Unsurprisingly, regional and national transportation news has been dominated since Monday by the tragic Amtrak 501 derailment. Because many of our readers are following the news of that accident via traditional or social media, and every outlet is working with the same (small) set of facts, I elected not to try and summarize all the 501 coverage, but to focus on other things that happened this week. STB’s reporting and commentary will continue in other posts.
If, nonetheless, you have room in your brain for one more 501 story, make it this KNKX interview with All Aboard Washington’s Lloyd Flem, who knew two of the deceased, Zack Willhoite and Jim Hamre, through their transit advocacy. “I can say with clarity, on behalf of both men […] that we do not believe the future of transportation is an infinite amount of pavement so everybody can drive alone, all the time, everywhere.” Words to live by.
- NE 65th St plans move ahead with reduced sidewalks, lack of crossings.
- Airports are losing money ($) as ride-hailing services grow.
- Support bike lanes along the Roosevelt RapidRide.
- Rep. Macri wants rent control.
- Salt Lake City’s new transit master plan.
- There’s an incipient apartment shortage in Spokane.
- The physical scars of the old Mercer Mess are starting to fade.
- How high should SR 99 tolls ($) go?
- Here’s how Metro Transit decides whether your bus is on time ($). David Gutman’s doing great work on the Metro beat.
- Washington’s I-405 express tolls should rise past $10 ($) to keep traffic moving. Yep.
- Hikers raved about King County’s new trailhead shuttle, but now it needs more users ($).
- Five transit agency execs (including Rogoff) rank funding shortfalls, Positive Train Control challenges among chief concerns.
- Seattle Bike Blog has concerns with the 65th St redesign.
- Erica discusses anecdata in the AirBNB debate.
- Under new leadership, Capitol Hill Community Council aims to build on its unusually progressive legacy.
- Head of Washington State Ferries has plans for hybrid-electric ferries.
- Adding lanes doesn’t reduce congestion. So what is TxDOT doing?
- Ellensburg proves no town is too small for top-notch bikeways.
- A deep dive into a value-added real-estate portfolio.
- World’s steepest funicular rail line to open in Switzerland, I’m jealous.
- Living cheek by gill in modern cities is possible — but it isn’t easy.
- Philly makes moves to reopen Franklin Square ghost station.
- Vera Katz, former Portland mayor, dies at 84, Jarrett has thoughts.
- Elon Musk has feelings on transit.
- Luas Cross City service expects 10m extra passenger trips a year.
- State of U.S. rental market: Rich get more options, poor suffer affordability crisis.
- Could wealthy neighbors kill Seattle’s plan to build affordable housing in Magnolia (again)? The quoted comments of Magnolia residents are disgusting, and the effectiveness of their obstructionism is at the root of our housing crisis, but I would be more enthused for this housing project if it weren’t in one of the hardest places in Seattle to serve effectively with transit.
- Where a “home for everyone” collides with “not in my neighborhood.” Oregonian Editorial Board goes into bat for more housing.
- Decade since recession: Thriving cities leave others behind.
- Sound Transit okays bus-on-shoulder on I-5 in Lynnwood.
- These bikes were made for Seattle, in which Knute Berger — surprising me, at least — comes out as an enthusiastic utility cycling advocate.
- Seattle’s bike-share pilot program ends this month, but the bikes are staying.
- Erica: The real surprise in Durkan’s staffing announcement was who wasn’t mentioned.
- Times Op-Ed for HALA: Neighborhood coalition threatens to make Seattle less affordable ($). A Times reader responds, denouncing Ballard as a “town-house ghetto“.
- Shenzhen goes all in on electric buses.
- Capitol Hill Seattle interviews outgoing Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce leader Sierra Hansen. Notably, she discusses why the North Broadway streetcar extension lost the support of the business community. Alas, it was for a bad reason (loss of parking and loading zones) rather than any good reasons (e.g. the mixed-traffic alignment has unimpressive ridership numbers and suffers most of the same problems as our buses.)
This is an open thread.