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41 Replies to “News Roundup: Likeable”

  1. There is ample space for a train base over near the corner of Highway 99 and 272nd St, where Redondo Heights Station would have been.

    But, really, is Dick’s Drive-In a “glamourous” land use? By definition, it is not TOD.

    If the suburbs can’t agree on allowing a base somewhere, then just wait until Tacoma Dome Link opens before opening Federal Way Link.

    1. Brent, the people in the South End do agree. We want it at the landfill location. Yes It might cost more in the short term, I do have my doubts about that, in the long term the taxes that Sound Transit will lose from taking away businesses and housing will hurt it more. The Midway Shopping center, where Dick’s is, has been developed as TOD for about 15 years. This is not trying to stop Link. This is not NIMBYism (For crying out loud the site Kent and Des Moines wants to be used is half a mile East of the border between the two cities.) This is a community saying we will be heard and we will fight for what is best for our community.

    2. As a south King voter, all of these places are acceptable. Burger parking lot. Auto vehicle storage club garage. Bloated Lowe’s parking lot. Completely vacant waste-of-space abandoned landfill storing Seattle’s garbage from decades ago. Yes, all of these would be fine with me to bulldoze (or over-build) in exchange for improved transit.

      1. Most of us (including me) actually agree with you that this is a poor site for a maintenance yard as it is prime TOD area and would likely be better near the end of the line but [ah] [trolling]

      2. Dick’s is the focal point because it is the most famous and iconic of the areas being proposed to be torn down. I do not claim to speak for the whole South End nor do I claim that the whole of the South End agrees with me. I am saying that the movement is growing and coming together. My passion is a reflection of the passion expressed by those of us fighting for our cause.

        Also, tear down all churches? The First Amendment might have something to say about that. I am a church man. In fact I am going to my church’s Thursday night services tonight. So I do not understand your hostility.

      3. “Burger parking lot. Auto vehicle storage club garage. Bloated Lowe’s parking lot.”

        The issue is their potential uses, not their current uses. This lot is five blocks from the station and in or next to the largest station-area urban village zoned between Othello and Federal Way.

        “Completely vacant waste-of-space abandoned landfill storing Seattle’s garbage from decades ago.”

        OK, as long as ST isn’t stuck with a huge bill for unanticipated contamination by the landfill.

    3. As someone who lived 37 years within walking distance of the original Dick’s in Wallingford, and who moved to Kent before the new store location was selected, I find the attitude of a number of commentators about it to be patronizing. Even if you live nowhere near Dick’s (which is in the far west of this city) or never intend to buy its burgers (we have a lot of Hindus in our diverse city), it is a source of pride that it is located here. This is a city of 140,000 with few of the amenities of the big city and, as Metro itself has admitted, is very poorly served by transit. That we got a Dick’s before Bellevue is a big deal.

      That doesn’t answer the question of where base should be located, but it’s not nothing, and both dismissing it as just a burger joint and not caring about it because it’s not TOD (I could get there by taking a very slow 180 to International Blvd. and then an A line to the closest light to cross seven lanes of highway, climb a steep hill, walk down and wait for the A and and then 180 and I suspect my burgers would be rather cold when I got them home, so yeah, I’m going to drive) is a slap in the face to those of us who live here and don’t have 60 hot new restaurants opening every week. It’s what we’ve got and we think we should be able to keep it.

      1. It’s not like if Sound Transit were to take the Dick’s site, you wouldn’t have Dick’s anymore. They would simply relocate to somewhere nearby, at Sound Transit’s expense.

        That said, I totally understand why Kent is pushing for the landfill site. It needs cleaning up anyway, but the cleanup is expensive and nobody wants pay for it. If Sound Transit were to pay for it, it would solve Kent’s probably nicely. Of course, from Sound Transit’s perspective, their mission is to build and operate rail transit, not environmental cleanup. And, if buying out Dick’s costs less than cleaning up the landfill, it is Sound Transit’s fiduciary duty to the taxpayers to buy out Dick’s.

        The Seattle equivalent of this would to be to get Sound Transit to pay for a new Ballard bridge that would accommodate cars, bikes, and pedestrians, in addition to light rail. Great for the city to use somebody else’s money for something that will eventually need doing, and will be very expensive. But, it’s not Sound Transit’s job to pay for a new car bridge.

        If Kent really wants the landfill site to be cleaned up, they should consider offering money to Sound Transit so that it makes sense. If the city of Kent were to offer to pay the difference, so that the cost to Sound Transit of the two sites would be the same, I’m sure Sound Transit would be much more amenable to choosing the landfill site. But, I somehow doubt Kent actually has that kind of money to offer.

      2. Breadbaker,
        I am sorry if I damaged your feelings by dismissing Dick’s as a burger joint. But… it is a burger joint. I’d be lying if I said I never stopped at the Wallingford location (usually heading home from a late study session at UW). I’d also be lying if I said that I didn’t completely agree with you about not having city amenities out here. But, I would also hardly call a mom-n-pop drive up burger chain a city amenity. I can name two non-Dick’s burger joints in Auburn that are about equal in quality, but don’t have the name recognition. What I have a hard time finding are any actual fine dining restaurants, because they simply don’t exist. Part of the problem is critical mass. Only a certain percent of the population will spend good money for excellent food, so we just don’t have enough people, and the people we have tend to be of lesser means than those with the money for a spendy Seattle apartment. Same could be said for independent bakeries (Kent is lucky to have one, near the train station). Same could be said for ethnic restaurants that aren’t take-out centric. Same could be said for a lot of shopping. The chains are all available at Federal Way or Southcenter, but good luck finding a local shop for anything. Part of changing that is getting the critical mass of people here. As long as we have the density of Columbus, Ohio, we’ll have the same level of amenities as Columbus, Ohio. If we build some decent mixed-use TOD, with a significant improvement in density over the woody walkup apartments and 5,000-sf-lot subdivisions (with bloated storm ponds out back), maybe we would have the critical mass to start looking like an immature pre-boom Seattle or Portland.
        All that said, if ST can get the environmental grants to clean up the Midway Seattle Landfill, and they can get Midway to pencil out with $$$, it’s about the best use of that vacant land that anybody could come up with. I’d love to see Federal Way, Kent, and Des Moines’s mayors get on board and maybe start helping ST with applying for the appropriate grants to help defray that cost. Put your time and effort where your mouth is, right? Those grants take a fair amount of time and effort to get secured. It sure would be a good thing for these cities to contribute staff time towards moving that forward, if that is what they truly want. Any idiot can put up roadblocks and start bad press. It takes effort to create a solution to a problem.

      3. “This is a city of 140,000 with few of the amenities of the big city and, as Metro itself has admitted, is very poorly served by transit.”

        Dick’s itself is contributing to that with its drive-in orientation and its one-story freestanding building that pushes pedestrians, residents, and other businesses further away and makes it harder for them to walk to or for transit to serve. As compared to the Broadway Dick’s which is oriented to the sidewalk and has the parking in two narrow aisles on the sides and back. However, Dick’s is one of the better examples because its parking lot is pretty small, and the small hillside next to the sidewalk may hinder any restaurant from having a front door or counter at the sidewalk.

        There are two different arguments against this base location. One is to keep Dick’s at this location. The proponents are Dick’s itself and its supporters. (Who may not know that ST would help Dick’s to relocate nearby.) The other is that this is a scarce opportunity for an urban villages near a Link station, and implies that Dick’s and Lowe’s would be replaced by multistory mixed-use buildings. This seems to be the City of Kent’s position. You can’t have both Dick’s and maximum housing simultaneously — at least not with Dick’s current layout.

        “Part of the problem is critical mass. Only a certain percent of the population will spend good money for excellent food, so we just don’t have enough people, and the people we have tend to be of lesser means”

        All US metropolitan areas have a “favored quarter” where the business executives tend to live and the high-paying jobs are and the most development occurs. The industrial quarter is on one side of downtown, and the favored quarter is on the opposite side, or on another side if geographical constraints dictate. In Seattle the favored quarter is the Eastside, and the industrial quarter is the south end where Kent is. So that will limit Kent’s growth in non-industrial jobs and amenities until the Eastside runs out of desirable lots and developers and businesses have to look further. That’s already starting because while there are still lots available in the Eastside, there aren’t as many large contiguous lots with multifamily/commercial zoning, so developers and employers are starting to look at Tacoma and Everett — and south King County. Land prices in south King County have started rising faster than Seattle. But it hasn’t picked up fully yet: most of the housing growth in King County has been in Seattle and secondarily the Eastside, while South King County has hardly changed at all. This is due both to the less desirability of the area and restrictive zoning — much of Kent hasn’t changed since the 1970s and that means it’s heavily unwalkable and one-story and hard for frequent transit to serve. Dick’s in its current format exacerbates this. Dick’s in an urban format as part of a larger building and closer to the sidewalk could be part of the solution. Dick’s could set up an urban-format restaurant closer to the station, because the lots have been zoned but not rebuilt yet, and a developer might find Dick’s a reputation-enhancing partner.

        “I’d love to see Federal Way, Kent, and Des Moines’s mayors get on board and maybe start helping ST with applying for the appropriate grants to help defray that cost.”

        The residents of those cities need to pressure their government to do so. They won’t listen to the rest of us as much. There was a Kent councilmember who commented on the recent Dick’s article, and I suggested this, that Kent should help defray the cost difference between the Lowe’s lot and the landfill lot, and indemnify ST for any contingency risks due to unanticipated leakage or contamination. Otherwise it will be like asdf2 said: ST will be on the hook because it owns the lot, and all the other entities will look away, and the money will come out of potential transit and station-area amenities we could have had.

  2. I am happy to see the people of Federal Way start to stand up and be heard. The perfect location exists in the landfill site. The disputed claim about it costing the tax payers more, since when has Sound Transit cared about how much anything costs the taxpayers, is very short sited. First they will not have to use eminent domain to get the land. Kent will give it to them for free. Sound Transit will lose a large amount of tax revenue in the long term if they tear down businesses and housing for it. The public in the South End is turning against Sound Transit over all this so they will lose goodwill and it will be harder for them to get anything done here. The people who cry NIMBYism are making false claims. The Landfill site is half a mile north-east of the Midway Shopping center. With my bad foot I can walk to it in 15 minutes or less. None of this is about stopping Link or the maintenance facility. This is about the best place for it. For both Sound Transit’s needs and the local community’s needs. The name news showed a story from the Kent City Council last night:
    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/kent-keeps-fighting-to-save-new-dicks-drive-in-from-sound-transits-potential-tear-down/915393515?fbclid=IwAR0Zm16fRVEI8q9VxKMnWtCnGITserk5BHwGxw9lIVNw0JzLXf_4TIB79OI
    (I am in this video. I am the speaker who says “we will not tolerate this.”
    The South End is united in this fight. I do not think it is one Sound Transit can win.

    1. The disputed claim about it costing the tax payers more, since when has Sound Transit cared about how much anything costs the taxpayers, is very short sited.

      That a pretty big claim there, considering U-Link and Angle Lake Station, the two most recent lines, came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

      First they will not have to use eminent domain to get the land. Kent will give it to them for free.

      False claims, especially at the beginning of your statement, really hurt your argument and make it clear you aren’t fully versed in the issue at hand. Midway is a former Seattle dump, owned by Seattle. But I’m sure they will happily give it away as well.

      Sound Transit will lose a large amount of tax revenue in the long term if they tear down businesses and housing for it.

      I think the amount of density that will follow light rail will way more than make up for lost revenues from a hamburger joint and a hardware store; that is not a very good argument.

      Look, Midway is a logical site, because it reclaims currently useless space without demolishing established businesses, not many will disagree with that. The issue is that reclaiming a landfill to build a maintenance facility will cost a lot of money and I don’t think you and others, whom are shouting the loudest, understand how much more a landfill reclamation will cost.

      I think your energy would be best directed to the federal level to try to secure as much funding as possible to accomplish that, rather than yelling at Sound Transit, who is trying to bring you mass transit as quickly and cheaply as they can.

      1. So how much WILL the landfill reclamation cost?
        Also, how much revenue in property and sales tax will be lost by appropriating viable businesses?
        And I guess we can just use zero as the value of any jobs lost by the displaced businesses as people have no value, only the God of Transit and it’s material manifestation is to be considered of value in this edict.
        Let’s see real figures not biased ‘thoughts’ about real monies.
        Cost/benefit analysis please.
        Quickly and cheaply indeed.

      2. “Sound Transit will lose a large amount of tax revenue in the long term if they tear down businesses and housing for it.”

        I think the amount of density that will follow light rail will way more than make up for lost revenues from a hamburger joint and a hardware store; that is not a very good argument.

        Now I’m confused. I thought the debate was over where to put the train base. A train base won’t have any density at all. If you are focused on density, then it makes sense to put the train base far away from transit, in an area that won’t be developed. From what I can tell, the Dicks/Lowes locations are relatively close to the station, and in an area ripe for increased density. The transition isn’t likely to happen soon (especially for places like Dicks, which just got developed) but it will likely happen in the area next to there. In terms of tax base, Renner seems right on target. You lose developed land as well as land that could easily become apartments. This location seems pretty bad because it means buying up land that has just been developed (thus upsetting local businesses as well as the tax base) and forever killing any potential for TOD there. I can understand why Federal Way is fighting this hard.

        Midway isn’t bringing in any property tax revenue. I doubt it will ever bring in any in the future. Midway seems like the ideal location for a train yard, really. It is an area that would likely just stay a dump, otherwise. The big issue is dealing with the environmental issues there. It seems to me that Sound Transit, being a very large public agency, is well suited to handle that sort of thing. It is still probably more expensive to develop there, but it may be worth the extra money.

      3. Kent and Seattle City Light are in negotiations to give it to Sound Transit for no cost to Sound Transit. At the Kent meeting we learned that fact.
        Yes, those of fighting Sound Transit on this are focusing on Dick’s Drive-In. It is the most famous part and can get the most attention with those outside the South End. We are fighting to protect all of the areas that will be harmed. I mean a shopping center, a business center, residential areas and a church. Kent, Des Moines and Federal Way are committed to TOD.

    2. ST forces issues like this by not rolling out at least a dozen possible solutions for the corridor.

      First, what is the most efficient location from an operations standpoint? That would seem to be in Fife or Tacoma – unless ST is harboring a secret operations plan to turn back half of the Seattle trains at KDM. Has anyone even seen a rollout of where the optimum site should be operationally? Why does it have to be in South King?

      Second, why so few sites? I have a hard time believing that other sites within 3/4 of a mile from the tracks can’t be considered. They could even put a lid over I-5 or purchase cheaper land with height restrictions from being in the SEA runway approach zone or purchase land that could double for construction staging for the 509/267 projects.. Even with this site, a big box commercial project could be built on top for a portaion of the site.

      This episode reminds me of the flaw in ST culture generally:

      1. Limit alternatives at the beginning of the process.
      2. Decide on the preferred alternative without studying the operations effects.
      3. Let backroom staieholder meetings frame the preferred alternatives rather than public benefit.
      4. Obtain the preferred alternative by only studying other alternatives that can be easily determined as unworkable.
      5. Portray any opposition or doubt as “anti-transit” sacrilege as if ST decisions are anointed by God.

    3. “First they will not have to use eminent domain to get the land. Kent will give it to them for free.”

      That is probably included in the price estimates, and the landfill location is still more expensive.

  3. “A bunch of people started biking when car capacity dropped.”

    Until the cars found the waterfront surface street! This week it has started turning into a proper four lane arterial with no shoulder and drivers slamming on the accelerator to get to 50 mph so they can slam on the brakes for the next stoplight.

    Cycling has become terrifying and I think tourists may start to become an endangered species, which doesn’t bode well for when they add even more lanes!

    They had the perfect opportunity to build out the ped/bike infrastructure along the waterfront while Bertha was delayed but they did nothing and now we have 2-3 years of serious injuries and fatalities to look forward to.

    1. The waterfront is about to get overhauled. Building infrastructure now would be wasted when it’s torn down in a few years.

  4. Throwing this out to the horde, would a head tax for transit be more politically palatable if certain no-brainer projects were chosen (fully funding Move Seattle, speeding up ST3 financing)? If you answer yes to that, would you also consider CCC and Ballard and/or West Seattle ST3 tunnels?

    1. Head taxes are the worst. Thank the Creator we’ve never had one here.

      But employee-count taxes and employee-hour taxes could be good. Those paying their employees the worst, or keeping them all part-time, would be hit the hardest. I’m cool with that.

      As for use, burying West Seattle Link and Ballard Link, and sinking the second ID/CS Station several stories deep? NO and HELL NO.

      A real First Hill Station, sure.

      Turning West Seattle Link south at 35th to reach Westwood and White Center, sure.

      Building the Basic Bike Network and the rest of the Bicycle Master Plan, HELL YEAH.

      Building more non-profit affordable housing, as tall as it can be built affordably, HELL YEAH.

      Completing the 2-sided sidewalk network throughout the City. Let’s make more noticeable progress, starting with all paths to tribally-owned facilities (if they so wish), all arterials, and the paths leading to every school and every bus stop.

      Expanding red bus lanes, HELL YEAH … and pay Salish artists (a family wage or much more) to paint some creative murals that will make the lanes non-eyesore-ish, or even like pedestrian lanes that would look even more off limits to traffic.

      CCC, Yes, as long as more affordable housing in the neighborhoods that want the CCC comes with the deal. That means the triangular parking garage gets replaced with a tower that will, in order to preserve the historic character of the neighborhood, house all the homeless Salish in town who wish to move there. Call it the Vertical Longhouse, and a partial apology for 150+ years of white people being horrible deal-breaking guests on the land they stole. Deed it over to the Duwamish Tribe to administer.

      Also, more streetcars so that the whole line can be 3-minute peak headway or better. Don’t spend a fortune for uselessly-infrequent service.

      1. Head taxes are the worst.

        But employee-count taxes and employee-hour taxes could be good. Those paying their employees the worst, or keeping them all part-time, would be hit the hardest. I’m cool with that.

        What??? You are saying you are fine with taxing everyone, regardless of income, the same amount (or the same amount per hour). Furthermore, you are happy that the people who earn the least would be hit hardest. Seriously? That just means the poorest get hit the hardest. A dozen very well paid employees working for a company that is making millions in profits will have to pay the same as a small grocery store that employees a dozen checkers. Or a clinic, with a dozen nurses. Or a cleaning service.

        It is basically a head tax by a different name. Taxing the company or the employee is essentially the same. It is a distinction without a difference. It raises the cost of labor, while not a penny goes to the employee. This discourages the hiring of employees or paying them more. Thus the employee is essentially taxed, even though they don’t see it directly coming out of their paycheck. Those who make minimum wage won’t be hit, but they will find it tougher to find a job (which in turn means that raises will be less likely to occur).

      2. Let’s be clear about the progressive business tax that was passed: https://rsmus.com/what-we-do/services/tax/state-and-local-tax/payroll-and-employment-tax/seattle-city-council-passes-employee-hours-tax.html

        “Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the EHT would be imposed on businesses with taxable gross income sourced to Seattle of more than $20 million per year. Businesses that meet the taxable receipts threshold will be obligated to pay the EHT under one of two methods: 1) based upon a rate of $0.14323 per hours worked within the city, or 2) the Alternative Full Time Equivalent (FTE) method based upon $275 per full-time employee annually.”

        One could argue that this should be a payroll tax, but given that the Washington State doesn’t grant that authority under home rule, the EHT is the best progressive business tax that can be passed at the present time. I don’t know how Logan Bowers thinks he can technocrat his way into convincing the Legislature to change this.

      3. It’s not consequential whether the tax is nominally on employers or employees – taxes on payrolls or employment come out of worker incomes once the market adjusts. Just like employer contributions to payroll taxes, for instance, reduce worker incomes so that the worker ends up paying.

        Head taxes or hours taxes, whatever you prefer to call them, are particularly anti-progressive because the tax on incomes is the same whether the worker is a low wage employee or a high salary employee. It’s the same dollars and cents per hour of reduced income whatever one’s pretax income.

        They are popular with some on the left because advocates like to imagine that they are coming out of Jeff Bezos’ pocket. Unfortunately for them, there’s a mountain of evidence that isn’t how it works.

      4. The head tax is currently popular with the Seattle left because it is the only readily available tool to tax the rich at the municipal level in Washington state. I would happily fight for a wealth tax, an income tax, or a capital gains tax first, but that’s not the question that’s being asked.

        The tax that was passed would have only applied to the largest 1% or so of businesses at a modest $0.14 per hour. It’s hardly worth recouping that difference by cutting the wages or salaries of current employees, especially at the scale of those employers. It’s plausible that it could affect future raises or available positions, but the same boogiemen were trotted out around the minimum wage hike and current analysis indicates the effect was not so drastic. Given the ferocity with which Amazon and other big businesses attacked the tax, it’s hard to believe that they could pass the entire tax bill to their employees.

        I get that we should try to match funding sources with the issue they’re trying to solve (i.e. an EHT for transit, as a guest on this blog once advocated: https://seattletransitblog.com/2015/08/21/lets-bring-back-the-employee-hours-tax-and-make-it-good-this-time/), but big business has helped make this city unconscionably expensive. We ought to have them help make it affordable again.

      5. “The head tax is currently popular with the Seattle left because it is the only readily available tool to tax the rich”

        How does a head tax tax the rich when it’s a tax on the number of employees? Are you saying the slight difference to large companies’ shareholder dividends will be noticed? Its effect is more to make the company think twice about hiring more employees in the city. The advantage of a head tax seems to be that it’s an available tax source that hasn’t been tapped. And if you think employers are the cause of our problems, there’s that.

  5. Why not use the lightly developed land just north of Star Lake P&R? I believe that’s owned by WSDOT and the city of Kent.

    I’m surprised Federal Way isn’t pushing forward the old Weyhauser HQ, given they are trying to redevelop that land into industrial use.

  6. “San Jose might pay The Boring Company to connect SJC to BART.”

    Running cars single-file through a narrow tunnel just doesn’t sound like it would have enough capacity to serve as a link from a major airport to BART to me.

    1. The history of recent rail projects in San Jose contains several chapters of what not to do.

      1. The early decision to use North First Street between North San Jose rather than Route 87 resulted in much worse airport access as well as an excruciatingly slow ride through Downtown. It was seen as a Downtown booster strategy as well as a government center strategy (noting that San Jose moved its city hall from the North First area years later). For riders, it’s awful!

      2. Most prior airport rail solutions usually involved a short line that fed Santa Clara rather than Downtown San Jose, often not feeding VTA light rail at all — for countywide political reasons as well as Santa Clara being closer to terminals.

      3. Had SJ Airport connectivity been more important, either VTA light rail or BART planning studies would have already included systems solutions by now. A personal mayoral exploration would not have been needed.

      I’m not sure why boring would be needed to connect Diridon Ststion. Surely the SR 87 right-of-way is there to directly tie into Diridon Station using a short aerial structure. The boring only seems to make sense if the intent is to go under the thick concrete runways to connect to a nearer Santa Clara Station.

      A good systems solution would seem to be adding one more BART station past the Santa Clara BART to stop at the SJ Airport. It would look a little silly on a map to have a line that makes an inside 270 or 360 degree loop — but it would not only get riders possibly faster to the Airport from Diridon, but the east side of Downtown as well as East San Jose could have direct Airport service.

      Another solution would be to have a short light rail line from North First that loops through the Downtown Transit Mall before using existing track with a new branch that connects the airport.

      It may be subtle to most Puget Sound residents, but this is a discussion driven by San Jose and their city politics to enhance the Diridon Ststion development area more than by their countywide VTA transit planning and operating agency. It also is just a discussion and hasn’t been fully thought out.

    2. The Oakland airport to bart connector is dual tracked but has only 4 vehicles, I believe. Assuming they build two tunnels, one for each direction, even a small vehicle on good headways should be sufficient.

      What Musk is building here, and down at the Dodger’s stadium, isn’t HCT. It’s more like medium capacity transit. It’s a direct, convenient line with the capacity of a modest bus route. I actually like solve a “last mile” problem like an airport that’s not adjacent to a HCT station is a niche problem that the Boring company might actually be well suited for.

      The problem he’s trying to solve isn’t that different than many major airports that are connected to a HCT system via a people mover. In this case, it probably is much cheaper to use an alternative technology to bring people to the HCT hub, rather than build HCT to the aiport.

      San Jose is over a longer distance, but here’s a simillar argument around Dulles:
      https://ggwash.org/view/11949/people-mover-vs-rail-to-dulles-saves-more-than-money

  7. If we know why ST Board members selected the Spring District OMF location over the other possible sites, then shouldn’t is be easy to extrapolate where they’ll most likely site the next one? I seem to recall several Board members saying they chose the Bellevue site because it was least expensive. And I also recall one saying they eliminated the Northup Way site because it would displace too many businesses.

    Sam. I don’t speak for the entire Eastside. Just the wealthy parts.

  8. Any chance there’s something still buried at a certain landfill site that could shorten the life-expectancy of a vehicle maintenance worker?

    Mark Dublin

  9. For a line this long, it is a really bad idea to have the shop complex in the center. It means a lot of out of service train moves to get to the start of service point. You could start service at the mid-point, but Tacoma is the densest populated area on the line so it makes the most sense to originate and terminate trains there.

    There are at least four significant freight yards, one really ugly locomotive rebuilding facility, several extremely ugly massive highway interchanges and a host of other industrial sites around Tacoma that could be built above that nobody would miss the view of. Tacoma Dome has several huge surface parking lots where it wouldn’t be that bad to build or move shops above or below a parking lot, or replace a lot with a parking structure.

    At least one Chicago CTA shop is built elevated, so it’s been done. It’s not like it has to be built to support 100 ton freight cars or something.

    1. Thanks Glenn. I’m trying to make this exact point as well. An OMF site in Fife or Tacoma seems best unless this OMF has some unique unexplained functionality that can’t be accommodated at the SODO OMF.

      The decision to acquire property for public use should be made after a clear presentation why the agency finds it advantageous for operations and not just “we want the property”.

      I even wonder if backroom, darker forces (property owners who already have coordinated a sales price with ST already) are at work.

  10. Streetcars in Seattle have been a miserable and costly failure so far m. There is no reason to think the CCC would be any different m

  11. Metro cancels 20 routes due to snow.

    My email alert says, “Metro canceled all trips on 20 bus routes on Friday, due to fleet shortages, and in preparation for the coming winter storm. Riders can confirm their trip is operating by using the Puget Sound Trip Planner app or website ‘Next Departures’ feature. If a trip is canceled it will be displayed as such in these real time features. Significant delays may still be possible, and all riders are encouraged to also check for reroutes. In addition to individual trip cancelations on many routes, Metro expects to completely cancel all trips on routes 9, 29, 37, 71, 78, 125, 200, 201, 204, 208, 224, 237, 243, 244, 268, 308, 309, 316, 330 and Sound Transit Route 540. For routes that remain in service, text your stop ID to 62550 for departure times and individual trip cancelations. Delays are likely and riders should also check for reroutes.”

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