King County Administration Building, where voters can use accessible voting machines weekdays from October 18 until election day, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

STB endorsements for Seattle Mayor and other races will be out this week. If there is a campaign somewhere in the region that you think merits STB’s endorsement, this post is a chance to make your plug. As always, STB endorses solely on the basis of candidates’ records and positions on transit and land use.

Ballots should arrive in the mail Thursday. Your Washington State Voters’ Pamphlet should have already arrived. An audio version is available here. Local voters’ pamphlets are also linked there.

14 Replies to “Call for Endorsements”

  1. There are 5 seats on the ballot for Kirkland City Council (2 of them unopposed). This city council had persistently operated as the spokesperson-front for the city’s rich white single family homeowners who want to stop multi-family housing from being built, stop any road project that makes streets safer if there is any possibility that it could impact speed and convenience of motorists, and stop Kirkland from getting high capacity transit.

    With #ST3, a small group of well organized, loud, self-funded, largely old white SFHowers, campaigned to shut down any ST3 proposal that included high capacity transit for Kirkland. City Council, in spite of majority support among the city as a whole, allowed this small group of vocal people to get them to back down from rail or BRT on the Cross Kirkland Corridor.

    As a result, Kirkland gets no high capacity transit except for I-405 stop at 85th which is nowhere near anything and Issaquah gets light rail. Translation: they let a couple dozen rich homeowners deny transit to the rest of the city, the majority of who wanted it.

    This same council looked at a parking study that found a 40% oversupply of parking at multi-family developments in Kirkland, all of which had received waiver to build less parking than required by city code when they were built. And what did they do? They voted to increase the minimum parking requirements for multi-family developments in Kirkland and no longer allow waivers. More parking means more traffic, higher cost of homes, a lot of development that just won’t happen because building the parking doesn’t pencil out financially.

    Really this whole council needs to go. But that’s not an option today. So please help the voters make an informed choice.

    My recommendation to Kirkland voters: Vote for Issaquah candidates because they represent their constituents.

    But perhaps SEATransitBlog can come up with a more helpful recommendation than that. I hope so cause my kids live in Kirkland and will be going to college without good transit if they choose to do so locally.

    1. Glen, summer 2016, I walked the trail in question, including a hike between Totem Lake and Bellevue.

      The line is graded and curved for trains, which used to run there. But there are some passenger-rail and civil engineering problems much worse in the way than the people you mention.

      I think there’s already a several-story high elevator planned for South Kirkland Park and Ride. But failing some mechanism from mining country, there’d be no way to get a vehicle from the trail to the bus stops below.

      Disappointing to me, because the “feel” of the right of way seems just right for a streetcar line the caliber of South Lake Union as part of a long linear park that includes both the car track and the foot and bike trail.

      Which would be perfect to go to street running from the Park and Ride along Bellevue Way to the Bellevue transit center. One tempting solution. (Damn!)

      But whatever the transit mode, another problem. When the existing rail right of way crosses 108th, you’ve got several miles of vacant lots and warehouses until you get to the east side of Bellevue. Express speed definitely possible, but don’t think passenger density would pass the test.

      Interurbans really used to carry small freight, and would be (not kidding!) able to supply manufacture on the scale of bicycles. I really like the idea of a train up there, Glen. So would really appreciate a first-hand report from you as to what’s really possible.

      Mark Dublin

    2. The council didn’t “let” Save Our Trails shut it down. The council commissioned its own study and recommended BRT to the end. SOT recommended nothing, or rather 405. ST didn’t want to wade into the middle of the split so it declined both positions and withdrew to “405 BRT” which was going to happen anyway. What more could the Kirkland council do except silence SOT, which would violate their freedom of speech. If the Kirkland council genuinely felt BRT was better and worth risking getting nothing over, it should stick to that position.

      I agree with the general position of getting councilmembers who prioritize transit more and aren’t allergic to upzones, but I have no direct relationship to Kirkland so I have no specific preferences..

      1. No less of a myth that BRT was chosen over commuter rail in the corridor (via the ERC) because it had a better cost/benefit ratio. (Both BRT and commuter rail had the same ridership numbers for the shared segments, Commuter rail was around $ .2 billion cheaper. The commuter rail estimate included everything up to Snohomish, but no Lynnwood – Bothell segment, BRT the reverse)

        Sound Transit and Kirkland were at odds because the one place on the ERC where light rail was the most viable alternative was the segment to Kirkland using the ERC.

        Since the end result was that neither BRT nor Light Rail was chosen, SOT got their way.

  2. Jennifer Gregerson for Mukilteo Mayor – and Community Transit Boardmember.

    Mayor Gregerson has presided over a time of change in Mukilteo. Willing to think courageously and calmly, and also the strongest Community Transit Boardmember. Without this victory, Mukilteo will likely be denied a Community Transit board seat. Unlike her opponent, Mayor Gregerson not just [ah] – but also is working hard behind the scenes to make transit work for folks from getting Paine Field’s many destinations more service, to making sure the multi-modal terminal works, to also continuing her transit education at conferences. There is more to leading transit than just finding the nearest forum and spouting off like you’re a rock star or an EA-18G Growler in afterburner, both skills I’ve proven I have in spades – I find Mayor Gregerson complimentary to my work around transit advocacy.

    One last thing: Whether any of you like this or not, since ST3 is now law & bonding has begun, it’s in our interests to make sure Mukilteo & Everett connect properly to the light rail going by Paine Field – and to the Paine Field Commercial Terminal currently under construction. Mayor Gregerson will make this so.

    There you go.


    Couple more, Glen…definitive proof! Any chance we can use Social Media to get these into the campaign in Kirkland?

    Totem Lake, Kirkland, South Kirkland P&R, Bellevue, Bellevue Transit Center. Too bad that neither the New Electric Railway Journal nor its medieval monarchist publisher Paul Weyrich is still here.

    Because nobody can say it isn’t conservative!


  4. The accessible voting center at the King County Admin building will be open weekdays from 8:30am (not 6:30am). On election day that office will be open until 8pm for in-person voting. Any registered voter can use it to cast an in-person ballot or solve registration problems.

  5. Auburn Mayor: Nancy Backus. She is pro-transit, and willing to work with ST & Metro to create solutions to improve transit service. Her opponent, Wales, is in favor of defunding transit, and refuses to look beyond the city limits regarding City Hall priorities, as though nobody in Auburn commutes beyond the city limits. Backus is on the ST Board, currently and advocates for solutions that will help both the City and the entire region.

    31st LD Senate: Michelle Rylands. Rylands’s views are more nuanced, but I believe that she will be an advocate for common sense in Olympia. Her opponent, Fortunato, wants to defund Sound Transit, and make the Sound Transit Board an elected body. Fortunato also wants to create a new county to “expel” Seattle. I am not sure how this crazy man got elected in the first place. Rylands is needed to bring common sense to Olympia from the 31st District.

    Auburn Council: Larry Brown. Larry is not specific on his support for transit, but he mentions congestion and traffic on his webpage, with a background image of the Sounder commuter rail… (almost as though creating good public transit would help people get out of traffic!). Brown’s opponent, Mike Kahler, has taken an “Auburn-first” approach, and, as with Wales, will not look beyond the city limits to problems that are regional in nature.

    It is difficult to get strong transit candidates in the Auburn area. I believe that these three candidates bring stronger transit advocacy to the table than their opponents and, in the case of Backus, would be instrumental in continuing Sound Transit and improving Metro, both locally and regionally. I am not suggesting an endorsement in the 31st LD State Rep race, but Nate Lowry has my vote in that race. Two other Auburn council positions are up for election, unopposed, and neither are particularly deserving of an endorsement. I will be casting a vote for Yolanda Trout, and leaving the space blank for Claude DaCorsi. I also support Britt Kauffman for East Pierce Fire & Rescue, and know that he is a level-headed common sense guy who cares a lot about his community, based on our conversations. He is running against an incumbant who did not submit a candidate statement.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions!

      You ask how Phil Fortunato was elected in that district (and later appointed to the senate seat), when that district has re-elected Pam Roach how many times?


    After watching a video of a Bellevue City Council candidate forum, and looking at their candidate websites, I think that:
    Karol Brown is better than Jared Nieuwenhuis
    Lynne Robinson over Steven Fricke (the latter of which “[opposes] tolls and lane reductions on Bellevue roads”),
    Janice Zahn over Phillip Yin (Janice mentions multi-modal transportation, while Yin just talks about traffic and the needs of drivers)
    Randy Grein over Conrad Lee (Grein mentions that roadway expansions are limited, and that public transportation is part of the solution)

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