Latest Comments

  • Evin on Snohomish County Transit@Martin, yes, it looks like this Cascadia HSR plan calls for a very long tunnel (which is what the blue line represents) between Seattle and Everett. If that's the only way to get a 220mph line between these two cities, then it just is too expensive. So that's why it should just use I-5 even if some curves on the freeway are sharp enough that the train has to slow down going around some curves. (e.g. the curve on I-5 just north of 220th St SW in Mountlake Terrace) Even if there are some fairly sharp curves on I-5, it's...
  • Al S. on Open Thread: Snow TimeI think that the concept of videos as educational tools is great. I do think however they become redundant after awhile. I prefer videos that talk about quantitative things. I like to watch Ray of CityNerd because he is often presenting findings after he applies criteria. Otherwise a video is just someone’s opinion — even if they are spot on. I would like to see similar videos made by others besides able-bodied white guys. That’s not a criticism of these YouTube posters but more of a frustration that the effort as well as the algorithms favor content from this demographic....
  • Sam on Open Thread: Snow TimeMy larger point was much of EU inter-country train travel is slow, and it's usually preferably to fly. When discussing EU HSR, I think sometimes people forget that.
  • RossB on Open Thread: Snow TimeI wonder if he has flown that much in Europe though. He grew up and spent much of his adulthood in Canada, but decided to move to Amsterdam. I would imagine he still has friends and family in Ontario (he has made recent videos from Ontario). If he ever went from his hometown (London, Ontario) to visit New York City, it is likely he flew. Then there are trips to the West Coast (of Canada or the U. S.). Given that he has decided to live permanently outside his home country, I would guess he has traveled much of the...
  • RossB on Open Thread: Snow TimeI think the Not Just Bikes videos are great. I'm generally not a fan of the medium for things of this nature. Half the time I would rather read a well written article (in something like The Atlantic) or just a blog. The latter won't be edited as well, but there are a lot of videos that definitely need better editing. Mainly I would rather read what you have to say, rather than listen to you say it. But Not Just Bikes has great video, which shows exactly what he is talking about. This adds very much to presentation. If...
  • RossB on Snohomish County TransitBut the document fails to itemize the dozens of at-grade vehicular crossings which will have to be closed or overpassed to achieve anything over 110. Of course it doesn't itemize each each and every action necessary to improve speed and reliability. That is not the nature of the document. This is what is presented to representatives and the general public, not engineers. If you look at the budget plans for WSDOT, for example, they will give estimates for large freeway projects. The engineers have done the detailed work, and have a good idea of the costs. But they don't list...
  • Brent White on Open Thread: Snow TimeSTB did not shy away from reporting on the cement strike, and its impact on Link expansion. STB has also reported on Amtrak many times, even if the vast majority of the posts are about local transit. What has generally been frowned upon are (1) requests on the blog to moderate or censor, and (2) meta discussions about the blog’s operations, especially moderation disputes.
  • Sam on Open Thread: Snow TimeI'd like to see more local videos included on a suggested viewing list. Two YouTube channels I recommend are bobco85 and PNW 4K. bobco85 is mostly local bike tours, and they are very well produced! And PNW 4K is a mix of local bike and walking tours.
  • Brent White on Open Thread: Snow TimeIn general, the agencies’ alert systems and up-to-the-hour webpages ought to do the heavy lifting of redirecting passengers for emergency stop closures. It should go more smoothly than the unexpected stoppages of the 1 Line, given that the agencies aren’t scrambling to identify the problem (large accumulations of snow). For tactical all-day redirects of peak express routes, passengers will mostly be boarding at their usual stops, and learn about the re-route as they arrive at different stops than usual, even if they miss all the visual and audio cues. In the case of the CT 400’s, there are multiple operational...
  • Sam on Open Thread: Snow TimeIn one of the videos, the Not Just Bikes guy starts off by saying, "Now, I've flown a lot, and that's a massive understatement." And here's the reason why the guy who lives in Europe and is a big rail fan often prefers to fly. While a number of train trips within the EU are quick because of HSR, most are not. For example, it takes 45 hours to get from Lisbon to Rome by train. That's the distance from Seattle to L.A. 45 hours. Too often, when rail in the EU is talked about, the impression is given that...
  • Tom Terrific on Snohomish County TransitMartin, that "UHSGT" document is a complete fantasy. There are simply not enough people traveling between Seattle and points south to centralVancouver or Seattle and points north to central Portland to justify the stratospheric costs of this thing. Dude, business travel is never coming back -- we have Zoom and Teams! Why does someone need to get to downtown Seattle, ride a "UHSR" train to Portland Union Station and then get to, say, Beaverton via MAX to have a face-to-face meeting with someone? Much less an entire team. With HDTV's they can connect in a couple of minutes and it's...
  • Tom Terrific on Snohomish County TransitRoss, while yes, the ultra-long cross-overs necessary for Cascades 90 mph operation have been installed in many places in no place between Nisqually Junction and North Vancouver has the necessary third main track been installed. Fortunately, in most places that third track can lie adjacent to the existing pair, albeit with a wider separation from them than they have between themselves. That is the new standard for new main track installation ever since the Powder River Subdivision was doubled and tripled in the early 1980's. But the document fails to itemize the dozens of at-grade vehicular crossings which will have...
  • William C on Snohomish County TransitThat's great news about PAE expansion! When it happens, I'll be all for routing another bus route there. But, I don't think future expansion should route the 8 there today. I think connecting South Everett P&R (and even Mariner, if Community Transit doesn't reroute routes) is more important today.
  • Nathan D. on Open Thread: Snow TimeNot Just Bikes makes great videos which are hard to honestly refute. They tend to be euro-centric when it comes to implementation of objectively good public policy, but the presentation of Urban3’s publicly available case studies are damning for folks who think that the economic engines of cities are anywhere other than their densest cores.
  • Mike Orr on Open Thread: Snow TimeDoes anyone have anything to say about the videos?
  • transitrider on Snohomish County TransitThere is some merit to the comments about the #8 serving PAE. However, a planner should not only be looking at "today," which the commenter was, but also tomorrow. PAE has just been identified as the preferred location for more flights while a new "greenfield" (airport from scratch) is being designed and constructed. I was told by an airport official a few years ago that there was room for "five or six gates" at PAE, and between next June, when PAE will likely be named the choice to take on the additional capacity, I would expect additional service to be...
  • Martin on Snohomish County TransitTom, https://cascadiahighspeedrail.net/ has more up to date cost figures and plans for airport and city locations and https://wsdot.wa.gov/construction-planning/search-studies/ultra-high-speed-rail-study is currently spending $6m on more specific plans and so is OR and BC. The Feds are helping, too.
  • RossB on Open Thread: Snow TimeYou may have misunderstood my point, Micheal. There is no question that a possible railroad strike is relevant to transit. It is the focus on other issues (like inflation, labor relations in general and the details of what is a relatively complex situation) that are not. The problem is that if we go down that road (of discussing those non-transit things) the conversation quickly gets ugly. It has happened many times here. That is why people want to keep it on transit issues. As I wrote clearly, if you want to make the case for nationalizing the railroads as a...
  • Michael Ligot on Open Thread: Snow TimeMy understanding is that a strike would have shut down the tracks, thus preventing Sounder and Amtrak from operating. If true, that justifies the strike's discussion on a transit forum. Of course, American passenger rail should have its own rail networks, but that's another topic.
  • RossB on Snohomish County TransitI should add that there is a movement of sorts to do this. Check out the "Rail Can’t Wait Campaign: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KYhtXNOoojodsUuLpB6ZYDfTHq7EvYzz6N5TzPAEimk/edit Everything on that list is well researched, affordable and practical. In contrast, much of the super high speed rail talk is not.
  • RossB on Snohomish County Transit@Tom -- The 2006 plan mentions the costs and who could pay for it. Since the plan is now fairly old, the numbers are out of date. But this plan is still the best blueprint for improving train speeds and reliability along the corridor. The numbers are high, but not ridiculously high. It is quite reasonable to spend 6 to 12 billion* dollars on the corridor to get East-Coast style high speed rail. It is crazy to spend 100 billion (or more) to build Japanese style high speed rail. Yes, we can do it, but that is nuts for as...
  • RossB on Open Thread: Snow TimeGood point about the driver shortage. It is easy to forget that even if the facilities are all read to go, you need drivers to operate the buses. Given that we already have a driver shortage, this compounds the problem.
  • RossB on Open Thread: Snow TimeI think Ross forgot that Metro was unable to get a trolleybus that had doors on both sides. The route is planned to have a 60-foot articulated hybrid bus fleet instead. I didn't forget. If anything, it helps Metro in these situations. The trolleys don't do well in the snow. Metro will often substitute a hybrid instead. They pretty much have to when they run a snow route. The particular bus they will use for the RapidRide G (according to Wikipedia) is the New Flyer Xcelsior XDE60, a bus that is used by Metro now. The only significant difference will...
  • Tom Terrific on Snohomish County TransitThey use I-5 and BNSF right-of-way in many placesNo, they don't. Look at the enormous amount of Blue line on those diagrams. It is WAY over half the total distance from Seattle to Vancouver. They don't even try to find any surface ROW south of Marysville. What a ridiculous fantasy.
  • Tom Terrific on Snohomish County TransitRoss, Martin, I am all for "Higher Speed Rail" (110-125) between Seattle and Eugene. I'd even run it north to Bellingham as an alternative to adding lanes to I-5 north of Everett, except that there are those the two long stretches that would require tunnels for anything over 60 (45 along Chuckanut Drive). But even Higher Speed that operates often enough to be meaningful costs a couple of billion just to double-track and overpass the UP between Black River Junction and East Tacoma. Adding a third, higher speed track south of Nisqually Junction all the way to North Vancouver would...