Seattle Metro Bus in Bellevue, WA. New Modern Electric buses are now replacing the dirty diesel polluting buses.

This is an open thread.

19 Replies to “News roundup: Happy Thanksgiving”

    1. Won’t most bikers want to take the bikes with them, to bike across campus?

      Shouldn’t the bike lockers be next to the destination buildings?

      1. Won’t most bikers want to take the bikes with them, to bike across campus?

        Shouldn’t the bike lockers be next to the destination buildings?

        No, and no. Most people who use bikes with trains want to leave them at the station. Link may have other rules, but typically you aren’t allowed to carry them on to the train at rush hour (nor would you want to).

        The people who want bike lockers include mostly folks who want to bike and then take the train. For example, people who live in lower Wallingford (Gas Works) would bike the Burke Gilman for less than ten minutes, then take Link to downtown or Capitol Hill. That is likely the fastest way — by far — to reach either destination.

        There are people who want longer term storage to do the opposite, but they are outnumbered. Even then, they would want a locker. For example, I used to work in Fremont, back when the 31/32 was not that frequent. I would take a bus to the U-District, then ride a bike from the U-District to Fremont (via the Burke Gilman). I could see someone doing something similar, as you suggest, to get to class (or work) at the UW or their job at Children’s Hospital, etc. But for them, the long term storage is at the station, and the short term storage is at the building. But the short term storage may be as simple as locking the bike next to a post. The odds of getting a bike stolen are much smaller if it is locked during the day for a few hours, as opposed to overnight (and all weekend). You also have a lot less weathering of the bike if it spends most of its time under cover.

        Not every station should have major bike facilities, but the combination of very good bike access (right next to the bike superhighway that is the Burke Gilman) as well as a ton of empty land make a large bike locker a good idea.

  1. Thinking back to my driving days, and watching those videos, my main problem with the kind of shields depicted is that I can imagine attackers, or accidents, inflicting a situation where my main concern would be an obstacle-free escape from that seat.

    Recalling some other training, I think our country’s every citizen should come our of kindergarten phys. ed. able by reflex to block a punch. And get thrown or pushed without breaking any bones. Suspect that’s what our Framers had in mind a lot more than a personal arsenal. Gym-time also cuts health-care bills.

    But to even be talking hardware here, both TV and the County are dodging the real need. Where employee-protection money needs to go is to hire and intensively train transit police, uniformed and plain clothes, to spend a permanent lot of time riding buses. Imposing only real deterrent to kind of violence shown: promise of serious jail-time for an assault.

    And drastically worse-needed measure on a higher scale: giving the State of Washington a mental health system that is not also called the Department of Corrections. Has Western State gotten its accreditation back?

    Fare collection and inspection? Wish somebody else besides me would start bothering the system to get interagency fare apportionment out of the way of sane fare collection. And let every single passenger’s ORCA card be Proof of Payment by virtue of possession. Leave the Court docket to people who hit drivers, not just miscount “taps”.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Feel it’s my duty to report that last night someone close to me slapped my head around backwards for remark about self-defense.

      Whatever needs to be taught in school or not- sheer mention of the subject in this connection is marker for senility- there’s no way defense against a physical attack is anywhere near a transit operator’s job description.

      Politically, right now I’d consider it a very early order of business to be sure that whatever measures are needed to make every transit vehicle a no-violence zone take precedence over cuts in car tabs.

      Mark Dublin

  2. The call to jump Sound Transit’s nonexistent fare gates Friday is quite brilliant compared to what a few XR protesters did in London a couple months ago (and were advised not to do by most of their fellow rebels).

    But as I told Mr. Dublin Monday, I have a conspiracy theory — well, it is not really a conspiracy theory, since it is just about the work of one man — that someone at Sound Transit who had a hand in writing the fare enforcement policy is secretly a mole for Fare Enforcement Rebellion.

    Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. But, Brent, the policy was written a decade before XR became l ‘affaire. Stay with me.

    The guy had a brilliant idea: We need to get fare enforcement officers to target well-to-do white folks, so they feel the sting of being publicly humiliated by FEOs. In particular, target the most frequent riders, the ones who have free passes from their tech employers, who will, from time to time, mess up. But in order to help them mess up, we also need to set up conditions to help them mess up. Eureka! Let’s require tap off along with tap on, and then make the two sound the same. And then, let’s make it a crime to pay the wrong agency, and refuse to honor all the passes we’ve sold or distributed through their employers to the white-collar set.

    Now, Brent, you must be thinking, they already got rid of the same-tone trap, by making the tap-off two beeps.

    Of course, they did. They are on to their FER mole. And when the mole suggested keeping just one beep, but making it a different pitch, they found their mole. Of course, people wouldn’t remember the pitches, but they would remember whether they heard two beeps. And so, they outsmarted the mole on that one and got the fix approved over her/his objections.

    Unsatisfied with her/his efforts to misdirect FEOs and tie them up harassing the most-frequent riders and most diligent payers, she/he found a new target: the kids. The mole’s attempts to foster mass moral outrage against fare enforcement by using policy to make them spend lots of time arguing with adult passholders was a bust.

    When kids got The Speech for riding to school on the first day before getting free passes at school, she/he found both another distraction and a new strategy. She/he managed to keep asking about honoring kids’ “free”passes out of the fare enforcement improvements survey by instead asking about simply not warning/fining kids on the first day of school. That way, the larger issue of warning and fining the kids who have these “free” passes would slip through the cracks of the board’s head-nodding discussion, while a day of Va Bene Fare Rebellion for the kids would become a permanent thing.

    More importantly, the placebo policy update would get rushed through, and then the FEOs would be unleashed upon the kids who dared to forget to tap their free passes. The moral outrage that ensues would be the mole’s pièce de résistance. Cover fire from Steve O’Ban, Phil Fortunato, and Tim Eyman would leave the board cowered into giving up on fare enforcement. At least that’s the plan.

    Okay, that doesn’t sound like a terribly good plan. But remember, this is the work of one self-proclaimed Sideshow Bob, not a cell bouncing ideas off of each other and saying “That doesn’t make sense”.

    But we here at The Ewok Times have uncovered this conspiracy, er one-person master plan. (Snaps fingers) While reading about the real conspiracy, er one-person master plan, you can also enjoy two full pages of crossword puzzles in five languages, Sam, to keep your language skills fresh. (Snaps fingers) We’ve also enlarged our font, just for you. (Snaps fingers) For the nominal monthly cost of whatever you are paying to Seattle Public Light and Century Link, you can enjoy market urbanist editorials from voices nobody else is willing to hire (and we aren’t, either, because, well, we’re volunteers on an ideological mission to bring common sense to America’s transportation thinking and planning).

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Eat your veggies!


      Useful metric for evaluating the politicians we vote for. We need to elect people who seek out, hire, encourage, and protect government workers who share the qualities of this woman.

      Any “elected” who’d fire her- recall them before the ink is dry on her resignation. Serious part of “The Deep State” – at present time, living with its opposite, description of a form of government I find deeply comforting. And will fight to rescue and restore.


    1. Someone should ask him if he, as governor, would not allow the taker counties not to receive more state money than their contributions to the state.

  3. Oh, my god! That troglodyte is running for governor? Did someone puts fire ants down his shorts? This guy seems to live solely for sticking to public transportation. What a nuisance. What is with this current movement of people getting into office not to run the government but to throw wrenches into the gears? Real people get hurt by such pettiness, but then people like him don’t believe in morality, only power for its own sake.

    The Seattle area seemed to be doing so well with transit funding and rolling out transformative upgrades, yet waiting in the wings are so many who just want to crash it all. I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s enough to make your blood boil.

    1. Problem’s not who’s waiting in the wings. It’s why voters repeatedly hire people without a single skill or quality to, at every level literally to the top, run our country?

      Does this afternoon’s readership include a teacher, or a principal, or anybody otherwise informed who can tell us whether public administration is taught at all, let alone required for graduation?

      If it weren’t such an indecent thought, screw Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math including Computer Science. The law says you can be a legislator at age 18. Nobody should be allowed out of high school without a basic working knowledge of how to govern, theory and practice.

      And a reflex habit of putting their knowledge and skills into practice. Considering the condition of our land…..only question is why it isn’t worse.

      Mark Dublin

  4. Somewhat surprisingly, the I-405 projects that Sound Transit’s BRT project depends on, do not appear to be on the WSDOT I-976 cut list. I guess they’re going to proceed on schedule.

  5. Personally I also like the pilot new station exit number plan, with one major issue: Why are avenues denoted, but not streets? It looks (and is) incomplete. I can’t understand why a simple St is left out. Are streets not considered as important as avenues in this city? I mentioned in my comments on the survey that if this plan is chosen to be the permanent way-finding signage, that street designations be added–there is plenty of room, so it’s not a question of space shortage.
    Pine St & Fifth Ave

  6. Signs have gone up saying Link will be less frequent for 10 weeks starting January 4th. I though there were two periods like this. Is this just the first one or does it cover both?

    1. The first period was for weekend closures. It lasted only two weekends. January 4th starts phase 2.

    1. I see Sam is preparing his ballot checklist. Why not Sam for governor? Is it too far a demotion? Sam will make the state function splendidly. The buses will run fast and slow simultaneously! If there’s a car blocking the bus, the bus will just leap over it! A red paint sprayer will be fitted to the bottom of buses to paint the lanes red. Trains will run upside down. Fares will be high enough to deter obnoxious passengers but low enough to ensure no well-behaving passenger is left behind. Vote for Sam U. El for governor. You’ll be glad you did.

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