Mourning the ‘Bikelash’

Bike Parking Outside 12th Ave's Cafe Presse. Photo by SDOT.

The faux-war between ‘cyclists’ and ‘drivers’ has gotten depressingly out of control, even though it is being fought almost entirely in the media.  The 900+ comments in Danny Westneat’s recent Seattle Times column (“What’s With All the Bike Bitterness?”) reveal that the mutual acrimony has grown past the absurd into a parody of itself.

A simple truth:  cycling is not an inherently political act.  When a person is on a bicycle, they are just cycling, a verb whose adverbial embellishments (recklessly, quickly, safely, cautiously, etc…) have a short shelf life and extend only to observed behavior.  When people insist on twisting you into a noun – a Cyclist, a Motorist – you become not a person doing something, but rather a category expressing some fundamental defining value.   By definition, categories are constraining, and they make it easier to load transportation choices unnecessary moral weight.  As transit advocates we also do this to “Drivers” – and it’s just as unfair to “them” as to “us”.

This intellectual laziness provides the framing material needed to animate call-in radio shows, network news segments, and (to a slightly lesser extent) print and social media.  As the Fundamental Attribution Error rears its ugly head, we lose our ability to handle complexity and begin thinking in binary.  “Cyclists do X, Motorists react with Y,”  as though cyclists never drive, drivers never cycle, and that the two have a necessarily adversarial relationship.  Worse, each time we do this we risk losing the crucial ability for integrated systems thinking, descending into both mode-based and region-based parochialism.

Our current investments in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure are modest, they are appropriate for bicycling’s mode share, and they can only be seen as radical in the context of a cultural expectation for complete car dominance.  When you build your city for its largest scale mode, smaller scale modes are precluded and society actively engineers your mode choice upward toward cars. In a depressing segment Monday on KOMO Newsline AM, John Carlson affirmed as much when he suggested that bicycles be banned from any road with a speed limit higher than 20 mph.  When you build for cars, they become the only permissible game in town.   When you build for choice, all modes are enabled and respected (including cars!).

I would hope that we could all grow up already.  Modal fetishism is immature whether it’s bikes, trains, buses, or cars.  Ultimately, transportation infrastructure should become not a product to be marketed but a public utility matching people’s needs with appropriate tools.  (Something tells me that there is no marketing budget to get people to use I-5!)   As a transit advocate, I simply want more tools in my toolbox.

So when you feel yourself jumping towards the ad-hominem, take a moment and reflect upon inertia, individual economic incentives, the cumulative effects of all the poor decisions that have come before us.  Hopefully this would produce fewer culture warriors and more sober problem solvers.

For more on constraining terminology – see Jarrett.

Transit Hikes: Wallace Falls

Wikimedia

The nice(r) weather of late has definitely left me itching for hikes in the mountains.  I usually go with ZipCar for daytrips or Enterprise for multi-day ventures; after all, cars are at their best when providing for the occasional personal trip to a far-flung place.  But Washington also has an impressive amount of rural transit, much of it imperiled by looming cuts.   So as the weather warms I’ll be starting an occasional STB series, highlighting trailheads and itineraries accessible by transit, usually Saturday dayhikes that one can do without missing any days at work.

Wallace Falls is an impressive 265-foot cascade just northeast of Gold Bar.  A well-trodden trail to the Middle Falls offers dense forest, steep switchbacks, and impressive views, yet it is short enough to do a daytrip from Seattle.  For the weekend warrior, Community Transit Route 271 offers hourly Saturday service from Everett to Gold Bar from 6am-8pm.  With an easy transfer at Everett Station, a Seattle daytripper has plenty of time to make a day of it.  A sample itinerary:

  • Take Sound Transit #510 from 4th & Union to Everett Station, 7:55a-8:36a ($3.00)
  • Transfer to Community Transit #271, 8:55a-10:19a (Free ORCA transfer)
  • Get off at Hwy 2 and 1st Ave, and walk 1.7 miles to the trailhead, following the road signs.
  • Walk another 1.7 miles through the woods to the falls.
  • Take Community Transit #271 6:48p-8:18p
  • Transfer to Sound Transit #510 8:28p-9:12p

For only $6 in transit fare (with ORCA), you get a two-seat ride, perhaps a greasy spoon brunch, a moderate 7-mile walking day, and you’re back in Seattle by 9:15pm.  What’s not to like?

Capitol Hill Mobility, Take 2

Photo by Bre Pettis (Flickr – Creative Commons)

Despite our budgetary doldrums, it’s an exciting time to be a Seattle transit advocate.  Regional planning is focusing upon performance analysis and capital investment, and at last it seems possible, through the work of the Regional Transit Task Force and others, that radical changes could come to our bus network.   Last Monday’s record-breaking comment thread on Metro’s proposed revisions/cuts makes one thing clear: there is no shortage of enthusiasm and informed opinion any time big changes are proposed.

Two weeks ago I wrote a detailed yet exploratory post about what should happen to Capitol Hill bus service after U-Link.  My proposal sought to make one fundamental point:  that comprehensively higher frequencies can be wrought simply from existing inefficiencies, a point I believe I made well.  The strength of the comments and subsequent email exchanges with readers, however, made it clear that some of my routing choices were unwise and not fully thought through.  A big hat tip to readers such as Zef Wagner, Brent, über-commenter Bruce, and especially Morgan Wick, whose criticisms and suggestions have been particularly helpful.  Useful objections included:

  • Keeping the 2 on Spring/Seneca is duplicative and goes against Metro’s desire to move it to Marion/Madison.
  • Keeping the 3/4 on James perpetuates unnecessary conflicts with I-5 on-ramps, and Metro has already discussed moving it to Yesler.
  • Having the 11 serve the ferry terminal is an inconvenience and prohibits effective interlining with other routes.
  • My Route 12 idea was defective in a number of areas, but especially the 19th Ave tail.
  • Keep the 14N!
  • You can’t mathematically combine a 15-minute bus and a 10-minute bus and end up with 6-minute combined headways.
  • The 27 is pointlessly close to Jackson, and should be eliminated.

Agreeing with some of these and not others, what follows is a 2nd attempt.

An improved post-ULink proposal after the jump…

Continue reading “Capitol Hill Mobility, Take 2”

No Mudslide Relief in Latest Intercity Rail Grants

Vancouver WA Amtrak – Wikimedia

Today Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood announced $2B in intercity rail funding.  This 3rd round of intercity rail grants – likely the last money to be available for quite some time – drew on funds rejected by Florida.

While perhaps the money was spread too thinly, many worthy projects received funding.  Acela trains in central New Jersey will travel up to 160 mph by 2017, much more 110 mph track will be built on the Chicago-Detroit and Chicago-St Louis lines, and California will be able to extend its HSR starter segment to Fresno and the future wye where trains will alternately serve Sacramento and San Francisco.  Good news all around.

Washington, however, fared poorly in this latest installment.  WSDOT will receive $15 million for grade separation and congestion relief around the Port of Vancouver (WA), but will not receive the funds it had sought to combat mudslides and to replace the trestle leading into Tacoma Freighthouse Square.  While disappointing, our total share of ‘HSR’ funding ($781 million) remains impressive relative to our population size, and it speaks well of WSDOT’s preparedness in seeking these grants over the past three years.    Even if we lost out on this round, it is encouraging to see substantial federal investment in both the Northeast Corridor and California’s true HSR line.

As usual, The Transport Politic has an excellent summary.

Capitol Hill Mobility

12th Avenue On-Street Bike Parking (Photo by SDOT)

Just over a year ago, Mayor McGinn formally recommended the Broadway/Yesler/14th/Jackson alignment for the First Hill Streetcar. At the end of his letter to the council, McGinn also pledged support for a number of related transit changes:

• Improving transit access to the Boren/Madison area, through measures such as speed and reliability improvements to existing Metro routes;
• Developing alternatives that provide north-south transit service in the 12th Avenue corridor;
• Extending the First Hill Streetcar to the north end of Broadway, to support the economic revitalization of Broadway and improve neighborhood access to the Capitol Hill light rail station.

In Seattle political realities have often dictated that we undertake Transit-Planning-By-Consolation-Prize.  When First Hill lost its Link stop, it got the streetcar instead.  When the Broadway alignment was chosen for the streetcar, McGinn then pledged support for additional service on the neglected alignments.  As imprudent as such a patchwork approach may be for transit planning, it also opens up the broader discussion of how best to serve those markets.  So, how should the arrival of rail affect bus service on Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Central District? To my mind there are several important guiding principles:

  • How can we best emphasize high-quality transfers?
  • How can we create an intuitive grid amenable to spontaneous transit trips?
  • How can we eliminate redundant CBD trips that could be made on LINK or the FHSC?
  • How can we add service to 12th Avenue and Boren Avenue in an intelligent and non-duplicative way?
  • How can we maintain our trolley network without being bound to its historical routing choices?
  • And most of all, how can we do all of this with equivalent (or fewer) operating resources?

In the spirit of Martin’s Rainier Valley Mobility proposal, I started playing with scenarios.  I intend this proposal strictly as a conversation starter: What are the pros and cons of a radical grid system in central Seattle?  The bus routes below collectively represent about 99,000 boardings per day (2009 data), and wholesale changes would not be likely without the arrival of rail. But I’m convinced that by eliminating redundant routes and making peace with single transfers, we can offer 7-15 minute service on every route without incurring additional operating costs, while sensibly leveraging our investment in rail. So here’s a fairly radical sketch to tear apart in the comments:

Much more after the jump…

Continue reading “Capitol Hill Mobility”

Improving RailPlus

Photo by the Author

Since October 2004 Sounder commuters with full-fare passes have enjoyed free access to Amtrak Cascades between Seattle and Everett through the RailPlus program.  Barbara Gilliland, then Sound Transit’s Deputy Director of Transportation Services, called it, “One of the easiest agreements I’ve ever worked on.”  Yet very few riders utilize the service; in February 2011 only 126 RailPlus tickets were issued for the entire month.  (Equivalent to 2 people making one round-trip per day!)  Ridership for the past year has generally ranged between 80-160 boardings per month.

Cascades times north of Seattle are hardly ideal for commuter use, with two-peak hour trains from Seattle (510, 516), one mid-day train from Everett (513), and one late night train from Everett (517).  Further, only full-fare passes are accepted, with no E-Purse upgrades permitted.  Due to the higher fare on Sounder vs. ST/CT buses, most Northline Sounder riders have employer-subsidized passes, increasing the likelihood that riders are peak commuters into Seattle for whom the schedules would be unworkable (except for Train 516).  Throw in mudslides, general reliability issues, and the ease of express service from Everett on ST 510, and you have a system that structurally disincentivizes people from trying the train. More after the jump.

Continue reading “Improving RailPlus”

On Rail Nostalgia

Sounder on the Milwaukee Road – Photo by the Author

“Nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return,” Milan Kundera, Ignorance

Pick up an American op-ed hostile to rail and somewhere along the way you are likely to read that rail boosters are either technological reactionaries (they want a return to 19th-century technology!), or that they are clouded by nostalgia for a supposed golden age of travel.  These criticisms are deceptively powerful, and frequently true.  This mentality surely motivates much rail support, especially among the baby-boomer set.

Photo by the Author

I too have a great personal love for trains.  My handy copy of the 1,200-page Complete Guide to the Railways (1954) fills me with something approaching awe.  (You mean there used to be service from St. Louis to Mexico City, with connections to Oaxaca?!? Or for that matter, an electrified ride through the Cascades?)  The scale of service we have lost in the past 60 years is truly incredible.  But it is critically important that as rail advocates we carefully differentiate the sentimental from the sensible.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “On Rail Nostalgia”

Light Rail Excuse of the Week: Othello Public Market

Image from the Rainier Valley Post

[UPDATE: Opening has been delayed till April 8th, so don’t go down there this weekend.]

Bring cash and ride Link (or 8, 36, 39) on Saturday for the 10am grand opening of the Othello Public Market. Located adjacent to Othello Station at the NE corner of Othello and MLK, organizers promise that the year-round, indoor market will feature an extraordinarily diverse array of vendors.  A sampling of the vendors includes everything from silversmiths and soccer apparel to BBQ, exotic produce, and “European Hot Dogs.”  Now if only their website included Link on the Directions page.  Grr.

ORCA, Meet Compass

Photo by Oran

Today Vancouver BC’s TransLink announced the name of its new smartcard, Compass.  Currently using magstripe tickets and passes (for bus) and proof-of-payment (SkyTrain and B-Line buses), by 2013 TransLink will transition to universal adoption of the Compass card.  TransLink has chosen Cubic/IBM to provide the smartcard technology, the same company used by many agencies worldwide, including the Bay Area’s Clipper and London’s Oyster.  (Cubic recently bought out ERG, the supplier for ORCA.)

This $170 million project will reduce fare evasion on SkyTrain and the B-Lines (which, unlike the privately-operated Canada Line, are rarely fare-checked) and provide heaps of ridership data to TransLink for use in planning service improvements and future fare policy.  TransLink will continue to use its impressive network of small retail outlets and pharmacies to provide fare products.

Relative to our experience with ORCA, TransLink has many strategic advantages that should provide them a smoother transition than we have experienced.  Without a ride-free area to overcome and with no shared bus/rail operations, faregates can be installed at all rail stations.  Further, its integrated governance structure should allow it to avoid the interagency administrative nightmare that ORCA has produced in our region.  TransLink owns the primary bus/seabus operator (Coast Mountain) and the SkyTrain operator (BC Rapid Transit Company), directly operates the West Coast Express commuter rail, and owns but contracts out operations of the Canada Line (ProTrans).  Revenue sharing issues might arise with the West Vancouver routes – independently owned and operated since 1912 – but given that routes and fares have long been integrated, any issues should be minimal.

Given intense crowding and peoples’ continued expectation for 3-door boarding, I hope that Compass readers will be installed at all doors on the 97 and 99 B-Lines.

As an unrelated postscript, while researching this post I came across a sentence that made me wince:  “TransLink’s diversified funding portfolio gives TransLink greater certainty regarding annual funding levels and enables us to plan for the long term.”   While no North American agency has had an easy few years, take this chart as food for thought.

Chart by the Author

Urban Maps for Geeks

Screenshot from the New York Times

I thought I’d pass along a data reference tool that I’ve found very useful in understanding our city and region.  A few months ago the New York Times launched a project called Mapping America – Every City, Every Block.  The maps use data from the 2009 American Community Survey to display basic population data (density, race/ethnicity, income, education etc…) but they are especially useful in their use of automatic scaling; the maps adjusts your viewing for either census tract or county depending on your level of zoom.

It’s always nice to have a reliable and easy-to-read data source to use in urban research.  Enjoy!

Light Rail Excuse of the Week: Live Music!

And now for something completely different.  If you’re free tomorrow night from 5:30-7:30pm (or later for an afterparty), Hollow Earth Radio is sponsoring “Light Rail Dark Rail”, a series of live musical performances onboard Link.  Performances start at IDS at 5:30, with “concertgoers” catching a southbound train at 6:00.  Once at SeaTac, you’ll have a choice of northbound trains, “Light Rail” or “Dark Rail”, but you won’t know which you’ve chosen until it departs.  Expect eclectic local music, nervous security guards, and surely dumbfounded passengers wondering what hit them.

South Lake Union: How High Should We Go?

Photo by Mike Bjork

The 2004 Comprehensive Plan designated South Lake Union as an urban center, and it laid out ambitious growth targets.  Since then we’ve seen solid growth in the neighborhood through the Hutchinson Cancer Center, Amazon’s relocation, and of course the Seattle Streetcar.  But the real potential for densification lies in incentivized upzones, and to that end the City of Seattle has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement, South Lake Union: Height and Density Alternatives.  It studies the environmental impacts of three zoning alternatives that would create space for 23,000-31,500 jobs and 15,000-21,000 residences.

More after the jump… Continue reading “South Lake Union: How High Should We Go?”

Reflections on a Long-Distance Commute

Sounder at Freighthouse Square – Photo by DWHonan

(We generally try to avoid overly self-referential posts here on STB, but I hope you’ll indulge me on this occasion.)

I have impeccable urban elitist credentials.  I haven’t owned a car for 6 years, and I’ve been unduly proud of it.  Despite myself, I’ve slowly been becoming the “smug cyclist” that provides such lazy framing material for our city’s overblown culture wars.  Quite frankly, I have had to fight not to be annoying.  But these days I’m quieter, more circumspect, more patient.  Why the change?  My daily commute to the suburbs has relieved me of my arrogance.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “Reflections on a Long-Distance Commute”

John Mica Comes to Washington

Wikimedia

Fresh off of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s abrupt rejection of federal funds for the Orlando-Tampa HSR line, Rep. John Mica (R-Winter Park, FL) will be visiting Vancouver WA this Monday to moderate a town hall on federal transportation priorities.  The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Listening Session will be held in Vancouver because it is home to freshman Representative and Transportation Committee member Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Vancouver).  The meeting is from 9-11am at the Clark County PUD.

Rep. Mica is one of the more interesting House Republicans on rail issues.  A vocal but narrow supporter of HSR projects, with a strong skepticism for most projects outside of the Northeast Corridor, Mica expressed anger over Rick Scott’s seemingly unilateral cancellation of the project.  Since the second hour of the Vancouver forum is reserved for public comment, it would be a great chance to tout the virtues of our rail work in the Pacific Northwest to perhaps the most receptive Republican ear in the House.

Due to the early start you’ll either have to drive down, take Cascades the night before, or suffer through a midnight Greyhound.  But if you care about rail in the Northwest and can articulate yourself well, it would be worth your time and effort to attend.

First Hill Loses Its Grocery Store

Score: Capitol Hill 7, First Hill 0?

Despite our present trend toward quantifying everything, I still frequently prefer to make more qualitative, intuitive judgments about the livability of neighborhoods.  The single best shorthand I know is an affirmative answer to the question, “If I lived here, would I walk to the grocery store?”   Consider Capitol Hill, where in just over a square mile there are 7 major grocery stores, sewn together by dozens of small markets and convenience stores.  Or walk around Lower Queen Anne; Metropolitan Market is quite the neighborhood anchor, isn’t it?

So it’s a great loss for First Hill that its only full-service grocery, M Street, shut its doors last week.  King 5 quotes a customer named Tony Lucas, “It’s like a desert out here.  The closest one is on Broadway and University.  I’m not going to walk that far.”  There is still easy transit access to groceries – including Metro #2 and #12 (to Kress, Pike Place Market, Madison Market, Trader Joes, or the Broadway/Union QFC) – but losing easy walking access considerably diminishes urban quality of life.   Walk Score gives the intersection of Boren/Madison a score of 97, a “Walker’s Paradise”, while giving Broadway/John an 89, merely “Very Walkable.”  Could anyone possibly walk around those two areas and argue that those scores are merited?

If you live car-free or car-lite, give thanks for your neighborhood grocery stores, patronize them liberally, and show them the value that comes from having a dense pedestrian customer base.  Walkable neighborhoods can’t afford not to have them.

Republicans Propose Transit Cuts

The Future Capitol Hill Station – Partly Funded by an $813M New Starts Grant – Photo by the Author

The Republican Study Committee recently released details for $2.5 Trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years.   Drawn up in order to flesh out their campaign pledge to cut $100B by the end of this fiscal year, the proposed cuts would hit non-highway transportation spending particularly hard.  The cuts would:

  • Rescind all remaining stimulus funds:  $45 Billion
  • Eliminate all Amtrak funding:  $1.56 Billion Annually
  • Eliminate the New Starts program:  $2.5 Billion Annually
  • Rescind HSR Grants:  $2.5B Annually
  • Eliminate the Essential Air Service Program:  $150 Million Annually
  • Eliminate federal subsidies for the DC Metro: $150 Million Annually

This proposal is undoubtedly just the GOP’s opening bid.  Tomorrow’s State of the Union address will likely represent the President’s opening bid, after which the haggling begins.  I do not intend this to be a partisan post,  for neither political party has forwarded a serious proposal to manage our long-term fiscal crisis.  But Republicans are acutely aware that the symbolism of many of these proposed cuts (Amtrak, HSR etc..) far exceeds their budgetary impact, and that the sum of all transportation funding (including highways) amounts to crumbs at the budgetary table.  With luck our political parties will someday choose substance over symbolism.

As Cascades Sets Another Record, A Plea for Reliability

Photo by Dave Honan

Amtrak Cascades set another ridership record in 2010, boarding 838,251 passengers.  This represents an 8% increase over the previous record set in 2008 (774, 531).  Economic recovery, the 2nd daily train to Vancouver BC, and the Vancouver Olympics all drove the increased ridership.  It was also an active year on the policy front.  Washington won a battle with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) regarding customs fees for the 2nd train, and the federal government increased Washington’s HSR stimulus funds by 32%, from $590M to $782M.

Directly gauging the impact of the 2nd Vancouver BC train is difficult. WSDOT only began publishing station on-off data in February 2010, so year-on-year comparisons will be possible beginning next year.  Rather, increased ridership must be inferred from ridership growth on Trains 513 and 516. The first graph below shows a clear spike in ridership when the 2nd train began on August 19 2009, and that this year-on-year growth sustained itself through August 2010. The 2nd graph shows Vancouver BC now assuming its expected place as the 3rd most popular station, overtaking Tacoma.

As a frequent Cascades rider and supporter, I should be elated by these ridership figures.  Yet my enthusiasm is muted by the fact that service levels remain too infrequent, on-time performance remains poor, and reliability in the winter is awful (service north of Seattle has been cancelled 14 of the last 39 days due to mudslides).  While I appreciate that living in a lush, rain-fed region comes with the risk of mudslides, it is disappointing that WSDOT’s Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan makes almost no mention of mudslide-related reliability issues.  Though I welcome our push for higher-speed rail, I propose a simple rule-of-thumb for project prioritization:  fix the bad before improving the good.

Still, long term, be bullish on Cascades.  When the stimulus funds have done their work, when King Street has been fully restored, when the Point Defiance Bypass has traded scenery for needed reliability, and when we start to see those extra frequencies, we will at last have some of the best rail services in the country.

Skiing and Transit

Skis on Amtrak – Photo by Karl Dahlquist (railpictures.net)

(Update 12:30pm:  With a great sense of timing for this post, the Seattle Times reports that Crystal Mountain is turning skiers away for the remainder of the day because their parking lot is full.)

Though I mostly enjoy my car-free life, I do wish I skied more.  When I lived in Idaho I thought nothing of 100-mile drives to support my season pass at Schweitzer, and when I lived in Colorado there was always the Ski Train to Winter Park.  Our wilderness legacy in Washington has kept our spectacular mountains fairly well-preserved, with the caveat that the relatively few access points that do exist must be accessed by car.   Here we have resorts surrounded by emptiness (whether wilderness or clearcuts), whereas places like Colorado have ski towns, many of them served by comprehensive (and free!) transit service.  Though Washington has an impressive amount of rural transit, very little of this serves our resorts. Our decision to under-develop our mountains comes with environmental benefits that I genuinely appreciate, but this particular tradeoff – lack of transit access – frustrates my attempts to enjoy winter sports and still live car-free.

Though Zipcar, traditional car rental, and Craigslist rideshare are good options in a pinch, I thought I’d write a post laying out our options for getting to our ski resorts car-free.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “Skiing and Transit”

Rider Alert: Amtrak Cascades Service Canceled Until Tuesday

Two separate mudslides have canceled all Amtrak service between Portland and Vancouver BC.  Conforming with BNSF’s 48-hour moratorium following such events, service is expected to resume on Tuesday morning.

  • Buses will completely replace trains 501, 506, 508, 510, 513, 516, and 517 .
  • Trains 11 and 14 (Coast Starlight), 500, 507, and 509 will run as trains between Eugene and Portland and as buses between Portland and Seattle.
  • Train 504 (Portland to Eugene only) is unaffected.
  • Due both to our mudslides and heavy snow in Minnesota/North Dakota, please check with Amtrak regarding the status of the Empire Builder.  Over the next two days trains will be severely delayed and will originate either at Everett or Spokane (depending upon tardiness) and passengers will be bused to/from Seattle.
  • North Sounder will not run on Monday.  South Sounder is currently unaffected.

Real-time train information is always available here.  Given the likely extent of flooding in Western Washington through Tuesday, bus replacement may soon experience its own delays or cancellations.  Stay tuned.

Denver’s Lessons for the North Corridor HCT Alignment

Light Rail Flyover Ramps at the I-25/I-225 Interchange – newraleigh.com

Pending the results of a required Alternatives Analysis, over the next couple of years Sound Transit will select a technology and an alignment for High Capacity Transit from Northgate to Lynnwood.  ST recently released its Early Scoping Information Report, and Adam wrote a nice piece discussing the relative merits of the 3 corridors under consideration (Aurora, I-5 and 15th Ave NE).  The most likely alignment remains I-5, which is the cheapest, quickest, and shortest.  Having lived in Denver for 2 years (2007-2008), I am well-acquainted with interstate light rail alignments, and I think there is much we can learn from Denver’s alignment choices.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “Denver’s Lessons for the North Corridor HCT Alignment”