Roosevelt Station under construction, Feb. 2018

This is an open thread.

44 Replies to “News Roundup: So Much Oxygen”

  1. The absolute, incredible inability of Pierce Transit to service all of even the Sound Transit District is an absolute, incredible failure. Perhaps Senator O’Ban ought to make that board directly elected so they are responsive to the folks I trade online messages with down there. Folks who are like, “Transit is too far away from my home!” Folks who are like, “My county/subarea didn’t vote for ST3!” Folks who are like, ‘I’d never go to the Sound Transit Pro Shop!’

    My point being: PIERCE TRANSIT, PHONE HOME! Take care of your need to provide COVERAGE, NOT PREMIUM SERVICE!

    1. No. That’s not how it would work.

      Pierce Transit shrunk its service area because voters were given a choice and refused to pay for it. The *advantage* of Sound Transit in Pierce is that ST doesn’t need majority support from Pierce voters.

      Making Sound Transit more responsive to Pierce County voters means less transit in Pierce, not more.

      1. Dan;

        Well the logic if I agree with your view is the ST District shrunk alongside Pierce Transit, because the status quo is going to put ST in a situation it should NOT be in. Namely using regional transportation problem solving dollars to solve Pierce County transportation problems…

        I also think transit district areas should only tax those who can use the transit. But that’s me.

        Joe

      2. Dan, one thing you have to know about these cities that left is why they left. It’s not like they were getting good bus service but decided the money would be better spent somewhere else. It’s that these cities were either getting no service or very little service. This issue was accelerated by the recession transit reduction and the failure of the vote to secure more funding. The original 2010 prop 1 success/failure plans were actually an aggressive restructure effort (even more so than the March 2017 restructure), and worked out ways to improve efficiency even while preserving some of the extremely skeletal service to these suburbs. But at some point, they decided that instead of making a restructure work, they would cut with a chainsaw instead of an exacto-knife.

        The result was that no matter what, Buckley would get 0 service, Key Peninsula would get 0 service, and DuPont would get 0 service, despite these cities paying into PT. (DuPont actually never had a PT route, but in the original 2010 plans, PT offered a local connector to Lakewood IF the measure passed. How generous!)

        In addition to this, Graham and central-east pierce had all of it’s bus plus service removed, leaving an hourly 402 only which stopped (and still stops) running ludicrously early in the “night,” and the east Puyallup route was also cut.

        These cities were then upset that they got very little (or literally zero) back from the money they put into PT. So they removed themselves from the district. And of course, this kicked off another round of route cutting as this cost the agency more money.

        Long story short, they left because PT blew it. And it’s bad for Sound Transit’s electoral prospects as well. You can almost certainly put some of the blame for ST3’s loss within Pierce County to the way PT really underdelivered in their outer suburbs.

      3. “Long story short, they left because PT blew it. And it’s bad for Sound Transit’s electoral prospects as well. You can almost certainly put some of the blame for ST3’s loss within Pierce County to the way PT really underdelivered in their outer suburbs.”

        Exactly AlexKven. The South Corridor has a real… mess on its hands where folks will be paying into ST but not having a local bus.

        Does that mean now a ton of parking along the Sounder and future Link routes?

        Does that mean ST will have to reduce the land mass in the South?

        These are fundamental questions that with the continued… blather of the South’s state legislators, not going away. Senator O’Ban, I understand, takes Sound Transit from time to time. His axes to grind are more for his irate constituents and for elected transit boards.

        It’s a strategic problem down there. I don’t see any easy solutions.

    2. Pierce Transit used to extend to Buckley which is really rural. Five or ten years ago there was a vote to shrink the PT service area and it passed, removing Bonney Lake and Sumner and everything around them from the area. So Puyallup is now at the edge of the area. This is what I mean when I say “southeast Pierce”: the area that’s still in ST but not in PT, and their like-minded people in adjacent places like Spanaway that are still in PT. The Bonney Lake shuttle Bruce mentioned was originally a PT route. When the PT area shrank, they begged ST to take over that route so they could get to Sounder. ST hesitated but said yes, probably because the Sounder investment was predicated on those areas using Sounder.

      This is a separate issue from the state of PT’s network, which is so infrequent and skeletal it’s hard to use even if you want to. That’s what PT needs to work on: getting more corridors 15-minute frequent, and extending the frequent span into evenings and weekends. ST’s investment into a RapidRide-like line for Pacific Avenue will be welcome. The four 1-digit routes are supposed to be enhanced already, but they drop to half-hourly pretty quickly and don’t have priority.

      PT is doing some good things. Its network is more gridded than Seattle’s: there are more crosstown routes, like San Francisco. And if you take the 1 down Pacific, the audio announcements tell you which east-west routes you can transfer to where.

      1. As to… “The Bonney Lake shuttle Bruce mentioned was originally a PT route. When the PT area shrank, they begged ST to take over that route so they could get to Sounder. ST hesitated but said yes, probably because the Sounder investment was predicated on those areas using Sounder.”

        THOUGHT 1) What scares me is [ot] we’re going to see a lot more of this. A lot more, and bigger parking garages as well. We’re already having issues with a parking garage for the Sounder South where the Puyallup one is currently before the courts because the proposed site threatens the Eagles’ historic property. I don’t want to see these issues snowball and keep every single year have to fight politicians inside the Sound Transit district wanting to cut ST3.

        THOUGHT 2) We don’t have a great spokesperson for transit down there who’s up to or in four cases able to run Transit 101 in the Tacoma News-Tribune. We need to remind folks that Sound Transit is regional and Pierce Transit is local. Must be fixed.

  2. TriMet increased service this week with the March 4th Service Change. The only thing of note to visitors from Seattle is MAX to the airport runs later at night, which has been a complaint on this blog in the past. The last red line train from the airport to Gateway now leaves at 1:24 am. Service from the Rose Quarter transit center will end at 12:40 am unless.

    1. Apologies for the hanging sentence. Not sure what happened there.

      Service from the Rose Quarter transit center will end at 12:40 am. Unless you transfer somewhere between Rose Quarter and Gateway, you still won’t be able to get to the airport past 11:05pm or so, but this is still later night airport service than what we had in the past.

  3. From Metro’s twitter account I counted 21 AM rush hour trips cancelled today. Fridays are always the worst, and today was the last day of the current schedule.

    Incidentally, I hadn’t had the “pleasure” of riding a completely packed bus recently until this morning. All I can say is wow people are rude!

    In the space of 30 minutes, while standing, I was:
    1) hit with a backpack
    2) shoved out of the way onto a seated passenger
    3) repeatedly hit in the leg with a loaded grocery bag
    4) tripped by a person, causing me to stumble and step on a man’s foot (sorry, I know that hurt!)

  4. I guess I don’t see why studying the foot ferry is such a bad idea. It makes more sense than extending Link from Federal Way to the Tacoma Dome. In terms of existing or planned options:

    1) Bus — Fastest option most of the day (by a wide margin), but gets bogged down during rush hour. Cheapest to operate (which means the cheapest way to add frequency). Easily connects to various neighborhoods in Tacoma (no extra transfer).

    2) Sounder — Fastest option if traffic is bad. Doesn’t run that often (expensive to operate and reserve the track). Requires a transfer at the Tacoma Dome (where very few people live).

    3) Link — Slowest option to Seattle, but connects to some of the suburbs between Tacoma and Seattle. Also connects to SeaTac. More expensive to operate than a bus, but cheaper to operate than Sounder. Requires a transfer at the Tacoma Dome (where very few people live).

    Link seems like a very expensive way to connect one set of suburbs with Tacoma, especially given the poor overall transit options in the county. It is obviously the worst possible way to get to Seattle (always slower than Sounder, often slower than a bus, more expensive than running buses).

    Now consider a high speed ferry. The Bremerton ferry travels at about 44 MPH. Since it is about 28 miles from the Tacoma Waterfront to the Seattle Ferry docks, that takes 38 minutes. Add five minutes on both ends and it is still over ten minutes faster than Sounder. It also will serve a different part of downtown. It is farther away from Link, but closer to Madison BRT. It will likely serve a different part of Tacoma as well, and may very well be closer to downtown (unless they reuse the Point Defiance dock). Even if they do go with that dock (the cheapest option) that would be easier for a lot of people. Many would prefer taking the train, but some would prefer the boat.

    I’m not saying it is a great idea, but I think it does make sense to study it.

    1. If we want to encourage transit use, create a walkable city, and get people out of their cars, the first task at hand is to rebuild Pierce Transit’s bus system, not create a personal shuttle system for people who work in Seattle. Sounder already exists and is a very reliable system during rush hour, so let’s get people from the residential neighborhoods down to Tacoma Dome Station and/or from Tacoma Dome Station out to their employers so people don’t all need to use a car for every single trip. Compound that with the fact that a good local bus service will also help people who choose to both live AND work in Tacoma by creating connections between neighborhoods. I would suggest that Russell Investments, Amazon, Starbucks, and any other downtown Seattle employers that want to support this can just privately fund it. It doesn’t actually help most people who live in Tacoma, or Pierce County. We don’t have funds for basic bus service, so why would we have funds for a specialized (and expensive) foot ferry?

      1. >> If we want to encourage transit use, create a walkable city, and get people out of their cars, the first task at hand is to rebuild Pierce Transit’s bus system,

        I agree, but the Sound Transit board didn’t see it that way. They could have easily proposed a plan that would have provided much better connecting bus service from Tacoma to the airport and surrounding suburbs (as well as the suburbs to the south and Tacoma itself) but it instead proposed a very expensive and quite inappropriate light rail system. The folks in the area voted against it, but other people (who don’t care what Pierce County has) voted for the package, and that is that.

        What I’m saying is that it is crazy to complain about something like this when leaders have been pushing the idea for years. As much as folks on this board realize that Tacoma Dome Link won’t make it easy to get from Seattle to Tacoma, that is the basic premise for extending it there. It wasn’t sold as a means to get from a small sprawling city to only one set of suburbs, but connecting the two biggest cities in Puget Sound. Just read what Jon Talton, the otherwise brilliant economist has to say about it. He thinks (erroneously) that it will actually connect the two cities, and lead to tremendous growth in Tacoma. Like most of the people in the region, he has no idea that it is actually slower than the two options that exist now. Can you blame leaders for investigating an option that would actually achieve what ST said ST3 was going to do for them?

      2. RossB: You clearly have never ever lived in Pierce. Because any resident of Tacoma would tell you are clearly losing the plot in saying that light rail is not worth it to Tacoma. The fact of the matter is, I-5 is a damm mess right now, it adds upwards of 30-40 minutes to already strenuous commute, there’s also the fact that 99 is already crowded with traffic as is. So saying “adding more buses is the solution” is clearly being said by someone who hasn’t ridden ST Express 590/594 and 574 everyday and seen how long it actually takes to get down to Tacoma.
        Light rail is desperately needed, people want faster access to South King and the Airport. It would also make for better access for students to higher education like Highline College or UW Tacoma.
        There’s also the fact it may help push Pierce Transit to actually make a much better transit system. For their region as it stands right now, Pierce Transit is just a very half baked attempt at transit for Pierce. It’s one of the major reasons I actually left Pierce for South King. Because while it’s not the greatest in terms of frequency, It’s still a major improvement over PT’s system wherein KCM has nearly all day service where I live now.
        There’s also the fact that this will lead to better opportunities for economic development, which is the major reason for it to be built. Tacoma is hungry for something to bring a jolt in the arm to their area after companies like Russel Investments jumped ship from Tacoma because “there’s no good mass transit access to the airport” and Tacoma’s Downtown is just in a sad state of affairs right now in it’s currents form that could be helped by mass transit investment. Tacoma wants to stop just being a bedroom community for Seattle, it wants to be an actual city that is seen as a place to do business

      3. ST did not push the Link extension onto an unwilling Pierce! It was Pierce who begged for it for decades and pushed ST to include it. You can say that was county politicians and the City of Tacoma pushing it, but they’re the elected representatives. Who else is ST supposed to listen to, ten random residents who may have their head up their a**? ST wanted to “serve Tacoma” and it had an initial idea for light rail, but I’m sure it was not wedded to that idea and would have been willing to change if Pierce argued strongly for something else insead, or if there was a major public movement in Pierce for something else. Who are the ST board? They’re politicians from the three counties. How does the board select projects? It goes with what the boardmembers from that subarea recommend. So it’s not ST wagging Pierce, it’s Pierce wagging ST.

        As to an alternative bus plan, it’s only a few people from King County that are arguing for that. I haven’t heard anybody from Pierce, much less any movement from Pierce, asking for that. What I hear from the Pierce public is either “Light rail now!” or “No taxes or transit!” And the latter is not a responsible way to plan for a county that’s approaching one million population: we’ve seen what car-dependency and immobility that led to in the last half-century.

    2. I wholeheartedly disagree on the buses, as someone who used the ST Express frequently in Pierce
      for 2 years I can tell you more buses are not gonna fix that problem. The I-5 corridor is just hell to ride any time of day. Which in turn creates a domino effect of delays on the rest of the bus schedule. Saying buses are the most efficient mode of transport to/from Tacoma is just madness.
      Let’s also remember what the Tacoma extension for light rail is for, it’s for connecting to the airport and South King . Getting to Seattle is more of a bonus as service for that is already being mostly served by Sounder.
      And if you were to ask most Tacoma commuters, they would probably say more frequent service than a faster route would be perfered.

      1. >> wholeheartedly disagree on the buses, as someone who used the ST Express frequently in Pierce for 2 years I can tell you more buses are not gonna fix that problem. …

        I never said that more express buses to Seattle is going to fix any problem. My point is that the combination of Sounder and the express buses is just fine and much better than Link. Sounder takes an hour to get from the Tacoma Dome (where very few people live) to one single stop in downtown Seattle. Link will be substantially worse.

        Is a bus better? It depends on the time of day. To get from downtown Tacoma to say, 4th and Pike view the train takes about an hour and a half. Are you saying you couldn’t beat that with a direct bus at noon? Seriously?

        >> Let’s also remember what the Tacoma extension for light rail is for, it’s for connecting to the airport and South King .

        Says who? It was never billed that way, for good reason. Such a proposal is absurd. What city the size and density of Tacoma would every run a single, extremely expensive light rail line out to one particular set of suburbs (and the airport) when they can’t even afford basic bus service? That’s insane. No, it was billed as a means to get from Seattle to Tacoma. The fact that it will fail so miserably at it is just something Link never really talked about.

        As far as efficiency goes, a single bus is cheaper to operate than a single train (regardless of type). That is why ST can afford to run their half empty buses from Seattle to Tacoma at noon, but will spend a lot more if they want to run trains there.

      2. “Sounder takes an hour to get from the Tacoma Dome (where very few people live) to one single stop in downtown Seattle. Link will be substantially worse.”

        Only to that one particular location. If you’re going to the airport, U-District, Bellevue, or anywhere else in Seattle or south King County, taking Link all the way with maybe one subway-to-subway transfer will probably be better than any alternative. The time you gain with Sounder you lose waiting for it, working around its schedule, and transferring from King Street Station to the Link station.

        “Is a bus better? It depends on the time of day. To get from downtown Tacoma to say, 4th and Pike view the train takes about an hour and a half. Are you saying you couldn’t beat that with a direct bus at noon?”

        We have to plan for peak capacity. Noon doesn’t help you if you’re traveling at five o’clock. People care deeply about peak travel times, and are willing to spend billions on infrastructure to improve it. (“But Link will be slower than the 594!” The 574 will slow down over the next few decades as traffic gets worse. “But Sounder is there!” Sounder is full and can’t fit the people on the 59x, and increasing it requires expensive time slots from BNSF and limiting freight traffic which limits the economy.)

        “>> Let’s also remember what the Tacoma extension for light rail is for, it’s for connecting to the airport and South King.”

        “Says who? It was never billed that way, for good reason. Such a proposal is absurd.”

        Tacoma’s mayor and the Pierce delegation have been saying it repeatedly and loudly. The reason they want the extension is to attract companies and workers and shoppers to Tacoma. Companies expect a line to the airport, and workers demand a convenient way to get to Tacoma. And it’s not workers from Seattle they’re thinking about,, it’s workers from south King County. The fact that the line continues to Seattle is a bonus. That’s why they’re not bothered that Link will take 75 minutes from Tacoma Dome to Westlake. It’s not the 15-minute difference between ST Express and Link that they’re concerned about. And ST Express will inevitably slow down if they do nothing.

        What city the size and density of Tacoma would every run a single, extremely expensive light rail line out to one particular set of suburbs (and the airport) when they can’t even afford basic bus service? That’s insane. No, it was billed as a means to get from Seattle to Tacoma. The fact that it will fail so miserably at it is just something Link never really talked about.

        As far as efficiency goes, a single bus is cheaper to operate than a single train (regardless of type). That is why ST can afford to run their half empty buses from Seattle to Tacoma at noon, but will spend a lot more if they want to run trains there.

      3. “a single bus is cheaper to operate than a single train (regardless of type). ”

        A single train serves many more destinations than a single express bus, so it’s like several buses in one. That means you can’t compare its cost to one bus, but to four or five buses.

      4. I support light rail to Tacoma, [ot]

        What I am concerned about is properly serving all – and I mean ALL – whom are having their money confiscated (remember: all taxation is confiscation) for this noble purpose of quality regional transit. I’m also concerned we’re looking at mega parking garages and more suburbia down there, and less sustainable transit growth & traffic management.

    3. Link has already been decided; it’s coming. Tacoma can’t turn it off to pursue a ferry instead, and in fact Tacoma was one of the strongest proponents of extending Central Link: without it and a couple others it wouldn’t be happening. As to why not ferries, it’s because Link has a lot more capacity, it will run every ten minutes all day and evening, it’s more cost-effective per passenger, it serves many destinations on both sides of Seattle and the Eastside (perhaps the biggest unmet request in the current system), including the airport which a ferry can’t get to, and it’s more energy efficient and not harmful to sea life.

      Yes, Pierce Transit should improve its regular service before it does anything else. PT is like how Metro was thirty years ago.

      1. >> and in fact Tacoma was one of the strongest proponents of extending Central Link

        No, misguided Tacoma leaders were the the strongest proponents of extending Central Link to the Tacoma Dome. The voters in that region rejected the idea.

        >> As to why not ferries, it’s because Link has a lot more capacity,

        Why on early would you need the extra capacity for a run that is slower? Ridership on Sounder (which is significantly faster) is not very high at all. It gets about a thousand riders from Tacoma, and a lot more from the other suburbs (Puyallup, etc.). Ridership on the much maligned, supposedly always stuck in traffic buses is actually higher than it is for the trains, but it still ridiculously low. None of the buses are even close to capacity, let alone the commuter train.

        >> it will run every ten minutes all day and evening,

        Maybe, until folks in charge decide it just isn’t worth running a train that often when hardly anyone uses it (this happens all the time, and recently happened in Denver).

        >> it’s more cost-effective per passenger

        Not if there aren’t many passengers. You can’t run trains every ten minutes and have that be an efficient mode of transport if only a handful ride it outside of rush hour.

        >> it serves many destinations on both sides of Seattle and the Eastside

        But they are served NOW! Holy smoke, Mike, just because you stay on the train all day doesn’t mean it is faster. Take Sounder (or a bus from Tacoma) then transfer to a bus to get to (way more destinations on) the east side and you will arrive much faster than if you just stick with Link. But very few people do that — and very few people will do that in the future — because it is just too far. Not that many people want to make a commute that takes an hour and a half one way, even if it is more reliable than the old commute that took an hour and 20 minutes.

        >> including the airport which a ferry can’t get to

        What is it with the obsession with the airport. First of all, the buses run there from Tacoma, and a whopping 340 people a day ride it (don’t worry, the buses are never close to capacity). Sure, it could run more often than every half hour, but it runs all day long, and there simply aren’t that many people going that way. Even from the other direction, where it has connected for years to Rainier Valley (leading many commuters to live there), downtown Seattle (a much bigger destination for air travelers than Tacoma) as well as Capitol Hill and the UW (also much bigger destinations for air travelers) it only picks up 5,000 riders a day. Do you really think the light rail line will get more than that to Tacoma? Do you really think buses couldn’t handle that kind of load?

      2. “What is it with the obsession with the airport.”

        It’s a multimodal transportation hub, and where thousands of pedestrians concentrate. Why do we have airline flights at all? After all, fewer people take them than ride Metro. It’s because we’re trying to connect short-distance and long-distrance travel together, rather than leaving one of them out.

      3. “>> it serves many destinations on both sides of Seattle and the Eastside”

        “But they are served NOW!”

        One of the public requests when ST was updating its long-range plan was an ST Express route from Tacoma Dome to Bellevue. Apparently that’s the most-requested other thing that ST declined to add to the LRP. So clearly they don’t think the current offerings are adequate. As to whether they’ll be happy with Link to Link, you’ll have to ask them. The biggest advantage is that Link’s travel time is consistent: you don’t have these days where it suddenly takes twenty or forty more minutes because there’s a collision on the freeway or an unusual traffic bottleneck. These things happen every week or two; they’re not rare. I have done bus-to-bus and train-to-bus transfers; they aren’t anywhere as smooth or quick as subway-to-subway transfers. A bus could theoretically run like a train like in Curitiba but that’s not what tends to happen around here.

      4. “No, misguided Tacoma leaders were the the strongest proponents of extending Central Link to the Tacoma Dome. The voters in that region rejected the idea.”‘

        You’re confusing your reason for almost voting against ST3 with their reason for voting against it. There’s no evidence that they wanted a sensible smaller mixed system. If they did, why was there no visible movement for it? Why can’t we find even one person in Pierce advocating for it? No, the Piercians who voted for ST3 mostly thought it would be good for Tacoma jobs (like the mayor) or an alternative to freeway traffic (typical commuters). The ones who voted against ST3 don’t like the whole concept of regional transit, especially tax-funded transit.

      5. There is no shortage of voices in Pierce County who ask why so many of their transit dollars are going to slow-growing Tacoma and its train to Seattle, while almost all of the growth in Pierce County is far to the east of there. Some of the new Pierce County board members have asked this. It’s not a bad question.

      6. When will east Pierce equal the population of west Pierce? I haven’t heard of any cities the size and density of Tacoma, so I would guess never. They may be the fastest growing, but that’s like if Mercer island adds 20,000 it would double in population whereas if Seattle adds 20,000 people nobody would notice because it would be just a 2% increase. If east Pierce wants more transit priority, I want to hear about how they’re getting more density and walkability and not just sprawling out. Have they moved away from one-and two-story businesses with parking lots in front? East Pierce also has Puyallup and Sumner stations, which, when Sounder is running, have a bigger advantage over buses/cars in getting to Seattle than Tacoma Doma has.

    4. What is the maximum vessel size that could be run with a single operator?

      The problem I see with the typical ferry operation is there is simply too much staff for too few passengers. Single operators are allowed on the Willamette River ferries, but those average maybe 18 passengers per trip and are never far from shore. The King County Water Taxi seems to need about 5 or so.

      At the same time, a foot ferry could do stuff that Link, Sounder and buses could never do, such as combine Point Ruston, Vashon Island and Des Moines into a single trip.

  5. Now I just want to go to Rome and marvel at the mix of a brand new driverless subway line with ancient Roman artifacts. Normally, that’s two different sightseeing activities in Europe (riding transit + antiquities), but now they are wrapped into a single awesome thing. Querying SEA-FCO fares immediately…

  6. The heading description for the Foot Ferry aticle was unprofessional. But I still thank you for yor hard work.

  7. Re: Seattle’s voters and leaders know the value in keeping commuters out of cars, good article, but this line was good for a chuckle:

    “One result of the willingness of voters to spend on transit was the 2016 opening of two new light-rail stations in locations previously only accessible by car.”

    I’m pretty sure there was bus service to Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill long before there was link…

    1. I guess every time I took the bus to UW in 2015, I only thought I was taking the bus, when I was really driving. In that case, I’m glad I didn’t get arrested or killed, because I did not have a driver’s license (or even a car for that matter).

    2. To be fair to them, it’s an organization in Virginia that may not know much about Seattle’s neighborhoods. And it may have been just sloppy writing where if you point it out to them they’d admit it’s over the top. A metro the size of DC must have local transit like DC. Even San Jose and Atlanta have local buses. In fact, I’m trying to think of the largest principal city that doesn’t have any local buses, and you have to get down smaller than Aberdeen.

      But what they really meant was probably a minimum level of transit. People may know that local buses exist, just like I know that Access exists, but that doesn’t mean they’d ever use it. The big excitement about TIB and Angle Lake and Federal Way and Kent Station is that people can drive there and take a train: people who won’t take a bus to it. It’s that kind of situation. And since I did ride buses to the U-District before Link, i know how low that level of service was and how it didn’t meet a lot of people’s threshold.

      Another thing you see in articles and news clips about Europe and the East Coast is “transit and buses”. You sometimes hear, “This is the city’s first or second transit line’, by which they mean a subway or commuter rail or something like that. Or “the city has buses but it doesn’t have transit”. You want to say, “But buses are transit!” But what they really mean is “high-capacity transit”, which is what transit means to them.

      Although this article goes further, by not just saying the U-District lacked transit, but that it was inaccessible without a car. The other articles don’t say that.

  8. It’s hard to imagine a worse routing for routes 555/556 in Bellevue. Because ST seems dead set on making sure the 555/556 serves the same bus bay in Bellevue TC as the 271 going the same direction no matter what, the result on the northbound 555/556 is a 360° loop made exclusively of left turns, followed by another left turn into I-405. This easily adds 10 minutes to every trip, and 20 minutes to some (yep, 10 minutes late on those trips only because of all those left turns). Why would serving the same bays as the 271 be worth an extra 10-20 minutes in travel time?

  9. Northgate Mall is getting rebuilt as a transit oriented development… seems like kind of a big deal.

  10. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/37404319231/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/36694801914/in/dateposted-public/

    Think the Hungarians have figured out what to do with ridiculous statues too big to make lamps out of. Put them in a park where people can come laugh at them. Though not sure whether they decorate them for various holidays like we do with The Fremont Lenin.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/38911946470/in/dateposted-public/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/40679175912/in/dateposted-public/

    In Budapest, reachable by streetcar going right by the park. But if a Westlake line goes across Fremont Bridge, Vladimir could get some visitors too. Still think he’d look appropriate with a plug, a wire, and a shade.

    The Poles could have a problem removing that building. Either not enough dynamite in Europe to put a chip in it. Or chance that necessary implosion might crack the world. Point that building’s greatest value is a view where nobody has to look at it- French author said same thing about his favorite cafe in the Eiffel Tower.

    But if Americans just read history, they’d know it contains best solution for what to do with Confederate statues. Thousands of Southerners fought for the Union- many because the rich slavers they were fighting for were all in plain sight, instead of corporate offices worldwide.

    So instead of removing the statues, leave them where they are, but have statues of local Union Army veterans aiming at them from right across the street. A cannon with a pile of grape-shot would be even better. This isn’t about slavery. It’s about respect to brave southerners, right?

    Also, mandatory Union flag which, if they’re going to dis Colin Kapernick, they’ll have to pledge allegiance to. Anybody who “takes a knee” while doing it gets a tweet heard ’round the world.

    And also, in tribute to Southern history, a statue of the Confederate vice president delivering the speech declaring that whole purpose of the war was the unique employment program. With an audio feed feed reading it.

    But best of all, free showing of “The Free State of Jones”, recounting where disaffected southern soldiers seceded Jones County, in Mississippi from the Confederacy. Star looks exactly like the leader, Newton Knight.

    Though best thing of all is that line where when you’re starving whatever you’re eating tastes like chicken.
    Except a roast dog tastes like….go see the movie and be sure. Same principle for all the cuisine that goes with sweet potatoes. Have a stand by the statues.

    Mark

  11. Highly recommend the link about the railroad in Africa. My family lived in Tanganyika, which became Tanzania, 1963 to 1967. Went back again in 2014. Impressive. Tanzania has decided to make its game parks, especially Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater into its major industry.

    Giving ordinary people both reasons, and jobs, to take care of the animals instead of help poachers kill and sell them. Tanzania also makes one (more) point missing in our media. How many places there are now, with advanced economies, run by extremely sharp and professional young business people. Whose major aggravation is not terrorism, but endemic corruption.

    But good perspective on the cause of our own worst problem adjusting to the real times we live in. On the red visor hats, the “Great” referred to, we still have and most of the world’s young population admires us for it. But the “Again” part is from a lingering misconception that we ever ruled the world. Or wanted to. Or that anybody ever could.

    For about 25 years after World War II, our dominance came from two things. One, main effect of the war on the United States was to bring us out of the Depression. While it destroyed Europe. Which, two, left us able to repair a very large amount of the war damage worldwide. Our own setback was that in 1970, we had no plans for what to do when the World got over the War.

    Still leaving us one prosperous nation. But now, among dozens of others. Our prominence not because we’re a world-controlling military power- or ever wanted to be. If we did, we’d have drafted the soldiers and paid the taxes to occupy Iraq for the fifty years it took to rebuild Germany. Our real Greatness is how and why the under-30 world likes us. Which we’d better pray right now is durable.

    We’ve managed to hold 300 million people together in a single country. Europe’s suicidal difference is that what we did, forming a single multi-ethnic country, so many people absolutely refuse to do. And from practicality, not ideology, individual enterprise doesn’t die in a pile of forms. But mostly, like the Finnish architect in charge of the new Nordic Heritage Museum told me:

    “In the United States, there is no ‘Right’ way to do things. Meaning ingrained, unquestioning, irrational, tongue-clucking Propriety. Long may we ignore what we can’t Stand.

    But one thing the Tanzanian game industry has researched us out as customers…Americans demand, and have been given in Tanzania, the cleanest public toilets on Earth. Wish ours could even be top ten down the list from them.

    BTW train-wise: First African train I rode, same coach colors was pulled by one of these:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/43315334@N07/40724332701/in/dateposted-public/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garratt

    Mark Dublin

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