112 Replies to “Weekend open thread: A brief history of climate change”

  1. Climate change is a noble and urgent cause, but unfortunately human social and political set up (with a bunch of self-interested and unevenly developed countries) is not able and will not able to solve this problem.

    In fact, this has lately and gradually been transformed from saving the planet into how rich developed world trying, probably consciously, to suppress the rise of the developing world (code name: China, and a bit of India) in the excuse of climate change.

    We are all doomed, enjoy it while it lasts.

    P.S.: On a brighter note, the change probably has to come from all of us, and be ready to live “leaner” – do we really need to drive a gasoline car for 30 miles to shop at an Outlet? Do we really need that much stuff in our lives? Politicians BS their way and play politics in Paris and Glasgow will not solve the problem.

    1. Yeah, we are probably doomed. It is a failure of the imagination, as well as will. Even simple things, like not eating beef, are difficult for people to do. The government could create ways of encouraging changes in behavior as well as the market place (by, for example, enacting a carbon tax) but for the most part, we find that difficult to do. You could use the money to help fund Social Security (or reduce the existing FICA tax) but it still couldn’t pass in this country. These are things that would benefit the country in the long run, even if there wasn’t a global warming problem. Yet we fail to do it, because when you get right down to it, we are an intellectually lazy, cowardly nation, afraid of change. We like to think otherwise — pointing to the handful of people who aren’t — but by and large, that pretty well describes this country.

      For example, we can’t even adopt the Metric System. Holy cow, even the English don’t use the English system anymore. But we tried, and basically wimped out.

      Globally it is a classic example of the tragedy of the commons. Even countries with left-wing governments, like Canada and Norway, refuse to reduce the amount of oil being produced. And you want Brazil to stop producing so much beef? Yeah, good luck with that.

      It is a mess, and it isn’t likely to be fixed. Maybe, but I doubt it.

    2. The US isn’t always lazy and cowardly. We fought WWII, beat the Depression, and transformed the built environment in the mid 20th century. It’s more that a lot of people stagnated then: they want everything to remain like it was in the 1970s. A highway/car-centric system, shopping centers at highway exits, 1-2 story buildings, residential-only neighborhoods, fossil fuels forever or at least until electric cars become ubiquidous, and climate change is either a hoax or somebody else’s problem.

      1. Fought WWII: 76 years ago
        Beat the Great Depression: 82 years ago
        Transformed the built environment in the mid-20th century: 61 years ago-ish
        The folks responsible for the most recent of these, assuming they were the ripe age of 20 at the time, would be 81 now.
        Today’s working population of age 21 to 65 (born 1956 to 2000), is a generation of lazy cowards. We have failed the two primary challenges that have faced our generation: COVID & Climate change. On the first 760,000 deaths and counting (deaths per 100,000: US-231, Germany-117, Canada-78, Australia-7, New Zealand<1 – we could have done so much better!). On the second, we've done nothing to curb emissions, which have continued climbing year after year. Don't say that the US isn't lazy. We can't do anything right, at least not in the year 2021.

      2. They’re being held back partly by people who are older. Several of the people with the most power at the federal level are over 65. The Millenial and Z generations are much more pro-active on climate change but aren’t fully running the country yet, and won’t for another ten years or more.

    3. Geoengineering is the only “fix” I can see happening. And it will unfortunately come with its own adverse side effects, disproportionately affecting poorer nations.

  2. Well-written story in the LA Times. “Who killed L.A.’s streetcars? We all did.” I like this quote from the article: “Red Cars didn’t just get people from Point A to Point B. They helped to create Point A and Point B. Towns like Burbank and Alhambra grew spectacularly once the Red Car reached them.” I see Link, to a much lesser extent, of course, having a similar growth effect on some of the neighborhoods and towns it’s going to eventually reach.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-11-02/explaining-la-with-patt-morrison-who-killed-la-streetcars

    1. 19th century railroads and streetcars literally created towns around their stops. Link won’t create towns because it’s catching up to growth created fifty years ago. Other countries would have built rail transit as their metropolitan areas grew, while people here just kept their heads in the sand and prayed for no growth. There will be additional growth around Link stations, and Link is part of the reason, but it’s part of the general growth trend: the rising population has to go somewhere. Link stations serve to concentrate that demand, as government policies prefer station-area growth, transit-riding residents prefer station-area locations, and non-transit-riding residents will also take up the units.

      1. “Link won’t create towns because it’s catching up to growth created fifty years ago”

        I think one can argue that Link will create new neighborhoods at Spring District, Bel Red, and Marymore, Shoreline North & South, and a few others. They aren’t ‘towns’ but I think they fit the spirit of the streetcar neighborhoods in terms of spring up around new transit nodes. The transformation of the U-District with Link and the upzone is as profound as some of the streetcar greenfield developments from last century.

      2. Very little of the transformation has anything to do with Link. It is all about zoning. The Safeco Building (now owned by the UW) was built in 1975. The entire neighborhood would look like that if they had allowed more growth sooner. Just like Lake City, Greenwood, Ballard, Belltown, South Lake Union, First Hill, the top of Queen Anne, and lots of other neighborhoods have grown with little or no help from Link.

        Same with the Spring District. It sits very close to downtown Bellevue, a booming area, with dramatic zoning restrictions (you can easily walk from a large-lot, single-family zoned neighborhood to new skyscrapers). Those areas (e. g. northwest of downtown) would be booming now if they allowed growth, even though they aren’t anywhere near a Link stop.

      3. It’s more that Bellevue sat on Bel-Red for decades when it could have densified it earlier, like Seattle did with SLU. I thought Bel-Red would never change and the “light industry” there was needed. And middle-class Bellevuites in their houses didn’t think about Bel-Red much at all, and often didn’t realize how much industry and commercial land was there if you add it all up. Because it’s just something you drive through, or go to one or two places within it and don’t see the whole speeding past your windshield. So I was surprised with the Spring District plan was announced and Bellevue wanted Link there. I’d assumed Link would be on NE 8th Street and Bel-Red would never change.

      4. “like Seattle did with SLU”

        I mean, Seattle sat on SLU for decades before finally upzoning it.

    2. Yes, it is ironic that streetcars played such a big part in the sprawl that we associate with L. A. Had the streetcars continued for another couple generations (without the car) then L. A. would be very different. It would still be a huge city, but with a lot more density and sense of community at the various “towns”, and a much stronger central area. But the combination of a framework established by the streetcars, followed by the quick embrace of the automobile gave us sprawling L. A.

      1. Some streetcar historians point out that many streetcar suburbs became automobile suburbs without even a wimper. That’s troubling. Rail lines are both sprawling and centralizing. Whereas highways are just sprawling without centralizing.

      2. Rail lines are both sprawling and centralizing. Whereas highways are just sprawling
        You have to look at it in a historical perspective. Post automobile was a game changer. But the streetcar companies were all about a land grab where they had a monopoly on power. WSF was pretty much the same thing except it didn’t result in a large city; it has created a climate sprawl disaster.

      3. There is a flip side to the linked article’s premise that freeways increased suburban land values at the expense of poor and minority inner city communities: how much revenue cities earned in taxes from work commuters, and commuters traveling into cities for shopping and dining.

        The article makes a huge leap in assumptions: that suburban residents WANT to commute to work in cities, or travel to cities for shopping and dining.

        WFH, more Eastside offices, online shopping, and more dining and shopping options on the Eastside mean an Eastside suburban resident doesn’t have to travel into the city if they don’t want to.

        And it turns out they don’t want to, at least to Seattle.

        An Eastside parent is on the Eastside for the schools, public safety, and suburban neighborhoods. Those things are not available in Seattle. So they would commute and travel to Seattle.

        But the article makes a big mistake: these suburbanites didn’t like their work commutes, or having to drive into a crowded city with expensive parking to shop or dine.

        That tax revenue is already being reallocated from cities to suburbia. The real question going forward is a legitimate question when folks first began to leave cities for suburbs: how will the cities fund the high costs of their social needs, especially poor and minority communities, without the tax revenue from suburbanites who no longer need to travel into cities?

        The other issue the article misses is freeways have lanes in both directions. Unless Seattle doesn’t want port cargo to go East, or Seattleites never work on the Eastside, or need to drive out of Seattle.

        Considering Seattleites have 460,000 cars, and a deep water port, I am guessing the majority of travel on I-90 and I-5 are Seattleites.

        Freeways were built because a large major U. S. city cannot function let alone thrive without that mobility. What we may actually see post pandemic is more freeway traffic to work and shop out of the city to the suburbs. Then who is served by the freeway?

      4. Freeways (as they are known on the left coast) were build because Eisenhower realized that the Germany Autobahn was was an essential upgrade this country needed. The effects of course went well beyond the military. But the big change was affordable cars post WWII. For the most part the (sub)Urban centers around Seattle are where the old RR towns were; Bothell, Redmond, Renton. Kirkland was a shipyard and it’s “freeway” was Lake WA. Bellevue may be unique on the eastside as being a freeway community. Although it was an agricultural center and where the Wilburton (aka Hospital Station) is located was a major warehouse on what I believe at the time was the Great Northern spur (could have been NP).

      5. Great link AJ. “All politics are local” but from what I’ve read the DT I-5 alignment was as much about clearing room for the Worlds Fair as the freeway. The graphs in the link show the DT core spiking in value but areas like RV rising much more slowly; the opposite of gentrification. 30-40 years ago there were affordable neighborhoods. Link routing with the best intention of serving the underprivileged instead screwed them over. Preserving existing housing instead of pumping money into developers is the only way to go other than subsidized housing (projects). That requires the evil zoning progressives who suddenly think “the invisible hand” will work miracles oppose. These calls for more housing via relaxed/eliminated zoning are what Supply Side Economics are all about. It creates market rate housing for sure; market rate in Seattle is lot more than what I can afford. That’s not bad, it just is. Seattle has a lot of wealthy people that are young and want to live alone. Poor people need not apply.

      6. I live in Kirkland and generally do not go into Seattle just to shop. But I do go there quite often to meet people in Seattle, or visit neighborhoods and parks unique to Seattle. While I’m there, I will sometimes hop in and grab some food somewhere if I’m walking by it.

        While this is certainly not the 1950’s anymore, where everyone went downtown to buy things, there are still plenty of reasons to visit the city. That’s not even getting to special events such as Seahawks game or Folklife, which don’t exist at all on the eastside.

      7. “The article makes a huge leap in assumptions: that suburban residents WANT to commute to work in cities, or travel to cities for shopping and dining.” Right – the article rests on the production theory of urban economics, that proximity to work is central to land value, whereas you counter with a consumption theory of urban economics.

      8. Maybe the US Highways did need to be upgrades, but that doesn’t mean freeways had to go through cities, or that the land-use codes and federally-backed mortgages had to promote low-density single-use neighborhoods and mini-marts and shopping centers freeway exits. Those were all non-essential choices that other coutries didn’t make. We could have upgraded the highways and kept a transit-first infrastructure. Then 405 for instance would only need to be two or four lanes instead of eight or ten.

      9. “the DT I-5 alignment was as much about clearing room for the Worlds Fair as the freeway.”

        The World’s Fair was at Seattle Center. Only the Mercer corridor is directly related to the World’s Fair. MOHAI has an exhibit about Seattle’s transportation planning in the early 1960s. The fair itself was primarily about futuristic transportation, and the Monorail and Skyride and Bubbleator fit into that. In the exhibit the mayor in the 1960s was giddy about I-5 and the soon-to-be-built 520, saying they’re the greatest transportation improvements Seattle had ever had, and envisioning that everybody would be driving. The city practically begged to route I-5 through Seattle to keep suburban shoppers coming. The North Seattle route was pretty clear because it was a swamp strip, and they hastily drew a South Seattle route along the west side of Beacon Hill. That route is probably benign because it overlooks an industrial area; I;’m not sure how many houses were on the hillside before. The freeways, Forward Thrust subway, Kingdome, Sound cleanup, and other things were all planned in the same era, but the mayor thought the freeways were the most important thing.

      10. @ Daniel Thompson,
        This suburban resident lives in suburbia because we got priced out of Seattle. No, not the Eastside, those people are a special breed, akin to my sister.
        I value cool small businesses, not vanilla-bland-plastic-homogeneous shopping malls, filled with plastic junk that will break after a couple of years. Pre-pandemic, we spent a ton of free time in Tacoma, and some free time in Seattle. We rarely and begrudgingly shopped in the burbs, usually for necessities at Lowe’s and Costco (ah, yes, one gallon of paint, a pint of spackle, a tube of caulk, and lots of fruits, veggies, and sauces in bulk). Fast-forward to 2021, we still aren’t fully comfortable going out; as such, we just stay home. We don’t go out to Tacoma or Seattle (often), but we also don’t spend any money in the burbs either. Nothing really worth having. I guess that’s why it is so cheap.
        Some of our major purchases have been home improvements, and, ironically, NONE of the local businesses in our suburb have been able to help us. We’ve been forced to go to a locally-owned lumber yard in Tacoma to get the items we need that fit our home special ordered. Lowe’s, HD, McClendon’s, and all of the small businesses nearby will only help us if we pay double (thousands of dollars extra) for them to do a full installation, which I am willing to do myself… since I am no longer eating or drinking out and have free time. Once again, the “big city” gets my dollar, because they aren’t out to screw me.

      11. Engineer, can you explain how you define “big city” and “suburbs”? Seattle is a pretty big city, and if you exclude the entire Eastside I am not sure which “suburbs” you are talking about. Which part of Seattle were you priced out of?

        I generally don’t think of Tacoma as the big city, and don’t quite understand how the suburbs screw you but the big city does not.

        Considering you very rarely go out I am not sure that living in the suburbs vs. the big city makes much difference for you.

        As far as soaring costs — and unavailability of subcontractors — for any kind of construction everyone is feeling that. I have plenty of home projects I want done but no one is available, and the bids — if you can get one — are astronomical, when any bid on Mercer Island is already 25% above normal.

        Just for reference where is it in Seattle you would live if price was not an issue, and what is it about that neighborhood do you like or miss?

        I say if you don’t like the Eastside don’t live there, and don’t visit (except to visit your sister). If you want a more urban experience downtown Tacoma is probably the best deal today. Or south Seattle, especially if schools are not an issue.

        I don’t see regional housing prices declining in the future, although some areas will appreciate faster than others. Zoning won’t change that, not when AMI for all of King Co. is around $97,000, and $103,000 for Seattle and $127,000 for all of Bellevue (big difference between East and west Bellevue).

        The one group that gets hit hardest by inflation and rising prices are fixed income retirees, although they have the greatest mobility. It looks like inflation is here to stay, which unfortunately is the most regressive tax of all.

    3. Ironically, the new LA Metro lines have not seemed to influence big land use changes like some of the modern systems like DC, Atlanta, Portland and the Bay Area have. Perhaps that’s because the new LA lines are generally restoring service that was lost in the Red Car demise.

      1. Probably mostly a function of how slow and difficult development is in 21st century California. The land use change will come, but much slower than in other regions.

        Also, did BART “influence big land use changes “? I’ve always figured the biggest failure of BART was the complete lack of new land use in station areas outside of the existing urban cores of SF and Oakland?

      2. They changed the zoning, and there was some growth, it is just that many of those places are too far away to get that much transit ridership.

      3. I have visited Portland many times and ride Max each time. I have witness seemingly very little development around their light rail stations. Maybe some in the Loyd District, a little at Hollywood District, several nicer apartments on the Yellow Line, close to nothing on the Green or Orange lines and the oh so sad Heavy-Rail line. But Seattle Link has had more development nearby in 5 years that Max in 20+ years IMHO. Much likely has to do with Seattle’s much greater economic growth.

      4. We’ve quite a lot of growth here, but because so much of Portland is frozen in amber due to zoning issues, there’s not been the same stuff as what you see in Seattle.

        Some of it also has to do with land owners waiting for a better offer. Half of the land near the Beaverton transit center is still vacant, 22 years after MAX opened, despite all the land further away being turned into apartments and office buildings. Nike continues to hold on to a good sized forest near one MAX station, with plans for expansion one day.

        Lloyd Center actually has had a fair amount of development around it, but the huge parking lot requirements mean actual density, and thus distance of stuff from the statins, is a lot longer than what would ideally help transit use. This has happened in many places.

        Interstate Avenue might not look like much, but before MAX it was a mess. Imagine the Aurora Ave of 30 years ago. Lots of boarded up buildings, hotels that rent by the hour, and overall really run down. MAX changed all that. Not many condos yet, but the houses along MAX in, say, the Overlook neighborhood have doubled or so in value.

        However, with many places choosing to stay single family, a bunch of growth is sprawl. Happy Valley is a suburban hellhole of parking lots and streets you can’t cross on foot along Sunnyside Road east of I-205. Big apartment buildings are going up in Clark County, WA in places far from anything, assuring everyone will have a painful commute to anywhere with employment.

        The green line opened in 2009, but it has taken a while for condo buildings to get built. Some are going in at 3 stations, but development patterns around the stations don’t lend themselves to easy development.

      5. Rob, you clearly didn’t ride to Hillsboro. At every station except Fairgrounds there are sizable apartments in every quadrant available for building.

        This demonstrates the value of an at-grade alignment unattached to the road network. Develo ment can be directly adjacent to the trackway.

        Talk about convenient! This is exactly why the Pittsburgh and Boston systems are firebrand popular. ST should take a lesson.

      6. Great point Tom – at-grade alignments are the best for TOD.

        “…it is just that many of those places are too far away to get that much transit ridership.” Where in the BART network is there a station where development has lagged zoning? Or a station with midrise development but mediocre ridership? The Bay Area doesn’t have anything like a Lynnwood, a suburb that desires to grow up around rail but hasn’t yet. All the low ridership stations are surrounded by low rise development, and even the stations at the edge would have better ridership if they allow midrise development in the immediate proximity.

      7. AJ, perhaps you have not ridden BART to Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill. While there are no towers, there are many blocks with taller buildings starting at the edge of the stations’ property.

        There have been mid-rise projects at Warm Springs, Fremont, Union City, Hayward, Fruitvale, MacArthur, Millbrae and Daly City.

        Downtown Oakland has seen many newer buildings over 20 floors that probably would not have happened without BART.

      8. Right – and once that development has actually occurred, ridership is decent? The ‘failure’ of BART that I was referring to is more around stations like N Berkley.

        Yeah, I’ve been to Walnut Creek; I’d give the midrise development a B- when I was there in 2018; it’s near the station but not really oriented to it; wasn’t a pleasant walk from the station to where I was heading. I’m optimistic the development around places like Bel-Red, Lynnwood, or KDM will be much more TOD than Walnut Creek.

        Looking at a place like Dublin, which still has empty lots a few blocks from the station, gets to my original point about development in California being excruciatingly slow.

      9. I will agree that areas like the Spring District are proactive and more ambitious than the ones around BART.

      10. Where in the BART network is there a station where development has lagged zoning?

        This is Pittsburg/Bay Point, one of the lowest performing stations in the system: https://goo.gl/maps/sTfppNcdTTUBbHEVA. The area next to the station is zoned for Mixed Use or Community Commercial (https://cityofpittsburg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=54f347e4fe8b405ab2b93b922bcce89c). So far there is a strip mall, and not much else.

        Or how about West Dublin/Pleasanton: https://goo.gl/maps/1pzGtpWc5j5f3s7WA. As you can see, zoning has allowed for quite a bit of development. And acres and acres of parking.

        Then there is Orinda: https://goo.gl/maps/RpJpPYePoE76CQrY6. Based on the zoning, there are big hopes for development around the station — some of which has happened, some of which hasn’t: https://www.cityoforinda.org/296/Interactive-Zoning-Map-Beta.

        Or a station with midrise development but mediocre ridership?

        Fremont (https://goo.gl/maps/KamU4o2ENyamaZ3r8) has added quite a bit of housing close to the station. On paper, it should be a suburban shining star. It is close to a hospital, close to offices, and has a lot of new apartments. It is just a long ways from anywhere else. Ridership is less than average.

        At first glance, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa seems to be the type of success story you want (https://goo.gl/maps/zcnxMEPWX51csoEX6). There have been a lot of big apartment buildings around the station (https://goo.gl/maps/6jzhm1BrrvSc5Ps16). Ridership is slightly higher than most stations — a bit higher than mediocre. But that likely has more to do with it having the second largest parking lot in the system (with over 3,000 spots). Take away the parking lot, and it would be worse than mediocre.

        There are two big factors when it comes to ridership: density and proximity. People seem to forget that second one. Oh, and there is also an inverse relationship between the distance to a freeway and ridership. The farther you are from a freeway, the more likely you are to have good ridership. All of these go together. The U-District station is pretty darn close to the freeway, but it doesn’t matter. By and large, the people around there don’t drive. In contrast, the folks in Lynnwood do. This isn’t just some theory of mine, but born out by various studies, as well as plenty of examples.

        BART learned all of these lessons the hard way. Other agencies (including ST) ignored those lessons.

        By the way, I don’t want to imply that Lynnwood will be a bad station. It will get some riders from its big parking lot, and some riders from nearby development. But it will get most of its riders from the buses that feed it, since it is the northern terminus, with good connections to the west as well. It is the stations north of there I worry about.

  3. I’ve been mulling over a restructure proposal for after RapidRide G. The bus is notable in that it will be fast and frequent (running every 6 minutes all day long). It is also quite possible that it will be launched at a time of relatively low service funding, making a restructure challenging.

    I feel pretty good about most of my proposed changes. There are a couple of routes (or rather, parts of old routes) that make me hesitant: service along 19th Avenue East (on the old 12) and service along MLK north of Rainier Avenue (on the old 8). I put together a map that avoids those sections entirely, and would like opinions on that, but especially about those two sections (and how to handle it).

    Here is the map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1TbediuWHM6E6k25QjzBe2qfoyUEI0F-1&usp=sharing. You should be able to select any of the numbers on the legend to the left (or the lines on the map itself) to get a quick explanation of the changes. Most of the changes are revenue neutral, or actually save money (which means better frequency).

    So this leaves service on 19th, as well as MLK. I’ll start with MLK — there are several options:

    1) No service on MLK. This would be tough, but other nearby routes (like the 2 and 48 would be a lot more frequent).

    2) Run a coverage route from Madison Valley to Beacon Hill, like so: https://goo.gl/maps/9iYRsiS6YEBMS8Qg7. I believe this is what the old Long Range Map had.

    3) Run a split from the 27 (https://goo.gl/maps/NWVDinuCLQZwH44L9). The tail of the 27 is weak, so a split in this manner would provide better combined frequency along Yesler (where more service is needed) while also providing service along MLK, and a connection between MLK and Yesler. This would especially useful if the 3/4 can’t be moved to Yesler (and continues to slog on James downtown).

    This decision in turn influences service on 19th. Again, there are several choices:

    1) No service on 19th. There is a service hole caused by eliminating the route, but not a huge one. Again, headways on nearby routes (like the 8, 10 and 48) would be much better.

    2) Serve 19th with an infrequent coverage route, as an extension of the coverage route for MLK. There might not be many riders headed to MLK from 19th, but along the way they could connect to frequent buses heading downtown, the UW, South Lake Union and Uptown. This would be relatively cheap, allowing buses like the 8 and 48 to run frequently.

    3) Have the 12 follow the same basic route as the 10 (https://goo.gl/maps/C5o9LPh2H3rREF989). (The 10 would be unchanged, unlike what I have on the map.) The combined frequency could be fairly good, but the tails would not. At best, each bus would run every twenty minutes in the middle of the day. This would probably be the safest choice, but I’m not convinced it is the best.

    4) Change the 12 as proposed in (3), and have the 10 become a north-south bus like so: https://goo.gl/maps/aazHrpcrhzPsui46A. I think this would be ideal, but only if the various buses have good headways. There is no point in having a north-south bus run infrequently, as people will simply take other (slower) methods to get there. The same is true for a bus on Boren — it can’t function as a coverage route. Here is a map of this idea (along with some other niceties): https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1h5yZozxwcnreVoPAv-oqe3Sij3dY_MJv&usp=sharing

    Speaking of which, the amount of service we give on this area effects the likelihood of a bus on Boren. It is a zero-sum game. So with that in mind, what does everyone think?

    1. Ross, I don’t know anything about the G Line, so, maybe you can answer this. Why aren’t they making the G go all the way to the lake, like the 11 does, then delete the 11 after the G starts service? I’m guessing because there are too few riders between madison valley and the lake to support BRT service. Or, perhaps there’s not enough layover space down by the lake.

      1. You pretty much answered your question. Ridership drops after you get past 23rd. Going as far as 23rd is essential, for the connection to the 48. In contrast, there are no additional connections after you get past there. It is essentially a big, long dead end, which means it would require extraordinarily good ridership to justify the extra cost (and it simply doesn’t have it).

        In contrast, consider the 3/4 on Queen Anne. Not only do they go all the way to Nickerson to pick up riders from SPU, but it also connects to the 31/32. There is nothing like that on Madison east of 23rd*. You do need to serve that area with a bus, but sending the old 8 there would work nicely. Riders from Madison Valley would be able to take a frequent bus that gets them to South Lake Union and Uptown, with good connections to the G and Link (as well as the 48).

        * The bus actually goes to MLK (not 23rd) but it is the same principle.

      2. It’s because the RapidRide G budget doesn’t have enough money for it. SDOT created the project and the initial concept was 1st Avenue to 23rd Avenue. They had an option to extend it to MLK, and the community strongly recommended it, to serve Madison Valley. All that area has gotten a lot of construction in the 2010s. Opinions were divided on whether to extend it to Madison Park. SDOT said a Madison Park extension wouldn’t have RapidRide features east of MLK, just mixed traffic and regular bus stops. Then it said it flat-out couldn’t afford it this phase, and that ended the discussion. Metro plans to reroute the 8 to Madison Park to replace the 11, so the G and 8 will overlap between 23rd and 28th.

        A map and details of the G are at the link above. I got a postcard saying construction would start soon, and when I went to Trader Joe’s a week ago, the northern lane of Madison is closed for several blocks. The bus stop at 17th had a gangplank to the second lane, and a sign said the bus stop would be moving to 18th. So it looks like construction has started.

      3. In the PDF street diagram the westbound station is in the same block as the current bus stop (between 16th and 17th). So I guess the bus stop relocation is temporary to get it away from station construction.

    2. One of the challenges of both MLK in the CD and 19th north of Madison is that they serve mostly residential areas – except for the Yesler/Jackson jog area and Grocery Outlet on Union.

      What I think is needed is interspersing of more non-residential destinations to make the lines useful.

      For example, don’t terminute Route 8 at Mt Baker, instead continue it on Rainier to Genesee (serving many stores on Rainier) and then replace the Route 50 portion through Seward Park (another route segment with few non-residential destinations) for Route 8.

      For 19th, I would look to splitting Route 2. Route 2 doesn’t really get busy until it reaches 23rd or 19th anyway. Buses after Madrona are empty. That would require adding wire between Madison and Union so that’s a drawback.

      Of course, the opening of Judkins Park could turn the tide of bus service to the point that that becomes the main public objective for riding a route on these streets. In that case, something like a route that circulates around in a short loop from one or two Link stations may be what fulfills the need.

      1. Metro’s long-range plan replaces the 2, 11, and 49 with a route on Pike/Pine, 12th, and Union. That would preclude serving 19th.

      2. For example, don’t terminate Route 8 at Mt Baker, instead continue it on Rainier to Genesee (serving many stores on Rainier) and then replace the Route 50 portion through Seward Park (another route segment with few non-residential destinations) for Route 8.

        None of my proposals have the MLK bus (the new 8) terminating at Mount Baker. I guess I don’t see the point of replacing the tail of the 50 with the tail of the new 8. Where would you terminate the 50 — or would you send it somewhere else?

        For 19th, I would look to splitting Route 2.

        Great idea. I think I considered that at one point, but forgot about it. In terms of demand, it is somewhat similar to splitting the 10; good, although not ideal (in both cases it would be nice if you could split a stop or two later).

        I can see advantages and disadvantages over that versus splitting the 10. You retain/add more stops, which means more coverage. But that also means more cost. The route following the 10 is the faster way downtown, connects to Link, and doesn’t involve so much back and forth. On the plus side, the 2 goes somewhere significantly different than the 10, which means that if you are in between the 10 and 12, it would offer you something different.

        I think I would still give a very slight edge to a split from the 10, just because it gives people a connection to Link. Not for trips downtown, but to the UW, Northgate and other north end locations. It is close enough that I would want to look at the details, like ridership past the split and expected frequency.

        Of course, the opening of Judkins Park could turn the tide of bus service to the point that that becomes the main public objective for riding a route on these streets.

        Sorry, no. People will walk to Judkins Park if they are headed downtown, or to the East Side. They will take the bus to Judkins Park if they are headed to the East Side. No one is going to take the bus south to Judkins Park, just so they can get downtown. Riders on the 7 will ride past the station if they are headed downtown (just like they currently ride by Mount Baker Station). I could see riders on the 8 or 48 transferring, but only a handful. If you are on Rainier and Walker, and just miss the 7, and see the 8 or 48, you would take it and transfer, but that’s about it. I propose sending the 106 to First Hill, so riders would be forced to transfer to get downtown, but that it is to provide something else — it isn’t a shuttle.

      3. @Mike — Do you have a copy of that map? Metro no longer has links to it, and the old link no longer works. I understand why they want to move away from having a map, but it was kind of handy to see some of those ideas.

        Many of my ideas are based on it. Connecting the northern part of the 8 with the 11 for example (this was also an idea from the last restructure). I made slight adjustments, like the 49 staying on Broadway (to double up service with the streetcar). The 2 is very similar to what I remember (and is really the only possible option when you think through the possibilities).

        I don’t see how any of that precludes service on 19th though. You could still serve (or not) — the same dynamic exists on my map as theirs.

      4. “No one is going to take the bus south to Judkins Park, just so they can get downtown.”

        You’re discounting how bad the 3 and 4 are between Broadway and 3rd Avenue.

        “Do you have a copy of that map?”

        No, I didn’t think it was possible to download it, or that it would go offline.

        “Many of my ideas are based on it.”

        I haven’t looked at your new map; my comment on the 2 was based on Al S’s suggestion. While Outer Madrona has lower ridership, Metro’s suggestion is a good frequent grid route I’m not inclined to break.

      5. I mean I haven’t looked at it yet, not that I don’t intend to. It’s just that it will take a while to fully understand it.

      6. Route restructuring is a hard thing to figure out in a place like the CD and Capitol Hill. I’m happy letting the data-rich staff planners figure out some options and run them up for public consideration..

        There are plenty of people today who transfer at bus stops near Downtown and ride Link the rest of the way. I expect Judkins Park transfer interest to be similar to Beacon Hill, SODO and Capitol Hill.

        Frankly, there are people who feel safer transferring in places other than Third Avenue. Link affords a level of weather protection and sidewalk safety that isn’t on Third Avenue.

        I’m kind of surprised at you RossB in that you often have suggested moving some other routes off of Third Avenue in favor of a close-to-downtown transfer. I sense you have more of a blind spot about Judkins Park transfer convenience. The future journey from 23rd to the Link platform looks very short (stairs excepted) and it’s much shorter than the old I-90 stop off of Rainier was (and quieter too). It will certainly be faster than Capitol Hill or Beacon Hill and Link will take someone to Westlake in just 10 minutes.

      7. I’m kind of surprised at you RossB in that you often have suggested moving some other routes off of Third Avenue in favor of a close-to-downtown transfer.

        You mean sending the 106 to South Lake Union?

        The transfer to downtown could take place in plenty of places. The bus literally runs by all the Link stations in Rainier Valley, including the new one at Judkins Park. If riders take it all the way to Jackson, and transfer to a bus, so be it.

        I really don’t get your criticism. What I’m saying is that no one is going to take the 48, let alone the 8, south to catch the Link, unless they are headed to the East Side. Compare the alternatives, starting from the north:

        North of Madison (e. g. Montlake) — You could ride the bus past RapidRide G, but why? The bus is more frequent (6 minutes versus 10 minutes). The transfer is similar, if not better. More than anything, though, you have to head south on 23rd quite a ways before you get to the train.

        Between Madison and Union — You would walk either north or south to Madison or Union. The 2 (on Union) is not that fast or frequent, but it should run at least every 15 minutes (I would like to see it run every ten). I just don’t see anyone taking the 48 (which runs every 10 minutes) to take a train that runs every 10 minutes, when they can just take one bus. But even if they do take a bus and transfer, the RapidRide G is an easier transfer, and closer.

        Union to Cherry — Same idea. The 3/4 runs every 7.5 minutes in the middle of the day, the train and 48 run every 10. Yes, the 3/4 is really slow, but not so slow that it can make up for the transfer, the trip along 23rd, the walk to the station, and the wait time.

        Yesler area — The 27 is infrequent, so I guess is this one area where someone might ride the bus south. Except that it isn’t that far of a walk to …

        Jackson area — The 14 runs every 15 minutes, which isn’t great. But unless you miss the bus, it isn’t worth the two seat ride. But I’ll admit this is one area where I could see someone riding the bus south and taking Link to get downtown. Of course a lot of people, if they miss the 14, will just walk to the train station. Which brings me to the last area:

        South of Jackson — People will just walk. It is very pleasant walking, if you avoid the arterials. Even 23rd isn’t that bad (it isn’t like Rainier).

        So I suppose there might be some people that are a bit too far north to easily walk to the station, and a bit too far south to bother with the 14, but we are talking handfuls. This is for the 48, which is fairly frequent. The bus on MLK — whatever form it takes — will not be frequent. It will be a coverage bus, meaning it probably runs every half hour. Any more frequent and you are sucking service from more important buses.

        That is one of the challenges with the MLK bus. If it ran from Madison to Mount Baker Station, it would be a very poor imitation of the 48. The only people taking the 8 would be those that can time the trip, or those unwilling to walk over to the much more frequent 48. There just aren’t that many people willing to do that. If, on the other hand, you send it somewhere else the hope is that it would at least get some riders heading there. The challenge is to come up with a place like that.

      8. Dropping Route 8 creates the biggest coverage gap between Union and Madison (almost a mile). There is no more easterly bus route north of Olive and the hill to 23rd is very steep. That hill is a big reason why RapidRide G should continue to MLK. If there is a segment of MLK that needs service, it’s this one.

        It’s certainly flatter south of Union. Still, Route 14 runs up on the crest of the hill so there is a big elevation change between MLK and 31st.

        Metro will have real-world data on both Route 48 and possibly a revised 8 if the planned East Link service change goes through.

        My experience living at a similar corner is that riders will play the waiting game or they will pull out their smart phone to see what bus is coming next.

        I must disagree that CD-Link trips won’t happen. That’s simply because some people have issues about catching a bus on Third Ave. Some people can walk out their door to 23rd or MLK but may have to walk 1/4 mile to an east-west bus. East-west snow routes are particularly very circuitous and slow so on those days Link will draw many riders. I’m sure there will be heavier east-west travel bus there will be Link transfers too.

        Surely the heavy demand forecast for Judkins Park (4700 in 2040 and similar to Beacon Hill at 4800 and Mt Baker at 4100) is because ST also expects some transfers.

      9. Surely the heavy demand forecast for Judkins Park (4700 in 2040 and similar to Beacon Hill at 4800 and Mt Baker at 4100) is because ST also expects some transfers.

        Yes, to the east. Judkins Park will be an important station for those trying to get to the East Side. People will definitely ride the 48 (from the north) or the 7 (from the south) and take the train to Bellevue or Redmond.

        That’s simply because some people have issues about catching a bus on Third Ave.

        Wait, you are saying there are people living in the Central Area that are afraid to catch a bus on Third Avenue? How did they end up in the C. D., and not, say, Mercer Island? Sorry, I don’t buy that.

        Some people can walk out their door to 23rd or MLK but may have to walk 1/4 mile to an east-west bus.

        Yeah, but very few. Between the 2 and the G, you are better off going north if you don’t want to walk. The 3 makes a dogleg, which decreases the space between east-west lines. Things would be different if the east-west buses were infrequent, but it is actually the other way around. The 3 is more frequent than both the 48 and the train (most of the day). The only spot where it is a problem is around Yesler. That bus is not frequent, which creates a considerable gap. At that point, you are closer to Judkins, but too far to walk. So either you increase frequency on the 27, or see a modest increase in the number of people transferring to Judkins Park. I would do the former.

        By the way, the transfer to Judkins Park from a bus on 23rd really is good. But you also have to consider the time spent getting out of the station downtown. If I’m headed to 3rd and James, I can take the train, or the 3. But the 3 gets me right where I want to go (on the surface) whereas Pioneer Square Station involves a long trip up to the surface. The 3 also goes to more places (the Link stations are largely a subset of the downtown locations that the 3 serves).

        * Frequency is really important. It is common for people to take the more frequent option, even when it is slower. I had a friend who could take the 76 downtown, or take the 372 and transfer to the train. The 76 was considerably faster, but in the evening, he would always take the train. People hate waiting. If the east-west buses ran infrequently (like the 76) then I would agree with you on this point. But it is the opposite. You could shift funding away from these buses, but that would screw over the folks that live west of 23rd, as well as those on 23rd headed to Cherry Hill and First Hill. That’s just not gonna happen.

      10. Would it be any faster to transfer from Link at Mt Baker and take a bus to Judkins Park if you’re trying to catch East Link to Bellevue/Redmond? Pretend that they actually improve the bus transfer at Mt Baker and or add a 7X during peak. The first station where you can switch trains is ID which involves the up and over, right? Or will people tend to stay on until the first center platform?

      11. “Would it be any faster to transfer from Link at Mt Baker and take a bus to Judkins Park if you’re trying to catch East Link to Bellevue/Redmond?”

        We’ll have to see when it opens how it compares, and whether people do it anyway even if it’s slightly slower. The 1/3 Line has three stops between Mt Baker and the transfer point, goes out-of-direction, is surface in SODO, and may be crowded peak hours or on game days. In that case taking a bus a shorter distance on non-downtown (=less congested) streets may be preferable. Especially if the 7, 48, and 106 are all frequent and all go to it.

        Also, many people will be coming from elsewhere in Rainier Valley, so they can take a bus to Judkins Park and skip the 1/3 Line.

      12. It’s not just east and west. There’s also north. If you’re riding Link to Northgate or something, I think it’s faster to take a short bus ride south to Link at Judkins Park Station, rather than a slow bus slog through First Hill into downtown to catch Link there.

        Granted, the trips I’m talking about are in the minority, but they do exist.

      13. It’s not just east and west. There’s also north. If you’re riding Link to Northgate or something, I think it’s faster to take a short bus ride south to Link at Judkins Park Station, rather than a slow bus slog through First Hill into downtown to catch Link there.

        Yeah, but you could also just go north. As I’m writing this, it takes 12 minutes to get from Cherry to the UW on the 48. It takes 7 minutes to get to Judkins Park. So you save 5 minutes of bus time. But you lose 16 minutes of train time. There are advantages to going south. The UW station is really deep. In the middle of the day, you might get stuck by the bridge opening (although my understanding is that they will improve that). But I think it is the same dynamic — only the people around Yesler, and maybe Jackson that would do that.

        Also keep in mind that people generally don’t like going the wrong direction, even if might save them some time.

      14. “Would it be any faster to transfer from Link at Mt Baker and take a bus to Judkins Park if you’re trying to catch East Link to Bellevue/Redmond?”

        They should build a gondola!

        Seriously though, I don’t think there will be very many people making a three seat trip like that. In Rainier Valley riders could always just take the 106 if they don’t want to transfer downtown. From Tukwila they would have an express bus to Bellevue. There will be people who prefer the train, but they will just use the train exclusively. The up-and-over transfer won’t be that bad.

      15. I agree with Ross; Judkins will likely be a major transfer node for people taking Link across Lake Washington, but bus-rail transfers for travel west into downtown will probably be limited as most trip pairs are adequately served by a 1-seat ride

        I can’t see anyone doing the Mt Baker-bus-Judkins transfer unless they really really want to avoid the ID. At best, it will be a handy transfer whenever there is a closure downtown or in SoDo, such as for weekend maintenance.

      16. They should build a gondola!

        I was thinking Hyperloop :=

        I figure it would be a long shot that even if it saved a few minutes people wouldn’t hassle with the extra transfer even with loads of buses on Rainier (which there are). It seems unlikely that the bus transfer at Mt Baker will ever be good. It does appear there will be excellent bus connections on Rainier to Link albeit a long walk to the actual platform and from current construction looks to be mostly exposed to the weather. It just seems annoying that the lines come so close together yet you’ve got to go 3-4 more stops out of direction to transfer. I expect a fair number of people that don’t have an easy time with stairs to wait for a center platform transfer DT; especially if ID is packed which it will be if things ever return to something like normal.

        The bus from Tukwila I’m not so sure is a winner. I-405 is already back to a parking lot coming into Bellevue. I don’t care what they do with the HOT lanes it’s still going to be a 30 minute slog on a good day and close to an hour if anything goes sideways (which it seems to about once a week).

    3. Here’s what I remember of Metro’s 2040 plan for the affected routes:

      G, 2, 8, 14, 36, 48: Same as RossB.

      3: The Yesler reroute was a Metro plan that was dropped due to demand to keep a stop at the jail.

      10: Metro keeps it unchanged.

      27: I think Metro planned to extended its eastern terminus but I don’t remember how. Metro had no splits in the sense of reducing frequency on existing tails; the only things that could be considered branches were in new corridors or an additional route on top of an existing route.

      47: Metro extended it north along the old 25 routing to the U-District. I don’t think it would have done the University-Bridge-to-Montlake-Bridge backtracking the 25 did, but it might have served Fuhrman Ave somehow. Did the 25 serve Boyer Ave? I don’t think the 47 would.

      49: Almost the same, except Metro serves 12th south of John to bring new bus service to 12th and not overlap with the steetcar.

      In your alternatives for MLK, Metro had #3: route 8S from MLK/Madison south on MLK, west on Yesler, south on 23rd (Judkins Park station), to Mt Baker station. I was unimpressed with that route because I don’t think people would want to be dumped at MLK & Madison, so it would get even lower ridership than the 8 does now.

      Re #4, I think Metro extended the 27 but I don’t remember exactly how.

      Re 19th Ave, Metro had what David Lawson called a “43 on ADD”, running from downtown to 19th & John, then north on 19th, east on Aloha, north on 24th to the U-District.

      1. Re the old 25 route, my now-very-vague memory is that it started in Laurelhurst (by Children’s?), ran on 45th by U-Village, went up the viaduct, then went south on 15th, east on Pacific to cross the Montlake bridge, and turned west on Boyer/Fuhrman to Eastlake, followed the 49 up the hill on Harvard to Roanoke but turned west, then went downtown on Boylston/Lakeview/Melrose. In the pre-Link days, I would take it downtown from UW when I wanted a scenic trip or I knew the 70-series would be having issues (downtown event, University bridge mechanical issues, etc.).

        Re service on Boyer specifically, it’s a bit of a gap right now, though the walkshed isn’t great being wedged between a steep hill and the water, and there certainly are much more important needs than that corridor.

      2. @Mike — That is how I remember the map, with one exception. I’m pretty sure the bus for MLK was what I have as my second option up there (https://goo.gl/maps/9iYRsiS6YEBMS8Qg7). That’s how I got the idea. It is worth noting that the map changed from time to time, so it is possible we just remember different versions.

        As far as being dumped at MLK & Madison, there are worst places. It is more of a destination than Judkins Park. You would have an easy, fast, very frequent transfer to get downtown or First Hill. You could also pick up the 8 (and do what you used to be able to do). It wouldn’t be a great terminus, but I really can’t think of a good one for the north part of MLK (without wasting service hours by overlapping more frequent routes).

        Yeah, the “43 on ADD” sounds familiar. I think it is better than the regular 43, but still not worth the service hours (in my opinion). It’s the same problem. You are overlapping another route, and thus cutting into its frequency.

    4. Metro’s Boren Avenue plan was to split the 106 at Rainier Beach station, so the 106N would go from Rainier Beach to Boren and SLU. I don’t remember what the 106S did. I’d like to interline it with the 105 or another route to eastern Renton but I haven’t seen that on Metro’s radar. Eastern Renton needs better service to western Renton and Seattle.

      So the main north-south routes in southeast Seattle would be: 106 from Rainier Beach to Boren and SLU, 49/60 from U-District to Beacon Hill (maybe south of the station, but NOT South Park or West Seattle), and 7, 36, and 48 on their existing routes (with the 48 modification above). The east-west part of the 60 was to be a separate route to Othello station, or that may have later been modified to Beacon Hill station. And there was something on Graham Street though I don’t remember what.

    5. I’m hesitant on the non-Metro variations for MLK and 19th. The “27 split” may be more attractive to folks on northern MLK because it goes to more destinations, but it takes longer to get to Link than the 8S to Judkins Park station would. Maybe it could be combined with 19th #2. As you said, it’s a coverage route, so maybe we can string together all the problematic segments like the 249 in the Eastside. I could still see people going to the Eastside or downtown bummed that they can’t transfer at Judkins Park station. It would probably be faster to transfer at Judkins Park than go through Yesler and southern 3rd Avenue.

      19th #2 is the same as Metro’s “43 on ADD”; it’s just that the latter would be extended to 24th and the U-District.

      19th #4 I hesitate on because 15th has more businesses and a wider variety of destinations that bring people from outside the neighborhood than 19th does. When I was a junior higher living in Bellevue I went to 15th for a therapist, a used bookstore, and visiting people. Later I was in groups that met at Dance Underground, Victrola, and The Canterbury. And at other times we go to Palermo’s pizza and Volunteer Park. All those are on 15th. There’s nothing comparable on 19th. Just Interlaken Park (which is entirely a steep hill down from there), a Catholic church, maybe an OK cafe, and fewer housing units. Metro seems to have made the right decision to put the main frequent service on 15th to Pike-Pine, and relegating 19th to Madison and less frequency. (Although I have heard some people say the 19th-Madison corridor was important to them.)

      1. 19th #2 is the same as Metro’s “43 on ADD”; it’s just that the latter would be extended to 24th and the U-District.

        Yes, absolutely. It would be cheaper.

        15th has more businesses and a wider variety of destinations that bring people from outside the neighborhood than 19th does.

        That is really only true if you are close to Thomas. As you go further north, if anything, it favors 19th. Twenty years ago, maybe not, but now, that is the case.

        15th has more places around Republican, while 19th has more places around Mercer (essentially a wash). 19th and Roy has some apartments, Saint Joseph’s, as well as the Russian Community Center. 15th and Roy has a few apartments. Aloha is a wash, with bakeries on both streets. At Prospect, there is another church on 19th, and nothing but houses on 15th. At Galer, 15th has an apartment, while 19th has Stevens Elementary (a public school). Overall, in terms of destinations, it would seem to favor 19th.

        Then you have the park. The fact that the bus runs next to the park on 15th is not a good thing. Other than people going to the park, it eliminates ridership from that side. People who walk in a park are willing to walk through the neighborhood, especially a neighborhood as nice as that.

        That doesn’t mean you should necessarily favor 19th. My though with the north-south bus being on 15th is that there are fewer turns. Now I that I look at it in more detail, that isn’t the case (it is the same overall). I think if I did make a north-south bus, it would start on 19th, and dogleg onto 15th (and dogleg again to 14th). This would be a decent way of serving 19th, although if it was infrequent, my guess is very few would take it.

        What I’m sensing, more than anything, is no consensus on either street. That makes sense, and confirms my attitude towards them. There are some changes that are rather large (e. g. merging the 49 and 60) which is likely to get some complaints. But it adds enough to be worth it. Neither MLK or 19th seem so straightforward. I know which way I’m leaning, but I’ll write about it tomorrow.

    6. “You’re discounting how bad the 3 and 4 are between Broadway and 3rd Avenue.”

      @Ross and @Mike, i have been thinking about a gondola line to replace 3/4. It could start at the ferry terminal, stop at Pioneer Sq Link station and then follow Jefferson across I-5 to Harborview, stop for Street car on Broadway (to serve Swedish First Hill), Swedish Cherry Hill, and Garfield on 23rd.
      It would serve the part of First Hill which isn’t well served by the G line and provide frequent service for people arriving at the ferry terminal or Link and it is short enough that gondola speed isn’t an issue.

      1. There are too many stops for a gondola to work along there. For example, your proposal doesn’t have a stop at Fifth, which is the reason that the 3/4 didn’t get moved. Add in all those stops and it would cost a fortune.

      2. When I lived near Harborview (Jefferson & Terry) I rode the 3/4 almost every day and suffered the congestion on James Street. Westbound there’s the turn from 9th to James. Eastbound it can be crawling slow up James and then another wait to turn on 9th. I rejoiced when the eastbound 27 came and I could take it instead, because it’s as fast as most bus routes outside these bottlenecks. The 2, 3, 4, and 12 are the routes with extreme bottlenecks. In contrast, the Pike/Pine, Yesler, and Jackson routes don’t have these bottlenecks.

        Given that, there’s an argument for RossB’s route 27 variation (Yesler-19th). But not to split the already-infrequent service to Leschi in half, but to add frequency to the main part of Yesler. This is the core of the city and frequent routes on Jackson, Yesler, and James can be justified. With the 27 and 27N each 30 minutes, that would be 15-minute service on Yesler west of 19th.

      3. @Mike — My comment below (which includes an updated map) incorporates the idea of more service along Yesler. I run a new 37 opposite the 27 (each running every half hour). It splits at MLK (providing coverage there) while providing much better frequency west of there.

        I used to ride the 3/4, but that was a long time ago (back in the 70s). I have no idea where the traffic is. I have mentioned it before, but the dogleg on to Jefferson seems like a waste. I think it would be faster to just stay on James until it becomes Cherry, although I’m not sure. This would also create better line spacing — you wouldn’t have the big gap between Union and Jefferson (which is a bigger gap than the one I create by not covering 19th). There are disadvantages — it isn’t quite as close to Harborview — but that seems like a small price to pay if it sped up the bus.

        I’m not sure how else to make James faster. You could add BAT lanes, but I imagine a lot of the traffic is people turning right. It would be hard to pull off center running (like the G) as the streets aren’t that wide, and making them wider (for the bus stop in the middle) would cost a fortune. The G leveraged the one-way lanes downtown, whereas James is two way.

        I know a lot of the problem is freeway related traffic on James, but where exactly is that? Is it people getting off the freeway or getting on? Which direction?

        I wonder if the best answer is to re-channel freeway traffic away from James. For example, get rid of the right turn from James to 6th, which becomes the freeway ramp. Add a traffic light at Jefferson and 6th. That way people will either go up Cherry or Jefferson to get to 6th. Now you can add a BAT lane eastbound, and the bus would only have to worry about people taking a right from James to Fifth. I would consider going further, and just ban right turns there (you have to go straight on James). This would confuse the heck out of people initially, but it is less disruptive than completely taking over Third Avenue (which we’ve done, bit by bit).

        Westbound James is bit trickier. I would start by banning turns from Sixth to James. This means that if you exit the James Street exit southbound, you wouldn’t actually get to James. You could turn south on Columbia or Jefferson; north on Cherry. Northbound freeway traffic heading down would either be forced to Madison, or at the very least limited going westbound on James. You would have westbound BAT lanes, which means that only one lane could turn left (not two, like today). It wouldn’t be ideal, but I think the combination of forcing a lot of traffic off of James, along with some BAT lanes (that go together) would go a long ways towards speeding up the 3/4.

      4. I visited Swedish Cherry Hill the other day and had to visit Swedish First Hill. The receptionist offered to call a taxi/Uber as the bus may or may not come any time soon. Not sure James St can be fixed unless you’re willing to close the freeway ramp. A gondola may not serve all stops, but still be much more reliable at all times of the day.

      5. Not sure James St can be fixed unless you’re willing to close the freeway ramp.

        The ramp doesn’t actually start at James. It is just that the city pushes traffic to James. It wouldn’t be that hard to dramatically improve the speed of an outbound bus (the direction you mentioned was slow). I would do the following:

        1) BAT lanes from 3rd to at least Boren.
        2) No right turn from James to 6th (i. e. the southbound freeway on-ramp).
        3) Add a traffic light on Jefferson and 6th (to make it easier on drivers).
        4) No right turn from James to 5th.

        All of this means that people would no longer use James to go southbound on I-5 from downtown. They can use James to go northbound, but that is a left turn. That doesn’t matter if the bus is in the right lane. The bus would be the only vehicle in that right lane from 3rd to 9th.

        It is only at 9th (the turn the bus takes) where it might mix with general purpose traffic. This is pretty much only people headed to Harborview. I could even see the city making sure that people don’t go beyond Harborview, by doing the following:

        1) On 9th southbound, force riders to turn right. You could make exceptions for emergency vehicles exiting the area.

        2) Ban left turns from 9th to Jefferson (except for transit).

        This means that if someone turns right from James to 9th, they eventually have to loop around on Alder, 8th and Jefferson. This in turn would send more people people on James up to Terry and Boren before turning left (after the point where the bus has left James).

        Inbound is trickier, but I would start with BAT lanes. The only issue is cars turning right on 4th from James. You could ban right turns there, if there is no other way to improve that intersection.

        All of this would cost money, but not a lot. It simply needs to be made a priority by SDOT, in an era of competing interests.

        The other option, of course, is to simply follow the route that Metro wanted to follow (https://seattletransitblog.com/2017/06/22/metro-wants-out-of-james-street-gridlock/). The only reason that wasn’t done is because people wanted access to the government buildings on 5th. Service to that area can be back filled by moving the tails of southbound buses up there (e. g. 40 or 62). If the tail of a bus is stuck in traffic it is less of a big deal. Furthermore, if they really wanted to, the bus could loop around (at least inbound), taking advantage of the contraflow bus lanes on 5th (https://goo.gl/maps/1Lu4SLTzSG9fprxv9). Outbound would be much simpler (https://goo.gl/maps/u1Dfoy6H9SmuFs1UA). The tricky part is laying over and turning around.

        I’m not sure which would be better. On the one hand, I’m not thrilled with the idea of leaving James, as it seems to provide better coverage. Back filling with another bus would help, but it would require people from the east going downtown first before getting up to Fifth.

        On the other hand, moving the 3/4 would provide additional coverage for Yesler Terrace, and underserved area. It is a detour, but not that big of one, since the bus has to dogleg to Jefferson anyway. In other words, without traffic, it isn’t much slower.

      6. Er, the 40 and 62 are articulated diesel buses and James Street is very steep. They’ll bog down going up the hill.

        You asked where exactly the cars are and are going to. Since I don’t drive I don’t have a concept of that; I only know James is a freeway entrances and that’s what happens around freeway entrances. What I know is the bus gets caught in bottlenecks eastbound around 6th-8th and at 9th where it turns, and westbound at 9th where it turns.

      7. What I know is the bus gets caught in bottlenecks eastbound around 6th-8th and at 9th where it turns

        Which could all be fixed rather easily the way I described. Run BAT lanes through there, and get rid of the right turn from James to 6th. People will use Cherry or Jefferson to get on the freeway.

        and westbound at 9th where it turns.

        Do you know what is causing that? Is it a really short left turn cycle? Or it that there are too many cars on James. Again, the first thing I would do westbound is add BAT lanes. That might not solve the problem, but it is quite possible it would make a dent.

        BAT lanes really do two things at once. They create a semi-exclusive lane for buses, and they reduce the number of cars on the street. Depending on the street, this means that you could have a BAT lane for several blocks and then end it, and it would still be free flowing for buses. The cars back up, trying to squeeze into that one lane, but so be it. That is basically how Eastlake will work, once that RapidRide project is done. I could easily see the same thing for James. The westbound BAT lane would start just east of 9th. This means that cars in the right lane either have to turn right on 9th, or merge with the other lane. This will cause backups on James. So be it.

        If most of those cars are headed southbound on the freeway, great. That is a left turn for them, which means the bus (in its BAT lane) isn’t effected. There could be congestion at 7th, as people take a right to get on the freeway north, but a lot of people will have turned onto Cherry sooner, since it is a straight shot to the entrance. The main thing is, there won’t be a bunch of cars on James at that point, and most of them will be taking left turns.

      8. the 40 and 62 are articulated diesel buses and James Street is very steep.

        Yes, but it doesn’t matter. This is the tail end of the run, if its slow, its slow. My guess is the modern diesel-electric buses could handle it relatively quickly.

        If it really is a problem, then the loop I suggested (https://goo.gl/maps/dfc7nmRXhvVZcDb4A) would work fine. That is gradual. The bus would take the shorter route downhill.

    7. OK, based on the comments (which I very much appreciate) I have now updated the map with something I feel reasonably comfortable with: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1TbediuWHM6E6k25QjzBe2qfoyUEI0F-1&usp=sharing

      I would consider this a baseline proposal. If we had more money, I would start by putting it into sending the 106 to South Lake Union. My thoughts:

      19th — This creates a service hole on 19th, but a tiny one. Everyone is within five minutes of a bus. The dogleg manages to cover the busiest area of 15th (the part Mike mentioned), while switching over to 19th when there is more going on there. This would require additional wire (on Aloha) and approval to run a bus there. It would take a little bit longer to run the 10, but not much.

      A coverage route might work, but I don’t see it as necessary. Nor would I expect it to work well as part of any other coverage route (like one on MLK). It is not very far from other, frequent routes, that go pretty much everywhere.

      The split has potential, but it would leave too many areas with poor frequency. Those riders could walk (down to John), but my guess is that is a substantial portion of your ridership being asked to walk (or put up with bad frequency). As you get further north, it gets worse. You can walk, but to a bus that also has bad frequency. For example, imagine grading papers at Stevens Elementary, and want to take the bus home. You check the schedule, and realize the 12 left five minutes ago, and you will have a fifteen minute wait. You could walk to the other bus, except by the time you get there, it will have just left. That’s just not good. Unless both buses can run frequently (which seems unrealistic) it just doesn’t work. The split is in a poor place.

      MLK — In contrast, this is great place for a split. Yesler is underserved. Especially next to Yesler Terrace, but really along most of Yesler. But density drops as you go east. The 27 runs every half hour and has for a while. You could double the frequency on the core of Yesler, while providing coverage for MLK. If you think of each as essential, this is the cheapest way to achieve those goals. It also gives riders on MLK a destination worth waiting for. In most cases, they can get downtown, or go north or south by just walking a few blocks. But getting to Yesler would require a transfer, and a long wait. The combination of buses also work as a backup. If you are going from Yesler Terrace to Garfield, for example, you try and time this new 37. But if you see a 27, you take it, and then transfer to the 48. Overall, I think this is the best alternative.

      Leaving out MLK would create a bigger hole than the one at 19th, as a fair number of people would have to walk more than five minutes to get a bus. A bus that goes to Judkins seems too much like the 48, and would suffer poor ridership as a result. Even the line up to Beacon Hill seems like it wouldn’t get many riders, given the frequency of the buses and Link. Many of the potential riders would see the 48, and take it, knowing it would get them closer to their destination. Then they transfer to Link at Mount Baker, take it one stop, and they’re there. It really only works if it is frequent, and there are lots of other buses that should be frequent first (including the bus on Yesler).

      Part of my reasoning for this is that I don’t think the 3/4 will be moved by the time this restructure is done. There are other ways to improve service to Yesler Terrace, but none connects it to other places better than just improving frequency along Yesler. Eventually I would like to see both the 27 and 37 run every twenty minutes, providing ten minute frequency along Yesler.

      1. Metro already has plans for bus service on Aloha. The LRP restructured the 2N to serve West Queen Anne, Harrison or Thomas Street (I forget which), the Denny Way viaduct, Lakeview Blvd, Belmont-Roy-Aloha, and 23rd to Garfield HS. Another Queen Anne or Interbay route I don’t remember would double up on the Harrison-Aloha corridor for 15-minute frequency.

        I assume these routes and the 47 extension would be the first to be cancelled in a budget shortfall. And since we’re in a budget shortfall, I expect they won’t be realized. But Metro is already planning for service on Aloha, so it must have gotten SDOT’s approval for it.

        Adding trolley wire is another expense, and again money is tight, so extending the 10 may mean dieselizing it. This also affects the 3.4 Yesler alternative if the jail stop issue is resolved. Although I don’t imagine the 3/4 would be dieselized since they’re such a high-volume and essential route.

      2. “But Metro is already planning for service on Aloha, so it must have gotten SDOT’s approval for it.”
        @Mike Orr

        Do you have a possible link to confirm this? Isn’t Aloha a very narrow street east of 12th all the way to 19th? Also, besides the expense of the wire I can see the neighborhood pushing back against running new trolley wire thru all that existing tree canopy.

        Thanks in advance for any links you can supply.

      3. Yeah, in the past Metro expressed a desire to run buses on Aloha, and I like those ideas too. But often times they haven’t worked out the details with the city, as it is way too early for that. It might require the city to commit to fixing up the street, and they didn’t want to do that for the 62.

        It would require very little wire. Just about any plan for the 12 would require wire (including the one in the LRP). In that case, you would add wire on Thomas. In both cases, we are talking about a tiny amount (similar to what was done for the 44 for the UW restructure). You could probably just run off wire, and then reconnect after you turn around (and lay over). That would mean that the only times you “plug back in” are the end of the run (at the leisure of the driver) and at 15th and Aloha.

      4. @Tlsgwm — Unfortunately, the map that Mike refers to has gone away. So any link will be out of date. But I can confirm what he wrote, which is that the long range plan, put out by Metro, contained buses on Aloha. How much cooperation there was with the city to come up with the map is a different story.

        In general though, I doubt there would be any complaints about the extra wire, or a bus running on Aloha. I’m sure many would welcome the dogleg (while others would complain about the loss of service on 19th). But that is true for any restructure.

      5. @RossB
        Thanks for the info. Ok, so I got curious enough to go take a look at SDOT’s Streets Illustrated interactive map. E Aloha in that area is shown as 26 feet curb to curb, which is indeed narrow for a collector arterial but with no parking on either side is sufficient for transit to travel east and west. IIRC, Metro wants a minimum of 11 feet per travel lane, so the 13 feet per direction available here meets that requirement.

        The street is still undersized nevertheless as the ROW standard is shown as 60 feet. Assuming a 5-foot planting strip and 5-foot sidewalk, plus the 13- foot travel lane, one comes up short of the required 30 feet from centerline. Even if the planting strips and sidewalks are a bit wider than this, the actual ROW still comes up short. It would be interesting to see some of the legal parcel descriptions to see if some of the residential yards are actually partially in the legal ROW.

        I ran across this problem myself when my county widened the street where my property is and took an additional ten feet to expand the ROW from 30 feet from centerline to 40 feet. I was compensated for the partial taking, i.e., the additional ten feet of ROW incursion, but not for the part of “my” property that was already part of the existing narrower ROW. Lesson learned: Get your parcel properly surveyed as a condition of the sales agreement, particularly if the Form 17 disclosures aren’t clear about this aspect of the property boundary. (In my particular case, this was not disclosed by the seller.)

        Finally, I vaguely remember Metro floating the idea of running a trolley route across E Aloha back in the late 80s or early 90s when I used to live in the CD. This was before Metro became part of King County Transportation, which happened in 1992 if I’m not mistaken. I don’t think it went anywhere though partly due to neighborhood resistance to the plan. I may be wrong about this but I think there was parking on one side of the street on E Aloha east of 15th back then.

        Anyway, thanks for your feedback.

      6. I could see a big issue with Aloha would be buses making right turns. The corner radii are tight! There are also some curves where buses would seem to have to cross the dividing line.

      7. The street reminds me a bit of 125th NE, from 5th to Roosevelt. So basically this: https://goo.gl/maps/aouqZWUZZwZKUnEe6, instead of this: https://goo.gl/maps/gJnXUbkrdZ1bKTAX9. If anything, 125th is just a little bit narrower. Aloha seems to have an excessively wide eastbound lane, while this part of 125th is tight both directions. The only part where Aloha looks as narrow as 125th is just west of 16th, here: https://goo.gl/maps/P5E31mjpbwCWPzd6A. The sidewalk extends out, to accommodate the big tree. It is probably still up to code (i. e. no more narrow there than 125th) but you could take a foot off the sidewalk and the tree would be fine.

        This part of 125th, of course, had dozens of big 41 buses running on it until recently, and now has the 75. The only issue to me is whether the city would need to make the street harder. It looks to be the same surface as 19th, so maybe not. Aloha in general is a fairly lightly traveled arterial — the bus wouldn’t be going fast, and neither is regular traffic. It isn’t going to encounter many big trucks going the other way (and when it does, folks can manage).

        As far as turning is concerned, I don’t think it is a big issue. The turns are 90 degrees. Both 15th and 19th are wide. Again, this is similar to 125th, as 5th and Roosevelt are wide.

        I think the only likely issue (other than inertia) is running wire, as that might require trimming trees. But if push comes to shove, the bus should run off wire between 15th and the layover spot.

      8. Yeah, I agree that the turns shouldn’t be an issue at the relevant intersections.

        “Aloha seems to have an excessively wide eastbound lane,…”

        Well while I wouldn’t ever describe the lane as “excessively wide”, the eastbound lane does appear to be wider than the westbound side, lending support to my earlier comment about there having been parking on one side of E Aloha in the past.

        And, yes, the easiest path to implementation would be to simply run the buses off wire thru this section.

  4. Sound Transit has recently published its fall financial plan and proposed 2022 budget. What jumped out at me immediately was that the 30-year plan has increased by almost $7B just since the publication of the plan adopted with the realignment decision a few months ago.

    August proposal:
    Cap Exp $69.2B
    O&M $32.5B
    SOGR $9.0B
    Debt Serv Exp $19.1B
    Reserves $1.7B

    Total : ~$131.3B

    Now (fall plan update):
    Cap Exp $70.3B
    O&M $35.3B
    SOGR $9.4B
    Debt Serv Exp $20.8B
    Reserves $2.0B

    Total : ~$138.0B

    Just as a reminder, the 25-year financial plan that was adopted following ST3 passage was around $92B.

    1. Thanks Tisgwm. Not surprisingly the biggest increase is in operations and maintenance. Add in lower farebox recovery and the deficit is much higher.

      I was a little surprised debt service increased. I thought ST had obtained financing through the federal government that will save ST $500 million.

      1. Likely because ST is carrying more debt over a longer period of time, more than offsetting the lower rate on current debt.

    2. Oh, and for those keeping score….
      $138B minus $92B equals $46B.

      In other words, the planned uses figure in the latest update to the agency’s financial plan has increased by a whopping 50% just since 2016.

      1. Again thanks for updating the financials Tisgwm. Increasing the total cost estimates by $46 billion dwarfs every other issue but gets zero responses on this blog. But have signs or escalators not work and folks go crazy, not understanding the figures you provide are the reason: ST does not have $500,000 to fix signs. It is billions in the hole, both capital and operations.

        I find it unethical and obscene that a profligate and horribly inefficient agency like ST — whose CEO was just fired for dishonesty to the Board — can increase the cost of ST $46 billion without voter or legislative approval.

        I think the costs of ST will end up being the biggest mistake the region makes, all based on financial lies. Ridership will be lucky to be 2/3 of estimates, and an operations levy will be needed. Just the $46 billion in increased costs would have transformed the region and our social and infrastructure needs.

        If Republicans had proposed such a scheme progressives would have rightly claimed this boondoggle will decimate every other program for the poor, and every other infrastructure need like bridges.

        This is a special interest blog, and I understand special interests tend to only be concerned about their special interest. But still any progressive has a moral duty to look at the region’s social needs and the exploding costs of light rail and admit what can no longer can be afforded due to ST consuming all the tax capacity, and stop blaming others for these unmet social needs.

      2. The escalating costs were covered literally less than a month ago and rehashed on the podcast a few days ago, so I’m not sure where you get your ‘zero response’ from? seattletransitblog.com/2021/10/11/fixing-sts-costs-requires-a-legislative-agenda/

      3. Dan, your useless concern trolling about funding is tired and boring. The tax rates aren’t going up, so the financial impact is staying the same. No one today is planning their income in 2041-2046 with consternation that the sales tax and MVET will still be enforced. Besides, I think it’s likely that we’ll see the full tax suite of ST extended permanently sometime in the 2030’s to support ongoing capital improvement projects, but maybe the funding sources will shift from generalized sales taxes to a more progressive revenue.

        What’s your justification for this theory of tax capacity? I’m no economist, but last I checked neither were you, and it seems to me that there is plenty of hoarded wealth in the upper echelons to bring back down to the ground. The city, county, state, and feds can and should be pursuing re-levelling the income playing field as aggressively as possible.

        Yeah, ST’s 25-year plan turning into a 30-year plan with 50% more revenues and costs isn’t great, but apparently it’s what it costs to get shit done here. Why not instead focus your ire on the fact that infrastructure costs so damn much to build in the Greatest Country In The World? Why not wonder why a region that is home to multiple Top-10 richest men in the world and their associated massively profitable tech companies can’t gather enough gumption to even consider better financial solutions to poverty, homelessness, mental illness, pollution, etc.?

        Besides, you’ve clearly stated that you believe there’s not enough money to fund enough affordable housing, so in your view, why should we try?

        The reason is that you hate the fact that “your” money is getting spent on societal goods that you don’t think you’ll benefit from directly. I’ll be paying those taxes in 2046, and I think it’ll be worth it. Will you?

  5. Well, there is no deficit per se as the plan is in balance (unlike the plan that the board sanctioned during the budget cycle last year). The revised plan does draw from the balance sheet however, utilizing some $600M in existing cash.

    Here’s how the Aug proposal and the fall financial plan update compare on the revenue side:

    August proposal:
    Tax Rev $86.2B
    Grant Rev $12.3B
    Fare Rev $9.0B
    Int Rev $0.9B
    Other Rev $0.4B

    Rev Subtotal: $108.8B

    Bond Draws $19.3B
    TIFIA Draws $3.3B

    Financing Subtotal: $22.6B

    Total Sources: ~$131.3B*

    Now (fall plan update):
    Tax Rev $88.9B
    Grant Rev $12.4B
    Fare Rev $8.3B
    Int Rev $0.8B
    Other Rev $0.6B

    Rev Subtotal: $111.0B

    Bond Draws $22.6B
    TIFIA Draws $3.8B
    Cash Use $0.6B

    Financing Subtotal: $27.0B

    Total Sources: ~$138.0B

    Thus, as you can see, fare revenue has been decreased by some $700M. Conversely, tax revenue has been increased by some $2.7B. Similarly, financing proceeds have increased by some $4.4B, resulting in the higher debt service expense noted previously despite the more favorable TIFIA terms you mentioned in your reply above.

    *(Numbers don’t check due to the rounding utilized in this presentation.)

  6. The New York Times’ daily news summary today says the US suffers from an “investment-deficit disorder”. Yes.

    “As a result, other affluent countries now have better high-speed internet access and less expensive cellphone service. They have clean drinking water. They have trains that whisk people between major cities at 200 miles an hour. They do not have major airports that are disconnected from the local subway system. The relatively decrepit state of American infrastructure acts like a tax on our economy and a drag on our well-being. It slows the movement of people and goods and reduces the quality of everyday life.”

    My only quibble is most of the US does have clean drinking water, notwithstanding exceptions like Flint. That has been a success.

  7. No school today (Veteran’s Day). Traffic on I-90 was about half the usual volume. Both Seattle and Bellevue have announced no school of Friday either. Evidently too many teachers wanted to make it a four day weekend and because of Covid combining classes was a no fly zone.

    Metro isn’t running holiday service Veteran’s Day or Friday but they did suspend Water Taxi service on Veteran’s Day. It seems strange that with the already low ridership and large number of cancelled trips because of staffing shortages they wouldn’t go to holiday service. I’m betting there are just as many bus drivers that want to take a four day weekend as teachers. And with no school a lot of parents are forced to stay home to provide childcare.

    1. The childcare problem has been a thing throughout the pandemic, and part of why some have had to leave jobs. Really, it was a problem before the pandemic, and just got exacerbated.

      I’m hoping the mass vaccination drive for children 5-11 will have a virtuous cycle of making it safer for day care sites to take care of more children at once, thereby making day care more affordable to provide, and create a massive increase in supply of such service. For parents who won’t get their kids vaccinated, they may face higher day care costs, or just inability to find anyone willing to take them on as clients.

      But back to holidays…

      In the blue-collar world, holidays are not a day off. They are a day of bonus pay, and, if they have a strong union, automatic time-and-a-half, or even double-time. If the holiday happens to fall on the worker’s normal day off, then, sure, they get the day off. So, it is even more to Metro’s benefit to reduce service on holidays, perhaps even giving some drivers the day off even if they did not ask for it. But, as you point out, once they do that, a lot of those furloughed for the day will then want their adjoining regular work day off, too. That said, I’ve heard getting time off from Metro is competitive, and it may just be the senior drivers who request the holiday off getting it.

      For day care providers, they have the power right now to decide to close down on holidays, or charge a premium. I expect most will choose the latter, given the difficulty they are having staying in business. The premium option, though, will make the parent have to choose whether to lose money for the day going to their job that might be paying straight time for hours worked that day.

  8. “REMINDER: N Line Service Canceled | Friday, November 12
    Sound Transit sent this bulletin at 11/12/2021 04:00 AM PST
    N Line service is canceled for Friday, November 12 as a precautionary action due to the expected high level of rainfall in the forecast with the potential for landslide activity. Passengers are encouraged to take existing regular bus service as an alternative to N Line train service between Everett and Seattle.”

    Today:
    https://mynorthwest.com/3234908/sounder-n-line-service-canceled-precautionary/

    A year ago:
    https://komonews.com/news/local/sounder-north-line-service-canceled-due-to-mudslide

    Feb 2018:
    https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/sounder-north-line-service-canceled-due-to-mudslide/281-513800634

    Feb 2017:
    https://patch.com/washington/edmonds/mudslide-stops-sounder-north-service-until-monday

    A very old problem indeed…
    https://seattletransitblog.com/2013/01/04/north-sounder-mudslides-breaking-records/

    With some $32M in grant funding thrown at the problem in recent years…
    https://myedmondsnews.com/2020/09/cantwell-announces-3-7m-wsdot-grant-to-mitigate-landslides-in-rail-corridor-south-of-mukilteo/

    And yet here we are.

    1. There haven’t been any mudslides stopping rail traffic.

      Mudslides are still happening like they did before.

      The catchment walls are working as designed for all the places they’ve been installed.

      In fact, the Builder just went by Edmonds.

    2. Are you arguing that the $32 million to try to manage mudslide damage and the threat of a three-digit-casualty disaster should not have been spent on it?

      Or that train service (freight and passenger) between Everett and Seattle should just be abandoned?

      1. No and no. I wasn’t making any argument here; it was simply an observation about the persistency of the issue.

        Now continuing Sounder North service at any time is a whole other discussion.

    3. Announced over the weekend, Sounder North is suspended again today, Monday 11/15. It could be ST is using the threat of mudslides to just cancel service that is expensive and currently moving very few people.

      1. We know the citizens of Edmonds and Mukilteo hate having trains spoil their privileged view and comfort,
        (re: Edmonds attempt at putting the tracks in a trench, resulting in the wayside horns (described by one citizen as sounding like a “demented car alarm”)).
        They also hate the idea of even supporting Sounder with higher density:
        1) Mukilteo voters reject increase in density
        2) Edmonds fought, and beat back condo development in the business park near the marsh because it violated their sight line ordinances.

        So, unless Sound Transit builds multi-story parking garages at both stations…
        (Hey, now there’s an idea.
        Simple structure, stays below height restrictions.)

        Heck, maybe something radical,..
        Like Community Transit timing their buses to meet the trains?

        This region is doing everything to choke off transit growth, and then complaining about traffic!

  9. State Senator Doug Ericksen (R – Ferndale) is in trouble in El Salvador. He came down with COVID-19, which he now attributes to being in the studio at KIRO radio, and can’t get back in the US because of it. While El Salvador has one of the better vaccination rates in Central America, it does not have any supply of monoclonal antibodies. He did not reveal his vaccination status, and generally opposed vaccine mandates.

    If you are going to travel abroad, do the country you are travelling to a favor, and get tested before you go. If you are not vaccinated, then don’t go. Just don’t do it. Other countries have vaccine requirements to enter the country for a reason.

    Here’s hoping monoclonal antibodies and millions of more doses of vaccines can be make available to our neighbors, ASAP. And I’ll pray for the senator’s safe return, for whatever good it does.

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