Northgate station construction, April 2018

This is an open thread.

45 Replies to “News Roundup: Car-Free Adventure”

  1. Sky Train opened as an exhibit on Canadian rail technology at the”Expo 86″ World’s Fair. Doubt very much of its funding was carried by local taxpayers. Like everyplace else in the world except for a Portuguese hill town of two, compared to Seattle, whole TransLink service area is a billiard table with some buildings for lint.

    The Stranger might also tell us how much railroad right-of-way Sky Train inherited to foot its pillars in. Give your reporter a Talgo into Vancouver, and have them look out the window and see how much lateral space is still left over between the tracks and the row of elevated concrete.

    Speaking of which- tell us about the railroad tunnel through Downtown Seattle that LINK inherited. Running exactly where our system needed to go, dating back to when steam locomotives required a roof high enough that the tubes for a modern subway could be stacked like over-under shotgun barrels.

    Did we miss that when we dug our own tunnel? Damn! Though serious points against The Stranger that you wasted a 35 years of coveted Pulitzers for Public Service Ridicule by missing that one! So would appreciate check on my math.

    Sky Train’s opening along inherited right-of-way whose every pebble could’ve been a gold nugget- 1986. LINK’s first train, 2009,down a subway we had to dig on our own dime, through the roots of an old city started with buses 1990. So let’s come back in 2050 or so with a white cloth for a dust comparison. Effort and initiative leave inherited luck sneezing and choking every time.


  2. I’ve noticed some empty vans using the bus-only lane on 99 in the mornings. They appear to be local tour operators (names like NW Tours, etc.). Anybody know the history or rules on that?

    1. RCW 46.61.165 seems to have what you are looking for. However, the private tour bus–(1)(ii)–may or may not be permitted in that lane depending on exactly where you mean. A later paragraph, (2), seems to say that private transportation vehicles that are otherwise authorized may not operate in a business-access-and-transit (BAT) lane, which describes the bus lane on Aurora south of (more or less) Home Depot.

      That said, the signage on 99 doesn’t say “bus only but only public buses only,” so I really can’t fault the tour bus driver for not knowing this particular quirk.

      Larger point being, yes, in general, tour buses that are regulated as such by the state, “airporters,” and company shuttle buses are allowed in bus-only lanes on more or less the same standard as public buses. (The RCW does specifically call out that limousines and for-hire stretch SUVs are not considered “public or private transportation” and may not use bus lanes.)

      1. One would think the bus company would tell its drivers exactly where they are and are not allowed to drive, as part of routine training for new employees.

  3. Today’s email news from Mass Transit Magazine included two articles from California:

    + 90 Minute + Commutes increase as Bay Area housing shortage intensifies

    + California Republicans pushing for repeal of gas tax because nothing saves commuters time like cuts in road and transit spending, or something.

  4. I’m still wondering about why there are two lanes northbound and one southbound on 23rd/24th Ave, as diagrammed and described in the Crosscut article. Surely the southbound will have two lanes climbing the hill with only one northbound going down the hill.

    Some posters noted the confusion in the prior post on this. Could Crosscut have it wrong as a result of the SDOT report contradictions?

    1. Now I see that the two lanes are uphill in the Urbanist article after all. Now I really feel embarrassed!

      1. Bicyclists have no business being on 24th near Montlake or Boyer. The Lake Washington bike trail cuts through the neighborhood just two blocks to the east and serious bicyclists ride on Lake Washington Blvd (presumably because it is the flattest stretch).

        Generally speaking, Seattle would do well to emulate San Francisco in separating bikes (and buses for that matter) from cars. The main thoroughfares in SF, such as Bush (one-way going east), Pine (one-way going west), Franklin (one-way going north), Gough (one-way going south), Fell (one-way going west), Oak (one-way going east) are all designed (almost entirely) as car-only with 3 lanes. Lombard and Geary are 3-lanes for each direction. Consequently, traffic flows nicely on all of those roads except during the worst of rush hour.

        Public transportation is also kept separate from many of the car thoroughfares – as they should be where possible. There are no buses on Franklin, Gough, Bush, Pine, Fell, or Oak. The buses dominate Van Ness, Market, California, and Geary; and run through neighborhoods.

        The bike lanes/routes in SF are also generally set up on different streets where cars are less prevalent (neighborhoods, Panhandle, Valencia, etc.) or actively discouraged (i.e. – Market Street). The bike routes are also designed to minimize hills – which is easier to do in SF than Seattle, believe it or not.

        Anyway, this cooperation, rather than competition, makes for smoother rides for everyone and less political confrontation and animosity.

        As a long-time Californian, I am shocked at how poorly designed all transportation systems are here. This city appears to have historically been quite shortsighted when designing all of its transport systems, whether due to penny-pinching or other factors. The incompetence is mind-boggling.

      2. The cynical answer is a long history of distrusting outside ideas, combined with a few impractical ideas (like a city-wide monorail) periodically getting through, and a tradition of neighborhood activism combined with the baby-boomer activists now turned into angry old people who don’t want to disrupt their typical life. Finally, there is the growing segment of newcomers who have yet to flex their power.

      3. 22nd Ave. works well as a bypass for Montlake Blvd. until you hit Boyer. At that point, you have to go on Montlake Blvd. for one block until you get to Interlaken, where you can again switch over to the neighborhood streets. It’s a steep climb, but still not as steep as, say, taking Roy, all the way up from the arboretum. The good news is that this one block of Montlake can be done well enough on the sidewalk, since there usually aren’t pedestrians there. Of course, any extra feet of separation from traffic would be well appreciated.

      4. @Kevin22

        I assume you are responding to Al S..

        Bicyclists have no business being on 24th near Montlake or Boyer

        24th actually used to be part of my cycling commute, so must disagree. My first job was at the Safeway E John St on Capitol Hill and I lived in Wedgwood. On my way to work, I avoided 24th. After the Montlake bridge, I would take the twisty turn filled Lake Washington Loop “bike trail” until E Galer St. I would take a left on E Galer, cross, 24th, then bike up that funny sidewalk and continue zigzagging through side streets. While this route was less direct, then taking 24th, the many turns didn’t slow me much because I am already going slow due to the hill. Additionally, I don’t like breathing car fumes in the climb.

        Going back home is a completely different story. I turned left from Aloha and bombed 24th. I would time the lights, pass cars, etc. I picked up a 56 tooth chainring at Recycled Cycles (A super big front gear for non-cyclists) just for that hill. At Boyer the grade becomes less steep, but as long as I don’t hit the light, I can still maintain traffic speed. 24th becomes flat at Montlake Cycles, but with all the adrenaline, I would usually keep going. Occasionally I would get passed close by an angry pack of cars, but mostly they would come in ones and twos so they could just move into the left lane to pass. Once you get to Montlake, the traffic always backed up so I just zip by all the stuck cars.

        As a long-time Californian, I am shocked at how poorly designed all transportation systems are here. This city appears to have historically been quite shortsighted when designing all of its transport systems, whether due to penny-pinching or other factors. The incompetence is mind-boggling.

        Many of these designs go right into comedy bad. We recently got rid of one of our strangest when we redid Mercer. One of my favorite places is the south side of the Ballard Bridge. It uses an overpass to create additional intersections.

        But in a certain respect, I think our poor infrastructure is actually an advantage. I’ve lived in LA and I currently live in San Diego. The SoCal car infrastructure is immense. Often this is pedestrian hostile. But it also means transit has to be very high quality to be time competitive with driving. Alternatively, the amount of cars to create enough traffic before people demand grade separated transit is huge. Once a city reaches a size and density threshold, it can only increase mobility through better transit. But as good as that transit gets, there will always be that car infrastructure stopped up with traffic.

        In Seattle, the car infrastructure was never good. And at this point, there isn’t a whole lot we can do which will make it better. That has given rise to the political will to begin building good grade separated transit. The obvious truth that cars in Seattle are at there limits has also allowed for many bus lanes to be taken. Right now many of those lanes are taken where it won’t slow car traffic too much, but the virtuous cycle has already begun. As more people take transit, the better we make transit and the easier it will be to take lanes at bottle necks such as the Aroura Bridge. The small and misfit roads of Seattle have given us the impetus to reinvent as a transit oriented city.

    2. Well, I can understand your misunderstanding. It all started with SDOT. They had two different descriptions of the proposal on the same document. On the main page, they clearly said it would be the way everyone expects it to be (two lanes uphill). But later in the document, they said the opposite. Then trouble began.

      The Seattle Bike then picked up and forwarded the second half of the document, probably because of the picture. They wrote a scathing “WTF?” type of article, which was also on Twitter (naturally). This blog got into the action, and wrote much of the same thing — all suggesting that the city wanted two lanes downhill. Lots of commenters (including me) thought that was really stupid, and said so. It wasn’t until someone else pointed out the discrepancy in the original document that it made sense. Whoever wrote the document had it right in the summary, but somehow reversed the image later.

      I still think two lane uphill (along with no bus lanes) is a bad idea. But I also don’t think it is the end of the world *as long as* it eventually fixed. This is a cheap, temporary move that is only done to make things safer. Two lanes uphill (and one downhill) will make it a lot safer. Eventually, though, you need bus lanes on the street right up to the Montlake Bridge, to ensure quick travel for the buses. But that won’t happen until they are done with the next phase of the 520 bridge.

      1. Since there is no bicycle lane, having a second uphill lane configuration is perhaps safer for bicyclists. Of course, that’s relative to the existing situation.

        Going down that hill, a biicycle can easily go at a car vehicle’s travel speed. (Thought: Does SPD ever ticket bicyclists for speeding?) In fact, a bicyclist lane downhill may even be more unsafe because it’s harder to stay in a narrow bicycle lane when traveling at a higher speed.

        Going up that hill, a bicyclist is going to move pretty slowly. If there was only one lane uphill (with the second lane being bus-only), either the biyclist would have to pull into the bus-only lane of a vehicle would have to pull into the double left-turn lane — unless the vehicle follows the bicyclist, which would take probably 10 minutes to go less than a mile given the hill’s steepness.

        I’m still not clear what will happen to the Northbound bus stops. Will they be wide enough for car drivers to pull around buses, will car drivers back up behind a loading bus and possibly into a signalized intersection, or will car drives use the double-left turn lane?

        The Montlake segment revisioni probably needs more sensitive neighborhood discussion. There are small businesses in that area, and many people going to them park on side streets if not on 24th (and on-street parking on there has pros and cons). I could see less impact if a second lane was lost here, as it’s pretty flat so there’s no need for a climbing lane. With all these competing interests, it probably should be handled as a separate decision process.

      2. I’ve used Montlake to bike down the hill before. With the current condition of the pavement, it is too dangerous to ride a bike at 30 mph, even if gravity would allow it. This would presumably change if the street gets repaved. Even then, I still feel safer traveling at slower speeds through the neighborhood.

      3. there is plenty of room on the 24th ave hill for a bike lane. It has the best grade to get up the hill. Limited cross streets and driveways and a wide road currently the right lane going up the hill is currently 14′ wide. The greenway alternative directs bike riders to haul their bikes up a stair case. A decent bike lane would be much better

  5. I’m not sure why the Strangers says that Link has 84,000 weekday riders. All the monthly reports from the past year are below 80,000 averages. It doesn’t change the article’s message, but it appears inaccurate.

    1. This is the pertinent section to which you’re referring:

      “Link services a region of 3.1 million, has 21 miles of track, and 84,000 weekday boardings. Increased frequency of trains would make Link far more popular than it already is.”

      As you’ve stated, on this particular point The Stranger simply gets their facts wrong.

  6. Port Townsend is a really small market (I live there) for any passenger ferry and the extra time needed to get around Marrowstone Island to dock downtown just adds to the cost. A possible tourist run for the summer and weekends. Maybe after Port Townsend and the towns nearby get built up some more it could support a regular passenger ferry.

    1. It used to be a regular ferry run. It got eliminated decades ago because it was an intermediate stop from Victoria to Seattle.and customs was too difficult to do on an intermediate stop.

    2. It’s also with current technology incredibly non-environmentally friendly given the distances involved and speed required to be time competitive with driving. That should change though as we get better all electric and hybrid-diesel solutions for marine use. While still getting started, and mostly on larger scales than here such as full size car ferries those systems are rapidly getting ready there. So maybe some day. :-)

      I suppose a small enough boat could use Portage Canal but then ride comfort would likely be *really* not good.

  7. While I would love for there to be a PT to Seattle passenger ferry, I would question the economic viability of it.

    Anyone remember SoundRunner? Kingston had a passenger only ferry to Seattle that lasted all of two years (2010 to 2012), although it was during an economic downturn. That boat is now plying the choppy waters between West Seattle and Downtown.

  8. I wish cost of sand-blasted brick didn’t limit my lunch to a single expresso. Because Port Townsend’s a major landmark on my favorite highway drives from Olympia. SR 101, along with 106 and 302, are graded and curved so as to make it a pleasure to handle a car. Hopefully generating enough political push back to keep driverless cars safely where the rest of freeway traffic is also stuck.

    Right now, 101 also carries some valuable driving instruction: learning to look at the road like the semi-driver behind you, so neither of you has to worry about the view through your rear-view mirror and his windshield. And nobody behind either of you praying you’ll get into the next Slow Vehicle pullout or off a cliff.

    My own vision of my life’s final motoring world: People finally figure out that when sprawl jams to a permanent crawl, freedom is a life and lifestyle where transit is the common denominator cars are now, except smoothly and enjoyably moving.

    But for people who really love handling an automobile, rather than proving something to somebody else by just having it….the country will have nationwide network of highways designed neither for military convoys nor commuter parking lots. If highway freight still exists, it’ll use these new roads. Along with you.

    Either machine, tabs will cover road expenses and also pay for the transit that keeps vast majority gladly out of your way. Fees will definitely be income adjusted, because we really do believe in the right to highway driving. Provided the world’s top instructors agree that they’ve taught you how. All the other applicants, a break on your next nationwide transit pass for the guts to try.

    Exact same as for firearms, incidentally. Which, as a nod to our past glories, we’ll call it the draft. Port Townsend jet boats? Judging by the traffic on SR 16 and SR104 this afternoon, I give it five years max ’til your Navigator is screaming at the top of her lungs just to leave the damn car, jump off the Hood Canal Bridge and swim.

    Mark Dublin

  9. A burning question I’ve had for a long time: what does this region have against level boarding? King Street and almost every RapidRide stop had the opportunity to create raised platforms to enable this (for every door, not just one as in Sounder’s case) when those platforms were last built or worked on, and didn’t. Why?

    1. In the case of standard railroad lines, you can only raise the platform so far without blocking freight car clearance requirements. The platforms at King Street are as high as allowed.

      The wheelchair boarding area for Sounder is elevated, but it is also offset from the car floor by several feet. It creates a constricted platform area doing that the whole length means a constrained waiting area and passenger movement. The bridge plate is a bit of a hazard to use because of the chance of someone falling off the edge, and so really should only be done where necessary.

      They do make low floor equipment that could work with the low platforms, but it’s illegal to mix it with mainline trains in the USA unless you stop operating the mainline trains for a period (as New Jersey RiverLINE does).

    2. No matter how you slice it, buses can’t do level boarding without special equipment on the coach. With a train, the distance between the door and the platform is always fixed since the train can’t move laterally. However, human operators can’t steer a bus precisely enough to get that kind of minimal gap. You either need a short bridge plate on the rear door (which can be deployed much faster than a ramp), or you need an optical-guidance steering system that can get the bus in exactly the right place.

      The former is the more common approach, but Rouen in France uses the latter. Here’s a brief:

  10. I would love a ferry to Port Townsend. We don’t need to worry about economic viability – it’s the job of government to provide transportation infrastructure, even at a loss, in order to support and promote other kinds of economic activity.

      1. Actually, they are infinite. The problem is getting legislators to spend the money.

    1. Robert, I really think that with another ten years’ growth max, both Port Townsend and the next generation of boats will find each other a very good easy fit. Interesting historic similarity with Tacoma. Both cities were convinced they were going to be the leading city in the region.

      Story is that some of the more impressive brick buildings in PT were there literally for show-pieces. Lesson is stay focused on your goal and give it your best. But also stay ready to change forward direction smoothly without losing momentum.

      Speaking from several very recent visits to PT, thing I liked best seeing was a small industrial park where SR 20 comes into the city, featuring the Sunrise Cafe- one of two really good espresso places, the other one being “Better Living With Coffee” by the beach, middle of downtown.

      In general, I really think that true renewal is always much deeper than cosmetic. I like seeing people in their twenties and thirties, working with and around machinery. Also designing and manufacturing machinery. Federal Government thinks I’m retired.

      Think the idea seriously needs an update. Hire us all for Government contractors, and pay us, for the work we’ve learned lifelong, and also whatever training we can pick up. While we begin paying into Social Security to take care of those who need, or can stand it.

      For work skills and ethic, I very much like what I see in the people who really should start their campaigns for the Legislature now. Only “WASL” mandate right now should be to accept your diploma and declare your candidacy before you leave the platform. You want the firearms age to be 21, bring along a gun and mention your right to carry it right now.

      Group I have the hardest time among are in their middle sixties. Great thing about being 73 is getting to call down a 66 year old for lack of respect for their elders. And juniors, who in addition to student loans their parents never had to take, are paying these ingrate’s Social Security. It’s not an age thing. It’s constant focus on the past- exactly what our own elders told us was going to happen to us.

      “Over 55” places should be against same health laws that mandate sunshine and fresh air. Those damned 55 year olds are always leaving their Harleys fallen over in the yard!

      PT needs a young working class and its work. At wages that’ll make them stay and energize the place lifelong. Anybody know if there’s a technical college there now?

      Mark Dublin

    2. Compared to buses, ferries are unbelievably expensive to operate. You don’t notice it with WSF because, since they carry cars, they are eligible for highway money, which passenger-only ferries are not.

  11. So there was some discussion yesterday about how to setup transfers at SODO and Stadium stations, and in the past there has been some discussion of how to setup the junction with East Link. I thought I’d try and recap the conclusions.

    At SODO station, West Link should enter on the west and South Link on the east. Both of those lines should enter stacked. The station should have two center platforms. The trains would be going opposite directions at the platforms. For example, the top platform might have northbound West Link and southbound South Link. Then the bottom platform would have a northbound South Link and a southbound West Link. This would allow people traveling between west and south Seattle to have easy level transfers.

    Between SODO and Stadium stations, either West Link or South Link would need to swap the top and bottom tracks. Entering Stadium station the lines are stacked. The top lines are heading the same direction and the bottom tracks are heading the same direction. Again there are two center platforms. This would allow easy level transfers for people traveling between West Seattle and Ballard and for people traveling between North Seattle and South Seattle.

    After Stadium station, East Link tracks should both pass over South and West Link tracks and drop down stacked on the west side. The top track would join with the top West Link track and the bottom to the bottom. That will avoid the capacity constraints of a level junction.

    What should be done for International station is less clear. Will there be more transfers between East Link-Ballard Link, or more transfers between East Link-South Link? Even if there will be more East Link-South Link transfers, should we still prioritize East Link-Ballard Link transfers to discourage transfers at Westlake station which will likely be congested? Regardless of which transfer is prioritized the stacked center platform layout is still most conducive to transfers. We just need to make sure the two platforms are linked by redundant elevators, redundant escalators, and stairs.

    If International station is optimized for East Link-Ballard Link transfers, people making West Link-Ballard Link transfers could also make that level transfer at International station. I still think setting up Stadium station for West-Ballard transfer would still be useful to reduce transfer congestion at International station.

    Thinking about it some more, I realize you could create the same transfer experience at SODO and Stadium stations without having them stacked. You would just need to make clever use of over passes to get the tracks in the right order.

    1. It is a curious design problem!

      Some other random thoughts:

      Transfers could be timed. For example, the entire system schedule could be set up to have every train met there. If there were platforms on either side of middle trains, a train could load and unload on both sides and someone could walk through a train to get to one on the next platform over. There would need to be a “scramble time” to work right. It might get really messy if a line goes out of service or gets off schedule

      The stacked arrangement works well because transfers would require either a level boarding or only one level change. Four level stops means two level changes (unless the walk-through idea I mentioned above is implemented).

      Some have pointed out that both trains could use the same (one) center platform! I think it’s better to have more than one in each direction for flexibility. Still, without a timed transfer, the utility of multiple platforms is diminished. I’ll also add that there would be too many trains crossing Lander if both tracks were crossing there at-grade.

      While ST could leave two tracks crossing Lander (and two tracks above Lander), it doesn’t have to be for South Link. Still, the existing station needs a center platforms and elevators and stairs to connect to the adjacent aerial platforms; the side platforms today are too narrow for stairs, escalators or elevators. I don’t think ST has realized this narrowness problem on the existing platforms.

      A layout can swap over tracks if ST was willing to do that south of Lander Street.. unfortunately, ST appears to not want to change the Soith Link SODO station at all.

      The SODO Station platforms start iat least 100-200 feet north of Lander Street. It’s more than changing levels; it’s also walking a half-block to cross then coming back.

      Most importantly, it’s taken Chicago over a century to fix the Red/ Purple/ Brown Lines crossover problem north of Belmont station. If ST messes this up, we are doomed for decades!

      1. That all train in the station transfer ideas sounds a bit like something from an Asimov book. Just make the location in a vacuum and have the trains seal to each other and the platform building. But as fun as it sounds, it would require very precise scheduling and would break down if one of the middle lines was out of service or if the middle trains were crush loaded.

        I hope they setup these new stations right. I think it would be a tragedy if they just keep the old stations as is and just put the new stations adjacent. And I definitely hope they remove level crossings.

        Ironically, the West Seattle folk who would most benefit from a proper SoDo station and tracks are likely too busy focusing on the aesthetic of the Junction to realize the service itself might stink.

      2. I would argue that it impacts everyone, because it’s likely the only place to build a level transfer at a reasonable cost. That includes everyone going between Capitol Hill/ UW/ North Seattle and SE Seattle / Seatac Airport.

    2. At Stadium & SoDo, what’s the advantage of a stack platform vs. two stations being immediately adjacent at the same grade, with an at-grade crossing between them? Requiring someone to cross tracks at grade is reasonable for a Light Rail system, and is already pretty common throughout our system.

      It seems to me at-grade makes for an easier transfer than needing to change levels, especially for less able people (or simply people with luggage).

      1. What I was proposing was a way to make transfers only require walking across the center platform. If anything, at grade crossings might make more sense at International station where there is no way to make both north and south transfers convenient.

        I was assuming we would prefer to not add more grade crossings. If trains are run very frequently, it might be more challenging to cross the tracks. Do people with mobility need to go to the end of the platform to get to the ramp? Also, I think a lot of people want theses trains automated she currently I don’t think that is possible with grade crossings

      2. AJ, it’s ok when there is just one line and one set of tracks. That’s not the case here and we don’t have this situation today.

        In SODO there will be two lines with trains proposed every six minutes with two sets of tracks! That’s a train to block a level pedestrian crossing every 1.5 minutes. Given how pedestrian gates would be needed to cross four tracks running in opposite directions (say 45 seconds to be safe), the window of safe and viable pedestrian crossing windows gets pretty tiny.

      3. With multiple platforms, would only need to cross one or two tracks at a time. And it’s not a new at-grade crossing, it’s leveraging the existing at grade crossing at Lander. It’s really not that different than getting off a bus and needing to cross the street to catch a bus going the other direction – it’s a crossing immediately adjacent to the station, so trains are moving very slow.

        I do something similar everyday at Eastgate freeway station. Sometimes, everyone exiting the bus has to pause at the bus stop to wait for the bus to pull away before crossing the street to head to the P&R. At peak, buses come every 5 minutes, and people seem capable of waiting for the walk sign to cross the intersection.

        If Lander is raised to be grade-separated, then taking stairs up to a Lander bridge from a center platform would avoid an at-grade crossing.

        Definitely makes sense to have (at least) one center platform, so that for some transfers you don’t need to cross a track (specifically from WS northbound train to southbound SeaTac train), but for others you would need to cross the track (at grade or via Lander)

  12. Any ideas on how O’Brien’s proposal for pretax dollars for transit could extend to small businesses and the self-employed, as well as others I’m sure I’m missing?

    1. The transit tax deduction is kind of weird, in that it technically applies only to work commutes, which means any time you purchase a transit pass through an employer with pre-tax dollars, you’re supposed to sign a piece of paper promising to ignore the pass and pay full fare out of pocket for all non-work-related trips.

      In practice, of course, nobody actually does this – if the pass is good, you just use the pass. But, we all have to pretend otherwise, in order for the employer to be allowed to deduct the cost of the pass from box 1 of form W2.

    2. Actually, things are headed the other way. One of the things that was tucked into the Cons’ tax reform act that was passed late last year was a significant change to IRC section 274 that eliminated the employer’s deductability of expenses related to these IRC section 132(f) employer-sponsored qualified transportation fringe benefit programs. Some have speculated that the act’s authors were seeking offsets for the reduction in revenues from the lower corporate tax rates and the fringe benefits area became one of their targets. A more cynical perspective postulated that this was another attempt by the Cons to stick it to the blue states, akin to their targeting of the deduction for state and local sales taxes, state income taxes and local property taxes.

      The changes don’t impact the employee side however; an employee can still take the pre-tax advantage of a section 132(f) QTP, as long his or her employer provides such a plan. The limits for transit and for parking both increase to $260 per month for 2018.

      Some resources that might help better explain the impact from the Dec 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

      Relevant IRC sections:

  13. You need to make sure of the Vancouver you note –the third and soon to be second largest city in Washington is the original Vancouver down here. The northern second Vancouver is in BC. So how about noting Vancouver, BC when you are referring to them?

Comments are closed.