Eastside leaders gathered in Bellevue on May 5 to review transit and other transportation projects coming on the Eastside.

0:00 Claudia Balducci, King County Council Member for District 6
5:57 John Howell (Moderator), Founding Partner, Cedar River Group
7:25 Ariel Taylor, King County Council Staff
18:10 Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation, WSDOT
40:15 Peter Rogoff, CEO, Sound Transit
45:15 Ric Ilgenfritz, Executive Director, Planning, Environment, and Project Development, Sound Transit
1:03:35 Rob Gannon, General Manager, Metro Transit
1:08:50 Victor Obeso, Deputy General Manager, Metro Transit

24 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Eastside Transportation Forum”

  1. Crazy thought:

    Since they’re talking about rebuilding the monorail stop at Westlake, what if they added a midway between Battery and Vine where they have to slow down for the curve anyway?

    Adding a stop in Belltown would significantly boost the monorail’s usefulness, and if we’re rebuilding stops anyway…

    1. Or, get rid of the Monorail trains altogether and convert the track into Seattle version of the High Line.

      1. Unlikely to happen given its icon status for the city. I suppose we should tear down the space needle next?

      2. The monorail will be converted to something like the High Line because it’s iconic. If it wasn’t iconic, they would just tear it down after its useful life is done.

        Keeping the monorail running after the Seattle Center link station opens is like continuing to run ferries across Lake Washington after the I90 bridge opened.

      3. The monorail is mostly a tourist attraction. Since it generates enough revenue to keep itself running, we should leave it running to continue to attract tourists.

    2. Are they really talking about rebuilding the Monorail stop at Westlake? Sure Westlake Center now seems to be remodeled every 3 years now but I haven’t heard anything about the monorail stop.

      It would be nice if the Westlake platform could use both tracks without the retractable bridges and I’d love to see a Belltown stop around Bell plus an extension to the future Queen Anne/Uptown LINK station.

      1. Its part of both Key Arena remodel plans. Probably the only part of said plans I care about.

    3. The city treats it as a tourist attraction even though it *could* be used as a serious piece of our transit system. To do that would require that we pay attention to the details, and we just aren’t good at that. Knowing Seattle, the monorail will start accepting the ORCA card just as Ballard Link is ready.

      1. Belltown stop wouldn’t hurt. But I think best way to look at the Monorail is as a horizontal elevator between Westlake Center and Seattle Center. And leave it at that.

        Mark Dublin

  2. Roger Millar at WSDOT has been explaining the consequences of sprawling growth recently. He’s been emphasizing how WSDOT isn’t going to dig the region out of growth patterns that have too many people driving too far for affordable housing.

    You’ll get a flavor starting about the 30 minute mark:
    “Congestion is a symptom of the fact we don’t give our public the housing and transportation choices they need.

    [] If you have no choice but to live in Snohomish County because you can’t afford to live in King County, and you have no choice but to drive..”

    1. Add Pierce and Thurston Counties and you’ll have better description of the scope of the disaster, I mean problem. I-5 is jammed bumper to bumper from Olympia, extending to Centralia, to Everett probably creeping toward Vancouver BC. Every weekday rush hour, bar none.

      Tempting to ask the Army to declare one lane each direction between Centralia and Everett closed to everything that isn’t either military or transit. Since civilians caused this mess, of course they won’t take time away from work. But when they refuse, at least somebody will have publicly called the situation intolerable.

      Something else the Armed Forces can do is help with some construction techniques to get those lanes cleared, and built fast. At least the number of lanes needed for transit only. Rail-convertible would be good too, but main thing is complete lack of car tail-lights in any transit diver’s windshield.

      The money? From the bank accounts of every person, corporation, and other entity currently making a fortune on the real estate sale and speculation that’s choking every sector of our economy, including theirs. Except not fast enough to solve the problem.

      3D trillion decibel silence across the political spectrum. Destructive. Disgusting. Damning. Both major parties. Bet a walk through any mile of these parking lanes could register enough voters to turn on election. So special question for the Democrats: “What have you got left to lose by demanding that Business pay its Bills?”

      Agree about affordable housing everywhere. Mainly achieved by paying average person enough to afford the homes they’re now being put out of. Simple business transaction, requiring no Government interference whatever. It worked back in the days when the help of strong unions.

      When Democrats weren’t scared to call themselves “liberal”. Or call average people “labor” while giving them wages and benefits that gave them lives we’d now call “Middle Class”. Which still won’t pay enough to let average family keep a home in Seattle.


  3. There’s a block on 8th Ave N just north of Denny Park in South Lake Union where there is contradictory parking information. I have a photo but apparently can’t post a photo here. One sign says “no stops” and another says “pay to park” both indicating the same section of concrete.

    I know SLU is going through massive, rapid changes (especially that block!), and maybe signals got crossed. I’m not sure who to let know about this.

    1. Sometimes I want to imbed a photo too, but alas, the rules don’t allow. You can post a link to a photo though

    2. While you’re at it, get on I-5 next working day at Rush Hour, and get us pics of cars sitting on same section of pavement for an hour under a sign that says Speed Limit 60 Miles an Hour. Including an immobilized bus with an “Express” sign.


    3. Try Seattle’s Find It, Fix It. I’ve had about a 50% success rate when using it.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3dlG72jYfI


      There are lot of technical reasons not to run them, but Google “mixed trains” and also images of them. However, as a former little boy I spent morning shift at the controller of a transformer with a red and a green light.

      Pulling a consist consisting of a bright yellow Union Pacific plastic box car, just in front of a dark-green 1930’s era passenger coach pulled by a Lionel 2-4-2 steam locomotive that weighed as much as a black metal brick around an oblong track on a plywood table about six feet long.

      Mounted on two sawhorses in our living room. Close inspection of the floor showed succession of splintered dents marking derailments that made it a good thing that nobody made model attorneys and railway safety inspectors.

      So based on this experience, I’ve lately been thinking that good public relations for both Sounder and BN would benefit by having passengers on every freight-delayed Sounder Train see a dozen freight cars and a tanker or two (beer and maybe herbal shampoo, not oil) roll slowly by behind a steam locomotive.

      Maybe as an excursion train. Or maybe like a steel-wheeled standby flight. Not only sell a lot of train tickets for both railroads, but at the end of the fifteen years of life between ages three and thirteen, the beginning of lifelong votes for both intercity and light rail.

      Though hard to know which will be harder to design. Bullet freight cars rolling 200 miles an hour behind TGV passenger trains headed for the Transatlantic Tunnel, or, in year 2075, Chicago and North Shore interurban cars with baggage doors pulling really antique ST Kinki Sharyo and Siemens SR70’s.

      On tracks rolled out of an electric furnace using everything Breda ever built for scrap. Though could be first tracks in history that came white hot out of the mill still smelling like mold.


  4. Rider Brief: The Vine leaving Van Mall 11:50 May 22. Thirteen on at departure. Two boardings by Andresen and five more by Grand. mThen one at Grand, two at Ft Van Way and one more at the main Clark College stop. Five alightings there. Two more boardings at the south CC stop but none at the Leupke Center station on McLaughlin.

    Total passengers on a mid day trip: 26. Not bad for a four mile line.

    1. Well, Richard, your plan really Drumpfs mine. Though gotta admit I was busy trying to figure out what era passenger car BN needs to couple to back of the last shampoo car. So Swift and Rapid Ride can really help. Also the Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association has a great 1940’s (is that right?) Brill.

      Though given impossibility of getting diamond lanes on I-5 before the sun freezes, not to be ruled out for regular passenger service either. Facebook and Twitter should take about half a second to create screaming antagonistic mobs as to whether ISIS or Vladimir Putin is really working my Lionel transformer.

      I can still smell that hot insulation and melting copper before Mom stormed in to save and pulled the plug.


  5. Skyler in the #62 restructure article (Page 2): “I remember someone saying that the 71 stole hours from the 45”. The comments are closed so I’ll follow up here.

    Metro’s original proposal had the 45 and 67 running every 10 minutes, like the 48. The only service on 15th was the 373 and maybe some minimal 73 service to Northgate (via the Northgate Way button hook). People argued that that was too little service for Pinehurst, because transferring at Northgate Way means buses getting stuck in heavy traffic and people enduring two turns and crossing the street to continue the same direction). So the 73 was re-extended to its original terminus. Meanwhile other people were arguing that 15th south of 65th needed 15-minute service, and NE 65th and Wedgwood needed a one-seat ride to the U-District. When the dust settled, both the 71 and 73 were restored, and the 45 and 67 were reduced. the 71 and 73 were at daytime-only 5 or 6 days a week, but were later restored to full-time from Metro’s reserve funds.

    Reducing the 67 also coincided with through-routing it with the 65. I can’t remember why that was; I think there was another factor in that. Maybe it coincided with making the 65 full-time frequent, or with breaking the 65/75/31/32 through-route (now solely 75/31/32), or with that loop down to UW Station eastbound.

  6. 56:31 in video. 405 BRT peak-hour travel times in 2016 vs 2040. Lynnwood to Bellevue: 61 to 42 minutes. Bellevue to Renton: 48 to 25 minutes. Renton to Burien: 31 to 20 minutes. That’s almost a 50% improvement. And the response to RapidRide F’s slow meanderings turns out to be 405 BRT.

  7. 1:25:51. Seattle in 2035 will have 720,000 residents and 664,000 jobs. Eastside cities in 2040 will have almost 700,000 residents and more than 550,000 jobs. Traffic across Lake Washington is nearly the same in both directions.

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