As this tumultuous year comes to a close, it’s time to look back on what the year has brought us. It all started with Connect/2020, which now feels like a distant memory. From there, we saw COVID-19 spread throughout the world and into our communities, with major repercussions on all aspects of life in 2020 and beyond.
In descending order, here are our most read posts of the year:
Property tax exemptions by Frank Chiachiere (April 11). Frank highlights an important piece by the Seattle Times editorial board on the topic, and discusses how some arguments against the use of property tax in general don’t hold up when exemptions are taken into consideration.
The danger of tunnel vision by Seattle Subway (January 7). Through forward-looking planning and construction, Sound Transit can avoid situations in the future where branching Link lines require painful Link closures or fragile service reconfigurations like Connect/2020.
Move over, Washington drivers! It is the law now by Brent White (February 2). A reminder that the law now requires Washington drivers to give cyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized road users at least 3 feet of space, or move into the next lane if one is available.
Metro’s darkest day by Brent White (September 21). The September 2020 service change formalized what had by that point largely been implemented already. COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on sales tax revenue, and King County Metro has had to undo years of growth of service as a result.
A bus to Mt. Rainier by Martin H. Duke (September 4). With parking and road capacity being stretched to the limit at Mount Rainier National Park, what would it look like to run a bus there?
Zombie route diversions by Brent White (September 19). Many King County Metro routes have diversions from their main corridor to serve a point of real or perceived importance. While convenient for the small number of riders who want to go there, it slows down other riders and makes the overall system less efficient.
Metro ridership shifts hint at the future by Dan Ryan (April 28). While all service saw ridership plummet due to the pandemic, South King County ridership held up the best, while peak-only service in north and east King County saw the greatest decline.
Collapse is a Choice by Martin H. Duke (September 12). Washington state’s balanced budget rules are statutory and not part of the state constitution, so a repeal would only require a majority vote of the state house and senate.
Metro proposes a new network for North Link by David Lawson (January 23). Metro’s North Link restructure proposal was bold, and provided a number of new neighborhood connections that never before existed. Then, it too was inevitably ravaged by COVID-19 related reductions.
Rethinking ST3? by Martin H. Duke (April 23). Despite setbacks, poor decisions, and missed opportunities, the Sound Transit 3 plan is still a plan worthy of pursuing, and will leave the growing region much better off in the future than without it.
The most commented posts are:
Metro proposes new network for North Link by David Lawson (January 23, 201 comments). The pre-pandemic plan for NE Seattle bus service after Link comes to Northgate. (reminder: here is the follow-up post that discusses the reduced plan after COVID-19 revenue hit was taken into account)
News roundup: more chatter by Martin H. Duke (December 9, 145 comments). Lively discussion on news of the day, with the further shortening of the RapidRide J “Roosevelt” line and passenger ferry topics getting a lot of discussion.
Whether to cut Sounder North? by Dan Ryan (May 12, 139 comments). Sounder North is very expensive to operate, gets little ridership, and largely parallels frequent bus service on the I-5 corridor. If Sounder North were to be cut, it is possible that Link to Everett could open one and a half years sooner.
Losing the West Seattle Bridge by Dan Ryan (April 17, 132 comments). The West Seattle Bridge closed indefinitely this year due to cracks in the structure, requiring a quick response by the city and prompting new discussions on the future of transportation in West Seattle.
The next transit measure by Frank Chiachiere (November 11, 131 comments). With 2020 just not being the year for running a ballot measure for transit, we look to the future for expansion opportunities.
News roundup: returning by Martin H. Duke (October 22, 130 comments). The community discusses the West Seattle Bridge, Cascadia rail, Elon Musks’s tunnels, and more.
News roundup: snapshot by Martin H. Duke (December 3, 121 comments). Terry White is now the permanent Metro GM, ST introduced a new ridership tool, and the Point Defiance Bypass may reopen after three and a half years.
News roundup: designed to get your attention by Martin H. Duke (January 15, 115 comments). The Connect/2020 Link announcement voice drew complaints from passengers, achieving its goal of getting people’s attention, and “Symphony” is the people’s choice for the new name for University Street Station.
Snohomish County plots out light rail station area growth, wants feedback by Bruce Englehardt (May 2, 114 comments). With Link on its way to Everett sooner or later, it’s time to start planning what to build around the stations north of Lynnwood.
Mayor Durkan will step down after one term by Frank Chiachiere (December 8, 114 comments). Durkan’s departure will once again leave a wide-open race for mayor in 2021.