. I’m not decrying the lack of parking spots, I’m criticizing that the roundup made it seem like developers are doing it out of love for our City.

  7. How do we feel about CT’s positive attitude about 109/209 numbers? It’d be easier to share their enthusiasm if those numbers were for a commute-only bus. But as an all-day route, we’re talking 3-5 riders per run, on average. I’ve got no problem giving new routes a fair chance to generate real ridership, but it’s hard to share their enthusiasm for these kind of numbers.

    1. Suburban counties have a lower starting point, less absolute potential, and a harder time convincing people to take transit or use it for non-work trips or to choose transit-accessible places to live. So slow but steady wins it. The transit has to be there year-in and year out for people to gradually start using it, to remember it’s there when they could use it, and to trust that it will be there when they need it.

  8. In reading over the past few days that Metro now feels free to cancel bus routes in advance of a snowstorm. This makes me so sad/mad!

    I, too ,laughed at the YouTube videos of Metro buses jackknifing and sliding down hills during previous snow storms. But, during that big snowstorm of winter 2008/2009, I was on at least on bus where the driver heroically traversed up the Pike/Pine corridor with a bunch of needy riders, and I loved the driver for that! It was gutsy driving, successful, & I was able to be only a little bit late to work. I can see why Metro doesn’t want the bad publicity likely to happen during a snowstorm, but it makes the city even more hostage to snow, when even city-dwellers can’t get to work (the ones who are inclined to show up no matter the scenario).

    I suppose we are lucky that the light-rail now solves a lot of this problem. But that treacherous Metro ride up Capitol Hill is one of my fondest memories of living in Seattle!

    1. The driver’s aren’t paid enough to do extraordinary things regularly. Driving heroically up hills can lead to the bus getting stuck, which makes it unavailable for the rest of the day making other riders wait, can lbock the oad for cars, and if it slips on ice it can hit a car or pedestrian. However, the Pike/Pine corridor isn’t one of the reroutes. It’s the flattest in the area. The reroutes are between Pike Street and Jackson Street. That steep Fitst Hill, and hills like it.

      After the snopocolypse that cashiered the mayor, the city and Metro agreed on a snow plan. The city would salt and plow certain major streets and Metro would reroute the buses to those streets. That tuns the 47 into effectively a 49 on Pine-Broadway instead of Olive-Summit, and it uurns the 2, 3, 4, and 12 into effective 7’s going down to Jackson.

      At the same time Metro also published an Emergency Snow Network which has never been used but is even more limited. It would be used in a really major snowstorm. It builds on the snow plan but only a few dozen major routes would run; other routes would be canceled. Madison Parkites would have to walk out to 23rd; the 3, 10, and 48 would be the only regular routes in Capitol/First Hill, and a #90 shuttle would run downtown and east Seattle, similar to the 62 shuttle (a one-way loop between 2nd & Lenora and 23rd Anenue).

      1. Eleanor, with present terrain and snow-clearance capacity, I think adding maybe ten crashed or slid-out buses to dozens of similarly located private vehicles is embarrassing enough to explain cancellations.

        My own position is that threat of snow – and there seem to be some pretty clear weather patterns in advance- should have the Governor declare an emergency and keep every private car possible off the road, period.

        With the State paying unemployment compensation to both employees and employers. Cheaper than towing all that tonnage, and cost of billable time. But the more vehicles this measure will get off the roads, the easier it will be to clear transit lanes on every arterial.

        Also, as LINK network grows, both passengers and businesses could really start to enjoy winter. Greatest thing of all would be to issue green lenses for tail-lights in addition of standard red ones.

        Making the view really festive as passengers look out a speeding train window and see a freeway looking like a twenty mile long motionless Christmas tree. When ST-3 is finished, being stuck in a car will be pretty much self-inflicted. And the War of Christmas will finally be over.


    2. As I posted a few days ago, Metro could equip their bigger maintenance vehicles with removable snowblades that could be put into service when it snows. Lots of state and local governments around the country do this; they have a supply of removable snow blades for use when it snows even when it’s a rare event. Given the costly outcomes of our past snowstorms for both vehicle damage and overtime, it would be well worth it for Metro. Maybe they could even bill the cities for the service!

      1. Yep. They could contract with the garbage haulers to do some plowing too, you always know it’s about to snow in NYC when the sanitation department straps on their plow blades.

  9. Just heard this news:

    More Buyouts and Possible Layoffs Are Coming to the Seattle Times
    by Heidi Groover • Dec 7, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    In what has become a grim holiday tradition, the Seattle Times told staffers today it is offering buyouts ahead of expected layoffs.
    It’s unclear how many positions will be cut and how many of those will be in the newsroom. In a memo to staff today, Times Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Alan Fisco said the paper will offer “unaffiliated employees in certain departments” buyouts over the next week and a half. (Read the full memo at the bottom of this post.)
    UPDATE: In another email sent today, editor Don Shelton told the newsroom “significant staff reductions are necessary” and will be worse than the last round of cuts. Newsroom staffers should prepare for their jobs to change, he wrote. Read the full email at the bottom of this post.
    After buyouts, the paper will determine how many layoffs are necessary. After a similar process last year, 15 Times staffers, including some who had worked there for decades, left the paper.

    Well when you spend MONTHS undermining the most important transportation project of our time and root AGAINST the Seattle Seahawks of public transportation what did the Seattle Times expect?

    My tears for the journalists. Not the management.

    I’m so happy to donate about $10-15 a month to Seattle Transit Blog because at least I get good, relevant, meaty journalism that is NOT going to threaten my freedom of mobility. Or beholden to old money. I was about to make an even more crass comment but thought better of it.

    The fall of the Seattle Times will be a great day for transit advocates! Next, we will serve on transit boards and in state legislatures making transit modeshare at 65.3%. That’s Russell Wilson’s pass completion percentage so far this season.

    1. Or we’ll descend into a world of niche opinion journals and nobody will cover half the news.

      1. Mike;

        We have Seattle Transit Blog. When the Seattle Crimes isn’t able to harangue our heroes in Sound Transit, Seattle Transit Blog will replace them as the primary source of news about Sound Transit. Seattle Transit Blog is like a cross between ESPN & TVW for Puget Sound Public Transportation.

        With respect;


      2. The main issue is not the Stranger’s attitude; it’s that it has about two news articles in the entire issue. That’s not enough to cover everything significant that’s happening in a city of six million people. The arts listings and articles are worthwhile for their own sake, but they’re not reporting or news analysis, a broad range of topics is missing, and it doesn’t hire that many reporters (the reason for the few news articles). If we’re to turn to neighborhood blogs instead, there are a lot of therm and it’s hard to even find all of them much less read all of them.

      3. We need the Seattle Times in this city. Yes, it isn’t as neutral as we would like, but it is the closest thing we got.
        I don’t want to get my news from the Stranger and STB alone. Everyone needs to see both sides.
        There are too many people that are just getting their news from Facebook and we end up only seeing things from our like minded friends.
        Facebook news links create the situation like our presidential election because some people didn’t ever see both sides… but it works both ways and we need to understand the thinking of people like Blethen.

        I am keeping my online Seattle Times subscription even though I don’t agree with like their editorials most of the time. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

    2. Considering journalistic trends doubtless behind this, Joe, wouldn’t lay out a very large bowl of punch. Whether not it’s true… And It Will Be Up To You To Decide!…Twitter revelations of illegal-interplanetary-alien sex rings on Rapid Ride C will distract a lot of attention from schedule performance and passenger loads.

      In addition to being really disgusting to think about-does anybody remember the bar clientele in the first Star Wars movie?-Kemper Freeman’s secret appointment to be Secretary of Transportation will put whole world of transit blogs into shock and PTSD at once.

      Well, since I already just wrote this, too late to do anything about it now. However, this internationally interplanetary attack has a ready-made defense.

      “Will Kim Kardashian either losing or gaining three ounces drag in Pierce and Snohomish on opposite sides in the Caucasus? (Probably will, but YOU DECIDE!)

      Meantime only question is revenge for continued warnings about too many ORCA taps. Awaiting tweets from my accomplices so my credits list is complete. Murdering psychopathic fanatics have feelings too. Oh BTW: ST has classified video of Hillary unscrewing every elevator control panel on LINK!”

      Quick, where’s Doonesbury? Whaddaya mean Zonker’s algorithm got wiped?!


    3. Speaking of donating to STB, I’m having difficulty figuring out how to set up a recurring donation. Is there a special trick to do so?

      1. Hi Calvin,

        Thanks for your support! This is a known problem with PayPal. they detect you are signed in and they want to make things super easy for you. :) Try signing out of PayPal or opening an incognito/private window in your browser, then navigate to STB and click the Donate button.

  10. An interesting note I found on the Progressive Railroading Magazine web site:

    An Item There says that the FTA has found that some 3.6 million people a year in the USA delay getting non-emergency medical care because they lack a way to get to their appointments.

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