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29 Replies to “News Roundup: More Like This”

  1. Cool about the electric ferry. It’s such a short run I wonder if anyone’s thought of using an overhead wire.

    1. The ferry route, though short, is crossed by the oil tankers that call at the Fidalgo refineries. I’m guessing it’s not a good idea to run an electrical wire across the path of steel ships full of fuel.

      1. If it’s safe to operate them under existing high voltage wires then it is safe to operate them under a ferry wire.

        Wheatland Ferry, Oregon: note 3 phase trolley wire: No reason the wire couldn’t be placed much higher if necessary:


      2. CFR title 33 says power lines over a navigable channel need to have a 10′ higher clearance than what is required of a bridge in same spot, which in this case would probably have a requirement of a minimum of 136 feet vertical clearance at high tide. so the wire –at its lowest point– would need to be about 150′ up. After you calculate in the horizontal distance of the channel width (around 3000′) using the “Catenary Curve Equation” (see below) the powerline towers on each end would need to be hundreds of feet tall.


    2. Barman, main problem with is stringing interurban catenary to Guemes Island. Streetcar wire has too many curved segments and dead spots. Definitely pantograph. Swimming out to rewire poles can get your toolkit stolen by a seal.


      However, power source has actually been tried before locally. I think it was even numbered Route 44. Might be time to rewire. Could finally have a Route 44 express to Kirkland, though since Lake Washington is so deep tunnel graddient gradient will cost extra zone fare for going to China….if we’d had hybrids and batteries, we could’ve done this long ago.

      But now we can finally give Mercer Island subway-positive bus-invasion-free transit. Especially if we do like the Venetians and flood the DSTT for a canal. Come on! Nobody thought the suburbs would pay for a tunnel in Seattle if the’d have to ride buses through the tunnel of don’t make me repeat how long.

      Just remember this is 2020’s, not 19- Best not kiss the passenger next to you just because it’s dark. You can never get cotton candy out of your raccoon frat coat.


      1. When did the city of Canby pull up stakes and move from Oregon to Washington? I must have missed that.

  2. There are Rider Alert signs up on the bus stops along 35th Ave NE, that route 62 will no longer be using those stops with the fall service change. I assume that this means that they have figured out a better turnaround/layover situation in/near Magnuson Park for weekends and evenings. Very frustrating that they put signs up on bus stops but there is no mention of the upcoming service changes on the website.

  3. I hadn’t realized the new plan for fixing the trackbed/rails to the surface of the I-90 bridge was gluing. The EIS for East Link contemplated ground-penetrating radar would be used, then drills would router out the road surface so that dowels could be fixed in them with light-weight concrete. Exciting!

    1. Man, what progress since my plastic airplane modeling days! Since they’ve obviously now got giant toothpicks for applying the glue, shouldn’t have to throw anymore expensive German dive-bombers away because they look like they got caught by a spider.

      Classified, but thanks to Joseph Heller, Nazi records public knowledge. The LePage Glue Gun took down a lot of our formations glued into a mass of goo like my models. But we’ve got one unfair advantage over the crew that dug the Channel Tunnel. Because even a rainy climate, when we have one again, doesn’t forbid a surveying laser from shooting straight, as does salt air in a tunnel.

      So unlike the English crew aiming at France, it shouldn’t take us long to find Bellevue.


  4. The stop at 3rd and Virginia heading north is a little annoying but hopefully fixed soon. It looks like they are preparing to either move or split where buses stop with a location further down the block but some drivers are stopping at the old location while others are stopping at the new leaving me not knowing where to wait and hustling a few bus lengths to catch where the driver decides to stop.

    1. Yeah this is a pretty notable issue. They’ve been being left at the top of the escalators into the University street station pretty commonly the last few weeks. On Tuesday one was laying across the top of the escalators and I had to move it.

      They are going to have no choice but to penalize some how, of course given that it’s a bike anyone can move it after the user is done.

    2. I’ve thought about this a little bit, and I’m not really sure what penalties they can enact.

      It is certainly annoying when you see a bike on the app, but can’t seem to find it on the street; that is a bad experience. However, I’d rather have bikes in funny places (and paying for the loss of bikes via my $1 / ride) that than docks, which were also hard to find and not where anyone wanted to bike.

      Also, am I the only one who thinks that it’s very funny for a bike to be on top of the Fremont troll? It added a needed pop of color.

  5. The new electric ferry sounds very interesting! The report says it’ll likely cost ~$20 million, compared to ~$12-16 million for a new diesel ferry, and electric power is “inexpensive.” Any idea how long it’ll take WSF to amortize the difference?

    The new Clallam Transit GM has already been serving as interim manager, which sounds good. I approve of the Strait Shot, and the recent partnership with the local Native American tribe about La Push service also sounds good; let’s see more like it! How about a new shuttle up to Hurricane Ridge on weekends, to avoid overloading the parking areas? And straighten out some of those one-way loops in Port Angeles!

    Yay for one more reverse-peak Sounder!

    1. Not going to link the trans-mountain trolleybus line in Russia for awhile, but Routes 2, 13, 3 and 4 indictate it’s not necessary to tear up a fleet of diesels over Hurricane Ridge Precedents are also show reasons not to do thing.

      Also, regenerative braking on down-bound buses could light the whole Northwest without a talcum powder sized molecule of coal dust.


  6. Am I the only one who read that headline as “ORCA friendly” rather than “Orca friendly”? It did seem odd to come on board with just a few years before ORCA 2.0…

  7. It’s tragically true that all the reports and numbers said we’d win the Viet Nam War in a week. But ‘way past time to prevent a recurrence is still to rate political science like astrology, and make military and State Department candidates take history.

    Real danger signal for statistical bogosity, as the Magliocci Brothers would call it, is when those bus passenger states end up as correct answers on multiple choice tests. Will agree with the author on one point though.

    It’s transit’s own fault if it’s leaders can’t get with General Mattis and tell him how may liberals are already locked and loaded (different than standing only train stopped by a signal screw-up or non-transit crash on MLK) to provide the bus fleet to break the blockade of Fort Lewis.

    At very least, transit and every politician who says they favor it, are ‘way behind schedule in Twittering and Social Medi-izing the idea into the national mind that public transit is a major part of National Security. Whether or not ISIS thinks so, like Sweden, Norway, and Finland, Vladimir Putin certainly does.


  8. “Stats”, not “states”. Though bogosity constant still holds. Though true, some states have higher quotient than others.


  9. Sounder South gains some trains, the unwelcome surprise is a total shuffle of the time table, before it was hit and miss with Pierce Transit connections in Puyallup but mostly workable, now most trains arrive a few minutes after the top of the hour and half hour when most buses leave, or will have just left – e.g. 402 to South Hill and 425 to South Hill.

    Mornings are even worse, the last 402 to connect with a train is Sounder at 7.13, the next bus at will arrive just after the train does at 7.30 (the one I currently use, now I’ll have to get out the door 30 minutes earlier), the old Sounder time of 7.37 would result in sometimes missing it. Now you’ll have to wait 30 minutes for the 8am Sounder, which is the last one, and again the next 402 arrives at the same time, which will cause a missed connection.

    More evidence that transit agencies do not work together, will not work together, do not consult, nor communicate with each other. 17 years of Sounder south-line, PT and ST cant align their time tables at train stations to make train/bus and bus/train connections efficient and practical.

    I’ve lost all faith in these agencies, ST is just greedy, I’ll never vote for anything in their favor again, and I hope the $30 car tabs gains traction and sticks it to ST for screwing everyone over with a system that doesn’t work.

    1. Sounds like your blaming ST over something that is more of Pierce Transits realm as they run the 402. Let’s not throw ST under the bus for something that is not in their control.

    2. This is on Pierce Transit, not Sound Transit.

      Call your County Councilwoman, Pam Roach, and give her an earful. I’m sure she’ll march right over to Pierce Transit headquarters to verbally abuse the lowest staff member on the totem pole. She’ll figure out a way to throw someone under the bus.

    3. So let’s see – ST must run its trains at specific times allowed by the railroad’s owner, BNSF, slots for which they must pay. PT can run its buses at any times they wish, unconstrained by any external factor. Yet you blame ST to the extent of wishing for an outcome that will not only hurt your neighbors but people throughout the region? Were I you, I’d be pounding on the doors of Pierce Transit and your local politicians and demanding answers as to why their buses cannot make timed connections at rail stations – places that likely contribute a decent amount to their ridership.

      I would hope that PT can make some relatively quick adjustments to their schedules in order to better connect with the revised train times, but if not, they are the ones to blame. They have far more schedule flexibility than ST/Sounder does.

    4. >> Sounds like this is PT’s fault? Why are you blaming ST?

      How do you know it isn’t ST’s fault? ST has a long record of not working well with other agencies. Isn’t it possible that they simply didn’t tell PT about this change? Maybe they never considered it important (buses, who cares?). So now PT — a very understaffed and poorly funded agency — is stuck scrambling, trying to figure out how to redo the schedule. Changing the schedule has ripple effects through the entire system, and doing this right before Labor Day Weekend likely means that a lot of people are on vacation.

      If this was an isolated incident, I would blame PT. It would be easy to say “look how well ST and Metro get along — obviously Pierce Country Transit has some problems”. But that isn’t the case, is it? Communication between those two agencies has been terrible.

      It is possible that PT simply dropped the ball here. But it is also possible that ST failed to make a decent hand off. What is clear is that the agencies — once again — failed to communicate well. It is worth mentioning that with ST, that is one of their primary objectives. As an agency that spans different counties, yet does not provide most of the transit in any one of them, it is their duty to cooperate with those agencies. If it isn’t one of the primary tenants of their charter, it should be. Yet once again they failed. Maybe this time it wasn’t their fault — but either way it is a failure that is way too common.

  10. Amazing nobody’s talking about the Everett Lyft Crisis. Full details up at https://myeverettnews.com/2017/08/31/lyft-suspends-ride-share-service-in-everett/

    As I told my contacts in the City of Everett, I hold the view as should you the City is right to stand fast. Lyft got most of what it wanted – some standardized regulation – and in return balked right before the Labor Day Weekend.

    Being I use Lyft and wanted to Delete Uber to make those transit to/from Paine Field connections, things are getting… interesting. Wish me luck.

  11. The second suburban wave has started. ($)

    Richard Florida, who’s normally bullish on cities, says that the 1950s-2008 growth in suburbs more than cities has started again. He points to housing costs, crime rising again, people wanting a large house on yard, and federal and state war on cities that has left them under siege.

    “In the Bay Area and Los Angeles, the average home costs more than 10 times the average income; in New York, Washington, Seattle, Denver, Miami and Portland, Ore., it’s more than five times.”

    The biggest losers he cites are Chicago, Baltimore, St Louis, and Milwaukie. “The suburbs of Sun Belt cities like Charlotte, N.C.; Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; and Denver gained population. Low-density suburban counties are once again the fastest-growing parts of the nation.” (Note the word “county”: it may be skewed by county boundaries, if they’re closer to some cities than others.)

    “For all of their many problems, our cities are our greatest economic drivers. Their continued revival is critical to the country’s ability to innovate and compete, create jobs and raise incomes and living standards…. Stopping or reversing the urban revival would not just be bad for cities. It would be a disaster for all of us.”

    1. The comments in the article are worth reading. Some question whether he’s adequately distinguishing between suburbs and smaller cities, or the fact that suburbs are becoming more like cities with denser downtowns. A few repeat the stereotype that all cities are unsafe and dirty and have bad schools.

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