Sounder Bruce (Flickr)

This is an open thread. 

33 Replies to “News Roundup: Wind Powered”

  1. “I-5 is aging fast, and the next 3 years will see some pretty intensive repairs in South Seattle and South King County.”

    Wait, wait… Weren’t they already doing that last year? Isn’t that why my I had to catch an earlier 578 to make my transfer… At 9pm? Isn’t that why a ride I got from NE 45th street to S 320th street at 11pm took 2.5 hours once, because the freeway was reduced to one lane?

    Were they not repaving the freeway? Or do they need to do it again or something? I really thought they did this. I’m glad I live in Capitol Hill now.

      1. They were southbound improvements and primarily grind and overlay from around S 200th St to HWY 18. This work appears to be much more intensive than the work they did last year.

    1. I remember reading that the pillars that elevate I-5 across the west slope of Capitol Hill between Ravenna and Dearborn have never met earthquake survival standards. If this is true- any action in this summer’s work?


      1. I’m curious about this as well, particularly in relation to the possibility of a I-5 lid. Most of the pushback I have heard about the lid is that the best (only) time to consider it would be when I-5 is being rebuilt, which would have to happen soon.

      2. I believe the work being done is mostly resurfacing. The actual rebuilding of I-5 will require replacing much of the freeway superstructure, not simply the asphalt. That’s a >$1B project that the state hasn’t yet funded, and yeah that’s probably the best time to do any lidding, or even replacing I5 with something else.

      3. The news article said resurfacing. It didn’t mention rebuilding, which I was surprised at, because it’s getting more critical every year.

  2. ““These pothole patches will last a little longer, but they are in fact temporary,” Kubly said, ”

    hmm most of the ones I have reported this year are actually fixes for pothole patches that were put in the past 2-3 years. The problem is most of these potholes are linked to cracks in the pavement or concrete that allows water to seep in and most of our roads should have been resurfaced decades ago. This is the problem when you inadequately fund preventative repair and replacement maintenance and fully focus your money and attention on more expense and more frequently required reactionary maintenance.

  3. Urban density and transit supporter Sara Nelson is running for citywide council seat 8, opposing NIMBY housing obstructionist Jon Grant. (Jon lost to Burgess in 2015)

    1. Seems like a solid choice. I personally hope that Salomon jumps into the race, though. No one is as specific or as good when it comes to the issues, in my opinion. About the only thing I didn’t like is that he would charge developer fees to help build sidewalks. I’m a big sidewalk fan (we don’t have them and need them in my neighborhood) but developer fees just crimp development, and that is no good. I could maybe see them applied towards office building, but even that can send office development into the suburbs (which again, is no good). But that is the only quibble with his platform, and like I said, he is a lot more detailed than most when it comes to the issues.

      Oh, and I think Grant would be a disaster for this city.

  4. Saloman out of mayor’s race, thanks to two latest entries, per the Stranger’s Slog

    1. Interesting. I hope he decided to run for city council. i agreed with just about everything on his platform (or his stand on the issues) and he made a lot of very detailed, bold statements (unlike some of the other candidates). I’m not sure if I was going to vote for him for mayor, though, as I prefer someone with executive experience. I think he would be a great pick for city council, though.

  5. A few weeks ago I came a across an episode of Nova on Netflix titled “Super Tunnel” worth taking a look at that you can also watch on

    Program Description
    Underneath the streets of London, a team of more than ten thousand construction workers race to build a brand new metro line—Crossrail. Costing almost $23 billion, it’s the biggest engineering project in Europe and must link into the existing metro system. As they burrow the 26 miles of tunnels, engineers battle to make sure historic buildings don’t crack, London Underground trains keep running, and an ambitious station roof made up of 2500 pieces comes together on time. Crucially, they must drive one of their gigantic 1000-ton tunnel boring machines through the earth, passing within inches of escalators and an active subway tunnel, without the passengers on the tube platforms below ever knowing they are there. Join NOVA to plunge into the tunnels of the London Underground and follow this high stakes, action packed engineering endeavor, and discover just how engineers are performing this delicate surgery through the heart of the historic city.

      1. It was basically a condensed version of “The 15 billion pound railway,” which is a multi-episode series about the construction of Crossrail. It’s really quite interesting, and it’s much longer, so as a rail buff, I declare it immediately better. :P

    1. “The Night Stalker” had one episode about a mad Civil War doctor who’d been hibernating in the Pioneer Square Underground, with his alarm set to get up every ten years or so and drain some poor girl’s blood. And then go back to sleep.

      But considering how ghastly English history has been- the Irish would say why the past-tense, and the Scots would point to how the French helped Bonnie Prince Charlie-the Comanches would’ve Britain’s whole nobility to the Geneva Convention- only to find out that Geneva was headquarters to the Protestant Inquisition.

      Point being I wouldn’t like to be in the cab of Big Lizzie (not named after Princess Dianna’s mother in law) when its cutter dented the armor on her favorite skeleton. Or let all her enemies out of the dungeon where they were supposed to spend all Eternity.

      Wonder if Monty Python can get Darren McGavin for the mandatory revival of the series. Fact that Darren died in 2006 should be no problem at all.


  6. Mercer Island on removing some exit ramps: “This would be similar to eliminating the SOV on-ramps from Mercer Street to I-5 in Seattle or Northeast 8th Street to I-405 in Bellevue.”

    And Mercer Island wonders why no one takes them seriously.

    1. I hear there’s some great positions available in the federal government for those that ignore facts and stats, maybe some of these MI council members and city employees should apply.

    2. The data shows that there really aren’t that many SOV’s taking the ICW onramp even at peak times. The impact has been shown to be negligible.

      If MI wants to be taken seriously they should stick to the data and avoid just making facts up in Trumpian fashion.

      Personally I hope ST draws a hard line on this one, because the data shows mitigation really isn’t warranted.

  7. Downtown transit service will likely be delayed again this evening commute. Police shootout with robbery suspects near Madison/1st has closed several blocks of streets. Police officers said to have only minor injuries.

    2nd was closed but looks open now. 3rd is open but with a lot more car traffic because some of the cross streets are closed.

  8. RE: TNT piece on the MVET legislation

    Forgive me for not having a lot of sympathy for legislators who don’t take the time to understand the details of the bills they pass. Yes, the legislative session is a whirl and you have many balls in the air. You also have attorneys for the committees and the caucuses who can work to answer questions for you. If you happen to be a tax watchdog, perhaps you should carefully vet the provisions of your bill pertaining to scope and duration of taxes. You’re accusing ST of dishonesty. That rings hollow in comparison to your incompetence if you can’t protect your constituents’ interests in the crafting of legislation.

    Or maybe this: everyone has to compromise in passing a mammoth piece of legislation like a transportation package. I have to live with your insanely bloated budget for road projects. Maybe you can take one for the team and live with an additional few dollars per month to provide alternatives to hundreds of thousands of people spending their lives trapped in climate-change inducing cars on interstates.

  9. When are we pro-transit folk going to get our own think tank with a photogenic pundit or preferably pundits?

    Dammit we need to muscle up and fight for transit EVERYWHERE.

    I am sick n tired of one side of this transit issue finding a microphone and stashing from public view the fame, the glory, the 12s the genius on the other side. We also need transit advocates the ability to attend Sound Transit University.

    Over to you.

  10. Landskrona in Southern Sweden has a fleet of pretty green trolleybuses powered by the fleet of white turbines with blades like B-52 wings. Have also seen firsthand proof that cows don’t even notice them.

    Begging question about why cows should. Also told that bird casualties are lower than in earlier times, because the gearboxes in those towers get high voltage power out of slowly turning blades.

    Cliff Mass (I still don’t think he wrote that crap) once mentioned that Olympia doesn’t get its share of north winds because the Olympics cut across their path. Tempted to have my State rep propose that we riddle that whole range with tunnels containing wind turbines.

    Only to discover the power will all go to Sound Transit, mostly for electrifying Sounder all the way to Centralia. Well, somebody’s got to do it if I don’t get the Route 7 wired to Ellensburg.


  11. Good reporting from Tacoma News Tribune. This part was funny: “I don’t think any of us looked at the words that were in there…” — says the legislator about the legislation.

    “I think if you had said, ‘We’re going to bond this and we’re going to ask for $54 billion,’ it would not have gone anywhere…” Why? So, people from Yakima, Ritzville, Cashmere, etc. know better than the majority of the Central Puget Sound what we need, here, in the Central Puget Sound?

  12. Maybe someone can help me out here with the 100% renewable energy article. Is there going to be a dedicated grid that comes solely from renewables that PSE will create, or will the Light Rail be tied to the normal grid that the renewables also happen to be tied into. Electricity is electricity when it’s on the grid, no matter the source. How can the Light Rail get 100% of it’s power from renewables if PSE has less than 100% from renewables sources without a dedicated grid?? Sounds a little like a gimmick. Can someone clear this up?

    1. PSE is grouping Sound Transit with other subscribers to order 130 megawatts of power from wind farms that are being planned. That will reduce the equivalent power needed on the grid from other sources. I’m not going to pretend to have power grid expertise but that’s my visualization.

      The deal is for 10 year (2019-2028). Lynnwood, Overlake, and Federal Way extensions (2023-2024) aren’t covered by the deal.

    2. It’s the same grid. When you buy X amount of renewable electricity from it, the utility buys that amount of power from renewable sources, but it can’t send certain electrons to certain customers, so you get any part of the grid output which may or may not be renewable. What you’re buying is an amount of renewable power or a share in renewables, not those specific electrons.

  13. The northbound tunnel from Westlake to CP is semi-closed. A service truck is allowing buses and trains through every couple minutes. I saw a 41 and 255 stacked up around 1:35.

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