37 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Zach on King 5”

  1. Zach, congrats for breaking through into the mainstream media. I know at times Seattle Transit Blog management and I see things very differently, but I was very happy to learn my $15 monthly donation passed through.

    I don’t see our pro-transit views as being possible to advocate for against the mainstream media – with a significant amount of which being funded by automotive industry advertising. Zach, Frank, Martin, Dan, et al – you guys are so important to what we transit advocates do.

    Also since this is an open thread and I tried to bring this up last week, but uh folks… good journalism costs money. I’ve got a big mission Wednesday on a non-transit matter in Olympia and it’s co$ting me to a point where I can’t make the likely House Transportation Committee meeting on SB 5001 as I have this other matter I have to pay to attend. So please give what you can to Seattle Transit Blog monthly.

  2. Good interview to start the morning with, Zach. Unfortunately, though, you got upstaged by one of STB’s advertisers. True, suspect some post-truth advertising.

    Because adorably animated young woman advertising legal marijuana actually exhibited diagnostic affect of the best ristretto espresso. Before Liquor Control Board intervened for public safety, Starbucks developed a stout whose only real flavor was the signature taste of wood beads that Howard probably burns in his own ashtray.

    My guess is that this morning’s young sunshine really has an excellent espresso cafe with a Legal Weed dispensary for a period theme. Possibly testing the wind for inevitable next wave. Now that legalization has turned marijuana more boring and unprofitable than aspirin, consortium of stakeholders are even now onto their elected reps to criminalize espresso.

    CEO’s are already Hispanizing their names- Don Juardo Schultze, La Vivacena, El Jerkimero. War over choice locations could go mass-casualty. The Con Panna .375 full-automatic whip-cream gun can put a lot of people off their diet with a single burst. Name “Caffe Umbria” not Spanish, but only window “Wrap” I’ll tolerate.

    Though real coup for transit will be to revive New York City’s “Miss Subways” contest. Naturally, this time gender inclusive. Aimed at local talent, but would love to kick off the campaign with a particular model named Olivia who deserves to be first Miss EastLINK because she’s got freckles. Has STB got any control over leading-ad content?

    Anyhow, Zach, you had a great lead-in to a great interview. Let us know your choice of month and LINK corridor.


  3. A few weeks ago I took a trip to Canada using public transit. For anyone wanting to repeat my task after March 19 there is a big change (yay) route 55 from cordata will be deleted and replaced by more frequent route 75 local service to Blaine from Bellingham station. Just thought I should throw that out there. It makes the trip much shorter.

    1. Thanks, John. Been wondering if this was possible. But once you’re across the border, what’s next bus?


      1. There’s a bus about 1 km north of the checkpoint. After walking by the visitors center stay to the right of the jersey barriers follow the path to the first exchange. Then you cross bc 99 and you’ll see a bus stop. The 375. Or you can get the c51 from the beach if you take that way. I was unable to figure out how to access that but if you do the road will dead end except for a ped trail. Either way you’ll wind up at white rock centre and transfer to the 351. That takes you to Bridgeport Canada line station. I got there at 3 pm. You should easily beat me. All buses run every 30 minutes or so. The train runs every 3 minutes to downtown (6 to either airport or Richmond brighouse).

      2. If you have the time, I’d vote for just taking the dead-end street to the ped bridge to White Rock and walking directly to the 351. It’s about 3-4 miles, but off the highway, and very scenic.

        Eliminating the extra connection to Cordata Station is a welcome change, and should save a good half hour or so. Yet another benefit of the change is that the new 75 now runs on Saturdays, so, if you’re willing to take Greyhound or Amtrak Cascades as far as Mt. Vernon (sadly, no Saturday service on the 90X), you can make the trek on a Saturday as well.

  4. Congratulation, Zach, you did very well! You put the lie to the “transit radicals” BS by that guy on MyNorthwest.com.

    1. I think some of “that guy” said was very much valid. You opponents of electing transit boards have NO RIGHT to bully supporters of more democracy and in my case more transit advocates on transit boards.

      That said, Zach you did great on KING 5.

      1. Joe, do you feel bullied? If so I DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPLY apologize.

        And I still think you’re unbelievably naive and a willing if unwitting tool of people who would happily wreck transit in the State of Washington.

      2. Richard;

        Thanks for the apology. Appreciate.

        Furthermore, I have said many times in various ways so this time I will be very clear that SB 5001 is the worst way to get to my endgame of elected transit boards. I have even pointed out where I think the bill could be improved.

        [ah, ot]. No, I want us to “own” in every sense of the word transit agencies and make them so much better.

        As to arguments about the current system,

        1) Bruce Dannmeier got through on the current system. He was clearly opposed to ST3. Uh folks, I hear as well Pam Roach has designs on Sound Transit. Pierce County might pull some kind of exit folks. So we got Dow and Claudia, but we also got real problems either there or incoming as well…

        2) [ot]
        3) Transit advocates like I don’t want to run for City Council or Mayor and then HOPE to end up on transit board for a little while as we try not to fall asleep discussing esoteric issues; thanks. If we’re going to put our loved ones and ourselves through a campaign, it’ll be to campaign for what we love, improving an agency we love and serving the community we love. (Furthermore, SB 5001 needs to require evening meetings or a way higher salary to get quality candidates.)

        My point is: Folks, folks the current system is stressing and you can blow me off all you want but… even if and likely when SB 5001 dies, the underlying issues why some transit advocates will work with transit critics for elected transit boards will not. You may work with me to address them. Please do.



      3. @Joe,

        No bullying involved. We just care about good transit and making good transit progress, and it is easy to tell what this push for an elected board is really all about.

        ST is working fine. If it wasn’t the opponents of good transit wouldn’t be pushing this elected boards nonsense.

        But hey, if you really think we should all be voting on what color to use for the inside of our Stations, then more power to you. Me? I’m satisfied to leave decisions like that to the current board. This is after all a representative democracy.

      4. I think any transit related proposal supported by all the anti-transit republicans should have many red flags. Joe, I would encourage you to listen to the most recent STB podcast, as they explain what’s wrong with directly elected transit boards very clearly.

      5. Joe, would you accept a requirement that in order to be eligible to run for the Sound Transit Board, someone has to demonstrate some knowledge of how transit actually works? Which wouldn’t be bad for someone appointed either.


      6. OK folks, as we are having some, er, problems I am going to respond to all of you at once.

        Lazarus, a) to me this is more about making the Skagit Transit Board elected and I wish the State Legislative Dems at the least had the guts to put Republicans in a tough spot and make all transit boards elected if this is such a true principle. Otherwise I think your fears are valid.

        Oh and NO I do NOT think administrative tasks such as, “What color to use for the inside of our Stations” should be up to a vote. But having transit advocates on a Board is a lot better than the current system to me. You have to remember I’ve watched, listened to and sat in a notable # of transit board meetings.

        QARider, I will admit graciously that I acknowledge some of the concerns about electing transit boards as valid. But at the end of the day, I think if we have a great product – and we do – we have nothing to ultimately fear.

        Mark Dublin, I wish we could impose such a requirement to demonstrate some knowledge of how transit actually works. Like owning an ORCA Card. I really do. It’s why folks should donate towards STB so the media can vet candidates and ensure we vote for winners who do. I mean after all a STB endorsement is a damn good ticket to winning an election as we’ve learned so to me some of the fear is just ill-founded.

      7. @Joe,

        While I admire your idealism, I think it is totally misplaced. With a direct elected board we are much more likely to get an anti-transit, anti-tax board instead of the one you hope for.

        This is well understood by the people pushing this bill. They know that the easiest way to kill ST and halt transit is by inserting more veto points into the process, and by opening up control to the worst candidates that money can buy. If this bill passes you are much more likely to get a board via Kemper Freman and not the one you seek.

        But this bill has almost zero chance of becoming law. The anti-ST cable is already setting their sights on MVET reform as the next, best opportunity to hobble ST.

      8. Lazarus, I think after last year we proved we could win these elections. And that terrifies the HELL out of transit staffs (and I will NOT name names) stuck on process and dragging things out.

        I think we need MVET Reform. Only because of the sad history of the late 1990s. ONLY. It’s blink time and I’m playing chicken with the next John Carlson in the Hermite.

        I have always said and will always say my support is NOT to hobble Sound Transit and to get ALL transit boards elected. I wonder with Democrats having a bench bordering on empty how they’d think about growing their bench… and State Legislative Republicans who are mostly rural and addicted to WSDOT Transit Grants would react to their reality being given a dosage of cold water.

      9. “Pierce County might pull some kind of exit folks.”

        If Pierce really wants to leave Sound Transit, um, OK? They’re paying for their own services so it should be easy enough to cancel them. We’d have to see whether a Sounder South truncated at Auburn would still be viable, as a lot of it is fixed costs predicated on both South King and Pierce paying capital, operations, and fleet replacement. And what about the existing debt? Would Pierce’s services stop immediately but their ST1&2 taxes would remain for twenty years? Is that a politically viable outcome? Then South Federal Way should be worried if Pierce is paying for that Link station, as South King has the weakest tax base to take on additional costs. (It’s akin to Judkins Park Station; it wouldn’t be built if there weren’t a large city beyond it to get to.)

        However, floating an exit would bring out all the Tacoma supporters who don’t want to leave and are using the existing services and awaiting their ST3 enhancements.

        Another option would be to split the tax district and keep Pierce just in ST1&2, and the others in ST1&2&3. That would probably require splitting the board votes if not the board, so that only Pierce boardmembers vote on things affecting Pierce, and they wouldn’t vote on things not affecting Pierce. But if Pierce renegotiates its relationship with ST and repudiates ST3, the other subareas may also want some adjustments too, possibly even splitting all the subareas into separate tax districts.

      10. @Joe,

        Sure, we can win transit elections, but only if the board develops a proposal that actually does something constructive, and there in lies the problem. Go with a directly elected board which can be controlled by the likes of Kemper Freman and you will never see a proposal like ST3 again. Progress would be blocked at the board level and the people wouldn’t even get a chance to vote on something constructive.

        The city I am in right now is a republican wet dream – a city of well over a million people with essentially zero regulation, low to no taxes, and a near complete lack of infrastructure. I just took my first ride on what passes for public transit here – a fully privatised system of buses and taxis. There are no safety regulations or inspection requirements, and they never close the bus door (which has the windows all kicked out anyhow). Every bus has a kid standing in the doorway while underway and shouting at the destination of the bus.

        An elected board is a race to the bottom. If we get that we will go backwards for sure.

      11. Lazarus;

        I’m not ready to let fear win. If you are so afraid of a little opposition at the ballot box, well then G*d help you.

        You know I remember back when we raised several million dollars, got the business community on board, had an enthusiastic launch and just overwhelmed the opposition. You know what that was? When we compromised and got ST3 passed.

        The way some of you folks sound and act like you’re so afraid is letting the bullies win. Because that’s what they want.

        Me, I know what I believe. I know we will be on those boards. I know we will be better stewards of the taxpayer and demand transit agencies work faster.

        Maybe I should have a STB reporter shadow me next Tuesday (Skagit Transit Community Advisory Committee) and Wednesday (Skagit Transit Board) to see why I want a shake up. [comment policy]

      12. @Joe,

        No fear here, just knowledge. It is clear why this bill is being pushed, and it is what it would mean for ST. We have a system that is working very well and I see about zero need to change it.

        But hey, if your beef is with Skagit Transit then I’d suggest you focus on fixing Skagit Transit. There is no need to gut ST as some odd backdoor method for fixing Skagit Transit. Fix the problems you have, don’t create problems where they don’t currently exist.

      13. Great respect for your position. Will lobby state legislators to fix SB 5001 and do a way better bill for ALL of Washington’s transit.

        I have my issues with ST Administration/Head Office, but my love of the rank & file is deep. I also want to campaign again and again and again to get transit advocates who share my fire and Dow’s fire and Claudia’s fire on transit boards.

    2. @RB,

      Zach must have said something controversial because he appears to be censored out where I’m at. If so, good for him.

  5. It is interesting to notice when someone gets a perception of something they see and don’t have a complete understanding of what is going on.

    I bring this up as it concerns a letter that was printed in the Seattle Times this past Wednesday from a bus rider who got stuck in the massive traffic jams last Monday. She was on a Metro bus that took 2 1/2 hours from 4 to 630 pm from where she got on at the Evergreen Point Bridge stop to where she got off at the REI stop. In her letter she stated that she was dumfounded by the number of empty buses on the road returning to the transit center. She said that there were too many empty buses taking up precious space and compounding to the gridlock..

    She said that Metro and Sound Transit need to instruct the empty buses to get off the road to make room for the buses full of passengers and should create a policy mandating that all empty buses to cease operations and park in the nearest parking lot when events of this magnitude occur. She also said that Metro and Sound transit had all day to plan for the evening rush hour.

    She obviously didn’t understand that all of those empty buses were coming from their garages to start their respective routes to pickup passengers like herself and take them to their destinations. And those passengers were similarly delayed just like she was. Her suggestion that all empty buses cease operations was ridiculous because would she like to explain to those passengers who are depending on those buses how they will get to their destinations if their bus had to cease operating.

    As I said some people see something and have no idea of what they are seeing and her perception on the empty buses is a prime example. I am also sure that both Metro and Sound Transit tried to plan for the rush hour but considering the situation it was very difficult to plan for and whatever they may have planned just got overwhelmed by the overcrowded streets.

    1. And some people are just plain dirt stupid, Jeff.

      Sound Transit should have been running EVERY light rail vehicle, with a short-turn train running between Stadium and HSS between every normally scheduled train. This woman should have been transferred to Link at UW. Metro should have truncated every downtown-bound 520 bus at HSS and had people at every surface and tunnel bus stop telling people to get on Link.

      Maybe next time something like this happens they’ll do that.

      1. @Richard Bullington

        Your suggestion about Sound Transit running every light rail vehicle sounds good on paper but to do so you also need operators to drive them so the question for Sound Transit would be do they have the extra operators to do so.

        Your suggestion about Metro truncated every downtown bound 520 bus at HSS again sounds good but from what the news stories stated was that 520 was backed up so the buses would have had problems getting to HSS. Secondly from what has been posted on this forum light rail on that Monday was already jammed to the doors so now to add all of the 520 bus riders would have made it an even worse situation even with your suggestion about running extra trains between Stadium and HSS if there were operators available to operate them.

        It was a bad situation last Monday and all of us can suggest ideas but they have to be practical and can be implemented.

      2. If there were twice as many trains running there would be at least 60% more cars. That would certainly help the overcrowding, probably enough to accommodate the SR520 riders. In just four years ALL the 520 service is going to be truncated at HSS. At the same time U-District, Roosevelt and Northgate Stations will all be feeding passengers from all over Northeast Seattle. Until East Link opens they’ll be running turn-backs at Stadium; They won’t be able to accommodate the ridership from the 41, 522 and 7X’s with six-minute headways.

        Yes, rustling up the operators would have been difficult and would undoubtedly be expensive. Even though they had about six hours to plan for it, perhaps WSDOT kept assuring ST and Metro “We’ll get it cleared before the rush!”

        So maybe they couldn’t have done it Monday without having planned in advance, but they should take a lesson and complete that planning to be ready next time.

    2. Also, parking the buses in a random lot means you have to keep paying the drivers who can’t finish their shift if they don’t go back to base.

  6. All she cared about is “how do you make it easier for me to drive everywhere” and not “how do we use the existing alternatives to driving”.

      1. I think he’s talking about the King5 anchor, who – like most of the region & certainly most of her viewership – drives to get to work.

  7. I’d worry more if it turns out that the woman who filed the complaint turned out to have just been elected to the revised Sound Transit Board.


    1. “Best Dublin Comment of the Month” award to you. I had it signed by Sam so it’s official.

  8. Last week or so has left me wondering about how short on sleep the driver was who overturned the tanker truck. Freight or passenger, transportation industry has always been criminally abusive to its drivers on this issue. Falling asleep at the wheel probably kills many times more people than every drug to Just Say No to.

    Same, and equally dangerous, for training. Ever since unions went away, whole US workforce has become private contractors doing temp work. Explains just about every new thing broken out of the box. Corporate accounting is that people who know what they’re doing are threat to both shareholders and management itself.

    Platform plank and bumper sticker for Democrats, and Republicans when they finally get their party back from the Dixiecrats: “America Will Work When Americans Get Trained and Paid.”


Comments are closed.