18 Replies to “Podcast #79: Mos Eisley”

  1. There are two reasons Portland doesn’t show up on the list of cities with busy transit malls:

    1. It’s two streets so half of a 3rd Avenue.

    2. Most of the busy stuff had been converted to MAX now.

    22 years ago Portland’s transit mall was also a dense wall of buses – loud ones too, all powered by smokey Detroit Diesel engines.

    The advantage Portland has was the ability to make the sidewalks wide by narrowing the road to two lanes, as they are one way streets.

    1. Portland’s transit mall is the entire downtown. Their streetcars, buses and light rail are nicely distributed throughout the downtown grid so as to make it much easier to get around then say a Denver.

    2. Is, not was. First there was no MAX. then in the 1980s east-west MAX (going only east to Gresham), then in the late 90s extended west to Gresham, then in the early 2000s the north-south streetcar and north-south MAX. Only after all that was complete did you have the 2-D riders’ paradise grid. East-west MAX has too many stations downtown and the Steel Bridge is slow, so it takes an inordinate amount of time to cross downtown and there was no alternative until north-south MAX was built and has the right stop spacing.

      1. Express service is on the way. Regardless, I would still take it over a Denver like system.

        I’ve used both system extensively and Denver’s is great for the one party avenue, Portland’s is best for the entire city.

      2. What’s this express service? I heard some talk about a downtown tunnel or something recently. Is it actually happening?

      3. It’s picking up steam and sounding more serious lately. Portland has no choice, especially with the new SW line coming online in a few years.

  2. So, it turns out that topic #5, “Community Transit restructures”, was really a discussion of Metro restructures in the era of Link service to Northgate.

    Nice bait and switch, guys. Geesh.

    1. The only real option for Metro in Seattle is to try and and put as many buses on 2nd 3rd and 4th Avenues in the future that go downtown this includes Metro routes and Sound Transit routes

  3. The Magnolia reverse-peak buses are busy downtown in the AM peak and late morning so I assume some of them are going to Interbay and not just Belltown. I was surprised because I though they’d have two or three people on them but that many get on in one stop. They may be what saved coverage bus service in Magnolia.

    The yellow DSTT displays were part of the original tunnel opening in 1990. The whole time they displayed only “Welcome to the downtown transit tunnel” or such, the time, and announcements. So they were mainly electronic clocks.

    1. and about those DSTT signs – even in the renderings used in Metro’s pre-tunnel public info documents they were shown with “next bus” information. Voila – 30 years later, there it is!

  4. I’m wondering if we have a mutual friend. You said that a “friend of a friend calls [3rd and Pike] ‘Mos Eisley’.” I’ve been saying that for years, and you’re the first other person I’ve heard use it.

    1. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

      1. I have a friend with those initials that moved from Seattle to Omaha a couple years ago, so probably not who you’re talking about. Thanks for the reply!

  5. To echo the comments made about the odd arbitrary stop placement on 3rd, consider a rider such as myself. I would like to go to First Hill. The 3 and the 4 are on a different set of stop pairs than the 27, even though all three serve a similar geographic area.

    The too many buses problem we have on 3rd avenue could be solved by increasing truncation and having buses serving a common geographical destination serve the same stops. Imagine how unreliable the 106 would be if it had to crawl through downtown. Unfortunately I think Metro is reluctant to follow through on truncation based on the potential backlash from people losing their one seat ride into downtown .

    1. You can’t put all buses with the same destination at the same stop because some are trolleys, some are RapidRide, and some are plain diesels.

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