Link pulling into Capitol Hill Station

This is an open thread.

74 Replies to “News Roundup: This Month”

  1. The car tab class action suit has merit and calling it a “nuisance” case is rather silly. The judge in this first round admitted it was “above her pay-grade” and simply passed the buck.

    1. Calling it a class action suit with “merit” is rather silly. Especially because Tlsgwm didn’t admit to what that merit is, I think that “merit” is “above your comment grade” and you simply ignored actually explaining what that merit is.

    2. I too would be interested in knowing what the merit is. From the article, it sounded like it was a technical objection to including the full language of the amended statute in the bill that passed authorizing ST3. Major laws are rarely overturned on technical grounds.

      1. That is essentially the crux of the argument, that the authorizing statute violates article II, section 37. (This is the same section referenced in the opinion that struck down I-747 at the Washington Supreme Court back in 2007 I believe, though that initiative also had other issues as well.) There is indeed an argument to be made here on these grounds and, thus, why I stated that the case has merit.

  2. Tlsgwm, I think (and I’m not kidding) that you should participate in any effort to repeal the tax you object to, for the good of ST-3 itself. Because this is not the last legal challenge future ST challenge the measure will face.

    I hope the voters decide to keep the tax change in ST as written. Because it seems to me it’s healthier to get used to handling things politically, rather than judicially. Given some likely appointments at the Federal level, could be my side will need to take our fight to a different branch of our armed forces.

    Which used to be called “The Union Army.”

    With the CCC streetcar effort, I agree with the article about social justice. But my approval is more a matter of transit operations, and benefit to Seattle. I keep repeating because I think it’s necessary to do that. Because I think that the city Seattle is becoming will greatly benefit a line than will run its whole length through the kind of adjoining commercial areas.

    Of the kind that best benefit the shops, restaurants, cafe’s, a landmark out-door market, the city’s largest art museum, the foot-bridge to a State Ferry terminal, our Historic District, the International District, three major hospitals that the cars pass. Also what the Broadway district is on its way to becoming.

    And with several LINK stations spaced along its route. So the way I look at the cost is same as I’d see any investment in tools or machinery. Whatever it costs Seattle, the whole streetcar line will more than repay its price. As any political force that can actually read a balance sheet already knows in their bones.

    Might be a good time for advocates to start interviewing business-owners along First. Both to verify support, and much more important, to get any criticism from them as to what needs to be changed to assure it.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Maybe it’s a design problem. If the throttle forces people to keep their arms in fatiguing positions for hours, maybe the throttles need to be redesigned rather then blaming the drivers. Airlines redesigned their cockpits to make the correct option the easiest and most intutive.

    2. Muni acted properly in suspending the operator, IMHO.

      Having new operators trained by operators experienced in operating the trains in revenue service is not a problem. Indeed that is how it should be. However, if the anonymous interviewee was not first trained by a certified safety trainer before being coached by the experienced revenue operators, that has shades of Amtrak written all over it.

      There does seem to be more to this story than a rubberband. Thank you, Sam.

      1. LINK drivers tell me that there’s a certain hand, wrist, and arm position that results in most comfortable ride for driver, passengers, and train. But willing to believe this is pretty much the kind of thing left out in training.

        Which is often on same level as evaluating an accident using social media. From what I can see, if the whole thing wasn’t “patched” together- there are programs that will let you manipulate an image so it’ll say anything,

        So for me, what I’m looking at is an operator in every sense, who ditched his ICE detail so he could get in the control seat and chase sad, unfair, and dishonest escaped apple-pickers single-handed.

        But while his seat-cushion kissing handlers managed to fasten the rubber band to show him which direction was forward, none of them dared tell him that, unlike the San Diego trolley, Muni was useless for nailing somebody illegally fleeing for their lives across the San Francisco city line, because technically Daly City is not in Mexico.

        Sarah Huckabee Sanders, go get another rubber band! But now, question the whole except world for everybody in it is jumping up and down wagging its tail to know: Considering the number of bus drivers who get into crashes without a shield, does this mean they should all be compelled to get one? Anybody got a rubber band for Sam?


  3. Link made it over 81,000 averagevweekdays riders in July. That’s the highest average weekday ever published.

    While it’s great news for Link, it is a reminder that overcrowding needs to be a topic covered in the expansion studies, particularly with the lines, platforms and vertical conveyances in Downtown Seattle — and a caution flag that people may get left on the platform in the stations near Downtown Seattle without a service plan that offers capacity for these riders to use.

    1. Right now, there is plenty of capacity, but not enough knowledge among riders to make use of the third car that often feels like a spread limo while the front two cars are SRO.

      When the buses leave the tunnel, I hope to see all three-car trains, all the time, with the only markers being at each end, plus the between-car barriers, and maybe tape off the area where the first train on a four-car train would be. Do this at all the stations, especially SeaTac Airport Station, where the luggage holders are still crowding the front two cars and barely any are boarding the third car.

      I also hope the extra minute of gratuitous dwelling time at that station goes away, or at least gets much shorter. Providing the signage to spread out the luggage holders should help reduce needed dwell time there.

      If it ends up taking two fewer trains during peak, then the same 51 LRVs used to provide 13 3-car trains and 6 2-car trains will be able to cover the peak circuit with 17 3-car trains. Having all 3-car trains may be the key to reducing dwell time enough to need only 17 peak trains.

      Long term, the capacity keys are the structural elements that determine minimum headway. Avoiding cheaping out on whichever elements those might be (e.g. a missing fan shaft in the middle of the U-Link tunnel, the lack of platforms on both sides of the train where the stations are closest together, etc.) Nobody expects the Spanish Solution, but we need to keep pushing to get it on the table. Yes, it is more expensive up front, but it increases the capacity of the system when those stations would otherwise have become the bottlenecks that determine minimum headway.

      1. Capacity is a complex topic. Some extensions will include more cars. Some will include more lines. The justification of the second Downtown tunnel is a concern about DSTT line overcrowding. Link is also going from a single-line system to a multi-line system in 2023, which will add a who new kind of rider inside stations — those that transfer.

        I’ve still never seen the DSTT stations themselves examined for overcrowding issues. I’ve still never seen the estimate of Westlake station entries once ST3 fully opens. I’ve still never seen how many thousands of riders will transfer between lines and directions. Since we are in the middle of this Ballard and West Seattle planning, ST needs to reveal these forecasts and capacity ratios right now! Otherwise these legitimate concerns get ignored or unaddressed.

        I’ve also never seen when cars are expected to fill up in the mornings. Will we leave riders behind at Capitol Hill Station? Will an early West Seattle extension rider actually be able to get on an overcrowded train at SODO before the second tunnel opens?

        Where are the analyses?

      2. How difficult would be to build or add a center platform in the middle of the original DSTT stations? There will be no busses, so as far as I can tell no reason for the spare space. If Sound transit says they can build stations around existing tracks, this coild be a different version of that.

      3. The PSRC reported a few years ago that downtown is headed toward a transit capacity shortage. It’s not just people going to downtown but also within downtown and through downtown. I think that was the main motivation for the second Link tunnel and more RapidRide lines on Third.

      4. It may be that there isn’t enough room for center platforms in the DSTT stations for the needed stairs and elevators. I’m not an expert though.

        It would be most helpful at ID. Eastlink riders going to/from the south will have to go up an escalator and down about 40 stairs (or use elevators). For air travelers, this will be major hassle! I would think that Eastside politicians would even offer to shift money from other projects to facilitate this transfer.

      5. You might be able to get a usable center platform if you kept the outer platforms in service and used the Spanish solution. You would board from the outer platforms and disembark or transfer from the center platform. I don’t think the center platform would be big enough to work all alone.

      6. if there were a center platform, and there was an emergency, couldn’t people on a center platform simply cross the tracks and run up the nearest stairs that are at the side platforms?

        which brings up a thought.. and maybe this is stupid, but if there were a center platform couldn’t you work out a way for people to cross tracks to access the sides and center as needed when the trains aren’t there?

        i.e. a couple of crosswalks with a stop/go light depending on how far down the tunnel the next train is?

      7. They have pedestrians crossing tracks at Judkins Park, SE Redmond and Bellevue Main St that are not sidewalks to a street. There are also pedestrian gates at Holgate St for Link trains.

      8. Unless you work out how to sink an elevator shaft to these center platforms along with the escalators and fire staircase, they’re nonstarters. That’s a lot of engineering work on not exactly new structures.

        Plus keeping the stations usable while construction is going on would be an absolute nightmare.

      9. I don’t think this process would be too bad at International District though. The mezzanine level is ground level there so you could add a dozen or so staircases, elevators, escalators or whatever if you wanted to.

    2. I’ve occasionally wondered this myself.

      We’re going to have 7 rounds of light rail expansion before DSTT2 opens in 2035 (Northgate, East Link, Downtown Redmond, Lynnwood, Federal Way, West Seattle, Tacoma). Only 2 of those will expand capacity in Downtown/D-District corridor- Northgate Link will bring us from 2-3 car trains to 4 car trains. East Link will hopefully get us to 3 minute headways.) That’s an increase of about 3.2x current capacity. 7% annual ridership growth in the current Link service area (Angle Lake/UW) would eat up that capacity boost by 2035, even before adding in new riders from the 7 new extensions Link extentions.

      Caveats: Existing 3 car trains are rarely at full capacity- there’s room for growth at current ridership levels. 7% or greater annual growth in ridership on the existing segment for 17 years isn’t likely (though it’s not totally crazy either).

      1. Thanks! I’m glad someone else sees this potentially huge problem!

        The online description of Lynnwood Link is for four-minute trains, and the online description of East Link is for eight-minute trains. I think that the three and six minute promises were from ST3.

        Still, my concern is just as much about station platform and vertical capacity. Before 2035, Westlake seems poised to easily more than double or even triple in rail boardings as Northgate/Lynnwood/522 BRT, East Link/Redmond and Federal Way/Tacoma/West Seattle line segments open and bus riders switch. Nowhere is this discussed with any numbers by ST. I can’t believe how many billions we are spending without discussing this.

      2. This is exactly why Sound Transit refused to consider building Ballard-UW instead of Ballard-Downtown regardless of the claque here on STB. <bAny level of ridership that could come close to justifying the expense would depend on diversions from in-city bus routes north of Market/45th. That would have poured that many more riders onto Link at U-District Station.

      3. Line, I believe.

        So far as the center platforms, at least for Pioneer Square and University Street, there is enough room for stairs at one end and an elevator at the other. That should meet ADA requirements.

        But it won’t help Eastside-Airport trips for very long.

      4. The PSRC report looked at the aggregate capacity of all existing transit services, not specific stations or lines.

      5. Sorry, Al, I think you raise good, worthy issues on this blog, but it is silly to worry about capacity with our system. We are running six minute trains with three cars, and they aren’t anywhere near full (just look at the pretty scatter diagrams that ST produces). I know there are people who think the entire city of Everett will ride Link into (and through) downtown in a few years, but it just won’t happen. Of course ridership will increase, and of course that will make the system a little bit more crowded, but saying that the gigantic stations will be overwhelmed even though we have already built the most important, highest volume section is silly. Just to be clear, ridership will increase dramatically as Link goes north. Some of that will be people headed downtown during rush hour, but a lot of it will be people making trips that suddenly make sense via transit. Going from Northgate to Capitol Hill for example is a big pain in the butt with the bus. In a few years the train will make that a breeze.

        For the same reason, it is silly to think that Ballard to UW couldn’t be built because running four car trains to Northgate every six minutes is inadequate. A huge chunk of our ridership consists of just the section between the UW and downtown (and we haven’t even added the most convenient station in the UW). The UW is a major destination, which means that folks from every direction are headed there. This means that with a southbound train, a lot of people will get on the UW, but a lot of people will get off. It wouldn’t be full when the station arrives, and it won’t be full when it leaves. Trains can carry lots of people. That is why people build subways for them.

      6. No RossB,

        It is absolutely silly not to worry about capacity. Ridership will grow over time as the region densifies. The question is not if the planned capacity will run out, but when, and then to plan for extra capacity accordingly.

        Solutions could be as simple as transitioning to supertrams, adding platforms, stacking platforms, or as expensive as building a third tunnel. So far, we’ve opted for the expensive solutions. I hope we can come back and do the less expensive ones, too.

        Some consider walls and ironclad snob zoning, height limits, occupancy limits, etc, to be a solution. How’s that working out?

      7. Ross, of course you’re right that a lot of people will be making trips by transit that weren’t feasible or at least, weren’t convenient by transit before. That will be the BASE ridership of Link. But there are a lot of buses which bypass the U-District but will be truncated to Lynnwood Link when it opens.

        Specifically, there are 23 trips from various points north arriving in Downtown Seattle or the U-District on routes likely to be truncated to Link north of University District Station during the hour from 5:00 through 5:59. There are 69 between 6:00 and 6:59, 112 between 7:00 and 7:59, 102 from 8:00 to 8:59, 47 from 9:00 to 9:51, 21 between 10:00 and 10:59 and 12 between 11 AM and noon.

        Of those buses the following numbers are destined for the UW Campus, so their passengers presumably will not travel south of Husky Stadium Station: 2 in the 5:00 to 5:59 hour, 9 from 6:00 to 6:59, 13 from 7:00 to 7:59, 13 from 8:00 to 8:59, 5 from 9:00 – 9:59, 3 between 10:00 and 10:59 and 2 between 11:00 and noon.

        Ninety-nine bus loads of people will certainly fill at least fifty Link cars at HSS, leaving only thirty for the passengers which well-fill today’s twenty-five cars that leave HSS between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM.

        I have been trying to save my spreadsheet to Blogger, but have been unable to do so. So I’ve put it on Facebook in an almost unreadable format. But it “shows my work”.

        So, at the most the Metro 44 Subway could supply five Link cars worth of passengers at U District Station. And that ignores any growth in ridership in the future. This is just people who already ride!

        Ballard-UW is a very-nice-to-have line for the future, if it goes through Lower Fremont, but it in no way could it possibly carry the same ridership bound for downtown that Ballard-Downtown will generate. It’s Snake Oil.

      8. Regarding whether Link becomes “full” before DSTT2 opens, there’s several questions:

        How large will the one-off ridership bumps be from the extensions? I’ve been skeptical of the West Seattle and Tacoma Extensions- will their ridership surprise on the upside or the downside? Northgate Link should be solid, but I’m not clear on how much will be new ridership and how much it’ll cannibalize from riders who currently board at UW station. ST Express ridership has been flat the past couple of years, although Sounder ridership growth has been good- which trend will prevail as the suburban Link extensions come online?

        What will the East Link headways be at peak? Going from 8 minute to 6 minute headways gives a 14% increase in capacity at peak north of IDS.

        Is ST willing to go for sub-3 minute headways (e.g. by doing turnbacks at Stadium and/or Northgate). They’ve said the signaling system allows it. It’s a question of electrical power, human factors, and possibly station limitations.

        The big question: Is 2-3% annual population growth the new normal? Will the local economy stay comparatively healthy? Will liberalized zoning free up more of the city for more housing and people, or will single-family areas shut out new arrivals? If we do continue with the growth we’ve seen this decade, The city of Seattle alone could have another 300,000 (or more) residents before DSTT2 opens in 2035. What proportion of new residents will live or work near Link stations?

      9. If I follow Richard’s reasoning correctly, he’s saying there’s 50 full car-loads of people who are riding buses today (during the morning peak hour), but who will be on Link once those buses terminate north of downtown. That’s in addition to 25 full car-loads of people taking the train today. At 3-minute frequency and four-car trains, you only get 80 car loads. So even with current demand, you only have 5 car-loads of spare capacity, which you can allocate between population growth, system growth (the whole point of terminating the bus routes is to run them more often, and grow ridership), and routing more people into the system (the Ballard-UW line.)

        It’s a pretty solid argument for more capacity into downtown, though I’m not sure I’m sold that 99 buses really fill 50 Link cars (that’s 100 people / bus, whereas I thought 85 was pretty full even for a sixty-footer), but I’m curious what the capacity data shows. Regardless, it doesn’t buy you that much.

        So your 6-minute peak headways on East Link is already accounted for. Sub-3 minute headways would add capacity, and may be necessary. And some buses may have to continue to run downtown. But more importantly, the second DSTT is clearly needed.

      10. Steve, Thanks for reading my comment. I expect that the in-city expresses that I included in the “truncatable” group at Roosevelt Station — the 76, 77 and 316 — may have to continue to run downtown. There won’t be a huge explosion when Link reaches Northgate. Only the 41 and a couple of routes with a few runs will be truncated there. The tsunami will come when CT’s 65 buses in the peak hour are truncated at Lynnwood.

        And yes, it may be only 45 LRT cars for 99 buses. But that’s still not a whole lot of reserve.

        Either the Green Line will have to be extended up the Interurban ROW or a new line through Westlake, Fremont, Phinney, and Greenwood will, certainly by 2050 unless we get nuked by Chussia; that’s an increasingly likely possibility.

      11. Apologies. “CT’s and ST’s 65 buses….” (Technically they are all CT, but ST pays for nearly half).

    3. Richard is right – the very real capacity issues with the UW to Westlake section of the line during peak are the primary reason Ballard-UW never got any traction. Ballard to Westlake, regardless of the route, always required a 2nd tunnel.

  4. Shannon Braddock says she likes Sen. Marko Liias’ proposal for car tabs and ST3. I’m not sure what Liias’ latest car tab proposal is, but he ended up reluctantly supporting the proposal that would have raided the $500M special education fund. That money starts getting distributed next year, and is pretty much spoken for by the districts. I don’t think eliminating the education fund is on the table any more. Liias’ amendments were to make light rail a pre-permitted use, so counties couldn’t stall it by delaying permitting processes. That didn’t go over too well, either.

    So, I remain at a lost what Braddock’s actual proposal is, since I don’t think Liias has an actual proposal at this time.

    Regardless, I happen to prefer keeping the car tabs just the way they are over all the other proposals that have been brought forth, except maybe for the one Republican proposal that would have given rebates based on income. That’s where Nguyen says he is.

    Braddock also says she wants to serve on both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee. You don’t get to be on both simultaneously, as they, by long-standing tradition, meet at the same time. Anyone who has spent any time paying attention to the process in Olympia should know this. Again, she seems to have a steeper learning curve about how things work in Olympia than she cares to admit. That’s okay. But having a shorter learning curve is one of her primary talking points.

    She has certainly learned how to make a non-answer sound like an answer, though.

  5. “With nearly 20,000 daily riders, the CCC will be filled with people who might not otherwise use transit” and at a fraction of the cost of the 1-2 mile Ballard station/bridge which will have a fraction the ridership.

    Or same price as a Kirkland BRT station but will have a zillion times the ridership.

    We expand the Tacoma Link for a accumulative net ridership that will be a fraction of CCC ridership and again CCC at a fraction of the cost.

    Sounder trains, even at longer distances, don’t equate ridership/mile returns as the CCC yet many continue to call CCC unjustified.

    All very hilarious if you ask me.

    1. If the CCC will be filled with 20,000 daily users who otherwise don’t use transit, what are those 20,000 people doing now?

      1. Driving, walking, or simply not making trips.

        In my case, the CCC would provide a connector between my company’s offices in Pioneer Square and SLU. Because parking in SLU is crazy with construction and daytime traffic is a nightmare, whenever we move office equipment between sites we rent a van and move in the middle of the night. This is terribly inconvenient. With the CCC we could make trips during business hours. We couldn’t use a bus for this, there’s little room for a hand cart and we’d need level boarding to roll on/off.

      2. Actually, Jack’s use-case would be made moot if the Pioneer Square Neighborhood Association would allow the C Line to pass through to 3rd Ave.

        The case for the CCC would also be much stronger if the Pioneer Square Neighborhood Association would allow a lot more people to live in Pioneer Square. With awesome transit service comes awesome responsibility to house the region’s ever-growing population.

      3. I’m using Uber to get home from my office near Western Ave. in Pioneer Square, because I can’t walk up the hill to 3rd. If the CCC was operative i’d take it to wherever it stopped near 3rd, and catch my bus to West Seattle there. (i personally would be just as happy if they returned some of the West Seattle buses to 1st Avenue, as they were for many years. But that’s just me.)

      4. They won’t all be new riders, of course, but many will. As Belltown and SLU get ever more populated, they will attract more and more riders. The Portland Streetcar is pretty full until 11:00 at night with folks moving around to and from the Pearl District. There are no buses in Portland except the Division which goes through a similar neighborhood that is nearly that busy at night.

        The same thing will be true for Seattle; people feel safer on streetcars because they don’t have the long-haul riders. Sure, for some it’s racism or classism, but if you want women especially to ride transit at night you need to provide a safe environment. Downtown circulators can do that.

        The hill isn’t all that steep on Yesler, but it’s still too much for Norah and as I understand it, the stop on Prefontaine isn’t very pleasant. This is true for more than a tiny minority of potential transit users.

      5. Brent, aren’t the SR99 buses going to pass between Third and Alaskan Way on Columbia? That will certainly help access to Pioneer Square if there will be a stop somewhere near First or Western.

    2. They should just run a bus down First Avenue, but paint it purple. Then they should spend extra money (maybe a quarter billion or so) on the whole thing. When it is done, everyone can applaud the great, purple bus. See how wonderful it is — ridership is so high — we should build purple buses everywhere!

      1. Around a third* of the current (new) articulated New Flyer Metro buses are already purple. They’ve been showing up more and more on the F Line in the last month or so.

        *anecdotally measured

  6. Martin, you chose to link the wrong page to the CCC Coalition line. If a reader just goes to the Crimes article, it looks like the “coalition” is the Transit Riders Union, a craft brewer and a social service agency. IOW, “the usual suspects” to folks like Scam.

    There is a link in the Crimes’ article which leads to the very impressive list of signatories of the original letter. PLEASE link to that page from the Downtown Seattle website!

    1. Better link:

      I’m not sold that running along 99 really improves the TOD around the South Federal Way station, given the West Hylebos Wetlands Park blocks most of the development window west of 99. Simply getting west of 16th Ave seems sufficient for good TOD, but I’m not familiar with the area.

      1. West Hylebos Wetland Park is only an impediment for a half mile of the alignment. That leaves the length through Milton, Fife, and most of Federal Way open for development.

    2. The main issue is where stations are.

      There is an 8-mike stretch between East Tacoma and South Federal Way with just one station at Fife. I’m happy to go cheap and build at-grade next to I-5 as long as the stations have good pedestrian access and TOD potential (maybe a few blocks off of the alignment).

      1. Building a station next to a freeway automatically cuts the potential walkshed in half. Having to walk several blocks to the nearest TOD is no walkshed at all.

        If Link is to revive Fife’s economy, it will need to enable a lot more people to live there, to support the local businesses.

      2. There is very real development potential through Milton and Fife. It’s an island of undeveloped land, surrounded by high-value, dense, built-out suburbia. The idea that there won’t ever be any stations there is ridiculous. That’s exactly where there should be stations. There need to be serious discussions with the landowners along 99 in Milton and Fife to see who is serious and ready to do high density TOD.

      3. Brent is correct. A freeway is to pedestrians as a dam is to fish. Ideally, Link would serve pedestrian centers.

    3. This really depends on what Tacoma wants out of this Link extension. If it’s just “connect us to the airport”, then Pierce County will strongly resist up-zoning anywhere in Milton (“Don’t slow the train down!”). The line should follow the freeway.

      If, however, they’d like to maximize the value of their six miles of Link, then running along SR 99 through Milton is a good idea. But neither I-5 nor SR 99 is likely to produce much of a station up at “South Federal Way”. It’s big box jungle land already.

      1. AJ has a point. It is politically quite hard to build tall housing next to single-family neighborhoods. That’s why the six-story senior housing complex Arrowhead Gardens is where it is, an island in the middle of no-pedestrian’s land, with mediocre bus service. (If only housing could be built that tall next to Capitol Hill Station)

        I’m guessing that the best hope for anything that light rail riders will use in Unenchanting Parkway Land is on the seas of parking asphalt, with the big box stores stacking their remaining parking. But, seriously, almost nobody will use light rail to go buy what those stores offer.

        I actually would rather see South Federal Way Station move a few blocks north, where it can intercept neighborhood arterials, and fill the role that Federal Way Out-of-the-Way Parking Garage Station will not.

      2. Nope, we don’t need a link to the airport. Making better use of the blackberry brambles and strip malls and empty parking lots of Fife and Milton would be great benefits to our region, though.

      3. AJ, where is there residential land along this corridor? The 2-acre residential parcels in Milton, covered with blackberries and one tiny house?

        Places ripe for new development along SR 99:
        -Freeway Trailers
        -Kanopy Kingdom
        -Tacoma RV
        -Blue Dog RV
        -Too many junk lots to count
        -Numerous tacky strip malls
        -Several very dated cheap motels
        -Poodle Dog
        -McD’s/Taco Bell/Wendy’s/Arby’s/Teryaki/etc.
        -name-your-auto dealership
        -Golf Carts
        -self storage

      4. Engineer, I agree strongly. It’s one of the most-underused but easily accessed areas of the region, and it’s already a long way for primeval forestland. However, Tacoma may axe any infill stations for their airport dreams.

      5. You all do realize that Fife is a lahar zone for Mt Rainier, right? It’s fine to put low density development there but upzoning seems terribly risky. Fife even has lahar sirens that get tested!

        On the other hand, South Federal Way is higher in elevation and is well-sited for replacing the retail centers with TOD. Something like new Northgate or the Spring District plans seems very reasonable — maybe even at higher densities.

      6. Fife may be in lahar territory, but Milton isn’t. Or if it is it’s such a huge lahar that the rest of the region will be under five feet of ash burying everyone.

    1. I’m no fan of Tim Eyeman, but come on. Let’s keep the discussion civil and professional. I guess I’m able to read this comment due to the blog moderator taking the day off.

  7. Durkan made the right call canceling the bus stop improvement scheme. No one’s going to be mad they had to use data for the 5-10 minutes they waited for the bus.

    More unsettling would have been the sweetheart deal with Intersection that would have allowed them to monetize the waiting time of all us unsuspecting straphangers.

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