Route 410 at Westlake Park

Route 410 in Westlake Park by SounderBruce in the Flickr pool

This is an open thread.

54 Replies to “News Roundup: Attracting Imitators”

  1. Aren’t cheap condos usually from conversions of former apartment buildings to condos? I mean even if developers were given a legal shield to protect them from their own corner cutting. Why would they build cheap condos on a given piece of land when they could build high end condos and make a greater profit?

    1. Cheap condos haven’t existed since the 1990s. The first condos were priced as entry-level homes and had reputations to match. Then condos became as expensive as full-sized houses because their walkability makes them worth more. The apartment market has a shortage at all levels, and since there’s such a tiny supply of land zoned multifamily, the developers all chase the top end of the market and ignore the rest. But if more land were available, then developers would saturate the high-end market and lower-budget developers would step in to build the rest. High-end developers are synonomous with Wall Street financing that comes with the demand of fast, high returns (the entire principal back in 19 years) or they’ll go to another city. Lower-budget local developers don’t have such constraints or such high short-term expectations, so they can take a longer-term view. The same principle applies to condos, but the condo market is so different and has been stunted for so long that I’m not sure how exactly it applies.

    2. >> Why would they build cheap condos on a given piece of land when they could build high end condos and make a greater profit?

      Because people wouldn’t be interested in buying expensive condos at that location. It is the same reason that Honda doesn’t just build Acuras. If we had a more liberal marketplace, you would likely see plenty of condos as well as townhouses in places that are less attractive because they are farther away from the central core, lack sidewalks, views and big parks (places like my neighborhood — Pinehurst).

    3. From what I heard from a colleague, there was a craze to put nice Southwestern tile (EFINS?) in the 2000s on Seattle condo exterior. Very pretty, only problem was that if it wasn’t installed perfectly, the tile would retain water after rain. Nice for Santa Fe, not so great for Seattle. This led to a bunch of lawsuits (because of mitigation caused increased condo fees). She was one of the plaintiff class.

      There were a few apartments converted to condos in the mid 2000s (I rented one out and tried to buy one on a short sale), but there was a lot of mitigation work done (and for those who were underwater, a lot of folks not paying condo dues).

      Condos are generally a nice first step to home ownership– but Seattle’s experience probably scared away some of the folks who could build affordable stuff.

  2. Since Move Seattle funds can’t readily be used to increase service due to difficulty hiring enough staff, could they maybe do something with fares? Like lower fares on Seattle routes to $2 or $1.50? I think this makes a lot of sense as Metro is building up a good frequent grid in Seattle that would make short bus trips practical, except that the fare is now $2.75.

    1. I’m a bit concerned that so many of the planned and suggested uses of the Seattle TBD (and maybe Move Seattle, etc.) funds involve increasing demand (e.g., various fare ameliorations) in a situation in which, at peak-times, Metro seems to be running at, or even over, capacity, at least on some routes. If the demand increase were all, or almost all, at non-peak times, this would of course, not be much of a problem – but this appears to me not necessarily to be the case. Obviously, having more people use transit is highly desirable, but there ultimately needs to be enough transit to use.

      So far as I can tell, we have reached the limits on our maintenance facilities, and we are having trouble hiring enough drivers. Both need to be fixed (just fixing one of those problems without fixing the other wouldn’t work, except maybe – for drivers – to a limited extent for off-peak service). Once we fixed both, we would presumably also need to buy more buses.

      The other way to improve capacity is to reverse the substantial number of service-hours that have gone into “reliability improvements” in recent years – by implementing the various other things that can be done to improve reliability other than adding service hours. Incentivizing ORCA use, painting 3rd Avenue red, more bus priority, more and longer duration bus lanes, expanding multi-door entry, etc. – we all know the list – if done well and extensively, should enable us to run the existing schedule (better) with fewer buses, proving drivers and buses for capacity expansion.

      Insofar as the constraint to doing these things is money (I know, political will is probably the greater constraint for reliability improvements), spending some of the available funds in that direction might be the most useful.

      1. Too bad Metro isn’t going for contracting to provide more peak service. I never really understood the arguments against. It will obviously be a slippery slope to full privatization? It doesn’t help very many poor people, so it’s bad?

        Here’s something that also doesn’t help poor people: Metro has to cancel bus trips because it can’t hire staff fast enough to meet demand.

      2. AlexKven, those private entities would also have to hire and train operators, hire and train vehicle maintenance, rent or purchase land to use as bus bases, develop a coordination structure, and so on. Those are all things metro currently does. Why would we give money to private companies to do those things when we already have existing infrastructure at metro. A private company will have all of the same growing pains that metro is having. We currently have a large order of buses but we don’t have a place to put them. So one of our problems is land acquisition, a problem a private company is going to have as well. A private company is also going to run into the same problems as metro when it comes to hiring people. If you think the problem with hiring is due to the applicant pool, then having multiple agencies all trying to hire operators isn’t going to help. If you think the problem is that metro just cant train people fast enough, then the city diverting resources to help metro hire faster is a better solution than private contracts. A private contractor may likely be forced to depend more on fare collection than public funds, either leading to higher fares or lower wages, and if not the overall cost will likely be higher because someone has to turn a profit off of that private partnership.

  3. Please no electric scooter sharing. They don’t belong on sidewalks, on trails or on bike lanes, which has been clearly demonstrated over the past few years. All it will do is enable morons who have no regard for the rest of society.

    1. On the contrary, I think the Burke Gilman trail would be a great place to ride an electric scooter, and they take less space to store tyan a full sized bike. They’re speed limited to 15 mph.

      1. Allowing electric scooters are the Burke-Gilman would be irresponsible. While it may be “fun”, it lacks logic. Do you know how fast a scooter moves at 15 mph compared to a pedestrian? Standard bikes are dangerous enough, let alone a scooter with a motor. Say a person is walking at an average of 3 mph. Going in the same direction, a scooter going 15 mph gains on a walker at a clip of nearly 18 feet per second. (Many bikers do go faster, which is irresponsible). That is bound to lead to accidents, and the loser nearly every time is the pedestrian. A majority of bikers that I’ve seen / experienced don’t act responsibly (failure to stop at stop lights, stop signs, you name it), imagine what happens with a motor and even less effort required to use it.

      2. I don’t understand your logic how an e-scooter going 15 mph is dangerous to pedestrians, but a bike going 15 mph is not.

      3. GK – I fail to see how this is any worse than the bike riders going faster than 15 mph. It’s a multi purpose trail, not just a bike trail.

      4. @asdf2 & @Brad

        I agree that speeding bikes is also a problem. I believe I wrote that it was also irresponsible for bikes to go so fast.

    2. The bigger issue is that riders of e-things (bikes, skateboards, monowheels, etc) tend to be irresponsible, based on anecdotal observations of course. I’m sure there are a non-zero number of people that can and would use e-things in a fun and responsible manner, but what do we gain from allowing this use? It’s a solution, with lots of negatives, in search of a problem, similar to e-bikes, with plenty of alternates already available.

      Also, there’s a huge difference in a pedal bike quickly stopping from 15 mph versus an e-scooter quickly stopping from 15 mph.

      No thanks. Make a trip down to Portland if you want to use one.

      1. I’ve ridden an e-bike on the Burke-Gilman trail many times already. I ride responsibly at around 15 mph (even though my bike goes up to 20), and I need the motor because the Burke-Gilman trail is just one small part of an 18-mile round trip commute to work, and I don’t want to arrive at the office sweaty every day from pedaling up the hills in the other parts of the commute. Nor do I want to mess with bikes on buses (and getting left behind when the rack is full).

        Anecdotally, the irresponsible people I see on my ride are not other e-bike riders, but spandex-clad people with high-performance, carbon-fiber pedal bikes. Should we ban spandex because some spandex-wearers are irresponsible at treat bike commuting on the Burke-Gilman like it’s the Tour De France? The answer to that one is clearly “no”. It’s the same thing with e-bikes – especially with the bikeshare e-bikes, which are governed to a slower speed than the e-bikes you typically buy at a bike store.

        “Also, there’s a huge difference in a pedal bike quickly stopping from 15 mph versus an e-scooter quickly stopping from 15 mph.” Fair enough, since the standing posture does inherently limit how quickly you can stop without falling off. The solution is to just lower the maximum speed. Would 12 mph leave you satisfied? I rode a Bird scooter in San Jose a few weeks ago, and I don’t think I got much above 10-12 mph the entire trip.

      2. The bigger issue is that riders of ANYthings (bikes, skateboards, monowheels, CARS, etc) tend to be irresponsible, based on anecdotal observations of course.


        Irresponsible people exist and choose a wide variety of transportation options. They didn’t suddenly become irresponsible because they just got on an e-scooter; it is just the type of person they are. I would much prefer that irresponsible person to be riding a bike, e-bike, e-scooter, anything that isn’t an actually dangerous and deadly car.

      3. I understand that e-bikes are banned on the Burke-Gilman, which doesn’t make sense to be because why is the generator a problem if it isn’t on? I can understand having to turn it off but not prohibiting bikes just because they have the capability. And in some places you have to use the trail because the adjacent highway has no shoulder, as in the Burke-Gilman north of Lake Forest Park, and there’s no other road to use. So banning e-bikes on the B-G is the same as banning e-bikes completely in some areas.

        My colleague, who recently retired, just bought an e-bike and rode it down to Seattle to demonstrate it. I asked him how well it works and he said he loves it; it flattens out the hills completely. He rode from Bothell so I assume he too the B-G because there’s no other way between Kenmore and Lake Forest Park. I told him I thought electric bikes were banned on the B-G but he didn’t think so. But then I also thought the speed limit was 10 mph, because there used to be signs saying that.

      4. “The bigger issue is that riders of e-things (bikes, skateboards, monowheels, etc) tend to be irresponsible, based on anecdotal observations of course. ”

        You could easily make this same statement about bicycles.

    3. I think the original reason for banning motorized bikes was to keep mopeds and scooters and motorcycles off the trails. So it’s an old law being applied when the technology changes, because historically motorized vehicles could go thirty or forty miles an hour, and having them on the trail would make it unusable for its primary purpose, for which there’s no alternative. But that argument doesn’t really apply to e-bikes, which have electric assist only in the sense that some bikes have electric tail lights.

      1. The definition of e-bikes, globally, is broad enough that to say they have “electric assist only in the sense that some bikes have electric tail lights” isn’t totally true.

        There are lots of people in Seattle (and other parts of the US) that have e-bikes and basically behave like any other transportation cyclist, just a bit less sweaty. They’re part of the bike community — they’re “true believers” using electric assist to fill the gaps between the bikey lifestyle they want to live and the incomplete infrastructure (and challenging land-use patterns) of our auto-centric city.

        In places where the bike network is actually more complete and useful than the car network people really are building vehicles that are essentially low-powered motor scooters and mopeds, attaching a vestigial chain drive with pedals nearly inaccessible to the rider, and calling it an e-bike, in order to take advantage of this infrastructure.

        If we ever have this problem here it will in some sense be a mark of success: it will mean our bike network is actually useful enough that people that don’t give a hoot about being bike people want to use it. We’ve only started to see this in very limited places, and it looks a little different here than in European and Asian cities with existing gas-powered scooter/moped cultures.

  4. Self-driving bikes solve the self-driving car problem by proving the technology will never achieve mass market adoption.

    1. Why would self-driving bikes indicate anything about the popularity of self-driving cars? Bikes don’t usually have roofs and walls, which is part of the popularity of a car to keep the rain out.

  5. “I’m not sure what problem self-driving bikes would solve.”

    They have less environmental impacts than self-driving cars.

    1. +1 … and a self driving tricycle would suit seniors who have never felt comfortable riding a bike you have to balance in traffic… like me… for all sorts of in town errands. Seems it could also take along a mid size dog as cargo or take a “just right size” grocery load too (bike too small, car too big)

      I don’t want to see personally-owned self/drive anythings. Trikes-to-rent that circulate constantly or take themselves off duty to charge somewhere seems a happy picture :-)

    2. Probably safer for the rest of us if the self-driving car developers use this platform to debug their problems “in the wild”

    3. But what consumer problem? In what use case do I want to pedal but not to guide my own bike?

      If this is just a super light weight electric car, that is not a different category from other self-driving cars.

      1. In the professor’s maximal vision, it’s a superlight electric vehicle for a PRT system. It’s a pretty clever idea, with a low capital cost leveraging existing bicycle infrastructure. Eventually, these self-driving ultralights could get their own right of way, which would coexist more peacefully with bicycle and pedestrian traffic than cars ever could.

  6. The commentary that SDOT’s 2017 streetcar additional budget request is primarily due to “accounting technicalities” is nonsense.

    Excerpt from the linked article:

    >>>The 2017 cost overrun comes from three issues, SDOT said. Labor and professional services costs were higher than budgeted, which accounts for about $200,000. And the agency had to spend an additional $180,000 that should have been included in the budget to comply with a federal grant requirement. SDOT said that an additional $141,000 was not an overrun, but is due to the city’s transition to a new financial system that put the costs in a different fund.<<<

    This speaks more to departmental incompetence than anything else.

    1. If labor and professional services costs unexpectedly went up, not necessarily incompetence. If the budgeted amount was demonstratively lower than the actual expected costs, maybe incompetence.

    2. Seattle is having a tough time recovering from some of the Mayor Murray technology “improvements” from what I hear from city employees. They re-organized Information Technology under Seattle IT and it has been very rocky (probably why the Seattle IT director got replaced by Durkan).

      In the rear view mirror, Ed Murray’s mayoral term continues to look worse and worse. SDOT appeared to have fallen apart under Kubly, so it’s not surprising that things are a mess.

  7. Re: Reduction in 21 stops. Metro go this one right! I feel like my many complaints to Metro over the years about the excessive number of stops on 35th finally paid off.

    Re: Condos. Having been involved in condo/developer lawsuits, I can attest to the fact that the protections the WA Condominium Act give to condo owners are extremely flimsy. The WCA is very weak, and the linked article mischaracterizes it. “(Nathan Gorton) says the scales tipped too far in favor of buyers in response.” Total bullspittle.

  8. The dumb question of the day: let’s say I plan to take Link at IDS, so I tap in at the Orca reader, but then I change my mind and decide to hop on a tunnel bus. Do I have to tap out at a reader and then get on the bus, tapping in once on, or can I simply tap in on the bus? Similarly (I guess exactly the same), if I take Link and then transfer to a bus, do I have to tap out of Link before making the transfer?


    1. I’m pretty sure that you would have to tap off before tapping onto the bus. If you tap off it will just cancel the transaction, but I if I remember correctly, if you don’t tap off at all it will charge you the max fare it can (since link is distance based it will be whichever direction is longer to the end of the line), cause orca doesn’t know where you got on the bus, just that you got on it.

      Scenario 1:
      You tap for link at westlake
      You don’t tap off
      You will be charged $3.00 (price of downtown to angle lake, the longer direction)
      You tap on the bus
      You get an xfer

      Scenario 2:
      You tap for link at westlake
      You tap off before boarding
      Your transaction is canceled
      You tap on the bus
      You pay $2.75

    2. You don’t have to tap out, but if you don’t you’ll forefeit the difference between your fare and the maximum fare. Also, if you go to another station within two hours and tap in, it will think you’re tapping out, and when you get on the train the inspector will fine you for fare evasion. If you tap a second time at the same station within ten minutes, it cancels the transaction, leaving you with “CANCELLED” or “CONTINUE TRIP” depending on whether it was a tap in or a tap out.

    3. For any bus, you always “Tap On” when you board. Since you have to board at front door, driver will remind you if you don’t. Though at PM rush hour. However, at PM rush hour, “loaders” in drivers’ uniforms stand at the back doors with card readers. Thought they don’t take cash.

      BUT If you ride into the DSTT on a bus, if you want to transfer to a train without leaving the platform, you have to go to a reader on the platform and “Tap On” before you board your train. Since Sound Transit runs both LINK and ST Express bus 550, good question why one “Tap” can’t serve for both.”Separate No “Separate Agencies” – usual excuse for complications- at play here.

      However, worst “Tap Trap” goes like this: ORCA “Tap On”. As posted everywhere, with a policeman reading it. But if you fail to “Tap Off”, nowhere mentioned as grounds for penalty, your next lawfully demanded “Tap On” reads as a “Tap Off”. Making you a Fare Evader, despite your Monthly Pass.

      But wait…this is just getting good. Your first “Tap On” gives you two hours to shop, take coffee breaks and stair-master all over town…just so you don’t tap the card again. About which posted regs say nothing. Except if you do “Tap On”, as law plainly dictates…next inspector’s screen says “pay up you dirty thief.”

      In all fairness, one “Get Out Of Jail Free”: Paper passes, single ride and all-day, all TVM’s. Good only on LINK, but Tap-Terror-Free. Cheaper than $124 fine. Carrying one small-print complicator- but I’m off duty at four.


      1. It’s unclear whether it’s OK to get off the train, do an errand, and get on again without taping in, just like it’s unclear whether it’s Ok to reverse direction without tapping out and in. I do the latter, especially when I’ve ridden past my station or change my destination mid trip. It will become an issue with people transfer to g from East Link to South Link where they gave to go outside the fare paid area to do so (and wouldn’t be able to do with turnstiles). but that’s just a subset of the issue of whether we’ll have to tap out and in to transfer trains.

      2. “For any bus, you always “Tap On” when you board. Since you have to board at front door, driver will remind you if you don’t. Though at PM rush hour. However, at PM rush hour, “loaders” in drivers’ uniforms stand at the back doors with card readers. Thought they don’t take cash.”

        The loaders are a replacement for off-board payment kiosks. If they had to issue receipts it would slow them down so much they wouldn’t be able to speed boarding.

        Actually, Metro could have all-door boarding by simply stationing loaders a the bus stops. It must be cheaper to give loaders handheld readers that they can take with them to their assignment rather than installing a permanent reader at every bus stop.

  9. 1. Rail and bus, it’s always been policy that a driver doesn’t take on police officers’ officers’ work, especially in a fight. For a damned good reason: Who exactly was on the radio giving an ongoing real-time report to both train control and the police department? Like the fight spreading, sudden appearance of a gun, or all officers on-scene being too busy to radio anybody. Were positions reversed, doubt any of those officers would ever get into the driver’s seat.

    2. Very good to see the business community getting involved with the Connector, as I’ve hoped and expected. Bur Mayor Durkan’s handling of the Connector could not be better calculated to gain the mistrust of her electorate for her whole term. Not the kind of transit-related leadership Seattle will wish it had starting ten days from now.

    3. Alex, what if there isn’t any private company ready, able, or willing to supply needed service? But FDB, I think you’re “spot on” as to best remedy. Make what transit’s got, work. Trouble is, considering 28 years of DSTT operations, that’s assuming either ability or readiness to train and organize the facility so it can just get out of its own way. Though doubt the greediest contractor would take on this one if you gave him the whole Defense budget for fifty years.

    4. How soon can I get my electric autonomous roller skates? Bad enough that New Balance keeps giving me excuses why my shoes haven’t even jogged their way out of Tennessee, let alone even half way over the Ozarks.

    And I’d better not find out that the drone with my groceries got diverted to Afghanistan again to put a couple of Hell-fires on an ISIS outpost. Do that again, Jeff, and you’ll see how spoiled bacon-flavored onion truffles in roquefort can be weaponized!


  10. I was in San Diego this past weekend, and e-scooters were everywhere, with two separate vendors, Lime and Bird. They were priced at $1 to start the rental, plus $0.15/minute, making them $10/hour. San Diego and Portland both have more flat terrain than Seattle (though both do have some substantial hills as well), I didn’t get a chance to try the scooters myself, but the acceleration I witnessed with others operating them would suggest to me that they may not have enough torque to make them fair well in Seattle

    1. I rode one myself in San Jose a few weeks ago. Agree, they are not appropriate for hills, but they would still be useful here for navigating the Burke Gilman and similar trails.

    2. I make fairly frequent trips to San Diego and have absolutely noticed an increase in the number of Bird scooters there. I had made the same observation as you did about the scooters not being all that practical in Seattle because of our terrain as well as our weather. I guess we’ll see.

  11. Just found something so horribly on-topic that whole FOX News staff and Milo Yiannopoulos are begging for jobs on KIRO.

    We’ve got to find Rob a transit-oriented Sanctuary City before the new Federal Secretary of Transportation just mentioned leaves KIRO to take office! Bad ORCA-tap policy forgiven, Rob. But just to serve ’em right, we’ll replace you with Alex Tsimerman!


    1. “[Transportation Choices Coalition] got Rob Johnson elected.”

      Isn’t that a fancy way of saying the majority if voters in his district voted for him?

      It remains to be seen whether pro-urban council members, who won a majority of their races in the first term of district-based council seats, will do so on the second. But voters will probably not change their minds so easily.

      1. In the lead up to the 2015 Council elections, if you believed MyNorthwest and the extremely small, but very vocal “Lyin’ O’Brien” minority, you’d think O’Brien was going to get single digit percentages is the election. He trounced Catherine “Next Door” Weatbrook without batting an eye. I’m sure Johnson will be just fine.

        MNW is a fact-less conservative blog, with the writing style of a hormonal teenage boy who just got rejected by every girl he asked to prom, disguised as a news site and should be treated as such (I’m looking at you STB Weekly News Roundup editors!). The commentors on that site (if actual real people) really make you wonder if humanity is worth saving.

    2. There was nothing about Fox News or Milo in the article. If a lot if people are applying at KIRO, it may have to do with working conditions at KOMO. Dori Jobs is just doing what he’s always done.

      1. Spelling correction thinks Dori Monson is Dori Jobs? I had to rewrite it several times just to get Dori instead of Diri or Dieu.

  12. Non-transit rant, mostly about languages. On the eve of Trump’s meeting with Putin I started remembering more about my trips to Russia. My Russian is good enough for everyday situations but I dont trust it for technical or legal things so I spoke English with the border guards. Only maybe a quarter of the Russians I met knew any English. Once I was in a car with my friend’s relatives and someone had come over to talk with them. I started saying something and switched to English in md-sentence without realizing it, and they really did not understand what I was saying. That was the first time that had happened to me. In the US almost every Russian knows at least some English so I expected it would be the same everywhere, like we know some Spanish. Especially with all those American movies they watch. But no. My roommate said he learned English watching Beavis and Butt-Head, and everything the first year was “cool” or “sucks”. Past tense: “It was sucks.” I also have trouble explaining detailed emotions in Russian so I once asked a guy, “Do you speak English?” and he said, “No, only French.” This in spite of his T-shirt which read “I like cheese” with a picture of a mouse. They only English phrase they seemed to know was “Russian traidtion!’, which meant they wanted me to drink vodka or buy them vodka. I’ve mentioned their money before, how their paper currency went down to 50c and I didn’t think coins even existed until one supermarket insisted on giving me change to the exact fractional weight. Everybody else rounded to the nearest 50 cents, which was one loaf of brad or a kilogram of small apples. And the kiosk owners used abacases or digital calculators, and everyone wrote down the sum they wanted me to pay or showed me the calculator. I read that Romans never used Roman numerals for math; they used abacuses.

    Every city had several transit modes but they were all 5-minute frequent except the regional trains, so you never needed a schedule and they probably didn’t have them. If you went to the edge of a city you might wait 10-15 minutes for a bus but that was unusual. In places where the metro didn’t go yet, :”marshrutniye taksi” took you to the metro, vans with maybe a $1 fare, which didn’t leave until all the seats were filled, but that only took five or ten minutes. And everywhere you could get a “taksi”, or a private car that would stop if you put your hand out and drive you somewhere for a few dollars. (Although they only took rubles, per a recent Yeltsin decree on cash transactions.) I never took the taksi because I was afraid of getting mugged, but my friends sometimes put me in a taksi and prepaid the trip, and wouldn’t tell me how to get there by transit. Fortunately the driver never asked me for cash at the end of the trip. I asked one driver whether he did this often, and he said it’s something to do on a Saturday night to earn some extra money, take people between the clubs all night. But that was all in the Yeltsin era. I have little interest in what Putin has turned the country into. And I can’t believe that Yeltsin groomed Putin as his successor. I read that recently. Puiin was a little-known until Yeltsin vouched for him. My biggest regret is that I left behing a translation of three Philip Dick novels (Ubik, the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich, and The Man in the High Castle) and a pair of jeans. I meant to leave them there for when I came back the following year, but then I never went back. I decided I didn’t want to pay first-world prices for third-world living conditions. And I suppose I should regret that I never saw the inside of the Hermitage or Lenin’s tomb. They just seemed too touristy at the time. I’ve head that the Hermitage still has no electric light so it’s dark inside anyway. My friends at the hostel were convinced that only three Russian words were essential: nyet, zakrit, and zaprescheno. Meaning “No” or “we don’t have any”, “We’re closed”, and “It is forbidden.” The first McDonald’s was in Moscow; it was three stories tall and had like ten food lines. The cashiers would raise their hand to indicate they were ready for somebody. I saw part of Total Recall on TV, although my host didn’t want me to watch the whole thing because she said it was unchristian. They had one-channel and three-channel AM radios, although at the same time some radios had all stations. I thought maybe the one-channel radios were on special stations, but they seemed to be regular stations which now carried the BBC and local talk shows.

    1. I remember being very far out between cities betweeen Moscow and Ivanovo and seeing elaborate tile bus shelters

    2. “I’ve head that the Hermitage still has no electric light so it’s dark inside anyway.”

      I visited the Hermitage last summer, and they definitely had electric lighting.

  13. Link operator helps police subdue threatening passenger; policy immediately changes to prevent that in the future.

    good to know i need to go to a police academy in order to use pepper spray…

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