Latest Comments

  • Jim Cusick on News roundup: delayedFor the beams over the roadway, yes. Southbound was clear, the direction I was traveling, but some of the structure adjacent to the northbound lanes was still visible.
  • Jummy James on News roundup: delayedI am kind of a fan/nerd for transit construction projects. I saw I-5 lane closures in the news in Mountlake Terrace. It is for the removal of the temporary steel beam structure over I-5 during the consttruction the Lynwood Link overpass. Is it down yet?
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayedThe Spring District is reportedly overemphasizing office space and building too little housing. This is the perverse incentives in action. Bellevue can get away with it because it's such a desirable location for businesses that they'll come. Workers will have to commute from Snohomish County if there's not enough housing in Bellevue or the Eastside. This may be good for Bellevue's tax receipts but it's bad for the region and all the people involved, who have to travel further than they would have. It's a beggar-thy-neighbor attitude rather than all cities working together for the betterment of all. King County's...
  • asdf2 on News roundup: delayedYes, and in the aggregate, it creates a financial incentive for cities to want businesses that people travel to from other cities, but relatively few residents. Problem is, in the aggregate, the result is a surplus of business space and a housing shortage. Ideally, tax collection would be structured so that cities would be more neutral about housing vs. business space, perhaps splitting sales tax revenue from credit card transactions between where the business is located and where the customer lives. 20 ago, this would have been impractical, today, it's a problem that seems mostly solvable through software. This is...
  • Jim Cusick on News roundup: delayedResidents cost a municipality money because they demand services. Businesses, with their sales tax revenue, generate money for a municipality. That's how cities make those decisions. They just love their auto dealerships.
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayedDevelopers are continuing to build housing and office space at a rapid pace, so they believe population growth will continue. They may be wrong, but it's not just the PSRC predicting it, it's also the ones who are putting their money on the line.
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayed"PSRC future population estimates — all living in TOD — also were not reasonable but were complicit.” The PSRC does what it claims: plans for growth. Its past population predictions have been pretty accurate. The pandemic has thrown a wrench into things and made it hard to say what will happen when. There are two choices: overbuild and risk excess vacancies, or underbuild and exacerbate the housing shortage that's driving prices up. Pugetopolis has so far escaped the worst of the San Francisco and San Jose housing shortages and $3500-4000 rents and $1.5 million average house prices, but it could...
  • Al S. on News roundup: delayedI read the anti-new housing comment as doublespeak for “new residents living in denser areas aren’t my kind of people.” If they cared about the tax base, they would be supportive of new projects. I also think that the Alderwood Station could be great for thousands of new jobs for all those new residents. It’s not too much housing if the new residents can walk or ride one stop to their job.
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayed"ST 3 — like ST 1 and 2 — was based on ST 4. Without a ST 4 ST never pencilled out, even without a pandemic. But ST felt passing ST 3 was existential to completing ST 2 so manipulated all the assumptions in ST 3. PSRC future population estimates — all living in TOD — also were not reasonable but were complicit." ST knew ST2 wasn't dependent on ST3. Only the short extensions to downtown Redmond and Federal Way were not in ST2. ST3's marketing allowed voters to get the misimpression that ST3 was needed to open Lynnwood and...
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayedLynnwood's urban growth has started. "More than 3,600 new housing units have been completed in the past year, are under construction or planned in Lynnwood's City Center and Alderwood neighborhoods. Multiple street, sidewalk, and trail improvements are already planned." "In a meeting last month, one City Council member warned against 'too much housing,' while another reminded his colleagues that a busy, walkable core is what many constituents 'have long asked for.'' As if too much housing is a problem. "After college, Nguyen [owner of a furniture store] had a career in Silicon Valley. He returned in 2005, as Lynnwood’s leaders...
  • Al S. on News roundup: delayedYeah but the outcome makes those of us in SE Seattle get very little out of it. We no longer get direct North Seattle direct Link riders and instead get a time consuming transfer (a degradation in service and accessibility). Even Downtown stations will be deeper and will add travel time to use. We do get rail to SLU and Ballard directly and to West Seattle with a transfer, but not much else. Most of us do not need direct access beyond Kent-Des Moines. We do get Graham but ST is further along with Everett Link than they are with...
  • Daniel Thompson on News roundup: delayedI agree with Tisgwm about the fact ST is still manipulating the figures (my words). Fortunately Link is a fairly new system. Simply read the linked article on the D.C. metro system for a glimpse of the future. Only ST is claiming reduced ridership and the pandemic have not undermined farebox recovery assumptions, while ironically former CEO Rogoff is warning about the opposite. The problem with another “realignment” is the problem with the first: if rising ROW and construction costs are the issue — and by definition mean the current ST taxes based on 2016 assumptions are inadequate — extending...
  • Larry on News roundup: delayedI will say the ORCA website experience is substantially improved. Being able to add money immediately is much better. And having to re-register all of my family's ORCA cards made it easy to finally consolidate them under a single user (me). I agree that station experiences remain frustrating. Getting on at Roosevelt yesterday, the ORCA reader beeps were too quiet for me to hear. Not seeing a balance displayed, or being able to distinguish tap-on vs tap-off is frustrating. And while all of the escalators were miraculously working, the on-board automated next-stop announcements and display board were screwed up. Apparently...
  • Sam on News roundup: delayed"Fans flood Brooklyn subway stations for Notorious B.I.G. MetroCards on what would’ve been his 50th birthday" From the New York Post. Bing it if you want to read the article. Why can't ORCA do something like that? Have a limited edition transit card featuring a local celebrity? I think Ichiro would be popular.
  • Daniel Thompson on News roundup: delayedMike, a heroin habit does not cost $3/day, but does make it nearly impossible to hold a job. At the same time if you are insisting every homeless person is entitled to a top of the line $1800/mo. apartment to live alone the region cannot afford that, and neither can many working class citizens who don’t do drugs, the folks I think my housing taxes should go to.
  • Jimmy James on News roundup: delayedI read your link to Northgate. Is it really going to take Simon's Properties up until 2040 to build all the housing on their property.?Usually for profit companies go faster.
  • Jim Cusick on News roundup: delayed"142B dividided by 4M ST district residents would be $35,500 per resident. Food for thought." Compared to what? It's an interesting figure, and if I go further with asdf's idea, and divide that $1,000 yearly amount by the 365 days in a year, it comes to just under $3 a day. What you should be asking in order to make a valid Transportation Funding decision is: What other things can I spend my hard earned tax dollars on that will make my transportation experience better... and... How Much Will That Cost? The cost of Sound Move is meaningless for deciding...
  • Christopher Cramer on News roundup: delayedYeah, I ran into the same thing today. I was waiting for a B, so I tapped the RapidRide reader. Then the B never showed up (ah, transit in America...), and a 245 did show up, so I tapped the RapidRide reader again because I was riding a non-RapidRide bus. Doesn't make much difference in this case, since you get 2 hours free after the first use anyway. Pretty sure you won't be charged three times in succession. The other problem is that the reader doesn't tell you your balance anymore. I hope that's a temporary regression.
  • asdf2 on News roundup: delayedYes, but that's over 30 years in year of expenditure dollars. $1k per year per resident doesn't sound so bad, especially if it's $1k in 2050 dollars.
  • Dan Ryan on News roundup: delayedOperating cost forecasts aren't running far ahead of revenues because of inflation. Sales taxes and car tabs will keep up with inflation just fine, and the property tax is too small to affect the math much.
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayedToday I tapped three times at a RapidRide reader to see what it would do. Before the ORCA conversion it would start a trip, cancel it, and start it again. Now it says "PERMIT TO TRAVEL" all three times. They said ORCA 2 has more flexible software so it can be customized more than ORCA 1 could, and that more features will be coming over the next several months. But it appears the features have regressed. In two years will we get all the features back we had two weeks ago? Or is this identical tapin/tapout/cancel message permanent? "Canceling" means...
  • Mike Orr on News roundup: delayedThere's inflation now, remember? Things cost more.
  • Tlsgwm on News roundup: delayed"This is an agency on the brink of another realignment delay despite a gusher of new money." That was my overall takeaway as well. Depressing indeed. I only mentioned the changes in the "sources" figures to be as complete as possible and show the other side of the ledger. Obviously the timing of the increased debt reliance is important to note, as is the increased debt servicing expense that actually occurs during the 30-year plan period. P.S. Thank you, Daniel, for the kind shout-out.
  • Dan Ryan on News roundup: delayedIt’s an interesting and depressing report - depressing because it is surfacing issues which have not been well explained, and I’m not sure the Board understands. I’m not sure the “Total sources” is so interesting, the debt and reserves largely reflect timing of other things. But what happened to operational costs and SOGR? The report mentions a large increase in staff costs, but there’s a lot more that isn’t explained. The other astonishing thing is how close the “affordable plan” is to being unaffordable again. Despite a hefty increase in tax revenues and federal grant forecasts, they have already shrunk...
  • Daniel Thompson on News roundup: delayedSkylar, my definition of “responsible drug use” is I am not asked to subsidize a drug user’s housing, transportation, health care, food, or any other expense. If a drug user can afford drugs they don’t need my money. NOTHING in this world will destroy a young person’s desire, ambition and success more than drugs. In the circles I run in, which happen to be those who pay in more than they take out, nothing turns them off to levies or subsidies for housing, health care or transportation more than this idea of subsidizing drug use, or low barrier shelters. That...