“Rethink the Link“: A West Seattle movement advocates the “No Build” EIS alternative for West Seattle Link. This one seems to be not just nimbys but people concerned about effective transit. As this blog has discussed, existing bus routes fan out from the West Seattle Bridge in a stick-shift pattern, connecting West Seattle neighborhoods to each other as well as short one-seat rides to downtown. Link will serve only the middle horizontal bar of the stick shift, serving only a small area directly while the vast majority of neighborhoods require a transfer. And RapidRide H (Delridge) will probably continue running downtown in parallel. All this gives a reason to stop West Seattle Link. Ideally multi-line BRT fanning out from the bridge would replace the existing bus routes. But even lesser bus improvements might be better than an ineffective and expensive Link route. Here’s a manifesto of sorts.
This could be a model for advocacy on the problematic Ballard/DSTT2 project with horrible transfers, and the arguably-unnecessary Tacoma Dome and Everett extensions and the Issaquah line. ST2 Link and the short exensions to Lynnwood, Federal Way, and downtown Redmond are critical for the region’s transit mobility. But the further extensions have diminishing returns, and the proposed bad transfers downtown would cripple the network. A “No Build” alternative is required in every EIS, and people can argue for it. Most no-build alternatives assume incremental bus improvements, and it may be possible to divert some of the project money to them. Of course, it would be a long shot to convince the ST board and subarea politicians and local politicians to cancel the Link projects.
Chile builds metros for $100 million per mile, fully underground and with platform screen doors. Sound Transit spends $1 billion for a mostly-elevated line to West Seattle. A video on Santiago’s network and how it keeps costs low (RMTransit). And Santiago is building a gondola too.
Are turnstyles or proof of payment better? RMTransit weighs in.
Singapore seeks to eliminate the urban heat island effect ($). A V-shaped hospital campus next to a pond with a wooded “courtyard”. Plants on skyscrapers. White buildings like Greece. Trees and wind corridors throughout the city. Rail transit. All to counteract the 10 degrees Fahrenheit urban heat island to protect residents’ health.
Seattle and the Eastside continue to bifurcate into rich and poor with little in the middle. ($) San Francisco went through this twenty years earlier.
Are Link’s next-arrival displays on again? Are they accurate this time? Sound Transit turned them on for a few weeks this summer to quantify the errors and see where they’re coming from. One commentator saw one on this week and it was accurate. Has ST finally made some headway, or is it still as far off as ever?
This is an open thread. Thanks to Martin Pagel for the West Seattle and Chile topics.