47 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Vancouver’s Future Transit”

  1. His description of generic “light rail” reminds us how glad we should be that we didn’t build that — that we have built (for the most part) Link Light Rail functionally as a grade-separated “subway”, unlike Portland’s light rail, which they’ve built functionally as a streetcar in much of its network, even in (especially in!) the most urban parts that would have most benefited from grade-separation.

    1. I have been clapping for joy ever since it became clear that ST wouldn’t water it down like Portland, San Jose, San Diego, etc — all the American light rails of 80s and 90s. Link is more like a light metro and therefore more useful and can compete with driving better. The corollary is that it approaches the cost of heavy rail without the capacity or speed of heavy rail. The DSTT was also a gift: it was built by the previous generation so it didn’t have to be included in ST1’s budget, and that may have helped get ST1 approved. Portland didn’t have an existing downtown tunnel to use, although it did have an existing rail ling along the Banfield Freeway where MAX could run. We didn’t have existing rights of way so we had to build most of it from scratch.

      And Portland is like a streetcar only downtown and a little bit right around Gresham. The new lines seem to have learned from the original lines’ mistakes. The north-south lines downtown have fewer stations; it feels like a reasonable number rather than stopping every other block. And the west side surface part seems to be all in an existing rail corridor and running at full speed. I’ve ridden it twice, once soon after it opened and once last year. The first time I remember it waiting for signals after it left a station before the next intersection, and all around it was farmland. The second time, it didn’t wait for a signal anywhere, ran faster, and the area was all built up. So they seem to have made some improvements in between. On the east side, the Burnside surface segment is in exclusive lanes like MLK, and it goes reasonably fast.

      1. Downtown Portland and Downtown San Jose light rail is indeed excruciating to use because it’s so slow for too long of a distance. I could see an eventual separation or at least a better physical barrier to enable slightly faster speeds being valuable for either of them.

      2. MAX is good for getting from the Lloyd District or Goose Hollow for the periphery. But it fails to get between them in a reasonable time, or from the Lloyd District to Pioneer Square. That’s where it’s missing the opportunity for excellent transit like Vancouver’s. Since there’s no better alternative, people waste time crossing downtown, or they don’t make as many trips as they optimally would because it takes so long. However, the north-south lines are more reasonable downtown, so I take them when I can.

      3. Mike, never been sure what generation I class as. I was too young to be a beatnik, and to old to be a hippy. And so it’s been ever since. Dual-power bus driving is probably signature symptom.

        As things stood in 1982 or so, when I’d just signed on as a driver, main reason we built the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel was that we couldn’t get light rail through the CBD on the streets. Downtown too narrow, and blocks to short for stations.

        Since our tunnel was going to have to carry standard sized light railcars, it had to be graded and curved for bigger equipment and better speed than for city-only vehicles. And reason for haste was was that we had info that somebody had permits for a skyscraper where it would have made the subway impossible. Major tall-building boom.

        But reason for starting with the dual-power buses was that the project absolutely needed money from all our surrounding suburbs. Who weren’t about to pay for a tunnel through Downtown Seattle that their own voters wouldn’t be able to ride through.

        Main problem being not money for the tunnel itself, but the fact we inherited just about no rail-worthy right of way between IDS, CPS and any other voting district. Tribute to DSTT’s promised capabilities was that they accepted final solution:

        Buses that would run freeways to the portals, and electric underground. Industry gave us three bidders.One high, one non-responsive (no performance bond)…and what we got. Low-Bid requirement is a Crime Against Humanity. Hybrids not invented yet.

        But next unexpected honor: Nine years ’til Train One…and nobody “bailed.” Even if joint-use is still there. And though neither Bellevue nor north-to-Lynnwood likely to leave, might think about pulling the 41 and the 550 ’til their passengers have their trains.

        Trading the 512 for removed routes wouldn’t hurt either. And closets full of control and communications need their mops back. Just sayin’.

        Mark Dublin.

    2. Gwed (and Mike Orr);

      I’m very happy Sound Transit did not go the Trimet route. I just wish we could elevate the Rainier Valley stretch (since the Rainier Valley is basalt) and go full SkyTrain. I just love how frequent SkyTrain is – and the new Mark IIIs are like the supertrain Sound Transit should be getting. No wasted space, big windows, great wayfinding displays and should be named after stars of Sound Transit.

      For those transit operators worried about losing a job driving a light rail train, rest assured the demand for paratransit operators (and pilots) is going to be sky high for quite some time.

      One last thing: If somebody could build a transit agency with TransLink’s SkyTrain tech, Sound Transit’s artwork, TransLink’s I Love Transit Week, the cunning and courage of Sound Transit’s South Corridor Director, King County Water Taxi, [], double tall buses Sound Transit & Community Transit & TransLink are getting, TransLink wayfinding, and the experience + calm of the Community Transit CEO it would be close to a wild fantasy dream team. Notice I never mentioned TriMet…

      1. This package of future service is amazing. The sad thing is it’s the minimum standard in many countries, and we have no chance for it because Americans have such low expectations or priority for transit. I wish we could at least get transit lanes for the RapidRide lines, and something equivalent to those inner-city Skytrain segments.

    3. For what it’s worth, Netflix is filming a new TV series set in Portland. I kid you not: it’s called “Everything Sucks!”

      I really don’t think that TriMet would ever have gotten any sort of tunnel built. Every single line has been a major fight due to anti-transit groups.

      It’s quite unfortunate because the only way inner southeast will ever see decent transit is in a subway. The streets are too narrow for any real bus improvements.

      As for Link being “light metro” the difference between light rail and subway has really stated to blur a bit. The only thing Link is missing to make it perform more like a metro is the door situation. Order 100% low floor cars so doors can be in more places and this problem is significantly reduced. As time goes on new car designs may continue to reduce electric motor and drive gear size to make the low floor car designs even better in their interior layout.

  2. I’ve always liked how Vancouver gives their lines names. It’s also notable that they use numbers for their rapid bus lines rather than letters or colors. Of course, one regional board keeps multiple branding schemes from evolving.

    1. The rapid lines are regular route numbers with a B added. So if Metro did that we’d have 358B or 6B, 15B, 54B, 174B, etc. Vancouver is smaller so it doesn’t have as many total lines, so you don’t have large groups of 100- or 200- series routes that can be cumbersome with a B suffix.

      1. Almost. The rapid routes of a sufficiently high service level (so not any ol’ express bus) are numbered 90-99, and referred to as “B-Lines”. This came about after the number of “B-Lines” started to proliferate a while back. Thus the bus roll reads “99 UBC B-Line” or “99 Commerical-Broadway B-Line”. There are three – the 99, the 95 (Hastings), the 96 (Surrey) and there were previously the 98 and the 97 which have been replaced with rapid transit.

        The original (and by far the busiest) B-Line was the 99-B Line, which was named in reference to it’s local sibling the 9, which runs on Broadway, which is the “9th” Avenue (as in sits between 8th and 10th Avenues). The naming pattern was similar to other express routes such as the 44 (the express bus on 4th compared to the local 4)

      2. It’s also worth noting that unlike our RapidRide lines, the 99B line in Vancouver (not sure about the others) actually has a local shadow, allowing it to travel more than a mile between stops. Both the Broadway express and the Broadway local run frequent service (at least every 10 minutes during the daytime).

      3. The 99 stops closer to every half mile, as fits the pattern of Vancouver’s arterial grid and bus connections and is more broadly walkable than a whole mile.

        Neither of the other two B-Lines have such a close local parallels, but are covered by various local buses along their length that may extend or branch further

  3. The Arbutus discussion in the video is curious. Thoughts?

    I see the Eastside Rail corridor in a similar light, although I think the property is narrower. Some other trail corridors may have similar opportunities but it really depends on the corridor segment.

    1. If we care about walking and biking as a viable more of transportation, it needs to remain a greenway.

      1. The video explains that the trail may be where a cut-and-cover tunnel may be built with the trail being restored on top.

      2. The ERC row is, for most of its length, 100′ wide (except for the obvious Wilburton trestle).

        Rail plans on the ERC never excluded a walking/biking trail.

        Both can coexist.

      3. The 100′ corridor width is mostly fiction. You can’t actually use the full 100 feet without doing a lot of regrading and chopping down a lot of trees.

        Even if the rail and trail corridors were to co-exist, it would still be a huge loss for the trail. All the greenery surrounding the trail would be gone. The trail itself would be completely closed for several years of construction, forcing people walking onto parallel roads with narrow sidewalks too close to speeding cars. Then, when the trail re-opens, safety concerns will inevitably require that the train tracks be fenced off except for major intersections with excellent visibility and well-marked crosswalks. So, access to the trail from side streets would be completely cut off from one side. On top of that, trail users would still be subjected to the noise and exhaust of diesel engines going by every few minutes.

        From a transit perspective, the curves would have the ERC substantially slower than just taking the freeway, and as others have pointed out, the ridership to justify the cost simply isn’t there. And isn’t helped by the fact that the ERC misses the areas of highest densities (e.g. downtown Bellevue and Kirkland), which would require a time-consuming deviation and significant engineering cost to overcome.

        The ERC makes great sense as a walking and biking corridor. As a transit corridor, not so much, outside of isolated pockets, like the block of two north of the Bellevue Whole Foods.

      4. Have you ever heard of the Centennial Trail in San Mateo County? BART was built right underneath it as a cut-and-cover project! That’s what Vancouver appears to want to consider with Arbutus.

        Sure there are closures and disruptions. But why should transit riders potentially numbering in several thousands between Factoria and Renton get the short end of the deal in favor or trail people that optimistically would number 500 a day?

        What’s more important: Not closing a trail for a few years of construction or inconvencing commuters for decades?

      5. As a rail corridor, it doesn’t make sense. But as a bus corridor, it does. It is a very cheap and easy way to move buses from one part of town to the other, even if the stops along the way aren’t great.

        Oh, and there would be plenty of greenery surrounding the trail. It is adjacent to several greenbelts.

      6. Arbitus’ density is somewhere between Capitol Hill and North Seattle, so a lot of people have reason to walk/bike along parts of it, and will even more so if it gets extended all across the city.The Kirkland Connector is surrounded by McMansions and for most of it it’s a long walk to anything besides houses. So we might as well leave it a trail.

      7. Yeah, what Mike said. The Arbutus is more like the Burke Gilman, or at least the Burke Gilman from the UW to Ballard. Lots of people around there.

      8. The problem here is Kirkland and its cowtowing to anti-density advocates within two miles of downtown. That’s why there’s little to walk to from the trail, why Kirkland’s transit ridership is lower than Redmond or Bellevue, and thus why it’s so hard to get to anything in Kirkland without a car that most people don’t. The trail vs rail debate is just a symptom of this. We have suggested ways that Kirkland could solve this, by upzoning downtown Kirkland and a more modest upzone in southeast Kirkland and getting more businesses in the residential-only area but they are not interested. South Kirkland happens to be between Kirkland and Bellevue, so it’s a perfect place for more varied choices than Kirkland’s eastern and northern periphery, and local transit could easily serve it on its way.

      1. ST studied it for ST3 and found it had low ridership and a higher cost/ridership ratio than other Eastside projects. And I’ve heard the track is severed around the Wilburton Trestle. And as Jim Cusic said, NIMBYs. It would be like putting a train on 520 next to those Medina and Yarrow Point mansions. Also, BNSF didn’t own all the right of way, it only had an easement on some of it. which mean the landowners own it, and they argued that daily commuter rail is not consistent with the occasional freight it used to carry.

      2. In no particular order:

        Severely constrained ROW around Kennydale. Lots of longtime encroachments into the corridor even where it’s nominally wide enough.

        Need new bridges in many places, including bypassing the historic Wilburton Trestle and over I-405.

        Questionable legal status; not clear that ST’s easements work in area where BNSF didn’t own the corridor.

        Ridership is too low to matter.

        I-405 BRT works perfectly well in this corridor; no reason to favor rail.

        NIMBYs too, but the failure of this line is already over-determined.

      3. Major reason is probably cost, for me I can’t see them doing an elevated train guide way or the old railroad due to NIMBYs. The only way I can see them being okay with it would probably be if it was underground all the way from the Renton Highlands through Newcastle to say like Factoria. And it might just be too expensive to justify based on said ridership through said corridor. Now if the whole line was going to airport then maybe I could see it being worthwhile.

      4. It seems like with the Downtown Bellevue Link station so far east and this Grand Connection being something special that it could be a bit more viable, maybe it could even be a Bellevue to Tacoma Sounder line that ties into the existing Seattle-Tacoma-Lakewood Sounder?

        At the same time, if it is DMU maybe they dont need to gold plate it like so much transit construction.

      5. The studies that predated ST3 basically sandbagged using the ERC. They limited the number of stations, skipped Factoria, made everyone transfer at Wilburton, and restricted the trains to run every 20 minutes or less because of a single-track section. They only tested this alternative at Level 2, and no other alternatives.

        https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/projects/HCT_2014/STCentralEastHCT_CorridorReport_ERC_092614.pdf

        Even with this, the decision wasn’t made. Once the studies were done, elected politicians got to recommend what they wanted. Thus, the Kirkland-Issaquah line was born. I-405 commuters (in absurd congestion today) were given BRT, and I-90 commuters (in almost no congestion today) were given light rail.

      6. Al S. has this about right.

        NOWHERE is there a direct comparison for the use of the ERC as a complete rail line with the BRT option for the I-405 Corridor.

        Some of you either are being very naive, misinformed, or wantonly misinforming others about how the decison to not put any rail in the ERC came about.

        I have been with this from the beginning and have boxes of documentation, including the letter from Renton, signed by mayor Jesse Tanner, telling the I-405 Corridor Program Executive Committee they were to no longer study the ERC for ANY use.

        I was on the Citizens Committee for that project and watched it all unfold.

        If you want a little of the politics of what was going on back then, take a look at this webpage from (seemingly inactive for a few years) LightRailNow.org.There is some great historical reading there (besides the ERC info).

        It’s a large document, but if you search for BNSF, you will come to the news article that describes the situation perfectly.

        Side by Side, the Sound Transit Commuter Rail option for the Corridor (the study was completed 1 year after all the municipalities signed off on the I-405 Corridor Program) came out less expensive than the BRT option, WITH THE SAME RIDERSHIP.

        They used the same modeling to determine ridership.

        In fact, there was a group proposing that (using infromation supplied by a BNSF MoW manager) that the ERC could be brought up to a slightly less performing version for about 1/2 to 3/4 of the money Sound Transit settled on.

        So go ahead, keep perpetuating the myth that BRT is superior to Commuter Rail on the corridor, but based on all the studies and documentation from the various agencies (forget the rail advocate’s proposal), the documentation says otherwise.

        In all honesty, I’ve moved away from that area (still live in Washington), so I have no skin in that game any more, but I will always speak up when I see people trying to rewrite history.

        And where I live now, they’re replaying that I-405 history.

      7. Wow Jim! I was just speculating. I think any reasonable person could see how limited the alternative assumptions were for using the ERC. I wondered why the assumptions were so bad. Clearly the alternative was designed to fail or it would have been more reasonable.

        I’m also amazed at those people who whine about lost TOD opportunities on the Federal Way Link segment (because it is on one side of I-5) yet are so happy to put I-405 bus riders waiting and transferring in the middle of a freeway like at Montlake Terrace setup today.

      8. Nobody is saying that Bellevue-Renton will never be ready for rail, they’re just saying it hasn’t built up enough potential ridership yet. Ridership on Renton buses in any direction is lower than Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Kent, and probably Issaquah. This may be due to Renton’s geography or its car culture, or the former may have influenced the latter. When the time comes they can put rail on 405 akin to Issaquah-South Kirkland and Kirkland-Bothell someday.

        I’m also amazed at those people who whine about lost TOD opportunities on the Federal Way Link segment (because it is on one side of I-5) yet are so happy to put I-405 bus riders I’m also amazed at those people who whine about lost TOD opportunities on the Federal Way Link segment (because it is on one side of I-5) yet are so happy to put I-405 bus riders”

        There is nothing like Highway 99 on the Eastside. 405 was built when it was still farmland. The closest thing to a highway with apartments and commercial right next to it is Bellevue Way – Lk Wash Blvd – Market St – Junanita Drive, but that doesn’t go south of Bellevue, So 405 was built and low-density sprawl took over the area. There’s no place between Bellevue and Renton where a station could have walkable destinations, except the one case of Factoria. And north of Bellevue, you’ve seen the opposition to Link on the CKC, and 108th Ave NE or Lk Wash Blvd would be similar — Kirkland wants to keep the area like Surrey Downs.

      9. “I-405 commuters (in absurd congestion today) were given BRT, and I-90 commuters (in almost no congestion today) were given light rail.”

        I90 definitely has congestion – both Mercer Island and Eastgate sections are stop & go during both rush hours, plus several exits (405, Factoria, SR900, SR18) frequently backup into the GP lanes. Sure, it’s not nearly as bad as 405, but let’s not pretend it’s congestion free.

  4. Just an acute update on Sound Transit Public Comment. Last Thursday, new Capital Committee Chairwoman Claudia Balducci decided to go “level set” and remind each of the regular public commentators what the rules were: https://youtu.be/bK90vM5IFAU .

    I fully hope and expect to see multiple ejections for not sticking to items on the final agenda starting next Thursday. In the Spotify era, folks are sick n tired of the cassette tape troll-a-thon that has transpired in recent years in the Ruth Fisher Boardroom.

    Way more than I hoped for when this campaign began in earnest last summer, but quite frankly I would like to see the Sound Transit Board and staff get quality comments to act upon. A lot of money that could amount to the cost of a Sound Transit service hour or two is being spent in that Boardroom most Thursdays with so many staff attendees forced to listen to hate speech & other trolling…

    Over to you. You guys make the best comments! GO SOUND TRANSIT!

    1. I’m beginning to wonder what the point is of testimony board-action days. Five minutes between the testimony and voting is not enough time to study an issue and decide which way to vote: you have to have a good idea how you’re going to vote before going in, so the testimony never sways votes. And if it did, there’s not enough time to ascertain whether a burst of commentary from thirty people really reflects the public’s opinion, especially since the vast majority can’t attend hearings (much less every hearing on every topic). So the only thing it seems to accomplish is allowing people to vent toward the board. I don’t think that was the expectation when public hearings were instituted in the 60s. But maybe that whole model is flawed. The time when public input can actually influence policies is earlier when the policy is being formed. That corresponds to ST’s and Metro’s rounds of draft proposals and alternatives analysis, or as King County did about the bus cuts. The testimony just before the vote is too late, so I wonder how much it’s worth having it.

      1. I almost agree with you. I think if the transit activists who occasionally come to the meetings from Seattle Subway & Transportation Choices Coalition for instance can use public comment to plant acute questions, then public comment might be awesome again.

        That said, I really the open houses where folks can come in and comment in the evenings. The Q&A is moderated to prevent the kind of grandstanding we see in public comment. Furthermore, it’s at times and in a format the public can access.

        At least Claudia Balducci has a plan. I second that plan. It’s a last shot defense going for a trophy.

    2. The institutional design of ST public comment results in the circus at Board Meetings that have little impact. It’s the public participation model from the 1970’s and it doesn’t work well.

      First, ST needs to stop presenting finished preferred alternatives to the public. That leaves the public to say merely “yes” or “no” and doesn’t encourage more insighful comments that compare and contrast multiple alternatives. That leaves speakers with the only option to say “I love this” or “I hate this”; they never are given the change to say “I like option 6 better than option 4”.

      Second, ST needs to fill in the gap between “open houses” and “large group comment meetings” by introducing strategic and valuable focus groups. Transit is a complex topic and seemingly impacts almost everyone differently, and solutions cannot be considered by the public limited to two minutes or in post-it notes on station plans — especially when the professional staff there isn’t the actual engineer or architect but some public involvement person who implicitly can’t affect an outcome. Finally, the belief that a foreign language interpreter is sufficient to say that non-English communities are participating is actually a token gesture when the public meeting process is intentionally geared to our Northwest “white privilege” attitude. The conclusion of a focus group session is not a big public rant, but is a presentation on what each focus group found.

      An example: If all five focus groups say “more escalators are needed”, then ST needs to pay attention. If four focus groups say “buses shouldn’t have to turn 360 degrees twice to get to and from the transfer bus stop”, ST needs to pay attention. I’m still not sure how to move ST to consider making changes based on public input in the current formats.

      Sure there will always be speakers at Board Meetings. But if ST would direct the staff to have better and more frequent strategic ways for citizens to express themselves, they would make meetings more pleasant for themselves. Those that get up and say things at Board Meetings would be less likely to speak because they would have been heard elsewhere, and their comments would be muted by others who offer more strategic insights to the transit system.

      To put it another way, the Board members get the kinds of comments that they do because that’s the paradigm that they implicitly want to operate. It’s their own fault!

      1. Also Sound Transit seem to be more interested in all interests but transit riders (primarily how to make transit faster, better and attract the most riders). Seems the concerns of land owners, neighborhoods, business, labor, community organizations, drivers, pedestrian/bike, freight are represented and their voices and concerns are addressed but there is nothing for actual transit riders. Just look at the stakeholder groups. The organizations that claim to represent transit riders like TRU are just far-left poverty activists that want free transit.

        The assumption is likely that Sound Transit is looking out for the transit riders, but really they are more concerned about getting it built and satisfying the loudest voices standing in the way in order to do so. That’s clearly how we get the lines and station locations that we end up with.

      2. I have to agree with you on that, Poncho. Frankly, it’s going to take some transit-rider challenger to some powerful ST Board members for them to consider shifting their priorities. I realize that it is heresy to speak badly of certain elected board members — but when it comes to rider interests, I really doubt that they sincerely care much beyond the general platitudes that I hear them make on camera.

      3. “The organizations that claim to represent transit riders like TRU are just far-left poverty activists that want free transit.”

        The TRU consists of transit riders like its name says. It’s not like the Los Angles “Bus Riders Union”, which is more of a general poverty organization where “bus riders” refers to their economic status rather than a transit group. Because TRU members are lower-income, they naturally have trouble affording the fares, especially since Metro’s/ST’s fares are about the highest in the county, and buy less service per dollar than other costly places like New York. Like other unions they focus on the interests of their members’ class, the way trade unions focus on wages, working conditions, etc.

      4. A lot to respond to, and since I’m trying to get better before a big meeting on Tuesday I will just post one big comment.

        First, ST needs to stop presenting finished preferred alternatives to the public. That leaves the public to say merely “yes” or “no” and doesn’t encourage more insighful comments that compare and contrast multiple alternatives. That leaves speakers with the only option to say “I love this” or “I hate this”; they never are given the change to say “I like option 6 better than option 4”.

        I feel that way too. I really hope informed consent is sought if major changes have to be made to Lynnwood Link stations, for instance.

        “ST needs to fill in the gap between “open houses” and “large group comment meetings” by introducing strategic and valuable focus groups. Transit is a complex topic and seemingly impacts almost everyone differently, and solutions cannot be considered by the public limited to two minutes or in post-it notes on station plans — especially when the professional staff there isn’t the actual engineer or architect but some public involvement person who implicitly can’t affect an outcome. … The conclusion of a focus group session is not a big public rant, but is a presentation on what each focus group found.”

        Not too sure how I feel about focus groups. I know this much, I want out-of-ST District riders’ voices heard. Some transit districts out of the ST District plan their commuter service around ST services as well. Just don’t let us dominate the will of the ST District folks.

        The Board members get the kinds of comments that they do because that’s the paradigm that they implicitly want to operate. It’s their own fault!<b/lockquote

        Yup. The Board could just decide to keep comments to final action items and call it good. Which is what Sound Transit Boardmember Claudia Balducci and I want.

        poncho says
        February 11, 2018 at 5:23 pm

        Also Sound Transit seem to be more interested in all interests but transit riders (primarily how to make transit faster, better and attract the most riders). Seems the concerns of land owners, neighborhoods, business, labor, community organizations, drivers, pedestrian/bike, freight are represented and their voices and concerns are addressed but there is nothing for actual transit riders. Just look at the stakeholder groups. The organizations that claim to represent transit riders like TRU are just far-left poverty activists that want free transit.

        Al S. says
        February 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm
        Frankly, it’s going to take some transit-rider challenger to some powerful ST Board members for them to consider shifting their priorities. I realize that it is heresy to speak badly of certain elected board members — but when it comes to rider interests, I really doubt that they sincerely care much beyond the general platitudes that I hear them make on camera.

        Problem is, we don’t have a lot of transit rider groups actively campaigning for transit. So this is what you get. If we had elected transit boards, you’d get some more confirmed transit riders. Our voices need to be heard – and head a lot more than jackals who want to play a cassette tape of hate speech or an old speel about automated trains or heckle the Board Chair of the Day.

        Who screams the loudest is who gets heard. Those who drew up the ST3 defense understood this and got big money to bankroll voter approval of ST3. It’s also why I’m so upset at the trolling of Sound Transit Board Meetings – and those Board Meetings are at a time & place that just quite frankly structurally invite the varieties of trolling they receive instead of at 5 PM or later when a more diverse set of voices could be heard.

  5. Poncho,

    Being out of politics for a while… what classes the Transit Riders’ Union,or anybody else as “left wing?”
    I’m pretty old, but, I don’t remember this group helping the IWW burn down anti-union mills and factories in Spokane. Same amount of time since we the people have had left-wing terrorism like a raise.

    And can’t a “poverty activist”- be for or against it? “Against” had the numbers in 2016, but election rules put the “For” in the White House.

    But more important question: Considering the standing loads since UW station opened, if ” land owners, neighborhoods, business, labor, community organizations, drivers, pedestrian/bike, freight (well, the interurbans used to carry it) ever become actual riders,” only thing slower than I-5 will be DSTT.

    Paul Locke always says same things same way, he’s been doing at every single transit meeting for about 35 years. The other two, less seniority, but look promising. But if you include Joe you’d outnumber the three other speakers four to three. Twenty-five more, hundred percent rest of the time, and I think business would rapidly get a lot less closer to “as usual.”

    Same as adding proportionally more grass-roots voter participation would do for our country.

    Mark

  6. Mark, didn’t the DSTT open in 1990, and the trains in something like 2009? Well, solves the quandary of why the Waterfront Streetcar is so late! Also, why 100% of the membership has elected me chairman of the Commenters’ Club.

    Also, though, when I take the Route 1 up to Beacon Hill to ask my great-niece why I can’t steal hubcaps like I did when I was her age, I think I’ll graciously let that girl triathlon champion on her way home from the weight room give me her seat.

    Mark.

    1. It’s the 36 now. The 1 was one of the early splits, probably because of much higher ridership in the south half. The 1 is now through-routed with the 14.

  7. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/28436573839/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvfz51moMaQ

    Interesting propulsion technology on the SkyTrains. But greatest thing is how versatile, simple, and low-labor-cost this propulsion mode could be!

    Sneak out to the Counterbalance some night with a truckload of boards, and steal a few dozen manhole covers before City Light misses them. Drill bolt-holes into the concrete, bolt the covers into place between the boards, put the covers between the rails, and borrow a line to the power available from one of those now-open manholes.

    Then, fix a strip of metal underneath every bus scheduled for Upper Queen Anne. And… in the Commonwealth, nobody will demand a paternity test to verify that Bob is indeed Y’r Uncle. And in addition to uphill speed of 60- downhill says what, 15? – after 50 years, finally the problem will be solved of that substation breaker left precisely at the point the bus needs the most torque

    Bet it doesn’t say in The Book that you can’t! Also, a lot of drivers without enough seniority to get off trolleybuses will appreciate a one-way cruise ticket to Australia. Fitting they even call it being “Transport-ed.

    MD

  8. While the administration’s long-awaited infrastructure proposal is a big dud (it only proposes $200 billion in direct federal spending), the other part of the story is the OMB’s release of their FY 2019 budget.

    The administration has proposed a reduction of $3.7 billion (-19.2%) under department base discretionary funding for FY2019 for the DOT (compared to 2017 enacted budget).*

    The accompanying narrative to the FY2019 budget contained the following excerpt:

    >>>Eliminates Discretionary Grant Programs.
    Consistent with the 2018 Budget, the Budget eliminates funding for the unauthorized Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery discretionary grant program, which awards grants to projects that are generally
    eligible for funding under existing surface transportation formula grant and loan programs. In addition, DOT’s Infrastructure For Rebuilding America grant program, authorized by the FAST Act, supports larger highway and multimodal freight projects with demonstrable na-
    tional or regional benefits. The Budget also proposes to wind down the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program (known as New Starts), by limiting funding to projects with existing full funding
    grant agreements only. The President’s Infrastructure Initiative is designed to incentivize States and localities to raise new revenue and funding dedicated for infrastructure investment, via competitive Federal grant awards and other incentives. Those new State and local
    funds would be available for transportation projects prioritized by those communities, which are better equipped to understand their infrastructure needs. The Federal Government would continue to be a partner in advancing large, regionally- or nationally-significant projects via expanded Federal credit support.<<<

    Just like the administration's dud of an infrastructure plan, the narrative contained in the budget's DOT section (pages 85-87) has the federal government attempting to take credit for the full amount of infrastructure investments, including state and local funding. (For example, see the inset box on TIFIA assistance loans.)

    Pathetic.

    *Source: Table S-8, OMB FY2019 Budget

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