Slog: News & Arts

RSS icon Comments on Another Casualty if Prop. 1 Fails: First Hill Streetcar Line

1

If the bailout doesn't pass, there aren't going to be any streetcar lines anywhere, because they won't be able to sell the bonds. Municipalities are currently the hardest-hit by the credit crunch. Billings can't borrow the money for their new hospital. NYC just had to offer 9% on an offering. It's going to get uglier, too.

Posted by Fnarf | October 2, 2008 12:38 PM
2

The loss of the capital hill dogleg was unfortunate - it's original inclusion definitely made sense at the time.

I wasn't present for its removal, but it certainly was a dense neighborhood used by EVERYONE in the region. (Medical service is, in my humble opinion, also much more important than access to Stadia.)

Besides the streetcar proposal though there is at least one alternative - continue and expand the Rainier Tower Pedestrian tunnel so it runs all the way from University Street Light Rail station to Seattle University, presumably with some sort of airport style conveyor belt system.

Posted by Douglas Tooley | October 2, 2008 12:41 PM
3

Fnarf, I love you but when you are right you are right. And you can be a bummer. Issue 1 should still pass--'cas its gonna come someday soon that gas will be so expensive that the bus frequencies will be cut, fares will be raised, and then more of us are gona be riding our bikes and walking. we should build this stuff up as much as we can while we have the chance, the potential and the will. The bonds will get sold--Seattle's water bonds finally sold. Vote yes on issue 1.

Posted by matt Davis | October 2, 2008 12:43 PM
4

in the latest poll that i could find (9/14), sound transit prop 1 was winning 65%-20%! yay!!

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=face5513-03e0-40ea-9112-034728ee9efc

fnarf, remember when if last year's prop 1 failed, we'd for sure never ever ever see another light rail measure again?

Posted by jrrrl | October 2, 2008 12:44 PM
5
"Which, whatever you think of streetcars, remains the only viable potential non-bus link between Capitol Hill and First Hill in Sound Transitís proposal."

So, what's wrong with a bus link again? Or in better words, everything I hate about the streetcar is resolved by running a bus on the exact same route. I don't see anyone crying about the 99 bus, it's a fine replacement for the George Benson Waterfront Streetcar.

Posted by Westlake, son! | October 2, 2008 12:49 PM
6

Don't get me wrong, Matt. I absolutely support Prop. 1, and will vote for it. I'm just looking the future, after it passes, when they can't sell the bonds.

Posted by Fnarf | October 2, 2008 1:25 PM
7

I agree with Westlake. Electric trolley buses are streetcars which aren't restricted to rails, and can actually avoid most traffic obstructions.

Posted by Chris | October 2, 2008 1:34 PM
8

But people will ride a streetcar who will never ride a bus. Kick and scream all you want to, but this is an incontrovertible truth. Buses are for the bottom 10% of society. Is that unfair? Stupid? Unnecessary? It doesn't matter; it's TRUE.

If your transit plan is predicated on first eliminating the class system in this country, you're going to lose.

Posted by Fnarf | October 2, 2008 2:37 PM
9

@5: Manufacturing arguments doesn't work in this case: nobody is complaining about that 99 bus because nobody rides it. Furthermore, everyone cried about the waterfront streetcar going kaput.

Choice ridership is a big backbone of transit service-- you often see monumental leaps in ridership when you upgrade a mode. There is a reason less-dense Portland has ridership that is unequally close to Seattle's, and that's quality and mode of service.

As far as going around obstructions, Trolley Buses can only go so far. It helps if a car is jutting into a lane, but it doesn't help if there is a larger obstruction. There's no doubt from looking at what they're floating that ST has already got plans to reduce exposure to obstructions by shifting lanes, coralling parking and running in the faster part of traffic when not at a stop.

Posted by AJ | October 2, 2008 3:03 PM
10

The next five - six years are going to be marked by a brutal recession. There will be 12% unemployment in Seattle. Gas prices will be down (worldwide demand will decrease, so the oil futures market will tank). Congestion will be down (many drivers won't need to drive as they won't be employed and/or need their money for more important things than gas).

No fucking way should we pass a ginormous sales tax hike right now, which will do one thing: prolong the recession locally by taking money out of peoples' pockets.

Try not to let the shiny pictures of trains cloud your thinking - they really don't matter to anyone (especially you).

Posted by harshyourmellow | October 2, 2008 3:05 PM
11

@10: It's a tax based on an average 13,000$ a year in taxable items. Even if spending went down 10-20% (which is unheard of, even in steep recessions), it will still pull in enough money. The daily contribution for a person is 19 cents-- I'm sure there are tons of things you can cut from your monthly spending that is more than 19 cents, especially since most people in this region spend the equivalent of $50 a day to maintain their ways of life.

It's also spread out over 15 years, so scaremongering people into voting against something that will likely increase its tax revenue as spending rebounds when we've climbed out of this pit backward-thinking values voters have dug for us is simply stupid.

Posted by AJ | October 2, 2008 3:15 PM
12

11- "It's also spread out over 15 years, "

stop lying. the tax would be in place for thirty years.

take a guess at how much tax st would take in over that thirty years if the measure passes.

Posted by norbert hebert | October 2, 2008 3:25 PM
13

The monorail pulled that same shit - after the vote to start the taxes they dropped stations and shortened the line. That's what ST did with the First Hill station (promised to voters then dropped after the vote).

I wouldn't ride the ST trains, like ever. This one deserves to be rejected. We'll hold Nickels' Sound Transit trains hostage until he and Chopp start going on a surface boulevard option, a SR 520 six-lane bridge with expansion for transit, and until Nickels gets the money for the I-5 repair work through Seattle ($3-$4 billion).

Hold their feet to the fire . . . otherwise they'll just sit there with their thumbs in their butts.

Posted by Wonk | October 2, 2008 3:41 PM
14

harshyourmellow @10:

The next five - six years are going to be marked by a brutal recession. There will be 12% unemployment in Seattle. Gas prices will be down (worldwide demand will decrease, so the oil futures market will tank). Congestion will be down (many drivers won't need to drive as they won't be employed and/or need their money for more important things than gas).

It's not the next five or six years I'm worried about. It's the next 50, 60, 100 years I'm worried about. Last I checked, oil doesn't grow on trees, and neither do any of the alternatives.

Trying to save money now on infrastructure creates a self-fulfilling prophesy. The longer we go on saying we're too poor to build a functioning transportation system, the poorer we're going to get.

If we'd taken the same approach during the Great Depression--"Hey, we're in a Depression, let's not invest in anything"--we'd still be in the Great Depression to this day.

Posted by cressona | October 2, 2008 3:45 PM
15

Wonk @13:

This one deserves to be rejected. We'll hold Nickels' Sound Transit trains hostage until he and Chopp start going on a surface boulevard option, a SR 520 six-lane bridge with expansion for transit, and until Nickels gets the money for the I-5 repair work through Seattle ($3-$4 billion).

Yeah, that whole "hold 'em hostage" approach has worked really well so far. Hasn't it?

We seem to be caught in this dysfunctional situation with our transportation politics:

  1. Champion of Project A says, "I'm going to block all other projects until my project gets going."
  2. Champion of Project B says, "I'm going to block all other projects until my project gets going."
  3. Champion of Project C says, "I'm going to block all other projects until my project gets going."

In the computer sciences, this situation is called deadlock.

Posted by cressona | October 2, 2008 3:55 PM
16

@8, then let the people who refuse to ride a bus pay for the shiny new streetcar. I couldn't give two craps what their consciences will and won't allow them to ride, and I'd rather spend my money elsewhere.

Also, let's not use the Waterfront Streetcar as an example of transit -- it was primarily a tourist novelty (along with the rest of the downtown waterfront).

Posted by joykiller | October 2, 2008 5:05 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.