Seattle 2021 candidates and their position webpages

The long climb to City Hall / photo from Wikicommons

The deadline for candidates to withdraw their filings for the races for mayor, city attorney, and city council positions 8 and 9 passed Monday.

For those who have been wishing to have a simple list of links to the candidates’ position pages, here ya go:

Mayor

Clinton Bliss

Henry Clay Dennison (no website found)

James Donaldson

Colleen Echohawk

Jessyn Farrell

M. Lorena González

Bruce Harrell

Andrew Grant Houston

Arthur K. Langlie

Stan Lippmann

Lance Randall

Don L. Rivers

Casey Sixkiller

Omari Tahir-Garrett

Bobby Tucker

City Attorney

Ann Davison

Pete Holmes

Nicole S Thomas-Kennedy

City Council Position 8

Brian Fahey (no website found)

Jordan Elizabeth Fisher

George Freeman (no website found)

Paul Glumaz

Jesse James (no website found)

Kate Martin

Bobby Lindsey Miller (no website found)

Teresa Mosqueda

Alex Tsimerman

Alexander White (no website found)

Kenneth Wilson (no website found)

City Council Position 9

Corey Eichner

Xtian Gunther

Lindsay McHaffie (no website found)

Sara Nelson

Nikkita Oliver

Brianna Thomas

Rebecca Williamson (no website found)

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News roundup: coming back

1173 (118X) and 3713 (119X) onboard the MV Cathlamet

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First youth ORCA now free

4 ORCA cards

Starting June 1st, the first youth ORCA a child gets is free with proof of age. Subsequent cards (to replace ones lost or stolen) still cost $5. This now matches the policy for the Regional Reduced Fare Permit.

Youth cards are available at customer service offices, or more conveniently via mail.

This continues the gradual ratchet of reducing and eliminating fares without threatening the core of revenue provided by employer passes. Through low income fares, ultra-low-income fares, free passes for Seattle Public Schools students, and periodic ORCA giveaways, there are many ways to chip away at what for most is already a modest fare bill.

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Link’s Series 2 Train Doors Light Up

Open door on new Series 2 Link train. Light strips beside the door windows are lit up green. The closed door on the opposite side is lit up blue

One of the distinctive features on the new Link “Series 2” trains are the light strips on the doors. Not only do they add a colorful flair to your ride, they serve the purpose of indicating the state of the doors. With one tweak they could be more informative for a speedy exit.

In their normal state, the Series 2’s door lights glow blue. They flash green when they open and stay a solid green while they are fully open. As the doors close, they flash red. The lights return to blue after the doors close.

My first impression of the door lights was they reminded me of a similar feature on Montreal’s Azur trains which got me excited. But something was missing. The Series 2’s lights do not tell you which doors will open at the next stop.

Lights beside the doors on the left are lit in green to indicate they will open at the next station. The doors on the right side of the train are lit in white.
Montreal Metro’s Azur trains highlight the doors that will open at the next stop.

So let’s use these lights to their full potential. When a train approaches a station, the doors opening at the next stop should change from blue to green. Then a voice announces “Now Entering [Some] Station. Exit to my [left/right]” and the new information screens display an Exit symbol with an arrow pointing toward the exit (more on the screens in a future post). All these done in sync reinforces the message.

This simple visual cue helps riders get ready to exit the train without using a single word, just in a glance.

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Community Transit considering microtransit in Lynnwood

Community Transit has put out a set of options for its upcoming Lynnwood Pilot, with the aim of improving mobility around popular destinations in Lynnwood. The options include two microtransit routes, and a community van program. Community Transit is seeking feedback on the options with a survey, open until June 18th.

Continue reading “Community Transit considering microtransit in Lynnwood” | 26 comments

Charter Amendment contains good surprises

Homelessness is a complicated problem for which STB, with its narrow transit-and-land-use focus, would not claim to propose a full solution. [1] The proposal in Seattle Charter Amendment 29 (“Compassion Seattle“), which may be on the ballot later this year, attracts the usual complaints from those who insist on zero tolerance or zero coercion. Money for housing is good, though unfunded spending mandates aren’t so good.

But, like any worthwhile op-ed, this anti-amendment argument ($) by three former Councilmembers gives us enough information to learn there is at least one piece that I feel qualified to say is very good:

· CA 29 waives the land use code to site housing projects. Zoning, height limits, setbacks, greenbelt designations, notice and “due process” will not apply. This means new housing units or multifamily projects could be added in all zones, including single family.

and indeed, right there in the fifth bullet of Section 1:

Continue reading “Charter Amendment contains good surprises” | 30 comments

The future is condos

Seattle - big new Eastlake view condo building

Heidi Groover takes a break from the scary ” home” price beat to point out that it isn’t all that hard to buy a condo in Seattle ($).

There is a lot of media directed at people shopping for single family homes, but the number of possible houses within a certain distance of Seattle is finite. It’s natural for a growing metropolitan area to have a center city where single family homes become rarer, and the only way out is to allow denser forms of housing. Despite shortcomings,, Groover’s reporting suggests policy is basically working to provide ownership opportunities.

More reporting like this, please. Single-family homes will be a less important part of the market, and statistics that reflect that will be critical to understanding how our policy mix is working.

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News roundup: do better

Metro South Base

This is an open thread.

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Prioritize Stride BRT in realignment

See the source image
Stride station rendering (image: Sound Transit)

With the Sound Transit 3 program realignment continuing to evolve and adjust to new revenue projections, Sound Transit is evolving its realignment scenarios. Now is the time to get serious about prioritizing projects. I believe that Sound Transit’s Stride BRT lines are strong candidates for prioritization, and should be completed as soon as possible.

Continue reading “Prioritize Stride BRT in realignment” | 136 comments

News roundup: part 2 of 2

A @SoundTransit Link Train  Stretching Under Intl District Station Skylight

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News roundup: part 1 of 2

816

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Smith cove ferry service?

The Port of Seattle:

The Port of Seattle Commission approved funds for a Pier 86 Public Fishing Pier restoration study, in partnership with Expedia Group and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Cost and Feasibility study will allow the Port and its partners to determine the technical requirements and potential costs of construction of rebuilding the public fishing pier at Pier 86 with a “ferry float” to support commuter service to the Expedia Campus and surrounding area.

No routes are proposed, so it’s hard to say what the value would be here, especially once the Link station opens at Smith Cove (express to Alki?) But it’s impressive that they found a possible ferry location that was ignored by the 2008 passenger ferry study, the 2015 passenger ferry study, and the 2020 passenger ferry study.

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Legislature passes a carbon cap

Joe O’Sullivan, at The Seattle Times, on the state’s first carbon cap-and-trade system:

SB 5126 creates a system to cap carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and sets specific limits for individual businesses, according to a news statement. Those businesses would have to then purchase credits for allowed emissions.

Businesses emitting fewer greenhouse gases than the credits allotted them could then sell their credits to businesses that aren’t reducing emissions as quickly, according to the statement. The overall pool of carbon credits are to be gradually reduced by 2050, in order to hit a goal of net-zero emissions.

The money collected by the state would go toward, among other things, projects intended to reduce emissions from transportation and increase resiliency to climate change.

That can presumably include transit projects, though the word “transit” doesn’t appear in the legislative analysis. The Senate’s cap-and-trade proposal beat out the House’s proposed carbon tax.

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MASS statement on the Seattle VLF

From our partners at Move All Seattle Sustainably:

The Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition urges the Seattle City Council to follow the outreach process it mandated when passing a $20 vehicle license fee (VLF) in November 2020. The Seattle Department of Transportation engaged stakeholders and struck a careful balance in its spending proposal that incorporated the City’s stated priorities of safety, climate action, mobility justice, and equity. SDOT’s proposal would invest 73% of the VLF on walking, rolling, and biking, while spending 24% on bridge maintenance.

The SDOT proposal is very reasonable and balanced. Council ought to propose bridge maintenance as part of the next capital levy in 2024. Doug Trumm at The Urbanist has some good suggestions on what such a plan might look like.

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ST board members want more time for realignment

Letter from Claudia Balducci, Dow Constantine and Jenny Durkan to the Sound Transit board:

One year ago, in 2020, the problem the Board was tasked to address stemmed from a massive revenue shortfall due to a pandemic-induced recession; now, the overwhelming problem is unforeseen cost increases. With this change, we may need to reevaluate our approach. Are the assumptions that led to cost increases in the evaluated projects likely to lead to increases in the remaining realignment portfolio? What has been the average cost increase in recent projects? How should the agency approach a cost-related gap differently than a revenue-related gap?

The concern is that projects will get unnecessarily delayed while the tax revenue shortfalls end up being less severe than expected. I see where they’re coming from, but it’s hard to see how more delay gets projects delivered more quickly.

Reading between the lines, and judging by the signatories, the letter seems like an effort to keep the board from prematurely punting Ballard and West Seattle too far out into the future. Especially since the second downtown tunnel – another priority shared by this trio – fares well in most phasing scenarios.

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Public input on ST3 realignment this week

April 30th is the deadline for the public to comment on Sound Transit’s various options to make up for the current mismatch in projected costs and revenues for ST3. Here’s where we stand:

There is no effect on the Sound Transit 2 projects (Link to Lynnwood, Redmond, and Federal Way) and these are expected to arrive in accordance with current schedules, and roughly 1-2 years after the timeline voters were given in 2008.

Updates to the economic model have reduced the funding gap from $11.5 billion to “only” $7.9 billion. $527m from the first Biden stimulus, plus $4.6 billion more in projected tax revenue is partially offset by $595m more in cost inflation. The NE 130th St Station alone has increased $64m as engineering went from 30 to 60%.

This handy graph shows how other considerations have more than made up for lower tax receipts, and it’s exploding capital costs that have put the project in doubt:

Continue reading “Public input on ST3 realignment this week” | 65 comments

News roundup: limited edition

Pioneer Square

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