Hopeful news to counteract your transit blues.
RapidRide J has finished design and will now select a contractor to start construction in 2024. The email announcement didn’t have any specifics on the alignment beyond what’s on the project page. The J will replace route 70 from downtown to Fairview Avenue and Eastlake Avenue to U-District Station.
Sounder needs weekend service, says STB author Collin Reid in The Urbanist. This is part of Collin’s long-term mission to move the Overton window on what’s politically possible for transit. In conversation with the author, he said the focus should be getting the state to build the third track in the BNSF corridor, as the state’s draft Amtrak Cascades long-range plan says, and the Urbanist has also covered.
Lincoln Park ($) will get a pickleball court and maybe a dog-walking park, replacing a decayed tennis court and a grassy meadow. Not all residents approve. Lincoln Park is one of my favorite Seattle parks. It’s right on RapidRide C at Webster Street, and has forest trails on a bluff over the Sound. There’s a path down to a beach and swimming pool. The path goes down parallel to the water line, so the view changes elevation spectacularly as you go down. I don’t mind a pickleball court. I like watching dogs run happily in dog-walking parks, and I’ve always thought the meadow was a bit plain and lonely. But others play frisbee in the meadow, are concerned about wildlife habitat, and fear pickleball noise.
Seattle will pave a dangerous trail-rail intersection ($) on the Burke-Gilman east of 15th Ave NW. Short-line trains will still be able to reach their businesses. This is not the “missing gap” in the trail, which is further west.
San Franciscans say their city is not dying. And another article says downtowns have a chance for another urban renaissance. The second article says superstar cities got complacent and now have to adjust, but they could have a recovery similar to the 1990s. It quotes Seattle mayor Bruce Harrell saying, “”I’m trying to encourage employers to get folks back, develop the energy and synergy that we need. But the fact of the matter is there will never be the good ol’ days where everyone’s downtown working.”
Houston has an inner city of 500,000 people that’s more urban than you might have heard. (CityNerd video)
Freiburg, Germany, has more bikes than cars, and grassy tram corridors. (Not Just Bikes video) Freiburg is a college town of 232,000 in a metro of 660,000 — both like Spokane. It has five tram lines and feeder buses. “The tram network is so vast that 70% of the population live within 500m of a tram stop with a tram every 7–8 minutes. The tram network is very popular as the low fares allow for unlimited transport in the city and surrounding area. Furthermore, any ticket for a concert, sports or other event is also valid for use on public transport.” Yes, small cities can have comprehensive rail transit.
This is an open thread.