65 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: First Hill Streetcar in a Pandemic”

  1. In the news yesterday, King County Metro bus driver dies after contracting coronavirus That’s the second confirmed death from Metro staff? Given the death rate for the general population from the virus we can predict some 30-50 people have been infected and spread the disease across the entire transit network (note the bunny suits Seoul provides their subway workers).
    Some bus drivers pleading with King County Metro to offer more protection from coronavirus Hearsay or truth?

    One driver, who didn’t want to identify themselves, claimed the late-night bus routes are full of “non-destinational riders” and many of them aren’t wearing masks.

      1. “Non-destinational riders” can’t afford masks. Are you suggesting they be banned from transit entirely or something?

      2. A Joy, I know you think you’re taking the more compassionate stand, but there’s nothing compassionate about allowing the homeless to set up camp on transit, and become infected, and infect others.

        And of course they should be banned. You just called them non-destinational riders. Transit right now should be for essential travel only.

        Sam, aka Mr. Compassion.

      3. From a Metro Matters update a few days ago: ““To reserve transit for those who need it most, we’re calling on riders to travel only if absolutely necessary and to wear a face covering to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” said King County Metro General Manager Rob Gannon.” He described essential travel as being, “for food, medicine, and work.”

      4. I called them non-destinational riders a) because you did, and b) in sarcastic mockery.

        Do you have any data at all that indicates homeless coronavirus infection rates are higher than those of the general public? The ability to sleep is absolutely necessary and essential. You die if you do not sleep, after all.

        Christopher Cramer, addiction rates for all substances among the local homeless are under 40%, closer to 30% (the range is due to issues with self reporting). There’s no need to score drugs for the local homeless. That’s just something the KOMO Seattle is Dying crowd made up.

      5. The General Manager of Metro did not list napping as an essential travel. I think I’ll go what with what he said as opposed to what someone in a comment section wrote.

      6. It doesn’t take a transit manager’s words to realize sleep is an essential human activity. Do as you will, however.

      7. There wouldn’t be people sleeping on buses, in sidewalks, and in shelters if we had universal housing.

    1. Hotels are empty now. We should put the homeless there. And we should set up a system to deliver whatever they need, for free (including any drugs they might be addicted to), to keep them from leaving their rooms.

  2. There is a Part 1 and a Part 2 to the post video. The post video is Part 2. It’s showing the outside the streetcar. Here’s Part 1. It shows the inside of the streetcar. It appears no one is wearing a mask. And passengers are sitting within 6 feet of other passengers when they don’t have to.

  3. I love the streetcar despite a couple things that just annoy me like people who press the useless “stop request” bar or the announcement that says next stop pie-un.

    1. It’s not useless. The train won’t stop unless you press it. Sometimes there’s no stop bar near you and you can’t get to one in time, or you press it and it doesn’t register, or you press it several times and it doesn’t register, and then the train passes your stop and you have to get off at the next one.

      1. I’ve missed stops because of this. Once when I pressed it repeatedly when it didn’t register, and once when i couldn’t get to a strip or button in time.

      2. I pressed it once and the operator got on the intercom and scolded me for pressing it because it stops at all stations.

  4. Interesting, Martin. You’ve certainly captured perfectly the spirit of the pandemic. Flat, two-dimensional depth-less 24-7 panic. Whose cloak of boredom makes it unbearable.

    Exactly what car-driving “feels” like from behind my steering wheel right now. Whether traffic counts as “light” or “heavy,” me and everybody else on the road are “spooked.” Same as life in general. In my apartment where medicine, law, common sense, and I agree I’m supposed to be, simple sorting objects like papers, dishes, or clothes is impossible.

    This afternoon’s planned protests against life and death health measures I support, last night’s idea of showing up with my regulation-sized US flag, just got nixed by the whole Age of Reason. No Civil War hero of mine would’ve let the slavers and “Secesh” assassinate them by breathing.

    Given their service in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, I also know the Second Amendment’s drafters knew firsthand how far the musket’s body count was always surpassed by plague, pox, and cholera.

    One point of sympathy, though. Across the dimming spectrum, doubt I’m the only one who’s had it with being scolded, no matter what we do or don’t. By a generation of officials whose spectrum-wide performance across the decades right now cancels their right to order the dog off the couch.

    “WHERE’S YOUR MASK!?” Mr. Ms. Doctor. Governor. President……..Olympia Hardware and Walgreen Drugs just this minute told me to ask you.

    Mark Dublin

  5. My sister-in-law sewed masks for the extended family. They’re pretty stylish and have a pocket for a filter. The one item she said was N/A was elastic so there are ties (which a lot of surgical masks use instead of elastic). Just now did a search on Amazon for “dust mask“. Seems masks are now readily available. Both cloth and paper with lots of cycling masks designed originally to easy the effects of pollution when riding in urban areas. It also occurred to me that coffee filters have escaped the panic buying frenzy and the cone shaped ones could be trimmed for use as a mask (cue your favorite SNL Coneheads episode).

  6. Bernie, are you ready to have your “destinality” questioned by armed authority at the request of somebody a lot better dressed than you?

    My state representatives are also in possession of my standing order to get Western State Mental Hospital re-accredited and this time also funded. Give me the contact information for your delegation, and I’ll also get with them when time, tide, and plague allow.

    And Joseph, I’m with you all the way on streetcars as a mode. Provided that, as with any machine tool, they’re being used as they’re supposed to by trained operators. But this last while, on First Hill line and also LINK_/ really getting my own buttons pushed by automated information.

    ‘Nobel went to being forced to change trains northbound at Pioneer Square one night, and for the rest of my ride to UW, the school not the street, told that the next stop would be one, Sea-Tac Airport and two, Angle Lake.

    Accurate passenger information should get classified not as conversation but personal safety. And wrong or missing info can miss somebody a real expensive flight somewhere. Incidents I cited communicated something loud and clear to me:

    “Don’t like it, that’s what feet are for!” Problem is not that these aren’t Ordinary Times. Problem is that in the minds being paid to care for passenger service right now, unattended screw-ups certainly are so ordinary they get filed with a yawn.

    My own driving workplace always had a steering wheel, rather than a controller. So I’m putting this out to individual members of Local 587 whose wheels are steel. Would it interfere with your comfort and safety to call stops and give other information over your train PA?

    Should go without saying so say it I will: Every overtime hour of intensive PA training will only turn the balance sheet blacker. Should get same importance as your controller. Really could be most important part of your train’s mechanism, in addition to imparting a valuable work-skill.

    And finally, while I’d never violate a promise of anonymity, neither did I also hesitate to, pen or Public Comment microphone, to use my union immunity to call my representatives’ attention to a safety hazard. Management in attendance were thankful they claim my words without attribution.

    1983 was a long time ago. Much of present supervision not even born that year, let alone hired. If in fact today’s personnel have a legitimate fear of punishment for reporting trouble, intimidators should be the ones seeking alternate employment.

    And interesting streetcar-related political “Aside”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Electric_Railway_Journal

    Paul N. Weyrich, our country’s Founders would’ve hanged, or at least driven into exile, as a dangerous Royalist menace. Trouble is that to me, mandatory Liberal/Conservative dichotomy is like being told I can’t be generous and careful at the same time.

    So every issue, New Electric Railway Journal left me deeper convinced that the ideal streetcar- defined as operable on both average city-avenue grade and curve, interspersed with 60mph cross-country- is the DEFINITION of the term “Conservative.”

    Mark Dublin

    1. Bernie, are you ready to have your “destinality” questioned by armed authority at the request of somebody a lot better dressed than you?

      That’s a damn good question. I’m in sync with the idea that granting guberment unlimited powers of intrusion to our lives is a bad thing. I’m torn because I hate guns but realize responsible gun owners are what keeps us different than say Germany.

      I don’t want government to take over the freedoms we enjoy in American. But I don’t have anything to hide and already cede many “rights”. I currently hold a CDL. If I’m tested and have a 0.04 level of alcohol (twice as strict as the general public (regardless of if I’m “on the clock” or not) I loose my license to drive . Any body that accepts the privilege to drive accepts they may be stopped at a WSP checkpoint and required to take a blood alcohol test.

      Different than being asked your destination but I also have a letter from my employer to show law enforcement, should I be stopped, that I am engaged in what has been deemed a critical industry.

    2. I’m with Bernie on this. I’m mostly fine with the libertarian approach on the Federal and even State level (local municipalities can do more as they are closer to We the People). I even find it preferable to the current approach of both major political parties: “Whether and how much the government is involved depends on if it meets our political agenda and fires up our base.” However ONCE you start putting other’s lives and property in danger, you start losing your liberties, to a level proportionate to the harm or danger you cause. If you use your car to kill or maim someone, you lose your “right” to be able to do that again, ect. Government watching to make sure I don’t harm anyone or cause property damage doesn’t take away from my civil liberties one bit. If anything, I *want* somebody watching as a matter of national and neighborhood security.

      1. “the current approach of both major political parties: “Whether and how much the government is involved depends on if it meets our political agenda and fires up our base.””

        One party does this because their major candidates only want power and are arguing in bad faith; firing up their base is the only thing that matters. The other party’s major candidates want to improve people’s well-being and protect their rights; firing up the base is a secondary political tactic. Saying both are equally bad is playing into the culprit’s lie and harming the country.

      2. We can all agree that one party is evil and the other party is full of goodwill and honest leaders. The problem is America can’t agree which is which!

        Perhaps it’s better to assume people are people. Greed isn’t unique to one worldview, nor is love of country.

      3. No, we can’t all agree on that. They’re both corrupt and hopelessly beholden to corporate interests, and only concerned about their own power. Neither cares about the greater public.

      4. If you ever wondered how countries succumb to corruption and authoritarianism, this is it.

        I focus on people’s primary motivations, and less on how successful they are at it. Especially in environments that require compromise like Congress and state legislatures. Of course my impressions of their motiviations are just my impressions, and they may be wrong.

        My current favorite, Elizabeth Warren, focuses on preventing bankrupcies and assuring a decent minimum standard of living because of her own family’s experience with barely avoiding bankrupcy because the floor in the 1960s was higher tthan it is now, and her subsequent research into bankrupcy across the US. I’ve been following her since around 2008. (Not Twitter following but general following.) I find it hard to believe that her conviction is just for show, or that she’s just in it for herself or looking for corporate favors. That’s partly because she’s consistent over time.

        Some others are inconsistent: they say one thing one day and the opposite the next day. Or they claim their policies will do the opposite of what they do. That’s the mark of an opportunist that doesn’t care about the issue or the people affected by it; they’re just using it as a tactic for themselves.

      5. @ AJ

        We can all agree that one party is evil and the other party is full of goodwill and honest leaders. The problem is America can’t agree which is which!

        Will Rogers nor Mark Twain could have said it better!

  7. My spouse and I did a grocery store run at a local FM in Lynnwood around 8am this morning. We have been trying to limit such “excursions” to every two weeks and we were at that point. I was very surprised to see so many shoppers AND store staff still not wearing any sort of mask or face covering. That was pretty discouraging considering how far along we are with the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Additionally, we have been trying to go fairly early in the day to avoid the busier times/crowds, but I guess lots of other folks are using that strategy as well since the store was fairly active already this early in the day. Frankly, people were doing a poor job of maintaining distances while shopping, so we found ourselves constantly maneuvering to try to maintain our distance from others. But it needs to be a mutual thing to work, right? Like, let me select my apples before you move in on the space right next to where I am standing. I noticed that some shoppers get it and others just don’t.

    We tried to move along quickly, sticking to our predetermined list, not doing a bunch of price comparisons as we normally would, not touching things other than what we intended to buy and avoiding touching surfaces or our faces while completing our mission. We always use self-checkout when we shop and that area was being pretty well controlled to maintain appropriate social distancing. Wipes were available for the touch screens and PoP terminals, but we just put on the latex gloves we had brought with us instead. We disposed of those after checkout and then headed out to our car. We loaded the trunk and then used hand sanitizer before heading home. So some extra steps were taken but still the entire shopping task, a shopping cart’s worth of groceries, was completed within about 30 minutes by my estimation. So it’s really not terribly more difficult to get groceries at this point* (I worried early on about the food supply chain) as long as one plans ahead and follows sensible protocols. With that said, as we were leaving, we noticed still more customers headed toward the store who were not wearing masks or face coverings. I just don’t get that.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d use this Sunday’s open thread to share a little anecdote about social behaviors during this awful public health crisis. Stay safe everyone.

    P.S. We use another protocol for unloading and storing grocery items upon returning home, but I won’t bore you with that. Lol.

    *For those who are still employed and/or have the financial means to purchase groceries for themselves and their families. Obviously there is a significant chunk of our population who are not so fortunate and we certainly need to find ways to keep our “neighbors” from going hungry during this very stressful time.

    1. What do you have against grocery delivery?

      The main behavior you are really complaining about is people going into the store, instead of taking advantage of curb-side pick-up or delivery, options readily pushed on all major chains’ website front pages.

      1. I think delivery and store pick-up are great options. Store pick-up it seems like Safeway has the best system. An employee works down each isle with a large cart of bins. Apparently, from watching, an app tells them what to load in each bin. Non-store run options I’ve looked at hire shoppers so not much difference in contact that shopping for yourself; maybe worse if they are in contact not only with other people in the store but everyone they bring groceries too. Shopping at the store keeps checkers employed. But stores seem to be hiring like mad even though less people are shopping. Kroger has hired people to wipe down carts for you on a concierge basis but it would be more effective to just wipe down all the carts when returned to the cue (maybe they do that too). My main objection is I want to pick the meats and vegetables myself. That said, I’d be totally behind paying a premium for the old fashion milkman that delivered milk in reuseable glass bottles and had a selection of tasty cheese. Once you develop a personal relationship with someone like that I’d trust them to bring fresh veggies and meats. Not having to maintain a retail space might make it cost competitive. They could also make a few bucks as Amazon delivery drivers.

      2. “What do you have against grocery delivery?”

        Nothing. It’s a fine option for many shoppers. Delivery and pick up of groceries aren’t even novel concepts for me. Green grocers and delis my family patronized while I was growing up in NY provided these services to customers when requested.

        Grocery delivery and pick-up simply don’t work for me because of dietary restrictions that require label reading. Alternatives/substitutions may or may not be acceptable; it’s simply much easier for me to make those determinations when I’m in the store making the selection myself. Additionally, although I don’t eat meat, I too want to select my own produce just like Bernie stated in his reply.

        Speaking of which, we too had milk delivery in reusable glass bottles when I was a kid. Bringing the fresh milk in and putting the empties out for collection in those wire milk crates was one of the chores my siblings and I shared for many years.

    2. I’m uncomfortable with society becoming dependent on mobile apps, and Uber and Amazon middlemen, and plunging headlong toward a cashless society, and people lazily ordering delivery just because they can, and how poorly the gig-economy workers who deliver it are paid. At the same time I recognize this is an emergency and people have to do things they wouldn’t normally do. I normally pay cash for all everyday purchases, but I haven’t paid cash since mid-March.

      The kind of delivery I’d be most comfortable with is stores, farms, and small businesses doing their own delivery, or forming collectives to do it in aggregate. Not something that uses a tech-company middleman or requires a mobile app.

      1. You may be interested in this:

        https://local-yokels.com/collections

        I will say, however, that I expect most such efforts to either remain small-scale (which would be ideal, from an ethical perspective) or devolve into the same middlemen set up. The middlemen seem to be a natural byproduct of the economy of scale and just-in-time supply chains, which are in themselves desireable as they increase short-term profits for those who develop some amount of power relative to those around. I am not claiming this is a good thing, it just seems to be human nature, at some level (or derived from it). So wishing it were not so does not do much to send it off. We all have to live in the world we live in, etc.

      2. Thanks, I’ll look into it. A “delivery farmers’ market” may be a good distribution model alongside the in-person markets. I’ve been thinking of getting a subscription box of some kind if I find one I like. I’ve been in two CSAs. Tiny’s, which delivered to dropoff points, although later it switched to delivery subscriptions and then Amazon-fulfilled subscriptions. It had a wide variety but too many pluots; I was drowning in them. And Nash’s, until it stopped coming to Seattle. I wonder if Kittitas Valley Greenhouse would offer subscription tomatoes?

  8. What are the chances for passenger rail from Pioneer Square to West Seattle? There’s a single track between Alaska & King Street and Harbor Avenue. Google says it’s a 12 minute train ride @ 20MPH. Most of this track is on port property, plus BNSF. How many entities would have to come together, and what work would need to be accomplished, to make this happen?

    1. I think the main obstacle is freight trains coming and going from Harbor Island. The line from King Street Station to West Seattle requires going down to Costco and looping back to Spokane Street, crossing the rail bridge over the West Waterway and then ending up somewhere in the industrial part of West Seattle/Alki. A passenger train would also have to fight through all the freight movements coming and going off of Harbor Island. If the line is clear of all freight traffic, it might be a 12 minute trip. But realistically, it’s going to be full of very slow moving freight and the delays could be enormous.

      My suggestion for dealing with West Seattle (in the post-virus world) would be to run a lot of extra buses from West Seattle to SODO Station and have transfers to Link. Also, run the D and E lines down to SODO.

      1. And that single-track line along the waterfront is also very busy. It’s doubtful that there’s any chance of running passenger service on that line.

      2. I agree the orchestration is going to be the worse of it, which is why a lot of agencies and entities would need to sacrifice some usability for peak commuter trips and figure how how costs are going to be shared.

      3. It makes sense to run extra buses to West Seattle, but I don’t understand why folks would want them truncated. That would just lead more people to abandon the buses (e. g. “I would take the bus, but it dumps me off in the middle of nowhere, in SoDo”). As it is, we aren’t talking a ton of extra buses and my guess is, the biggest challenge downtown is dealing with buses that come from the north, not the south. If we were going to truncate buses from the south, we would truncate them at Rainier Beach — but as everyone knows, folks from Renton, Federal Way, etc. don’t want that.

        The reason West Seattle has mediocre bus service is because it has mediocre ridership, not because we lack space for buses downtown.

      4. Oh, and I would look into leasing a passenger ferry boat for a few years. Two boats would allow them to operate the ferry the way that Vancouver does. The crossing time is almost identical (10 minutes) which means that you can have 15 minute headways during rush hour. You would also improve the shuttle service to 15 minutes as well. This would be a reasonable commute, and especially popular for those who live at the north end of the peninsula, which is the area most likely to have really bad traffic (as people funnel over to West Marginal Way, for example: https://goo.gl/maps/VBY5j2C2vcHewfLQ8).

        The ferries wouldn’t run as often the rest of the day, as it would be faster to catch the bus outside of rush hour. West Seattle could use some direct all-day service to Alki. Right now all they have is the 50 (which connects to SoDo).

    2. It’s an intriguing idea.

      I think one systems aspect that might be the most quickly strategic is something that is abhorrent to many: A giant park-and-ride lot near the bridge. Say one connecting bus route that runs to IDS and up Third Avenue, and one bus route that runs through the 99 tunnel to SLU and UW.

      Isn’t there empty port asphalt that could be set up for a temporary lot?

      Consider how much of West Seattle is not served by a frequent route — like Alki and Admiral.

    3. West Seattle can have that when it accepts an unlimited height and unit number upzone, with no parking requirements.

  9. You’re bringing up a major interesting possibility, Jack. Because after watching it at least abet the sneaky murder of the Waterfront Streetcar, somebody could make a serious case that the Port owes transit some compensation by way of help with passenger service to West Seattle.

    Think I mentioned chief Marshall Foster’s telling me that at least some utilities had been relocated with light rail in mind.
    I also seem to recall a poster presented by the Waterfront Project itself envisioning the dynamic of the project as a beautiful necklace around the bay.

    And given, and good chance believing in Climate Change, rail-fitted pontoons could provide a lot of employment for many years to come. Look at present bridge as a page-holder in Seattle history. Time for a change is the thing that makes it most possible.

    Really glad to see this come up again. Monster movie trailer would say “Re-emerge” So not even going to say “ISAWITFIRST!”

    Mark Dublin

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zRLz8Dbqy4

    These used to be a lot more common. Think a brewery in Yakima had one. Might be both economic boost and tourist draw for passengers to be able to ride “mixed” freights with everything from distilled beverages to light machinery in the next car.

    Alki to Downtown to, OK, Smith Cove? If not Ballard? Well, no time like the present to start thinking and discussing.

    Mark Dublin

    1. Inslee is an experienced, reasonable, successful governor. He managed this crisis better than most governors. He has tried to steer the state towards a more progressive path (income tax replacing sales and B and O taxes, carbon tax, etc.) but wasn’t too successful. That’s politics. People always blame the person at the top (the president, the governor, the mayor) but in our democratic system, the legislature has just as much power (and when it comes to initiatives, individual voters). If we had a parliamentary system, we might have a “green New Deal” in this state (complete with a lot of extra spending on transit) but we don’t.

      He has done some things that are hard to notice, just because governing is so messy. For example, the big WSDOT construction budget contains what are at best giveaways to the trucking industry, and at worst a prescription for sprawl (509/167 freeways). But that was largely the legislature, which did that as a way to please suburban Democrats from swing districts. But the same bill did have money for transit, and money to repair and maintain roads. The point is, even though there are things about the state I don’t like, the fact that things are fairly quiet in Olympia is a good thing. There have been plenty of opportunity for a crisis (e. g. over school funding) but it hasn’t happened.

      I’ve met Jay Inslee and got to know him. He is a straight shooter, and not a demagogue. That isn’t as common as it should be.

      1. Well if I have to park my vote somewhere, that might work.

        The problem is I want things to vote for. Not just against. I expect more of State Democrats. If Inslee and Lillias were to run jointly on a Green New Deal, then I’d give them more consideration.

    2. Opening things up too soon simply means a flare-up and another two months of stay-at-home down the lane. That’s what the governor is trying to avoid. A simple chart of number of confirmed cases by day, comparing Washington vs. the rest of the country shows he’s actually handling it quite well. Right now, our state is mostly flat while most of the others are still rising.

      I am cautiously optimistic that, by May, we’ll see at least some places start to re-open, but it won’t be everything all at once. Perhaps book stores as well as coffee shops with outdoor seating areas, subject to strict capacity limits and frequent sanitation. I could also see car dealers re-opening, provided that customer and salesman wear a mask and gloves before touching any car, etc.
      Dentist offices seem more difficult, since contact between patient and staff is prolonged and it is impossible for the patient to wear a mask.

      1. The key is testing. We should be testing somewhere around 20 million a day (although some experts say more). Right now we are testing roughly 150,000. So we have a long ways to go.

        Dentistry and other non-emergency medical care will likely be one of the first to open up. The folks there know how to minimize risk. There is some risk, but the benefits are huge. If you let medical maintenance work go too long, you have serious medical problems.

        Things like haircuts, restaurants and bars are tougher. Shutting those off mostly hurts people financially, although you could argue that morale (and thus mental health) is worsened without it. The same is true for things like spectator sports. Those should be start again (without crowds) when they have sufficient testing, even though they obviously aren’t as essential as dentistry.

      2. 100% agreement asdf2.

        If all the Governor did was fight pandemics, I’d vote for Jay Inslee.

        It’s the funding freeways and underfunding public transit and lack of support for SecLands Hilary Franz I find problematic.

        I find going to a rally right now without a mask on and being callous about the risks to innocents… unforgivable.

      3. The key is testing.

        That’s the mantra today and all the talking heads want to focus on; until they find another meme that boosts ratings. Testing capacity is important. intelligence is also important. Right now we have a “shortage” of tests. Therefore testing is limited to the most important cases. Our hit rate is ~3%. There’s lots of reasons someone who might be believed to have contracted Covid19 turns out to be negative. I did. But 97% of the people being tested didn’t need the test yet most of the cases hospitalized weren’t tested until after they were admitted. More of the same or more better?

    3. Wait, you’re taking a bunch of fascist jackasses seriously?

      They have no leg to stand on. And it’s astroturfing anyways.

      1. I assume Joe leans Republican, but since the GOP was clearly behind this protest (and GOP gubernatorial candidates Tim Eyman, Joshua Freed, and Phil Fortunato were all in attendance) he is wondering about the obvious alternative.

      2. Thank you RossB. I would like a safe place to park my vote that isn’t going to spread this pandemic and isn’t going to harm transit. Obviously voting Biden for President and against Tim Eyman.

        I know Ness is far, far left so I won’t take Ness seriously.

      3. Yeah I’m such a bad person for thinking it’s more important for everyone to be able to live a decent life than for some people to be able to profit at the expense of others.

    4. Inslee is fine. There’s nothing particularly good or bad about him. He can run the state competently, and he’s handled the crisis well — the worst crisis of our generation. I would vote for him unless somebody significantly better emerges.

      I don’t know who else is running. Just that Dow Constantine might. Dow is also good. I don’t know who I’d choose between them. I might give Inslee the benefit of incumbency — there’s no unknowns about what he’d be like as governor — but Dow has been more pro-active on transit and urban issues that I think are important. But that might reflect more their different jobs than their different priorities. Constantine can focus on what a large metropolis needs;.Inslee has to focus on the entire state, and compromise with the rural and exurban areas and right-leaning constituents.

      If there were a Republican candidate like those of yesteryear I might consider them, but at this point I don’t trust them at all

      Inslee’s negatives are his kind of activism and maybe a bit of grandstanding, and some of his activism is hollow. He says he’s the most passionate and ambitious about climate change and talks about a carbon tax and electric cars, but he ignores the low-hanging fruit of transit and a highway diet. He doesn’t need to do anything extraordinary, just use the tecnhology that’s widely used around the world and bring us up to a level like Canadian provinces. ST Express to Olympia, more support for local transit agencies, make WSDOT prioritize transit, make the inter-county connectors more frequent and improve rural transit so that it’s a viable choice for people. Then worry about a carbon tax and electric cars. And support more local agriculture and urban agriculture.

      1. Indeed, it would be nice if a 3rd term Inslee had this to vote for:

        He doesn’t need to do anything extraordinary, just use the tecnhology that’s widely used around the world and bring us up to a level like Canadian provinces. ST Express to Olympia, more support for local transit agencies, make WSDOT prioritize transit, make the inter-county connectors more frequent and improve rural transit so that it’s a viable choice for people. Then worry about a carbon tax and electric cars. And support more local agriculture and urban agriculture.

        There. Got my vote and financial + social media support.

  11. “The key is testing.”

    Yup. That’s the key in a nutshell. The epidemiologists and other public health experts have stated various numbers, based on the modeling they were using, but there seems to be a consensus that at a minimum the daily testing needs to be more than three times its current level, or half a million daily tests*, before state governments can consider relaxing their stay-at-home orders and reopening sectors of the economy. We are nowhere close to the level of testing and contact tracing we need even among our essential workforce, let alone the general population, so much of this discussion about opening the economy is entirely dependent upon reaching those testing levels. Those advocating moving forward now and accelerating that timeline for reopening are ill-advised and not approaching the issue from a public health perspective but rather an economic one. That’s a flawed approach imho, one which could easily result in a resurgence of virus incidence that negates much of our current mitigation efforts. In other words, we end up prolonging the stay-at-home / shelter-in-place orders in the long run.

    Governor Inslee has done a pretty decent job of managing the public health and resulting economic crises from what I have seen. I don’t quite understand where the dissatisfaction implied in Joe, a 12 for Transit’s comment is coming from (since he didn’t elaborate). I agree with RossB’s assessment of Jay Inslee that he’s pretty much been a straight shooter as governor and even before then when he was my Congressman from the former WA-01 district.

    A personal aside….

    My spouse works for a residential developer and here’s where things stand with that industry sector and reopening. The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties has been lobbying the Governor’s Office and the Washington State Department of Health heavily in recent days to ease the guidelines for their sector with regard to the essential workforce components of the Governor’s order. Currently, new construction has been suspended other than some ancillary functions like site security and any needed remediation of projects in progress. Existing inventory can still be sold, though obviously sales have fallen off a cliff because of the economic downturn and Covid-19 situation. Everything is by appointment only and escrow closings have been pushed out due to just about everything in the process simply taking longer. The “inside word” has been that the lobbying efforts may be paying off and builders may be able to commence activities in sync with the Governor’s May 4th timeline or even sooner, as long as social distancing protocols can be assured to be followed by the builder and its subcontractors.

    Fwiw.

    *https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/17/us/coronavirus-testing-states.html

    *https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-19/u-s-not-testing-enough-to-allow-states-to-reopen-experts-say

    1. As to;

      Governor Inslee has done a pretty decent job of managing the public health and resulting economic crises from what I have seen. I don’t quite understand where the dissatisfaction implied in Joe, a 12 for Transit’s comment is coming from (since he didn’t elaborate).

      Where’s the transit investment to match the talk of Governor Inslee?

      Oh this Governor invests in… freeways like the Hwy 99 Tunnel boondoggle.

      As I said earlier I need something to vote for. Not just against Tim Eyman and his new pal Joshua Freed palling around risking spreading Covid19.

      1. Yup. What Mike said. In my 40 plus years of voting I’ve had to swallow some tough votes for very flawed candidates because they were the less/least bad options. Sometimes after going into that voting booth and pulling the bar to close the curtain, I stared at the levers for a bit and then bit my tongue, metaphorically, and flipped the lever for that least bad option. Luckily I lived in a solid blue state (NY), but from time to time we still had less than ideal candidates for statewide offices and local races. So my vote became a pragmatic one rather than one for a candidate who shared my overall liberal viewpoint (because that option didn’t exist on that row of levers). Since moving to Washington state in the late 80s I have made similar pragmatic type votes for the same reasoning. In general, I very rarely have undervoted on any given ballot, i.e., all ballot items were punched, arrow bars connected or circles filled in.

        Pragmatic votes are a good thing when the options are less than your ideal.

        Fwiw. I grew up in NYC during the Gov. Nelson Rockefeller era, who was a pretty popular governor even within the Democratic strongholds of the city and the Democratic machine up in Albany*. Republicans of his ilk just don’t exist today.

        *Google Mayor Erastus Corning II.

      2. Sometimes there’s a superior candidate who will make a positive change. Usually there isn’t but at least one is acceptable. Only once or twice have I found all the candidates intolerable (i.e., they’d be too destructive) and I left the position blank.

      3. Thanks everyone.

        I can’t support Eyman – nor those are like-minded – under any circumstances.

        But again, it would help if Inslee gave us something to vote for. A massive investment in public transit or even just the state ferry system would work wonders.

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