Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Share Your New Year's | While I Was Gone »

Friday, December 28, 2007

In Grim Transportation News

posted by on December 28 at 15:08 PM

1) Seattle cabs get 12 miles per gallon, the Sightline Institute points out—not news, exactly (it’s been out there for a while) but a depressing reminder that even those of us who think we’re doing good by taking cabs instead of owning cars (because so much of the environmental impact of cars is in their manufacture) aren’t doing nearly as much as we could. Prius taxis, now, please!

2) Portland is having trouble expanding its beloved streetcar line around the city, thanks to federal rules that favor buses over rail. The new rules deemphasize increased density, reductions in vehicle miles traveled, and improved land use and focus instead on per-rider cost-effectiveness, a measure that strongly favors buses (because, duh, putting buses on the street is cheaper per rider than building rail lines, even though rail lines have other benefits). According to the Oregonian,

The transit administration has published rules that would make cost-effectiveness the key test of whether a project should be funded. Zoning for high density and saving miles driven in cars would be combined with congestion relief under an effectiveness test. Together those would count for half the benefits allowed [a reduction in their impact on benefits].

The result?

“If you build 5,000 units of housing along that line and people walked from those units of housing and get on the streetcar, they would not count
under their criteria,” [US Rep. Peter] DeFazio said.

The only riders that count are the ones that transfer from a bus or other transit to get to the streetcar line, he said.

“It’s totally misanthropic,” DeFazio said. “It’s set up to make streetcar never pencil out.”

Immediately at stake is $200 million in federal money for streetcar projects around the country. In the long term, though, the feds’ philosophical shift toward buses could jeopardize funding for rail projects around the country, including Sound Transit’s light rail and streetcar expansion in Seattle.

RSS icon Comments

1

You should be happy. Think of all the extra bitching you'll get to do while getting paid for it!

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 28, 2007 3:11 PM
2

There is a fleet of Taxis between the Airport and Downtown that uses hybrids. Maybe try requesting a hybrid if your that worried about it?

Posted by seattle98104 | December 28, 2007 3:13 PM
3

you're not going to put too many cruise ship tourists & their mountains of luggage into a prius taxi.

the prius itself must change.

Posted by max solomon | December 28, 2007 3:21 PM
4

I took a Prius taxi home from the airport two days ago. STITA (which runs all airport taxis) is, I think, 100% hybrid or natural gas. The vehicle held a surprising amount of luggage (or would have, if we'd been carrying it).

Still, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of other low-mileage cars on the road. Moving from a 12 MPG vehicle to even an 18 MPG one saves twice as much fuel as moving from, say, a 35 MPG to 50 MPG one. I'd like to see a statewide ban, or at least a hefty penalty, maybe $1,000 per MPG, on the sale new vehicles getting less than 18 MPG. Seriously: that's all it would take to stop needing Saudi oil entirely.

But the real action isn't on the MPG front, it's on grams per kilometer of emissions. The EU is about to install a new regulation setting a limit of 130 gm/km, which has the manufacturers of big, heavy cars (namely the German ones) in a tizzy. Getting under that limit is a snap for small cars -- many of them are already there -- of course, most of those cars can't be sold in the US. God only knows how bad our fleets of huge SUVs and trucks fare. The US is somewhere between five and thirty years behind the times on vehicle standards.

Posted by Fnarf | December 28, 2007 3:42 PM
5

Max,
Your "yeah, but" argument seems to come up every time an alternative to the transportation status quo is suggested, and I think it's grounded in the false premise that everyone uses the same method of transportation, all the time. A taxi fleet is not like the family car -- you can have a percentage of smaller, more efficient vehicles AND keep vans around to serve the overloaded passengers.

I see this kind of monolithic thinking most often in people who use their cars for almost every trip. It leads to the idea that modes which don't serve all classes of users at all times are worthless. By contrast, those who live in denser areas and mix it up with walking, biking, and transit generally seem to understand that every trip begins with a choice: what mode will serve me best today? That opens the door to a finer-grained transportation system that's flexible and less prone to breakdown.

Posted by Patrick McGrath` | December 28, 2007 3:48 PM
6

Wow, using cost effectiveness as a metric of which transit projects should get funding. What a totally wacky concept, damn that Bush administration anyways, trying to interject a note of reality into urban transit planning. If they left it faith based like everything else we do then we could build plenty of wonderful rail lines like the wonderful McMansion subsidizing Sounder rail, the incredibly wonderful 40 million dollar per mile SLUT and of course Link Light Rail (which should start running in two years or so, only three years late and a few billion over budget) and Erica and Dan wouldn't have to ride the bus with all of those icky black, handicapped and homeless people that they hate so much.


Oh, and isn't Portland the city, which despite having the MAX system that Seattle's Holy Railers hold up as a model for their faith based transit plans, also the city that has a lower public transit ridership percentage than Seattle? How can that be? The Holy Railers keep telling us that no one wants to give up driving to ride a bus, but that people will to ride a train, but fewer people in wonderful, progressive Portland use public transit than they do in horrible, regressive Seattle.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | December 28, 2007 4:22 PM
7

When one drives in a car one is almost always taking people somewhere of perceived value. Taxis are often driving around not taking anyone anywhere, therefore they get "used up" not providing transportation and they must be replaced much sooner than a privately owned cars. Since taxis are used up, to some extent, while running empty, do they really use less building energy cost per passenger mile than privately owned cars?

If you want to make the energy used to build car argument, you need to calculate this for all forms of transportation, for example the energy costs of building the rail systems you favor.

Posted by whatever | December 28, 2007 4:26 PM
8

whatever @ 7



If you want to make the energy used to build car argument, you need to calculate this for all forms of transportation, for example the energy costs of building the rail systems you favor.


You're asking rail transit advocates to be intellectually honest, that's like asking George W. Bush to be, well, smart enough to perhaps understand the concept of intellectual honesty.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | December 28, 2007 4:35 PM
9

And if I give up my 7500 mile per year driving habit, just one trip to Europe by you-know-who will negate two years of that effort.

Oh and how much energy does a streetcar really save when construction energy costs are considered. Trolley buses most likely would produce the best environmental effects.

Posted by whatever | December 28, 2007 4:35 PM
10

@9:

Trolley buses? No way! Certainly the fixed guideway, slower speed, and bright colors of a streetcar are worth millions more in capital costs.

Also, streetcars are powered by fairy farts and built by gnomes in the Czech Republic. In other words, they have no environmental costs.

Posted by joykiller | December 28, 2007 5:19 PM
11

But Wait! Couldn't we have tarted up trolley buses to resemble fixed guideway, slow speed, brightly colored, late nineteeth-early twentieth century transportation technology???

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | December 28, 2007 5:53 PM
12

Wait.... Focusing on "per rider" costs and ignoring the other positive effects of rail...

Sounds like Ron Sims when he was attacking the light rail line to Tacoma.

Posted by Will/HA | December 28, 2007 7:42 PM
13

It was only a matter of time before the pro-sprawl Libertarian right got their dubious Bus Rapid Transit plans on the Bush transportation policy agenda.

Fun Fact: Congressman Tom Delay is actually the father of Bus Rapid Transit in the United States, commissioning that cooked GAO Report, the holy grail for anti-rail BRT activists everywhere. Tom Delay wanted to use the junk science in the GAO report to fight local rail plans in Houston with the big stick of the federal government (he eventually lost). But Delay's right wing think tank buds had bigger plans for BRT outside of Houston.

The anti-transit / pro-BRT activists have been busy in this region for some time, now - and, since we still don't have anything to compare buses to, the result is an absurd situation where conservates (who hate transit subsidies) are pushing for the most subsidized form of transit possible: buses. As many others have pointed out, the biggest BRT fans always seem to be the ones who have never seen the inside of a bus...this wonderful brand of elitists are looking forward to the 'Lexus/HOT Lane' component of BRT (where rich solo drivers get to buy their way into the bus lanes).

This explains why dinosaurs like Kemper Freeman can say (out of one side of his mouth) that "transit is strictly meant for the poor, infirm and disabled" and (out of the other side of his mouth) "solve congestion with buses, not trains." The fact those two perspectives are fundamentally contradictory does not interest the father of free parking garages in Bellevue.

Posted by MissT | December 28, 2007 9:23 PM
14

Please share the positive effects of rail - less congestion? greater transit share? better economy? what?

And Will provide actual stats that don't come from the new urbanists.

"The transit administration has published rules that would make cost-effectiveness the key test of whether a project should be funded. Zoning for high density and saving miles driven in cars would be combined with congestion relief under an effectiveness test."

Will exactly what is wrong with this approach? How should it be improved? Note this is more than per rider cost.


Posted by whatever | December 28, 2007 9:28 PM
15

So let me get this straight - Delay, Freeman, toss in a little Eyman - anti-light rail (how dare they be non believers) - blah blah blah right wingers blah blah blah BRT blah blah blah Ginger blah blah blah dinosaurs blah blah blah basement dwellers blah blah blah.

BTW T could you give a link to the Freeman quote "transit is strictly meant for the poor, infirm and disabled"?

Didn't think so. You can't make a cogent argument so you call people names, brilliant.

Posted by whatever | December 28, 2007 9:43 PM
16

Your editorializing in point 2 was so blatant and excessive that I just stopped reading after a couple of lines.

Posted by Gomez | December 28, 2007 9:53 PM
17

Regional Light Rail (RLR) supports few neighborhood stations and distant suburban terminals. Much like motor freeways, RLR encourages growth in these distant, so-called regionalized areas. RLR does not promote or support urban density in the metro Seattle area. Regional Light Rail does not benefit you or your neighborhood if you live in Seward Park, South Park, Delridge,Roxbury, Georgetown, Belltown,Queen Anne, Magnolia, Rainier Beach, Seward Park, Leschi, Mt Baker, Beacon Hill, Belltown, Magnolia, Ballard, Licton Springs, Aurora, Lake City, Greenwood, West Seattle, Sand Point, Windemere, Wedgewood, Laurelhurst, View Ridge, Phinney Ridge Madison Park, etc., etc. Regional Light Rail supports the very limited locations it services while ignoring the public transportation needs of your neighborhood.

Posted by Princess Caroline | December 28, 2007 10:02 PM
18

Adding to the "conservatives for highly subsidized transit" absurdity, take a look at climbing cost-per- bus rider figures (requiring even more subsidies) as congestion gets worse, and as slow and unreliable buses get even slower and more unreliable...and become even less attractive for luring people out of their cars.

Congestion is rapidly eating new transit revenues alive in this region with no end in sight (good luck to the politician/gov/transportation secretary who is willing to convert HOV-2 lanes to HOV-3,4,5)... at the exact time when service hours should be invested in more frequent service, not time wasted idling in the middle of a long line of cars backed up on city streets, arterials, ramps and freeways.

Clueless conservatives also haven't figured out the fact their "door to door" all-bus/no rail concept is extremely expensive to operate over the long run. (especially with low capacity buses being driven by very expensive operators)

If you've spent any time in a city with even just a basic rail system in place, you know folks will work a lot harder to find their OWN MEANS to access rail transit (due to system speed, reliability, and quality of ride). This mean feet, bikes, park and ride, kiss and ride, scooters, skateboards, etc. Who is going to walk a mile for a bus, when you never know whether that bus is going to show up for you, or not? And how's about transferring from bus to bus?

You can read any message board you want in this region, and find a bevy of whining anti-transit self-servatives who could never imagine finding their OWN WAY to a rail station. Apparently, the government is supposed to deliver highly-subsidized transit to their doorsteps...and take them right to work. You can tell their underlying contradictory philosophy makes a lot of sense.

And God knows, we Puget Sounders already do waaaay too much walking!

Which leads us to the real reason car, freeway and BRT nuts and think tanks get radioactive when the light rail demon raises its ugly head: they know compact communities have a tendency to spring up around rail stations.

Bottom line: urban density = human interation = more diverse communities = democrats. So the real ideologically driven "movement" conservative will always land on highly subsidized sprawl & freeway friendly transit for the transit-dependent.

For a good laugh, check out Kemper Freeman's cultish circle of free marketeers, fighting the obvious results of free market capitalism: density and growth - www.ti.org/amdream.html

Posted by MissT | December 28, 2007 10:03 PM
19

"Oh, and isn't Portland the city, which despite having the MAX system that Seattle's Holy Railers hold up as a model for their faith based transit plans, also the city that has a lower public transit ridership percentage than Seattle? How can that be?"

wile_e_quixote is typical of clueless "pavement progressives" around here - he makes sure to drop in the Bush critique, but then gulps down a big dose of spoon-fed right wing disinformation in one, big swallow.

The highly enlightened Seattle Times editorial board was more than happy to spread the right wing think tank baloney about "Portland having a lower transit market share" as compared to Seattle.

Too bad they were using bogus data generated by right wing think tanks: http://www.publictransit.us/ptlibrary/SeattlePaperWrong.htm

And too bad clueless axe-grinding ideologues like wile_e_quixote are always willing to pass along bad information, generated for true suckers.

How does that Rovian slop taste, anyways, wile_e-quixote? You ready for your dose yet, whatever? You know you like it!

Posted by MissT | December 28, 2007 10:27 PM
20

@18, WTF do you think the operating costs/subsidies for the SLUT are? For Sounder? Unless you're talking about an already highly developed, driverless system (MTA, CTA), rail operating costs aren't paid in pesos.

And as for rail creating dense communities...well, I suppose if you want to create a dense commuter community in Buckley, well, that's your prerogative. But for those "urban villages" in SEATTLE seeking better transit, I don't see how you can argue in favor of streetcars over buses.

BTW, most of those "added effects" of light rail in Portland were really the result of massive tax breaks for developers, not some organic product of a train system.

Posted by joykiller | December 28, 2007 10:43 PM
21

Really, a report by the group "Public Transit" comes in as pro rail ICFBI.

Here's a report commissioned by the
American Public Transportation Association:

http://www.apta.com/research/info/online/documents/rail_transit_summary.pdf

not exactly an anti-transit group. Go to page three and look at the graph.

Go to apta.com and publictransit.US - nice solid domain, dot US? - judge which is a better organization.

Who the hell is publictransit.us?

Check the About APTA link. Maybe MsT can direct us where to get the same info on PTUS.

Posted by whatever | December 28, 2007 11:13 PM
22

Rail equates to democracy. A specious notion at best. How about we inject some truth: Light Rail contributes to urban sprawl. With appalling few intercity terminals, light rail is in essence a freeway on a fixed guideway which serves only a limited number of neighborhoods and and supports suburban terminals. Just like motorized freeways, urban density will cluster to a limited degree at the utterly few stations along its line (off ramps), however its expense in terms of cost to the vast majority of urban dwelling individuals who it can't and never will support is completely ridiculous and unrealistic. Focus on all those neighborhoods I previously referenced. Light rail does absolutely nothing for those people except take their money. Light Rail=Freeways. It's DOA.

Posted by Princess Caroline | December 28, 2007 11:18 PM
23

"BTW T could you give a link to the Freeman quote "transit is strictly meant for the poor, infirm and disabled"? "

Oh, sorry. You're right, whatever. Kemper is too smart a guy to say stuff like that on the record (same way he was too smart to go on the record scaring Bellevue in a 1995 whisper campaign about "those people" taking light rail from the Rainier Valley to his snobby mall) But Kemper's cult-like band of followers aren't quite as bright.

How's about this dedicated Kemperite, and Eastside Transportation Association www.eastsideta.com : http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Transportation/Property_Owner_Panel_2_Summary_and_Transcript.pdf

"To give Kevin a little help on answering his question, transit to a large degree is a social service. It provides subsidized transportation to people that either can't or won't take the automobile . So if you see, you talk about medical services, if you need to get there now if you're having a heart attack you're not going to wait for the bus or certainly not the train to come by and then walk where it takes. But if you're going in for an appointment and you don't want to drive or something, then taking the bus may make more sense. So you have ambulatory problems, you have physical disabilities, or maybe some mental disabilities that disqualifies you from a driver's license, you know there's a social service aspect that transit provides to the needs of the citizens. "

Posted by MissT | December 28, 2007 11:44 PM
24

Ooooo. Looks like all the transit troglodytes are out tonight. How fun!

"How about we inject some truth: Light Rail contributes to urban sprawl."

Pretty funny, Princess Caroline. By "urban sprawl" are you talking about dense, walkable communities in urban centers, within urban growth boundaries as designated under the growth management act? Name one of the three light rail extensions under the failed Prop 1 plan which would have been built into land designated rural, agricultural, forestry, etc. Just for kicks, try taking a look at the urban areas of King Pierce and Snohomish Counties. There is little unbuilt land left, and none of it is anywhere close to potential light rail lines.

Or, maybe you consider Fife vulnerable to sprawl?

"With appalling few intercity terminals, light rail is in essence a freeway on a fixed guideway which serves only a limited number of neighborhoods and and supports suburban terminals."

This is how you can tell Seattle is in the dark ages. Here, you have educated adults claiming electric light rail is akin to a freeway. Something tells me the Princess is just a NIMBY...so she makes the mistake of confusing "growth" with "sprawl." I could be wrong, of course.

Posted by MissT | December 28, 2007 11:56 PM
25

"Regional Light Rail supports the very limited locations it services while ignoring the public transportation needs of your neighborhood. "

Forget, for a moment, that Princess Caroline's vision of a Seattle-only light rail paradise is unaffordable. That you need the financial horsepower of the entire region to build real transit system, thanks to the fact transit cave-dwellers of yesteryear did their best to come up with nitpicking, bogus arguments back when these projects were a lot more affordable, and the feds were willing to cought up most of the dough.

That aside, please notice that Sound Transit is actually the "Regional Transit Authority" created by the state to build.....you guessed it....regional transit systems. If Seattle had decided to sink its hundreds of millions into something besides monorail, bike lanes, and pavement...they could help move toward your vision. If Metro wanted to leave their bus fetish behind for a while, and stop putting all their resources into half-empty suburban buses, then you might see real transit for the urban core. But Sound Transit is doing what they were created to do, so no matter how snobby your "inclusive" Seattle ethic might be, those un-pc unurban sinners (it's called affordable housing...look into it) in cities like Federal Way need transit, the same way self-centered Seattleites do. Taking a look at Vehicle Miles Travelled inside and outside Seattle, one could even argue you're doing a lot more to address global warming by serving the needs of the exurbs (again withing the urban growth boundary) than with Seattleites, who may love to drive their Outbacks all over the place...but also log less miles.

These "Fortress Seattle" comments are kinda cute. But totally rooted in space-cake outer space.

Posted by MissT | December 29, 2007 12:11 AM
26

"Here's a report commissioned by the
American Public Transportation Association:"

whatever, I've been reading your posts for some time now. You never cease to amaze me with your ignorance.

From the link you provided (try reading it first next time, ok?)

"This analysis finds that per-capita transit ridership is far higher in rail transit cities, as illustrated in Figures 2. Annual per capita transit passenger-miles average 589 in Large Rail cities (520 excluding New York), 176 passenger-miles in Small Rail cities, and 118 passenger-miles in Bus Only cities."

Per capita...get it, whatever?

You tried to make a sophomoric argument about whose domain was more credible...and it turns out both your link and my link came to the same conclusion.

Nice move.

The more I read the posts coming out of Whine Country (anti-rail / anti-growth / anti-outsider Seattle) the more I'm convinced most of the perennial complainers base their opposition to rail on pure fiction and mythology. Which is sad, considering all the good information available to us on the internet. Could it be some don't want to leave the talk radio era behind?

Posted by MissT | December 29, 2007 12:23 AM
27

The basic problem is that even though busses are way better than trolleys (which are a terrible mode of transportation, if you doubt me go ride the slut), people are stupid and like to ride trolleys and don't like to ride busses. I think it's pretty much cus they're assholes. I ride a bus on a dedicated lane every day and I think it's great. The only thing better would be a subway line or monorail with the advantages of limited stops and increased capacity (I sometimes can't even squeeze my tiny frame in the damn bus), which will definitely never happen. I'd actually much prefer a double-decker, which would hopefully solve the capacity problem. People that whine about BRT have obviously never lived near a convenient one.

Likewise, even if you built light rail to Everett, it would still be faster to take the express bus, cus it goes on a freeway and doesn't stop anywhere in between.

But it is true that Americans are bus-hating morons... so I will agree that that obnoxious fact should be used in the cost/benefit analysis.

Posted by John | December 29, 2007 1:13 AM
28

-Likewise, even if you built light rail to Everett, it would still be faster to take the express bus, cus it goes on a freeway and doesn't stop anywhere in between.-

Gotta love John calling others morons, then finishing off his post with that statement and PROVING he's one, too. You're in fine company, my friend.

Is John just guessing about travel times for light rail? Is he lying? Kidding? Just passing along bad information he got from the clowns at the Sierra Club, or from Dori Monson?

I would actually be curious to know.

So John, what source did you use to come up with those figures?

As soon as you get back to us on that, I would also like to know how you're able to use "bus" and "rapid" in the same sentence without bursting out laughing.

Nothin' against buses myself. But you're never going to get a bus to act like a train. And you will also never lure large numbers of people to consider ditching their cars for a bus.

Posted by Bob Lawblaw | December 29, 2007 6:42 AM
29

No, you will never get a bus to act like a train, but you will never get a train to act like a bus. You will never lure large numbers of people to consider ditching their cars. But spending billions in the hope to "lure" people is a completely ridiculous as a regional transportation plan. Witness Sound Transit's Seattle to Everett run. A laughable contribution to public rail transportation that people like Miss T point out contributes to creating urban density and reducing sprawl. Miss T, when you get back to your office at ST on Monday how about digging up some numbers on what ST is spending to subsidize the oh-so-few folks who are using that line on a daily basis.


Posted by Princess Caroline | December 29, 2007 8:44 AM
30

MsT

I know its hard for you and yours to have a conversation without name calling but if you could try it would be nice.

The link to APTA supports the fact that Seattle has a better transit share ot modal split than any of the LIGHT RAIL cities. Seattle is put into the small rail category because of the monorail and waterfront trolley but most would recognize that Seattle is really a bus only city.

If we had a plan to build transit that was like the BIG RAIL cities such as NYC, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, I and most of the critics on this board would support it.

Many of us think that building the first line (ST2) the equivalent of from Manhattan to Massachusetts is not how to do transit. In order for density to work for the environment it needs to be denser than the 7000 per sq. mile Seattle now has and in one directly connected area. The idea of little 40,000 people islands is not true density. And there is plenty of open land that freeway effect of the ST LINK plan will help to fill with sprawl.

BTW if your plan were to work as you think, those houses near the stations will not be affordable and people out there will still need cars.


Posted by whatever | December 29, 2007 8:55 AM
31

RE the taxi issue:

STITA Taxi does have a large number of hybrids - and if the cars I saw last night at the airport are any kind of representative sample, it seems like almost half or more of their cars are hybrids.

Unfortunately, STITA cab drivers are prohibited from picking up fares within the Seattle city limits (unless responding to a reservation for pickup). My driver said that rule had something to do with the airport authorities who regulate STITA having more control over complaints, etc.

So, the hybrid cars are a step in the right direction, but at best, it only evens things out. Drivers who drop people off in Seattle have to drive all the way back to the airport without a passenger to pick up another fare.

And other cab companies, such as Yellow, Orange, etc, are prohibited from picking fares up at the airport. When they take someone to Seatac, they have to drive away without a passenger.

Seems if we consolidated cab companies (like NYC has done), or at least opened the airport up to all companies, we could save a lot of fuel being wasted on cars going back and forth without passengers.

Posted by Gem | December 29, 2007 2:10 PM
32

"Miss T, when you get back to your office at ST on Monday how about digging up some numbers on what ST is spending to subsidize the oh-so-few folks who are using that line on a daily basis."

Well, Princess, from your desk at the Discovery Institute, you probably know by now that North Sounder run was designed by rail critics, not rail proponents. It was simply the product of politics (otherwise known as democracy) to appease light rail critics after the failed 95 ballot.

So, you're against regionalism, eh? Are you going to make the suburbs go away? Create a whole bunch of middle class housing in the center of $700k Wallingford? Ever wonder where the food on your plate comes from, or where the cleaning crew in your building might live? (hint: not Fremont)

Sprawl already happened, so no matter what your "fortress Seattle" NIMBY politics might dictate, we're not living in an urban bubble. Seattle is 1/5th the region's population. As such, the moat ain't gonna work. Your mental moat does make for some interesting - if not twisted - opinions. I loved the "rail = freeways" joke. Mind if I use it at the next RailsRUs company party?

Furthermore, that Sounder line you whine about is growing in ridership, making the subsidy lower each year. I-5 isn't going to get wider anytime soon, and nobody at wsdot is stupid enough to push the vast majority of HOV users (mom & pop cummuters) out of those express lanes to keep express bus service free flowing. Also, when Edmonds and Mukilteo ststions are finally built out, and trains fill up in 5-10 years, folks like me can go back and laugh at backwards folks like you even more than we do now. I notice how you neglected to mention the Sounder south line. Could there be a reason for that? Still willing to ignore freeway/auto/bus subsidies which are much greater than any train subsidy?

"The link to APTA supports the fact that Seattle has a better transit share ot modal split than any of the LIGHT RAIL cities. "

No it doesn't - you didn't even read the Litman report, did you whatever? The chart you glanced at supports the fact Seattle is larger than Portland. Read down all the way to page 4 if you are physically (or mentally) able.

"If we had a plan to build transit that was like the BIG RAIL cities such as NYC, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, I and most of the critics on this board would support it."

Jesus, that was a stupid thing to say, whatever. If we could just make rail twice as expensive (without making it twice as effective) then anti-everything whiners like Princess Caroline would drop their petty arguments? Dude, you just keep digging your hole deeper.

Have any of the cave dwellers here ever left this transit-stunted city? Could we please focus on transportation, and not unrelated grudges which drive all your opinions?

"The idea of little 40,000 people islands is not true density. And there is plenty of open land that freeway effect of the ST LINK plan will help to fill with sprawl."

Be specific, whatever. If there is plenty of this open land ripe for suburban sprawl, tell us where it is. And by "islands of 40,000 people" are you talking about the Rainier Valley? Wallingford? Bellevue? You keep making these generic claims to cover the fact you have no idea what you're talking about. Prove me wrong, whatever.

Posted by MissT | December 29, 2007 3:03 PM
33

My Mst you're really rich with anger. Still the need to call people names that don't agree with you, sad.

The APTA report shows that Seattle has more transit riders per capita. BTW the Publictransit.US site is a front for the one man light rail consulting company Carquinez Associates aka M Setty.

http://www.bts.gov/publications/journal_of_transportation_and_statistics/volume_08_number_03/html/paper_03/figure_03_04.html

This report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics uses APTA data but surprisingly no Publictransit.us numbers - go figure.

So MsT you say "Well, Princess, from your desk at the Discovery Institute, you probably know by now that North Sounder run was designed by rail critics, not rail proponents"

then you say

"Furthermore, that Sounder line you whine about is growing in ridership, making the subsidy lower each year. I-5 isn't going to get wider anytime soon, and nobody at wsdot is stupid enough to push the vast majority of HOV users (mom & pop cummuters) out of those express lanes to keep express bus service free flowing. Also, when Edmonds and Mukilteo ststions are finally built out, and trains fill up in 5-10 years, folks like me can go back and laugh at backwards folks like you even more than we do now."

So are you a rail critic that will be proud of N Sounder or a rail proponent that didn't support N Sounder but will now take credit?

Some of the "urban" stops Fife, Redondo, S. 200th, Seatac, S. Federal Way.

Wallingford and the other Seattle neighborhoods physically touch the neighborhood next to it - they are part of one city and that's where the density is - as you pointed out Seattle is about 22% of the metro Seattle region but you neglect to point out -only 84 sq. miles of the 8000 sq. miles or 1%.

And Dude every city that has better transit share than Seattle serves the core city with transit and gets its big numbers of riders there not in the burbs. Seattle's buses have more riders and more use of capacity than the outlining routes.

Admit it you wished we were building in-city transit its just those anti transit subarea guys that ruined it - isn't that what you said at the time?

Posted by whatever | December 29, 2007 4:32 PM
34

Seattle 7th in percentage of transit to DT - US Census

ftp://198.31.87.7/pub/mtc/census2000/downtown/Commuting_to_Downtown_StatusReport_JAN1005.pdf

Posted by whatever | December 29, 2007 5:36 PM
35

MsT why aren't you happy at how well Seattle's transit is working?

Seattle 8th in transit to work. No light rail city ahead of Seattle.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-33.pdf

Posted by whatever | December 29, 2007 6:22 PM
36

I enjoy watching your intellectual train wreck, whatever. But I just can't figure out what you're reading in that link YOU provided. Here's what I'm reading (take 2):

"This analysis finds that per-capita transit ridership is far higher in rail transit cities, as illustrated in Figures 2. Annual per capita transit passenger-miles average 589 in Large Rail cities (520 excluding New York), 176 passenger-miles in Small Rail cities, and 118 passenger-miles in Bus Only cities."

Since when did you decide to make reality your enemy?

Just to clarify: I have nothing against buses. Seattle will always have buses. My point is pretty simple: Seattle in 25 years won't look like Seattle today. Which is why you've got to be an absolute iiiidiot to try and argue this region can get by with Buses Stuck In Traffic (BRT) forever. As I've stated earlier, each and every rail opponent in this town has illustrated to me they have a secondary agenda they're pursuing with this nonsense. Or an endless loop grudge / axe to grind.

What leads you down the path of chosen ignorance, whatever? Your stated support for heavy rail really makes me question whether yer playin' with a full deck.

"Admit it you wished we were building in-city transit its just those anti transit subarea guys that ruined it - isn't that what you said at the time?"

No. I think the progressive leaning 'burbs of Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lynnwood and Everett deserve something beyond shitty bus service, too. If you're looking from this point in history backwards, then fine - you're right. Buses are great. If your charge in life is to leave the community you care about in better shape for the next generation, then....well, I'll have to continue to disagree with your views, and call you out on your ignorance (which appears to be voluntary).

"Some of the "urban" stops Fife, Redondo, S. 200th, Seatac, S. Federal Way."

I had a hunch you would fail miserably at that challenge, whatever. All those cities you mention are waaaay inside the urban growth boundary, and all are slated to take their fair share of growth under the GMA in the next 25 years. So, you're trying to tell me you're worried about rail bringing suburban sprawl to SeaTac?

Please tell me your joking, whatever. Surely, people who can afford internet connections can't be this stupid.

On second thought, you're the guy who posted the Todd Litman link, which made the opposite argument to what you were trying to claim. So, I suppose you really could be that stupid. Ever thought about spending your time calling in to talk radio shows, where the host will happily wallow in ignorance with you? May I suggest Dori Monson?

PS, Redondo isn't a city.

"Wallingford and the other Seattle neighborhoods physically touch the neighborhood next to it - they are part of one city and that's where the density is"

Which is why ST plans to build a light rail station on 45th - to serve the U District AND Wallingford. The density of Federal Way neighborhoods is right on par with Wallingford...but unlike Wallingford, Federal Way has the opportunity to replace decades of your troglodyte roads-based strip malls with some serious density - making it even more ripe for a future light rail connection.

None of this stuff is that difficult to figure out. Unless, of course, you want to MAKE IT difficult, for the simple purpose of pursuing unrelated grudges and ideologies.

Find me a rabid rail critic in this town who isn't pursuing his own self-centered agenda, and I'll buy everybody in this pub I'm hanging out at a round of the finest (ok, middle shelf) single malt Scotch.

Posted by MissT | December 29, 2007 11:37 PM
37

BRT and Buses rarely have the infrastructure required (or the damage they do to existing infrastructure) included in the cost per ride mile. Which is #$%^#$& stupid.

LRT, Streetcars, and all rail modes do.

Of course the argument is, "well we have to build that, we don't have to build the roadway for the bus" is such bullshit.

Fact is, the bus route is going to require repaving every 10 years minimum. If they want to maintain the same ride quality as a LRT or Streetcar Vehicle they will have to repave about every 2-5 years. That is highly unlikely as the Government has a horridly pathetic history of maintaining roadways.

In addition to that for the Streetcar you need 2 buses to cover the same route. For an LRV route you'll need 2-3 buses to cover a single LRV train route, 4-5 buses to cover a double LRV train route. In Seattle with the 3 car trains that is 6-8 buses to cover the same route. I'm sorry, but do the math on the damage to infrastructure and the additional operator costs and the math doesn't pan out for buses anymore.

...I digress, I could rant for days on US stupidity in transit.

Posted by Adron | December 30, 2007 12:06 AM
38

The quote you repeat is an overview that indicates heavy rail cities have a good transit system but the graph shows that Seattle has better numbers than any light rail city. The Census data shows the se thing. Todd Litman is pro rail which means his bgraph can be belkieved whereas M Setty is a holy railer that outs down all other forms of transit and can't be believed.

Rodondo may not be a city but it's a listed stop on failed ST2. Speaking of failed - if we had passed ST2 how long would it have taken for ST to reduce the length of the line, expanded the time period and raised the costs? How long before they would claim that they were on time and er budget?

ST claimed they would add 37,500 transit riders over 25 years in the three counties - I'm sure the children would be happy with that.

Light rail hasn't produced higher transit share in other cities where the cost per mile is less than a third of what it is here.

Kemper gains from not having a rail stop at his mall? If he caved to the Soul Sold to Holy Railers, don't you think he could get a light rail stop at the Bellevue Mall?

Although many pro rail posters may work in the industry I don't think that matters and I don't think people that think the ST plans are stupid need to have a vested interest.

Posted by whatever | December 30, 2007 9:11 AM
39

"Which is why ST plans to build a light rail station on 45th - to serve the U District AND Wallingford"

Ahh! Your appeal to fortress Seattle! Sound Transit throwing a bit of bread to the peasants in the hope of currying favor. Actually, you need to put the bottle down and be a bit more truthful, Miss T. That "planned" (which means it is nothing more than a pipe dream -- kind of like NASA "planning" for a manned trip to Mars or the Pentagon "planning" for the invasion of Canada -- stop at 45th is really 45th and Brooklyn which really isn't Wallingford. How about that once planned First Hill station, Miss T? It was on the line and perhaps the one spot in the state of Washington with the highest density, but your buddies at Sound Transit screwed up that one. That is because they decided regionalism was the easier, cheaper build. But lets look once again at your regional ST poster-child failure....I laughed at your excuses for the Sounder train between Seattle and Everett. Low ridership? Why? Because it is quicker to ride the bus or drive a car rather than ride a one-hour train trip without considering supporting transfers from either the Seattle or Everett station. Oh, but you countered, the ridership will get better once additional stations are added. You mean abandon your regional, freeway on rails to nowhere paradigm to actually having multiple stations serving already existing, neighborhoods in order to better ST's ridership numbers so Sound Transit can appear to be accomplishing something? Which is it going to be Miss T?

You know what is really worrying everyone at Sound Transit, Miss T? It is like a cancer eating away at the agency.

Posted by Princess Caroline | December 30, 2007 12:15 PM
40

2006 travel to work stats - read em and weep MsT. Seattle rules - what again is the objective of transit - oh yeah to get people to use it. Seattle stomps the light rail cities woooooot.

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=GCT0804&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_GCT0804_US35&-format=US-35&-CONTEXT=gct

Posted by whatever | December 30, 2007 3:07 PM
41

Last post (probably):

I'll make a prediction for ST2.1 - unless it shows a construction schedule for providing rapid transit to the West side, it will fail. Over 40 percent of the city lives in the general WS-Ballard-North End area. CapHill, U-Dist and Roosevelt-Ravenna types will (and have) vote for anything. The Rainier Valley folks no longer care - they've got their slow-train-to-Downtown/Airport. That leaves about 30 percent of the city which I'm predicting will vote for ST2.1 as currently planned. The East side will probably not vote for it and I'm predicting the South side will vote heavily against it.


So, what is ST planning? Northgate and Bellevue? It will fail. Northgate alone? It will fail. Bellevue only? It will fail. Gird yourself, Sound Transit fans, because ST2.1 isn't going to be pretty.


On the other hand, if ST gets their act together and provides considerable service for the core urban area it will not fail at the ballot. And, for those who claim Bellevue IS an urban area while WS or Ballard aren't - the population of Bellevue is 112 thousand; the population of WS is estimated (2006) to be about 110 thousand. Land area for Bellevue (minus water) is about 30 square miles. Land area for West Seattle is about 14 square miles. Guess which one is actually denser.

Posted by chas Redmond | December 31, 2007 6:17 PM
42

"The quote you repeat is an overview that indicates heavy rail cities have a good transit system but the graph shows that Seattle has better numbers than any light rail city."

You still never made it to page 4 of the Litman report, or figured out what the definition of "per capita" is, did you, whatever?

"Actually, you need to put the bottle down and be a bit more truthful, Miss T. That "planned" (which means it is nothing more than a pipe dream -- kind of like NASA "planning" for a manned trip to Mars or the Pentagon "planning" for the invasion of Canada -- stop at 45th is really 45th and Brooklyn which really isn't Wallingford"

So, Princess Caroline, you think Wallingford needs a rail line? That somehow light rail should be tunneled under every neighborhood in Seattle? The stop at 45th and Brooklyn would be served by E-W buses, and - get this - non-lazy non-car addicted Wallingford residents who may WALK or RIDE A BIKE. Imagine that!

Mass transit isn't about door-to-door service. Get a cab if you want that.

"How about that once planned First Hill station, Miss T? It was on the line and perhaps the one spot in the state of Washington with the highest density, but your buddies at Sound Transit screwed up that one. "

Actually, it was glaciers, common sense engineering, and physics which killed that station, Princess. Along with a federal transit administration rating system which puts cost-effectiveness on top.

"Low ridership? Why? Because it is quicker to ride the bus or drive a car rather than ride a one-hour train trip"

Really? One hour from Seattle to Everett? During rush hour (when Sounder runs) the one hour drive happens less and less often. In ten years, Seattle to Everett in one hour will be a rare occurrence. But, then again, why in the world would transportation planners want to look out into the future...right, Princess Caroline?

And for the record, express bus service with only a few stops takes over an hour from Seattle to Everett http://www.soundtransit.org/x6226.xml http://www.commtrans.org/?mc=Ridingthebus&subcat=2&inc=2&mnshw=no&rid=410/411 during peak periods. What bus are you talking about Princess Caroline? You know the one which takes less than an hour?

Posted by MissT | December 31, 2007 7:23 PM
43

"Oh, but you countered, the ridership will get better once additional stations are added. You mean abandon your regional, freeway on rails to nowhere paradigm to actually having multiple stations serving already existing, neighborhoods in order to better ST's ridership numbers"

Uh, actually, Princess Caroline, I wasn't talking about your weird conspiracy theories, I was talking about the Mukilteo station and multi-modal hub at Edmonds - two stations which have been delayed because of issues totally unrelated to Sound Transit. whatever, if you ever need another example of grudge-holding axe-grinders, keep reading Princess Caroline's posts.

Or, read Chas Redmond's posts, who famously said "if I don't get my monorail, nobody else gets their projects." Who cares if there is twice or three times the ridership potential for Northgate as compared with his West Seattle neighborhood...the world revolves around Charles, afterall:

"On the other hand, if ST gets their act together and provides considerable service for the core urban area it will not fail at the ballot."

Since Seattle doesn't have the tax capacity to pay for all of Fortress Seattle's city-only rail lines, I'm wondering who Chas Redmond and Princess expect will pay for their pie-in-the-sky plans? God? Chas' old monorail agency?

Here's your New Year's resolution: propose ideas which are grounded in reality. And ditch the useless decades-old grudge matches, which are totally unrelated to the future transportation needs of our city and region.

I won't hold my breath for this level of sanity to start dominating the SLOG boards, though.

Posted by MissT | December 31, 2007 7:29 PM
44

"Wallingford needs a rail line? That somehow light rail should be tunneled under every neighborhood in Seattle? The stop at 45th and Brooklyn would be served by E-W buses, and - get this - non-lazy non-car addicted Wallingford residents who may WALK or RIDE A BIKE. Imagine that!"

Miss T, you were the one who stated Wallingford would be serviced in your pipe-dream plan. Now you are telling Wallingford residents they are lazy. Sounds like oh-so-typical Sound Transit dogma. E/W buses??? How often? How much will it cost the Wallingford resident? Will it be cheaper them to use rather than utilize other transportation? Dear Leader do tell us. Miss T, you need to research globally and apply locally. You obviously haven't, and your concept of social engineering via the Sound Transit's concept is laughable.

"Actually, it was glaciers, common sense engineering, and physics which killed that station, Princess. Along with a federal transit administration rating system which puts cost-effectiveness on top."

Which was it, Miss T? Engineering? Or cost effectiveness?...which if you recall, was the subject of this original Blog posting. It always comes down to money, T, and the repeated failures of the Sound Transit agency. Nothing like OJT at the taxpayers expense. Right, T? And as an added bonus the residents of First Hill get screwed. But hey! They get to pay for the screwing, just as the people of Wallingford will if in a blue moon ST can ever figure out how to get from Husky Stadium to 45th and Brooklyn.
BTW Miss T, whatever did happen to all those other stations which happened
to conveniently disappear??

"What bus are you talking about Princess Caroline? You know the one which takes less than an hour?"

Whoops! there you go again, T. You to have forgotten to include (perhaps in order to support your bizarre argument) the cost and time involved in traveling to stations and accompanying transfers. I mentioned it but you thought better not to consider it. Why?? Miss T, I think it is because you don't use mass transit and never have. Such considerations are beyond your scope of experience. BTW Miss T, according to the schedule you provided, if I take Route 410 from Mariner P/R Bay2 at 6:55 AM, I arrive at 2nd and University at 7:45 AM. Less than an hour. I will be a work on time at at 8:00 AM...and I am not stuck at the King Street train station trying to figure out how to transfer and how long it will take to get to my destination.

Nice try there, Slick. ST2.1 is going down and ST supporters can thank you for your help burying it.

Have a wonderful New Year, sweetheart.

Posted by Princess Caroline | December 31, 2007 9:44 PM
45

My God MsT you think if you keep repeating your misinterpretations that people will believe you?

SEATTLE has the BEST PER CAPITA transit share of any city that doesn't have an established heavy rail system. SEATTLE IS BETTER THAN ANY LIGHT RAIL CITY including Portland, Denver, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose, Salt Lake City etc.

Seattle will lose to those city only by copying their light rail ways. After we have squandered BILLIONS on light rail, that is at least three times as expensive as anywhere else, maybe your dream that Seattle slip in the rankings will come true.

Try to find a light rail city that out performs Seattle.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-33.pdf

Why aren't you happy with how well Seattle has done and is doing? Why do you want Seattle to pay for a regional system and not get city transit? Why do you hate Seattle's urban density? Why do you support park and ride ST plans like those that are happening in Auburn. Can you say sprawl?

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=transit30s&date=20071230

Posted by whatever | January 1, 2008 4:16 PM
46

Miss T...


A few things you may not understand. Seattle residents already pay for hundreds of thousands of commuters who use Aurura and 15th and Greenwood and Lake City Way and First and Fourth Avenues and MLK and Rainier. My and every other city resident's taxes pay for these roads which are used, by and large, by a vast majority of users who are not tax-paying Seattle residents and therefore get the use of the road for free.


My tax dollars and those of the rest of Seattle residents are already paying for Sounder commuter trains and the construction of Link - services which a fraction of Seattle residents will actually use but for which all Seattle residents are paying.


King County's equal area equity rule means that more than half of Seattle's King County Metro service is running at greater than 70 percent load factor for all times of the day (am peak, non peak mid-day, pm peak, non peak evening and night). meanwhile South and East King county have bus service which runs on riderships as low as 20 percent load factor with the same frequency and length of day service.


We are wasting tax dollars here in Seattle by paying for out-of-city commuters and we are not receiving any equity for that tax support. In the meantime we are running our buses within the city limit nearly full and on frequencies which are in some instances 30 or 60 minute centers. Not transit in any classic use of that term - more like commuter service for city residents.

Sounder is already serving as a commuter service. It is simply stupid to support a Sound Transit Link system which duplicates commuter service. Stupid is what I said and it's what ST2 is all about. Building a second commuter system which basically mirrors the first commuter system but only east of I-5 instead of hugging the coastline.

You actually seem to think that this is a "transit" system. It is not. It is a commuter system. A transit system provides timely, frequent and all-day service for locations within an urban area. Mulkiteo is not an urban area. West Seattle is. Kent is not an urban area. Ballard is. Kent and Mulkiteo are small towns which happen to be inside the Urban Growth Boundary and which are basically bedroom communities with some strip or shopping malls and a sometimes useable small downtown. They are not urban, they are technically called exurban. Service which provides trips for residents who live in exurban areas is called commuter service. These people "commute" to the central city for work and sometimes shopping and entertainment and then "commute" home. Transit service provides service for individuals who live in one neighborhood inside an urban area and who wish to travel to another area or neighborhood inside the urban area - we usually call these places "cities."


I seriously doubt any Seattle city residents will be putting much "yes" vote into anything Sound Transit comes up with unless it's actually "transit." If it comes across as a commuter service then it will fail. So far, Sound Transit has done a pretty good job of sewing up the commuter service market for the central Puget Sound area but has not done much of anything to provide transit for that same area.

Sound Transit is so last year and so dead. Deal with it and come up with your own solution. I have stated my versions of various solutions in many different forums and you've quoted me on some of those comments. I happen to believe that Seattle city residents would tax themselves if they believed they would be the beneficiaries. Proof of this is the Library levy, the Parks levy, the Fire Station levy and the recent Schools levy. You see, we actually have assurances that our tax money will provide us something in return for these levies. We have an experiential past which tells us that a Sound Transit tax will provide us nothing and so why would we waste our money when we are already paying a significant tax to support commuter roads (Aurora, 15th, Greenwood, Lake City Way, First Ave. S, Fourth Ave. S, MLK, Rainier Ave) and paying for Link.


I guess you don't understand fair play or equity either.

Posted by chas Redmond | January 1, 2008 10:58 PM
47

Heh.

My favorite thing about all the light rail-hating cranks who spend all this time playing armchair transit planner....all their silly arguments contradict the arguments of the other cranks (and it's rare any make sense at all in their own right).

But they do have three things in common: 1) the world revolves around each of them and their short time on earth, explaining why engineers and guvment types can never satisfy the endless nitpicking, 2) Light rail is satan incarnate, and Sound Transit should be burned at the stake for pushing long-term solutions for the region; and 3) angry axe-grinders always gravitate towrds buses. Ever wonder why your bus ride is so unenjoyable? Try smiling at Princess Caroline on your daily "uburban sprawl express" bus route, and you'll get a confused look...then a scowl.

Cranks hate happy rail commuters. It ruins their day to see people actually ENJOY their daily commute. Cranks also feel at home with the nuts and bums who naturally feel a lot more "at home" on the bus, especially in the wonderful ride free zone. You see, crazies and bums make angry middle aged white guys look good. Which doesn't happen much to broken men. Ever wonder why there aren't many "casual" transit riders in this town? People either do the "holier than thou" bus sacrifice, or they drive. Not so in Portland, where Saturday MAX ridership is at something like 90% weekday figures.

At least you guys come at this from a "common sense" perspective... here's the plan, apparently: "shuddup, and get on the damn bus!"

Should I also add: "stop people from moving here...give 'em buses stuck in traffic (BRT) and give 'em gridlock...that'll send 'em back to Ohio."

Did I come close, boys?

Can't wait for more hilarious endless-loop grudge-based whining in 08! Who cares about the regional economy, highway corridors approaching serious gridlock, or future transportation needs - we've got decades-old scores to settle, dammit!

With the defeat of Prop 1, you would think the monied interests who help fuel the cranks' (broken) dreams would float their own bus-only plan at some point. I think they're smart enough to avoid the mistake Princess, whatever and others make trying to dress the pig/bus up like a shiny train. Instead, "governance reform" will be the new fad, and we taxpayers can look forward to Lexus lanes for the rich (congestion pricing) and more crappy buses for the poor...and angry white middle class white guys, too.

Never a dull moment, thanks to all the dark ages enthusiasts in Seattle.

Posted by MissT | January 2, 2008 1:10 AM
48

"We have an experiential past which tells us that a Sound Transit tax will provide us nothing and so why would we waste our money when we are already paying a significant tax to support commuter roads (Aurora, 15th, Greenwood, Lake City Way, First Ave. S, Fourth Ave. S, MLK, Rainier Ave) and paying for Link."

There are a lot of weird people with weird ideas in this town. I almost wish they would resurrect the monorail, so all these (real) rail haters could get back to their original hobby.

Chas, I got a real big chuck out of your characterization of Kent as a "small town" and bedroom community for Seattle. Your comparison to Ballard, the "real" urban area was especially hilarious. Watch Ballard go the way of Fremont in the coming years, as industrial jobs are replaced by yuppified boutiques (selling nothing anybody needs) and fancy condos. Soon, Ballard will be the real bedroom community, as Kent expands both its down town density and significant jobs base. (you need to get out more, Chas...these stereotypes you use to inform your opinions are getting kind of old)

Princess Caroline, I think you've got the makings of a pretty effective movement here: Chas Redmond can be the spiritual advisor, and whatever can use his high school's internet connection (and boxes of old monorail maps) and serve as research director for the latest Kemper Freeman-funded Kooks Against Rails group.

You've got the anger and frustration...they've got the smarts and the monorail cult connection. Whaddya say? I'm happy to help this thing get off the ground!

Posted by MissT | January 2, 2008 1:33 AM
49

MsT - it so tempting to drop to your level of ad hominem arguments and name calling.

I don't know if the huge corporate money that backed P1 will be able to buy the next round or not but as ST's own numbers show whether or not they build it will not have a major impact on congestion, speed of travel, growth or anything else, except we not be able do other things of greater value.

How much has gone into so far? About $3 billion with no service provided to date yet Seattle has better transit share than any light rail rail city. Over twenty years of the Portland revolution paid for mostly by the feds and Seattle has better transit share and a better economy, go figure. The figure on the Y axis of the Litman report is the percentage of commuters that use transit, it's the same as per capita commuters. The goverment links show Seattle way ahead.

If we had spent that $3 billion on other transit including modern Trolley buses our lead would be even more.

If Seattle trailed any one of the light rail cities you be touting it to no end. The model of regional light rail doesn't work in any of the industry standard measures.

Could you give us your transit credentials since apparently they are better that ours, at least in your mind.

Even without a city rail Ballard and West Seattle are becoming more and more urbanized. MsT says about Ballard "yuppified boutiques (selling nothing anybody needs) and fancy condos" - now holy railers decide what people should buy at stores and what sort of condos people should choose - very sad you are.


Hey what happened to tiptoe, cressona, and all the rest of LR fan club?

Posted by whatever | January 2, 2008 8:20 AM
50

Streetcars (and light rail) exist for economic development, not transportation - and viewing them as economic development makes more sense than pretending that they are just transit. Once you have the whole picture - encouraging retail and housing along specific corridors that need such investment (not making traffic disappear - nothing will do that), then rails start to look more reasonable.

And, as a metropolitan region that stretches from Everett to Tacoma, what we need is a reasonable discussion instead of all this my-way-is-better yammering. It will take many different types of transportation (including buses, bikes, rails and cars) to get us all (that's all 4 million of us, plus 1.5 million more in the next 3 years) to where we want to be.

Posted by GLC | January 2, 2008 9:43 AM
51

-If we had spent that $3 billion on other transit including modern Trolley buses our lead would be even more.-

Modern trolley buses? Where? Anywhere? Buses have their place, but to pretend they can replace rapid rail service is unrealistic. What other city in the developed world has successfully pursued a transportation plan based on this model? We can examine third world country BRT programs, in densely populated cities where the majority of riders are transit dependent. Not so in the Western United States.

Whatever's statement above is about as specific as rubber tired transit enthusiasts are willing to get. Lance Dickie, in a column just before the November vote, predicted the Bill Murray "Groundhog Day" scenario, where buses are pitched before every light rail vote; but after the election, proponents consistently 'go into hiding' until the next light rail fight comes along.

Posted by Gabriel | January 2, 2008 1:01 PM
52

GLC

Ahhh that would be 3.2 million plus an estimated 1 million in more like 20 or 30 years.

None of the "solutions" will get us all to where we want to be. None of the combinations will get us where we want to be. And the discussion is whether spending a huge percentage of our transpoptation dollars on a sliver line that is mostly outside urban areas will help anything. The UGB is not where density is or will be.

Gabriel - all rail systems that beat Seattle's transit share have robust INNER city systems. No real transit system started with a 70 mile sliver. ST LINK would have gone from the tip of Manhatten to Massachusetts.

People are talking about buses after the election. King County is working on spending new bus money as we type.

You act like the sliver line will actually reduce congestion or reduce GHGs, but it won't.

Build rail to serve the dense core instead of following freeway lines to the suburbs maybe it would make sense.

Posted by whatever | January 2, 2008 2:33 PM
53

Whatever: on one hand you argue Seattle already has robust bus service, effective enough to serve the inner core, and you acknowledge more is on the way; but, by the same token, you're admitting buses are not adequate and rail needs to be implemented following your proprietary perspective. Which is it? And which corridors are you referring to? The old Green Line? Is that what this is all about?

Contrary to your unique perspective on what a metropolitan rail system 'should' look like, ST is effectively following the Portland and BC models, avoiding the extremely high costs of a BART medium rail model, utilizing light rail to achieve both urban densities and suburban markets. *since when did flexible technology become such a lightening rod? Is this dynamic related to the political trend which mandates we live in a poloarized black & white world?* Only a few fringe individuals who live in PDX and BC metro areas complain about this model, despite the high cost, http://metropoliswest.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/vancouver-province-column-our-fast-growing-region-needs-better-rail-service-not-more-crowded-buses/ and most in the know scoff at Seattle's (default) bus & HOV based transportation network.

Future jobs and population growth will degrade the uniquely Seattle bus & HOV model with each passing year. Serious capacity challenges will also surface, and already are. Rail speed and reliablity remains static no matter what the condition of the roadways, and high capacity rail transit can accommodate urban growth and lower density suburban cities which will finally have the opportunity to increase density around urban cores near fixed guideway extensions, just as highly progressive and enlightened planners in Denver are now undertaking http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/main_45

-You act like the sliver line will actually reduce congestion or reduce GHGs, but it won't. -

Upon which analysis do you base your opinion? And what alternative mode would achieve the ghg results you require?

Posted by Gabriel | January 2, 2008 4:35 PM
54

-None of the "solutions" will get us all to where we want to be. None of the combinations will get us where we want to be.-

Where do we want to be, whatever? Your views fall between highly opinionated, and highly vague. A unique blend of passive-agressive Seattle pontificating, indeed.

I am reading through many paragraphs of your writings, and observe you're very effective at using your virtual veto pen. But what is the grand plan which achieves all these things, at decreased cost, increased speed, and lower carbon footprint? Are you keeping the magic plan under wraps on purpose?

Posted by Gabriel | January 2, 2008 4:46 PM
55

Oh Gabriel - the "where we want to be" line came from GDC.

You wrote -high capacity rail transit can accommodate urban growth and lower density suburban cities which will finally have the opportunity to increase density around urban cores near fixed guideway extensions, just as highly progressive and enlightened planners in Denver are now undertaking.

This sums it up pretty well. ST is serving the suburbs to create small islands of a little bit of density. The highly progressive Denver has less transit share than Seattle after how many miles of $40 million per mile light rail. But right, the next project will make the system work. BTW the people of the Portland region rejected expansion when they actually had to pay for it. In Vancouver I believe the national government picked up a major share.

Seattle beats every light rail for transit share. No light rail city except Portland has less congestion.

Increasing frequency in Seattle would make bus service even better. And yes, if we are to build rail it should serve dense areas first, like all major cities in the US and the world.

I used ST's anaysis on GHGs - oh that's right they didn't do any.


Posted by whatever | January 2, 2008 7:25 PM
56

Miss T...

Don't know about Princess Caroline and whatever, but I'd be willing to have you bootstrap a group.

The discussion should be about getting Ballard/North End and West Seattle/White Center/Burien residents out of their cars. Here's some useful stats:


Total arterial traffic in WS (Admiral, California, Delridge, Fauntleroy, 35th) - 102 Thousand vehicles a day.

Total arterial traffic in Ballard (24th 15th, 8th) - 57 Thousand vehicles a day.


So how are we going to remove roughly 160 Thousand vehicles a day from city streets? If we continue to push for a 75-mile long commuter rail line (Link + Link2) it's going to do nothing to remove these city vehicles. Ballard and West Seattle are at or nearing their targeted growth goals. There's been virtually nothing to mitigate this growth in the form of additional transit or additional roads.

Only a grade-separated system can guarantee any reasonable trip time versus these same, overused, arterials. Presently there are no plans for any grade-separated system to serve these western quadrants of the city. That means that these same 160 Thousand vehicles (and whatever growth brings with it) will continue to use existing surface streets. The folks who use their cars do so for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is they may not all be heading in the same direction as the Downtown-centric routes of King County Metro.

Notice also that it is a King County system. Seattle, as you have adequately and many times pointed out is only a fraction of the county in terms of population.

What you are proposing so far does nothing to either remove these 160 Thousand vehicle trips a day nor does it offer any reasonable future solution.

For whatever it's failings (and there were many including an asleep-at-the-wheel Board of Directors and a President of the Board and Executive Director who were guilty of lying, cheating and malfeasance), the Monorail (Green Line alignment) at least provided a solution in the form of a grade-separated system which would have given users of these neighborhood arterials a time-guaranteed method of getting somewhere.

It's a simple question. How do you remove or reduce the trip demand for west-of-Interstate 5 city residents?

Posted by chas Redmond | January 2, 2008 8:06 PM
57

Here we go, Princess Caroline and whatever: Mr. BRT and Mr. Global Warming (Ron Sims) pushing for one of those suburban sprawl-busting Seattle style developments.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004103452_donuthole02m.html

Thank God the local Crashcade Chapter of the Sierra Club go out of their way to worship the ground Ron Sims walks on!ww

But, of course, light rail is like a freeway, and crappy diesel buses are poised to save Mother Earth from all of us holy rail rollers. Clueless Ron Sims cultists forget, Sims is the politician most responsible for all those huge bus-served mega-developments pushing up against the Cascade foothills.

Princess AngryWhiteGuy and whatever might be able to talk a good game, but their political backers are political opportunists (make sure you read the story above!), kooks (Cheryl Pflug is about to take the Jim Horn route outta the Senate) and...well, Eastern Washingtonians (not that there's anything wrong with that, but progressive transportation policy ain't exactly a pressing issue in Moses Lake and Wenatchee - Princess Whatever's political base)

Posted by MissT | January 2, 2008 11:02 PM
58

"It's a simple question. How do you remove or reduce the trip demand for west-of-Interstate 5 city residents?"

Well, Charles, since you were one of the active anti-light rail jihadists who, for many years, pushed for the elimination of a light rail line which would serve SeaTac, Tukwila, the Rainier Valley, the International District, all of downtown, Capitol Hill, The UW, the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate, I could respond to your current groveling with the same courtesy you afforded the aforementioned neighborhoods: screw you.

But, since I would never stoop to your self-centered faux pro-transit freeway view of the world (branded as CETA), I can tell you I will advocate for NW and SW Seattle just as strongly as I advocate for the current paradigm we're all forced to live under. Reality is a bitch, but pretending as if reality doesn't exist is an even worse fate.

Whining like little girls isn't going to accomplish anything. Neither will pitting one transit technology against another. Neither will pretending as if Seattle will serve as the first (and last) all-bus city in North America.

If any of you clowns knew the first thing about creating real alternatives to the automobile, you would have figured out A LONG TIME AGO that it's not a zero sum game. But then again, this whole game is a big f'ing grudge match, carried out by broken men pursuing totally unrelated agendas.

Great for feigned outrage, caused by people who confuse transport policy with hurt feelings - but lousy for doing the right thing.

Posted by MissT | January 2, 2008 11:31 PM
59

"BTW the people of the Portland region rejected expansion when they actually had to pay for it."

Gabriel, don't believe more than 15% of whatever whatever writes. The Oregon side voted yes int the last vote. The milita side of the river voted no (formerly known as "Linda Smith Country.") Don Benton makes Linda Smith look downright...we'll, educated.

Whatever kinda raises a good point. The Oregon legislature funds Portland's (ineffective and hated) MAX light rail extensions to the tune of hundreds of millions each year. In WA, we are lucky to have freeway-centric troglodytes running the show. Whatever is the perfect example of what backwards politics can lead to: physical and mental gridlock.

" In Vancouver I believe the national government picked up a major share."

They don't do public votes in BC. The taxes are simply imposed by political appointees. Vancouver's extensive fixed guideway system is expanding because of popular and political demand, and because those "little pockets of density" have gone a long way towards growing rapidly without new freeways and congestion. It's also expanding because of a little something called The Olympics. In Seattle, we weren't even allowed to compete for the bid, because freeway fanatic "progressives" like Nick Licata (whatever channels him regularly) didn't want to expose cave-dwelling Seattleites to the brutal realities of non-provincial thinking.

Posted by MissT | January 2, 2008 11:50 PM
60

MsT since when is Vancouver, WA not part of the Portland region - Maybe Setty has figured a way to remove it in order to skew number in favor of his agenda but it is included in Portland Metro everywhere else.

Vancouver BC turns over its government every few years so maybe they didn't like having the taxes for rail imposed on them. Also, they didn't build a freeway through their city (good for them) and it is basically the end of the line.

Seattle's proposed 70 miles would have 35 stops whereas the Vancouver BC system has 33 stops in 31 miles. ST is proposing a system very different from Vancouver,BC. Check out the wiki quotes below.

"The SkyTrain is a two-line urban mass transit system in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It uses Bombardier's Advanced Rapid Transit technology, with fully automated trains running principally on elevated tracks"

"SkyTrain's 49.5 km (30.8 mi) of track make it the longest automated light rapid transit system in the world. It also uses the longest mass transit-only bridge, the SkyBridge, to cross the Fraser River. There are 33 stations in the system, which carries more than 220,000 people every day on the two lines."

Posted by whatever | January 3, 2008 10:14 AM
61

MsT et al. perhaps you should check into some anger management classes.

Then when you graduate you can try doing some work on your cognitive dissonance issues.

No one said LR wouldn't work anywhere, although to date it hasn't brought verifiable results but that's probably to do with the proponents building it wrong by letting the vested interests make money domestically like Halliburton does in Iraq. We here in Seattle would have been better off with Skytrain or heavy rail technology because their smaller size would have made tunneling less expensive.

Where there are right of ways on the surface such as old rail ROW that cross streets LR could be the best choice.

What we have mostly criticized is the routing and leaving out many of the densest parts of the region (Vancouver BC doesn't do that). Read your rant below. Are you saying that this routing is just a political choice and that if politics were different you'd support an urban system? That all your density island arguments are only made to fit a political assessment? Is this a little like Dark Age geologists fitting their observations to the Bible?

"I can tell you I will advocate for NW and SW Seattle just as strongly as I advocate for the current paradigm we're all forced to live under. Reality is a bitch, but pretending as if reality doesn't exist is an even worse fate.

Whining like little girls isn't going to accomplish anything. Neither will pitting one transit technology against another. Neither will pretending as if Seattle will serve as the first (and last) all-bus city in North America."

Posted by whatever | January 3, 2008 10:36 AM
62

-We here in Seattle would have been better off with Skytrain or heavy rail technology because their smaller size would have made tunneling less expensive. -

I know the new Canada Line extension features twin 20-ft diameter bored tunnels; BART airport extension is a 20-ft diameter tunnel...and ST's tunnel under Beacon Hill is 21 feet in diameter.

For all you know, they could have been 20-ft, if the engineers wanted to design it that way, or if the contractor had ordered a different TBM.

Like many of your light rail critiques, this one lacks merit.

-Where there are right of ways on the surface such as old rail ROW that cross streets LR could be the best choice. -

I trust you're not calling for another go at the monorail, whatever. I grew weary of hearing this randomly chosen false criteria repeated ad nauseum by monorail activists during the Green Line years.

Posted by Gabriel | January 3, 2008 6:07 PM
63

The costs are probably not directly proportional but clearly the area and volume of LR is significantly larger than Skytrain and way bigger than Bart. At the estimated $566 million per mile for LINK if directly proportional that would be about $80 million per mile and $170 million per mile respectively.

LR - 21' Diameter = 350 sq. ft.

Vancouver Skytrain 6m = 19.69' = 305 sq. ft.

Bart Heavy rail 17'10" = 250 sq. ft.

Vancouver link
http://www.ita-aites.org/cms/193.html

Bart link

http://www.arema.org/eseries/scriptcontent/custom/e_arema/library/2006_Conference_Proceedings/041.pdf


Posted by whatever | January 3, 2008 7:00 PM
64

The only advantage of LR over any other form of transit is that it can run at grade with cars and people able to cross the tracks. What in the world you are talking about the monorail activists? Do you not believe that LR could work at grade such as in RV? I don't think it will work that well especially for a "spine" system that should be fast but at grade is the only advantage LR could have.

-Where there are right of ways on the surface such as old rail ROW that cross streets LR could be the best choice. -

I trust you're not calling for another go at the monorail, whatever. I grew weary of hearing this randomly chosen false criteria repeated ad nauseum by monorail activists during the Green Line years.

Posted by whatever | January 3, 2008 7:10 PM
65

#63 $80 and $170 LESS per mile

Posted by whatever | January 3, 2008 8:10 PM
66

Whatever is now calculating rail vehicle volumes?

No wonder his opinions mimic those of a closet crack addict-turned armchair transportation planner.

Whatever constantly bitches about the high cost of light rail (ignoring - of course - the higher cost of new freeway lanes for his gawdawful buses stuck in traffic), yet he effortlessly shifts into a tome about how we need to be investing in even MORE expensive heavy rail technology.

As always, whatever does a better job arguing against himself than upstarts like myself could ever dream of doing.

Next time you hear axe-grinding crazies like whatever argue for "heavy rail", keep two words in mind: third rail.

Yeah, with a challenging topography, let's pick the least flexible technologies possible. And let's argue over whether a foot or two of dynamic envelope should be the be-all/end-all determining factor on technology choice (nevermind the fact the region chose light rail 20 years ago, and is finally building that system...despite the cranks' endless loop protestations)

Sounds like an incredibly bright idea to me.

Posted by MissT | January 3, 2008 11:45 PM
67

"Seattle's proposed 70 miles would have 35 stops whereas the Vancouver BC system has 33 stops in 31 miles. ST is proposing a system very different from Vancouver,BC. Check out the wiki quotes below."

Check Vancouver's aggressive rail-based Transit Oriented Development density plan from the mid-90's, whatever. Think their progressive policies revolved around your stupid buses stuck in traffic ideas (BRT) or ridiculous heavy rail/third rail concept?

Nope. It was the evil, satanic, and absurdly expensive light rail capacity system which helped make Vancouver what it is today.

Luddites and crazies like you were summarily ignored. Which is the best way to treat mixed nuts with unrelated agendas.

Your comments earlier about Vancouver being part of the Portland region were also hilarious. Those people are called tax-dodging self-centered free lunch Reaganites. No wonder you were defending militia country...you would fit right in down there. I can just imagine how well your heavy rail + slow buses & freeways "vision" would resonate amongst the light-rail loving populace.

Oh well, at least there is a nutjob Libertarian Think Tank (one guy) which would embrace your stunted theories.

A couple years after light rail is up and running in this town, idiots like whatever will be shouted down - which explains why he and his band of cranks are so shrill now. It also may explain why whatever is forever contradicting himself.

There should be a special place in hell for the serial nitpickers. Nothing like fiddling while Rome burns.

Posted by MissT | January 4, 2008 12:01 AM
68

Here's another data point. The Link capacity on the north leg (UW northward) is maxed out. This means any 520 light/heavy/mono rail cannot be transferred to the main north-south ST Link line at a UW or U-District station. All the present scenarios show a 520 line which loops through Wallingford/Fremont and/or Ballard and then heads downtown where one would transfer. So, if the 520 line gets built, anyone using it would still have to go downtown to transfer even if they wanted to get to the UW. What kind of a system is Sound Transit building if their main line is maxed out even before it is built. Yet another reason to cease and desist building anything more under ST's auspices. The main north-south "trunk" should have some considerable room for expansion and incoming transfer riders. This one doesn't. And yet the droning of the supporters continues despite nearly every fact of the system being shown to be basically a dismal systemic failure. Miss T - I'm also getting rather tired of your ad hominem attacks. If you can't speak using facts and logic then please don't speak. Denigrating your opponents is a cheap and overused trick. It casts you in a bad light and your point is less well made.

Posted by chas Redmond | January 4, 2008 11:45 AM
69

Skytrain is not light rail - it has third rail power through the LIM power system. Please prove me wrong my walking on it.

The calculations were not the volume, only the area of the tunnels to demonstrate how a seemingly small diameter change is amplified in area and therefore costs. Obviously cost is of no object to the holy railer.

Since we must tunnel or elevate in this region heavy rail (which is smaller and lighter) is less expensive. Light rail only is cheaper where it can run at grade. The cheap part in Seattle, RV, cost us nearly $200 million a mile in 2004 average cost dollars without financing considered.

RE: Portland area. Are you saying that Vancouver people weren't part of the vote that rejected more light rail or are you saying they shouldn't have a vote on taxes they would pay or what?

Stop drinking the cheap stuff cause you can obviously afford too much. Perhaps instead of self medicating you should take that anger management class.

How many miles of highway was in P1? 150 miles for $7 billion with a 20% cap on going over budget. ST1 implied that they would build 50 miles for $11 billion - hmmmm and much lower operating costs.

Posted by whatever | January 4, 2008 5:54 PM
70

Right. I forgot. Skytrain is a monorail. Or, is it a heavy rail, or BRT?

Keep in mind, new extensions of Skytrain abandon LIM (linear induction motors.) Prove me wrong.

So, Mr. Petty Nitpicker (aka whatever) does that mean the Canada Line is LRT and the previous lines are not? Does anybody care about these childish technology games?

Not likely.

"Here's another data point. The Link capacity on the north leg (UW northward) is maxed out. This means any 520 light/heavy/mono rail cannot be transferred to the main north-south ST Link line at a UW or U-District station."

Right, Chas. Which is why Sound Transit is pushing to build light rail across I-90, and why light rail opponents are pushing for LRT across 520 (because they're idiots). Compare the joke-capacity of your dearly departed Green Line trains (see: Las Vegas) and tell me your years of light rail bashing weren't truly pathetic. Capacity is not a strong point for you, Charles.

"RE: Portland area. Are you saying that Vancouver people weren't part of the vote that rejected more light rail or are you saying they shouldn't have a vote on taxes they would pay or what?"

No, whatever. What I mean is progressive PDX voted yes for Interstate MAX and troglodyte militia country (your peeps) voted no. Get it yet?

My meds are cheap: making fun of cave dwellers like you guys is good fun.

"Since we must tunnel or elevate in this region heavy rail (which is smaller and lighter) is less expensive"

Whatever: no wonder we are always clashing! You strongly believe down is up, and up is down! This explains everything (why serial light rail haters are...well....a bit nuts)

Posted by MissT | January 4, 2008 7:54 PM
71

"Your comments earlier about Vancouver being part of the Portland region were also hilarious."

"What I mean is progressive PDX voted yes for Interstate MAX and troglodyte militia country (your peeps) voted no."

So they vote on the same ballot issues because they aren't in the same region?

Skytrain is a form of AGT that most resembles a monorail system.

The Canada line is described as an automated light metro system. It is a rail rapid transit system using an electric propulsion system. The Line will be equipped with an Automatic Train Control (ATC) System based on the proven technology that is similar to that utilized in the Vancouver SkyTrain transit system.

The trains will not be light rail but rather heavy rail third railed powered. Prove me wrong.

I realize technology discussions are boring unless LR is accepted as the best from the outset and we all agree. Apparently Vancouver continues to buy fully automated trains that are not light rail. Prove me wrong.

Twelve miles 16 initial stations another 4 later, doesn't sound like ST2. It sounds like an urban system.

And with a downtown tunnel and fully automated operation it's only about $174 million per mile with a station every 3/4 miles not the every 2 miles of LINK. Its cheaper than LR, see?

Posted by whatever | January 4, 2008 9:10 PM
72

Roger Pence of ST stated on a forum that a rail across 520 wouldn't work because capacity was predcted to be used up N/S. ST has said Ballard is on the map to be served by a spur from the UW. How that will work with a maxed out N/S line is not addressed. MSFT is being served by a line going through Bellevue over a bridge that has its useful half gone before the rail runs. The airport is served by a line that goes at grade with cross streets with a 35 mph top speed limit. The Convention Center the top single destination for business is not served and the number one stop on the original plan, 1st Hill, was cancelled because it was too expensive. And ST toadies say critics are cranks.

When the cost overruns are questioned and compared to the 1/3 cost in other cities spokespeople like Roger say that we didn't have the convenient ROW such as abandoned rail but we will have the highest ridership because LINK will go to the densest areas such as the UW and Cap Hill, so LINK is better. Of course, LR isn't the best technology when ROW is not available and when the extensions to areas without density are questioned the answer is a muddle of ROW next to a freeway or connecting to suburban towns to create isles of density.

If we had a rail line that ran where the I-5 runs and there was no freeway, a light rail would have made sense. If there is a place where old rail lines run through a part of a city that used to be industrial and is now mostly deserted, LR would make a ton of sense to help that area (inside an urban area, city) get denser. LR was not promoted to be a metro system - it was promoted to use existing ROW and be able to run with cars and pedestrians. To date it has not proven to be an effective means to reduce congestion, increase density, increase transit share or provide cost effective transit. Heavy rail yes, light rail no.

But all transit has major funding problems and building over expensive systems that don't serve the densest areas just exasperate the problem. ST will be asking the state to bail it out at the expense of what programs?

http://www.savechicagolandtransit.com/whatswrong.asp

Posted by whatever | January 5, 2008 9:09 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).