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Friday, November 2, 2007

I Know, I Know, Squabbling Between Bloggers is Sooooo Interesting. But…

posted by on November 2 at 11:39 AM

I gotta respond.

Yesterday, canny Slogger Annie Wagner connected the dots on some contributions to the ‘Yes’ on Prop. 1 campaign and noted: “Smells like sprawl to me.”

I wrote a comment adding on to Annie’s initial point about roads, saying that poorly planned light rail can actually induce sprawl. Will at HorsesAss disagrees.

But Will unwittingly makes my point, writing:

Besides, who cares? Park and rides become popular, they fill up, and the decision is made about what to do next. Sometimes they’re expanded into parking garages. And those parking garages eventually become paid parking garages, which turn into paid carpool parking garages, which turn into… apartments with retail.

And what do you think they fill up with, Will? Magical beach balls?

They fill up with cars. Because, like I said yesterday, ill-conceived light rail lines don’t create density, they create outpost park and rides that fuel exurban development and more roads. (Check out towns like New Market, Maryland “along” the Red Line—or some 40 miles away from DC.)

And seriously: What’s the track record on parking garages turning into apartments with retail?

RSS icon Comments


Magical beach balls. Yes.

Posted by Amelia | November 2, 2007 11:40 AM

If this inter-blogger squabble is boring, it's because it's an argument of one relatively unsubstantiated (and perhaps impossible to effectively substantiate) projection versus another.

Posted by tsm | November 2, 2007 11:44 AM

Anything with Annie Wagner involved is just waiting to be boring.

Posted by Bwaaanananananan!! | November 2, 2007 11:45 AM

Why don't you both go and get Ph.Ds in Urban Planning, then come back and argue. It'll still be boring as hell, but at least you'll both know what you're talking about.

Posted by Greg | November 2, 2007 11:45 AM

Greg is funny.

Posted by Amelia | November 2, 2007 11:48 AM

He didn't "unwittingly" make your point for you, he disagreed with you. He wittingly used your worse-case scenario to point what you feel is long-term spawl is actually long-term density. How often do Stranger writers pretend as if other people "unwittingly" make points for them. If you had a well-researched point, you wouldn't need to cite at criticism of your point to validate it.

Maybe he's wrong. I don't know. But he wasn't making your point for you. He likely doesn't feel that a parking lot full of cars or beach balls means that urban sprawl is already happening. (There are many park & rides in the Seattle area that are full every morning.)

Posted by bellevue & belmont | November 2, 2007 12:03 PM

Magical beach balls are not real? Tell me it isn't so!! The entire core of my being is based on their happy multi-colored existence!!!

Posted by Just Me | November 2, 2007 12:07 PM

@6, I agree completely. Light rail transit stations can build density anywhere along the line. Strangers like to pretend that density-building is a phenomenon that only works in Seattle. Right now, the City of Federal Way is planning on densifying its "downtown" in a way totally compatible with a future light rail transit station. Of course, if Prop 1 is voted down on Tuesday, I expect this effort will be shelved -- and shelving density in Federal Way (and at other stations along ST2 light rail extensions) will promote sprawl elsewhere.

So Vote Yes Prop 1, so we can develop MORE alternatives to sprawl.

Posted by Perfect Voter | November 2, 2007 12:10 PM

Don't taunt happy fun ball.

Posted by kid icarus | November 2, 2007 12:10 PM

Wow, so I guess all those towns in Europe that are along rail lines, and 40 minutes from main city centers are sprawl? And very harmful for the environment, sustainability, etc???

WTF MATE? A LOT of people dont want to live in density. And trying to force them to do it isn't going to help. By not extending options for those people, you just make those cars on the road, not at the park and ride (limiting congestion, gas usage, etc)

There is a reason that people will commute an hour + each way to work so they can have land and a house. I don't understand it myself (as a city person), but that drive is there. I don't know how you change that view, but people in Europe feel the same way, so go figure. Which is why they have plenty of park and rides there.


Posted by Original Monique | November 2, 2007 12:13 PM

Josh's argument strains credibility. Has he forgotten that WA has a Growth Management Act that, in King County, has strong anti-sprawl rules? Does he believe that the proposed light rail lines will be built on the edge of the urban core?

No, the lines will go through ALREADY EXISTING urban areas. He goes on and on about the greenhouse effects of driving, but when it comes to an actual solution that will get thousands of cars off the road, he opposes it? WTF is that about.

These park-and-rides also already exist. Lynnwood. Overlake. Federal Way. Burien. So Josh's argument doesn't hold any water there either.

Finally, if we really want to reduce sprawl and increase density, we have to provide infrastructure to support density. Light rail and park-and-ride will allow the light rail corridors to be densified.

Josh is not making sense here. This line of argument is an after-the-fact rationalization of a position he came to months ago.

Posted by greenlake | November 2, 2007 12:15 PM

Oh, so that's your party line now, Josh? Building light rail for the suburbs is ill conceived? Yeah, fuck them and let them all burn in hell, I suppose.

Sometimes you can be such a wad.

Posted by Gomez | November 2, 2007 12:27 PM

Josh, Annie and ECB are all just such geniuses at transit solutions that it's just a wonder that they all aren't on the Sound Transit board! How could this trio of transit have been missed for the board by Ron Sims is just amazing!

Posted by Nicole | November 2, 2007 12:28 PM

Josh Feit: But Will unwittingly makes my point, writing:

Actually, Josh Feit unwittingly makes a point that a lot of us pro-mass transit Prop. 1 supporters have been making: that the local left's demand "Give us a light rail-only vote without the roads albatross" is not geniune. If Sound Transit 2 miraculously came back to the ballot by itself intact, the same Naderites would still oppose it. They can maintain now that they would support it while it's still just a hypothetical, but it doesn't take much scratching to reveal their true feelings about ST2.

If this ballot measure goes down, I look forward to a Seattle that keeps finding a way to build more roads and keeps finding a way to not build more mass transit, the kind of place where a Josh Feit can continue to bask in his own self-perceived cleverness. By then, I can only hope I'll be long gone.

Regarding park and rides...

Y'know, park and rides are far from ideal. But really, let's consider the alternative. And did anyone consider fighting the park and rides once Prop. 1 actually passed and we made the commitment to light rail? It looks like the tide has turned against the Woodland Park Zoo parking garage. As gas prices keep going up and climate change keeps getting worse, why can't the tide turn against those garages?

Auto-generated response from lesser Seattleite: Hey, cressona. Why not just defeat Prop. 1 and then wait for the tide to turn?

Because by then it will be too late.

Posted by cressona | November 2, 2007 12:42 PM

D'oh--a park and ride in Redmond that is filled with *gasp* low-income housing. Turns out those magical beach balls are actually members of the working class!

Posted by kk | November 2, 2007 12:46 PM

Parklots and garages turn to apartments all the damn time. Time to live Capitol Hill and walk down to Belltown, Josh!

Take Caltrain or Bart and see how rail to suburbs causes density before you talk bullshit about Maryland which has no geographical constraints (other than the ocean) to speak of. Us here with mountains should compare ourselves to other cities near hills and mountains.

Posted by Andrew | November 2, 2007 12:52 PM

Uh, yeah, cars that people get out of to take light rail into their jobs in the cities. Then they think to themselves "Now that I know this light rail thing works, I should really live next to a station".

You know what else happens? High density gets built all around those stations.

Josh, rail doesn't create sprawl. It has never created sprawl. Your assertion here doesn't make rail create sprawl, either. Did someone tell you this, and you just decided to believe them because it fits with what you already want to believe?

Posted by Ben Schiendelman | November 2, 2007 12:58 PM

Actually, rail created tons of sprawl a hundred years ago during the streetcar-suburb era. Here in Seattle we had the Interurban, which created all sorts of sprawl, which we now call "Seattle".

Posted by Fnarf | November 2, 2007 1:00 PM

No way will light rail be running regular operations from downtown to SeaTac Airport before 2010. They have too much left to do.

Posted by just sayin' | November 2, 2007 1:04 PM

When they ran the Denentoshi line through the Tama River Valley in Kawasaki and Yokohama, it looked a lot like federal way does. Now it looks like this:

Think beyond tomorrow Josh.

Posted by Andrew | November 2, 2007 1:05 PM

There's a parking lot in the U-District on 15th & 42nd that's being turned into a mixed use-building with parking, retail, and housing. Various people have various objection to this that I won't get into, but that is one example I can name.

I would imagine this is happening because the U-District is dense and well served by transit.

As areas get denser large, flat lots will have more value if they're built up. Transit makes areas denser.

Posted by exelizabeth | November 2, 2007 1:07 PM

All this bitching about park’n'rides is the dumbest anti-prop1 mess yet. The rail stations will create islands of walkable redevelopment, but to attract serious ridership in the suburbs, you need good “last mile” connectivity.

Making people transfer to a local bus to get home kills ridership. Giving them a traditional park’n'ride captures those who work in a central location they can walk to from a train station.

If we wanted to take it a step further, we would invest in station car setups. Imagine fleets of hybrids or electric cars at most rail stations. Sign up for a monthly plan, and drive one home each night. Commuters bring them back in the mornings on their way to the train, and they go out for hourly rentals for those running errands during the day.

Now transit becomes time-competitive for someone going from suburb-city, vice-versa, or suburb-suburb. Drive to the station, get off nearest work, drive to work. Gets long CO2 and congestion intensive trips off the freeway. Creates perfect short-trip conditions for electric cars to shine.

However, this would violate the “urban good! two legs bad!” sensibility of Seattle enviros, so they would never get behind it. Instead of promoting low-carbon mobility, let’s have pointless fights about how many fractions of a polar bear each park-n-ride space kills.

Posted by Some Jerk | November 2, 2007 1:09 PM

We need a big war. Or plague. Or pestilence of famine even.

It's the only way to maintain our unique quality of life!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 2, 2007 1:10 PM

For realz yall! Mothafuckaz need to get tight up on the bigups, word, brothas fer realz, this shit iz dependz.

Posted by REPRESENT | November 2, 2007 1:12 PM

If you look at the actual plan, you would see that the vast majority of park and ride spots are near Sounder stations, not light rail stations. Sounder is commuter rail which serves car-centric suburban cities.

But the truth isn't that important is it?

Posted by tiptoe tommy | November 2, 2007 1:12 PM

Let me try to give a bit of a straightforward explanation why suburban development with light rail with park and rides is better (in terms of density, environment, etc.) than suburban development without. OK, this is going to take a bit of curiosity about urban planning, and it's obvious Josh Feit has about as much curiosity about urban planning as your average creationist has about Origin of Species, but the rest of you, bear with me.

Suppose for argument's sake the worst case--that all our suburban light rail stations were dominated by park and rides. Your ability to promote density at those stations will be severely impaired. But that's just one end of people's travels. Consider the other end.

Mass transit with park and rides gives the opportunity to easily commute to work in places that do have high density. And you take those cars off the roads for the entire portion of their trip that would have taken place on a freeway. Without light rail, businesses will be less inclined to locate in dense downtowns and those suburbanites will be less inclined to drive to dense downtowns even with the jobs there. Face it, if you're a suburbanite and you've left yourself with the choice of either driving to work (to either a suburban work site or downtown) or taking a bus downtown, you're much more likely to drive (whether it's to another suburb or downtown).

So even with suburban park and rides limiting the ability of density to flourish in those residential areas, mass transit can still:

  1. Promote density in urban work sites.
  2. Get cars off the highways.

Posted by cressona | November 2, 2007 1:14 PM

So, in summation: we should vote either yes or no on Proposition One.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 2, 2007 1:19 PM

20 years from now, poor illegal immigrants will still be finding a cheap place to live somewhere in the "low-density sprawl" of S. King County and immediately buying a car with their meager funds so that they can get from job to job north of them quickly. They will sit in traffic and burn lots of $7/gallon gas.

20 years from now, the staff of The Stranger will be walking down to a light rail station, congratulating themselves on their "sustainable lifestyle," and getting on a train that barely takes them out of the city limits of Seattle. 'Cause why would you want to go somewhere where there's, like, icky park and rides?

Posted by JW | November 2, 2007 1:19 PM

Oh, so now the story is that the Link is poorly planned? Why is that: because it goes to all the places people already are living (and that are already growing)? What Stranger expert on mass transit came to the conclusion that Link is poorly planned?

Posted by K | November 2, 2007 1:20 PM

The Village at Overalke has been working since 2002 more than 25 years BEFORE light rail might make it there. One bedrooms at $800 doesn't sound much cheaper than in-city but includes one free bus pass.

Though not an advocate of 100 story buildings we could push to San Francisco densities in Seattle 15K per sq mile. Getting people further out will put more pressure to let them drive even further. The price of land near stations will go up and will not be low cost or lower cost housing. All these regional rail system do is make it possible to live further and further away from the core. How many stations will this line provide for dense developments? How many of the 1 million people coming will be served by these station density villages?

Posted by whatever | November 2, 2007 1:22 PM

To beat a dead horse, everyone knows that, with perhaps a couple of exceptions, the Stranger staff finds the suburbs and their inhabitants to be utterly worthless. Their general attitude is that a) we should all live in the city, b) no one could ever possibly have a legitimate reason to own a car, c) no one could ever possibly have a legitimate desire to have their own single-family house with a yard, and d) we can teach all those nasty, brutish suburbanites one hell of a lesson if we can prevent any improvements to our transportation infrastructure until we a get a perfect, Sierra-Club-approved transportation package.

C'mon Stranger folks, I love you guys and read the Slog daily, but it's so painfully obvious how narrow and self-serving your views have been on this issue.

Yes on Prop. 1. Bitches.

Posted by Hernandez | November 2, 2007 1:23 PM

@22: And no matter how many buses you have, they still won't go everywhere people need to go (e.g. home) at the times they need to (e.g. within an hour of their express bus or train coming in).

I live in FW, and when I worked in Overlake, I looked into the bus, & it would have taken over 2 hours to get to work. And when my car was in the shop, that's exactly how long it did take.

I'm no fan of the burbs, but it's reality. People live there. Seattle is closing its doors to everyone except those who want to shell out $750K+ for a 1BR with a great view of Harbor Island.

Whether or not they build roads along with the light rail, every light rail rider will be one less person driving a car on the roads. The only way the roads part of the package could actually encourage things to get worse would be if absolutely no one takes the rail.

@Slog: Not everyone can live and work on Cap Hill.

Posted by K | November 2, 2007 1:33 PM

Your magical ball filled garages will not win, Prop 1 Proponents.

Just. Say. No.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 2, 2007 1:34 PM

By the way...

While we Seattleites are still agonizing over whether to build mass transit, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg today proposed a national, revenue-neutral carbon tax to combat climate change. Oh, the irony that he did so in Seattle.

Posted by cressona | November 2, 2007 1:35 PM

So that's Feit and Wagner 0, Slog Commenters 30 by my scoring. The best was Some Jerk's comment. Transfers kill public transit. No one likes to wait, and they like to wait twice even less. Park and Rides are the best way to get public transit to the suburbs (where it's needed the most) and actually get people to ride it.

Posted by F | November 2, 2007 1:36 PM

and if you want a concrete example of how having garages next to transit doesn't encourage people to actually use transit, just look at the many garages in Fremont right next to all the bus lines.

Who parks there? People who drove all the way to Fremont from their homes to work in Fremont.

Park and rides work well in low-density suburban areas near major highways, in moving them off the clogged highways and onto rapid transit.

They don't work in areas where congestion is below a certain level or density is above a certain level.

Light rail and similar medium-grade transit works well in urban areas and medium density suburban areas, but not in lower density.

Transit 101.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 2, 2007 1:39 PM

@36, Will in Seattle what the hell are you talking about?

Which park and ride is there in Fremont?

The conversation is about suburban park-n-rides, not urban destinations.

Get your head out of your ass.

Posted by Andrew | November 2, 2007 1:45 PM

Actually every light rider is not one less car. ST2 adds 37,500 transit riders in 2030.

Read what you guys are saying. We need to have parking next to stations to get suburban people to ride. Bomb the village to save it. The stations will be surrounded by cars not apartments. There will not be this neat walkable country village.

The current price for the low-cost Village at Overlake Apts. is $795 for a 1BR

We can't keep providing easy commutes to places further and further from employment centers - move employment, build density near employment etc.

People used to have grass in Phoenix but they finally figured out it used too much water, no matter how much people wanted it.

Posted by whatever | November 2, 2007 1:59 PM

"Instead of promoting low-carbon mobility, let’s have pointless fights about how many fractions of a polar bear each park-n-ride space kills."

Lol, this is probably the funniest line I've read all day. Unfortunatley, its sad that its true. :(

Posted by Brian in Seattle | November 2, 2007 2:03 PM

Josh get out of Seattle for once. Go to Auburn and you will see gasp, parkin glots being turned into condos, appartments, retail and even a hotel, by gasp the right wing conservative, sprawl loving, City of Auburn.

Josh you should just stop writing about anything that in anyway could have something to do with anything anywhere outside the city of Seattle.

Posted by jim | November 2, 2007 2:05 PM

New Market, MD is 30 miles from the end of the Red Line in Rockville. It's not even suburban; it's exurban. No commuter rail or even Amtrak.

Buy a map.

Posted by New Market in the House | November 2, 2007 2:08 PM

Also, Josh, try riding the Red Line out to Wheaton, you'll see an ambitious mixed-use development going in atop the ashpalt surrounding the station.

Posted by Some Jerk | November 2, 2007 2:16 PM

There are a lot of choke points and merge and overpass construction that needs to be done apart from any new road building. The road work is necessary in my view.

Also, it's time to continue with the rail momentum. People love to say no here, then have no option to offer. Then they start complaining all over again.

As far as existing rail goes - from my fare-payer seat, I see construction (read: Densification) happening at pretty much every stop on the Tacoma-Seattle Sounder route.

All the park and rides I saw on the East Side when I was driving over there looked pretty packed. The one in Issaquah was so packed it's been torn up and they're building a parking garage.

Even Issaquah Highlands has it's own park and ride:

And even taking all those cars off the road, and even magically taking MORE cars off the road still leaves the roadways pretty darned full of plumbers, roofers, cement trucks, delivery trucks, and semis - to get you all the stuff you need.

Soooo, I'm fucking voting YES.
Thank you.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 2, 2007 2:16 PM

Oh, also - I don't see the roads as the actual CO2 problem themselves, it's the emissions, right?

Can someone get on coming up with a non-polluting engine?

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 2, 2007 2:21 PM


People love to hate GM, but the Chevy Volt is going to be a game changer. 40 mile all-electric range, flex-fuel generator on board. Assuming A123 can come through with the lithium-ion battery goodness at a reasonable price, its on.

Posted by Some Jerk | November 2, 2007 2:36 PM

this is:


would you rather have low density areas 40 miles our of a city DRIVE SINGLE OCCUPANCY VEHICLES those 40 miles?

and how exactly is new market, md a creation fueled by park and rides? IT'S 200 FUCKING YEARS OLD.

actually, let's look at dc/maryland- my dad lives in a 50's suburban development in kensington. this was built long before the metro was around, but for families this is the built environment that is available. he usually takes the bus to the metro station, but when he needs to he can drive.

what's wrong with this picture? oh wait NOTHING! it has started changing land use patterns in the area around the station and provides people IN EXISTING DEVELOPMENTS with the choice to save a fucking polar bear by not having to drive all the way downtown. not to mention the other conveniences of not having to drive the same damn route every day.

honestly i can't believe this. how could you guys listen to josh about prop 1? he should actually go ride a rail system before spouting this kind of crap.

Posted by Cale | November 2, 2007 2:38 PM


Will in Seattle's head and ass appear to be one and the same.

Posted by tiptoe tommy | November 2, 2007 2:39 PM

Josh's argument has been torn into tiny, unrecognizable shreds by these comments.

But will he acknowledge the error? Of course not. Has Erica listened to any of the criticisms leveled of her errant assumptions? Of course not.

They made their decision months ago. No amount of evidence or facts or logical argument will ever sway them. Which is one thing. But you'd expect as journalists, they'd actually acknowledge the fact that their ideas have been shredded to pieces.

Posted by greenlake | November 2, 2007 2:50 PM

@48: Josh and ECB have publicly expressed their struggles with supporting or opposing prop 1. I think they've been honest and open about their positions shifting a bit.

Now that their paper has a position, they probably have a position too. However, ECB frames things in a dramatic way that she shouldn't given her own struggles with the choice. Josh, here, says things he would have moved the Times for saying a month ago. ECB and Josh need to tone it down and accept that people who support Prop 1 aren't bad, or wrong, or "unwitting." covers prop 1 doubt in a much more fair way.

Posted by bellevue & belmont | November 2, 2007 3:49 PM

I love how you can't defend the original RTID/ST2 points so you have to attack me personally. It makes the Prop 1 position look even weaker.

As to GM, the Chevy Volt sells for way to much. Toyota actually has a plug-in version of the Prius they sell in Japan that gets something like 5 klicks on battery (3 miles) but they refuse to sell it here. But they're working on a plug-in hybrid that sells for less than $15K that gets more than 100 miles to a charge with about 80 miles to the gallon.

Still, the reality is that if we persist in having people live up to 100 miles away from work (what the RTID/ST2 plan promotes) the emissions for the electricity and gas used to get to work still increase. The only solution is not funding new highways, just new interchanges, and increasing cost-effective transit.

In suburban areas, that means bus lines from park and rides, and commuter rail.

In rural areas that means telecommuting.

In urban areas that means light rail, monorail, and high-speed passenger rail between cities like we see in every other developed country.

Global warming is now. Hiding your head in the sands won't change it.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 2, 2007 4:36 PM

Andrew #16: WAshington DC or Maryland development is not curtailed by the ocean. (The ocean is 3 hours away from DC -- as far as Westport from Seattle).

Pray consult your cartographer next time.

Posted by Lord Baltimore | November 2, 2007 6:40 PM

I just wish the people at the Stranger would be honest.

If it's something that helps Seattle: good.

If it's something that helps any city outside Seattle: bad.

At least that way you'd be telling the truth.

Posted by Bax | November 2, 2007 8:34 PM

Josh says:

“Because, like I said yesterday, ill-conceived light rail lines don’t create density, they create outpost park and rides that fuel exurban development and more roads”

Josh–did you even bother to look at the light rail plan? Do you even understand what communities it goes to? Do you even understand that the Sound Transit boundaries are within the urban growth boundary called for in the Growth Management Act?

Nothing is “exurban”. Apparently journalistic ethics are in short shrift these days. Light rail goes to Roosevelt, Northgate, Shoreline/N. Seattle/Mountlake Terrace/Lynnwood in the north. It goes to the Rainier Valley/Mercer Island/Bellevue (several stops)/Bel-Red Road/Overlake (Microsoft)/Redmond in the east. It goes to SeaTac/Des Moines/Federal Way/Fife/Tacoma in the south.

This list includes the #1 most populated city in the state, #3, #5, #7, #13, #15, #26, #36, #40, and #49. Each has over 20,000 people in it today. Those above #13 have over 50,000. Those above #5 over 100,000. These are urban areas. There are at least ten other cities in the top 50 largest communities in our state that get Sounder or bus improvements in the Roads and Transit plan. Each city desires tax revenue to fund worthy programs in our difficult state tax environment and messed up world. They want developers to invest in their cities. They would welcome development of housing and retail. They will upzone around transit centers and rail stations.

Since Erica, Josh and Sierra Club board members rarely leave Capitol Hill and Seattle to experience the rest of the region they don’t really know what the communities that rail will touch are like. The Stranger only leaves Capitol Hill, Belltown and North Seattle to make fun of the rubes. Half the staff probably believes West Seattle isn’t part of the city and is a suburb. Never mind that many people, especially working families, have to move out of the city to be able to afford a place to live.

So–if you have been to any of these exotic places listed above I would welcome you to post. And here is a simple exercise for undecided voters who haven’t been to these cities. Why don’t you use Google Maps or Google Earth and take a look at the satellite photos? It will only take a few minutes and you will see that these towns are plenty urban already and offer great opportunities for infill.

Posted by please pay attention | November 2, 2007 8:37 PM

whatever @38: You're referring only to the market rates at Overlake. There are a variety of subsidies available, including Section 8 housing and child care. The fact is, creating density around suburban park-and-rides makes sense, and pretending that cars will just go away if you click the heels of your ruby slippers three times is, well, a fantasy.

Posted by kk | November 2, 2007 10:01 PM

Will in Seattle @50: I don't think I've ever, ever read anything this brain dead. First of all, take a deep breath, because we're (ready?) not . . . going to have a monorail. OK, I know Disneyland has one and so does the Las Vegas Strip, but guess what? if they worked, more smart people would have built them, and (drum roll) they haven't. And we're also not going to have "high-speed passenger rail" to other cities because it takes fucking forever to get anywhere other than Portland and Vancouver B.C. (and it takes fucking forever to get there on the train anyway.) We can barely get four runs a day on BNSF tracks to Everett and Tacoma because BNSF owns the tracks. Will, we do not live in Holland or Japan. So we won't be wearing silver skates or employing subway pushers to solve our transportation problems. Instead, we'll actually have to face reality. And hope that Prop. 1 passes. Good luck.

Posted by choo-choo cuckoo | November 2, 2007 10:25 PM

Some Jerk - I've read some about the Volt. Also heard a story about it on NPR yesterday afternoon. It definitely has to go in this direction, though I'm also interested in what the long-haul, freight-pulling solutions would be. A version that can replicate what currently exists in that aspect of transportation.

Cost is going to be a huge issue. It's frustrating, though. This country has to have more than one fucking Model-T in it.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 3, 2007 7:19 AM

KK - we can subsidize housing anywhere it has nothing to do with TOD. It's great that they have successfully built apartments by non BRT bus lines creating density without billions of dollars of rail.

Even though the lines run within the GMA they get people closer to the boundary which makes it easier to live further from downtown, in other words, less density more sprawl.

Please explain again where the low cost housing LR provides will be.

Posted by whatever | November 3, 2007 9:23 AM


New diesels with particulate filters are meeting the new Tier 2 EPA regulations, which are closing in on no emissions but CO2. (Tier 2 Bin 1 pretty much achieves the Clean Air Act's goal of zero pollution)

New study out of Canada shows canola-based biodiesel cuts CO2 emissions by 85% for every unit of dinodiesel displaced. Algae-based diesel is getting close to market, and will eliminate the food competition issues.

Posted by Some Jerk | November 3, 2007 11:23 AM

Bellevue & Belmont @ 49, thanks for saying that.

Posted by Carless in Seattle | November 3, 2007 3:07 PM

Will, how can you say the Chevy Volt costs too much when it isn't even for sale yet? If all of your other facts are as accurate as this one then I find it difficult to trust any of your other points.

Posted by Steve | November 5, 2007 9:39 AM

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