27 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Don’t Block the Aisle”

  1. It’s easy to say “don’t be a seat hog”. But, for people going to/from the airport with heavy luggage, sitting for 30+ minutes with large, heavy suitcases on your lap is just not practical. So, what they’re really saying (but don’t want to say explicitly) is that people with large quantities of luggage should be driving, to save space on the transit vehicles for others.

    1. Dude. They say right up front to use the spaces that Metro provides when traveling with bulky items. They are not saying to take a car if you have a suitcase.

      1. LA Metro’s subway and light rail trains are more spacious than Sound Transit’s. They removed rows of seats to make room for bikes and luggage. Then again, if you’re coming from LAX you’re most likely taking the FlyAway bus which has dedicated luggage compartments under the bus.

      2. asdf2 and Lazarus, problem is how little luggage space there really is on our airport trains. With wheels making for ever larger baggage loads. In the raised sections, only one of three rows of seats have any space under the seats at all. Two sit on sanders, and one against the door panel.

        I’ve found best luggage-friendly seats are the fold-down benches. Sit there, and you can usually pull your bags out of the aisle and hold them in front of you. I’d still go for one wall-benches only car per three or four-car train.

        But today’s video shows another thing. Seat-hogging and rest of the behavior shown to me is same level of infraction as doing an othewise-mandatory “tap” after innocently forgetting an “off” one. And getting fined same $124 Fare Evasion charge as for willful theft.

        Reason I’m always careful to buy a paper All Day pass before I get on day’s first train. Which somehow never makes me Liable to Lose whether I tap it or not. Like my prepaid ORCA monthly pass, which ST is begging me to use, does not.

        Paper also loses all the information that the system threatens an ORCA user for not providing.

        Every time I legally Evade like that, I get closer to going over to my car, which I really do like, and know my map well enough to stay out of traffic. For,along with convenience. same major reason hordes of people in all countries go automotive soon as they can afford: freedom from both arbitrary rules and the mentality that creates and fights for them.

        Though video also points half the solution. I like the little seat-hog, and would gladly hold his luggage on my lap if he can’t find a bench seat. Couldn’t bear to watch somebody sit on him. So give him a furry little “Tapmunk” for a friend, on signs over every fare reader, and seriously, problem solved.

        Also, start “Honoring” the ORCA card with a whole month’s systemwide, modewise transit I’ve paid for before every month’s Day One for 22 years. All ST has to do is tell Fare Inspectors to check only for card’s validity and my lawful possession. End. Of. Frigging. Story.

        But, since I’m told that ST only gets $4, and the rest to the District Court because that’s its lowest price for compelling my obedience, official mode of persuasion works for me as well. Taking suggestions for appropriate animal for what they represent:

        Cute Starving wolverines and rabid hyenas come to mind.

        Mark Dublin

      3. Mark, check out the Nov 2nd Streetsblog USA. Apparently a Cleveland judge ruled Cleveland’s transit fare enforcement unconstitutional (similar to ours), and the argument is very interesting. It might give you some ideas on how to proceed in your case. If nothing else you are not alone

        Apologies that you will have to hunt. I’m finding it difficult to cut and paste the link on my tablet.

      4. @asdf2,

        I think you are working overtime to come up with reasons to dis Link. I’ve had absolutely no trouble with luggage on Link. Saying you can’t bring luggage on Link is nothing more than the transit equivalent of fake news.

        Now luggage on Metro buses? Total pain in the rear. Anything bigger than the smallest of bags and you really should take a car, or Link.

    2. Yep. Join me in the third car. The odds are much much better that you will find and continue to find the space you need.

      1. Sorry but municipal judges in Cleveland, Ohio, a state that has yet to decriminalize fare evasion, do not get to rule on constitutionality of laws or codes in Washington State. As it is, she has screwed up the BRT system there by making all riders board and leave via the front door.

        Meanwhile the racist cops are still working and allowed to enforce fares on platforms, including the BRT “stations” that are nothing but sidewalks in East Cleveland.

        https://twitter.com/RideFreeArea/status/927762687802482688

  2. As much as I rag the editors for not interviewing Kubly before ST3, I want to give them props for their Farrell endorsement– she was on KUOW’s On the Record a few weeks ago, and just said to myself– I am so glad I voted for her in the primary (and the two winners- Jenny “status quo” Durkin and Cary “blame the foreigners for high housing costs” Moon could not hold a candle to her.

    Throwing this out to the horde, does Moon or Durkin’s plans to speed up ST3 make more sense?

    1. There is only so much Seattle can do to speed up ST3, directly.

      The things that the mayor could do to really speed up ST3 (over what is likely to happen) are:

      (1) lobbying Congress hard to come through with full funding for the grants the FTA has approved for Lynnwood and Federal Way Link;

      (2) lobbying the state legislature not to defund ST3;

      (3) getting neighboring cities to get out of the way with delay/stick-up tactics;

      (4) and of course streamlining the regulations in Seattle that NIMBYs will use to delay the Seattle portions.

      The money Seattle could come up with to help is chump change compared to ST’s capital plan. The money the feds are holding out on is serious. The money the state lege threatens to take away is serious, even under the Democratic bills. The Republican bills are obviously much worse. I fear Durkan will stick to defense on (2), while Moon has already unwittingly blown (4) with her promises to give neighborhood associations filibuster power.

    2. Oh, I forgot:

      (5) Get SDoT to buy lot of ads with indy media like STB so we can afford reporters to keep the sunshine on the process and call out Congress, the lege, and neighborhood associations in ways the mayor’s office and ST cannot.

    3. Probably not. If they do come up with something, I doubt it’ll be a particularly efficient use of scarce resources.

  3. Speaking of transit YouTubes, I’ve got two to share:

    The first is that Alex Tsimerman is now raiding the Tacoma City Council to retaliate for his ejection – and the Tacoma City Council is, unlike the Sound Transit Board, fighting back: https://youtu.be/1FzIFVUSGoE

    Second, some Joe you know and a fan of Sound Transit sortied to keep the pressure on last Thursday: https://youtu.be/TOKJyD0pVCw

    As we continue to fight Tsimerman, please stay informed. The fight’s on. Endgame is in sight.

    Now if I didn’t have to do at least one or two beta tests before our Seahawks beat the Redskins, I’d make a video of another transit presentation I made last Thursday (6:50 of https://livestream.com/accounts/11627253/STBoardMeetings/videos/165322182 ). Stay tuned.

    1. As your video clearly shows, Joe, problem at hand, is a lot less anyone present, than who-all else isn’t. Looked like all but three of the public. In Tacoma, the whole city.

      Other side of the table, if the legislature wasn’t already in contempt for not funding schools, Bekka’s bill might mandate zero tolerance for truancy by telephone. Just sayin’, Councilman..Good thing your grades are so good.

      Basic health of democratic government, and everything else public, above all else requires large numbers of people present. Streets, stores, and transit, what destroyed life in our cities forty years ago was huge number of people moving out. For whatever reasons.

      What made the the 1953 Chicago ‘El perfectly safe for an 8-year old boy to ride downtown to the Art Institute every Saturday was large number of ordinary people in heavy-work physical condition, who’d take the air off the doors and leave any threat for the track clean-up crew.

      Couple years back, I stood up without permission at a City Council Meeting and told Alex to show my- emphasis-representatives some respect. No back-talk about violated rights. Though incident wouldn’t have happened had 20 people been there to stand up with me.

      So I think the Board needs to do a lot more to actively encourage larger public attendance. Including frequent discussions where board-members and the public sit down and have an hour-long conversation with each other. Considered priority time in every official’s schedule, however busy.

      But one YouTube-for-a-TV set user to another- see if you can get a date with Emmylou Harris and invite her to go to the next meeting with you. Threat of all the FaceBook dislikes, and violence from her fans, should keep disruptions under control. From the style of her, she can too.

      Mark

  4. Reason why Persuasion by Punishment sits ill with me this morning isn’t fare policy. Am weirded out because I can’t figure out why liberal Democrats are so defensive about it. To present Republican Party, Councilmember von Reichbbauer is a Khmer Rouge.

    It’s hearing on NPR this morning that the Democrats are about to lose a critical election to a Virginia reality show host lover because they’re fighting with each other about who lost them 2016 election. Bringing It All Back Home – wise, in any political area, we’ve got no negative cards at all. Though we’ve lately been named one.

    Democrats, Pete von Reichbauer and transit advocates need to figure out what we can do that it’ll be harder top prevent us from, and also get us some public support for.

    Cheap tiny things from same thinking. Nights, setting stop-lights to yellow and flashing red ’til morning rush. And 100 percent signal pre-emption. Been told a lot of it has never been turned on. Experiments proving to merchants how many more customers transit brings than parked cars do.

    Region-wise, hundred percent connections express to express. Usable Olympia to Sea-Tac Airport service is dead because IT 600-series and ST Express 574 proudly miss each other over five-minutes’ operating time. “Separate Agencies” opposite of Peter Pan, whose relatives die every time somebody doesn ‘t believe in them. Service dies every time driver says they do. ‘Til we integrate, play unity on TV.

    But panoramic focus: Amazon can do us even better than another SLU streetcar. Giant wave of refugees- Hope current Chief Exec doesn’t let us in- has to include fair number of pro-transit voters, also useful for getting Americans re-admitted to the World. Sounder to Olympia Lacey station? Five years max. Thurston County into ST- maybe same. Not even your father’s legal cannabis leader.

    First move: Find a cute ferociously industrious little creature to keep the seat-hog from getting cited. Mountain beaver (look it up) holding an espresso cup should do it.

    Mark

  5. Ads are cute, but they can only do so much.

    Frankly, it’s rather disturbing that someone’s property could be destroyed on a train by a superhero while everyone applauds regardless of the situation — even though it’s just a fantasy.

    At some point, a more direct approach is going to be needed. Maybe people with excess items are going to have to have to be ejected and can’t board again until a less crowded train arrives. At the very least, a driver or monitor is going to need to speak up — so training and maybe wireless equipment that can link to speakers is required.

    1. Looking at the ad, the riders applauded after monster ‘doubled down’ and did nothing or behaved even more obnoxiously. There’s give and take when you ride transit. It would be a more interesting ad campaign if we figured out what makes a kind transit rider and promote that rather than being a scold.

    2. Oh, come on, Al. She didn’t even set his fur on fire. And bet he didn’t even file a complaint- only way he can even get any attention from somebody that cute.

      Some cute girls weigh in here, and verify that you’re worth a lot of pineapples, candy, and occasional bike-fire to make up for your cruel prejudice against giant obnoxious hairy slobs. Though I always hated it when girls I was sweet on passed me over for an even worse one.

      Bike-sharing companies can help by low rates for harmlessly destructible bikes for this exact purpose. Also, didn’t you see how grateful those people at the bus-stop were for affordable pineapples? My only quarrel is with studio for assigning a girl that age to ingest that many M&M’s.

      You wouldn’t give your daughter that kind of skin condition. Because she’d kill you. Also, vacuuming those things right out of that creature’s belly ….well, maybe now kids with that hair color really think it’s AWESOME to go Viral doing something like that.

      All I know is, Emmylou Harris Left Louisiana in the Broad Daylight because the Desire Street carline had too many passengers of same appearance. Well, Marlon Brando got warned about that diet, along with all the jambalaya, craw-fish pie, and file gumbo. Fried alligators don’t help either.

      Though when they really get mad, Cajun girls’ fathers use alligators along with shotguns to improve their daughters’ choice of company. Lighten up, Al. Laissaay le Bon Tomp Roooolay!

      Mark

    3. I’m with Al, we must do all we can to avoid encouraging young women to transform into superheroes, and, using their emergent superpowers, to convert bicycles into confetti in an attempt to delight the other passengers of the train. Impressionable people might get the wrong idea from a PSA that tracks so close to reality. The next thing you know, we may suffer a scourge of J-Pop idols attacking people on Link trains.

  6. Now that the bus stop on 4th Ave and University is closed long-term for construction, I had hoped that the drop-off only 6th and Seneca stop on the 577 (and many peak-hour routes) would finally be opened to off-peak route 577 and 578 trips. No such luck I guess.

    In fact, the only mitigation for the 577/578 is an added stop at 4th and Pike (which is used for the 594/554 drop-offs), meaning more backtracking the route on foot if you happen to be going south of University street. It also means more travel and more stop lights to get through before the FIRST stop in Seattle. I don’t get what’s so difficult about a drop-off only stop at 6th and Seneca that’ll only see 2 buses per hour.

    But they did create a temporary stop starting Nov 4 one block north of the closed stop… for only routes 76, 77, 301, 308, 312, 316, and 522. 577 and 578 still have to keep going to Pike street for the first stop. WHY???

    This does also highlight the biggest walkability destroyer in the city, and that is construction. It’s kind of surprising to see the lack of prominence of this topic on the blog as it has huge implications for transit, as sometimes you have to press four beg buttons to go to a bus stop two blocks away because they need to close sidewalks on 3 out of the 4 sides of the block for construction of the building in the block.

    1. There should be requirement to provide a covered walkway. Even in dense New York, all construction is required to provide a walkway, even if it means taking away parking and car lanes.

      1. I should have gotten a photo of one of the incidents here. Construction signs on each side of the street advised peds to use the equally closed sidewalk on the opposite side.

      2. Seems like we used to get those here in the 1980s whenever there was construction, especially downtown.

      3. Seattle’s policy changed a couple years ago from “don’t bother providing a pedestrian walkway” to “always provide a pedestrian walkway even if it closes a car lane except in cases where that would have an especially negative impact” due to a narrow right of way with a high volume of cars or such. So it sounds like Glenn’s and AlexKven’s cases are either the exceptions or SDOT is getting lax about enforcing it. It may be that 2nd and 4th Avenues are considered too critical to close because they’re primary arterials for north-south cars downtown.

  7. The aisle blockers I see all the time on Link are the lazy cyclists who don’t want to hang their bike, so they just back end it into the cubby space….which almost completely blocks the aisle. Very irritating, and so selfish.

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