32 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Interview with Rosa Parks”

  1. Looking at the ESN map, it looks like the biggest gap in coverage is centered in Newcastle, then radiating out miles in every direction. So basically from Renton to Factoria, and Lake Washington to Issaquah there is no public transit. The only two routes that get close are the 560 and the 271, which skim the periphery.

    1. Sammamish is at least as large of a gap since the 269 isn’t running. It’s hard to notice on the map because they put the legend over it.

      I’m lucky my parents still live there and are willing to put me up. Because otherwise I would be unable to get to work. As it stands I instead can’t get home.

    2. In other words, the area without multfamily housing or commercial centers. Sounds about right. the neighborhoods chose this situation by opposing upzoning, so they’re the lowest priority for transit resources. However, evening/weekend transit in the Eastside is underprovisioned even in normal times, so this is an extreme extension of that.

      1. Metro’s job is to serve the largest cross-section of people’s trips as it can within the intrinsic limitations of mass-transit buses and a finite budget. Most of its budget is dedicated to connecting activity centers and multifamily areas (which are mostly the same thing) and the houses that happen to be on the way between them; that’s how it can serve the most people per buck. Lower-income, more transit-dependent areas get some extra weight in that. It also includes a significant number of peak expresses to downtown, which are more complex to analyze, but your specific concern Newcastle area has one of them. That’s one part of the budget. The other part is a reserved amount for coverage service, which means everywhere else. Again Metro has to prioritize to stretch limited coverage funds, and it chooses corridors that it thinks will have the most benefit. And as we know, Metro/ST don’t even have a frequent transit network in the Eastside even on normal evenings/weekends, where the B is the only frequent route and 520 service drops precipitously. It should improve that and has plans to do so, but that’s beyond the issue of the ESN. In an ESN situation when Metro is running half of the normal number of routes and it’s having trouble running even that because bus drivers can’t get to the bases, it really can’t do anything about areas like Newcastle. A Newcastle resident does have an “equal right” to a bus route as denser areas. That’s thinking of the buses like Uber, or like the old ineffective peanut-butter service in the 80s. And the people in Newcastle chose to live there and could afford to live elsewhere in the county if they wanted to. I feel for children and elderly people in those houses who are transit-dependent, and those who have their leg in a cast for three months like one I knew (who said it made her question living there), but their family members who bought those houses are among the most affluent in the county. So yes, we’d like to improve frequency and ESN coverage in Newcastle but that’s not realistic at present.

      2. half a quarter the number of bus routes. I think the difference between a half and a quarter is due to the cancellation of peak expresses.

        A Newcastle resident does not have an “equal right”…

      3. At the very least, I believe communities that are discriminated against by Metro … Newcastle, Duvall, etc., should get a reduction in their property tax bills for not receiving a service they’re paying for.

      4. I live in Downtown Redmond a place that has density. I just can’t get home because the bus isn’t running. I suppose I would have to essentially quit my job if I was stuck there instead of having a family member that will let me stay nearby.

        Running a 269 once an hour would suffice for coverage since the city of Sammamish is keeping the route clear as part of it’s plow program.

        I’m going to use this event for a new push for a gondola that won’t be shut down. I think this experience makes for a compelling argument.

    1. The studies for ST4 funded under ST3 are very broad. The ST3 corridors are narrow because the Agency already studied then and received feedback from the public and guidance from the politicians before the ST3 plan was put to the voters. Keeping the scope narrow at this point in the planning cycle is an attempt to keep timelines short.

      1. Just to be clear, this LA situation is comparable to a study that would happen AFTER an ST3 adoption. The line generally got funding.

        After the blatant ignoring of First Hill and Central District in the ST2 corridors (the unstudied FHSC was “the solution”), justifying only ST3 corridors because they were decided in ST2 is negligent and irresponsible. Who would ride light rail from Downtown to Renton through West Seattle or transfer in Tukwila, for another example? It just looked pretty on a sketch map.

        Take a good look at the reports. LA made forecasting trip patterns a basic component of studying the line, too. ST doesn’t do that.

        Even to this day, ST is only reporting segment volumes and not station volumes.

      2. In Lynnwood Link ST sudied corridors as wide as Aurora and Lake City Way, and bellevue Way and 405. When ST updated the Long-Rainger Plan in 2013, I heard them discuss the Madison Corridor in a board meeting. Yes, there is a Madison HCT corridor in ST’s LRP. They weren’t sure whether Madison RapidRide would be sufficient or more would be needed. There was no mention of the First Hill Streetcar. I don’t know what’s in the boardmembers’ minds but they seem to view the streetcar as a mitigation for dropping First Hill Station on the Ballard line, and to connect First Hill to Sounder and Capitol Hill Station, and to serve Yesler Terrace and Jackson, not as a replacement for service between central downtown and First Hill. But that’s separate from the Ballard-downtown and West Seattle-downtown projects.Their focus seems to be that there’s a huge number of riders between Everett-downtown, and Tacoma-downtown, a secondary number of riders between Ballard-downtown and West Seattle-downtown, a third level in 45th, and a fourth level maybe in First Hill. ST did do some moving the goalposts when it said save the Madison/8th Station discussion until after the ST3 vote, and then after they said it’s too late. I think that shows confusion or lack of First Hill prioritization on the part of ST staff rather than “First Hill has the streetcar”:

    2. “Instead, we only debate the universe that ST hands us.”

      What I consider to be the best alignment for getting to Ballard was never even a Level 1 option, so of course it isn’t among the remaining options. Seems to be an example of the point you are making.

      Apparently, what sunk a 20th Ave alignment was dislike for a Dravus station on the west side of the freight yard. I agree that the east side is the better location for Interbay, but 20th Ave would be best in Ballard, both for walkshed and transit connection reasons. But somehow that combination seems to never have been considered.

      It could be done with an aerial structure over the north end of the Interbay yard to the diagonal part of W Emerson Place to 21th Ave. If a Thorndyke station is locked in, this alignment could still be done with a tighter curve over an open lot immediately north of the planned Thorndyke station.

      The broader point is that the process is SUPPOSED to serve the purpose of finding the best option, but if it so rigid that it prevents consideration of better options, it fails us. I believe that is the essence of what you mean.

      1. Actually, the baseline Ballard Link option was never studied. It was created by SDOT staff in the final months of ST3 development. The actual Ballard-Downtown study did not produce a recommendation.

      2. The keyword is how “best option” is defined. ST looks to the cities and counties to define the priorities, and secondarily the stakeholders, meaning entities like the Port and large employers. It’s also probably concerned about Port lawsuits that would drive up the cost and add delays. A collection of transit activists or riders is not a government with voter-approved taxes and the clout to sue over environmental issues, nor a large employer nor a recognised significant organization. That’s what’s leading the drive for the 20th alignment and 14th station. Although, remember that ST hasn’t spoken yet on what it would approve, all these rounds have been about gathering input. The presence of alternatives doesn’t mean ST favors them. ST is preserving its own previously-stated preference by keeping the representative alignment alive, and we don’t know what it thinks of the others. That will be clearer when the first draft goes to the board around April I think, then we’ll see both what the staff favors and how the board is leaning.

      3. Exactly Mike.

        Stakeholders appear far more important than riders and productivity to most of ST leadership these days.

        I don’t think this was always the case, but it certainly seems to be since ST3 preparation started.

      4. The alignment I described for getting to a 20th Ave station would skirt Fisherman’s Terminal. I don’t see any impact on port operations at all.

        I concede that riders of the D route would prefer to not go an extra 5 blocks to transfer to light rail, but that is a small negative compared to the advantages of serving the center of the urban village and connecting to every bus route, not just two of them. It ought to have higher ridership than any of the current alignments, and at a reasonable price. That is why I consider it the best option.

        If there is concern about continuing the D to a new terminus by Fred Meyer, that is still compatible with a 20th Ave station. In truth, I would rather see any continuation of the D line replace route 44. There would only be a short tail of the 44 with diminished service. The 44 was planned for RapidRide service anyway, although funding has now fallen short.

  2. Thank you for the interview. The God-given right to arrest a fare-paying woman passenger for refusing to give her seat to a man because his skin-color grants him the right to demand she do so. This is what’s generally meant by the term “States’ Rights” as demanded by their loudest and angriest supporters. How many Supreme Court appointments are the States now away from getting back their Rights to reinstate this category of Laws?

    Mark Dublin

    1. 0, with a big helping hand from a Justice Department that is retooling the Civil Rights office to go after anyone inconveniencing (cis white heterosexual conservative) Christians.

      1. Anyhow, one reason I appreciate Rosa Parks is her years in Detroit…where I arrived in Royal Oak area in fourth grade, too late to ride many streetcars, but in time for some trolleybuses. And a lot of suburban service, Greyhound and Grand Trunk Western Railway. Saw the last of steam. Close to midnight, every night a local mail train went wailing out of Detroit for Chicago by way of Durand, which is just past Flint. Yeah, already had a guitar. 1962, y’know.

        Always saved my money for trips back to Chicago, a land I always grieved, for the loss of the CTA and the legendary (well they are!) interurbans, which featured the Electroliner- worth looking up. Chicago and North Shore knew it was rear-guard action against combination of Milwaukee Road streamliners and of course doom by cars. But at least the CEO, and St. Louis Car Company put up a hell of a fight. Real china coffee cups in the Restaurant section- to all those sailors at Great Lakes Naval Air Station, all the Bistros were in France.

        Fatal optimist maybe, but don’t see Michigan Dead by (the) Right forever. People I met last visit three years ago, a lot more general energy than Pacific Northwest. Start checking it out.

        Mark

  3. ‘Nother thing that seems to work, Ness. While your friends go stark screaming ape, actually start reading the Bible-which unloads a lot more incendiary and high explosive on abuse of the poor and the refugee than on sleeping with the wrong creature. Makes for quiet, short, and conclusive discussions.

    And Mideast History from the beginning and well up through Jesus’s time and past. A lot of passages will suddenly snap into strong familiarity. You’ll find that through history, all that changes are the weapons and the names of the Great Powers. Horse-power or biblical donkey, transit operators’ world stays familiar.

    A kid with a spear in King David’s army and a corporal in the Israeli Defense Forces with an automatic rifle both know the lieutenant’s gonna get them all killed and the boot contractor should have to march to distant meetings in their product for for their own whole enlistment.

    Also, in every military occupation, the Establishment are always pathological collaborators, whose financial dealings put the Emperor in their own pockets. So whether you’re Pontius Pilate or Paul Brenner, your own head can soon depend on executing who they tell you to, no matter how many of your troops and other working guys like victim. Your washed hands are your business.

    Anyhow, give it a try. Doubt the police will come save your opponents from you.

    Mark

      1. Wrong. Snow routes are designed to avoid steep hills. And Metro coordinates with Seattle to plow and salt designated bus snow routes. Last night there was a flood of calls coming in from stuck buses with chains on snow routes. Three buses were stuck at the northern route 65 terminal. That’s a flat area.

    1. Chains aren’t treads, Sam. Lucky that transportation equipment industry has long been on top of this one, though. Ski resorts and also probably intercity on Iceland, they make passenger buses with tracks like a tank. Pretty sure manufacturers can also handle a vehicle that can handle mode-change from the driver’s seat. This week’s view out every window and windshield should confirm the market’s already arrived.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Mark, A STB commenter said that if if a region doesn’t have apartment buildings, they don’t deserve to have public transit when it snows. Do you agree?

      2. LOL, Sam. Here’s your math homework. Rank 237 routes by demand from high to low. Add in some consideration for steep streets.

        Select the top quartile. What are the odds that a low density non-multifamily neighborhood at the top of a hill makes the top quartile?

  4. It looks to me like Intercity Transit has heartier, more durable snow chains on their buses than Metro. This has been going on for decades. Metro chains are crap.

    1. If one listens to the Metro scanner, you never hear their class c tow trucks or their f500 maintenance trucks calling in saying they are stuck.

      Something to think about.

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