24 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Tribes vs. Polluters”

  1. Thanks for this, Brent. Transit’s work is suicide prevention. Individually and together, what do we do next?

    Mark Dublin

  2. At the MOHAI, there’s a small exhibit on local transit. Included is an old poster advertising a free Metro circulator service in dt Bellevue. It was called the route 200, and it ran every 8 minutes, M-F, 11 am to 2 pm. The borders were roughly the BTC, Bellevue Square, NE 4th st and NE 8th st. The map names one of the mall stores as Frederick & Nelson, so this route had to have existed before the early 1990’s.

    Does anyone know when and for how long this service existed? I think they should bring it back, but expand the days and hours.

    1. The Bel-Hop ran for a few years in the 1980s. It was 25c at a time when Metro was 40c. Its ridership was practically nonexistent and it was canceled, thus confirming Jarrett Walker’s proposition that very short routes don’t work.

      1. Enough people here have complained the future Bellevue Station is so far away from dt Bellevue that I thought that it might be a solution to an upcoming problem.

      2. It’s only a 1/3 of a mile between the Link station and the entrance to Bellevue Square — and the street crossing waits won’t be long or difficult …

        Except 110th!

        I think 110th will be a big problem. Every transferring bus rider will have to cross the street — like Mt Baker has today. Granted 110th probably carries less and slower traffic.

        The Old Town area is further. I’m not sure if that would have enough demand to make a shuttle viable or not.

        A number of cities with rail stations have free or cheap shuttles in downtown areas. LA and Oakland come to mind. They are usually used for local trips and not transferring to rail though.

      3. Would be a perfect candidate for one of those driverless microtransit vans that are popping up in various cities. Just call it a pilot project and let it loose on Bellevue.

    2. Very short routes don’t work because, by the time you wait for the bus to show, you could just start walking and be all, or most of the way there. It is much more efficient to run services that focus on longer-distance travel, where the competition is cars, not feet.

      1. If passenger loads get heavy enough, some foot-bridges and elevated sidewalks shouldn’t be that big a deal. Though I think priority should be between UW station and the hospital.


  3. Two more minutes wake- answering a question with another one. I’m about to get in my car and go see some people who’ve been very sweet to me, and brighten a very dark time in my life.

    And like I always do, take along my computer and continue working on a 3D model of a lamp. To pull in and work awhile in a favorite cafe, partly to do the modeling, partly to show young people manufacturing that doesn’t poison anybody or cut off their hand,

    I’ll probably drive a hundred miles and love every minute of it. Driving is what I do. “Recreation” not even close. This time I’m going to take that curve beginning to end 45 mph down to 20, and not spill an open cup of coffee. Also knowing that right now I’m setting an example that, if it catches on, will demolish everything I love about it.

    Every day, seeing first and worst: ten more very expensive houses going up on the way to my first cafe. Most occupants- fair compensation for being priced out of homes they also loved in Seattle. Who in five years will wish they hand’t had to leave.

    And: Two excellent bus companies, Intercity Transit and Mason County- starting end of my driveway. Equally fine travel experience, PhD reading time. One ride convinces. Give me one-hour headway Olympia to Hoodsport, car stays in the carport. Only condition- schedule performance saving me motel bill.

    Get it to fifteen minute headway and much car traffic will clear itself. Right of way: Lot of well-graded rusting railroad track in sight whole ride. Point is: sacrifice-free life in view. Grand-scale start: Give transit systems the right to be real estate developers themselves. Like they used to. Streetcars down main streets. Works with cars, isn’t it?

    Sport driving: A road system designed for it. I pay a lot to use it. And repeatedly show a State Police-grade instructor I’ve still got skill and reflex or no money back. Sliding scale starting very low, so membership isn’t about income. Family longevity means I’ll live to see this all start.

    What’s everybody else going to work on first?


  4. A hypothetical scenario:

    Pierce Transit gets lots of funding from and funds all the frequent routes in their 2040 long range plan (Routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, 48, 300, 402, and 500. They also put you in charge of adding five BRT routes in addition to that, running at 10 minute frequency throughout the entire day. What routes do you add?

    And an actual question:

    Anyone know why PT considers Route 500 to be a candidate for 15 minute frequency in 2040? It’s not that busy…

    1. I think this would be a lot easier with a reference or two. A simple search lead to nothing. I have no idea what frequent routes would exist, but I can certainly hypothesize about Tacoma. If I have to pick five frequent routes for Tacoma, here they are (more or less):

      1) Pacific, from Spanaway north. That means Pacific, Schuster, Ruston. The latter areas are nowhere near the density of the former, but no matter. The whole point is tie together Tacoma. You achieve speed, as well as diversity, with one bus route. Or maybe two (maybe you split with the 507/7 in Spanaway).

      2) Division/Sprague. and … Tacoma Way? I don’t know where to send a bus after Division and Sprague, but it seems like Tacoma Way is as good a place as any. Maybe you end at Clover Park?

      3) Yakima/N. Go as far as Pearl, if not Narrows. I realize that Jackson/Narrows has nothing but single family homes, but guess what? That is Tacoma. My guess is that extra mile can be traversed really quickly, and with decent neighborhood bus service, would tie it all together.

      4) Jackson to 12th, to Pacific. I would start that bus at the terminus of the previous bus (17th and Jackson) even if you have a less frequent bus that goes up Narrows Drive.

      5) 6th Avenue, from Titlow Park to downtown. You pick up some of the pieces that the previous bus route (on 12th) left behind. You connect to the waterfront while managing to cover — in broad strokes — urban Tacoma.

      Now you’ve managed to pick up a little bit of everything. From the working class, “just wanna get there” folks in Spanaway, to the “Oh my, that is pretty” views on the coast and the “who knew Tacoma had such cool old buildings”, you have it all. Good headways is the key. Ten, maybe fifteen at night and people actually ditch their car, or at the very least, aren’t freaking out when it is in the shop.

      (Yeah, I know, I left out Orchard, as well as some of the south end areas that have some density. But those five routes are something to build on. Run a few express routes (via the freeway, where the bulk of the rest of Tacoma lives) and everyone can get around without without too much trouble.)

  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pam_Roach


    Former State Senator Pam Roach. Answer to many questions as to performance of Pierce County Council on any subject.

    But also, major chance for major influence on State Senate Republican Caucus:
    Threaten to stop donations to her campaign to stay on the Pierce county Council.

    Have pity on Steve O’ban. He’s already started digging Olympia Link Tunnel from the Capitol Basement because I told him Pam would lose fifty cents for every timet he Legislature has an anti-transit thought.

    Will also show up at closest meeting to Halloween dressed as her. Plan on leaving with a lot of candy and cookies shaped like trains with blue and white frosting with hundred dollar bills stuck to them. Zere are some sings dot Republicans are never meant to know!

    Thunder. Lightning. Real spooky music. Owoooooooooooooo. Gavel.


  6. Sound Transit held their monthly board meetung on Thursday with a very ambitious agenda. Due to the executive session taking so long, some of the items on the agenda got shortchanged in the process, but that’s really a whole other subject matter. I wanted to address a specific item on the agenda that was discussed and voted on: the baselining of the budget for the Downtown Redmond Link extension project.

    R2018-37, the resolution that baselines the budget and sets the schedule for the aforementioned project, was moved forward and adopted by the board after a brief presentation by ST staff. In that presentation, it was revealed by staff that the project’s budget exceeds the ST2/ST3 cost estimate by roughly $98 million.

    Drilling down further into the project’s components, the staff presentation showed that construction cost estimates were $111 million higher and ROW estimates were some $40 million higher. That combined miss on the estimate represents about 10% of the project’s total cost. (Due to lower estimates in other components of the baselined budget, the total variance nets out to the number given above.)

    The bulk of this project is funded as part of ST3, passed just two years ago, and as such I have a difficult time understanding this agency’s ineffectiveness at cost modeling. So, just like the Lynnwood Link and Federal Way Link extension projects, this project is coming out of the gate with the expectation of blowing through the voter-approved cost estimate.

    1. To get the cost estimate that close is actually pretty impressive for a project of that scale. ST will be criticized just as much if the cost estimates are too high. At any rate, I think the staff presentation did a pretty good job explaining why ST wasn’t perfectly clairvoyant.

    2. Tlsgwm, can you find us stats on a comparative project elsewhere closer to its planned budget at this point on the schedule? And same for these calculations through the life of the project.

      Isn’t it a shade early to audit this monstrosity to death?


  7. I would beat a drum and do a dance as well if I were in line to get billions? from the slush fund that I-1631 will produce. All these “Climate Indrustries’ will get mega funding to expand their kingdoms, payrolls, executive’s salaries including the tribes. They all got together in their mutual greed to create this monster. They were so pissed in the last intiative that that tax payers would get their money back through a tax neutral plan. They are pro-climate only if it lines their pockets. I voted for the tax-neutral plan. I am not certain trolling here.

    1. Well, Rob, shouldn’t be that hard to compare the books of the fossil fuel companies and the tribes.

      But really Saaaad, and Unfair, and Newsably-FAKE thing is how cruel it is where to put the industries’ executives, since I saw in today’s papers how many homeless people Seattle now attracts. Though I do think these execs do bring with them a the skill most needed now.

      Just the kind of people they are, everyplace they go, they automatically make uninhabitable to anybody else. I wouldn’t go back to Ballard no matter how big an oil rig they float through the Ballard Locks ’til the billionaire tribal environmentalists accuse them or running over a seal with a salmon in its mouth.


      It’s happened before


    2. I am not aware of any tribes getting to expand their “kingdoms” as a result of I-1631. Some are still waiting to get paid for the land they gave up under treaties over a hundred years ago. They are certainly not getting as good a deal as the tribes in Alaska, who get a cut of the revenue from resource extraction from their lands. When I was in Alaska, it amazed me when people complained about the tribes getting some funding from the state government, but nobody complained about people who had lived in Alaska for just two years, then left, but never changed their voter registration after that, were getting annual checks from the government, also paid for by resource extrapolation. The joke was that three out of four Alaskans are men.

      At any rate, there will not be another I-732. It lost badly. If you want climate action, this is the option. Waiting for the legislature to do something hasn’t worked, either. Raising the people who lived here first and had their land taken at gunpoint out of poverty doesn’t strike me as an evil that should negate saving the rest of humanity from global warming.

      Moreover, the legislature has final say over what is done with the money. Something tells me you will find that problematic, too.

  8. Am I wrong or right on my estimate that “Sprawl” will cure itself when the whole continent is so jammed full with cars that absolutely none of them can move?


    1. Scientists will continue to be divided on that point, long after it has already happened. Do oil companies have scientists on their payroll? Oil companies do.

      1. Of course.

        Scientists need a paycheck.
        Oil companies have the money.
        Environmental scientists don’t get paid crap.

        Science is only advanced if it makes money for someone, or enables control.

    2. It hasn’t worked for San Jose. Perhaps Third World traffic jams would get their attention.

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