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Friday, January 18, 2008

Sims Appoints Conlin to ST Board

posted by on January 18 at 15:51 PM

It’s official: King County Executive Ron Sims has nominated Richard Conlin to the Sound Transit board seat occupied by council member Richard McIver.

Conlin, who just prevailed in his second attempt to become council president, tried once before to win appointment to the board—in 2004, when he took over from McIver as head of the council’s transportation committee. Traditionally, the chair of the transportation committee also sits on the Sound Transit board; but McIver wanted to stay, and Sims decided to keep him. “The arguments at the time were the need for continuity—and McIver had experience—and with issues in the [lower-income, largely minority] Rainier Valley,” where surface-level light rail was controversial, Conlin says. He adds that Sims approached him this time, and not the other way around.

“I think he was surprised to get a call from me, because I had some sharply worded things to say” about Conlin in the past, Sims says—a reference to the protracted battle over the Brightwater sewage treatment plant in south Snohomish County. Conlin was among the plant’s loudest critics; Sims, one of its biggest boosters. “He’s attacked King County vigorously. So obviously, I don’t just appoint people who agree with me. … I don’t know what Richard Conlin’s position is on light rail or [bus rapid transit] or buses or variable tolling. I know he supports public transportation and that’s key to me.”

In fact, Conlin and Sims diverge on one of the key issues coming before the Sound Transit board this year: Whether to take light rail to the ballot this year or in 2010. Sims says he’d prefer to wait until after the first light rail line opens in 2009. “In 2010, it can’t lose,” Sims says. “What you’re seeing is that people want bite-size pieces,” he adds, rather than a huge package that goes to Tacoma and the Eastside as well as Northgate. Conlin, in contrast, says that “if I had my druthers, I’d go with 2008,” but he says he’s open to arguments for waiting.

The council may vote on the nomination as soon as Monday.

RSS icon Comments


how many lines are we going to have in Seattle?

how many stops?

Posted by martian | January 18, 2008 4:00 PM

cressona - what's this boondoggle going to end up costing?

Posted by hefferweisen | January 18, 2008 4:25 PM

Seattle will have nine stops by 2009, another two by 2016 by adding Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium, and stops in the U-District, Roosevelt and Northgate if it extended by ST2 at least that far.

And @2--less than a fucking freeway

Posted by tiptoe tommy | January 18, 2008 4:29 PM

Unless we're going to resubmit the ST2 plan without RTID attached, I think we should wait until 2010. Otherwise, we'll have to have a bunch of arguments about which project is more important and how it should be changed, and knowing local transportation politics history that takes a lot longer than ten months to work out. Even if the Sound Transit board just picked a smaller subset of projects, the controversy that would erupt could not be calmed in time for a successful election.

I agree with Sims that bite-sized packages are the way to go, but they've got to make the funding and the benefit of each line have some relation. If they try to simply build lines in Seattle and make the whole taxing district pay for it, they'll get a lot of no votes (just as Seattle voters won't want to pay for something that only helps areas outside the city). If they make each sub-area pay the bulk of each bite-size package in that sub-area, then they're much more likely to succeed. That also means that they can target each bit to each area, while still planning to an integrated regional vision. It avoids a lot of the city vs. suburbs infighting and finger-pointing that helped kill ST2.

Posted by Cascadian | January 18, 2008 4:59 PM

very true, much cheaper than a freeway, especially after they drop the segment in ST2.1 that nobody liked in ST2 (the one from Sea-Tac to Tacoma that has one-tenth the ridership of the UW-Northgate segment and some small fraction of the Stadium-Bellevue line.

Time for hardball.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 18, 2008 4:59 PM

(oh and RTID is dead, Cascadian, they just haven't had their head chopped off but the mats are out for the ritual suicide already)

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 18, 2008 5:01 PM

They know what it will cost, they just won't say. The monorailers made that mistake, and the railers don't want to repeat the blunder . . . .

Posted by realist | January 18, 2008 5:06 PM

If Hargrove was the human rain delay then Conlin is the human project delay.

Conlin's appointment should speed up governance reform.

#1 - one line is all that is planned for Seattle.

Posted by whatever | January 18, 2008 5:25 PM

You didn't answer -- You said "Seattle will have nine stops by 2009, another two by 2016 by adding Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium, and stops in the U-District, Roosevelt and Northgate" but I asked the total no. of stops. So, what's the total no. of stops in Seattle?

Isn't this all planned already?

@8: one line-what?

Posted by martian | January 18, 2008 5:32 PM

I read the post again.

This guy Sims is pointing out how great he is in appointing Conlin, because Conlin questioned some other rail project?

Wow. Sounds like payback, tit for tat, old Chicago-style politics.

Posted by martian | January 18, 2008 5:36 PM

Conlin hated the monorail, FYI.

Posted by earl | January 18, 2008 5:59 PM

yup he illegally failed to build it, then tried to cut off their light bill, then he had a big antimonorail meeting, all years before he finally helped kill it off.

Stadtbahn, stadtbahn, uber alles!

Posted by Hatman | January 18, 2008 6:54 PM


[b]University Link Extension[/b]

Husky Stadium/University of WA (Underground, Opens 2016)
Capital Hill Station (Underground, Opens 2016)

[b]Downtown Seattle Stations[/b]

Westlake Center Station (June 2009)
University Street Station (June 2009)
Pioneer Square Station (June 2009)
International District Station (June 2009)

[b]South Downtown Seattle[/b]

Stadium Station @ Royal Brougham/E-3 Busway (June 2009)
Lander Street Station @ Lander Street/E-3 Busway

[b]Beacon Hill[/b]

Beacon Hill Station (Underground, June 2009)

[b]Rainier Valley/Mt. Baker District[/b]

Mt. Baker Station (Elevated, June 2009)

[b]Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.[/b]

Columbia City Station @ Alaska Street (June 2009)

Othello Street Station (June 2009)

Henderson Street Station (June 2009)


Tukwila International Blvd. Station @ South 154th Street & SR518/SR99 (June 2009)

[b]Airport Segment[/b]

Sea-Tac International Airport (September 2009)

[b]International Blvd[/b]

South 200th - Deferred? Unknown Status

There you go, all the stations that Link will be serving up to UW and South 200th Street

Posted by Brian Bundridge | January 18, 2008 7:03 PM

boo.. no html allowed =(

Posted by Brian Bundridge | January 18, 2008 7:05 PM

Hey Brian, try using instead of [ i].

Also, Boo! This means my roommate will be able to take the train home to her family in '09, in Tukwilla and getting me home to Everett isn't even on the drawing board yet. Woe.

Posted by Phelix | January 18, 2008 7:21 PM

@3, @13:

Gosh, I'll ask for the third time:

How many stops will there be ___in Seattle___?

Is this difficult to answer because we don't know because they haven't planned it yet?

Posted by martian | January 18, 2008 7:29 PM

Your kidding me right? I mean seriously, are you just not from this region which is why you are repeating the question?

Ok, what is your definition of "Seattle"

If you just mean Downtown Seattle then look above, look at Post #13. I'll make this a bit clearer for you....These stations are in Seattle

University of Washington will have 1 underground station located at Montlake, next to UW Medical.

Capital Hill will have 1 underground station.

In Downtown Seattle, Westlake, University, Pioneer Square and the International District Stations which is 4 stations.

In South Downtown Seattle (SODO) there is 2 stations, Stadium and Lander.

Beacon Hill has 1 underground Station

Mt. Baker will be an elevated Station across the street from Franklin High School

Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. will have 3 stations, Columbia City, Othello, and Henderson.

That is the end of the Seattle boundary. Tukwila picks up from Boeing Access Rd/MLK Jr. Blvd to the Airport, which has 2 stations, Tukwila International Blvd Station and Sea-Tac Airport.

I don't know how to make that any clearer for you than that. If you need anymore clarification, seek your local school for geographical help. Your making this way more difficult than it should have been.

If your talking Seattle within the boundaries, then 13 stations with 2 in Tukwila.

Really, everyone has answered your question, mine is more so in-depth but if you can't figure out what __Seattle is__ that my friend is on you.

Look at what I posted again and it is clearly marked what is where. If your not familiar with Seattle or don't live here, then I can understand why you would be confused and repeating the question.

If you need clarification to this puzzle then turn to

Posted by Brian Bundridge | January 18, 2008 8:17 PM

Martian is math-challenged.

Posted by J.R. | January 18, 2008 8:58 PM


Wow, you seem very angry ! I'm going to ignore that. First, by Seattle I mean Seattle, the City of. Not more (Seattle County, Seattle Region, etc.) and not less (Downtown Seattle, Central Seattle District, Southern Seattle, Northern Seattle).

I asking how many stops including north of the Univ. of Washington stop, where you cut it off in your answer. But I think it's not supposed to stop there.

So let's have a re-do:
How many stops inside Seattle City both south and north of the U of W?

And someone said there is only one line? IS that true?

If there are other lines planned that have stops inside the City of Seattle, add those stops in, too.

BTW a numeral suffices to answer this question. (That would be like "13" or "33" or "27," for example, if you need to know the definition of "numeral").

Thank you very much for your anticipated courteous response.

Posted by martian | January 18, 2008 10:08 PM

@18: wow again.

Is there a cultural lack of politeness in this area or something?
If "how many lines are we going to have in Seattle? how many stops?" was hard for you to decipher, too, see above for explanation.

Are you defending your buddy there?

Posted by martian | January 18, 2008 10:20 PM

There is one line planned north-south and one spur planned to go east. The N/S line has 14 stops planned inside city limits. The east line has one stop planned inside Seattle in addition to the stops from the N/S line it will use.

The funding is not secure for any building beyond the initial segment from Westlake to the airport. If the Feds come through with $750 million, there should be enough to get to Husky Stadium.

Here's a map of the various plans

Posted by whatever | January 19, 2008 9:38 AM

Sorry wrong link above - this is the sound transit map

Posted by whatever | January 19, 2008 9:42 AM

@21,22: Thanks.

@17, @18: @21 answered. "15" seems to be the answer.

@21: That linked map is weird. They use the same color for the north line and the east line, and they show interstate highways.

The line with the 14 stops in Seattle shows 5 stops north of the ship canal and 9 south -- is that because more people live south of the ship canal?

Posted by martian | January 19, 2008 10:43 AM

@20: If you're commenting on a Slog post about Sound Transit, most people assume you know how to find the Sound Transit web site, which has all the information you requested. So it comes across as either profoundly dumb or very lazy to repeatedly insist that people spell it all out for you, when you could damn well look it up yourself.

Posted by Greg | January 19, 2008 10:47 AM


Yes, or course I knew that there would probably be some web site with the answer (as to "how many stops and lines will there be on the subway being built in Seattle"). And yes, I'm lazy! (But hopefully not dumb.)

I thought this question would be easy, and everyone in Seattle would just know. Guess not. Sorry to create ill will, I guess, by asking.

The question did get answered:

in Seattle the subway will have
1 line, and 13-14 stops

(it's still not totally clear but....oh well).

Thanks again --

Posted by martian | January 19, 2008 12:22 PM
Posted by Greg | January 19, 2008 2:31 PM

So the UW stop an N 45th is being ignored because it's half a block from the giant UW (formerly Safeco) building that I may work in?

Nuh uh. That counts as UW.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 19, 2008 2:32 PM

I've gotten totally lost in this discussion above, re "how many stations in Seattle?" Here's the list of stations in the planned and under-construction segments of Link light rail:
North of downtown: Northgate, Roosevelt, Brooklyn/45th, UW/Husky Stadium, Capitol Hill = 5
Downtown: Westlake, University St., Pioneer Sq., I.D./chinatown = 4
South of downtown: Stadiums, SODO, Beacon Hill, Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Othello, Rainier Beach = 7
East Link: Rainier Ave. = 1
TOTAL = 17
North of Northgate is not planned in any detail, but could add one or two stations when built.
Hope this works for you, Peter.

Posted by Perfect Voter | January 20, 2008 11:11 AM

The stations at Brooklyn/45th and Roosevelt are not funded, and are nowhere near being under construction.

Posted by Mr, X | January 21, 2008 10:10 AM

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