Once more we dive into the reader mailbag.  Lots of stuff to talk about: ST3 finances, streetcars, deadheads, and more.

Some links: Original mailbag comments, Early Wins, Bus Branding, South Sounder Negotiations, FHSC Maintenance

14 Replies to “Podcast #36: Essay Questions”

  1. Whatcom’s route 48 is just a monetized deadhead–limited stops on the base to the Mall station where route 71 starts, 5-6 times a day (2-5 miles, scheduled for 10 minutes). I actually rode it once; I was the only one.

  2. As someone who reads the blog and the comments regularly (but I don’t think I’ve ever commented): when you read Mark Dublin’s question and the first reaction was “I don’t understand”, I broke down laughing so hard I had to pause the podcast. In sympathy and recognition.

    (Mark Dublin, you seem like you know your stuff and have good ideas, but your writing style is usually incomprehensible. You need to focus more on what you’re trying to communicate, not gesture in its direction and assume we know what you’re referring to!)

    1. Same for me. The ~30% of his comments I can figure out seem thoughtful and insightful, but much of the time he seems to be speaking in some sort of code.

    2. I’ve told Mark several times that if there’s anything he really wants people to understand or do, he needs to put a TL;DR in the comment.

      He has said that everything fits together; he sees connections between a wide range of things that influence each other, and he tries to express that.

    3. I like Mark’s writing as is, thank you. While I may not see some of connections between his arguments and musings, they often send me on pleasureable Wikipedia excursions.

      1. A lot of us often can’t get what he’s trying to get at, so a TL;DR in all Mark Dublin comments would be very, very nice to have.

    4. Mark is our local transit minister. His sermons provide a nice escape from matter of fact discussions on transit and he usually ties together a lot seemingly disparate but interrelated ideas. If I am not in the mood, I just scroll past them :-)

  3. Honestly, everybody, I appreciate these comments more than any of you can know. ??, (language or dialect?), I’m seriously glad you’re checking those references. I need fact checking worse than anybody in current Administration.

    Four years ago this last Pearl Harbor Day, I suddenly lost my wife. She took me to the Northern European cities where I got so close to working street rail. It was thanks to her that I suddenly got to drive a streetcar through Downtown Gothenburg at 11AM.

    Like an engine losing a counterweight ‘way over red-line RPM. My last solid and relentless force for normal human comprehensibility. Let alone anything technical.

    Best comparison I can do this morning is between transit engineering and plate tectonics. Life and death connections. But for Seattle Transit Blog, mandatory to explain every reference. Don’t let me get away with leaving that part out so much.

    Mark

  4. You’re incorrect on the MBA meaning builders are required to build housing. Developers have an option to pay a fee in lieu of building affordable units. That money goes to the city, but it’s unclear to me where that money will go. So there may be an issue with the affordable units being built in a less desirable location.

  5. You said you don’t believe the Ballard line could be truncated in an intelligent way, but isn’t smith cover a logical (temporary) ending point? ST could open the new tunnel to Smith cove, and then defer the remaining extension to Ballard by several years. This could be an option if there are funding constraints.

    I mean, Angel Lake isn’t a “logical ” ending point, but it works just fine as one extension phase among several.

    1. I agree with AJ. Without the expense of the high — well “medium high”? — bridge across Salmon Bay, two stations and a mile and a half of track, you might be able to lop $700M off the project and get good transit to the arc between Amazon and Expedia. If downtown Seatle is to continue growing employment, SLU needs grade separation.

      Do not defer Harrison, though. As you both said, once the tubes are built it’s not really possible to build a station around it for any reasonable cost, and it will serve an area that is absolutely perfect for high density. From the south slope of Queen Anne development around Aurora won’t significantly degrade views of downtown and the waterfront; they’d be to the left of the viewscape. And it will serve as a very good bus intercept for buses headed down Aurora and Dexter.

      But please, please, please, ST, stack the tunnels between the north portal at Denny Way and the south portal at Lower Queen Anne and make Harrison platform over platform so that a decent junction for a Harrison-Dexter/Westlake-Fremont-Wallingford-U District-“East Campus”/U Village-35th & 65th/Lake City line can be connected smoothly. (Forget Upper Queen Anne forever; the neighborhood wont stand for the necessary up-zone and the station would be halfway to the Gates of Hell deep).

      Keep the tunnels on the branch stacked through the Fremont Station so that a junction for a branch west immediately to the west of the stacked platforms toward 8th and Leary, 14th & Market and 24th and Market can (finally) create Ballard-Fremont-UW (and possibly Kirkland?) can eventually be built The area along the waterfront there is spectacularly suited to dense development. The housing is old and small and there’s a waterfront right there.

      Obviously, such a branch can’t happen in my lifetime (I’m 71). I’ll consider myself very fortunate to ride through the new Green Line tunnel as far as Expedia some day. But this “future proofing” should be mandatory for the design because there will be a line north along the west side of Lake Union some day and having it weave across North Link at U District will increase the capacity of North Link at exactly the place it will be needed — U District to Westlake. It would divert people heading from farther north to SLU to the much less crowded new line in a transfer facility which can be far more efficient than the one at Westlake will be with its block long walk between platforms.

      Yes there would be one more station stop to go to Harrison and two to Denny Way, but a center platform directly below 43rd and Brooklyn would allow a single pair or escalators from center platform to center platform to make the transfer. (Yes, it would require a pair of two-stage escalators in order to make the necessary right hand turn to clear the top of the east-west tube).

      I know this sounds like Wells’ ravings, but such a line would tie together the in-city system better than a straight north-south Aurora line as Seattle Subway seeks and a separate Ballard-UW line that skips Fremont.

  6. Dudes! You totally failed on the elevator question. Obviously there are plenty of elevators, BUT you can only call on at a time. If you press the button while one elevator is already down there it assumes you just want that one elevator to stay longer. This is also an issue at UW station. Have you seriously never encountered this?

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