At the rate it's going, going to be a lot of surprised politicos when Seattle kills ST2, since apparently we can't vote down RTID without killing ST2.
Strange thing is, most of us like the new version of ST2. But enough is enough.
The REAL problem with RTID is how it would raise tons of taxes from Seattle and spend those taxes in East King County asphalt. Widening I-405, sending roads up onto the Sammamish Plateau, etc. Somehow I don't think everybody in West Seattle and in the Northwest quadrant of the city (who get nothing out of the ST2/RTID pairing) are going to vote to send their tax money over to Renton, Factoria, Bellevue and Kirkland to make their drives really easy . . . .
And no, nobody cares that the carbon footprint of those Explorers and Tundras will be smaller if they are going the speed limit on 405 - don't even start up with that again.
Will and Delmar
Seattle is going to vote against fixing the Mercer Mess?
Getting light rail past Northgate?
Building a streetcar on First Hill?
Light rail service to Overlake?
Want to reconsider your forecasting?
You overplay the green motivations of Seattle voters.
West Seattle and Magnolia voters wanted to built a 6 lane highway on the Seattle waterfront so they could continue to drive to work in downtown.
Despite the fact that green leaders told them it would kill the earth, the seals, the children and that they could have a pretty park and nice sidewalks without a Viaduct.
They said no thanks wine and cheese crowd, I would like a quick trip into work in my Outback.
Also, consider that more Seattle voters supported R-51 than creating the Monorail in the same election.
Seattle should create its own transit authority since we are getting SCREWED by the 40-40-20 split the east and south-siders gave us.
Speaking of 40-40-20. Didn't Seattle just vote over 70 percent for Transit Now, which send a lot of bus service to areas outside of the city?
Will, still think Seattle is going to vote against Roads and Transit?
Will, you aren't one of those Seattlelites I see in their SUV's every morning taking I-90 to work over in Bellevue are you?
I think taking the Cross Base Highway off the list will cost RTID a number of votes in Pierce County. Maybe not among the enviros but in the communities that would benefit from Cross Base like Spanaway, Graham, Fredricksen, South Hill, etc.
Speaking of 40-40-20. Didn't Seattle just vote over 70 percent for Transit Now, which send a lot of bus service to areas outside of the city?
stan @3 - yup. Wake up and smell the coffee. We've had it with your whining and No Solutions mentality, Eastside road building claptrap.
Time to get REAL. That or watch it die at the polls.
I live in Tacoma, oppose the cross-base highway, and badly want solutions that reduce CO2 emissions AND provide fast alternatives to the current trudge up I-5 by car or bus (buses are stuck in a lot of the same traffic cars are as the HOV lanes increasingly clog up). That has to mean dedicated bus lanes -- not just HOV lanes -- on I-5 from Everett to Olympia. Until we're offered those -- or we build heavy commuter rail lines along the same stretch of highway -- I'm not sure I can vote yes on a regional transportation package.
Ever heard of the Sounder Commuter rail line?
Josh, what it really will mean is a vindication of the Futurewise/TCC/WCV enviro strategy, as opposed to the Sierra Club enviro strategy.
Angry Andrew why so angry?
You say that 75 percent of all Metro trips either end or begin in the City.
Not enough suburbanites paying taxes for your Seattle bus service? You would feel better if 100 percent of a county service was just for the City of Seattle?
FYI Seattle has 63 percent of all the Metro service on the street today.
Let me guess, you are one of those guys that looks down their nose at folks who live in the suburbs and drive, but you don't support giving them the bus service they are paying for.
Been to Bellevue lately Andrew? See all those jobs and housing and density? You should leave Cap Hill more often.
Will - I live in Seattle and I am voting FOR the Roads and Transit plan.
I want ligth rail to Bellevue so I can get out of my bus that is stuck in traffic every morning.
What is your plan Will? For the Puget Sound region to build Seattle's street car line? Good luck. There is a reason Seattle has the crappy transit system it does today. People like you for 50 years have said, next year we'll develop the perfect plan.
I'll take this one over your arm chair transportation planning dreams.
And btw, take a look at the ST poll from a month back. The support for Roads and Transit is stronger on the eastside than anywhere in the region (yes Will, even the center of the universe, Seattle).
If the cross-base highway is in there, I will have a very hard time voting for the package as a whole, even though I love transit. It's like something out of the 50s or 60s.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the environmentalists' and Sound Transit's willingness to compromise -- and also their determination to drive a hard bargain while compromising. I just hope the Sierra Club's stance will ultimately amount to driving a hard bargain. I just hope they'll come around to supporting the ballot measure if there's a real shift from freeways towards tolls and if the Cross Base Highway is nixed.
If the Cross Base Highway is nixed, that's as sure a sign as anything that the political ground has shifted out from under our feet. Maybe all the news about climate change and peak oil and Iraq and oil-funded terrorism and Bush-onomics is finally sinking in. Maybe $3.50 gas is finally sinking in. Maybe people are finally realizing that building more and more freeways is not a solution for traffic congestion.
And if this ballot measure does pass, there's going to be a real sea change. Once that measure passes, it's going to be overwhelmingly obvious that the Joel Connelly, Joni Balter, Knute Berger crowd is as obsolete, irrelevant, and anachronistic as the Pat Buchanan crowd that wants to build a moat around the United States to keep the rest of the world out. Just reading their faux populism and faux environmentalism is going to hearken us back to a day when Seattle was a quaint, provincial backwater. I'm starting to think that the Seattle Times editorial board eventually will begrudgingly endorse this ballot measure, if only because they don't want to wind up on the trash heap of local history.
RTID doesn't fix the "Mercer Mess" - it landscapes it so Paul Allen can have pretty front lawns for his new buildings (it will actually take longer to get from Seattle Center to I-5 than doing nothing, for example).
Millions of dollars from the sales of City property along this corridor to Hallivulcan that had been earmarked to fix the problematic intersection of Mercer/Valley/Fairview were instead diverted to keeping the EIS process alive for the AWV tunnel project. How'd that work out for ya?
Vote early, vote often, vote NO.
I just wrote: Once that measure passes, it's going to be overwhelmingly obvious that the Joel Connelly, Joni Balter, Knute Berger crowd is as obsolete, irrelevant, and anachronistic as the Pat Buchanan crowd that wants to build a moat around the United States to keep the rest of the world out.
Mr. X, my sincere apologies for leaving you off that list.
I also have to express my sincere gratitude for your early "no" endorsement on the joint ballot measure. If pro-new-viaduct, anti-density Mr. X is coming out against the roads/transit package, that should be a pretty clear indication to fence-sitting greens which side they need to come down on.
maven @14, very well stated. You have to understand there's a certain old guard in Seattle that has opposed every mass transit system that has come down the pike -- with the exception, schizophrenically, of the monorail. They've opposed the Commons. They've opposed removing the viaduct. They've opposed tall buildings. They've opposed anything that smells the least bit of (A) change and (B) the establishment. And all the while they have had the chutzpah to say with a straight face that they are environmentalists. And the truly remarkable thing is they have been sincere about that.
The lesson here is, you can never underestimate the politics of personal and group validation.
I remember when Futurewise and Transportation Choices opposed R-51 and where told that they would be cut out of the loop and have no power. No they are in the position to call the shots. Their leadership on this issue means that the Cross Base Highway, that sprawl inducing-habitat killing-base closing-global warming travesty, will be stricken from the plan. That and the policy issues they have worked on in the RTID package will make it much easier for greens to vote for a package with roads in it.
There's somebody touting that "First Hill Streetcar" again.
Look - Sound Transit is going to drop that right after the vote. Just like ST dropped the First Hill Station after the 1996 vote.
There will not be any First Hill Trolly - stop saying there will be.
And "fixing the Mercer Mess" is going to cost about $250 million. Compare that with the $2.1 billion in RTID taxes that would be taken out of Seattle.
RTID is a TERRIBLE deal for Seattle. Compare the dollars take out of Seattle to the dollars spent in Seattle. Bellevue gets Seattle's net tax loss.
Nickels sold out the city with RTID.
TCC and Futurewise (is that name a tad bit arrogant?) did not oppose either of the six lane tunnels - the one with shoulders and the one without. Sierra club did step up and oppose the tunnel.
The polls run by ST and RTID basically showed support for everything except catapults.
One question that goes begging is how long will this package take to be emission neutral. Each element should have that analyzed before we vote. The energy used to build both the roads portion and the rail portion will be significant.
From what I have read we need to move very quickly to reduce emissions if GH gases are to be reduced in time. Does building rail that won't be in effect for 20 years make sense.
As much as Seattle is criticized on this board it seems that market (housing prices and jobs) says this is a cool place to live. It is funny that those Johnny-come-latelies that love to bash the stupid people that have been here, still fell in love with the city when they got here.
And how does Atlanta rank for traffic congestion? They must be way down the list since they got "our" rail in the 70's.
whatever: From what I have read we need to move very quickly to reduce emissions if GH gases are to be reduced in time. Does building rail that won't be in effect for 20 years make sense.
Whatever, or whoever, let's get over the disingenuous arguments. You care about as much about climate change as the oil companies care about poor people when they complain that gas taxes will hurt the poor the most.
whatever: One question that goes begging is how long will this package take to be emission neutral. Each element should have that analyzed before we vote. The energy used to build both the roads portion and the rail portion will be significant.
Funny, we never heard this whole fake argument about emission-neutral construction when the topic was building a new viaduct or a new tunnel. Suddenly not this pops up when the major thing being built is mass transit. How about we follow your advice and not build any buildings either and try to go back to a pre-Industrial Revolution way of life for the next 20 years? Hmm, and so after that 20-year martial-law moratorium on construction is over, what do we do then -- go back to building more freeways?
No, we should not be comparing competing GHG forecasting data to decide whether or not to vote for this. Sheesh.
The Slog entry says this would be a $16 billion measure in November. The Seattle Times says it would be a $37 billion measure:
“$37 billion in regional road and transit projects headed to this fall's ballot”
Who's right? Where's the backup from the measures' proponents?
Anyone want to estimate how many years the proposed RTID and ST2 taxes would have to remain in place to “clean up the mercer mess” and “get light rail to Northgate?” Or is this a neverending taxes situation?
Man, if Cressona loves RTID that much, it's in even bigger trouble than I thought.
And Cressona - the same downtown business and political machine that is pushing RTID killed the monorail, so you ought to at least give credit where credit is due.
Been to Bellevue lately Andrew? See all those jobs and housing and density? You should leave Cap Hill more often.
All of the city of Bellevue has fewer jobs than First Hill does, and is about as dense as Fort Worth Texas, less than half of Seattle, less than a third as dense as Los Angeles or even its orange county suburbs. There are places in Bellevue where you can literally ride a horse to work. A few mid-rise buildings does not density make.
Oh and I work in Redmond and live in Wallingford.
Matt -- Believe it or not, I have heard of the Sounder. It runs for about three hours per day due to the fact that it shares tracks owned by freight rail companies. That also means that it takes a very indirect route to Seattle from Tacoma. It's a start, but its very limited schedule and long route means it's not a good alternative for a lot of people.
Because of the subarea equity rules, if you take the cross-base highway off of the Pierce Co. project list, you'd have to add in roads projects of equal value. It is too late in the game for that. No scoping, no preliminary environmental review, etc. RTID can't just "drop" a road project that big this late in the game.
Andrew, you are only off/wrong by about 100,000 jobs (and I included Capitol Hill with First Hill to help you out). You should read more.
I know how fun it is for you to be a Seattle snob, but you should get out and about the region more often.
Do you want to compare the diversity of Bellevue with that of Seattle?
First Hill (from PSRC)The center contained some 36,220 employees in 2000, compared with an employment target of 45,093.
This places the center at 80.3% of its target as of 2000.
Bellevue (from the PSRC)
2006 jobs = 130,000
2000 jobs = 120,000
In the initial King County targets developed in its Countywide Planning Policies, the city of Bellevue was
targeted to grow by 28,250 new employees by 2013, from 86,000 to 114,250 jobs. 64% of those new
jobs were expected to locate within downtown Bellevue. (1997 City of Bellevue Comprehensive Plan).
In the 2000 Census, Bellevue was shown to have grown to over 120,000 jobs, well beyond 2013 County
Similarly, King County forecasted that the City would grow by 8,575 housing units by 2013.
The City responded with an overall comprehensive planning approach to focus much of this growth into
higher density neighborhoods in its downtown core. The City has planned to accommodate 7,500 new
housing units, 72% of which will be multifamily, and 65% of which would be located downtown. (1997
City of Bellevue Comprehensive Plan).
And Andrew, why don't you live where you work?
Do you have a better proposal than Sounder?
Should ST have built its own rail line from Tacoma? That would be cheaper right? Would have had that line up and running by now too?
There will be 9 round trip trains a day by 2009.
Hey stats-guy @34:
Now try posting some numbers having to do with costs:
What is the aggregate of the annual tax collection amounts each of ST and RTID expect they can haul out of this region by 2060?
How much tax would be collected from Seattle in RTID taxes by 2050, and, on the flip side, how much RTID spending would have taken place in Seattle during those years?
good luck, sucker ---
One Eyed Jack - The RTID plan is largely funded by a .8% excise tax on cars.
Seattlelites all take transit, ride their bikes, or walk to work (except for Angry Andrew who works in Redmond).
So, it looks like Seattle won't be paying much at all into RTID. Those eastsiders that you can't stand with their expensive SUV's are going to be paying for your Lander Street Overpass, Spokane Street Viaduct improvement, Mercer Mess fix. Oh and that little bridge that Andrew uses to get to work everyday (520 - gets $1.1 billion in the RTID plan)
I think you may owe the Eastside some RTID money.
One Eyed Jack - did I misunderstand your question? You weren't suggesting that Seattlelites own lots of expensive SUV's were you?
You wouldn't dare would you?
I am a big transit supporter, but I agree with those above that I cannot seem to find a rationale of how to vote for an RTID/ST ballot measure if it included the Cross Base Highway. The folks who have been fighting this highway for a long time have raised many reasons why it has been a bad idea from the beginning including loss of habitat, water impacts, risks to the bases, and encroachment on local businesses in the area. Plus, if the project is included there is a lawsuit waiting to be filed against the environmental analysis.
This is the time that we need to show a shift in how we transport people and goods, and the projects included in this ballot measure will say alot.
What happened stats guy? You don't know how much tax RTID would pull out of Seattle, you don't know how much RTID money would be spent in Seattle, and you don't know how to get that information.
Lots of people own cars in Seattle. Many of them need those vehicles to get food and medicine and to work. They'd be on the hook for some number of decades (obviously YOU don't know how many), and the return on their tax dollars will be lousy. Right down there with the return on their monorail tax dollars.
Hey one eyed, do you know who is paying for the light rail line from Seattle to Bellevue?
all $3 plus Billion is being paid for by Eastside tax payers. Seattle residents aren't paying a dime.
They should charge you a higher fare for riding it.
happy andrew = troll
Hey I take the bus to work, the 545 which is actual BRT, and I don't live in Redmond because it fucking sucks and I don't want to own a car.
While writing this post on Seattle transit that never was, I noticed that the proposed roadways always seemed to fare a lot better than proposed transit. Granted, we don't have a freeway through the arboretum or a bridge to Kirkland, but seeing that a subway/elevated rapid transit system was proposed in 1926 it's hard not to get frustrated.
And all those employment numbers are made up, I just went to a talk from the city of bellevue where they discussed becoming the number two employment center in the county by 2015, after Seattle's CDB and ahead of First Hill and the UD.
Andrew, maybe you would be happier if you weren't wrong all the time.
Here is a link to those "made up numbers"
Happy Andrew (and everyone else who might be interested),
FYI - as of the 10-year review of the Seattle Comprehensive Plan, 67% of Seattleites still drive their cars to work (and 56% of those are in SOV's). 18% use transit, 7% walk, 5% work at home, and less than 3% ride a bike.
The Complan had anticipated significant shifts away from car use between the 1994 adoption of the Complan and the 10-year review cited above. In response, rather than deal with/modify/adjust unrealistic Complan expectations, the City merely changed the way they track transportation mode choices. Sound urban planning, that.
Ok you're right bellevue is so awesome I secret wish I could live there in all it's high density glory! How could I ever doubt how awesome it was? I should get out of the city and spend all my time in big-box stores and chain restaurants and get a big suv and an even bigger boat. You showed me the way happy!
Cremeona - "Whatever, or whoever, let's get over the disingenuous arguments. You care about as much about climate change as the oil companies care about poor people when they complain that gas taxes will hurt the poor the most."
Crap you uncovered my true identity, I'm with the oil industry. Yup that's an intelligent response to asking about whether spending $37 billion on light rail will help with global warming -
"Funny, we never heard this whole fake argument about emission-neutral construction when the topic was building a new viaduct or a new tunnel. "
Actually there were those that pointed out that the GHG impact of the tunnel was twice that of a new viaduct and that a tunnel would have much higher energy usage throughout its life. The enviros like TCC and FW still supported their city beautiful buddies on the tunnel.
I repeat that one of the most important factors to consider is the net GHG effects over the next 30 years - why would a ST supporter react negatively to making GHG the major matrix item to consider?
We could buy 400,000 hybrids for the $11 billion present value ST plan.
But hey, it would feel like we are doing something about GW if we built more LR, right?
In this day and age, it's amazing to me that RTID and ST leadership would consider funding an atrocity like Cross-Base Highway. This was a bad idea from the beginning, and recent proposals from Pierce County to improve existing infrastructure at a fraction of the half billion dollar price for Cross-Base show that the enviros were right all along. You can improve traffic flow and the movement of goods and services to Frederickson without trashing increasingly rare prairie habitat. I'd love to support Sound Transit, but if the Cross-Base is part of RTID, I'm voting NO.
"We could buy 400,000 hybrids for the $11 billion present value ST plan. "
Wow. whatever sure does have the solution to our environmental and congestion problems: BUY MORE CARS, AND BURN MORE GAS!
Every whacko seems to have an internet connection these days...
Matt -- I mentioned my proposal in my first post: a dedicated bus lane each direction on I-5, at least during rush hour. The implication was that such a lane would be a lot cheaper than rail along I-5. Sounder's nice, especially for riders from Puyallup to Kent who get a quite direct route to downtown Seattle. From Tacoma, however, it takes about 20 min. longer to take the train than take a bus that's not caught in traffic. So, from Tacoma, I'd argue that BRT would be more efficient at a minimal cost except to SOVs who should be feeling the pain anyway.
ST is dependant on people buying cars to get their MVET - nobody is predicting that ST2 will have a dramatic effect on car ownership - how much GHG reduction would doubling the gas mileage result in?
How many car miles will be reduced by ST2?
We need to reduce GHG now not in 20 or 30 years.
Ad hominem attacks will clearly lead us to the best solutions.
Look at the cities with the biggest transit system and tell me they don't have congestion and pollution problems.
"But hey, it would feel like we are doing something about GW if we built more LR, right? "
FEEL like we are doing something?
In 20 years, when 300-500k people are riding on electric light rail powered by a carbon neutral source, rather than sitting in a parking lot/freeway jammed with hybrids - and when well designed, pedestrian oriented compact urban development becomes the norm, instead of dirty and noisey strip malls and isolated office parks - I don't think anybody (not even idiots like whatever) will sit around and say to themselves "I feel better about myself."
They actually WILL be better.
"And how does Atlanta rank for traffic congestion? They must be way down the list since they got "our" rail in the 70's."
God, you are slow, whatever. Atlanta also built a hell of a lot of massive freeways at the same time, to feed their thirst for white flight, suburban sprawl and gated communities. It's weird, because every time they built a new freeway or interchange, those things just jammed to the point the old freeway was at two years earlier. Weird, huh?
MARTA currently carries 450,000 passengers every weekday - one out of every ten Metro area residents, which is nothing to shake a stick at. And the rail system would have been expanded even further back in the say, if it wasn't for whatever's fellow redneck bretheren using racist scare tactics about "undesirables" coming in to their communities.
Instead of being killed off and maimed by gang members, they chose to be dismembered by one of the highest vechicle accident rates in the country.
But wait, there's more! Current plans are in place to expand I-75 to 26 lanes! Self-hating/frustrated angry middle aged white guy paradise!
Sounds like just your spot, whatever.
[i]How many car miles will be reduced by ST2? [/i]
PSRC says something like 3% You know why? Because for every car mass transit takes off the road, there's another car to take its place. Dynamic tolling could change all that someday (imagine the modern family consolidating trips and carpooling with neighbors and friends to work!) Right now, Big Oil and automobiles receive big subsidies, as the real costs of driving have been swept under the rug for decades.
[i]Look at the cities with the biggest transit system and tell me they don't have congestion and pollution problems.[/i]
Um, the people in those trains cause only a fraction of the solo driver's pollution output, and the people on those trains don't have to deal with congestion. Without mass transit, most all major cities would be at a stand still.
If you're going to repeat the usual road hog pablum, whatever, at least get your idiotic stereotypes to a place where you can sound half-way intelligent.
Planned out your 400k hybrid plan yet?
Redneck, wacko, blah blah blah - how about Nazi? come on go all the way.
How many passenger miles will be reduced by ST2?
So in twenty years there will be 400,000 trips out of how many total trips. How much reduced GHG will be the result of ST2 in 20 in years?
Transit will not do what you want it to just cause you want it to. What will prevent people from riding to Redmond in 30 years and then hopping in their cars and driving another 10, 20, 30 miles or more?
Atlanta's Marta carries 225,000 people on rail and bus which is about 4% of the greater Atlanta population. San Francisco is second in congestion, Washington DC is third. Seattle is about 20th and Portland is 26 with one minute less per day in traffic.
Hybrids now electric cars cars tomorrow. Use that carbon neutral electricity production to power electric cars (2 cents per mile) and pass rigid growth management, rezone cities for real density, make employers pay for the commute (think they will hire people close to work?), etc.
I'm going to figure out how to italicize some day :)
Until then, here's what whatever SHOULD have blamed for congestion in Atlanta.
I get a real laugh when the cave dwellers try to pin the blame on transit!
Any other bubble-dwellers want to enter the discussion?
"Transit will not do what you want it to just cause you want it to. What will prevent people from riding to Redmond in 30 years and then hopping in their cars and driving another 10, 20, 30 miles or more?"
To where? The Tolt Resevoir? People will always drive, especially during off peak hours, on roads which are relatively congestion-free. Trouble is, peak hours will likely be all day, no matter how many "green" freeway lanes we build for whatever and his dinosaur ilk.
It's obvious you're a nut, whatever, but it's still a little bizarre your "green vision" is based on the notion that all-day traffic jams are a good idea, and people should be prevented from having the option to get out of those traffic jams. Are you a sustainability hillbilly on crack?
"Hybrids now electric cars cars tomorrow. Use that carbon neutral electricity production to power electric cars (2 cents per mile) and pass rigid growth management, rezone cities for real density, make employers pay for the commute (think they will hire people close to work?), etc."
This is getting good. Whatever's "vision" for the Pugetopolis of tomorrow is: 1) more density, 2) no rapid transit, 3) cheap, non-polluting cars which allow people to drive all they want, and jam up the roads guilt-free!
Make employers pay for the commute? Hire people not for their skills, but instead base it on where they happen to live on the day of their interview?
Dude, you are a real piece of work. But don't let me slow you down - the more you write, the funnier your cranky pie-in-the-sky theories get! I want more!
The Sierra Club also takes issue with the RTID revenue sources, sales tax and MVET, about one and two thirds, respectively, of the RTID revenue stream. A major flaw in our transportation system is its lack of pricing. With global warming and sprawl, expanding limited access roadway capacity through general taxes is bad public policy. Use of the sales tax for highway expansion is unfair, inefficient, and unwise.
This flaw cannot be corrected by the last minute negotiations. The MVET is auto-related but not related to the rate of use of the roadways. In 1999, RV owners were a big part of Eyman's support. The MVET is progressive, as it is related to a vehicle's value. The sales tax is at best proportional and is probably slightly regressive.
The Legislature authorized the RTID to attempt to levy several revenue sources. Some had limited potential. It did not seem that either RTID or ST made improving the revenues a part of their legislative agenda.
It is true that Phoenix, San Diego, and Denver all passed joint roads-LRT measures, but all three have state income taxes and have lower sales tax rates.
Also, no poster has pointed out the major missing piece of the joint ballot measure: systemwide dynamic tolling of the limited access highways. That is the only fair and efficient way to reduce traffic congestion. We have market failure due to a lack of pricing.
A system of HOT lanes would help solve several issues simultaneously: congestion, transit flow, and revenue. It may also affect land use; limited access highways have led to sprawl.
the basic notion behind RTID is wrong. Senators McDonald, Finkbinder, and Horn wanted to expand I-405 and thought the region had been under investing in highway capacity. But the main funding for our highways has been the federal government, not state or regional sources. The federal spigot has dried up. We have to decide how to manage and maintain the limited access highways gifted us by the feds without letting them destroy us further.
The ST2 investments in south King and Pierce counties seem quite weak. It is as if they were just distributing the capital. Instead, they should invest in the transit improvements that would attract the most ridership and support the growth of Tacoma as an urban center. Buses in HOT lanes seem like the appropriate intercounty mode. An expanded LRT sytem could be provided inside Tacoma: PLU to TCC via downtown Tacoma; Lakewood to Tacoma Dome via South Tacoma and Nalley Valley.
The investment in East King could be much better if it used more bus on the freeways and placed its LRT investment on the BNSFRR ROW between Renton and Woodinville via Kennydale, Port Quendall, Newport, Bellevue, Overlake Hospital, South Kirkland, Houghton Village, Kirkland, Totem Lake, and the wineries. We should buy new transit rights-of-way where buses now go slowly, not where they can be made to go fast with relatively cheap changes to the freeways.
Speaking of pie-in-the-sky, the only other guy in Seattle who can get excited about a crappy bus stuck in traffic - eddiew - has joined us. How nice. If it ain't internal combustion engines driving rubber tires on freeways and pavement, he is never going to buy it...
"Also, no poster has pointed out the major missing piece of the joint ballot measure: systemwide dynamic tolling of the limited access highways."
Nothing like imposing steep tolls on taxpayers for driving on already antiquated, pitted and potholed roads before you ask them to open their wallets a second time, right eddiew? This whole band of self-absorbed ivory tower theoreticians and monday morning transport planners should band together and start a new group. I would call it: LosingStrategiesRus.
"I mentioned my proposal in my first post: a dedicated bus lane each direction on I-5, at least during rush hour."
Right. The state DOT refuses to designate those HOV lanes HOV3 now, and you're claiming they should be bus-only, marmot? Nothing like causing total gridlock, and exacting a lot of pain on the taxpayer to make him want to shell out more taxes!
BRT is joke, and it's amazing progressive suckers like marmot go for these right wing scams, time and time again. It's no wonder the greens get their asses handed to them everytime people get a chance to vote on their airhead ideas.
" The implication was that such a lane would be a lot cheaper than rail along I-5."
Yeah, and since creating density and less car-dependent communities is an important characteristic of any successful mass transit system, we all know how much people like living next to highways.
"Sounder's nice, especially for riders from Puyallup to Kent who get a quite direct route to downtown Seattle. From Tacoma, however, it takes about 20 min. longer to take the train than take a bus that's not caught in traffic. So, from Tacoma, I'd argue that BRT would be more efficient at a minimal cost except to SOVs who should be feeling the pain anyway. "
Gotta love that evangelical zeal, marmot. We need to "punish the sinful SOV drivers so the rest of us perfect people can go to ecological heaven." It worked for the religious right, no? Great message for a campaign.
Plus, you're just plain wrong, marmot.
Timetable for ST's 594 run show the bus takes 45 minutes at peak hour - and that's on a good day. I've ridden both buses and commuter rail from south to north, and find the bus can oftentimes take more than an hour. Another yahoo relative of whatever wraps his pick-up truck around a guard rail, and shuts the HOV lane down for six hours? Watch that 1 hour trip turn into 2 hours. Sounder's "indirect" route takes an hour every day of the week, no matter how bad the traffic is (and guess what: it's only going to get worse)
You also show your ignorance about where Sounder riders come from and where they're going. As if the valley isn't a growing population and jobs corridor, and as if everybody commutes from downtown Tacoma to downtown Seattle each weekday.
If you ever took the train, marmot, you would see it's basically 20% full leaving from Tacoma in the morning, picking up - and dropping off - many commuters before arriving "indirectly" in Seattle. See how that works?
Those I-5 express buses serve communities on the west side of I-5, since the Kent Valley south of Tukwila, and to the east of I-5, is virtually unpopulated aside from the Star Lake and parts of Federal Way.
Similarly, most of the growth in S. King County and N. Pierce County has been to the east of 167, again part of that "indirect" commute from Tacoma to Seattle you were talking about.
Light rail down 99, or to the west of I-5 will give southenders yet another mode of transit they can leave their cars behind for - and light rail attracts a whole different breed of transit users: folks who would never get on a cramped and uncomfortable bus.
Plus, you will city real downtowns emerge around light rail stations, as opposed to the faceless strip malls and hellish parking lots which now dominate the landscape of places like Federal Way and Des Moines.
Will said it best the other day at horsesass: people who promote BRT don't ride the bus. One addendum for the small group of day- dreaming greens who think buses will someday be "unchained" from the traffic those impure SOV drivers cause: the small band of BRT cheerleaders can also now include those self-sacrificing politically correct types, who feel our uncomfortable and slow daily bus commute should be about "punishment" and "saving the planet."
Yeah, that's a surefire method for getting people out of their cars....tell 'em they just need to enjoy their suffering. It's for a good cause, afterall.
"3) cheap, non-polluting cars which allow people to drive all they want, and jam up the roads guilt-free!"
Once again when will ST2 be GHG net negative? If we had pollution free cars, why would I care if you choose to drive two hours each way. We can't afford to support people in such a way to give them easy cheap commuting no matter how far from work they live.
Ya you muzt lite rail build - do not do the math - don't ask any questions just build - 500,000 trips might be 3% of trips in 2030 - woo hoo.
BTW where are we going to get the pollution free electricty?
"The MVET is auto-related but not related to the rate of use of the roadways. In 1999, RV owners were a big part of Eyman's support."
Thanks to urban myths and FUD handed out like candy by chronic 'sky is falling' transit critics, am I right eddiew? Contrary to your insinuations, voter returns for I-776 (car tab repeal, ie the "referendum on light rail") showed 57% opposition to Eyman's initiative within the RTA boundary. Likewise, eddiew, if you want a resurrection of Tim Eyman, try imposing "system-wide tolling" and booting carpoolers out of the HOV lanes an in to already jammed general purpose lanes. Hmmm...sounds a little like YOUR "solution" (FORCING people on to buses by financially punishing their driving) as far as I can tell.
And, if you want to get a laugh out of people, tell them you're from the Sierra Club, you're worried about climate change...and, oh, btw, you're also talking about replacing electric light rail trains with thousands of diesel powered buses, each weighing 65,000 pounds, and each wasting enormous amounts of fossil fuel on moving parts associated with their internal combustion engines.
"Buses in HOT lanes seem like the appropriate intercounty mode. "
Yeah, nothing like picking the slowest service, with the highest operating costs and the lowest capacity to do your long-haul service. eddie: name one major metropolitan area which has followed your bus-only / rail-free vision for our future.
"An expanded LRT sytem could be provided inside Tacoma: PLU to TCC via downtown Tacoma; Lakewood to Tacoma Dome via South Tacoma and Nalley Valley. "
Oh, goodie. More neato streetcars to move people 10 blocks, in parts of the city with little to no congestion. Just what the (quack) doctor ordered.
"Instead, they should invest in the transit improvements that would attract the most ridership and support the growth of Tacoma as an urban center."
Uh, I just found those ridership studies for both BRT and streetcars; guess what they discovered, eddiew? Yep - lower ridership for BRT across I-90, and lower ridership for your inter-city neato trolley idea. Oh well, I'm sure the well-funded back-o-the-napkin eddiew study rendered different results.
"The investment in East King could be much better if it used more bus on the freeways and placed its LRT investment on the BNSFRR ROW between Renton and Woodinville via Kennydale, Port Quendall, Newport, Bellevue, Overlake Hospital, South Kirkland, Houghton Village, Kirkland, Totem Lake, and the wineries."
Well, eddiew certainly goes out with a bang using that doozy. We all heard the same stories about the "cheap" BNSF right of way ST was going to acquire from Seattle to Everett for its Sounder commuter rail. What did the price end up to be? Whatever BNSF wanted it to be. The Woodinville subdivision would make the North Sounder boondoggle look like a walk in the park.
eddiew, Kemper Development, and the rest of the BRT/freeway caucus don't want to run rail from Renton to a winery because they think it's a good idea, with decent ridership potential - they're just obsessed with keeping real rapid transit off their dang I-90 freeway, so we can keep those buses and solo drivers running on that God-given pavement, goddammit.
BRT was studied several years ago along that EXACT SAME CORRIDOR, as part of the 405 Congestion Relief and Bus Rapid Transit Project analysis. The effort was led by George Kargianis (dba Kemper Development Co.) and our fine Aty General, Rob McKenna. Guess what the results showed: 1,000 more riders per day. The wonders and miracles of BRT.
Forgitabout the fact the BNSF corridor eddiew promotes doesn't reach any urban centers (but the views of the freeway and people's backyards sure will be nice!) Who needs ridership estimates, or corridor studies?
Keeping that in mind, let's review: eddiew and the road hogs now wish to remove light rail from the most productive (I-90) corridor, connecting the new future Twin Cities of Seattle and Bellevue, thus following the dictate of the nearly two decade-old growth management act - and then they want to plop that light rail right down on a corridor with extremely limited transit potential - and, which has already been designated by the region, the local community, and the state as a BRT corridor with ONE THOUSAND new transit riders! See a trend here?
Why don't they just come out and say it: "we are desperate to dress our bus service up with lipstick, and while we're at it, let's put the light rail thingy in somebody's alley, so as to guarantee nobody sees it, let alone rides it."
We'll just spend that billion or two to connect Renton with a winery - and Frank's backyard to Joe's backyard, and VOILA..there you have it: mass transit!
"BTW where are we going to get the pollution free electricty? "
Apparently, Mr. Whatever has been living in a cave for the last 5 decades, and didn't notice all those hydro dams going up in Eastern WA. Or, he's joining us from the wonderful state of Indiana.
Suggestion for whatever: next time, don't show up to the gunfight armed only with a knife.
BigD at 61
"Speaking of pie-in-the-sky, the only other guy in Seattle who can get excited about a crappy bus stuck in traffic - eddiew - has joined us. How nice. If it ain't internal combustion engines driving rubber tires on freeways and pavement, he is never going to buy it..."
My post advocated getting the buses unstuck and building on the phase one investment in center access ramps at South 317th Street. The Tacoma-Seattle long-distance market does not warrant the high capacity and high cost investment of Link LRT. I am a big advocate for electric transit: North Link LRT is a great investment; the electric trolleybus system should be given priority through traffic; if SDOT can let streetcars stop in lane, they can do the same for the trolleybus. My post also advocated several other rail investments.
and: "Nothing like imposing steep tolls on taxpayers for driving on already antiquated, pitted and potholed roads before you ask them to open their wallets a second time, right eddiew?"
Dynamic tolling is a win-win-win. Under congested conditions, fewer vehicles are carried on a highway. Secretary MacDonald has a great illustration with rice in a funnel. Our highway maintenance is poor because the Legislature and Congress have not increased the gas tax enough; they should do that. Dynamic tolling would allow the highway throughput to increase, transit flow to imrove, and revenue to be raised for additional transit service or maintenance. Using toll revenue for transit service is a second-best solution to the equity arguments raised by some. Dynamic tolls might be zero at off-peak times. They only need be high enough to induce enough trips to shift to other modes and time periods to get flow back to 45 mph.
Please note that ST2 does not improve South Sounder service, only its parking. South Sounder, as BigD notes provides real transit advantage to the Green River Valley markets. ST2 could have included two-way all-day service, but the ST Board did not want to talk to BNSF. Perhaps the Ports and UPRR should have been brought into the discussion. Some freight traffic might be shifted to the UPRR line to free up capacity for the all-day service.
In the I-5 corridor, a HOT lane system would shift the Route 594 travel time and reliability to its current midday performance. One of the good RTID projects added late in their game was center access ramp at Industrial Way. They should have been part of Sound Move.
Projected south Link LRT 2030 travel time between Seattle and the Tacoma Dome station is about 70 minutes. The south-first Link LRT line takes about 10 minutes to deviate to MLK Jr. Way South for riderhip, making its service to south King County and the Tacoma Dome station slow.
and BigD 63:
"Yeah, nothing like picking the slowest service, with the highest operating costs and the lowest capacity to do your long-haul service. eddie: name one major metropolitan area which has followed your bus-only / rail-free vision for our future."
My vision is not rail-free. It includes north Link LRT, a differnt intra Eastside LRT, Tacoma LRT, and improved South Sounder. I try to suggest the correct mode for each market. for the Dome to Seattle market, bus is the fastest mode. its capacity is adequate.
the correct comparison would be East Link v. several BRT lines and the BNSF LRT line after spending an equal stream of funds. In their modeling, ST excluded bus ridership on SR-520. Route 545 ridership is now equal to Route 550 that ST2 would improve to LRT. The buses need not be stuck in traffic. Route 522 would have BAT lanes for most of its path between Bothell and the Roosevelt LRT station. Route 550 could have both R8A and R2B on I-90 and BAT lane on southbound Bellevue Way. Route 554 would have good ROW. Route 545 would have HOT lanes.
The BNSFRR Woodinville subdivision does reach several urban centers: Renton, Bellevue (via an elevated wye over NE 6th Street, just as some east Link LRT alternatives use), Kirkland, and Totem Lake. I doubt Kemper and his friends advocate for transit service on the Woodinville corridor.
A BRT line on I-405 would not attract much ridership, as little access is provided. I do not advocate that investment. It serves different markets than the rail line. The current regional express routes is the appropriate mode.
A key issue with east and south Link LRT is their long time frames. if all goes well, service would not begin on those extensions until 2020 or later. BRT service could begin in a few years after base and fleet expansion. In a net present value comparison, the early years are important, as their benefits are not discounted as much.
Of course, I have voted against every Eyman initiative. My point was that the ST and RTID boards should have asked the Legislature for better revenue sources. the sales tax is inappropriate and may be a killer. the joint co-dependent ballot measures are similar to two wounded albatross.
BD- perhaps you just honestly don't know what you are talking about or more likely you have a vested interest in ST.
Turns out hydro isn't quite as benign as we have been led to believe.
When will ST2 become GHG neutral?
You don't want to answer or can't. This basic question is not addressed because like our mayor you only want talk GHG to promote projects you want for other reasons.
Science says we need to reduce GHG now not in 20,30 or 40 years. EVs can get 100 "miles per gallon"
Great site for EV info
Just for the record Big D, I ride both the Sounder and ST express all the time, so I'm aware the schedules, who gets on where, etc. Sounds like my use of the term BRT tripped a wire in your brain, but the fact is that as our rush hours begin to significantly back up even the HOV lanes, bus-only lanes or something closer to it than we now have (3 or 4 person carpools only + buses?) are going to be needed to keep the express buses anything close to "express." And since Sounder quits running after 7:10 a.m. from Tacoma and 5:40 p.m. from Seattle, it doesn't provide an alternative for anything close to the whole rush hour(s).
I'm really digging this confused chap whatever who is trying to sell us "green" vehicles as an opportunity to build more freeways, destroy even more communities, run down and kill a lot more bicyclists and pedestrians, and guarantee ugly western states sprawl continues ad infinitum.
Looks like there is a reason Seattle are so far behind the rest of the developed world in regard to transport planning: a good portion of your residents are smoking some seriously strong dope.
"but the fact is that as our rush hours begin to significantly back up even the HOV lanes, bus-only lanes or something closer to it than we now have (3 or 4 person carpools only + buses?) are going to be needed to keep the express buses anything close to "express." "
Exactly, marmot. But that situation already exists between 6:30 am and 10 am on I-5 North coming in to Seattle, and oftentimes the "express" lanes are slower than general purpose lanes. By the state's own standards, they should have changed the HOV designation years ago. But they didn't, because the political reality trumps "facts" every day of the week.
A bus only lane would certainly move a lot of people along the inner lane, but it would also cause even more congestion for the rest of I-5. Now, if you really want to turn people against public transit, that's the way to do it. And if you want Tim Eyman to return from the grave, that's the way you do it.
And even if the existing HOV lane designation was changed tomorrow, you would still have all kinds of speed and reliability problems: accidents, cheaters, etc. If you really wanted true grade separated BRT on that corridor, you will need a couple billion to spend to achieve that "express" service you long for.
I go off on BRT, because it's mostly just a scam pushed by transit and rail opponents www.eastsideta.com . No surprise Tom Delay is known as the de facto father of BRT in the US. It's also a scam because everybody has their own idea (inside their own heads) as to what BRT really means. What it means for the transit opponents here is: buses for poor, transit-dependent people sitting in traffic jams.
"perhaps you just honestly don't know what you are talking about or more likely you have a vested interest in ST. Turns out hydro isn't quite as benign as we have been led to believe."
Yes, whatever: there's no such thing a light rail supporter who doesn't have a financial stake in the huge international light rail-industrial complex / Bilderbeg Group conspiracy.
And, as for 'not knowing what I'm talking about'- I am glad you indulged me in my challenge and request you dig your hole even deeper.
From that artice you cited:
***Lima’s calculations imply that the world’s 52,000 large dams contribute more than 4% of the total warming impact of human activities. They also imply that dam reservoirs are the largest single source of human-caused methane emissions, contributing around a quarter of these emissions.
Lima and his co-authors propose capturing methane in reservoirs and using it to fuel power plants. Lima says, "If we can generate electricity from the huge amounts of methane produced by existing tropical dams we can avoid the need to build new dams with their associated human and environmental costs."
Methane is produced by the rotting of organic material in reservoirs. The massive amounts of methane produced by hydropower reservoirs in the tropics mean that these dams can have a much higher warming impact than even the dirtiest fossil fuel plants generating similar quantities of electricity.***
Whatever, notice the word "tropical" being used to describe dams which cause methane gas emissions. Last time I checked, the Snake River didn't flow into the Amazon. Strong argument you presented there. I think you're doing a better job at destroying your own credibility than I ever could.
Thank you for allowing me to showcase your incredible talent for self-embarrassment.
And even if E Washington was located in the Tropics, notice how the study you cited calculates hydro dams only cause 4% of the earth's GHG emissions. In WA, those fabulous internal engines you get so worked about cause over 50% of the state's GHG emissions.
Whatever, you're the first brown green I think I've ever come across. I look forward to many more of your insightful self-contradictory arguments. They're fun (and easy!) to shoot down.
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