12 Replies to “Podcast #69: Missing a Few Steps”

  1. The IDS of the Future. Instead of looking down, take an aerial view. And think about a very large and wide lid, or bridge, or fallen-over skyscraper between IDS and Pioneer Square.

    With both station and new neighborhood on pillars parallel to Jackson to either First or Alaskan Way With everything from station buildings to retail and residence to a large park. Structurally, worst problem could be whether it’s possible to dig down to bedrock to “foot” the structure.

    Or “float” the bottom of the pillars on very wet mud underneath. If water level pf Elliott Bay does what it likely will, might not be bad to have that whole neighborhood already ready to float. Think this has long been planned or done in other similar places.


    East side of the structure could easily bridge over Fourth and Fifth, giving International district their two north-south avenues back. Anyway, ould be interesting to compare the cost with anything needing a 200′ elevator shaft.

    Mark Dublin

    1. The cheapest and fastest way to build this station is to figure out how to portal the subway to make it shorter and not have to dig another station. With that in mind, poraling aroung the firehouse and building tracks over Jackson Street (and Main and Washington) to a stop above or next to 4th Avenue would seem to be a reasonable option to consider. The new platforms could be a level above a concourse that abuts both Union Station and King Street Station’s south building edge.

      Of course it’s “not consistent with ST3” so it won’t get studied.

  2. So I agree with you that bans are what’s left, and I’m not saying you got the connotation of the quote wrong, but did I hear you you imply that Abolition just happened and went over well at the time? That is kind of absurd. Come on dudes. There was a war about it.

    1. Boy, I apologize if that’s how it came across. Certainly I didn’t mean to imply that.

      1. I apologize, you did mention the Civil War… obviously we support Abolition and at this point banning fossil fuels, but it’s really kind of scary to consider that we’re talking about a modern day ban that is most closely to comparable to a ban both saved a huge number of people from suffering AND that a war broke out over because it was (similarly) so economically impactful.

  3. I take issue with the discussion that a SODO station is an inferior transfer point.

    1. A SODO cross-platform transfer could be a 10-second transfer. Westkake and ID are going to require going a few hundred feet of walking and using escalators or elevators or stairs and that will make the transfer 2-3 minutes for everyone.

    The average wait at the platform to UW would be 3 minutes (at 6 minute frequencies). The average wait at ID is 1.5 minutes (3 minute frequencies). That’s only a 1.5 minute difference in average wait time.

    In other words, the average rider at peak would be penalized more transferring at Westlake or ID than the rider would at SODO if ST built same direction cross-platform transfers there — even with double the number of trains.

    2. For Link non-peak times (say at 10 or 15 minutes), ST could easily plan for the trains to roughly have a timed-transfer at SODO with a cross-platform transfer. Drivers can see who walks across the platform (they won’t be able to do this at Westlake or ID). That would then give every transferring rider less than a minute of delay.

    1. Hi Al,

      Maybe you’re right. I certainly wouldn’t suggest that I have any idea which station are going to pick.

      I’m not sure the timed-transfer plan is easy or likely.

      1. I’d agree that late evening trip makers might move to Westlake or ID unless there is both a cross-platform and a timed transfer.

        The benefit of a timed0 transfer doesn’t really kick in until trains are spaced at least 10 if not 12 minutes apart. It’s great for things like traveling at times like 11:30 PM though — when the trains are at 15 or 20 minute spacing and stations seem empty and potentially unsafe. At peak or even midday times, the trains may run often enough so that it doesn’t really matter.

        Generally speaking, I actually wish that Metro would better schedule infrequent bus routes to make sure that Link riders can get on those buses after 9 or 10 PM and train their drivers to wait. They could even have a wait time programmed into their schedule, especially since many drives that late are ahead of schedule by the time they get to the end of their run. Nothing is more frustrating than to have an infrequent bus leave the station stop a minute before one’s Link train arrives — and the next bus is 30 or 60 minutes away. Given how empty those buses often are, waiting would seem to be a strategic decision and not really inconvenience other riders.

    2. Against those, SODO is an unpleasant place to wait. Lots of concrete and roads instead of pedestrian-oriented shops you might want to dip into and prewar buildings with a vertical orientation and attention to detail.

  4. “Car tabs affect mostly the Sound Transit tax district”

    But both of Eyman’s partners are from Spokane. If we take them as the three most die-hard anti-driving-tax activists in the state, they’re 2/3s outside the ST district. Which dovetails with the largest general opposition to taxes coming from eastern Clark County and the Spokane Valley, and thirdly the JBLM area (which is partly inside and partly outside the ST district).

  5. …the abolition metaphor is surprisingly apt. The effects of global warming will hit other nations worse and sooner than it hits the US or most of the countries we identify closely with. So we’ve got a system that makes commerce more convenient, at the massive expense of people whose lives we’re undervaluing.

  6. Good podcast. Some thoughts:

    1a) I think Councilmember-at-Large Lorena Gonzalez would be a good 2019 Seattle Council rep to the Sound Transit Board – she’s a de facto architect of the new Sound Transit Board public comment rules and can keep order. But that’s not all… Lorena also rides the West Seattle Water Taxi & bikes & buses, will advocate for low income transit riders, and is the real WYSIWYG deal. I just think she’d be a good fit at least through the 2019 change election with the issues Sound Transit is dealing with.

    1b) I hope Rob Johnson becomes a professor at a local university, publishes an autobiography and keeps himself ready to serve on any directly elected transit board. Smart guy.

    2) There should be NO free parking between Lake Union and at least Safeco Field. That would do more to decongest the roads than anything… and I also would support municipal & port taxation authority on Lyft & Uber to help pay for local roads or expanded transit service being I use Lyft to connect to/from transit. I’m sure Paine Field Airport would love that idea… ;-).

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